audiObelisk Transmission 042

Posted in Podcasts on November 26th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

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Tomorrow here in the US it is Thanksgiving, which has some questionable origins but in practice is actually one of our less-abominable holidays, with a focus on togetherness, good food, and enjoying the company of loved ones. Today, the day before, is traditionally the busiest travel day of the year while people get to wherever they’re going. Even if you don’t manage to find it until after the holiday is over, it seemed only fitting to make a new podcast so that anyone who might want to take it along for the ride would be able to do so.

My head has started to get into year-end wrap-up mode, so don’t be surprised if one or two or three of these bands show up in subsequent “Best Of” coverage. Maybe even four, looking at the list. It’s been a crazy good year, and as it starts to wind its way down and we make our way into the next one, I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to these podcasts and hopefully discovered something you wouldn’t have heard otherwise. That’s really the whole idea.

If you’re traveling by road, rail, or air, I wish you a pleasant journey, and even if you’re staying put, the same applies.

First Hour:
Stubb, “Heavy Blue Sky” from Cry of the Ocean
Murcielago, “Way too Far” from Murcielago
Dune, “Of Blade and Carapace” from Aurora Majesty
The Skull, “Send Judas Down” from For Those Which are Asleep
Elephant Tree, “Attack of the Altaica” from Theia
Renate/Cordate, “Laudanum” from Growth
Mothership, “Serpents Throne” from Mothership II
Space Guerrilla, “Event Horizon” from Boundless
Monster Magnet, “End of Time (B-3)” from Milking the Stars
Memnon Sa, “Megalith” from Citadel

Second Hour:
Soldat Hans, “Meine Liebste; Sie Zerbricht Sich” from Dress Rehearsal
Atavismo, “Meeh” from Desintegración
Øresund Space Collective, “Remnants of the Barbonaeum” from Music for Pogonologists

Total running time: 1:53:26

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 042

 

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Øresund Space Collective, Music for Pogonologists: Beard of the Universe

Posted in Reviews on November 18th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

oresund space collective music for pogonologists

Perpetually nebulous Danish outfit Øresund Space Collective are not short on jams. At current count, their Bandcamp page has over 40 releases available for stream and download, and a quick search on Archive.org brings up live recordings that span from a couple months past to nearly a decade ago. Most are live recordings, and that fits with the band’s emphasis on improvisation and space rock tradition, but rarer are studio albums and rarer still are studio albums with physical pressings. Led by the charismatic and well-bearded synthworker Scott “Dr. Space” Heller, the Collective now release a 2CD/2LP collection of jams dubbed Music for Pogonologists, reportedly themed around the works of Upton Uxbridge Underwood (1881-1937), and particularly his masterpiece 0f literary analysis, Poets Ranked by Beard Weight. “Pogonology,” in the name of the album, refers to the study of facial hair, and many of the tracks — “Beardlandia,” “Ziggurat of the Beards,” “Bearded Brothers,” “Remnants of the Barbonaeum,” “Portal of Pogonic Progress,” “Barboconsciousness,” and so on — make references in their titles to beards, taken from Underwood‘s writings. Øresund Space Collective are definitely working on a theme throughout the eight-track release, the CD and download versions of which top a somewhat astounding 145 minutes, and there’s even a spoken introduction by Heller about Underwood and his beard fascination, but ultimately, the band approach beardly studies the same way they approach most anything: By blasting it into space and jamming the hell out of it. If it ain’t broken. Alongside Heller on synth, the Øresund Space Collective this time is guitarists Daniel Lars, Nicklas Sorensen (also of Papir) and Nickolas Hill, bassists Pär Hallgren and Christian Clausen (also also of Papir), drummer Christoffer Brøchhmann (and yes, also of Papir), and synth provider Mogens Pedersen, and as a unit, they know precisely which universe they’re headed for.

Big Hawkwind influence? Duh. Truth is, though, Øresund Space Collective aren’t even so much about capturing a classic space rock vibe at this point — they do, for what it’s worth — as they are about continuing to explore instrumental dynamics. At their center always is improvisation, and there’s brief moment in the second-disc leadoff title-track, about eight minutes into its total 34-minute span, where it seems like it’s all finally going to come apart. But it doesn’t (presumably, if it had, that wouldn’t be on the album, let alone be the title-track). Øresund Space Collective prove able to pivot where they need to and take their molten, across-disc flow in one direction or another, whether it’s a slow buildup like that in the closing “Portal of Pogonic Progress” (12:21) or disc one’s relatively brief “The Tricophantic Spire,” a jazzy excursion with some primo bass that checks in at a mere eight minutes long, but is one of the more experimental cuts on hand. As always for any kind of jam-based heavy psych, immersion is key, and if you’re unwilling to be carried out by Music for Pogonologists early on, the opening one-two salvo of “Beardlandia” and “Ziggurat of the Beards” together pushing past 25 minutes, then Øresund Space Collective probably won’t win you over with the album’s remaining two hours, but if you’re able to draw back the anxiety and let yourself space out for a bit, the stream of delay, synth, dynamic drumming, warm bass, raw exploration and bright guitar are enough to showcase why Øresund Space Collective are consistently among Europe’s foremost practitioners of the art. Their expanded-consciousness vibes and pervasive lysergic groove might just make you think there’s something in the shape of a man’s beard to indicate his relative value as a poet. Or, you know, whatever.

oresund space collective

Comparing the two discs, the first is longer at 75 minutes compared to the second disc’s 70 minutes, but I’d say the second probably has the more overarching liquidity. It’s only three tracks as opposed to disc one’s five, and between the title-track, the ensuing “Barboconsciousness” and the classic guitar on “Portal of Pogonic Progress,” there’s enough to dig into for a more than satisfying otherworldly journey. The more synthesized initial push of “Remnants of the Barbonaeum” or the underlying bass bounce and snare march in the midsection of “Bearded Brothers” before it are hardly disjointed from each other, however. Really, what Øresund Space Collective have done with Music for Pogonologists is jammed out two records’ worth of heavy psych improvisations and put them together. Reasonable since they come from the same session, engineered and mastered by Johan Dahlström with a mix by Dr. Space, and of course recorded live and overdub-free, but the vinyl and CD versions (both limited to 500 copies) feature different tracklistings, so I’d wonder how that might affect the overall listening experience, getting up to change sides, etc. As it is, the more linear, two-disc edition is a comprehensive warp of mind, time and follicular study that’s lighthearted in its approach but substantial in its result, swirling, as ever, into reaches few dare to tread in a continuing quest for the heart of the jam itself. The entire lineup of the band comes together on “Barboconsciousness,” and it’s no less a bliss of lead guitar, wah and psychedelic churn than one might imagine, but it seems that no matter where Øresund Space Collective turn, they wind up in familiar but still uncharted territory. So it is with Music for Pogonologists, and the outfit continue to hone one of the finest approaches to heavy jams to be found in this dimension or in any other alternate reality you might want to search.

