Brain Pyramid Stream Debut Album Chasma Hideout in its Entirety

Posted in audiObelisk on September 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

brain pyramid

It’s good to get the basics covered. Grooving riffs, songs about space and monsters, a Kyuss influence, some blues. French heavy rock trio Brain Pyramid hit their marks on their debut full-length, Chasma Hideout. The album will be released on Oct. 1 by Acid Cosmonaut Records, and shortly thereafter, the three-piece — guitarist/vocalist Gaston Lainé, bassist Ronan Grall and drummer Baptiste Gautier-Lorenzo – head out on a European tour to support. They’re newcomers, having formed just at the end of 2012, but as the seven tracks of Chasma Hideout demonstrate, they know what makes stoner rock go.

They have a structured but still jammy approach, as the Sabbathian beginning of “Lucifer” unfolds topped with psychedelic guitar effects swirl, and a crisply layered production that results in a fat, front-of-the-speaker kind of sound. The preceding “Landing on the Pyramind” offers bluesy bounce after the jammier open of “Living in the Outer Space” and subsequent shuffle of “Lazy,” and while “Lucifer” is about as far into doom as Brain Pyramid move, they never lose sight of the heavy psych elements at work in what they do. It’s their propensity for making these sounds cohesive that makes the album a satisfying listen — how Lainé tears into a solo just as the tempo kicks up or how Grall‘s bass subtly carries the melody of “Twin Headed Giant” — and while they’re far from reinventing the wheel sonically, they’re starting out ahead of the game by working to find a place of their own within thebrain pyramid chasma hideout style, learning the rules even as they determine which ones they want to break and how they want to go about it.

The boogie runs strong in “Into the Lightspeed” — if you’re wondering about the extra “the”s in that title and “Living in the Outer Space,” it could be a translation issue, it could be on purpose — and which incorporates some organ to go with the wah bass jam, spaced out guitar and Gautier-Lorenzo‘s thudding tom rolls. They ebb and flow and get hypnotic across that song and the 11-minute closing title-track, though it’s probably the latter that makes Chasma Hideout‘s definitive statement, pushing away from verses and choruses for a linear instrumental build based around psychedelic soundscaping early and extra-blown-out fuzz later on, Lainé shredding a head-turner of a solo before embarking on the riffing that will carry the record to its raucous conclusion, a wash of amp noise, rumble and feedback leading the way out in the last minute as Brain Pyramid make their exit on a final, fading tone.

While it’s true they still have some stuff they’re figuring out — vocals are a little high here and there, including on “Living in the Outer Space,” and there’s development to be undertaken all around — Chasma Hideout is all the more impressive considering these dudes have basically been a band for not quite two years’ time. Ahead of the aforementioned Oct. 1 release, I’m happy to be able to stream the album in full. Please find it on the player below, followed by their tour dates, and enjoy:

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

[TBC] Friday 10/10/14 : Le Mans
[TBC] Saturday 11/10/14
[TBC] Sunday 12/10/14
Monday 13/10/14 : Caen w/ Missingmile @ Le bocal
[TBC] Tuesday 14/10/14
Wednesday 15/10/14 : Amiens/w Cheap Wine
Thursday 16/10/14 : Lyon @ Trokson
Friday 17/10/14 : Montpellier @ Le MAT
[TBC] Saturday 18/10/14 : Perpignan/Toulouse
Sunday 19/10/14 : Barcelone @ rocksound
[TBC] Monday 20/10/14 : Valencia TBC
Tuesday 21/10//14 : Madrid @ Wurlitzer Ballroom w/Mr. Wilfried
Wednesday 22/10/14 : Ourense @ Centro Cultural Auriense
Thursday 23/10/14 : Lisboa @ Stairway Club
Friday 24/10/14 : Barcelos
Saturday 25/10/14 : Viseu @ fora de rebanho
[TBC] Sunday 26/10/14 @ Xijon
Tuesday 28/10/14 : Bilbao w/ The wizards
Wednesday 29/10/14 : Bordeaux @ Le Capharnaüm
Thursday 30/10/14 : Paris @ Le Klub
Saturday 1/11/14 : Tours @ Hurricane’s w/ Crackhouse booked
Wednesday 5/11/14 : Rennes @ Le Gazoline + Cuzo
[TBC] Thursday 6/11/14 : Alençon w/Birth of Joy
Tuesday 20/11/14 : Nantes @ Scène michelet w/ Fange

Brain Pyramid on Thee Facebooks

Acid Cosmonaut Records on Bandcamp

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Brain Pyramid to Tour Europe Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

brain pyramid

French trio Brain Pyramid seem to have recently suffered the loss of their boogie van. Yes, it looks like the “King of the Road” is going to be way too slow from here on out, and by that I mean not going anywhere because it broke down. I’m not sure what they’ll be hitting the road in to memorialize the vehicle — one imagines another, comparable van — but they’ve got another month to figure it out, with the string of Western European dates starting Oct. 10.

Their debut LP, Chasma Hideout, will be released by then on Acid Cosmonaut Records, and as you can see in the list, they’re still looking for help with a couple shows, so if you happen to be in Toulouse or Perpignan or Xijon and have a room that could use some riffs, you might want to drop them a line.

