Ufomammut Post “Warsheep” Video; Announce More European Touring

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

ufomammut

I was just the other day thinking it had been quiet on the Ufomammut front since the Italian cosmic doomers announced back in March they would release their new album, 8, this September via Neurot Recordings. And here we are. The new song they’ve unveiled in the video below, titled “Warsheep,” is anything but quiet. Rather, it rumbles in classic Ufomammut fashion but also carries something rawer in its punch. Listen to the bassline. Listen to the way the sharp-edged keys cut through. Listen to the way the guitar line cuts through. Listen to how forward the drums are. Something nasty is going on here.

And yet, listen to the vocals, and “Warsheep” might be the cleanest-sounding track Ufomammut have ever put out. Higher- and lower-register layers chant out a verse before full-density tonality unapologetically slams the listener into a bridge and as they continue their march, the space-dominant trio offer gallop, drone, blown-out repetition, and if you actually watch the video, a dude with a box on his head before they degrade into birdsong. Hell, the track is only five minutes. How much more could they have possibly jammed in there? Actually, the real question is how much does “Warsheep” represent the rest of 8 that will invariably surround it? Is it an opener? A centerpiece? These things matter, you know.

Or maybe I’m just a nerd and I can’t wait to hear the album.

Either way, Ufomammut will issue “Warsheep” as a lead-in single to the record and you can find more info and preorder whatnots in the PR wire info that follows the video itself below. As expected, Ufomammut also have a slew of new European tour dates for this Fall. They’re down there too.

Please enjoy:

Ufomammut, “Warsheep” official video

UFOMAMMUT Debuts “Warsheep” Via New Video; Song To Appear On 7″ Single And Upcoming Album 8 Due Through Neurot Recordings In September; Tour Dates Announced

The Italian alchemic juggernaut, UFOMAMMUT, masters of melding uncompromisingly heavy magic with psychedelic swirls, recently announced news of a new studio recording, 8, which shall arrive on 22nd September via Neurot Recordings.

Prior to the release of the 8 LP, UFOMAMMUT delivers an early extract from the record in the form of a video for the song “Warsheep” which you can view [above]. The band describe their intentions of the video, “It is inspired by the lyrics of the song which in itself is a play on the word ‘worship.’ The protagonist takes a symbolic journey from the natural human condition to the trappings of the dogmas of society, religion etc. The principle idea being that thought is blind and is caged into the illusion of being free.” Adding to the video’s eerie atmosphere, the setting is in an abandoned villa in Italy, and the surrounding woodland.

In the spirit of record collecting rituals, and to offer something special to fans ahead of the full album release, UFOMAMMUT is offering “Warsheep” as a limited edition 7″. Available in a small run of 500 pieces, and with the cover handprinted with gold iridescent and red inks on pearlescent paper by Malleus, the record shall be released via Supernatural Cat on 15th June, and is available for preorder via the label’s website, and via Neurot stores too.

Preorders for the Warsheep 7″ are now available HERE.

8 is due for release on September 22nd on vinyl and CD formats via Neurot Recordings and on a limited and regular edition vinyl via Supernatural Cat. Preorder information and more will be revealed over the upcoming months.

UFOMAMMUT has also announced a long list of upcoming European live shows as well, including several major festival performances and an Autumn European tour with Usnea. Additional live shows will be announced in the weeks ahead.

UFOMAMMUT Tour Dates:
6/16/2017 Freak Valley Fest – Netphen, DE
6/18/2017 Hellfest – Clisson, FR
8/04/2017 Disintegrate Your Ignorance Fest – Giavera del Montello, IT
8/05/2017 Rohrbach – Oberösterreich, AU @ Lake On Fire Festival
9/06/2017 Volta – Moscow, RU
9/07/2017 MOD – St. Petersburg, RU
w/ Usnea:
9/30/2017 La Boule Noire – Paris, FR
10/01/2017 Le Ferrailleur – Nantes, FR
10/03/2017 Borderline – London, UK
10/04/2017 Magasin 4 – Brussels, BE
10/05/2017 Schlachthof – Wiesbaden, DE
10/06/2017 Up In Smoke Festival – Pratteln, CH
10/07/2017 Doornroosje – Nijmegen, NL @ Soulcrusher Festival
10/08/2017 Forum – Bielefeld, DE
10/10/2017 Blitz – Oslo, NO
10/11/2017 Klub Undergangen – Stockholm, SE
10/13/2017 Korjaamo – Helsinki, FI @ Blowup Vol. 3 Festival
10/14/2017 Olympia-Kortelli – Tampere, FI
10/16/2017 KB 18 – Copenhagen, DK
10/17/2017 Lido – Berlin, DE
10/18/2017 Markthalle – Hamburg, DE
10/19/2017 Werk 2 – Leipzig, DE
10/20/2017 Firley – Wroclaw, PL
10/21/2017 007 – Prague, CZ
10/22/2017 Keep It Low Festival – Munich, DE

