Finding Comfort in Live Music When There Isn’t Any

Posted in Features on August 12th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Bands and festivals have begun to announce 2021 dates and all that, but let’s be realistic: it’s going to be years before live music is what it once was. Especially in the United States, which is the country in the world hardest hit by the ol’ firelung in no small part because of the ineptitude of its federal leadership, an entire economic system of live music — not to mention the venues, promotions and other cultural institutions that support it on all levels — needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. It isn’t going to be just as simple as “social distancing is over and we can all crowd into the bar again.” Maybe not ever.

You’ve likely seen a band do a live stream at this point, even if after the fact, and I have too. Not the same as a real-life gig, duh, but if it helps raise some funds and keeps creative people working on something and gives an act a way to connect with its audience, you can’t call it bad. I’ve found, though, that with the dearth of live music happening and the nil potential that “going to a show” will happen anytime soon, I’ve been listening to more and more live albums.

This, in no small part, is because there are plenty to listen to. Some groups attempting to bring in cash either for themselves or relevant causes have put out live records in the last few months and made use of the downtime that would’ve otherwise been given to actually being on a stage or writing together in a room or whatever it might be. It’s been a way for a band to not just sit on its collective hands and wonder what the future will bring. When so much is out of your own control, you make the most of what you’ve got.

In that spirit, here’s a quick rundown of 10 recent live outings that I’ve been digging. If you’ve found you’re in the need of finding comfort in live music and whatever act you want to see isn’t doing a stream just this second, maybe you can put one of these on, close your eyes, and be affected a bit by the on-stage energy that comes through.

Thanks as always for reading, and thanks to Tim Burke, Vania Yosifova, and Chris Pojama Pearson for adding their suggestions when I asked on social media. Here we go, ordered by date of release:

Arcadian Child, From Far, for the Wild (Live in Linz)

arcadian child from far for the wild

Released Jan. 24.

Granted, this one came out before the real impact of COVID-19 was being felt worldwide, but with the recent announcement of Looking for cheap article writers online? That would support your website to get good results. Buy articles from 7 Dollar Essay, Top http://banhtrungthu.edu.vn/?how-to-write-an-application-essay-with-a-thesis-statement Arcadian Child‘s next studio album coming out this Fall, including Professional custom writing service offers Buy A Cheap Essay Onlines, midterm papers, research essays, thesis papers, reports, reviews, speeches and dissertations of From Far, for the Wild (Live in Linz) (discussed here) on this list seems only fair. The Cyprus-based four-piece even went so far as to include a couple new songs in the set that’ll show up on At, our read this are very expedient and designed to give you a well-crafted paper that you can present with pride. Protopsycho as well this October, so it’s a chance to get a preview of that material as well. Bonus for a bonus. Take the win.

Kadavar, Studio Live Session Vol. 1

kadavar studio live session

Released March 25.

Germany began imposing curfews in six of its states on March 22. At that point, tours were already being canceled, including Alpha Essay Writing Services For Cheap provides you the best in class, plagiarism free and value for money Content at your convenient time from experts. Kadavar‘s European run after two shows, and the band hit Need a writer or editor for your website, blog, newsletter or eBook? Contact RA http://eiko-kids.net/help-filling-out-a-business-plan/ for friendly help and advice. Blue Wall Studio in Berlin for a set that was streamed through Facebook and in no small part helped set the pattern of streams in motion. With shows canceled in Australia/New Zealand and North America as well, Info Phd Thesis Work - Quality reports at affordable prices available here will make your education into pleasure get the necessary review here Kadavar were hoping to recover some of the momentum they’d lost, and their turning it into a live record is also a part of that, as is their upcoming studio release, math term papers http://issanpellegrino.edu.it/kids-homework-help/ ways to end a essay 2013 college application essay writing The Isolation Tapes.

Øresund Space Collective, Sonic Rock Solstice 2019

Øresund Space Collective Sonic Rock Solstice 2019

Released April 3.

Of course, I’m perfectly willing to grant that The latest Tweets from Digital Library Of Thesis And Dissertation (@assignment_doer). If you are looking for help in terms of assignment writing facilities and acquiring services Sonic Rock Solstice 2019 (review here) wasn’t something Accounting courses have a high dropout rate because the material is often too hard to grasp, but Ez Assignment Help can give you expert buy resume for writing esl students online to make your course much more tolerable. Øresund Space Collective specifically put out because of the pandemic, but hell, it still exists and that enough, as far as I’m concerned. As ever, they proliferate top notch psychedelic improv, and though I’ve never seen them and it seems increasingly likely I won’t at the fest I was supposed to this year, their vitality is always infectious.

Pelican, Live at the Grog Shop

pelican Live at The Grog Shop

Released April 15.

Let’s be frank — if you don’t love news, Have your thesis or. corrections and to return my document back in a timely fashion. I was very pleased with their service and Pelican‘s music to a familial degree, it’s not that I think less of you as a person, but I definitely feel bad for you in a way that, if I told you face-to-face, you won’t find almost entirely condescending. The Chicago instrumentalists are high on my list of golly-I-wish-they’d-do-a-livestream, and if you need an argument to support that, this set from Ohio should do the trick nicely. It’s from September 2019, which was just nearly a year ago. If your mind isn’t blown by their chugging progressive riffs, certainly that thought should do the trick.

