Posts Tagged ‘Moon Duo’

Moon Duo - Stars Are The Light (Dinked Edition)

“Stars Are the Light”, the luminous seventh album by the American psych explorers Moon Duo, marks a progression into significantly new territory. From a preoccupation with the transcendental and occult that informed Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada’s guitar-driven psych rock, and reached its apotheosis in the acclaimed Occult Architecture diptych, Stars Are the Light sees the band synthesize the abstract and metaphysical with the embodied and terrestrial. Branching out from Occult Architecture Vol. 2, the album has a sonic physicality that is at once propulsive and undulating; it puts dance at the heart of an expansive nexus that connects the body to the stars. These are songs about embodied human experience — love, change, misunderstanding, internal struggle, joy, misery, alienation, discord, harmony, celebration — rendered as a kind of dance of the self, both in relation to other selves and to the eternal dance of the cosmos. Taking disco as its groove-oriented departure point, Stars Are the Light shimmers with elements of ’70s funk and ’90s rave. Johnson’s signature guitar sound is at its most languid and refined, while Yamada’s synths and oneiric vocals are foregrounded to create a spacious percussiveness that invites the body to move with its mesmeric rhythms. With Sonic Boom (Spacemen 3, Spectrum) at the mixing desk in Portugal’s Serra de Sintra, (known to the Romans as “The Mountains of the Moon”) the area’s lush landscape and powerful lunar energies exerted a strong influence on the vibe and sonic texture of the album. On embracing disco as an inspiration, Yamada says, “It’s something we hadn’t referenced in our music before, but its core concepts really align with what we were circling around as we made the album.

We were also very inspired by the space and community of a disco – a space of free self-expression through dance, fashion, and mode of being; where everyone was welcome, diversity was celebrated, and identity could be fluid; where the life force that animates each of us differently could flower.”

From ‘Stars Are the Light,’ out September. 27th.out on Sacred Bones Records.

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Vive la Void, a new project from Sanae Yamada, co-founder and keyboardist of Moon Duo. The self-titled album comes out on May 4th. Yamada wrote and recorded Vive la Void over roughly a two-year period, during windows of downtime in Moon Duo’s substantial touring and recording schedule. The dense, shape-shifting atmospheres of the seven songs grew out of late-night basement experiments in the layering of synthesizer tracks, a process that also led to meditations on the changeable nature of memory and perception.

The result is an undulating blend of ethereal swirl, low end thrumming, and electric crackle, buoyed by Yamada’s understated but captivating vocal melodies and her striking lyrics. Released on the Sacred Bones Records .

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This week releases include First Aid Kit’s newest outing, with swooning folky rock refrains, sliding guitars and beautiful two-part harmonies abound. Speaking of folky rocking guitars, yer’ man Ryan Adams has produced the debut outing from frankly terrifying youngsters, Starcrawler. they’re terrifically talented, and they trade in very concise and punky indie-rock territory. Great stuff. What else? Well, lots of stuff. the new Liminanas LP is out and again, superbly reminiscent of their earlier work whilst bringing things up to date. New (reversed) Shins, and reissues from The Residents,

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The Limiñanas – Shadow People

French psych duo The Limiñanas have announced their new album ‘Shadow People’ which will be released on 19th January on Because Music. One of France’s most beloved treasures, The Limiñanas are Marie (drums/vocals) and Lionel (guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals). Hailing from Perpignan, the duo straddles the boundary between psych, shoegaze, and yé-yé. With hazy, reverb-laden hooks, combined at times with noisy distortion, and fronted by effortlessly cool vocals, reminiscent of Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot, the band is at once timeless and quintessentially French.

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The Shins –  The Worms Heart

When James Mercer was recording his latest Shins LP Heart Worms as a creative exercise he decided to re-record the songs in the opposite way of the originals. Songs that were more rock and uptempo became more acoustic and slow, and songs that were acoustic and slow in tempo became more upbeat. They were flipped. The result of those sessions he calls, The Worms Heart. What began as an exercise in songwriting transformed into a commentary on what it means to be a songwriter. After writing the first track for Heartworms (released 10 March 2017), James Mercer decided to recreate each song from scratch. Driven by its malleability, its ability to be foundationally identical, yet aesthetically and sonically utterly new, Mercer continued experimenting until he had two complete albums: one original and one “flipped”. Mercer’s ability to create two totally divergent albums from the same underlying compositions not only highlights his immense capability as a songwriter, but also functions as a reminder of what it means to be an artist, how an artist acts as both the master and facilitator of his artistic product.

