Pavallion Premiere “Waves” from Stratospheria; Album out Oct. 26

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 18th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

pavallion (Photo by Philip Lethen)

At 10 minutes long, opening track ‘Waves’ plays an important role on Pavallion‘s second album, Stratospheria, out Oct. 26 on Tonzonen Records. From the spacious post-rock guitar line that opens the song with a drift worthy of its title to the subtle vocal harmonies in its verse lines as it moves toward its midsection, it’s the first impression Stratospheria makes, building to a louder instrumental wash as it approaches minute five and pushing decidedly outward from there in its second half with a fluid blend of ambience and weight made whole through steady but creative drumming. By the time it gets to its final push, it’s traversed a not-inconsiderable distance, and its last 30 seconds or so are just a ringout of the massive wall of sound that’s built, but the initial feel of the soothing intro is still maintained. As much as “Waves” seems to bring the tide of volume in as it plays through, it still doesn’t carry much of a sense of threat in the listening experience, and that’s important, because with the other two tracks that comprise the full-length, “Monolith” (5:11) and “Stratospheria” (24:37) itself, they bring a somewhat darker tonality to bear.

Especially in the shorter “Monolith,” the Krefeld, Germany, four-piece of vocalist/guitarist Sebastian Dückers, guitarist/vocalist Steven Hein, bassist Andreas Zanders and drummer Piet Fischer touch on a doomed atmosphere, with low spoken vocals and sparse, thudding drums and plodding guitar with a consuming distortion unfolding amid eerie whispers and a tense line of horror-style notes that comes to the fore in its apex. That departure — still on side A of the pavallion stratospheriavinyl, so in any format it immediately follows “Waves” — is key to establishing the personality of the release as a whole. Pavallion‘s 2017 debut, 2048, certainly had its progressive elements, and was a longer outing overall with five tracks/48 minutes as opposed to Stratospheria‘s three and 40 minutes, but while it had heavier moments along with its Floyd-loyalist conscioupsychedelia, there wasn’t anything so grim as the near-goth affect of “Monolith,” the mood of which seems to carry into the title-cut that follows, though with a runtime comprising more than half of the entire album, that song of course has no trouble setting a mood of its own. “Stratospheria” is, obviously, central to the record that shares its name, and perhaps unsurprisingly it seems to bridge the gap between “Waves” and “Monolith,” bringing the disparate sides together into a cohesive entirety of marked flow and a naturalist movement. Its ebbs are open-sounding and hypnotic, and the heft it conjures comes on smoothly and gradually, so that its arrival isn’t awkward or out of place, but an organic growth of the forward motion in the track.

Like “Waves,” “Stratospheria” gets significantly heavy, but retains its sense of atmosphere and carries the foreboding vibe of “Monolith” into its own context, as can be heard in the low-end distortion beneath the repeated guitar line about 16 minutes in. As the last push unfolds, Pavallion craft a fervent wash of noise, and the weighted riff that arrives shortly before the 19-minute mark is emblematic of the grim undertone that seems to be lurking all along, coexisting with the heavy psychedelic and progressive shimmer that “Waves” first set forth. That these two sides are able to come together into a coherent, single statement isn’t an achievement to be overlooked, but in the actual listening, that’s less of an outward impression than the level of engagement the band elicits from the beginning onward. That is, one isn’t likely to be sitting listening to Stratospheria saying, “Hmm, quite nice how they’ve married together diverse ambiences,” while utterly hypnotized by the effect of their doing so.

Appropriately enough, the visual accompaniment for “Waves” in the YouTube embed below is, well, waves. It’s waves. The camera is on a boat and it’s waves. Fair enough to give a sense of the album’s total entrancing aspects, and the crucial work “Waves” does as its opening salvo.

More info follows beneath. I hope you enjoy:

Pavallion, “Waves” visualizer premiere

Does music bend space and time? When a five minute song seems like a huge black hole while a 24-minute-epic rushes past in the blink of an eye, one can get the impression that it’s possible. Concerning PAVALLION, time is relative anyway, as already shown on their debut album „2048“. Following the minimalistic catchiness of their 2017 five track LP, these four guys from Krefeld, Germany, now present their second album STRATOSPHERIA.

It contains 3 atmospheric longtracks that slowly unfold into great epics – from the lone, soft echo in a vast openness to the dense, impenetrable wall of sound. Warm, hypnotic post-rock meets modern psychedelic, reminding some of us of the good old Pink Floyd sound. „Close your eyes and be carried away“ seems to be the motto – both live and in front of the record player.

