audiObelisk Transmission 027: Beaches of the Middle Coast

Posted in Podcasts on June 24th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

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It wasn’t when I was standing in Ramalama Records in Toledo, or when I took my stack of goodies up to the counter at Flat, Black and Circular in Lansing, but by the time I left Days of the Doomed II in Wisconsin, I knew I had enough to make a new podcast from all the assembled bits of Buried Treasure. I guess it’s not so dissimilar from the last podcast, but instead of covering two weeks in Europe, it covers about three days in the Midwest. Wow. Say it like that and the trip seems pretty intense.

And so it was. The resulting podcast follows suit. You’ll find it heavy on the doom — perhaps somewhat predictably — with tracks from fest performers like Blizaro, Orodruin, Sanctus Bellum and Earthen Grave, and there’s a lot of newer stuff featured from what I picked up. If you missed the Apostle of Solitude stream the other day, their “Die Vicar Die” from the new Demo 2012 shows up here, but even some of the stuff I picked up record shopping falls under a doomier mindset — see new Candlemass, which starts us off, as well as Paradise Lost, Unorthodox, Saturnalia Temple and Solitude Aeturnus. Must have just been the kind of headspace I was in.

Either way, listening back to it now, I think it’s a cool mix. How many times in your life are you going to go from Amebix to Pelican in a one-two punch? Six? Well, let this be one of them. You might notice that around the two-hour mark, things start to get a little tripped out, with Diagonal, Funkadelic, Hawkwind, Six Organs of Admittance, Amon Düül II and Master Musicians of Bukkake. That’s on purpose. By the time I was about three hours out on my drive home, I was so doomed out that all I wanted to listen to was psych and drone and weirdo stuff, so those were the records I put on. As that was something of the trip I hadn’t yet covered — about the only thing — I wanted to make sure that side of things was represented. Total coverage, dude.

But whether you’re mired in psychedelic indulgences or doomly woes, I hope you enjoy listening. The final tally was 26 songs in two hours and 51 minutes, which is fitting, since I didn’t actually want it to be long enough for a 15-hour drive.

Please stream audiObelisk Transmission 027 on the player above and download by following the link embedded in the flyer at the top of this post, or by clicking here to go to the download page. Full tracklist with timestamps is after the jump.

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audiObelisk Transmission 026: The Spoils of Adventure

Posted in Podcasts on April 22nd, 2012 by JJ Koczan

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The last time I snapped a picture of it, which was after the second day of Desertfest in London, the CD stack looked like this. Not too shabby for a weekend’s haul. There’s some good stuff in that pile, and had I returned home that Monday after the fest with that batch of goodies, I’d in no way be able to say I lost out. Here’s what it looked like after Roadburn.

I don’t know the count exactly — I’m not buying for quantity, I’m buying for quality — and anyway, it seems superfluous. It’s a fuckload, and that’s as close an estimate as I need. It’s as epic a haul as I’ve ever had, and there are some discs in there that I happened into, people gave me to review or something like that, but there’s much more that was picked up specifically because I saw a set I liked, or it was someone’s album I was waiting to buy, or something along those lines. Purchases on purpose, in other words. Nothing in that stack wound up there by mistake.

Trouble is, with a backlog of albums waiting to be reviewed, I don’t get to just sit and listen to records much these days, so in a way, this podcast is me trying to squeeze in some of that, as well as share with you just what the title says: the spoils of my recent adventure to London for Desertfest and to the Netherlands for Roadburn. It’s a mixture of the lineups for both fests, and comprised almost entirely of stuff I picked up along the way rounded out with some performers whose records I already owned and so didn’t need to buy (Orange Goblin, YOB, Black Cobra, etc.). A lot of people at Roadburn were only selling vinyl — looking at you, Internal Void — but between the merch area and bands’ tables, I wound up with more than enough material for this podcast.

Great as they were, though, the fests weren’t the whole experience. I also included a track from 35007‘s Especially for You, which I picked up in Eindhoven at the shop Bullit Records, and at various intervals you’ll hear clips from the BBC audio collection of Michael Palin’s Himalaya, which I bought at the Music and Video Exchange in London, along with Paladin, who are also included here. I know it’s supposed to be about the shows, but this weekend having been Record Store Day, I didn’t think anyone would begrudge me a couple inclusions from these stores. They’re part of the adventure too.

