Sunday, April 19, 2015

Roadburn Festival, Tilburg, Holland 2015

April 9th
7:30 I am sitting at the gate waiting to fly to Amsterdam and then catch the train to Tilburg. I did not sleep well last night so I am really tired. It will make today quite tough.. This year I am staying at a B&B quite close to the venue with my friend Anders and all my Danish friends are camping out.

9:30 All went smooth. There were about 10 or more on this flight going to Roadburn, some from Sweden, Norway, Finland as well as Danes…

10:10  We got a train pretty quickly today to Breda and then to Tilburg. A fast train for 20€. I am sitting with some Swedish guys, one from Umeå, who has a band that used to be called Magic Lanterns but are now called UFO over Lapland. His friend Anders is from Malmo. All very cool people. Amazing weather today.. Sunny and warm..

11:09 We are now on the train to Tilburg and will arrive at 11:23.. Quick trip, which is nice as I might get a chance to rest.

12:00 At the B&B and got my wristband and an all access pass this year. Thanks Walter.. I promise to only put it to good use. This will be my 10th year in a row writing about Roadburn! Wow…. 10 years of my life…

13:30 I was starving so I had to go get some food before Anders had arrived. Schnitzel, fries and salad.. A lot of food… and coke.. See and talk to quite a few people I know or have met from Sweden, Holland, Finland, etc… JJ from the Obelisk….  So great to be back at Roadburn. It is like meeting your extended family that you see only once a year. So many cool and interesting people. All here, dedicated to the music…



15:15 I saw the beginning of the Solstafir show playing along to an Icelandic movie. That was really cool and I for sure have to look up and see this film. I really wanted to see the Tower so I had to leave. I quite liked their debut album and was looking forward to see them. They started off slowly with the first two songs being not that good and catching me but then the third song, Lucy was totally amazing. Really cool guitar playing. The singer was really into his own zone, a bit like Joe Cocker at times and then other times just out there.. but totally focused and into his art. The bass player was a colourful character and several people questioned whether it was a man or woman?? Cool bass lines… They next played a new song called Zeitung. Also cool.. I think this is the one I filmed. The Tower ended their set and was a long track with a lot of guitar and singing parts. Great set.

Set List: Adrenalawine, Exile, Lucy, Zeitung, Moonstoned, Wounds, The Tower.

Next up for me was Salem’s Pot, also from Sweden. They were really awesome. Cool masks, dresses, cool movies and a mix of doomy stuff, 70s rock grooves and nice psychedelic space outs.. Wow.. Each track was quite long between 8-12mins perhaps..  They never quite reached the peak of the opening track though..

Set List: Pink Flamingos, The Vampire Strikes Back, Creep Purple, Ego Trip, Nothing Hill.

18:00 Finally, met up with Nils, Sven, Magnus and Ausie at a local bar. They had not seen any music yet and were taking it really slow. I also have been taking it a bit slow but Spidergawd were up next and I needed to see them. I think they will be very good live…

Spidergawd
19 Spidergawd rocked the house… with the freight train of a rhythm section with Bent and XX from Motorpsycho, they just kicked ass. The sax player and the guitarist do all the vocals and it is a mix of high energy rock and then some nasty blues but with a lot of attitude and roughness. Amazing sound of the drums and bass just driving through the room like  train! Powerful sound and band. I loved the set…

Set List: ?, ?, ?, Fixin to Die, Crossroads, Empty Rooms, Made from Sin, Is all she Says, Into Tomorrow, Tourniquet, Blauer Jubel, Sanctuary

Russian Circles
I was feeling quite tired so I decided to go sit on the balcony and hear some of Russian Circles and this was really excellent. I had never heard this band before but a cool three piece with a lot of different moods and cool guitar. I get a bit bored with too much of the dreamy post rock stuff that all sounds the same but they made this stuff really cool. I missed some really cool films or visuals.. This would have worked well.

Moaning Cities
Moaning Cities was a suggestion from my Finnish friend Arto, so I got there early so I could be upfront. This is a Belgium band with a female drummer and bass player and two male guitar players, one of which plays the sitar.  They played really well and had cool melodic psych like songs with short focused guitar solo parts but everything was just too pretty and nice somehow. They never really took the music to the next level, not even once.. I liked the three pieces with sitar as well. He can play it quite well, not just a simple twang twang.. drone.. Nice. It was a nice set. The room never was that filled or hot.

