One of my favorite parts of Hopscotch are the surprises each year. In the past, I never expected someone like harsh noise legend Merzbow to play in a place like Raleigh, or to discover the then-relatively-unknown Oneohtrix Point Never way back in 2011, two years before he made it big as an artist/internet troll. The pleasant obscurity I didn’t see coming this year wound up being Sun Araw.
The solo project of former Magic Lantern member Cameron Stallones, Sun Araw sounds like jumping into a cyber pool of jello and floating in it. Stallones fuses elements of old-school, 60’s psychedelia and contextualizes it in the retro future.
Like a lot of people, my first exposure to Sun Araw was in the 2012 video game Hotline Miami. Developed by Jonatan Söderström (a developer most well known for creating Adult Swim games), it was a fast-paced journey through the mind of a man under mind-control drugs as he wages war on the mob in 1980’s Miami. Its eerie, lo-fi atmosphere was complimented by its psychedelic electronic soundtrack. The first thing you encounter when starting up is this start menu, set to Sun Araw’s Horse Steppin’. He sets the stage for a wicked fever dream experience.
On Saturday, September 6th, you can experience Sun Araw’s wicked fever dream yourself. He takes the stage at Slim’s for a dimly-lit, intimate performance that should unsettle you, but in a good way. I’m looking forward to having another Hopscotch memory as unique as having my bones rattled at Merzbow.