Fresh off a quick tour that included a stop at the Up in Smoke fest in Switzerland on Oct. 5, French trio Glowsun have unveiled a new video for the song “Lost Soul.” Taken from their Napalm Records debut, 2012’s Eternal Season, the track also appeared on their 2011 split with German megajammers Electric Moon (review here) and is a tonally rich, warm trip through much of what’s most enjoyable about modern European heavy psych, capturing both a free-flowing aural spirit and a precise sense of build throughout its relatively-brief under-five-minute course. The three-piece of Johan Jaccob (guitar), Ronan Chiron (bass) and Fabrice Cornille (drums), work quickly to affect a hypnotic groove without pretense, and once set on their path, they don’t waver.
Spiritually, it’s a jam, but “Lost Soul” doesn’t at all feel like it’s somewhere it doesn’t want to be. Glowsun have a few more tour dates lined up for this fall, including one at the Blue Moon fest in Germany with Monkey3, Intronaut and Grandloom, among others. Dig it:
Oct 20: Mondo Bizarro Rennes France Oct 21: Glazart Paris France Nov 29: Blue Moon Fest Cottbus Germany
Maybe you get to see them and maybe you don’t. Either way, you can still get a feel for what Eternal Season — which is currently in good company on my, “Why haven’t I bought this yet?” list of CDs — is about with the clip for “Lost Soul,” which doesn’t actually feature the band, but taps into some Cold War-era imagery of Chernobyl nuclear fallout and devastation thereof all the same, kind of like it’s the epilogue to everyone else’s video that shows the test footage of the Manhattan Project. Sound-wise, Glowsun operate in a similar heavy psych sphere as their Napalm labelmates My Sleeping Karma, with just an overwhelming touch of fuzz that pervaded the first Sungrazer album. As you can hear below, it’s not a combination to be ignored.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d be pretty happy to see Mars Red Sky anywhere. London, Tilburg, maybe somewhere on their recently-announced West Coast stint following the recording of their second album in the Californian desert, or maybe in the back yard. I’m not picky. Wherever. But to see them in their native Bordeaux, with fellow French fuzz countrymen Glowsun sounds particularly awesome. The band in conjunction with a slew of others are presenting a series of shows over the next couple months called “Make it Sabbathy” — sound advice — and they’ve just revealed a trailer for the first installment, which indeed finds them paired with Glowsun — VvvV will also be on the bill — whose song “Dragon Witch” provides the score for the teaser below, which also features a dancing lady and the square carting her around. Certainly a more apt visual metaphor for stoner rock vs. society than I could ever put together. Good fun.
Also a good reminder to revisit that Glowsun album, which I didn’t give its due attention owing to that whole I-hate-digital-promos thing. They’re my square in the driver’s seat.
Here’s the trailer and show info, should you be lucky enough to be in Bordeaux anytime over the next few months:
Make it Sabbathy! #1 teaser
MRS Red Sound is proud to present the first monthly heavy and psychedelic shows in Bordeaux, France : MAKE IT SABBATHY ! On September 18th, French stoner references MARS RED SKY and GLOWSUN will be the first guests of this fuzzy rendez-vous, along with local progressive krautrock sensation VvvV.
We concocted some wild asphalt-burning teaser on this occasion, so it would be much appreciated if you could share this on your website ! For the love of heavy riffs and stoned atmospheres…
? MAKE IT SABBATHY shows ? September 18 – Mars Red Sky + Glowsun + VvvV October 8 – Dead Meadow + Black Jaguar’s Revenge November 18 – Samsara Blues Experiment + Dätcha Mandala
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 9th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
Who wouldn’t want to settle in for a Switzerland autumn? Frankly, it sounds about as close to ideal as I can picture, and it would seem that Sound of Liberation — the booking powers that be behind the last few years’ Up in Smoke traveling fest — are in agreement. In league with the Swiss venue Z7 in Pratteln, they’ll present the first Up in Smoke indoor festival, and they’ve put together a killer lineup for their first outing. With Pentagram, Colour Haze, My Sleeping Karma and Truckfighters among their first batch of announced headliners, the Up in Smoke fest is sure to get a heavy beginning and hopefully it’ll be the first of many to come.
