Friday, April 29, 2011

My Roadburn Experience in 2011

Roadburn Festival 2011 (April 14-17th)

          Well, here we are again for the 6th year in a row. This festival has simply become a fixture in my life now and something that I look forward to as if it was Christmas! Last year was a very special event with the massive volcanic explosion in Iceland that forced a number of bands to cancel (and luckily many were able to come and play this year) and my own band, Øresund Space Collective had the honor of playing as the first band in the Bat Cave on the first day. Ironically, just yesterday (Tues April 12th) the day before I was leaving for the festival, the test pressing of the double vinyl, OSC- Live at Roadburn 2010 arrived! Cool.

April 10th- Dr. Space rehearses with Dragontears

14:00  The amazing psychedelic rock band, Dragontears will perform their last two concerts for some time at Roadburn and I was invited to play with them at the festival. I had never played with any of these Baby Woodrose, On Trial, Spids Nøgenhat guys, except for Morten Aron, who played with OSC last year. We met up on the Sunday and had a beer in the sun. Anders (bass) overslept so was late but I had to leave to do the Roadburn Radio show at 18, so we had to set up and just try to get things going. There is a lot of gear in this room that On Trial uses and has been in for many years. I found a place in the corner so it was no problem. We had a lot of discussion about what to play and it was decided to just run through the songs from the Loppen set and we will just totally play it by ear at Roadburn and probably play 4-5 songs and the rest will just be jamming. We ran through Gensigtig Man, Time of no Time, My friend, Two Tongue Talk and Neonheaded Demon before I had to leave. IT was great fun and sounded really good. I recorded it as well. I made wind, bubbles, etc.. I think Aron and Guf wanted me to really freak out a lot and really space it out. We will see. I fear it can just be too much..

18:00 I arrived 2mins late and Jens put on Circle to start the show, a track from Alotus, I believe and then I took over for the next 1½ hrs. It was great fun. I played Stone Axe, Count Raven, Quest for Fire (all 7” records), VoiVod, Incredible Hog, Blood Ceremony, The Machine, Beaver and a few other tracks. I have not idea how many people actually listen to this Christianhavns Virus radio show but it is fun.


10:45 Met up with Jens and Martin at the security check and everyone was in a good mood. With in a few minutes we had met up with Ole. Sadly, Magnus will only come for the Saturday and Sunday as his grandmother passed away at 102 years old and they are holding the funeral on Friday. Bummer..

11:10 We are in line to board the plane and Ole realizes that he is on the SAS flight that leaves at 11:20 and not the KLM flight that Jens, Martin and myself are on. Shit… It is unlikely he made this flight. He is staying at the same hostel and me, Sven, Nils and some of the others so we will have to meet up with him later. Bummer. The plan for Amsterdam this afternoon is to check out the record stores, coffee shop, and go see the special Kenji Hanno- Stephen O’Malley show tonight! That will be super far out, I think.

12:15 I am on the plane now and feeling really tired. A cup of tea is cooling off. It will be an great festival again this year.

13:36 Ole was there when we got there. I have no idea how he managed that but that was great. We are all at the Central train station now and all is well. It is a sunny with clouds day but nice out. Just ran into Jussi from Finland as well. We will see him at the Kenji Haino show tonight. We plan to drop our stuff off and check into the hostel and then go out for some food and record stores.

16:10 I had to pay for everyone in order for us to be able to check into the room. It was 212€. I will collect up the money later. Nils put a down payment but I don’t think this was part of it. Anyway, we had a nice meal at some Argentinean place and everyone had ribs except Ole. We saw a couple of record stores when we were walking around trying to find this place.

18:30 Wow.. I found some cool records. The two bassekou kauyote LPs, both double vinyls. I got the new Gregg Allman double vinyl, the double vinyl first Gov’t Mule record, which has never been out on vinyl before, and Mom’s Apple Pie, a classic cover and ok blues rock record from 1972. This is an original it looks like for 20€. We are sitting in a park with one of Martin’s Dutch friends and having a beer and talking about all sorts of stuff. He has been in quite a few crazy punk bands. The Sausage Factory sounded bizarre and their 7” covers sound like they were crazy! Nice people. We will walk over to the club that O’Malley from Sunn O and Kenji Haino will play and find a coffee shop.

20:45 People bought some AK47 and also some Amnesia Haze at a coffee shop. We also grabbed a bite to eat and will now go get in line for the show. Looks like a cue has already started.

22:10 The club is totally packed now but nothing has happened yet except some moving around of some gear, etc.. Nils and Tom are trying to make it. It is going to be loud and Haino has a lot of pedals and 3 of these air synths. We are right up in the very front. We thought that they would play as three guitar players but O’Malley on bass, Haino on guitar and not sure who the guy playing drums is.