Øresund Space Collective, Music for Pogonologists (2014)

Øresund Space Collective on Thee Facebooks

Øresund Space Collective on Bandcamp

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Jakob Skøtt Posts New Video for “Escape from the Keep”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

jakob skott

I don’t really know much about the plot of the 1983 film The Keep – seems to be about Nazis unleashing demons and something or other — but the images work pretty well with “Escape from the Keep,” the opening track from Causa Sui drummer Jakob Skøtt‘s new solo album, Taurus Rising (review here). Whether the movie inspired the title of the instrumental cut is also a mystery, but I’d believe it given the feel of the drum/synth progression and the many pre-CGI lasers that seem to come out of nowhere in both the music and the video itself. Yeah, it all fits.

Taurus Rising is out Dec. 8  on El Paraiso Records as the second Skøtt solo offering of the year, following up earlier 2014’s Amor Fati. Video and info follow.

Enjoy:

Jakob Skøtt, “Escape from the Keep” official video

Jakob Skøtt: Taurus Rising coming december 8th, 2014 on El Paraiso Records.

Images from Michael Mann’s The Keep (1983)

3rd album from Causa Sui drummer Jakob Skøtt expands his one-man-band experiments into vast new territories.

Taurus Rising is built from motoric synthesizer arpeggios and heavy duty live drumming. But rather than simply worshipping endless repetition, Skøtt reaches an impressive array of expressions on each of these five mini epics – each song is ALIVE – frequently whirling off track like the wind direction in a sand storm, leading to some mind-altering melodies and rhythms that’ll keep you on your toes. Washed currents of pulsating analogue synthesizer scores, pre-fusion jazz-sensibility and fuzz’ed out electronics all tied together by fevered rhythms.

Jakob Skøtt is the drummer in revered danish experimental psych act Causa Sui and has previously collaborated with artists from Tortoise and Sunburned Hand of the Man. In a number of different outfits he has also released thru esteemed labels such as Morr Music, Ghostly International, Darla Records. Furthermore Jakob has done exclusive live visuals and artworks for Amon Düül II, Earthless, Manual, cult actress Asia Argento as well as The Roadburn Festival.

Taurus Rising is released as a single LP as well as a 2xCD package also containing his previous album Amor Fati. All drums for each albums were improvised in a single afternoon.

El Paraiso Records website

El Paraiso Records on Thee Facebooks

El Paraiso on YouTube

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Jakob Skøtt, Sleeping Pulse, Palm Desert, High Fighter and Sans Soleil

Posted in Radio on November 14th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk radio

Managing to do rounds of adds to The Obelisk Radio two weeks in a row? Why, that’s almost too much on-it to bear. I’ll try really hard to contain my self-satisfaction. Okay no I won’t.

A pretty diverse bunch of records joining the playlist today. There are 11 total that went up, and in addition to correcting the oversight of not having put up YOB‘s Clearing the Path to Ascend yet (infinite apologies), there are also new ones from Lord Dying and PrimordialIt’s Casual and the recently-reviewed Elephant Tree. Also the Atavismo that I put up the info for the other day and which will be reviewed at some point soon, and five records I thought it would be worth highlighting out of the bunch. Some of these artists I’m sure you know, one or two maybe not, but again, it’s a fairly wide stylistic berth and that’s just the way I like it best.

The Obelisk Radio adds for Nov. 14, 2014:

Jakob Skøtt, Taurus Rising

jakob skott taurus rising
His third solo album, Taurus Rising is also the second of the year for Copenhagen-based Causa Sui drummer Jakob Skøtt. Released through El Paraiso Records, it continues in the vein of earlier 2014’s Amor Fati in pursuing more of a full-band vibe, but strips that down somewhat to incorporate just synth and live drums. The result across Taurus Rising‘s five tracks is an unremitting progressivism, showcasing Skøtt‘s allegiance to krautrock in songs like opener “Escape from the Keep” while the centerpiece “Pleiades” has a little more of a psychedelic swirl. Keyboards arrive in multiple layers throughout, filling out the mix, and Taurus Rising becomes all the more impressive when one considers that Skøtt is essentially jamming with himself. He does so with a strong sense of evoking varied atmosphere from the tracks, the closing duo of “Bucket Brigades” (10:13) and “Taurus Ascendant” (7:59) pushing deep into spaced-out dynamics and, in the case of the latter, providing the album with its fullest wash and most satisfying linear build. Whether or not Skøtt intends to keep up this pace of releases, I don’t know — no reason not to so long as he’s inspired; it’s his playing, recording and label — but the prog-jazz sensibility of Taurus Rising seems ripe for further development. Jakob Skøtt on Thee Facebooks, El Paraiso Records.

Sleeping Pulse, Under the Same Sky

sleeping pulse unde the same sky

Sleeping Pulse are not yet fully through “Parasite,” the opening track on their Prophecy Productions debut, Under the Same Sky, before Mick Moss lets loose the full emotional juggernaut of his vocal delivery. The duo is a collaboration between Moss, best known as the frontman and founder of Antimatter, and Portugal-based guitarist Luís Fazendeiro of Painted Black, who wrote the music. At 10 songs and 55 minutes, Under the Same Sky is tied together both through Moss‘ voice and a persistent airiness that, were it not so cleanly presented, I’d almost be tempted to call post-rock. It is darkly progressive, and the lyrics match, weaving tales of manipulation in the subtly building “The Puppeteer” (also watch out for the sampled applause about a minute in) and betrayal throughout moody cuts like the later “Noose” and “War.” For those who know Antimatter – whose latest full-length, Fear of a Unique Identity (review here), was released in 2012 — Sleeping Pulse finds Moss well in his element across the board, but Fazendeiro varies the style such that the piano-led “The Blind Lead the Blind” and emergent distortion chug of “Painted Rust” fit well alongside each other, and Under the Same Sky flows smoothly to its concluding title-track, a minimal piano piece backed by ebow-style tones and once more showcasing the resonance in Moss‘ blend of fragility and defiance. A sleeper not to be slept on, particularly with winter ahead. Sleeping Pulse on Thee Facebooks, Prophecy Productions.