STRATOSPHERIA is already preoderable and will be released on October 26th via the audiophile indie label TONZONEN RECORDS. It will be available as a limited gatefold LP in the vinyl colours marbled yellow (150 copies) and marbled greenblue (350 copies), as Digipak CD as well as for download.

Pavallion is:
Sebastian Dückers – Lead Vocals / Guitar
Steven Hein – Lead Guitar / Vocals
Andreas Zanders – Bass
Piet Fischer – Drums

Pavallion website

Pavallion on Thee Facebooks

Pavallion on Bandcamp

Pavallion on Instagram

Tonzonen Records website

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Samavayo Premiere “Prevarication Nation”; Vatan out Nov. 23

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on October 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

samavayo

The title of Samavayo‘s new LP, Vatan — out Nov. 23 as their first outing for Noisolution — translates from Persian to ‘homeland,’ and that is indicative very much of the some of the lyrical thematic from which the full-length works. More even than the Berlin-based trio’s 2016 LP, Dakota (review here), it is an album of unabashed sociopolitical perspective, and that is perhaps most summarized in the lyrics for the leadoff single premiering below, which is titled “Prevarication Nation.” Once you listen, there is little mystery whom and what it is about. Names aren’t named, but they’re not exactly shooting for subtlety.

Its sound is also something of a forward step for Samavayo, as well perhaps as a sideways one in terms of style. With a more progressive-metal bent than Dakota or their prior work, “Prevarication Nation” would not necessarily seem to speak for the entire collection in terms of aesthetic — not saying I got to hear early versions of the recordings as they were in progress or anything, but, well… — but it’s a standout in presence either way, marked by a distinct Tool influence that frontman/guitarist Behrang Alavi stands up to in his vocal approach as well. As to what the rest of Vatan might hold, November isn’t that far off — did you know it’s October? was news to me — and I have a decent feeling they’ll leak out more audio before the album actually arrives.

Until then, I’m of course thrilled to host the premiere of “Prevarication Nation” as well as the unveiling of the album art. Samavayo will mark the coming of the new release by touring with Sweden’s Greenleaf immediately prior, though as they note, they’ll have copies with them on the road for the merch table. I know I always like getting a record early.

Announcement comes from the label. Have at it:

samavayo vatan

“Prevarication Nation” is the first Track of the new SAMAVAYO album “Vatan” (nov.23rd 2018) and “Vatan” the first SAMAVAYO release on Noisolution. Be the first to buy it in our shop in November:
www.noisolution.de/shop

2018’s “Vatan” marks a new chapter and opens a new door for longtime SAMAVAYO fans and new admirers alike. Contemporary, fresh and progressive – but never missing that crunching heaviness they’re so well known for. At the same time lyrically deeper and more political than before. Beware, this band has got something to say – and it’s gonna get loud!

“Vatan” is a courageous next step: Heavy Stonerrock drawing influences from Progressive- and Alternative-Rock as well as Metal, all packed into more complex songs and structures than ever before. One of its highlights certainly being the title song with its Persian lyrics derived from a poem by Iranian author Simin Behbahani dealing with the concept of “home” and “homeland”, all topped off with a distinct oriental sound. The first single “Prevarication Nation” shows a different side of the band: the track is a complex ProgMetal-monster – psychedelic, heavy and tricky to the detail. “Sirens” on the other hand shows just as much of that progressive influence, weaving almost tribal-sounding rhythms into the mix while successfully paying tribute to the Godfather of Metal and Prince of Darkness – without sounding like yet another Sabbath-clone.

SAMAVAYO reinvented themselves without sacrificing their strengths. Lyrically deeper and more profound, touching very present political matters. Not only “Children Of Kobane” gives us a glimpse of the band’s as well as frontman Behrang Alavi’s political interest and dedication. An exciting new chapter for this institution of a band – and no doubt another proof why SAMAVAYO well deserves being called one of the cornerstones in their genre.

Samavayo live with Greenleaf:
09.11.18 FRI DE Berlin Musik & Frieden
10.11.18 SAT DE Stuttgart Keller Klub
11.11.18 SUN A Wien Viper Room Vienna
12.11.18 MON DE München Feierwerk
13.11.18 TUE CH Olten Coq d’Or
14.11.18 WED DE Cologne Helios37
15.11.18 THU UK London The Underworld Camden
16.11.18 FRI FRA Paris GLAZART (early show)
17.11.18 SAT DE TBA

https://www.facebook.com/samavayo/
https://www.samavayo.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/samavayo
https://twitter.com/samavayo
www.noisolution.de/shop

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Pavallion to Release Stratospheria Oct. 26; New Song Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 4th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

pavallion

German heavy post-rockers Pavallion will issue their second album, Stratpspheria through Tonzonen on Oct. 26. The LP is comprised of three tracks, the last of which, the title-cut, is 24 minutes long. So, you know, awesome. Surrounding and within that massive cut is a work of thoughtful exploration, mellow melodicism and open-ended structures that flow easily but can go just about anywhere they please as they make their way outward to some higher knowledge, individualized plane, off in the great go-go-go, whatever it is — the stratosphere? Maybe. The vibe is certainly altitudinous enough to be lacking oxygen. You can float away on it.

