Archive for the Sun Araw Category

Sun Araw, M. Geddes Gengras Meet The Congos – Icon Give Thank (2012)

Posted in Dub, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Sun Araw, The Congos with tags , , , on August 31, 2013 by 1960s: Days of Rage

“You can trace the inspiration for this ninth volume of the FRKWYS series — the RVNG Intl. label’s matching of ‘contemporary artists with those that may have preceded them in style and/or approach’ — back to the 1977 album Heart of the Congos, where the roots reggae harmonies of the Congos met the dub experimentation of Lee Perry, and with legendary results. Here avant-garde post-rockers Sun Araw and M. Geddes Gengras take Perry’s place without trying to replace him, and the results are trippy, tropical, and — best of all — full of life. After some wide open numbers that are akin to floating in a crystal-blue ocean with mushrooms on the assist (the bleepy and percussive ‘New Binghi,’ the very bright and very Holger Czukay ‘Happy Song,’ both aptly titled), the album slowly morphs and sobers, becoming more Congos-driven with slow, soul-filling chants of freedom sitting on top of waterlogged dubs. The stickler here has to be ‘Jungle,’ which borders on comedic, sprawling across the floor like a screwed and chopped ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight,’ but consider that there’s plenty of levity to be had on both the West Coast and in Jamaica, the locations where these sessions were recorded. If the two were next to one another, this could be the casual border music, at least the avant roots side of it, so kudos to all involved for the imaginary passport and respect to RVNG for delivering on the idea of the Folkways label in an alternate universe.”

“Back in 2011 Cameron Stallones, a Los Angeles native who records glitchy psychedelia under the name Sun Araw, and the similarly inclined L.A. electronic musician M. Geddes Gengras decamped to Jamaica to record with the legendary roots reggae group the Congos, whose Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry-produced 1977 debut Heart of the Congos was one of the best albums to come out of Jamaica at a time when the island was producing an unprecedented amount of incredible music. It was an odd team-up, a bunch of older, very serious musicians collaborating across stylistic and cultural gaps with a couple of punkish young noise dudes, but the resulting record, Icon Give Thank, is a surprisingly organic synthesis of traditional reggae and envelope-pushing electronic experimentation. Now, what was originally presented as a one-off partnership, has spawned a live sequel.”

YouTube: Sunshine, Jungle, Thanks And Praise
YouTube: Sun Araw, M. Geddes Gengras Meet The Congos – FRKWYS Vol. 9: Icon Give Thank (2012) [Full Album]