Here are the dates:

brain pyramid euro tour

Brain Pyramid was formed in November 2012, in Rennes (Brittany-France). This is the initiative of the actual lead guitarist Gaston Lainé and the drummer Baptiste Gautier-Lorenzo.

Influenced by the sweet old rock n roll (Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Sabbath, Motörhead, Blue Cheer, etc.), but also by stoner rock and actual psychedelic scene (Kyuss, Sleep, Nebula, Earthless, Orange Goblin, etc.) they decided to create a band to play like these masters.

After the release of their first EP Magic Carpet Ride, the former bassman left his place to Ronan Grall, spiritual Guru from the French Doom band Huata. Then they toured in Spain, Portugal, France, having some great gigs with bands like Blues Pills, The Atomic Bitchwax, Prisma Circus, Cuzo, Fungus…

Brain Pyramid is a Heavy Bluesy Stoner Psychedelic Rock And Roll band. They play loud enough to make you feel like blown by a LSD dose. They are actually searching for lots of gigs to expend their experience and grow up to the sun.

[TBC] Friday 10/10/14 : Le Mans
[TBC] Saturday 11/10/14
[TBC] Sunday 12/10/14
Monday 13/10/14 : Caen w/ Missingmile @ Le bocal
[TBC] Tuesday 14/10/14
Wednesday 15/10/14 : Amiens/w Cheap Wine
Thursday 16/10/14 : Lyon @ Trokson
Friday 17/10/14 : Montpellier @ Le MAT
[TBC] Saturday 18/10/14 : Perpignan/Toulouse
Sunday 19/10/14 : Barcelone @ rocksound
[TBC] Monday 20/10/14 : Valencia TBC
Tuesday 21/10//14 : Madrid @ Wurlitzer Ballroom w/Mr. Wilfried
Wednesday 22/10/14 : Ourense @ Centro Cultural Auriense
Thursday 23/10/14 : Lisboa @ Stairway Club
Friday 24/10/14 : Barcelos
Saturday 25/10/14 : Viseu @ fora de rebanho
[TBC] Sunday 26/10/14 @ Xijon
Tuesday 28/10/14 : Bilbao w/ The wizards
Wednesday 29/10/14 : Bordeaux @ Le Capharnaüm
Thursday 30/10/14 : Paris @ Le Klub
Saturday 1/11/14 : Tours @ Hurricane’s w/ Crackhouse booked
Wednesday 5/11/14 : Rennes @ Le Gazoline + Cuzo
[TBC] Thursday 6/11/14 : Alençon w/Birth of Joy
Tuesday 20/11/14 : Nantes @ Scène michelet w/ Fange

https://acidcosmonautrecords.bandcamp.com/album/chasma-hideout
https://www.facebook.com/acid.cosmonaut
https://www.facebook.com/brainpyramid

Brain Pyramid, “Living in the Outer Space”

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Pord Premiere “What are Tuesdays For?” from New Album Wild

Posted in audiObelisk on August 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

pord

French noisemaking trio Pord made their full-length debut in 2011 with Valparaiso, but they’ve been around for more than a decade, doling out punker punishment on various EPs, splits and singles, continuing to hone a craft that, by now, finds them blending elements of heavy rock thrust and post-metal tonal claustrophobia while still staying true to a raw, aggressive root. Their second album, Wild, will be released via Solar Flare Records on Sept. 8, and it’s a short title that fairly well summarizes the course of the record’s 40-minute span. Not short on atmosphere but sacrificing nothing in terms of efficiency in their pummel, Pord unveil a vicious strain of noise that’s anchored by deep low end and positioned sonically for righteous defiance.

In early tracks like opener “Staring into Space” and “I’m Swimming Home,” that comes through with a linear, building intensity, but for a song like “What are Tuesday For?,” it’s more of a constant bleed. Maddening drum fills underscore the song, while deep-mixed vocals ask the all-pivotal question, “What the fuck are Tuesdays for?” It’s like a conceptual art piece pord wildfor disillusion, and truth be told, I have no answer. In my experience, Tuesday is the most hopeless day of the week, and where at least with Monday one has fond memories of the weekend to draw on, Tuesday is further removed from that and still too far from the coming weekend to look forward to that. What the fuck are Tuesdays for? Despair? Overpriced turkey sandwich lunches? Beats the hell out of me.

Fortunately, the song feels like it’s doing the same thing. Pord‘s aggro take finds some sway in the snide “My Bloody Galantine” or “Pools ‘n’ Chicks,” but “What are Tuesdays For?” is less about attitude and more about forward directed drive, the album proving richer for being as multifaceted as it is before rounding out with the churning chaos of the 11-minute “On the Couch.” If you need to check out “What are Tuesdays For?” more than once to really get a feel for it, do so. It’s easy to feel outpaced by the song or like Pord — the trio of Mike, Max and Seb — are coming at you from multiple sides at once, but once you get a handle for the tension and release in the track, you’ll probably have a pretty good idea what the rest of your day is for.

