The highest apex of psychedelia, be it art, music, drugs or literature, is to induce a prolonged consciousness shift that affects the consumer far beyond the time they were privy to the act. Moon Duo‘s third full-length LP, Shadow of the Sun, was written entirely during one of these evolving phases — a rare and uneasy rest period, devoid of the constant adrenaline of performing live and the stimulation of traveling through endless moving landscapes.
This offered Moon Duo a new space to reflect on all of these previous experiences and cradle them while cultivating the album in the unfamiliar environment of a new dwelling; a dark Portland basement. It was from this stir-crazy fire that Shadow of the Sun was forged.Evolving the sound of their first two full-length records, Mazes (2011) and Circles (2012), Moon Duo – Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada – have developed their ideas with the help of their newly acquired steam engine, Canadian drummer John Jeffrey (present on the band‘s last release, Live in Ravenna).
The unchartered rhythms and tones present on this record are reflective of Moon Duo’s strive for equilibrium in this aforementioned new environment. You can hear it is the result of months of wrangling with a profound feeling of being unsettled – there are off-kilter dance rhythms, repetitive, grinding riffs, cosmic trucker boogies and even an ecstatically pretty moment. Mixing with Jonas Verwijnen in Berlin, allowed for a creative catharsis and dissolved the album’s formal technique into a cool and paradoxically sane sound of confusion.
Spectrum is the most high-profile and straightforward of the projects undertaken by Pete “Sonic Boom” Kember after the demise of the trance-rock avatars Spacemen 3. As his work as a member of the Experimental Audio Research coterie allows Kember the opportunity to explore ambient textures and tonal constructs, Spectrum satisfies the singer/guitarist’s more conventional pop leanings, while never losing sight of the hypnotic otherworldliness which became his music’s trademark and legacy.
The name Spectrum initially appeared as the title of the first Sonic Boom solo album, released in 1990 before the break-up of Spacemen 3; a collection of ethereal, nearly formless songs, Spectrum openly acknowledged Kember’s debt to Suicide with its cover of the duo’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Killing My Life.” Meanwhile, the Kember half of the Spacemen 3 swan song Recurring, with its tighter, more structured songs (like the gentle wash of “Just to See You Smile”), offered an even stronger indication of things to come.
For centuries the desert has proved to be a spiritually rich landscape. It’s vast openness and still tranquillity lending itself to many a spiritual awakening or outer body experience once within its endless grasp; and in a world that gets busier and more occupied by the day, this reflective escape into one of nature’s greatest spaces becomes understandably more appealing for some. For Shaun Nunutzi, a member of the fearsome band Dead Skeletons and now operating under the name TAU, this has certainly been the case.
Check out our Facebook page to win tickets.
Moon Duo, Spectrum, Tau
Thursday, 14th July 2016 | 20:00 CET
Lido | Cuvrystraße 7 | 10997 Berlin/Kreuzberg