Sunday, May 2, 2021

DER BLUTHARSCH and the Infinite Church of the Leading Hand- Rejoice (HKR59)

This prolific Austrian psych band are back with another release. They have 41 albums on bandcamp! I quite like these guys and find them very creative and interesting.  This CD features 6 tracks with one main theme- Coming, Fear, Darkness, Darkness+, Rejoice, BURN!!!  First track opens with an almost classical overture like violin, drums and slowly the track develops based on the edgy violin. At 2mins or so the email singer does a like spoken word as the track slowly builds in intensity with the same theme reported over and over and over. Fear has a heavy guitar riff and a more clean one and just a powerful build with some synths and fear raising tension as it grows over the 5 minutes. At 2.5 minutes the female vocal comes in and speaks of fear and pain. Some really cool guitar work. Darkness features some nice organ, slide guitar, whispered vocals, and a sort of spaghetti western like feel and even some flute. It is a strange mixture of instruments but I like it. Darkness+ is next and we return to the original theme that started the record off but with a few modifications and more vocals but the violin theme is quite similar. Rejoice is a more happy track with some flute and an addictive groove. Burn ends the record and also has more of a groove to it and some sort of tribal vibe with a lot of complex layers.. What a cool record. Loved it… 

SOUNDS OF A NEW SOMA- LIVE AT STUDIO HELMTOWN (Tonzonen TON100) //TRIP (Tonzonen TON104)

I really dig Dirk (owner of Tonzonen Records) group, Sounds of a New Soma. I have almost all the records. The group (duo) formed in 2013 and has been quite productive. The Live in Studio Helmtown is their 2nd release from there. This is released in only 100 copies for the Tonzonen Record subscribers. This is a great album. They were really in the "zone".  It features two album side long tracks. I did not get the first one from this live studio session. This one was recorded on April 10th, 2020.  


As for the Trip, this is something totally unique to the SOANS catalog. The artwork has virtually no information so this makes it quite mysterious. Like the previous record this features just two long and strange tracks (my wife did not like it at all).. Probably not my fave record by them either but it is cool to see them explore and do something really unique. Check them out!! 


www.tonzonen.de




GRAND ASTORIA, THE- FROM THE GREAT BEYOND EP (Addicted 770)

I did not know that my friend Kamille had a new Grand Astoria record out until I got this  in the mail from the Russian label. It is listed under misc at Discogs so I am not 100% sure this is all new material but I think so.  Anyway, the EP features 6 well produced tracks staring with the mainly acoustic guitar and vocal track From the Great Beyond. A few spacey sounds mixed in as well until 2 minutes then some keyboard dominate the melodic theme but this is a track focused on the vocals, which are sung almost all the way through. Wasteland starts with a heavy riff and some dark lyrics. Short 3min track. Njanatilka is a heavy metal track with some double kick drums and a heavy riff that is repeated over and over for the first minute. The vocal is very pressed and strained at the very edge of the vocalist range. The track has a very groggy mid section with nice keys and flute before stepping back into the heavy direction. Great stuff. Us against the World, is a very intense track with a lot of ups and downs, heavy, melodic, etc… Towards the end, the vocals are in the higher range again as the drummer pounds and the guitars twist and grate and the intensity just does not let up. Phew… The CD ends with a short track called Ten Years Anniversary Riff.  


This is a killer band, one of the best and most unique in this genre in Russia. Just excellent stuff.  The CD digisleeve comes with a nice booklet with all the dark lyrics! Nice package. 


http://thegrandastoria.bandcamp.com

http://noname666.bandcamp.com

LITMUS- GOD BOMB 7” (Litmus Music 2020)

Space rock-punk band Litmus are back with their first release in 9 years. The band is basically a trio (Marek Bublik, Martin Harvey, Simon Fiddler) for the last few years and occasionally they have a synth player (James in this case).  The band have stayed active on the UK scene playing gigs every year but this is the first new music in a while. It features 2 tracks. God bomb starts things off on the A side (see video below) with some spaced out sounds and then a mid-paced rocker with a mellotron backing while the vocals kick in and then the simple rock riff is backed by more spaced sounds. All the band contribute to the vocals. Cool track. 