Please enjoy:

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

Pord‘s Wild was recorded by Serge Morattel at Rec Studio in Geneva and is available now to preorder through Solar Flare on CD and LP. Album is out Sept. 8 with a European tour to follow. More info at the links:

Pord on Thee Facebooks

Pord on Bandcamp

Solar Flare Records

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Brain Pyramid to Release Chasma Hideout in October

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 19th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

brain pyramid

In a way, the photo above kind of says it all, right down to the The Atomic Bitchwax t-shirt. Dudes and reefer. I guess the only part not conveyed is the volume, and Brain Pyramid seem to have that working for them as well. The French trio will release their debut album, Chasma Hideout, through Acid Cosmonaut Records this October, at which point riffs will abound. No word on the exact date — i.e. when in October the record is due — but, you know, figure it’ll be along at some point after they’ve finished with everything in that field.

Cover art, track stream and info follow, care of the PR wire:

Acid Cosmonaut Records to release Chasma Hideout, the debut LP by Brain Pyramid

After the two last instrumental releases, Acid Cosmonaut Records is proud to announce its return to singing with Chasma Hideout, the debut album by French Heavy Psych trio Brain Pyramid!

Brain Pyramid was formed in November 2012, in Rennes (Brittany—France). This is the initiative of the actual lead guitarist Gaston Lainé and the drummer Baptiste Gautier-Lorenzo.

Influenced by the sweet old rock n roll (Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Sabbath, Motörhead, Blue Cheer, etc.), but also by stoner rock and actual psychedelic scene (Kyuss, Sleep, Nebula, Earthless, Orange Goblin, etc.) they decided to create a band to play like these masters.

After the release of their first EP Magic Carpet Ride, the former bassman left his place to Ronan Grall, spiritual Guru from the French Doom band Huata. Then they toured in Spain, Portugal, France, having some great gigs with bands like Blues Pills, The Atomic Bitchwax, Prisma Circus, Cuzo, Fungus…

Brain Pyramid is a Heavy Bluesy Stoner Psychedelic Rock And Roll band. They play loud enough to make you feel like blown by a LSD dose. They are actually searching for lots of gigs to expend their experience and grow up to the sun.

Chasma Hideout will be released this October. Stay tuned on our pages for updates!

https://acidcosmonautrecords.bandcamp.com/album/chasma-hideout
https://www.facebook.com/acid.cosmonaut
https://www.facebook.com/brainpyramid

Brain Pyramid, “Living in the Outer Space”

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Wino Wednesday: Spirit Caravan, “Dove-Tongued Aggressor” Live at Hellfest 2014

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 30th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

As an American, it’s hard for me to imagine the scale of an event like Hellfest, which takes place every June in Clisson, France, but certainly easy enough to admire it. The Valley stage seems to be here Hellfest hosts its Heavy, and from the likes of Black Pyramid to Neurosis to Unida, it’s a stage that’s been graced by some of the best bands the underground has to offer. This year, as part of their European reunion tour, Spirit CaravanWino on guitar/vocals, Dave Sherman on bass/vocals, Henry Vasquez on drums — made a stop at Hellfest as well, which seems only fitting. Wino had played there with The Obsessed a couple years back, and after appearances this spring at Desertfest and of course across the US, it’s a natural stop.

Perhaps it’s because I didn’t get to see them on their North American tour with Pilgrim that I’m so hung up on footage from the Spirit Caravan reunion gigs this year, or maybe it’s just that there’s so much video out there that I have a lot to choose from. Either way, the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. The clip below of “Dove-Tongued Aggressor” finds the three-piece locked into one of their most satisfying rolling grooves, Vasquez killing it on drums as he will while Sherman tilts his head back for the ride and Wino stands poised at the microphone like he’s about to fight it. Very, very cool video.

The song was featured earlier this year around the time the US dates were announced and comes from Spirit Caravan‘s swansong 2003 compilation, The Last Embrace. It’s one of the last tracks they’d record before splitting up, and echoes some of the themes Wino would later explore in The Hidden Hand, but as they showcase here, is still definitively a Spirit Caravan nod.

Enjoy and have a great Wino Wednesday:

Spirit Caravan, “Dove-Tongued Aggressor” Live at Hellfest 2014

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VIDEO PREMIERE: Mars Red Sky, “Hovering Satellites”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

I couldn’t be more thrilled to host the premiere of the new Mars Red Sky video for the track “Hovering Satellites.” Stranded in Arcadia, the Bordeaux fuzz-roller trio’s second album and Listenable Records debut from which the song comes, is easily among the best records I’ve heard this year (review here), refining the ultra-warm tones of Mars Red Sky‘s 2011 self-titled debut (review here) and complementing them with a far-out heavy psych expansion. I can’t think of another album that’s come along in 2014 that I’ve gone back to as much even since doing the review, so yeah, pretty much any chance I get to talk about how awesome it is, I’m gonna take it.

The new video is directed by Colin Manierka and it blends live footage (captured by Bartosch Salmanski) with psychedelic color work, space scenes and wave patterns, all feeding into the atmosphere of the song itself. We do indeed get to see the satellite hovering in orbit, as well as some artful details of Mars Red Sky — guitarist/vocalist Julien Pras, bassist/vocalist Jimmy Kinast and drummer Matgaz – on stage, but of course the highlight is the song itself, which perfectly encapsulates Stranded in Arcadia‘s accomplished melodic sensibility, heavy grooving and memorable songcraft. I’m a total nerd for the album, but the video makes my day anyhow.

Mars Red Sky recorded Stranded in Arcadia with Gabriel Zander in Brazil following their visas being denied by US customs — they had originally planned to put it to tape in the California desert — and the band is just off tour in Europe and preparing to head out again in June with appearances slated at Hellfest in Clisson and Germany’s Stoned from the Underground festival. Dates below.