Normally for this kind of thing you’d have to wait, but Tonzonen has all three tracks streaming on the preorder page for the limited CD and vinyl, and you’ll find hem at the bottom of this post. Have at it and enjoy.

Info from the PR wire:

pavallion stratospheria

PAVALLION: German Psyched-out Rock Quartet Announce New Album Stratospheria for a late October Release. First massive single released!

German psyched-out rock quartet Pavallion just announced a new album titled Stratospheria due out on Tonzonen Records in late October.

Does music bend space and time? When a five minute song seems like a huge black hole while a 24-minute-epic rushes past in the blink of an eye, one can get the impression that it’s possible. Concerning Pavallion, time is relative anyway, as already shown on their debut album 2048. Following the minimalistic catchiness of their 2017 five track LP, these four guys from Krefeld, Germany, now present their second album Stratospheria.

It contains 3 atmospheric longtracks that slowly unfold into great epics – from the lone, soft echo in a vast openness to the dense, impenetrable wall of sound. Warm, hypnotic post-rock meets modern psychedelic, reminding some of us of the good old Pink Floyd sound. Close your eyes and be carried away seems to be the motto – both live and in front of the record player.

Stratospheria is already on pre-order and will be released on October 26th via the audiophile indie label Tonzonen Records. It will be available as a limited gatefold LP in the vinyl colours marbled yellow (150 copies) and marbled green- blue (350 copies), as Digipak CD as well as for download.

Tracklist
1. A Waves
2. Monolith
3. Stratospheria

www.pavallion.de
www.facebook.com/pavallion
www.pavallion.bandcamp.com
www.instagram.com/pavallion_music
www.tonzonen.de

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Desertfest Berlin 2019 First Announcement: Witch, Earthless, All Them Witches, Colour Haze, 24/7 Diva Heaven and Hällas Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 24th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

desertfest berlin 2019 banner

Not to be outdone by its London counterpart, Desertfest Berlin 2019 makes its own first lineup announcement, and once again it finds the two fests working under the same banner sharing a goodly portion of their bill. A big four names are showcased in All Them Witches, Witch, Earthless and Colour Haze, and as ever, each Desertfest brings a bit of its own personality to the proceedings, in the case of Berlin 2019 thus far with Hällas from Sweden bringing their traditionalist heavy rock and 24/7 Diva Heaven delving into ’90s-era riot grrrl noise. Between those and the bigger acts shared with London, it will once again be interesting to see how the two festivals develop their coinciding rosters. I can’t imagine trying to coordinate one fest schedule, let alone two, and oh hey because why not, Desertfest Berlin 2019 has a boat involved. And I defy you to find someone who doesn’t enjoy riffs on a boat. That’s a distinguishing factor right there.

Kickass poster art and the PR wire announcement follow, of course with more to come:

desertfest berlin 2019 poster

DESERTFEST BERLIN ANNOUNCES FIRST BANDS FOR 2019!

Legendary WITCH, ALL THEM WITCHES, COLOUR HAZE, EARTHLESS, HÄLLAS & 24/7 DIVA HEAVEN added to the first round of acts!

Desert rockers, it’s finally time to unveil the first bands for 2019, and WHAT a first start of acts this is! DESERTFEST BERLIN is more than proud to welcome the one & only, legendary J Mascis who will crash the ARENA BERLIN with his band mates in stoner metal icons WITCH!

Formed in 2005 by Dinosaur Jr. guitarist Mascis, in WITCH the distinctive pioneer of rock music goes back to his roots and takes over the drums. The band’s eponymous self-titled debut has been released in 2006, followed by the highly accclaimed ‘Paralyzed’ album back in 2008. We could not be prouder to welcome this unique cult band to our 2019-edition!

Rumors have been going on for a while, and yes they became true: ALL THEM WITCHES will be playing DESERTFEST BERLIN 2019! This rare gig the legendary rockers from Nashville will play in Berlin, will truly belong to one of THE live highlights in the history of DESERTFEST BERLIN and yours, too. With their heavy blues and psychedelic desert rock, ALL THEM WITCHES will literally put the ARENA on FIRE, don’t miss one of their only shows in Europe live at DESERTFEST BERLIN 2019!

