Posted in Whathaveyou on April 6th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Lest we forget among all our cosmic revelry that the bulk of space is pitch black, Danish explorers Øresund Space Collective provide reminder of the encompassing emptiness with their latest outing, Ode to a Black Hole. More droned-out and somewhat less bent toward krautrock-style jamming than the bulk of their improvised work, it’s a single piece broken up over two extended tracks — “Ode to a Black Hole Part 1” and “Ode to a Black Hole Part 2” — that is enough of a departure from their usually bright-toned fare that it does make sense as a standalone release.
I think my favorite part about Ode to a Black Hole, though — aside from the swirl and sense of vastness to it — is the fact that it was recorded at the same time as Øresund Space Collective‘s most recent studio album, Different Creatures (review here). That record was over two hours long! And it wasn’t everything they had! I love it. It just shows how unceasingly creative this outfit is. I really think that if you were to roll tape and come back half a day later, they’d still be jamming. And it would still be awesome.
Release date for Ode to a Black Hole is May 1, but the first part is streaming now, and Øresund Space Collective come to the US for the first — and quite possibly, only — time this August to play Psycho Las Vegas. Here’s more info:
This was a long experimental DOOM drone track recorded at the same studio session as the Different Creatures album. This was highly inspired by us listening to the band, BONG. It is something completely different from anything ØSC has ever released but I think it is pretty cool.. Enjoy the trip…
Releases May 1, 2016
Tracklisting: 1. Ode to a Black Hole Part 1 2. Ode to a Black Hole Part 2
Jonathan- Electric Violin, Theremin, Guitar Mats- Bass (2nd Half), Hasse- Bass (first half), Doun Douns Alex- Drums KG- Synthesizers Jonas- Hammond and Synthesizers Dr Space- Synthesizers Mathias- Pedal Steel
Posted in Reviews on March 28th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
So it begins. I’d say this one snuck up on me, but the terrible truth of these things is that there are months of planning involved. You know the drill by now: Between today and Friday, I’ll be posting 50 record reviews in batches of 10 per day, and that’s the Quarterly Review. They’re not really in any order. Some have been out for a while, some aren’t out yet. I have tried to mark 2015 stuff where possible, if only to keep my own organizational modus straight. We’ll see how that goes as the week plays out. In any case, I hope you find something here that you dig. I know I have.
Quarterly Review #1-10:
Wheel in the Sky, Heading for the Night
Although Wheel in the Sky’s presentation is modern enough on their The Sign Records debut album, Heading for the Night, to steer them clear of Sweden’s boogie-mad masses, they’re still very clearly taking influence from classic rock, most notably The Who on cuts like opener “Fire, Death to All” (also the longest track; immediate points), “Total Eclipse of the Brain” and “Thrust in the Night.” The clarity of sound and approach puts them more in line with bands like The Golden Grass and, for a countrymen example, Troubled Horse, than Graveyard, and the Uppsala/Stockholm four-piece distinguish themselves further through the dual-lead interplay of “A Turn for the Wicked,” which hints just a bit toward Thin Lizzy bounce to feed into closer “God on High,” which coats its vocals in echo to add a sense of grandeur before the last instrumental push, which picks up the pace at the end to cap a first album from a band clearly looking to find their own niche within a classic heavy rock feel.
Offered first by the band in 2012 and reissued through Sulatron Records with two bonus tracks from the same recording session, Sun Dial’s Mind Control puts the long-running UK psych/space rockers in their element in a kosmiche expanse quickly on “Mountain of Fire and Miracles,” and while electronic experimentation is a factor throughout “Radiation” and “Burned In,” there’s always a human spirit underneath and sometimes out front in what Sun Dial do, and the newly-included “Seven Pointed Star” and “World Within You” fit in with the sense of acid ritual that the original album tracks convey, the title cut transposing Hawkwindian warp drive on a more relaxed atmosphere, each measure seemingly a mantra in a longer meditation. Even with its wah-soaked ending, “In Every Dream Home a Heartache” has a more straightforward tack, proving that even when you think you know what a group like Sun Dial are up to, you’re probably wrong.
