Naam and White Hills to Headline Brooklyn’s Sludgefeast Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 6th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

naam

A local fest, with local headliners, but because it’s in Brooklyn, that also means those headliners are world class acts who’ve been around the globe and then some. Naam and While Hills will take the stage at The Paper Box on Nov. 15 to cap a fest that’s been dubbed Sludgefeast. It’s not all Brooklyn bands — the geographical radius seems to have been about two hours north or south with acts from New Paltz, New Haven and Philly — but it’s a strong showing of what Brooklyn heavy has to offer anyway, even apart from the headliners, with BlackoutEidetic Seeing and Mountain God featured, among others. I don’t know the venue, or at least I don’t think I do (I saw Wolves in the Throne Room one year on my birthday in Brooklyn in a place I might describe as a paper box, but to be honest with you, I don’t remember much else about it), but a good time is a good time and Sludgefeast for sure looks like one of those.

The PR wire has lineup and other info for the calendar marking:

sludgefeast poster

The Bent Unit and Some Pig Present: SLUDGEFEAST

A day of heavy music in Brooklyn, NY
Saturday, November 15
The Paper Box: 17 Meadow St, Brooklyn NY 11206

Brooklyn-based music review blog The Bent Unit and booking agency Some Pig Presents are proud to announce the first annual one-day heavy music festival SLUDGEFEAST. SLUDGEFEAST was conceived as a way to celebrate the best in metal, sludge, doom, psych rock and more from Brooklyn and beyond. In a city where indie, electronic, and revivalist genres dominate the airwaves, SLUDGEFEAST looks to give heavy music its rightful claim, especially as metal and its subgenres see a renaissance of sorts in other parts of the country.

Headlining the inaugural SLUDGEFEAST are Brooklyn’s own NAAM and White Hills. Both are torch-bearers of New York’s heavy scene, and no strangers to the international touring circuit. Since 2009 NAAM has been putting their unique brand of pummeling psychedelia to wax courtesy of Tee Pee records, and are currently awaiting release of their third full length. SLUDGEFEAST will see them newly returned from a 6-week European tour, including appearances at the Berlin Swamp Fest and Valada Reverence Festival. White Hills, described by NPR as a “relentlessly heavy psych-rock band with scorching wah-wah and fantastic outfits,” will hold the festival’s penultimate time slot, and is internationally reputed as a forerunner of modern, heavy space-rock.

Filling out the bill will be Brooklyn-based bands including noise/sludge outfit No Way, self-proclaimed “cave” rockers Blackout, psych-drone shamans Eidetic Seeing, doom titans Mountain God, sludge punkers Wonderbreed, and hardcore/metal masters Blackest. Joining us from the vast outside are Chimpgrinder (Philadelphia, blues/doom), It’s Not Night: It’s Space (New Paltz, space/drone), Grizzlor (New Haven, sludge/noise).

SLUDGEFEAST 2014 is more than a concert: it’s an unholy celebration of the dark, the heavy, the infernal. It’s the dawn of a new reign of heavy music in Brooklyn…

http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/683149?utm_medium=460163
https://www.facebook.com/events/1469229753358544/
www.sludgefeastny.com
www.thebentunit.com
www.somepigpresents.com

Naam, Live in Brooklyn, June 1, 2014

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On Wax: Eidetic Seeing, Against Nature

Posted in On Wax on March 18th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

It’s a resonant but difficult to place course that Brooklyn trio Eidetic Seeing chart on their second, self-released full-length, Against Nature. The band — guitarist Sean Forlenza, drummer Paul Feitzinger (also synth) and bassist Danilo Randjic-Coleman — shift easily between pulses of aggro-jazz and post-rocking doom, resulting in a kind of gritty wash made all the more immersive by their mostly-instrumental approach. Particularly on side B’s “Ashplant Blues” and “K2,” both of which top 10 minutes, it’s hard to know where one stops and the other ends, and that’s obviously on purpose on the part of the three-piece, who seem to arrive at an airy dreariness on the 11-minute finale, like Crippled Black Phoenix gone wandering and slamming into a brick wall of stylized freakout, dense fuzz and those gravity waves from the Big Bang that I keep hearing so much about.