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Shopping  –  The Official Body

Their first release since 2015’s Why Choose and their second album to be released on FatCat Records, Post-Punk trio Shopping return with an album that fans of their earlier records will undoubtedly find satisfying. Recorded over 10 days by Edwyn Collins, the latest album stays true to the minimal dance-punk ethos of Shopping’s previous efforts, but seeks to”amp up the party vibe”.

Coming off the back of an unrelenting cycle of touring, having made their way across the UK, Europe, and the US, the band found themselves without a natural home as the band’s London rehearsal and writing space closed down. Then their drummer, Andrew Milk, relocated to Glasgow, and the band could suddenly no longer spontaneously get together to practice or write. The distance added an element of pressure: “As a band that only ever writes collaboratively, it’s essential for us to actually be together in the room before any songs start to formulate. It can be a little daunting when we all turn up, and we only have an afternoon to pull a song out of thin air”. Add to that a sprinkling of Brexit, Trump, a principally imploding world, and you’ve got yourself The Official Body— Shopping’s second album to be released on FatCat Records.

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First Aid Kit  –  Ruins

Swedish siblings Klara & Johanna Soderberg, release their eagerly anticipated new album “Ruins” via Columbia Records. This will be the girls’ 4th studio album & a follow up to the critically acclaimed breakthrough album “Stay Gold”, released in 2014. “Ruins” is a 10 song album, recorded in Portland, USA & produced by Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Laura Veirs). Collaborators include Peter Buck (REM), Glenn Kotche (Wilco) & McKenzie Smith (Midlake).

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Starcrawler  –  Starcrawler

Starcrawler are a Los Angeles rock band who formed in 2015 when 18-year-old lead vocalist Arrow de Wilde first met guitarist Henri Cash at their Echo Park high school. Shortly thereafter they were joined by the rhythm section of Austin Smith (drums) and Tim Franco (bass). The foursome play with squalling riffs and thundering beats, and their incendiary live shows, fronted by de Wilde’s otherworldly magnetism, are truly captivating. Gigwise (UK) recently stated that “Starcrawler are simply the most exciting – and best – band Rough Trade have signed in years.”

Recorded by Ryan Adams on analog tape at his Pax-Am studio, the 10 songs on the album prove that yes, they ARE making rock and roll exciting again! Ryan has been tweeting up a storm about them saying things like “This starcrawler record is gonna peel the paint off your brain!” and “Starcrawler are so fucking insanely good. Soon they will rule this galaxy.”

The first single from the album is “I Love LA” and the video, directed by famed music photographer Autumn de Wilde (AKA Arrow’s mum) is a fun and feisty homage to the city of dreamers

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After signing to Rough Trade earlier this year, they quickly released their debut single “Ants”, which caught the ear of Elton John who played the track on his Beats 1 radio show. Soon after, they were on the cover of LA Weekly – their hometown paper. The headline was “With Fake Blood and Frenetic Songs, Starcrawler make rock feel dangerous again”. In the article, Arrow describes that “bands are boring nowadays” and that “there’s no mystery”. That helps explain a little bit of why their shows have become the stuff of legend. They also recently played LA’s CalJam Festival, which is curated by Dave Grohl (Starcrawler was the first band he reached out to, and he raved about them the next day on KROQ.) Gerard Way is also a fan, describing them as a “mix of 70’s theatricality and Stooges electricity.

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Fleetwood Mac  –  Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac reissue their 1975 eponymous album. This album was the first of the most successful incarnation of Fleetwood Mac, where Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Christine McVie to form the legendary band who continues to be highly successful to this day. The album introduced a smoother more radio-friendly sound and a new beginning and by 1977 the emotional monolith of Rumours would make them one of the biggest bands on the planet.

CD – Newly remastered version.

2CD – Expanded edition. The first CD features the original album with newly remastered audio, as well as single mixes of Over My Head, Rhiannon, Say You Love Me and Blue Letter. CD2 features an alternate version of the album comprised of unreleased outtakes for each track, as well as previously unreleased live versions from 1976.