Here’s the poster and official announcement, plus a live clip of Colour Haze from the first Up in Smoke tour, just for the hell of it:
UP IN SMOKE indoor Festival
Born in 2011, the concept initially called UP IN SMOKE Roadfestival is a tribute to the clouds of blue smoke which wave around the dances and trances of music lovers around the world ! Each time, for each volume, we offered a well suiting band package and got them to hit the European roads to meet their fans and rock the crowds with psychedelic, doom, heavy rock and experimental riffs.
As free to move as a cloud of smoke were the four first editions of the road festival… But this year, the UP IN SMOKE festival becomes sedentary, and sets up in PRATTELN (CH), a location close to the French and German borders. On October 5th 2013, a new puff of smoke will rise up from the one of the very best Swiss venues : Z7 KONZERTFABRIK ! Take part and join us !
date : 05th October 2013 place: Z7, Pratteln, Switzerland
The roadfestival UP IN SMOKE stops its caravan in Switzerland for a new rendez-vous: after 3 years of wandering around Europe, we have decided to offer a “home” to UP IN SMOKE for one full day in the sweetest swiss rock venue : Z7. Description: Heavy Rock, Stoner, Sludge, Doom & Psychedelic Festival 16 bands – 2 stages – 1 day
Line up so far:
PENTAGRAM (US) ***excl.Switzerland Show COLOUR HAZE (D) ***excl.Switzerland Show TRUCKFIGHTERS (SWE) ***excl.Switzerland Show MY SLEEPING KARMA (D) ***excl.Switzerland Show RADIO MOSCOW (US) GLOWSUN (F) MONKEY 3 (CH) SHEVER (CH) JOULES (CH) MARANT (CH) + more bands to be announced soon
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 1st, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
It hasn’t been easy keeping up with the Desertfest updates, as both the London and Berlin fests seem to be adding new bands every day — Truckfighters and Colour Haze joining the London lineup was a bit of a “holy shit” moment for me — and sure enough, the last couple days have been no different, with French bands Glowsun and Mars Red Sky added to London and Blues Pills and Orchid signing on for Berlin. Lineups for both are getting pretty packed.
I’ve had several of those “holy shit” moments, including one listening to Dozer last weekend when I realized I’m actually going to get to see that band play, so although I may have some trouble keeping up, I’m unbelievably psyched to catch Desertfest this year.
Here’s the latest:
After crashing the Berlin leg of Desertfest last year, French ‘psychédélique’ trio Glowsun are heading to Camden and completing the double. Already strong contender for any best French band of all time awards, Glowsun are masters of mixing powerful, ambient psychedelia with raw, crushing groove.
Debut full length, The Sundering, put Glowsun on the stoner map in 2008 thanks to its expertly crafted, hooky jams. Last year’s follow up, Eternal Season, shoved drone more to the centre of the sound as well as pushing through heavier, crunchier guitars. The result was an equally atmospheric, but much darker album with more strut and swagger.
Sitting halfway between Sleep and Sungrazer, Glowsun’s appearance at the Camden leg this year is bound to be a thunderous, apocalyptic journey into a psychedelic waste ground.
words courtesy of Tom Geddes
Mars Red Sky
Mentioning the very concept of Mars Red Sky in the UK brings to mind the bizarre combination of tasty chocolate, caramel and nougat with a high quality brand of potato crisps. En France however we’re talking only about the psyche-tripping, outer galaxy meanderings of Bordeaux’s finest retro rockers, known to their fans as MRS.
Taking in influences as broad as Hendrix, Kyuss, Cream, Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, these meteor-bothering cosmonauts create a thick, fuzzy, yet delicate sound, memorably topped off by frontman Julien Pras’ startlingly soulful bluesy rasps behind the mic. With just a singular, though poignant, self-titled debut record and a split with Year of No Light out to date, MRS have quickly built an impressive résumé which includes guest spots at Roadburn, Les Eurockennes and Incubate festivals as well as opening slots with the likes of Sleepy Sun and Killing Joke. A groovy, acid-frying three piece rounded out by Jimmy Kinast on bass and Benoit Busser behind the kit, MRS bring brooding basslines, triumphant drumbeats and a megaton of big-muffled guitar riffs together with a dark and haunting sense of melody, seldom heard in the cactus fields of classic stoner rock.
