Live Review: ROADBURN 2019 Day Four, 04.14.19

Posted in Features, Reviews on April 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2019 banner day four

04.14.19 – 01.17 CET – Sunday night – Hotel

Just now, before I sat down to write this post, I went to the tap in the bathroom to refill my water bottle. You can drink the tap water here — it’s really something. Anyhow, I stick the bottle under the cold water and look down about two seconds later to see I’ve left the cap on. Water running down the side of bottle. That’s about where one’s head is at on this last day of Roadburn 2019. You ever been nostalgic about something while it’s still going on? Yeah, emotions are running high in Tilburg. Many hugs, many slaps on the back, many see-you-next-years from one denizen of this temporary planet to another. Lucy in Blue (Photo by JJ Koczan)Indeed, even strung out on caffeine and obliterated by volume, it’s difficult to say goodbye to Roadburn, always.

Still somewhat reminiscent of when it was the Afterburner, Roadburn‘s Day Four has fewer stages, but I mean, it’s still four. Five if you count the Ladybird Skatepark, which I was at twice today. So yeah, not a laid back affair. And while the shows ended earlier — Imperial Triumphant and Cave both ended at 00.30, in Patronaat and the Green Room, respectively — the day also started early, with Lucy in Blue going on in the Green Room at 14.00 presenting their new album, In Flight, in its entirety. Based in Iceland, their sound is a classically progressive kind of rock with notable use of keys and vocal harmonies to go with the kraut-ish riffing and repetitive progressions.

They were young, but had both a firm grip on their aesthetic intentions and many aspects of their performance. Maybe some kinks to work out in terms of songwriting efficiency and their onstage persona, but the elements were there in a way that you couldn’t call anything other than encouraging. They were a mellow start to the day for those not watching Have a Nice Life on the Main Stage next door, and as far as I’m concerned, that was welcome. I did pop over to check out some of the Connecticut-based unit, Supersonic Blues (Photo by JJ Koczan)but only after Lucy in Blue were well in flight and had left the ground behind. It was a palpable contrast.

Didn’t watch Daughters. I know. But, well, Supersonic Blues were added last-minute to play at the skatepark, and well, they ruled last year, so it seemed like an easy-enough pick to head up and see them again. There were more skaters than yesterday, but they cleared out so the Dutch three-piece could play. Like Lucy in Blue, Supersonic Blues are probably under 30 — unless I’m just old enough now that 30 year olds look like kids; possible — but they command a warmth of tone and a sense of appreciation for classic boogie rock that comes complemented by an easy-rolling sense of craft and a sans-pretense approach to what they’re doing. I’ll take that any, any, any day of the week. I heard they got added yesterday and was only stoked that I’d get to see them again. They’ve had two singles out but sound like they’re about ready for a first LP, or at very least an EP.

A little bit of continuity to the start of the day between Lucy in Blue and Supersonic Blues, and though that coolest of colors wouldn’t factor into the moniker of Stuck in Motion, there was plenty of blues in their sound, and a fervent ’70s stylization as well. They fit with what I was looking for, is the short version of theStuck in Motion (Photo by JJ Koczan) story, and I stood and watched from the Green Room balcony as they classic-heavied their way into the hearts and heads of the assembled, easing out sleek grooves and keyboards/organ that only added to the depth of the melody. Cool band, and I felt justified in not fighting my way to the front to take photos by how chill their sound was. As if to say, “It’s cool man, you go ahead and take this one easy. We will too.” It was a winning decision all the way around, I think.

I had gotten turned onto their 2018 self-titled debut (review here) by Walter on Facebook posting about them, so checking them out in the flesh only seemed fair. They were cool, but I felt like I owed it to myself to watch Thou close out their residency on the Main Stage. Given the set they played last night at the skatepark doing Misfits covers, somehow a straight-ahead performance seemed anticlimactic, but hell’s bells were they heavy. I mean, really. Spread out across the stage, they brought full-on volume to the kind of atmospheres they had in their almost-acoustic set the other night, something disquieting in the mood and challenging of themselves and their audience. They are a band people really like. A lot. I can’t say that I’m a Thou (Photo by JJ Koczan)huge Thou fan like the people I saw chasing down the vinyl over in the merch area, but they’re undeniably powerful on stage, whether screaming or melodic, loud or quiet, or, you know, playing Misfits tunes, as one apparently will. I know they played like 50 sets in the last four days, but how could they not be back at some point in the years to come?

