Moodship serves as the moniker for Gary Thomas’s reflexive, ever-changing collaborative musical outfit.
It’s a wonderful plan as far as regular collaborations go. For his latest EP, Orienteering, he roped in Daniel Zacharaih Franks on violin and double bass (you might know him from The Hot Club of Cape Town), Spoek Mathambo, Andre Geldenhuys (Jack Parow’s very own guitarist) and Ellis Silverman (The Plastics) – a allsorts assembly if I ever saw one.
The result is a dense and spirited four-track offering – moving through the motions from the eerie, synth-glazed opener “Constellations at Sea” through to roaring rock riffage which dominates two thirds of closing track “The Remedy”. The former comes along with a lo-fi visual juxtaposing spot-lit musicians with an unsettling evening ocean.
Sandwiched between them is “Often Times” – a chiming piano-led neo-classical track, dipped in Diamond Thug-esque leanings – and “Born of Ethers”, whose quick-footed guitar melody swiftly morphs into driving rock influence.
But amid all the textures which fill these tracks to the brim, the melodic intricacies are at times lost in an overwhelming wash of instrumentals. There’s an overt and intense richness sound that would perhaps benefit from a few quieter moments, but at its core Thomas and co. have created a gorgeous amalgamation steeped in choice.