23:00 Haino plays like he is possessed by a demon and he is a true guitar torturer! He plays very chaotically and in a not very trained way. Just plain far out. The bass was totally massive and you could not even hear Haino very well and then he turned himself up and it was much better but deadly loud. Over 115db on my sound meter.

23:45 It is over and they played about 65mins of total crazy stuff. No groove at all, just a drummer playing along in his own world, and the bass was a wall of sound and occasionally, they would cross paths and it would sound like they were playing together. Haino at the end of the show was really wild and the layers of feedback guitar were huge and then he added some of air synth screams.. About ¼ of people left but most people were into it and it was wild. Some people would not consider this music at all. Here is a link to some video I shot!

00:45 I went off to bed and Nils, Tom and Ole headed to another coffee shop and bar. I hope I sleep well.

Day 1

08:10 I was up early and felt ok. Had some breakfast with Nils and Ole and then took a shower and everyone was in a good mood and does not seem too tired or anything.

10:38 Martin and Jens were late and Ole had bought their tickets for the train to save time and they missed it. Tom, Nils, Ausi, Sven and myself are on the train to Tilburg. It takes about 75min with the train change and then we have to catch the bus to Hilvarenbeek. I just met some cool American guys from Portland. This is their 3rd Roadburn festival. Very nice guys.

01.15 We just checked into hotel and the staff of course remembers us and they are so friendly. They did not charge me for the night I am not here on Sunday that we booked for the two nights that Magnus booked and is not here due to a funeral. I am in room 6 and the others are in 25,26 and 27 but all on the 2nd floor. Everyone is rolling up for the show. We are all excited to be back again.

2:15 We are all on the bus on the way to the 013 now to get our wristbands in good time and to relax and have a beer. We are talking with some Australian folks that are here again. Cool people.

16:20 I could not get into see Quest for Fire so I ran back to catch the Kilimanjaro dark jazz ensemble in the midi and there was plenty of space and it was very cool spacey psychedelic stuff. They showed some dark films as well. It was violin, French horn, female vocal, bass, guitar and beats. I liked this stuff and had a nice chat with Jack from Toner Low.

17:00 I saw most of the Acid King show and this was massive and the big hall was packed. I would really love this band if Lori were a better guitar player and could play cooler solos. Still, I really liked them a lot and they had these great biker films, which were also the same ones they showed 4-5 years ago as well.

18:00 Ghost was pretty damn Cool. I caught the last few songs including a really good instrumental track. They are a pretty standard 80’s metal sound but then some small more progressive rock sections. They look totally far out in these hoods and the lead singer with a full mask and pope hat with the upside down cross. Pretty fun and cool. The place was totally packed.

18:45 Nils and I met up and got pretty far into the room for Naam. Nanna, Christiana and others were there as well. They played some pretty cool stuff this three piece from Brooklyn NY. It was a bit stoner rock, 70’s rock and some pretty cool psych rock guitar. He does not play that many mindblowing solos but still a cool style of guitar. Their songs were pretty long.

19:05 We split to go see Blood Farmers. The CD is great and we hope they can deliver. Not a lot of people yet.

20:00 Wow.. Blood Farmers, the 30mins or so we saw were fucking great. This was my favourite band so far and the guitar player played monster guitar riff, far out solos and the new song 1000 yard stare was really great. As good or better than the new songs.

20:10 Now was time for a classic band from the 70’s Pentagram. I had never heard them live before and was looking forward to this. Nils and I were just to the right for the sound mixer. Victor Griffin was super loud, wow.. He was not really on top at this show. His solos got better and better. He did not know which leg to stand on because he was not on drugs anymore. We need him to do drugs again, to give the music a bit more edge. The first new song they played was really not good at all. The 2nd was pretty cool and the 3rd one so. I saw the entire set and left during the last song and ran over to catch what I could of Circle at the Midi theatre. I ended up near the front with Ole and Tom. Ole said that the band carried the singer onto the stage and everything with the show started in slow motion. They were still in slow motion when I came in and this last for like 10 mins before they really took off and played a very cool show. I only did not recognize one song but it was high energy, intense, madness.

21:45 I was getting tired. Needed a red bull and to sit down. I went up to the top of the 013 and sat down to rest my legs while Godflesh set up and started. The intro was spaced out and they filled the whole hall with smoke but once the crushing volume and dark screaming metallic monotony started, it was not for me I left after like 10 mins and headed over to the midi theatre and spoke with Silvana and Roxanne while we sat in the balcony and waited for Wardruma.

22:30 Wardruma started off the show really cool. I liked the music and the vibe a lot but the visuals were not that cool but when the music started getting to heavy and electronic, then the visuals were looking great but I needed to run off so I could get into the bat cave room  for Carlton Melton. I bought their record, 7” and split 12” earlier in the day, just thinking this would be cool.

