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FRKWYS, Vol. 9 (Sun Araw & M. Geddes Gengras Meet the Congos)

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The ninth title in RVNG International’s cleverly titled FRKWYS (read as ”freakways”) series is Icon Give Thank, a full-length collaboration between Los Angeles–based psych-rockers Sun Araw and the legendary Jamaican vocal group The Congos. The product of a whirlwind 10-day recording session, Icon Give Thank is a startling mélange of fractured, murky instrumentals and gorgeous vocal harmonies, whose very existence testifies to the massive influence that The Congos’ masterpiece Heart of the Congos (produced by Lee Perry) has had on contemporary music. Though none of the selections here could properly be characterized as reggae, all of Icon Give Thank—from the woozily synth-dusted nyabinghi of “Invocation” to the ecstatic incantations of “Happy Song"—is deeply indebted to the singular aesthetic of Heart of the Congos.


Born: Long Beach, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The working title of a project helmed by former Austinite and Magic Lantern member Cameron Stallones, Sun Araw has drawn compelling comparisons to such varied sources as Afro-beat, Neil Young, and Spacemen 3. As part of the communal label Not Not Fun, Sun Araw has released a number of well-received and continually groundbreaking full-lengths and singles, the first two of which -- 2008's The Phynx and Beach Head -- were psychedelic interpretations of myriad source materials, and led to the breakthrough...
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