Sunfighter ~ Golden Eagle Of Illumination

SunfighterSunfighter jets across the sky, leaving behind a golden glow, a tanned stream of light that lingers up above. Electric guitars provide the necessary thrust, serving as the music’s afterburner, but in reality the climb up to cruising altitude is a smooth and steady one.

Golden Eagle Of Illumination is skewed toward the psychedelic, but it doesn’t lean on the slightly jaded music that first came to prominence with the advent of flower power and the promised sunrise that never came. There isn’t a flanger or a phaser pedal in range. Instead, the music has shed its skin, evolving into an instrumental, ambient rock hybrid that is as incendiary as it is placid. This is music for the world as we know it, music for the 21st Century.

Steven Siciliano’s music is splashed with wide-eyed color. Introducing a slightly distorted tone under the drone doesn’t darken the music, as it so often does. Fiery layers of distortion occupy the half notes, gently yet noticeably squeezing their grime into the harmony, the tonal scattering of saharan dust, blown on the wings of the wind.

Golden Eagle Of Illumination is a never-ending musical spiral that smoothly transcends and tranquilizes with its lilac and violet aurora. “Midnight Suns” is a chilled track, with smeared guitar improvisations, a cloudy coating of drone and a slow beat. They combine and twist together, covering the black windshield and making for a slow, intoxicating ride. The drone collides with the guitar, but they share the sky and her endless freeway. The music doesn’t really change its pace. Down below, the continent slowly crawls away; the music’s flying at what must be a relatively slow speed, despite the speedometer telling us otherwise. We fly over a white ocean of feathers, where clouds disappear to let in a cool expanse.

Along with the drums, the occasional looped riff brings a definite structure to the music, but nothing has really changed. We’re just flying over a densely populated city, a network of skyscrapers and smaller, tetris-styled blocks that live deep in the inner city jungle. “Laid Them Upon The Desert Floor” has a tranquil yet progressive feel, a hypnotic rhythm and a strange, shimmery loop that wavers in and out of reality. “Sun Echoes” is laden with electric guitars and a cool, Pan American style bassline that keeps the music cruising. With its bent notes and plenty of wild vibrato, Sunfighter brings a real, audacious rock solo to the cool ambient air. Despite the flurry of notes, the music is never confined. Sunfighter retains an amazing sense of space, even from the claustrophobic constriction of the cockpit, sticking to his limitless, broadening sound with bravery. The overdriven guitar never tries to smother the ambient layers. Instead, they hang tight, like a flight helmet nestling on the face of the pilot. It feels spacious because Sunfighter loops the bass, giving his improvisations the airy space they need; they fly like thrill-seeking eagles. Sunfighter has given us a trip to remember – the music is a fighter jet that takes us away to where we want to be, cruising at forty thousand. (James Catchpole)

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