Monday, July 12, 2021

Babysitting a band on the Rocks by GD Praetorius (Sonicbond Publishing)

This is a bit of a strange book but pretty fun to read.  This is a guy from the NYC area who was really into rock and roll (first real concert was CSNY 1974) and into Jethro Tull!!  He knew he had to do something with rock music and was totally obsessed with music so by 1979, he had made the decision that he was not going to play music but get into management.  This book tells the story of him meeting Ian Anderson finally in 1982 and basically him being quite unfriendly, despite him being the hugest fan of the band. 

The next few chapters are quite interesting (after his few months with a dysfunctional Aerosmith without Joe Perry in 1979-80. Tough time for a band that was playing stadiums and now small clubs.  After this he goes into quite a lot of detail of what was required to manage a major concert venue (Calderone Hall) with a capacity of 2500 or so people.  All the details of how shows are set up, run, load in and load out, what you had to do for the bands, etc..   One of this jobs when Pink Floyd did a run of 6 shows of the WALL, was to pick the band up in his car each evening from a heliport near by.  Fun and he was only like 23 years old…

Eventually, his company that he was part of start doing bigger areas shows in the early 80s and this is a big step up in making these shows happen without problems and it sounds like really hard work and you really have to have dedicated people to pull this all off without problems. I think some people might not find this that interesting. I did though…

Next he describes working with some of the promoters, managers and band folk for Van Halen, AC/DC, YES, Judas Priest, etc.. The last few chapters I did not really find added that much more to the story and felt a bit like filler. Overall, I enjoyed reading the book and I think if you are interested in what it was like to manage a venue, be a tour manager, then you will get some good insight and enjoy this but if you just want good rock stories and dirt.. This book has some but not enough for you, probably. 

http://sonicbondpublishing.com 

Sendelica- And Man created God (Fruits de Mer Records Regal Crabomophone winkle 44.)

This album really blew me away. I have not heard all their albums but after 4 listens, I this has to rank up their with the bands best work. It has 8 tracks and they just flow and ebb and love the guitar work and synths... this is a record that will for sure make my top 20 for 2021!!

Here is what they had to say about the record: 

“Finishing the Cromlech IV album in 2019 not only brought to an end a series of albums that were not only based around the Cromlech at Mwnci studios but also brought about a conclusion to the way we had recorded those albums. Those four albums, along with 'Lilacs Out Of The Deadlands' album, had been recorded over long weekends at the residential Mwnci recording studio with a selection of invited friends in a very 70's commnal setting of improvisation.

We began recording sessions for 'And Man Created God' early in 2019 with just the four core members of Sendelica and continued through the great lockdown of 2020 in a very remote manner which ended up befitting the pandemic that engulfed us all in 2020. Although we were no longer at Mwnci studio, the spirit of the Cromlech seemed to follow us into the new album as the tracks began to form around the ideas of religion and beliefs in the history of humans.

A few years ago in a Spanish cave, archealogists uncovered a grave of a neanderthal toddler and around the bones of this young child were many animal bones and a rhinoceros skull which showed some kind of belief/religious symbolism surrounding the child's burial. There is a disagreement among archaelogists and anthropologists as to how, and why, such beliefs came about. Some argue that there is a biological explanation for a belief in God, while others argue that it is evolutionary adaption or perhaps just a neurological accident based around the need to instill some kind of order and stability to a bewildering world.  One thing for sure is that religious beliefs can inspire collective collaborations on enormous, labour intensive, scales. from ancient burial mounds and giant stone circles to sky reaching Christian cathedrals to gravity defying domed mosques.  At the time of the birth of Christianity the world was in ferment, the Middle East and Asian societies were rife with gods and messiahs, the belief in, and worship of, a superhuman entity, a real need for a personal God.  Christians believe that God created Man in his own image, but it can be equally argued that the development of mankind caused Man to Create God in his own image as something to to mould to their own requirements. Their own personal God to twist and manipulate to their own ever changing needs, in an ever changing world”. 

The band on this release was: Pete Bingham – guitars and noises, Colin Consterdine – beats, keyboards and electronics, Lee Relfe – sax, Glenda Pescado – bass and Elfin Bow (vocals track 8). 

Sendelica Bandcamp


Focus- In the 70s by Stephen Lambe (Sonicbond Publishing)

I really like focus. I have all their 70s vinyl records and seen them a few times in the 2010-2015 period.  The author is quite open about his opinion of how hit and miss their material was and this was clearly a band that was really great live even though Jan Ackerman, was a great improviser, while This, did not really like to jam. These two main guys in the band, were never good friends or saw music the same so they had a lot of personal problems throughout the history of the band, especially after the split after the first record, when the drummer and bass player (who Thiis.) had played with since 1968 together, were sacked and replaced with the drummer that Jan had played a lot with and several different bass players for the next few years.  The authors is good about giving all the history of what was going on in a terse way between the albums. He also discussed the 6 solo albums each that Jan and Thiis made in the 70s, in the order they were released. 

He has a lot of nice detailed comments about the different versions of the albums that exists and edits as the early records were different in different countries and the CD versions, some times were all messed up.  There is a small picture gallery with some of the different artwork covers shown and some live and studio pictures of the band.  The 50th Anniversary Edition Box set sounds like it is a must have for fans based on the input he uses from this box set in the book. 

The author of course goes through each track from each album and he is surprisingly critical of many of the tracks, which makes you believe, he only really loves some of the bands tracks and that there is way too much filler in many ways.  It is a band where two of the guys did not like each other at all and did not even record in the studio together (often) for their albums.  For me, this would be a really hard situation to be in a band with someone I did not get along with at all and do that for years live and in the studio.  The bands last concert was in August 1978 (before getting back together 25 years later). 

