Freak Valley 2018: Karma to Burn, The Freeks, Toke, Ouzo Bazooka Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

freak valley 2018

How do I know the following announcement from Freak Valley 2018 is awesome? Well, for starters I wrote the frickin’ thing. That might put me in something of a position of authority on the subject, but even if not, you don’t really need to look any further than the bands themselves to realize there’s righteousness afoot. Karma to Burn — always greeted as liberators — will make an appearance, and L.A.’s The Freeks will head to Germany supporting their yet-to-be-released new album.

I wasn’t as familiar with Ouzo Bazooka, though I’d seen the name (and once you see that name, you remember it), but checked out their stuff and found it wanting nothing in its blend of psychedelia and classic surf, but I think it’s Toke who are really going to surprise a lot of people when they take the Freak Valley stage. I’ve said before that the North Carolina trio are the inheritors of a Southern sludge legacy going back to Buzzov*en and other such early/mid-90s noisemakers, but they deliver their sound with a next-generation energy and have toured hard the last couple years to refine their attack. I would not be surprised if they come back from Europe a significantly bigger band.

Just my thoughts. Here’s that announcement, which, again, I wrote, as posted by the fest on the social medias:

Freaks, gather!

The time is coming ever closer, and we’ve already announced so many killer acts from OM and Yuri Gagarin to Russian Circles, Nap, and Year of the Cobra. We could not possibly be prouder of the fact that Freak Valley 2018 is already sold out, and we thank you so much for your support both this year and in festivals past. It’s the community of freaks that lets this thing happen year after year and keep getting bigger, so thank you!

Four new bands to welcome today and they’re awesome, so pay attention! Please say hi to Karma To Burn, The Freeks, Toke, and Ouzo Bazooka!


Led by founding guitarist Will Mecum, KTB are pioneers of instrumental heavy rock and roll. Yeah, the first album had a singer, and they’ve brought in guests in the past – some dude named John Garcia, etc. – but as they are today, Mecum, bassist Eric Clutter and drummer Evan Devine have never been such a force from the stage, and after years and years of lineup changes, bad luck, more lineup changes and worse luck, it finally seems like Karma to Burn are ready to take their place among the top league of riffers worldwide.


Welcome to Freek Valley! Los Angeles classic heavy rockers The Freeks – with none other than Ruben Romano (Nebula, Fu Manchu) behind the kit – recently announced they’ll release a third full-length this year through Heavy Psych Sounds. Could we wait to hear what was in store after loving their 2016 offering, Shattered, so much? Obviously not. We booked them, didn’t we? Get ready for punk-funk-psych-boogie-blues like none other, because – hey, big surprise – The Freeks feel no need to fit in with the expected fare.


These North Carolinian sludge bastards are pucking up the next generation of a legacy for filth-coated riffing and heavy-ass-those-bass-cabinets groove begun by the likes of Buzzov*en, Eyehategod, and Sourvein. Yes, that’s the league of bands we’re talking about. Their Orange LP was released earlier this year, and you might not know it yet, but Toke are very quickly getting ready to conquer every stage onto which they set their collective foot. Don’t miss the opportunity to see them prove the power of truly unhinged sludge riffing.


Look. We’re not saying you’re going to watch about 30 seconds of Ouzo Bazooka’s set and then immediately decide you need to hit the merch table as soon as they’re done and purchase everything they have for sale – but yes, that is exactly what’s going to happen. The Tel Aviv-based psych-surf four-piece issued their latest EP, Songs from 1001 Nights, at the start of 2018, and further refined their blend of Western and Middle Eastern influences to sound like nothing else out there – nuanced but familiar like a dance in some lost otherworldly dream.

