Okay, so this one apparently came out earlier this month, because apparently it’s late-March, and apparently it’s 2017 and I don’t know about you but I feel like maybe I got stuck mentally somewhere back around 2014 and everything since then has just kind of been a blaze with which I’ve been completely inept at keeping up. Sorry, what were we talking about?
Right. Split. Hangman’s Chair. Greenmachine. France and Japan, respectively. Doom on sludge. Music Fear Satan and Daymare Recordings. Tits and bondage on the cover. Blah on that. Pretty sure those are the basics.
Those of you with tabs on such things might recall Greenmachine are veterans of Man’s Ruin Records once upon a time, which is about as close as a band can come in my book to automatic cred. They’ve split up and reformed a few times since and had an EP out last year. Hangman’s Chair, meanwhile, issued their most recent full-length, This isn’t Supposed to be Positive, back in 2015, and it seems pretty fair to assume it lived up to its title.
The PR wire has release details and a video from Hangman’s Chair. Dive in:
HANGMAN’S CHAIR/GREENMACHINE split VINYL LP, new MUSIC FEAR SATAN release
The new Music Fear Satan release : a split record featuring the heavy weight french doom metal band HANGMAN’S CHAIR and the famous japanese stoner band GREENMACHINE.
“After their last acclaimed full-length record “This is not supposed to be positive” (2015), HANGMAN’S CHAIR is back and teams up with the stoner japanese veterans GREENMACHINE for a split LP. We can easily recognize the HANGMAN’S CHAIR style along their two new songs with this mix of heavy guitar parts and melodic vocals. GREENMACHINE offers us a new long track divided in multiple parts. The split is released on CD via the japanese label Daymare Recordings and on vinyl through Musicfearsatan (700 copies, 300 on pink and 400 on black)”
tracklisting : SIDE A 1. HANGMAN’S CHAIR – give and take 2. HANGMAN’S CHAIR – can’t talk
A new Mars Red Sky EP can only be good news. In the past, short releases like the 2016 Providence EP (review here), 2013’s Be My Guide EP (review here) and their 2012 collaboration with Year of No Light, Green Rune White Totem (discussed here) have provided the Bordeaux, France, trio with the opportunity to conduct sonic experiments that have helped fuel the progression seen across their three (to-date) full-lengths. Most of all, the interaction between Providence and last year’s Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (review here) was direct and loaded with purpose. Does that mean the same thing will happen this time around? Not necessarily, but if they’re putting together the release as a 15- or 20-minute single-song outing, that means they’re still feeling out new territory, and that’s an excellent sign.
As that comes together, Mars Red Sky continue to support last year’s long-player as well. They’ve got copious festival dates coming up this Spring and Summer, including Desertfest Berlin 2017, Hellfest and Download, and they’ve newly announced shows in Portugal and Spain for May that you can see below.
If that’s not enough, I also hear there’s a video in the works for “Under the Hood” from Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul), so keep an eye out. I’ll be posting that sooner or later once it’s out.
Here’s their update:
Mars Red Sky – New EP is coming with summer – Spain & Portugal Tour
The band is happy to announce they’ve been working well on putting bits and pieces together for what looks to be an epic, spacy 15/20-minute instrumental featuring alien textures, the usual pounding of heavy drums over psych/doomy riffs and most likely complete with the cameo appearance from their loyal Ghost Choir. All that will be committed to tape and pressed on 12” picture disc vinyl, due next summer.
We’ll have a couple of concerts in Spain & Portugal in May ! Take a look at this poster, we will soon have t-shirts with this artwork.