That question gave me something to ponder as I plotzed up to the Ladybird Skatepark for the last time to see Bismuth, who played earlier in the fest but were given another chance to volume-pummel everything in their path. Loud? Shit. There were parts of that building vibrating that were not meant to vibrate. Bassist/vocalist Tanya Byrne won Roadburn 2019 as regards t-shirts with the selection of Khanate, and she and drummer Joe Rawlings doled out grueling nod and brutal tone with unmitigated intensity. Their 2018 album, The Slow Dying of the Great Barrier Reef (discussed here), was some manner of preparation for seeing them live in terms of the basic air-from-lungs push of low-end — also tree-trunk drumsticks — but the volume factor made it all the more of a steamroller running atop the assembled masses Bismuth (Photo by JJ Koczan)in the skatepark, that big, high-ceilinged space seeming to fill up with sound no matter where you stood. Audio as a physical presence. It was righteous.

And then, of course, Sleep played. As far as culminations go, one could hardly ask for more than Sleep returning after so dutifully handing the 013 its ass last night to play their 2018 album, The Sciences (review here), front-to-back. But here’s the thing: Sleep played last night doing Sleep’s Holy Mountain in full. It was incredible. But The Sciences was better. The material sounded fresher, the band sounded more comfortable, and I’m not sure there’s hyperbole dramatic enough for how fucking loud they were. It was incredible. I’ve been lucky enough to see Sleep a few times. My go-to for the best I ever saw them was Roadburn 2012 (review here). After tonight, I might have to change my opinion. There was a technical glitch or two along the way — Matt Pike blew out one of his several guitar heads — but he, Al Cisneros and Jason Roeder Sleep (Photo by JJ Koczan)were utterly incredible. It was the kind of set that could make you believe in the magic of Christmas. A true Santa Claus of a set. They threw in “Holy Mountain” and “Dragonaut” as well, I guess just in case anyone in the room wasn’t there the night before. I heard no complaints for the repeaters, and registered none myself. Those songs too were better the second time around.

No clue how many times I’ve made this observation, but I think Jason Roeder might be the best drummer I’ve ever watched play. Yeah, Matt Pike just won a Grammy with High on Fire, and Al Cisneros deserves a Nobel for his work in Om, but between those two titans, Roeder — who, just to mention it so you don’t think I’m undercutting his own pedigree, was well established in fucking Neurosis before he joined Sleep in place of original drummer Chris Hakius — is crucial to the band Sleep have become. It was all the more emphasized in the The Sciences material, songs like “Sonic Titan” and “Giza Butler,” which unto itself was a highlight of the entire festival. If last night was a celebration of Sleep‘s earlier glories, then tonight was confirmation of the reason they’re the most influential riffers since Black Sabbath themselves. They were a joy to behold, and the perfect ending to my own personal Roadburn 2019.

There was a line outside Het Patronaat as I was leaving after aSleep (Photo by JJ Koczan) few quick goodbyes. Imperial Triumphant would be on shortly as the last Roadburn band ever to play the venue — there’s a bit of festival trivia for you — and I heard they were doing a whole thing with masks, but honestly, how could I ever hope to improve on the night I’d just had or what I’d just seen? Sad as it was to realize, it was time to go.

So I went. Roadburn 2019 ended on a higher note than I could’ve wished for, and I walked out of the 013 and down Weirdo Canyon to get back to the hotel sweaty, smelling like smoke, tired, hungry, thirsty and sore, but still feeling 100 percent refreshed. The only tragedy is it’s another year till the next one.

Thanks for reading. I’ll close out the Roadburn coverage tomorrow assuming I have time, but first and foremost thank you for reading. You’re pretty great.

More pics after the jump.

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Lucy in Blue to Release In Flight at Roadburn 2019; New Single Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 5th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

lucy in blue

As far as release shows go, you can’t do much better than Roadburn. The room’s gonna be packed, and even if people aren’t familiar with you’re stuff, they’re probably going to open-minded enough to go buy the thing you’re celebrating when you’re done playing. Kudos to Lucy in Blue for doing it right. The Reykjavik four-piece will release the delightfully progged-out In Flight on April 12 through Karisma Records, but yeah, their release show will be the week before at Roadburn 2019 in Tilburg, the Netherlands. They were snuck into the final lineup announcement there and after listening first to the single “Matricide” — about, of course, the slaughter of one’s own mattress — and then to the offering as a whole, it seemed easily worth highlighting with the paltry few words you’re currently reading. So, you know, words words words.

