Anton Marchenko is a Ukrainian-Latvian bassist best known for his work with the post-rock band Mooncake. He was born on March 15, 1985, in Moscow, USSR. Marchenko’s passion for music started at a young age, and he began playing bass guitar and other instruments when he was 14 years old. He was inspired by various genres of music, including punk, rock’n’roll, jazz, and classical, and he spent countless hours practicing and honing his skills.
In 2006, Marchenko co-founded Mooncake, a post-rock band known for their atmospheric soundscapes and emotional compositions. He quickly became an integral part of the band’s sound, providing a solid foundation with his powerful bass lines and intricate rhythms.
Mooncake released their debut album, “Lagrange Points,” in 2008, which was well-received by critics and fans alike. The album showcased Marchenko’s technical proficiency and his ability to create a rich and textured sound with his bass playing.
Over the years, Mooncake continued to gain a following, and they released several more albums, including “Zaris”, which was also well-received by fans and critics. Marchenko’s contributions to the band’s albums were instrumental in shaping the band’s sound and creating its signature style.
Mooncake’s music has earned them a dedicated following, and they have toured extensively throughout Europe and Asia. Their live shows are known for their energy and intensity, and Marchenko’s skill as a bassist is always on full display. In 2015, Anton decided to leave the band and go solo.
Aside from his work with Mooncake, Marchenko has also collaborated with other musicians and artists, as well as creating music and sound design for films and commercials.
Throughout his career, Marchenko has remained dedicated to his craft, constantly pushing himself to improve and evolve as a musician. His passion for music has inspired countless fans and aspiring musicians, and his work with Mooncake has cemented his place as one of the most talented bassists in the post-rock genre.
Recently, Anton has started a new post-rock/progressive rock band— Mighty Jupiter & The Mooncake Band. The collective has recently released its debut album Eclipse. MJ&TMB is Anton’s new take on instrumental music after a long hiatus from composing it. To celebrate, we have teamed up with him to give you his full track by track rundown for “Eclipse”, a great in-depth commentary tackling with a diverse range of themes addressed in this spacious offering.
“Eclipse” exhibits an eclectic and diverse range of genres, including progressive rock, electronic music, post-rock, opera music, contemporary symphonic music, and krautrock.
Notably, two distinct features unify all of the tracks on the album. Firstly, the bass lines exhibit both complexity and melody, alternating between intricate and straightforward passages. Secondly, the compositions are bound together by extensive orchestral arrangements, featuring vast string and brass sections complemented by dense and otherworldly synthesizers.
The themes in this album are diverse and include introspection, nature, fantasy, space, and the future. The opening track, “Eclipse,” is a culmination of the emotions and thoughts the artist experienced in recent years. “Pines and Dunes” channels the artist’s perception of tribal music and rhythm, while “Wind” captures the excitement and liberation that comes before a storm. “Implanted Memories of a Sublime Life” explores the idea of memory replacement and synthesized happiness, and “Interstellar Yacht” is a retro-futuristic fantasy about huge interstellar cruise spaceships. “Petals in the Wind” is about loss and regret, while “Indigo Waters Running Deep” celebrates the underground world and its contribution to the vital balance of life. “The Eeriest Summer” is a shoegaze song about wanting to run away from the horrors of the world, and “Jupiter” is about the immense scale of the cosmos. “Dark They Were, And Golden-Eyed” is a tribute to Ray Bradbury’s short story, and “Relieved (Under the Starry Sky)” is a hymn to all the good in humanity.
Check out the full commentary from Anton and dive into the details of each piece beow.
The album opens with an eponymous track. Eclipse kicks in with a gentle piano arpeggio that then gets accompanied by a massive string section and melodic guitar. All that is gradually building up towards a climax that finishes with opera vocalizations and epic brass blows. This track basically is a concentration of all the emotions and thoughts I experienced in recent years, it is channelling the ups and downs I went through, especially when I was not myself.
