Samsara Blues Experiment Premiere “Vipassana”; Reveal Art and Tracks for One with the Universe out May 12

Posted in audiObelisk on March 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

samsara blues experiment

As they returned home to Germany this past week from a South American tour and made ready to head out over the next month on a slew of European dates including festival stops at Under the Black Moon, Riff Ritual, and Desertfest in London and their native Berlin, Samsara Blues Experiment came one step closer to the release of their fourth full-length, One with the Universe. The album — confirmed for a May 12 release through Electric Magic Records with cover art by Michel Bassot newly unveiled below — arrives four years after the third Samsara Blues Experiment outing, Waiting for the Flood (review here), and finds the band pared down to a trio for the first time on a studio offering, returning to activity after several years away following a prolific run between 2009 and 2013, and embarking on some of their boldest and most progressive arrangements to date.

I haven’t heard One with the Universe in its entirety yet — as of this weekend, the master was still being finalized — but today I have the extreme pleasure of hosting the premiere of the 10-minute opening track, “Vipassana,” for your (and my) streaming enjoyment. Obviously, its my basis for the assessment above about the arrangements, and as the song plays through its jam-based course, one can hear that coming through in the synth provided by guitarist/vocalist Christian Peters, joined in the three-piece by drummer Thomas Vedder and bassist Hans Eiselt. At the same time, to go along with the core warmth of low end and natural push of the toms at the start and the airy guitar and echoing vocals that accompany, there also emerges some weightier tonality in the chorus that hits with a more aggressive underlying vibe. Dare I say “doomly?” I won’t guess how it plays out across the span of One with the Universe, which runs just under 47 minutes, but along with the synth sprawl that starts at about the halfway point, it’s something that turned my head listening to “Vipassana.”

I’ll hope to have a review up sometime between now and the May 12 release date, so I’ll save some of the rambling for that, but the name of the song, if you’re wondering, refers to the Buddhist notion of insight into the true nature of reality. Not exactly a toss-off scale on which to begin an album. Such purposes are welcome from Samsara Blues Experiment, who recorded the likewise ambitiously-titled One with the Universe with former bassist Richard Behrens (also of Heat), who also helmed the last outing. One looks forward to hearing how this spiritual searching resolves itself, or if it does at all, throughout the rest of the tracks.

Peters was kind enough to give some background on the making of “Vipassana,” and you’ll find his words, the complete album tracklisting, upcoming tour dates and more info under the player below.

Please enjoy:

Christian Peters on “Vipassana”:

‘Vipassana’ is the first song we did after Richard had left the band. It came out from a series of jam sessions. Pretty much this is all we did in the first rehearsals after Richard left: jamming, jamming and even more jamming. The song topic seems to be about growing up, or maybe growing up responsibly. Kind of a coming of age thing wrapped in heavy riffs and Pink Floydish-psychedelia, plus some kind of Indian raga theme. It’s pretty much what one can consider as ‘classic SBE’-material already, I think.

It may be interesting to know that Richard, who did not play any instruments, but again recorded the album, also contributed some nice ideas in the process, like having me play the backward solo or putting in some vintage tape-effects. we are all very happy with the outcome of this song in particular and hope you will enjoy. there is much more on the album.

samsara-blues-experiment-one-with-the-universeSAMSARA BLUES EXPERIMENT’s fourth ‘full piece of wax’ “One with the Universe“ is a culmination of all their works and truly a hard hitting cosmic invitation for floating into their universe of spiritual progression. The most evolutionary development compared to previous albums is the cosmic usage of analog synthesizers, keyboards and effects, while not losing focus on catchiness and well-rendered songwriting.

These five new epics subtly integrate flashes from Jimi Hendrix´ “Electric Ladyland“, Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath, with Canterbury Prog elements à la Caravan and the fuzzed-out riffs of Kyuss. “One with the Universe“ can not be put just into one genre: it is a multifaceted heavy rock album with tons of soul, courage and originality!

The album will be released on May 12th through Electric Magic Records.

TRACK LISTING:
1. Vipassana (10:43)
2. Sad Guru Returns (7:55)
3. Glorious Daze (6:01)
4. One with the Universe (15:03)
5. Eastern Sun & Western Moon (7:09)

– ARTWORK FROM MICHEL BASSOT –

EUROPEAN SHOWS:
25.03. Roma (IT), Defrag
31.03. Osnabrück, Westwerk
01.04. München, Under The Black Moon Festival
02.04. Leipzig, Werk 2
22.04. Barcelona, Riff Ritual Festival
29.04. Berlin, Desertfest
30.04. London (UK), Desertfest
12.05. Berlin, Zukunft am Ostkreuz (Stummfilm-Special)
13.05. Berlin, Zukunft am Ostkreuz (Albumrelease Parteeey)
14.05. Hamburg, Hafenklang
15.05. Wiesbaden, Schlachthof
16.05. Bielefeld, Forum
17.05. Nijmegen (NL), Doornroosje
18.05. Nantes (FR), Le Ferrailleur
19.05. Paris (FR), Backstage
20.05. Köln, Underground
11.08. Finkenbach, Finki Festival

Samsara Blues Experiment on Thee Facebooks

Samsara Blues Experiment Tumblr

Samsara Blues Experiment on Instagram

Samsara Blues Experiment on Bandcamp

Electric Magic Records on Thee Facebooks

Electric Magic Records on Bandcamp

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Wight Premiere “Atlas” Video; New Single out Tomorrow

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

wight-Photo-by-Christian-Heyse

As announced earlier this week, tomorrow is the digital release date of Atlas, the new single from German four-piece Wight. With vinyl forthcoming through H42 Records (presale starts tomorrow for that as well) sometime over the summer, the band begins quickly to move forward from their 2016 third album, Love is Not Only What You Know (review here), while keeping some of the same principals intact. You might recall that Love is Not Only What You Know was the latest in a series of three departures for Wight; each of their full-lengths to-date has marked a significant shift in sound from the one before it.

