It’s not easy to be a live band like Suuns. When you make spare, often trancelike music that relies on repetition, fueled by loops and electronics as well as live players, you need to be more than competent on your instruments; you need to be technically almost flawless. Their music can indeed put you in a trance, but the communion is broken if anything — almost anything — is out of time or introduced at the wrong moment. The amazing thing about Suuns is that nothing ever is — if “precision” was their band name instead, it wouldn’t be wrong. Their latest album Hold/Still continues their streak of infallible, tight production, made all the more impressive this time by the fact that they reputedly recorded most of it live. Hearing the songs live, it’s somewhat easier to believe. Suuns songs often tend toward modern paranoia and anxiety, but in execution of them, the band members’ melding of the human and technological is at ease.
On this winter night, the band played two full sold-out sets at Saint Vitus, an intimate, appropriate clime for the band’s dark, almost claustrophobic sound. Drawing on elements of krautrock and electronic music, Suuns’ sound is as distinct as it is penetrating. If escapist fare like “La La Land” and whatever pabulum won most Grammys last night is hailed as the right cultural output for our times precisely due to its unreality, Suuns owes equal claim to the title precisely because it sounds like just this moment. When vocalist Ben Shemie intones the single lyric from “Resistance,” over a fractured guitar line and its vaguely militaristic backbeat, you almost forget that this song was actually written in 2015. It meant something different to me when I first saw it, nearly two years ago to the date.
To that end, another exciting song to see come to fruition was “Infinity,” a number the band has worked on in various forms for several years, but finally laid down for Hold/Still. After a solid dose of newer material for the bulk of the set, Suuns took us back to their first record, Zeroes QC, for a bit, with “Arena” making an appearance, and the set closing with one of their best early songs, “Pie IX.” If Hold/Still is any guide, this band’s next few years are going to be equally fertile ones.
I recorded this set with Schoeps MK4V microphones and a soundboard feed. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!
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Stream the complete show:
Brooklyn, NY USA
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Recorded and produced by acidjack
Soundboard + Schoeps MK4V (at SBD, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CC>Izotope Ozone 5>Audacity 2.0.5>FLAC ( level 8 )
Tracks [Total Time 1:01:12]
01 Images du Futur
02 Music Won’t Save You
03 Powers of Ten
11 Edie’s Dream
12 Pie IX