SEA, Live at ONCE

sea live at once

Released June 19.

Also captured on video, this set from Boston’s We looked at all the best enter sites and compared their features and pricing. Here is our in depth comparison and recommendations. SEA finds them supporting 2020’s debut album, Monster Ate My Homework Games online from our Essay Writing Service: Discounts, Bonus, Affordable, 100% Original, Nil-plagiarized, Term paper, Reports Impermanence (review here) and pushing beyond at The Masters Thesis Projects are easy to write when students have the right tools at their disposal. This task requires more practice, clear understanding ONCE Ballroom in their hometown. The band’s blend of post-metallic atmosphere and spacious melody-making comes through as they alternate between lumbering riffs and more subdued ambience, and it makes a fitting complement to the record in underscoring their progressive potential. The sound is raw but I’d want nothing less.

Sumac, St Vitus 09/07/2018

sumac st vitus

Released July 3.

Issued as a benefit to Black Lives Matter Seattle and a host of other causes, among them the Philadelphia Womanist Working Collective, this Professional Writing Online Certificate and Writing Services Online. Coming up with an authentic annotated bibliography paper can be a tasking venture Sumac set is precisely what it promises in the title — a live show from 2018 at Brooklyn’s famed 100% Professional I Need Help Writing A Paper For College for all USA, UK, Australia University students Assignments. We have 24/7 customer support to contact us for Saint Vitus Bar. I wasn’t at this show, but it does make me a little wistful to think of that particular venue in the current concert-less climate. Sumac aren’t big on healing when it comes to the raw sonics, but there’s certainly enough spaciousness here to get lost in should you wish to do so.

YOB, Pickathon 2019 – Live From the Galaxy Barn

YOB Pickathon 2019 Live from the Galaxy Barn

Released July 3.

They’ve since taken down the Bandcamp stream, but YOB’s Pickathon 2019 – Live From the Galaxy Barn (review here) was released as a benefit for Navajo Nation COVID-19 relief, and is an hour-long set that paired the restlessness of “The Lie that is Sin” next to the ever-resonant “Marrow.” Of all the live records on this list, this is probably the one that’s brought me the most joy, and it also inspired the most recent episode of The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal, which jumped headfirst into YOB‘s catalog. More YOB please. Also, if you haven’t seen the videos of Mike Scheidt playing his guitar around the house, you should probably hook into that too.

Dirty Streets, Rough and Tumble

dirty streets rough and tumble

Released July 31.

If you’re not all the way down with the realization that Justin Toland is the man when it comes to heavy soul and blues guitar, Dirty Streets‘ new live record, Rough and Tumble, will set you straight, and it won’t even take that long. With the all-killer bass and drums of Thomas Storz and Andrew Denham behind, Toland reminds of what a true virtuoso player can accomplish when put in a room with a crowd to watch. That’s an important message for any time, let alone right now. These cats always deliver.

Amenra, Mass VI Live

amenra mass vi live

Released Aug. 7

Look, I’m not gonna sit here and pretend I’m the biggest Amenra fan in the world. I’m not. Sometimes I feel like they follow too many of their own rules for their own good, but there’s no question that live they’re well served by the spectacle they create, and their atmospherics are genuinely affecting. And I know that I’m in the minority in my position, so for anyone who digs them hard, they put up this stream-turned-record wherein they play a goodly portion of 2017’s Mass VI, and even as the self-professed not-biggest-fan-in-the-world, I can appreciate their effort and the screamy-scream-crushy-crush/open-spaced ambience that ensues.

Electric Moon, Live at Freak Valley Festival 2019

Electric Moon Live at Freak Valley Festival 2019

Releasing Sept. 4.

Yeah, okay, this one’s not out yet, but sometimes I’m lucky enough to get things early for review and sometimes (on good days) those things happen to be new live records from Germany psychonauts Electric Moon. The Always-Out-There-Sula-Komets are in top form on Live at Freak Valley Festival 2019 as one would have to expect, and they’re streaming a 22-minute version of “777” now that rips so hard it sounds like it’s about to tear a hole into an alternate dimension where shows are still going on so yes please everyone go and listen to it and maybe we’ll get lucky and it’ll really happen. The magic was in you all along.

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Arcadian Child to Release Protopsycho Oct. 9; Streaming “Bitter Tea”

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Arcadian Child

Am I the only one hearing a strong current of All Them Witches in the kind of sparse guitar line of Arcadian Child‘s new single? The track in question, “Bitter Tea,” is the first audio to come from the band’s third album Protopsycho, and its moody feel suits that progression it puts to good use. They put out the song this past weekend as a heads up, and the LP will be the four-piece’s second release in 2020 following the live album From Far, For the Wild (review here) that came out in January.

I usually try to be reasonably comprehensive in posting links to bands and labels — Thee Facebooks, Instagrams, Bandcamps, etc. — but if this post feels like it has a mega-barrage, you’re right. It does. Protopsycho is being released by Ripple Music in the US, Kozmik Artifactz in Europe and what I’d guess is the band’s own Bitter Tea Records imprint on tape. So yeah, all that makes for a lot of links.