And at more than three and a half hours of music, this thing is pretty much an adventure in itself. Still, I think it turned out to be a really cool mix and if you were also at either Roadburn or Desertfest in London, I hope you find it gives some flavor of either or both. If nothing else, it’s a collection of killer heavy tunes, with new stuff you might not have heard yet from Conan, Ancestors, Roadsaw, Stone Axe, Farflung and Trippy Wicked. You kind of can’t go wrong in checking it out.

Stream audiObelisk Transmission 026 by clicking play on the player above. Download the file here, or by clicking the banner at the top of this post. The complete tracklist, as always, is after the jump.

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audiObelisk Transmission 025: Where Were You in 2008?

Posted in Podcasts on March 11th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

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So. Why 2008?

Well, first of all, because this site wasn’t around in 2008. I didn’t start even kicking around the idea for it until January 2009, and then it was another month before it was launched. Since that time, 2008 has retained a sense of interest for me personally. There were a lot of records from that year that, if they were coming out now, I’d spend weeks agonizing over the reviews, the interviews, etc., and I guess part of me wanted to post year-end-type stuff for 2008 when this site went up, but I thought it was too late. Now it’s even later and all this time I’ve never really gotten it out of my system.

That’s why 2008. Also because it was an awesome year for records. Deadbird, Colour Haze, Ufomammut, Torche, Apostle of Solitude and Boris all put out killer records that year, as did many others. They’re in here, as is a track from Rebreather‘s last album, Burst‘s last album, Blue Cheer‘s last album with Dickie Peterson, Ancestors‘ first album, Elder‘s first, Graveyard‘s first, and so on. I included some stuff maybe you didn’t get to hear that year — Barr, Vulture, Mills of God, Lords of the North, etc. — as well. Things I would have enjoyed helping to spread the word on at the time if I’d had the opportunity.

I told myself yesterday when I was plotting out the tracklisting that I wasn’t going to go overboard. A list of well over 50 I whittled down to 36 and could slice no further. So 36 tracks it is. Still pretty unreasonable, if you don’t mind me saying. The whole thing totals out at four hours and 10 minutes on the dot, and those of you brave enough to make it that far (my suggestion is stream it front to back on the player above, just to be sure before you download) will be rewarded by spending the last half-hour of that time engulfed by Buried at Sea‘s “Ghost” in its entirety. It’s a long journey to get there, and I hope you’ll find once you do that the trip was worth it.

And some of these bands have new stuff out this year too, so it’s a decent refresher. Ancestors, Ufomammut, Colour Haze (hopefully), Bible of the Devil, Torche and Blood of the Sun have new records on the way, and that’s just off the top of my head. If you need to remind yourself of where they were three years ago, let alone where you were, you could do worse.

As for where you were in 2008, please, if you feel like sharing, I’d love to know. I was working in New York at the soon to be defunct Metal Maniacs, commuting two hours each way to and from the city every day, mastering the art of knowing which train was going to be on what track at Penn Station so I didn’t have to walk swept up in the crowd of people staring at the tvs in the hallway waiting for the announcement. My first nephew and niece were born that year. The economy collapsed. The guy I voted for won. I was there. I saw the whole thing. This is just a part of it.

Please stream audiObelisk Transmission 025 on the player above. To get the file, click the flyer at the top of this post to go to the download page or simply click here. The full tracklist, as always, is after the jump.

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audiObelisk Transmission 024: Comping the Comps

Posted in Podcasts on February 12th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

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Yes, that’s right. It’s a compilation of tracks from compilations. Is your mind blown yet?

If not, I might recommend you checking out Sleep covering Black Sabbath‘s “Snowblind,” John Garcia‘s acoustic track from the first MeteorCity release ever, Solace paying solo-laden homage to Godzilla, some of the very earliest Queens of the Stone Age recordings, or any number of the other off-album cuts, covers and rarities included here. Compilations — much as they’re a pain in the ass to review — afford bands opportunities to do things they never could on regular albums. Pentagram covering Captain Beyond? Ufommamut psych-jamming on Blue Cheer? It’s the stuff of practice room shenanigans put to tape.

It’s not all covers here, but since tributes are an essential part of the compilation experience, I wanted to make sure plenty were included. Some of the other stuff might just be album tracks — Sungrazer, Spirit Caravan, etc. — but comps are also a great way for a label to highlight its releases, so that’s part of it too. Ditto rarities, alternate versions, unreleased material, and so on. I’ve had comps on my mind a lot lately, whether it’s getting my hands on the Blue Cheer tribute or the Trouble tribute, or whatever else. They’re an essential part of this genre, and have been going back to the late ’90s when that wave of heavy/stoner rock was really coming together in the wake of Kyuss. It’s amazing how many of these releases are from 1997-2000. Both in the US and in Europe, it seemed like everybody was getting on board for this thing, heading in a specific direction.