Ufommammut website

Ufomammut on Thee Facebooks

Ufomammut on Twitter

Ufomammut on Instagram

Neurot Recordings website

Neurot Recordings on Thee Facebooks

Neurot Recordings on Bandcamp

Neurot Recordings on Twitter

Supernatural Cat website

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Big Kizz, Mt. Mountain, Mage, Hypertonus, Lee Van Cleef

Posted in Radio on May 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio cavum

We’re only slightly overdue for a batch of adds to The Obelisk Radio. I need to start setting a reminder or something. By the time this post goes up, my hope is that we’ll actually be off the backup server and back on the full or at least mostly-full playlist. It’s been a long road, as the terrible opening theme to Star Trek: Enterprise once said, but I think Slevin has it ready to roll, and there’s still some rebuilding to do, but I think it can be an ongoing thing working on the new hard drive. We’ve worn the crap out of that backup playlist. It would be nice to not have to use it for a while. Fingers crossed, anyhow.

Whichever server these files wind up on, they’ll be joining some playlist as soon as humanly possible. Let’s do the rundown in the meantime.

The Obelisk Radio Adds for May 22, 2017:

Big Kizz, Eye on You

big kizz eye on you

Some who take on the debut single from Swedish trio Big Kizz will find the band reminiscent of some of the rawer moments of long-running Danish garage-psych rockers Baby Woodrose, but for many, an additional draw to the three-track/eight-minute offering (delivered via Tee Pee Records) will be the lineup, which features bassist John Hoyles (Spiders, ex-Witchcraft), guitarist/vocalist Pontus Westerman (also of Lady Banana), and perhaps most notably, drummer Axel Sjöberg in his first recorded appearance after splitting with Graveyard. Turns out he’s still a fantastic drummer. His play in leadoff cut “Eye on You” and the push he brings to “Baby Boy” and the closing Roky Erickson cover “White Faces” will surely lead some to relate Big Kizz to Sjöberg‘s former outfit, if only in their earliest going (which was also on Tee Pee, remember), but the truth is the trio show themselves to be on a different trip throughout Eye on You, as they bring the aforementioned garage stylization forward amid classic boogie and, particularly in “Baby Boy,” nod toward mid-’60s psychedelia in a quick but fluid bridge. The Roky Erickson cover could hardly be more fitting, handclaps and all, but it’s the sense of movement in the two originals that shows the most potential here as Big Kizz seem to set their eyes on establishing their dynamic and building from there. Will be interested to hear what they do with the context of a full-length and if some of the psych in “Eye on You” and “Baby Boy” is relegated to flourish or if it comes to the fore as they develop, but they’re off to a rousing start.

Big Kizz on Thee Facebooks

Big Kizz at Tee Pee Records

 

Mt. Mountain Dust

mt. mountain dust

Devotees and pilgrims of longform psychedelia will no doubt and should rejoice at Dust (on Cardinal Fuzz), the maybe-second long-player from Perth, Australia, five-piece Mt. Mountain, which from its 17-minute titular opener and longest track (immediate points) unfolds a ritual of superior immersion and conscious trance inducement. Over the course of four songs/37 minutes total, Mt. Mountain unfold a sprawl reportedly intended to capture the atmosphere of the Australian Outback — and maybe they get there, I don’t know; I’ve never been — but either way, the balance of repetition and depth in “Floating Eyes” and the shimmer of the nine-minute “Kokoti” speak to a varied ecosystem that, indeed, one might get lost in, never to return. Mellotron, organ, djembe and percussion play a central role in the overarching sense of mind-expansion along with the guitar, bass, vocals, drums, etc., but it’s the combination of elements, the variety between tracks — they’re jam-based, but distinct songs, to be sure — that really stands Dust apart from much of drift-minded modern heavy psych. One advises patience with the drones of the opener and the cautious first steps that the fading in percussion seems to be taking, as the rewards are considerable when it comes to the front-to-back experience Mt. Mountain offer, which is stark, striking, marked by underlying threat and casts a feeling of the infinite that no doubt was the very intent behind its making.