Tonal warmth is high, both on “K2” and throughout most of what precedes it, which makes the cooler greys of the matte-finish LP cover — the record itself is black vinyl housed in a black dust jacket — somewhat mysterious, but I suppose multicolor psychedelia has been done to death and rebirth, black and white less so. If that’s representative of a drive toward individualism, it’s mirrored in the five songs included on Against Nature as well. From the opening strums of side A’s launch with “A Snake Whose Years are Long,” which give a deceptive impression of Americana that the song ultimately has little interest in fulfilling, Eidetic Seeing show themselves as patient when they want to be and propulsive in kind. The shortest inclusion on Against Nature is the third track, “Frôleuse,” and even that tops six and a half minutes, so there’s plenty of space for the trio to flesh out and pursue sonic whims where and when they might.

And while there is a suitable meandering sense for (mostly) instrumental heavy psych, this is somewhat offset by shifts into grounded, densely weighted riffs. “A Snake Whose Years are Long” establishes an expertise in the technique, not so much trading back and forth as oozing between one side and the other, and “White Flight” moves from a dreamy synth opening to some of the most dead-on traditional Sabbathian tonality I’ve heard. The kicker is Eidetic Seeing don’t use it to mimic Sabbath. Instead they just ride the riff momentarily on the way to a stomping verse of building intensity that, in turn, cuts back to smoky jazz, undercutting its class with abrasive feedback before moving on to more glorious space riffing. A noisy finish cuts cold into the start of “Frôleuse,” the capstone of an A side that shows no less delight in ignoring the Lego instructions of genre as it constructs a somewhat more tempered spaceship of its own design.

“Frôleuse” hands down disenchantment in a chaotically swirling culmination made rawer through natural-sounding production — that is, they’re not lush even at their farthest out — and after the flip, “Ashplant Blues” seems to answer back with some initially doomed-out lumbering, but the personality of the song and of the second side as a whole is distinct from the first half of Against Nature and shows Eidetic Seeing are comfortable pitting longform works against each other as they are the sounds of Morricone and Russian Circles. Ultimately, Against Nature — which presumably was not named in honor of the Maryland classic heavy rock outfit featuring the members of Revelation, though one never knows — stands as an intriguing and self-directed LP, and while Eidetic Seeing present an approach with some rougher edges, they seem more to delight in riding the sharp corners than to be in need of smoothing out. If it’s to be a long-term creative progression, Against Nature makes a solid argument for following it.

Eidetic Seeing, Against Nature (2013)

Eidetic Seeing on Bandcamp

Eidetic Seeing on Thee Facebooks

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audiObelisk Transmission 035

Posted in Podcasts on February 21st, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Click Here to Download

 

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

I like making these podcasts because I never really know where they’re going to end up once I get started. One song leads to the next leads to the next, and before you know it, you’re all spaced out on how cool some brand new acoustic At Devil Dirt sounds coming out of the brutal dead-sludge of Coltsblood, or deep into the ultra vibes of a second hour loaded with interstellar meanderings. Some of these go brutal. This one just went far out.

That At Devil Dirt EP was just released yesterday, so if you don’t recognize the title, that’s probably why. A lot of this stuff is pretty recent, and while some of the songs you might’ve seen around, whether it was the Conan song they did the video for or the Druglord track that was streamed here with the full album, still other cuts, like the Trilogy, Black Moon Circle and Mope are new to these parts. As ever, I think it winds up with a decent blend and I hope you agree.

