Sunday, March 22, 2015

Taylor’s Universe- Børneteater, Christiania March 21st, 2015

This was just supposed to be a normal release party before a concert in the evening with the members of the former Frank Zappa live event band and some of the people that played on Robin’s great new record… but.. they managed to talk Robin into playing some mostly improvised music for about 30mins and it was great. I showed up about 16 and there were very few people I knew; actually only Claus Bøhling and Robin but later my friend Lone arrived so we hung out.  They played the entire new CD while they gave away free beer and soda at the bar and you could buy the last couple of CDs for 100kr. Quite a few people were smoking inside as they always do at this place but at least they had the door open to have some fresh air. After the CD finished the band took the stage with Robin on bass, Claus Bøhling on guitar, Karsten Vogel on sax, Thomas Thor on synths and Klaus Thrane on drums. Not only was this the first time that this group of people had been on stage, it was the first time they had all been in the same room together!  Anyway, they played a 30min jam that had some planned parts but everyone got to do solos except Robin and there was some great guitar and keyboard jams. Robin might not admit it but I saw him smiling quite a few times, and I sense he enjoyed this more than he might admit. It was so fun to see them play.. They should book a gig at the Jazzhouse…  A very rare event to witness as Robin rarely plays live. I have no idea when the last time was.. Such nice people to talk with as well. Danish music heritage..

Papir- Live at Roadburn (El Paraiso Records)

The instrumental Danish three piece are back with a new single CD or double LP from their live concerts at the amazing Roadburn festival 2014. There is also a limited edition version with an extra 10” with two more tracks but this is sold out now unless you contact the band directly. I have been following the band since the very early days and was even at the band’s first LP (the yellow one) release party and have seen them play in a lot of interesting places. It is great to see them rise to the top of the underground psych scene and playing Roadburn and Freak Valley Festival, etc.. Each album side features one song except for side B, which has two, each over 10mins. While you will recognize the main musical themes from each of the songs, the band really improvise and take each track to new heights and different directions each night they play them. True musicians who search for something new and magical in the music and often find it! Amazing version of the song Monday. In addition to the tracks you will recognize, if you own the records, there are two new improvisations/ tracks, simply called Live 1 and Live 2. The band was really psyched and on fire at these two concerts and the energy is well captured on the recording and the mix by Jonas Munk of Causa Sui. This is a great live record and I think you will dig it for sure if you are a fan of instrumental music with a lot of killer, guitar, bass and intense drumming. A great glimpse of a band still taking their music one step forward..  I should mention that the 10" is two new studio tracks, one 7 and the other 11 mins and not taken from the live concerts. 

Band at the release party at Skoven Kalder record store.. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Mind Flowers and Magic Jove- Lygten’s Kro, København March 20th,. 2015

I have not been to many concerts so far this year but I really wanted to see these two new young bands. I was supposed to go talk to the Gas Giant guys and see them rehearse but it was cancelled so I ended up hanging out with my friend Tom and Kasper at the new record store, Skoven Kalder in Nørrebro.  Tom and I arrived about 2230 and there was a lot of people at this traditional old Danish bodega, bar. The band was set up in the corner of a small pretty dark room. I said hello to Tim, the drummer of Magic Jove, who I know from playing with him in Agusa. He introduced me to the other guys.

          Anyway, the band opened with Ashes of your Soul, a very Robin Trower inspired track that will take you back to 1974! The young band are really amazing at channelling that early 70s hard rock vibe but with a lot of blues mixed in. they are not afraid to stretch things out a bit here and there also. Really nice dynamic between the drummer and the bass player. They have really nice dynamics. Guardian Angel is a mid paced track and again reminds me of Trower. This is a shorter more straight up rock track with a very focused solo. Really good players for such a young band. The next track, Track you Down, was a slower blues track with really passionate singing. Tim did a 3-4 min drums solo, which caught me by surprise. You hardly ever see drum solos these days much less in the 3rd song! Cool… I shot a video of Guardian Angel but it was really dark. Please check out the great video below with the first three songs as played at this show as well. 

