Any music review that requires me to read Emerson is a good time...
Moon Duo, like its half sibling Wooden Shjips, grinds out grooves that are both tightly coiled and expansive, its repetitive measures circling in an endlessly rolling boundary which is, nonetheless, occasionally an entryway to otherworldly sensation. The idea of limits that turn into doorways and doorways that lead to more limits runs all through Moon Duo’s transcendental reveries. So, it makes sense, in a way, that Moon Duo guitarist-singer Ripley Johnson would gravitate towards one of the original Transcendentalists, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
In his essay “Circles,” Emerson posits perception as an endless series of concentric circles, the consciousness at the center constantly forced to break through what it sees as boundaries into the next realm of knowing. Says Emerson, “The eye is the first circle; the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end.” Says Moon Duo’s Johnson on the Emerson-inspired Circles, “O is where the time seems to never end, when all the past is just present again.”
Also, you can hear their whole set from the 2011 Primavera Sound Festival at the Free Music Archive.