Mar 17 La Ferronnerie Jurançon, France Mar 18 Cosmic Fest Vitoria, Spain Mar 21 Le Bikini Ramonville-St-Agne, France Apr 07 Cluricaume Café Poitiers, France Apr 08 Insert Name Festival Liège, Belgium Apr 29 Desertfest Berlin Berlin, Germany May 05 La Grange à Musique Creil, France Jun 03 Bergerie Rock Sizun, France Jun 09 Download Festival Brétigny-Sur-Orge, France Jun 15 House Of The Holy Lichtenau, Austria Jun 17 Hellfest Clisson, France Jun 24 Rock In Bourlon Bourlon, France Jul 21 Raut-Oak Festival Riegsee, Germany Jul 30 Xtreme Fest Albi, France Aug 05 Sylak Open Air Saint-Maurice-De-Gourdans, France
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Themes of looming threat, wistful emotional longing and self-reflection might not be new ground for French outfit Les Discrets, but if you figured you knew what to expect from Fursy Teyssier and company, the 2016 Virée Nocturne EP (review here) should probably have cured you of that. On April 21, Les Discrets will offer Prédateurs, a follow-up full-length to that short release that features the EP’s title-track among newer cuts, and as Teyssier promises a darker vision, one can only take him at his word. Interesting that he notes twice in the info below about traveling via train, since that seems to be what closer “Lyon – Paris 7h34” directly references — a scheduled departure time.
Will look forward to hearing how this one turns out, but then, I always do when it comes to Les Discrets. If it’s the way you like to roll, preorders are up now from Prophecy Productions, as the PR wire informs:
Les Discrets to Release New Album, ‘Prédateurs’, April 21
Post-Everything Duo Takes Cinematic Sound to “Much Darker” Places on Upcoming LP
Lyon, France dark dreamweavers LES DISCRETS return with Prédateurs, their first full-length album in five years. Ever-evolving, the sound of LES DISCRETS in 2017 takes a stylistic shift which sees the band’s dreamy shoegaze and metallic tinged post-rock colored with a heavy post-punk influence and electronic chill while incorporating inspiration from trip-hop and 70’s film soundtracks. Prédateurs will be released on April 21 via Prophecy Productions (Alcest, DOOL).
Known through his work as part of the bands Alcest and Amesoeurs, French songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist, visual artist and film director Fursy Teyssier founded LES DESCRETS in 2003. On the topic of the new album, Fursy comments, “Prédateurs is an album that was five years in the making and will take time to get into. This is a record for late evenings, night driving, journeys on a train, or for those moments we usually think about the meaning of life and things, when we have nothing else to do but sitting and waiting.”
Described as “the soundtrack of a slow film noir happening in a train where the journey leads the auditor to several places seen from the windows”, Prédateurs is a cinematographic, urban album shaped by steel, concrete, snow and electricity. Easy on the ears, Prédateurs interprets the familiar music and melodies of LES DESCRETS with new instruments, approach and ambition. Although its shape has changed, the feeling of the music, its atmosphere and its essential core has remained the same. The songs focus on the concept of predation (the preying of one animal on others) as well as time, nature and life. Prédateurs is the album that – in founder Teyssier’s eyes – now shapes the proper identity of LES DESCRETS.
Prédateurs is not only a new start in terms of music for the band, but also presents a change on the visual level. For the first time, Teyssier – himself a celebrated visual artist and animated film director – has collaborated with an outside graphic designer on the visual appearance of a LES DESCRETS release. The British artist Chris Friel, who combines painting with photography in a unique way, has become a huge inspiration for Fursy. Friel’s work has even subconsciously leaked into the roadmap of the band’s music.
Prédateurs is advanced by the 4-track EP, Virée Nocturne, which was first made available to attendees of last summer’s Prophecy Fest.
“I feel that Les Discrets has its own wings now, free of the influences of post-rock, post-black or post-anything constraints,” he offers. “‘Prédateurs’ is even darker than the older albums. Much, much darker. But just like older albums, some sparks of hope remain.”