Set List: Bread, Panic, New Tim, Please, Easter, Slap New Vel, 2voix, Vandel, ?

21.30 Anthroprohh, a side project from the HEADs folks was really far out. It started off with a very krauty hyptnoic repeated drums with the bass player also playing drums and then the guitar player doing a riff and over and over and then some solo and freaking out on the keyboards… wild stuff. After that the bass player kicked in the band went wild with hard to describe but crazy experimental music. Some great sometimes too out there.. People seem to dig it..

22:15 I had time to catch the last three songs of Wovenhand, as I had heard so much about this dark Americana guy and it was about time I heard it for myself. He usually plays by himself or as a duo from what I understand. This was a 4 piece band with two guitarists. I don’t know how to explain it. The songs were, just songs, with some groove but it was not really heavy or bluesy or…… I don’t know. The room was full but I just did not connect with it at all. Martin from Litmus said he felt the same way..  People really seem to love it though.
Wovenhand
23:30 Kandodo with Robert Hampson was very cool and super intense. You could choose this or Eyehategod on the main stage. Helms Alee was also playing at this time. Very repetitive and a lot of spacey E-bow guitar from the Heads guitar player. Robert played more of the heavy stuff.  A lot of the bass and drum lines were very straightforward and repeated over and over. It created a cool wall of sound for the guitar parts to just space over and in and out. It was very intense being right up front. Phew…. I had to go outside and rest after that mindblower.
Kandodo
Set List: Kandy Rock Mountain, Dawn Harmonix, Lord Hyena, Swim>Sun, 3-l ‘e’

I had wanted to catch a bit of Lazer/Wulf before Mugstar, who were also overlapping with Bongripper playing their record Miserable.  Anyway, I have known the Mugstar guys via the internet and finally met them in Portugal last summer and they are lovely cool people. I bought a couple of their records that I did not have. They gave me a shirt! Anyway, Mugstar were probably the highlight of the day with a 65 min set of almost entirely high paced, intense psychedelic rock with dual guitars and a bit of synth here and there and just super intense drumming. Wow… That guy was amazingly powerful and drove the band to the stratosphere!  End of the night for me and straight back to the B&B…
Mugstar
Set list: Sunburnt, Unearth, Serra, La Valléé, Black Fountain, Flemish Weave, Fuel to Burn, Axis, Ourboros, Bethany

Day 2

Was up about 10 and feeling pretty good. Had an excellent breakfast. The weather looks awesome outside. Anders is off to Utrecht for the worlds largest record fair and will be back later. Today I plan to start with these two Enslaved side projects: Einar Selvik Workshop and Ivar Bjørenson’s Bardspec.

13:30 Hanging out with Gustav and Mikael at a local café and chatting about music. Really cool guys. I will check out Einar first off..

15:45 The Einar Selvik Workshop blew my mind. What an amazing human being. He started off for 15mins and spoke passionately about his connection to Nordic history and nature and now music. He was very passionate and into his art and try to convey the path of looking closely at nature and your surrounding and becoming one with the earth again. He played 3 or 4 songs on these cool ancient instruments and that was just amazing.. He reminds me of my friend Jesper from Gas Giant… These guys share the same spirit. I spoke to him afterwards and told him how much his speech and music had touched me. I was really taken. Wow..

Ivar
Ivar Bjørnson Bardspec was not very interesting for me. Some spacey visuals and a laptop computer and a few modulations on some pre-recorded stuff.. I did not find it that good. I left to catch up with my Danish friends over at Majeure. This was one guy making 1970s Tangerine Dream like soundscapes. It was pretty trippy and cool but again with a lap top computer and mostly pre-recorded stuff and a few modulations here and there. He had a korg synth but I never saw him play it. Maybe it was midi controlled?

