Dirk Serries, who has also recorded and performed under his Vidna Obmana and Fear Falls Burning pseudonyms, returns to his signature sound on this duo effort with Trösta on alto sax. Though credited with electric guitar, Serries provides a synth-like sound – layers of soft drones that gently reshape themselves. To this, Trösta adds plaintive and exploratory themes. Whether merging with the drones or serving a contrast thereto, these melancholy lines evoke a wistful and peaceful sadness – that of a rainy morning spent alone – though a few “outside” moments peek through. It is not surprising that a sense of isolation emerges from these sounds, as the album was recorded in late 2020, during the initial COVID-19 lockdown.
While largely improvised, Island on the Moon resembles Serries’ vastly underrated 1998 trio release, Landscape in Obscurity (recorded as Vidna Obmana with Capriolo Trifoglio and Diego Borotti) much more than his recent, jarring free improvisation offerings. The result is not quite ambient, and neither dark nor light. Instead, it is a strangely moving set of long-form pieces that capture the emotions of the moment.