Track listing: 1.) Prédateurs 2.) Virée Nocturne 3.) Les Amis de Minuit 4.) Vanishing Beauties 5.) Fleur des Murailles 6.) Le Reproche 7.) Les Jours d’Or 8.) Rue Octavio Mey 9.) The Scent Of Spring (Moonraker) 10.) Lyon – Paris 7h34
[Click play above to hear the premiere of ‘At the Beginning’ from Libido Fuzz’s A Guide into Synesthesia. Album is out next month on Pink Tank Records.]
Bordeaux-based three-piece Libido Fuzz return on Pink Tank Records with A Guide into Synesthesia, their second full-length, and with it set up a linear course running from blazed-out boogie rock to hard-impact psychedelic blues jams. A 41-minute/six-song outing, it follows 2015’s Kaleido Lumo Age (review here) and is no doubt intended to work across a vinyl LP, which is appropriate given the trio of drummer Thibault Guezennec, vocalist/guitarist Pierre-Alexis Mengual and bassist Rory O’Callaghan‘s penchant for classic forms. But even keeping the inevitable split between sides A and B in mind, Libido Fuzz enact a front-to-back flow that seems to push further outward as it goes, until finally it reaches the 12-minute semi-title-track “Guide Me into Synesthesia” at the end and decides there’s no return.
Up to — and really through — that point, Libido Fuzz keep a steady blend of the retro and modern, the terrestrial and the ethereal, the frenetic and the drifting, and what results in the span of the tracks, which were recorded by Marco Lima with a mix and master by Franck Roder, is an organic-feeling and nuanced heavy rock that draws power from its moments of thrust and uses that momentum wisely to carry through its slower parts. It is dynamic in the sense of where Mengual, Guezennec and O’Callaghan take it, from the Radio Moscow-style manias of opener “Sparks” and the intro to “Clouds and Birds,” all blinding turns and risk-laden rhythms, to the smooth-grooving B-side occupants “The Last Psychedelic Blues” and of course, “Guide Me into Synesthesia” itself.
Foremost, it is tied together through the overarching naturalism in the performances. Guezennec‘s bass drum, prominent in the mix, is sometimes responsible for holding an entire song together, as it seems to be doing as “Clouds and Birds” drifts farther from its raging start, but fortunately it proves more than up to the task, and while O’Callaghan‘s warm basslines add a jazzy flair to coincide with all the swing of “At the Beginning,” Mengual takes advantage of the space created to pull out heavy blues-style solos that, regardless of tempo, have a kind of hypnotic effect on the listener. At no point are they technically showy, and the production of A Guide into Synesthesia is clearly geared toward a live feel, but they execute their material with confidence from “Sparks” onward, and indeed they seem well aware of the fires they’re setting, the thrust of that opener creating a sense of movement that is translated into everything that follows, regardless of the actual direction a track like the subsequent “Violence of the Sea” actually follows.
Which obviously is something to mention only for the drastic and immediate turn it represents from A Guide into Synesthesia‘s beginning, the second cut’s bookending progression seeming to nod directly at Trouble‘s “The Tempter” in its structure and layers of harmonized guitar while backing off in a middle third that finds the band stomping through more boogie à la “Sparks,” if perhaps even catchier in the hook. Those twists may well be intended to throw the listener off course, but Libido Fuzz are fluid enough in their transitions that as the drums finish “Violence of the Sea” and “At the Beginning” picks up with a more straightforward heavy rock shuffle, there’s nothing to call incongruous about what they’re doing in terms either of the album’s scope or the jump from one vibe to another.
Synesthesia might be described as a trading of senses. Seeing smells, smelling sounds, touching light, and so on. It’s a rare condition, and the stuff of psychedelic daydreams, and in terms of this album, the keyword in the title would seem to be “guide,” since it gives the impression of Libido Fuzz leading their audience into this place of what might feel like some greater cosmic knowledge. That’s a fair enough explanation for how the second half of the tracklisting plays out, with “Clouds and Birds” (which I actually think is on side A, though I can’t confirm that) marking the point of shift into more ethereal fare that “The Last Psychedelic Blues” — which isn’t — and “Guide Me into Synesthesia” — which is — only continue to expand. Mengual‘s guitar and O’Callaghan‘s bass explore open spaces after settling in post-intro, and samples and cymbal washes from Guezennec lead gradually, fluidly, into a comfortably-paced nod that serves as bed or wah swirl and possibly the album’s best solo, which finishes in time for a big rock ending. Show’s over, everyone go home.