All the songs except one were from their two EPS, which you can check out on bandcamp. The band kind of lost the audience a bit on some of the slower bluesy tracks but I thought they were excellent songs. I was really blown away by the band. Very cool.. The band has a new 10” release with 4 tracks following up on their digital only EP called In the Fields from 2014. It is made in only 300 copies.

Set List: Ashes of your Soul, Guardian Angel, Track you Down, Trumlåten, Drag me Down, In Chains, So Long, Black Clouds in Western Skies, Sonic Understanding

The Mind Flowers are a pretty new Danish trio who have a 7” record out on the local, Leviation record label. I had known the drummer and guitarist for some years but never seen this line up play before. The band started off with a track very inspired by House of the Rising Sun by the Animals. They had a cool sound and it was a mix of 60s inspired psychedelic rock, sounding a lot like so many Danish bands (you can only use those same chords and strumming patterns in so many ways!) but when they stepped more into the 70s hard-blues rock, that is when I thought they were best and had a more original sound. I enjoyed it a lot but after a while people started smoking inside and it was a really small room and I could not take it so I had to leave. I think I saw about 45mins of their set. Really excellent playing by all the musicians and the singer has an excellent voice (could have used some more delay on the vocal though!). They have only play playing for a year or so.. Cool band also. Great night of music.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Taylor’s Universe- From Scratch (Marvel of Beauty Records MOBCD025)

Multi-instrumentalist, Robin Taylor is back with 7 new compositions featuring 11 Danish musicians, some very well known from the Danish 70s music scene (Karsten Vogel- sax and clarinet) and Claus Bøhling (Guitar) as well Thomas Thor on mini-moog, Klaus Thrane on Drums and Robin plays primarily bass but also all the keyboards except the mini-moog. There are a lot of guests: Jacob Mygind- sax, Carsten Sindvald- sax, and Jytte, Jan and Louise on voices.  Other Meetings starts things off with some fantastic guitar by Claus. Beta X is a strange more experimental track with a lot of synths, voices, vocoder, and strange things going on in the background. A very different mood from the rest of the record and a lovely organ sound and solo. The end is really far out. Balcony People has a bit of a dark mood to start and some samples or voices at the slow start. Interrail is the longest track at 9½ mins and starts off slowly. Claus kicks in around 1½ mins with some intense soloing that is really quite tortured as the whole piece grows in intensity and then the happy female voices come in, just to mess with your head. Some horns squeeze through every now and then but then the track falls down the well and disappears into a strange place and there is a struggle for dominance and then one prevails and the main theme escapes. Very cool song. Laura’s Lullaby is a beautiful piece of piano and sax-clarinet music but a bit predictable. Für Louise is next and features some lovely horn playing and the occasional guitar, which really makes the track anything but predictable. A dark mood is created by the keyboards but the rest a light and happy feeling. Later there is a really nice mini-moog solo by Thomas Thor. Autumn River is nearly 7 mins long and starts with a slow droning synth fade in before some spacey guitar with a lot of delay starts to build things up against the keyboard line. This track is all about highlighting the creative guitar work of Claus Bøhling, pity the solo is faded out at the end. Cool record, again. Thanks Robin…

Lizards Exist- Lizards Exist (Private release Croatia 2015)

Lizard Exist is a new band from Croatia playing instrumental music with a focus on obtaining authentic 70s sound using only old analog gear. The band has released this CD in just 100 copies and is looking for a label to release it on vinyl, as it should be. It was all recorded live in the studio in March 2014. The first track is entitled Bamija. It starts off with a heavy bass line and some spacey guitar and then a kind of jazzy theme begins. A lot of different directions are explored and Roko plays some really nice keyboards as Sinisa takes the main lead with the guitar parts. About 4½ mins in the track really gains in intensity and they get a bit psyched out. Ljetni Hit starts straight out the end of the first track quite seamlessly. The band is experimenting quite a bit at the start and around 3½ mins a more cohesive track comes together as the guitar leads the way and the keyboard player compliments with some space sounds and then takes the lead for a bit. A short drums solo kicks in a bit before 6mins and then a great organ jam takes off for the rest of the track ending at 7mins. 58 takes up the next 7½ mins and starts off quite funky and then goes onto a section that reminds me of GONG but without the sax and then they switch direction with a nice guitar break and cool organ to accompany. Great song. The CD ends with the 17min track, Anunnaki Dance. This has so many cool moods in it as well but starts off with a sort of space surf guitar with some spacey accompaniment. I should also mention the excellent bass and drums.. A very cool band. I look forward to follow their progression. If you dig instrumental bands with a bit of jazz, kraut and tiny bit of space rock thrown in.. check them out on the link here... 