Flip the 7” over for Post Sonic Age, this is a more intense rocker again with mellotron and a bit of punky edge with an effected vocal but the chorus is clean. Lyrically it is about the digital music/world revolution that has changed and fucked up the world. Catchy track.  Hope the guys are working on a full length record. I dig this track. 

https://litmusmusic.neocities.org/Litmus_Website/Litmus_Website.html 

PREE TONE- BREKKA (Addicted 756)

Last year I reviewed an album by these guys. The band is a trio. This one is 5 tracks. Fifth O starts things off and is a sort of strange mix of psyche stuff and indie with a raw production and some nice effects on the voice that give it a bit of psychedelic feel. Hidden Beauty has a strong energy and the same low mixed vocals but fewer effects and a melodic thread throughout. I miss some guitar solos but they have some effects at the end of the track. Cakesniffer, is next and a strange title.  80s indie psych stuff is a big influence on these guys.  This track though turns into a sort of hypnotic stoner rock for a bit after 4mins. That really caught me by surprise as the band get quite tripped out.  Super cool track. Invention of Living from is next and the vocal is quite spacey in this high energy track with a bit of reverb. The last track, Flow, this one has some repeated guitar lines and is a bit noisy and krautrock like. The guitar slowly gets a bit more effected and trippy..  Cool record guys..



http://noname666.bandcamp.com

http://preetone.bandcamp.com 

LIQUID SOUND COMPANY- PSYCHOACTIVE SONGS FOR THE PSOUL (LSR2021)

It has been 10 years since the last LSC album. This album is released initially on a CD with the first 50 copies coming with a cool magnet! It features 8 tracks, of which 3 are instrumentals. It is great to hear how they have really maintained their core sound from 10-15 years ago. A lot of unusual instruments are used and sitar and flute (by guests) on Mahayuga, give it that bit of eastern feel. I think the band really nailed it with this record. Really cool songs and great lyrics.  Check them out for sure.. I am not sure when the vinyl edition will be out but I will want to grab it for sure!


https://liquidsoundcompany.bandcamp.com/ 

JUICE OH YEAH- JUICE OH YEAH CD (Addicted 741)

This is a Russian duo of fretless bass and drums. Boris, the bass player also sings and plays MS-20, 12 string guitar, gushing, banjo and some drums.  The CD features 5 long tracks of strange and high energy music. the opening track starts pretty high energy and drifts into a cool segment with the MS20 and then back into the song. This is the shortest song at only 4mins. Botttommm is a more melodic indie rocker with some strange backing vocals that are louder than the main vocal line and just a strange song and far out ending.  Wow… Endlong is over 12mins but starts slow and a bit spacey. They go into this sort of Russian chant stuff and then the track starts to get heavy. Later on there is a sort of drone organ mixed in as well with the heavy bass lines and pounding drums. Log features a female vocal or Boris has done an amazing job to change his voice. This one starts at a very slow pace and plods on with the focus on the voice. At 3mins really blasts into a totally new universe and the volume triples! The bass is also much more massive. Our subwoofer rocked the house! Downwards is the final track. The opening is based mostly on the bass lines and some chimes. The bass riff is a take on someone, but I just can’t place it. Anyway, what a great record…..  Cool stuff guys.. 

I have to say the first time I played this CD, I was like, what the fuck.. but by the 3rd time, I really got it and this band (or should I say Boris) is pretty cool. Quite unique sound. 

http://noname666.bandcamp.com

http://juiceohyeah.bandcamp.com

LA OTRACINA- WOKE ON WAVES LP (In For The Kill Records IFTK 016))

La Otracina was a really cool NY bands band. They formed way back in 2003 by Adam Kriney (Golden Grass) and released a lot of music and did some tours (saw them at Roadburn!) but the last release was 2012. This is an archive release and made in 30 vinyls and 100 CDs.  Here is what the band wrote about the record: “LA OTRACINA recorded two albums worth of instrumental music at those 2007 "Blood Moon Rider" sessions, one of which was the songs/compositions for the "Blood Moon Riders" album, and the other was 45 minutes of absolutely heady and masterfully crafted psychedelic exloratory improvisations, from the time-period when the group was at their freak-rock/free-improvisational peak! And after 14 years, these mind-blowing jams are now to be revealed to the universe for the first time ever as "Woke On Waves”.


