It's night. The moon is floating outside. I find myself walking aimlessly down a dark corridor in the castle, armed with an extremely pixelated piece of automatic weaponry. I turn left. There's an old wooden door in front of me. I instinctively press X. It opens, so I enter. Bad idea. Inside is one of those bloody floaty eye monster things. I don't know what to do. I try to run. But it bites me. Again. And again. And again.
The screen begins to turn red. I should be terrified. Something isn't right. A floaty monster with one eye knocking about inside a castle should be giving me the creeps. Then it clicks. There's no sound. Where are the casio tones telling me to panic? Where are the synth strings to chill my tiny little heart? Where is the goddamn soundtrack?
It appears that on its route to global domination the video game chucked away one of it's key ingredients. I doubt Moon Gangs set out to show the video game world what it's been missing. But with his debut EP, Moon Gangs, that's exactly what London producer Will Young has done.
The EP harks back to a time when games could be nasty and games were found on cartridges rather than clouds. It's the type of music for the dark hours, the type of music that scares away the pop song. Or any type of song for that matter. Moon Gangs don't do songs. Moon Gangs do atmospherics.
Essentially, producer Young has created a sort of neo-gothic-electronic orchestral piece that revels in the glory of its own futuristic filth. It's not easy listening, but then, it shouldn't be. At times the synth becomes too sickly, but that's exactly the point. It's tacky, it's repulsive, it's what we need in a world of deep house dullness and blokes in caps who are up all night to get lucky.
I suppose comparisons could be made with Fuck Buttons, but that would be doing Moon Gangs a disservice. Where Fuck Buttons are interested on the rhythm of noise, Moon Gangs have a much less club-friendly world view.
Actually, that's not entirely true. There is a minute or two where this EP gets a bit uplifting, and dare I say it, danceable. I like to think that it's the music that would play during a 'level complete' screen. It's all life-affirming and positive. The drums pace along and the synths flick the switch from 'doom' to 'sparkle', making you feel at least six feet tall.
That doesn't last long though. The pulsating grey reverberations return with a vengeance, bringing us back to the Moon Gangs experience after a few seconds of euphoria due to the unlikely defeat of a fictional beast.
As always, the game continues, and if anything. It gets harder. A deep mist falls upon the synthesiser, The music seems familiar, but different somehow. It's the same drone as the start of the EP, but now it seems even more bleak. A depressing reminder that nothing has really changed. On an adventure to nowhere.
Just like playing a video game really.
8Jack Doherty's Score