Friday, September 20, 2013

White Hills and Papir- Loppen, Christiania Sept 18th, 2013

It was about a year ago that White Hills played here at Loppen. Due to a miscommunication I did not play with them last year at Loppen but did the next evening in Malmo. This year we got it right and it was the opposite. I rode up on my bike at 16:20 or so just as the band was unloading their gear into the lift up to the club. We had our friendly greetings and it was so nice to see them again. Super cool people.  We loaded all our gear in and I set up the hard disc recorder to make a multitrack recording like we did last year from the Loppen show. They had a very cool Dutch guy named EJ doing the driving and sound for them that was really into Synthesizers and was one of the guys who started the first Dutch internet forum on synthesizers like 20 years ago!  Soundcheck went well and we had some dinner.  Ego and Dave did a video interview for the club which you will be able to see on the club web site sometime soon. Http:// 

While the interview was going on the drummer Nick, EJ and I took a walk around Christiania and told them a bit about the place. It was a beautiful evening and I took this picture as the sun had gone down.

          The guys in Papir showed up around 20:30 and were in a good mood and excited to play. They were going to debut a brand new song they just finished recording and three songs from their latest record. After the walk, we all just hung out in the backstage and talked about all sorts of stuff and they had amazing stories about their tour with the Cult and all the cool people they met and hung out with including Steve Jones, Gary Numan, Zakk Wylde, Lenny Kravitz, and others.. Ian sounded like a really cool guy and he was really into psychedelic rock, which is cool.

          Papir started right at 22 and I had to run up and turn on my recorder and was surprised that there was really good crowd for a Wednesday night. Unfortunately, about 1/3 of the people left after Papir. I still think it is strange that these young kids come out to see them, as this is all instrumental jam music with a lot of cool solos. Dave (WH) said he could hear the EMO influence in their use of melodies, etc…  Anyway, they really played a intense and great set and the sound was good but the guitar was too low (also for White Hills) on the audience recording.

          It did not take that long for us to set up again and we were ready to fly. I love playing with this band. We started off playing the entire new record and I had made notes about things to play on the different numbers but some of this went a bit crazy as I had trouble hearing myself in the monitor and the new module called the Wobblebug I was trying out was just insane and very unpredictable. Anyway, I tried my best and think I added some cool layers of sound to make it a more trippy experience. After the new record (without the intro and two space pieces), we played Condition of Nothing and my request, Robot Stomp. This was a very short version though and I had hoped we would really extend it out but they had not played it at all this year. First time in 2013! Next were three intense tracks and that was it.. All over in about 75 minutes. People were really into it and the video projections looked really cool.  What a great time.. I can’t wait til we do it again.. Thanks to Dave, Ego, Nick and EJ for a great evening..

Set List: Forever in Space, In your Room. Internal Monologue, So you are-so you’ll Be, Rare upon the Earth, MIST, Condition of Nothing, Robot Stomp, H-p1, Dead, Oceans

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Taipuva Luotisuora- 8 (Nordic Notes/Kaakao Records Kaakao-027)

The Turku, Finland based band, TP, are back with their 5th record, which they call 8. This is perhaps related to the album having 8 tracks. Ville, the guitar player has been letting me have a sneak preview of some of this material over the last half year so I was really looking forward to hear the entire record they had made. This is the first of their releases to also be released on vinyl! Voluantum Machina starts things off with a take on the Led Zeppelin Immigrant Song guitar riff but with some cool space sounds and a matching keyboard riff which makes it sounds really cool. There are a lot of layers of things happening in this soundscape as the mid paced track really blasts you out into space. I love the lead guitar on this track as well. There has not been a lot of that on some of the bands tracks in the past, much more based on the riffs. All the beautiful melodic parts are mixed into a more heavy track plus the killer lead synthesizers by Esko! Fucking amazing start number. Kajanni starts off with what I would almost say is a signature sound for this band. It then takes a turn for a bit heavier guitar riff into the killer organ section into the lead guitar with spaced out sound section before coming back to the main melody again. Wow.. Adversarius starts off with probably the most heavy metal like guitar riff the band has ever had on one of their records. The synthesizers are really amazing and far out on this track. Volucris Orbita starts with some cool spacey synths and develops into one of the fastest track on the record and has a very deep bass that shakes the floor when it kicks in (I have a subwoofer!). I love the melody on this one. Eventa starts side B and is composed by the drummer, Taneli. This track has a lot of complicated changes and also features some acoustic guitars. Quite different. Infinium has a strange murky beginning with some cool backward parts and a repetitive keyboard line that drives the track at the beginning before the musical picture becomes clear. This is a very multi-layered track where the first solo is by the keys before the heavier guitars kick in. Later a familiar TL theme of the way the guitar and organ work together returns before the short guitar solo section and then they return to the main theme. Muovia tehdään öljkstä (no idea what this means) brings the more heavy guitar to the forefront again and a more spacey organ is accompanying it and then some really tripped out synths in the middle of the track where it gets really psychedelic. Super cool song. Evomere ends this amazing record and is a very beautiful track with violin by Tero Pajunen. This is for sure one of my favourite records for 2013. If you like adventurous instrumental music you have to hear this record. Amazing..