I just have to say I am glad that I own this and while I only have a few of the bands albums, this one is really special and more spaced out some how at least on the ling album side A.  The band has a great energy as well. Damn cool archive release. 


https://laotracina.bandcamp.com/album/woke-on-waves 

CIOLKOWSKA- Psychedelia (Addicted)

I have heard quite a few of these guys records now. The opening track (Glue) is quite a pop number with a catchy keyboard theme (played on the guitar or ukulele?), not one I particularly like though. A bit too much 80s. The groove is great on this though and it starts to get a bit more interesting after 3.30 before returning to the same theme. Gingerbreads starts similar to the opening track but becomes more heavy, emotional before coming back to a like the first and then an almost like dub delay guitar makes things a bit more interesting. Mohavishnu has some nice ukulele at the start and later one. It is basically the lead instrument playing all the most important accents to the music,. The rhythm section of this band are very solid. Vocal is in a laid back style most of the time. Angelina (a Imandra cover song) is the longest on the album at 7.26. It is also a sort of poppy melodic track. It is best when it goes astray a bit. The next two tracks fit together (Room and Slippers). The CD ends with the title track, which is listed as a cover by a band called Silence. Guitar is a bit like Nirvana, maybe the vocal as well. The ukulele is really what makes this band special, otherwise it is a sort of indie pop rock most of the time. Not really my thing this album. Sorry.  While the album is called Psychedelia, I don’t find it psychedelic at all.  The term is too widely used these day and become to broad and generic almost which is sad, for the bands that truly make psychedelic music. 



http://ciolkowska.bandcamp.com

http://noname666.bandcamp.com

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Roadburn Redux- Around the World April 15-18th, 2021

How does one go about reviewing an internet festival??? This is an utterly unique event unlike anyone has attempted to do in the world, unfortunately for me, I live on a mountainside and depend on wi fi towers far away for my internet and sadly it is not good enough all the time to enjoy these events as they happen, always.. Tried to stream it on our 49” TV which is connected to the internet but most of the time it did not work. Bummer..

Anyway, great intro with Walter and Becky, who are tireless warriors for us music fans. It is not possible to come up with enough praise for these two hard working people who are so dedicated to music. Wow.. I admire them immensely.  The program for Thursday is for sure less intense than the real thing but what an honour to get to kick it off, with Kairon— This was a way to dream your way into Roadburn.  I had not heard this band before. This is some beautiful music. I miss some guitar solos in their sort of post-rock space sound. Nice lights and very well shot video..


Next I read the interview with Cody from Mizmor and listened to the music you had on the right side. I am not at all a fan of this sort of melodic black-death metal music. Vocals just don’t do anything for me at all. Never have..  Very interesting interview about a lot of subjects, not just music including climate change, disbelief in science, etc….


Heard some of the Crown LP debut as well. Some of it reminded me of Ministry. This sort of weird mix of hypnotic electronic music, heavy guitars, death metal vocals but also more melodic vocal styles in a part that could be playing in a pop disco electro night..  Quite bizarre. Have to say this was pretty unique even if it is not my cup of tea. Wow… Impressive..


Noctule- Serena Cherry from Svalbard.. Intense stuff. Video editing was way too fast for me. Did not like that it changes every 2 seconds.  Again, a strange mix of melodic guitar that could be on a post rock record but with black metal drumming and vocals…… I can see how this is very successful at crossing genres…


Drowse- “Kyle Bates is not one to stay still for long and has collated, composed, recorded and directed a performance piece that we’re premiering here today. Featuring recordings that span from to 2013 right up to recent weeks, this piece captures both the past and present of Drowse. ". The video of looking down this hallway, which you come back to in between all the different short pieces is clever. Most of the time matches this ambient dreamy vibe well. It is not all computers and synths. He also plays a nice acoustic guitar in a more pop oriented piece in the middle. Interesting collage of music and video.. 20mins long. 



An Autumn for Crippled Children- I never heard of this and had no idea what to expect. I find this post rock death metal pop music stuff just too weird… It is not at all for me……. Just bizarre……


Tau and the Drones of Praise perform Dream Awake


Very tribal, organic, interesting to start and then they went in a new direciton, a bit of an Eastern influence that reminded me a lot of Black Sun Ensemble at times….. especially in the middle of the set….  They showed their Irish roots in the last 15mins. Amazing stuff. 


Alora Crucible. The track name is Synaxarion of John Isangelous. This was not a video just an exclusive audio stream…  Guitars, violin, and some new age dreamy synthesisers. A beautiful piece of music. 


Day 2


I was pretty excited as my duo Doctors of Space will premiere an exclusive set at 1430…  Anyway… got the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch and it is quite long so did not read it all.  First thing I caught was the debut of a new video by Of Wolves.  I have never heard this band before from Chicago. Alison Chelsey adds some haunting cello to this diverse track of anger and beauty. 