But we got way more sweet acts to be unveiled today and in this first band announcement every stoner rocker’s heart will beat faster for: Please welcome psychedelic rockers EARTHLESS to the 8th edition of DESERTFEST BERLIN! With their extensive jams, the Californian multi-instrumentalists will turn the ARENA into a psychedelic wonderland, join them for a long ride on their unique classic rock and jazzy Krautrock trips!

Another exciting band we like to unveil today: COLOUR HAZE will celebrate their 25th band anniversary live at DESERTFEST BERLIN! They belong to the oldest psychedelic institution and became the flagship of the German heavy stoner scene, the more we are stoked to welcome them to our next year’s line-up. With an additional keyboarder live at DESERTFEST BERLIN, COLOUR HAZE will take us on a magic sound landscape drown in the haze and true rock spirit. Let’s celebrate 25 years of the legendary COLOUR HAZE together with the band, live at DESERTFEST BERLIN 2019!

To close this first round of already stunning bands, we have added Swedish hardrockers HÄLLAS to our 2019-bill! Describing themselves as Adventure Rock, we cannot wait to join them on a live adventure noone of us will forget. Last but not least, ladies and gentlemen let’s start a Riot: With a delicate and true LO-FI sound, inspired by bands such as L7, Bikini Kill, The Melvins, Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr. or Sonic Youth, the ladies in 24/7 DIVA HEAVEN will bring their pure blend of Hard Rock, Grunge and Punk Rock which is all bounded by the legendary Riot Grrrl sound to our stage in 2019, be prepared!

DESERTFEST BERLIN 2019 will take place between May 3th – 5th 2019 at the ARENA BERLIN.

In 2018, Desertheads from over 40 different countries came to witness the premiere at the Arena in the heart of Berlin, rocked out and celebrated the almighty riffs of the Stoner, Doom & Psychedelic Rock. In the last weeks the DESERTFEST BERLIN crew put their heads together to discuss and improve the 2019 edition. As the festival organizers just recently commented:

“We listened to the critics, cause we love you and we worked on all topics: Besides a totally new banging soundconcept and much simplified paying methods (token anyone?), we will come along with more space for you to hang and chill. And that is just the beginning of a whole candyjar of more sweet and trippy extras! So now that we took the Desertfest to the water and we saw how much you enjoyed our boatride… remember that white ship, the “Hoppetosse” docking on the outside area ? For DF 2019 we inked a deal with the owner and are now able to use the “Hoppetosse” as an additional chillzone as well as a rock and party stage. We will have bands playing there during the day, but also we will also host the aftershow parties on board. Hope you like this great news. More news are to come in the next days , so stay tuned!”

A new sound-and payment-system on the ground, more space AND a chillout- and live zone on a boat, with this already stunning line-up DESERTFEST BERLIN 2019 will mark the best edition you have ever been to!

Start your trip to the heart of the capitol of the almighty riffs, we cannot wait to see you all at the ARENA BERLIN 2019!

www.desertfest-tickets.de
www.desertfest.de
www.facebook.com/DesertfestBerlin
www.instagram.com/desertfest_berlin

Desertfest Berlin 2019 first announcement teaser

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Kadavar Post “Into the Night” Live Video; European Tour with Monolord Next Month

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 18th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

kadavar (Photo by Vollvincent)

Kadavar always seem to hit you on multiple levels, don’t they? It’s never just one thing. It’s an album, and a tour. It’s a video, and an entire series of them. It’s a split, and a tour. It’s a tour, and a tour. And so on. Next month, the Berlin three-piece head out with Monolord. Fine. Fair enough. Those’ll be killer shows for the Europeans lucky enough to catch them. Oh, and they’re also releasing a live record called Live in Copenhagen — you’ll never guess where it was recorded — both as a standalone LP and on CD as part of a tour edition of their fourth and latest album, Rough Times (review here). Oh, and they have a video from the live record for “Into the Night,” which originally appeared in all its protometallic righteousness on 2015’s Berlin (review here). Oh, and they’re doing a behind-the-scenes series of mini-documentaries about being in the band and touring all the time.

You know, I bet they have new songs in the works too.

If you’re wondering how Kadavar got to be Kadavar, yeah, righteous songwriting helps. The ’70s retroist vibe of their first two records helped. Well-brushed beards help. But there are plenty of bands out there who do that stuff. Kadavar got to be Kadavar by working their ass off. It’s been six years since their 2012 self-titled debut (discussed here), five since their 2013 breakout, Abra Kadavar (review here), and guitarist/vocalist Christoph “Lupus” Lindemann, drummer Christoph “Tiger” Bartelt and bassist Simon “Dragon” Bouteloup have barely stopped to catch their breath. You need amphetamines just to keep up with Kadavar, let alone be in the band.