Mt. Mountain on Thee Facebooks

Cardinal Fuzz webstore

 

Mage, Green

mage green

Self-released in a six-panel digipak with decidedly grim artwork courtesy of Dominic SohorGreen is the third full-length from Leicestershire, UK, heavy rockers Mage. Last heard from with 2014’s Last Orders (review here), they retain the blend of heavy rock groove and metallic aggression that’s become their signature sound, and continue the march forward in finding a space between post-Down/Orange Goblin dude-rockery and doomlier fare. Vocalist Tom blends harsh growls and a cleaner approach on opener “Nowhere to Nothing” and the later “Primitive Drive” while mostly avoiding sounding like Phil Anselmo, and as guitarist Woody, bassist Mark and drummer Andy dig into the slower roll of “Eclipse King,” Mage seem to hit the mark they’re shooting for in terms of style and songcraft. The centerpiece title-track has a little more head-bob to its central progression — and then there’s that wah; always fun — but they’re right to mess around with the proportion of stylistic elements throughout to add variety, and the 10-minute closer “Vultures Mass” does well in taking the punch of “Nowhere to Nothing” and “Heroic Elegy” at the album’s start and pushing it outward into a satisfying apex. Straightforward in its intent, given a sense of mass via a recording job at Skyhammer Studios and executed with a clean conscience, Green is the work of a band who know what they want from their sound and know how to make it happen, which, thankfully, they do in these tracks.

Mage on Thee Facebooks

Mage on Bandcamp

 

Hypertonus, Tidal Wave

hypertonus tidal wave

Tidal Wave is the self-issued debut full-length from German instrumentalist three-piece Hypertonus, and it lands some six years after the band first got together, preceded by a semi-eponymous 2013 EP, HPRTNS. If the more-than-half-a-decade stretch seems like a while for a group to get to their first long-player, it might be, but one suspects the Bremen-based troupe comprised of guitarist Patrick Büch, bassist Arne Staats and drummer Hannes Christen spent a significant amount of that time in the jam room developing their sound, because what they cast over this nine-track/45-minute outing is a keen progressivism and chemistry that feels not at all happenstance. With shifts into and out of technically-minded parts that seem to be driven by Staats‘ bass, Hypertonus reportedly tracked Tidal Wave live, and I have no reason not to believe it, particularly given the eight-minute closer “Phantasmagoria (Improvisation Jam),” which departs from the quick psych-meditation of “Aeropause” and the almost jazzy rhythms and post-rock guitar of “Expect the Sky Below” to bring the band’s style even more to life for the listener to take on. It’s a heady release, and some of the changes come across as willfully choppy — playing with expectation in a “now we’re over here!” kind of way — but there’s a marked sense of accomplishment throughout that’s nothing if not well earned.

Hypertonus on Thee Facebooks

Hypertonus on Bandcamp

 

Lee Van Cleef, Holy Smoke

lee van cleef holy smoke

Pressed to gorgeous-sounding vinyl by White Dwarf Records last November, the five-track instrumental Holy Smoke is the debut LP from Naples, Italy, jammers Lee Van Cleef, and aside from its righteously striking cover art, one finds primary impressions in the gotta-hear-it bass tone of Pietro Trinità La Tegola, the molten lysergism in Marco Adamo‘s guitar and the grounding-but-not-too-grounding effectiveness of drummer Guido Minervini in anchoring a jam like the 13-minute “Banshee,” which takes the best lessons of groups like Germany’s Electric Moon and Portugal’s Black Bombaim and brings them to methodical, engagingly rumbling fruition. Nod persists through the more uptempo, Tee Pee Records-style centerpiece “Hell Malo,” but the three-piece seem even more comfortable dug into the post-Sleep riffing of the subsequent “Mah?na,” finishing that track with a standout wash of a guitar lead ahead of the brighter-feeling closer “Towelie,” which underscores an otherworldly vibe that turns out to have been in Holy Smoke all along. Lee Van Cleef have already followed Holy Smoke up with a single titled “Everyone Should Kill an Old Hippy” (discussed here) — it’s worth noting that this album starts with “Heckle Yuppies,” so they’re not fans of them either — and one can’t imagine it will be long before they answer back with another full-length offering. The question is how they’ll ultimately distinguish themselves from the crowded European jam-based heavy psych underground, but there’s nothing in these tracks to give the impression they can’t or won’t do so as they continue to grow.