23:15 Nils, Nanna, ole, Christian, Jacob, I saw a lot of the Danes at Carlton Melton. It started off with a two guitar space out and then the 2nd guitar player switched to drums and the drummer switched to bass and then they really played some cool psychedelic rock with some great guitar. The main guitar player he also had a small keyboard set up that he would trigger some sounds now and then to add to the space out. They were really cool. This was probably my favourite show on this day. They had the bass player from Acid King play lead guitar for a monster dual soloing space out at the end of the show and then the main guitar player, he gave his guitar to another guy, who I am not sure who it was. Great show.

          Nils and I ran off to catch a few minutes of Count Raven on the balcony and we caught the end of Destruction of the Void but the sound was terrible and his voice, he just can’t really sing the way he does on the record so it was not good, and a major disappointment as I love their records but back to see the end of Carlton Melton.

          Solient Green was still playing on the big stage and the room was not that full when we left to go outside for some air. It was a long and intense day and there was no time for food. I did not drink so many beers as I had not eaten hardly anything yesterday. This is a huge problem at Roadburn, no time to eat!

Day 2

          We are all sitting out in the garden having some food and beers and chips and everyone is in a great mood and no one seems to be suffering from yesterday’s abuses. The sun has been out and it was great and now it has clouded up but still pretty nice. Not sure when we will go into the town today or when the busses leave. People are not sure whether to go for Kenji Haino or Vampyr soundtrack played by Year of no Light from France.

13:30 We are on the bus back to Tilburg and everyone is in a great mood. I will go and get my train ticket for tomorrow and then meet up with the guys.

15:30 I got my train ticket for 9:14 on Sunday and just had a nice lunch with Sara and Benny and Ralph. Ralph was just sitting in a café having a smoke and coffee when I walked by. Nice people.

16:30 Nils, Martin, Nanna and some others, we are all watching Kenji Haino freakout. He is loud, crazy and very expressive. He is doing very different stuff than he did two nights ago which is good but it is music for the extreme. I am surprised so many people hang in here.

17:00 It was announced by Walter that Earth’s van broke down so they have switched with Circle-Pharaoh Overlord, who will play next on the mainstage and Earth will be later at the midi-theatre. Perfect. We will just hang out here for 15 mins more.

18:45 Wow.. That was very cool and totally different. 5 guitar players in this line up and they had Mr. Duffy over from jesters of Destiny so they could perform some of the Hollywood record (?, Sacrifice, Madman) and also Earthworm. They performed two Jesters of Destiny songs as well and the 2nd one was fantastic and they played a really cool space end to it as well. A huge surprise was the singer from the LA band, Night Horse, he came out and sang two numbers with them, one called Out of the Darkness. This was good rocking stuff but not the hypnotic stuff that people thought they were going to get. This was Finnish NWOFHM version of Circle. I dug it but I know a lot of people could not get into it, it was too 80s metal, some how..

19:15 I saw the beginning of Winter but it was too slow, doomy, depressive stuff. I had enough of that with Cough last week. I went over to check out Beaver. They said this was their first show in 9 years. I hung out with Silvana and later Tom, who was totally digging it. They opened with a really bad song and Jens and Christina split, which is a pity as the rest of the show and songs were really cool. They were not totally tight sometimes but that was ok. The female drummer was really great. She really pounded the drums. Private Stash was a killer track. They seem to play numbers from all their records and the crowd was into it.

20:30 Corrosion of Conformity on the big stage. That was also really fun and it was not just all short fast songs, they really mixed it up well with heavy slower stuff and played damn cool and very tight. I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. I even had my Technocracy 1987 tour shirt with me. I never did get to see the band live though as the gig in El Paso that we went to was cancelled due to the venue change, collapsing stage, etc.. so we ended up taking the band down to Mexico and we partied with them down there. They were super cool people. They probably would not remember this.

21:45 I caught the end of Earth and it was a great sound and really melodic slow spacey music. I just wish the guitar player would do a bit more. He has a cool band laying down a great sound but he plays pretty unexciting guitar sometimes, I feel like he should push the boundaries a bit more, at least some times. Incredible Hog is next and I am very excited for this one.

23:15 WOW.. what can I say, me, Nils, Martin, Nanna, most of the whole gang was here to see this band from 1973 that only released one record! It will be rereleased on Rise above Records later this year with some unreleased stuff. Anyway, they played a lot of the songs from the record and some stuff that was never released and a great version of the Willie Dixon song, Going Down. The guitar player and the whole band were really into jamming so it was excellent. Lots of cool guitar. They pretty much blew us away. Best band of the day for me.

