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Occult Architecture Vol. 2


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Following the first half of Moon Duo’s split fourth album, Occult Architecture Vol. 1, released in February, now comes the big finish. There’s a whole story of ying and ying and the supernatural behind the thesis of both records but to keep it simple: Vol. 1 was moody and noxious. It was described by the band as “the fuzz dungeon”. 'Occult Architecture Vol. 2', then, is the light that shines through the cracks. The epiphany, the moment of re-awakening. Or the “yang” if you like. Vol. 2 is the “crystal palace” as Ripley Johnson noted, adding “the darkness of Vol. 1 gave birth to the light of Vol. 2”. For big lovers of Vol. 1 you can be assured that the two records are by no means polar opposites but more of a complementary shift of styles, just enough to differentiate between dark and light.

While Vol. 1 hacked us up kicking and screaming with song titles like “Cold Fear” and “The Death Set”, Vol. 2 delivers the immediate re-birth; the undisguised “New Dawn” as the opening track. The album sways beautifully over the first two tracks; gleaming, understated and full of intrigue before bursting to life on its masterpiece “sevens”, the stratospheric moment of a cosmic re-awakening. It is almost as if everything before it across both volumes leads to that exact moment. For those who felt Vol. 1 was okay but lacked a hook or a bit of bite, you should find it on Occult Architecture Vol. 2. For our money it is certainly the better of the two records side by side.

However, as each volume was deliberately mixed and released separately to allow each record its own space and to ensure the listener receives full clarity, a good suggestion would be to listen to the two records concurrently and experience a euphoric re-birth. Then clean up after yourself and judge which you like best.

Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada have created something amazing with Occult Architectures that sits somewhere just outside of a concept album – it is more of an experience. The two records have had many tags offered up that may overwhelm some listeners – ‘cosmic karma’ for one – but you don’t need to find the spirituality in it to enjoy it. You can stick a pin in all of that and still find a hugely pleasurable journey.   

Released: May 2017
Cat: SBR169
Label: Sacred Bones



1. New Dawn (6:07)
2. Mirror’s Edge (7:02)
3. Sevens (6:48)
4. Lost in Light (8:39)
5. The Crystal World (10:10)