November Versions, as the title hints, isn't exactly a proper album: it compiles remixes of other artists along with Talbot Fade originals. But Moynihan's approach is strong enough (and the remixes are obscure enough) that every song feels like his. Good examples of the Talbot Fade formula include the ultra-sad centrepiece "Forever, We Weren't Here," which embellishes its central figure with implacable noises and field recordings. Moynihan takes a William Basinski-like zen approach, letting one loop wash over you again and again. "Ocean Bluetooth" focuses on a single motif, but it feels like there are a thousand moving pieces underneath. His two remixes of Rimplton play with baroque instrumentation, submerging the samples in waves of fuzz until they're unrecognizable.
What's most striking about November Versions is how Moynihan has grown from 2013's Talbot Fade. Where that one followed a formula across its 16 tracks, this goes down a few different avenues. In addition the usual meditative pieces, there are powerful melodic tracks, like "Weathered Sunrise." The piano on that one sounds like it was lifted straight from Depeche Mode's "Never Let Me Down Again," punching through the serenity before Moynihan takes it back to the land of fuzzy memories. "Cold Like Misty" pairs its icy strings with New Age touches, while his remix of Yamaneko's "Tugboat" sublimates his distinct grime melodies into fog.
All that variety makes November Versions more captivating than you'd think for a record with its hodgepodge provenance. If nothing else, the album highlights Moynihan's sturdy songwriting and ability to find weight in the weightless. There are many moments when he savours the texture of a single element, or wallows in the reverb left behind another. For fans of Talbot Fade, this will be a nice surprise, a chance to revisit an old friend. And for fans of Yamaneko, it's a chance to hear a different side of Moynihan. Not a major work, yet hardly insignificant, November Versions is another welcome peek into one of UK club music's most guarded personalities.
Fri / 8 Jan 2016
01. Cold Like Misty
02. Underworld (Talbot Fade's Rebehold The Stars Edit)
03. Nowhere (Memory Hall Redux)
04. Boardgame James - Ocean Bluetooth (Talbot Fade Remix)
05. Weathered Sunrise
06. Yamaneko - Tugboat (Talbot Fade's Pixel Healing Detox)
07. Forever, We Weren't Here
08. Rimplton - White As (Talbot Fade's Buried In Snow Mix)
09. November Ghosts
10. Rimplton - Cumbria (Talbot Fade's November Version)