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Live Review: 'Rebound' is thoroughly deserving of Moonbase's story

15 August 2018 | 3:06 pm | Kyle Fensom

On his comeback single, 'Rebound', Moonbase strips his music down to its most elemental in way that feels thoroughly deserving of his story

After a long hiatus that was recently revealed to be caused by a deadly tumour that had been growing against his brain stem, Sydney’s MOONBASE is back. “One emergency brain surgery, many stitches, metal playing and a lot of recovery time later, I’m happy to say that I’m all clear and ready to start making moves again”, he wrote in an emotional statement posted to social media. And the first move he’s making comes in the form of his gargantuan new single, ‘Rebound’.

Detailing the history of the track, Moonbase says that: “I heard Merky ACE’s music over my last trip to UK and decided to get in touch with him. What we ended up with was something energetic and exciting. The track came together a few months prior to me going into hospital at the start of 2018, but for obvious reasons releasing it wasn’t an option at the time. Having ‘Rebound’ out not only marks the release of a tune that I’m very proud of, but also marks my return from a debilitating disease. I’m very thankful to be back”.

Aggressive and menacing, ‘Rebound’ combines the vocals of grime emcee Merky ACE with escalating synth stabs, blaring sirens, immense drums that give way to a shuffling Garage beat towards the end and a buzzing bass line that restlessly hangs in the background, constantly rising but never going away. But while it might feel claustrophobic and intense, Moonbase’s work on ‘Rebound’ is, paradoxically, sparse and restrained, stripped down to its most essential elements in a way that feels reminiscent of RICK RUBIN’s legendary deconstruction of Yeezus. Instead of crowding the track, he lets the bass work itself into a state of atrophy in a vacuum of empty space, swirling around in your headphones as you hear it mutate and decay.

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In doing so, his production sounds portentously hollowed out, like what you’re hearing is all that remains of the track after the earth has been blown out from beneath it. It’s menacing because it lingers on the tension that a producer like Moonbase can draw out of that space; it’s claustrophobic because he sucks all the air out of that space and replaces it instead with an awareness of how immense that space is; it holds you suspended over the existential chasm of space left where the earth once was.

'Rebound' sounds epic and tough but full of humanity, immense but close, claustrophobic but sparse and hollowed out, restrained but intense, volatile but static. It's Moonbase's music reduced to its most elemental. And it's thoroughly deserving of his story.

IMAGE: Yasmin Mund