Review & Track Premiere: Somali Yacht Club, The Sea

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on January 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

somali yacht club the sea

[Click play above to hear ‘Vero’ from Somali Yacht Club’s The Sea. Album is out Jan. 22 on Robustfellow Productions and Kozmik Artifactz.]

The second full-length from Lviv-based three-piece Somali Yacht Club, The Sea, would seem to speak more to a spirit of progressive melancholia than its predecessor, 2014’s The Sun (discussed here). This is despite the fact that the two records share in common deep-toned heavy psychedelic underpinnings and an overarching rhythmic fluidity. One could argue that it’s been four years and perhaps the Ukrainian trio of guitarist/vocalist Mez, bassist Artur and drummer Lesyk have grown as an outfit as a result of touring and appearing at notable gatherings like Desertfest Berlin, SonicBlast Moledo, etc., but to listen to the six-track/53-minute outing and ignore the apparent mindfulness behind its drift is to miss out on one of the album’s most resonant appeals.

It’s not just a record that jams out spacious tones and gently echoing melodic vocals in a tossed-off manner; there is an overarching purposefulness to its fluidity and to its presentation, which begins with the opening salvo provided by the extended “Vero” (11:38) and “Religion of Man” (12:02) and moves directly into the Elder-style heavy-prog shimmer of the shortest inclusion, “Blood Leave a Trail,” which still has enough swirl to not be a contrast in its 6:20 run. If one wanted, I suppose, they could hear The Sea and simply get lost in the wash of “Vero” and suddenly snap back to consciousness after the finale of “Crows” has ended, but whether it’s Arthur‘s bassline as the foundation for the volume swell of effects at the start of “Hydrophobia” or the swinging taps on Lesyk‘s ride cymbal as “Vero” jazzily approaches its peaceful, atmospheric midsection, the collection is rife with details that warrant active engagement.

In other words, the more one puts into hearing it, the more satisfaction one is likely to reap from The Sea on the whole. To wit, the initial pairing of “Vero” and “Religion of Man” is perhaps the most obvious showcase of intent on the part of Somali Yacht Club in terms of their desire to fully engage and hypnotize, and while they come close to earning the immediate points of opening with their longest track — there should be a partial credit system for the salvo as a whole, but I haven’t worked out the metrics of such things; check back (or don’t) — it’s the breadth in the midsection of “Vero” that’s most likley to entrance outright. All throughout The Sea, the band demonstrate an ability to transition between wide-cast ambience and more directly weighted, riffier fare, and that’s true of the linear build in the second half of “Vero” as well as it picks up past the seven-minute mark and lumbers to its exciting conclusion, but it’s the patience there and in “Religion of Man” as well (speaking of details: the low-end angularity and feedback interplay in the eighth minute has to be heard to be believed) that makes the execution such a thrill to fully embrace and in tempo as much as construction, the songs are truly progressive in the sense of being thoughtful works manifesting a decisive creative growth.

somali yacht club

That Somali Yacht Club then manage to shift modus into the six-minute “Blood Leave a Trail” essentially without missing a beat shows how well they’ve already managed to carry their listeners with them, and as the rest of The Sea rolls toward the shore, there is never a moment at which they seem either to be out of control or unaware of what effect their material might be having on their audience. Certainly they take their time getting to where they’re going, but as a whole, The Sea is almost perfect in its pacing, and the fact that MezArtur and Lesyk so confidently move at such a languid clip only further speaks to their progress in developing a chemistry over the last several years coming off the debut.

Serene and still a little sad, “Hydrophobia” begins the second half of the tracklisting (one assumes side B of the vinyl actually starts with “Blood Leave a Trail” before it) with an exploratory feel, but splits shortly after its midpoint to the most driving moment on The Sea, quicker in its tempo and more forceful in its swing, but still holding to the reach of the prior tracks in tone and reverb. The final four inclusions on The Sea — “Blood Leave a Trail,” “Hydrophobia,” “84 Days” and aforementioned closer “Crows” — are arranged longest to shortest, so the effect is that the record works to re-immerse the listener as it goes, and it’s telling that the last pairing of “84 Days” and “Crows” are shorter at 7:27 and 9:13, respectively, than the tracks were at the outset, as though Somali Yacht Club didn’t want to ask too much indulgence on the part of their listenership.

