Colour Haze Premiere “Überall” from To the Highest Gods We Know

Posted in audiObelisk on December 12th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Colour-Haze-by-Matias-Corral-

“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 colour haze to the highest gods we knowthey’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,” KoglekRasthofer 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.

colour-haze-tour-dates

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)
12.03.2015 tba
13.03.2015 (GER) Würzburg – Posthalle
14.03.2015 (GER) Hannover – Faust
* Cherry Choke from March 1 to 7 only

Colour Haze’s website

Elektrohasch Schallplatten

Tags: , , , , ,

Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band Added to Desertfest Berlin 2015

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 9th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

desertfest berlin 2015 banner

Damn near impossible to argue with the Desertfest Berlin 2015 lineup at this point. We’ve hit the stage in band-adds where you just have to toss up your hands and be like, “Well, okay, whoever they bring in at this point, it’s gonna be good.” With Red Fang and Orange Goblin among the headliners, plus Acid King — who’ll have a new album out by then — and My Sleeping Karma and Black Pyramid and Lo-Pan and The Atomic Bitchwax and so many others, it’s basically a heavy rocker’s dreamteam of European and American acts coming together. What’s not to like, except maybe the cost of airfare and a hotel in Berlin?

The latest to join the bunch? None other than the godfather of desert groove himself, Brant Bjork. He’ll be taking his Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band on the road again in support of 2014’s Black Power Flower (review here), which is out now on Napalm.

Announcement follows, courtesy of Desertfest Berlin 2015:

brant bjork desertfest berlin 2015

We are thrilled to tell you that MR. Brant Bjork and his LOW DESERT PUNKS are confirmed to headline friday night at DesertFest Berlin 2015! The band had put on such mindblowing shows during their last tour, that there was no question: we really wanted them and we are sure that you do too!

So come on you “freaks of nature” join BRANT BJORK AND THE LOW DESERT PUNK BAND in Berlin and “Let the truth be known…”

Grab your HARD-TICKET + T-SHIRT while you still can on www.desertfest.de/tickets! Only 100 left, and this offer lasts until December 18th only. You can also get a PRINT-AT-HOME TICKET on the same page if you prefere.

DESERTFEST BERLIN #4 – APRIL 23th, 24th, 25th 2015
ASTRA KULTURHAUS / F-HAIN/X-BERG BERLIN (GER)

Red Fang + Orange Goblin + Brant Bjork & The Low Desert Punk Band + Acid King + My Sleeping Karma + Black Pyramid + Karma To Burn + Brutus + Dopethrone + The Atomic Bitchwax + Lo-Pan + The Picturebooks + Dirty Fences + Mountain Witch + Mother Engine + many many more acts:)

www.desertfest.de
www.soundofliberation.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brant-Bjork/123800120977061

Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band, Black Power Flower preview

Tags: , , , ,

Samavayo Post New Video for “Oblivion”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

samavayo (Photo by Davi Selton)

Berlin’s Samavayo walk the line between hard and heavy rock, but always seem to find room for the fuzz. This year, they released a split with One Possible Option that featured their first recorded work as a three-piece, having bid farewell to guitarist/backing vocalist Marco Wirth last year after 13 years with the band. Like the original version of that song, which came out on 2010’s One Million Things long-player, “Rollin’ 2014″ has a bruiser riff and heavy hook with just an undertone of metal, but in comparing it to some of the style in which their last full-length, 2012’s Soul Invictus, was executed, there could be the potential for a shift in focus on their next album, which is being put together now for a 2015 release.

Does that mean more fuzz to come? I don’t know, but Samavayo — guitarist/vocalist Behrang Alavi, drummer/backing vocalist Stephan Voland and bassist/backing vocalist Andreas Voland — aren’t quite done with Soul Invictus yet. They’ve got a brand new animated video for the song “Oblivion,” taken from the record and set to animation by Bastian Wienecke that brings to life the dystopian critique of the lyrics. And after touring in Brazil this summer, they’re making ready to head out again on tour as well in March, this time with anything-goes Russian heavy rockers The Grand Astoria. Seems likely they’ll be trying out new material before they go in and record their next outing.

Dates for that run are still being shored up, and you can check out what’s confirmed and the video for “Oblivion” below. If you notice some similarities between the style that Wienecke uses and that of the series of clips that came out around Queens of the Stone Age‘s …Like Clockwork last year, I doubt it’s a coincidence. Please enjoy.

Samavayo, “Oblivion” official video

Samavayo on Tour, March 2015:
04.03. Wed GER Potsdam, tbc
05.03. Thu GER Hamburg, Bar 227
06.03. Fr GER Harburg, Marias Ballroom
07.03. Sa GER Cottbus, Muggefug
08.03. Su GER Erfurt, Tiko
10.03. Tue GER Halle, Rockpool
11.03. Wed GER Nürnberg, Artischocken
12.03. Thu GER Karlsruhe, Alte hackerei
13.03. Fr GER/FR tba
14.03. Sa FR Paris, tbc
15.03. Su FR tba
17.03. Tue CH/FR tba
18.03. Wed CH/FR tba
19.03. Thu CH Genf , l’Usine
20.03. Fr CH Luzern, Bruch Brothers
21.03. Sa CH Olten, Coq d’or
24.03. Tue AT tba
25.03. Wed AT Graz, tbc
26.03. Thu AT Wien, Arena
27.03. Fr GER Weiden, Salute Club
28.03. Sa GER Jena Kulturfabrik
31.03. Tue GER Schwerin, Dr. K
01.04. Mi DK Roskilde, Gimle
02.04. Do DK tba
03.04. Fr NOR Stavanger, Chevy’s
04.04. Sa NOR tba

From 04.03. until 28.00. With The Grand Astoria (RUS)
From 18.03. until 25.03. With The Grand Astoria (RUS) and Six Months Of Sun (CH)
From 31.03. until 04.04. With Sonic Man (GER)

If interested please contact booking@samavayo.com!

