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Sunsquabi’s triumphant ‘Instinct’ LP is a 10-track sonic journey into the evolution of their improvisational jamtronica sound [Album Review]

SunSquabi is one group that has toed the line between electronic dance music and rhythm-driven funk for years. The three-piece Colorado act, comprised of Kevin Donohue, Josh Fairman and Chris Anderson, has been releasing music under GRiZ’s former imprint All Good Records since 2016.

Now the self proclaimed “hydro-funk trio” has sought to bring the live experience to the studio in their latest independently released full-length album, Instinct. The 10-track offering represents a full evolution of their creative chemistry in the studio and improvisational sound on the stage — all packaged into one cohesive sonic journey.

“It’s kinda like breathing, honestly. We can communicate directly with each other both verbally and non-verbally, onstage and off,” says Donohue of the band’s creative process. “That connection will take the music collectively where we all want to go.”

Instinct is a biological-themed journey of evolution. With the addition of Josh Fairman (bass/synth bass) last year, and new levels of compositional prowess and sound design, Instinct makes evident that the group is dedicated to a forward-thinking musical trajectory and all-out experimentation. With standout tracks in “Night Moth,” “Land Sloth,” and “Snapping Turtle,” the entire work culminates as a symbiotic masterpiece — between the liquidy, funk-led basslines of Fairman on the synths, the crisp percussive work of Anderson, ad Donohue repeatedly shredding the guitar with solo riffs.

The album is not without its roster of strong collaborator either. From the album’s open track, “Pangolin,” featuring Pretty Lights and Break Science’s Chris Karns on the turntables, to The String Cheese Incident’s Jason Hann on percussion in “Fisher Cat,” to Spencer Anderson on violin in “Chrysalis,” each collaborator brings a fresh new flavor to Sunsquabi’s defined repertoire.

Each song’s namesake inspired by a creature or biological element is a reflection of every track taking on a distinct life of its own. With every track, fans are tethered to an avant-garde spaceship with SunSquabi at the helms of their far-out frequencies. Buckle up, you’ll find yourself jamming to their newest studio album all day long.