Mr. Moor – Old Man #24

Mr. Moor
Old Man #24

The man behind Mr. Moor sounds afraid of his own voice. His music consists of the murky sounds that shift around in the back of people’s heads never to see the light of day. Somehow, perhaps because of his obscurity (which I have now partially trampled by writing about), these sounds come out fully intact, without the baggage of concerning himself with a potential audience or comparing his output to what other bands are releasing. Stepping into this sound world, I felt somewhat guilty for intruding and yet entranced by what I had discovered – a feeling similar to that when I listen to a cassette (usually found at a thriftshop or flea market) of the recordings that someone made of themselves when they were a little kid. You have found an artifact that exudes personal drama and individuality with little to no pretense; something truly priceless. By priceless I of course do not mean flawless, but in many ways it is the imperfections – both in recording technique, and performance – that give Mr. Moor their charm.

“Old Man #24” brings to mind Spacemen-3 with its drawn out muddling, droning vocals and guitar feedback. The chord changes are blues-based but still seem rather mysterious. The sound of running water (or possibly just shitty recording technology?) hisses in the background throughout. A pungent fuzz guitar marks time as a clean guitar picks through arpeggios to create a harmonic skeleton for the soft vocals to put meat on. The percussion is so low in the mix that it sounds like it was not even meant to be recorded. Its almost as if someone was playing along without even being aware of it – as if they were just tapping their foot along with the tune. The lyrics are constricted and cryptic, which is fitting for the music. It’s as if they were improvised the moment they were sung and then written down afterwards. The song ends rather abruptly, as if by a person humming to themselves, suddenly realizing they are being listened to.

Mr. Moor turns their weaknesses into their advantages by making their songs take on the nature of field recordings. While the material is familiar, the way it is presented makes the music seem like it is coming from a different culture. The tension between the foreign and familiar, the personal and the alien make Mr. Moor one of more interesting groups you are likely to come across.