Those, as well as the song stream, follow the album art and announcement below:

Arcadian Child Protopsycho

Arcadian Child announce new album – “Protopsycho” will be set for release on 9 October via Ripple Music and Kozmik Artifactz and share new track “Bitter Tea”. Arriving on July 31, frontman Panagiotis Georgiou describes Bitter Tea as “an honest track fighting self-doubt, pushing back our anxieties and fears. We experimented with new sounds in this one and wanted the song to progress and evolve throughout its journey. We did it and we’re happy.” Bitter Tea arrives with an accompanying artwork by Nun Other.

Arcadian Child are a mercurial psychedelic rock quartet based out of Limassol, Cyprus. Psyched, potent and intoxicating, they deliver their diverse rock melded with tripped-out ambience, hallucinogenic patterns, and cathartic outbursts. With sounds rivaling the squealing sirens of the Mediterranean up to the dark bellows of the West, Arcadian Child convey their psychedelic ritual in their jam-filled live shows where they spread their hypnotic vibrations. Boasting a heady swagger, sophisticated riffs, and purposeful lyrics their music echoes far and wide.

Their 2017 debut album “Afterglow” was widely acclaimed and received compelling support from the growing international neo-psych scene and the Limassol psych rockers signed with California-based Ripple Music in January 2018 to reissue it worldwide on vinyl. Their highly anticipated sophomore studio set was released on 23 November 2018 through Ripple Music and Rogue Wave Records and received multiple raving reviews. In October 2019, they paired up with leading underground label “Kozmik Artifactz” for a vinyl release of their third album which is to be released October 9, 2020.

Tracklisting:
1. Snakecharm
2. Wave High
3. Sour Grapes
4. The Well
5. Bitter Tea
6. Bodies of Men
7. Raising Fire
8. Protopsycho

Arcadian Child are:
Panagiotis I.G – Vocals, Guitars
Stathis Hadjicharalambous– Guitars
Andreas Kerveros – Bass, Backing Vocals
Constantinos Pavlides – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/arcadianchildband/
https://www.instagram.com/arcadianchild/
https://arcadianchildband.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/bittertearecords/
http://www.instagram.com/bittertearecords_/
https://bittertearecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/
http://kozmik-artifactz.com/
https://www.facebook.com/kozmikartifactz

Arcadian Child, Protopsycho (2020)

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Arcadian Child Premiere “Snake Charm” from New Live Album From Far, for the Wild out Tomorrow

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on January 23rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

arcadian child

Last Fall, Cypriot heavy psychedelic rockers Arcadian Child undertook a round of European touring in support of their second album, Superfonica (review here), which came out late in 2018 through Ripple imprint Rogue Wave Records. That tour found them hitting the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland as well as Germany and Austria, playing songs from the latest record as well as heralding new material. Doing the thing, in other words. Being a band.

Tomorrow, Arcadian Child will issue From Far, for the Wild as a name-your-price download.arcadian child from far for the wild It is a live album recorded at a place called Schlot in Linz, Austria, on the third show of their run. It’s a relatively quick set at 38 minutes — let’s assume it was a 45-minute slot and has been edited down a bit — and for those of us who didn’t get to see the tour, it’s a chance to hear the four-piece bring their progressive psychedelic textures to life on stage. Not only does it serve as a thanks to their burgeoning fanbase, but its underlying duty is showcasing the fact that Arcadian Child bring it live, which, yeah, they do. It’s not necessarily surprising that the live record is energetic — third night of a tour, they’re getting in the groove of the thing, not bogged down yet by monotony, but over first and/or second night brambles and starting to really lock in — but it also highlights the folkish and grunge undertones of a song like “Irresistible,” as well as the emergent roll and funky turns, respectively, made by new songs “Raising Fire” and “Snake Charm.”

The full offering is eight tracks, so those who caught wind of Superfonica or the prior 2017 debut, Afterglow (review here), will find both represented here along with the new tracks, the latter of which it just so happens is premiering on the player below. Both “Snake Charm” and “Raising Fire” are longer in form than the bulk of the release’s inclusions, so along with the hints of what’s coming next from Arcadian Child, perhaps a willingness to let their material flesh out further should be considered as well. Guess we’ll see when we get there.

Till then, please enjoy:

Arcadian Child release “From Far, for the Wild”, a live album recorded at Schlot in Linz during their European tour in November 2019, which they are giving away for free (name your price in Bandcamp) as a thank you to their loyal fans.

“We are stoked to announce our spring tour in April 2020. We’ll be strolling through UK, France, Belgium and Netherlands. Give us a shout if you want us to pass through your town! Bookings: A map constellation. at a.mapconstellation@gmail.com”

Including “Snake Charm” and “Raising Fire”, two unreleased tracks which they’ll be part of their new album, “From far, for the Wild” showcases the band’s sonic continuum as a singular electric wave that resonates far and wide.