Look, the point is that even in this often abstract, often horrifying digital post-future it’s not just about social media presence or keeping up momentum on Instagram posts. That’s part of it, make no mistake, but if you’re not actually out there doing something worth plugging for all to see in their feeds on their phones, you might as well be punching yourself in the face. It all feeds into the same cause, and if four records deep into their career you might dare doubt Kadavar‘s belief in their cause, just glance at the fucking string of tour dates they’re about to do. I don’t care how big your bus is, you’re still sleeping on a cot and doing stretches of six shows in a row in five different countries. Kadavar get a lot of credit for putting out good records– and well earned — but they get less credit for how much they back those good records with time on the road and a multifaceted, multi-tiered, multimedia approach to audience engagement, and to me that seems no less passionate than the material they craft itself.

Tour dates below courtesy of the PR wire. Enjoy the video:

Kadavar, “Into the Night (Live)” official video

Berlin-based rock overlords KADAVAR have announced to release a brand new live album called Live in Copenhagen, featuring their infamous show at Pumpehuset in Denmark’s capitol in November 2017 during the band’s tour in support of the most recent album, Rough Times.

Today the band releases the music video for the live cut of ‘Into The Night” from the aforementioned live album.

The album will be available as a tour edition packaged with said studio album (CD only) and also be made available separately on vinyl (see formats below). It’s scheduled to drop on October 12, 2018 via Nuclear Blast.

Pre-order your copy here: http://www.nuclearblast.com/kadavar-roughtimeste

Make sure to catch the band on tour:
KADAVAR + MONOLORD
25.10. D Dresden – Beatpol
26.10. D Magdeburg – Factory
27.10. D Berlin – Festsaal Kreuzberg
28.10. D Rostock – Peter-Weiss-Haus
30.10. DK Aarhus – Atlas
31.10. S Malmö – KB
01.11. N Oslo – John Dee
02.11. S Gothenburg – Sticky Fingers
03.11. D Weissenhäuser Strand / Ostsee – Metal Hammer Paradise *SOLD OUT*
04.11. NL Den Haag – Paard van Troje
06.11. F Angers – Le Chabada
07.11. F Toulouse – Le Metronum
08.11. E Bilbao – Santana 27
09.11. E Murcia – Garaje Beat Club
10.11. E Málaga – Sala Paris 15
11.11. E Sevilla – Sala Custom
14.11. F Six-Fours-les-Plages – Espace Malraux
15.11. CH Lausanne – Le Romandie
16.11. CH Zurich – Mascotte
17.11. NL Eindhoven – Helldorado
18.11. NL Groningen – Vera
20.11. D Bielefeld – Forum
21.11. B Kortrijk – De Kreun
22.11. D Karlsruhe – Substage
23.11. D Leipzig – Conne Island
24.11. D Schweinfurt – Stattbahnhof
25.11. D Neukirchen – Sägewerk
27.11. D Cham – L.A.
28.11. D Munich – Backstage
29.11. D Bochum – Zeche
30.11. D Saarbrücken – Garage
01.12. D Freiburg – Jazzhaus
06.12. D Frankfurt – Batschkapp*
*KADAVAR only

Kadavar, Live Quickies Episode 1

Kadavar, Live Quickies Episode 2

Kadavar on Thee Facebooks

Kadavar on Twitter

Kadavar on Instagram

Nuclear Blast on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast webstore

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Friday Full-Length: Colour Haze, All

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Colour Haze, All (2008)


Ten years of All. A decade since this album came out, and that stretch has done nothing to dull its luster. Colour Haze didn’t invent the idea of warmth in a recording, but they might well have perfected it over their years. All swept in and was my album of the year pick in 2008, and its warmth is no small part of why, but it’s also the point at which Colour Haze — already past the 10-year mark themselves by then and on their ninth LP and fourth through Elektrohasch Schallplatten — began to show just how expansive their intentions really were. And how progressive.

It was a new level of maturity in their songwriting and a new level of patience even beyond that which they brought to 2006’s Tempel or their 2004 self-titled (discussed here), both also pivotal offerings both for the band and for European heavy psychedelia in general. Those records seemed to establish the pattern, and All, with its 65-minute 2LP run and its 10 one-word tracks that all streamed together to deliver the message, “silent moon turns lights; if stars all fall one remains,” came through as a new realization of many of the ideas Tempel and Colour Haze put forth, let alone 2003’s 2CD Los Sounds de Krauts, 2001’s Ewige Blumenkraft (reissue review here) or any of their earlier, more desert rock-influenced work preceding.