1:00 Wow.. another killer concert. Voi Vod was really killer today and very powerful and a great set of songs from nearly all the albums and they even tried out a totally new song that they had never played live before. The replacement for Piggy he is just an excellent fit and Piggy was a very unique guitar player so this is really hard stuff to learn to play like this. Crowd was totally into it and they had killer sound. They dedicated Astronomy Dominie to Piggy as their encore song. After the show we talked a lot with the drummer and guitar player from Incredible Hog and I also spoke to Away and the new guitar player a bit. Such nice people. All the bands were just hanging out. What a killer day.

2:00 We are finally back at the hotel and I am really tired. Magnus will show up tomorrow for the last day and the Afterburner. Tom, Jens and Martin were totally blasted and Nils had to make sure they all got back. I went back with Martin, his girlfriend and Ole.

Day 3

9:30 I am up early, nothing to do about that. Today I will perform with Dragontears at the midi theatre. This is going to be really fun. They arrived last night but I did not see any of them. I will also go see this special showcase at the Café Cul De Sac with a brand new band called Gingerpig with the guitar player from Gorefest. It should be some sort of 70s rock.

11:30 I did not see many of them this morning and am on the bus to Tilburg. The showcase starts at 01:30 and I will get something to eat. They will give away a free 7” record as well. I am feeling a little out of it today after a hard day yesterday, not enough sleep and no real good meals.

1:00 I had an excellent meal. A huge salad with fresh mozzarella and chicken. Feel better now. I am off to the venue soon.

1:30 I just had a nice chat with Jussi from Circle and he filled me in on some of the details of Pharaoh Overlord, Circle, etc.. they are very active with releases and stuff. I also met the folks from Earth. Very nice people. They are off to play in Malmo and then Finland today. I will meet the dragontears guys at 15 to get the wristband, etc..

14:30 Gingerpig are an excellent band, wow. That really caught me by surprise. The singer he has a great voice and they write some excellent 70s style songs and the keyboard player who had a Hammond with Leslie, fender Rhodes, and a Moog Prodigy. He played in a really cool spacey style. Anyway, the songs sometimes had a bit of a stoner riff and a great groove. I was very impressed and enjoyed the show a lot. I will for sure want to get their record. I look forward to hearing the 7” record.

15:30 I have my wristband and food and drink tokens and have met up with Nils and the others and am ready for Candlemass. This should be great!

18:30 Candlemass had a great sound and some cool visuals and put on a very solid show. They started with some old songs like Mirror Mirror, Bells of Achelon, Samara thin, and then If I ever Die and Hammer of Doom, the best songs from the latest record. Then the first singer came out and performed the entire 1st record with the band, including the acoustic guitar intro. This was great. He still sounds fantastic and has an amazing voice. I really like the new guy from Solitude Aeternus but I am pretty surprised he has to read the lyrics for every song from a book, even songs he has probably sung 200 times! I left after the classic record and caught the first 3 songs of Lonely Kamel from Norway. I was surprised they were so much like stoner rock. Their latest record was more bluesy. I still enjoyed it.  Then I ran into see White Hills. IT was very very packed and super hot. They were really cool and the lady from Aqua Nebula Oscillator was playing with them but you could hardly hear anything she played. They played On and On and Dead and a few others I recognized but they were spacing out as well. I did not see the whole show as I needed to rest a bit for later. Pity as I was really loving this one.

19:15 I met up with the others and saw a few songs of Weedeater. That was really intense stuff, very sludgy, dirty, heavy riff rock. The bass player he was totally crazy but having a good time as well. He even played a bit laying on his back with his feet in the air. He plays in Sourvein and actually stayed at my apartment some years ago and was a very nice person despite coming across as quite mad! Heavy shit and I loved it. 

22:15 After Weedeater I headed over to the midi theatre and just rested my mind and legs and listened to Pharaoh Overlord’s set. They started with an old Spaceman 3 song, in a like 10 min version. Very repetitive stuff. Their was a decent crowd but it was not filled up. They played a very special set up extremely repetitive hypnotic stuff with 3 guitar (one who sang all the songs) and Mika standing like a statue playing some drones on a small Roland synth. The crowd was into it. It is pretty far out and totally different than the other two shows the band played.

          The Dragontears show was very cool and I had a totally amazing time. We played a long space out jam at the beginning, Time of no Time, My friend, Two Tongue Talk, Neonheaded Demon, Masters of War (Special spaced version) and ended with Gensigntig Mænd. The crowd was loving it and the visuals looked cool but I thought there was too much light on the stage, it should have been darker. I feel like most of the time I played quite well and cool stuff. My stage sound was great and I could hear everyone but Guf seem to not enjoy the show too much, sadly. It was a great crowd response and several people said it was one of the highlights of the festival. Wow…I packed up my gear and am running off to see Stone Axe. There is a lot of videos of Dragontears here is one cool one. 

