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Boomkat Product Review:
RVNG Intl.'s FRKWYS series has grown more and more adventurous since its 2010 inception; no longer content with just straight-up remixes, the label's focus now is on commissioning original collaborations between notable artists of different generations. Having already teamed ARP with Henry Cow's Anthony Moore, and synth boffin David Borden with young pups James Ferraro, Laurel Halo and Dan Lopatin, FRKWYS now unveils its most ambitious and exciting release to date: an album-length collaboration between Sun Araw, M. Geddes Gengras and septuagenarian reggae legends The Congos. It's a good idea on paper, and an even better one in reality: Cameron Stallones' Sun Araw recordings have long been tending towards a prismatic, hypnagogically-enhanced dub sound, so this hook-up feels strangely like a homecoming. Gengras and Stallones journeyed to St. Catherines in Jamaica to make the project happen, and were welcomed into The Congos' home studio and "spiritual compound", where they were inducted into the ital lifestyle; by a process of improvisation and intuition, this unlikely troupe have fashioned a remarkable work of frazzled reggae psychedelia, one in which Gengras's unearthly synth treatments play a huge role; together with Stallones' treacle-thick baselines, echo-plexed guitar and hypnotic percussion, they provide a beautifully dynamic backdrop for the gorgeous, unmistakeable harmonies of Roy Johnson, Cedric Myton, Watty Burnett and Kenroy Fyffe. The DVD in the package provides a suitably smudgy account of the making of what has to be the most original, affecting and righteously trippy reggae album we've heard since Dug Out's Dadawah reissue.