A thumping beat catches the afternoon breeze and floats through the grounds of Love Supreme Festival, turning heads and directing inquisitive feet towards Moon Hooch’s performance. HONK. The late arrivals are met with the sight of Mike Wilbur and Wenzl McGowan’s saxophones lunging towards each other in the centre of the stage, locked like rutting stags in duel. HONK. Drummer James Muschler’s rhythms infect the audience with compulsive nods and jerking hips. HONK. McGowan swaps his baritone sax for a synthesiser and drops a crisp baseline that would trigger a frenzy in a Dubstep night club. HONK. Wilbur steps forward and offers a fluttering masterclass in circular breathing, producing an uninterrupted cascade of ostinati. HONK. Muschler flexes his topless torso, realigns his kit, and brings a beat somehow even heavier than the last. HONK.
Pounding dance rhythms and screaming saxophone dexterity are a far from obvious combination, and yet Moon Hooch create a commanding sound and deliver it with an intensity of performance that is impossible to resist. As the potency of the honks stepped up, hands were compulsively lifted in the air, heads started thrashing, and the first mud of the weekend started churning underfoot. We weren’t aware that our listening tastes needed a muscular blend of jazz and drum and bass, but when McGowan modified his saxophone with the lumbering extension of a traffic cone to produce guttural honks that dictated the dance floor, we were sold.
Read all of our reviews from Love Supreme here.