1:00 I managed to catch the last 30 mins of Stone Axe and Martin and Jens were there and we totally rock out. They were really excellent and have cool songs but they do not jam at all. All the songs are like 3-4mins max. They played mostly songs I knew from their records, which I have all of them, even the 7” releases!  I left and headed over to see the rest of Ufomammut and I ran into Walter who was also going over there and he was in a great mood and the festival had been running nearly perfect this year so he was satisfied. The venue was packed and we could not even get in for a few mins so I only caught the end of Eve and the rest of the show. Eve was amazing and spacey stuff and my fave record by this band. They played a few ok songs after but the last track was really great. They had a massive sound and this was probably the loudest concert of the festival.

2:00 I was able to catch 2 songs by Gates of Slumber and the end of the Wolf People. I really liked Wolf People from the UK. Very cool rock music. They apparently had a lot of sound issues during their gig but it was great what I was able to catch. I will have to try to hear some more of their music. Roadburn is over for me and Magnus is totally blasted so I help him into a taxi and we head back to the hotel.

Day 4 Going Home

          Sadly I had to leave the festival and go home for my daughter’s birthday which always falls on the Roadburn weekend the last 4 years, of which I have missed it two years and yes, I feel guilty. This year I had to go home even though the Afterburner just looks amazing with Blood Farmers, Black Mountain, Black Pyramid, The Machine, Samsara Blues Experiment, Dragontears, etc.. wow….

          It was a great festival and if I have to say which bands that I enjoyed the most it would be Incredible Hog, VoiVod, Carlton Melton, White Hills, Weedeater and Ufomammut but nearly ever band was really excellent and only very few were below the standard I had hope they would be (Pentagram, Naam). Thanks Walter and the others for another amazing festival.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cough, Kongh and Sinister Creation- Loppen, Christiania 4/9/11

I was not sure how many people would show up for this night of very heavy music but it was around 100 people. Jens was the DJ and playing a lot of NWOBHW stuff people were digging it. A lot of the people I go to Roadburn with were there: Jens, Jakob, Nils, Nanna, Ole, Martin, Rhona, and even Finn! Sinister Creation (Denmark) started just after 10 and played for about 35mins I think. Their songs are short and sound very much like 80’s rock and metal. A bit of UK NWOBHW and St. Vitus, etc.. Not many guitar solos and if so, very short as were all the songs. The band is young and fresh and not confident enough to really jam yet. They ended the set with a Witchfinder General cover track. Someone snagged the set list, so I don’t have it. Think they need a new name as there is at least one other established band with that name. I look forward to seeing them again. Martin was a good front man and sings with passion but I am not sure how good a voice he has. It was hard to hear where I was. Here is a link to a youtube video of the 2nd to last song. 

          Kongh (Sweden), changed out all the cymbals and made an Orange stack and after 45mins was ready. I had seen them once before at Lades with Ocean Chief (who I really liked) and was not really grabbed by this Swedish doom band. They opened with a pretty cool song and like the guitar player, who wears a YOB shirt, I feel they would like to be like YOB but I don’t much like the vocal or his guitar riffs. They are a bit boring and don’t really grab me at all. This band is only riffing and there was not a single guitar solo in their hour long set up 5-6 long tracks. No doubt they are heavy but they did not interest me that much. Bass player only plays the E string as most of these bands seem to but not all. Their last song was their most interesting and complex with a lot of different arrangements. Ok band.

          Cough (USA) was the first band of the night with two guitar players and it was after 01:00 in the morning before they started their brutal assault. They were in a good mood and when I asked the guitar player who also sings if they ever improvise he said no, they played the same thing each night. Every one of their 5-6 songs was like 10 mins long and they played one new one called Fuck UP. The one after called Acid Witch, was pretty cool and they are mostly pretty slow heavy as hell doom, but then they have these guitar breaks to do like solos but they are not your traditional guitar solos, they are more like some wah and effects and to make a psychedelic atmosphere, sometimes it was very cool and just what you really needed to break the slow wall of deadly DOOM they laid down. The singer was more or less unintelligible, the way he sang. Brutal HEAVY DOOM stuff..
          A fun night but I was tired and blasted by the end. If I had not had earplugs I would have been in bad shape as it was very loud…  See some of you at Roadburn! The rest of my pics are below. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Seven that Spells- Acid taking and Sweet Love Making (Hau Ruck !98)

Well, the amazing Croatian band, STS is back with another record. This has just come out despite having been recorded back in 2006. I really love the erotic digipack artwork and the great song titles the band comes up with. The opening track, Let’s go to San Francisco starts off like some old acid rock from their very early days but then sadly ends a bit too quick with a strange twist as we head into the Acid mothers temple vortex with Hell from Jazz. This was just rips your head clean off over the 16 mins. The next track has a lady singing for nearly the entire track and this one is pretty damn cool and starts with a slight off guitar riff based on the Led Zeppelin song, Immigrant song and is thus titled, Emmigrant Song. It goes for around 11 mins. Easy Drugs and Hard Women is next and is a bit more spacey and starts with some more basic not so psyched out easy strummed guitar and lets the analog synths sort of float over the track in a dreamy way. It is not long before Niko starts to solo and things get more psychedelic but he plays very melodically on this track and not so freaked out. Noi Noi ends this trip with an uptempo repetitive groove and some spacey female vocal layered into the sound that just builds and builds and builds.

