Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sunder- Lygten’s Kro, Copenhagen, DK March 26th, 2016

 This was the first time Sunder played in Denmark. This is a new French band, that used to be called the Socks but changed their name and music style but the band is the same. They are released on the cool Swedish label, Crusher Records. Anyway, a good crowd showed up and packed the small room and I met a lot of friends including Finn, who I had not seen in a long time.  Hung out in the bar with Rhona (the organizer) and Tobias (Kommun2 records) for a while as the band finished their sound check (longer than their concert!).

The band started playing about 22:30 and opened with Deadly Flower and into Thunder and Storm.  The band has a really cool classic 70s sound with organ or mellotron (Chamberlin) and good dual male vocals. The set list was all songs from their album and played very straight, perfect, no mistakes, no errors.. no fun, experiments or anything out of the norm. The drummer is just amazing in this band and really drives the sound. They are all impressive players actually but they let their songs restrict them too much.  Great songs but I must missed something. They never even once took a chance or did anything to lift the song to the next level, no jamming or anything.  I filmed the only really long song of the night, all the rest were 3-4 mins and the band only played 30mins as a headline band and then we got one more song, so about 35mins. I think nearly everyone was disappointed. This is too short. They could at least play some old Socks songs new arrangement or a cover song? They played Sunshine of your Love at the soundcheck?? Unless they start to experiment, I don’t think I would go see them again. Too straight up and nothing unexpected and even though they are booked as Heavy Psych, they play nothing psychedelic at all. Just great 70s hard rock with organ/mellotron.  Wrong label for this band.

Set List: Deadly Flower, Thunder and Storm, Wings of the Sun, Bleeding Trees, Phoenix, Eye Catcher, Daughter of the Snows, Cursed Wolf, Don't live it Behind, Lucid Dream (they have arrows on the set list like they moved songs around, so this was probably not the real order)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Monster Magnet and Scorpion Child- Pumpehuset, CPH March 12th, 2016

Monster Magnet are back at Pumpehuset, a club the band played at back in 2000 on the God Says No tour… I showed up early and talked with Phil and the road manager and was on the guest list. I had met up with these guys nearly every time they have played near where I lived since 1992 on the Superjudge tour when I met Ed and Dave.. Usually I talk a lot with Tim Cronin (lights) but he was not on this tour.  I had a going away party I needed to go to so I went and said by to some friends and then came back to the venue and caught Scorpion Child in the middle of the 1st or 2nd song. This was the 3rd time the band had been in CPH but I had never caught them and I missed the at Roadburn as well. The band was supposed to have the new album out before the tour but sadly it was delayed.  They really rocked and the crowd was into it. Great singer and organ player. The whole band played great but I really missed that there were very few solos. A few organ solos on some of the tracks and two towards the end of the set had guitar solos but not many solos or instrumental parts. A organ driven (low in the mix though) Led Zeppelin vibe.. Nice folks.

Scorpion Child
Set List: Reapers Danse, My Woman in Black, King’s Highway, Acid Roulette, Secret Spot, She sings I Kill, Polygon of Eyes, Blind Man’s Shine, I might be your Man

Monster Magnet hit the stage at about 22:15 and played for 70mins and did 3 encore songs. Same set as the previous nights from what I can see on the internet and a killer set..  The band opened with two from the Powertrip album (Crop Circle, Powertrip) and the audience was in Dave’s hand from the start. Amazing energy and good sound but guitars were a bit low. Lots of drum bass and vocals. Melt was the only track from God Says No and then we got the killer stuff. A lot of Superjudge songs started with the title track, into Twin Earth. Amazing.. Look to your orb for the Answer into Dinosaur Vacuum into Brainstorm and back was amazing… (I shot a video of this).
Cage around the Sun… it was a brilliant 30mins of the show. The next three have been standards in the set for years and played well. The band and audience always have a lot of fun with Space Lord Motherfucker! That was the end of the main set. They came back after about 5mins break and played a cover of an old Swedish psychedelic garage rock band called Union Carbide. Never seen them play that track before! Face Down has not been played since like 1993 but other than that it was pretty standard songs from these popular albums from the 90s. The tour was booked as songs never or rarely played before and only I want More and Face Down were in this category. Anyway, the entire band kicks ass and Dave still sings like a motherfucker for 60 and is looking and sounding great. The band play a killer set of Psychedelic sing-alongs for Stadiums…