I really like Townes Van Zandt so this unknown artist at 13 looks like it could be interesting.  Turns out it was Amenra and they were just talking about Amenra on the chat before.. Did someone leak it?? Haunting like his music was. Eerie video..


Darkher… wow.. liked this… Lovely voice and vibe.. 


Douwe Dijkstra Documentary was very interesting about the artist who did posters this year. A guy from Holland!!  What a great work space he has..


enPHIn a new project offshoot of Mr. Peter Hayden. Intense as one would expect from these guys. MPH is dead. Peter Hayden has now died as well and we have enPHin… Cool..


Shy, Low - they’ll have their third full length album, titled Snake Behind The Sun. Some killer images in this video. The instrumental music is a bit to pretty and slick for me. Not a post rock fan, really but what a killer video..


Doctors of Space got a great reception… I was so happy people loved it… Heavy space rock stuff for those that don’t know my band in Portugal. 



Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou - Live at Roadburn 2019. This was just a song from the show. Powerful. 


Die Wilde Jagd performed a commissioned piece called Atem- very spacey trio. of percussion, drums, synths and effects and cello and voice.. Awesome visuals… Looks like it could be the 013….  What is that guy doing with the gas? Blowing it into big blocks and stuff???  This was a super cool set and perfect after the heavy Doctors of Space.. off into another kind of space. Loved the visuals. 


Nadja was next with a premier video.  The special performance of Nadja's Seemannsgarn was filmed at The Black Lodge in Berlin earlier this year.  Edgy electronics, dark drone vibes with very minimal drums. Lots of effects pedals. 


Never heard of Kayo Dot.  They have a new album called Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike - that will be released later this year via Prophecy Productions. The track that debuted here was called The Knight Errant. Music is a bit dreamy but a very dark vocal. Nice metal with dark vocals. In the middle an unexpected synths solo is played that changes the vibe a lot. Again, this old 70s rocker does not really get this…


Thy Catafalque debuted a brand new track, titled Szarvas, from their new album titled Vadak.  Old school synth sequencer starts things off and then an immense blast of black metal drums changes everything.. A very dramatic track that mixes a lot of styles. I wish it had stayed all instrumental as I don’t get these vocals again. 


Nero di Marte debuted two tracks with a new band line up. Two guitars, bass and drums. Music with a edge.. The first track you are not quite sure if it will explode or not..  Driving and about to crash but not quite. Not sure about the vocals?  Some intense guitar solo parts mixed into the tight and complex arrangements.  Sometimes seemed complex just for complexity sake. Intense band. 


Autarkh performing Form in Motion.  After a few seconds of silence.. they just rip your head clean off.  Super fast 200bpm drumming from the computer guy, powerful vocals. and off to HELL you go!!!  two guitars (one 8 string), bass and computer guy.  It seems everyone in heavy music is a post rock guitar player these days??? Very few real guitar solos. I think the programmed drums just don’t work for me.. Must be damn hard for these guys to not make any mistakes with this super fast music. Fucking hard to play. Some industrial music inspiration for sure. 


The Devils Trail was quite nice while I was preparing the BBQ on the patio.  One guy with an electric guitar on a big stage. Haunting personal music. Only heard about 30mins and then we switched to hear the two Jo Quail songs.  Interesting cello pieces.  Never heard her before. I liked it very much.


GOLD- Had no idea what to expect. We sat on the patio and had a BBQ and some vino verde and listened to the entire concert.  A bit of an 80s vibe. but a modern edge of sorts… not sure what to think,.


Mountain Dust.. Wow.. I loved this…. a cool 70s vibe with amazing female vocals. Two women in the band (lead singer and one of the three guitar players)… Nice Finnish-Swedish folk stuff here and there.  Just a nice organic music, Especially loved Apollo. 


Regarde Les Hommes Tomber’s 2020 album Ascension. Had no idea what to expect but this was mindblowingly intense black metal. 


The Ocean was the last thing that I saw on this night. They played their entire album, Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic. A very dynamic and HEAVY band. Some grunge influence mixed with extreme metal and extreme vocals but also nicer vocals.. It was an intense and interesting mix. Impressed. 


It had been a long and intense day, just like if you had been at Roadburn.  There was still a lot of other music later including Maggot Heart (seen them in Portugal), TDC Inc, making a hell of a noise. Emptiness also played. 


Saturday


I had a lot of work to do on the land today with cutting grass and watering the garden, etc… A lot had already happened by the time I got on today, so there was no way to catch up. 


Caught the end of Solar Temple… Not at all what I had expected. A duo doing post rock style stuff. Nice ending with both guys on drums under the layer of feedback guitar..


Now I had to play catch up a bit and listen to my friend Dave (Sula Bassana). He provided a 15min track called Roadburn Haze, where he played all the instruments. Starts slowly with some nice drone synths and slowly the guitar riff builds up and then the drum machine kicks in and off we go. Hypnotic, mysterious and spacey…


Knoll was extreme extreme with a crazy vocalist.  Super intense music. So many bands that sound like this though. I think you have to be deep into the genre to really get what is new and exciting and totally different about this??? 


Wolf King was a similar type of extreme metal drumming but a melodic guitar line replacing the aggressive one. Again borrowing from post rock almost.  Singer was not just pure death but a mix. More straight metal at times compared to the full on black-death metal of Knoll.


Doodswens, a new singing to Svart Records. Another duo act. Just drums, vocals and guitar. Black-death metal style. Not for me. 


Primitive Man from Texas created this commissioned piece of distorted extreme music.The track is titled Cage Intimacy and it was written, conceptualised, and pulled out of the mud by Ethan Lee McCarthy, Jonathan Campos & Joseph Linden. Of the track, Ethan told us:

“This song is about how I would rather find the strength to persevere alone while facing extremely difficult circumstances, than to ask for the aid of anyone who base all of their relationships on having strings attached that they will later use to strangle you with. How some individuals will use intimacy as a weapon to gain an advantage over you. That was super extreme and the video was unwatchable. Just too much strobe and fast action. Wow.. 


Marghöfða dýrið (The multi-headed beast) is taken from a 17th century curse lamenting the coming of the antichrist. The beast is spearheaded by T. alongside various session musicians at any given time. The demo EP Djöfladýrkun undir jökli (Devil Worship under the Glacier) is its first official release, coming out on LP and MC through Goatowarex and Vánagandr respectively, satirising Laxnes' novel Kristnihald undir jökli. The lyrics twist and mock the legacy of Protestant Christianity in Iceland from its hostile takeover of Catholic heresy in Skálholt during the middle of the 16th century into the godless, impure age of modernity. 

The project wears its musical influences on its sleeve, paying tribute to the black metal of old without shame, citing the likes of Ildjarn and Darkthrone (among others) in its compositional approach as well as taking inspiration from old Nordic folk music and childhood memories. This is only the first of the Hydra's heads, Babylon's consort!


This was a mixture of death metal, epic melodic folk and prog meloidies and again this sort of post rock guitar instead of any traditional guitar soloing. 


 Dawn Ray’d. Titled Wild Fire I and Wild Fire II - embrace both the black metal and the folk elements


Tesa- Control had a very intense video.. also mostly black and white and super fast moving…. 


Jonathan Hultén- Loved it.. Super cool and fun video… Laid back..


Die Wilde Jagd´s 2nd concert was totally different but also really cool. Loved it.. amazing sound and visuals.  One of my faves for sure..


Witch Mountain´s version of Limo Wreck by Soundgarden was very good.  Singer sounds a lot like the new one from Siena Root.. Cool video as well. 


Sunrot 1312 is an angry track and all proceeds go to Black Lives Matters Patterson.  Good deed.


Body Void was some crushing doom with death metal vocals.  Got a lot of great comments on the sidebar.. I did not like the vocals at all though.  What a hell of a roomy fuzzy distorted sound from hell…..


Offermose, that was a dark video with some cool Klaus Schulze inspired music in the 3rd act. Dig!


Steve Von Till´s Wilderness set was very moody with cello, french horn, lot of synths, etc.. He played guitar on a few tracks but quite emotional, dark tracks, as you would expect from Steve. Very well produced in a really cool looking studio..


The Nest… I was really looking forward to this as Wolvennest was great at the last Roadburn.  This was a big line up with 4 extra guests: “The Nest is a collaboration between Wolvennest - who are surely making themselves at home on the MainStage by now - and some special guests. We announced their special guests yesterday - AA Nemtheanga (Primordial, Dread Sovereign), Tommie Eriksson (Saturnalia Temple), Bones (Dread Sovereign), Alexander von Meilenwald (The Ruins Of Beverast), and Ryanne van Dorst (DOOL) -- but everything else is tightly under wraps. We’re extremely ready to experience their commissioned composition, titled Her True Nature.”   It started off with focusing on a skull and an incense ritual before the rest of the band came out. It started spacey and then the heavy hit. 4 guitars!!!  The lead guitar was very low in the first track, almost could not hear it.   


What a great new piece of music. We loved it.. But this was the last that we saw on this night. 


Sunday


Had to catch up on a lot of things that were late last night. 


Haunted Plasma- Another act from Finland!!!  “The phantoms at the beating nucleus of this unearthly machine are Juho Vanhanen (Oranssi Pazuzu, Grave Pleasures), Timo Kaukolampi (K-X-P, Op:l Bastards) and Tomi Leppänen (Circle, Aavikko, K-X-P), transmitting a music form evolved from a life of redefining sonic boundaries in their respective projects. Also featuring guest vocals from Mat McNerney (Hexvessel, Carpenter Brut, Beastmilk) and Ringa Manner (Ruusut, The Hearing).”


Spacey and intense 35min piece. Some electronic beats, real drums, vocals, guitar. At 11mins it takes a radical change. A lot oK-X-P influence on this track. Hypnotic groove kicks in and off we go at a higher energy. Damn cool stuff...  A lot of amazing creative bands in Finland. 


Neptunian Maximalism- Set Chaos to the heart of the Moon- 8 people and starting with a vocal chant to get the vibe going,, about 6mins they left the circle and went to their instruments. Some sax and growling and percussion as the piece slows gets louder and more intense. 


Talea Jacta meets Electric Moon premiered a short track from an album that will come out in Sept on Sulatron record. It was recorded at the show the band did together in Lisboa in 2017, I think. This was really cool but too short. I wanted to hear more!!!


Astrosoniq live from the Green Room 2016….. Really like this band so I was probably there unless there was something else that I had to see…  Cool to relive it… Such a great band. 


Saver- Dimensions Lost, Obscured By Aeons - was captured live at Amper Tone Studios in Oslo. 17min long piece. This is a release with Psychonaut, which you can also hear. Started with spacey keyboards and then just a drummer and guitar and bass.. He was hidden. Did not see him at first. Loud and with melodic vocals but also screaming and angry at times. The end is very doomy, I did not really find it very special or interesting really..  Sorry..


Psychonaut- The Great Realisation (16mins). The band is a four piece- bass, drums, acoustic and electric guitar. The two guitar players do the vocals which sometimes soft but were mostly intense. The music has a lot of dynamics from heavy rock to post rock like stuff to a bit proggy. 


Madeline Johnston AKA Midwife was very melancholy after some heavy stuff. Video was like someone driving through the mid west USA… Mostly a piano based track with some guitar, percussion and effects. 


First live stream I caught was Dead Neanderthals - This irrepressible duo is bursting at the seams with creative ideas - and they’ve let some of them loose within the confines of this commissioned project. Otto and René have teamed up with Dutch singer/songwriter Aafke Romeijn, and Jonge Woudloper, one of the musicians in Aafke’s band, to create IXXO. This brand new krautrock-inspired composition is heavy on the synths but promises warmth and depth.


This was a four piece act with live drums and three on synths. I was impressed that there were not computers! yeah!!!!!!!!!!!! the drummer also did not have headphones (perhaps in ear click track).. Visuals inspired by Kraftwerk. 


Hand Model is the solo project of Ignat Frege - one half of the experimental metal band Wreck and Reference, who made their Roadburn debut back in 2018. This video is for the track The Thinking Monster which is a collaboration with the producer WTCHCRFT.  I have to say that I did not at all like this… 


Having already hosted Dirk Serries with Fear Falls Burning, Microphonics, Year of No Light, Yodok III and Scatterwound already, we were due to welcome him back in 2020 with Kodian Trio. Fate had other ideas… but with a creative spirit that never stops wandering and a thirst for experimenting, we knew that Dirk would be primed and ready to throw himself head first into a commissioned project for Roadburn Redux. And now the time is here… presenting Dirk Serries’ Epitaph.


Guitar drums and a table of electronic pedals and gear.. So glad to see no computers!! It was pretty normal ambient music for the first 15 or so minutes but then the electronics became pretty cool and strange and the music much more tense and noisy, At the end with the full drums playing they return more to the feel of the beginning. Quite cool stuff.. 


Lustmord and Karin Parks.. Beautiful music and video. Loved it…


Gallops.. didn’t like that at all and what the fuck was Death Bells?? 80s indie pop?? 


Olivier Arson, AKA Territoire is here to give your Sunday evening an abrasive sense of impending doom. Filmed in a warehouse and pretty far out lights at times. Very experimental and strange electronics and builds up into some insane noise. Cool lasers and lights… The lasers were synced to the music as well. Looks like he had computer hidden under the table but this was live sound manipulation in the extreme..  Totally crazy stuff. Never heard anything quite like this..


Of Blood and Mercury was sort of spacey dreamy pop music with strange programmed drums and beats.. Some cool parts but a bit too mainstream music for me. The melodies are straight out of pop music.  IT as a duo (female on vocals and electronics), a guy on dreamy guitar. 


Inerta data is Hexvessel’s lead guitarist, Jesse Heikkinen. He played in his electric guitar and sang his songs in a heart shape surrounded by candles.. Looked nice. Very beautiful and heartfelt songs. This also had some accompanied keyboards that were pre-recorded. In fact, I think he was just miming. Could not see a microphone for his voice anywhere. 


Randall Taylor is Amulet. He was in his bedroom or studio and started two cassette tapes playing and did a bit of mixing of them and then pulled out his guitar with a floor full of pedals and started a guitar loop and then headed back to mix the tapes and guitar. 


Wolvennest performing Temple was for sure one of the highlights. Just amazing sound, great visuals and awesome performance.  Just killer..


Aaron Taylor— this was quite boring to start. Just his voice being manipulated. He finally strapped on his guitar at 8mins or so.  E-bow and guitar and some drone stuff… Not really doing it for me or anyone on the chat, it seems… People seem very bored.  This was one of the comments: “Minimalist space station equipment malfunction noise.”   


DeWolff—-This was one of the things I was looking forward to the most and they played a 90 min set of originals except one Townes Van Zandt song.  IT was a great jamming 70s rock set.  They were the only people I saw the entire festival drink a beer on stage! 


So what were my fave things???


Neptunian Maximalism

Die Wilde Jagd

Mountain Dust.

Wolvennest and The Nest

Hexvessel

DeWolff


Finally, it can´t go without saying that this was the premier live music event of world class. Walter and Becky just killed it... The 013 crew were amazing with the live streams as well. Kudos.. It could not have been better or run more smoothly. They should be super proud of what they achieved but we have to a real festival again. While this was awesome, it is not the same!!!  next year see you all in Tilburg!!  


http://roadburn.com



Friday, April 9, 2021

Violet Nox- Whispering Galaxy (Self Released)

Boston psych outfit, the Violet Nox is back with a new album. Shapeshifter starts things off with some electronic beats and a lot of spacey atmosphere. The guitar adds some accents here and there and the vocals float around in the space. Really space stuff, not real keen on the beats though. Hamuea features a female voice and again very spacey with some rapid electronic beats mixed quite low. This one is more melodic and the sounds swirl and pan around. Again, guitar is playing a minor role but adding some cool stuff here and there. Wolf Visitor keeps us deep in space with a more deep bass beat. I could imagine this at some really spaced out art exhibit. Selene is the CD closer and starts with a female voice, drone guitar and synth. A light beat is in the background. This one has a more edgy dark feel to it at times, maybe a bit of 80s Industrial vibe. 


The band is: Dez DeCarlo: guitar, sonic effects, synth (Shapeshifter, Haumea, Wolf Visitor, Selene) lyrics and vocals (Shapeshifter, Wolf Visitor), Andrew Abrahamson: synthesis and clocked machines (all tracks), Alexis Desjardins: field recording manipulation (Shapeshifter, Wolf Visitor), guitar (Wolf Visitor), saxophone (Selene), Fen Rotstein: vocals, turntables, Synth-Traktor, Native Instruments S4 Mk II (Shapeshifter, Haumea, Wolf Visitor), Noell Dorsey: vocals and lyrics (Haumea, Selene) and Karen Zanes: organ/synth (Haumea, Wolf Visitor, Selene), vocals (end of Shapeshifter).  This is released on a limited edition CD. Wish they would send me one…  Cool stuff.


http://violetnox.bandcamp.com 

Shem- II (Clostridium Records)