Today is a Good Day- Live at Burg Herzberg Festival (Herzberg verlag)

Herzberg Festival has released another compilation CD with tracks from 9 different bands from 1996 to 2010.  It is quite diverse but mostly pretty uptempo stuff starting off with new Model Army playing the title track of the CD. A bit rocking and punky. An Italian 70’s style hard rock band called Electric Swan play a great song with the same title as the band. White Cowbell Oklahoma really rock the place with Tear you a new one. I reviewed the full length CD of their concert released by the festival. The Brew is listed next on the CD but actually comes before WCO on the CD have a great jamming track with a tease of Dazed and Confused. They are from the UK and play heavy blues rock. Vibravoid play Your minds at Ease, the longest track at 11½ mins and a nice more laid back and psychedelic track after some rocking stuff. Ax Genrich (Guru Guru) plays a blues track that was recorded back in 1996 (all other bands are from the last 4 years). Two German bands are next. Krabat play a track called Niemals Nirgends from their 2007 concert and this is a great and really cool dynamic prog rock track with female vocals. Orange, also from 2007, play Feuerbaum, which is a very tribal groovy track with didgeridoo. Roger Chapman from the Byrds closes the CD with the old blues track, Blind Willie McTell. A pretty solid compilation CD from one of the best festivals in Europe.

The Triumph of the 16 Deadly Improvs (Rosemont Recordings)

This is a New Jersey based project that has produced 5 records over the last 15 years. This CD was put together from one 2½ hr session on June 28th, 2008. While it is not totally improvised, there are no bass or drum overdubs, mainly vocals, some guitar on tracks 12 and 15 and piano (track 6) and Glock on 13, otherwise it is what was recorded. They also inserted some public domain samples as well. Some of the 16 tracks are long and some short like the first track, which is under a 2mins and starts as if you are ending a concert! Spirit or Matter is next and a cool songs with some beautiful melodies and male and female singing as the track glides along and the spacey keyboards melt into the melodic guitar playing. Torpedo is mainly lead by a cool bass line and Talking Heads like rhythm guitar while a quite space lead guitar takes the lead part in this cool instrumental track. Bugbear Blues is just what is says, a short jazz blues rock track with some very melodic and very jazzy lead playing. Invincible Pole Fighters has a sort of darker thread to by one guitar and the other plays a more melodic line. It is quite a surprise when the vocal sample cuts through. Into another Time is a slow track with some special keyboards, singing and a good chance compared to the other tracks. The melodic guitar line is quite spacey and has some nice delay. It gets quite dreamy at the end. Gargantua is another one with a kind of dark theme with a keyboard that sounds like a haunting voice as the guitars play more melodic lines. I should mention that the drum and bass playing is very solid and I like the drum sound. Sand Palm V is a under 3 min piece that sounds like it came at the end of a longer jam but is pretty intense to start and I like the sound sample and the heavy almost doom guitar riff they use at the end, while the other guitar is very spacey. Dear Me has a flangy guitar and the vocals tell a short story. The drumming is more uptempo and contrasts the slow pace of the rest of the track. You’d make a lot of Money, one of the few tracks over 5 mins, and has some really cool guitar playing that is once again quite jazzy but with some effects on it and pushed to the right corner speaker before the other guitar trys to come in from the left side as they both solo away, making for a cool track. Death to Disco starts with an uptempo bass line and drum that some spacey keyboards float into the soundscape before the guitar player really enter the picture. The guitar player on the right plays some great leads while the one on the left makes a lot of far out sounds. It makes for an interesting contrast. Mag 3 has a funny hop to it and some spacey stuff and cool xylophone like parts and word samples. The Burrowers Beneath is nearly 9 mins and is slow and spacey track unlike anything else on the CD. Fading of my memories is the last of the person moments before the Sand Palm Vi and heavy ending track that takes us back to the beginning of the this album and has a quite hard and heavy sound and riff. Interesting CD…

Val Denham and C. Paradis- Transform Myself (Hau Ruck !99)

This is a very strange album that I received with the new Seven that Spells. Val appears to be gender dysmorph (Man who has become a woman). There are 16 tracks and some of the music reminds me of Legendary Pink Dots and other times, more mainstream.  All the music is by Val’s boy, Demian and it features basic programming of rhythms, layers of keyboards, occasionally some guitar, bass and other instruments like banjo. The lyrics are actually quite personal and a bit surprising. Some quite strong statements on a wide range of subjects. It is not really for me but I am glad to see that people like this are not inhibited from creating art and being themselves and allowing others to accept it or not.

