Stoned psych-jammer Cameron Stallones’ Sun Araw project appears here in a new and evolved form, as the S. Araw “Trio” XI. Gazebo Effect presents four sides of their explorations, utilising various synths, computer programs and a ‘midi-guitar’ to produce strange shimmery soundscapes. An odd (e.g. good) collection indeed.
Double LP £19.49 SA039
2LP on Sun Ark.
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Sun Araw might be one of the most tenacious abstract artists around, but he’s also one of the prettiest sound sculptors we have. Call it psychedelic, call it noise, call it stupid, but his lopsided music always has cracks of beauty. Rarely accumulated through completed melodies, his best sounds seem to swarm in with the brevity of a half-thought out motif or the languishing groans of an ambient jam. He can sound lazy or frantic, but never aimless. He always sounds like he’s ambling towards making a point.
Now kind of but not really shorthanded to S. Araw, he returns with ‘Trio’, a collection involving synths with computer-hacked guitars to create music that might be more formally thought of as drone. It’s drone as Araw would do it, anyway: synths groan and walk away from the tour and into dissonant fragments, and noisy effects trip over the still landscape. There are hints, in the backdrop, of the kind of crystalline ambient music we’ve recently heard from Kara Lis Coverdale and Raica, but Araw’s instruments bicker with him, spewing out whirring anti-rhythms and multi-directional feedback. Maybe this is a more honest take on drone: if you’re looking for escapism, you’re going to find the incongruent reality of life reinforced instead.
S. Araw’s music seems to twitch more than ever in this ambient landscape, which is for the good: the tones he’s shifting sound futurist and chilling, but he punctuates them with slapstick chords and sustained, wahing keyboard that gives the whole thing less of a high mind and more of a heart. Bless it all.
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