The second EP from San Francisco-based shoegazing psychedelic rockers LSD and the Search for God, Heaven is a Place, arrives a whopping nine years after its self-titled predecessor. Granted, it might be the wash of effects and the almost-whispered vocal melodies that seem to barely break the surface of the waves of airy distortion, but if any of this material goes back that far, it doesn’t show its age. The five-piece – guitarist/vocalist Andy Liszt, vocalist Sophia Cambell, guitarist Chris Fifield, bassist Ryan Lescure and drummer Ricky Maymi – offer five tracks of blissed-out, dripping wet vibe, with “Outer Space (Long Way Home)” at the center of a post-grunge swirl following the cosmic push of “(I Don’t Think that We Should) Take it Slow” and before the serenity of “Elizabeth” takes hold as a lead-in for seven-minute finale “Without You,” simultaneously the most lucid and dreamy of the cuts included. Nine years is a long time. Heaven is a Place begs for a quicker follow-up.
Austin purveyors Duel make a striking impression from the cover onward with their Heavy Psych Sounds full-length debut, Fears of the Dead. The four-piece, which by all reports features two former members of Scorpion Child, get down with classic swing on the opening title-track and thereby broadcast the intent of the album as a whole, bringing ‘70s-style grooves and boogie forward in time with modern fullness and a crisp production that highlights the gruff vocals of guitarist Tom Frank, who alongside bassist/vocalist Shaun Avants, guitarist Derek Halfmann and drummer JD Shadowz, swaggers through the record’s eight included slabs as one might through a crowded venue for the next in a long series of an evening’s beers. Later cuts like “When the Pigs are Fed” and 7:52 closer “Locked Outside” bring some more variety to the approach, but the heart of Fears of the Dead remains brash and unbridled, and one doubts if Duel would have it any other way.
One might blink and miss the debut single from somewhat mysterious psychedelic rockers The Canadian Sweetmen, which totals its A and B sides together for a runtime of about four and a half minutes, but the fact that the 90-second “Intro” (the A side) manages to marry The Velvet Underground and The Beach Boys in that span is definitely something worth taking the time to note. There’s just about no information on the band as to who they are, where they come from, where they’re going, etc., but the three-minute “New Cigarettes” makes an impression on style and substance alike and offers an encouraging glimpse at what seems to be a psychedelia bolstered by organ and Rhodes and unbound by a need to adhere to genre tenets. “Intro” doesn’t even stick around long enough to do so, but “New Cigarettes” careens into a rhythmic push for its chorus that offers an earthy undertone to the heady, spaced-out vibe. More please.
Absolutely devastating. UK post-sludgers Wren dole out a punishment that won’t be soon forgotten on their second EP, Host (on Holy Roar), following up the blackened post-rock of their 2014 self-titled EP (review here) and their 2015 split with Irk (review here) with four pummeling but still richly atmospheric cuts. Working now as the lineup of Owen Jones, Chris Pickering, Robert Letts and John McCormick, Wren have had three different vocalists on their three releases, but not a one of them has failed to add to the ambience and crushing impression of their riffs, and the hook of “No Séance” particularly on Host signifies that despite whatever lineup shifts they may have had, Wren continue to progress and refine their attack. “Stray,” “No Séance,” “The Ossuary” and “Loom” are unshakable, deeply weighted and righteously spaced. They may have flown somewhat under the radar up to this point, but Wren are too loud to be a well kept secret for much longer.