While reading this book I listened to all the Focus albums that I own this week. That was fun to hear them. The live one is great and a lot of Focus 3 as well. A very interesting book and I was surprised to find out how popular the solo albums were with several being top 10 albums for Thijs and Jan. Quite an interesting story. If you like Focus you will learn a lot for sure. Well done. 

http://sonicbondpublishing.com

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Delvíng- Hirshbrunnen (Stickman Records Psyhobabble 118)

Delvíng is a solo album by Elder lead singer and guitarist, Nick DíSalvo. He plays all the instruments except some guitar on tracks 3, 5 and 7 by Michael Risberg (Elder).  I am really surprised how good a drummer he is on many of these tracks.  The album is about an hour long and 7 tracks.  It is quite a diverse collection of songs starting off with Ultramarine.  I was quite surprised by the opening grand piano piece. Simple but setting the mood the way the last notes fade into some spacey synthesizers and then the drums and bass kicks in and the mood is changed a lot. Nicks distinct guitar tone and the groove reminds me a bit of Papir, the Danish band on the same label. Nice counterpoint with the synthesizer.  The piano returns and you think it is ending again but no, some spacey synths and the track gets a bit more heavy and the guitar takes the lead with some melodic lines. Delvíng is a mid-paced track with a good drive and more guitar driven although you can hear synths in the background mixed quite low that compliment the main melody. Not a lot of ripping guitar solo work, yet. This track has a bit more of an Elder like stamp on it.  The Reflecting Pool is one of the 3 tracks with Michael playing guitar. It has a nice bass and drum line, melodic post rock like guitar line, then the synth starts to float in and the guitar line becomes guitar keyboard like. Good energy and great melodies. At 3:40 the piano is played briefly before a sequenced modular synth (sounds like it anyway) starts to arppegiate and a new phase of the song begins and is more synth oriented and a lot of spacey sounds. Super nice. Great stuff. 

Wait and See has a sort of darker mood to it with a steady drum and bass and focus to start on the keyboard lines with the guitar coming in after a couple of minutes but mainly playing accents to the keys. Around 4mins the mellotron like keyboard comes in and the drums stop for 20 seconds and then it comes back a bit more intense with the first real rocking guitar solo of the LP so far. The title track is next and starts very spacey and floating, a good contrast to the mood of the previous track. After a bit more than a minute the melodic guitar line kicks in (perhaps Michael?).  This is a beautiful track.  Éinstúrzende Plattenbauten changes the vibe completely and is more experimental psychedelic, especially at the start and then the drums fade up and off we go. Kraut like rhythm and then the guitar and layers of synths help you to disappear into the piece. Just too short though as I was totally into it and it ends before 4 mins. The album ends with the long track called Vast and for me this was the highlight of the album. A true musical masterpiece.  Great work Nick… loved it!!! Check out the great interview with Nick to learn more about this project. 

http://stickman-records.de

HEAD RUSH COMPILATION 3CD (Fruits de Mer Records Strange Fish 22)


Fruits is back with another monster compilation record (triple LP and bonus CD set). This follows the Krautrock path that the 2012 compilation called Head Music started.  It features some of labels fave artists like Jay Tausing, Moon Goose, Icarus Peel,  but mostly it is a lot of new artists, which is cool. Including my friend Vince Corey (has both a solo track and one with his group Sonic Trip Project. CD1 starts with Giacomo & Carolina and a track called  Sunrise, part 7. It has some deep bass and a melodic synth line and drums. This plays a repeated riff and then starts to diversify.  Happy music. Silver Vials kick the energy up a bit with Follow the Sun. Neu like. The vocal is quite spacey. Nice track. Das Blaue Palais, also go for a Neu like groove with their track Zeitfeld. Spacey synths, some nice pause sections and then off we go again. Some guitar becomes more dominant later, which was great.. The Love Explosion perform one of the shorter tracks (4mins) called Anarchy! It starts with acoustic guitar and is pretty melodic. David Oakes (the Sahara) is a slow synth and drum machine track. Slowly more layers are added and it maintains a sort of dark feeling to it. This track becomes really cool later on with a sort of desert feeling when the guitar takes the lead. Sonic Trip Project do a long track called Getaway, which also has this same Neu drum groove that is very popular. The track focuses on the synth to start and then Vince comes in with his guitar but no solos on this track, which is just riff city for 10mins! Spacey end. Moon Goose lay down a track called Shiny Man. This has a strange highly effected voice and is quite rocking for the first 2.5 mins and then it spaces out and returns to the rock! Oslo Tapes starts with a kick drum and then the synth drone kicks in and vocoder voice speaks… Obsession is the Mother of it All. The beat becomes more techno like as the drone starts to really pulsate and some bells are thrown in to fuck with your head as they repeat the same words over and over.  Drums get more complex after 1.5 mins. I got pretty sucked into this one. Jay Tausig ends the CD with Ecstatic Engines. Lovely lead synth playing on this one and sounds like real drums and not programmed. Jay is a musical genius. So creative. Great of course. 



CD2 (Sides 4-6) features longer tracks and starts off with Sons of Ohm.  Telefunken Baby, has some analog synth bubbles as the guitar line slowly fades up and off we go. While the guitar line remains much the same, the synths lead the way with bubbles and smooth pads, and solos. Alber Jupiter starts off with a bass line and then the Neu drums kick in. This one is super repetitive with the drums and bass. Guitars are quite nice after a bit. Just go with the flow… The Lost Stoned Pandas created a track that starts with a sample called Motorik Wah Nine, and yes.. features a lot of wah guitar. The drums are thin and weak in the sound, which is a pity as this track could have had some balls. It is all about the wah guitar on this one!! Great track and I got totally sucked into the groove. Motorik are next with a track called Tyrants!  Very repetitive groove so focus on the guitar or you go crazy. Some nice heavier guitars mix things up about 4mins in. This sort of Neu groove is very popular on this compilation. Culto al Qondor from Peru stat off spacey, then the bass line starts, then the kick drum and delay guitar and off we go with a very long repeated section before a lot starts to change very subtly. Slowly a spaced out voice is used to create some psychedelic atmospheres as you get drawn into the madness. The rhythm and beat is quite the same for a very long time but then drums start to throw in little fills here and there to mix it up. Cool stuff. Psychic Lemon close out side 6 or CD2 with one called Jam 7. The Neu rhythm is running in the background under a slowly developing flange guitar line.  Quite hypnotic..