Lee Van Cleef on Thee Facebooks

White Dwarf Records on Thee Facebooks

 

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Desert Wizards Post “The Man Who Rode Time” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

desert wizards

Italian four-piece Desert Wizards are gearing up to release their third full-length, Beyond the Gates of the Cosmic Kingdom, this July through long-running nuance-purveyors Black Widow Records, and while the band’s name and album title might both lead one to expect a heavy psychedelic or stoner rock vibe, the graceful keyboard work, slow progressive drift and purposeful clarity of production in “The Man Who Rode Time” would seem to argue otherwise. The song, for which the Ravenna outfit have a brand new video that you can watch below, is the first audio to come from Beyond the Gates of the Cosmic Kingdom, and particularly in light of the clip, it carries a surprisingly melancholic overtone.

Taken in comparison to Desert Wizards‘ second outing, Ravens, which was issued in 2013, and they would seem to have moved away from some of the former psychedelic influence under which they were working, but to listen to a song like “Burn into the Sky,” with its subtly doomed riffing, and then put on “The Man Who Rode Time,” one would almost think it was two different bands. Whether that’s a conscious creative leap or a happenstance of progression, and just how much “The Man Who Rode Time” might represent the entirety of Beyond the Gates of the Cosmic Kingdom, I don’t know, but with the video’s cinematic, drama-fueled feel and clear narrative of depressive frustration, there’s clearly more at work from Desert Wizards than genre conventionalism and a lengthy album name.

Info, and especially info in English, about the forthcoming long-player is pretty sparse, but you can watch the video for “The Man Who Rode Time” below, and everything I’ve seen about Beyond the Gates of the Cosmic Kingdom points to a summer release, should you want to keep an eye out.

Either way, please enjoy:

Desert Wizards, “The Man Who Rode Time” official video

From the album ” Beyond The Gates Of The Cosmic Kingdom” out on Black Widow Records.

Desert Wizards are:
Marco Mambelli: Vox/Bass/Synth
Marco Goti: Guitars
Anna Fabbri: Organ/Vox
Silvio Dalla Valle: Drums

Desert Wizards on Thee Facebooks

Desert Wizards on Bandcamp

Black Widow Records website

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Bretus Post “Old Dark House” Video; …From the Twilight Zone Due in June

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 11th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

bretus

Self-identified purveyors of horror doom Bretus will release their new album, …From the Twilight Zone, next month. Drawing upon influences from the likes of Orodruin, Blood Farmers, Reverend Bizarre, Saint Vitus and Black Sabbath — in other words: doom — the Catanzaro, Italy, four-piece inked a deal to issue their third long-player through Russia-based imprint Endless Winter, and to coincide with the recent advent of preorder availability, they’ve put together a video for the new track “Old Dark House.” You’ll no doubt recognize some of the footage included from the annals of classic and/or public domain horror films — at very least, Nosferatu is always a standout.

“Old Dark House” is one of several cuts from …From the Twilight Zone to have made its way online ahead of the release, and while I haven’t heard the full record yet, going by what I have to go by, it seems like Bretus have upped the level of doomly traditionalism from even where it was in 2015 on their second offering, The Shadow over Innsmouth (discussed here). One could hear a cleaner vocal approach taking hold in the earlier-2017 demo “In the Vault” (posted here), and “Old Dark House” continues to run with that theme while holding onto a darkened, NWOBHM-informed dungeon atmosphere. It lumbers like thick rusty chains and has a theatricality to its presentation that seems to revel in its own metallic righteousness.

To be sure, they’re not looking to reshape the conventions of style around which doom — or horror doom, as it were — is based, but they do well with the nod and vibe of “Old Dark House” in executing a paean to the gods who used riffs toward darker purposes, and one isn’t inclined to argue with the manner in which they wear their heart on their collective sleeve. Doom for doomers: Sometimes nothing else will do.

You can check out “Old Dark House” below, followed by more info as posted by the band.

Enjoy:

Bretus, “Old Dark House” official video

A record deal for publishing the new album has been signed, “…from the Twilight Zone” out in June via Endless Winter (Russia).

Seven legendary terror tales were chosen for this concept album. “…from the Twilight Zone” , a darker trip of Horror Doom music, Heavy riffs, old-school groove with a disturbing horror element. Pre-order: http://endless-winter.org/cgi-bin/calc-eng

Bretus is:
Ghenes (High/Low Guitars and Fx)
Zagarus (Vox and Harmonica)
Azog (Bass)
Striges (Drums)

Bretus on Thee Facebooks

Bretus website

Endless Winter on Bandcamp

Endless Winter website

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Shabda Announce New Album Vishnu Sahasranama – 10 STUDI

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I still count the last Shabda record, Pharmakon / Pharmakos (review here), as one of the most pleasant surprises that hit my ears in 2015, so the news that the Italian ritual drone outfit are working on a follow-up is definitely well received. Whenever it lands, Vishnu Sahasranama – 10 STUDI — they’ve apparently got a real thing for complex names — might not have the same surprise factor this time from the Torino-based group, but if the difference is I can look forward to hearing what they’ve come up with this time, that seems like a fair trade for not being blindsided. And who knows? They’re weird enough that I might just end up blindsided anyway.

