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.
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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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