5CD – Deluxe 3 CD / 1 DVD and 1 LP Set. Comes packaged in a 12×12 embossed sleeve with rare and unseen photos along with in-depth liner notes written by David Wild, as well as new interviews with all the band members. The deluxe editions features a newly remastered version of the original album along with single mixes for Over My Head, Rhiannon and Say You Love Me. Also included is a second disc with an alternate version of the complete album comprised of unreleased outtakes for each album track, plus several unreleased live performances from 1976. The third disc includes even more unreleased live recordings, including stellar performances of Landslide, Oh Well and World Turning. Also included in the deluxe edition set is the original album pressed on 180-gram vinyl, as well as a DVD featuring 5.1 Surround Sound and high-resolution 24/96 Stereo Audio mixes of the original album and four single mixes.

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The XX  –  On Hold (Jamie XX Remix) / A Violent Noise (Four Tet Remix)

Limited 12″ featuring Jamie’s own Remix of On Hold. It’s comes across like Daft Punk dropping Homework on a Ibiza terrace. Four Tet is on the flip with a fresh re-rub of A Violent Noise. Mr Hebden takes the track to Berghain and drops it at 4am.

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Moon Duo  –  Jukebox Babe / No Fun

Following the resounding success of their two-volume, Yin-and-Yang song cycle Occult Architecture, the Portland psych heroes in Moon Duo return with a limited edition 12″ paying tribute to two of their musical heroes — Iggy Pop and Alan Vega. Moon Duo’s versions of these classic songs push them into bold new sonic territory, and show that Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada’s expansive musical imaginations are still firing on all cylinders.“We started playing No Fun after BBC6 Radio asked us to record an Iggy song for his 70th birthday. We added it to our set to work it out for the session and kept playing it every night because everyone loves that song. We worked up a version of Jukebox Babe because our sound engineer Larry got it stuck in his head and was singing it all the time. We figured, we may as well play it if we’re going to hear it all the time. The Stooges and Iggy, and Suicide / Alan Vega / Martin Rev, are all huge influences on us. But we never want to do faithful covers of great songs, because what’s the point? So we tried to push both of the tracks in less obvious directions, incorporating other influences, like California psych and cosmic disco, giving them more of a summer vibe. We knew Sonic Boom was working outside of Lisbon, so we asked him to produce the tracks, recording them in August for maximal summer heat.”

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Slothrust  – Show Me How You Want It To Be EP

A collection of unexpected and inventive takes on classics by icons as diverse as Al Green and Britney Spears, Marcy Playground and Louis Armstrong. Led by guitarist and vocalist Leah Wellbaum, with bassist Kyle Bann and drummer WiIl Gorin, Slothrust form one of the most exciting and agile trios in recent memory. The selections on Show Me How You Want It To Be showcase the diverse and discerning musicianship that has earned Slothrust an army of admirers that first began building with their song 7:30 AM, featured as the theme song for 4 seasons of the FX Network show You’re The Worst.

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Belle and Sebastian  –  How To Solve Our Human Problems (Part 2)

Harkening back to their 1997 release of three consecutive EPs (Dog On Wheels, Lazy Line Painter Janeand 3.. 6.. 9 Seconds Of Light), Belle and Sebastian release three new EPs under the umbrella title How To Solve Our Human ProblemsJust as those three early EPs are at the very heart of the Belle and Sebastian canon, so these three new releases deserve to be treated not as a stopgap, but as definitive releases in their own right. How To Solve Our Human Problems is both an era of its own, and part of a long, rich history. How To Solve Our Human Problems is, if you like, Belle and Sebastian Redux.

Ahead of UK live dates starting later this month, Portland’s Moon Duo are back with a new limited edition 12″, featuring covers of classic songs by Alan Vega of Suicide and The Stooges. Their new take on Vega’s ‘Jukebox Babe’ is streaming now, and the 12″, which also features The Stooges’ ‘No Fun’, is due for release on January 19th via Sacred Bones.

The covers were conceived during the band’s last UK tour, which saw them play their biggest London show yet at a sold out Heaven, in support of two-part opus Occult Architecture: “We started playing ‘No Fun’ after BBC6 Radio asked us to record an Iggy song for his 70th birthday,” the band explained.