The new Shabda, like Pharmakon / Pharmakos, will be issued through Argonauta Records when it’s ready. The band and the label both posted the following on the subject, listing it as an early autumn release:

Shabda working on new album!

After the 2 tracks long celebration of Pharmakon / Pharmakos, released a year and half ago by Argonauta Records, Shabda are back in the studio recording their fourth album which will see the light in early autumn 2017. “Vishnu Sahasranama – 10 STUDI” – this is the title – is inspired by the traditional Indian Vaishnava text commented by Sankara and representing the model of the garland of a thousand names, the practice of meditation on the metaphysical qualities of god Visnu conceived as the absolute principle.

A group of exceptional musicians and friends plays the ten compositions written by Anna Airoldi and Marco Castagnetto, painting a fresco that encompasses Western classical music and kosmische musik, Eastern tradition and psychedelia, pursuing and cultivating the exploration of the link between East and West, between continuity and innovation.

An album living of contrasts among contemplation and instinct, composition and improvisation, between electronic and acoustic music, leaving it open to interpretation and diversity of listening experience. Traveling from Europe to Varanasi and back, with an ear to the legacy of Popol Vuh, Dead Can Dance and Nils Frahm.

Deep listening and repetition are the keys around which the identity of the project is built, and the channel to direct the search for timeless and spaceless dimension of being. Ideally channeling Marco Castagnetto and Anna Airoldi spiritual research, supported by a bunch of talented musicians and friends, Shabda explores the fil rouge that holds the Tradition in its Western and Eastern currents, primarily referring to Hermeticism, Vedanta, Taoism and Sufism.

https://www.facebook.com/shabdaofficial/
http://shabdahq.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
http://www.argonautarecords.com/

Shabda, Pharmakon / Pharmakos (2015)

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Nudist Premiere “Bury My Innocence” Video; New Album out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 26th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Dudes having a sitdown.

Like the song from which it takes its name, Nudist‘s fourth album, Bury My Innocence, is a short burst of an offering that sets its core balance between aggression and atmosphere. Its five component tracks draw lines across post-hardcore and sludgy territories, but as a song like “Dead Leaves” shows, the undercurrent is noise rock all the way, and indeed that’s where the Firenze three-piece have their roots. Starting out as instrumental, they’ve been doling out punishment since their self-titled showed up in 2010, and Bury My Innocence marks their debut on Argonauta Records.

They’re a group you want to be as specific as possible when Googling — I did “nudist band italy” with my fingers crossed it wouldn’t cause my laptop to explode and came out of it okay — but if you make your way over to their Bandcamp, all of their releases, including the new one, are available as name-your-price downloads. The CD was issued last month through Argonauta, though, and as it moves through the pummel of “Strengthless” and “Bury My Innocence” into the more ambient finish of “Drift,” the offsetting of punishment with atmospheric immersion would seem to justify the physical presence. That is to say, it makes sense they got picked up for the release.

Call it an EP or an LP if you want, but at 25 minutes, Bury My Innocence brings no shortage of fury to its assault. And I don’t know where the band found the female lead they cast in the video for “Bury My Innocence” below, but yeah, she’s pretty creepy as well.

You can check out the premiere of the new clip followed by more info from the label.

Please enjoy:

Nudist, “Bury My Innocence” official video

The project Nudist born in 2008 as a Noise Instrumental Power Trio and two self-produced albums: “Nudist” and “Appetizer for Monsters”. After formation changes, Gabo and France have found in Lore a worthy travel companion. From there they started an evolution, still in place, of style and sound. With the inclusion of vocals, their third album “See The Light Beyond The Spiral” (2015) have resulted in sounds ranging from post-metal, sludge and post-hardcore.

NUDIST are used to have intense live activity, opening in Italy for acts as Red Fang, Jucifer, ZU, Conan and more, and touring in Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic and Poland. In August 2016 they recorded their new album “Bury my Innocence”. The songs were recorded live in a small theater in Prato, edited by Niccolò Gallio and later mixed and mastered by the expert hands of Eraldo Bernocchi.