Majeure

I quickly got some ribs and beer and then over to squeeze into see Pekko Käppi and K:H:H:L in the Bat Cave. My friend Arto had suggested this. I loved it. Very raw, emotional simple passionate freak flag blues stories.. Pekko is so into what he is doing and playing this far out lyre like instrument with wah and some effects and the way he sings like he is possessed by a Haitian voodoo priest..  far out…

Pekko Käppi
Brimstone, I had only seen one time many years back when they had only the first record and were called the Brimstone Solar Radiation Band. The room was full of Norwegian folks and I think the word had got out that Kenneth the drummer from Motorpsycho was playing with them. Anyway, most of the set must have been new songs as I think I only recognized one song as I only have the first two albums but did pick up the 3rd and 4th today! It was for sure the same singer but he can’t really sing the way he did before but they most played cool proggy tracks with cool grooves and solos from all members. A very solid show and people were into it.

Set List: Hogweed, Rubberlegged, A Norwegian Requiem, Voodoo, Sjö &Land, Medic, Flapping Lips at Ankle Height
Brimstone
          Straight away I was up on the balcony for Focus. I had seen this classic prog band from Holland about 5-6 years ago as Sweden Rock and thought they were excellent. Today was no exception. High quality mostly instrumental jazz-prog rock that takes you right back to the early 70s. The band plays the same classic songs every show plus a few new songs. All the players are really excellent. Amazing guitar player.. The room was so hot I was going to pass out so I had to go get some water and then I came back. Great concert.

Focus
Set List: House of the King, Eruption, Sylvia, Ode to Venus, All Hens on Deck, La Cathedrale de Strasbourg, Harem Scarem, Flute & Keyboard solo, Hocus Pocus

          Wardruna was on the main stage next and I had no idea what to expect and it was awesome. The guy next to me had driven 10 hrs just to see this concert..  This was a 10 piece band with many singers and three drummers and Einar as their spiritual leader for this one hour earth ritual dedicated the spirit of the earth. It reminded me of native American Indian singing rituals and a bit of Gregorian chants and quite simple rhythms and some cool instruments. Amazing stuff… I have to search out their CD. It was a powerful performance.

The Heads
I immediately ran off to catch the rest of the HEADS and that blew me away. Wow.. they were just a sonic steamroller of intense fuzzed out noisy space rock… they did like 3 long totally jammed out pieces and I saw the last 1½.. I was with Sara and Benni and Jack (Toner Low) and we were totally into it. Fucking hot in there. Amazing show, which I had seen the rest. No way they will be able to reach that kind of intensity in the main hall tomorrow…  Saw the first two songs of the Death Hawks but the sound was not very good. The synths were just painfully loud at the expensive the guitar. They had a really cool spacey sound, even more so than before. It was a laid back set, much more so than the last time, where the keyboards were not the main focus of the sound. 


Agusa
My friends Agusa, who I have played with 2 times were in the Bat Cave now and they had a real struggle at the start with problems with the organ so were a bit late and then Tobias had some problems with the bass tuning so the first song was a bit of a mess but they eventually pulled it together and I think people really liked it a lot. It was full to start and half full at the end but a lot of people headed out to see Skuggsjå on the main stage.

Skuggsjå
          I did not really like Skuggsjå very much. A mixture of Enslaved and Wardruna people. I saw the first two songs and then I went off to see my Spanish friends Pyramidal. A lot of people and mostly Spanish and Dutch people up in the front. The bands seemed very happy to play. It was a powerful set including songs from both the records. I don’t think they played the new jam track that is coming out on the new split Lp with DOMO this summer. I loved them. Great concert and way to end Day 2.

Day 3

          This looks to be an amazing day of contrasting styles. I rested at the hotel until 14 and then Anders and I headed off to meet Gustav and Mikael for a beer before some Briqueville in the green room. I think they are Belgium but they were a 5 piece band all wearing black robes and hoods and special pointy masks. It was very cool DOOM music with great dynamics, where the drummer seem to really be the one pointing the way. They only played 30mins but they were great..  Next I caught the first 3 songs of Coma Wall, which was two women singing dual vocals, a bass player, drummer, who also played banjo on one song and cello. It was quite dark music, like acoustic versions of Alice in Chains songs or something. Some quite beautiful at times but sung in exactly the same way each of these songs. Next I saw a few mins of Goblin playing along to the classic film, Dawn of the Dead..That was really cool to see the film on the big screen and have the band play along every now and then. The room was full and but you needed to see the whole thing.