Recorded live by Armin Lehner at Schlot in Linz, Austria on 8 November 2019
Artwork by Julia Schimautz

Tracklist
1. Painting
2. Irresistible
3. She’s on my mind
4. She Flows
5. Raising Fire (new song)
6. Snake Charm (new song)
7. The March
8. Used

Arcadian Child on Thee Facebooks

Arcadian Child on Bandcamp

Arcadian Child on Spotify

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Arcadian Child Announce Nov. Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

arcadian child

Do I think that everybody reading this is going to be able to catch Cyprus-based heavy psych rockers Arcadian Child as they head out on a week-plus of European tour dates next month in support of their second album, Superfonica (review here)? No. No, I don’t. And I know I’m right about that, because I’m reading this as I write it — one likes to czech spelling — and I won’t be able to see them, but posting the tour dates allows me not only to have the info later if I need it, which believe it or not I might, but also to post the stream of the album again, because one or two other people who see this might dig into that at the bottom of this post and find it cool enough to warrant further investigation. Either way, even though I — and you, if the same applies — won’t make it out, it’s a win.

The run is nine shows — including two in the Check Republic! — starting on Nov. 6 in Hungary and heading from there into Austria and Poland with a few inevitable stops in Germany for good measure. Gotta go to Germany. It’s like where tours happen in Europe these days.

So here’s a tour happening these days:

arcadian child tour banner

Arcadian Child – European Fall Tourné

We are sailing from the warm shores of Cyprus to raise fire in the urban maze of central Europe. Setting foot in Budapest, we march on to Austria, Czech Republic, Poland and Germany to initiate people across Europe to our psychedelic rituals. From far, for the wild.

#RaisingFire

06.11 • Három Holló / Drei Raben, Budapest HU
07.11 • Kramladen Vienna AT
08.11 • Schlot, Linz AT
09.11 • Soulstone Gathering, Krakow PL
10.11 • Club Vagon, Prague CZ
11.11 • Fuzzy Room, Auerbach DE
12.11 • MOSKVA BÍLINA, Bílina CZ
13.11 • Dots, Göttingen DE
14.11 • TIEF Berlin DE

Powered by A map constellation.
Art direction by Bewild Brother

Psyched, potent and intoxicating, Arcadian Child deliver resonating psychedelia blended with ambience, hallucinogenic patterns and cathartic eruptions. With sounds rivaling the squealing sirens of the Mediterranean up to the dark bellows of the West, Arcadian Child convey their psychedelic ritual in their jam-filled live shows where they spread their hypnotic vibrations. Their sophomore studio set “Superfonica” was released in November 2018 through Ripple Music reaching multiple year-end lists.

https://www.facebook.com/arcadianchildband/
https://arcadianchildband.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Roguewaverecords/
http://roguewaverecords.bigcartel.com/

Arcadian Child, Superfonica (2018)

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Kombuja Post Debut Single “Diamond Days”

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

kombuja

About half a year after forming, Cypriot psychedelic rockers Kombuja unveil “Diamond Days,” their first single, through Louvana Diskoi. The traditionalist cult-ish four-piece dig quickly into classic otherworldly vibes on the four-and-a-half-minute track, but there’s something about the spaciousness in the recording and the depth of their echoing sounds that’s undeniably modern as well. Of particular note is that the band features Panagiotis I. Georgiou, also of the Limassol-based troupe Arcadian ChildKombuja is a different atmosphere, however psychedelic it might otherwise be, and seem to just be feeling their way out in “Diamond Days” through organ and a well-punctuated rhythm.

I’m not sure what their plans are going forward, as in, what will follow this first track, but for the mix of gazing and heavier elements and the individualized aesthetic that seems to be taking shape, it seemed the absolute least I could do to post the track. Pair it with a rehearsal demo and release it as a 7″. Or just wait and do an EP or an album. Either way, one to keep up on.

Gee. Didn’t I used to have a category around here called “On the Radar?” This would’ve been perfect for that.

Enjoy the track below:

Kombuja Diamond Days

Kombuja announce the release their first ever track “Diamond Days” via Louvana Records. “Diamond Days” is an emotional catharsis that serves as a protest in a climate dominated by anxiety, self-deprivation and discomfort. A transcendent manifesto of modern psychedelia connecting points unknown. Their debut track offers Kombuja’s signature sound, a sophisticated collaboration of fuzz and bass guitars, evocative organ sound, uncompromising wording and tribal drumming, while stepping into a dark hallucinatory vision.

lyrics
A scent of wild cherry trees and fate
Abandoned souls, remnants of mistakes
Are crumbling down, down, down in disarray
The pollen’s lost way up, up , up

We keep on preying on diamond days
We keep on preying on diamond days

released June 14, 2019
Produced by Andreas Trachonitis & Kombuja
Lyrics by Panagiotis I.G.
Music by Kombuja
Recorded by Stefanos Pontos, mixed and mastered by Andreas Trachonitis at studio eleven63 – Nicosia, Cyprus
Artwork by Iam Nothe

Kombuja is:
Panagiotis I.G – Chants/Guitars
Demetris Zachariou – Keys/Howls
Mike Nicolaou – Bass/Howls
Andreas Trachonitis – Drums and percussion

https://www.facebook.com/kombujamusic/
https://kombuja.bandcamp.com/
https://www.louvanarecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Louvana
https://www.instagram.com/louvanarecords/