Night Flights Vol 1 (Agitated Records 034)

This is basically a solo record by Rich Millman from Carlton Melton. Andy Duvall provides guitar on one of the five tracks (Alpha Jerk) but the rest is Rich…. I first listened to this record with my friend Magnus at the end of a long night of hearing music. It was around 3am when we put the needle down on the record and the journey began. Night Flight starts things off and this is a slow flowing synth drone that really floats and evolves slowly and really makes yu feel like you floating in space.. If you did not completely drift off into space, the next track Orgins might take you there. There is a really long delay on the short organ like sequences that make this one really spacey. Side B starts off with a repeated synthesized beat as the synths fade up and sort of buzz and then another spacey sound, perhaps from guitar starts to pass through the soundscape. This track has a bit of edge to it.. Like the space ship is going to crash? Later on Rich or Andy plays a nice guitar solo to compliment the in your face synth drone. Cool stuff. Lure also makes us of long delays making the simple changes sort of get amplified to make it really spaced out. Corspe Strut closes this album of Night Flights again with some primitive percussion and a sort of unsettling feeling compared to the opening tranquillity of the record. I guess there will be a vol 2?? Thanks Rich.. I would describe this album as music to float into space with. Enjoy…

Black Rainbows- Hawkdope (Heavy Psych Sound HPS022)

The Italian three piece, Black Rainbows, are back with another blast of Fu Manchu inspired spaced out stoner rock. I was a huge fan of the last record they made. It really blew me away so I was really excited to hear this one. The promo material says monster Magnet meets Hawkwind and as those are two of my favourite bands, this set the bar pretty high. The Prophet starts things off with a straight up fuzzed out stoner riff and a vocal a lot like FuManchu and some spaced out sounds in the mid- section of the guitar solo make it more spaced out. I really love how Gabrielle is not afraid to take long guitar solos and not just make them 20 seconds and back to the chorus and riff like most bands in this genre. Wolf Eyes is another shorter rocker in the same vein but a slower more spacey end with a spoken word sample going under the solo that fades the track out. Next up is the great Hawkdope track which is really spaced out and has a great repetitive riff and probably the most Hawkwind like except the vocal. No Fuel No Fun is a mid-paced tracked with some nice psychedelic effects on the vocal. Hypnotize my soul with rock and Roll is straight up grooving rocker with some massive fuzz and soul…. Jesus Judge is straight up stoned spaced out riff rock! Killer Killer Fuzz is even more fuzzed out in sound. The Cosmic Picker ends the record and along with the title track is my other favourite from the record. While I was totally blown away with Black Moon and it is still my favourite record by this band, this is another great one… Cool band..

NATE HALL- FEAR OF FALLING TAPE (Breathe Plastic Records)

Nate Hall is the guitar player from the band, US Christmas but he is probably more well known for his solo work with Scott Kelly and others. I really dug his solo LP from a few years ago and in the last year or so he has released two cassette tapes. One of them was really far out called Electric Vacuum Roar. Fear of Falling has also been released on CD on the Heart and Crossbone Label. Anyway, this tape features 5 songs and is very much in the vein of the music he makes with US Christmas. Unlike his other tape, this is recorded with a full four piece band (guitar, bass, drums and percussion). Heat and Sway displays that melodic spacey semi-tortured guitar that is so present in US Christmas in this first track. Really Cool psychedelic stuff with two different lead guitars in the left and right channels at some point. There is some singing but that is not the focus on this track.  77 is another emotional track with a slow stoned groove and vocal with the occasional guitar solo punched in the gaps. The Traveling Sun is stripped down to just Nate’s voice and guitar and is quite an emotional story.,  Flip the tape over for the track, Fall. This one the guitar riff reminds me of a really stoned CCR song. There is a very intense guitar solo on this track.  Fear of Falling is the last track continues the slow stoney, emotional psych rock with a focus on the heavy distorted guitar and powerful vocals.  If you like Nate’s other work and US Christmas, you will dig these new tracks for sure. Powerful…..