By the time they got to All, the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek — also, if it needs to be said, the head of Elektrohasch — bassist Philipp Rasthofer and drummer Manfred Merwald, had already defined what their core sound was going to be, but in the mellow strums and backwards drums of “Turns,” and in the funk of “Moon” preceding, in the incorporation of organ on “Lights” and the hyper-immersive flow of its title-track, All demonstrated that as groundbreaking as Colour Haze had been up to that point, their exploration was really just getting started.

I don’t want to say All blew everything Colour Haze had previously done out of the water, because that’s not really true. Those other records stand up to any scrutiny one might want to give them and then some, each marking a point in the ongoing forward motion of the band’s continued growth. You cannot have one without the others before it, and that’s true of their work to-date. When they got around to All, however, there was a clear shift in terms of the scope at work. Tempel was and remains defined by its chemistry between KoglekRasthofer and Merwald — the same can be said to a degree of everything the band does — but had an inward-looking feel, where true to its title, All was more expansive and outward-directed.

Given a lot of the sonic exploration underway in songs like opener “Silent,” the sitar/acoustic-based “Stars,” and the tense, churning shuffle of “If” before it, it’s fair to say Colour Haze‘s reach had never been so much a factor in their arrangements, which had always beencolour haze all creative, and an overarching sense of poise held firm throughout, no matter where an individual song seemed to meander. It would be four more years before they put out a song called “Grace,” but All had plenty to go around.

Perhaps nowhere more so than on the extended pairing of “All” and “Fall.” I’ll gladly admit to being more familiar with the CD version — though once I did get to hold the limited edition cloth-cover double vinyl in my hands and I immediately felt unworthy — and while on the LP that’s the split between sides C and D, on the, ahem, CD, it’s a linear shift from one into the next, and it’s the point at which the fluidity that so much permeates the album as a whole finds its high water mark.

The arrival of the keys behind the driving apex toward the end of “Fall” is an obvious culmination point for the entire outing, but even before that, in the patience and gorgeous unfolding of “All” itself and the manner in which it takes on what’s essentially Colour Haze‘s signature riff and with Rasthofer‘s bass as a foundation builds upon it in a new and glorious way. The solo in the second half. The quiet noodling that follows with Merwald‘s cymbal-mute stops keeping the tension going. The build back up to full volume again, and indeed, the keys that emerge late; it’s nothing if not aptly titled “All.” It’s the kind of work that reaffirms hope for the species, even 10 years after the fact.

Repetitions of “We’ve got to get together/We’ve got to be all one” and a well-timed return of sitar make “One” more than an afterthought following “Fall,” and the quiet stand-mostly-alone guitar of “Remains” that caps the album is a statement unto itself. That they would finish not in grand crescendo, but instead peacefully making their way out — it’s another subtle but key decision that makes All the masterpiece it still is.

Colour Haze would, of course, continue the thread. As alluded to, in 2012, after copious delays on the technical side they released She Said (review here), which dived even deeper into expanded arrangements, with horns and strings pulled in alongside the core trio on cuts like “Transformation” and the aforementioned “Grace.” Late-2014’s To the Highest Gods We Know (review here) followed and drew back to a more rooted and jammier vibe, but still had its progressive aspects readily on display, and after the 2016 live record, Live Vol. 1 – Europa Tournee 2015 (review here), 2017 brought In Her Garden (review here), which again was one of the year’s best albums and renewed their commitment to the tenets of classic progressive rock while retaining the organic melodic and rhythmic sensibilities that seem at this point to be indispensable to their sound.

I had the opportunity to see them in London back in May of this year for the first time in half a decade, and they were nothing short of incredible. An absolute treasure of a band. They’ll make an annual sojourn to Keep it Low in their native Munich next month and play Sankt Hell in Berlin to round out the year, and I would not be at all surprised if 2019 brought a new release from them of one sort or another. Whatever that might be, it’d only be welcome.

I sincerely hope you enjoy All, and thanks for reading.

My early mornings doing Obelisk stuff have kind of become overnight shifts. I got up sometime around 1:30AM to start this post, and it’s coming on 4AM now. Most of this week I’ve been up between 2 and 2:30. I slept until my alarm went off at 3:30AM the other day and felt like I was behind all day because I didn’t get enough done before the baby woke up. And the truth is I was. One attempts to find a balance.

Attempts.