Some 12 years after their initial demo surfaced in 2003, Massachusetts’ Transient present an atmospheric take on alt-metal with their self-titled debut full-length, self-released last fall. Bringing together nine tracks/46 minutes with a patient but tense pacing and underlying currents of progressive metal in cuts like “Ditch of Doubt” and “Wrong Time,” it unfolds gracefully with the intro “Voyager One” and finds an aggressive burst in “Wrong Time” and the Tool-gone-psych build of the penultimate “Slightest Scare.” That song is part of an extended two-cut closing suite with “Hold this Grudge,” which highlights Scott McCooe’s bass tone as it provides a surprising but satisfying laid back finish. McCooe, joined here by guitarist/vocalist Tim Hayes and drummer John Harris, splits his time with metalcore progenitors Overcast, and as Transient was recorded over a year’s stretch and then mixed and mastered a year after that – living up to the band’s name – it may be a while before a follow-up, but after so long from their demo, it’s still a welcome debut.
Issued by H42 Records in a limited edition for this year’s Desertfest, the new split 7” from UK heavy platoons Desert Storm and Suns of Thunder is so dudely they could sell it as vitamin supplements on late-night tv. A complex critique of gender it is not, heavy it is. One track from each band. Desert Storm bring the burl of “Signals from Beyond,” which with its strong hook and gravely vocals brings to mind Orange Goblin nestled into a nodding riff. For Swansea’s Suns of Thunder, it’s “Earn Your Stripes,” with its complex vocal arrangements for lyrics about small men and big men, paying your dues and other whathaveyou that dominant culture tells those with testicles will make them more complete people. Fine. Masculinity and femininity are scams to sell pants, but “Earn Your Stripes” is catchy as all anything and “Signals from Beyond” is even catchier than however catchy that is, so a testosterone overdose seems a small price to pay.
Telstar Sound Drone, Magical Solutions to Everyday Struggles
Magical Solutions to Everyday Struggles is the second album from Copenhagen-based auralnauts Telstar Sound Drone, and like much of what Bad Afro releases, it presents a strong temptation to drop out, tune in and turn on. Little surprise the band is something of an offshoot from Baby Woodrose, sharing guitarist Mads Saaby and drummer Hans Beck with the seminal garage rockers, but the lush impression made on “Something I Can’t Place” with the watery vocals of Sean Jardenbæk comes from an even more lysergic place, and the experimental side that comes through on “Closer Again,” “Dark Kashmir” and the languid “Dead Spaces” is a multi-tiered dreamscape that closer “Lean down on White” seems sad to leave. Reasonably so. With guest spots from members of Spids Nøgenhat, Bite the Bullet and Baby Woodrose (Kåre Joensen on bass/synth), Telstar Sound Drone’s sophomore outing is an otherworldly psychedelic vision that, as promised, does seem to cure what ails, exciting even in its most subdued moments.
Initially offered by the band in 2012 and subsequently pressed to a six-song 7” and jewel case CD, the self-titled debut EP from San Diego trio Fantasy Arcade only runs about 11 minutes, but that’s all it needs to bring together punk, thrash, sludge and heavy rock across fuckall-heavy cuts like “The Dwarves are Missing” – the longest song here at 3:38 – and the rumbling finale “Die Before You Suck,” which gallops and shouts and seems to crash into walls on its way out, though drummer/vocalist Adam, bassist/vocalist Chris and guitarist Mike actually do well in deciding when to keep control and when to let it go. More nuanced than it lets on, Fantasy Arcade is an aggressive pulse given to moments of frustration boiling over, but being rooted in metal as much as punk, its dwelling in two worlds gives heft to the freneticism at play, as shown in “Poison Arrow,” the first half of which runs at a sprint right into the brick wall slowdown of its second, and final, minute.
Posted in Whathaveyou on March 9th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Danish heavy psych seven-piece (yup, seven of ’em) Red Lama said hello last fall with a video for their track “The World is Yours” (posted here), heralding the arrival of their debut album, Dreams are Free. The physical incarnation of record is available now to preorder through a crowdfunding campaign, while the digital version is due out April 15, and as a precursor to that, they’ve unveiled the opening track “Inca” as a digital single and video, which you can see below.
