Farflung, 5: Boiled by the 27th Sun (Plus Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 24th, 2016 by JJ Koczan


[Farflung release their new album, 5, via Heavy Psych Sounds this weekend at Freak Valley 2016. Click play above to stream it in full.]

They’ve hardly been inactive in the interim, but 5 marks the first studio LP from Los Angeles space rockers Farflung in eight years. Released by Heavy Psych Sounds, it follows 2008’s A Wound in Eternity (on MeteorCity) as well as splits with White Hills, Black Rainbows and Fatso Jetson (review here), among others, and finds the long-running outfit past the 20-year mark since their debut, 25,000 Feet Per Second, came out in 1995. Through the bulk of that two decades, Farflung have coursed through the cosmos thoroughly underappreciated for their efforts — similar to split-mates White Hills, who started later, they seem to have found more of a foothold in Europe than in the US.

But 5 brings renewed vitality in its nine miniaturized interstellar voyages/43 minutes, all songs but the opening three under five minutes long but with a significant breadth all the same, dripping in effects and spaced far enough out that the scale of “far out” only seems to begin to cover it. Some vibe can only be measured in parsecs, and with the band comprised of Tommy Grenas, Michael Esther, Paul Hischier, Abby Travis and Chris Nakata with guest appearances from Hawkwind‘s Nik Turner, David Catching and Gene Troutmann (both affiliated with Queens of the Stone Age and Eagles of Death Metal), Farflung‘s vibe pushes outward from the moment of its inception until it closes with the almost tribal krautrock thrust of “The Retreat,” as progressive as it is lysergic.

Naturally, they are right at home in this expanding sphere. “Hive” opens 5 — which by the way is upwards of Farflung‘s eighth album — and is the longest cut on it at 6:53 (immediate points), acting as intro for itself and the record as a whole with its emergent swirl in the first minute that soon launches into kosmiche boogie instrumental save for some buried vocalizations. The push is everything. They’re not quite aping Hawkwind at the outset, but the thrust of the first half is clearly-enough working to break through the atmosphere, which “Hive” seems to do and float for a while in its second half before resuming its outward crunch. Effects start “Proterozoic” as well, but a more forward structure takes hold, with lyrics delivered in echoing deadpan over double snare taps for a garage rock feel that takes off its in chorus.


That hook turns out to be one of the strongest on 5 and is followed by a long stretch of hypnotic, resonantly psychedelic drone and effects near the finish, which sets up the more earthbound riff opening “044MPZ,” with a kind of New Wave synth line underscoring its verse and a sense of space in the chorus behind interweaving echoes. Synth and Echoplex add fluidity to a languid solo, and though it seems like Farflung have hit the point of no return from whence the only thing to do is continue to jam, they turn back to the chorus before shifting into less-plugged acid fervor. “044MPZ” is the crucial third in the aforementioned longer-tracks opening trio, and what follows from there on “27th Sun” and side B read like reports checking in from the various worlds Farflung have visited along their way to wherever it is they might end up by the album’s end.

“Lupine,” the centerpiece, calls back to “044MPZ” in its tone, but with a change in vocals (is that Turner?) that marks it out immediately ahead of the shorter “Being Boiled,” which has a more brooding take. Waves of guitar and repetitive robotic chants position “We Are” as something of a landmark, but at that point it’s really more about the wash in its entirety than any single element — all these layers drawing together to create something immersive and entrancing. Slower and more centered around low end, “Dismal Jimmy” is nonetheless among the trippier offerings on 5, and almost enough to make one wish Farflung hit the brakes more often, but while the penultimate inclusion, it also stands as reinforcement of the fact that as far as the band has to that point journeyed, they’ve still got the warp drive geared toward who the hell knows.

And if you’re looking for that answer in “The Retreat,” good luck. Resolution comes in cinematic percussive drama backed by the ever-present swirl, and is less about making the album preceding more accessible than showing that Farflung could probably keep it as well as all of the ideas presented before it going into perpetuity. In that way, 5 feels somewhat pared down, like these tracks were carved from longer jams during the songwriting and shaped into what they are with effects and layers of keys and synth and so on, but that shouldn’t be taken as an indication that there’s anything happening here other than exploration, since that very much remains at the heart of what Farflung have accomplished on this welcome return.

Farflung on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds

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Farflung Announce European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 17th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Hot on the heels of the announcement of a May 27 release through Heavy Psych Sounds of their new album, 5, Los Angeles space rockers Farflung unveil plans for an extensive European tour. The run begins in Milan on release day and will include a special set at Freak Valley 2016 in Germany — as previously speculated — to celebrate the LP’s arrival. As it’s been some eight years since the last Farflung full-length, it seems like a cause worthy of celebration, though they’ve been to Europe a couple times in between the two records, touring alongside Black Rainbows in 2012 and taking part in that year’s Roadburn festival in the Netherlands.