Freak Valley Festival 2018 // No Fillers – Just Killers

Line-up 2018:
OM, Russian Circles, Karma To Burn, My Sleeping Karma, My Baby, Mars Red Sky, Sumac, Lucifer, Yuri Gagarin, Dýse, The Freeks, Sacri Monti, Black Bombaim, Year of the Cobra, Purple Hill Witch, Ouzo Bazooka, Ruff Majik, Toke, Humulus, Kaleidobolt, Rage of Samedi, Nap
More tba soon

Have a freaky time – your Rock Freaks

Karma to Burn, Live in Paris, Dec. 23, 2017

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Freak Valley 2018: Russian Circles, Year of the Cobra, Black Bombaim, Ruff Majik & My Baby Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan


Not taking anything away from anyone in this latest announcement from Freak Valley 2018, but for me, the find of the bunch is South African heavy-grooving three-piece Ruff Majik, who, what they lack in spelling they more than compensate for with riff-led immersive roll as well as a prolific rate of releases.

Again, that’s not to detract at all from the radness of the fact that Year of the Cobra are making the trip, or that Russian Circles will no doubt feature somewhere near the top of the bill, but I wasn’t familiar with Ruff Majik prior to this announcement and was happy to have the chance to check them out.

If you’d like to do the same, their latest EP is streaming at the bottom of this post. Go ahead and give it a shot. Maybe name your price on one of those downloads they have set up on such terms.

Here’s the full announcement from the fest, which, as it happens, I wrote:


Happy New Year, Freaks!

We’re creeping ever closer to the start of FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL 2018, and you know what that means: More announcements, more reasons to come, and less time to plan your trip. If you missed out on tickets before they sold out, sorry, but you can’t say you weren’t warned. For everyone else, we’ve got FIVE awesome new confirmations to reveal for the lineup!

Please welcome Russian Circles, Black Bombaim, Year of the Cobra, Ruff Majik and MY BABY to the bill for Freak Valley 2018!


No way these guys need any introduction. For over a decade, Chicago instrumental trio Russian Circles have made themselves forerunners of heavy and psychedelic post-rock, and with their records Enter, Station, Geneva, Empros, Memorial and Guidance, they’ve become one of the most essential acts of their generation. Expect immersion like nothing else when they take the stage for all the Freaks! They might even leave the lights on! On second thought, nah, probably not.


If you’ve never experienced Portuguese jammers Black Bombaim live, you don’t even know what you’ve been missing. The raw chemistry, the dynamic turns – everything they do recalls the best of improvisational psychedelic rock. Their flow is molten and unlike anyone else’s in the style, and they come to Freak Valley as ready to explore new ground as ever in the far-out cosmic reaches.


While the bass/drum two-piece recalled riffy greats like Sleep and Acid King on their debut album, In the Shadows Below, it was the 2017 EP, Burn Your Dead, that really showed off the diversity of sound Year of the Cobra could bring to bear. The Seattle duo hit Europe for the first time supporting the album and as they come back ahead of a new full-length in 2018, we’re thrilled to welcome them for their first visit to Freak Valley!


Traveling all the way from Pretoria, South Africa, the heavy-grooving trio Ruff Majik have been belting out releases at a prolific clip since their 2015 debut, The Bear. By the time they make it to Siegen this May, they’ll be riding high on the blues-psych vibes of their latest work, A Stag in the Leaves, and we can’t wait to introduce them to the Freaks and give everyone a taste of their laid back riffs and classic style.


Based in Amsterdam (because where else?), My Baby come to Freak Valley 2018 offering a spirit and a musical energy like nothing else on the bill. Their 2017 album, Prehistoric Rhythm, ran contrary to its name with a blend of soul, blues, funk, dance and classic rock that could only be from the future. Still, it spoke to something primitive in all of us – a basic need to move, to get up, to shake ass, and we know they’ll have the Freaks doing exactly that.

Freak Valley Festival 2018 // No Fillers – Just Killers

Line-up 2018:
OM, Russian Circles, My Sleeping Karma, My Baby, Yuri Gagarin, Dÿse, Black Bombaim, Year of the Cobra, Ruff Majik, Rage of Samedi, Nap
More tba soon

Have a freaky time – your Rock Freaks

Ruff Majik, A Dragon and His Hoard (2017)

