- A smart collection of house tracks blended into a satisfying trip.
- On the Saturday of this year's Freerotation festival in Wales, I watched David Moufang, AKA Move D, perform with Gal Aner and Jordan Czamanski as Magic Mountain High. It was early in the afternoon, so the trio sat cross-legged on the floor, facing a crescent of cables and hardware. Spliff smoke and droney ambient filled the air. When they finished, Moufang spent what felt like a good 20 or 30 minutes packing his gear into suitcases, pausing occasionally to field questions from curious nerds, the Bulgarian artist KiNK among them. The whole time, Moufang wore a soft smile.
This level of dedication—to music, to hardware, to collaboration—has defined Moufang's career. The past 20-plus years tells the story of a tireless DJ, live act and producer. His discography is vast, with dozens of releases spread across multiple aliases and collaborative projects. His latest album, Building Bridges, presents a snapshot of the last two decades, featuring nine unreleased tracks recorded at some point between 1999 and 2019. It's Moufang as we know him best: dubby, candlelit house and ambient that lives somewhere between the club and your living room.
Building Bridges is billed as a solo album, but only four of the nine tracks are credited to Moufang alone; the other five are collaborations. Also, it's more than just an album. Building Bridges deliberately plays like a DJ mix, with smart programming and neat segues between the tracks rewarding a continuous listen.
The opening cut, "Cycles" by Moufang, gets things off to a lovely, loopy start, with 11 minutes of organic drums and disco house chug. The LP grows in texture and character across the following eight tracks, touching on a range of tones, sounds and energies. Though it was assembled as a mix, it doesn't follow the typical arc of a club set. Rather, it meanders, always tender, never too pumping. "Init," a collaboration with the '90s German rave legend D Man, who last year released this EP on Workshop, is a swell of muted keys and skittering snares. It wafts into the solo track "Dots," perhaps the album's standout, another smoky house cut with breathy vocals and a divine melody. The pace and intensity picks up on "Tiny Fluffy Spacepods," by Magic Mountain High, and "Dusted Links," only for the energy to completely slip away with "Transit," a collaboration with Moufang's longtime collaborator Benjamin Brunn. The track's firefly melody is another stunning, if brief, highlight.
"Transit," true to its name, feels like a midway point. From bright and beautiful, the mood quickly turns menacing. The blend into the next track, "One Small Step...," a collaboration between Reagenz and The Orb's Thomas Fehlmann, is the most disjointed, suddenly dropping the listener into a soupy swirl of guitar twangs and thick bass notes. It's the only time the album sags. "Building Bridges (Move D's Inside Revolution Mix)," a remix of a spiritual deep house track produced with Fred P, gets things back on track, its marching kick-and-snare combo providing the album's definitive peak-time moment.
But it doesn't last. The LP closes with "Perpetual State," Moufang's fourth and final solo track, a dank, beatless gloop of languid synths and gruff vocals. A voice mutters the words to Alles Ist Eins, a poem by the German trance and ambient artist Thorn Hoedh, who died prematurely in 2003. "Alles ist Eins / Eins ist in Allem" he says in German—"Everything is one / One is in everything." Powerful words to end a great record.
01. Move D - Cycles
02. Move D / D-Man - Init
03. Move D - Dots
04. Magic Mountain High - Tiny Fluffy Spacepods
05. Move D - Dusted Links
06. Move D & Benjamin Brunn - Transit
07. Reagenz Meets Thomas Fehlmann - One Small Step...
08. Fred P & Move D - Building Bridges (Move D's Inside Revolution Mix)
09. Move D - Perpetual State feat. "Alles ist Eins" By Thorn Hoedh