First Hour:
Ogre, “Nine Princes in Amber” from The Last Neanderthal (2014)
Sun Shepherd, “Awaiting the Firepit” from Procession of Trampling Hoof (2014)
Trilogy, “Invade and Occupy” from Burned Alive (2013)
Young Hunter, “Welcome to Nothing” from Split with Ohioan (2014)
Sergio Ch., “La Familia y las Guerras” from 1974 (2013)
Hull, “Legend of the Swamp Goat” from Legend of the Swamp Goat 7” (2014)
Conan, “Foehammer” from Blood Eagle (2014)
Druglord, “Feast on the Eye” from Enter Venus (2014)
Coltsblood, “Beneath Black Skies” from Into the Unfathomable Abyss (2014)

Second Hour:
At Devil Dirt, “Mirame” from Dinner is Ready (2014)
Black Moon Circle, “Enigmatic SuperBandit” from Black Moon Circle (2014)
Eidetic Seeing, “A Snake Whose Years are Long” from Against Nature (2014)
Goya, “Death’s Approaching Lullaby” from 777 (2013)
Mope, “La Caduta” from Mope (2014)
Mike Scheidt, “Rake” from Songs of Townes Van Zandt Vol. II (2014)

Total running time: 1:56:49

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 035

 

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Hudson Valley Psych Fest Set for this Saturday

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 7th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Some are coming from the north, some from the south, but this Saturday at BSP Lounge in Kingston, NY, the first-ever Hudson Valley Psych Fest will unite seven acts each with a different take on the traditions of psychedelia. The fest was put together by instrumentalists It’s Not Night: It’s Space, who are natives of New Paltz and who recently signed to Small Stone, and whose latest album, 2012’s Bowing Not Knowing to What, you can hear below.

Get grooved:

Three years after their humble beginnings, It’s Not Night: It’s Space decided it was high time to bring together all the heady friends they have made along the way for the very first episode of Hudson Valley Psych Fest.

BSP Lounge in Kingston, a beautiful venue coming up fast, will host seven bands for the evening-long festival. The lineup mixes true locals, B.B. Rebozo & Shana Falana, with some of Brooklyn’s finest: Weird Owl, Ancient Sky and Eidetic Seeing. Wildcard, Black Norse, will come down from the stoney shores of Maine.

Besides mixing locals and travelers, the lineup mixes a great array of stylings from the vast spectrum of what is considered psych: heavy hitters and dreamy wanderers (and all that lies between) will represent in a delightfully disorienting display. Along those lines, INN:IS producer Rick Birmingham will helm some interactive live visual projections.

Advanced tickets are available at hudsonvalleypsychfest.com. All who buy advanced tickets will be automatically entered to win a 2ft x 3ft copy of the beautiful flier done by INN:IS album artist Travis Lawrence of Infinity Prints.

May 11th||7pm||18+

It’s Not Night: It’s Space, Bowing Not Knowing to What

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Live Review: The Midnight Ghost Train, Reign of Zaius and Eidetic Seeing in Brooklyn, 08.09.12

Posted in Reviews on August 11th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

I rolled into Public Assembly like a wheelbarrow full of suck. It was Thursday, and I’d worked late as the fourth day of the kind of week where even when I was ahead of myself, I was still behind (so much so, you might say, that I’m writing and posting this review over the weekend). Morale was low. What I needed was a bit of rock and roll revival, and in that regard, I was lucky it was The Midnight Ghost Train I was on my way to see.

The Kansas rockers you might recall from their stint earlier this year opening for Truckfighters (reviews here and here). They’re out touring — as they do, all the time — in support of their new album, Buffalo (review here), doing a US run before heading to Europe this fall. Simply put, they rip live. I liked Buffalo a lot when I reviewed it, and I still dig that record however long it’s been later (I thought I had it or I’d have picked up a CD at the show — more the fool I), but I know from the four or five times I’ve seen them over the last four years or so that they’re an entirely different beast on stage. Public Assembly paired them with local outfits Reign of Zaius and Eidetic Seeing, the latter of whom was just getting ready to go on as I arrived.