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Freak Valley 2018 Adds My Sleeping Karma, Yuri Gagarin, Dÿse, Rage of Samedi and Nap to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

freak valley 2018 new banner

Freak Valley 2018 stormed out of the gate early last month with its first announcement, that it would be headlined by Om, and with five more band additions today, the Siegen, Germany-based festival immediately sets itself to the task of building a diverse lineup. From the progressive stylings of My Sleeping Karma and newcomers Nap to the dudeliness of Rage of Samedi, the psychedelic Swedes-in-space Yuri Gagarin and the weirdo experimentalist duo Dÿse, there’s a sense here that the fest has just begun to establish what will become its foundation in heavy and to jut outward from there in terms of actual scope. This is an exciting time in watching these things start to take shape, and whatever else comes, frankly, My Sleeping Karma and Om in the same lineup should be enough to have you booking travel plans.

Not gonna hide it: I wrote this announcement, so if you note some language similarities, that’s why. Here it is as posted by Freak Valley on the social medias:

freak valley 2018 my sleeping karma

Freak Valley 2018 – My Sleeping Karma, Yuri Gagarin, Dÿse, Rage of Samedi & Nap

Calling all Freaks!

After the rousing success of announcing OM as the first headliner of FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL 2018, the time has come to let you know about more bands for next year’s bill!
One of the things we strive to do with Freak Valley each year is build a festival that looks at different styles and embraces artistic variety as much as fuzzy riffs and heavy grooves. The underground is a rich and diverse place and it’s our hope this round of groups brings that to mind – you know, while also kicking ass.

So here we go. Please welcome My Sleeping Karma, Yuri Gagarin, Dýse, Rage of Samedi, and Nap to the lineup!


Do they really need an introduction at this point? The forerunners of instrumental tantric heavy psych explorat MY SLEEPING KARMA – OFFICIAL unveiled their first live album, Mela Ananda – Live, earlier this year via Napalm Records and reaffirmed how utterly vital they’ve become. If you’ve never seen them before, their live presence is as incredible as their music is immersive and they could not possibly be more welcome on the Freak Valley stage! We can’t wait!


The time has come for Yuri Gagarin to ascend to the stars, and among the acts we’ve so far confirmed for Freak Valley 2018, these Swedish up-and-comers are definitely poised to make a huge impression on the Freaks lucky enough to catch their set. Expect huge multiple-AU washes of space rock gorgeousness and an interstellar propulsion all their own. Meet the new order of cosmic prog!


It’s a big planet, but there’s only one DŸSE Band Official to be found anywhere on it. The German duo make an experimental noise unlike anyone else, and while we could sit here and tell you all about it – it’s heavy, it’s weird, it goes wherever it wants, whenever it wants and does whatever it wants when it gets there – the best thing to do is show up and witness the spectacle for yourself. Really. You might be confused at first, but you’ll be a better person for it.


Zweibrücken five-piece Rage of Samedi released their second album, Children of the Black Sun, last Fall through Voodoo Chamber Records, blending metallic aggression, doomed atmospherics, and a heavy Southern groove to their twisted purposes on songs like “Never Obey” and “Flagg,” calling to mind Down and bands like Crowbar while forging their own path in burly, chugging riffs, brutal rasp and heavy stomp. Sure to leave bruises by the time they’re done.


We’ve been delighted with the work of progressive heavy psych rockers Nap, and after their debut album, Villa, last year and their split earlier in 2017 with Black Lung from Baltimore, we knew the time had come to invite them to Freak Valley 2018. This will be the Oldenburg natives’ first time taking the Freak Valley stage, and we know their deeply textured and forward-thinking craft will make friends and turn heads in kind. Another one not to be missed.

Freak Valley 2018 runs May 30-June 2. Ticket presales will start at the the Tuber & Papir & Kalamata live at Vortex Surfer, Siegen show (Hardtickets).

Online ticket sales will start Nov. 12, 15 pm cet!

