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solar bears-supermigration lp (planet mu)

Price: $16.99


solar bears: supermigration

A real sense of drama runs through Solar Bears’ music, and Supermigration, their second album following 2010’s critically lauded She Was Coloured In, is full of all kinds—from the intimate to the psychedelic, from the chase to the suppression. Supermigration is the result of a year and a half spent on / off in a state-of-the-art studio in the Wicklow Mountains (a far cry from the bedroom setup where they produced their debut). Compositions were road-tested through a steady stream of live performances that saw John Kowalski and Rían Trench expanding Solar Bears from a duo into a full-scale band featuring members of I Am the Cosmos, Jape, Ships and Great Lakes Mystery. And don’t overlook the two vocal-led highlights of the album featuring special guest appearances from Sarah P of Keep Shelly in Athens and the legendary Beth Hirsch (whose work here recalls her appearance on Air’s Moon Safari). Supermigration proves that despite the strong acclaim around their debut, this Ireland-based duo was simply warming up. Occasionally one hears parallels in approach to the recent work of Broadcast and the Ghost Box crew, and Solar Bears’ music also possesses an electronic sci-fi sheen as rich as their Planet Mu peers, but an emotive, nostalgic side to Supermigration also transcends the now, cutting a path through their diverse inspirations that include everything from Erik Satie to the Incredible String Band, from Cluster to Madlib. Kowalski rightly notes, “It’s fair to say we listen to a lot of music from decades gone, but we get inspired far more from spontaneity in the studio.” If pushed, Kowalski might also admit the cut “Cosmic Runner” (leaked a while ago on various sites including Pitchfork) was inspired directly by Robert Anton Wilson’s Cosmic Trigger and that “Rainbow Collision” came from a “psychedelic daydream of two stained glass rainbows colliding over a Technicolor ocean....” Solar Bears are all about layers, a sense of movement and drama, brought about by a deep process that has resulted in one of the most exciting sophomore albums this year. Welcome to the trip.


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