In the case of Love is Not Only What You Know, it was funk and soul elements incorporated with a classic rock feel building on the heavy psych of 2012’s Through the Woods into Deep Water (review here), which likewise was a marked shift from the straightforward nod-riffing of 2011’s Wight Weedy Wight (review here) debut. Out and out they go. Where they’ll stop, nobody knows.

With Atlas, though, Wight maintain some of the flavor of their third outing while also moving it forward. The single features two versions of the song “Atlas,” one performed by the band and the other an extra-funkified redux called “Atlas (Flashbaxx Remix),” which you know is trouble from the sheer number of ‘x’s the title contains. It lives up to that standard. Even the core “Atlas” is plenty dangerous, though, with the organ and Rhodes lines of Steffen Kirchpfening intertwining with René Hofmann‘s guitar early only to step back and allow his increasingly soulful vocal delivery — coated in far-off echo here that seems to answer him back when heard through headphones — to feature even more than on the last record en route to a quick but telling bridge jam held together atop the rhythm from bassist Peter-Philipp Schierhorn and drummer Thomas Kurek and a last run through the somewhat restrained hook.

It’s a quick listen, under five minutes, but it sees Wight bring further cohesion to the impulses that drove the material their last time out, and when the “Atlas (Flashbaxx Remix)” starts in with its Curtis Mayfield-style groove, yeah, the band lets you know they have a few more tricks up their collective sleeve yet. I’d love to hear these dudes with a full-on funky string section. It could happen. Don’t think it couldn’t.

Wight have a history of performing live in videos. They did it to lead the way into the last album with a clip for “The Love of Life Leads to Reincarnation” (posted here), and they represented Through the Woods into Deep Water by actually going to the woods and playing the title-track (posted here), so to find them digging into “Atlas” leading into the single fits their character well enough, and it’s to their credit that as they keep pushing their sound to these new places, they refuse to not draw that line of vitality in their approach. There’s some surprisingly melancholy imagery included here — for a track so colorful, the clip is awfully black and white — but Wight have very clearly come to dwell on their own wavelength, so I’m not inclined to ask questions.

Please find the video premiere for “Atlas” below, followed by the credits and the band’s upcoming live dates. My thanks to Wight and H42 Records for letting me host it.

Enjoy:

Wight, “Atlas” official video

Recorded live at Orange Box Studio, Darmstadt, January 2017

Produced by René Hofmann, Fat&Holy Records 2017

– Video Credits –
Camera & post-production: Gabriel Sahm, Johanna Amberg
Additonal Camera: Martin Kadel, Jonas Eichhorn, Fabian Weber

– Audio Credits –
Recording: Hüseyin Köroglu, Josko Koketovic
Mixing: Maurice Young
Mastering: René Hofmann

– Wight is –
Rene Hofmann: Vocals, Guitar
Peter-Philipp Schierhorn: Bass
Thomas Kurek: Drums
Steffen Kirchpfening: Organ, Rhodes

Wight live:
Mar 24 Centralstation Darmstadt, Germany w/ Colour Haze & My Sleeping Karma
Apr 01 Sputnikhalle Münster, Germany
May 05 DasBach Vienna, Austria
May 06 Zukunft Chemnitz, Germany
May 24 Schraub-BAR Bückeburg, Germany
May 26 Limes Cologne, Germany
May 26 O:M:A Karlstadt am Main, Germany

Wight on Thee Facebooks

Wight on Twitter

Wight on Bandcamp

H42 Records website

H42 Records on Thee Facebooks

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: REZN, The Fërtility Cült, Cosmic Fall, Oceanwake, Jenzeits

Posted in Radio on March 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio cavum

Granted, we’re still running on the backup server, but it’s been a couple weeks at this point anyway, so it’s time for a new round of adds to The Obelisk Radio. Some of this stuff is brand new, some isn’t out yet, and some is older, so it’s a pretty decent mix on that front, and between REZN, The Fërtility Cült and Cosmic Fall, I certainly think we’ve got heavy psychedelia covered. Fortunately there’s the longform doom extremity of Oceanwake and the kraut-worship electronics of Jenzeits (also longform, as it happens) to offer some balance, lest we go drifting off into the universe never to be heard from again. Can’t have that happening.

Before we dig in, thanks to Slevin as ever for his diligent work in keeping the Radio afloat. He’s got a drive recovery running now that will hopefully bring back everything that was there before. It’s been a whole thing, but progress is being made and I appreciate him tossing this stuff in with the backup material in the interim. Thanks to you as well for reading and listening.

