Desertfest Belgium 2019 Completes Lineup; SÂVER, Crowhurst & Bismut Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

From Sleep, Ty Segall and Zeal & Ardor to Swan Valley Heights, Lucy in Blue and Ungraven, the Desertfest Belgium 2019 lineup is now complete. The final three additions are Oslo sludge destroyers SÂVER, a special drone set from Crowhurst and Dutch instrumentalists Bismut, who between them emphasize what would seem to have been the point of Desertfest Belgium 2019 all along, which is that there’s all kinds of heavy out there and it’s all welcome in Antwerp. That a lineup should be so diverse in sound and still universally definable one way or the other as “heavy” is an impressive point to make, frankly, and whether that was a conscious thing on the part of the people putting the festival together or just how it all kind of worked out, seeing Nebula and Inter Arma and Yatra and Fireball Ministry all sharing space is only a boon to those lucky enough to actually do so.

Here’s the last announcement from the fest:

desertfest belgium 2019 final poster

Last Tickets! DFBE 2019 Line-up now complete

As the last Friday tickets are going out the door, you all are probably left wondering what names will complete this year’s festival line-up. So let us fill you in on the final acts:

With an impossibly extensive release catalogue, Jay Gambit has turned his collaborative project Crowhurst into a firm cult favorite. At this year’s Desertfest he will present us with a special drone set. Misanthropic extreme metal at its finest, let’s see if you all have the stomach for this…

On a lighter note, Bismut from Holland have made a name for themselves with energetic instrumental jam workouts. A heavy trio that works tight as a clockwork – a perfect fit for the Desertfest crowd we should think! And last but not least, SÂVER made a splash this year with their debut album ‘They Came With Sunlight’. Hypnotic post-doom veering between melody and brutality.

Like we said: the festival is nearly sold out, and could very well be full by the time you read this. Some day tickets for Friday is all we have left, but that’s still a quality line-up so you might as well consider it! Otherwise, please watch out for ticket scalpers – purchase safely.

And to all of you who already have their ticket in the pocket and nothing left to fear: YES! We are counting the days just as eagerly as you are! This year’s gonna be EPIC…

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

SÂVER, They Came with Sunlight (2019)

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Review & Full Album Stream: Bismut, Schwerpunkt

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

bismut schwerpunkt

[Click play above to stream Bismut’s Schwerpunkt in its entirety. Album is available to preorder from Lay Bare Recordings here.]

Nijmegen trio Bismut bill themselves as ‘instrumental psych desert metal,’ and unsurprisingly, there’s a bit to unpack there. They’re a relatively new entity, having just formed in 2016 with guitarist Nik Linders, bassist Huibert der Weduwen and drummer Peter Dragt, and their first album is Schwerpunkt, a four-song/41-minute collection offered up on vinyl through Lay Bare Recordings (Pink Tank Records seems to have had some manner of involvement as well). Instrumental is pretty self-explanatory. Sure enough, they’re a sans-vocals operation. And fair enough. 14-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Borgerskapet” makes it pretty clear from the outset that the kinds of expanded structures with which Bismut are working throughout the release wouldn’t really support vocals anyway. And what are you going to do, shout over the 10-minute side B leadoff “Gewapende-Magte?” Then you’d just have noise rock, and I don’t see that listed anywhere in the above.

After instrumental comes psych. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but if we’re talking heavy psychedelic rock of the European order with drifting airy guitars and a presentation coated in effects, the descriptor simply doesn’t apply. As regards Schwerpunkt, which was recorded live in its entirety and mixed by the band with mastering by Pieter Kloos, there is a spacious motion in the back half of closer “Czar” before the tense chugging of the song’s apex, but it’s more of the post-metallic sort. That is, more methodical than exploratory — Bismut have a direction in mind and are working to get there. It’s not just about hypnotizing the listener with repetition, but about the heavier context in which that movement happens. Second cut “Stórborg” has a bit more effects in its early going, though this resolves itself by the song’s midpoint into a tense, winding progression and finally into a slowdown of Melvinsian riffmaking. And sure, one can hear some Earthless in “Borgerskapet” if the ear is twisted just so. So psychedelic? Maybe here and there.

Let’s assume “desert” is a stand-in for capital-‘h’ Heavy — because that certainly applies — or tossed in the way some bands still use the designation “stoner” or “riff” as a designation for their rock. To me, desert rock — regardless of its geographic origin or the actual terrain in that place — is a question of melding tonal fullness with a root punk influence. Sabbath might be a factor but they’re by no means the only one. Bismut don’t really play desert rock in the Kyuss/Yawning Man/Fatso Jetson sense of the subgenre, but if one considers the age of expanded definition in which we live, then there’s really no reason the “desert” really has to be anything more than a dogwhistle for an affiliation with underground heavy. And that’s mostly how it functions. Listening to Schwerpunkt — the title of which translates to “main focus” or “center of gravity” — the prevailing sensibility is most certainly heavy, but there’s a fluidity to the rhythmic play and the swaps in tempo that makes “desert” feel a little like it’s cheating the actual complexity of what’s playing out in the flow of “Gewapende-Magte” or “Stórborg,” with its final push of churning plod.

bismut

The upshot is that while there are loyalists, “desert” can mean any number of things at this point, and it usually does. If Bismut had gone with “heavy” instead, it might be more accurate, but it would confuse the use of “metal,” since of course heavy metal has a context all its own. And metal is perhaps second in accuracy only to “instrumental” when it comes to the band’s presumably-self-imposed sound tag, because it considers in a way that “psych” or even “desert” does not the aggression with which Bismut underscore and execute their material. It’s not metal in the chestbeating, dude-for-dudes kneejerk abrasive sense of the word, but there’s a purpose and a charge to what Bismut do, and whether it’s the fluidity in “Borgerskapet” or the snare-and-chug in “Gewapende-Magte,” the band plays with purpose and conviction on their debut album. If that makes them metal, then so be it. Metal it is.