“Inca” is no less molten than was “The World is Yours,” the band specializing in immersive, fluid, percussive psychedelia. Among other elements at play, “Inca” tosses out the title line of the album and features a driving, almost space rock-style push, but never loses sight of the atmospheric impression it’s trying to make. It’s chill even when it’s heavy, in other words. You can hear it for yourself.
To the PR wire:
Red Lama post new single and reveal details of their forthcoming debut album “Dreams Are Free”
With the release of their second single Inca, Red Lama offers another glimpse into what can be expected from their forthcoming debut album Dreams are Free. Once again the dutch artist Iris Deppe has produced to video which expresses the same peculiar collage style that was seen on the band’s first video for the single The World is Yours. Until now, Red Lama is best known from live appearances in venues in Copenhagen, Danish festivals, including a couple of appearances at Copenhagen Psych Fest. Indeed, the foundation for Dreams Are Free is the vivid sensation of being a band that plays together and make music together. The album is made collectively through numerous jams in the band’s rehearsal room, and during summer trips to more scenic parts of Denmark.
“To release a record with seven songs , that we are proud of, is surely a milestone for each one of us. We are very honored to finally have all things in place and cant wait to show the finished work. The process has been fantastic and for us the end of a long and beautiful chapter in the Red Lama life. We love making music , so the album has only created even more appetite for new unexplored dream worlds . ” Says Johannes Linnet leadsinger of Red Lama.
Track listing: 1. Inca 2. Sonic Revolution 3. The World is Yours 4. Mont Ventoux 5. Dar Enteha 6. Mekong River 7. Dalai Delay
Johannes Havemann Kissov Linnet: Vocal Morten Kaas: Organ, harmonica and other effects Marius Havemann Kissov Linnet: Drums Frederik Randrup Hansen: Bass Jonas Harboesgård Rahbek: Guitar Oliver Asbjørn Fick: Guitar Niklas Sjøbeck Jørgensen: Percussion
Posted in Reviews on March 7th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
It may be in part because it’s so steadfastly instrumental that Danish four-piece Causa Sui‘s output hits with such an evocative effect on the listener. The material, as on Return to Sky, the band’s latest and upwards of ninth full-length, depending on what you count — minus jam sessions, live outings and collaborations, it’s number four — is wide open and vehement in its will for exploration, clearly plotted but sounding off the cuff and based heavily on the organically-presented chemistry between drummer Jakob Skøtt, guitarist Jonas Munk, keyboardist Rasmus Rasmussen and bassist Jess Kahr that has only developed further since the band’s last long-player, 2013’s stunning Euporie Tide, as their subsequent offerings, 2014’s Live at Freak Valley (review here) and Pewt’r Sessions 3 (review here), also showed.
That may be thanks partially to the chances taken on solo records by Skøtt and Munk over the last several years, but either way, they’re clearly a stronger band since they started to release through their El Paraiso Records imprint, through which Return to Sky now surfaces and which has become since its start circa 2011 a home for deeply creative and naturalist progressive psychedelia. As their own staple act, Causa Sui flourish across the collected five tracks/45 minutes, which arrive in packaging that has become El Paraiso‘s signature style as an unassuming LP the breadth of which isn’t to be understated, sandwiching between an extended (over 10 minutes) opener and closer some of Causa Sui‘s most resonant studio work to date, and some of the most spacious. Even down to Skøtt‘s snare drum on “The Source” or the preceding opener “Dust Meridian,” Return to Sky establishes a wide-open sphere, and yeah, maybe because there’s so much room it’s so satisfying to get lost in its progression.