The Obelisk Radio Adds for March 14, 2017:

REZN, Let it Burn

rezn-let-it-burn

All-caps Chicago-based newcomers REZN make their deceptively ambitious debut with Let it Burn, a self-released 10-songer checking in at a willfully sprawling 59 minutes that blends psychedelic drift, grunge fuckall and neo-stoner fuzz consumption to welcome effect. One gets shades of Mars Red Sky from opener “Relax,” but later doomer cuts like the blown-out cosmic smash of “Harvest the Void” or the rolling “Fall into the Sky” ensures the three-piece of bassist/vocalist Phil Cangelosi, drummer Patrick Dunn and guitarist/vocalist Rob McWilliams are working on their own wavelength, and flourish of sitar from McWilliams and Dunn on the dynamic raga-infused “Rezurrection,” as well as Dunn‘s percussion and Spencer Ouellette‘s modular synth in the two-minute interlude “Pipe Dream” that leads into the initial spoken sample of the Dead Meadow-style fuzzer “The Creature” only add further checked-out-of-life charm to the offering as a whole. “Relax” and “Wake” at the outset speak to some impulse on the part of the band to tie their material together, but that comes through even more as “The Creature” transitions into “Fall into the Sky” and the suitably-spacewalking “Orbit” leads to the noisy start of rumble-laden closer “Astral Sage” later on. REZN leave themselves room to grow into their approach in moments like these, and pieces like “Harvest the Void,” “The Creature” and “Wake” certainly speak to a memorable songwriting process in development, but Let it Burn already shows them a potent brew of weighted lysergics.

REZN on Thee Facebooks

REZN on Bandcamp

 

The Fërtility Cült, A Forest of Kings

the-fertility-cult-a-forest-of-kings

Nestled into the heavy hotbed of Tampere, Finland, The Fërtility Cült continue their progressive push into reverb-laden heft with late-2016’s A Forest of Kings, their third long-player behind 2013’s Heavenly Bodies and their 2011 debut, Eschatology (review here). In an admirably crowded scene, the five-piece are distinguished for their tonal breadth, use-not-overuse of echo-laden saxophone and organ and general willingness to meander without giving up an underlying principal of craft or direction. All of this is on display in the A Forest of Kings opener “Blood of Kings,” but the highlight of the album has to be the centerpiece “The City on the Edge of Forever” (taking its name from the highlight episode of the original Star Trek, written by Harlan Ellison), which successfully fuses jazzy rhythm with a patient, psychedelic execution to the sacrifice of neither. Also the longest inclusion at 10:58, it’s the umlaut-happy troupe’s most resonant melody and most singularly progressive stretch, but neither will I take away from the nod of “God of Rain,” which follows, or the manner in which the apex shuffle of closer “Cycles of Time” unfurls itself from the song’s initial subdued verses. Heady vibe throughout the total 46 minutes, as one might expect, but The Fërtility Cült‘s third is less self-indulgent than it might superficially seem, and their varied arrangements never fail to service what really matters to them, which of course is the material itself rather than the exercise of playing it. Rich and graceful when it wants to be, A Forest of Kings hones an endearing landscape without getting lost in it.

The Fërtility Cült on Thee Facebooks

The Fërtility Cült on Bandcamp

 

Cosmic Fall, Kick out the Jams

cosmic-fall-kick-out-the-jams

Mostly-instrumentalist trio Cosmic Fall — based in Berlin and comprised of guitarist/vocalist Mathias, bassist Klaus and drummer Daniel — formed in 2016 and worked quickly to turn around First Fall (discussed here), their first full-length of improv-based works. Kick out the Jams arrives with a fittingly quick turnaround and brings forth seven new pieces in its digital form, topping 93 minutes in its total space-bound push. More impressive than the quantity of the work — though I won’t take away from the sprawling appeal (or the delightful, influence-on-our-sleeve pun in the title) of the 21-minute “Earthfull” or 19-minute opener “Saturn Highway” — is the chemistry that seems to have immediately found root in Cosmic Fall‘s sound. They take a forward step in these tracks, to be sure, and there are more steps to be taken — a band like this, in the best case scenario, does not stop progressing, their material only comes to unfold more as a musical conversation between old friends; see Electric Moon — but as Kick out the Jams plays through its extended, immersive runtime, cuts like “Interstellar Junction” and “Stairway Jam” feel especially bold in how open they are in allowing the listener to hear that process happening. Songs are varyingly active — only “White Stone” (4:42) is under 11 minutes long — and allow for Mathias to lead the way into the spaciousness of “Purple Weed” while Daniel‘s toms propel “Cosmic Conclusion” at the album’s finish, but the core message behind Cosmic Fall less than a year into their tenure is one of ambition and the band’s deep motivation to develop the already palpable dynamic they have going. One can only look forward to hearing where their adventures take them and, indeed, where they take their audience.