In no small part, this is a note to myself to remember to do my best to mark them on my schedule once the day-plan is out for Roadburn, so if you take it as a similar reminder or hear something you hadn’t heard before, bonus. That’s kind of what we’re here for, and what we’re there for.

From the PR wire:

lucy in blue in flight

Album Details and New Single Matricide from Psychedelic Prog Rockers LUCY IN BLUE Revealed

Karisma Records have revealed the details of the upcoming full-length album from Iceland’s Psychedelic Prog Rockers Lucy In Blue. The eight-track album, titled In Flight, will be the second full-length release from the young band who are making considerable waves on the Icelandic Prog Scene with their elaborate grooves and delicate chord movements, performed with a skill that belies their age.

To give listeners a taste of what they can expect from Lucy In Blue, Karisma Records have today released a single from In Flight. The single, titled Matricide can be downloaded and streamed at:

https://karismarecords.lnk.to/Matricide

In Flight is an album that amply showcases Lucy In Blue’s ethereal harmonies and philosophical lyrics, which deal not only with the whole spectrum of human emotion, but also touch on more political themes as well.

Formed in 2013, Lucy In Blue released their self-titled debut album via Bandcamp in 2016, and, since then, the band’s young lineup of Arnaldur Ingi Jonsson on keyboards and vocals, Kolbeinn Þorsson on drums, Matthias Hlifar Mogensen on bass and vocals, and Steinþor Bjarni Gislason on guitar and vocals have been stunning crowds in their native Iceland with their soaring guitar solos and intense build-ups that take the listener for a ride through the psychedelic soundscapes and the progressive song writing styles of the 1970’s.

Lucy In Blue has a unique take on early psychedelic prog rock, and it’s a pleasure to invite you to go In Flight with them.

Lucy In Blue will play a release show at the Roadburn Festival 2019.

Tracklist
1. Alight, pt 1
2. Alight, pt 2
3. Respire
4. Matricide
5. Nuverandi
6. Tempest
7. In Flight
8. On Ground

www.facebook.com/lucyinblue
https://lucyinblue.bandcamp.com/
https://www.karismarecords.no/webshop
https://karismarecords.aisamerch.com

Lucy in Blue, In Flight (2019)

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Roadburn 2019: Grails, Hexvessel, Uran, Lucy in Blue, Bismuth, Third Commissioned Project and More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2019 banner

I mean. Look. Hey. You know. It’s, uh. Yeah.

Roadburn and I kind of hit this point every year — at least we have for the last decade. The lineup announcements come through, and after a while, I just don’t even know what to say about it anymore. “Hey, so, look’s like Roadburn‘s gonna be all things to all people again” doesn’t really cut it as far as editorial content goes.

Here’s a point I’ll make: I think if you look at the Roadburn 2019 lineup, with its three commissioned projects — the third of which is newly announced — two career-spanning headline slots from Sleep, bands from multiple corners of the globe, a couple label showcases thrown in for good measure, and more still to come, it’s pretty safe to say it’s the biggest, farthest-reaching Roadburn yet. And even that. Is something I say. Every friggin’ year.

Doesn’t mean it doesn’t apply. It’ll be nice to see Grails again, and I was hoping Hexvessel would get added when their new video showed up earlier this week. A little more Aaron Turner doesn’t hurt either.

The PR wire has the lot of it, and you’ll see below the gorgeous individual day posters by Maarten Donders.

Dig:

More names announced for Roadburn 2019 including third commissioned project

– Tomas Lindberg adds more names to The Burning Darkness including GRAILS and URAN
– HEXVESSEL to perform All Tree in full
– Dutch black metal to be showcased in commissioned project MAALSTROOM
– Aaron Turner, Will Brooks and Dennis Tyfus to unite as DOOLHOF

Roadburn’s artistic director, Walter Hoeijmakers comments:

“We’re thrilled that 4-day tickets have sold out this side of Christmas – with still some of the line up to announce! Don’t delay on day tickets as we hope that they too will go quickly. We are nearing the end of our announcements, but there is still a handful of bands to present in the new year.”

TOMAS LINDBERG’S THE BURNING DARKNESS

GRAILS

GRAILS are set to return to Roadburn Festival exactly ten years after they performed at Neurosis’ curated event, Beyond The Pale back in 2009. We’re thrilled to announce that they’ll be making a return to join us in Tilburg – once again as a result of an invitation from our curator.