Drums lead the way into “Dust Meridian” for guitar, bass and keys to follow, but it’s not long before Causa Sui are cascading and bounding along tight turns backed by what feel like extra percussive layers (I have the feeling they’re not) which shift in a measure’s time into a subdued break of jazzy drumming, sparse guitar and keys and a gradual build on a keyboard riff to a full tonal wash that pushes them past the seven-minute mark, crashing and spacing out along the way, building a tension that drops out before eight minutes in as they let it go in favor of a momentary shift back into the bounding, which in turn ends quiet en route to the more heavy rocking swing of “The Source.” Also the shortest track at 6:36, there are moments on “The Source” that sounds tailor-made for a guest appearance by Sergio Chotsourian, formerly of Los Natas. That doesn’t happen — again, instrumental throughout — but the vibe is right in the song’s early trades between a driving riff and sparser stops and pauses. They dedicate the last two minutes or so to a drone and melodic wash exploration that’s as pastoral as it is encompassing, the drums sitting out while bass provides a foundation for guitar effects and far-off keys.
Listening to the album front to back, it’s the kind of change that’s so fluid it’s almost possible to miss and wonder a minute later where the hell you’ve just been, but it makes a suitably liquid transition into “Mondo Buzzo,” which closes out side A by playing jazzy heavy rock punches off quieter surroundings. Causa Sui weave their way through a soft early going and into heavier push so smoothly, Munk layering in a lead as they head toward the midsection, that it’s hard to follow their going, but “Mondo Buzzo” is striking as much for the weight behind its thrust as for its lush ambience, though it’s with the latter that the four-piece choose to close out side A, turning quickly back to softer jamming of increasing melodic gorgeousness as they make their way through the final few minutes, effects, guitar and keys given a continued sense of structure by the drums, but playing out a bright sunshine that’s more energy than matter, in motion though it is.
While the guitar starts the song, it’s Kahr who makes the most resonant impression in the beginning moments of “Dawn Passage” at the start of side B, a serene bounce emerging from beneath all the airiness overtop in the first minute, the keys adding to the atmosphere in swelling melodies before they drop out and the band continues on the course of a linear build, which is over by the time they hit four of the track’s total eight minutes but leads to more progressive interplay of guitar, bass and keys, percussion fleshing out the jam as they subtly make their way toward another crescendo, which they finish with about a minute to spare for closing out with vastness and soundscaping. It would be difficult for the closing title-track to push out further than Causa Sui have already gone, but the 11-minute finale is ultimately a defining moment for the record that I’m sure by no coincidence bears its name, less improvised sounding in parts, but still untamed and natural, it teases a takeoff at around a minute in and recedes back into watery guitar for a moment before the drums drop out and the guitar sets the build in motion that will consume the next minute-plus in increasingly intense push — the apex of the album.
The payoff, for everything, lasts until about four and a half minutes, and then airy, quiet, almost minimalist guitar chords ring out peacefully but actively over a still-very-much-in-motion bassline (that might be another layer of guitar) to progressive affect, tension held in the latter that will come to the fore over the next six minutes or so as the keys reenter and another build is underway, this time more freaked out and psychedelic. Drums return after a time and Causa Sui carefully, patiently, bring the track forward toward its last noisy peak, getting over to the other side and, of course, moving easily through to finish quiet with volume swells that sound — no doubt purposefully — like waves. Aside from how interactive a listen it is — which is to say, how much of oneself one can put into the listening experience — what’s most striking about Return to Sky is how short it feels. Granted, it is. Euporie Tide topped out at 64 minutes, and Return to Sky is 45; prime for a single-LP release. Whether it was the band’s intent to balance out the fervent stylistic expansion this album represents by taking less actual time, I don’t know, but to think of something so outwardly lush as also being in some way “stripped down” only adds to the depth of the experience, which is welcome, though Causa Sui were hardly lacking anyhow. Their creative pursuit is multifaceted and relentless, and Return to Sky is a well-placed landmark on the road they’re traveling.
Like a prog metal Grand Magus, maybe? That might be a stretch, but there’s definitely a pump-your-fist aspect to Rising‘s new track “Old Jealousy,” especially in the chorus, that goes well beyond what the Danish outfit had on offer with their 2013 album, Abominor (streamed here). No wonder there’d be a different take on “Old Jealousy,” which heralds the April 29 arrival of Rising‘s third album, Oceans into Their Graves (on Indisciplinarian), since guitarist Jacob Krogholt rebuilt the band from a trio to a five-piece after Abominor came out, which, if you think about it, makes the three years between outings pretty impressive.