Cosmic Fall on Thee Facebooks

Cosmic Fall on Bandcamp

 

Oceanwake, Earthen

oceanwake-earthen

With Earthen on ViciSolum Records, Finnish progressive death-doomers Oceanwake complete a trilogy that began on their 2013 debut Kingdom and had its second installment with 2015’s Sunless (review here). I’m not entirely sure what the overarching theme tying the releases together is — perhaps hearing the debut would help, but it’s not easily tracked down — but Earthen expounds on the blend of extremity, poise and emotional resonance the Luvia five-piece proffered their last time out, arriving as two massive tracks, opener “A Storm Sermon” (21:09) and closer “In Amidst the Silent Thrones” (24:04), both of which work in movements that shift between crushing, grueling doom and gorgeous, airy melodies. A depth of emotionalism isn’t necessarily anything new in the style — countrymen from Skepticism to Swallow the Sun have been morose for a long time — but what Oceanwake bring is a fluidity in their transitions and a sense of purpose to their songwriting beyond the usual miseries. Thus, like Sunless before it, Earthen emerges to bring significant character to familiar elements, drifting at times and explosive at others, but always under complete control, never wandering without a reason, and basking in low end that has to be heard to be believed. Earthen might fly under a lot of radars, but it shouldn’t be missed by those with an affinity for the extreme ends of doom. One hopes the now-completed trilogy project won’t be the sum total Oceanwake‘s output together.

Oceanwake on Thee Facebooks

ViciSolum Records on Bandcamp

 

Jenzeits, Jenzeits Cosmic Universe

Jenzeits-Cosmic-Universe

Jenzeits may be a new incarnation, but the project stems from a familiar source. Relocated from North Carolina to San Francisco — also, apparently, to the cosmos itself — multi-instrumentalist Chad Davis (Hour of 13SetAnuThe Sabbathian, etc.) offers up two massive synthesized soundscapes on Jenzeits Cosmic Universe, as both “Alpha” (25:00) and “Omega” (21:53) channel krautrock exploration and progressive indulgence. A due amount of the release is given to hypnotics, as one might expect — that is, it’s an easy one to put on and zone out — but Davis isn’t without some sense of motion either as he makes his way through “Alpha” and the rightfully more foreboding “Omega,” the latter delving into a movement of key runs backed by wind swirl calling to mind any number of horror and/or retro-horror soundtracks, and even minor shifts in the elements at work at any given moment become more pronounced in the grand context of the whole work. Davis usually has his hands in a number of outfits (and a number of genres) at any given time — an Hour of 13 resurgence is pending, for example — but Jenzeits‘ debut is engaging in its textures and feels like a journey just beginning.

Jenzeits on Thee Facebooks

Jenzeits on Bandcamp

More to come as we get The Obelisk Radio back up and running at full capacity. I’ve purchased a new hard drive toward that end, so we’ll have even more room to work with as well. Will update when there’s an update.

Till then, thanks again for reading and listening.

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Samavayo Premiere “Cross the Line” Video; Tour and Festival Dates Announced

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

samavayo

Last spring, Berlin-based heavy rock three-piece Samavayo reinforced their willingness to cross genre lines with their fifth album, Dakota (review here). With a strong sense of drive behind their crunching tones, they brought together elements of noise rock, heavy riffing and flourish of Middle Eastern progressions that only further distinguished their material. Recorded by Richard Behrens (Heat, formerly Samsara Blues Experiment) and released through Setalight Records, it was angular in its purpose — that is, prone to sharp edges on a sonic level — but flowed smoothly throughout and brought the band to a place that emphasized the consideration put into their songwriting without coming across as navelgazing in its sound.

It rocked, in other words. I guess I’m trying to say it rocked.

The trio of guitarist/vocalist Behrang Alavi, bassist/vocalist Andreas Voland (also Moog) and drummer/percussionist/vocalist Stephan Voland haven’t been shy about getting out to support Dakota, and next month, they’ll hit the road on a tour through Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic ahead of showing up in the UK for a slot at Desertfest London 2017. Good gig to get, but it’s hardly their last. Summer festival season awaits in Europe, and July will find Samavayo back in action at the long-running Stoned from the Underground as well, and it seems likely more are to follow (also more precede, hello Hell over Esslingen).

At the same time, and perhaps to herald their departure, Samavayo have put together an artfully shot new video for the track “Cross the Line” from Dakota that is premiering today. You get to see the band playing as silhouettes and you get to see people with boxes on their heads — are they robots? — and other such fun whatnots, but of course the star is the song itself, which shows off where Samavayo are sound-wise and the penchant for working under a variety of influences that stands them out so much from their peers.

Please find it below, followed by their tour dates, and enjoy:

Samavayo, “Cross the Line” official video

Cross The Line is the first official video of the latest album Dakota from the German stoner rock band Samavayo. The song is currently also the first of their live set.
“The audience gets carried away by that song and its sound right at the beginning of our shows,” says singer and guitarist Behrang Alavi. “The song also has a message: We can’t cross the red line of humanity and decency, because there won’t be a way back from it. We need to find empathy and get rid of ruthlessness and greed.”

In cameraman and director Johannes Plank Samavayo found the perfect fit to visualize that message. He mobilized the antagonists of his upcoming movie “Eva Ost.” The “TV-Men,” whose heads are actual TVs, illustrate a society poisoned by consumption and ownership. In the video the tv screens show some cuttings that can be understood as political statements and therefore build up a new meta level. The message is: “Nobody can run from this change. Our brains are already poisoned.”

