Published Aug 23, 2018Immediately, from the opening few bars of the searing lead track "Little Gold Mouth," Wave Refraction — the latest missive from synth-psych duo Sungod — roars into being. Michael Sharp and Braden Balentine, who comprise this musical deity, are genre-defying instrumentalists who fuse their love of Krautrock, John Fahey and Sun Ra into a cosmic soup ripe for the slurping.
There are many facets to the duo's genre-mashing. "Hypnotism" lilts along on a gentle, downtempo groove, while "Birth & Speed Merging" shows off some improvisational chops with flute and percussion. The gorgeous "Dream Sequence" peeks through a dense curtain of fog, with the rare drum beat showing up for effect only. Sungod venture into prog territory with the title track, an army of synths at the vanguard of this slowly unfolding sequence.
The album closes with a complete shift in direction. "Von Innen" is a hydra-headed beast, at times sounding like it could be emanating from the brilliant minds of labelmates Survive — almost resembling their music for Stranger Things.
With so much territory trodden on Wave Refraction, Sungod risk alienating their listeners. The duo's expert songcraft keeps this train from leaving the tracks and crashing headlong into a miasma of confusion. Skilfully, Sungod keep it together. (Holodeck)