Either way, look for vocalist Morten Grønnegaard to make a standout impression on “Old Jealousy,” the animated video for which also doubles as a premiere for the artwork to Oceans into Their Graves, especially in the chorus to the track, which still has some shades of the post-Mastodonic feel of Rising‘s earlier outings — Abominor and its predecessor, 2011’s To Solemn Ash (streamed here) — but seems to immediately put an eye toward more complex arrangements between the guitars of Krogholt and Anders Bo Rasmussen to go with the tight churn in the bass of Bjarke Lassen and Martin Niemann‘s drums.
You can hear it for yourself and check out the aforementioned art in the video below, which comes followed by some more details about Oceans into Their Graves, courtesy of the PR wire.
Rising, “Old Jealousy” artwork video
RISING Premieres Animated Artwork Video For “Old Jealousy”; Oceans Into Their Graves LP To See April Release Through Indisciplinarian
On April 29th, the arrival of Oceans Into Their Graves will be upon the masses digitally and on 180-gram black virgin vinyl through Indisciplinarian, with the vinyl being handled in the US as an official Earsplit Distro title. Prior titles are available via Indisiciplinarian’s webshopHEREand Earsplit DistroHERE.
In connection with the release of the new LP, RISING will play a release show in their native town of Copenhagen and will be preparing for additional shows before summer, as well as for the fall of 2016, where the band will tour both Scandinavia and mainland Europe. Stand by for additional audio samples, preorder links, album details, tour dates, and much more on RISING throughout the months ahead.
Oceans Into Their Graves Track Listing: 1. All Dirt 2. Burn Me Black 3. Old Jealousy 4. Blood Moon 5. The Anger 6. Coward Heart 7. Death Of A Giant 8. Killers Of The Mind 9. Waste Deep 10. The Night
RISING: Morten Grønnegaard – vocals Jacob Krogholt – guitars Anders Bo Rasmussen – guitars Bjarke Lassen – bass Martin Niemann – drums
There are very few bands I listen to that every time I put a record on, I experience zero regrets. You know how it is. Maybe you’re not sure what you really want to be hearing at a given moment, and you grab an album, play it, and are kind of “meh” as you make your way through it. It’s been a long time since I listened to Baby Woodrose and felt anything other than jubilation at how utterly righteous they are. The long-running Danish outfit released their second album, Money for Soul, on 2003 through Bad Afro Records — the same imprint which will reportedly have a new LP out from them later this year — and 13 years later it remains a stunning work of cohesive, comprehensive psychedelic garage rock. Spearheaded by the guitar and vocals of principle songwriter Lorenzo Woodrose, blazing cuts like the title-track, the buzzsaw-toned “Hippie Chick” and fuzz-drenched opener “Honeydripper” dig right into the best aspects of all things raw and tripped-out, and while a good portion of the record is headed straight for the roots of psych rock, its arrangements are by no means lazy, with intermittent flourish of keys and synth to go with the guitar, bass and drums that draw heavy inspiration from 13th Floor Elevators and build on the foundation for what Baby Woodrose would become that was first set with their 2001 debut, Blows Your Mind!, and the earlier demos that eventually surfaced in 2011 on the collection Mindblowing Seeds and Disconnected Flowers (review here).