Palm Desert, Pearls from the Muddy Hollow

palm desert pearls from the muddy hollow

Perhaps unsurprising when one considers they take their name from the hometown of California’s ’90s desert rock movement, but Poland’s Palm Desert owe a large sonic debt to Kyuss. In the Wroc?aw four-piece’s style of riffing, tonality and propensity for the occasional stoner jam on their third album, Pearls from the Muddy Hollow (Krauted Mind Records), they show their allegiance to the desert style and its blend of fuzzed-up punk and laid back psychedelia. Vocalist Wojciech Ga?uszka helps change things up, however, with some elements of Soundgarden-era Chris Cornell to go with periodic John Garcia gruffness, so that Pearls from the Muddy Hollow‘s nine tracks make a suitable companion piece to Steak‘s 2014 full-length debut, Slab City, which basks in a similar mindset. That’s not to say Palm Desert bring nothing of their own to the style — both the quick “Rise Above” (not a Black Flag cover) and extended closer “Forward in the Sun” (8:19) branch beyond idolatry to an individualized moment — just that the resounding impression throughout Pearls from the Muddy Hollow is Kyuss loyalism. Within the style, they do well in portraying a warm-toned feel and shift smoothly between movements both inside of and between their songs. They’re not revolutionary, but Palm Desert do justice to a familiar sound and sometimes that’s plenty to make for a quality record. Another decent bit of output from Poland’s fertile scene. Palm Desert on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

High Fighter, The Goat Ritual EP

high fighter the goat ritual

Formed earlier this year as an amalgam of members from A Million Miles and Buffalo Hump, Hamburg, Germany’s High Fighter storm out of the gate with the five-song The Goat Ritual EP, a 21-minute thrust of modern metal and heavy rock ideals. Vocalist Mona Miluski shifts readily between a bluesy clean delivery and searing screams over the nod-ready riffing of guitarists Christian “Shi” Pappas and Ingwer Boysen, bassist Constantin Wüst and drummer Thomas Wildelau trading off between riding the grooves on “2Steps Blueskill” and energizing the bounce on “Fire in the Sun.” Second cut “Breaking Goat Mountains” seems to be particularly geared toward Kyuss‘ “Green Machine” in its riff, but bleaker, screamier centerpiece “Black Waters” shifts between the EP’s heaviest assault and a guitar-only peaceful moment that rounds out with a bit of fading feedback that leads to the wakeup punch of “Fire in the Sun,” in turn given over to the mosh fodder of “In Veins”‘s early going, which somehow transitions into more laid-back heaviness in its second half, of course building back to the initial riff to round out. In its production and much of its execution, it’s metal, but High Fighter keep command of heavy rock elements in such a way as to showcase the nascent moments of what has the potential to be a fascinating progression. The ritual, it would seem, is only beginning. High Fighter on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Sans Soleil, A Holy Land beneath a Godless Sky

sans soleil a holy land beneath a godless sky

Calling a string-infused, instrumental post-metal release “atmospheric” seems completely superfluous, but Austin fivesome Sans Soleil put enough of a focus on ambience throughout their four-track Tofu Carnage Records debut long-player, A Holy Land beneath a Godless Sky, that to not say so would be worse. Eva Vonne‘s viola plays a major role in the band’s sound on “A Holy Land” and is complemented there and thereafter by guitarists Dustin Anderson and Lee Frejyalune and bassist Theron Rhoten, but it doesn’t come across as trying to fill a gap where vocals might otherwise be, instead just a weaving current between the distortion and sub-doom plod of drummer Zach Hoop, whose crash distinguishes itself on “An Umbral Plain” in keeping a slow march together early and moving fluidly to double-time in the middle third. Dense but not claustrophobic, the subsequent “Across Brilliant Sands” opens direct interplay between Vonne and a line of lead guitar before moving into Grayceon-style sparseness and explosion, or at least a more doomed interpretation thereof, and building to what feels like an apex for the album until the 11-minute closer “Beneath a Godless Sky” busts into a gallop as it passes the halfway point and relents from there only to resume again with greater force, closing out A Holy Land beneath a Godless Sky with a fitting push to coincide with the tonal weight preceding. An exciting and engaging debut from a group who arrive with a firm sense of what they want to convey sonically and emotionally. Sans Soleil on Thee Facebooks, Tofu Carnage Records.

Like I said at the outset, a little all over the place this week, but hopefully you find something to dig one way or another. To check out the full list of adds for this week and every week back to late 2012, and to see what’s been played on The Obelisk Radio today (some good stuff there), check out The Obelisk Radio Updates and Playlist page. It’s where the cool kids hang out, or something.

Thanks for reading and listening.

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Hjortene Announce Repress of Self-Titled Debut

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 5th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

hjortene

Danish rockers Hjortene released their self-titled debut full-length back in the Spring, and having sold out of the first pressing have done the only reasonable thing and whipped up another batch. This time around, Hjortene‘s Hjortene is available in an edition of 300 thick-stock brown vinyl platters with alternate artwork from what they used on the first pressing. The record, if you’ll recall, was a frenzy of stoner riffing, so if you missed it before all the other copies went, the band and their imprint, Walden Rekords, have you covered in style.

Info, background and the album stream follow, courtesy of the band, who also promise new material on the horizon:

hjortene vinyl

HJORTENE news: New heavy brown vinyl + concert dates + new sounds (soon)

The first edition (300) of Hjortene S/T on black heavy vinyl sold out a few months ago. Therefore we have made a new batch (300), and this time on heavy brown vinyl.

The artwork is slightly altered – as it is a brown print on heavy rough cardboard. This edition includes a free download coupon for the album. All other owners of the first vinyl edition can write us for a free download code as well.

The self titled record was recorded live at Black Tornado studios in Copenhagen, Denmark with Anders Onsberg Hansen (Baby Woodrose, Spids Nøgenhat, Highway Child) and the album is indeed very warm sounding since all songs are recorded direct to analogue tape (btw on the same tape recorder Nirvana used to record ‘In Utero’).

On the album, the band worked with three distinct handpicked guest musicians:

— Valient Himself from American Valient Thorr lend his vocal duties on the opener 180.000 km/t. The guest vocals became possible after a long correspondence between the lead singer and the band, and the recording took place in a conference room at the venue before Valient Thorr’s last gig in Copenhagen.

— Lorenzo Woodrose from Baby Woodrose and Spids Nøgenhat is an old friend of the band, who guests on Canada with a 1½ minute double fuzz- space echo-wah solo, where he plays against himself in guitar sequences intertwining endlessly.

— President Fetch/Molle from legendary danish punkband President Fetch participates on the shortest track of the record, James Brown. The President wrote the lyrics about the King of Soul, who wishes to fly with UFO’s in Thuringia and walk on coals with the Mau Mau.

The sound of Hjortene is like dry wood beeing chopped with a fuzz pedal set to 11, and an old tube amp puking blood. The album is packed with solid bass heavy riffs that will cater for fans of Fu Manchu, Brant Bjork, Nebula, The Sword and Mudhoney, but with more unconventional song structures and experimental (animal-)sounds.

Previously all Hjortene’s songs have been in their native language, but on this album Danish and English is mixed. The lyrics are a bipolar mixture focusing from birth to death and on the mind’s darkets corners. For example the 9 minute long Canada: What happens, when you’re sitting in the most peaceful enviroment in the forests of Canada, and suddenly you feel yourself so clearly that all the bad things you have accumulated over time just comes tumbling.

In 2004 Hjortene won an P3 Guld-award and later they released the 10” mini album ’Brøl Stød Løb’ (2007). In 2008 Hjortene released the split-EP ‘World Domination’ (2008) with Swedish band Omar.