Word of the tour came down the PR wire thusly:

farflung euro tour

L.A. space rock legends FARFLUNG to takeover Europe this spring in support of new album “5” on Heavy Psych Sounds

California’s space rock torchbearers FARFLUNG are set to come back to the Old Continent this spring, as the band will be touring extensively to support the release of their new album “5”, due out May 27 on Heavy Psych Sounds.

The ever-experimenting space rock five-piece from Los Angeles is making a great comeback this spring, with their first full-length in eight years and a full European tour to kick off at the end of May. FARFLUNG will release their new album “5” on May 27th via Heavy Psych Sounds.

This European tour includes a special release set at Freak Valley Fest. Find all infos and dates below:

27.05.16 – MILAN (IT) Cox18
28.05.16 – NETPHEN (DE) Freak Valley Fest (release show)
29.05.16 – ERFURT (DE) Tiko
30.05.16 – LEIPZIG (DE) Zoro
31.05.16 – DRESDEN (DE) Chemiefabrik
01.06.16 – MALMÖ (SWE) Plan B
02.06.16 – COPENHAGEN (NL) Loppen
03.06.16 – BERLIN (DE) Cassiopea
04.06.16 – OLTEN (CH) Coq D’or
05.06.16 – LUZERN (CH) Sedel
06.06.16 – MANNHEIM (DE) TBA
07.06.16 – BASEL (CH) Kashemme
08.06.16 – TILBURG (NL) Little Devil
09.06.16 – LEUVEN (BE) Soho
10.06.16 – KARLSRHUE (DE) Bar Bistro KA
11.06.16 – BLUDENZ (AT) Villa K
12.06.16 – INNSBRUCK (AT) PMK
13.06.16 – SLAZBURG (AT) RockHouse
14.06.16 – TUBINGEN (DE) Hausbar neben der Stiftskirche
15.06.16 – TORINO (IT) TBA
16.06.16 – ZEROBRANCO (IT) Altroquando
17.06.16 – ROMA (IT) Sinister Noise
18.06.16 – VITERBO (IT) Secret Show

FARFLUNG’s last full-length A Wound In Eternity came out in 2008, after what the five-piece put out a series of quality split records with White Hills (2012), Black Rainbows (2013) and California’s brothers-in-sound Fatso Jetson (2015). This year will see the return of one of the most substantial songwriting teams in today’s rock world, with the release of upcoming new album 5 on European rock powerhouse Heavy Psych Sounds.

This new album 5 will feature guest appearances by the likes of Nik Turner (Hawkwind), David Catching (QOTSA, EODM) and Gene Trautmann (QOTSA, EODM). It was recorded at Saturn Moon Studio, Tarantula Ranch and Rancho de la Luna, conferring upon the record a recognizable desert sound.

FARFLUNG – New album “5”
Out on May 27th via Heavy Psych Sounds
Presales available from April 1st, 2016

Tommy Grenas
Michael Esther
Paul Hischier
Abby Travis
Chris Nakata


Farflung, “Jettison in the Rushes… Phase One”

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Farflung Announce New Album 5 Due May 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 3rd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

The May 27 release of Farflung‘s new album, 5, on Heavy Psych Sounds coincides with the long-underappreciated Californian space rockers’ previously-announced appearance at Freak Valley 2016. I don’t know if that appearance is coming as a part of a tour or not, but the new album reportedly finds the band veering into the desert, stylistically and literally, which seems fair enough coming after Farflung‘s kosmiche split with Fatso Jetson (review here), released in 2015 also via Heavy Psych Sounds, and should only make them all the more welcome at the German festival that will apparently play host to its release. No audio yet, but May’s still a ways off. Plenty of time for such things.

Cover art is suitably spacious. That and the info for the album follow here, hoisted off the PR wire:


L.A. space rock legends FARFLUNG unveil artwork and details of their new album “5”, out this May on Heavy Psych Sounds.

Los Angeles-based cult space rock outfit FARFLUNG is proud to announce the release of their long-awaited new album “5” on Heavy Psych Sounds this spring.

It’s been eight years since long-running Californian space rockers FARFLUNG released their last full-length A Wound In Eternity. After a handful of split releases in the early 2010’s, the band is back with their long-awaited follow up on Heavy Psych Sounds Records.

This new album entitled 5 features guest appearances by the likes of Nik Turner (Hawkwind), David Catching (QOTSA, EODM) and Gene Trautmann (QOTSA, EODM). It was recorded at Saturn Moon Studio, Tarantula Ranch and Rancho de la Luna, conferring upon the record a recognizable desert sound.

FARFLUNG – New album “5”
Out on May 27th via Heavy Psych Sounds
Presales available from April 1st, 2016

1. Hive
2. Proterozoic
3. 044MZP
4. The 27th Sun
5. Lupine
6. Being Boiled
7. We Are ‘e’ Dismal
8. Jimmy
9. The Retreat

Tommy Grenas
Michael Esther
Paul Hischier
Abby Travis
Chris Nakata


Fatso Jetson / Farflung, Split (2015)

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