Moon Duo - Mazes 12 inch
Moon Duo's earlier recordings reflected enough of guitarist/songwriter Ripley Johnson's other band, Wooden Shjips, to make his fans happy. Even if this two-person group -- Johnson and organist Sanae Yamada -- relied heavily on fixed rhythms since they didn't have a drummer, the guitars soloed and sprawled in hypnotic, free-form psych. The approach on Mazes is different, even if they keep some elementals intact. Check the title track, where Yamada's organ plays a lithe, sprightly pop melody and Johnson's guitar punches a trebly chord sequence adding heft. There's a cheap drum machine to keep the rhythm pulsing, acknowledging Krautrock's Motorik influence. Mazes is all about songwriting growth, lyric melody, more elaborate textures, and accessible riffs. They underscore Moon Duo's heavy stuff and offer something refreshingly different in the process.