This winter the following concerts are booked:

November 8 with President Fetch @ High Voltage, Copenhagen (Denmark)
December 12 @ Gimle Soundtjek, Roskilde (Denmark)
January 30 @ Festival, Aalborg (Denmark)
January 31 @ Radar, Aarhus (Denmark)

— NEW RIFFS —
Hjortene also started working on new material, and some sound snippets will be up on the band’s Soundclouad in the nearest future: https://soundcloud.com/hjortene

http://hjortene.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/hjortene/

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Jakob Skøtt’s Taurus Rising LP Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 20th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

jakob-skott

Causa Sui drummer and experimental solo artist Jakob Skøtt will issue his third full-length, Taurus Rising, in December through El Paraiso Records. The Copenhagen-based Skøtt issued his previous album, Amor Fati, earlier this year, and El Paraiso has unveiled the song “Pleiades” on the occasion of Taurus Rising being available to preorder as if to ensure listeners that the Krautrock-style progressivism of the last outing will indeed push even further this time out. Causa Sui reportedly have some new stuff in the works as well as they continue their ascent to the fore of European heavy psychedelia, but in the meantime, Skøtt demonstrates that even one-fourth of the band can still provide a rich and engaging listen.

Go anywhere progressive psychedelia; the motorik lives:

jakob skott taurus rising

Jakob Skøtt: Taurus Rising LP PREORDER

3rd album from Causa Sui drummer Jakob Skøtt expands his one-man-band experiments into vast new territories.

Taurus Rising is built from motoric synthesizer arpeggios and heavy duty live drumming. But rather than simply worshipping endless repetition, Skøtt reaches an impressive array of expressions on each of these five mini epics – each song is ALIVE – frequently whirling off track like the wind direction in a sand storm, leading to some mind-altering melodies and rhythms that’ll keep you on your toes. Washed currents of pulsating analogue synthesizer scores, pre-fusion jazz-sensibility and fuzz’ed out electronics all tied together by fevered rhythms.

Jakob Skøtt is the drummer in revered danish experimental psych act Causa Sui and has previously collaborated with artists from Tortoise and Sunburned Hand of the Man. In a number of different outfits he has also released thru esteemed labels such as Morr Music, Ghostly International, Darla Records. Furthermore Jakob has done exclusive live visuals and artworks for Amon Düül II, Earthless, Manual, cult actress Asia Argento as well as The Roadburn Festival.

Also available as a 2xCD package also containing Jakob’s previous album Amor Fati.

http://elparaisorecords.com/releases/jakob-sktt-taurus-rising
https://www.facebook.com/elparaisorecords

Jakob Skøtt, “Pleiades”

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Causa Sui’s Pewt’r Sessions 3 Available to Preorder

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

If you’re familiar with Danish heavy psych jammers Causa Sui, then there’s really only one piece of info you need — the preorder links:

http://elparaisorecords.com/releases/causa-sui-pewtr-sessions-3-lp

http://elparaisorecords.com/releases/causa-sui-pewtr-sessions-3-cd

What you’ll find when you get there are the packages available from the band’s El Paraiso Records for Causa Sui‘s Pewt’r Sessions 3, the band’s latest round of jams with Ron Schneiderman of Sunburned Hand of the Man and their first studio outing since 2013’s spectacular Euporie Tide — though Live at Freak Valley (review here), released earlier this year, made for a nice fix as well. The new release, set for an Aug. 18 arrival, is available in CD and LP versions, with a bonus 10″ available for the first 300 who place their orders.

So like I said, there are the links. Here’s the info from the El Paraiso page:

Causa Sui: Pewt’r Sessions 3 LP + bonus 10″

Preorder – ships august 18th!

First 1000 LPs orange marbled vinyl.

First 300 orders from elparaisorecords.com gets bonus 10″ vinyl of exclusive tracks – with stunning linoleum hand printed sleeves by Martin Rude in three variations.

Following last year’s determined studio double LP, Euporie Tide, Causa Sui returns to improv with a third round of mindbending jams feat. Ron Schneiderman!

The savage, kaleidoscopic improvisations of the quintet’s previous two volumes instantly gained reverence among fans of free flowing krautrock and detuned stoner rock, and this brand new addition, recorded in the late summer of 2013, fullfills the group’s potential entirely. The krautrock grooves, the low-end heavyness and the sprawling furor is still very much present – but this set is also permeated by a rare free jazz-sensibility, at times recalling American masters of improvisation such as John Coltrane and Don Cherry in spirit.

Ferociously experimental, yet absolutely welcoming and corporal. One eye looking back to the golden age of improvised music, the other looking straight ahead, into the future. ”Incipiency Suite”, which takes up the entire B-side of this record, stands as the high pinnacle of what this group is capable of with the inclusion of Ron Schneiderman: an afternoon of spontaniously recorded parts, cut-and-pasted into an abundant whole by studio wiz Jonas Munk, creating a unique interplay between in-the-moment improvisation and creative studio editing.

Including digital download card.

https://www.facebook.com/elparaisorecords/
http://elparaisorecords.com/releases/causa-sui-pewtr-sessions-3-lp

Causa Sui, Pewt’r Sessions 3 Preview

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Wolves in the Throne Room’s Celestite, Milligram, A Sad Bada, Phant, Damo Suzuki Meets Øresund Space Collective

Posted in Radio on June 6th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Running a pretty wide gamut this week, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. This week is a pretty good example of one where there’s way more added than just what’s listed here, so make sure you check the updates page to see the full list of everything that went on the server. Next thing I knew, I turned around and there was a ton of awesome stuff waiting to go up. Tough times.

It’s been a few weeks doing the adds this way and I’m digging it so far, so I’m going to keep it up, at least until I think of something else or it gets to be a pain or whatever. Thanks for reading and checking out the radio stream.

Adds for June 6, 2014:

Wolves in the Throne Room, Celestite

The much-awaited follow-up to 2011’s Celestial Lineage finds Washington US black metal forerunners Wolves in the Throne Room not quite ready to let go of that album yet. Celestite is intended as a complement to its predecessor, and as the first release on the band’s own Artemesia Records imprint, it comes as a particularly bold move for a band clearly looking to shirk expectation. Its five included tracks are cinematic, ambient set-pieces — instrumental works that, when played at the same time as Celestial Lineage, enhance the atmospheres of those already dense songs. Of course, cuts like the 11-minute opener “Turning Ever Towards the Sun” and the centerpiece “Bridge of Leaves” have value on their own as well, but there’s little denying that the apex of Celestial Lineage in “Prayer of Transformation” is pushed further by Celestite closer “Sleeping Golden Storm” and vice versa. Anyone expecting forest screams or raging blastbeats is in for a surprise, but those who approach with an open mind will be rewarded, which has always been the case with Wolves in the Throne Room‘s work. On Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Milligram, Live on Pipeline (WMBR)