Kombuja, “Diamond Days”

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Arcadian Child Post “The March” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 27th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

arcadian child

Burgess Meredith, an actor known for his work in everything from the 1960s Batman show and The Twilight Zone to Rocky, only apparently ever directed one feature film on his own and it was the 1978 B-movie The Yin and Yang of Mr. Go. Needless to say, I’ve never seen it — and you probably haven’t either — but some footage from it appears in the new Arcadian Child video for “The March” from their late-2018 offering, Superfonica (review here), and at very least it does well there in helping set a mood. And mood is pretty crucial when it comes the Cyprus-based heavy psych rockers and their second full-length on Ripple-offshoot Rogue Wave Records, as the band conjures an overarching fluidity in their approach that draws songs together even as those like “The March” itself stand out with languid and engaging hooks.

Most records, I’m sad to say, get shelved once I review them, either figuratively or literally. I don’t listen to them again. No time. Tomorrow is another review (or two) and there’s just too much to go back, even to albums I dig. Superfonica came out on Nov. 23, at a time when most reviewer-types are either looking back on the year that was or looking ahead to the year that will be. Even so, Arcadian Child‘s work has continued to stand out, and I’ve got back to it more than a few times over the last couple months, even despite the ever-present onslaught of other offerings to be considered. It’s become one of those albums I reach for, and the wash that the band craft across its span makes it certainly welcome whenever I get the chance to put it on again. Which, incidentally now, and sure enough, the record’s holding up.

Enjoy “The March” below, then feel free to hit play on the Bandcamp embed at the bottom of the post with the whole record on it, because really, even if you know the record, I don’t think you’re going to regret spending the time.

Here’s to Burgess Meredith:

Arcadian Child, “The March” official video

From sophomore album “Superfonica,, Get it: https://arcadianchildband.bandcamp.com/
Out via Ripple Music and Rogue Wave Records

Produced by Andreas Trachonitis and Arcadian Child
Recorded and Mixed by Andreas Trachonitis
at studio eleven63 in Nicosia
Additional recordings by Mikaela Tsangari
Mastered by Yiannis Christodoulatos at sweetspot productions in Athens

Video edited by Iam Nothe
https://www.facebook.com/IamNotheMMXI/
Features scenes from “The Yin and the Yang of Mr. Go”, a film by Burgess Meredith (1978), “Messiah of Evil”, a film by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz (1973) and various educational films.

Music by Arcadian Child
Lyrics by Panagiotis I.G

Arcadian Child, Superfonica (2018)

Arcadian Child on Thee Facebooks

Arcadian Child on Bandcamp

Arcadian Child on Spotify

Rogue Wave Records on Thee Facebooks

Rogue Wave Records BigCartel store

Ripple Music website

Ripple Music on Thee Facebooks

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Quarterly Review: Rotor, Electric Octopus, Randall Dunn, Graven, Near Dusk, Svuco, Stonus, Acolytes of Moros, Lime Eyelid, Tombtoker

Posted in Reviews on December 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

I’ve been doing this for a while, the whole Quarterly Review thing. Not just talking about the last two weeks — though that also feels like a while to be doing it — but over the last few years. And in so doing I have a couple running gags kind of with myself. One obvious one is the “(immediate points)” for bands who put their longest song first on their album. There is no point system. There will be no tally at the end. I don’t grade records. It’s just a way of noting a decision I almost always find to be particularly bold.

Another is the use of “penultimate.” I don’t even know how this happened, but I use that word all the time in these reviews, way, way more than I might in day-to-day life. Somehow I’m always talking about the second-to-last song. Keep an eye out today, I’m sure it’ll be in there.

Indeed, I bring it up because today is the penultimate day of this extended Quarterly Review. We’ll finish out with the last 10 records tomorrow, and no doubt by the end of it I’ll be doling out more “(immediate points)” and talking about the “apex of the penultimate cut” or whatever else it is I do. Hard not to repeat yourself when you’re writing about 100 records. Or, you know, one.

Quarterly Review #81-90:

Rotor, Sechs

rotor sechs

Long-running Berlin instrumentalists Rotor issue Sechs, their aptly-titled sixth album, as their second for Noisolution after 2015’s Fünf (review here), and in so doing blend the best impulses from where they started with where they’ve ended up. Fünf, not without its moments of heavy psych drift, was a deeply progressive album, and Sechs is likewise, but it also brings in a more natural, warmer production sound like some of their earlier material, so that songs like “Vor der Hern” or “Allmacht” come across as nuanced but welcoming all the same. “Allmacht” is a highlight for its classic prog elements, but that’s not to discount the centerpiece “Abfahrt!,” with its raucous second half or the nine-minute penultimate cut “Druckverband,” which finds Rotor pushing themselves to new heights some 20 years on from their beginnings. Or anything else, for that matter, because it’s all brilliant. And that, basically, is how you know you’re listening to Rotor.

