GO EXPLORING: When you’re living in a musical hotbed as dense as Portland, Oregon, collaboration is kind of a no-brainer. Over the course of the past decade, Charlie Salas Humara, Marius Libman, and Papi Fimbres have lent their talents to all sorts of Portland-area bands, ranging from smaller acts (like Humara’s disco-funk duo Panther) to full bands (à la Fimbres’ electro-tropical Paper/Upper/Cuts). Most recently, though, the three men have joined forces to form the experimental group Sun Angle. The band is a kinetic and complex blend of its individual players, part prog rock, part tropical punk, part psychedelic jazz fusion.
“We definitely vibe off each other’s styles,” said drummer Fimbres in a recent email interview. “Marius brings that fusion Miles Davis ’70s rad freakness; Charlie brings the raw grit of SST punk and the Meat Puppets; and I bring the tropical and furious sounds of Central and South American cumbias.” When talking touchstones, Humara cites everything from Black Flag and Sun Ra to the Grateful Dead and Domingo Cura as influences on Sun Angle’s sound.
For Diamond Junk, the trio’s debut album, out now on New Moss Records, the bandmates unite their seemingly disparate source material into a heady sonic landscape that, at times, threatens to swallow the listener whole. The songs jump around frenetically, moving from post-rock ambiance to thrashing punk. The album’s title, Humara says, speaks to the juxtaposition of the band’s sound. “It really sounds like us, and it describes how we feel the music should be. [We didn’t want to make] this overproduced and polished rehash,” he explained.
As for recording, the band recruited Menomena’s Danny Seim to produce, then rented a cabin on Mount Hood and went to work. “It was an awesome experience, diving deep into the psyche of hallucinogens and hot tubbing,” recalled Fimbres. “There wasn’t really a major goal going into the recording process; just have a great time and conveys that killer sound that we execute live.”
The result is a woozy 11-track collection that nicely conveys Sun Angle’s delicate balance between chaos and control. Take, for example, “Yes Beach,” a guitar-heavy post-rock offering that swells and retreats as Humara harmonizes lines about technological singularity.
For the adventurous listener, Sun Angle’s music is a thrilling breath of fresh air, not to mention a bit of a mind-expander. Says Fimbres, “This music should be listened to when you want your third eye to open up, or you’re feeling low and you want that spirit to uplift itself and soar the skies without looking back.” Amen.
Sun Angle plays an all-ages show at Muddy Waters Café (508 E. Haley St.) with And And And and Trash Berries on Wednesday, June 5 at 8 p.m. Call (805) 966-9328 or visit coolsummerrecords.com for tickets and info. The band will also play a free in-store at Warbler Records & Goods (131 E. De La Guerra St.) at 4 p.m. on June 5. Call (805) 845-5262 for info.
ALSO THIS WEEK: This Saturday, June 1, Capital Cities plays a show at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.). The up-and-coming synth rockers behind the breakout hit single “Safe and Sound” come to town as part of their current Dancing with Strangers Tour. If you still need tickets, you may need to take to your local radio station and/or Craigslist page, though, because this one is way sold out. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. Call (805) 962-7776 or visit clubmercy.com.