Freak Valley Festival 2018 // No Fillers – Just Killers

Line-up 2018:
OM, My Sleeping Karma, Yuri Gagarin, Dÿse, Rage of Samedi, Nap

More tba soon

Have a freaky time – your Rock Freaks

My Sleeping Karma, “Prithvi” official video

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Freak Valley 2018 First Announcement: Om to Headline

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 2nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Freak Valley 2018 takes place between May 30 and June 2 in Netphen, Germany, and the venerable festival announces today that no less than Om will serve as the first of its headliners. There’s been no solid word of a new Om album for next year — though a return trip abroad in Spring is bound to fuel speculation — and 2018 will make it a full six since the 2012 release of Advaitic Songs (review here), though when you issue what continues to resonate and thrive as one of the best records of the decade, you more than earn the right to take your time on a follow-up. Yes, I mean that. If it’s not Advaitic Songs and YOB‘s Clearing the Path to Ascend duking it out in your mind for the top spot right now, you’re fucking up as regards taste.

Om have two shows currently booked in Europe for 2018. Freak Valley and a date in Greece put together by Smoke the Fuzz Gigs. Details on that are below.

I’m proud to say I wrote the following announcement and it’s looking like I may finally get to attend Freak Valley next year. Stay tuned for more lineup updates to come, since as you can see, this is just the beginning:


Call to Prayer: OM to Headline Freak Valley Festival 2018

Freaks rejoice!

Every year, Om are one of the most requested bands to join the Freak Valley lineup, and as the first band to be revealed for Freak Valley 2018, we couldn’t be more thrilled to finally welcome Om as a headliner!

Led by bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros, Om are the band who turned “heavy” into a spiritual movement. They began in 2003 after the dissolution of Cisneros’ prior outfit – a little band called Sleep; maybe you’ve heard of them – and their earliest works, 2005’s Variations on a Theme and 2006’s Conference of the Birds, are nothing short of modern classics. It was with their fifth and latest album, 2012’s Advaitic Songs, however, that Om most fully embraced their own breadth and the mystical visions their sound could conjure.

Cisneros, together with drummer Emil Amos (also Grails, Holy Sons) and keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (also Lichens) cast forth five lush, beautiful and meditative soundscapes, spiritual without being dogmatic, groundbreaking without being pretentious, and more adventurous in their arrangements of piano, table, strings, keys, flute and vocals than Om had ever been.

While it’s true we’re still waiting for a follow-up, we’d be lying if we said Advaitic Songs still didn’t offer something new every time we listened to it. Seriously. If you haven’t already, you should put on “Gethsemane” immediately. You know we’re right.

Om’s headlining appearance at Freak Valley 2018 will be an exclusive and one of only two shows so far announced that the band will play in Europe next year. The other will be June 2 at the Piraeus 117 Academy in Athens, Greece, presented by Smoke the Fuzz Gigs.

This is just the start for Freak Valley 2018! Stay tuned for more bands, ticket presales and much more info to come!

Om, Advaitic Songs (2012)

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Freak Valley 2017 Completes Lineup: Earthless, Mammoth Mammoth, Church of the Cosmic Skull & Green Orbit Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 3rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

freak valley 2017 lineup

And just like that, the lineup for Freak Valley 2017 is finished. The final four? Earthless, Mammoth Mammoth, Church of the Cosmic Skull and Green Orbit. Both Earthless and Green Orbit will be celebrating releases on the fest-affiliated Rock Freaks Records — a live album in Earthless‘ case, a studio debut for Green Orbit, which, from the description below, I’d be very interested in hearing — and Mammoth Mammoth‘s new record will be out by June as well as Church of the Cosmic Skull, whose first album, Is Satan Real? (review here), was among the best debuts of 2016.

Kudos to Freak Valley 2017 on another stellar lineup of bands. From Slo Burn and Ufomammut to Asteroid and OrangoGeezer and Elephant Tree, it’s a sick bill that, even in its final announcement, has set me once more to daydreaming about a trip to Siegen, Germany, this June.

One day.

Here’s word from the fest:

freak valley 2017 last adds

FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL 2017 lineup is final now!!

Here are the last 4 bands:

Mighty Earthless will be back and will play an exclusive European show!! This will be the release show for their new album “Live at Freak Valley 2015” – Released by Rock Freaks Records.

Our Aussie buddies MAMMOTH MAMMOTH will finally join our Fest.

