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Moon Diagrams is the project of Moses John Archuleta, who also happens to be the drummer in Deerhunter. Trappy Bats is his second album and follow-up to 2017’s Life Of Love. It was recorded immediately after a reflective night in jail. His experiences of TV constantly showing the trouble in Charlottesville and interactions with other inmates pour into this journey from intense techno to chilled jazz.

Vinyl LP £12.74 SCR127

Yellow/black split coloured vinyl LP on Sonic Cathedral.

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Trappy Bats by Moon Diagrams
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7/10 Jamie 01 August 2019

Moses John Archuleta (Deerhunter drummer) follows up his debut solo LP, 2017’s 'Lifetime of Love' with a new 6-track EP. That album was varied to say the least (not to say a little patchy) with ambient washes of warm techno (of the Kompakt label variety) rubbing shoulders with catchy-as-heck pop moments and some true angularities besides. Here though, MJA has his beats down-pat and the techno trippiness is well and truly nailed down.

Opener and title track ‘Trappy Bats’ begins softly with some vaporous synths and nice washes, before the 4/4 beats build in a very groovesome way. Some truly delicious sub-bass tops off a very fine entry point indeed to the MJA sound.  In those ensuing two years Archuleta has picked up a few buddies along the way and track 2 features a nice collab with Ann Arbor, Michigan beatmaker Shigeto. His rework of the title track ups the ante with heavy kicks and syncopated claps for a truly beautiful dancefloor house workout that has my swivel chair rocking. The record moves into drifting, hazy ambient next, with ‘Wipeout' -- glitchy, fluffy piano samples are pinned to a shuffling, looping and lazy rhythm.

Another quiet moment of loop-filled haziness appears in both its original form and in the shape of a re-vocalized rendition by the cooing Angel Deradoorian, and that’s rather nice too. Finally, there’s a gorgeously, deceptively light and airy treatment of ‘Wipeout’ by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. Deceptive because the structure is packed with densely layered sounds, but none of the elements jar. Rather, the abrasive, static-and-buzz-filled elements blend into the gauzy chords which hang weightlessly, mid-stratosphere. Trust Jefre to steal the show, eh? Still, all of Moses' bats are of the friendly variety and relatively groovy.



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