9/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 14 September 2011
Nearly didn't get enough of these to squeeze out a review so big-ups to the lads in distribution world for scraping a few up and mailing them our way. 'Ancient Romans' is the newie from Sun Araw a.k.a Cameron Stallone, everyone's favourite psychedelic tropical dub explorer. If you've not come across his work either as Sun Araw or as a member of Magic Lanterns then you've been missing out on some tasty shamanic jams. 'Ancient Ruins' continues Stallone's ongoing mission to blur the lines of New Age composition so as to make them completely indistinguishable and irrelevant. As with last year's 'On Patrol' LP, this one is totally epic in scale. Eight tracks spanning four sides of vinyl all loosely tied into the theme of ancient civilisations (I'm guessing). The first thing I picked up on is that these tracks are totally mellow both in approach and production. Normally Sun Araw LPs have a harsh overtone that separates them from other New Age-esque artists but, on this occasion, 'Ancient Romans' is totally balanced giving it a slightly polished feel by comparison to previous efforts. Saying that, it's no reflection on the music contained within, which is as inventive and focused as ever, it just sounds nicer. 'Crete', 'Lute and Lyre' and 'Crown Shell' are particularly impressive, laid back and peaceful jams. Eastern percussion, bells, effects drenched wah-guitar, tape echo vocals and that all too familiar organ sound are the consistent weapons of choice here but with the occasional guest popping up to jam on either Djembe, brass or drums there is more than enough sonic variation to keep the listener amused. As with all Sun Araw LPs, it's gonna take a little time for each of the tracks to sink in but on first listen I'm thinking this could be his best yet. Comes on heavyweight white vinyl packaged in a dense gatefold sleeve and includes a tasty 7" size art book.
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- Ancient Romans by Sun Araw
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