You will have the privilege to be part of the first ever European mainland show of Church of the Cosmic Skull !!

2 Rock Freaks crew members play in Green Orbit. You’ll be more than surprised when you enjoy them live on stage!!

Formed in 2001, EARTHLESS prides itself on creating energetic, utterly unique and free thinking instrumental music inspired by an eclectic mix of German krautrock and Japanese heavy blues-rock. The Californian trio has dedicated itself to mastery of the mind-bending jam session, evoking the spirits of Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath in equal measure.

Named after a song title from vintage New York garage-psych band The Druids of Stonehenge, EARTHLESS’ sound has been called “A sonic kaleidoscope of lava and lightning”, earning it the title of “California’s loudest band”. The group delivers “one of the best live shows in all of modern, heavy rock,” leading to one reviewer stating that the band’s “epic shredding harkens back to the days were psychedelic rock had balls the size of grapefruits and wasn’t afraid to take its listeners on a ride for which they may never return.”

MAMMOTH MAMMOTH are a heavy rock band from Melbourne Australia that smash the shit out of their stoner, glam, doom, punk and psychedelic rock influences. Their first video clip was immediately banned. It used 1970s European pornography and was pulled from youtube, myspace and facebook – but not before it had over 1 million views and probably as many complaints.

In this early 2017, MAMMOTH MAMMOTH emerge from the studio with a new album locked, loaded and ready to fire! Again, the recording was not without the usual disturbances that plague this foursome. Yes the police came (and not to jam a few tunes). Yes, there was a chemical fire. And yes, a little voodoo was practised. And okay, the bass player did barely survive a motorcycle crash juste before the final tracking. But nothing short of Armageddon was gonna stop MAMMOTH MAMMOTH from getting this job done.

CHURCH OF THE COSMIC SKULL is a twofold entity: a new religious movement who seek to free mankind from their material possessions and unify all living beings into a singular cosmic whole; and a 7-piece supergroup based in Nottingham UK playing Prog/Psych/’70s Rock/Pop. For fans of Black Mountain, Ghost, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Uncle Acid and the deadbeats. The combination of guitar, hammond organ, electric cello, bass and drums recalls early @Mahavishnu Orchestra, but with six-part Queen-esque vocal harmonies and Thin Lizzy pop-rock structures.

Hailing from the deep woods near Siegen/Germany, Green Orbit will bring you their instrumental heavy psychrock. Warm fuzz sounds, sweetly interlaced with psychedelic vibes, tied together by energetic drums and surrounded by the floating sounds of a didgeridoo(m), their music will take you to another galactic home.

Musical Influences like Colour Haze, Rotor, Sungrazer and many more melt together into a heavy-groovy space-trip. Green Orbit’s debut-album “First Wave”, which already received positive reviews from all over the world, will be released in May 2017 on Rock Freaks Records.

FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL – 15th-16th-17th June 2017

Freak Valley Festival 2017: No Fillers – Just Killers

LineUp 2017:
Slo Burn, Earthless, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Pentagram, Ufomammut, Greenleaf, Conan, Golden Void, Asteroid, Mammoth Mammoth, The Brew, Arbouretum, Maserati, Church of the Cosmic Skull, Föllakzoid, Mothership, Wand, Salem’s Pot, MaidaVale, Elephant’s Tree, Geezer, Kikagaku Moyo, The Great Machine, Orango, Vodun, The Black Willows, Sativa Root, Limestone Whale, Green Orbit

Church of the Cosmic Skull, “Watch it Grow”

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Freak Valley 2017 Adds Four More: Asteroid, Mothership, The Great Machine & Sativa Root to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I’m going to avoid the thing I usually do when it comes to posting about Freak Valley and not fall into woeful daydreaming about how much I’d like to go to the festival. I’m not going to give into the impulse in my head which says things like, “Golly, it sure would be nice to see Asteroid again now that they’re back together,” or, “You know, that live record Mothership put out after the last time they played was awesome, I bet they’ll kill it again at Freak Valley.” Nope.

