“Überall” is the centerpiece of Colour Haze‘s To the Highest Gods We Know, placed third among the five tracks on the hugely influential German trio’s 10th full-length. The album is due for CD release on Monday, Dec. 15, through guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek‘s Elektrohasch Schallplatten imprint, and vinyl is slated to follow on Feb. 23, 2015, just a couple days before the Koglek, bassist Philipp Rasthofer and drummer Mandred Merwald begin a European tour with Radio Moscow and Cherry Choke.
Two weeks ago, none of this was known. With a persistent aversion to social media, it’s not like Colour Haze were Instagramming every step of the analog recording process from their own Colour Haze Studio in München. There wasn’t an album and then there was. No complaints.
To the Highest Gods We Know follows She Said (review here), a two-disc wonder that was the high point of 2012. Where that album was plagued with technical difficulties and took four years to put together, the new one seems to have resulted from a somewhat less dramatic circumstance, and as they’re settled into a space that’s their own and taking yet another autonomous step beyond self-recording and self-releasing, one can hear pieces of experimental flourish beginning to shine through. A band 10 records deep that’s still progressing is a rarity, but Colour Haze readily push their boundaries, whether it’s the flute accompaniment on opener “Circles” or the proggy jumps that Koglek‘s guitar and a string quartet make on the closing title-track.
In the case of “Überall,” Koglek, Rasthofer and Merwald are joined by Christian Hawellek, who contributes Doepfer modular synth to the apex of the song’s satisfying instrumental linear build. The contribution is subtle — it’s not like all of a sudden Colour Haze are looking to be abrasive; even when there’s feedback, it seems gentle — but it’s in there amidst the warm guitar and bass tones and Merwald‘s swinging groove. “Überall” builds from the ground up to get there, starting quiet and exploratory, barely there at first as Koglek eases the track to life on guitar. A classic shuffle takes hold as they smoothly jam their way forward, as engrossing as one could ask and as accomplished as their well-earned reputation demands.
With thanks to the band, I have the extreme pleasure today of streaming “Überall” as the first audio to be made public from To the Highest Gods We Know. Please find it on the player below, followed by the upcoming tour dates, and enjoy.
Up in Smoke Roadfestival Volume 5
With Colour Haze, Radio Moscow and Cherry Choke
27.02.2015 (GER) Stuttgart – Universum (w/ The Sun & The Wolf)
28.02.2015 (GER) Cologne – Live Music Hall (w/ The Sun & The Wolf)
01.03.2015 (UK) London – The Garage
02.03.2015 (FR) Paris – Le Divan du Monde
03.03.2015 (BEL) Brussels – Magasin 4
04.03.2015 (GER) Hamburg – Markthalle
05.03.2015 (GER) Berlin – SO36
06.03.2015 (A) Vienna – Arena
07.03.2015 (A) Salzburg – Rockhouse
08.03.2015 (GER) Leipzig – Taubchenthal (w/ Kalamahara)
09.03.2015 (GER) Munich – Feierwerk (w/ Mars Red Sky)
10.03.2015 (IT) Milano – Lofi
11.03.2015 (GER) Frankfurt – Das Bett (w/ The Midnight Ghost Train)
13.03.2015 (GER) Würzburg – Posthalle
14.03.2015 (GER) Hannover – Faust
* Cherry Choke from March 1 to 7 only