The first new Sun City Girls release since Funeral Mariachi (2010), Live at the Sky Church is a performance that melds their signature alien-jazz improv, Asian-tinged psychedelia, and Middle Eastern meditations together with their ranting psychodrama. An audio and visual recording from Seattle in 2004 shows a group that is both aware and committed to its history, while still demonstrating the power of the experimental to drive an enormous cudgel through the heart of those who believe to have all the answers. Twenty One Eighty Two Recording Company has had a long history with Sun City Girls, most of which, the Girls were unaware of. While the label were not at the show, their attempt to help continue to put a part of Arizona’s musical history in the appropriate context convinced the Girls that a bunch of subversives from a town no one admits to being from to be the right people to put this document into the world. Society rarely documents the things that matter, and the label hope to change that with this release. It is a document that now stands to the interplay between three friends before that history would be sunset way before its time. As the recording begins, you already realize the experience will be too short, but what the fuck are you supposed to do but celebrate that it happened. The Girls came from Phoenix, Arizona, but now have traveled the world exploring sound, documenting travel, and attempting to be the emissaries that should represent these union of states. Live at the Sky Church illustrates this history and attempts to provide a manifesto without dictating the experience. Will you listen? Includes DVD. “LONG MAY THEY ISOLATE.” —John “Inzane” Olson (American Tapes, Wolf Eyes, etc.)
Phoenix is where Twenty One Eight Two Recording Company are from, but it isn’t where they are at. The scene is essential to nothing, but that doesn’t mean the musicians here aren’t essential. Music attempts to appeal to as large an audience as possible, but composition attempts to engage the listener in something different. Enter Sunn Trio. A punk trio that is influenced by Middle Eastern psych, free jazz, and improvisation. While not recorded in a traditional studio, these recordings represent the first studio-produced sounds from this group. The group is built around Joel Robinson and has had as many as eight-to-ten members in recordings and live performances, but more recently has been focused on a trio that composes music that challenges every notion of what rock, punk, or psych can be; however, at the same time, the music is crafted with improvisational focus and middle eastern influence that should be the basis for this generation’s new music. Robinson makes his melody maker sound like an oud, rabab, and even at times a gamelan when he isn’t using these instruments to generate the lead lines to the compositions. The music has an import that shows a deference to eastern music, while expressing a freedom that isn’t present in any modern music. We stood idle during the Arab Spring; we decimated Iraq and Afghanistan; and now we retreated from Syria as the Kurdish people struggled to survive. Sunn Trio creates music that responds to these atrocities and works to build a bridge to these people. Urgent music for urgent times. Electric Esoterica is the third album from Sunn Trio. It is the third in a series of records that revolve around Alan and Richard Bishop, Charles Gocher, W. David Oliphant, and Joel Robinson called the Mount Meru Anthology. These sounds are rooted in a history of creation in Arizona that involves people that were inspired and supported by people who do things differently. Sunn Trio wants you to listen, but don’t be fucking passive.
The early 1980s was a formative time for a wide variety of outstanding unique music coming out of Phoenix, Arizona. Experimental DIY, punk, prog rock, noise, comedy, jazz was all mixed together for a few years at any given “punk” show. In 1981, Alan Bishop and W. David Oliphant along with a rotating roster of talented musicians formed the post everything (at the time) group Destruction. This was a mix of jazz, punk, found sounds, loops, voice, and droning walls of noise. After 35 wandering years, Alan and David joined forces again along with Joel Robinson. They met up in Southern Arizona in August 2017 to record with the same post everything genre approach that had begun decades earlier. Black Hole Diaries is the result. For years music from Phoenix has been considered “sun damaged”, Twenty One Eighty Two Recording Company suggest that something much more sinister is afoot. Black Hole Diaries is music that comes from an undefined place, familiar yet not quite right. This is a sonic movie and you are both the projector and viewer of the visions that grow out of these sounds. Music that seems lost to time and perhaps even chemically induced but isn’t. A need to bring together while still isolating the experience as singular. Three composers refining their craft, but also using the tension and energy from each other to power something complete different from their own artistic statements. Experimental in collaboration, but not in purpose. “What a rebuke of capitalism might sound like if we weren’t suffocated by it.” —Donald Frankowski