31 July 2016

BUDDHA ON THE MOON Stratospheric 1997

Artist Biography by

Buddha on the Moon is the nom de plume four-track of H.K. Kahng. Obviously inspired by artists on seminal British indie labels like 4AD and Sarah, this resident of Houston, TX, creates one-man-band recordings mixing shoegazer atmospherics, twee pop melodies, occasional dabs of space rock hypnotism, and a production style that's more low-key than lo-fi.
Kahng debuted Buddha on the Moon in the early '90s, releasing the EP Alles Ist Gut! on his own Farrago label in 1993. The "Broke" single came out in early 1994, followed by the 10" EP Translucence later the same year. Buddha on the Moon also began pursuing a sideline career around this time, doing trippy space rock/trip-hop remixes of singles by fellow indiepoppers like the Electrosonics. Two more singles appeared in 1996, "Yard Sale" and "On Holiday." In 1997, Kahng temporarily paired up with Warren Defever of His Name Is Alive and other assorted projects; Defever co-produced and remixed the 1997 EP Crepe Paper Airplane, giving it a suitably psychedelic sound missing from Buddha on the Moon's other releases.
Kahng finally released his first full-length album, Stratospheric, later in 1997. A masterful blend of all the influences exhibited on the earlier EPs and singles, Stratospheric is probably Buddha on the Moon's finest hour (or 38 minutes, anyway). Kahng followed it up with 1998's The Last Autumn Day, a similarly high-quality album mixing new material with remixed and rerecorded tracks from the four years of EPs and compilation appearances that had preceded Stratospheric, and as such functions as both a fine album in itself and a handy history lesson.

Letters Home
Kahng put Buddha on the Moon on hold at least temporarily in 1999, forming a new duo with his wife Nancy called the Imaginary Friend. Their first EP, Whimsy, recalls the ironic synth-pop bounce of early Magnetic Fields and features a cover of a Magick Heads single. The dreamier Letters Home followed the next year.


1 As You Said 4:32
2 Summershines 5:14
3 Now That You're A Star 4:14
4 Judas Iscariot 5:32
5 Coastal Hwys 5:07
6 Norfolk Windmills 5:37
7 Of The Clouds 3:06
8 My Own Private Undoing 4:32

No comments: