Sunday, November 28, 2021

Unconditional Love- Foreseeable Future (Root Rock Records RRR008)

This album is a solo album by Love Forsberg, the amazing drummer in Siena Root.  He is joined by other current and former members (KG Westman, Sam Riffer, Erik, Stian, Ann-Karin, Tobias Hanson).. The LP features 7 tracks and here is what Love had to say about:

“The theme of this album is the beat of the speech. Well-articulated, historically groundbreaking, political speeches that has a beat. The beat is developed into a groove with heavy drums. It is an analogue production from Root Rock Records own studio, featuring musicians from the group Siena Root and others. This album is a presentation of world-changing words in a new context, a piece of music that will appeal to an audience that never encounter these speeches. The philosophical range of the speeches is very broad, but all of them with a positive view on mankind. These words carry an important historical perspective and a view into the future”. 

The album features speeches by S. Allende (1972), G. Thunberg (2019), J. F. Kennedy (1963), M. L. King (1964), N. R. Mandela (1990), O. Palme (1972), Greta and F. D. Roosevelt (1944), capturing 75 years of recent history. 

The opening track, the spoken words are not in English but Spanish. It starts with some bells (xylophone?), and Rhodes like piano before the drums kick in.  The track is lead by the drums and keyboards primarily but later you really get the groove of the bass as well. Vocals are mixed in perfectly on this short  2.15 track.  I just love this next track, it is so groovy with great organ, bass and drums and then Greta, telling us about the environment.. The horns are a great touch on this track as well. Awesome track.  JFK is next and the track has a darker bass feel and some of the xylophone are also mixed in to create a melody on this one. Martin Luther King gives a great speech and the music has this sort of jazzy vibe to it.  Love the bass playing..  Mandela brings in a rock and roll tune and the first to feature some prominent guitar. Interesting how the spoken word is mixed in, quite different than on the other tracks. The Swedish PM, Olaf Palme is next and I had no idea what he is talking about but something about women! This one is quite jazzy and organ lead.  Greta is back with a dark drone synth, heavy drums and a dark theme! The album ends with Franklin D. Roosevelt and is a mainly synth, bass and drums track..  Really cool and original album.  Pressed in 500 copies.. All analog!! Buy it…. and remember it is all about the BEAT! 

But it here!
Root Rock Records

Monday, November 22, 2021

Haiku Funeral- Drown their moons in Blood (Aesthetic Death Records)

I have really liked a lot of the work of this duo. William based in France and Dimitar  based in Bulgaria make this dark psychedelic industrial music.. Quite frightening sometimes. I own all their releases and this is the first new material since 2019.  The song titles are intense as well like the opening number, The Universe murders Itself!!  Starts very eerie with drony flowing synths and mysterious sounds before the industrial percussion change the mood completely.  It gets even darker when the vocals come in. Feels like torture chamber music….  The head of the Innocent One starts with some church bells, big drums, a sitar strum… the darkness begins.. The vocal is very dark and the choir mixed with the eastern instrument, reminds me a bit of BONG.  Cherny Shamni is very mystical at the beginning and again with some sitar and some different kinds of drums but the mysterious evil side is still lurking about.. The Earth Burns and Burns starts with some thunder and dark synth drones and bass drones followed by some guitar (or could be bass?) but keeping the vibe dark. The vocal is evil. Later on there is some very interesting drums percussion, with these crushing sounds combined with the vocal choirs, creates a very cool atmosphere. Split the Swollen Dark continues the dark themes from the abyss.. The vocal is pretty clean and spoken on this track to start with and with the occasional delay or effect. A slow rumble rather than rhythm gurgles in the abyss as more strange sounds give an eerie feeling and would want to make some people run….. To Illuminate starts with some effected bass, industrial noises, wind, and a repeated theme of sorts. Dark stuff. Drown their Moons in Blood has some cool bass with some real melodies playing under it is a more tribal drum echoing away in the cavern.  A bit more minimalist this track and a different vibe to the rest of the album. It slowly gets swallowed in darkness though.  Hell of an album.. Do not listen to alone in the dark…

Here is how the bio describes the album (I only read this after writing the review): 

“Serpentine fretless bass drowning in dreamy analogue pads and textures poisoned by cyber-shamanic industrial percussion. Pulsing trance-like drone spiced with the venomous voluptuousness of the sitar. Otherworldly chants erupt from furious meditations. Poems from the Void. To imagine a spatiotemporal accompaniment of “Drown Their Moons In Blood” think of a universe where Shiva roams fire-drenched post-apocalyptic planetscapes on a cataclysmic acid trip… a journey through black holes of Luciferian consciousness expansion.” 

More Experience- Electric Laboratory of High Space Experience (Old Hippie Records)

I had never heard this band before my friend Dave made a post on facebook about his band Liquid Visions played some shows with them years ago. They are a strange looking bunch of hippies from Poland.  This is their first new music in some years but they really put everything in to it as it a great collection of 8 connected songs, all written by their cosmic leader, Piotr.  The Twilight starts things off with some birdsong and then you head into part 2, The Dream (Welcome to Nucleus ) which fades up with some cymbals and acoustic guitar before the full band kicks in with organ, bass and drums and a beautiful melody. Anna comes in with a nicely sung vocal that makes you feel happy. The end of the track gets really spaced out toward the end and then the acoustic theme and organ reappears. Great track.  The TRIP is next and starts slowly with an effected guitar and slowly moving track with a spoken word by Mahasadhu Eryk Paluch.  He has a cool voice. The Mind is a more bluesy rock number that reminds me a bit of Siena Root with the female voice, organ driven hard rock and then it changes with a quite cool lead synthesizer solo and into a sort of ethnic space with some nice hand drumming and the next adventure begins. Very nice.  Beelzebufo (Lunatic Space Diary) is a short piece (does include frog sounds!) that leads into Fairy Tale and Eryk is back with his majestic voice and some acoustic guitar backing and nice keyboards.  The title track is next and one of the highlights of the album!!  It starts off like 1969 era Pink Floyd with that Richard Wright like organ but with the female voice. By 7mins it is really building with some tension and getting a bit psychedelic and some tablas kick in..  The CD ends with the Gates of Dawn, much like it started. What a great record and cool band. I had never heard of these guys and thanks for sending the the CD. I really enjoyed it a lot.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

An Orchestral Dream play Tangerine Dream (Fruits de Mer Records, friends of the fish 53) 10”

This is a very limited edition lathe cut 10” featuring students from Eskilstuna Kulturskola in Sweden performing unique versions of TD songs starting off with Poland but here the electronics are replaced with acoustic guitar, hand drums, piano, voice and other instruments.  The track is still very recognisable though, if you know it in the first place.  Very cool. The B side features two shorter tracks (Charly the Kid and Love on a Real Train). I love how they replaced the synthesizer sequence with xylophone and horns and later Fender Rhodes piano.. Very original… The final track is quite similar in instrumentation as the previous but the trumpet adds a new angle. Wow.. I have to say, I am most impressed by this. Killer stuff. 

The Doors- every album every song by Tony Thompson

I just want to start out and say I have read quite a few of these every album every song books now and they are quite variable but this is the one that I have enjoyed the most.  The author has really brought into perspective a lot of elements of the Doors that you might have read in other books but rarely is it put into the context of the times, the album, like it is done here.  Also, I learned so much about the literary aspects and influences of a lot of the lyrics related to the songs. He does some speculation in many places where it was not obvious or know what the inspiration was.  Jim was an enormous talent that sadly got sucked into drugs and alcohol and lost most of what he had. I think Tony might overstate a bit about how great a singer Jim was. He had a good voice and sure he could sing but he was more a performance artist in many ways, before they were called that. 

The author is quite critical of the producer Paul Rothchild and I had never really thought about the way he does here and I would have to totally agree with Tony on many aspects.  After listening to Waiting for the Sun in 5.1 and reading what he has written, it was for sure a huge mistake to leave Celebration of the Lizard off the record and put in a set of songs that were early takes from the previous album or demos or just not worked out well enough. 

Tony did a great job also discussing the band (Rick and the Ravens) before the Doors and this is not information I had read much about in previous Doors books.  He also goes into detail on the post- Jim era records even American Prayer. 

I own the Doors Perception box set and it has been great to revisit all these albums and hear them in 5.1 surround as the mix is fantastic especially on the later records when there were more channels to play with.  Tony points out just how much better a lead guitar player Robby became after 1969 and you really hear this for sure on the last few records and the live recordings from the 1970 shows that were recorded and released by Rhino.  While, these Rhino releases are not covered in detail (Except London Fog), he does mention them recommends a few. Jim´s last show was in New Orleans, LA at the Warehouse in December 1970.. July 1971, Jim was dead and that was pretty sad.. Anyway.. a very good book… One of my faves from this series of books. Great job Tony… 

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Zack Oakley- Badlands (Kommune Records KOM-001)

This record has been in the making for a few years now and it is cool to see it out.  If you don´t recognize his name, Zach is the lead guitarist in JOY and Volcano as well as playing drums in Pharlee (all San Diego based).  For this album he has pulled together not only his brother on Drums but other members like Donavan (bassist in Pharlee), Gabe (Harsh Toke) and others Kyre Wilcox, Trevor Mast, Jody Bagley, Tyler Daughn, and Travis Baucum…  Zack wrote, arranged and produced all the tunes. The album starts off with a great track that is a bit like JOY meets Radio Moscow. I recorded some synths on the first demo of this track a few years ago. A great rocking opener.. I am the One starts with some wah guitar and a stop start like rhythm before taking another path and a bit more melodic and a bit of a psychedelic touch on the vocals and some cool effects on the guitar at different points. A very dynamic track. Desert Shack has this sort of 60s vibe with some nice backing vocals and also a more laid back lead vocal. The vocals are a real focus on this track but lovely lead guitar as well. Side A ends with the short rocker, The Fever. 

Side B starts with Mexico, a more bluesy track with some harmonica and then goes into a more psychedelic direction with a nice guitar solo section. Lookin’ High Searchin’ Low is an acoustic guitar based blues track with some old school slide guitar.  Acid Rain is a more retro sounding track with some nice heavy wah guitar.  The album ends with a more moody track called Badlands with some funky guitar and a couple of nice guitar solo sections. This is the longest track on the album. Love the double tracked guitar as well and Dylan does a nice solo towards the end as well.  

What a fantastic eclectic record showcasing so many styles and also showing what a diverse and great guitarist Zach is.. This will for sure be in my top 20 this year, well worth seeking out.

Friday, November 12, 2021

The Damned- Every Album Every Song (Sonicbond Publishing)

I got sent this book for review and what an interesting history these crazy guys have had. The author is very enthusiastic and makes some big claims.  As with these books, he starts with a history of the band and their place in the UK-London scene, their first single, New Rose (was it really the first punk rock single ever released??) and into the debut album. All the studio albums (11 from 1977 to 2018) are covered in great detail.  There is a fair bit of history as well as this band had some major changes since after the 2nd album they broke up and the guitar player Brian James that wrote nearly all the songs was not invited back when the rest of the guys decided to get back together after a go at being on other bands or solo projects.  Algy Ward (later TANK) was in the band briefly as well before being sacked after the US tour. Apparently, was just drunk all the time. Paul Gray (Eddie and the Hot Rods) replaced Algy and the Black Album was produced which was described by some one as the best late 60s Who album never made! It seems by 1982, the punk scene had several camps and the Damned did not really fit into any of them as they were far more experimental and broad in their musical nature. Captain Sensible had a #1 hit with his solo album and this changed the dynamic of the band and it would take them 3 years after Strawberries (1982) to make two more albums (1985 and 1986) before a long break to 1995 for the next album.  

At the end of the book, he describes the various different compilations of singles, A&B sides and a whole slew of live album releases, some  unofficial or underground as well as legitimate.  At the very end, they added a few pages to describe the most recent 2021 release, the Rockfield Files and the new tracks produced. There are some pictures of the band and all the album covers including some very recent shots. 