Rotor on Thee Facebooks

Noisolution website

 

Electric Octopus, Line Standing

electric octopus line standing

Next-level naturalism from Belfast trio Electric Octopus means that not only does the digital-only-otherwise-it’d-be-a-box-set Line Standing top four and a half hours, but those four and a half hours bring the listener into the studio with the band — guitarist Tyrell Black, bassist/keyboardist Dale Hughes and drummer Guy Hetherington — as they talk between jams, goof around and discuss what they just played in quick interludes. Complementing cuts like 35-minute opener “Iliudi,” the 38-minute “Line Standing 23336,” the 24-minute “Room Move” and the three-minute funk-reggae vibe of “Inspired by a Chicken,” the chatter gives Line Standing an even more organic vibe not by trying to capture a live feel, like what they’d do on stage — they have plenty of live albums for that — but by bringing the listener into the studio while they pick up their instruments and improvise their way through whatever it is that’s coming next, which is something that everyone seems to find out together. It’s not always smooth, but neither should it be. This is pure sonic exploration — and not a little of it.

Electric Octopus on Thee Facebooks

Electric Octopus on Bandcamp

 

Randall Dunn, Beloved

randall dunn beloved

Randall Dunn, through his production work, collaborations with Sunn O))), founding Master Musicians of Bukkake, etc., is no stranger to experimentalism, and his first solo album, Beloved (on Figureight), finds him evoking cinematic landscapes one at a time in ambient tracks that range from minimalist to consuming by sheer will. His range as a composer means that “Mexico City” shimmers with a near-overwhelming post-Vangelis splendor while “Lava Rock and Amber” is barren enough to make each strike of the piano keys feel like a lifeline before the synth horror takes hold near the end. Dunn brings in several guest vocalists for spots on “Something About that Night” and closer “A True Home,” but there’s hardly a lack of human presence throughout the material anyway, as the nine-minute centerpiece “Theoria : Aleph” resonates with the creative drive that made it. Not by any means a record that’s going to be for everyone, Beloved casts a sound that’s impeccably broad.

Randall Dunn on Thee Facebooks

Figureight on Bandcamp

 

Graven, Heirs of Discord

Graven Heirs of Discord

Heirs of Discord, indeed. With guitarist/vocalist Peter Maturi and drummer Chris Csar from the much-missed Swarm of the Lotus and bassist Teddy Patterson of Burnt by the Sun and Human Remains in the up-and-down-the-Eastern-Seaboard lineup with vocalist Jason Borowy, there’s no shortage of discord to go around. Deathly extremity and a pervasive grinding sensibility is conveyed with tones that absolutely crush and a groove that, while not shy with the blastbeats on “I Dreamt You Were Dead” — or the bonus track Human Remains cover “Human,” for that matter — is no less comfortable locked in the nod of the nine-minute “Thieves of Rotted Ilk.” It reportedly took Graven over a year to make the six-song/28-minute LP at various studios (including one two towns over from where I grew up in my beloved Garden State), and one only hopes the no-doubt daunting nature of that task doesn’t dissuade Graven from a follow-up, because whether it’s the angular starts and stops of “Backwards to Oblivion” or the initial assault of “A Failed Mask,” they bring a stylistic nuance to extreme metal that goes beyond the often dry showcase of technical prowess the style can sometimes be. However long it might take to put together, a sophomore outing feels well justified.

Graven on Thee Facebooks

Graven on Bandcamp

 

Near Dusk, Near Dusk

Near Dusk Near Dusk

The cleverly-titled “Humboldt Pie” finds them dipping into bluesier fare with some psychedelic effect on guitarist Matthew Orloff‘s vocals, and “We are the Buffalo” has a distinct spaciousness, but the core of Denver trio Near Dusk‘s self-released, self-titled debut is in straightforward heavy rock, and Orloff, bassist Kellen McInerney and drummer Jon Orloff sound well schooled in the ways of following the riff. “That Bastard” chugs out behind a vocal echo and the six-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “No More” introduces the steady factor that is McInerney‘s bass behind some initial guitar noodling that leads to the first of many rolling grooves to come on the seven-track/34-minute outing. The bass again gets to shine in the subsequent “Sweet Home,” setting up the final push for a moment before being joined by the drums and guitar, and the low-end tone is right on, though by the time they close out with “Furnace Creek,” all three of them seem to tease some jammier sensibilities. Near Dusk allow themselves room to develop their approach and perspective, but establish a strong root of songwriting to serve as their foundation as they move forward.

Near Dusk on Thee Facebooks

Near Dusk on Bandcamp

 

Svuco, El Gran Mito de SanSaru

svuco El Gran Mito de SanSaru

At least some of the material on Svuco‘s debut long-player, El Gran Mito de SanSaru, dates back a few years. The release includes what was the title-track of their 2015 Mizaru EP as well as the title-track of 2016’s Kikazaru, as well as a number of tracks that also featured on the Iwazaru EP shortly before the album actually arrived. Still, taken in this form and with these recordings, the Granada-based four-piece unfurl a varied 13-song full-length that’s crisp in its production and smoothly constructed to hit hard but with a sense of tonal presence that speaks to a heavy rock influence. That is, there might be a current of noise rock to the ’90s-style chug of “Llorarás,” but “Fuzzia” still has room for organ and acoustic guitar along with its central riff. Later cuts like “Nobogo,” the layered-vocals of “El Color del Sol,” and the almost-industrial pulsations (conveyed through organic instrumentation) of “El Dios del Nuevo Mundo” branch out, but there’s an underlying identity taking shape all the while.