A band with a reach that has lasted much longer than their actual six-year run, Milligram retain a presence in heavy rock consciousness despite having really only gotten together to open for Kyuss Lives! in 2011 since calling it quits in 2002, prior to Small Stone‘s issue of their This is Class War full-length. Accordingly, the version of “Not Okay” included on this collection of live recordings from the radio station WMBR sounds like a blueprint for some of the soulful heavy vibes Lo-Pan would conjure in their early going. Also included are covers of the Misfits (“We are 138″) and Black Flag (“Jealous Again”), so in addition to hearing Milligram – which in 2000 when Live on Pipeline was recorded was comprised of vocalist Jonah Jenkins (see also Raw Radar War), guitarist Darryl Shepard (see also Hackman, Black Pyramid, Blackwolfgoat, The Scimitar, etc.), bassist Bob Maloney and drummer Zephan Courtney — tear into some of their own material, there’s also a look at their punkier roots. Shepard has begun a series of digital releases of his bands with this, so look out for more. All are available for name-your-price download through his Bandcamp. On Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Damo Suzuki Møder Øresund Space Collective, Damo Suzuki Møder Øresund Space Collective

Captured live and largely improvised on Valentine’s Day 2013, the 3LP Damo Suzuki Møder Øresund Space Collective indeed proves a match meant to be. The Danish/Swedish space jammers and the krautrock legend — Damo Suzuki has released decades’ worth of solo output and collaborations, but is still best known for his contributions to Can — offer no single piece under 14 minutes long, so I guess as jams go, these worked out. The six inclusions are immediately exploratory, and while at just over two hours, the meeting of these expanded-mind entities can feel a bit like traveling through a wormhole where you snap back to consciousness on the other side and wonder how you got there, each piece also takes on a life and movement of its own, propelled by ceaselessly creative guitar work, engaging rhythmic nod and, naturally, a near-constant swirl of effects. Suzuki‘s voice echoes through “Dit Glimtende Øje” as though beamed in from another galaxy, and his first contact with Øresund Space Collective results in vibrant, cosmic jams that push through the psychedelosphere. On Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

A Sad Bada, White Rivers and Coldest Chains


Chilean four-piece A Sad Bada specialize in post-sludge that is lurching and atmospheric in kind. White Rivers and Coldest Chains is their first full-length, with it they offer five extended tracks of crushing density and grueling nod. They skirt the post-metal line — guitarists Gastón Cariola and Fernando Figueroa, who founded the band in 2008, keep a steady supply of airy echoes on hand throughout — but as a cut like the 11-minute “Hide and Grieve” shows, they’re never quite looking to get away from the sludgy churn of their slower-than-thou progressions, bassist Roberto Toledo and drummer Alejandro Ossandon expertly holding together the songs as Figueroa offers vicious, throaty growls over top. White Rivers and Coldest Chains (out on Australis Records) is intended as a slog, and it is one, but the soundscape that A Sad Bada enact over the course of the album has more appeal than just its tonal weight or extremity. There’s a darkness at its heart that comes from more than just the music itself, and that bleeds from the speakers with every oozing riff. On Thee Facebooks, Australis Records.

Phant, The Octophant Pt. II


Newcomer Swedish trio Phant return with their second self-released, digital-only EP in less than a year’s time, bringing their eight-armed elephant mascot deeper into a heavy-riff melee over two more extended tracks and an outro with The Octophant Pt. II. Like their predecessors on The Octophant Pt. I (review here), “Nativitas/Hakaisha” (13:53) and “Magna Cael” (9:31) blend cosmic doom and heavy rock tendencies, finding a cohesive balance of aggression and groove along the way, subtly adding effects amid echoing vocal interplay from bassist Jesper Sundström and guitarist Anton Berglind while drummer Elias Sundberg taps into reaches no less spacious via a constant-seeming wash of cymbals. Found sounds, samples and other sundry weirdness caps The Octophant Pt. II in “Outro Pt. II,” with tales of UFOs and government coverups. How long Phant might continue this series of EPs, I don’t know — they can at least get a trilogy out of it if they want; I’d take another 26 minutes of this no problem — but the heft the three-piece bring to bear across “Nativitas/Hakaisha” and “Magna Cael” also shows they’re more than ready to tackle their debut full-length, should they decide to go that route next. On Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Other adds to The Obelisk Radio this week include Novembers Doom, the four-way split between Naam, White Hills, Black Rainbows and The Flying Eyes, as well as Recitation, Sunwolf, Godflesh, Dylan Carlson of Earth‘s solo-project, Drcarlsonalbion. For the full list, check the updates page.

Thanks for reading and listening.

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Hjortene Self-Titled Debut Available Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Spoiler alert: the self-titled Hjortene debut has actually been out since last month, but when the band got in touch I was at Roadburn and I didn’t get the chance to check it out. They boast guests like Valient Himself from Valient Thorr and Lorenzo Woodrose from Baby Woodrose, but the real appeal of Hjortene‘s Hjortene is the fluid Fu Manchu-meets-Queens of the Stone Age vibe the Copenhagen trio puts together on cuts like “Weber” and “Pounding Hammer,” a rich fuzz tone getting a memorable push from a clean, full production that seems to border on blown-out without ever sounding dirtier than it means to. It’s a cool if familiar vibe, and they flesh it out with some punkadelic touches on “James Brown” and the jammier stretch of closer “Canada.”

I guess what it works out to is I probably should’ve checked this one out earlier and didn’t want you to also miss it if you hadn’t seen it yet. Info and audio follows from the PR wire:

VALIENT THORR and BABY WOODROSE on new album from HJORTENE

Well hidden in the forests of Denmark Hjortene have during the last year worked on their 3rd release – and their first album. The self titled record was recorded live at Black Tornado studios in Copenhagen, Denmark with Anders Onsberg Hansen (Baby Woodrose, Spids Nøgenhat, Highway Child) and the album is indeed very warm sounding since all songs are recorded direct to analogue tape (btw on the same tape recorder Nirvana used to record ‘In Utero’).

On the album, the band worked with three distinct handpicked guest musicians:

— Valient Himself from American Valient Thorr lend his vocal duties on the opener 180.000 km/t. The guest vocals became possible after a long correspondence between the lead singer and the band, and the recording took place in a conference room at the venue before Valient Thorr’s last gig in Copenhagen.

— Lorenzo Woodrose from Baby Woodrose and Spids Nøgenhat is an old friend of the band, who guests on Canada with a 1½ minute double fuzz- space echo-wah solo, where he plays against himself in guitar sequences intertwining endlessly.

— President Fetch/Molle from legendary danish punkband President Fetch participates on the shortest track of the record, James Brown. The President wrote the lyrics about the King of Soul, who wishes to fly with UFO’s in Thuringia and walk on coals with the Mau Mau.

The sound of Hjortene is like dry wood beeing chopped with a fuzz pedal set to 11, and an old tube amp puking blood. The album is packed with solid bass heavy riffs that will cater for fans of Fu Manchu, Brant Bjork, Nebula, The Sword and Mudhoney, but with more unconventional song structures and experimental (animal-)sounds. Previously all Hjortene’s songs have been in their native language, but on this album Danish and English is mixed. The lyrics are a bipolar mixture focusing from birth to death and on the mind’s darkets corners. For example the 9 minute long Canada: What happens, when you’re sitting in the most peaceful enviroment in the forests of Canada, and suddenly you feel yourself so clearly that all the bad things you have accumulated over time just comes tumbling.