Coma Wall



          Death Penalty, the guitar player from Cathedral’s new heavy metal band. They are fronted by a powerful (German?) female singer. She reminded me of Doro from Warlock on the faster songs. This was straight up 80s metal. The guitar parts and riffs were really good. It was nothing new at all but hard rocking metal. I think I saw 4 songs..

          Miava was the first band I have been able to see a bit of in Cul de Sac as it is alwasys so packed it is impossible to get into. This is the worst venue for the crowds. This was an instrumental 4 piece bands playing really groovy dynamic stoner rock. The guitar player on the left looked a lot like the guy from Monkey 3. Musically they had some similarities at times but this band rocked harder. Cool stuff..

Miava
          Acid Witch had a line down the street so got some Mexican food with my friends and headed into catch Domo from Spain. The singer and guitar player from Pyramidal is the bass player and singer in this band. I was right up front behind the short Spanish girls (probably the girlfriends of the band!). This was an excellent set of mostly instrumental stoner rock with a lot of lead guitar playing. The tall guitar player on the right was a bit inspired by Colour haze the way he played riffs (not solos), while the other intense guitar player was very charismatic when he soloed and played. The band had a great vibe and energy. Best show I saw so far today. I dug the entire set and bought their vinyl record.
Domo
          After Domo I tried to see a bit of Messenger but it was really laid back neo-prog folk but I could not really see them and it sounded a bit boring..  The Heads were totally awesome and Walter did the cool visuals with a library of stuff borrowed from Jacob of Causa Sui, who did some awesome visuals for bands here years ago. Powerful shorter songs with only one really long piece. The sound was not right on the big stage though. The drums and bass were just too loud and the guitars were supposed to be really in your face and sometimes you could hardly hear the lead guitar player. Pity.. it would have made the experience more intense like it was upfront in the church. Phew.. Killer…
Zoltan
Undersmile
Zotlan had a lot of analog keyboards and no laptops but was bass, drums and synths. They sounded like Goblin without the guitars. They had some cool movies. I really liked it but I did still miss the guitars. Undersmile was the same as Coma Wall but electric and I did not like this at all. It was just hard to describe but it drove me away.

Mugstar
          Mugstar played along to a film called Ad Marginem, which has also been released as a DVD. I had never seen or heard it so I was upfront just behind the short Spanish girls so had a great view. It was very loud and intense but a cool trip. The band played one extra long track that was heavy and spaced out.. the bass player more or less plays one note on this jam. They remind me a bit of Circle at times but much more noisy. 

Hung out with my Danish friends for Zombi and this was pretty cool for the 20mins or so that I saw but the synths were mostly just preset sounds and not that much real playing but he had to play the bass as well. Still some pretty cool music. 

Zombi

I did not seem much before going to the green room to join the Finnish people to hear the melodic progressive rock band Sammal. This was really a great concert. I loved it and is was the most happy music I heard at the entire festival and the singer was amazing. Fantastic voice and although they don’t play really long prog songs, they do them all really well and have a great guitar player. Excellent concert. Wish they had played a bit longer though. Great come down after an intense day…. Amazing day of music. One more to go…

Sammal
Day 4

          White Hills are the first band on today. I will meet them before and after the show as I will play with them in two days. Feel pretty fresh today for the 4th day. Had lunch with Arto and Anders and then headed over to the 013 to see if the White Hills people were around. We hung out and together for 30mins before their set and I met the new drummer, Rodney, from the LA band Farflung.
16 White Hills played a really new set for them. Gone was the electrified sonic psychedelic wall of guitar sound and in fact two of the new songs had almost no guitar at all. A bit like the NY band Suicide, perhaps. All but one of the first like 6 songs was from the new record. People were happy to hear Condition of Nothing a bit of blazing guitar. The visual movie with all these doors and windows I found a bit creepy and disturbing. Ego said that was good. They were inspired by a Robert Wilson play they saw. Anyway, the next part was a medley of older track including H1P1 without the long guitar part (bummer!) and then the really cool space DBA and that was really great. I liked that best. Eternity and Peace of Mind closed their 55 mins set. I liked it but I have to admit it is really different and not what people expect from White Hills. Some of my fried liked it and a lot did not, they totally missed the great guitar solos and jams and that wall of sound, which is pretty much totally gone now.

