This is the second full-length release from this Norwegian band who is also part of the N-Collective, an international conglomerate of musicians, composers and artists. The music of MoHa! is situated at the crossroads of improvisation, free punk and what you could call "power electronics".
The band is made up of Anders Hana (on guitar and various electronic effects) and Morten J. Olsen whose drum playing include the triggering of various electronic sounds through the use of custom-built software.
The music has a lot of inner dynamics, no doubt. Throughout the CD, it goes through many different stages that are equally fascinating and disorientating to listen to. It keeps erupting from everywhere ? like a concerto for a multisided volcano! At first, you may wonder where this is all going, really ? this feeling being reinforced by the fact that most of the tracks are very short (1-2 minutes at most). Yet, after several listens, I felt like there was some secret recipe to it?
There is this high level of interaction between the drums and the scorching electric guitar lines, of course. Plus the fact that the music always goes into unexpected directions, the electronic sounds adding a lot of textures to the whole thing. Yet, the tension always seems to be restrained, as if it is waiting for something else?
This CD thus demands a special attention from the listener. After a while, you may even want to leave the experience altogether? What's the use for all this aimless noise, anyway? Yet, by the time we get to the last three tracks, something happens. First, there is a silent track ? one minute long? And an introduction piece of sorts ("Home One"), full of broken beats and electronics which seems to say: "Hey listener? Your patience is now going to be rewarded? You get ready, now!"
And then, you enter a particularly unsettling whirl of sounds, full of unresolved tensions and electronic echoes? The drums ? both assured and aerial ? become all frenzy once again, the guitar's piercing textures now taking the music to some unprecedented heights.
It all makes sense now as the music starts to breathe like a new-born beast (just listen to the last breaths of "Ibiza One")! There you go? You've just realized that you'd been witnessing some kind of sonic birth all along? without you even noticing! What an unusual way for assembling a record, really?
Yes, because let us be reminded that this is NOT a random collection of improvised moments ? preserved in all their explosive glory as they may be. This is all VERY organized and arranged in such a way so as to induce some specific emotional responses. And then, you have the last track ("Ibiza Two") which is full of the same suspended urgency with the addition of some carefully-contained electronic explosions. This is really captivating, indeed?
In my opinion, not only are the last two tracks the best of the lot, they also helped me approach the music contained on this CD in a completely different way. There is an intensity to them that made me re-appraise the whole thing. It?s as of the whole album was designed to lead you to this indescribable sense of feeling... in an almost poetic way.
If you have found my attempt at describing this music somewhat intriguing, I recommend you check out this CD. Don't let yourself be fooled by the deceptively-deconstructive power that you may encounter within, though. This has a very strong, almost hidden purpose to it. It's something that you will have to experience for yourself? 6/10 -- Francois Hubert (29 January, 2008)