Stranded in Arcadia is available now in Europe and out June 10 in North America on Listenable Records.

Enjoy:

Mars Red Sky on Tour:
06.01.14 – PARIS (Fr) La Cigale ***
06.20.14 – CLISSON (Fr) HELLFEST OPEN AIR
06.26.14 – SALLES-ABRUISSANNAS (Fr) Willstock Festival
06.27.14 – VIC LE COMTE (Fr) Festival Alambic
06.28.14 – ÉVREUX (Fr) Le Rock Dans Tous Ses États Festival
07.11.14 – ERFURT (Ger) STONED FROM THE UNDERGROUND FESTIVAL
10.02.14 – PARIS (Fr) La Maroquinerie

Mars Red Sky on Thee Facebooks

Mars Red Sky’s webstore

Listenable Records

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Mars Red Sky Premiere “The Light Beyond” from Stranded in Arcadia

Posted in audiObelisk on April 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Among the highlights of 2014 so far, Mars Red Sky‘s Stranded in Arcadia (review here) is out next week in Europe on Listenable Records (June 10 in North America). The album is the second from the Bordeaux trio of guitarist/vocalist Julien Pras, bassist/vocalist Jimmy Kinast and drummer Matgaz (his first), and it was put to tape in Brazil late last year after plans to tour the West Coast of the US and record in the California desert were undone by American visa troubles. Presumably the TSA saw Kinast‘s beard and assumed he was a terrorist, but I don’t know that for sure.

Either way, listening to Stranded in Arcadia – as I can’t seem to stop doing — the three-piece leaves little doubt that they made the most of their situation. Like their 2011 self-titled debut (review here) and subsequent 2013 EP, Be My Guide (review here), there’s a humility in the sweet melodies that complement the huge fuzz riffs of songs like “Hovering Satellites” and “Seen a Ghost,” but as opener and longest cut at just over eight minutes “The Light Beyond” shows, Mars Red Sky have greatly expanded their sound to include more psychedelic atmospheres. Production-wise, Stranded in Arcadia unfolds gracefully into a sprawl the largesse of which not only serves to make the tones come across thick and/or echoing, but also to provide the landscape in which the next stage of the band’s songwriting can develop, coming into focus like an old Polaroid photo as “The Light Beyond” bursts to wah-soaked life from its soft, ambient intro.

Like “Join the Race,” “Seen a Ghost,” and the more swaggering “Circles,” “The Light Beyond” is a highlight of Stranded in Arcadia, but for anyone who heard the first record or its follow-up EP, the song also offers firm evidence of how Mars Red Sky have grown in the last couple years. More than that, it’s the kind of track that feels like it’s swallowing you whole as it eases between its verses and jammed-out vibing. Taking both into consideration, there was no way I wasn’t going to stream it when the opportunity arose.

Find and enjoy “The Light Beyond” on the player below, followed by info about Mars Red Sky‘s special May 15 release show in Bordeaux and other tour dates:

Into The Mars Red Sound » may 15th in Bordeaux!

On the occasion of the release of their new album ”Stranded In Arcadia” in Europe on April 28th, MARS RED SKY announced a release party in their hometown Bordeaux on May 15th. The band will perform a classic live set alongside Russian rockers The Grand Astoria, as well as an experimental video and sound creation featuring Julia Al Abed.

Mars Red Sky on tour:

04.26.14 – SAINTES (Fr) Coconut Party
05.06.14 – ESCH SUR ALZETTE (Lux) Rockhal ***
05.07.14 – LAUSANNE (Swz) Les Docks *** w/ Detroit
05.08.14 – AMIENS (Fr) Le Cirque Jules Verne ***
05.15.14 – BORDEAUX (Fr) Barbey, Release Party “Into The Mars Red Sound”
05.17.14 – ANGOULÊME (Fr) La Nef
06.01.14 – PARIS (Fr) La Cigale ***
06.20.14 – CLISSON (Fr) HELLFEST OPEN AIR
06.26.14 – SALLES-ABRUISSANNAS (Fr) Willstock Festival
06.27.14 – VIC LE COMTE (Fr) Festival Alambic
06.28.14 – ÉVREUX (Fr) Le Rock Dans Tous Ses États Festival
07.11.14 – ERFURT (Ger) STONED FROM THE UNDERGROUND FESTIVAL
10.02.14 – PARIS (Fr) La Maroquinerie

Preorder Stranded in Arcadia at Listenable Records

Mars Red Sky on Thee Facebooks

Listenable Records

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Aqua Nebula Oscillator US Tour Starts April 23

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

French psych rockers Aqua Nebula Oscillator will spend three weeks on the road in the US starting April 23 and including slots at Austin Psych Fest and Scion Rock Fest. A run that’s the better part of a month long and apparently the precursor to more touring on the West Coast is a bold undertaking for the spacey outfit, who released their fourth album, Spiritus Mundi, late last year on Tee Pee Records, but as you can see in the list of dates below, they’re playing with some killer acts along the way, including King Buffalo, The Golden Grass and Electric Citizen. Keeping good company always helps.