Set List: Intro, No Will, Lead the Way, Condition of Nothing, Wanderlust, LSD or USB, We are what you are, H-P1, Don’t be Afraid, Eternity,

 A heavy metal band, Argus was next up but I was not at all in the mood for that. I talked with White Hills for a while and then caught some of Bongripper. These guys are just massive but again I could not handle this wall of doom with our guitar solos for more than 15mins. People were totally into it and that is cool…. Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovell played a kick as set and this was perhaps the best I had seen them since the first time they played in the Bat Cave. They really had a great energy, humor and rocked! They did not play any new songs tonight, which was a bummer as they apparently played mostly new songs at their other show at the Cul de Sac two days ago..  I also hung out with them a bit backstage and they were really funny and cool people..
GOBLIN played along to the classic Dario Argento film, Suspiria in the main hall and this you need to be there from the beginning and take in the whole experience. I was not really up for that and I had seen the film many times. The place was filled and the sound was great. My friend Nils said it was awesome.

I caught the first 3-4 songs of Lo-Pan, who have the largest band member of the entire festival. The singer Jeff is a huge guy but super cool. I spoke to him before the show and wished him luck. He had a nice Simpsons shirt on. They were really powerful stoner rock but the songs were nearly all the same and only at the last song (which I came back to and heard) was there any lead guitar really… Very powerful with a melodic and not at all screamed vocal. People were into it for sure.

Set List: Eldorado, Re Gulus, Land of Blind, NPD, New. Colussus, Vox, Eastern, Duke

Abrahma was a huge surprise. I only have their split single with Wo Fat and these guys blew me away. I saw nearly the entire show and they were great. Singer has a cool voice and I dig the variation in stoner, a bit doomy, high intensity jammed out sections.. Very cool band. Saw all my dutch psych fans there again… Awesome and what a surprise.
Abrhama

Set List: Fountains, Offspring, Headless, Heavy, Neptune, Omens 1 and 2. 

Anathema was next on the main stage playing a retrospective show with some of the old original members as well. I only saw the first two songs and I did not like it at all. Some sort of pop music, ugh…  Anyway, my friend Anders said it was a very impressive show and they started with their new material and slowly worked their way back to their oldest material where the old members joined and it got more and more heavy and more metal. He was very impressed.

Terminal Cheesecake was a mindblowing show. I stood and watched this show with Rodney, the new White Hills drummer. This is the singer from the UK psych band, GNOD, their old singer. I thought this was a new band but Dave from White Hills said it was an old band and that he actually helped push them to get back together! Anyway, this was super intense high energy psychedelic rock with crazy vocals, wild guitar, pounding drums, and bass lines.. just totally over the top madness with a Ramones like singer who was out of control.. Madness of the highest order .. Intense and far out.. Phew…
Terminal Cheesecake
I ended the night with the Golden Grass which took me back to the days of Humble Pie, Grand Funk Railroad, Captain Beyond…. Amazing New York band. They played a great set for 50mins and people were totally into it… What a great Roadburn, once again. Still the best festival in the world! 
The Golden Grass







Thursday, April 16, 2015

White Hills and Måneskjold- Loppen, Christiania April 13th, 2015

White Hills were very late arriving, so we had no soundcheck. Sue and I arrived around 17 and the guys from Måneskjold were setting up for soundcheck. Only Lovers left Alive was screening in the small theatre in Christiania called Byens Lys at 18 and the band was supposed to introduce the movie and answer some questions but they were late. Sue and I had a nice dinner with Dave. Chatting about live in New York, touring, music… I had spent a some hours with Rodney, the new drummer at Roadburn so we did not talk as much this day. He is from the band Farflung, where Dave’s brother plays guitar… White Hills and Farflung did some touring together some years back, so they have known Rodney for years. Cool guy.


          After we ate, Sue, Dave, Ego, myself and a lady from the film festival walked us all over the theatre. The film was in the last 5mins or so, and since Sue and I had not seen it, we turned aside. After it was over, Dave and Ego answered some questions, mainly from the organizer and one from the audience. It was over in 10mins and then back to the venue.

