4 Songs, 28 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

San Francisco’s Moon Duo — much like guitarist/vocalist Ripley Johnson’s other band, the Wooden Shjips — are the embodiment of churning, trance-inducing psych-rock. Keyboardist Sanae Yamada plays riffs just as droning and relentless as Johnson’s, and together they create rhythmic, sensual music that is surprisingly engaging. While an eight-minute track like “Motorcycle, I Love You” might seem daunting, in truth it feels like a pop song dipped in a little late-night debauchery. Yamada’s warm keyboard riffs on “Stumbling 22nd St” are gloriously sinewy and undulant, and the song ends too soon at nearly seven minutes. Propelling these tracks — and much of Moon Duo’s music — is a quintessentially ‘60s dance beat, with crunchy snares and shimmering cymbals or tambourines offering themselves as the anchors around which everything else loops. Aptly titled, Escape offers an entrancing getaway, straight into the ether. Those unfamiliar with Krautrock — a major inspiration here — should check out the band Neu! for starters.

EDITORS’ NOTES

San Francisco’s Moon Duo — much like guitarist/vocalist Ripley Johnson’s other band, the Wooden Shjips — are the embodiment of churning, trance-inducing psych-rock. Keyboardist Sanae Yamada plays riffs just as droning and relentless as Johnson’s, and together they create rhythmic, sensual music that is surprisingly engaging. While an eight-minute track like “Motorcycle, I Love You” might seem daunting, in truth it feels like a pop song dipped in a little late-night debauchery. Yamada’s warm keyboard riffs on “Stumbling 22nd St” are gloriously sinewy and undulant, and the song ends too soon at nearly seven minutes. Propelling these tracks — and much of Moon Duo’s music — is a quintessentially ‘60s dance beat, with crunchy snares and shimmering cymbals or tambourines offering themselves as the anchors around which everything else loops. Aptly titled, Escape offers an entrancing getaway, straight into the ether. Those unfamiliar with Krautrock — a major inspiration here — should check out the band Neu! for starters.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
11 Ratings
11 Ratings
Ben4l1f3

3 stars it's okay

But these songs are way to long. Even if they were my favorite band I don't know if I would be able to listen to the songs that long at one time.

Ted S B

Great

This music is very fun. A great new rising band

About Moon Duo

A project of Wooden Shjips' Erik "Ripley" Johnson and Sanae Yamada, San Francisco's Moon Duo are a psychedelic Krautrock band 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 and melodic take on their trippy sounds yet. After touring nearly incessantly following that release, Moon Duo moved their operation to the Souterrain Transmissions imprint in Berlin for Mazes later in the year, recording the set at home in San Francisco and mixing it in Germany. The album, released in the spring of 2011, followed widely acclaimed performances at SXSW; the band's sound on that record focused more on tightly written (and brightly produced) songs with fixed drum machine-made motorik rhythms. The set also got the remix treatment later in the year with participation from Psychic Ills, Purling Hiss, and Sonic Boom, to name a few.

The band's next full-length, Circles, appeared in the fall of 2012 on Sacred Bones, and was accompanied by a remix album (Circles Remixed) the following year with the album's tracks reworked by artists like Eric Copeland and Umberto. The band's release of stopgap material continued in 2014 with the live album Live in Ravenna, which featured drummer John Jeffrey. After moving their home base to Portland and with Jeffrey on board, the trio began recording its next album in a self-described dark basement. Mixed again in Germany by Jonas Verwijnen, 2015's Shadow of the Sun was the group's densest, most psychedelic record to date. At the end of the year, the band embarked on a lengthy European tour, then returned again in 2016 for more dates. When back home in Portland, they began work on their next album, both at home and at the Type Foundry. Occult Architecture, Vol. 1 was released in early 2017, with a second volume to follow. The first volume was intended to represent yin and the second volume yang, in an effort to explore both light and darkness within their sound. ~ Heather Phares

ORIGIN
San Francisco, CA
FORMED
2009

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