Pines and Dunes
This is one of the tracks in which a prog-rock and other influences can be found. I have always been into primal and tribal stuff, and by that, I mean folk music, motives, and instruments from all over the world. Through this track, I channelled my perception and my feeling of what tribal music and rhythm are to me. When I was writing this track, I was vividly picturing my Latvian ancestors dancing by huge bonfires right next to the midnight Baltic sea waves. Besides timpani, I used a buffalo drum and Native American flute in Pines and Dunes, those made the most massive part of the track really pop.
This is one of the two tracks on the album that can be called a typical song. I wrote the music and the lyrics altogether. The song is about how I usually feel right before the storm hits. You get this excitement inside right away after you heard the first delicate sound of thunder. And then the rain and wind start tumbling on you and into your open window—I can say that what I feel at such moments is one of the most liberating feelings I usually experience in my life.
Implanted Memories of a Sublime Life
What if you could not only get a new life but replace the memories of what already happened with happier ones? To me, it sounds plain grim, actually. That is what this track is about—how you would feel in a hypothetical future when going through a memory replacement operation. Would you choose to run away from your real life into a fake one for the sake of synthesized happiness?
I was fantasizing about huge interstellar cruise spaceships—just like the one in The Fifth Element. I imagined space tourists living a life of leisure onboard a humongous cruise spaceship, drifting between planets and stations in the open space. And you could say for sure that the music also has that retro-futuristic vibe to it—I did not do that on purpose, it all came naturally.
Petals in the Wind
This track is built around an aching feeling of loss and regret about the past when you see petals whirling in the air. But at the same time, I tried to add a tiny bit of optimistic view via guitars, glockenspiel, and piano: whatever happened—happened, and there’s still life ahead.
Indigo Waters Running Deep
A seemingly simple track, yet complex, with vast orchestrations and melodic guitar parts. I’m fascinated by both—space, and what’s under Earth’s soil. People are not that interested in the former, but there are so many mysteries and even whole worlds and ecosystems right under our feet, with underground rivers and lakes living on their own. And these give us life, even though we keep polluting the planet. This track is about valuing and admiring this underground world, its deep waters that are still clean and that hugely contribute to the vital balance of life on our planet.
The Eeriest Summer
This is another song on the album. As with Wind, I wrote music and lyrics altogether. This shoegaze song is about an overwhelming wish to run from the horrors that humanity does, and hide on some secluded oceanic beach. I wrote this song in the summer of 2022 when I vividly realized that I would never be living in the same world I used to. The pandemic, wars, elitist gerontocracy and mentally ill conservatives and pseudo-democrats taking over whole countries and people’s minds—it was just too much at the time. I literally fell into an anxiety that I had never felt before. Today, I can say that I sort of came to my senses and accepted the reality we’re living in now but back then it felt like the end of the world.
In a way, this track resonates with Chess Knight—a composition from Zaris album by Mooncake, the band I co-founded in 2006 and which I left behind in 2015—it has a similar vibe and a change of time signatures. No idea how it came to be that way. Jupiter came to life naturally, with no intention to become a tribute to any tracks that I created before. But I still like this kind of mystical connection between these two tracks separated by years. Jupiter represents a feeling of the immense scale of the cosmos, giant planets, and something mythically powerful, such as Ancient Roman gods at the same time.
Dark They Were, And Golden-Eyed
This track is a tribute to Ray Bradbury, one of my favourite writers. The eponymous short story is a part of Bradbury’s notorious Martian Chronicles—I think I read it dozens of times throughout life. (And watched The Ray Bradbury Theater as many times too!) I was fascinated by the image of Martians that Bradbury depicted in The Martian Chronicles—how alien and how close they were to humans at the same time (and how some humans actually turned into Martians).
Relieved (Under the Starry Sky)
This a basically a hymn to all good in humanity. This track is about how naturally uplifted a person can feel if they do good, have fewer regrets, not hold grudges, get up after feeling desperate, and accept life as is while keeping their spirits up.