Fans of Monster Magnet will hear a lot of commonality between the two bands throughout Money for Soul, whether on “Volcano” or “Disconnected,” but Baby Woodrose have always had one foot in a stripped-down songwriting approach, and their songs overall are leaner and less given to extended space rock excursions. Careful layering of acoustic and electric guitar on “You Better Run” reminds of Rubber Soul‘s post-British Invasion experimentation, and while the song is just over two minutes long and there’s barely a second to spare in its upbeat push, Baby Woodrose — then the trio of Lorenzo, bassist Riky Woodrose and drummer Rocco Woodrose — never lack for atmosphere there or on the subsequent stomper “Rollercoaster,” the midsection cut “Carrie” being particularly emblematic in this regard, with a drawback on some of the rhythmic thrust featured elsewhere to highlight the organ, delay guitar and vocal arrangement, all of which conjure a psychedelic spaciousness to match the Turtles-style backing vocals and emotional crux of the lyrics. Rounding out with “Volcano,” Money for Soul holds its ethic to a riotous, raunchy finish that’s about as close as they come to the cosmos, sound-wise, but the lyrics, sampled orgasms, etc., make sure a terrestrial theme is established one way or another.
As noted above, Baby Woodrose will reportedly have a new album out this year on Bad Afro. To be titled Freedom, it will be their first since 2012’s lush Third Eye Surgery (review here), and they’ll also be playing Freak Valley in May. Third Eye Surgery, Money for Soul, 2007’s Chasing Rainbows and 2006’s Love Comes Down will also be reissued throughout 2016 on vinyl by Bad Afro, about which details can be found at Baby Woodrose‘s Thee Facebooks page.
As always, I hope you enjoy.
It just so happens that today is The Patient Mrs.‘ birthday. I’ll spare you the rundown of what she wanted/what she got, but it’s been an interesting year to say the least, so whatever it was that she wanted/got, it’s a pale fraction of the glories and tributes she deserves. We’ll be heading down to Connecticut tomorrow to see her family and have dinner and this and that. It’s also supposed to be the coldest weekend in the last decade in Massachusetts where we live, so there’s that going on. If the car breaks down and we get stranded or if the heater breaks like it did last year and begins spewing steam and flooding the second floor so that the kitchen walls beneath run wet, I’m sure I’ll bitch about it using a variety of social media. Because that’s the recourse we’ve afforded ourselves in this existence.
Gonna stop that paragraph before things take a turn. The bottom line? Happy birthday to The Patient Mrs., for whom my love continues to expand like a Deep Purple jam on Made in Japan. Like a 20-minute version of “Space Truckin’.”
Next week, look out for that Borderland Fuzz Fiesta mixtape. It’s happening on Monday, and there’s some new Yawning Man in there you’re gonna want to hear, among many other gems. Also Monday, a track premiere from Youngblood Supercult, and later in the week, look out for full album streams from Droids Attack and Greenleaf, both of whose records will show up on my Top 30 at the end of the year, without a doubt.
We’re a ways off yet, but I’ve also started planning for the next Quarterly Review. That’ll be at the end of next month, so keep an eye open.
I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and the radio stream.
Last month, Danish instrumentalists Causa Sui announced their upcoming album, Return to Sky, with a teaser video. That clip was short, but it showed the band reaching well beyond the warm desert-style tones of 2013’s Euporie Tide in favor of a more angular, experimental approach. Today, the band affirms both a March 18 release date and their progression in the first full-song to come from Return to Sky, titled “The Source,” in a kaleidoscoping new video. The track is still psychedelic in its roots, but Causa Sui are pretty clearly looking to expand what that designation means and what they do with it, playing off the chemistry they’ve developed over their decade-plus together and the various avenues members have pursued in solo projects over the last several years.
The four-piece’s reputation has rightly skyrocketed since Euporie Tide, but “The Source” seems more intent on building off what that album accomplished rather than repeating it, and some rougher edges and percussive thud along with the spacious guitars work well to do just that early on as Causa Sui make their way toward a tripped-out atmospheric break in the second half, guitars and keys creating a wash that caps the track on a long fade. Presumably that’s to set up the entry of the next song on Return to Sky, but not having heard the album yet in its entirety, I can’t speak to just how that interplay between tracks might go. However, as anyone who heard Euporie Tide, the subsequent Live at Freak Valley (review here) or Pewt’r Sessions 3 (review here) can attest, these guys are no strangers to creating a sense of flow from one piece to the next.