Overall, this is really well covered and I learned quite a bit about the band. If you are a fan, you will for sure enjoy this even if the author is maybe a bit too over the top about how great some of this stuff is…  For certain, they are a UK rock band that will not be forgotten.. Too many crazy characters and some damn good songs as well.   A good read for sure. 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Kanaan- Earthbound (Jansen Records JANSEN126LP)

The Norwegian Trio, Kanaan are back with the new album. Recorded by the bass player Esk in Oslo, the album features 8 songs and a more heavy vibe, real stoner rock stuff at times but still their own unique twist to things… Prelude starts things off with a short beautiful piece of music, reminding me a bit of the new Papir material but then you take off with Return to the Tundrasphere! Has the band ever been this heavy before? I don’t think so. Cool guitar riff, heavy low end bass and powerful drums. Some great melodic parts as well, a mixture of symphonic heavy (with mellotron) and stoner. Super cool and heavy riff rock at the end of this long track. Pink Riff is a short track but super intense and quite psychedelic at times with some spacey sounds mixed in with a very intense bass and drum attack. What a blast!!  Feels almost like I am playing with them on this one! Bourdon slows things down with some effected bass and guitars and then get you get the very fuzzed out bass and guitar with some wild solos and intensity.. Mirage is a relaxing spacey piece to end the record.. 

Side B, starts with Mudboound and a heavy bass line and QOTSA guitar hook, riff and a bit of a Colour Haze vibe. The track sticks with the dirty and fuzzy sound with some occasional guitar outbursts before settling down to a spacey mid section.  Great and dynamic track. Crash is actually a slow doom drone track, who would have expected that??? No Star left Unturned sees the band going for some heavy psych rock to end this pretty intense album. Wow.. Awesome stuff..

Regen Graves- Climax (Pariah Child CD019/309)

This Italian group are back with their 4th release. I had only heard the 2nd one before getting this new one.  It features 5 tracks plus a bonus track. It comes in a really nice like dvd size digpack. The opening track is a mixture of deep bass drone, church organ and some spacey wind and sounds.  After a few minutes there is a spoken word section with some delay. Hard to understand.  As the track continues it gets more and more spaced out with different sounds flying around here and there. 10mins.. Next track starts with some spaced out sounds with long delays and then a more sequences synthesizer kicks in while the spoken words start to appear. This track has a bit more energy but is still very spaced out and intense. The Window is next and has a dark mysterious feel to it like it could be in a horror film scene. The music is quite like a more spacey and less layered Tangerine Dream. Diegetic Distortion is more noisy and experimental in nature. 

Nothing will be Better is buzzing about to start with some distant sounds of machines and other noises that and eventually a highly effected voice appears and bells and you start to get worried.  The bonus track, Heat was improvised in March 2020 and again features some sequences synth but with a programmed drum as well and some samples. It has a mid pace and nice build and is the least spaced out song and quite repetitive in nature. I really liked this stuff. Think of a more dark Tangerine Dream meets Dario Argento in a dark alley….

Sula Basana- Loop Station Drones (Sulatron st 2108)

I have been listening to these really cool tracks as Dave has added them slowly to bandcamp and really enjoyed them a lot.  These tracks are recorded live with a loop station guitar, effect pedals, 2 loop stations, 2 guitar amps, a syncable drum computer, a very old organ from GDR (Weltmeister TO 200/5), a very old synthesizer (Roland SH 5) and a modern one (Roland SE-02). 

The Roadburn haze was debuted back in April and what an awesome track this is.. A very dark and cool guitar line and quite hypnotic. Killer track. Rolling is all synth based. Die Karawane has a slow spacey start and some nice building guitar with some beautiful melodies..  Wastelandgarden is a very dark, brooding synth track with a bit of delay guitar. Dopeshuttle is very slow and droney to start. Bass sort of reverberates and some guitar effects fly around a bit here and there and a nice breeze and some SH-5 bubbles burst here and there.. and then the motorik drums kick in and off you go for an intense trip….  Stargate is another long but slow track but this one stays in drone mode with some trippy guitars and stuff all the way through. One Way is the last track and my least favourite but it has a beautiful melody and is perhaps just a bit too happy..   Great release. 

