Listening to Stratus Luna’s sole self-titled debut on the MusicMagick label and distributed by MoonJune Records, it’s like going back in time by revisiting those classic records from the hearts and minds of bands such as; Nektar, Goblin, Camel, and Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso. This band launched back in 2017 at their hometown of Sao Paulo in Brazil. They have done their homework very well to capture the spirit of the golden-era of the progressive rock genre.
And they’re making sure that the flaming fires doesn’t hit the ocean. The band considers Gustavo Santhiago on Keyboards and Flute; Ricardo Santhiago on Guitar; Giovanni Lenti on Drums, and Gabriel Golfetti, son of Fabio Golfetti and the current member of Gong, on Bass Guitar. From the moment I put on Stratus Luna’s debut release into my lucky earphones, I was quite surprised to hear something special in this band.
And believe me, they've knocked it right out of the ball park. They don’t need the massive mainstream of Late Night talk shows of Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and Conan O’Brien, they have their music that keeps the Stratus Luna train chugging well into the night. Some of the highlights that are on this album, you might really want to take note of.
From the shuttling keyboards that makes the jump to light speed with some Goblin-like structures with Nimue, it gives Gustavo a chance by giving Lenti and Golfetti a chance to punch through various doors as they share this incredible melody for a couple of seconds between guitar and flute from Gustavo to share this territory of Andy Latimer’s texture.
Should I also mention that Gustavo takes us back for another round up in the Milky Way by honoring Morgan Fisher’s keyboard playing during his time of the sessions on Nova Solis? I would take that as a yes. O Centro Do Labirnto sees the keyboards and guitar going for a chance to run towards the voyages on Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone as he awaits for his next story as we open up the doors into the oceans of Annot Rhul’s Levianthan-era.
Its part psychedelic, part mellotron-sque, part Leslie speakers, and quite mysterious to see and hear where Stratus Luna will takes us next. NREM is locked into our solar systems as the atmospheric landscape of space and time opens up those whirly moogs to give us a sign to coming home back to Earth.
Pandas Voardoras is where the band walks to the sound of the Bluesy rhythms thanks to Ricardo’s riffs before some incredible Organ/Rhodes exercise. It then suddenly rises for a couple of seconds as Gabriel and Gustavo walk into the jazzy sidewalks as if Thelonious Monk had teamed up with Camel by creating his own magic on the piano for Lady Fantasy.
Stratus Luna’s debut release is not just an incredible album this year, but this is where I think that this band has got something up their sleeve. Leonardo Pavkovic has hit more homeruns this year so far with the MoonJune label. And with Stratus Luna, this is an album that you might want to experience and knowing the score very well.