Use your imagination. They’re clearly using theirs:
Causa Sui, “The Source” official video
Causa Sui are back with a new studio record, the successor to 2013’s Euporie Tide, which consolidated the band as a crucial underground force in the European psych scene and spread their unique brand of warm-toned stoner rock to a wider audience. Return To Sky is a condensed piece of acutely experimental, yet immensely engaging, instrumental rock.
Each of the album’s five epics unfolds as a microcosm of the band’s genre-transcending psychedelia at large, yet adds something different to the whole. There’s a kind of musical metamorphosis taking place that’s deeply ingrained in the band’s natural flux by now: heavy, detuned riffs are transformed into wide, pastoral soundscapes, and fluid minimalism warped into swirling crescendos and back again. Occasionally the band even manages to sound turbulent, fuzzed-out yet strangely peaceful at the very same time.
Whereas so much of today’s psychedelic scene comes off as merely a tribute to a certain period of the past, Causa Sui seem to be on a different mission. More than any other record in their catalog Return To Sky declares their roots in the avant rock of the late 1990s – where different eras and genres merged into something that resonated as much with the present as it celebrated the past. It also reveals the fact that members of the band has had their hands in many different projects since the band’s debut album in 2005: solo excursions into synthesizer music, collaborations with members of Sunburned Hand Of The Man and Tortoise as well as film soundtracks, guest spots with krautrock legends Faust and Damo Suzuki and various improv sessions. It has all worked a subtle influence on the kind of band they have become.
Causa Sui’s music is now more earthy and heavy than ever before, but it’s ability to absorb everything from shoegaze and vintage Italian film music to spiritual jazz, afrobeat and minimalism into its fabric has matured as well. Never before has Causa Sui sounded as deep and mesmerizing as on this set.
Causa Sui: Jonas Munk: Guitars & electronics Jess Kahr: Bass Jakob Skøtt: Drums & Percussion Rasmus Rasmussen: Keys and electronics
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster
Papir guitarist Nicklas Sørensen gets the prize with the title of his solo album, Solo. Due out Feb. 19 on El Paraiso Records, the Danish six-stringer’s first offering under his own banner doesn’t quite find him entirely alone. His Papir bandmates show up on tracks like “Solo1” — the entire album is named in such a manner, one through six — to flesh out a full-band feel and complement the synth and quieter explorations that arise elsewhere. Like Papir, it’s instrumental and immersive, but also varied and distinct enough stylistically from the band that Sørensen claiming it as his own makes sense.
The LP version is limited to 500 copies. Can’t imagine those won’t go. Preorders are up now. Art, info and audio follow:
First solo album from Papir guitar player Nicklas Sørensen!
While there’s certain similarities with the oeuvre Nicklas has created with Papir it quickly becomes apparent that this is something quite different. “Solo” begins and ends with the instrument the Copenhagen native fully masters by now: the guitar. Throughout the album his main instrument is being explored as a generator of otherworldly, esoteric sounds as well as a compositional tool and – perhaps most importantly – a transmitter of pristine, cascading melodies.
There’s a peaceful, savory quality to the record that manifests a musical maturity. With help from the rhythm section of Papir as well as Causa Sui’s Jonas Munk (who also recorded the album in El Paraiso Records’ new studio), Nicklas has created a wide, shimmering sound that seems to allude to a multitude of different styles and traditions.
Considering that Nicklas is best known as a hard rocking guitar player with a knack for improvisation it’s perhaps surprising that his inclination for pattern-based minimalism, blissed-out ambience and experimental british “oceanic” music from the 1980s and early 1990s dominates throughout this set.
This is the kind of record that rewards repeated listens – each listen revealing new layers in the architecture of the sound. “Solo” is an affable, slowburning album where each component is given its own space and place to gently unfold and work its magic in the mind of the listener.