White Hills- So you are, so you’ll be (Thrill Jockey)

The amazing space rock band, White Hills are back with a new studio album. I will just say that I really love the trip the band has prepared for you. Each side is split into a suite of songs called Phase One and Phase Two. the individual pieces have names but don’t worry about them now. Side A starts with a strange electronic manipulated word sequence that is also repeated at the end of the side before opening with a hard hitting space rock song, that had a totally killer tranced out section. This is followed by a very cool long synth space out before another heavy dose of space-kraut-psychedelic rock with a killer long guitar solo by Dave. Flip the record over and a lot of totally spaced out sounds start and the rock track is slowly faded in and space sounds slowly faded down. here we go boys and girls! The rocket is going to take off and it does.. Dave plays an awesome guitar solo on this track. When this intense track draws to a close, a more spaced out ambient track starts to grow with just some spaced out guitars and synths to start but then another heavy space attack begins to grow. The next phase is really spaced out with a cool drone that grows and grows and hypnotizes you until the band comes back in and spaces until the end.. Amazing record.

          I also got the special addition which came with an extra 12” with three tracks in a plain sleeve with a black and white A3 printed paper that you can wrap around the sleeve. They call it Timeless Tracks for Aural Pleasures featuring the classic sing-a-longs: False Revolution toward a slick Mirror, Chariot Zombie and Under Water. The first side is one long track with just mind blowing guitar stuff and loads of synths sounds bubbling up here and there and spread over the soundscape. The sound production is different suggesting it was recorded somewhere else. The sound is still very heavy space distortion. Flip the record over and you have a really special freaky synth drone piece with some really cool drumming. The last track is dreamy, repetitive, and spaced out. Also some pretty cool stuff.

The Movements – The Death of John Hall (Crusher Records CR022)

The Swedish rock band, The Movements are back with two new songs. The title track reminds me a bit of US Americana style stuff, which is something of a new sound for this band and far away from their super cool record, For Sardines space is no problem! A lovely song with some cool lyrics as well mixing Swedish winter, death and god…  Flip the 7” over for Everybody needs Somebody! This is a more psychedelic track with a heavier guitar and more spacey feel in general. This track is really cool. I love the way the vocals are mixed and all the sounds whirl together and still allow a melodic track to come out the other end. Awesome.

Miss Lava- Red Supergiant (Small Stone Records SS-141)

Miss Lava is a melodic indie stoner rock band from Portugal. The band lay down some pretty bad ass melodic stoner riffing (there are very few guitar solos) in these 43 mins and 11 tracks.  This is the bands 2nd full length record but the first in 4 years. Desert Mind opens the CD and reminds a bit of Dozer but then moves in a different direction and is a great song with a lot of different dynamics and intensity. Lay Down is a really umtempo hard riffing track while Feel my Grace is more catchy, and less hard hitting, while Ride has a melodic theme but then a pretty heavy monster riff during the hard section and a short wah guitar solo, one of the rare ones on the record. Crawl comes up with another heavy riff and this one reminds me of Livin’ the Lore by WE (a bit). Hole to China slows things down with a more moody track, think Mars Red Sky. Catch the Fire a really rapid track that slows briefly in the middle where I would have liked it if they kicked in with a killer guitar solo but they just decide to riff the time away until the main chorus returns. Murder of Crows has a more complex structure and dynamic than nearly any other track on the record and they strangely reduce the volume of the vocals to quite low before a cool spacey section where they could have really done something cool but they don’t and return to the main riff and they go into a Nirvana like section towards the end. Yesterday’s Gone has a slower more stoney feel to it as it glides a bit to start before the heavy low end riff takes over. The title track ends the record and is a more melodic, slow and laid back track. The band has three promo videos out there for the tracks Ride, Feel my Grace and Yesterday’s Gone. Check them out as a great introduction to this record so you can make up your mind if this is what you want to add to your collection and crank up!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bright Curse- S/T (Bilocation Records 15)

Bright Curse is the new band formed from the ashes of the cool French band, Soul Manifest. I highly recommend you check out their record if you have not heard it. Anyway, this is a new band and a new sound but lead by the guitar player and vocalist Romain from Soul Manifest. The opening track is a long instrumental song called Sonic Wave and is a pretty slow song in stoner doom vein with a nice guitar section in the middle. The Hermit is a really short track with strange lyrics. Unknown Mistress has a heavy groove and tells a really cool story in the lyrics. It is mainly driven by the heavy bass by Sammy Deveille (he has recently been replaced by JB). IT has a long slow section towards the end, where I felt more could be going on besides a few guitar sounds before the vocal returns and the track picks up but no guitar solo or jam or freakout.. Flip it over for What’s beyond the Sun. This is a more moody track with some long delays on some of the vocal sections that give it a more spacey, psychedelic track. The end section really kicks in with a heavy doom riff section before just sort of dying out. The LP ends with a more melodic slow starting track called Mind traveller. When the main guitar riff kicks in there is also a spacey effect that joins it at times. Half way through the pace really picks up with a short guitar solo and a spoken word section before it comes to an end. I have to say the record was not at all what I expected.. It grows on you, this one..