Not gonna let myself go down a rabbit hole of being like, “Gee, I don’t even really know The Great Machine, and Sativa Root are supposed to have a bunch of new material and their last single was pretty cool,” and then make myself sad thinking about things like the prices of international flights and hotel stays.

I’m not going to do any of that stuff I normally do when it comes to these announcements. Nope. No sir.

It’s liberating to be so contented.

Freak Valley 2017 is June 15-17  in Siegen, Germany. It in no way kills me that that is a place I’ve never seen. No way whatsoever.

Here’s the latest from the fest:


Hi Freaks – here are 4 more bands that will join the Freak Valley 2017 lineup.

Asteroid [SW] – Hardrock/Blues/Jam
Mothership [US] – Heavy Rock
The Great Machine [IL] – Stoner/Doom/Psychedelic
Sativa Root [OE] – Austrian Instrumental Doomedelic Stoned Sludge Metal

For the past ten years, ASTEROID have been one of the trend setting bands in the independent psychedelic heavy rock community. With their origin in hard hitting stoner rock, they’ve constantly been adding more musical layers to evolve their own unique brand of rock. With inspiration taken from American and British Blues and Swedish folk music, the three piece always bring something new and fresh to the table. After all these years together and all these concerts Asteroid is a very impressive act to watch live, where their genuine love for the music really shines through in every song. The trio is well known for making use of the entire musical spectrum with a rich and powerful musical energy that never leaves any stone unturned.

“It’s got the murky darkness of the more menacing Zeppelin songs, the spaciness of Floyd’s cosmic tracks, and the bluesiness of Howlin’ Wolf – not to mention the incredible harmonies that tie everything together and keep you coming back for more.”

The supersonic intergalactic Heavy Rock trio MOTHERSHIP is landing at Freak Valley again!!!

The band will be releasing its highly anticipated third studio album “High Strangeness” in Spring 2017. The band is best known for its highly energetic and infectious live show, their non-stop dedication to performing on the road, and their unique Texas brand of heavy rock & roll boogie, blistering guitar solos, and thick grooves many find hard to believe for a 3 piece band. Consisting of brothers Kyle Juett on bass/lead vocals, Kelley Juett on guitar/vocals, and Judge Smith on drums, these guys have created a unique sound that satisfies like a steaming hot stew of UFO and Iron Maiden, blended with the southern swagger of Molly Hatchet and ZZ Top, paired with a deadly chalice of Black Sabbath. Mothership’s goal from the beginning has been to carry on the tradition of the classic rock style of the ’70?s, updated and amped up for the modern day. TRIP ON THE SHIP

THE GREAT MACHINE is a four piece band from Israel.

Led by the brothers Haviv: Omer on guitar and Aviran on the bass. Combined with the energetic drumming of Michael Izaki and the powerful singing of Noga Shalev they create a strong psychedelic, stoner-rock musical experience. The music of THE GREAT MACHINE is very powerfull. Two words: Riffs forward. the Brothers Haviv produce a heavy aggressive riff, that worships at the same time Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin ; From the back Yitzhaki kills with his drums . Some things make this simplicity wins. First,the free spirit and wild feeling that the Great Machine spreads, their stage behavior immediately releases the rocker in the mind , even if it is quite suppressed . Second, the brothers Haviv are very good at creating a dynamics and tension of slow and heavy rock, and then they shatters.

SATIVA ROOT: A world created from the darkness of ourselves, the homogeneous perfection of the nature and the consequent discrimination of our community. All that and more surrounds the Austrian Band Sativa Root and consequences their motivation to create their special kind of music. But not that bad attributes alone provokes the Trio to write such hypnotic sounds. With a pure and raw instrumental Doom, a fist full of Sludge Metal and spooky psychedelic parts they will put you in a head banging trance.

FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL – 15th-16th-17th June 2017

Freak Valley Festival 2017: No Fillers – Just Killers

LineUp 2017:
Slo Burn, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Pentagram, Ufomammut, Greenleaf, Conan, Golden Void, Asteroid, The Brew, Arbouretum, Maserati, Föllakzoid, Mothership, Wand, Salem’s Pot, MaidaVale, Elephant Tree, Geezer, Kikagaku Moyo, The Great Machine, Orango, Vodun, The Black Willows, Sativa Root, Limestone Whale

More tba soon…!

