Colombian electro-pop group Moonetz’s debut, A New Direction, will take you on an ethereal disco voyage through outer space. This album is not for passive travelers, however. It’s chock full of synth-pop danceability with tracks like “Luces en tu cielo,” “Watching the Night,” and “Attraction Reaction.” There are plenty of lush production details for the geek listener to note as well.
The soundstage of the album is ample yet delicate, distant but intimate, with touches of house, trance, and downtempo. This phonic depth is no accident; internationally renowned producer and engineer Robert Babicz is the brain behind the slider knobs.
Moonetz formed two years ago in Bogotá, when childhood friends Sebastian González and Juan Pablo Uribe met then-recent Guatemalan transplant, Luna Baxter, at a house party, “Amongst all that noise we ended up talking about art, music, about its beauty and importance in our planet,” recalls Luna. Since then, they’ve developed a uniquely dynamic synth sound. Composing starts from mock ups created in Sebastian’s home studio. From there, he and Luna develop the vocal arrangements and lyrics. Juan Pablo then refines and provides polished beats and sounds. It’s important to point out the band’s usage of typical instruments like guitars, strings, piano, and African drums in their largely computerized compositions. This is due mainly to their formal training in pop, rock ‘n’ roll, and even Colombian folk music.
“The intention is to combine technology with the variety of organic sounds that we’ve studied throughout our musical careers,” explains Sebastian. Keep an ear out for African drums in “Luna en sol” and strings on “Bedroom Door.”
The band is a bit of an anomaly in Colombia’s dense musical landscape, as the public is just starting to embrace lesser-known electronic sub-genres. Juan Pablo explains, “Colombia has always had underground movements that have surely influenced us; however, travel and other global sounds have had a more decisive impact.” The band also connects to their home audience and beyond with lyrics that provide moments of deep reflection and express empirical musings on society, individuality, and technology. A song like “Free Yourself,” for example, states, “We’re trying to keep our faith in nation / we believe in human kind.” According to Luna, the band feels compelled to convey a message of interconnectivity. “If we would focus on healing, kindness, and taking responsibility for being a part of this place, which is a gift, we would be a much happier species.”
Kind of like the galaxy itself, A New Direction extends itself musically without thinning itself out in the process. It’s an album with worldly appeal; certifiably electronic pop but with a hand-made artisanal soul. It is currently available via Spotify and iTunes.