Nudist on Thee Facebooks

Nudist on Bandcamp

Nudist website

Argonauta Records website

Argonauta Records on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records on Twitter

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Review & Full Album Stream: L’Ira del Baccano, Paradox Hourglass

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

l'ira del baccano paradox hourglass

[Click play above to stream L’Ira del Baccano’s Paradox Hourglass in its entirety. Album is out now on Subsound Records.]

Roman heavy instrumentalists L’Ira del Baccano made their studio debut in 2014 with Terra 42 (review here), as a follow-up to their summer-2013 live offering Si Non Sedes iS …LIVE. It’s important to keep in mind as one makes their way through their second studio long-player, Paradox Hourglass, that the band’s roots are in playing live, and that when it came to what they wanted to put out into the world first, it was a live album rather than something more polished. Issued through Subsound RecordsParadox Hourglass is that something more polished, but it still maintains its core of live performance beneath its progressive overtones, and across its evenly-split two sides, four tracks and 39 minutes, guitarist Alessandro “Drughito” Santori, guitarist/synthesist Roberto Malerba, bassist Ivan Contini Bacchisio and drummer Sandro “Fred” Salvi don’t sacrifice one sensibility in emphasis of the other.

While Paradox Hourglass brings forward a proggier mindset than did Terra 42 — something the band credits in part to a Rush influence and I’m not inclined to argue — it keeps its tonal edge and strips away nearly 20 full minutes of runtime, so that the material is not only vinyl-ready, but all the more efficient in making its stylistic point known without lingering. That in itself isn’t to be understated as a recognized step forward for the band, as it shows an editorial mindset developing alongside these progressive tendencies, which is something all the more crucial for a group whose sound is only growing richer.

As to the origins of the title, it’s obviously harder to say without any lyrics to work from, but it’s another evocative element from L’Ira del Baccano, which seems to find its core in the partnership between Santori and Malerba. The two weave layers of riffs and synth and effects fluidly around each other throughout Paradox Hourglass, and while ultimately there isn’t much about the record that one might consider a paradox — that is to say, they’re not making it hard to figure out where they’re coming from or purposefully melding together disparate sonic elements — the new stage their approach has reached is plain to hear from the start of 11-minute opener. And, if we’re looking for clues as to where SantoriMalerbaBacchisio and Salvi are coming from this time around, it is telling that the first piece of the two-parter title-track is subtitled “L’Ira del Baccano,” eponymous to the band itself.

Across its span and that of the complementary eight-minute “Paradox Hourglass – Part 2: No Razor for Occam,” the band touch on psychedelic melody without losing their real-world footing tonally or their underlying crunch of riff. Salvi‘s drums hold together the proceedings as they no doubt did the jams that birthed them, but whether it’s the departure-to-drift in the second half of “Paradox Hourglass – Part 1: L’Ira del Baccano” or the guitar scale-work fleshed out by layers of keys and effects swirl in the follow-up, a sense of control remains prevalent in their approach. The digital version of Paradox Hourglass presents a 19:42 bonus track that brings these two pieces together as one entirety, and while there’s still an audible break between one part and the next, hearing them in that form only highlights the nuance developing in L’Ira del Baccano‘s sound and the manner in which the band is drawing from multiple sides as they stomp and roll their way through movements tied to each other through rhythmic flow and conceptual consistency.

l'ira del baccano

Side B brings a like-minded pair of tracks, also 11 and eight minutes, respectively, that push the aesthetic somewhat further out. “Abilene” leads off with a bit more patience than “Paradox Hourglass” and more of a psychedelic flourish to its beginnings, and unfolds to a blend of desert-style riffing and the progressive course-setting that the first half of the record had as its foundation — the notion that L’Ira del Baccano know where they’re headed even if they’re keeping it a surprise from their audience. They settle into a mid-paced chug at about two minutes into “Abilene” but have more spaciousness to offer from there, and the theremin-infused (or theremin-sounding, anyhow) reaches in which they wind up are perhaps the most satisfying stretch Paradox Hourglass has to offer in terms of immersing the listener in a hypnotic flow, pushing gradually toward an apex that brings together both sides — the breadth and the crunch — on the way to a clean, purposeful finish.

At 8:06, “The Blind Phoenix Rises” ends out with no less clarity of intent than its predecessor, synth and guitar once more working together to cast an impression both psychedelic and progressive. At about 4:45, there’s a turn toward straightforward riffing, and it seems like L’Ira del Baccano made a conscious decision at that point to let loose a little bit in the studio. No complaints. The uptick in tempo from the first half of the track is welcome and though to close out they fall back into the “chorus,” such as it is, the moment of airing out a more rocking impulse is welcome as an answer to the riff that started “Paradox Hourglass – Part 1: L’Ira del Baccano” and makes as fitting an end as one could ask.