Mothership, Live over Freak Valley (2016)

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Freak Valley 2017: Golden Void, Arbouretum, Limestone Whale & Föllakzoid Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 1st, 2017 by JJ Koczan


I didn’t realize, but yeah, I suppose it has been well over a month since the last lineup announcement from Freak Valley 2017. Well, if you want to make up for lost time, adding four bands from three different continents seems like a pretty good way to go about that. From opposite coasts of the US come San Diego’s Golden Void and Baltimore’s Arbouretum. From Chile, Föllakzoid, and from Germany, Limestone Whale. That’s North and South America and Europe represented in one single “hey, we’ve got more bands on our fest” post from Freak Valley. Not shabby by any measure.

And of course these four join a lineup that already includes the likes of Slo Burn‘s exclusive German appearance, PentagramUfomammutGreenleafConanElephant TreeGeezerMaidaVale, and so on, so all the better. Here’s the latest update from the festival:


The long wait is over – we have 4 more band names for ya!!!

Here we go:

Golden Void [US] – Psychedelic Rock [Exclusive European Show!!]
Arbouretum [US] – Doom/Ecstatic
FÖLLAKZOID [CL] – Cosmic Music
Limestone Whale [DE] – Heavy Psych

GOLDEN VOID is the new face of Bay Area psychedelic music. It’s a rich tradition and like many of the tradition’s greats, Golden Void’s songs are firmly rooted in melody and not afraid of exploration. The band’s hooks get stuck in your head and their riffs transport you to the astral plane. Golden Void’s undeniable twist, setting them apart from their city’s lineage, is the influence of classic bands like Sabbath and Pentagram. The quartet, Isaiah Mitchell (Earthless) on guitar and vocals, Camilla Saufley-Mitchell on keyboards and vocals, Aaron Morgan on bass and Justin Pinkerton on Drums, achieves a perfect balance of muscular riffs, soaring melodies, and hazy atmosphere.

ARBOURETUM has been called “the best of the millennial classic rock bands, a guitar-fuzzed powerhouse.” The band, founded by guitarist and vocalist Dave Heumann, effortlessly weaves its melodies and guitar solos with the often hypnotic rhythms of bassist Corey Allender and drummer Brian Carey around the deliberate keyboard of Matthew Pierce to lift the vocals. The results are a full sound delivered with a striking sense of intimacy. Throughout their time together, the Baltimore-based band have been praised for their ability to weave elaborate vocal lines, and guitar solos that often unravel into extended improvisation, but never with as much finesse as on the forthcoming album “Song of the Rose”. In less practiced hands, these ideas could easily fall into contrivance, but on Song of the Rose, Arbouretum use these elements to perfect their craft of storytelling in song, both lyrically and sonically.

The Chilean band FÖLLAKZOID specialize in the pillowy sort of rock music designed to shield you from the world for a while. Huge, looping riffs stretch across deeply repetitive percussion, creating an atmosphere somewhere between trance and stupor. The word “psychedelic” is never far away when reading descriptions of the band, but three albums into their career, they’ve explored many colors on that particular spectrum. music designed to shield you from the world for a while. At its best, their music gains allure by gradually stacking up moments of powerful suggestion.

Formed in the shadows of the Bavarian forest LIMESTONE WHALE have developed their very own approach to heavy psych blues – far beyond prevailing stereotypes.
The quartet combines the natural roughness of proto metal and psychedelic rock with straight 70ies inspired blues and hard rock. With their mixture of heavy riffs and refreshing melodies the young but yet experienced musicians create a vivid and stirring presence on stage.

Limestone Whale are definitely among the few bands who are able to revive the spirit of the golden age of rock music without trying to sound „retro“.

FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL – 15th-16th-17th June 2017

Freak Valley Festival 2017: No Fillers – Just Killers

Line-up 2017:
Slo Burn, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Pentagram, Ufomammut, Greenleaf, Conan, Golden Void, The Brew, Arbouretum, Maserati, Föllakzoid, Salem’s Pot, MaidaVale, Elephant’s Tree, Geezer, Kikagaku Moyo, Wand, Orango, Vodun, The Black Willows, Limestone Whale
More tba soon…!