“We added it to our set to work it out for the session and kept playing it every night because everyone loves that song. We worked up a version of ‘Jukebox Babe’ because our sound engineer Larry got it stuck in his head and was singing it all the time. We figured, we may as well play it if we’re going to hear it all the time.

“The Stooges and Iggy, and Suicide/Alan Vega/Martin Rev, are all huge influences on us. But we never want to do faithful covers of great songs, because what’s the point. So we tried to push both of the tracks in less obvious directions, incorporating other influences, like California psych and cosmic disco, giving them more of a summer vibe. We knew Sonic Boom was working outside of Lisbon, so we asked him to produce the tracks, recording them in August for maximal summer heat.”

Moon Duo was formed by Ripley Johnson of Wooden Shjips and Sanae Yamada in San Francisco in 2009. Inspired initially by free jazz duos, such as John Coltrane and Rashied Ali, Moon Duo counts such variant groups as Silver Apples, Royal Trux, Moolah, Suicide, and Cluster as touchstones. Utilizing primarily guitar, keyboards, and vocals, Moon Duo plays space against form to create a primeval sound experience. For SHP they recorded a mesmerising, 21 minute long, track.

Sleeperhold Publications would like to present you with the newest installment on the platform: a series of 10 vinyl records. Every record will have sound on the A-side and an etching on the B-side.

The magnificent MOON DUO recorded a killer, 21 minute long, track called “High Over Blue”, which we then pressed on heavy black vinyl, with an etching on the back. The sleeve design an etching on this one was done by Ward Heirwegh. The record is limited to 200 copies and can be ordered from the Sleeperhold website. (www.sleeperholdpublications.com)

 

Moon Duo is a project of Wooden Shjips guitarist and singer Ripley Johnson. Under the Moon Duo moniker, Johnson and collaborator Sanae Yamada create expansive Krautrock influenced tapestries of warm cascading fuzz and controlled feedback, organ, and accenting keyboard. This Reissued vinyl from 2009 features  four song 12-inch is the second release and incorporates a much more concise, composed and driving sound than before. The Duo expand on ideas only hinted at on the Sick Thirst 12-inch (which is already long gone) adding a driving drum machine beat behind the thick walls of layered sound.

Following the release of Moon Duo’s wonderful recordings two-volume Occult Architecture suite, the Portland-based band are reissuing their 2009 Killing Time EP as a deluxe expanded edition with three extra bonus tracks.

Those bonus tracks, ‘Bopper’s Hat’, ‘Run Around’ and ‘Dead West Pt. II’ have never been widely available on vinyl before. The newly expanded release is also available digitally.

Moon Duo return to the road next week, kicking off a European tour including festival stops at Beaches Brew in Ravenna and Roskilde Festival.

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Meaning all things magick and supernatural, the root of the word occult is that which is hidden, concealed, beyond the limits of our minds. If this is occult, then the Occult Architecture of Moon Duo’s fourth album – a psychedelic opus in two separate volumes released in 2017 – is an intricately woven hymn to the invisible structures found in the cycle of seasons and the journey of day into night, dark into light.

Offering a cosmic glimpse into the hidden patterning embedded in everything, Occult Architecture reflects the harmonious duality of these light and dark energies through the Chinese theory of Yin and Yang. Following the Yin (feminine, darkness, night, earth) represented on Occult Architecture Vol. 1, Vol. 2 presents the Yang.

Yang means “the bright side of the hill” and is associated with the male, sun, light and the spirit of heaven, and as such Vol. 2 explores the light and airy elements of Moon Duo’s complex psyche.

“In production we referred to Vol. 1 as the fuzz dungeon, and Vol. 2 as the crystal palace,” guitarist Ripley Johnson explains. “The darkness of Vol. 1 gave birth to the light of Vol. 2. We had to have both elements in order to complete the cycle. We’re releasing them separately to allow them their own space, and to ensure clarity of vision. To that end we also mixed Vol. 2 separately, in the height of Portland summer, focusing on its sonic qualities of lightness, air, and sun. Listeners can ultimately use the two volumes individually or together, depending on circumstance or the desired effect.”