They stretch a couple seconds of silence to get over the eight-minute mark, but with the clear drive toward symmetry, one is inclined to give that ground in service to the presentation of the album as a whole. With Paradox HourglassL’Ira del Baccano are less marking their arrival than they are establishing the path they want to take as a group, but the prevailing vibe toward direction is something of a landmark for them nonetheless, even if that landmark is in the shape of an arrow pointing toward the next one. I still won’t venture a guess as to what the overarching paradox here is, though, because from where I sit, it sure seems like L’Ira del Baccano have it all figured out as to who they want to be and what they want to accomplish as a band.

L’Ira del Baccano on Thee Facebooks

L’Ira del Baccano on Bandcamp

L’Ira del Baccano website

L’Ira del Baccano at Subsound Records webstore

Subsound Records on Thee Facebooks

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Tia Carrera, Humulus, King Buffalo, Telekinetic Yeti, High Plains

Posted in Radio on April 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio cavum

You may or may not be overly concerned to find out, but we’re still running on the backup server for The Obelisk Radio while the data is transferred to the new hard drive. Judging by the number of listeners at any given point, you’re not. The numbers are still pretty good. Nonetheless, I cannot express the depth of my appreciation to Slevin for sorting out this mess. I had no idea when I hit him up on a Sunday to be like, “Uh, the stream is down” that it would be a project requiring more than a month of his valuable time. Dude is a godsend. I should send him a cheese basket.

Instead, he gets a zip file with the following releases to add to that temporary stream (they’ll go on the new server as well when that’s operational). Because I am a shitty friend, and because cheese baskets are expensive as hell. Let’s do this.

The Obelisk Radio Adds for April 10, 2017:

Tia Carrera, Laid Back (Frontside Rock ‘n’ Roll)

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It’s been a hot minute since last we heard from Austin, Texas, three-piece instrumentalists Tia Carrera. The last offering the heavy psych jammers had out with a 2013 vinyl edition (review here) of their 2011 full-length, Cosmic Priestess (review here). So upwards of six years, if you want to go by the original release date of what was their second album for Small Stone Records. They reportedly have a new one coming this Fall, so one might think of the nine-and-half-minute single “Laid Back (Frontside Rock ‘n’ Roll),” which was recorded live this past January with the lineup of guitarist Jason Morales, bassist Curt Christiansen and drummer Erik Conn, as a lead-in for that. True, Tia Carrera haven’t been completely absent — they played Psycho Las Vegas in 2016 and one sees their name on various SXSW bills each year — but either way, it’s a welcome studio return from a band who were ahead of the post-Earthless curve that has swelled further out West, and who, despite a kind of raw, garage-style recording here, nonetheless showcase the chemistry and fluidity that separated them from the pack to start with. As the title promises, the jam is laid back, rife with swirling guitar, winding basslines and drumming that, while propulsive doesn’t take away from the languid overarching vibe. They’ve made the song a name-your-price download, so all the better should you be inclined to dig in. And you should be.

Tia Carrera on Thee Facebooks

Small Stone Records website

 

Humulus,Reverently Heading into Nowhere

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With nodding groove, fuzzed tonality and, for good measure, flourish of psychedelia, Brescia, Italy, trio Humulus may be working amid familiar elements on their second long-player, Reverently Heading into Nowhere (on Taxi Driver and Oak Island Records), but the results are impeccably constructed. The album, which follows their 2015 Electric Warlrus EP (review here) and 2012 self-titled debut, offers six tracks that carefully balance atmosphere and heft, cuts like “Catskull” digging into classic desert rock sensibilities via the modern European approach of a band like 1000mods while longer pieces like opener “Distant Deeps or Skies,” “Anachronaut” and the 11-minute finale “Rama Kushna” save room for increasingly expansive jamming, the latter the most spacious of all with floating guitar over a satisfyingly warm bass in its midsection leading to an instrumental apex that, while predictable, is no less engaging for that upon its arrival. Even shorter pieces like “The Gold Rush” and “The Great Hunt” find a balance between rolling rhythm and broader psychedelic consciousness, and when guitarist/vocalist Andrea Van Cleef, bassist Giorgio Bonacorsi and drummer Massimiliano Boventi lock into a slowdown, as at the end of “The Great Hunt” or in the Snail-esque “Anachronaut” earlier, the effect is duly massive to fit with the rhinoceros on the album’s cover. Their reverence is palpable, and throughout the 43-minute outing, Humulus make it plain that wherever they’re actually heading, they welcome their audience to come along for the trip.