The Bonus CD features Taras Bulba (ex-Earthiing Society folk) get 2 tracks, Vince Cory (Sonic Trip Project), Audio Cologne Project, Icarus Peel, Psychic Lemon (jam 5) and a long amazing version of Watussi by the Legendary Flower Punk from St. Petersburg!  Great stuff.. Highly recommended. 



http://fruitsdemerrecords.com

Friday, June 18, 2021

ELARA SUNSTREAK BAND- Vostok 1 (Sulatron Records st 2104)

I have not heard of this band from the south of German, the band is a three piece and dig long songs! They released one other album on the PsykA label in 2017. This double LP features just 4 songs between 16 and 19mins long. The band is: Daniel Wieland: Bass, Vocals, Martin Wieland: Drums, Percussion , Felix Schmidt: Guitars, Effects with guest vocals on "Vostok 1“ by Felix Seyboth and Hammond organ and Mellotron by Christian Wick. Nexus starts things off with a bit of a drone and then some heavy guitar riff and short solo before the first vocal section. The vocals reminds me of Igor from Stoned Jesus! Most of the first part is focused on the guitar soloing which is very good and a lot of variety as Daniel and Martin keep things steady and leave a good platform for Felix. The middle until the end section features a sitar like guitar (perhaps the Ravi pedal, as no sitar is credited).  A nice eastern feel with a drone, sitar guitar, more laid back drums that drones off in the end. On a Drink with Jim starts slowly with mainly just guitar and then the hammond comes in and this changes the vibe a lot. Some nice spacey effects as well. Lovely vocal. Not sure who Jim is though?? Great track. 

Vostock 1 starts with the bass guitar and bit of delay and then the drums join in slowly but this ends soon and the track gets heavy and features some intense vocals and then wah solos!!!  The music is a bit like a more jammed out Stoned Jesus in some ways as well before SJ became a bit too mainstream sounding. Lots of great dynamics and a good melodic thread to this one. Orange October ends this album and starts off quite melodic. The sitar guitar returns about 4mins into the track. This is the most laid back track on the album and a good way to finish.  Great job guys. 

Fans of Stoned Jesus will dig this album for sure.

Tracklist:

1 Nexus 19:44
2 On a Drink With Jim 16:13
3 Vostok 1 19:16
4 Orange October 17:06

http://sulatron.com

http://www.facebook.com/ElaraSunStreakBand

GONG- Every Album, Every Song (Sonic Bond Publishing)

This could be a challenging book to write in some ways as there were so many versions of GONG and do you cover all of them or just the “real” GONG- GONG, Pierre Morlen’s GONG, NY GONG, Mother GONG, Paragong, Planet GONG…..  Well, the author, Kevan Furbank, has opted to only cover the albums by the band called GONG. All the other versions are discussed but in just a few pages at the back of the book. 

My favourite era of GONG is like most people 1971-1974- The Trilogy era and if you have read some other books on GONG, you might already know a lot of the details that are discussed before he goes into depth about each and every track and what key it was played it and many other details that I did not know. In recent years deluxe versions of the many albums have been embellished with extra tracks and he spends quite a bit of text going into details about these extra tracks or outtake versions, etc.. I found that very interesting as I don’t have all these versions. 

After Expresso II in 1978, there were no official band releases until the 1992 Shapeshifter album, which would bring together some of the original members (David, Didier, Gilli, Mike as well as folks from the Here and Now band. I got to see them twice in 1995 and it was a great tour with David, Gilli, Mike, Steffi, and Pip.. The next studio record was not until 2000 though.  After the discussion of Zero to Infinity, there is a large picture gallery of album covers and rare photos of the band. 

I should mention that all the different live albums are not discussed in detail in the book and pretty much only Live etc.. in detail.  As mentioned before, Pierre Morlens GONG and Mother GONG get about 5 pages or so each and then a lot but not all the other GONG related records are listed and some discussed in more details than others.  Too discuss all of it would make the book twice the size as GONG has had many members and solo projects, etc..

Anyway, I enjoyed the book a lot it made me want to go back and hear some GONG! If you are a fan, you will for sure learn a lot.  I did…

http://sonicbondpublishing.com

The Limit- Caveman Logic (Svart Records)

This is a sort of strange super group of folks from Pentagram (Bobby), The Stooges (Jimmy Recca), Sonny Vincent (Testers and he wrote nearly all the songs), and two Portuguese guys (Hugo Conim and João Pedro Ventura (Dawnrider).  I have to say it is quite a hit and miss LP for me. While I like some of the songs like Over Rover, Caveman Logic and the moody Death of my Soul. A lot of it is pretty generic straight up high energy rock and roll stuff. A bit too polished, perfected and sing along chorus stuff that has all been done much better by others.  I had hoped for something a bit more unique… It is a ok album and you can crank it up LOUD and enjoy it but after hearing it 5 times now, I still not really taken but it.  Who knows if they will play live this group.. 

http://svartrecords.com 

Friday, June 4, 2021

UFO- Every Album, Every Song (Sonic Bond Publishing)


UFO is one of my favourite 70s bands and I loved them in the early 80s when I first got to see them live quite a few times in 1981-1986.  I was really looking forward to read this book.  It was totally taken by surprise by how much the author (Richard James) hates the first three albums. I really dig them and the playing is great. The fact that Mick Bolton is more blues based and not as complex player as Schenker, puts him in the bottom ranks according to the author. I have a lot of friends who the first 3 UFO albums are the best because they are a bit spacey, psychedelic and raw jamming rock music. Pete Way and Andy Parker are also incredible with some great grooves and killer bass lines.  Anyway… if you like the early UFO, you will hate this part of the book. He does not really give them a chance.. all pretty negative stuff.

The Schenker era is covered most thoroughly, as would be expected.  It was nice to see the extra tracks from the deluxe editions discussed in details. Despite owning all the UFO LPS or CDs, I don’t have these remasters with the extra tracks so I have never heard some of the rare tracks like (Give her the Gun, Sweet Little Thing, 16 from Phenomenon era (2 of these were released on a 7”), A million Miles (Force It). See the video below.


NO Heavy Petting is one of my favourite UFO albums and I was surprised that there were 5 unreleased tracks from this recording session, the only one with keyboard player Danny Peyronel.  All Or Nothing’ (Marriot/Lane- Small Faces), Have You Seen Me Lately Joan’ (Frankie Miller), French Kisses’ (UFO), Do It If You Can’ (UFO), All The Strings (Peyronel).  There were no extra tracks from Lights Out or Obsession. 

 

The Strangers in the Night section is very interesting as well as the recent large box set with all shows was released. The details about how Mother Mary and This Kids were actually completely recorded in the studio with dubbed audience was interesting to find more about.  I was surprised that it was not discussed what Pete Way said in his book, as he claims that he redid almost all of this bass and Schenker did many lead overdubs and most of the vocals were redone in the studio as well.  I know this is considered one of the best live albums ever like Thin Lizzy Live and Dangerous but neither are totally live albums since so much of it was redone in the studio.  Anyway, Richard goes through all 8 concerts and gives some details about what is different from each show, very little actually. 