Samavayo on Thee Facebooks

Samavayo at Setalight Records

Tags: , , ,

The Picturebooks Added to Desertfest Berlin 2015

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

the picturebooks

Seems an unlikely coincidence that German two-piece The Picturebooks played Astra Kulturhaus last night and here they are today being announced for Desertfest Berlin 2015, which is held at the same venue. You’d almost swear these things were planned out ahead of time. The duo are currently on tour among the formidable ranks of Kadavar and The Shrine and were previously announced for Roadburn 2015 as well. Still fresh of the release of their RidingEasy Records debut and third album overall, Imaginary Horse, they’re also veterans of this year’s Desertfest in Belgium.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they showed up on the bill for London as well (they recently played in Camden Town for the first time), but that announcement hasn’t come yet, so don’t quote me on it. The bluesy roll of Imaginary Horse can be heard in full below and it comes with the info from Desertfest Berlin, in case, you know, it slipped your mind in the three days since they last added a band. Ha:

the picturebooks desertfest berlin 2015

Alright folks, here we go!

Today we announce a band you have surely heard of in the last couple of weeks and months: the German duo The Picturebooks!!

Their unique sound combines a great bluesy-driven-altern rock mixed with garage and punk elements. Currently supporting Kadavar allover europe, they got amazing feedbacks from press and fans for their incredible live shows. Yesterday, they blew the Astra Kulturhaus Berlin, and will do it again next year! Seeing them live and listening to their tunes, you can´t stand still, promised. This will be FUN!!

Get your limited HARD TICKET (with a free Desertfest T-Shirt) or a PRINT-AT-HOME TICKET on www.desertfest.de/tickets! Make your choice

DESERTFEST BERLIN #4 – APRIL 23th, 24th, 25th 2015
ASTRA KULTURHAUS / F-HAIN/X-BERG BERLIN (GER)

Red Fang + Orange Goblin + My Sleeping Karma + Black Pyramid + Karma To Burn + Brutus + Dopethrone + The Atomic Bitchwax + The Picturebooks + Lo-pan + Mountain Witch + Mother Engine + many many more acts:)

www.desertfest.de
www.soundofliberation.com
https://www.facebook.com/ThePicturebooks
https://soundcloud.com/easyriderrecords/

The Picturebooks, Imaginary Horse (2014)

Tags: , , , , ,

Black Pyramid Added to Desertfest Berlin 2015

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 10th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

They call them a Massachusetts band, but the truth of the matter is much more complex than that. Their roots are in the Bay State, and Black Pyramid guitarist/vocalist Darryl Shepard still resides there, but drummer Clay Neely lives in Georgia and bassist Dave Gein is on the West Coast in Los Angeles, so it’s not exactly like these dudes are just going to call each other up and meet in a basement and jam and then go play Berlin. The mere fact that they’re getting together at all is an event, let alone that their performance at Desertfest 2015 will be part of a European tour with dates still to be announced.

There hasn’t been much word from Black Pyramid since Neely moved following their 2013 release, Adversarial (review here), and performance at Hellfest in France. With Shepard and Gein having subsequently moved forward with the offshoot project The Scimitar, whose debut, Doomsayer (track stream here), came out earlier this year, it was easy to speculate that Black Pyramid‘s day had come and gone. We’ll see if they manage despite the distance to put together any kind of new offering to coincide with the tour, but even the fact that ShepardGein and Neely are able to coordinate hitting the road is excellent news as far as I’m concerned, even if I’ve got about a snowball’s chance in hell of being there to see it.

Desertfest Berlin kept the announcement short and sweet, confirming Black Pyramid thusly:

black pyramid

Massachusetts Black Pyramid confirmed to bring their Psychedelic War Metal to DesertFest Berlin 2015! Prepare to be crushed!

DESERTFEST TICKETS available on :
http://woolheads.com/cms/produkt-kategorie/festivalmerchandise/desertfestberlin/tickets-desertfestberlin/
(83€ + shipping)

DESERTFEST BERLIN #4 – APRIL 23th, 24th, 25th 2015
ASTRA KULTURHAUS / F-HAIN/X-BERG BERLIN (GER)

Red Fang + Orange Goblin + My Sleeping Karma + Black Pyramid + Brutus + Dopethrone + Lo-pan + Mountain Witch + many many more acts:)

www.desertfest.de
www.soundofliberation.com
facebook.com/pages/Black-Pyramid/49292323952

Black Pyramid, Adversarial (2013)

Tags: , , ,

Lo-Pan Join Lineup for Desertfest Berlin 2015

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 6th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Hot off the release of their fourth album, Colossus (review here), Ohio fuzz rockers Lo-Pan have been announced as taking part in Desertfest Berlin 2015. The announcement follows a recent schism/split with guitarist Brian Fristoe, and since Lo-Pan are also slated to play Roadburn and have shows booked before then and will be touring Europe as well, one can’t help but wonder who’ll be handling guitar for them going forward. No word has come out yet in that regard, but I’ll let you know when I hear what’s up.