Olekranon- Bilal (Inam Records)

I have no idea how many CDs this project has produced but I have reviewed a few of them. This is probably some of the more intense stuff. This sort of dark, noisy, industrial music is quite hard to describe but I will give it a try. I might not get through all the tracks for you though. There are 10 tracks in 42 minutes and only 500 copies made. Adamkam starts melodically for a brief period before the intense industrial sounds overtake the soundscape. This has a very uptempo beat and low fi sound and is quite intense with a repetitive noisescape that occasionally fades into bliss and back. Engles starts slow and spacey with the electronic buzz hiding in the background but ready to leap out and attack the senses quite soon. The programmed drums-beats enter in and then the sound evolves as the layers of noise rise to the surface. A very cool track. Brng yvwh is a short track but I really quite like the melodic spacey thread that runs through this one as the intense noise gets louder and louder and a almost voice like electronic screams out at you. Deka is back to a darker almost scary theme. Bilal is a very noisy track with what sounds like a very highly distorted voice trying to cut through the distortion and frantic drum track and then it changes direction and cool bass line kicks in. Might be a bit like Chrome? Mouths Flame is almost 6 mins long and has many different levels of intensity, starting quite slow and spacey in a deep space electronic hell of sorts. Half way through it is like someone turned the channel on the deep space probe and now we enter into another alien world. Cool track. Sunblind is a spacey electronic piece that slowly builds into a quite intense end. Daisycutter has no beats but just aural intensity floating back and forth through the speakers. Master Swine actually starts like a proper track with a clean beat and repetitive ringing and someone electronic frequencies are being adjusted and slowly take over the soundscape as it repeats over and over and the high frequencies really space your head out in this track. Be careful. The CD ends with Deitus.  I am not at all sure what instruments the guy making this music uses but he creates his own special universe of sound for sure. I review very few things sounding anything like this!

The Soulbreaker Company- Itaca (Alone Records AR033)

I have never heard of this band but they play some pretty cool songs and fans of the Black Crowes might want to discover these guys as the vocalist is very inspired but their style and sound. The CD starts off with It’s Dirt and a spacey synthesizer track as the track slowly builds and the rest of the band enters into the music. A nice sax is the first lead instrument (reminds me of the Univerzals) followed by a nice lead guitar solo and then the rock picks up and you hear the singer for the first time and he has a fantastic and powerful voice. The track remains very melodic floating and spacey, which is cool. Oh Warsaw is a more uptempo and hard rocking track with good dynamics between the organ and intense singing. Man he is intense. The guitar player is also excellent at playing very melodic and beautiful solos like the one on this track that leads into the intense sax solo. Sow the Roses starts with an acoustic guitar and then the melodic lead guitar comes in and the singer really reminds me of Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes. Rude Perfume is a more hard rocking track with a nice interaction with the organ and guitar riff in this quite complex track. The singer Jony is very intense and the guitar solo very cool in this track but then it is followed by a melodic piano solo. Lots of nice solos on all these tracks and the band stay in a quite melodic range. Colours of the Fire has a nice female vocalist singing along with Jony as this track builds up and has a killer guitar riff in this excellent and spacey track. By now in the CD the band is already using some of the same ideas as on earlier tracks and while these songs are still great, many of the same themes are used and Jony’s singing style can start to push you to the edge. He is incredible though. Where Mermaids sing Loud is probably the radio track but still pretty rocking despite being a ballad. Take a seat on the Moon has a great wah guitar solo (a bit short) and I love the middle section with the piano and sax solo. Saviours is another melodic hard hitting track with a thumping bass line and a special synth and not the organ that is used on most of the tracks. Sandstorm ends this very good record and is a more organ based track. This is a very good band and if they jam live I could really like this band.