Vol. 2 was mixed in Portland by the band’s longtime collaborator Jonas Verwijnen.

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Occult Architecture Vol. 1

Back at the start of the year, with the cold nights and dark mornings closing in Moon Duo, fittingly, released the first of two parts to their latest album.

The Portland duo – guitarist Ripley Johnson and keyboardist Sanae Yamada – deliberately went with the dark stuff first, as our writer David Zammitt commented at the time in his review of ‘Occult Architecture Vol. 1’.

Meaning all things magick and supernatural, the root of the word occult is that which is hidden, concealed, beyond the limits of our minds. If this is occult, then the Occult Architecture of Moon Duo’s fourth album – a psychedelic opus in two separate volumes released in 2017 – is an intricately woven hymn to the invisible structures found in the cycle of seasons and the journey of day into night, dark into light.

Offering a cosmic glimpse into the hidden patterning embedded in everything, Occult Architecture reflects the harmonious duality of these light and dark energies through the Chinese theory of Yin and Yang.

In Chinese, Yin means “the shady side of the hill” and is associated with the feminine, darkness, night, earth. Following this logic, Vol. 1 embraces and embodies Moon Duo’s darker qualities — released appropriately on February 3rd, in the heart of winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

Offering a cosmic glimpse into the hidden patterning embedded in everything, Occult Architecture reflects the harmonious duality of these light and dark energies through the Chinese theory of Yin and Yang. Following the Yin (feminine, darkness, night, earth) represented on Occult Architecture Vol. 1, Vol. 2 presents the Yang.”

“In production we referred to Vol. 1 as the fuzz dungeon, and Vol. 2 as the crystal palace,” guitarist Ripley Johnson explains. “The darkness of Vol. 1 gave birth to the light of Vol. 2. We had to have both elements in order to complete the cycle. We’re releasing them separately to allow them their own space, and to ensure clarity of vision. To that end we also mixed Vol. 2 separately, in the height of Portland summer, focusing on its sonic qualities of lightness, air, and sun. Listeners can ultimately use the two volumes individually or together, depending on circumstance or the desired effect.”

Vol. 2 was mixed in Portland by the band’s longtime collaborator Jonas Verwijnen.

From ‘Occult Architecture Vol. 2’ out May 5th, 2017 on Sacred Bones Records.

Moon Duo announce Occult Architecture Vol. 2 and share video for 'Lost in Light'

Following on from Volume 1 of Moon Duo’s two part psychedelic opus, Occult Architecture, Sanae Yamada and Ripley Johnson announce the release of Volume 2 for May 5th on Sacred Bones.

The announcement comes with a new track and video entitled ‘Lost In Light’, created by Micah Buzan as a counter-reaction to his previous animation for ‘Cold Fear’:

“’Lost In Light’ is the yang to ‘Cold Fear’s yin,” Buzan said of the video. “In ‘Cold Fear’ the aliens ruled the planet in their giant skyscrapers and tortured humanoids. ‘Lost In Light’ continues the story of ‘Cold Fear’ a million years into the future, when the aliens have died off after exhausting the planet’s resources, and nature reclaims the land.

“Huge flowers grow out of the dead humanoids, aliens, and their buildings. Moon Duo emerge from an alien’s head as a flower and rainbow, becoming one with the planet as the sun absorbs everything into oblivion.”

Offering a cosmic glimpse into the hidden patterning embedded in everything, Occult Architecture reflects the harmonious duality of these light and dark energies through the Chinese theory of Yin and Yang. Following the Yin represented on Occult Architecture Vol. 1, Vol. 2 presents the Yang.

“In production we referred to Vol. 1 as the fuzz dungeon, and Vol. 2 as the crystal palace,” guitarist Ripley Johnson explains.

“The darkness of Vol. 1 gave birth to the light of Vol. 2. We had to have both elements in order to complete the cycle. We’re releasing them separately to allow them their own space, and to ensure clarity of vision.

“To that end we also mixed Vol. 2 separately, in the height of Portland summer, focusing on its sonic qualities of lightness, air, and sun. Listeners can ultimately use the two volumes individually or together, depending on circumstance or the desired effect.”

From ‘Occult Architecture Vol. 2’ out May 5th, 2017 on Sacred Bones Records.