The PR wire puts it like this:

French Psych Rockers AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR Announce U.S. Tour Dates

Major Market Trek to Include High Profile Performances as Part of Austin Pysch Fest and Scion Rock Fest

Celebrated French underground psych rock trio AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR has announced a U.S. tour in support of its new album Spiritus Mundi. Now, with a head of steam and an established name in the U.S., AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR will perform the first-ever U.S. live shows of its storied career. The tour will kick off on April 23 in NYC and include A-level performances as part of both the Austin Psych Fest (May 2) and Scion Rock Fest (May 17).

AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR — formed in 2000 by David Sphaèr’os — creates utterly unique and fantastically tripped out occult psych rock inspired by parallel dimensions, voodoo, ethnic trance, horror and cult movies (from the 1920’s to the 60’s), painters like Hieronymus Bosch and Salvador Dali, dark underground literature (H. P. Lovecraft, Isidore Ducasse, Antonin Artaud), aliens and UFOs! A modern mix of Krautrock / motorik with Hawkwind-style psychedelia, Hendrix-styled, ultra tripped out guitar action and an apocalyptic, Raw Power energy, AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR’s mind-burning, dark and dirty “chaos-sound” is a cauldron full of seething, psychedelic rock. ANO looks and sounds like it was buried in a tomb in the late 60’s / 70’s and has just been dug up, ready to resume its wild sound-making once again.

AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR tour dates:
April 23 Manhattan, NY Pianos (Free, Midnight show)
April 24 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus Bar (w/ WHITE HILLS)
April 25 Philadelphia, PA Dobbs
April 26 York, PA The Depot (w/ The Golden Grass )
April 27 Baltimore, MD Holy Frijoles (* FREE show w/ The Golden Grass)
April 28 Richmond, VA Strange Matter (w/ ZOMBIE ZOMBIE)
April 29 Asheville, NC Double Crown
April 30 Atlanta, GA 529 (w/ Abby Gogo)
May 1 Mobile, AL Music Box (w/ Electric Sheep)
May 2 Austin, TX As part of Austin Psych Fest
May 5 Little Rock, AR Vino’s
May 6 Nashville, TN The Other Basement
May 7 Cincinnati, OH MOTR Pub (w/ Electric Citizen)
May 8 Pittsburgh, PA Brillo Box (w/ Shaky Shrines)
May 9 Rochester, NY Bug Jar (w/ Roz and the Rice Cakes)
May 10 Providence, RI Firehouse 13 (w/ Nervous Virgins)
May 12 Manhattan, NY Pianos
May 17 Pomona, CA * As part of Scion Rock Fest

AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR is: David Sphaèr’os (Guitar, Vox, Sithar and Organ, Master Of Ceremony), Adrian Bang (Drums, Orchestra Conductor), Andreas Carrere (oscillation, organ, flute, backing vocals) and Alexis Raphaeloff (Bass, EarthQuaker). Follow the group on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1410504235866643/
https://www.facebook.com/aquanebulaoscillator
https://twitter.com/aquanebulaosc

Aqua Nebula Oscillator, “Dead Soul” official video

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Mars Red Sky Announce Stranded in Arcadia Release Show

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

The North American release date for Mars Red Sky‘s stellar sophomore full-length, Stranded in Arcadia (review here), is June 10. In Europe, it’s out April 28. I guess in setting up their release show, the French fuzz trio decided to split the difference. On May 15, they’ll play their native Bordeaux on a bill that includes Russian progressive heavy rockers The Grand Astoria as openers and a live video/audio collaboration with Julia Al Abed. It’s an evening they’ve billed as “Into the Mars Red Sound.”

As one would have to imagine, there’s a video teaser that gives a closer look at the event, and you can find that below, included for the double reason that it also provides an audio sample of opener “The Light Beyond” from Stranded in Arcadia, which is easily among the best albums I’ve heard thus far into 2014, with a sound that builds on the rolling fuzz of Mars Red Sky‘s first album and furthers a lush heavy psychedelia without sacrificing the humanity at the core of their approach. No easy feat — they just make it sound that way.

Dig it:

Into The Mars Red Sound » may 15th in Bordeaux!

New Album : April 28th for Europe & June 10th for North America.

On the occasion of the release of their new album ”Stranded In Arcadia” in Europe on April 28th, MARS RED SKY announced a release party in their hometown Bordeaux on May 15th. The band will perform a classic live set alongside Russian rockers The Grand Astoria, as well as an experimental video and sound creation featuring Julia Al Abed.

Infos and presales available here :
http://www.rockschool-barbey.com/conc…

Music : Julia Al Abed (fields recording) / Mars Red Sky : “The Light Beyond” From the album “Stranded in Arcadia” (Listenable Records) Recorded and mixed by Gabriel Zander in Rio de Janeiro.