That may or may not be their motivation, I don’t know, but the track arrangement works just the same like a rising tide that gradually swells to engulf the shore. “84 Days” is massive by the time the vocals arrive late, having grown so subtly along the way that it’s perhaps the easiest point on the record to lose one’s self, and as the standalone riff of “Crows” begins the last piece, the band seem to be securing their triumph with a victory lap of a groove. Well earned. There’s an uptick in pace as they move toward the middle — Lesyk seeming to double-time it on drums — but it’s shortlived, and the core of “Crows” resides around a singular, nod-ready progression that lumbers in the fullness of its fuzz early and reemerges from the psych-gazing middle third to cap the finale with due payoff for the reaches plumed before it.

If 75 percent of the earth is water, The Sea might just be wet enough to earn its name, but where the album’s true achievement lies is in the grace with which its component pieces come together and the flow that unites them as a whole work, cohesive in sound and purpose and resonant in tone and emotion. One is curious to think what might happen if Somali Yacht Club, after The Sun and The Sea, finally approach landfall with their third outing, but wherever these sonic waves ultimately carry them, the journey is a joy to behold.

Somali Yacht Club, The Sea (2018)

Somali Yacht Club on Thee Facebooks

Somali Yacht Club on Bandcamp

Somali Yacht Club on Twitter

Somali Yacht Club on Instagram

Robustfellow Productions on Thee Facebooks

Robustfellow Productions on Bandcamp

Robustfellow Productions on Twitter

Robustfellow Productions on Instagram

Kozmik Artifactz on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz website

Kozmik Artifactz webstore

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Somali Yacht Club Post New Song “Blood Leave a Trail”; The Sea Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

In the swaying rhythm, melody and swirling lead in the back half of the newly-unveiled ‘Blood Leave a Trail,’ one can hear Ukrainian trio Somali Yacht Club working under the progressive heavy rock influence of Elder‘s Lore album as they follow-up their 2014 debut,  The Sun (discussed here), but there’s some dreamy psychedelic vibes underlying that spirit and that suits them no less well than the directed cohesion around which the track is ultimately based. The Sea, which is the album from whence “Blood Leave a Trail” comes, is set to release Jan. 28 via Robustfellow and Kozmik Artfactz both, and preorders have been made available for those who like to get these things out of the way early, before, you know, spending money on less important stuff like paying bills or buying food or whatever it might be. Priority goes to rock.

Hard not to dig this cover art, right? I don’t know who did it, but yeah. If I was the kind of guy to keep a list of awesome album covers throughout the course of a year and post it every December, I might just think 2018 had its first entry on same.

From the PR wire:

somali yacht club the sea

Robustfellow announce pre-orders for SOMALI YACHT CLUB’s sophomore album “The Sea”, out on January 28th.

Robustfellow Prods. announce pre-orders for “The Sea”, the long anticipated sophomore album of Ukrainian dream-toned psychedelic trio SOMALI YACHT CLUB.
After the release of their highly acclaimed first album “The Sun”, which demonstrated the band’s ability to create dreamy vibe, mix styles and immerse listeners into phantasmagorical sound landscapes, SOMALI YACHT CLUB expand their musical horizons with their next LP “The Sea”. Warm grooves, atmospheric psychedelia, rich fuzz, airy leads masterfully blend in one sonic canvas and show progression of the band both in terms of songwriting and lyricism.

“The whole album is built upon the story about love, friendship, hope, and trust”, vocalist and guitarist Ihor comments. “Our music gets darker, more sophisticated and deep with each song. Imagine the dark clouds that are sinking lower and lower and dark-blue waves that are rising higher and higher.”

From the 22nd of December, you can pre-order CDs, limited editions, t-shirts, patches, bundles and many more via Robustfellow Prods. The album release will be accompanied with a massive merchandise sale at this location. Vinyls will be available via Kozmik Artifactz (links below) in the beginning of spring.

1. Vero
2. Religion Of Man
3. Blood Leave A Trail
4. Hydrophobia
5. 84 Days
6. Crows

Somali Yacht Club, “Blood Leave a Trail”

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Somali Yacht Club to Release The Sea Jan. 22

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 30th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

somali yacht club

Ukrainian heavy psych rockers Somali Yacht Club made a resonant impression with, well, the resonance, of their debut album, The Sun (discussed here), which was issued by Robustfellow in 2014 and Kozmik Artifactz in 2016. The same two imprints combine their efforts in order to stand behind vinyl and CD pressings of the band’s second full-length, the six-song The Sea, which follows suit in vibe from its predecessor while further marking the progressive growth on the part of the group.

