Precision, minimalism, repetition, and unsettling deviations of said repetition — these are the building blocks of the surly universe created by Montreal's Suuns. It's a universe of high tension. A universe of resistance and surrender to all the hopelessness, anxiety and privilege of being self aware out here at the edge of history. Now, with Grammy-winning producer John Congleton at the helm, Suuns' sonic cornerstones have become heavier, more penetrating, nearly tactile. 'Hold/Still', their 3rd proper album, exists at the intersection of '20 Jazz Funk Greats' and 'Kid A' — a serpent's hiss that is also yearning and hot-blooded.
The tightly wound pulsations of Andy Stott and crippling dissonance of Demdike Stare are somehow made more visceral and palpable as Suuns hones in on the no-nosense groove at the center of each piece, no matter how complex the arrangement may be. With its caustic sub-bass, atonal guitar shrieks and the strange sense it gives you of being under white surgical lighting, "Paralyzer" should not be as captivatingly head-bobbing as it is. But there you find yourself, lost in its pulse, nearly dancing.
Let's just cut to it. The wizardry of Suuns has been massively underrated. All the better a position from which to absolutely destroy you with 'Hold/Still'. Its contents are the proof as to why Suuns absolutely deserve to be listed next to the names of dark groove adventurers like Stott, Forest Swords, Arca and Haxan Cloak. You've been proper warned.
released April 15, 2016
Benjamin Shemie - vocals, guitar
Joseph Yarmush - guitar
Max Henry - keyboard
Liam O’Neill - drums and percussion
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