The German five piece band Shem are back with their 2nd album.  Long songs again and starting off with Decension. It has a motorik beat and is quite hypnotic with the same repeated guitar line for quite some time but it develops into quite an intense and amazing song. Blew me away... Side B (Night) starts with a heavier riff but also repetitive with some swirly, sounds and other things going on in the background that you really have to listen to.  After a minute, the main riff becomes more intense as the bass and drums start to push the track. This is an intense track and this ringing sound and cool wah phased out guitar is pretty awesome. It gets really tripped out and spaced out while the bass and drums just keep it going.. The guitar is mixed pretty in your face!!!  Wow.. The last track, Fall, begins more relaxed and the instruments noodle about and search for the theme. The spacey synths really take the lead on this one compared to the guitar and they are trippy!!  Another super cool album guys. Thanks so much for sending it to me!!!

Credits:  Alexander Gallagher - Guitars, Joel Boye - Guitars, Tobias Brendel - Bass, Alex Meese - Synthesizers and Benjamin Maier - Drums. Recorded between September 2017 and February 2018at Matti's Space, Stuttgart-Weilimdorf.


https://shemtrails.bandcamp.com/album/ii
http://clostridiumrecords.com


Love Potion Zine 01/2021

Love Potion is a new full colour printed small fanzine (A4 folded in half) from the folks at Helsinki Psych Festival.  This first issue is in a mixture of Finnish language and English. Mostly Finnish but some of the interviews (Vibravoid, Oresund Space Collective and Orbiter are in English.  30 pages total. Not many people are bold enough to put out a printed zine these days. This one has a lot of really cool art as well. I really enjoyed the interviews. Chris tian from Vibravoid has some very strong opinions!!  Great job folks. You can contact them at: helsinkipsychfest@gmail.com 

Grey Mouse- A moment of Weakness (Addicted XXXX)

I have never heard of this Russian band and but song titles and description was pretty intriguing. A little research showed that the band had too albums with a female singer before this. I had not heard those until after I had reviewed this album. The core band is still the same though.  Not many rock bands have a cello player.  Backwater starts slowly with just a guitar playing slowly. This fades down and out and Dark Road starts but that sets the vibe for the record. The cello gives it a sort of morose and depressing vibe on this mostly laid back song. I dig Mikhail’s voice, a bit blues, a bit rough. Better than Me maintains the slow, blues, depressing downbeat music. Slow, steady and moody. Bass line is a bit more present. On the Run is mostly bass, drums and voice with the other instruments not coming in until later. This speeds things up as well until the end which dies out with the cello and slowly the bass and drums come back. Rat Race features the cello again and some passionate vocals. Survival Song is quite a rocking number and uptempo at times. Here comes the Storm has quite a similar vibe to some of the songs before it.  A very depressing cello sound, dark guitar strum and bass line.  I really like his voice and he sings well in English. The CD ends with the Suicide Song..  I really liked this album but it is pretty depressing and downbeat at times but some great singing and moods in this music. 

Line-up:

Mikhail Kudrey – vocals, Alex Chunikhin – guitar / bass guitar, Kirill Chunikhin – drums (Dark Road, Rat Race, Survival Song, Here Comes the Storm), Denis Bayukansky – drums (Better than Me, On The Run, Suicide Song), Uliana Volkova – cello

https://greymouse.bandcamp.com/

https://taplink.cc/greymouseband

Addicted label - https://taplink.cc/nonamerecordz'

Domboshawa- Mountain View (Drone Rock Records DRR043)

This is yet another brilliant record by Anders (based in Stockholm, Sweden) and released on vinyl. Anders is a very prolific multi-instrumentalist who is adding stuff to his band camp page all the time.  It is great to see him compile his favourite or best new material once a year or so for a vinyl release.   This album features one most rocking heavy track per side and then some spaced out drone stuff.  It is a really good mix of tracks. Earth is very laid back with some nice guitars with delays and some synths here and there as it just glides a long until it goes Syd Barrett territory! Cool.  Väklande Molnighet starts very spacey and dreamy but with a dark drone and feel to it.  Hjälmaren has a heavy bass line and some awesome guitar playing.  A few synths sounds here and there but this is about the heavy, spacey guitar solo.. Silverhjärna is a mellow spacey track with drone synths, slow bass and floating guitar textures. The theme from the guitar slowly gets more mysterious and dark. Föben is the closing track and starts with a drone and some spacey guitar and synth. 



https://domboshawa.bandcamp.com/album/domboshawa-mountain-view


https://dronerockrecords.com/