In the meantime, good for the band — who killed when they came through recently with Black Cobra – for getting over to Europe. Feels a little overdue for how hard they’ve slogged it out in the States, but better late than never, and I’m sure they’ll find open arms waiting for them at DesertfestRoadburn and wherever else they might wind up.

lo-pan desertfest berlin

Two-in-one news: first, we are pleased to tell you that fuzz rockers Lo-Pan join the SOL family and will be touring in April! Then, we are proud to add them to our DesertFest Berlin line-up! Stay tuned for more news!

We stoked to announce that fuzz rockers Lo-Pan are now confirmed to kick a good deal of ass at Desertfest Berlin 2015!

With “Colossus”, LO-PAN’s last album – released about a month ago on Small Stone Records – the Columbus’ four-piece have moved beyond their influences and arrived at their own sound – a “style built on aggression without caricature, fuzz without cliché, melody without redundancy and their meanest groove to date.” (The Obelisk)

Do not miss them! DESERTFEST TICKETS available on :
http://woolheads.com/cms/produkt-kategorie/festivalmerchandise/desertfestberlin/tickets-desertfestberlin/
(83€ + shipping)

DESERTFEST BERLIN #4 – APRIL 23th, 24th, 25th 2015
ASTRA KULTURHAUS / F-HAIN/X-BERG BERLIN (GER)

Red Fang + Orange Goblin + My Sleeping Karma + Brutus + Dopethrone + Lo-pan + Mountain Witch + many many more acts

www.desertfest.de
www.soundofliberation.com
https://www.facebook.com/lopandemic
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestBerlin
http://smallstone.bandcamp.com/album/colossus

Lo-Pan, Colossus (2014)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Red Fang Confirmed For Desertfest 2015 in London and Berlin

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 13th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

red fang

Currently banging out a quick round of dates in Canada and a couple US shows surrounding ahead of hitting the road with Opeth and In Flames in December, raucous Portland heavy rock forerunners Red Fang have been announced as headliners for the London and Berlin 2015 editions of Desertfest. Both fests will take place at the end of next April. They join Sleep as one of the headliners for London and Orange Goblin‘s 20th anniversary special for Berlin, of course among many others and more to come.

Announcements from both Desertfests follow, yoinked from the PR wire:

red fang desertfest

RED FANG confirmed for Desertfest London 2015!

They need no introduction, each one of their gigs turns into the best metal party you’ll ever have: ladies and gents, we have the immense pleasure to confirm RED FANG as second headliner of DESERTFEST LONDON 2015, which will take place on April 24-26th in Camden.

For the fourth year running, Camden will be hosting one of the most exciting stoner/doom/sludge/psyche gatherings in Europe, for a full weekend of fuzzed-out tunes, psychedelia and partying. As the first headliner of this 2015 edition, American stoner rock pioneers SLEEP will be treating the Desertfest crowd to the finest smoked-out odysseys, with an exclusive headlining set at London’s famous venue Koko. Also headlining, Portland’s heavy rock’n’rollers RED FANG are set to turn this fourth edition into a massive metal celebration. The ground is set to tremble once again this year, with UK metal heavyweights ORANGE GOBLIN delivering their fiery metal anthems for a one-off 20th anniversary performance. It’s very rightfully than German psych foursome MY SLEEPING KARMA will be perfectly embodying the cosmic side of this first announcement.

Desertfest Berlin – April 23th, 24th & 25th 2015 – Red Fang added to the Line-up!

The fourth edition of our festival will take place once again in the famous ASTRA KulturHaus, in the beating cultural heart of BERLIN (F-Hain/X-Berg), from APRIL 23TH to 25TH 2015! We already look forward to welcome you again : 196 days left to wait :)

On the programme: 2 stages, around 25 bands playing across the 3 days, a beergarden, a hippie corner market and art exhibits… you know the formula… but also a bunch of new suprises that you will discover soon enough!

We started in September to unveil the first bands of a line-up that will totally blow you away, with a lot of exclusive/special shows: ORANGE GOBLIN “20 Year Anniversary Special Show”, MY SLEEPING KARMA “Album Release Party”… And we are proud to announce today that Portland’s Hard Rock Heroes RED FANG will headline one of the 3 nights!!

