Suns of Arqa – Ancient Temples

Suns of Arqa

[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

How often does a person get this many legends on an EP? Youth’s on here, Astralasia’s on here and Gagarin’s on board with a mix recorded at Adrian Sherwood’s On-U-Sound studio. Is this for real!? Two tracks are versions of ‘Ancient Temples in the Southern Cape’ and they couldn’t be more different. For one thing, Astralasia amps his mix up with a bouncing bass line that sounds more fusion than dub. I mean, he really charges up those frets – or maybe he’s gone fret less for this – making bodies move and minds catch fire. Gaudi’s mix kicks it off in style with a mid-section moog freak out you’ve got to hear to believe. The tension is remarkable!

Youth duly appears with his take on the track ‘Pablo’s Lament’ but there’s no need for recrimination. It commences with a nervous, unsettled Dan Rather projecting calm as best he can with the thunder of those inimitable Rastafarian drums surrounding him and runs wild with the feel of unchained emotional expression all kept in tip-top shape by one of the most well-known producers out there. His name graces more than a few singles and albums by Alien Sex Fiend, how’s that for taking it to the nightmare zone. Psychedelic yes, but also somehow ground shattering with it’s reverberations. I’d go so far as to state this one could shift a person’s bowels, try not to evacuate prematurely.

And sadly, we conclude this vital release with Gagarin doing his best to send the chills up and down your spine with his mix of ‘The Truth Will Set You Free’. The atmosphere of Sherwood’s studio must have been a factor in bringing out these bone rattling highs and changes of mood which can only be described as spectacular.

Whoever you are, Angel Eye, you’ve brought the hairs on the back of my neck to full attention. The intensity of this vocalist is like a searing metal shard burning into the ice; keep your distance unless you want to get burnt.

This is only the opening salvo before Suns of Arqa’s new album “Get Illuminated” drops in the first quarter of 2014. They’ve been doing their thing for almost 35 years(!) now and this is my first time listening to them. How I hadn’t heard this bunch before mystifies me… I have a lot of catching up to do. Better late than never.

Suns Of Arqa ‎– Ancient Temples
Interchill Records, ICHILLEP010
Digital 2013

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