Some bands you can just feel the heat off the their tubes as they play, and that was the case with Eidetic Seeing. I knew nothing about the band — I could’ve easily looked them up beforehand, but frankly, I like going into shows sometimes without knowing what I’m going to get — and was pleased to find them a warm-toned heavy psych jam unit. The three-piece were still pretty clearly getting their bearings sound-wise, but it could’ve been much worse. There were maybe 15 or 20 people there when they got going, but Eidetic Seeing may have had the biggest crowd of the night, and the young lady who stood several feet in front of the stage seemed to love it.

They were, however, too loud for the room — which, if you’re keeping track, I believe makes me too old for the room. I like Public Assembly‘s back room. I saw Windhand and Pilgrim there with Magic Circle a few months back and dug the space, the layout of the darkened room reminding me of any number of dingy spots in and around Manhattan where these kinds of shows have happened throughout the last decade — the difference being that Public Assembly hasn’t been forced out of business as so many others have by the onslaught of corporately-owned or sponsored venues and promotion companies. Lucinda Williams was playing down the block at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Obviously I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, but at least on the surface, there seemed to be peaceful coexistence, and the bar between the two venues had live gypsy jazz, which, you know, is fucking awesome.

However, I only know about it because I went outside. Eidetic Seeing‘s wash of noise came through the Public Assembly P.A. as more abrasive than I think it wanted to be, so after several songs, I took my leave and took the air, chatting outside with The Midnight Ghost Train‘s guitarist/vocalist Steve Moss about how the shows were going, mutual acquaintances, and so forth. After a while, I decided to head back in, because I didn’t want to miss Reign of Zaius‘ start, and Eidetic Seeing were just finishing up. They had played a long set. I guess you can do that on a Thursday-is-the-new-Friday in Williamsburg, and they weren’t bad, just not really what I was looking for at the time — that being the aforementioned revival — so I won’t be surprised next time around when Eidetic Seeing and I run into each other and I have a deeper appreciation for what they’re doing.

One thing they had going for them, though, was their bassist. Please try to contain your surprise that I dug the bass tone in an underdeveloped heavy psych trio — something that’s definitely never happened before — but quality low end became a theme for the night. Reign of Zaius bassist Davis followed suit, playing through a fretless and being almost solely responsible for the thickness of his band’s sound. Not that something was lacking in the guitar of Brady, just that the band wasn’t geared on the whole to fuzz or showy about their distortion. They played relatively simple, straightforward heavy-type rock, however, called their frontman Viking and had an impressive, somewhat showy, drummer in the younger Brian.

Like Eidetic Seeing, it seemed watching Reign of Zaius that the band was still working out the kinks in their dynamic. There were a couple noticeable flubs, but nothing major, and overall their songs were inoffensive. The room as uncrowded as it was, it wasn’t going to be anyone’s best night, and as I pointed out in the very first sentence of this review, it wasn’t mine either. Nonetheless, cuts from their self-titled EP like “Cravings,” “White Horse” and “Revelation” gave a decent idea of the lack of pretense in their intent, and “Thick Thighs” had its own kind of charm. No shortage of it. Any band that lists Black Sabbath and the 1988 “Rowdy” Roddy Piper classic They Live among their influences is doing something right, and Reign of Zaius clearly were.

My spirits had picked up some by the time The Midnight Ghost Train had their gear set up. Since the last time they came through, the Topeka outfit jettisoned bassist David Kimmell, leaving Moss and drummer Brandon Burghart — who wore a Truckfighters shirt for their set — to search out a replacement. Before they went on, Moss told me they’d only been playing with Alfred Jordan, from Mississippi, for a few weeks, but watching them on stage, they were still easily the tightest band of the three that played, and Jordan‘s presence on stage, his dreadlocks tossed in several directions at once with each headbang, made a fitting complement for the already established dynamic between Moss and Burghart.