A missing word in all of this is “progressive,” since the one thing Bismut don’t seem to account for in their sound at least as it appears on Schwerpunkt is the consideration in each song of where that song is going. I don’t know how much of each song was left up to happy accidents in the recording — the bass bounce of “Czar,” maybe, and some of the swirl in “Stórborg” — but even those inherently off-the-cuff moments that happen as a result of a band performing live in the studio are brought into the underlying mission behind the album, and are made purposeful simply by their inclusion and the fact that by being there, they play a crucial role in Bismut‘s intent for what their first album should be. One might also consider “atmospheric” an both an acknowledgement of the post-metallic aspects in “Czar” and the general affecting nature of the songwriting as a whole. It’s not just an album about mood, but even through the energetic live recording there can be heard a budding sense of patience in their execution that may or may not come further toward fruition on subsequent outings.

Maybe “raw atmospheric heavy” as a revised descriptor? “Raw” acknowledges the priority of capturing the three of them in the room together, the stage-ready element of their sound. “Atmospheric” brings in the purposeful nature of their sonic reach, and “heavy” functions as a characterization of tone and mindset alike. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start. Whatever Bismut decide to call themselves in the longer term, while indicative of how they think about the music they’re making, is of course ultimately secondary to the making of that music. Perhaps most importantly, they give their audience with Schwerpunkt something to dig into and elicit a response and engagement on the part of the listener. They’ve been building a reputation in the Netherlands — enough to attract the attention of Lay Bare, which is bound to serve as positive reinforcement — and listening to the album, it’s easy to hear why. Even in this “raw” modus, with the emphasis put on basic performance rather than a lush studio construction, Bismut show themselves as opening a conversation on Schwerpunkt instrumentally with themselves — which indeed might be their center of gravity — and with their audience, whose interaction, regardless of the interpretative quibbles they might bring to it, is a triumph in itself.

Bismut on Thee Facebooks

Bismut on Instagram

Bismut on Bandcamp

Bismut website

Lay Bare Recordings on Thee Facebooks

Lay Bare Recordings on Instagram

Lay Bare Recordings website

 

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Bismut Post Video for Debut Single “Buntovnost”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 28th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

bismut

Netherlands-based three-piece Bismut are using their debut single in precisely the right way. For a band like this — instrumental, heavy, grooving and with ambitions toward a blend of structured and freeform songwriting, a lone track like “Buntovnost” is just the thing to pique audience interest and leave people curious as to what might come next. At very least, that’s how it worked out with me as I made my way through the nine-minute groover, asking myself where the band might go from here and how their apparent method — show up in the studio with something of a plan, work around it more than directly from it — might continue to develop in the future, either becoming invariably more or less rigid over time.

If I had to guess as to a direction listening to “Buntovnost,” I’d bet on Bismut — the Nijmegen trio of Huibert, Peter and Nik — getting jammier over time, as often happens with bands like this as their chemistry continues to develop in the studio and on stage, but the fact that “Buntovnost” was “partially improvised” and recorded live in five takes in the studio makes me think there’s an element of perfectionism at play as well, and it could be interesting to hear if and how that flourishes in their sound too, and if, no matter how far out they might go in veering from it ultimately, they stick to using a central plan in their work going forward.

Man, new bands are fun.

The underlying point? There’s potential here. We don’t yet know what Bismut will be sound-wise — and please don’t quote me on any of the speculation above (unless I’m right); the band could just as easily pull a Wight and go funk-reggae out of the blue, and really, who saw that coming? — But that “Buntovnost” triggers the imagination to wonder about such things in its chugging, turning, energized nine-minute stretch is emblematic of their potential as a whole. “Buntovnost” is available as a name-your-price download at their Bandcamp and they’ve also got a brand new video for it that you can see below if you’re so inclined.

More info follows from the PR wire. Please enjoy:

Bismut, “Buntovnost” official video

“Buntovnost” by Bismut. Recorded live in the studio and partially improvised. This is the best version of 5 takes. No edits. Enjoy! This track was recorded live at Studio 888 and mixed and mastered by Bismut. Recorded and Edited by NNfilm: http://nnfilm.nl

Some Footage by Gusto Video Producties: http://gustoproducties.nl

From explosive and experimental jam sessions in the caverns of the Nijmegen underground arose Bismut. Infinite jamming resulted in an oasis of psychedelic excesses, vicious riffing and heavily drawn-out grooves. After their debut performance in November 2016, the three guys played many kick-ass shows in the Netherlands and abroad. The performances of Bismut are dynamic, intense and straightforward.

In 2018 the band’s focus will be on recording their first full-length which is expected to be released in oktober on the in Hamburg based label, Pink Tank Records.

Bismut is Huibert, Peter and Nik.

Bismut on Thee Facebooks

Bismut on Instagram

Bismut on Bandcamp

Pink Tank Records website

Pink Tank Records on Thee Facebooks

Pink Tank Records on Bandcamp

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