Temples debut album Sun Structures released back in February has put the group at the summit of 2014’s music scene as one of the most exciting and successful new bands of the year. It’s little surprise that the album has been one of the best-selling vinyl’s of the year.
But Temples are not done for the year just yet. Sun Restructured was announced only 6 months after their debut album release and was described as a “re-animation” of their original songs done by Beyond the Wizard Sleeve (Erol Alkan and Richard Norris). The aim for them was to dig deep into the foundations of the songs and unveil the extremities and magnitudes that every song had within it. In the words of Erol Alkan: “Enjoy this trip… and it is a trip”.
The album starts with ‘Sand Dance’ (rather than ‘Shelter Song’ in the original album), so it’s already certain that things are going be moved about and be tinkered with. The whopping 7 minute song filled with laser-gun-like noises and reverb filled guitar is so sonic it makes you feel like you’re in space. The intro repeats itself heavily until lead singer James Bagshaw’s voice cuts in and all else stops abruptly… as if sucked into a black hole. The song continues with clear comparisons to the original ‘Sand Dance’ but there always seems to be some sort of tweak or unknown sound emitting from somewhere within the depths of this experiment.
The second song ‘Keep in the Dark’ fades in and out so seamlessly as a sort of interlude between the 1st and 3rd song. There’s no voices, just an abundance of synth and Indian sounding instruments which form a collection of interpretations derived from the original song.
‘Shelter Song’ – the bands most prominent single – follows on with a slight drum and bass (even house) feel to it in some parts. It’s definitely made more dancey and verging on Jagwar Ma territory; which is always a good thing.
The 4th track ‘Sun Structure’ is another great atmospheric and relaxed interlude which ends on a mesmerising acapella, taken from harmonies of the original songs chorus. However this soon breaks into the heaviest song on the album: ‘A Question Isn’t Answered’. It’s also probably the most similar song compared to its original but with much more guitar distortion. Again, this song resonates similar characteristics to great bands like The Horrors or Tame Impala (especially ‘Elephant’); a genre of psych/techno-rock which is growing increasingly popular and which this album champions so well.
The last 4 songs are composed of 2 final short interludes: ‘Test of Time’ and ‘Colours to Life’. Also a personal favourite of the album ‘Golden Throne’: a simple melody with a catchy bass line which is completely transformed half way through when a reggae style beat guitar comes in, taking you by complete surprise! Surprisingly, it fits so well into the song and it perfectly demonstrates how songs can be developed when there’s no limits of imagination and creativity. The record ends with the ideal song ‘Move with the Seasons’, which slowly brings your consciousness back into reality as you realise the trip has ended.
Sun Restructured fits into a very niche area of music. Records like these, where artists can do whatever they please with a song, are not a common occurrence. And the fact that Temples gave Beyond the Wizard Sleeve the opportunity to do this should be recognised, because they’re open to the idea that an original interpretation of a song may not always be the best. BTWS have created a completely new entity from the original album; one which flows incredibly well from song to song despite the massive range of genres and moods that every track seems to poses. It’s fun and exciting to listen to because you just don’t know what’s coming next.