Credits:
Director / Camera / Editor / Production | Johannes Plank
Assistant Director | Florence Freitag
Gaffer | Yannick Spiess
Production Design | Mihan Torabi
Camera Assistant | Ranav Adhikari
Set Runner | Siddarth Thapa
Catering | Anne Berger
Drivers | Andreas Voland, Christian Schmalfuss
Musicians | Behrang Alavi, Stephan Voland, Andreas Voland
TV-Men (Berlin) | André Schröder, Ricardo Ziege, Richard Volkmer, Simon Höhne, Mustafa Bozbalak
TV-Men (Plauen) | Christian Dressel, Stephan Stumpf, Alexander Enskat, Rico Gemeinhardt

Many thanks to the venue “Zukunft am Ostkreuz.” MEKU Film © 2017

Samavayo “Cross the Line” tour:
Mar 16 Zentralcafé Nuremberg, GER *
Mar 17 Immerhin Wurzburg, GER *
Mar 18 Dirty+Dancing Osnabrück, GER *
Mar 24 Zukunft am Ostkreuz, Berlin, GER **
Mar 25 Spring Rocks! 2017, Wolfenbüttel, GER
Apr 03 AKK Karlsruhe, GER ***
Apr 04 L’Elastic Bar, Strasbourg, FR
Apr 05 Dr. Feelgood, Paris, FR ****
Apr 06 Café Faust, Stuttgart, GER ****
Apr 07 Gaswerk, Winterthur, CH ****
Apr 08 The Bruch Brothers, Luzern, CH ****
Apr 12 Alte Mälzerei, Regensburg, GER
Apr 14 Kramladen, Vienna, A ***
Apr 15 Kain Prague, CZ ***
Apr 16 Bajkazyl, Brno, CZ ***
Apr 28 Little Devil, Tilburg, NL
Apr 29 Desertfest 2017 London, UK
Apr 30 Hopla, Cologne, GER
May 11 Sabotage Dresden, GER
May 12 Hell over Esslingen, Esslingen Am Neckar, GER
Jul 13 Stoned from the Underground, Erfurt, GER
Jul 14 Steinbruchfestival 2017, Mühlheim, GER
* with Operators
** with Mother Engine
*** with Shotgun Valium
**** with Hellroom Projectors

Samavayo tour event page

Samavayo on Thee Facebooks

Samavayo on Bandcamp

Samavayo at Setalight Records

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Wight to Release New Single Atlas on March 17

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

On March 24, in their hometown of Darmstadt, Germany, four-piece psych-fusion rockers Wight will play one of the shows I’d most like to see in 2017. They’ll be supporting the ongoing, Obelisk-presented European tour of My Sleeping Karma and Colour Haze (dates posted here), and golly, that’s a good bill. Talk about front-to-back. Wight of course round out that stupidly-awesome trio of acts as they continue to support last year’s likewise excellent Love is Not Only What You Know (review here), but before they take the Centralstation stage, they’ll also be posting a new single called “Atlas” that finds them further digging into the funky, soul-laden sound they proffered on that 2016 album. Vinyl is due this summer on H42 Records, but one can definitely understand why they’d want the track out earlier as well. It’s quite an occasion.

Keep an eye out to0, because later this week I’ll be premiering a video for “Atlas.” Should be on Thursday if all goes according to my (not really all that evil) evil plans. The track and its remix both rules, so please, yeah, watch for it.

H42 has the WHY-IS-THIS-NOT-A-POSTER-ON-MY-WALL cover art and release details below:

wight atlas

ATLAS new Single from Wight out March 17, 2017

Wight announces new Single
Digital out on march 17th
Vinyl presale starts march 17th (release in June/July)

New year, new music. Wight give us new tunes in form of ATLAS!

The song is supposed to reflect the grey winter in Germany, as well as the topic of the titan “Atlas” our typically German mentality. Foreign people come and we are afraid of change and get angry with oracles / media, which is why we like to react very reserved. We whine a lot although 80% of our problems are complete luxury problems. We do not know hunger!

In september 2016 “Love Is Not Only What You Know”, the third album by the German band Wight, was released. The band was founded in 2008, in 2011 they released the self-produced debut “Wight Weedy Wight”. 2012 followed the second LP “Through The Woods Into Deep Water”, as well as concerts and festival performances, among others at the Stoned From The Underground and the Desertfest in Berlin.

Limited Edition up to 200 copies out on H42 Records (H42-044)
50 on GLOW IN THE DARK vinyl
50 on CLEAR vinyl
50 on PINK vinyl
100 on BLACK vinyl
+ 20x TESTPRESS Edition with different Artwork (Only from H42 Records)

Tracklist:
A1 Atlas
B1 Atlas (Flashbaxx Remix)

Wight live:
Mar 24 Centralstation Darmstadt, Germany w/ Colour Haze & My Sleeping Karma
Apr 01 Sputnikhalle Münster, Germany
May 05 DasBach Vienna, Austria
May 06 Zukunft Chemnitz, Germany
May 24 Schraub-BAR Bückeburg, Germany
May 26 Limes Cologne, Germany
May 26 O:M:A Karlstadt am Main, Germany

https://www.facebook.com/wightism
https://twitter.com/wightism
https://instagram.com/wightism/
https://wight.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/H42Records
https://twitter.com/H42Records
https://www.instagram.com/j.b.h42records/
http://www.h42records.com/

Wight, Love is Not Only What You Know (2016)

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Operators Announce New Album Revelers Due in May

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

operators

They’ve shifted from a six-piece to a five-piece since putting out their second album, Contact High (review here), late in 2013, but as this Spring finds organ-laced Berlin heavy rockers Operators making a return with their third outing, Revelers, that’s not the only change at hand. Not that I’ve heard it yet or anything, but the new record — the six tracks of which arrive half a decade after the band’s self-titled debut (review here) — feels immediately more textured in its intentions than anything they’ve done before.