Not nearly. With the finale so expansive afterward, the penultimate “The Last Psychedelic Blues” is tasked somewhat with summarizing A Guide into Synesthesia, and it does so with a play between nigh-on-overwhelming fuzz and airier verse-making. All three players shine. In prime power-trio fashion, Libido Fuzz resonate their chemistry forth until the quiet stretch of guitar sentimentality leads to the beginning of “A Guide into Synesthesia,” the extended instrumental journey that will round out the LP. Its beginning feels suitably like an arrival, and it is, and sure enough, a massive and engaging jam ensues, but the band leave room early on for verses without taking advantage. Maybe live. A scorching midsection solo meets with wah bass and building drums, and from there, Libido Fuzz set the course by which they’ll end, plotted but molten, and cutting just before the 10-minute mark to some far-out guitar noise that may or may not be intended to manifest the synesthetic.
I don’t know how it tastes, but it sounds like a trance, and as an epilogue for A Guide into Synesthesia, it’s the last of several pleasant surprises the album presents while highlighting the overall growth of Libido Fuzz from their debut and giving the impression — on any number of sensory levels — that growth is still in progress and likely to remain that way willfully. One can hear Mengual, O’Callaghan and Guezennec pushing themselves in the realization of these songs, both in the stylistic ground they cover and in the actual performances, and among the many encouraging aspects of A Guide into Synesthesia, it’s that feeling of purpose that most defines it.
“Horizon” is the opening track from Dot Legacy‘s late-2016 second album, To the Others (review here), and it finds the Parisian heavy fuzz enthusiasts embarking on the first of several risks they’ll take across the record’s genre-hopping course. No way around it, there’s a bit of rapping going on here.
Now, as somebody who lived through the ’90s, that’s what we call a big red flag. Hard not to have post-trauma flashbacks of Limp Bizkit covering George Michael in a protest-too-much display of knuckle-dragging tough-guy heteronormativity, but on any level you want to approach it, that’s not what’s happening here, and certainly in the context of To the Others, it’s not where Dot Legacy‘s intentions lie on the Setalight Records release. “Horizon” sets the tone of energy to which the rest of the album soon responds in deeply varied forms, and if anything the rapping in the opener is an immediate communication to listeners that there’s nothing off the table in terms of where they might go.
That’s very much how the record plays out in its wake, and while I’m willing to admit it’s kind of scary to imagine that rap-rocking impulses might one day rear their heads again, I genuinely think we’re safe. It’s gonna be okay.
Dot Legacy — the four-piece of vocalist/bassist Damien Quintard, guitarist/keyboardist/backing vocalist Arnaud Merckling, guitarist/backing vocalist John Defontaine and drummer/backing vocalist Arthur Menard — worked with WIPS (Web Interactive Promotion Site) to put together an interactive video for “Horizon.” If you go to the special site they’ve set up, you can see a version of the clip in which arrows pop up that let you basically choose your own adventure and create the narrative of the video itself.
It’s timed, so you have to pay attention as you make your way through, but it’s actually a pretty cool idea and it’s something special from the band, who’ve already put out clips for “Pioneer” (posted here), “Story of Fame” (posted here) and “211” (posted here) to represent the various sides of To the Others. Something special for a song that has a few surprises of its own up its sleeve.
You can see the regular version of the video premiering below, followed by more info about the interactive project, which also includes a bunch of behind-the-scenes bonus footage and other goodies.
Experience DOT LEGACY’s highly acclaimed single “HORIZON” like never before. On this website you will be constantly creating your own version of the video clip, each time changing the story line, and launching you deeper into the musical space Dot Legacy created for you.
