This year, Moon Duo released their seventh album, Stars are the Light, on Sarced Bones. Many of their signature spacey psychedelic elements are here: droning saturated guitars, looping synths, dual hypnotic vocals. But Moon Duo have another motive this time around -- getting our bodies moving.
As they depart from machine-driven krautrock rhythms, they often slow down the tempo and bring in more imaginative and funky percussion. Some of this is reminiscent of disco (see: “Flying”, “Fall (In Your Love)”), and some achieve a Latin vibe with wooden blocks and polyrhythms (see: “The World and the Sun”).
Ripley Johnson’s saturated, fuzzy guitar is turned down a bit on this album, making way for prominent groovy bass lines and an array of synths. Keyboardist Sanae Yamada shines on this album. She displays her range of talents -- from her well-placed creepy laser sounds to the organ psychedelic bliss on the track “Eternal Shore”. Her most mesmerizing work was done on the album’s title track, “Stars are the Light”, which is unlike anything in Moon Duo’s catalog. It’s an airy and melancholic reverb-drenched pop song guided by high pitched tremolo’d notes over a smooth, haunting bass line. Here the vocals are smooth and catchy, and this track best brings to mind Panda Bear and MGMT, artists who have also worked with Sonic Boom, this record’s producer.
8.0 / 10
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