As you head into the 80s there is a section with a lot of the album covers and some nice pictures of different eras of the band as well.  This was when I saw the band quite a bit (1981-1982- 4x).  I loved Mechanix and a lot of Wild Willing and the Innocent!  From 1983 (Making Contact) through most of the 80s was a tough time for UFO, as it was all down hill. Headline act in 10,000 people arenas to playing in bars and clubs again but 1985-86.  The studio albums were very patchy as well. By Misdemeanour in 1985, Phil Moog was the only original member left in the band!!  


Schenker actually came back and made 3 more records with the band with Walk on Water being my favourite one.  These are described well.  The next era is one of a lot more stability with Vinnie Moore, who has been a constant in the band for nearly 20 years now. A lot of good hard rocking albums have been made and each tour, a few of these songs are showcased but sadly, the band for the last 40 years has mostly played the same concert every night with a few token tracks from whatever was the latest record and then just selections from Strangers in the Night, with only a few exceptions. 


Richard, is pretty critical and not as kind or fair as many of the authors of these books and injects a lot of his own personal less objective opinions. Some people might not like this but otherwise, this is a very informative book about one of the best hard rock bands of the 70s!!   Enjoy.. Fun book.


http://sonicbondpublishing.com

Crosby Stills and Nash- Every Album, Every song (Sonic Bond Publishing)

It took me a while to read this one but damn, this is a pretty interesting book and if you are a fan of CSN, I would be very surprised if you did not learn a lot!! There is a huge amount of new information and details I had never read anywhere else and I own almost all their albums and most of their solo albums as well!! The author, Andrew Wild, has done an impressive amount of research. 

The book starts with a timeline of what the members were up to pre-CSN. July 1968 at either Mama Cass or Joni´s house, was the first time they ever sang together!! As the band did multiple takes and recorded many songs not included on the albums for each session, these are also described in detail. Many were released on later reissues but some have remained totally unreleased to this day. I would love to hear the instrumental version of Cinnamon Girl that they recorded but has never been released!  The section called Other live tracks: 1969-1970, is very interesting as it mentions a lot of live recordings that exist of the band from this time period and some material that is on you tube!!


The intros to each of the following albums (1977, 1982, 1983, 1988, 1990 (live), 1994, 2004) has a lot of new information as well. At the end, there is a list of unreleased material from the different albums and era, compilations, a song list of 300 and then a few words from Nash and Crosby why they will never ever play together again.. enjoy the music they made. Amazing..

Sonic Bond Publishing

Sunday, May 2, 2021

DER BLUTHARSCH and the Infinite Church of the Leading Hand- Rejoice (HKR59)

This prolific Austrian psych band are back with another release. They have 41 albums on bandcamp! I quite like these guys and find them very creative and interesting.  This CD features 6 tracks with one main theme- Coming, Fear, Darkness, Darkness+, Rejoice, BURN!!!  First track opens with an almost classical overture like violin, drums and slowly the track develops based on the edgy violin. At 2mins or so the email singer does a like spoken word as the track slowly builds in intensity with the same theme reported over and over and over. Fear has a heavy guitar riff and a more clean one and just a powerful build with some synths and fear raising tension as it grows over the 5 minutes. At 2.5 minutes the female vocal comes in and speaks of fear and pain. Some really cool guitar work. Darkness features some nice organ, slide guitar, whispered vocals, and a sort of spaghetti western like feel and even some flute. It is a strange mixture of instruments but I like it. Darkness+ is next and we return to the original theme that started the record off but with a few modifications and more vocals but the violin theme is quite similar. Rejoice is a more happy track with some flute and an addictive groove. Burn ends the record and also has more of a groove to it and some sort of tribal vibe with a lot of complex layers.. What a cool record. Loved it… 

SOUNDS OF A NEW SOMA- LIVE AT STUDIO HELMTOWN (Tonzonen TON100) //TRIP (Tonzonen TON104)

I really dig Dirk (owner of Tonzonen Records) group, Sounds of a New Soma. I have almost all the records. The group (duo) formed in 2013 and has been quite productive. The Live in Studio Helmtown is their 2nd release from there. This is released in only 100 copies for the Tonzonen Record subscribers. This is a great album. They were really in the "zone".  It features two album side long tracks. I did not get the first one from this live studio session. This one was recorded on April 10th, 2020.  


As for the Trip, this is something totally unique to the SOANS catalog. The artwork has virtually no information so this makes it quite mysterious. Like the previous record this features just two long and strange tracks (my wife did not like it at all).. Probably not my fave record by them either but it is cool to see them explore and do something really unique. Check them out!! 


www.tonzonen.de




GRAND ASTORIA, THE- FROM THE GREAT BEYOND EP (Addicted 770)

I did not know that my friend Kamille had a new Grand Astoria record out until I got this  in the mail from the Russian label. It is listed under misc at Discogs so I am not 100% sure this is all new material but I think so.  Anyway, the EP features 6 well produced tracks staring with the mainly acoustic guitar and vocal track From the Great Beyond. A few spacey sounds mixed in as well until 2 minutes then some keyboard dominate the melodic theme but this is a track focused on the vocals, which are sung almost all the way through. Wasteland starts with a heavy riff and some dark lyrics. Short 3min track. Njanatilka is a heavy metal track with some double kick drums and a heavy riff that is repeated over and over for the first minute. The vocal is very pressed and strained at the very edge of the vocalist range. The track has a very groggy mid section with nice keys and flute before stepping back into the heavy direction. Great stuff. Us against the World, is a very intense track with a lot of ups and downs, heavy, melodic, etc… Towards the end, the vocals are in the higher range again as the drummer pounds and the guitars twist and grate and the intensity just does not let up. Phew… The CD ends with a short track called Ten Years Anniversary Riff.  