In 2004 Hjortene won an P3 Guld-award and later they released the 10” mini album ’Brøl Stød Løb’ (2007). In 2008 Hjortene released the split-EP ‘World Domination’ (2008) with Swedish band Omar.

tracklist
a
180.000 km/t (feat. Valient Himself) 3:04
Igennem Hårde Tider 3:55
Weber 3:17
Classic Rock FM 2:47
Epic Indian 6:36

b
Pounding Hammer 4:36
James Brown (feat. President Fetch) 1:46
Hold Dig Væk 4:17
Canada (feat. Lorenzo Woodrose) 9:05

http://hjortene.bandcamp.com/
https://soundcloud.com/hjortene
facebook.com/hjortene

Hjortene, Hjortene (2014)

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Pet the Preacher Offer a Track-by-Track Look at The Cave and the Sunlight

Posted in Features on May 2nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Released just last week, The Cave and the Sunlight is the Napalm Records debut from Copenhagen trio Pet the Preacher, and with it, the heavy rocking trio deliver a forceful take on the tenets of heavy rock and roll. Led by the riffs and vocals and Christian Hede Madsen, thickened by Torben Wæver Pedersen and given a foundation by Christian Von Larsen‘s drumming. It’s not a new combination of elements by any means, but the Danish outfit use it well over the course of the 50-minute runtime for The Cave and the Sunlight (review here), flowing smoothly through material alternately brooding and brash while giving listeners an impression of complexity to come and already at work within the material. Following up on their 2012 full-length debut, The Banjo, and 2013 EP, Papa Zen and Meet the Creature, it’s an engaging work driven by the overarching quality of its songwriting.

The band played Desertfest Berlin last weekend and their hometown release show for The Cave and the Sunlight was last night, May 1, at Beta2300 in Copenhagen. Busy times though these are for the three-piece as they continue to proliferate their brawny, nod-ready grooves to European audiences, Madsen found time over the last couple days to put together a track-by-track runthrough of the record and you can find it below.

Please enjoy:

The Cave and the Sunlight Track-by-Track by Christian Hede Madsen

1. The Cave

This song was actually a part of “Let Your Dragon Fly,” but what we wanted to do with this album was to cut the fat and only leave what was really essential, in the service of the good track. We liked the melody too much to cut it, so we made an intro out of it, and it works great. You are being eased into a feeling that sets the mood for the rest of the record: dark, bluesy, melancholic.

2. Let Your Dragon Fly

The first real banger on the album. One of the first songs we wrote. It has a rebellious feeling to it, and we like to start with this song. It is a good way to punch your audience in the face. Our producer and friend, Jacob Bredahl, screams in the end of this song too.

3. Kamikaze Knight

We wanted to put another “party-rock” song together with “Let Your Dragon Fly.” It is a live-favourite and even though the whole album is written from a pretty serious emotional standpoint, this song is mostly about a battle field and bloodrage.

4. Remains

This is a desperate, dark ballad. It is bluesy and slow-starting. It is about what is going on in the world today, and how it is about time that we talk about what to do with our situation regarding the environment, political corruption, over-population, self-indulgence and a sick focus on youth and superficial values. It is a song that comes from all the things I fear in this world and all the things that make me think. Because I am a part of it. Because I do NOT take a stand. It is a wake-up call for myself as well. “Remains” is about trying to become a better human being in the broadest sense of the term.

5. Fire Baby

This is a song about a forbidden love. About burning inside for something that is impossible and wrong. It is about doing bad things and keep on doing them, because you just can´t help it. I think we are repeating ourselves in life. We repeat mistakes, repeat relationships and love-stories and we can´t change these patterns until we realize this. That is the standpoint I wrote all the lyrics from.

6. Marching Earth, Pt. 1

This is the first part of a heavy two-piece. An instrumental that, like the intro, sets a mood for what’s to come.

7. Marching Earth, Pt. 2

A song about all that we do wrong with our earth today. It is almost like a classic tragedy: we destroy what we love, only to discover what we are doing when it is too late. We don’t deserve this earth anymore. It is sad.

8. The Pig & The Haunted

Like “Fire Baby,” it is a disturbed love-song. About how you perceive yourself when doing something you know is wrong, and can’t help it. It brings the pace up again, and is more of a classic rock song.

9. What Now

This is a heavy riff onslaught. The idea was just to keep on throwing riffs at the listener and then suddenly let it all dissolve into a dark hymn. The spoken word at the end is a poem I wrote from a sick person’s point of view. It is a mental patient trying to see things clearly. It all ends with a heavy, repetitive doom riff to underline the chaos.

10. I´m Not Gonna

An easy listening, heavy rock song. Written from the same emotional standpoint as the others, but with a more positive outlook. Lots of slide in this one. Love that little glass thing.

11. The Web

The grand finale. “The Web” is a very personal song, summing up the emotions I mentioned earlier: being caught in patterns (the web), knowing it and still not being able to change it. It is an epic, and my favourite on the album. We thought a lot about how to build up this album, and “The Web” is a natural ending. It leaves you wanting more in my opinion.

Hopefully it makes the listener go back to side A of the vinyl… oh, did I mention: LISTEN TO THIS ALBUM ON VINYL… It is made for it!

Pet the Preacher, The Cave and the Sunlight (2014)

Pet the Preacher on Thee Facebooks

Pet the Preacher at Napalm Records

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Pet the Preacher, The Cave and the Sunlight: A Web in the Spinning

Posted in Reviews on April 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

From an American standpoint, a lot of what riff-rocking Danish trio Pet the Preacher get up to on their second album and Napalm Records debut, The Cave and the Sunlight, will probably seem familiar. On the 11-track/51-minute offering, the Copenhagen-based three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Christian Hede Madsen, bassist/backing vocalist Torben Wæver Pedersen and drummer Christian Von Larsen proffer a brash, bruiser sort of heavy rock, indebted at times directly to Pepper Keenan-era C.O.C., as on “Remains,” but elsewhere deriving an emotional push that to US ears, could sound just as easily culled from commercial hard rock, as on “Marching Earth Pt. 2″ and the penultimate “I’m Not Gonna.” A modern clarity and fullness of production backs that read, though I think ultimately it’s a skewed interpretation. In context of geography, Pet the Preacher offer a split from Europe’s current heavy psych and classic rock proliferation — if there’s one thing The Cave and the Sunlight doesn’t sound like, it’s Graveyard — and whereas in the UK, that alternative seems to come either in vicious sludge or Orange Goblin-inspired booziness, the Danes have taken a different direction, based more on songwriting than tonal impact but still landing plenty heavy when they choose to do so, the initial rush of “Let Your Dragon Fly” following the blown-out bluesy intro “The Cave” and not quite setting up everything the album has to offer, but at least give it a riotous beginning and letting listeners know that in addition to dragons, there be stoner riffs ahead.