Roadburn Haze    14:59, 2. Rolling In Outer Space    5:04, 3. Die Karawane der Unsterblichen    13:41, 4. Wastelandgarden    6:41, 5. Dopeshuttle    17:45, 6. Stargate    14:05, 7. One Way    6:03

ON TRIAL- LIVE AT ROADBURN 2007 (Roadburn Records)

About a year ago I was approached by Roadburn records and asked if I was interested in contacting On Trial and also mixing this concert they played in 2007… I have been friends with the band for many years and was very familiar with their sound so I accepted the challenge and spent a month mixing all the tracks and then with the bands help and looking at the Live at Gutter Island record, we chose the tracks that would be the most different material as that live album was also from this tour. Anyway, I am very happy with the way it turned out. Great artwork, sound and performance by the band.. Check out Blood River below! If you like On Trial, you will dig it!!

ST37- Over and Over and Over Again (Pariah Child MC018, 2021)

So ST37 got a bit angry and let it out on these isolation recordings.  The limited edition tape features 3 songs (jams) on each side. The opening track reminded me a bit of the craziness of the Butthole surfers while the 2nd track starts off like if Hawkwind were even more stoned in 1971 and recorded in a low fi manner.  Crazy psychedelic soundscapes and wild jamming. Even sounds like a bit of flute in there! Later on there is a guy raving like a maniac about something!! The last track on side A, the Monster is Real continues the psychedelic mind fuck… 

Side B starts off with Observing Dust which features long guitar soloing parts and psychd out sounds. The 2nd track is another sort of mind fuck and thankfully the last track is more relaxed and almost bluesy as your brain will need a rest by this point… Phew.. Quite a powerful release.  Enjoy.. 

AGUSA- EN ANNAN VARLD LP (Kommun 2 Record)

It has been quite a few years since Agusa put out a new studio album. They have been focusing on live albums the past years, having an equal number to their studio albums. Anyway, the band is really totally different now though, with only the guitar player, Mikael, from the original band.  Tim (Drums) and Theresa (Flute) have been in the line up for some years though.  Bass player, Simon and keyboard player, Jens, are the new fresh blood. These two long tracks were recorded in sections (according to Tim) and put together to make these long tracks. IT is the bands most progressive and least folky album yet and quite impressive playing and dynamics. I love the freshness of the sound.  Awesome record….   

Electric moon meets Talea Jacta- Sabotar (Sulatron Records st 2106)

The rumour of this record has been around for quite a while and it is great that it has finally come out. In Sept 2019, the bands played two shows in Lisboa. One night both bands played one set and the next night, they all jammed together..  The band was: Pedro Pestana: Guitar, fx, Joao Pais Filipe: Drums/Percussion and Komet Lulu – Bass and effects. Pablo Carneval - Drums, Sula Bassana – Guitar, fx

So what about the music?? Three tracks are presented, 6, 14 and 20mins.  The music is quite a bit more Electric Moon than Talea music. Like Electric Moon with heavier drumming and more spaced out guitars… I would have liked if the drums were mixed higher and you could get more of the Talea groove feel but that is my preference..  Cool stuff..  A nice new musical collaboration! 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Dark Bottle- Failed State/Police State 7” (Harava Records HRV-002)

Dark Bottle (from Finland) are back with a high energy politically charged release.  Failed State is also quite catchy, with slide and banjo but a punky vibe… Let the through be told (very rare in the USA)!!  Check out the great video below! This is what the band had to say about: “Don wrote this song while observing, from a distance but with a lot of concern, at what a mess things seem to be at the moment in the USA. We recorded it in short order at Nekala Propaganda Centre and video genius Joona Virtanen made a great video of it.”  

The B side is the song Cop Killer by Body Count but with a totally new arrangement that leans more towards psychobilly.. I wonder what Ice T thinks?? I guess he would dig it and so will you!!  Only made in 2 or 300 copies.. A very different release from some of the bands other material but damn good!!