Monday, May 6, 2019

DR Space and Martin Weaver- Green Bean Café, Tábua, Portugal May 4th 2019

One year ago (May 5th), Martin and I played together at this café for about 30 or so people for the release party for my 2nd solo album. Fast forward a year and Martin has played a couple of gigs with my band, Øresund Space Collective in Portugal and we have made a record together. Today was the official release date and party to celebrate the making of the 3rd Alien Planet Trip record.
We had one rehearsal three days before the gig and it went pretty well.  We jammed for about 75 mins to prepare some ideas for the release party today. 

We showed up at 14 and sent up all our gear and did a bit of a soundcheck and it all went very smooth. At 15, or a bit later, we played the entire record for our wives and about 4 other people.  A 16, sadly, hardly anyone had showed up. Last year we had about 20 people from our local group of friends that came but not a single one this time around. I was pretty disappointed that none of them came to support me and Martin.  Pretty hard to get an audience in this part of the world, and there is so little live music and then none can make it a priority.  Such is life. Anyway, we met some nice new people who showed up (from seeing the description somewhere else) but I think there was only about 10 people total.  
Anyway, we started with Martin on the highly modified custom acoustic guitar (he can loop, it has effects, etc…) and some more laid back spacey stuff and he played the riff from Where Aliens go to Die.  Then he switched to electric and had programmed some tracks with drums and also some with bass and we played another hour or so.  At some point, he also played his 2 string bass (tuned to E and A). That was tribal.  It was pretty cool rocking at times, spacey and I had a good sound and time. It was my biggest live set up every, I think (ARP Odyssey, Octave CAT, Nord Lead2, custom modular).  We had one jam, that just did not work for either of us but the rest of the set was great, we both felt. We had a 20min break and talked with the audience and then played one more 17min piece (See the video below). I think we played about 90mins total.  It was all video taped and it was really fun. They invited us back to play again in the fall for an evening gig.  Thanks to Sharon and all the staff at the Green Bean and of course the people who turned out for some out of the ordinary music. A super cool place and fantastic people.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Papir- VI (Stickman Records Psychobabble 107)

The Papir guys are back with their 6th LP and 2nd on the Stickman label. This was recorded in the great Black Tornado Studio in Copenhagen and this time mixed entirely by the band. It features 4 excellent tracks.  The music is very similar to the bands last monster double LP but has a bit more that I like about these tracks.  It starts off with VI.I. I really love the bass line that starts this one off. They way that Christian plays and Christoffer flows on the drums, leaves so much space for Nicklas to really create unique layers of melodic guitar, which is also complimented with some synths on occasion, as was on the last record but they are not in the traditional sense.  The 2nd guitar line that is played lifts the track to a new level and then the just build and build. Amazing opening track, that just made me smile as I could picture them in the studio doing this one. Love the guitar tone. VI.II, Christian takes the lead again with a repeated bass line, clear, simple and driving while the percussion rhythm changes and the guitar line is very melodic and a slow drowning synth or guitar adds another layer underneath as the guitar lines get faster and faster and Nicklas kicks in with the wah guitar and later some other effects as it gets quite psychedelic with the added other sounds as well. Flip the record over for a spacey slow intro with some backwards guitar sounds (nearly) before the bass and drums kick in, along with a synth drone and off we go. Again some beautiful guitar lines that weave in and out of the amazing bass playing, while Christoffer just rocks it.  VI.IV is the last and also my favourite track, perhaps because Nicklas really lets go on the guitar and … well.. wow…  He can still stun me…  Brilliant.

Magnificent instrumental trio music, some of the best that I know of in this universe.!


King Bong is an Italian sort of stoned jam band, who have made a number of releases. I have reviews quite a few of them and I met one of the guys at Roadburn and he gave me this new CD-R they have just released.  It is quite different from any of their other releases. 2017, saw the bands first vinyl release with Sand = Return (which I have not heard yet).  The band is a three piece but on this adventure they are joined by Chris Haskett (guitar) and Rosarita Crisafi (saxophone played from the European Music Orchestra).

“Beekse Bergen is an ongoing project inspired by a magic land beyond the Alps. Every iteration is a different route through the park, every stroll a different story. Mythical encounters abound in these adventurous expeditions and danger lures behind every corner. “  

The band camp site is up to Vol 5 and Jam XV. The CD features 3 of these, each represented by a symbol on the CD so I don’t know how they match up to the numbers on bandcamp. Anyway, the first track starts with a slow build up with some lazy saxophone, just slowly working the groove. A lot of exploring going on here. A bit like Sunburned hand of the Man at times. Several times the track nearly dies out and I thought it was over but the journey keeps going. Just before 20mins, it starts to get really funky and out there with intense playing by all and then the track nearly dies off. At 23mins, something is stirring again and around 25mins, it sounds a bit like a synth but it must be a guitar.  At 26mins, a riff starts up again, a dark distant, doomy sort of one, with an ominous nature to it. A bit of push and pull from the sax and guitar, bass, as the drums crash down every now and then.  By 30mins we are in yet another world as the jam moves on and finally ends. Symbol 2 starts uptempo straight away with some direction it seems but not really. It nearly dies out and then you get some back and forth with each person playing for a few seconds then stopping and making space for the next person. It ends a bit over 12mins and then track three starts with some nice bass playing and then the rest of the group start to add to jam but by 3 1/2 mins, we are back to just bass and drums. Around 6 mins they are playing about with some harmonic stuff. No sax on this jam until nearly the very end 

I have to say these are some strange jams.  Some people will get it and enjoy while I think others won’t have the patience or the commitment to hear them out.  Check it out.

Aton Five- Solarstalgia (RAIG R107)

Aton Five is a fairly new Instrumental Russian quartet from Moscow. The have 3 releases on bandcamp but this is their first real studio album. It was recorded at Mars Records.  It features 7 tracks plus two bonus tracks, recorded live in the Mars Studio.  The Dreadnought starts with a sample, and a quite heavy riff and sound, some might call it heavy metal. The synths dominate the track a bit later on before another round of guitar solos. Very solid playing. Journey starts with some acoustic guitar and a totally different vibe and feeling from the opening intense track. The organ reminds me a bit of Kansas!  They get right into rocking after 30 seconds. The middle secton comes down and there is an Apollo space capsule sample (or something like it) as an new melodic part takes fold. Each track keeps getting longer and time is nearly 10mins long and takes all the dynamics of the previous track and throws in some nice longer guitar and keyboard solos, as the band is having a lot of new ideas in this track. A Chain of Events comes out of the gate very quick and is the most uptempo track on the record. Nice interplay between the melody of the guitar and organ. Milky Way Incident is really the highlight of the album with amazing drumming and a Child in Time like intense ending.  Death is a short 1.32 min track as an interlude to the epic Endless Desert, which you can hear below. This ends the normal record. The live tracks include Journey, the 2nd track on this album (a bit shorter version) and a track called Woods made of Stone.  Great new Russian instrumental hard rocking prog…