This is a killer band, one of the best and most unique in this genre in Russia. Just excellent stuff.  The CD digisleeve comes with a nice booklet with all the dark lyrics! Nice package. 


http://thegrandastoria.bandcamp.com

http://noname666.bandcamp.com

LITMUS- GOD BOMB 7” (Litmus Music 2020)

Space rock-punk band Litmus are back with their first release in 9 years. The band is basically a trio (Marek Bublik, Martin Harvey, Simon Fiddler) for the last few years and occasionally they have a synth player (James in this case).  The band have stayed active on the UK scene playing gigs every year but this is the first new music in a while. It features 2 tracks. God bomb starts things off on the A side (see video below) with some spaced out sounds and then a mid-paced rocker with a mellotron backing while the vocals kick in and then the simple rock riff is backed by more spaced sounds. All the band contribute to the vocals. Cool track. 

Flip the 7” over for Post Sonic Age, this is a more intense rocker again with mellotron and a bit of punky edge with an effected vocal but the chorus is clean. Lyrically it is about the digital music/world revolution that has changed and fucked up the world. Catchy track.  Hope the guys are working on a full length record. I dig this track. 

https://litmusmusic.neocities.org/Litmus_Website/Litmus_Website.html 

PREE TONE- BREKKA (Addicted 756)

Last year I reviewed an album by these guys. The band is a trio. This one is 5 tracks. Fifth O starts things off and is a sort of strange mix of psyche stuff and indie with a raw production and some nice effects on the voice that give it a bit of psychedelic feel. Hidden Beauty has a strong energy and the same low mixed vocals but fewer effects and a melodic thread throughout. I miss some guitar solos but they have some effects at the end of the track. Cakesniffer, is next and a strange title.  80s indie psych stuff is a big influence on these guys.  This track though turns into a sort of hypnotic stoner rock for a bit after 4mins. That really caught me by surprise as the band get quite tripped out.  Super cool track. Invention of Living from is next and the vocal is quite spacey in this high energy track with a bit of reverb. The last track, Flow, this one has some repeated guitar lines and is a bit noisy and krautrock like. The guitar slowly gets a bit more effected and trippy..  Cool record guys..



http://noname666.bandcamp.com

http://preetone.bandcamp.com 

LIQUID SOUND COMPANY- PSYCHOACTIVE SONGS FOR THE PSOUL (LSR2021)

It has been 10 years since the last LSC album. This album is released initially on a CD with the first 50 copies coming with a cool magnet! It features 8 tracks, of which 3 are instrumentals. It is great to hear how they have really maintained their core sound from 10-15 years ago. A lot of unusual instruments are used and sitar and flute (by guests) on Mahayuga, give it that bit of eastern feel. I think the band really nailed it with this record. Really cool songs and great lyrics.  Check them out for sure.. I am not sure when the vinyl edition will be out but I will want to grab it for sure!


https://liquidsoundcompany.bandcamp.com/ 

JUICE OH YEAH- JUICE OH YEAH CD (Addicted 741)

This is a Russian duo of fretless bass and drums. Boris, the bass player also sings and plays MS-20, 12 string guitar, gushing, banjo and some drums.  The CD features 5 long tracks of strange and high energy music. the opening track starts pretty high energy and drifts into a cool segment with the MS20 and then back into the song. This is the shortest song at only 4mins. Botttommm is a more melodic indie rocker with some strange backing vocals that are louder than the main vocal line and just a strange song and far out ending.  Wow… Endlong is over 12mins but starts slow and a bit spacey. They go into this sort of Russian chant stuff and then the track starts to get heavy. Later on there is a sort of drone organ mixed in as well with the heavy bass lines and pounding drums. Log features a female vocal or Boris has done an amazing job to change his voice. This one starts at a very slow pace and plods on with the focus on the voice. At 3mins really blasts into a totally new universe and the volume triples! The bass is also much more massive. Our subwoofer rocked the house! Downwards is the final track. The opening is based mostly on the bass lines and some chimes. The bass riff is a take on someone, but I just can’t place it. Anyway, what a great record…..  Cool stuff guys.. 

I have to say the first time I played this CD, I was like, what the fuck.. but by the 3rd time, I really got it and this band (or should I say Boris) is pretty cool. Quite unique sound. 

http://noname666.bandcamp.com

http://juiceohyeah.bandcamp.com

LA OTRACINA- WOKE ON WAVES LP (In For The Kill Records IFTK 016))

La Otracina was a really cool NY bands band. They formed way back in 2003 by Adam Kriney (Golden Grass) and released a lot of music and did some tours (saw them at Roadburn!) but the last release was 2012. This is an archive release and made in 30 vinyls and 100 CDs.  Here is what the band wrote about the record: “LA OTRACINA recorded two albums worth of instrumental music at those 2007 "Blood Moon Rider" sessions, one of which was the songs/compositions for the "Blood Moon Riders" album, and the other was 45 minutes of absolutely heady and masterfully crafted psychedelic exloratory improvisations, from the time-period when the group was at their freak-rock/free-improvisational peak! And after 14 years, these mind-blowing jams are now to be revealed to the universe for the first time ever as "Woke On Waves”.


I just have to say I am glad that I own this and while I only have a few of the bands albums, this one is really special and more spaced out some how at least on the ling album side A.  The band has a great energy as well. Damn cool archive release. 


https://laotracina.bandcamp.com/album/woke-on-waves 

CIOLKOWSKA- Psychedelia (Addicted)

I have heard quite a few of these guys records now. The opening track (Glue) is quite a pop number with a catchy keyboard theme (played on the guitar or ukulele?), not one I particularly like though. A bit too much 80s. The groove is great on this though and it starts to get a bit more interesting after 3.30 before returning to the same theme. Gingerbreads starts similar to the opening track but becomes more heavy, emotional before coming back to a like the first and then an almost like dub delay guitar makes things a bit more interesting. Mohavishnu has some nice ukulele at the start and later one. It is basically the lead instrument playing all the most important accents to the music,. The rhythm section of this band are very solid. Vocal is in a laid back style most of the time. Angelina (a Imandra cover song) is the longest on the album at 7.26. It is also a sort of poppy melodic track. It is best when it goes astray a bit. The next two tracks fit together (Room and Slippers). The CD ends with the title track, which is listed as a cover by a band called Silence. Guitar is a bit like Nirvana, maybe the vocal as well. The ukulele is really what makes this band special, otherwise it is a sort of indie pop rock most of the time. Not really my thing this album. Sorry.  While the album is called Psychedelia, I don’t find it psychedelic at all.  The term is too widely used these day and become to broad and generic almost which is sad, for the bands that truly make psychedelic music. 



http://ciolkowska.bandcamp.com

http://noname666.bandcamp.com

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Roadburn Redux- Around the World April 15-18th, 2021

How does one go about reviewing an internet festival??? This is an utterly unique event unlike anyone has attempted to do in the world, unfortunately for me, I live on a mountainside and depend on wi fi towers far away for my internet and sadly it is not good enough all the time to enjoy these events as they happen, always.. Tried to stream it on our 49” TV which is connected to the internet but most of the time it did not work. Bummer..

