Moon Hooch Red Sky on LP
If any band is a poster child for turning the power of positive thoughts and intention into reality, it's the explosive horn-and-percussion trio Moon Hooch. In just a few short years, the group – Mike Wilbur, fellow horn player Wenzl McGowen, and drummer James Muschler – has gone from playing on New York City subway platforms to touring with the likes of Beats Antique, They Might Be Giants, and Lotus, as well as selling out their own headline shows in major venues around the country.
On Red Sky, their third and most adventurous album to date, the band uses everything they've learned from their whirlwind journey to push their sound to new heights, bringing together the raw, transcendent energy of their live performances and the sleek sophistication of their studio work into a singular, intoxicating brew that blends elements of virtuosic jazz, groovy funk, and pulse-pounding electronic dance music.
Recorded at The Bunker studio in Brooklyn, Red Sky is nothing if not captivating. The album opens with the tribal urgency of the title track and proceeds, over the next 45 minutes, to utterly demolish any and every possible barrier that could stand between your ass and the dance floor. On "Shot," Wilbur sings a stream of consciousness vocal line over an airtight groove, while "Psychotubes" channels the apocalyptic fire and brimstone of death metal, and the staccato intro of "That's What They Say" gives way to a gritty, late-night come-on of a saxophone line that's far more suggestive than any whispered words ever could be.
Though the band is heavily inspired by electronic music, they made a conscious effort to use as little in the way of "studio tricks" as possible on Red Sky, aiming instead to capture the sound of their live show, which has evolved significantly from their days underground. "When we were playing in the subways, we were playing entirely acoustic," explains Wilbur. "It was just two saxes and a drum set. Then Wenzl acquired a baritone sax and we all started getting into music production and incorporating electronic music into our live shows."