Hey, looks like I might be going back to Norway. I tend to never consider these things settled until I’m through security and getting on the flight — though even that wasn’t far enough when that volcano went off on my way to Roadburn in 2010 — but things are in motion to get me back to Høstsabbat in a couple weeks and it has The Patient Mrs.’ seal of approval. Electric Moon, Asteroid, Toner Low, Elephant Tree, on and on, playing in a church in Oslo? Yeah, you can go right ahead and sign me up for that one. Keeping my fingers crossed all the confirmation comes through okay. Naturally, if it happens, I’ll be covering. More info on the fest is here. It’s sold out.

Also looks like I’m getting a show on Gimme Radio. I turned in a sample playlist and they dug it so, it’s kind of a thing I’m trying out. I did college radio at WSOU, and kind of have missed being on-air ever since, so this could be a cool way to do that. Plus there are good people involved and that’s always key. More to come. I need to send them pictures of myself. Sadly, I’m awful-looking, so this is a source of some anxiety. Like, life-long.

In the meantime, The Little Dog Dio continues a steady decline. We’ve been hand-feeding her chicken breast and Polly-O string cheese for I guess two weeks now, and she just ate a bunch and drank some water and went out to pee, so clearly the steroids we’ve been giving her are doing their job, but she’s less comfortable between doses of pain meds than she’s been. Last night she was hunched up standing with her head down, clearly uncomfortable, and it had been a while since we saw that. Just now she got up out of her bed in the kitchen and came to lay down by my feet, which she ordinarily wouldn’t do — a shar pei wants to be nearby, but likes its space — so yeah. I’ve loved this dog for a long time. Another vet appointment next week to follow-up and see where we’re at. I’ll just give scritches and belly rubs until then. How about a billion dollars to whoever cures cancer first? I’d donate to that Kickstarter.

I don’t even want to get up and get another cup of coffee for fear of disturbing her.

That’s been hard. The worst part is there are moments where she’s eating and I forget and I feel like she’s maybe getting better and I look at the GIANT FUCKING TUMOR in her shoulder and just feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach. She’s not going to get better. We’re buying time. Buying time and drawing it out. I told The Patient Mrs. a few days ago that I always imagined she wouldn’t so much die as evolve beyond her corporeal form and become a being of pure light like in that episode of The Next Generation. I was kidding, of course, but let that be indicative of my overall ability to emotionally handle what’s coming. Eating made her hurt. It happened last night too and it happened just now. Ugh.

Okay.

The Patient Mrs.’ semester has also started, so the week’s been kind of a mess on that end too. Summers “off” is nice — or would be; she has to work all the time anyway, between research, reading, writing and meetings for sundry university service projects, so while she’s not teaching, “summers off” is mostly a myth — but having your schedule upended every couple months, especially now with The Pecan running the show as he is, I’m trying to figure out when’s naptime not the least so I can sleep too. We’ll get there. We’re not there yet.

If you’re in North Carolina or anywhere in Hurricane Florence’s path, good luck and stay safe. My grandmother who passed away last year was named Florence. If she were alive and lucid, I’d like to think she’d see it as a fitting tribute. If anyone sees people after the storm selling “I survived Florence” t-shirts, I want one in every size available. Black shirts preferred. I’ll PayPal you the cash.

I’m streaming a track from the new Sherpa album — so good — and I’m going to try to review the new All Them Witches next week, and I’ve got stuff slated into the middle of the week already, news and such, but yeah, I’m going to finish working it all out over the weekend, so I’ll just leave it there for now.

Like always, I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please have fun, hug your loved ones and take care of yourself in the best way you can.

And like always, please check out the Forum and Radio stream. It is appreciated.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Redlake Circus Premiere Video for “Bethel (Enki/Enlil/Anu)”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

redlake circus (Photo by Boris Kownatzki)

The sense of ritual is pretty thick from the outset in the video for the three-part track “Bethel” from Redlake Circus‘ 2016 album, Thelema. While a strong current of progressive metal runs through much of what surrounds, “Bethel” itself basks in post-rock and heavy psychedelic fluidity, and its stated themes of spiritual exploration remain consistent with the rest of the record, even perhaps the frustrations expressed in the subsequent “Sedloc,” which opens with the line, “I am fucking sick of this motherfucking world.” Hey man, we all have those days. Usually on Tuesday.

Anyhoozle, “Bethel” with its parenthetical subtitle listing the three parts, “Enki,” “Enlil” and “Anu,” appears as three separate tracks in the first half of Thelema that are also bundled together at the end of the digital version of the album, streaming on Bandcamp and whatnot. The nine-minute entirety is instrumental — that in itself is a departure from the rest of the record — and the video focuses on the live experience of the band on stage. It’s all in slow motion, giving a real sense of the atmosphere, and there’s incense, enviable hippie-pants, deep colors and deep tones that are no less expansive for their weighted grounding. Again, it’s a departure, but that seems to be the point.