EARLY BIRDS TICKETS can already be purchased for 75€ via the link you will find a the end of this release!

https://www.facebook.com/redfangband/
http://www.leedstickets.com/eventinfo/4318/Desertfest-2015-24th-26th-of-April
http://woolheads.com/cms/produkt-kategorie/festivalmerchandise/desertfestberlin/tickets-desertfestberlin/

Red Fang, Whales and Leeches (2013)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Albez Duz Premiere “Mictlan” from The Coming of Mictlan

Posted in audiObelisk on September 12th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Today marks the release date of Albez Duz‘s second album, The Coming of Mictlan, on Iron Bonehead Productions vinyl and Archaic Sound CD. The sophomore outing from the Berlin-based two-piece follows a 2009 self-titled debut and is a subgenre spanning work of depressive and extreme doom metal, seven tracks spread across two vinyl sides running a gamut from morose goth theatricality to deathly growls grueling rhythmic lurch, all with a sense of the grandiose and a dose of classic melodic melancholia to accompany. Propelled by the collaboration of multi-instrumentalist Eugen H. (also drums in black metallers Dies Ater) and vocalist Alfonso Brito Lopez, it is encompassing and masterfully conceived.

Beginning with the mystic drones and spoken word intro “Heaven’s Blind,” The Coming of Mictlan isn’t without its ritualized side, a cultish tendency and neofolk influence emerging on the album’s second half with the subdued “Drowned,” some classic prog coming late into that song with emergent keys (they also covered Black Widow on albez duz the coming of mictlanthe first record), but Albez Duz utterly refuse to be pinned to one style or another. An early rocker like “Fire Wings,” which still boasts plenty of twists and turns, sets the stage for further branching out on the subsequent “Mictlan” and “Feathered Snake,” unifying Aztec themes emerging across the record’s flowing course until the closing Tanita Tikaram cover “Twist in My Sobriety” redoes the moody New Wave pop-folk of the original as dark rock downerism.

To coincide with the album’s release, today I have the pleasure of hosting “Mictlan” for streaming. It’s not a complete summary of everything Albez Duz accomplish on The Coming of Mictlan, but it does demonstrate over its eight minutes how coherently the band ties its varied elements together, creating something individual from them and balancing an experimental sensibility with progressive songwriting. Do yourself a favor: When the song is done, and the keyboard-topped doom march has reached its conclusion, hit play again and go back to the start to remind yourself of just how far you’ve come and in how relatively short a time.

Enjoy:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Albez Duz‘s The Coming of Mictlan is available now on Iron Bonehead Productions LP and Archaic Sound CD. More info at the links.

Albez Duz on Thee Facebooks

Albez Duz on Bandcamp

Iron Bonehead Productions

Archaic Sound

Tags: , , , , ,

Wedge to Release Self-Titled Debut on Heavy Psych Sounds

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 3rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

The track “’61 SG” from German classic heavy rock power trio Wedge starts out with pretty standard guitar-as-girl lyrics, and it’s not until it gets to the two-line chorus that the band really shows just how tongue-in-cheek the spirit of the song is. I won’t spoil the punchline, but it’s a good one and the ’70s-worship boogie that accompanies is no less enjoyable. Wedge will release their self-titled debut in November through Italian imprint Heavy Psych Sounds, joining an expanding roster helmed and curated by Gabriele Fiori of Roman fuzz rockers Black Rainbows.

Wedge – comprised of vocalist/guitarist Kiryk, drummer The Holg and bassist/key specialist David — formed earlier this year, so I guess you could say they’re off to a solid start. They’ve already done a few festivals, and in the days and months to come, they’re set to share the stage with Seven that SpellsHeatBelzebongAqua Nebula Oscillator and fellow Berlin natives Kadavar, who seem to be a key influence under which Wedge are working.

Always up for a good time, Heavy Psych Sounds announced the news earlier, heralding the arrival of vintage grooves in limited vinyl editions, which, you know, is kind of how it goes these days. Dig the video too, if you’ve got a minute to watch:

wedge

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS Records is Proud to announce the signing of

***WEDGE***

for their upcoming selftitled LP out in November in Vinyl and Digipak.

The vinyl will be released in ltd ed in 150 copies in clear blue, and white.

The band was formed in early 2014 by Kiryk (vocals & guitar), The Holg (drums) & David (bass, organ & electric piano), three dedicated musicians and party pals from Berlin, Germany.

They play a Vintage-Retro Rock n’ Roll inspired by bands as The Who, Cream, Groundhogs, Cactus, MC5 and recent Kadavar and Wolfmother.

www.heavypsychsounds.com
www.WedgeBand.com
www.facebook.com/WedgeBand

Wedge, “’61 SG” official video

Tags: , , , , ,

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Christian Peters of Samsara Blues Experiment

Posted in Questionnaire on August 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

christian peters

For more than five years now, Berlin-based guitarist/vocalist Christian Peters has been working ceaselessly to bring his band Samsara Blues Experiment to the forefront of heavy psychedelic consciousness. From touring the West Coast of the US before they even had an album released to graphic design work to founding his own label, Electric Magic Records in order to bolster other acts — having an outlet for a collection of solo recordings released under the name Soulitude didn’t hurt either — to playing fests like Roadburn, the Desertfests, Freak Valley and many more, as well as touring, SBE has taken the harder road of getting their name out. At the same time, Peters has been at the fore of Samsara Blues Experiment‘s creative development since the start, their three albums — 2013’s Waiting for the Flood (review here), 2011’s Revelation and Mystery (review here) and 2009’s Long Distance Trip (review here) — showcasing a fluid psychedelia both creatively open and propelled by rich tonality. On both levels, the work of Peters and his bandmates has begun to pay off.