Anyway, great intro with Walter and Becky, who are tireless warriors for us music fans. It is not possible to come up with enough praise for these two hard working people who are so dedicated to music. Wow.. I admire them immensely.  The program for Thursday is for sure less intense than the real thing but what an honour to get to kick it off, with Kairon— This was a way to dream your way into Roadburn.  I had not heard this band before. This is some beautiful music. I miss some guitar solos in their sort of post-rock space sound. Nice lights and very well shot video..


Next I read the interview with Cody from Mizmor and listened to the music you had on the right side. I am not at all a fan of this sort of melodic black-death metal music. Vocals just don’t do anything for me at all. Never have..  Very interesting interview about a lot of subjects, not just music including climate change, disbelief in science, etc….


Heard some of the Crown LP debut as well. Some of it reminded me of Ministry. This sort of weird mix of hypnotic electronic music, heavy guitars, death metal vocals but also more melodic vocal styles in a part that could be playing in a pop disco electro night..  Quite bizarre. Have to say this was pretty unique even if it is not my cup of tea. Wow… Impressive..


Noctule- Serena Cherry from Svalbard.. Intense stuff. Video editing was way too fast for me. Did not like that it changes every 2 seconds.  Again, a strange mix of melodic guitar that could be on a post rock record but with black metal drumming and vocals…… I can see how this is very successful at crossing genres…


Drowse- “Kyle Bates is not one to stay still for long and has collated, composed, recorded and directed a performance piece that we’re premiering here today. Featuring recordings that span from to 2013 right up to recent weeks, this piece captures both the past and present of Drowse. ". The video of looking down this hallway, which you come back to in between all the different short pieces is clever. Most of the time matches this ambient dreamy vibe well. It is not all computers and synths. He also plays a nice acoustic guitar in a more pop oriented piece in the middle. Interesting collage of music and video.. 20mins long. 



An Autumn for Crippled Children- I never heard of this and had no idea what to expect. I find this post rock death metal pop music stuff just too weird… It is not at all for me……. Just bizarre……


Tau and the Drones of Praise perform Dream Awake


Very tribal, organic, interesting to start and then they went in a new direciton, a bit of an Eastern influence that reminded me a lot of Black Sun Ensemble at times….. especially in the middle of the set….  They showed their Irish roots in the last 15mins. Amazing stuff. 


Alora Crucible. The track name is Synaxarion of John Isangelous. This was not a video just an exclusive audio stream…  Guitars, violin, and some new age dreamy synthesisers. A beautiful piece of music. 


Day 2


I was pretty excited as my duo Doctors of Space will premiere an exclusive set at 1430…  Anyway… got the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch and it is quite long so did not read it all.  First thing I caught was the debut of a new video by Of Wolves.  I have never heard this band before from Chicago. Alison Chelsey adds some haunting cello to this diverse track of anger and beauty. 


I really like Townes Van Zandt so this unknown artist at 13 looks like it could be interesting.  Turns out it was Amenra and they were just talking about Amenra on the chat before.. Did someone leak it?? Haunting like his music was. Eerie video..


Darkher… wow.. liked this… Lovely voice and vibe.. 


Douwe Dijkstra Documentary was very interesting about the artist who did posters this year. A guy from Holland!!  What a great work space he has..


enPHIn a new project offshoot of Mr. Peter Hayden. Intense as one would expect from these guys. MPH is dead. Peter Hayden has now died as well and we have enPHin… Cool..


Shy, Low - they’ll have their third full length album, titled Snake Behind The Sun. Some killer images in this video. The instrumental music is a bit to pretty and slick for me. Not a post rock fan, really but what a killer video..


Doctors of Space got a great reception… I was so happy people loved it… Heavy space rock stuff for those that don’t know my band in Portugal. 



Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou - Live at Roadburn 2019. This was just a song from the show. Powerful. 


Die Wilde Jagd performed a commissioned piece called Atem- very spacey trio. of percussion, drums, synths and effects and cello and voice.. Awesome visuals… Looks like it could be the 013….  What is that guy doing with the gas? Blowing it into big blocks and stuff???  This was a super cool set and perfect after the heavy Doctors of Space.. off into another kind of space. Loved the visuals. 


Nadja was next with a premier video.  The special performance of Nadja's Seemannsgarn was filmed at The Black Lodge in Berlin earlier this year.  Edgy electronics, dark drone vibes with very minimal drums. Lots of effects pedals. 


Never heard of Kayo Dot.  They have a new album called Moss Grew on the Swords and Plowshares Alike - that will be released later this year via Prophecy Productions. The track that debuted here was called The Knight Errant. Music is a bit dreamy but a very dark vocal. Nice metal with dark vocals. In the middle an unexpected synths solo is played that changes the vibe a lot. Again, this old 70s rocker does not really get this…


Thy Catafalque debuted a brand new track, titled Szarvas, from their new album titled Vadak.  Old school synth sequencer starts things off and then an immense blast of black metal drums changes everything.. A very dramatic track that mixes a lot of styles. I wish it had stayed all instrumental as I don’t get these vocals again. 


Nero di Marte debuted two tracks with a new band line up. Two guitars, bass and drums. Music with a edge.. The first track you are not quite sure if it will explode or not..  Driving and about to crash but not quite. Not sure about the vocals?  Some intense guitar solo parts mixed into the tight and complex arrangements.  Sometimes seemed complex just for complexity sake. Intense band. 


Autarkh performing Form in Motion.  After a few seconds of silence.. they just rip your head clean off.  Super fast 200bpm drumming from the computer guy, powerful vocals. and off to HELL you go!!!  two guitars (one 8 string), bass and computer guy.  It seems everyone in heavy music is a post rock guitar player these days??? Very few real guitar solos. I think the programmed drums just don’t work for me.. Must be damn hard for these guys to not make any mistakes with this super fast music. Fucking hard to play. Some industrial music inspiration for sure. 