Still plenty of riotousness happening, as “Pusher” demonstrates in the stream at the bottom of this post, and I don’t think you put a song called “Fuzz Muncher” on your record if you’re going full-prog, but there’s a sense of their approach maturing in “Leveled Reveler,” “Messina” and especially 10-minute closer “Rolling Hitch” that works to expand the dynamic of tempo changes throughout and the vibe of the songs overall.

René Hofmann from Wight recorded and contributes guitar and vocals on that last track, and the band has sent over copious other info on the forthcoming LP, for which they’re crowdfunding a pressing as we speak. Check it out:

operators revelers

Operators – Revelers

We are the heavy rock band OPERATORS from Berlin, Germany – loud guitars, organ, sweat ‘n pure joy! We run this band completely independently since 2009, have recorded two albums entirely on our own and played 140 gigs. Yes, we’re in it for the music! Now we want to publish our new album ‘Revelers’ for and with you – it is already recorded! (photo: Fabian Willi Simon)

We want to release our new album Revelers together with you, without taking any detours!

We’ve consciously decided for crowdfunding and not for a record label. It is important for us to have 100% control over the publishing of our record, just as we have over songwriting and recording. Also, contracts with labels often run over 7 or 10 years – we want to be independent. We have already built a strong and steady connection to you and our crowd through our shows and this next step is only logical now.

This is not about donations, about doing some album at some time, this is about an album that is already finished and is about to be printed and pressed as we speak. This very album can be pre-ordered now for reasonable prices.

Revelers – that’s one hell of a 38 minute Rock’n’Rollercoaster! The album’s diverse six songs shimmer in different colours. The interplay of drums, bass, guitar, organ and vocals shines in the 3 rollicking minutes of “Pusher” and fully unfolds in the 10 captivating minutes of “Rolling Hitch”.

Facts about the record:
– Recorded, mixed and produced by René Hofmann (Wight)
– René Hofmann also contributed backing vocals and a guitar solo (on ‘Rolling Hitch’)
– recorded October 27-30 2016 at Lui Hill Studio, Darmstadt, Germany
– additional vocals recorded in November and December in Darmstadt and Berlin
– mastered by Tony Reed
– 6 songs and 38 minutes strong
– release in mid-May
– artwork by Johannes Walenta/Kopfüber (organ player for Stonehenge)

Tracklist ‘Revelers’:
01 Leveled Reveler (7:50)
02 Pusher (3:04)
03 Messina (7:15)
04 Walkin’ On Air (4:54)
05 Fuzz Muncher (4:43)
06 Rolling Hitch (10:04)

Operators’ upcoming gigs:
March 16 – Nürnberg, Zentralcafé w Samavayo & Zen Meister
March 17 – Würzburg, Immerhin w Samavayo
March 18 – Osnabrück, Dirty Dancing w Samavayo & Isoptera
May – Berlin record release (to be confirmed)
July 16 – RED SMOKE FEST, Pleszew, Poland (Operators are announced on March 10)

https://www.startnext.com/en/operatorsberlin
https://operators.bandcamp.com/
http://www.facebook.com/OPERATORSberlin

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Review & Track Premiere: Colour Haze, In Her Garden

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

colour haze in her garden

[Click play above to stream ‘Labyrinthe’ from Colour Haze’s new album, In Her Garden. CD is out this month with vinyl to follow in May, both via Elektrohasch.]

In part, it’s a question of scale. The 12th studio album from Munich-based trio Colour Haze, titled In Her Garden and featuring an array of tracks named for plant-life including “Black Lilly,” “Magnolia,” “Arbores,” “Lotus,” “Lavatera,” and so on, lands less than three full years after its predecessor, 2014’s To the Highest Gods We Know (review here) — they also had the live album, Live Vol. 1 – Europa Tournee 2015 (review here), out in 2016 — but in its sound and scope, it might have more in common in terms of presentation with the record before that, 2012’s She Said (review here). Like that offering, In Her Garden is a sprawling, 2LP affair — its 72 minutes fit on one CD, however, which She Said didn’t — rife with progressive forward steps on the part of the self-recording three-piece guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek, bassist Philipp Rasthofer and drummer Manfred Merwald, who work with Jan Faszbender on modular synth, Rhodes, Hammond and, on the 63-second interlude “sdg I” and the nine-minute “Labyrinthe,” an arrangement of bass-clarinet, trombone and tuba.

