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Editors’ Notes

The first two Moon Duo releases were casual affairs that succeeded, at least in part, because Wooden Shjips’ Erik Johnson and keyboardist Sanae Yamada adopted a relaxed, low-stakes approach to music-making. This seemed to encourage instrumental spontaneity and musical exploration, blending the simplest of rock 'n' roll chord progressions with the metronomic pulse of Krautrock and extended guitar excursions. On Circles, Moon Duo continues to employ these techniques, but its approach is decidedly more rigorous and its songwriting and production are more polished. Circles is unquestionably Moon Duo’s most accomplished album to date, though it lacks some of the gleeful impulsiveness that made earlier efforts like Escape and Mazes such a pleasure to listen to. That’s not to say that Moon Duo’s newfound seriousness hasn’t brought its own share of rewards; the propulsive “Sleepwalker," for instance, might be its most fully realized song to date, while the album’s title track is an imminently danceable marriage of the barbed noise pop of ‘80s acts like Spacemen 3 and the experimentations of early electronic pioneers like The Silver Apples.

Customer Reviews

Moon Duo - Circles

I just found this group. (I know I'm behind the times) It's been a long time since I've purchased any music from, what is for me, younger bands. My music is from the early/mid 60s to the mid 70s, and although it's great to hear those bands with their comeback albums or remastered versions, it's so nice to find a sound that fills me up the way this does. This is a great sound. It resonates with me. I'm also going to purchase some stuff from Wooden Shjips. There's something about Ripley's voice and his guitar playing that takes me "out."


I wanted to get on a treadmill and walk it out… get up and get the feet moving.

Favored tracks #1- 2 - 3 - 5- 6/7 (have the same tempo…) - 8 - 9

Some of the tracks get a little monotonous.

Circles sounds sort of Beatles-ish. In fact, some of the cuts on this album sounds like the '60s reborn. Nice to hear music like that come around again!

I think the listener needs to hear track 11 in it's entirety to get the gist of it. 1:30 doesn't cut it. Reminds me of a washing machine before the rinse cycle.

Overall, like the album and the artists' creativity. This is not a sound you hear everyday.


Formed: 2009 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A project of Wooden Shjips' Erik "Ripley" Johnson and Sanae Yamada, San Francisco's Moon Duo are a psychedelic Krautrock pair with chilly electronic underpinnings and drones inspired by Spacemen 3, Silver Apples, and Suicide. The group formed in 2009 and began issuing releases in short order, including the Love on the Sea 12" on Sick Thirst, which they followed with the Killing Time EP on Sacred Bones. Moon Duo made the jump to Woodsist for 2010's full-length Escape, which offered the most expansive...
Full Bio
Circles, Moon Duo
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Customer Ratings