Moon Duo – Circles

Moon Duo are great at taking hoary old riffs – long patented by the original masterworks - and long sucked dry by lesser artists - and restoring them, giving them a new lease of life.

 

 

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A classic, simple. Their other LP was a definite favourite with us and while this doesn’t really look to strike new territory in terms of sound it really doesn’t matter. It’s a stone classic. Let’s try not to froth too much in describing it.

The majesty of the opener Sleepwalker takes a few listens to get past. Like some dazzling allegorical figure in a heroic poem you can get lost in wondering about – there’s a danger you are blinded by this track’s transcendental beauty : that chord change is a killer and no mistake. I Can See takes a tinny mechanical riff from Cluster’s Zueckerzeit and winds it up to C21 speed: (it was a clockwork riff in any case so it can handle it), all the while building a mantra around it with some shape-shifting guitar ruins. Circles is a groovy handclapping skip along replete with the sort of play at home chord structures that only 16 year olds should try; not only that, but we get a guitar lick that’s innocence itself. I Been Gone is a tinny rocker of considerable charm: wild fantasy brought me the image of this song being the keynote track for Les Rallizes – but Les Rallizes as a teeny bopper pop band, hair washed, on kids TV. It’s preposterous.

Moon Duo are great at taking hoary old riffs – long patented by the original masterworks - and long sucked dry by lesser artists - and restoring them, giving them a new lease of life. Sparks and Dance Pt 3 sound like Read It In Books, albeit a Read It In Books that’s been toking whilst grooving on Cheech & Chong films. Free Action is a heady, fuzzy stomp, which is just that tad underpowered to make it an incredibly charming listen. That the track reminds me of 1969 is neither here nor there. If that sounded familiar just get your lugs round Trails…

It’s daft music to write about really, I appreciate you need to know that it’s a great listen - this is the sort of thing you should be losing your cares to whilst rolling around in the late summer grass. It’s a classic summer soundtrack, music to live by rather than to analyse. Whatever, Moon Duo have hit on something and no mistake. How long they can keep recreating this kind of fresh and laid-back atmosphere by knocking out such well-worn riffs is anyone’s guess, but for now, I’m content to enjoy the moment.