FONTÄN

“The whole vibe of FONTÄN reeks of folky, trippy melancholia, in the most unsentimental way. This is something that could easily have been produced by Brian Eno in his prime.” says Lindberg of his choice.

THE EXORCIST GBG

One of three Gothenburg based bands in this latest announcement, Lindberg describes THE EXORCIST GBG as: “a mind and time bending electronic psych experience, with a serious funk dance groove, like the legendary Goblin on dangerous cult-ritual-inducing drugs.”

URAN

When Tomas Lindberg describes a band as Sweden’s best kept secret, it’s time to start paying attention. He comments of URAN: “Imagine the heaviest psych, in a street fight with the most hypnotizing Stooges riffs, with an electronic Kraut edge and a monstrous Hawkwind presence.”

HEXVESSEL

HEXVESSEL’s new album, All Tree, will be released in February and the sole track released at the time of writing gives a tantalising glimpse of what to expect. It’s considered, haunting and – quite honestly – downright beautiful.
Prepare yourselves for some pin-drop moments amongst some soul shaking sonic shifts: Hexvessel are back!

DOOLHOF

The component parts of DOOLHOF are Aaron Turner, Will Brooks and Dennis Tyfus. Musically and artistically these three men appear to be worlds apart but look a little deeper and it’s obvious there’s a streak of experimental vigour and curiosity that runs through them all – and in this case, unites them.

When the idea of a collaborative project was floated, Turner singled out Will Brooks early on. Brooks made his Roadburn debut with Dälek in 2017; one of the most talked about performances of that edition, Dälek were instrumental in expanding the scope of the festival. Tyfus is a Belgian audio/visual artist whose Ultra Eczema label has served as the nucleus for a vast and eclectic array of creative endeavours.

That its participants have named it DOOLHOF (Dutch for ‘maze’) leads our minds to bubble over with possibilities.

MAALSTROOM

The third and final commissioned piece for Roadburn 2019 is a collaboration between a seething mass of up and coming – not to mention, vitally important – Dutch black metal bands. The project is titled MAALSTROOM and will unite over a dozen musicians from Laster, Verwoed, Witte Wieven, Turia, Fluisteraars, Grey Aura, Terzij de Horde, Folteraar, Nefast – and more.

Roadburn has showcased slivers of this innovative and burgeoning scene in previous years, but never before has such a heavy and accomplished array of Dutch musicians gathered together under one banner.

Exclusively for Roadburn Festival, MAALSTROOM will compose and perform a piece that spans five movements, with an evolving line-up of performers embellishing an ambient backdrop. This is not merely a show, nor a ritual; it is a current to be dragged along by.

MAALSTROOM is possible thanks to the continued support of the City of Tilburg and Brabant C.

As well as participating in MAALSTROOM the following bands will perform their own sets at Roadburn Festival 2019:
LASTER
TERZIJ DE HORDE
WITTE WIEVEN
DODECAHEDRON
TURIA
NUSQUAMA

ALSO ANNOUNCED TODAY:
BISMUTH bring ethereal doom to Roadburn
COILGUNS are primed to deliver an ear pummelling
CROWHURST will bring a world of pain
CROWHURST & GNAW THEIR TONGUES unite in harsh noise
FAUNA evoke manifestations of nature and wilderness through the lens of black metal
FOTOCRIME will shed light on a darkened room
LUCY IN BLUE set off on a psychedelic prog quest to Roadburn
PHARMAKON will summon disconnecting ambience and caustic crescendos of industrial noise
THOR & FRIENDS to bring their warm, hypnotic songs to Roadburn
TWIN TEMPLE’s Satanic doo-wop will reign supreme
WRONG will deliver angular melody and abrasiveness

TICKETS:
Single day tickets will go on sale on tonight – Thursday, December 13 at 8pm CET/7pm GMT/ 2pm EST. 4-day tickets are SOLD OUT, 3-day tickets are still available in limited numbers.

Tickets are be priced as follows:
3 days ticket (Thu-Sat) €181 + €4,50 service fee
Day ticket (Thu, Fri or Sat) €62 + €4,50 service fee
Sunday ticket €55,50 + €4,50 service fee

https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival/
http://www.twitter.com/Roadburnfest
http://www.instagram.com/roadburnfest
http://www.roadburn.com

Hexvessel, “Old Tree” official video

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