NPR welcomed the acoustic dance music trio Moon Hooch into their studio for a Tiny Desk Concert and uploaded the video yesterday. The New York City-based band consists of saxophonists Mike Wilbur and Wenzl McGowen, as well as drummer James Muschler. The group got their start busking on the streets of New York. They've performed in various locations throughout the city and have become a staple of the Bedford Ave stop off of the L train, until they were permanently banned by the NYPD.
The three met while studying at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. They've steadily increased their fan base while touring with bands such as Lotus and Galactic. In the past year alone, they've performed at various festivals such as 2013's Governor's Ball and 2014's Wakarusa.
The band has expanded their sound to incorporate contrabass clarinet, electronic wind instruments, vocals, and DIY instrument modifications such as the the traffic cone attached to the bell of the baritone sax in the video above. With wildly unique instrumentation, the group approaches dance music like an EDM producer, crafting jazz-influenced modality with sudden drops and tight buildups. They utilize contrasting sections and massively shifting dynamics to create fully formed dance compositions on instruments that have been around for centuries.
From their humble beginnings to sharing the stage with funk and jamband legends, Moon Hooch are only expanding their sound while never compromising their artistic integrity. Even with a wealth of technologically innovative sounds at their disposal, they are continuing to break into new sonic territories while keeping age-old instruments in our ears.
Their three song set is filled with energy, from the opening seconds until the audience applause at the end. The performance is consistently what NPR's Bob Boilen referred to as "full throttle." From the moment they begin, there is no pause only the shift in weight on the scale tipping towards dissonance and utter pandemonium, to consonance and melodic bliss.
You can purchase their self-titled debut album on iTunes and Amazon, as well as directly from the band. Their sophomore album, This Is Cave Music, will be out September 16th on Hornblow Recordings and Palmetto Records. Also check out the Moon Hooch website for news and tour related info, as well as a blog they keep on vegan cooking and agricultural sustainability.
Moon Hooch NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert 2014 Setlist:
2. "Number 9"
3. "Bari 3"
Source: NPR Music YouTube Channel