          There were a lot of young people here tonight and none of my music friends that I usually see shows with. I thought they were Måneskjold audience but Kasper said he only knew 10 or so of these people. Måneskjold played a really good set but way too short, only like 30mins. They sounded really good. They will soon record an EP for release later this year. I have no idea what the set list was but they played 5 songs, I think.

          Since we had no soundcheck and no gear set up in advance it was a bit of a rush but it all went very smooth. This was the third time I would play with White Hills but we decided I would only play on the end of the show, which was fine. They played nearly the same set as Roadburn but they had more intensity today and Dave did more guitar solos. The first part of the set is very heavy on the new album, which is really different. Some of the tracks Dave only sings and does not play guitar like the opener called No Will. There is a video for this on youtube. IT is a bit like the Cramps or Suicide or something. Quite different for them but still cool. Two heavy tracks, Condition of Nothing and Under Skin was next. Wanderlust has a real political statement and some far out guitar. I liked the rant that Dave does during the track LSD or USB! We are… was next and then I joined the band.

          Normally on the tour they are playing a shortened version of Hp-1 and into Don’t be Afraid but tonight we did the full 15mins spaced out version and a really cool spacey version of DBA. That was a really fun and cool. Eternity is a short and heavy track from the Heads on Fire record to end the set. The encore was a jam song called False Revolution toward a Slick Mirror from the Timless tracks for Aural Pleasure 12”. This was a great space out. I had an excellent time and thanks again to the band for letting me play with you guys. Some of the nicest people in rock music.. We multitrack recorded the show again. I think it was about 80mins..

Set List: Intro, No Will, Lead the Way, Condition of Nothing, Under Skin, Wanderlust, LSD or USB, We are what you are, H-P1, Don’t be Afraid, Eternity, False Revolution toward a Slick Mirror

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spiralism- Chakras (Inverse Records IVR167)

Spiralism are a new Finnish band. These tracks were recorded between 2012 and 2014 and mixed by Sami (Hidria Spacefolk). This CD came out sometime last year but I just received. There are 7 symbols and 7 tracks representing the Chakras that make up this album. Like Chakras, there are also a lot of different moods and styles presented in these tracks but the four piece band (minus the guests- Sami on Synths on tracks 3-6 and Jani- guitar (all tracks). Drowning High starts with some deep bass and space layers that allow you to gently enter into the realm before the heavy metal begins. I was not really expecting this but the music is played with a lot of emotions, both dark, growling death and powerful melodic parts..  Weighing of the heart (Track 3) has some really nice spacey stuff going on and cool synth parts and a nice guitar solo, which there are not that many of so far on the album. The Fool is mostly instrumental and an amazingly beautiful but also mysterious track. Dust Devils has a more evil tone to start but then around the middle of the track it goes into a Hidria Spacefolk inspired eastern section. Gnosis has a slow doomy start that slowly takes another form completely with a really cool effected guitar sound. This is quite an epic (11mins) and moody piece and drops the death growls, thankfully. The Passages of Ruit ends the Chakras album in a heavy intense way.. Phew…



Alien Planetscapes- Third Sun Archive Releases

Alien Planetscapes- Live in Brooklyn 1987
Third Sun- Rooftop Follies
Alien Planetscapes- Official Bootleg #7

          Alien Planetscapes was a mostly improvised project from the later Doug Walker. It started off as solo and duo synthesizers improvisations and developed into an amazing space rock band. The band released 106 releases before their only proper CD release, 107.. Sadly, no full discography exists and some of the recordings appear to be lost forever but occasionally former member Richard Orlando finds some gems and releases them as limited edition CD-Rs. Over the last 4 months or so there have been three new ones. Official Bootleg #7 features tracks from as early as 1990 (WKCR radio promo) and the most recent being a track called Pre-Flight from 2001. Not all this stuff is unreleased though and 3 of the tracks are different versions of songs on the Life on Earth CD (Loveshack radio (2 versions) and gravel. Tracks 4-6 were my favourite material and some of it is really amazing stuff..
 
          The AP live at Bar None in Brooklyn March 13th, 1987 is one of the duo concerts featuring Doug and Carl Howard, whom Doug made many recordings off. This is extremely far out and really wild at times… It is split into three tracks called Selma Freedom March 1965 Part 1, 2 and 3.


