A Collection of Long, Largely Instrumental Tracks
Fans of the progressive, German genre of Krautrock are in for a treat in the form of Moon Duo’s latest, Occult Architecture Vol. 2. Psychedelic, edgy and bold, the LP is well-thought-out and executed. However, unfortunately, some tracks do run a bit lengthy and are somewhat devoid of substance, making it next to impossible to stay intrigued for their duration. While many will appreciate the artistry behind each track, there are certainly moments where boredom is brought upon by too much instrumental repetition. Furthermore, the production is anything but striking, occasionally leaving the listener wanting something more than what is offered.
A couple songs feature vocals, which somewhat offset the intense instrumental repetition, making for enjoyable listens — even with the length of the tracks. A long song isn’t a problem if it can pique the interest of a listener. Yet the fourth track, “Lost in Light,” is full to the brim with the blandest of distorted noise, and is then followed by “The Crystal World,” which drags on for about ten minutes without any drastic change to sound or structure. Basically, what happens with this album is that a large part is monotone, and it is very difficult for instrumental music to be engaging when it is monotone. Listeners will inevitably crave some type of change, some type of feeling in the music so that it rings as memorable. Yet Occult Architecture Vol. 2 is rather placid, not exactly coming near the threshold of what is a standout album. It could be played as elevator or model home music.
Those who enjoy a particular brand of indie music may just be able to get into Moon Duo’s sound. The first three songs, “New Dawn,” “Mirror’s Edge” and “Sevens,” sound a little bit like Washed Out. There’s this heavy, indie-hipster, lo-fi vibe that is musically diluted by what can only be described as electronica. One of these songs, though instrumental, is enough to keep the listener interested until the next track. And when vocals are incorporated, they are enjoyable and soothing. There are moments where the musical atmosphere takes on certain forms, such as an ’80s pop tone. However, the repetition still ends up making many of these songs difficult to fully enjoy. Since there’s no apparent direction musically — as well as a lack of a storyline — it is up to listeners to judge the album based on whether or not the music keeps them interested. Perhaps, this LP could be utilized as study music. But that is up to the listener to decide.