Sunday, 28 October 2012

Moon Duo's 'Circles': Round and around and around the desert rock badlands

Moon Duo
Souterrain Transmissions

Starting life as a side project for Ripley Johnson's psychedelic drone machine Wooden Shjips, Moon Duo was a vehicle for Johnson and his partner Sanae Yamada to explore the grittier end of the endlessly repetitive space rock spectrum – but with a handful of EPs and an acclaimed album, Mazes, behind them, the pair now seem to have the edge on their wooden mothershjip.

Like its predecessor, the title of Circles gives you some idea of the territory we're in here. Lost in the badlands without a map, Moon Duo's desert rock takes a wrong turn and ends up on the Greyhound to NYC, where Silver Apples lend them an oscillator and Suicide provide the beat with a pawn shop drum machine. San Francisco breathes through them still as their muscle memory teaches them deadhead jams that loop round and around and around ('I Been Gone' and 'Rolling Out'), but the joyous inanity of garage rock shines through (the 'Nuggets'-ish 'Sparks' and 'Circles'). Deliciously deranged.

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