What does that mean? How does it manifest in the songs? The record’s not out until late January, so there’s some time really before one can expect some audio to be made public to find out — and I hope to have more on the release sometime between now and then, be it a track premiere or whatever — but on first impression, there’s an immediate warmth and sense of flow that would seem to fit with the titular theme at the very least, and while in a heavy psych context I can hardly even look at anything named The Sea and not hear the chorus of the Sungrazer song, it’s obvious Somali Yacht Club are thinking of it more in direct relation to the prior debut. Maybe they’ll do The Sand next and make it a day at the beach. Who knows?

The PR wire knows:

somali yacht club the sea

Dreamtoned trio from Ukraine, Somali Yacht Club, are going to release their sophomore album “The Sea” on Robustfellow Prods. (CDs and limited editions) and Kozmik Artifactz (vinyls).

After their first LP “The Sun” – which was highly acclaimed both by critics and listeners worldwide and showed the band’s ability to mix styles, create dreamy vibe and submerge listeners into fantastic sound landscapes – the band is ready to continue their musical journey with their next album “The Sea”. Rich fuzz, blended with atmospheric psychedelia, warm grooves and airy leads show the band’s progression both musically and lyrically and once again prove Somali Yacht Club’s inventiveness in blending styles.

1. Vero
2. Religion Of Man
3. Blood Leave A Trail
4. Hydrophobia
5. 84 Days
6. Crows

Somali Yacht Club, “Sun’s Eyes”

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Somali Yacht Club: The Sun LP Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 2nd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

somali yacht club

Dreamtoned Ukrainian trio Somali Yacht Club are getting ready to release their debut album, The Sun, on Kozmik Artifactz. Initially offered up by Robust Fellow on CD in 2014, the LP is available now to preorder and basks in a rich fuzz topped with airy leads and pushed along thick, warm grooves. Five extended tracks flesh out individual progressions while feeding into an overarching serenity that encompasses at higher volumes as flourishes of progressive guitar work add complexity to what’s already more than just simple jamming with lyrics accompanying. Vibe is paramount, and there’s clearly plenty to go around.

Way back in September, Somali Yacht Club were among the first confirmations for this year’s Desertfest Berlin. Release date is Feb. 12, so it seems safe to assume they’ll have copies on-hand for April. Kozmik Artifactz sends info:

somali yacht club the sun

Somali Yacht Club – The sun LP on pre-sale now!

Somali Yacht Club is a stoner rock trio from Lviv, Ukraine. The band mixes elements of stoner rock, psychedelic rock, shoegazing and post-metal in their music.

Formed in 2010 as a jam band, they evolved quickly to a main band for its members. In August 2011 they self-released their first four-song EP “Sandsongs”, followed by two 1-track EPs and finally their stunning full length “The Sun”. The album was self released by the band, got a digital release by Robust fellow rec in 2015 and is now honoured with a vinyl release.

On “The sun” the trio sows all their musical abilities: varying from quiet and emotional song structures, impressive instrumental parts to heavy riffing layered with strong vocals. They seem to take the best ingredients from the stoner, psychedelic, progressive and postrock scene to cook their own soup … a very tasty soup indeed!

– 166x white (hand-numbered MAILORDER edition)
– 150x black
– Plated & pressed on 180g high performance vinyl in Germany
– matt laquered 300gsm gatefold cover
– special vinyl mastering

A1. Loom 08:20
A2. Sightwaster 08:02
A3. Up in the sky 08:12
B1. Signals 10:52
B2. Sun 07:19

Somali Yacht Club, The Sun (2014/2016)

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Nonsun Release Debut Album Black Snow Desert

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 6th, 2016 by JJ Koczan


With two discs’ — that’s CDs, yes — worth of material, one could hardly accuse Ukrainian duo Nonsun of humble beginnings on their debut full-length, Black Snow Desert, which is out today and being self-released, but if the two-piece stretch far and wide, they do so with purpose, and the record’s sprawl is likewise atmospheric, following up the band’s 2013 Sun Blind Me EP (review here) with a surge forward that’s immersive and ambient in kind while keeping the sense of patient experimentalism consistent while progressing creatively. Also, there’s a lot of it.

And I don’t know about you, but I’m cool with that. Congrats to Nonsun on getting such a monstrous offering together and making it to release day. They have the record available for an on-the-cheap five dollars on Bandcamp, and if you’re so inclined, you can also stream it in full below. Art, announcement, background and audio all follow:

nonsun black snow desert

Nonsun debut full-length

Our debut full-length album titled ‘Black Snow Desert’ is to be released on January 6 2016. 2 CDs, 7 tracks, 84 minutes.

