(All Album Reviews by jlneudorf)
Netherland Dwarf is a one person project from Japan who prefers to remain anonymous. Consequently, I do not have much information on the artist. Moi Moi is their first album and has been around for a while in digital format and now has finally been released on CD.
Bombastic symphonic progressive rock would be an apt description with a heavy dose of classical music. Moi Moi features four reworkings of classical compositions and the artist does a great job of interpreting these pieces. The album is very keyboard heavy especially in the use of Mellotron which is often found front and center providing much of the meat of these songs.
One of the album’s best songs is the opening track “Alone in the Blizzard Dawn” with its slow build of eerie sound effects and atmospheric keyboards. The song flows nicely as does the melody with one delicious keyboard line after another before ending with eerie atmospherics much like the way it began.
The first classical piece is an interpretation Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka’s “Ruslan and Ludmilla – Overture” featuring speedy playing, lots of Mellotron and a melody that is quite sunny and uplifting. My favourite and perhaps the best known of these classical pieces is Handel’s “Messiah HWV 56 Part II No. 44 – Hallelujah”. Chimes and bells open the bombast leading to a heavy dosage of Mellotron while keeping the original content intact .”Samson and Delilah – Bacchanale” is also very good, this time relying on heavier psychedelic guitar, spacey sounds and Middle Eastern motifs.
Indeed, Moi Moi is a very nice album and should be right up your alley if you are a fan of bands like Ars Nova and ELP. It may be a little over indulgent and heavily orchestrated but hey, this is progressive rock after all.