And while Thelema might be a little more aggro than will sit easily with some heads — I suspect for others it’ll be just about right; that’s how these things usually go — the obvious aesthetic consideration Redlake Circus put into their work and the distinct progressive tinge lend the output a sense of reach that many others don’t have while still holding onto such charge. Again, the album’s been out since 2016, so I don’t know if the trio are working on something new or anything like that, but their live show, in fast or slow motion, seems like an immersion all on its own.

You’ll find the video below, followed by some explanatory comment from the band.

Please enjoy:

Redlake Circus, “Bethel (Enki/Enlil/Anu)” official video

Redlake Circus on “Bethel (Enki/Enlil/Anu)”:

Song is called BETHEL ( ENKI – ENLIL – ANU). Bethel is the third single from our latest album “Thelema.” Bethel is a 9 mins instrumental.

Song divided in 3 sections:
Enki representing our earthy emotions, the body , the creation… the dance of the snake.

Enlil brother of Enki, representing the water, the flood, as Ouroboros, cycles, sometimes we need to destroy something to be able to build again a new thing, this could be physical or emotional. From our material possession to our spiritual believes and state of consciousness.

Anu the father of both, representing fire, the explosion of our emotions, releasing the anger, sufferings or love and euphoria inside of us, the connection with something way beyond our minds. This part ends with a soft tapping melody which represent the air, a soft cleansing experience, unity between the three. Time to breathe and start over again.

Redlake Circus is:
Santana: Vocals & Guitars
Mateo Morandi: Bass
Johannes Möckel: Drums

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Samsara Blues Experiment Touring Australia & New Zealand, South America & Mexico, and Europe

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

samsara blues experiment
Three tours, three months, touching four continents. Pretty god damn impressive for a band who a couple years ago decided they weren’t all that interested in playing out. Berlin heavy psych rockers Samsara Blues Experiment have resumed activity in a big way since the release last year of One with the Universe (review here) on Electric Magic Records, and if their ultimate goal is universal oneness, then hitting so much of the planet in so little time can only be considered a great way to go about it. They may still have a bit to go, but, you know, the more ground you can cover, the better.

So it’s Australia and New Zealand starting this weekend, then in October a run through South America and Mexico, and finally in November, a week-long stint through Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. I’ll just go ahead and assume that’s it for them for 2018, though one never really knows, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were back at it next year again. I wouldn’t hold my breath for US dates, but there are always festivals and things of that sort and clearly Samsara Blues Experiment have made themselves welcome in a variety of places. Should be fun to see where they end up next. Japan?

The band posted the dates on the sans-frills manner as follows:
samsara blues experiment tour banner

SAMSARA BLUES EXPERIMENT – LIVE is LIFE!

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
07/09/18 Perth (OZ), The Amplifier
08/09/18 Brisbane (OZ), Crowbar
09/09/18 Sydney (OZ), Leadbelly
10/09/18 Auckland (NZ), Whammy Bar
11/09/18 Wellington (NZ), Valhalla
13/09/18 Melbourne (OZ), The Bendigo
14/09/18 Geelong (OZ), Barwon Club
15/09/18 Melbourne (OZ), The Bendigo
16/09/18 Adelaide (OZ), Crown & Anchor

SOUTH AMERICA & MEXICO
11/10/18 Palmas (BR), Festival Bem Ali
12/10/18 Brasilia (BR), SUJO
13/10/18 São Paulo (BR), Abraxas Fest
14/10/18 Rio de Janeiro (BR), Abraxas Fest
16/10/18 Buenos Aires (AR), The Roxy
17/10/18 Montevideo (UR), Bluzz Live
19/10/18 Mexico City (MX), Multiforo Alicia
20/10/18 Puebla (MX), TBA

GOOD OLD EUROPE
10/11/18 Berlin, Zukunft am Ostkreuz
12/11/18 Hamburg, Hafenklang
13/11/18 Tilburg (NL), O13
14/11/18 Amsterdam (NL), Melkweg
15/11/18 Groningen (NL), Vera
16/11/18 Dortmund, Rock Hard Night @Piano
17/11/18 Brussels (BE), Magasin 4

https://www.facebook.com/samsarabluesexperiment/
http://sbe-official.tumblr.com/
http://instagram.com/samsarabluesexperiment”
https://samsarabluesexperiment.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/electricmagicrecords/
https://electricmagicrecords.bandcamp.com/

Samsara Blues Experiment, One with the Universe (2017)

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