Carlton Melton/Kandodo3 Split LP (Creepy Crawl 001)

This is the first new material from Carlton Melton in quite some time and the first release on this new label, Creepy Crawl. Kandodo 3 is a sort of Heads off shot band, which I have never heard before. The CM side has three tracks and the Kandodo side one long space out. CM starts off with a track called Footprints (which you will also be able to hear on the CM meets Dr Space release due out in May on Space Rock Productions, along with the following track, Flags). A steady spacey track with Andy on drums and John mcBain on guitar and E-bow. It is all about the layers as the riff is pretty simple and repetitive. One thing you will notice is a much cleaner, less low fi production that you hear on most CM releases. Flags is next features Brian on drums and Rich and Andy on guitars. The title for this one is perfect, the mood of the guitar and vibe is great as it is some sort of anthem but a slow stoned one. Chinoteague finishes the side and features just Rich and Andy. A melodic uptempo rocker. Nice guitar playing. Flip the record over and enter into an entirely different world with Kandodo3 and a track called High on Planes, Drifter. Wayne- drums, keys, Simon- guitar, and Hugo-bass. This track starts off as a spacey guitar drone with minimal drums and bass until around the 9min point. Amazing spacey guitar and the build up really has tension that lasts for a long time as you wait for the explosion… Will it explode, maybe? You have to find out for yourself.. Cool record.

Enos/Mangoo split 7” (h42 records, H42-012)

This will be released on March 26th but go on sale on March 1st. Only 300 copies on clear (50), black (50), clear blue (100) and clear orange (100). It is a new split 7” with Enos from xx and Mangoo from Finland. Son of a Gun by Enos starts things off in a quite heavy way with a real rocking groove with a heavy guitar riff from this band with two drummer, two guitars, bass and vocals (six guys total). Awesome song.
Mangoo, has previously released a record on Small Stone, so you know what genre you are getting… The Grey Belly is a more mainstream stoner rock with the way the vocals are sung but the music is pretty adventurous with a lot of cool elements like congas, some spaced out keyboards, unexpected jams in strange directions… then back to the normal… A very nice 7” with two long songs..

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Pretty Things- BOUQUETS FROM A CLOUDY SKY (Madfish 2015)

This is a very cool single CD sampler to promote the 13 CD, 2 DVD, 10”, book, box set of the complete Pretty Things due out at the end of Feb. It is only made in 2000 copies and cost £125 plus £20 for shipping in the UK from Burning Shed. I can write more once I get mine. Anyway, tons of rare material on this box and some very cool tracks on the promo cd to wet your appetite. This compilation features many bonus and rare tracks including the first band single from 1964, Don’t bring me Down. A few from their most famous record, SF Sorrow are also featured. The version of Helter Skelter by the Beatles is really unique and I really liked it a lot.

          The material for the Midnight to Six DVD is really well put together. The 2hr documentary has a lot of great black and white photage and they often show the entire track, not cut it up, which is great. The SF Sorrow live from Abbey Road, where it was actually recorded, is pretty recent and the first time they ever played all the songs in order from the record and including the narration by Arthur Brown and a guest spot by David Gilmour! Wow..The promotional video (13mins) from 1966 is really far out (see below)..

          The book is filled with loads of cool pictures, concert ads, newspaper articles about riots, arrests, etc.. and a lot to read as well. It is about 100 pages long. Great work from the people at Madfish.. Can’t wait to get mine around the first of March…

Shiva’s Nat- Gimme Your 7” (H42 Records H42-009)