The Devils Trail was quite nice while I was preparing the BBQ on the patio.  One guy with an electric guitar on a big stage. Haunting personal music. Only heard about 30mins and then we switched to hear the two Jo Quail songs.  Interesting cello pieces.  Never heard her before. I liked it very much.


GOLD- Had no idea what to expect. We sat on the patio and had a BBQ and some vino verde and listened to the entire concert.  A bit of an 80s vibe. but a modern edge of sorts… not sure what to think,.


Mountain Dust.. Wow.. I loved this…. a cool 70s vibe with amazing female vocals. Two women in the band (lead singer and one of the three guitar players)… Nice Finnish-Swedish folk stuff here and there.  Just a nice organic music, Especially loved Apollo. 


Regarde Les Hommes Tomber’s 2020 album Ascension. Had no idea what to expect but this was mindblowingly intense black metal. 


The Ocean was the last thing that I saw on this night. They played their entire album, Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic. A very dynamic and HEAVY band. Some grunge influence mixed with extreme metal and extreme vocals but also nicer vocals.. It was an intense and interesting mix. Impressed. 


It had been a long and intense day, just like if you had been at Roadburn.  There was still a lot of other music later including Maggot Heart (seen them in Portugal), TDC Inc, making a hell of a noise. Emptiness also played. 


Saturday


I had a lot of work to do on the land today with cutting grass and watering the garden, etc… A lot had already happened by the time I got on today, so there was no way to catch up. 


Caught the end of Solar Temple… Not at all what I had expected. A duo doing post rock style stuff. Nice ending with both guys on drums under the layer of feedback guitar..


Now I had to play catch up a bit and listen to my friend Dave (Sula Bassana). He provided a 15min track called Roadburn Haze, where he played all the instruments. Starts slowly with some nice drone synths and slowly the guitar riff builds up and then the drum machine kicks in and off we go. Hypnotic, mysterious and spacey…


Knoll was extreme extreme with a crazy vocalist.  Super intense music. So many bands that sound like this though. I think you have to be deep into the genre to really get what is new and exciting and totally different about this??? 


Wolf King was a similar type of extreme metal drumming but a melodic guitar line replacing the aggressive one. Again borrowing from post rock almost.  Singer was not just pure death but a mix. More straight metal at times compared to the full on black-death metal of Knoll.


Doodswens, a new singing to Svart Records. Another duo act. Just drums, vocals and guitar. Black-death metal style. Not for me. 


Primitive Man from Texas created this commissioned piece of distorted extreme music.The track is titled Cage Intimacy and it was written, conceptualised, and pulled out of the mud by Ethan Lee McCarthy, Jonathan Campos & Joseph Linden. Of the track, Ethan told us:

“This song is about how I would rather find the strength to persevere alone while facing extremely difficult circumstances, than to ask for the aid of anyone who base all of their relationships on having strings attached that they will later use to strangle you with. How some individuals will use intimacy as a weapon to gain an advantage over you. That was super extreme and the video was unwatchable. Just too much strobe and fast action. Wow.. 


Marghöfða dýrið (The multi-headed beast) is taken from a 17th century curse lamenting the coming of the antichrist. The beast is spearheaded by T. alongside various session musicians at any given time. The demo EP Djöfladýrkun undir jökli (Devil Worship under the Glacier) is its first official release, coming out on LP and MC through Goatowarex and Vánagandr respectively, satirising Laxnes' novel Kristnihald undir jökli. The lyrics twist and mock the legacy of Protestant Christianity in Iceland from its hostile takeover of Catholic heresy in Skálholt during the middle of the 16th century into the godless, impure age of modernity. 

The project wears its musical influences on its sleeve, paying tribute to the black metal of old without shame, citing the likes of Ildjarn and Darkthrone (among others) in its compositional approach as well as taking inspiration from old Nordic folk music and childhood memories. This is only the first of the Hydra's heads, Babylon's consort!


This was a mixture of death metal, epic melodic folk and prog meloidies and again this sort of post rock guitar instead of any traditional guitar soloing. 


 Dawn Ray’d. Titled Wild Fire I and Wild Fire II - embrace both the black metal and the folk elements


Tesa- Control had a very intense video.. also mostly black and white and super fast moving…. 


Jonathan Hultén- Loved it.. Super cool and fun video… Laid back..


Die Wilde Jagd´s 2nd concert was totally different but also really cool. Loved it.. amazing sound and visuals.  One of my faves for sure..


Witch Mountain´s version of Limo Wreck by Soundgarden was very good.  Singer sounds a lot like the new one from Siena Root.. Cool video as well. 


Sunrot 1312 is an angry track and all proceeds go to Black Lives Matters Patterson.  Good deed.


Body Void was some crushing doom with death metal vocals.  Got a lot of great comments on the sidebar.. I did not like the vocals at all though.  What a hell of a roomy fuzzy distorted sound from hell…..


Offermose, that was a dark video with some cool Klaus Schulze inspired music in the 3rd act. Dig!


Steve Von Till´s Wilderness set was very moody with cello, french horn, lot of synths, etc.. He played guitar on a few tracks but quite emotional, dark tracks, as you would expect from Steve. Very well produced in a really cool looking studio..


The Nest… I was really looking forward to this as Wolvennest was great at the last Roadburn.  This was a big line up with 4 extra guests: “The Nest is a collaboration between Wolvennest - who are surely making themselves at home on the MainStage by now - and some special guests. We announced their special guests yesterday - AA Nemtheanga (Primordial, Dread Sovereign), Tommie Eriksson (Saturnalia Temple), Bones (Dread Sovereign), Alexander von Meilenwald (The Ruins Of Beverast), and Ryanne van Dorst (DOOL) -- but everything else is tightly under wraps. We’re extremely ready to experience their commissioned composition, titled Her True Nature.”   It started off with focusing on a skull and an incense ritual before the rest of the band came out. It started spacey and then the heavy hit. 4 guitars!!!  The lead guitar was very low in the first track, almost could not hear it.   


What a great new piece of music. We loved it.. But this was the last that we saw on this night. 


Sunday


Had to catch up on a lot of things that were late last night. 


