9/10 Mike Staff review, 14 February 2014
Any music fan will tell you it's not the notes that matter, it's the space between the notes - and very few people have more space between their notes than Sun Araw, whose skeletal post-dub explorations are comprised of roughly half silence. Given that he's been around the block a couple of times now, you probably think you know what he sounds like, and that means it's time to do something a bit different.
Not super-different, mind, it's still a Sun Araw record, but what he's done this time round is take his weird disjointed patchworks of staccato sounds and put some extra guitar on them. There's still a lot of synth here but his texture arsenal is augmented with little squeaks and trills high in the mix on a buzzy hi-gain axe. The tone palette is otherwise quite similar to his previous efforts, the same plinks and drips and dings and cute awkward bass patterns which stumble you through the tracks with a vague semblance of form and direction.
At some points such as 'Pink Lines' it even stretches out into an almost Orcutt-esque scree in places while his subtle synthesis continues pootling away obliviously underneath, pretty wild. The title track is also interesting, delving into dronier tones than I'm used to from C-Stall along with some new agey flute, although even these drones are stop-start, fading in and out of silence, in contrast to the toytown tinkle and putter of 'One After One' which it shares a side with, all broken-computer grooves and weird diluted funk guitar.
I kind of felt like Sun Araw was treading water a little on his recent 'Inner Treaty' but this album sees his explorative side blossoming in impressive and unexpected ways. I was ready to not have anything to say about this but already I've run out of space and I've only listened to the first disc! It's early days at this point but I think it could be his most accomplished and varied offering to date. Big thumbs up.
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