We never quite make it from “The Cave” to “the sunlight,” but I suppose the ending of the eight-and-a-half-minute closer and longest track “The Web” offers some brightness of mood compared to Pet the Preacher‘s more downtrodden moments. Between the two, songs play out with varied personalities but consistency of tone and overall feel, and while with an album that tops 50 minutes that can make a song like “The Pig and the Haunted” or even the longer “What Now” (7:45) — the standout lines from which are “What now?/Fuck it” — seem to have to work harder to justify their inclusion, The Cave and the Sunlight gets there sooner or later in each case. Earlier pieces like the drum-led “Kamikaze Night,” which plays tense tom-work against payoff riffing and Madsen‘s throaty, low-in-the-mouth vocal style, and subsequent “Remains,” which follows furthering the hints of slide guitar of the prior track with a verse that seems to singularly call back to C.O.C.‘s 1996 landmark, Wiseblood (not a complaint), have it somewhat easier in distinguishing themselves, resulting in an overarching linear feel for The Cave and the Sunlight — a CD structure that, like the band’s sound itself, runs somewhat counter to trend. Neither their 2012 debut, The Banjo, nor subsequent 2013 compilation, Papa Zen and Meet the Creature (Papa Zen being new or at least unreleased material and Meet the Creature being their 2011 debut EP), stretched beyond the bounds of vinyl-readiness in terms of timing, and here, the two chapters of “Marching Earth Pt. 1″ and “Marching Earth Pt. 2″ are arranged right in the middle, as if to underscore the trio’s intent toward a classic CD flow.

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Duuude, Tapes! Demon Head, Demo 2014

Posted in Duuude, Tapes! on April 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Many of the influences Copenhagen five-piece Demon Head are working with will seem familiar. Of course there’s Sabbath, Pentagram, etc., and one can identify points of Witchcraft in the production of their Demo 2014, now available as a limited-to-100 purple cassette through Caligari Records, and some of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats‘ garage-style shuffle, but what the four-track release really showcases from the Danish newcomers is swing. Fast or slow, their riffs wind their way around the listener’s consciousness, and with the bass of Fuglsang and drums of Wittus – middle and last names or initials only, depending on where you look — Demon Head never stray too far from the soul-corrupted boogie that serves them well here as they follow-up 2013’s Chaos Island Rehearsal 2013 with more developed but still raw and doomed rock.

The blown-out croon of Ferreira Larsen recalls ’80s metal conjurations on opener “Undertaker,” but is malleable ultimately to what’s called for by a given song, and his style helps distinguish Demon Head from the Uncle Acid jangle that’s clearly influenced “Undertaker” and shows up on the eponymous closer as well in its oozing, dirt-packed groove. A rough recording plays well on tape — the four-song program repeats on both sides — and Demo 2014 is most definitely a demo, but the songwriting is there and Larsen, Wittus, Fuglsang and the guitarists, both named Nielsen (presumably they’re related), don’t come off as so loose as to be self-indulgent or unaware of where they’re headed. “Ride the Wilderness” seems to be a band mantra, and as the second cut after “Undertaker,” it’s a faster push to set up the Witchcrafty turn to doom of the shorter “333” (alternately listed as “III” and “Three”), which leaves a mark lyrically and in the crashing lurch that gives way to a satisfying but not grandiose build before a deft slowdown returns to the chorus.

On the European edition, issued by Smokedd Productions with a different cover, “333” and “Ride the Wilderness” appear to be switched, but the Caligari version serves the overall flow well, the four songs moving smoothly between each other, getting progressively more doomed until “Demon Head” finishes with nod enough to tie everything else together, a bluesy lead in the first half perhaps foreshadowing developing guitar antics that will show up in increased volume next time out. They’ve got more than an ample amount of groove to justify the physical release — the j-card liner folds out to eight panels with art and recording info on one side and lyrics on the other — and as Demo 2014 fades out from its noisy ending, the tape bodes well both for what Demon Head might do and how they might do it. In terms of their overall approach, there’s room to grow into a more individualized take, but as noted, they’ve got the swing down, and that’s already more than an awful lot of bands.

Demon Head, Demo 2014

Demon Head on Thee Facebooks

Caligari Records on Bandcamp

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Causa Sui, Live at Freak Valley: Sacred Blood in the Garden (PLUS Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 31st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Generally speaking, one of the problems with a live album is that save for rare exceptions, unless you happened to be at the show where it was recorded, it’s that much harder to make a connection to the experience of actually seeing the band on stage. I wasn’t so fortunate to be in Netphen, Germany, when Danish heavy psych masters Causa Sui played at Freak Valley 2013, but listening to the El Paraiso Records 2CD/2LP document of their set — fittingly titled Live at Freak Valley and available for preorder now ahead of an April 7 ship date — the audio easily gives a sense of the warmth and vibrancy of the four-piece’s performance. The material is culled from their 2005 self-titled debut (the inimitable “El Paraiso”) all the way to and through 2013’s hyperbole-worthy Euporie Tide, touching on the expansive jams taken from their Summer Sessions and Pewt’r Sessions along the way for a steady flow that, as the lineup of guitarist Jonas Munk, bassist Jess Kahr, drummer Jakob Skøtt and keyboardist Rasmus Rasmussen progress through their own catalog in swells of volume and stretches of subdued exploration, never subsides throughout the two-disc entirety of the release. Live at Freak Valley is Causa Sui‘s first official live album, and it’s not difficult to tell from listening why they’d want it made public. Especially in the longer-form cuts like “Red Valley” (10:19), the “Lonesome Traveller” medley that also includes pieces of “Santa Sangre” and “Garden of Forking Paths” (14:07), “El Paraiso” (12:36), “Euporie” (12:02) and “Homage” (9:56), Causa Sui are as engaging on their live incarnation as they are in their studio output.

Part of that has to be because Causa Sui‘s albums are closely tied to live performance. That sense was certainly true on Euporie Tide, where the mood was spontaneous, like the band could take their laid back grooving and tonal warmth anywhere they wanted to do go, places alternately lush and expansive or driving in their heavy riffs. Live at Freak Valley doesn’t allow for quite the same level of production value as a studio album, but it’s not far off, either. Munk handled the mixing and mastering himself, so the band’s touch is on every level of the release, and that’s clearly made a difference in the atmosphere of the audio. Each disc — or each platter, if you get the vinyl version — holds just under 45 minutes of runtime, so Live at Freak Valley comes across not as a live album sloppily assembled, lazily mixed and tossed out to capitalize on a willing fanbase, but as something that not only recounts Causa Sui‘s work in the past but actually adds something new to their oeuvre as well because of how well the spirit behind their material is carried through these songs and how plain to hear is the chemistry between the band members. Both the first disc (red) and second disc (blue) position Causa Sui not just as a group hitting their stride on stage, but pushing themselves past where they’ve been before to new places that are captured here. As “The Juice” and “Boozehound” from Euporie Tide flesh out into “Lonesome Traveller”-plus, the band elicit a hypnotized response that shows their command of their form and presentation and is only interrupted when the disc ends and it’s time to put on the other one. If anything interrupts the flow on Live at Freak Valley, it’s the constrictions of media.