Golden Void, Berkana (2015)

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Freak Valley 2017: Conan, Elephant Tree, Maserati and Wand Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 6th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

One of 2017’s great mysteries as I see it is whether or not Conan will have a new album. They’ve given hints toward a next batch of material, but it would be quick since their Revengeance (review here) came out last year, and they seem to have an awful lot of touring in the works, so I don’t know how that balance will shake out over the next 12 months. Earth-destroying riffs aren’t built in a day, you know. They are, however, going to grace the stage at Freak Valley 2017 this June in Germany. The fest has announced that Conan have signed on to play alongside Elephant Tree, Maserati and Wand as the first lineup additions of the New Year.

If you missed it — and I know you didn’t — Elephant Tree‘s 2016 self-titled debut (review here) was among last year’s finest first albums. They’ve made a few 2017 announcements, including Desertfest London and Psycho Las Vegas, and it’s hard to imagine more won’t follow before the year is out. To wit, they’ll have a tour update on Monday, so keep an eye out for that.

As for L.A.’s Wand, they released their 1,000 Days album in 2015, and Georgia’s Maserati offered up Rehumanizer that same year. They join and add to an increasingly ridiculous lineup, the entirety of which you can see below.

Freak Valley put it like this:

Welcome to 2017 Freaks!!

It’s the first freaky friday this year and we have 4 new bandnames for you!!

Conan [UK] – Doom/Sludge Metal
MASERATI [US] – Postrock
WAND [US] – Psychedelic Rock
Elephant Tree [UK] – Rock/Blues/Doom/Stoner

CONAN are as heavy as interplanetary thunder amplified through the roaring black hole anus of Azathoth. A three piece, in the grand tradition of many amazing fabulous three pieces that hold a tight line and an iron-grip command over the uber-synchronised chord changes and tempo-shifts of the holy trio of bass, drums and guitar. Hear the roar of battle. Smell the stench of split blood. A thousand heads piled high like a grim mound of suffering- a blasphemy to nature. Hail Conan!

Formed at the edge of the new millennium, MASERATI is as sleek, sexy and sophisticated as the legendary Italian sports car it takes its name from. It is fitting, then, that the band has dragged the glory years of psychedelic arena rock kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, with the pomposity (and vocals) carefully removed. In its place are white hot flashes of light pulsing to an unstoppable rhythm that makes us want to punch air and drive really fast in a car with wings instead of doors.

California psych band WAND will make us slaves to the rhythm!! “Pitchfork” favorably compares them to The Zombies and the krautrock of Neu!. They will satisfy fans’ appetite for heavy, psych-inspired landscapes with thick, garage guitars and an energetic, melodic core.

Wand combines elements of shoegaze, psych rock, desert rock, and sludge metal. Equally reminiscent of icons like Kyuss and contemporaries like Ty Segall (Fuzz), Wand’s sound is a fresh take on psychedelia; it avoids the dated nostalgia that has plagued some of the recent psych-rock acts. The band names a variety of influences, including Melvins, Crass, Talking Heads, and Pink Floyd.

ELEPHANT TREE are a relatively new band who, after cutting their teeth in the London metal scene, have established a place within the current growing Stoner Metal genre. Having moved down and taken in many many gigs and shows the guys have been influenced to start making their own music.

While the style is difficult to class under any one particular sub-genre of Metal it has been most likened to Doom Metal and Stoner Rock however many people have their own classifications ranging from Blues to Prog.

FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL – 15th-16th-17th June 2017

Freak Valley Festival 2017: No Fillers – Just Killers

Line-up 2017:
Slo Burn, Pentagram, Conan, Elephant Tree, Maserati, Wand, UFOMAMMUT, Greenleaf, The Brew, Salem’s Pot, MaidaVale, Geezer, Kikagaku Moyo, Vodun, Orango, The Black Willows

Elephant Tree, Elephant Tree (2016)

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