Some artistic side projects suggest internal discord at play, the potential fruits an opportunity to ‘really’ explore the impact that outer Mongolian goatherd chorus CD you got last Christmas had on you. Others (c.f. Mick Jagger’s caricaturistic forays into solo-egoville) only serve to highlight the adage that the group is more than the sum of its parts. Stick to the day job, not the (un)dead 60s, maaan.

However, when it works, it works. Moon Duo’s loose-ome twosome, Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada, court the path of civility: Johnson’s exorcised/exercised his dream-ons with the neo-Americana project Rose City Band whilst Yamada’s Viva la Void foray from last year illustrated the electro-architecture she brings to the group’s aesthetic. This is a (re)union of the shake.

Now on the Pete ‘Sonic Boom’ Kember (Spacemen 3, Spectrum) helmed ‘Stars are the Light’ they return with a synthesised tour de force, a disc-oh of psyche-disco head-fillers (‘Lost Heads’ bouncing Black Devil Disco Club-like beats) and final frontier fifth dimension explorations in cyberspace (‘Eternal Shore’).

Never short on cosmic stardust, the album kicks off with ‘Flying’, a meditative rumination on the benefits of rising above (meta)physically. The titular ‘Stars are the light’ is a (Jean-Michel) astral jam-Jarre.

‘Fall (in your love)’ is space-dub-club meets a Morricone gunfight: deserted panoramas with only the shimmering, glimmering sheen of the vultures’ beaks visible. Pray you’re not their next prey. Imagistic and majestic, an ultravivid scenery.

‘Eye 2 Eye’ is arguably the best song they’ve ever created: a motorik metronomic tantric-trance with the effect like Creedence Clearwater Revival’s doggone-down-at-home chooglin’ crossed with turntable techsitentialism. Outstanding.

If previous releases have veered toward dark dystopic terrains where occult symbolism and Archontic energy run rampant, this is a more utopian soundtrack to shoo those bad blues away. Let the light in.