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- Mazes by Moon Duo
9/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 01 April 2011
Wooden Shijps guitarist Ripley Johnson and his partner, Sanae Yamada return with another fine installment of Moon Duo fun. After a slew of EP's and singles under their collective belt it's about time they came a knocking with a debut full length and you'll be pleased to hear it's another fine collection to add to the Moon Duo audio family. Musically the duo have learnt to diversify their output which has made a big difference to the aesthetic of their overall sound. Moon Duo rely less on rhythmic repetition and the lo-fi haze of home recorded, reverb drenched guitars and synths than on previous outings which makes for more excitable listening. The vocals are also a lot clearer and more consistent on 'Mazes'. I can even make out a few of the words! It's still adheres to the fundamental framework that made previous outings so good but they're mixing things up a bit which is great. I guess they've kinda traded in the drony Krautrock elements in favour of a San Fran psych meets Velvet Underground scrappiness that gives 'Mazes' a distinctive road movie-esque feel. Johnson & Yamada have also gone all out with the production values, layering percussion, guitars and organs to give 'Mazes' an epic cinematic. It's also worth mentioning that Johnson's guitar solo's are consistently awesome throughout. In a duo who's music relies heavily on rigid repetitious grooves these break out moments make all the difference and are dealt with nicely by the axe man. So yeah, great debut. Album comes with a remix CD featuring Sonic Boom, Psychic Ills, Cave and Purling Hiss and the vinyl comes with a nice maze duo sticker. Happy days kids.
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