Thursday, 14 November 2013

Suns Of Arqa "Ancient Temples" Review

Artist: Suns Of Arqa

Title: Ancient Temples E.P.

Label: Interchill Records

Release Date: 19th November 2013

I first came across the Suns of Arqa on a free cassette from a magazine I’d brought to pass the time on a train journey in the early 90’s. It was one of those tracks I played over and over and not long after I came across “Kokoromochi” on vinyl which proved to contain some perfect openers to a set. After that somehow they dropped off the radar for me for many years until I picked up a compilation of their tracks over the years “Through The Gates We Go” mixed by Tom Fu.

Through the internet I discovered there was a vast back catalogue of Michael Wadada & Co’s fusion of Indian Raga’s and Rastafarian Niyabinghi drumming dating back to 1980. I still have some way to go to fulfil this collection and was very impressed with Youth’s mix of “Jagnath Bhairavi” that Matthew Foord played on House of the Flying Eyeball’s “My Favourite Things” radio show recently (which sparked an interest in obtaining the Interchill album).

Considering the above I was eager to hear this E.P. (a precursor for a new album to be released in 2014) from the word go. The release opens with a re-mix of “Ancient Temples in the Southern Cape” by master of dub and vintage electronics Gaudi and I have to say the dreamy synths and reggae chords grabbed my attention immediately and the spacey vocal I can’t put a name to just adds to the appeal. Next up is a mix of the same track by Astralasia’s Swordfish. This version seems to take a more orchestral stance and although it doesn’t quite reach the heights of Gaudi’s, it’s still a nice alternative.

There’s certainly no lack of talent on this release as next up is Youth dub mix of “Pablo’s Lament” which to me blends soundtrack vocal samples, with Augustus Pablo’esque melodica heavy reggae and psychedelic dub.  The closing track “The Truth Will Set You Free” mixed by Gagarin is the nearest to Indian Classical music on the release and sets me in mind of the vibe of On-U Sounds “Pay It All Back” releases so it’s no great surprise to discover it was recorded in their studio with Skip McDonald on bass and drums.

To summarise, this E.P.I love it and can only surmise that if you’ve read this far you’re tastes are similar to mine and you’re probably playing it already.

Review by Woodzee.

Release Link 

Links for artists:

Suns of Arqa





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