Golden Dawn Arkestra
Children of the Sun
Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., June 1, 2018
The wild melange of Afrobeat, P-Funk, and Sun Ra cosmic jazz proffered by the Golden Dawn Arkestra is handcrafted for the stage, where costumes and dancers catch the eye and the band/audience energy exchange shoots for the stars. Capturing the Austin psychedelic cult's mania on vinyl is thus – unsurprisingly – a challenge. Children of the Sun, the group's third LP, instead takes advantage of the studio. Processed vocals, tight arrangements, and layered production utilizes studio technology to make the tracks sound like they're being piped in from another, hazier dimension. The band worries less about creating tracks that hew to its own formula and more about serving each tune's needs. Soul balladry on "The Ocean," the desert-fried acid rock of "Promised Land," and the driving garage rock of "The Wolf" stretch the collective's wings in unexpected directions without sounding like radical shifts. Booty-shakers like the spacey disco-fied "Cosmic Dancer" and the funky African title track keep the faith with the band's traditional values without sounding out of place. No matter in what direction GDA takes Children of the Sun, it all leads to the same destination.