If you dig the likes of Colour Haze, Tweak Bird, Witchcraft and Earthless then get your shovel back out and prepare to get crater-making with yet another astounding addition to our line-up here at DesertFest 2013.
As many of you expected, ORCHID is now confirmed for the DESERTFEST BERLIN ! :)
ORCHID is an American Doom Metal band based in San Francisco, California, founded in 2007, and one of the greatest new acts of its kind. Rocking hard with their dark, psych-sonic blues assault, the band, around the charismatic lead singer Theo Mindell and his fascinating psychedelic vocals, are the new darlings of the retro heavy rock scene.
ORCHID established their reputation early with the 2009 release of their first EP “Through The Devil’s Doorway” on the small indie label The Church Within. The EP quickly received first-rate reviews around the world naming it an ingenious debut for a band with an auspicious future. Shortly after this release, ORCHID unleashed their first full length album “Capricorn”, released in 2011 by the same label. The record immediately gained the band a huge following in Europe. In September 2012, Nuclear Blast released “Heretic”, their last EP to date … but not for long, as they already prepare a new one, “Wizard of War” ! Stay tuned…
As they live for writing, recording, and playing live, they tour in Europe every year, participating in many of great festivals, such as Hammer of Doom Festival in October 2011, and DesertFest London last April.
Now it’s Berlin turn !!
It’s time for us to bring a little bit of blues to the DesertFest. We are glad to welcome the Swedish-American-French hybrid BLUES PILLS !!
After their departure from Radio Moscow in September 2011, drummer Cory Berry and bass player Zack Anderson, joined up with Swedish lead singer Elin Larsson and French guitar player Dorian Sorriaux to form BLUES PILLS, a compound of heavy, driving bass lines, colossal drums and ferocious, riff based, soul-penetrating guitar work tied together by an incredible soulful voice.
Their 4-track debut EP, “Bliss”, released in May 2012 on Crusher Records, propelled them at the forefront of the on-going 1970?s blues rock retrospective. They toured last summer in Spain and Portugal, and this year, they will play at Roadburn Festival and DesertFest !!
So come to Berlin and take your dose of this blues medicine !!
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 6th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
I didn’t really need an excuse to wish I was going to be in Europe come September, having already failed to get that Fulbright to Sweden I tried for last fall, but hey, why not toss another installment of the Up in Smoke tour on the pile? Indignity loves company.
This time around, it’s recent Napalm signees Monkey3 and Glowsun teamed up with German upstarts Grandloom. Good stuff. Sound of Liberation sent over dates and info on the PR wire:
UP IN SMOKE VOL IV
Monkey 3 (CH) — Glowsun (FRA) — Grandloom (GER)
The Psychedelic Roadfestival goes into the next round! From September 14th until September 29th, the Up In Smoke Roadfestival offers you finest heavy psychedelic rock music.
MONKEY 3 from Lausanne, well known for their outstanding live performance, will headline the evening. The ones among you, who have already seen the band live, know what we are talking about. Monkey 3 are constantly creating an excellent mixture of heavy, psychedelic, stoner and space rock. Atmospheric and emotional! http://www.monkeythree.com/
For almost 15 years GLOWSUN has been on a journey through sheer endless distances of the musical cosmos. Consequently, the trio from Northern France continues their psychedelic trip. Swirling and heavy riffs meet the intelligent and playful foundation of the tight rhythm section, thus transforming the songs into compact sound clouds which surround and finally transport the listener into a completely new world. Glowsun will present their new CD “Eternal Season” during the UP IN SMOKE Tour. https://www.facebook.com/Glowsunmusic
GRANDLOOM from Cottbus in Germany have already established their sound in the german underground scene. Their great mix of ‘70s rock, stoner, and psych leading them to trippy super jams…heavy, bluesy and always groovy. http://www.grandloom.de/
Up In Smoke VOL IV – The Psychedelic Roadfestival on Tour: 14.09. CH Winterthur, Gaswerk 15.09. CH Yverdon, Amalgame 16.09. A Salzburg, Rockhouse 17.09. Wuerzburg, Café Cairo 18.09. Munich, Feierwerk 19.09. A Wien, Arena 20.09. Jena, Rose 21.09. Muenster, Amp 22.09. BEL Brussels, Magasin 4 23.09. F Paris, Glazart 24.09. Cologne , Underground 25.09. Frankfurt, das Bett 26.09. Berlin, Magnet 27.09. Hamburg, Molotow 28.09. Dresden, Groovestation 29.09. Esslingen, Komma http://www.soundofliberation.com/up-in-smoke-vol-4.html
Posted in Whathaveyou on November 28th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
You know, I was listening to Hypnos 69‘s Legacy just yesterday, by coincidence, and I still feel like that record is lightyears beyond me. Maybe I wouldn’t feel that way if I was ever so fortunate as to see the band live, but that doesn’t do me much good now. As it stands, Legacy is one of probably two records (I can’t think of another, but will allow for the possibility) that I’ve reviewed since starting this site that I still feel like I’m learning more about with every listen. Simply brilliant.
