Sonora Sunrise — The Route through the Canyon
(Trail Records , 2019, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2019-06-22
This Russian band started releasing digital EPs on Bandcamp in 2016, but The Route through the Canyon marks their label debut. Most of the nine tracks on this album have appeared on one or more of the EPs, though these are all new recordings. The group recorded all the backing tracks for this live in the studio, then added more layers and parts afterwards, giving the whole thing a very organic and natural feeling. In general style, their mostly-instrumental music can be called space rock of the more melodic variety, as opposed to the noisier variety that borrows from metal. There are certainly commonalities with groups like Onségen Ensemble or Polska Radio One, or Ole Lukkøye without the ethnic influences. They don’t indulge in heavy riffing — when they increase the energy, it’s on the drums to carry the new level, with long chords from an electric guitar. The band consists of two guitarists, Artem Demidov and Dmitry Shershnev, with Shershnev handling keyboards as well, while Demidov gets soundscapes. Alexey Shulepov and Vitaliy Khard play bass and drums, respectively, and focus more on maintaining a steady drive than doing anything fancy. There are also occasional samples of voices, presumably part of Demidov’s “sounds.” One track features a female vocalist who is not credited. Fans of Radio Gnome Invisible era Gong should be able to relate to these tunes, which could almost be instrumental excerpts from the famous trilogy. Sonora Sunrise is one of a whole host of space rock bands in Russia, but they are refreshingly free of the harsher, noisier tendencies many of their compatriots favor.
Related artist(s): Sonora Sunrise
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more