NPR

First Listen: Sunwatchers, 'II'

The psychedelic ensemble's new album is a potent brew of free jazz, droning Thai melodies, minimalism and mutant funk.
Sunwatchers' II comes out Feb. 2. Source: Peter Kerlin

When you live with music long enough, the lessons you learn take on different characters. How you experience the lyrics of 's "Don't Let It Bring You Down" as a 20-something can be profoundly different decades later. The true is same of challenging, instrumental music. The ferocious free jazz and raw, unwinding compositions of saxophonist were an inspiration to over a decade ago. In numbers that sometimes swelled to 18 members, the Athens, Ga.-based band applied Ayler-ian noise to Southern rock in a manic carnival atmosphere. Having witnessed the spectacle myself back in the day, it was fun and weird and occasionally debaucherous, but Dark Meat was only scratching the surface of what made Ayler so pivotal.

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