When I sent him the Questionnaire to fill out, Peters was on a well-earned vacation — no computer — but back to the grind, he wasted no time in sending back his answers, which I think you’ll enjoy reading:

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Christian Peters

How did you come to do what you do?

I started playing guitar at the age of 10. My father, more or less, forced me to learn an instrument at that time, so you can imagine how “happy” I was back then with playing Folk and Classical guitar. Every day at least one half-hour was my torment as a kid, really. I didn’t touch my guitar for one year when I was around 15 or 16, but then got finally addicted to music and so started to teach myself E-Guitar and all (or most of) the other instruments I play today.

Describe your first musical memory.

Singing tradional German Folk songs in the car with my Mom and Dad, all together. I may have been around 4 or 5 years old.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

First rehearsal with my first band, back in 1999. First professional recording, later then. Releasing a first LP record with Terraplane in 2007. Playing in San Francisco with SBE in 2009. Well, there seem to be plenty of good memories, but these are the best up to date.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

All the time, somehow.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Happiness perhaps? For instance I am seldomly really happy with recordings. But then sometimes I am not even sure if there´s much progression left for me, haha. Then I sometimes feel like being trapped in that certain picture, even if the frame seems pretty wide.

How do you define success?

Being happy with what I do.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

All the things I´ve seen make me who I am, not all was pretty. I have seen sickness, poverty, lethargy, loneliness and death and more. It´s what most of us see in their fair share — some more, some less, some earlier and some later. Life isn´t always pretty, so let´s deal with it and write some songs about it to ease the pain. That´s how I try to get along.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

Much better albums. So let´s progress!

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

NFL season 2014 and of course my next meal ;-).

Samsara Blues Experiment, “Shringara” Live in Athens, May 2014

Samsara Blues Experiment on Thee Facebooks

Electric Magic Records

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: Samsara Blues Experiment, Waiting for the Flood

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Samsara Blues Experiment, Waiting for the Flood (2013)

There was a lot I liked about Samsara Blues Experiment‘s third album, Waiting for the Flood (review here), but nothing quite so much as the surprise factor. After their second full-length, Revelation and Mystery (review here), came out in 2011, I felt like I had the Berlin outfit more or less figured out. They had shifted away from the jamminess of the preceding 2009 debut, Long Distance Trip (review here), and I assumed they’d continue along in that direction, toward a straightforward heavy rock vibe, maybe still with some psychedelic elements, but more or less working in traditional structures toward traditional ends.

Well, along comes Waiting for the Flood. Four tracks, not a one of them under 10 minutes long. Just these huge, sprawling, cosmically gorgeous jams, deeply progressive but still swinging and loose, and everything I had expected from the band went right out the window. I loved it last fall when I first heard the record, and revisiting it today, my reaction is much the same. I’ve gone back to the album periodically since it came out — some records I review and they never get put on again; that’s not the case here — so I’m not at all flying blind, but I still feel a sense of spontaneity coming from the extended instrumental sections, the then-foursome letting various movements flesh out and go where they will, and I’m still enthralled with how well Samsara Blues Experiment are able to give the tracks hooks and definite verses and choruses amidst all this space-groove meandering. Trying to predict where these guys might go in their progression isn’t a mistake I’ll make again, particularly now that they’re pared down to a single-guitar trio, but if they wanted to use Waiting for the Flood as a foundation from which to continue to build stylistically, they gave themselves a lot work with.

More than that, though, I really like the album. It’s one I put on when I just want to drift out for a bit and it hasn’t failed me yet in that regard, up to and including the last 10 minutes, which I apparently just spent staring at the screen while opener “Shringara” moved into the title-track. Rock and bliss.

Tonight, I’m driving to Connecticut. Tomorrow, I’m driving to Pennsylvania to see King Dead, King Buffalo and All Them Witches, which is something I’m very much looking forward to. I haven’t been to Stroudsberg in years, and I expect it will be a good time. I’m driving back to Connecticut immediately after the show (I think?) in order to maximize the efficiency of getting back to the Boston area in time on Sunday to go see Sleep at the House of Blues with Earthless/Heavy Blanket opening. I have no doubt this will be one of the best weekends of shows of the year, and I can’t wait to hit the road and make it happen. I’ll have reviews and whatnot next week of both.

Also think I’ll probably review that Earth record, since that’s pretty well ingrained in my consciousness, and maybe Pallbearer, since that seems to have struck such a nerve with the entire planet. We’ll see. I’ve listened to that a couple times through already and it’s good, but I’m not sure I’m on board with the holy-fuck-this-is-the-best-thing-ever crowd. I wasn’t last time either, but so it goes. That band works hard. I don’t begrudge them what mainstream acceptance they’ve garnered along the way.

I was going to do a round of Radio Adds today, but every sentence I wrote in the earlier part of the day felt like pulling teeth — nothing against what I was writing about; it’s me, not you — so I just decided to have some fun and do that Earth guest singer thing instead. It was the right decision. Sometimes I get so bogged down in the little routines I make for myself that I forget that the reason The Obelisk is what gets me out of bed most mornings is because I enjoy it, not because I’m obligated to it. If you know what I’m talking about, you know that’s a huge difference.