Teaser : Colin Manierka

https://www.facebook.com/events/1420580848195545/
http://www.facebook.com/marsredsky
https://twitter.com/#!/marsRedSky1
http://marsredsky.bigcartel.com
https://marsredsky.net
http://www.listenable.net/

Mars Red Sky, “Into the Mars Red Sound” teaser

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Mars Red Sky, Stranded in Arcadia: Light in Orbit

Posted in Reviews on March 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

There can be little question that Stranded in Arcadia is not the album that Mars Red Sky set out to make, or at very least that it wasn’t made under the intended conditions. The best laid plan of the forerunning French heavy psych rockers was to do a week of shows in South America before heading north to the California desert to track their second full-length and Listenable Records debut, but the usual visa issues (what my country has against importing quality guitar tone, I’ll never know) kept them in Rio de Janeiro for that week instead, and rather than go home without a record done, they hit Estúdio Superfuzz to put to tape with Gabriel Zander what eventually became the eight-song/45-minute long-player that takes its title from the circumstances of its creation. Stranded in Arcadia sounds better in any case than “stuck in Rio” would have, and speaking as someone who’s become a fan of the band since the 2011 release of their self-titled debut (review here), it’s hard to argue with the results in the finished product. Even from last year’s Be My Guide EP (review here), Stranded in Arcadia marks audible progress in the psychedelic, airy feel from guitarist/vocalist Julien Pras, bassist/vocalist Jimmy Kinast and drummer Matgaz, who makes his proper debut here after first appearing on part of the shorter 2013 release.

What has made Mars Red Sky such an utter joy on the ears to this point has been the smoothness with which they tie that heavy psychedelia to both a melodic sweetness and a huge-tone desert rock groove. Listening to Stranded in Arcadia tracks like “Hovering Satellites” the later “Seen a Ghost” and the ultra-swinging “Holy Mondays,” on which Kinast joins Pras for vocals in the verse only to take the lead for the chorus — something also done on the self-titled’s “Marble Sky,” but achieved more confidently here — I’m glad to find these elements are enhanced if anything, and that while there’s more impact to the tones and the notes seem to land with more of a thud than the prior LP or EP, that comes at no sacrifice of melody. Indeed, on “Join the Race,” Mars Red Sky are their most unabashedly blissful yet, tapping a psych-era Beatles influence for one of Stranded in Arcadia‘s most effective hooks. Those are not in short supply, incidentally. Where the self-titled nestled into the rolling grooves of “Way to Rome,” “Strong Reflection” and the extra dreamy “Up the Stairs,” the second outing seems to build on these accomplishments with the expansive but efficient craft of “Circles,” “Join the Race” and opener and longest track at 8:04 (immediate points) “The Light Beyond,” which explodes from an initial far-off guitar line into otherworldly vocals and elephantine plod, only then to unfold the first of Stranded in Arcadia‘s highlight choruses in tones more weighted but no less patient than one could hope given the band’s work up to this point.

If I seem locked into comparing Stranded in Arcadia with its predecessor releases from Mars Red Sky, perhaps that’s because there’s so little else one might relate in terms of the band’s methods. Mars Red Sky have very quickly, very masterfully become a singular act within heavy psych, and quite frankly there’s nobody else so able to maintain their balance of lush melody, tonal heft, jammy sensibility, memorable songwriting and unmistakable groove. That Stranded in Arcadia held firm to these is triumph enough, but to hear “Hovering Satellites” kick in with Matgaz‘s double-bass drumming and send its quicker roll headfirst into the wide-open chorus easily positions the album among the most satisfying I’ve heard thus far into 2014. An already fervent appreciation deepens as “Hovering Satellites” moves into a wah-soaked guitar-led jam, only to have the instruments drop out as Pras begins a return to the chorus with just his echoing vocals, setting up a build that will play out over the remaining 90-plus seconds. “Holy Mondays” is the shortest of the actual songs here — closer “Beyond the Light” is a two-and-a-half-minute reprieve of “The Light Beyond” — but solidifies around the dually-delivered singing of Kinast and Pras to set in stone a specific point of progression on the part of the band and one I hope they continue to develop going forward, Kinast‘s lower register approach meshing well with Pras‘ higher range, which gets further showcase  on the aforementioned chorus of “Join the Race,” which follows.

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Alcest Interview with Neige: Shelter by the Sea

Posted in Features on February 7th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

There’s a point at which an artist has to decide why and for whom he or she creates, and for French post-black metal innovators Alcest, that point seems to have been during the recording of their 2012 full-length, Les Voyages de l’Âme (review here). As guitarist, vocalist, keyboardist, founder and principle songwriter Stéphane “Neige” Paut recalls, it was during this time that he began to feel as though he was playing to routine, making music more to please his fans and to meet expectations than to answer the call of his own creativity. If there was any question where Neige might end up on that issue, certainly the band’s fourth album, Shelter (review here), puts them to rest.

Released through Prophecy Productions and recorded in Iceland by Birgir Jón Birgisson (Sigur Rós), Shelter maintains the emotional core that’s been at the center of Alcest‘s approach since their groundbreaking 2007 debut, Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde. What’s changed is the context in which that signature element arrives. Shelter dispatches with most (not all) of the band’s black metal influence, Neige and drummer Jean “Winterhalter” Deflandre opting instead to shift their focus to a dreamy, bright melodicism which has always been there in Alcest‘s sound, but has never come to the fore in the way it does now, post-intro album opener “Opale” working quickly to establish a new clean, clear tonal foundation that songs like “L’Éveil des Muses” and “Voix Sereines” build on with the band’s signature shoegazing adventurousness.

One could easily argue that adventurousness has never been more prominent in Alcest‘s approach than it is on Shelter, both in terms of departing from what they’d established as their “norm” to unknown aesthetic ground, and in more obvious factors like choosing an English word for the title and bringing Slowdive‘s Neil Halstead to sing lead on “Away,” one of the album’s most central melodic washes. I spoke to Neige about these things and more prior to Alcest beginning a European tour with Hexvessel that wraps up this week in support of Shelter. He was both conscious of the changes in his band’s sound and of Shelter‘s potential to alienate some of their following, but resigned in having to do what he had to do to keep the band going. As much as it was one, his choice clearly had been made.

