White Rose

I am in a bit of a Moon Duo/Wooden Shjips groove right now and have been returning to the pair of albums Moon Duo released last year, Occult Architecture 1 and 2. The first volume was closed by a final track that was a scorching, repeating and hypnotic delight, White Rose. While digging on the internet last week I found some live versions that are superb. This one was filmed for a session with KEXP and is a masterclass. Once that drumbeat sets off and the drone gets going it could quite happily go on and on and on…

And then I found this one from a festival called Endless Daze held in South Africa last year, which is like the other one but even more so, especially Ripley’s reverb drenched guitar playing.

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Sleepwalk

Celebrate the arrival of Friday and the weekend with this- a free download of an Aron Ya reworking of Moon Duo’s Sleepwalk (if trancey, psychedelic, repetitive, acid drenched drone rock is your bag. And if it isn’t, why isn’t it?)

Jukebox Babe

My love of San Francisco drone hippy-punks Moon Duo is well documented. They have a new 12″ out today, a pair of covers. One of them is a version of No Fun by The Stooges that they worked up when appearing on 6 Music for Iggy’s 70th birthday (and it gives me an excuse to use this picture of Iggy a friend shared on social media recently). The other is a cover of Alan Vega’s 1981 single Jukebox Babe, an exercise in repetition and reverb that will take some beating. Both were recorded/produced by Sonic Boom, who knows a thing or two about repetition.

High Over Blue

Back in 2013 when Moon Duo released their Circles album, a full on psychedelic blast of bright light and drones, they gave away this song- firstly as an iTunes only bonus track, then as a one sided 12″ single and finally as a free download from Soundcloud. You can still get it for free from the player below. High Over Blue is a twenty minute excursion into space and time- phased out sounds, chuggy rhythms, droplets of guitar, reverb laden vocals, slow burning with FX all over the show. Probably more s p a c e d  o u t than anything else you’ll start today with.

Mirror’s Edge

Moon Duo have released a pair of albums this year that are still very close to my record player- Occult Architecture Volume’s 1 and 2. The idea is that they represent light and shade. Put together they make up a pretty stunning double. In among the motorik rhythms, two chord fuzz and woozy psyche there is this gorgeous instrumental where over a shuffly drumbeat and a shaker Ripley Johnson plays some dripping, fluid, molten guitar, some wah wah here and there, like a controlled Hendrix on E. Both records are worth your time and money.

Mirror’s Edge

Lost In Light

Last month I wrote about Moon Duo’s Occult Architecture Vol. 1 and it hasn’t been far away from me since, seven slices of dark psych drone rock. Last song White Rose in particular is a blast. Vol.2 is out at the start of May. The two albums were recorded as a pair, a ‘psychedelic opus… an intricately woven hymn to the invisible structures found in the cycle of the seasons and the journey of day into night, dark into light’. Their words, not mine. This song is in advance of Vol. 2, an organ led riot of colour, crystal and daylight (and drones) with a stunning backwards guitar solo.

Occult Architecture

How many Moon Duo albums does one need? By my count the Portland, Oregon pair have put out four in seven years and I like them all, especially 2015’s Shadow Of The Sun. The latest, Occult Architecture Vol 1, is part one of a two part set, one doing darkness and the second light. Part of me thought my bank balance could probably do without another two Moon Duo albums. Do I really need any more Moon Duo? And then I listened to Cold Fear. Two chord fuzz drenched motorik bliss. I’m in.