          The last archive release of the group is actually material that pre-dates Alien Planetscapes and was from Doug’s first group called Third Sun. This features Doug not on synths but on alto sax and flutes primarily. He is joined by Ron McCalla on electric piano and Pablo Calogero also on alto sax and flute. All three of the guys do some different kinds of percussion at times as well. The CD is two long tracks that run 50mins..


For copies contact Richard at: porcupinejones@yahoo.com

Monday, April 6, 2015

Hooffoot- Hooffoot (Paura di Niente Records PDN001)

Hooffoot is a progressive jazz rock band from Malmö, Sweden. The group is led by Par Hallgren (Sgt Sunshine, Carpet Knights, ØSC, Deathening). The musicians that make up the rest of the group also play in many local acts like Agusa, Carpet Knights, Mantric Muse, ØSC). The album features two long instrumental tracks highly inspired by Italian prog bands like PFM, Il ballet di bronzo.. Side A starts off with Last flight of the Ratite (18mins) and starts off with a nice long sax solo by Ida Hallgren and this leads into the next section where there is some great interaction between the keyboards and guitar players, while the bass line is leading the way. The middle section with these awesome swirling keys and cool bass just blew me away! I could continue to describe each movement in these complicated pieces but let’s just say that the band has amazing dynamics and fans of Italian 70s prog and jazz will love this. Amazing record and for sure one of my favorites this year… Fans of Diagonal will like these guys also. Side 2 starts off pretty mellow and tranced out with some nice flute and layers of melodies as the track grows.  This one also features a bit more horns with trumpet and sax and at least one theme that sounded really familiar. I should mention this was recorded 100% analog…. Sounds amazing.. Pressed in only 500 copies on black vinyl in a nice gatefold sleeve.



Planes of Satori- S/T (Who can you Trust WHO-026)

Planes of Satori are a San Francisco band. They released a split single prior to this. Anyway, this is a really cool album with 7 tracks that are all sorted of melted into each other and that totally channels the 1972 era CAN. The singer, sings in the same style as Damo, while the band creates these cool grooves and just spaces out..  Side A starts off with Eyes and some space synth sounds before the uptempo drumming contrasts the more laid back vocal and guitar that sort of jam away in the background. The space sounds enter here and there. Very cool stuff..  If you must Know has an almost African guitar style riff that takes the lead to start this track off. Gnostic Boogie ends the side and reminds me a bit of the US band Weird War. Flip over the record for Green Summer, which features a really nice guitar solo as the CAN like bass lines roll on and the drummer just pushes the track. Great track. The ballad of Queen Milo is more laid back and spacey and mostly instrumental. KTZ again features the cool guitar playing of Raze and  . The Snake and the Squirrel is a really short intense guitar track to end the record.  Cool record..



THE SLAG BRICK PROJECT- ELEPHANT 7” (Slag Brick Project SBP01)

The Slag Brick Project is a new Finnish band playing old school traditional ska-reggae and boy do they hit the sound right! The band features: Rasmus Pailos: Clarinet/ Melodica/xylophone/Dub fx., Arttu Launis:Tenor Saxophone/Flute, Joseph Miettinen: Trombone, Olli Kari:Jalava-marimba/Vibraphone/Gongs/Perx, Niila Rantala:Guitar-Steelpan, Sami Virkkala:Bass, Sami Hagelberg:Drums, and Surya Daniel:Percussion. Side A is the track Elephant (See youtube link below to hear the track). It is a 3 min long ska track with marimba, steel pan drums and lots of other percussion and groove. Flip the 7” over for the track called Riverbed, which is really going back to the sound of yesterday with a totally stoned reggae groove but with steel drum, melodica and flute. Awesome track.. I am not sure how you get a hold of this 7” but contact the band via Facebook.

Sweet Times Vol 3 (Who can you Trust WHO-027)

The third volume of this 7” series is back with four new bands (new to me). Sonic Love Affair starts things off with Sad Eyed Susan. Snotty rock and roll ala Lecherous Gaze… that is what his reminds me of..  Pastor is next with a track called The Howling Woods. This track is a bit slower and bluesy but also very raw rock and roll. The singer has a quite special voice. The end the track takes a strange twist and sounds a lot like 70s Pentagram. Cool. Flip the single over for the band Wild Honey and a track called This Fire. It starts off slow and doomy then the headbanging can begin as the intense female singer enters the musical frame. Death Alley play at track called Hypermotion and this is a high paced rock and roll number which is quite frantic. The singer can hardly keep up with the band at times. Another very fun 7” in this cool series. I really like the artwork but could do with more info about the bands… no web sites, info about the tracks..