It’s not an ordinary album. It’s a journey. A long and hard trip. With a heavy heart and longing spirit. But those patient and open-minded will eventually be rewarded.

It’s the music from behind the wall of sleep. And it doesn’t matter on which side you are while listening to it.

Nonsun is a doom/drone metal band from Lviv, Ukraine. Formed in 2011 by Goatooth (guitars, bass, vocals) and Alpha (drums). Started with a 4-track (but 48-minute) demo EP “Good Old Evil” which was self-released in December 2012. The second EP “Sun Blind Me” was released in September 2013 via Breathe Plastic Records (Netherlands) and Drowning (Denmark). In September 2014 the band played in Wroclaw (Poland) opening the show for Yob & Pallbearer. Yob have chosen Nonsun out of 22 bands.

Goatooth – guitars
Alpha – drums

Nonsun, Black Snow Desert (2016)

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The Obelisk Radio Add of the Week: Nonsun, Sun Blind Me

Posted in Radio on August 21st, 2013 by JJ Koczan

The crux of Nonsun‘s Sun Blind Me is set early on, as the Ukrainian duo of Goatooth (vocals/guitar/bass) and Alpha (drums) unfold the first of their latest release’s four massive tracks with an ultra-patient, ultra-dark droning atmosphere. That song, “Rain Have Mercy,” is the longest at 11:57 (immediate points), but consistent in its sprawl and intent with the rest of Sun Blind Me, having been extended from a prior version included on the Lviv twosome’s last outing, 2012’s Good Old Evil, which was dubbed an EP though it ranged close to 50 minutes. Sun Blind Me follows this ethic as well, and between “Rain Have Mercy” and the subsequent “Forgotten is What Never Was” (11:22) is comprised half of older material and half of newer — the latter two cuts, “Alphomega (Part I: Sunlit Darkness)” and “Alphomega (Part II: Upward Blindness)” taking the drone and the darkly metallic plod that offsets it to even more inhuman-sounding aesthetic cohesion.

Nearly everything I’ve seen from Nonsun in terms of press quotes marks them out as a sludge band, and indeed they do themselves as well, but I disagree, at least if you’re looking at sludge in the sense of acts like EyeHateGod or Iron Monkey. Where chaos is part of the appeal in the work of those outfits, Nonsun come across as much more complex, the “Alphomega” two-parter taking its time even more than the first two songs on Sun Blind Me in moving between a mounting static noise of the first part to the emergence of an overlaying guitar part over the more minimalist second. At first, it seemed strange to me that Nonsun would open with older songs before moving into newer ones, but with the last half of Sun Blind Me being instrumental and even more broiled in its droning morass, it ultimately makes sense. That’s not to say “Rain Have Mercy” or “Forgotten is What Never Was” are particularly accessible, but at least there are vocals, and it shows that whatever Goatooth and Alpha might bring to their newest outing, they’re not willing yet to give up completely the methodologies they proffered on their debut.

As for those, I’d mark them more in league with a droned-out take on Euro-doom than sludge, though that influence may well be at work as well. There’s a sense of a plan at work throughout Sun Blind Me, though, and that remains so even as “Alphomega (Part II: Upward Blindess)” moves into the Earth-style sparseness of its second half, sounding mechanical while even for being plenty brutal in their own right, “Rain Have Mercy” and “Forgotten is What Never Was” eventually come around to the human element of vocals, growled and lurching though those vocals may be. Whatever sphere they’re working in and however drone-heavy that sphere might wind up being, Nonsun present a caustic but hypnotic take on tonal weight and a vague industrial influence without coming off as trying to reside in one genre or another. Their sound is clearly still in development, as indicated by the progress in approach from the first offering to the next, but they seem to be heading in a fascinating direction and I’ll look forward to finding out where it might go from here when and if they embark on an official full-length debut or subsequent EP or single.

Listen to Sun Blind Me as part of the playlist in regular rotation on The Obelisk Radio now. Already distributed digitally by Drowning, Nonsun will issue a tape of Sun Blind Me through Breathe Plastic that’s due out soon. You can also listen to it on the Bandcamp player below:

Nonsun, Sun Blind Me (2013)

Nonsun on Thee Facebooks

Breathe Plastic


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