Nick Riff- The Universe is Mental (Riff Disc 004)

Nick is back with another record. I really liked his 2009 Photon Shift record but here he has made a mostly instrumental and really psychedelic electronic record. There are 9 tracks in 58 minutes and Nick plays all the instruments except some saxophone (on Forever) and woodwinds (on Heaven) by Jhaz Sigeret (what a cool name- Jazz Cigarette!). The opening track starts with a very repetitive kick drum that does not change the whole track but is not also tribal enough for me and layers of spacey synths and nice delay guitars. Ok track but it did not evolve much. Paled Vision is nearly 7mins long and starts with some synths looping and Nick comes in with some vocals here and there and a very spacey synth also goes in and out. Spacey stuff. Where are we Now has some drums but they are not adding a whole lot as they are pretty uninteresting and is mostly synthesizer based as well and very spacey. There is some very cool guitar in this track or at least I am pretty sure it is guitar that is highly effected. The limits of Perception starts with a repetitive synth loop from which the track develops and he has some piano like playing as well but again, it is very similar to the other tracks. Forever is a short 4 min track that Nick plays on the piano and vocals and features some percussion (which kind of disrupts the track) and saxophone. Sumerian Spacefort has some basic drum percussion and multiple layers of spacey keyboards and the lead keyboard has a sort of eastern flute like sound to it which is cool. Snake Charmers Ritual has some pretty cool synths and a totally different type of percussion-drum sound than the other tracks. Some of the synth sounds are really panned out to the sides and it sounds cool. Implant Procedure Explained starts with some very spaced out stuff and an highly effected vocal, maybe suppose to simulate an alien speaking to you about being implanted. Trippy stuff.  The track Heaven, ends your hour long journey into nickriff world with another piano track with Nick singing. Nick describes the record like this, “it is a collection of vibrations and frequencies arranged to connect on a quantum level with the omni-energy field, entering into the infinite mind, transcending the illusion of time.” Enjoy..

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fuzz Manta- Opus II (Bad Deal Records)

The Danish 70’s stoner rock band Fuzz Manta is back with the 2nd and very different release. First off, I am much happier with the sound production on this record than the last and they have come up with a really strong set of 8 songs in 45 mins. The release is pressed only on vinyl right now in 500 copies. The LP starts off with a slow, heavy but very catchy track called Motumann. Freddy plays a really good guitar solo. Man with no Face is next and a very Deep Purple inspired and excellent number with Jesper Bo playing some cool organ. He plays on two other tracks as well. Quiet Monday is a slow acoustic, electric blues track that sounds as if it could have been recorded in the mid 70s. Freddy could have played more solos on this one as the last 1½ mins is mostly strumming guitar and light singing. Lithia’s Box is a track that is not on the vinyl record and is 8½ mins long. It has a heavy rock riff and some good dynamics. Freddy has a long solo section on this track and plays a bit of Robin Trower like stuff. Turn Around is one of the tracks that will remind people more of the band’s first record, with it’s basic riff, taken from the stoner genre but the rest of the song is more melodic. Cool and different song. White and More has a pretty complex song structure compared to most of their songs and a lot of great dynamics. Corrosion is a foot stomping rock and roll number including Jesper on the piano. Let me Walk closes the record and is a fantastic 11 min track where the band really stretches out and explores heavy blues rock and it even included a drum solo. Very 70s…. I think this Danish act have made an excellent record. They are one of the few bands in Denmark making this kind of music and the only with a great female vocalist. The plays a local concert at Dragens Hule tomorrow night (April 2nd) if you are free.

Dark Budda Rising- Abyssolute Transfinite (Waste of Space 2011)

The amazing Finnish band, Dark Budda Rising is back with their 3rd double vinyl record. Again, one record is 45RPM and the other is 33RPM and one track per side. They play their own version of Kraut DOOM. Side A and B are two parts of one long track called Asktakra and this is a damn intense number to start but it is more uptempo and really spacey with the way it progresses and floats in space over the ever increasing pace of the drums as they keep building and driving the track forward, until is slows down for a small section and then come pummelling back with. Wow…  Asktakra II is a track you can hear on the bands web site for the last few months and I have heard this one many times and love this slowly building track. It has a very special vocal track in the beginning that is used like you would use a didgeridoo or throat singing. When the intensity decreases a synth drone modulation begins and the track heads towards the very intense climax. Cool song..

            Chonyidt starts side C. As always with DBR, the tracks start slow and this has some feedback guitar, bells, and eerie spoken words on each side of the speakers as the feedback and intensity grows. The rest of the track ends up being a pretty standard melodic DBR track and does not evolve that much but at the beginning the vocal is more dominant and clear than on the other records (until the end section) and a cool organ comes in at the end. I would really love to hear this band do some killer spaced guitar solos, just once, well, much more often than once but it would be a nice addition. It is pretty spaced out the way the vocal and organ is mixed at the end of this track.

            Sol-Yata is a very slow building track that has some like Gregorian Chanting during the slow dark, spacey beginning and then the bass, guitar and drums kick in after like 8 mins and the chanting continues but the vibe is totally different now. As it builds a low organ sound slowly floats into the sound as a bit more tension and pace accumulates. They even have some flute at the end. Cool track and quite different from anything on any of the other records. A good ending to this trip. You can pick up their records from Kozmik Artifactz in Berlin on line or from the band site below.