CARLTON MELTON/MIND MOUNTAIN SPLIT 7” (God Unknown Records)

God Unknown label run by the Mugstar guys has released 4 singles so far and this is the best one yet! Carlton Melton starts things off with a track called Harbringer. It was recorded at the Dome and mixed by Rich but I have no idea what year. Sounds like it could be some of the more recent material. Heavy, droney guitar and synth with some raw drumming but mixed higher than on a lot of their records. Rich plays all the bass and a very spaced out guitar solo. Stoned..  Flip the record over and you have the track, Astraeus by Mind Mountain from the UK. This is a new band for me but I really loved this track. They are a trio (Joe, Marc and Dave). Joe plays the killer guitar and keys (organ sound), Marc the bass and Dave the drums. Great intensity in the music and a nice spacey middle section.


Banquet- Banquet (Who can you Trust WHO-028)

Banquet is a new San Francisco band that plays kick ass rock and roll and features members of Buffalo Tooth and Poor Sons. Run to You starts things off.  The singer reminds me of someone but I can’t place him… Djghenis Khan?? Anyway, this is a kick ass rock and roll track with some nice guitar and a great riff that really gets you sucked into it. Awesome track. Mother Road is a bit heavier and slower to start but then really rocks out in the middle and then returns to the slow and heavier stoney blues. I really look forward to hear a full record by this band. Loved this 7”…


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Celestial Transmission- Kontrapunkt, Malmö, Sweden 3/28-29/2015

Auh Soj
This was a crazy night at the underground club Kontrapunkt in Malmo. I had never been there and it was a merging of two diverent music scenes with one room with Psy-trance DJs (Ursa, Matt with an S, Nos and Balistica) and space rock in the other room (Mantric Muse, Øresund Space Collective and Auh-Soj). The doors opened at 21 and Auh Soj (Joshua) played some different ambient electronic stuff then about 22 he put on a guitar and his friend, a very nice handicapped guy worked the laptop. He just sat on the floor and noodled away on his guitar under the beats. He was mixed quite low but you could hear him. He played his electric guitar very much like an acoustic guitar. He had a sitar at the soundcheck but he did not play it. There were no people here yet so he performed for 5-10 people. 
Mantric Muse
          Mantric Muse were to start at 23:30 but there was not a whole lot of people, maybe 40 but there was a steady stream. They started a bit later and played an amazing concert for 2hrs. Wow.. This must be one of the best space rock bands and if you can’t see Ozric Tentacles, you should see these guys. Seeing Mantric Muse live though is about as often as the eclipse! This was the first show since the Nov 2013 tour with ØSC in Germany, except for a private party. The band played 3 of the 4 new songs that they will record for the new record as well as all the tracks from their CD.  There was some extended parts in a few of the songs but they were pretty programmed as they have to follow the computer precisely for all the pre-recorded stuff that Magnus can’t play live due to having to play guitar as well. Ola just gets better and better with the band as well on the lead synthesizer.  Amazing concert..

Set List: DMU, Cinope, Armh+ Jam, Nanoid, DSC, Azur, Gnoxience, Sinbad søførenen, Wobbegong Wookie, Dr. Tits Kitel, SFunx.

          It was about about 3 in the morning when ØSC finally hit the stage. The first gig ever with drummer, Dag (ex-Agusa). Everyone was very tired but there was still quite a lot of people in the building (most in the techno room) but perhaps 60 people filled the front of the stage for the show to start and it got fewer and fewer as it got later and later… We played a pretty high energy show considering.. I think we would have all fallen asleep if we did not keep the energy high. The jams were quite short but people were into it and we all had a good time. It was not our best show. You can hear it below and decide for yourself!



          I only popped in and out of the techno room a few times and there was always a lot of people but it all sounded the same to me…. It is a different world. One of the DJs played only vinyl records which I thought was cool…  Fun night and a very cool club.. 

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..