You can factor in the rise of the internet as an exchange of musical ideas there (not to mention the music itself), and you’d probably be right to do so. But it’s important to note that when they wanted to make it count, the songs were pressed to disc. Either way, some of these comps are relics at this point — Burn One Up, Welcome to MeteorCity, Stone Deaf Forever — and I’ve found some killer bands over the years in the “V/A” section, so I wanted to bring a little of that out in the listening experience here. I hope you dig it.

A note to anyone who heard last month’s podcast: I didn’t talk on this one. I had neither the time nor the desire to sit at my office this weekend, plus with it being all comp stuff, I wanted to keep to that feel — there are a couple samples, but that’s it — and discussing the tracks as the thing moved along would only take away from that. If you dug that, maybe next time.

Stream audiObelisk Transmission 024 on the player above; download it by clicking the flier at the top of this post or by clicking here. Full tracklist is after the jump, as always.

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audiObelisk Transmission 023: The Best of Buried Treasure

Posted in Podcasts on January 15th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

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AKA “The One with Talking.”

Not that I think of my voice as some big draw or anything. I was in a band long enough to know it isn’t. But that’s me on there, and for the first time — possibly the last — I’m introducing tracks and talking about bands and their albums. I tried to keep it to a minimum, and was fairly successful in doing so. I hope you’ll bear with me; it was pretty fucking cold in my office this evening while I was recording my parts.

The theme of this month’s podcast is “The Best of Buried Treasure.” If you find yourself staring at that and wondering, “What the hell is ‘Buried Treasure’ supposed to mean?” then click here. It’s the category under which I post about record shopping, basically, and the places I buy stuff and whatever else might be related to that. I took tracks from releases I’ve posted about since starting this site and made a podcast out of them. Pretty simple.

A little while back, a comment was left somewhere on here that someone had never downloaded a podcast before because there was no speaking on them. It honestly never occurred to me that such a thing might have an appeal, and if it doesn’t to you, I apologize up front for my intrusion and assure you we’ll be back to normal next month. In the meantime, this. I said when I put up the first podcast that I reserved the right to speak over one in the future, so here we are.

To put my blathering aside for a minute, I actually think it’s a really cool mix of songs, and putting myself in, on the level of creating a flow, was an interesting challenge. That’s not to mention the technical concerns, which weren’t so much “a challenge” as “a pain in the ass.” Whatever. It’s done. I hope you enjoy. There’s some bootleg Sabbath and Kyuss, some Saturnalia Temple and Trouble and Fatso Jetson, and a bunch of other cool tracks. The advantage of having the podcast comprised of things I bought and was stoked to write about is that those two qualifications usually mean it’s pretty good.

Stream it using the player above, or download audiObelisk Transmission 023 by clicking the banner at the top of this post, or by clicking here. As always, the full tracklist is after the jump.

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audiObelisk Transmission 022: 2011 Year in Review Pt. 2

Posted in Podcasts on December 15th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

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You might notice that there’s no episode announcement at the beginning of the December podcast. No “Transmission zero two two.” The idea is that this audiObelisk Transmission is a direct extension of last month’s, so in order for them better to flow together as one larger unit, I left it out. I don’t think that’s a make or break thing for anyone who might be interested enough to listen, but I just didn’t want it to seem like I forgot.

In fact, if you’re interested in hearing it all as one piece, I went ahead and spliced the two podcasts together into one larger one. You can get that file by clicking here. Damn thing is huge. Just under six hours of music and 53 artists total. Yeah, I know I said I was going to do 26 in each installment — but when it came time to actually put this all together, I just had to include one to grow on. When you see what the last song is in the tracklist after the jump, I think you’ll understand why I couldn’t leave it out.

There’s a massive amount of stuff to hear before you get there, though, and as I said last time, this is just barely scratching the surface of what 2011 had to offer. If I included everything, it would be 2013 before I got the post finished. These are just selections from albums that, for one reason or another, stood out to me. I hope you dig it and that nothing not included here strikes as too egregious.

We left off last time with Grayceon, so it seemed right to start here with Rwake and continue along the path of forward-looking sludge. At the risk of patting myself on the back, there’s a really solid flow to these tracks, and a really solid flow between the two podcasts. Never having done something this big before, spanning two months like this, I think the results are about the best I could hope for. Again, I hope you agree.

Stream audiObelisk Transmission 022 on the player above, or download by clicking the banner at the top of this post or here to go to the page where the file is hosted. Special thanks to everyone who sent in records this year, as there would be no podcasts without physical sources to draw from. Full tracklist with time stamps is after the jump.