Please find the Q&A enclosed after the jump, and enjoy:

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The Socks, The Socks: Voice in the Mountain

Posted in Reviews on February 6th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

There are two ways to approach the self-titled debut from French four-piece The Socks. You can say, “Oh, it’s retro,” and immediately make your comparisons to Kadavar, to Graveyard, etc., and either write it off or dig in as you will based on your opinions on those bands and heavy ’70s devotees in general. Or you can listen to the thing. Life is short, and frankly, either is a valid-enough way to go, but I’ve found the latter to be the more satisfying route. There’s no taking away from the fact that songs like “Some Kind of Sorcery” and “The Last Dragon” have a strong earlier Graveyard influence, but “Next to the Light” goes right to the Sabbathian source to bounce vocalist Julien Méret‘s lead guitar off of “War Pigs,” and throughout the album, on that track, on “Gypsy Lady,” closer “The Last Dragon” and on “Holy Sons,” The Socks distinguish themselves through the keyboard work of rhythm guitarist/backing vocalist Nicolas Baud, who adds Mellotron and organ sounds to add melodic depth to the fluid rhythms of bassist Vincent Melay and drummer Jessy Ensenat. When they boogie — and they do — there’s plenty familiar about it, and if that were all The Socks had to offer, the album would be almost entirely redundant, but there are more than a few turns between parts, cuts in tempo or launches into speedy shuffle, that serve to showcase The Socks as a dynamic songwriting act in their own right.

Couple that with a production more modern than either of the aforementioned touchstones of the style, and the Lyon foursome seem to be headed somewhere else within the classic heavy framework. In both their speedier material — the rush of “Some Kind of Sorcery,” though met with an impressive slowdown in its middle third, is immediate and indicative of The Socks at their fastest here — and in the more languid grooves of songs like “Holy Sons,” on which Ensenat effectively propels the build with organic-sounding kick, the band is confident, well assured of where they want pieces to go. Structurally traditional, songs have their hooks, but don’t come across as being written solely to get stuck in the audience’s head. “Electric War” finds Méret and Baud working well together on vocals in what sounds like a dynamic that will continue to develop as The Socks progress, but catchy as that track’s chorus is, the more lasting impression is leaves comes from the stomp in its midsection and the ease with which the band plays one rhythm off the other. They’ve been a band for half a decade (if you’re interested in reading their bio, I wrote it), and a grip on time changes like theirs doesn’t develop without considerable stage time, but it still feels like early mastery of pitting slowdowns and speedups against each other — that is, something they brought to the table initially instead of something that evolved over the course of their two prior EPs, 2011’s Side A and 2012’s Bedrock, and the songwriting for the self-titled. Either way, it’s there, and it’s a big part of the album’s appeal.

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audiObelisk: The Socks Premiere “Gypsy Lady” from Self-Titled Debut

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

I guess if we’re talking about side B of French retro rockers The Socks‘ self-titled debut LP, then that would make “Gypsy Lady” a deep cut. The foursome from Lyon are getting ready to release their eponymous long-player on Small Stone on March 18, and where the prior-leaked “Some Kind of Sorcery” from the record showcased a vintage-minded boogie almost singularly indebted to Graveyard — at least for the part of it that wasn’t indebted (as we all are) to Sabbath — “Gypsy Lady” shows that’s not the only tool that The Socks have at their disposal, using organ to pepper a kind of stutter groove that’s as much Alice Cooper Band as it is modern heavy psychedelia.

Vocalist/guitarist Julien Méret solos fluidly over fellow six-stringer/backing vocalist Nicolas Baud‘s keyboard work as drummer Jessy Ensenat sets the march and bassist Vincent Melay runs around and through the riffs in heavy ’70s tradition. If “Gypsy Lady” has anything in common with “Some Kind of Sorcery” — other than being the same band on the same album, duh — it’s a righteous slowdown, this one arriving after two minutes into the track’s total five, marked out by insistent wah in the guitar and a classically doomed stomp in the rhythm section, giving way to a screaming lead and tense build back up to the original shuffle.

Add to this a potent hook and I’m not sure what else one could reasonably ask of The Socks that they’re not delivering. Elsewhere, their self-titled delves further into psychedelic influences, further broadening their creative spectrum, rounding out with the six-and-a-half-minute “The Last Dragon,” which sadly is not a cover of the theme from the 1985 Berry Gordy-produced film of the same name, but for now, “Gypsy Lady” should give enough of a sense ofThe Socks’ take on analog vibes and the organic way in which they present a nascent but already widening sonic perspective.

Please find “Gypsy Lady” on the player below, and enjoy:

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

The SocksThe Socks is due out March 18 on CD and LP through Small Stone Records. The band are also set to play the Stone Rising festival in Lyon this April and are booking other dates for the Spring. More info at the following links.