Set List: Crop Circle, Powertrip, Melt, Superjudge, Twin Earth, Look to your orb for the Answer, Dinosaur Vacuum-Brainstorm-Dinosaur Vacuum, Cage around the Sun, Tractor, Dopes to Infinity, Space Lord.  Encores: I want more (Union Carbide Cover), Face Down, Negasonic Teenage Warhead

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Nicklas Sørensen- Solo (El Paraiso Records EPR029)

Nicklas is the guitar player in the all instrumental Danish band, Papir. He is a very talented musician. It seems that Nicklas had a lot of musical ideas that he wanted to explore outside of the limits of Papir. All the members of Papir play on the record as well as Jonas Munk (Causa Sui), who played various keyboards and synthesizers on all the tracks except Solo2 as well as mixed and mastered the record. The record features 6 track, 3 per side and starts off with Solo1 and it features some nice melodic guitar over a steady Christian/Christoffer groove. Jonas layers in some organ as well filling in the bottom of the sound but still allowing the guitar parts to lead.  Nice track with some repeated themes. In the end it builds up a lot like a Papir track but with out the intense lead guitar. The spacey keyboard part sort of increases instead for a real dreamy feel. Solo 2 is a quite slow piece with drums and bass and a slow gliding guitar line. This is a very peaceful piece of music. Solo3 starts with a really cool looped guitar and then Nicklas comes in with another melodic line over the top. You can just hear the high hat (I think) but no other drums yet. Eventually a bass line joins the track and then a repetitive keyboard line. The track grows as a new looped guitar is started but the keyboards grow to dominate this track with Nicklas almost disappearing for a while.  There are no real drums per se. Lots of looped Krauty stuff.  Side B starts with Solo4. I bet you guessed that? The tracks on side A were all between 6 and 7 mins and now the new tracks are two 7min tracks and a long 12min one that seals the side. Solo4 starts with some melodic guitar lines, a few sound manipulations (a bit like a short note of backwards guitar and you hear it repeated here and there) and floating keyboards and a simple beat (bass, bass drum or synthesizer??). The track nearly fades out and then a new guitar line starts and another one on top. Very beautiful stuff that runs to the end. Solo5 sees the return of the Papir band with a simple sort of groove and guitar line (like the effects he uses), some hand drums kick in as the keyboards also become more important to the sound as well. A nice guitar solo is slowly building up which is one of the first. The track enters into a transition phase after the solo before Nicklas returns with some more delays and the guitar is panned from side to side and plays off the keyboard parts in a really cool way and psychedelic way. Cool piece of music! Solo6 ends this pretty cool record. This one is a slow long journey again, with some repeated themes and many layers.

If you are a fan of Papir, Neu, Harmonia, then you will for sure enjoy this record as you will already know the guitar playing, production sound, etc.. but not the songs.

Sula Bassana- Shipwrecked (Sulatron st1602-0

Sula (Dave) is back with another solo record but this one nearly all synthesizers and totally different from his last solo record. There is some guitar but it worked well into the layers of synthesizers and drum machines, etc. The album features 6 tracks in a bit over 40mins. Moonbase Alpha Alpha starts things off with a blast of wind and then some repetitive bass synth lines, spacey layers and off we go. There are some NASA samples through in as well. Nice 9min journey. Shushie Express is quite techno like but I love the dreamy flute like synth and sort of looped Jew’s harp like sound. While repetitive, there is always something new sneaking in after a min it or so to keep it interesting and evolving. No Time: No Eternity is quite eerie and dark before the drum machine kicks and a bass synth line starts. Synths move by secret waves and frequencies and slowly enter in to your brain. Planeta Bur features some guitar and a really cool synth line that really transported me away in the first 2 mins and then it disappears. This track has some more advanced drum/percussion programming to build the track on and some cool backwards guitar as well. A bit of an eastern vibe. Super cool track. Shipwrecked is a shorter track, just under 5mins with a cool combination of organ, dreamy piano like synth and a violin like synth. Very floating, good music to hear as you are left drifting away in space to die (See the movie Gravity?). No Way ends the album with a short track and very organ based with some spacey sounds. I loved this record..

Soon Sula will be playing blissed out forest parties for ambient techno freaks! Ha… A new career! Great work Sula..