That’s inevitable, however, and the tradeoff — aside from the positive, atmosphere-enhancing presence of physical media as a whole in comparison to the digital alternative — is that each half of Live at Freak Valley can be read as having a personality of its own, the first plenty immersive but more varied, with more songs included, the pieces worked into “Lonesome Traveller,” the jazzy jumps in “Mireille” and the thoroughly nailed build of “Red Valley” from Summer Sessions Vol. 3 marking the transition point to the second half’s come-get-lost-in-here sprawl. Those four songs alone — “El Paraiso,” “Euporie,” “Homage” and closer “Soledad” — make for what I have no doubt will prove one of 2014’s most satisfying in heavy psychedelia, but to have them coupled immediately with the preceding five tracks and to think of the entirety being presented whole, as one free-flowing set performed live, well, it’s one of the best live albums I’ve heard in a very long time and makes a solid argument for the live album as being able to capture the essence of a band on stage while also giving those who weren’t there a closer look at what they might have missed. Listening back to Munk‘s guitar and Rasmussen‘s keys lead the way over the steady progression of Kahr and Skøtt toward that song’s payoff, it’s clear that Causa Sui‘s creativity extends to how they conduct themselves live. It’s also clear that I need to see these guys play as soon as humanly possible, because whether it’s the initial wall of fuzz that “The Juice” builds or the serenity that bleeds through “Soledad,” Live at Freak Valley showcases some of the finest heavy psych that Europe has to offer. It’s a release the success of which exceeds even the considerable ambition that birthed it. Recommended.

PLEASE NOTE: I’ve been given permission to host the premiere of the full stream of Live at Freak Valley with this review. Please find it on the YouTube player below and enjoy!

Causa Sui, Live at Freak Valley (2014)

El Paraiso Records’ website

El Paraiso Records on Thee Facebooks

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Baby Woodrose, Kicking Ass and Taking Names: Gone Yesterday, Here Tomorrow

Posted in Reviews on March 27th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Seems likely that Copenhagen psych-garage aficionados Baby Woodrose have a considerable backlog of unreleased material. Before the band led by guitarist/vocalist Lorenzo Woodrose, also of Dragontears, released their righteously cool 2012 sixth full-length, Third Eye Surgery (review here), they preceded it with a 2011 comp of early demos titled Mindblowing Seeds and Disconnected Flowers (review here). The new collection, Kicking Ass and Taking Names, also dips back to the beginnings of the band, and from the second one unfolds the six-panel Bad Afro Records digipak (or, presumably, opens the vinyl), there’s an archival feel. Lorenzo Woodrose himself offers liner notes extolling the virtues of the B-side as an opportunity to experiment and gives recording dates and circumstances for each of the comp’s 14 tracks, spanning years from early 2002 to 2013, and as he explains it, there’s more on offer than just B-sides. The tracks “Coming Around Again” and “I Feel High” were released together as a single in 2008, and “Light up Your Mind” and “Bubblegum” came out together through Bad Afro last year. Covers of The Troggs‘ “6654321” and Otis Redding‘s “That’s How Strong My Love Is” (which Humble Pie also covered in 1973) end each half of the tracklist and represent the earliest material included, coming from the band’s Feb. 2002 first session with their original lineup. Of course, with variation in the years of release, production and lineup, Kicking Ass and Taking Names has a few notable jumps in sound, but a remaster for everything included gives some sense of flow to the collection’s 36-minute course.

Really, the structure of Kicking Ass and Taking Names isn’t that of a compilation of individual, standalone tracks, but of a previously unreleased EP plus enough bonus cuts to extend it to full-length. While they were subsequently released on singles, the first five tracks — “Information Overload,” “Good Day to Die,” “Coming Around Again,” “I Feel High” and “Making My Time” — come from the same session, recorded by the late Ralph Rjeily in 2007 and issued in drips and drabs in the years since. Those with prior exposure to Baby Woodrose‘s fervent worship of 13th Floor Elevators-style psychedelia will be right at home with “Information Overload”‘s space-rocking thrust and Woodrose‘s own howls echoing up from the swirl. I’ve always considered his style to have similar roots to those of Monster Magnet‘s Dave Wyndorf, but Woodrose‘s approach is looser, the material it tops less concerned with sprawl. “Good Day to Die” is an early highlight the energy of which is a precursor to some of what arrives later on side B’s (can you have a side B on a collection of B-sides?) “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” and “Live Wire,” while “Coming Around Again” delivers a poppier take and “I Feel High” backs it with acoustic-based lysergics, a steady undercurrent of fuzz and organ making a complex mix sound simple. That track builds but remains drumless, leaving the buzz of “Making My Time” to sum up the preceding four with organ start-stops, echoing space and an easy, right-on groove. As ever, Woodrose remains a strong presence, but I wouldn’t discount the organ work of Fuzz Daddy either, which is featured in a solo in the song’s second half.

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Demon Head’s Demo 2014 Tape Available Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 7th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Cast in shadows of Witchcraft‘s vintage stylizations and Uncle Acid‘s malevolent garage jangle, the Demo 2014 from Copenhagen five-piece Demon Head is available now and presumably not for long on limited-to-100 copies cassette (they seem to all have made it into the photo below) via Caligari Records. The four-song outing includes Demon Head‘s eponymous track, a highlight of the band’s post-Pentagram doom rock early going, resting comfortably on a bed of nodding riffs and skillfully pulled blues solos. It’s a cool atmosphere and I imagine the raw ’70s loyalism goes well on tape. For now a Bandcamp stream should be enough to give some idea.

The PR wire will make converts of us all:

DEMON HEAD – Demo 2014 – Out On Cassette Via CALIGARI Records

This four-song recording by doom band DEMON HEAD captures the essence of old school doom and skips entirely the musical evolution that has taken place during the last three decades. DEMON HEAD craft stripped down, soulful and blues-based doom rock and Demo 2014 is a wicked and evocative offering that vastly improves over the tracks included in last year’s Chaos Island Rehearsal 2013.

Long winters and short glimpses of the sun brought Demon Head to life in Copenhagen sometime during spring 2012. Jamming and refining the sounds of sinister voices has been the purpose since then, resulting in the first sonic outings in the course of the last year. Demon Head is heavy rock, aiming to fuse the atmosphere of 70’s dark heavy metal with twin guitar lead harmonies.

After a tour through the Winterland of northern Scandinavia, this February saw the release of a demo tape that we’ve been dying to put out. The recordings were made when the leaves fell red in 2013 and represent a starting point of what we’re trying to achieve in terms of sound. In March, a 7″ will be born from the hands of ourselves and the danish record coven Levitation Records.

Members have been or are active in other bands such as Scavenger Brats, I, Mountain, Øresund Space Collective, Alucarda and Reefer.

Limited to 100 copies. This is the 7th release of CALIGARI Records.

A European version of Demo 2014 has been released by Smokedd Productions.

Limited to 100 copies
Pro Tapes – Pro Covers With Full Lyrics

Listen: http://caligarirecords.bandcamp.com/album/demo-2014
Order $5.50: http://caligarirecords.storenvy.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CaligariRecords
Official Site: http://www.caligarirecords.com

Demon Head, Demo 2014

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