The Socks on Thee Facebooks

The Socks website

The Socks at Small Stone’s Bandcamp

Small Stone Records

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Mars Red Sky Sign to Listenable Records; New Album Due in April

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 28th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

There wasn’t really any doubt that Mars Red Sky, who toured the world more or less as an independent band, were going to end up on some label, just a question of which and when. Those questions have been answered by the announcement this morning that the Bordeaux trio have inked a deal with Listenable Records in time to have their second full-length out in April, preceded by a limited 7″ with exclusive material. Good news all around, and most importantly, it gets the album here sooner than later. Should make for a good spring soundtrack.

O! PR wire! Sing unto me of fuzz and laid back groovy rock and roll!

MARS RED SKY sign to Listenable Records; new album released this Spring.

France’s stoner rock emblematic trio MARS RED SKY just inked a deal with European record label Listenable Records, on which the band will release its brand new full-length as well as a 7’’ EP, both set for release this spring.

Considered as one of the greats of the European stoner rock scene, France based MARS RED SKY have gained international recognition thanks to a unique sound imprint based on thick infectious grooves and melodic aerial guitar riffs. This is truly a one of a kind experience, wrapped up by Julien Pras’ ethereal vocals, Matgaz’ powerful rhythms and Jimmy Kinast’s pachydermic bass lines. Somewhere between doom metal and 70’s psyche pop, the Mars Red Sound intrigues to begin with, after which it irremediably attracts the masses to celebrate this cosmic ritual of solar burning fuzz and reverberated atmospheres.

Driven by the huge success of their eponymous debut record, which was recorded in Spain’s mystic Bardenas desert and released in 2011, the Bordelais were quickly invited to play on the largest European stages with Kyuss Lives!, Dinosaur Jr, Sleep, and popular festivals such as Eurockéennes de Belfort (Fr), Roadburn (NL), London and Berlin Desertfest, Sziget Festival (Hun), SXSW (USA), leading them to play in more than 20 countries.

With their incredibly heavy and hypnotic performances, MARS RED SKY have been considered as one of the most thrilling live acts among the international stoner rock scene. In 2012, they paired up with French doom metal monsters Year Of No Light to release a 3-track split record, which sold out in a blink of an eye.

The release of their EP “Be My Guide” in the spring of 2013 prophetically opened the path for an extensive tour across Europe, then across the Atlantic Ocean for a few exciting gigs in Latin America, where they recorded their new album, due out in April 2014 on LISTENABLE RECORDS (Ghost, Gojira, Behemoth…).

A limited edition 7” EP containing exclusive material will be released in March, more details coming shortly.

MARS RED SKY upcoming tour dates:

Feb. 05 – La Roche Sur Yon, Le Fuzz Yon (Fr)
Feb. 27 – Larissa, Stage Club (Greece)
Feb. 28 – Thessaloniki, Eightball Club (Greece)
Mar. 01 – Athens, Six D.O.G.S (Greece)
Mar. 21 – La Teste de Buch, Le Zik Zak (Fr)
Jun. 20 – Clisson, Hellfest Open Air (Fr)

http://www.marsredsky.bigcartel.com/
http://marsredsky.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marsredskyband
http://www.listenable.net/

Mars Red Sky, Be My Guide (2013)

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Mars Red Sky Announce New Album Release for April; Touring Spain and Greece

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 8th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster


When it’s released in April, I’ll be even more interested to hear how Mars Red Sky‘s second album has turned out. The French inner-peace-through-fuzz-tone gurus were set to record the follow-up to their 2011 self-titled debut (review here) in the Californian desert to coincide with a West Coast tour following a run last fall in South America. It would seem the Dept. of Homeland Security had other ideas.

As I understand it, Mars Red Sky wound up spending a week in Rio de Janeiro (clearly a hardship, judging by the photo above) and did some work at Estúdio Superfuzz with Gabriel Zander before returning to France and presumably finishing it there. Not at all what they had planned, and though it seems to have worked out, I can’t imagine it wasn’t viciously frustrating at the time. Another heavy band falls victim to the fascist American security state.

To lead the way for the new record, the title of which has yet to be revealed, Mars Red Sky will issue a 7″ with a studio version of the track “Satellites,” which you can hear live below, coupled with an instrumental captured at Desertfest 2013 in London. I remember that. It was awesome.

They’ve also got some tour dates lined up for Spain and Greece, but here’s just a sliver of news about what’s easily one of my most anticipated records for this year:

New album for us in April and a first 7′ for march (including this song called “Satellites” in a studio version + an instrumental live track from London Desert Fest. as B Side). Thanks so much for your support !

Feel free to share and spread, we re almost 10000 on this page ! Next shows :

01/23 DONOSTIA (Sp) Mogambo
01/24 BARCELONA (Sp) Rocksound
01/25 ZARAGOZA (Sp) Pub Eccos
01/26 MADRID (Sp) Wurlitzer Balroom
02/05 LA ROCHE SUR YON (85) Le Fuzz Yon
02/27 LARISSA (Gr) Stage Club
02/28 THESSALONIKI (Gr) Eightball Club
03/01 ATHENES (Gr) Six D.O.G.S
03/01 LA TESTE DE BUCH (33) Le Zik Zac
06/20 HELLFEST !!!!!!!!

More shows to come soon !

All records available on streaming : http://marsredsky.bandcamp.com/
Webshop : http://marsredsky.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marsredskyband

Mars Red Sky, “Satellites” Live in Mariehamn, Nov. 30, 2013

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