Shiva’s Nat, the local Copenhagen rock band is back with a new 7”, on the heels of their highly successful debut on Bilocation Records, home to many cool Danish acts. There is very little information on the 7” sleeve but if you go to the web site you can find that Maria, the drummer from Cherry Overdrive (they broke up in 2013) is playing the drums on these tracks. Side A starts off with Gimme Your and is break from the blues rock of the first record and a pretty hard hitting 60s (due to the organ sounds and more low fi production) garage rocker. Powerful, raw vocal also. Flip the record over for Lovebug, a melodic sex driven simple 60s inspired track as well with a very cliché organ line, used in 100s of songs but it rocks! It is a different direction from the band’s debut album but solid tracks.  Rock and Roll…

Slow Order- Hidden Voices (ITALY 2015)

Slow Order is an instrumental four piece from Bologna, Italy.  The CD features 7 instrumental tracks of heavy metal rock and roll. This is the follow up to the bands previous EP entitled, Pyramid towards Oblivion.  Bokor’s Call opens things up also includes a short slow section with some synth before heading out with some ripping guitar and then back to some different riffs. Someone in the band also makes some occasional evil sounding vocalizations that you can’t quite make out. Crusade of Visigoth continues the heavy slightly more evil doomy groovy. The mid- section is again spaced out with some double tracked guitars and synths before returning to the main refrain. Drunken is a track where I really noticed the intensity of the Ale on the drums. It really comes across like he pounds the shit out of the drum kit. Garage Anthem starts off fast and furious and then becomes a bit like Candlemass and then back to the thrash metal. Wow.. In the Centre of the Sun is another more metallic track with intense guitar chord sequences and a really spacey ending with some chanting that leads directly into Pazuzu. By this point, some of the guitar riffs are starting to sound too much a like. He Dave does throw in a bit vibrato though on this one and some layers of synth sounds as he uses a cool effect on his guitar before going back to the well used riffs. Sabbatai Zevi has the occasional ringing bell to compliment the soundtrack of the end of the world. Wisdom of the Universe ends this record with some acoustic guitar and a sort of sitar like drone sound and later a synth drone and some percussion. A very cool way to come down from this heavy trip.

A mixture of Karma to Burn style stuff with more riffing metal and a bit doom thrown in with some space parts in the middle of a few tracks. That pretty much describes the whole record.

Molior Superum- The Inconclusive Portrait 7” (H42 Records H42-006)

This is a new Swedish band from Gothenburg that I have never heard. This 7” plays on 33rpm. It only has one song that is split into part 1 and 2. The band is really inspired by 70s rock and roll and but thrown in a good dose of the stoner vibe as well. The band describes their music as Bloozy groove n' roll, the fuzzy-faced lovechild of 70's hard rock. They throw in a touch of organ around the chorus part of the song here and there, The 2nd part starts with another groove and some great bass playing and a lot of riffing. There is a nice guitar solo towards the end of the track but not much soloing in this band. A really solid track. If you check out their bandcamp site they have 4 releases this band.

Seedy Jeezus- Seedy Jeezus (Lay Bare Recordings 006/Blown Music 010)

Seedy Jeezus is a high energu psychedelic rock band from Australia. This is another record that Tony Reed (Mos Generator) has guested on and engineered. Side A features 5 tracks while they space out more on side 2 with only 2 longer songs. The record starts off with Shakin’ the Fuse, a totally untempo rock and roller with really in your face, semi-pressed-screamed vocals. Wormhole slow things down and features the first of many great guitar solos but this is by Tony and not Lex (who also sings the vocals) as he really rips it up.  Universal Overdrive brings back the high energy rock and roll. Chasing the Dragon’s tail features some wild riffing but a more slow and stoned solo and space out section compared to the rest of the frantic track. Pick UP ends side A with another intense in your face track.

          Flip the record over and start off with How ya Doin’.. So far so good. I love this track the way it has a slow build and a more relaxed and less pressed, stressed vocal and then the amazing interaction between the guys when they space out and jam. Tony plays some Moog Taurus stuff on this track. Later on there is a drum solo and the band really takes off one more time. Awesome track, which you can hear below. Sun in my Car is a really fast song with some wild intense guitar riffing as the band tries to follow. There is a small down section but mostly just ripping guitar and intense playing. This is a very cool release and amazing artwork by Mr. Frumpy.  If you like bands like Lecharous Gaze, Radio Moscow, Nebula, MC5, etc.. you will dig this…