Tabs Out | M. Crook & Oxherding – Soft Moon

M. Crook & Oxherding – Soft Moon
8.29.18 by Ryan Masteller

The Midwest: what’s going on out there? You’d never know it just by looking at a map, but there are people who inhabit the land between the coasts, living hardscrabble lives among the distant waystations in a wasteland barely able to sustain itself under the baking sun. These people are the true Americans, comprising the backbone of this great nation as we fight for gasoline and water. Real heroes.

Wait, I’m just getting a report that the Midwest is actually a pretty nice place to live, and I’m confusing it with “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Uh, haha, sorry – you can see where the confusion might come in, can’t you? No?


Matt Crook and Fitz Hartwig (Columbia and St. Louis, Missouri, respectively) are true Midwesterners, true Americans, embracing the entrepreneurial spirit our Founding Fathers baked into the Declaration of Independence, toking the spirit of freedom in their First Amendment rolling papers. Crook cofounded the Dismal Niche label as well as the Columbia Experimental Music Festival, and he plays some guitar or another in “folk-drone outfit” Nevada Greene. Trust me, you’ll like it.

Fitz Hartwig makes music as Oxherding and just launched the new label Distant Bloom. Why are these things important? Fitz makes music as Oxherding on THIS VERY RELEASE, the one I haven’t talked about yet (this is all leading up to the big finale), and THIS VERY RELEASE was dropped like a hot potato by none other than the Distant Bloom Record Corporation. I’d draw you a map, but I don’t think you need one to connect the dots; also, it too would look like something out of “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Of course, if you’re familiar with the work of either of these guys, you’d know what to expect, what you were in for. And so, with “Soft Moon,” Oxherding takes a couple of guitar pieces by M. Crook and deconstructs them, reconstituting them as sonic cloud formations in the enormous sky visible over the center of our great country. There they billow and drift, raising the spirits of those who come in contact with them, pulsing hope and purpose into their very being. Each ten-minute meditation stands as a golden beacon of pure distilled optimism. A bald eagle appears in flight. (Big finale.)

This edition of 50 pro-dubbed, pro-printed Chrome cassette tapes is available from Distant Bloom, or any other brave retailer who truly stands for American greatness.

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