Horns and wind at this point aren’t anything new for Colour Haze, and the inclusion of a string quartet arranged by Mathis Nitschke on “Lotus” will be familiar to anyone who encountered “Grace” from She Said or the closing title cut from To the Highest Gods We Know, but even in how these elements are integrated, In Her Garden demonstrates continued growth on the part of Colour Haze who, 22 years on from making their debut with 1995’s Chopping Machine (discussed here), absolutely refuse to stagnate on any creative level. To be clear, In Her Garden is the most progressive Colour Haze offering to-date, and whether that’s heard in the unabashedly joyous bounce of “Lotus,” blending acoustics and electrics along with the aforementioned strings, or the earlier fuzz immersion of “Lavatera,” or the noodling in “Magnolia” that later receives an echo backed by dream-toned Rhodes in “sdg II,” it is true of the complete front-to-back experience of the 13-track entirety.

Another factor drawing comparison between In Her Garden and She Said over To the Highest Gods We Know is the basic length. The 2012 album was a massive 81 minutes long — as noted, too much for a single CD — where its follow-up was just 40. With that came more stripped-down ideas built off what She Said accomplished before it, and likewise, In Her Garden continues the movement forward from To the Highest Gods We Know. Its LPs divide into an even 36 minutes each, and each component LP into roughly even sides of about 18 minutes apiece. Only side A has four tracks, the rest have three, and each side begins with an intro/interlude of its own. In the case of side A, that’s the semi-title-track “Into Her Garden,” but the rest are given the lowercase initials “sdg” and offered as “sdg I,” a minute of horn warmup and clarinet melody, the 1:49 “sdg II,” which as noted brings back the standout progression of “Magnolia,” and finally the 1:55 “sdg III” an acoustic/sitar (the latter performed by Mario Oberpucher) run that one only wishes went on longer as it leads the way into the closing duo of “Skydancer” and “Skydance.”

These short pieces do much to enhance the atmosphere and structure of In Her Garden as a whole, whether it’s providing a sneaky foreshadow of things to come or reinforcement tying together what’s already happened, but from Faszbender‘s organ work on “Lavatera” to Koglek‘s shimmering guitar lead “Arbores” to the additional percussion contributed by Robert Schoosleitner, formerly of Elektrohasch jammers Been Obscene, the album brims with a diversity befitting its garden theme — a variety of different species that, when arranged as impeccably as they are, create something that gives a sense of wholeness and a sense of beauty that, individually, each species could not. Moving between more traditional structures early in “Black Lilly,” “Magnolia” and “Arbores” into more jam-based ideas like 11-minute side B/LP1 closer “Islands,” which follows the swirling “Lavatera” and holds back its vocals until nearly eight minutes in, Colour Haze enact a fluidity often imitated but still distinctly their own, and while each song seems to be precisely placed just where it needs to be to maximize symmetry, instrumental or vocalized, to put on In Her Garden and listen front-to-back on CD or digital, the flow between tracks is practically seamless.

colour haze in her garden booklet

Granted, it shouldn’t be especially surprising that a group more than two decades into their career knows how to make songs work well next to each other, and it’s true that some of the aspects of In Her Garden show themselves to be signature Colour Haze, whether it’s the riff that appears in the apex of “Skydance” as the album moves toward its conclusion, the unmatched class and instrumental chemistry between KoglekMerwald and Rasthofer or the live feel between the three of them that underscores even the broadest of arrangements, on side C’s horn-laden “Labyrinthe” or the subsequent, string-infused “Lotus.” None of this is to In Her Garden‘s detriment. Rather, even as the second LP takes its cue from “Islands” and moves away somewhat — “Lotus” aside — from the garden theme and plant-based titles, it’s the core strength of Colour Haze‘s style giving them the foundation on which to build their arrangements.

The pair of “Labyrinthe” and “Lotus” most outwardly emphasize this, but it’s true to varying degrees of “Lavatera” and “Islands,” of “Black Lilly,” “Magnolia” and “Arbores,” and of “Skydancer” and “Skydance” as well — the whole record does it, and then finds further enrichment through the intro to each LP side. One can listen to the Rhodes on “sdg II,” or hear the patient drawl of horns in “Labyrinthe” or the swing in “Black Lilly” and point to individual achievements that demonstrate Colour Haze‘s relentless, continual evolution of ideas, but with In Her Garden the more appropriate way to look at it is with the resounding affect of the entirety. It’s not just about one song. It’s about the conversation of songs, and how they interact with each other. “Lotus,” which wants only for the inclusion of a full nine-part harmony chorus in its finish, nonetheless provides a wonderful crescendo in its bouncing apex, but it’s not just for itself — it’s for “Labyrinthe” before it and the closing duo still to come. Each cut feels an effect from its surroundings, and the whole experience of In Her Garden becomes a world that lets the listener come inside and wander as they will, or just sit quietly and let these special moments wash over.

I feign no objectivity when it comes to this band or their output. I am a fan and when I put on In Her Garden to bask in the winding rhythm of “Magnolia,” the keys on “Skydancer” or the glorious pull of “Lotus,” I hear them with a fan’s ears and experience a fan’s joy in returning to them. That said, In Her Garden only provides further argument for why that’s the case in its concept and its memorable songcraft, and shows clearly why a generation of heavy psych rockers has worked so hard to capture a fraction of what makes the work of KoglekRasthofer and Merwald so continually and enduringly special. We’re now 13 years on from their self-titled LP (discussed here) and 11 from its 2006 follow-up, Tempel (discussed here), which in many ways have become defining outings for Colour Haze, but time has done nothing to dull either their aesthetic luster nor the will that drives them to create.

