Locally based lads Hypnotized seem to have a pathological fear of standing still musically, whereby no sooner have they released something, they’ve moved on. If earlier efforts such as their Say It demo tape and the Telesto EP saw a young band making tentative steps toward breaking away from the shackles of their influences (Animal Collective’s joy, the anchoring of hip hop and the fuzz of a number of acts on the Not Not Fun imprint) then last year’s Sunhouse single blew that away by getting really out there. Eschewing the structure of more linear efforts such as ‘Ghost Walk,’ they produced something more akin to sound design and quite simply created their own world of audio for you to reside in. We could understand if it was too much for some.
So it’s extremely exciting to report that this set comprised of material for a forthcoming debut album is really coming together. There’s still significant levels of otherworldiness, with an underwater feeling perpetuated by gorgeously obfuscated, yet melodically recognisable synths reminiscent of Boards of Canada or the other more ambient parts of Warp’s ouvre. The big reveal is the last ten minutes of the set where they push the noise and dance buttons simultaneously, with a thumping drum pattern and blissful synth line, reminiscent of Fuck Buttons’s belligerent, yet club informed sounds. Catch them at their headline show at The Joker next month for the next stage of their evolution that will feature live drums.
Sun Araw’s last visit to Brighton was nearly five years back, in November 2010, but in terms of Cameron Stallone’s output it may as well be a lifetime ago. At that time he was starting to progress away from the psych-rock jams of his heinously underrated band Magic Lantern toward the nebulous dub informed guitar workouts of his early work as Sun Araw. Now, has reached a place unlike much else, culminating in the full on weirdness of most recent album Gazebo Effect. It was a struggle to see how something with no real identifiable rhythm or melody could be represented live.
The answer, to an extent, was that it wasn’t. After opening with a track from the most recent release which featured completely arrhythmical drums, car alarm synths and skronking saxophone – the sum total of which felt like someone was using the outer reaches of free jazz as a design for a futuristic computer game soundtrack – it turned out be he would be representing more of last years intriguing Belomancie LP. It’s one of the most rewarding records of recent times, initially coming across as some lost vaporwave in a time delay capsule and seemingly inspired by equal senses of dislocation and hazy Californian heat. Chaotically relaxing, it’s a journey through film stills of stylistically different pieces and the material played from it even outside the context of the album as a whole excels live.
Somehow, he marshals his 3-piece multi-instrumental band, through music with only the loosest thread of structure. ‘Scrim’ is probably the most standard thing played, where seemingly unrelated drum beats converge into a dub like rhythm over which Stallones presents scraps of muffled, yet metallic sounding, piercing guitar. ‘Huff’ uses a sample sounding something like insect noise to produce an ever changing, yet groovable rhythm, over which his hazy, lazy vocal and burst of guitar call to mind sunsets, sandy beaches, yet with an ever present feeling of dread behind it. Perhaps the best of the lot is ‘Remedial Ventilation’ that uses a breathing sample that slowly over the course of the track becomes more like a snort, it draws you in and before you know it, you are stood right there in Cameron Stallone’s world, even within the dark and slightly dank confines of The Green Door Store.
Which we guess, was totally the idea.