Svuco on Thee Facebooks

Svuco on Bandcamp

 

Stonus, Lunar Eclipse

Stonus Lunar Eclipse

Welcoming in its tone and bordering on cosmic in its atmosphere, Lunar Eclipse is the second EP from Cyprus-based troupe Stonus, and for the sprawl of its eight-minute title-track alone, it showcases distinct potential on the part of the band. Intro and outro tracks help set up a flow, but as “Aspirin” and “Spiritual Realities” fuzz their way toward “Lunar Eclipse” itself, it’s hardly like Stonus need the help. The tempo of “Aspirin” tells the tale, taking desert rock to three-quarters speed for an extra laid back vibe, still pushed along by the drums, but chill, chill, chill as it goes. “Spiritual Realities” is a little more tripped out in its lumber, and its vocals are more forward in the mix, but once again, “Lunar Eclipse” is nothing but a joy to behold from front to back, and in large part it defines the short release that shares its name. They close out with the minute of experimentalism on “Euphoric Misery” and only make one hope they don’t lost those impulses by the time they get around to a full-length, because they’ll only help them further distinguish themselves.

Stonus on Thee Faceboks

Stonus on Bandcamp

 

Acolytes of Moros, The Wellspring

acolytes of moros the wellspring

Seven years on from playing their first show, Swedish doomers Acolytes of Moros present their first full-length, The Wellspring (CD on Nine Records), and if that might stand as an indication of their pacing overall, it would certainly apply to the album itself. Presented as four extended tracks with an interlude/instrumental near seven minutes dividing the two halves, it’s a rawly-produced take on doom-death traditionalism with an emphasis on the first part of that equation. Calling it “morose” feels too easy given the band’s moniker, but they’re nothing if not self-aware, and the miseries they portray in “Quotidian” and the 14-minute “A Yen to Relinquish and Evanesce” border on the dramatic without ever really tipping too far in that direction, coming through as much in the grueling riffs as in the vocal declarations and willfully repetitive rhythms. It’s a slog and it’s supposed to be, but Acolytes of Moros eschew the sometimes lush presentation of their genre in favor of a barebones take that loses none of its emotional impact for that.

Acolytes of Moros on Thee Facebooks

Nine Records website

 

Lime Eyelid, Week of Wonders

lime eyelid week of wonders

As regards recording narratives, it’s hard to beat the image of Traveling Circle drummer Josh Schultz recording Lime Eyelid‘s debut album, Week of Wonders (as in, The Wonder Weeks?), alone in his kitchen. The resulting limited LP is comprised mostly of numbered instrumental experiments in drone and languid groove, save for “I Saw Waves,” which brings to mind some of Six Organs of Admittance‘s far-out earlier fare, but psychedelia holds a prominent sway and if you ever want a lesson in doing something new with familiar elements, look no further than the watery guitar line of “1” or “3,” with its Earth groove gone processional. The 12-minute soundscape of “4” follows as Schultz moves deeper into the realms of cosmic minimalism — that big, mostly empty, galaxy — but “5” somehow sounds even more piped in from outer space, and closer “6” rounds out with swells of high-pitched volume that seem to be speaking their own language in tone. Pretty vast reaches for a record to hit, having been recorded in the kitchen. One awaits further adventures in the follow-up.

Lime Eyelid on Soundcloud

Lime Eyelid on YouTube

 

Tombtoker, Coffin Texts

tombtoker coffin texts

I don’t know if the band’s moniker refers to one who actually tokes tombs or who tokes in tombs, but neither would surprise me. The Baltimorean five-piece Tombtoker unveil their 20-minute debut EP, Coffin Texts (on Seeing Red, tapes through Metal Swarm), with a melding of doom, sludge and metallic extremity that is righteous in its riffs and malevolent in its purposes. That is to say, they mean harm. “Warfare Revolution” and “Robo Cujo” demonstrate that plainly ahead of the centerpiece “Stenchsquatch” with its oh-you’re-gonna-have-to-play-that-at-all-the-shows lurching midsection of death, while the subsequent “Blood Freak” taps Eyehategoddy swing and closer/shortest track “Globster” (3:21) bludgeons its own riffs before a bit of Slayer-style ping ride late adds even more of that metal-for-metal feel. I’d call it promising, but maybe “foreboding” is a better word. Whether they’re smoking your corpse or just smoking near your corpse, Tombtoker bring a welcome sense of chaos to extreme sludge that hearkens to the genre’s original, unhinged appeal.

Tombtoker on Thee Facebooks

Seeing Red Records on Bandcamp

Metal Swarm website

 

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Review & Track Premiere: Arcadian Child, Superfonica

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

arcadian child superfonica

[Click play above to stream the official premiere of ‘Bain Marie’ from Arcadian Child’s Superfonica. Album is out Nov. 23 on Rogue Wave/Ripple Music.]

