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Mooner – Tabiat album review

Probably the best Indonesian stoner psych you’ll hear this month.


Unless you’re fluent in Indonesian languages, you won’t be singing along to Mooner. You may however be nodding with happy familiarity at their music. A vigorous fusion of heavy psychedelic riffs and intriguingly fresh raga and Middle Eastern touches, it’s stoner rock with a lick of the spiritual. They don’t mess about getting down and dirty, but you feel there’s a desire for elevation at the core. That might seem a pretentious comment when you first hear it, because at times the guitars have no loftier ambition than to match the oft-overlooked oeuvre of 70s Brit outfit Blackfoot Sue. In phases, there’s a curving upwards to the more tricksy emissions of Argent or Nektar. Yet Mooner use the roots of psych as their basic platform, then blow the cobwebs away with a contemporary hunger. They’re both taking glee in the medium and recharging it as they enjoy the ride. Hard for us to grasp, perhaps, is how big they are at home: a supergroup of sorts, the quartet includes members of The Slave, Sigmun, The Sigit and Sarasvati, all of whom draw big crowds there. Mastered by US guitarist/producer James Plotkin (Khanate/OLD), this will draw big pictures in your head.

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.