Moon Duo: “Sleepwalker”
“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite,” wrote William Blake. Aldous Huxley later took up Blake’s challenge in his own mondo-trip narrative The Doors of Perception. Now, it goes without saying that large doses of psychedelics may not be for everyone. Thankfully, there’s been a couple generations of psych-rockers painting technicolor sonic pictures for the less adventurous of us out there. West Coasters Moon Duo continue the grand tradition of mind-expanding psychedelic rock.
So who are the two folks that make up the “duo” in Moon Duo? They are guitarist Erik “Ripley” Johnson of the like-minded group Wooden Shjips and multi-instrumentalist Sanae Yamada (she handles keyboard work and other sonic odds and ends). The pair came together in 2009 and released their first EP Killing Time. With its fuzzy drone and cheap-sounding keyboards, the EP echoed some of Wooden Shjips’ heavier, more out-there material and groups like Suicide and the mechanical, acid-y explorations of kraut-rock. They followed their debut up with 2010′s Escape and 2011′s Mazes.
Last week Moon Duo released their latest full-length Circles. The album’s hypnotic opener “Sleepwalker” is today’s song of the day. The song opens with quick drum-machine intro before exploding into full psych mode. The pair ride the fuzz-laden verse riff for all it’s worth, and Johnson lets slip some classic, winding, eastern-inspired guitar lines. The tune is sensuous. It envelops the listener, enticing them to take the trip down the rabbit hole that is the remainder of the record. Moon Duo slam open the doors of perception on this one.