FRKWYS Vol. 9: Sun Araw & M. Geddes Gengras Meet The Congos, ICON GIVE THANK.

Whether it be Nick Zinner vibing in Etiopia or Damon Albarn tripping out with the likes of Kwes., Actress and Richard Russell in the Democratic Republic of the Congo the concept of hurling propulsive musical spearheads out into grounds scarcely blemished by the guilt-burdened weight of the so-called Western world is incontestably en vogue contemporarily. Subversive indie RVNG (the discographic home to ravetastic NYC duo Blondes) has united previously acquainted experimentalists Cameron Stallones (aka Sun Araw) and M. Geddes Gengras with legendary reggae stalwarts The Congos for the ninth and perhaps most notable volume of their FRKWYS series, alumni of which include Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti, Julianna Barwick, Anthony Moore and Excepter amongst others, and its release merits far greater acclaim than it will, quite unfortunately, inevitably garner.

FRKWYS Vol. 9 is, as expected, an effort drenched in an irrevocably dub impression. For its conception Stallones and Geddes Gengras relocated to St. Catherines, Jamaica, a southeastern parish of the island forty-odd kilometres outside of Kingston where they 'ate, slept, and smoked' with the revered vocal group. The result is a perfectly collaborative infusion of freeform electronics and tightly harnessed harmonies: from the glitchy rhythmic clutter and welcomingly repetitive drones of Happy Song to the bleary slink of Food Clothing and Shelter, the record feels loose, free and liberating both in effect and impact. The hazy slump of Sunshine could, if awarded the right sort of exposure, dim the acclaim around Peaking Lights whilst the tribal bongos and baritone burbles of Jungle recall much of what made the Studio One Ska compilations quite so memorable. Incidentally, Cedric Myton's warming falsetto sounds simian enough to have been snipped out of Laika Come Home thus accentuating the Albarn comparison, albeit had the Spacemonkeyz rework record rolled down the gentle inclines of an overwhelmingly religious slant. "Get together; get together: and praise alright" for FRKWYS Vol. 9 is laudably estimable. And as the cosmic waft of Thanks and Praise drifts up, up and away into nothing we're left to thank "Jah" for this most holy of matrimonies.