Label: Nine Mile Records
Artist: Golden Dawn Arkestra
Origin: USA or space?
Though the name of the band will already ring enough bells, the Golden Dawn Arkestra has managed to shroud itself in mystery. Bandleader Topaz McGarrigle, acting as Zapot Mgwana, is heralded on the band’s Facebook page as the lost son of Sun Ra himself. The rest is equally disputable, but hey… Who’s counting?
It is in that jazzy, funky tradition that the Golden Dawn Arkestra flows on ‘The Children of the Sun’. A record that is as out of this world as their live shows and as captivating as the revolting of the planets. This is the third record by the body-moving group from the United States… or Nigeria… or outer space.
The record opens with a sound that mixes surf with indie rock it would seem, driven guitars and a buzzing bass. Wacky synths create that spacy feeling. A lot of reverb and hazy passages follow and it’s easy to simply drift off and nod away to the tunes of the Golden Dawn Arkestra. A track like ‘Tropicalismo’ has a bit of a muzak vibe going on and you feel right in a fancy hotel in sunnier places. A definite highlight is the title track ‘Children of the Sun’. A funky, groovy display, with the horns and twirly keys. Nicely catchy, the song just goes on and on it seems.
‘The Ocean’ gives you a nice underwater experience following this, which is great too. Slowly flowing, floating and free of any pressure. Luckily, you wake up to the dancey dance tunes of funky and fresh sounding ‘Cosmic Dancer’. The horns are quite present here once more, with a classic minimal approach to the sound. Nothing woolly, even the harmonious vocals are nicely close-knit and tight. Often the music sounds like a runaway James Bond soundtrack from the seventies, with a sort of fuzzy warmth to the tunes.
A record that is psychedelic, funky and most magical. Enjoy it, it’s out of this world.