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Sunn Trio

Electric Esoterica

Limited edition vinyl LP/Digital

Volume 3 of the Mount Meru Anthology

Released 2020

More than 10 years after the demise of Sun City Girls as an entity, something wild and weird has now surfaced, grown and ripened in the heat and dust of the same desert. Described as “deep spirited, Arabic-music-tinged free jazz-punk and harsh exotica”, Sunn Trio’s ever-evolving ensemble digests a number of genres, spitting them back out in “creative destruction."


Carrying on a long tradition of sun-beaten Phoenix punk, Sunn Trio evokes the sweltering and hallucinatory Arizona desert.  Echoes of Sonny Sharrock, John McLaughlin, and Sir Richard Bishop can be heard in Robinson’s fiery blurs of guitar. Imagine the Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 in full force, echoing from behind a curtain of bitter haze.

Founded by Joel Robinson in 2010, the ever-changing band has been constantly recording and self-releasing material in the form of tapes and, in 2017, their first LP.  

“Wielding Indo-Arabian Saz & white lightning six-string shrapnel amidst an alligator snapping turtle’s rhythm section, this trio-quartet-sextet may also sprout horns, flutes, animal skins, or shadow gamelan to faithfully demolish that whiny and predictable listening experience of today’s tepidly lazy, underachieving experimental music scene.

“Not a “safe” environment.” -- Alan Bishop on Unrock’s Sunn Trio – Fayrus LP 

"The scorching heat of the Arizona day, and the complementary soothing coolness of its night, is whence Sunn Trio emerges. Playing a punk-spirited, Arabic-music-tinged free jazz, the ‘trio’ release cassette recordings of their live performances since at least 2015, with Radiowaves. Their new, self-titled endeavour takes the form of a vinyl record. What baffles me is that there seems to be a whole lot of people credited for a trio… Indeed, there are no less than eleven players mentioned on bandcamp, making it rather close to the scope of a big band, but I suppose they would be guest musicians, with the three core members forming the trio. Sunn Trio, or Stun Noir, clocks in at almost three quarters of an hour, with seven separate tracks of mind-boggling pseudo-composition. There is indeed no mention of what portion of it was written out beforehand, and how much of a role improvisation played, but I’m guessing that there is quite a lot of improvisation, with only perhaps some structure and loose events in the song laid out in advance. This recording features blazing guitars and nervous bass licks over an overachieving drummer and accompanied by a multitude of instrumentalists, from trumpet to lap steel guitar. The punk and metal nature of the band shows through the hazes of free avant-garde jazz, and that concoction is a bitter and amazing brew." DÆV TREMBLAY

"Sunn Trio further explores and refines their unique brand of Arabian-informed raw drone-rock on Fayrus, their second studio album after last year’s self-titled LP. Looking at the liner notes, I can’t help be reminded of the hilariously overstated credits included with Sun City Girls’ Torch of the Mystics, which included, among other things, ‘algebraic percussion,’ ‘ambient and terminally fatal ear poison,’ ‘blood of the moon lute,’ and ‘forward subliminal messages.’ The influence of the Girls on Sunn Trio’s distinct style is undeniable, but as far as I could tell every instrument listed was used on this ceaselessly eclectic record, from gongs and tamburas to shortwave radios and Gameboys. “Shayatin” and “Al-Rijal Al-Khafiya” start things off with a fiery bang, threading hypnotic harmonic minor unison riffs into fluid drumming that seems half rhythmic and half freely improvised. The next two tracks venture into some darker, electronics-heavy soundscapes, which only makes the furious loose grooves of Al-Ghayb even more incendiary. As if Fayrus wasn’t diverse enough already, “Mukhbir” takes us into swinging bebop territory, with saxophone solos and walking bass gradually being drowned out by radio interference and dissonance. At every instant on this album, every performer seems perfectly in sync with and aware of each other, no matter how disparate their playing is, and it’s this unity that keeps the ecstatically overstuffed LP from falling apart at the seams." -  Noise Not Music


Sunn Trio


Sunn Trio - Electric Esoterica

Sunn trio lp cv.jpg

Sunn Trio - S/T

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