One can trace a line from earlier works like 1999’s Periscope, 2000’s CO2, 2001’s Ewige Blumenkraft (reissue review here) and 2003’s Los Sounds de Krauts — their first double-album — on through Colour Haze, Tempel, 2008’s All and into their latter-day works and find no point at which they did not push themselves to find new avenues to explore as players and writers. When one considers this body of work — the whole garden — Colour Haze become all the more a singular entity in Europe’s heavy underground as well as a defining presence within it, but even taken out of its context, In Her Garden not only stands up to the legacy behind it, but feels like just as much an invitation to those who’ve never heard the trio as it is the latest welcome return for longtime followers. Its warmth of tone, overall scope, melodic depth and thoughtful ambition ensure it is entirely Colour Haze‘s own and that its resonance will hold for years to come even as it stands tall and graceful among the best full-lengths of 2017. Recommended.

Colour Haze website

Colour Haze on Thee Facebooks

Elektrohasch Schallplatten website

Colour Haze at Sound of Liberation

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Obelyskkh to Release The Providence this Spring; Album Trailer Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

obelyskkh

German sludge riffers Obelyskkh — who get an A+ for their moniker and a B- for spelling — will issue their fourth album, The Providence, this Spring via Exile on Mainstream. I haven’t reviewed anything they’ve done since 2012, but I’ve bought all three of their records to date, so I’ll look forward to picking up this fourth one as well. Nothing against writing about them, it just hasn’t happened in half a decade apparently. Not like I’ve been avoiding it. You’d think I’d post every time they cut a fart, just so I could type their name out again in some kind of half-hearted phoenetic self-promotion. Some things I just can’t figure out.

Anyhoo, they’ve got a trailer posted for The Providence that actually seems to give a sense of the vibe of the album as a whole, rather than just teasing one track or a part of a track or something. From what I can tell, it sounds like the cover looks. Dark, electric, heavy, vaguely phallic, and so on. Dig in and see what you think, then prepare your head if you’re in the US to wait until June for it to come out. Europe gets it in April. Europe gets all the good stuff. Especially in April.

The PR wire has it as follows:

obelyskkh the providence

OBELYSKKH: German Sludge Act Completes Fourth Album, The Providence; Exile On Mainstream Posts Trailer + Preorders

Three years in the making, Germany’s doom/sludge kingpins OBELYSKKH have completed their fourth full-length, and are preparing The Providence for release through their steady label home of Exile On Mainstream this Spring.

The Providence was again recorded and mixed by Andy Naucke and mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, Tragedy, High On Fire, From Ashes Rise, Integrity), and again sees cover art crafted by Sebastian Feld/Marginal Ink. The album will be released on all digital platforms, CD, and 2xLP with three sides of music and a Side D etching.

OBELYSKKH’s The Providence will see release on April 21st in Europe, and on June 2nd through new AISA/Red/Sony stateside distribution in the US. European physical preorders are available now at THIS LOCATION. Stand by for US and digital preorders, new tracks from the album, and more to be released in the weeks ahead.

The Providence Track Listing:
1. The Providence
2. Raving Ones
3. Northern Lights
4. NYX
5. Aeons Of Iconoclasm
6. Marzanna

The title of the new OBELYSKKH excursion might remind one of H. P. Lovecraft’s iconic poem, and you’d not be wrong, as these classic words provided inspiration for lyrical content and the artwork for The Providence. But that’s only one dimension. The other is illustrated almost perfectly by French revolutionist Victor Hugo: “Above all, you can believe in Providence in either of two ways, either as thirst believes in the orange, or as the ass believes in the whip.” The band lived by this message, beating the record out of themselves, fighting an uphill battle.

Following the 2013 release of the band’s groundbreaking third album, Hymn To Pan, which struck less than one year after its predecessor, White Lightnin’, the Franconian doomsters found themselves in a state of turmoil and a line-up change with bass player Dirty Dave being replaced by Seb Duster. These ups and downs, alongside the massive honesty and emotionality in the band’s routines, developed monstrous pressure, which is sonically channeled into this album, The Providence surging with massive weight, groove, and darkness. The album sees OBELYSKKH leaving huge parts of their former approach behind. Less psychedelic, with more groove — not stoner rock, but more on the side of doom than grueling sludge – yet still delivered in a crushing maelstrom.

OBELYSKKH has booked a run of European tour dates in conjunction with the album’s release, with shows in Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria from April 7th through April 20th, with more shows to be announced throughout the months ahead.

OBELYSKKH Tour Dates:
4/07/2017 Ebrietas – Zürich, CH
4/08/2017 Goldgrube – Kassel, DE
4/09/2017 Cafe de Jack – Eindhoven, NL
4/10/2017 Music City – Antwerp, BE
4/11/2017 Nexus – Braunschweig, DE
4/12/2017 Kulturbahnhof – Jena, DE
4/20/2017 Nihilistic Arts Festival – Wilhering, AU

http://www.facebook.com/TheObelyskkhRitual
https://obelyskkh.bandcamp.com
https://twitter.com/OBELYSKKH_DOOM
http://www.mainstreamrecords.de

Obelyskkh, The Providence album trailer

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