Haunted Plasma- Another act from Finland!!!  “The phantoms at the beating nucleus of this unearthly machine are Juho Vanhanen (Oranssi Pazuzu, Grave Pleasures), Timo Kaukolampi (K-X-P, Op:l Bastards) and Tomi Leppänen (Circle, Aavikko, K-X-P), transmitting a music form evolved from a life of redefining sonic boundaries in their respective projects. Also featuring guest vocals from Mat McNerney (Hexvessel, Carpenter Brut, Beastmilk) and Ringa Manner (Ruusut, The Hearing).”


Spacey and intense 35min piece. Some electronic beats, real drums, vocals, guitar. At 11mins it takes a radical change. A lot oK-X-P influence on this track. Hypnotic groove kicks in and off we go at a higher energy. Damn cool stuff...  A lot of amazing creative bands in Finland. 


Neptunian Maximalism- Set Chaos to the heart of the Moon- 8 people and starting with a vocal chant to get the vibe going,, about 6mins they left the circle and went to their instruments. Some sax and growling and percussion as the piece slows gets louder and more intense. 


Talea Jacta meets Electric Moon premiered a short track from an album that will come out in Sept on Sulatron record. It was recorded at the show the band did together in Lisboa in 2017, I think. This was really cool but too short. I wanted to hear more!!!


Astrosoniq live from the Green Room 2016….. Really like this band so I was probably there unless there was something else that I had to see…  Cool to relive it… Such a great band. 


Saver- Dimensions Lost, Obscured By Aeons - was captured live at Amper Tone Studios in Oslo. 17min long piece. This is a release with Psychonaut, which you can also hear. Started with spacey keyboards and then just a drummer and guitar and bass.. He was hidden. Did not see him at first. Loud and with melodic vocals but also screaming and angry at times. The end is very doomy, I did not really find it very special or interesting really..  Sorry..


Psychonaut- The Great Realisation (16mins). The band is a four piece- bass, drums, acoustic and electric guitar. The two guitar players do the vocals which sometimes soft but were mostly intense. The music has a lot of dynamics from heavy rock to post rock like stuff to a bit proggy. 


Madeline Johnston AKA Midwife was very melancholy after some heavy stuff. Video was like someone driving through the mid west USA… Mostly a piano based track with some guitar, percussion and effects. 


First live stream I caught was Dead Neanderthals - This irrepressible duo is bursting at the seams with creative ideas - and they’ve let some of them loose within the confines of this commissioned project. Otto and René have teamed up with Dutch singer/songwriter Aafke Romeijn, and Jonge Woudloper, one of the musicians in Aafke’s band, to create IXXO. This brand new krautrock-inspired composition is heavy on the synths but promises warmth and depth.


This was a four piece act with live drums and three on synths. I was impressed that there were not computers! yeah!!!!!!!!!!!! the drummer also did not have headphones (perhaps in ear click track).. Visuals inspired by Kraftwerk. 


Hand Model is the solo project of Ignat Frege - one half of the experimental metal band Wreck and Reference, who made their Roadburn debut back in 2018. This video is for the track The Thinking Monster which is a collaboration with the producer WTCHCRFT.  I have to say that I did not at all like this… 


Having already hosted Dirk Serries with Fear Falls Burning, Microphonics, Year of No Light, Yodok III and Scatterwound already, we were due to welcome him back in 2020 with Kodian Trio. Fate had other ideas… but with a creative spirit that never stops wandering and a thirst for experimenting, we knew that Dirk would be primed and ready to throw himself head first into a commissioned project for Roadburn Redux. And now the time is here… presenting Dirk Serries’ Epitaph.


Guitar drums and a table of electronic pedals and gear.. So glad to see no computers!! It was pretty normal ambient music for the first 15 or so minutes but then the electronics became pretty cool and strange and the music much more tense and noisy, At the end with the full drums playing they return more to the feel of the beginning. Quite cool stuff.. 


Lustmord and Karin Parks.. Beautiful music and video. Loved it…


Gallops.. didn’t like that at all and what the fuck was Death Bells?? 80s indie pop?? 


Olivier Arson, AKA Territoire is here to give your Sunday evening an abrasive sense of impending doom. Filmed in a warehouse and pretty far out lights at times. Very experimental and strange electronics and builds up into some insane noise. Cool lasers and lights… The lasers were synced to the music as well. Looks like he had computer hidden under the table but this was live sound manipulation in the extreme..  Totally crazy stuff. Never heard anything quite like this..


Of Blood and Mercury was sort of spacey dreamy pop music with strange programmed drums and beats.. Some cool parts but a bit too mainstream music for me. The melodies are straight out of pop music.  IT as a duo (female on vocals and electronics), a guy on dreamy guitar. 


Inerta data is Hexvessel’s lead guitarist, Jesse Heikkinen. He played in his electric guitar and sang his songs in a heart shape surrounded by candles.. Looked nice. Very beautiful and heartfelt songs. This also had some accompanied keyboards that were pre-recorded. In fact, I think he was just miming. Could not see a microphone for his voice anywhere. 


Randall Taylor is Amulet. He was in his bedroom or studio and started two cassette tapes playing and did a bit of mixing of them and then pulled out his guitar with a floor full of pedals and started a guitar loop and then headed back to mix the tapes and guitar. 


Wolvennest performing Temple was for sure one of the highlights. Just amazing sound, great visuals and awesome performance.  Just killer..


Aaron Taylor— this was quite boring to start. Just his voice being manipulated. He finally strapped on his guitar at 8mins or so.  E-bow and guitar and some drone stuff… Not really doing it for me or anyone on the chat, it seems… People seem very bored.  This was one of the comments: “Minimalist space station equipment malfunction noise.”   


DeWolff—-This was one of the things I was looking forward to the most and they played a 90 min set of originals except one Townes Van Zandt song.  IT was a great jamming 70s rock set.  They were the only people I saw the entire festival drink a beer on stage! 


So what were my fave things???


Neptunian Maximalism

Die Wilde Jagd

Mountain Dust.

Wolvennest and The Nest

Hexvessel

DeWolff


Finally, it can´t go without saying that this was the premier live music event of world class. Walter and Becky just killed it... The 013 crew were amazing with the live streams as well. Kudos.. It could not have been better or run more smoothly. They should be super proud of what they achieved but we have to a real festival again. While this was awesome, it is not the same!!!  next year see you all in Tilburg!!  


http://roadburn.com