And if you’re lucky enough to be in Germany for the end of 2011, you can catch those Belgian prog wonders with Dutch fuzz upstarts Sungrazer (whose Mirador is pretty high on my list for this year) and Glowsun from France, whose split with Electric Moon was recently reviewed. Brash German hardcore punkers DxBxSx will guest on the first three of the four “Santa Psychedelica” tour dates, which Sound of Liberation was kind enough to send over. Behold:
Xmas is coming soon and we have some sweets for you as well…
Hypnos69 (BEL), Sungrazer (NL) and Glowsun (F) combining their psychedelic spirits to deliver you some outstanding After-Xmas–Shows!
Special Guest for the “Punkedelica” After Show Parties in Cologne, Munich and Dresden are DxBxSx from Berlin… well know for their wild Party Rock n Roll!
Posted in Reviews on November 3rd, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster
Caked in a foamy, lysergic head, the Sun and Moon split between French and German psychedelic trios Glowsun and Electric Moon practically floats into the ears. It’s just five tracks, but both bands jam their way to just below 42 minutes on the limited 180 gram Sulatron Records vinyl. Longtime followers of European psych will recognize the name Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt from acts like Liquid Visions, the underrated Weltraumstaunen, Zone Six and that bearing his nom de plume. Prolific as ever, he handles guitar in Electric Moon – who’ve also released two limited CD-Rs this year – and is the man behind Sulatron Records, while Glowsun’s guitarist, Johan Jaccob, is responsible for the art, which is no less colorful than the music contained on the record. The two bands mesh incredibly well together, one being entirely instrumental and the other being mostly instrumental and the both of them reveling in spaced-out, heavy jams. A relatively consistent production between the two bands only makes the transition smoother, and as much as Sun and Moon is a great way to be introduced to the methods of either band, it also makes it easy to appreciate how well they play off each other.
The subdued bass of Glowsun’s Ronan Chiron opens “Death’s Face,” following some spooky backwards whispers presumably from Jaccob, who handles vocals for the band when there are any to handle – which there aren’t here. An immediate trippy tone to the guitar work comes through with back and forth effects play, and it skirts the line between lyrical and annoying in the song’s beginning, but is nonetheless well woven into the overall context of the track, the structure of which is not completely open despite feeling that way. Glowsun keep to progressions of fours, and launch into a heavier, fuzzier, more directly-riffed movement in the song’s second half, Jaccob answering his earlier noodling with an engaging solo as drummer Fabrice Cornille adds a finality to each start and stop behind. Cornille’s snare is high in the mix, but rather than sound abrasive or overly bright, it gives the listener something to hold onto as the shorter “Lost Soul” goes further into stonerly groove and crunch. Jaccob’s guitar leads begin to take the place of vocals in Glowsun’s middle cut, but the vibe of Sun and Moon is such that it hardly matters. If you’re going to go with it, but the time you’re halfway through “Lost Soul,” you’ll be lucky to be aware enough of your surroundings to appreciate Chiron’s excellent fills or the subtle technicality the band puts into its winding finale, leading directly into the jungle samples that open “Monkey Time.” In listening to the animal sounds before the guitar kicks in, I can’t help but be reminded of what Orson Welles gave as his reason for putting a loud squawking parrot halfway through Citizen Kane (if you’ve seen the movie, you know the bird I’m talking about). He said it was there to wake people up. The monkey noises of “Monkey Time” have that effect somewhat, but everything Glowsun have presented so far has been so natural-sounding, it’s easy to read them as an extension of that. The jam that ensues only seems to underscore the point.