Anyway, I gotta go pack so that when The Patient Mrs. gets home from whatever joyful social obligation it is that she’s out meeting we can hit the road south once again. Good times ahead.

Hope you have a wonderful, disaster-free weekend. Thanks to everyone who donated to the Small Stone fundraiser this week. I know a lot of you already gave, but it would be amazing if we could knock our way up to 10 grand in the next week or so, just because the dude needs the money to get his office cleaned up sooner rather than later. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check that link or just scroll to the top of the frontpage.

And when you’re done donating, please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , , , ,

Heat Announce European Tour; New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 13th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Berlin classic heavy rockers Heat are gearing up to release their second album, Labyrinth, Aug. 29 on This Charming Man Records, and once they do, they’ll set out on a tour that will encompass most of September, playing in their native Germany as well as Denmark, France, Spain, Portugal, and Switzerland. In accord with the final announcement of the confirmed tour dates, which is below, Heat also have a new video for the song “Loving Devotion,” which is the penultimate track on the new record and one of its catchiest songs.

The video uses clips from the German independent road flick Trip, in which the band’s music is also featured. Trip has been screened at a number of rock festivals in Germany this year, including the Berlin edition of Desertfest and Void Fest earlier this month. As you can see, the cars and the music are pretty well suited to each other.

Info off the PR wire:

HEAT Tour Dates | Brand new video for ‘LOVING DEVOTION’

Featuring former members of The Hara-Kee-Rees, Samsara Blues Experiment and Grandloom their self-titled debut on Electric Magic Records was a heavy-blues driven journey into the very heart of the 1970s. Which, regardless of your particular predilection for classic rock saw the Berlin five-piece strike every chord.

On their follow up – much like Swedish hard rock revivalists Graveyard and Horisont – Heat continue to revel in the buzz of audacious twin guitar solos, Hammond organs and telepathic band jams.

Driving tracks like ‘Siamese Smile’, ‘Free World’ and ‘Barbarossa’ pack unabashed guitar spectacles atop big drum fills, rolling bass lines and Patrick Fülling’s strutting vocal front, often over extended compositions that run the gamut of twentieth century rock history. Bursting with shuffling bluesy boogies and dark, introspective moments that owe a sizeable riff or two to Deep Purple, Wishbone Ash, Atomic Rooster and Jerusalem Labyrinth is an unstoppable force for fans of British prog, hard US rock and NWOBHM.

Labyrinth will be officially released on 29th August 2014, along with the reissue of the band’s debut (with exclusive new artwork) via via This Charming Man Records.

TOUR DATES:

23/08/14 – Sala Teatru Brama, Goleniow, Poland
4/09/14 – Record Release at Austerclub, Berlin, Germany
5/09/14 – Sky High Festival, Frankfurt, Germany
11/09/14 – Monster Records, Hannover, Germany
12/09/14 – 1000Fryd (w. Jex Thoth), Aalborg, Denmark
13/09/14 – KB18, Kopenhagen, Denmark
15/09/14 – Hafenklang, Hamburg, Germany
16/09/14 – Waldmeister, Solingen, Germany
17/09/14 – Heretic Club (w. Aqua Nebula Oscillator), Bordeaux, France
18/09/14 – San Sebastian, Spain
19/09/14 – Hard Club, Porto, Portugal
22/09/14 – Rocksound, Barcelona, Spain
23/09/14 – Brin de Zinc, Cambery, France
24/09/14 – Schüxenhaus, Ins, Switzerland
25/09/14 – Coq d’Or, Olten, Switzerland
26/09/14 – Backstage (w. Orcus Chylde), München, Germany
27/09/14 – Sound n Arts (w. Orcus Chylde), Bamberg, Germany
10/10/14 – TCM Fest Gleis 22, Münster, Germany
29/11/14 – Deep Sound City Festival, Halle, Germany

https://www.facebook.com/events/1469399363311082/
heatberlin.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/Heatthelights
instagram.com/heatberlin

Heat, “Loving Devotion” official video

Tags: , , , , ,

Rodeo Drive, Morbid Beauty: Setting the Balance

Posted in Reviews on July 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

According to the liner panel of the digipak, Morbid Beauty, the debut full-length from Berlin-based DIY heavy rockers Rodeo Drive, was recorded in “October 2014.” Certainly anything’s possible, and if the album does indeed hail from the near-future, it’s got a modern take on fuzz and flourishes of heavy psychedelia to match what one might expect. Featuring Samsara Blues Experiment‘s Hans Eiselt on bass and vocals and recorded by Richard Behrens, formerly of the same outfit and currently handling low end in Heat, Rodeo Drive hit on classic power trio methods and present them with a newcomer act’s intensity of purpose. Joined in the band by guitarist Friedrich Stemmer and René Schulze on drums/synth, Eiselt takes some cues in patterning vocals from his main outfit — one might recognize throaty, echoing shouts from Samsara Blues Experiment‘s earlier days — but on the whole is more stylistically geared toward straightforward, traditional stonerisms. Stemmer leads the charge throughout most of Morbid Beauty‘s eight tracks/41 minutes, but moments of adventurousness shine through and Rodeo Drive show a bit of boldness in their choices throughout, like opening with “Stoner of Mass Destruction,” a six-minute instrumental that, until closer “Snuff Eater,” also proves to be their jammiest stretch. Even there, however, what Rodeo Drive most specialize in their first time out is establishing a riff, working around it, and then returning to it in bigger, sometimes slower form. “Stoner of Mass Destruction” does this effectively, as do “All in Vain,” “Poultry Bro,” “Vlansch” and “Snuff Eater,” though the moods of these tracks vary around a consistent, jazzy chemistry between Eiselt and Schulze and the varyingly psychedelic and dense tonality in Stemmer‘s guitar.

