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Alternative & Indie - Released December 15, 2017 | Heavenly Recordings

M. Craft's 2016 album, Blood Moon, offered a set of atmospheric, orchestral songs derived from what started as longer piano improvisations. The original piano pieces had been written upon his arrival in Los Angeles after ten years in England, and the final album emerged from a retreat to a desert cabin in Joshua Tree, where he sculpted the songs. It turns out that, for Craft, the album wasn't so final after all, as he continued to see potential in components of the tracks. On the all-instrumental Blood Moon Deconstructed, he takes the material from its namesake in a variety of directions, sometimes stripping them back and rearranging parts, and sometimes creating original compositions based on a kernel of a song. Much more aggressively reworked than your average remix album, it features new titles for the entire track list and additional performances by guests including harpist Mary Lattimore, bassist Maxwell Sterling, percussionist Danny Frankel, and drummer Seb Rochford. Blood Moon's minimalist instrumental opener, "New Horizons," employed repeated, only gradually shifting piano chords that were eventually joined by a growing swell of sustained strings. In contrast, Deconstructed's first track, "Hip Meds Frolic," consists of a few repeated single notes of piano alternating with solo violin. The violin carries something closer to a melody, if a spontaneous-sounding one, but the track remains muted throughout. Later, the eerie and spare "Adorn Me" makes use of irregular percussion, alphorn-like groans, and noir-ish electric bass before it's eventually fleshed out by lusher sustained strings, as if capturing daybreak. The maintained nature theme is not only implied in the music but explicit in titles like "Violet Dishevel" and "Mud Bloom." The latter repurposes memorable chord progressions from Blood Moon's title track and provides one of the album's more expansive arrangements. However, all is relative where the deconstruction is concerned. Even subtler and more ambient than the quietly cosmic Blood Moon, Blood Moon Deconstructed functions more as a companion piece than a strict remix or sequel. It returns listeners to the vast desert and starlight, this time without any voice and only remnants of the familiar to serve as a guide. © Marcy Donelson /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 17, 2016 | Heavenly Recordings

On his third solo album and first in eight years, singer/songwriter M. Craft makes a strong case for the designations singer/composer and wilderness-conjurer. The Australia native relocated to Los Angeles from a decade-long stay in London, England to begin work on the record, eventually retreating to a desert cabin in Joshua Tree. Once there, he sculpted atmospheric, orchestral song from longer piano compositions conceived in L.A. Described as a "cosmic piano odyssey," Blood Moon's title was inspired by Craft's witnessing two such lunar events during his stay. Barren landscapes, starry skies, and solitude seep through the full melancholy set of these borderline tone poems -- three of the ten tracks are instrumentals. Alternately expansive and sparse, the title track drifts through passages of layered strings, guitar, sustained piano chords, percussion, what sounds like pan flute, and harmonized male and wailing female vocals, at times exposing Craft's scene-setting verse ("All the mountains we climb/And the valleys of time/Waiting for a moon"), and persistently underscored by a repeated note on piano. The more shimmering "Me and My Shadow" has overlapping, disparate rhythms delivered by twinkling piano and various stringed and percussion instruments, blended to be indistinguishable from one another, like spattering rain. The song's key is established by more prominent, harmonized strings and another wistful vocal line. Eventually, tempos and a sense of center are garbled as additional vocal and instrumental tracks interrupt and merge into the proceedings ("Searching forever for where we belong/Me and my shadow"). Panoramic and transportive throughout, each track takes time to observe and consider, ultimately finding comfort among desolation. The closing track, "Love Is All," decides on companionship: "In the light of the morning, it all comes so clear/Either I should be there or you should be here." With its emphasis on exploring atmosphere over the artful, structured pop of his prior releases, Blood Moon stands alone in Craft's discography to date. Recommended for late-night introspection whether under shelter or, even better, lying out under the stars. © Marcy Donelson /TiVo
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Pop - Released May 22, 2006 | 679 Recordings UK. Ltd.