Moss introduced the band in his usual throaty affect, saying, “We’re The motherfucking Midnight Ghost Train from motherfucking Kansas,” pausing for a sip of water before adding, “That’s right, Kansas. Yes, we can read.” The Brooklyn crowd got a laugh out of that, and while I can’t imagine what talking like that with the kind of regularity Moss does so must do to your throat — if you’ve never seen them, think of any number of grizzled 85-year-old Delta blues players, then make it fast, and that’s kind of how Moss talks when he’s on stage — it’s clearly had no effect on his energy level over the course of the time he’s been doing it. The Midnight Ghost Train remain one of the most undervalued quality live acts in their genre, and at Public Assembly, they made a solid case for revisiting Buffalo.

The height of the stage at Public Assembly provides a little distance, and watching them closely, it’s pretty easy to discern the common patterning of The Midnight Ghost Train‘s riffing. They rely a lot on upbeat progressions, cycling through a riff, finishing it with a couple hits, then cycling through again, but what makes it exciting to watch live or to listen to on the album is that you don’t at any point know what they’re going to do with it, and they don’t always do the same thing. They are masters of the sudden stop. Burghart will mute his cymbals, Moss and Jordan will cut the strings, and even if it’s just half a second of silence, the raucousness that ensues following is that much stronger for the pause. Top that with Moss‘ hand-in-the-air raving testimonial vocal delivery, and Buffalo tracks like “Henry” and “Foxhole” wind up as exciting to watch as they are to hear.

Still, it was the slower “Tom’s Trip” that was the highlight of their set. Burghart played without a rack tom — his kit just the snare and bass drums and a floor tom, crash, ride and hi-hat — and that got me thinking about the balance for a drummer between stripping things down to force more creative play and oversimplifying. It’s easy for a drummer, provided he or she can afford it, to adorn a kit with extra toms, cowbells, wood blocks, china cymbals and the rest, but Burghart‘s minimal drumset worked to both his interests and those of the songs, and the play from the snare on his left to the floor tom on his right was a big part of what made “Tom’s Trip” so much fun. The song also reaffirmed that as bombastic and vibrant as The Midnight Ghost Train are on any given night, they’re also readily capable of locking in a stoner rock groove and letting it ride where and when they want it to.

All that feeds into the notion of their unpredictability, which is one of their strongest assets. They have a set context for themselves, but within that, you can never be quite sure where they’re headed. Shouts rose up when they finished for one more song, so they encored with “Southern Belle,” Moss rounding out the set by asking how much he should make it hurt, and then they were quickly done. With work in the morning and the drive back to Jersey ahead, I said a quick thanks and goodnight and split out back to my car, not knowing I’d spend the better part of the next hour in Holland Tunnel traffic.

And I won’t lie to you, there was a moment when — stuck in the tunnel after 1AM, having not moved for 10 minutes because of something no one could see or understand, as discordant chorus of car horns and New York-accented shouts rose up all around me — I really thought I was going to die there in that spot. There was a strange sub-harmony to the horns, and their futility — no one even knew what they were honking at — gave the anger driving them a melancholy edge. Sad, hopeless assholes, stuck in a tunnel together. No doubt after 12 hours, the weak among us would’ve been dismembered and eaten; my own flesh stripped off and cured, like bacon, for breakfast around what for the rest of the world would’ve been sunrise. No sunrise for tunnelfolk.

I barely escaped with my hide, and eventually got through to Jersey and back to my humble river valley, the driving rhythms of “Foxhole” still stuck in my head, where they remain. The Midnight Ghost Train were off the next day, and at The Station in Philly the night after (which is Saturday, tonight). All their tour dates domestic and abroad can be found on their website — they put them right out front. If the point hasn’t been made clear, they’re a highly recommended good time, and bound to improve whatever mood you might be in when you first show up.

Extra pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

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