Particularly with Eiselt‘s vocal delivery, the recording captures a live feel, and that proves all the better for the deft rhythmic changes that begin to show up on “Stoner of Mass Destruction” and continue into the shorter “All in Vein” (tied with “Poultry Bro” for the briefest here at 2:38) and well beyond. The second cut has less space for jamming out, but serves to demonstrate early the diversity in Rodeo Drive‘s approach, which continues to shift as Morbid Beauty progresses, whether it’s to the extended drum solo intro to “The Void,” which unfolds with a Songs for the Deaf-style thrust, or “Poultry Bro,” with its circular vibe and intricate boogie feel, Schulze running back and forth on toms to build a tension that opens to a wide-strummed chorus. If one was to divide Morbid Beauty into sides, “Vlansch” would likely end the first (the back cover of the CD supports this), and it does so playing slow psychedelic blues off bigger-riffed nod, keeping the tempo down, especially in relation to “Poultry Bro,” out of which it emerges, and the mood wistful even as Stemmer‘s winding lead opens to jammier wah-shuffle. It’s not long before they’re back to the turned-on downer vibe, Eiselt‘s voice raw without sounding like a put-on, and the lumbering riff from whence they came, building it to a finish that fades its rumble out before the grunge guitar opening of “Earth Dark Diseases” begins the album’s second half, which isn’t necessarily more stylistically adventurous than the first, but differently arranged, with three tracks instead of five, “Earth Dark Diseases” (7:35) and “Snuff Eater” (7:55) being the longest songs with the instrumental “Aggrestic” (4:37) between.

As noted, “Snuff Eater” is where Rodeo Drive are at their jammiest, and though it reaches similar lengths, “Earth Dark Diseases” has a different personality. Eiselt‘s vocals are almost a growl over Stemmer‘s plus-sized riff, and while it opens up in the middle, there’s a moody sensibility maintained even during the instrumental build, coming to a head just before the five-minute mark when the guitar and drums drop out and the bass leads back into the progression that will serve as the foundation for the next two minutes’ groove. The bass also starts “Aggrestic,” though Eiselt‘s soon joined by Stemmer and Schulze, and what seems like another jangly sort of rush is offset temporarily by noodling and subsequent forward motion. It ultimately adds little the album hasn’t already put in Rodeo Drive‘s wheelhouse, but as a precedent and a break between the two longer cuts, an entirely instrumental track isn’t a bad thing to have. And though it reaches nearly eight minutes long, “Snuff Eater” doesn’t lose track of where it’s headed, and the immersive jam pulls back to the verse/chorus structure before the song is over, as if to remind listeners that Rodeo Drive haven’t forgotten. As the first public offering of their songwriting, that’s good to know, and like the bulk of Morbid Beauty, “Snuff Eater” sets the trio on a path from which to progress from here on out. They’ve reportedly been a band for eight years, so I don’t know what kind of pace they’re working with in terms of releases, but Morbid Beauty establishes a chemistry worth a follow-up and provides a strong front-to-back level of quality in the meantime. I’ll take it on its own if that’s how it’s coming, but I’d much rather see Morbid Beauty as a sign of things to come when Rodeo Drive get to the actual near future.

Rodeo Drive, Morbid Beauty (2014)

Rodeo Drive on Thee Facebooks

Rodeo Drive on Bandcamp

Tags: , , , , ,

Heat to Release Labyrinth on Aug. 29

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Formerly aligned to Electric Magic for the LP/CD release of their first album, Heat/Old Sparky (review here), Berlin heavy rockers Heat have announced they’ll issue their second offering, Labyrinth, via This Charming Man Records on Aug. 29. Preorders are available now for the CD or LP editions from the semi-retro five-piece, which features Samsara Blues Experiment bassist Richard Behrens, who also recorded the first outing. Charlie Paschen seems to have helmed Labyrinth, but the sound remains warm and natural in line with Old Sparky, as you can hear on the new song “Siamese Smile” below.

To support the new record — the cover art for which was handled by Adam Burke – the band will head out on a European tour beginning Sept. 4, and This Charming Man will have a reissue of Old Sparky with new art as well. All confirmed dates listed below with the album info, fresh off the PR wire:

Hard rockers HEAT announce release of new album Labyrinth

Berliners to release second full length via This Charming Man Records, along with reissue of debut on 29th August 2014

Following on from the success of their 2012 self-titled debut, This Charming Man Records is pleased to announce the release Labyrinth, of the second album by the Berlin-based hard rock outfit.