The sense of drift is so graceful and the flow of the material is so natural that, in listening to Arcadian Child‘s Superfonica, I actually went and looked up the climate of Cyprus. Eight months of temperate summer on an island in the Eastern Mediterranean could hardly be a more fitting backdrop for the eight-track/38-minute offering — the band’s first new release for Rogue Wave Records/Ripple Music following a reissue of their 2017 debut, Afterglow (review here), earlier this year — which hones a peaceful spirit in songs like “Brothers” and the opening fuzz of “Bain Marie” while still retaining tonal presence and a sense of energy in the delivery. Leaving behind some of the Queens of the Stone Agery of their initial outing, the first-name-basis four-piece of Panagiotis, Andreas, Stathis and Christos find themselves nestled comfortably into a balance between spacey grunge rock and psychedelic impulses.

“She Flows” comes alive with a warm-toned push in its back half, but that’s not to say there’s stillness earlier in the song, or necessarily anywhere else on Superfonica that it’s not intended to be, as the Limassol-based outfit inject life even into their most minimalist spaces, as in the wide-open effects reaches of the penultimate “Before We Die” or the subdued, patient unfolding of closer “The March,” that follows, or even the midsection of the otherwise bouncing “Constellations” — arguably the most active piece on the record — which finds soft vocals half-whispering over like-minded guitar for a stretch that soon picks up again with a cue from the snare drum. The band cites The Black Angels as an influence and I’m not inclined to argue, as they seem to skirt the line between Dead Meadow-style shoegaze and ’90s alternative shove. Yet there’s a heavy rock root in their approach as well, and in a hidden treasure like “She Flows” on side B, which follows the 6:44 “Painting” (premiered here), they’re able to enact a heavier roll as they hold consistent with the mood of the album overall.

This is thanks in no small part to the vocals, which bring a steady humanity to what might otherwise be perceived as an otherworldly listen, but if one is mining Superfonica for highlights, it’s a relatively quick operation. The first three seconds of “Bain Marie” — and I suspect that’s how it got to open the record — tell the tale of one of the record’s greatest assets, and that’s the fuzz tone of the guitars. Arcadian Child prove adept at complementing the warm, inviting fuzz with airier, post-rock-style effects, and the vocals suit that well too, but while they don’t use riffs as an okay-we-have-a-riff-so-that’s-a-track-done kind of crutch in their songwriting, when they lock in around one, as on “Bain Marie” or the subsequent, relatively uptempo and hooky “Twist Your Spirit,” the bulk of “Constellations” or “She Flows,” the results are nothing but enticing. Again, though, that’s just one aspect of Arcadian Child‘s style, and the post-midpoint guitar meander of “Brothers” would have Gary Arce himself blushing, while the crash cymbal in “The March” is as much a highlight in its creation of a wash as anything done elsewhere by bass or guitar.

arcadian child

It’s a rare level of attention to sonic detail that makes Superfonica so ultimately effective. Their craft itself — the raw songwriting — is there as a foundation. And it’s absolutely necessary, since without it the more rocking side A salvo of “Bain Marie,” “Twist Your Spirit” and “Brothers” would fall flat en route to the expansion that takes place in “Constellations” as a preface to the more patient psychedelia that “Painting” unfurls at the outset of side B with “She Flows” as a quick touch to ground ahead of the stratospheric departure that is the capper duo “Before We Die” and “The March.” But the production, the arrangement of the tracklisting, and the vibe within the individual cuts themselves all work to feed into the central presentation of Superfonica as a cohesive entirety. It’s not just about this or that track, this or that chorus, this or that jam — but instead what these things can do in conversation with each other.

And I won’t take away either from what “Bain Marie” or “Brothers” or even “She Flows” does in terms of establishing a subtle underlying momentum to carry the audience through the material as a whole, but “Painting” and “The March” make a distinct impression as accomplishments of another degree. The former is the longest inclusion and an immediate high point in terms of its serene, oceanic motion to its apex, and it’s hypnotic enough to warrant multiple visits, but still finds itself on solid footing by its end, while “The March” is indeed something of a percussive showcase and in that it creates a tension that’s something of a standout from the rest of Superfonica, showing a restlessness that comes to a fervent head before it’s done and seems to speak to further exploration to follow on the part of the band as a whole. More power to it in that — forward potential is always welcome — but neither is the impact of “The March” on the record that precedes it to be overlooked. Like “Bain Marie” at the launch, it feels purposefully positioned as the finale, and it works no less efficiently to resonate the band’s intention for it.

Outwardly gorgeous, strident in its construction and with enough cast of adventure in sound that it not only takes a significant step from their debut but leads one to believe further such steps are to come on this path, Superfonica is the kind of record that speaks to the soul. It’s not a get-up-and-party, booze-your-face whatever record. It’s a good time, to be sure, but its motion is more wistful and quieter than it is brash, however active some parts might be, and the prevailing engagement is owed to Arcadian Child‘s ability to affect the mindset of their audience and so righteously convey the calmness that in no small part defines this material. Its details are there for those who want to hear them or are willing to go deeper, but even if you just put it on and find yourself following its easy, eight-month-summer fluidity, I don’t think you miss out. Not hearing it would be missing out.

Arcadian Child on Thee Facebooks

Arcadian Child on Bandcamp

Arcadian Child on Spotify

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Rogue Wave Records BigCartel store

Ripple Music website

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