The website also contains amazing access to Bonus material!
– LIVE 360° video of Dot Legacy’s show in Brussels, along with Multi Cam footage – Two fun and crazy interviews of the Band including on 360° candy eating frenzy madness! – An interactive map to follow with personal videos of Dot Legacy in all the cites they played in on their tour with TRUCKFIGTHERS (rated PG 18) – A mixing console to do your OWN MIX of HORIZON! Discover all the seperated track that made this song possible and fuzzy as hell! – The Making of: go behind the curtain and discover how the video clip was shot. Meet the talented team of WIPS!
Parisian four-piece Dot Legacy issued their second full-length, To the Others (review here), last fall on Setalight Records, and with it, set themselves on a bold course of genre defiance/melding. Each track seemed to offer a different persona, tied together through energy of performance and a core underlying purpose in execution — Dot Legacy were putting on a show; it was theatrical from start to finish. As they took to the road supporting Truckfighters around the album’s release, they seemed intent on bringing that show to life.
The band themselves related each cut on To the Others to explosions as part of a rocket launch, and fair enough for the force of their delivery on songs like “211” and the penultimate “Story of Fame.” “Story of Fame” is duly relevant here, since Dot Legacy‘s new video, for closer “Pioneer,” follows one for that track (posted here) and seems to be intended as a sequel of sorts for it. Fair enough since one song follows the other on the record, but like the music itself, the two clips wind up working on different themes despite making use of distinctly cool-toned colors — greens and blues, etc. These aren’t the only videos Dot Legacy have done for To the Others — in October, they also had one for “211” (posted here) — but the notion of “Pioneer” being intended to sit directly alongside “Story of Fame” adds intrigue and an avenue for listener/viewer interpretation, and that’s never a bad thing.
Because, as noted, the record is so varied, I’ve included the full Bandcamp stream at the bottom of this post. Not something I usually do for video posts, but I think it’s justified in this case, especially since a lot of the impact of “Pioneer” comes in context of To the Others as a whole, the song’s initial brooding reminding of something Nine Inch Nails might’ve brought to The Fragile before it takes on a still-wistful push in the guitar, further distinguished through a dramatic vocal arrangement, as well as guitar and piano interplay. As a wrap for the here-then-there-then-over-here To the Others it’s all the more resonant, but even approached on its own, as a single, three-plus-minute work, it tends to stay with you after it’s finished. Take a look and a listen and see if you don’t agree.
And please, enjoy:
Dot Legacy, “Pioneer” official video
From the new album “To The Others”, Setalight Records – November 2016 Pioneer is the 2nd Part of a Duo-logy with the song “Story Of Fame.”
Directed by MARTY % Starring Quentin Lasbazeilles D.O.P. Alexandre Thimonier
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan
Currently embroiled in a US run that kicked off last week in Boston, Parisian post-black metallers Alcest have announced they’ll head to Australia and New Zealand in April — spring here, fall there — as they continue to herald the return to a more aggressive style presented on their 2016 full-length, Kodama. Seems kind of strange to think of Alcest going back to their core sound as kind of a departure, but after the drifting ambient rock of 2014’s Shelter (review here), that’s kind of how it worked out. Cheers to them for being unpredictable even as they bask in the lush melodic melancholia that’s become their signature. Not every band could pull that one off.
Shows are presented by Life is Noise, and you can find the dates below, along with the remaining gigs on the North American stint happening now:
LIFE IS NOISE PRESENTS: ALCEST (FRA) AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND TOUR APRIL 2017
LIFE IS NOISE is ecstatic to announce the return of Alcest to Australian soil this April, with the band also venturing to New Zealand for the first time.
The French post-black metal masterminds will be reaching into the hearts and heads of audiences in Wellington, Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
Alcest have always been a strangely entrancing beast. Originally serving as a solo project for Neige (Stephane Paut), the outfit evolved into a creative connection between the frontman and drummer Winterhalter (of legendary Peste Noire fame) over more than 16 years.
