Stars Are The Light is the seventh album by the undisputed masters of the floating cosmic groove, Sanae Yamada (synths) and Ripley Johnson (guitar), better known as Moon Duo.
Yamada is squarely front and center, laying down danceable synthesizer rhythm foundations which will have you boogieing around the kitchen, while in this go-round Johnson’s guitar is used more for accent - fluid and warbling, floating in and out of the pulsing sonic spaces.
Stars Are The Light follows forays by other psychedelic acts into electronic disco territory, such as Tame Impala and Temples (whose sojourn appears to have been a temporary stop), but one could argue this is more in Moon Duo’s DNA than theirs. The album was mixed in Portugal by Sonic Boom (Peter Kember), formerly of Spacemen 3, who gives the hypnotic tracks a near 3-D effect of floating and softly beating all around you. The songs contain vocals, but they’re so blissfully chill you could go halfway through some of the tracks before realizing they’re singing.
In both the title track “Stars Are the Light” and “Fall (In Your Love),” Yamada’s sonic palette includes classic synth sounds that remind me of spacey museum exhibits from school field trips long ago, while “Lost Heads” is a playful, trance-inducing trip. The LP edition’s cool album cover by Ardneks comes in four different color schemes, randomly selected if ordered by mail, while the CD comes in yet another. Overall, I give this record a seven out of ten.
Mark Feingold loves listening and turning others on to great music. He also writes for the UK's Terrascope Online (Terrascope.co.uk). He loves film and literature, and played in the legendary band The Vandals.