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audiObelisk Transmission 021: 2011 Year in Review Pt. 1

Posted in Podcasts on November 13th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

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When I (momentarily) regained consciousness of the world around me and realized it was November, I couldn’t believe it. And it’s not even, like, Nov. 2. Today is Nov. 13! Almost halfway through the month. It’s just silly.

So here we are with a mere 48 days left in 2011 and it’s time to start winding the year down. I’ve begun the preliminaries for putting together my Top Howevermany, and from a list of over 70 records, I’ve picked out 26 artists to feature in this month’s podcast. Like last year, this will be a two-parter, with 26 more to come next month, the grand total being 52: one for each week.

I’m sure that there will be plenty of “Well, it’s been a [blank] kind of year”-type wrap-up language, so I’ll try my best not to start that crap too early, but seriously, it’s been tremendous. So many excellent or otherwise notable releases, so many awesome debuts, surprises, and triumphant returns. Would you really have thought that Pentagram would put a new record out? I know I had my doubts.

But here we are, standing on a mountain of riffly righteousness. Even this podcast and the next one, they’re just scratching the surface. There were so many records I couldn’t keep up. Honestly. I have a pile of releases still waiting to be reviewed that I probably won’t get through until the end of January. And by then, there’ll be a whole bunch of new ones. It boggles the mind.

I tried to keep a solid mix, and listening back as I type this up, it’s pretty on the money. From Mastodon into Red Fang, Mars Red Sky into Sungrazer and Batillus into Hull, the idea was to have an overall flow: like the whole of 2011 was one long album and we just spent the last 11 months (so far) swimming in it. It jars in places and seems to ooze in others, but I think you’ll get down with the groove of the thing. At least I hope you will.

And if there’s something you think is glaringly missing — Lo-Pan comes most readily to my mind — sit tight, it’ll probably be in next month’s follow-up installment. This really is just the beginning.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 021 by clicking the image at the top of this post or by clicking here to go to the page. Press play to stream it on the player above. As always, the complete track list is after the jump.

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audiObelisk Transmission 020: The Birth of Heavy

Posted in Podcasts on October 16th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

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Something you’ll often hear people say about music is, “There’s so much out there,” or “Oh, there’s so many bands now, I can’t keep up.” I’m not knocking it. It’s true, there’s a tremendous amount of music being made right now and it’s difficult to keep a handle on even a fraction. The implication, though, is that there was a time when that wasn’t the case.

And if there’s one fact I’ve learned since starting this site, it’s that that’s not true. There may be easier access to recording facilities thanks to software like ProTools and Cubase, but as long as there’s been recorded popular music, there’s been a lot of it. The difference is what’s happening now hasn’t had the filter of time yet to discern what’s “lasting.”

I’ve threatened a heavy ’70s podcast for a while, and here it is. In the true spirit of ’70s indulgence, it’s got a four-hour runtime and contains 47 songs from bands, some of whom have stood the test of time and some of whom have fallen into obscurity, only to be rediscovered by people dedicated to the sound — labels like Rockadrome, Akarma, Repertoire, Gear Fab, Progressive Line and Ripple — and put out again, waiting to be found much as they were the first time.

The hardest part about putting this together was choosing what goes in and what doesn’t. I can’t claim to be an expert on the heavy, psychedelic and progressive rock of 1968-1974, and I know no movement is ever born the same day it comes of age, but 47 songs, four hours solid, and this is just the beginning. Of the proverbial iceberg, it’s not even the whole tip. I tried to keep it centered around 1971 as much as possible.

You’ll probably recognize a lot of these names: Budgie, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Jimi Hendrix, Judas Priest, but most cases, I tried to steer away from the hits and go for deeper cuts (Sabbath aside; it had to be “Into the Void”). With those as anchors, I also included bands like Icecross, Speed, Glue & Shinki, Horse, Weed, Salem Mass and Dragonfly, who maybe if you’ve heard of, you haven’t heard, or have wanted to check out, or whatever. One thing about a four-hour podcast, there’s plenty of time for balance.

As always, I hope you enjoy it. We could probably go on forever debating who’s in here, who got left out (no Led Zeppelin, King Crimson, Pink Floyd or Fuzzy Duck) and who should be in, but this isn’t meant to be comprehensive. It’s meant to be listened to and grooved on.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 020 directly by clicking the image above, by clicking here, or play it on the player at the top of this post. Full tracklist (and it is full) is after the jump.

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