Humulus on Thee Facebooks

Taxi Driver Records webstore

Oak Island Records on Thee Facebooks

 

King Buffalo, Live at Wicked Squid Studios (6.16.16)

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It’s nothing more or less than a live set, but as King Buffalo have already wrapped a round of US touring and were recently announced as support for Stickman Records labelmates Elder on their next European run, it seems only fair to grab the name-your-price Live at Wicked Squid Studios (6.16.16) while the grabbing’s good and consider the four-track/29-minute release a document of their chemistry as a live band as they marked the release of their debut album, Orion (review here), last summer. Not everything they play comes from that record — “New Time” was featured on their 2015 STB Records split with Lé Betre (review here) — but in their tone, breadth and expanse, they represent the full-length all the same. The psychedelic wash of “New Time” leads the way out of opener “Orion” and into a one-two medley of “Kerosene / Goliath Pt. 2,” and they finish by setting the controls for the heart of a nine-minute rendition of “Drinking from the River Rising,” which also closed Orion and proves no less immersive in this setting than it did on the studio offering. I’ve made no secret of the potential that I think resides in the Rochester, NY, three-piece, and as they move further into becoming a touring band, they’re only doing the work of bringing that potential to life. It may be that at some point we’ll look back on Live at Wicked Squid Studios as a kind of primitive beginning — I don’t want to predict where they’ll go or how their sound will continue to develop — but even so, it’s fortunate that we’ll have it to look back on at all.

King Buffalo on Thee Facebooks

Stickman Records website

 

Telekinetic Yeti, Abominable

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This shit is like catnip for riff-hounds. Iowan two-piece Telekinetic Yetstoner-march their way into the hearts and minds of the converted and onto the list of 2017’s best debuts with Abominable (on Sump Pump Records), a clean eight-track/41-minute long-player marked out by its tonal thickness and shifts between using it for Sleep-style roll and fuzzier fare, perhaps most directly and efficiently summarized on the single “Stoned and Feathered,” but in fluid proportion throughout cuts like the lumbering “Lightbearer” and the neo-stoner-delic chug of “Beneath the Black Sun” as well. Comprised just of guitarist/vocalist Alex Baumann and drummer Anthony Dreyer — though I’ll be damned if somebody isn’t playing bass on “Electronaut” — Telekinetic Yeti seem to burst out of the gate with a solid idea of who their audience is and what their audience wants, and to their credit, they deliver just that and have been met with a flurry of hyperbole for their efforts. I can’t really argue with the heft or cohesion of the material on Abominable, and the willingness on the part of Baumann and Dreyer to inject some atmospheric depth into the aptly-named nine-minute tour de force “Colossus” and closer “Himalayan Hymn” bodes well for their chances of leaving a mark over the longer term, even if there’s growing to be done before they get there. Still, as their first time out, Telekinetic Yeti‘s Abominable signals a righteousness of intent and wholly succeeds in capturing the attention it plainly seeks. The next few years will write their story, but if these guys take this show on the road, they could indeed turn into a monster.

Telekinetic Yeti on Thee Facebooks

Sump Pump Records on Bandcamp

 

High Plains, Cinderland

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The story goes that Cinderland was recorded in Wyoming in a refurbished schoolhouse by the duo of ambient multi-instrumentalist Scott Morgan and classical cellist Mark Bridges — working together under the moniker High Plains — and composed very much with that high-altitude, utterly empty landscape in mind. Represented in a pervasive minimalism that makes every swell of volume on “The Dusk Pines” stand out and shifts between piano, cello, guitar, drone and electronics cinematic in their drama like the soundtrack to one of those foreboding Westerns where nobody talks because they’re afraid that if the earth hears them speak it will open up and swallow them whole — which it might — it is an immersive, resolutely melancholy execution across nine tracks and 36 minutes that is likewise stark and beautiful. “A White Truck” and “Hypoxia” carry some nuance of the paranoid, but there’s resolution in “Blood that Ran the Rapids” and “Song for a Last Night” that, like the high desert itself, teems with life while giving the impression of being a void for the lack of human presence. Mood-affecting in its atmospherics, Cinderland draws the listener into this world that is both gorgeous and threatening, and fits itself to the narrative that birthed it with resonance and depth. One hopes it is not a one-off collaboration between the Canadian Morgan and Wisconsin-based Bridges and that wherever their next trip together takes them — go to New Mexico! — they’re able to likewise capture the setting in such evocative fashion.

High Plains on Thee Facebooks

Kranky Records on Bandcamp

 

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