Transcending their early black metal ties through five very different releases, their latest effort—Kodama—sees the band meticulously reframe their origins through a kaleidoscope of rich, warm and soaring sounds that connect with the very soul of the listener.
Influenced by the gorgeous Hayao Miyasaki film, Princess Mononoke, Kodama – meaning ‘tree spirit’ or ‘echo’ in Japanese – delves into the concept of living between two worlds; of not belonging and striving to establish a sense of being through contrasting planes of existence.
Exploring the juxtaposition of nature and humanity and the perpetual struggle faced trying to achieve cohesion in a modern world, the album taps into the divide to serve as a reminder that the spiritual is often neglected in a time that embraces the physical.
Alcest live is a truly humbling experience. Their emotive power works its way through every inch of your psyche, as they effortlessly transition from darker, harsher tones to climbing, ethereal highs. This is a sonic adventure that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.
Catch Alcest on the following dates: Wellington – San Fran – April 23 Auckland – Kings Arms – April 24 Brisbane – Crowbar – April 25 Sydney – Newtown Social – April 27 Melbourne – Max Watt’s – April 28 Perth –Badlands – April 29
Alcest US tour: 01/23/2017 Cleveland OH Grog Shop 01/24/2017 Grand Rapids MI Pyramid Scheme 01/25/2017 Chicago IL Reggies Rock Club 01/26/2017 St Paul MN Turf Club 01/28/2017 St Louis MO Ready Room 01/29/2017 Kansas City MO Riot Room 01/30/2017 Denver CO Marquis Theater 01/31/2017 Salt Lake City UT Metro Music Hall 02/02/2017 Seattle WA Highline 02/03/2017 Portland OR Dantes 02/04/2017 Vancouver BC Rickshaw Theater 02/06/2017 Oakland CA Oakland Opera House 02/07/2017 Los Angeles CA Roxy Theater 02/08/2017 San Diego CA Brick By Brick 02/09/2017 Mesa AZ Club Red 02/10/2017 Albuquerque NM Sister Bar 02/11/2017 Dallas TX Curtain Club 02/12/2017 Austin TX Grizzly Hall 02/14/2017 Nashville TN The End 02/15/2017 Atlanta GA Aisle 5 02/16/2017 Richmond VA Strange Matter 02/17/2017 Baltimore MD Metro Gallery 02/18/2017 Philadelphia PA Foundry 02/19/2017 New York NY Irving Plaza
Prolific French soundscape artist Florent Paris had two releases out in 2016 under his working moniker Hors Sujet. The first was the Déclin EP, issued in March, and the second was a Sept. split with AUVN. Both are available to stream and download in their entirety via the Bandcamp page linked below, and they’re the latest in a long line of offerings dating back over the last nine years that find Paris engaging various levels of textural experimentation, progressive flourish, and cinematic mood-making. It’s little surprise he’s done periodic soundtrack work over that same span; his drones seem to leave plenty of room for visual evocation, real or imagined.
Accordingly, it’s kind of fascinating to see what might go into a video for a single Hors Sujet track. The song in question comes from Déclin and is the 10-minute centerpiece and longest cut “Le début n’est jamais trop sombre,” the title of which translates to “the beginning is never too dark,” or “the start is never too dark.” Throughout the piece, Paris joins his sometimes lush, sometimes minimal droning to a barrage of impressionistic images, doubled and manipulated, but still somehow playing to a sentimental graininess that speaks of a lost past. One is left wondering what beginning the title is referring to, but I’d imagine that’s at least part of the point — asking questions rather than deigning to answer them.
There’s a certain hypnotic effect here as well, but if you can keep your wits about you for the duration, it’s worth the effort. More info follows the clip.
Hors Sujet, “Le début n’est jamais trop sombre” official video