Heat are unmistakably taken with a time when all great records came adorned with monochrome swirls and elaborate sleeves depicting worlds of necromancy, witches and cosmic encounters.

Featuring former members of The Hara-Kee-Rees, Samsara Blues Experiment and Grandloom their self-titled debut on Electric Magic Records was a heavy-blues driven journey into the very heart of the 1970s. Which, regardless of your particular predilection for classic rock saw the Berlin five-piece strike every chord.

On their follow up – much like Swedish hard rock revivalists Graveyard and Horisont – Heat continue to revel in the buzz of audacious twin guitar solos, Hammond organs and telepathic band jams.

Driving tracks like ‘Siamese Smile’, ‘Free World’ and ‘Barbarossa’ pack unabashed guitar spectacles atop big drum fills, rolling bass lines and Patrick Fülling’s strutting vocal front, often over extended compositions that run the gamut of twentieth century rock history. Bursting with shuffling bluesy boogies and dark, introspective moments that owe a sizeable riff or two to Deep Purple, Wishbone Ash, Atomic Rooster and Jerusalem Labyrinth is an unstoppable force for fans of British prog, hard US rock and NWOBHM.

Labyrinth will be officially released on 29th August, along with the reissue of the band’s debut (with exclusive new artwork) via This Charming Man Records

LP pre-order

CD pre-order

iTunes pre-order link – http://snip.ftpromo.net/heat

Heat:
Marcus Töpfer – Drums
Matthias Schult – Guitar
Marco Rischer – Guitar
Patrick Fülling – Vocals
Richard Behrens – Bass

Tour Dates:
23/08/14 – Sala Teatru Brama, Goleniow, Poland
4/09/14 – Record Release at SO36, Berlin, Germany
5/09/14 – Sky High Festival, Offenbach, Germany
6/09/14 – Schweinskopf Festival, Cuxhaven, Germany
12/09/14 – 1000Fryd (w. Jex Thoth), Aalborg, Denmark
13/09/14 – KB18, Kopenhagen, Denmark
14/09/14 – TBA
15/09/14 – Hafenklang, Hamburg, Germany
16/09/14 – Waldmeister, Solingen, Germany
17/09/14 – Heretic Club (w. Aqua Nebula Oscillator), Bordeaux, France
18/09/14 – TBA
19/09/14 – Hard Club, Porto, Portugal
20/09/14 – Retrovisor, León, Spain
21/09/14 – TBA
22/09/14 – Rocksound, Barcelona, Spain
23/09/14 – Brin de Zinc, Cambery, France
24/09/14 – Schüxenhaus, Ins, Switzerland
25/09/14 – Coq d’Or, Olten, Switzerland
26/09/14 – Backstage (w. Orcus Chylde), München, Germany
27/09/14 – Sound n Arts (w. Orcus Chylde), Bamberg, Germany
10/10/14 – TCM Fest Gleis 22, Münster, Germany
29/11/14 – Deep Sound City Festival, Halle, Germany

heatberlin.bandcamp.com
www.facebook.com/Heatthelights
instagram.com/heatberlin

Heat, “Siamese Smile”

Tags: , , , , ,

Desertfest Berlin 2015 Poster Revealed; Earlybird Tickets on Sale Now

Posted in Visual Evidence on May 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Wherever it might be taking place, Desertfest does not waste time. Mere weeks after the 2014 fests in London and Berlin, Desertfest Belgium was announced, Sleep were revealed as the headliners for London next year, and now comes word that tickets for Berlin are already on sale. 11 months out from April 23, 2015, you can get your Desertfest Berlin ticket — and further, if you do, they’ve got a t-shirt to go with it. Not too shabby.

The Berlin Desertfest, which is presented by Sound of Liberation, has tapped French poster art/screenprinting duo Elvisdead to create the official event poster, and you can see the results in the worm-eaten-looking skull below. Elvisdead also did the 2013 poster, which was similarly themed if not necessarily as directly dark (Ammo did this year’s). Nobody’s been revealed for the lineup as yet, but as past years have shown, the poster isn’t necessarily indicative of the brutality level of the fest itself. Probably a good thing or they’d have to rename it altogether, but still, it’s a cool-looking design and it’s probably best to get used to looking at it now, since there are another 343 days until the fest kicks off.

Click the poster for a higher-res look and find the order link for Desertfest Berlin 2015 tickets below, courtesy of Sound of Liberation:

*** DESERTFEST 2015 POSTER – ELVISDEAD ARE BACK ***

Hey Guys,

So far you got a preview on this page, but it’s time now to unveil the whole OFFICIAL POSTER for DESERTFEST BERLIN 2015! As you can see, our great Elvisdead are back!

We hope you’ll like it as much as we do!

—–

Remember that our EARLY BIRD HARD TICKETS are already on sale on http://woolheads.com/cms/produkt-kategorie/festivalmerchandise/desertfestberlin/tickets-desertfestberlin!

Order yours before the end of MAY and get a free shirt, button and sticker of your choice! Rock on…

Elvisdead on Thee Facebooks

Desertfest Berlin’s website

Sound of Liberation on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , ,