Posted in Whathaveyou on November 23rd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
It hasn’t been long at all since the dates were announced for the Up in Smoke Roadfestival Vol. 6, which will feature Greenleaf, My Sleeping Karma and Mammoth Mammoth. Less than a month, actually. And now word comes through that Up in Smoke Vol. 7 will follow almost immediately thereafter, one installment of the package tour ending on Feb. 27 and the other picking up on March 1 and running through the bulk of the month, with Belzebong, Mars Red Sky and Stoned Jesus on the bill. Maybe Sound of Liberation, the booking agency presenting the shows, is just going to set up a year-long series of tours, have the next one start when the tour is over. Wouldn’t really surprise me — there are certainly enough bands around Europe to make it happen — and maybe if they keep it going long enough, SoL will eventually bring their game to the US. Just a thought.
For now, this is a show I’d love to see:
MARCH 2016 will see the next round of the beloved UP IN SMOKE ROADFESTIVAL and be sure… this one will kick ass!!
VOL.7 will feature Ukrainian heavy rockers STONED JESUS (presenting the re-release of their 2011 “Stormy Monday EP”), French fuzzcrafters MARS RED SKY (celebrating their new album to be released on February 26th) and weedian Polish five-piece BELZEBONG (touring their current album “Greenferno”).
All of them are now considered as references in the underground stoner rock scene, respectively crafting a fuzzed-out straightforward heavy rock, thick infectious grooves and melodic aerial guitar riffs all wrapped up in ethereal vocals, or even a powerful, bluesy riffs which straddle sludge and doom.
It’s gonna be a fun damn time leaving nothing but an intoxicating white smoke behind!
UP in SMOKE ROADFESTIVAL VOL. 7: 01/03 LEIPZIG (DE) Werk 2 02/03 HAMBURG (DE) Hafenklang 03/03 BRUSSELS (BE) VK 04/03 PARIS (FR) Le Divan Du Monde 05/03 ROTTERDAM (NL) Baroeg 06/03 BERLIN (DE) Lido 07/03 COLOGNE (DE) Underground 08/03 STUTTGART (DE) Universum 09/03 LINZ (A) Stadtwerstatt 10/03 VIENNA (A) Arena 11/03 LJUBLJANA (SL) Kino Šiška 12/03 MUNICH (DE) Under The Black Moon Festival 13/03 INNSBRUCK (A) PMK 14/03 LAUSANNE (CH) Le Romandie 15/03 PRATTELN (CH) Z7 16/03 WIESBADEN (DE) Schlachthof 17/03 ARLON (BE) L’Entrepôt 18/03 EINDHOVEN (NL) Tuchthuis 19/03 HANNOVER (DE) Faust
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Okay, so Mars Red Sky are running a contest through their Thee Facebooks page whereby if you guess the vinyl color and configuration — platter size, 10″ or 12″ — of their upcoming Providence EP, you can win a copy. Fine. So what’s the thing? The thing is this contest is also how they’ve announced the EP to start with, as well as their third album, second for Listenable Records, to which the short release will act as a lead-in. They’ve unveiled the front and back vinyl cover for Providence, which also contains the tracklisting, and let loose the information that, like 2014’s Stranded in Arcadia (review here), the upcoming LP was recorded by Gabriel Zander at Estúdio Superfuzz in Brazil, presumably back in May when they toured South America for the second (maybe third?) time.
Whether or not they did the EP in the same session, I can’t be sure, but that return-to-Brazil tidbit should be particularly encouraging to anyone who heard the last album, which though it wound up being recorded as it was because the Bordeaux trio were denied US visas — their original plan having been to record in the California desert — was a stretch of pure heavy bliss that not only made the most of its situation, but was a significant step forward from the warm riffy bounce and resounding melodies of their 2011 self-titled debut (review here). Providence will also precede the next long-player in a similar fashion that 2013’s Be My Guide EP (review here) showed where Mars Red Sky were heading after the first record, so it’s even more worth keeping an eye out for it.
Cover art (in progress) by Carlos Olmo that ties into their video for “The Light Beyond” from Stranded in Arcadia, and the rather informative contest rules follow below. For what it’s worth, I’m going with a blue-green-black splatter (like the ray on the cover) 10″ record. We’ll see if I’m right or wrong.
More to come, hopefully sooner than later:
READY TO PLAY ? this is a preview of next artwork (work in progress) by Carlos Olmo. Before the next album (out in march on Listenable records & recorded by Gabriel Zander), we’ll release a EP limited / 500 copies vinyls early february 2016! We hope you guys like the cover below! The one (or 2) who will find the color we already chose for the wax and the size of the vinyl will get that plate for free 1 month before the release (mid of january!). Maybe the people get close to the answer will get something too (goodies?) or not! Be careful, this game is stupid, no strict real rules but we hope we’ll have a winner!!!
Answer in 3 or 4 days!
Providence EP tracklisting: A1. Shot in Providence B1. The Homesick Deaf B2. Sapphire Vessel
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
Whenever the hell it was that I started really doing podcasts again on a roughly-monthly basis, I said that there would be no theme from one to the other. That’s a rule I’ve bent a couple times since, and this is one of those instances as well. This podcast takes a look at the rather extensive lineup for Desertfest Belgium 2015 (posted in full here). It was a particular challenge to keep it to what’s become the standard two-hour format, but in the end, I think the tracklisting below brings together the headliners and some of the lesser known bands in a way that speaks to the breadth of the festival itself. Or at least I hope it does. It’s a killer mix, either way.
Worth noting that this is the second podcast this year that has started with Goatsnake. That is not an accident. I tried to keep things as current as possible here, and their new one destroys. I think the only cuts not from the band’s latest album are Bongzilla, Monomyth and Monolord, and well, the songs included speak for themselves either way.
Desertfest Belgium 2015 happens this weekend at Trix in Antwerpen. If, like me, you won’t be there, hope this provides a bit of fodder escapist daydreaming. If you’re going, it’s never to early to get psyched on it. Either way, please enjoy:
0:00:00 Goatsnake, “House of the Moon” from Black Age Blues
0:05:17 Crystal Head, “Wouldn’t You Know” from Crystal Head
0:08:05 Orange Goblin, “Demon Blues” from Back from the Abyss
0:12:40 Ufomammut, “Temple” from Ecate
0:20:08 Fever Dog, “The Great Tree” from Second Wind
0:26:05 Causa Sui, “Echo Springs” from Euporie Tide
0:30:56 Dozer, “Flood” from Beyond Colossal
0:34:46 Monolord, “Icon” from Empress Rising
0:42:56 Mars Red Sky, “The Light Beyond” from Stranded in Arcadia
0:50:55 Stoned Jesus, “Silkworm Confessions” from The Harvest
1:00:00 Fatso Jetson, “Flesh Trap Blues” from Split with Herba Mate
1:06:25 Bongzilla, “H.P. Keefmaker” from Apogee
1:16:46 Earth, “Badgers Bane” from Primitive and Deadly
1:29:05 The Machine, “Chrysalis (JAM)” from Offblast!
1:45:16 Monomyth, “Huygens” from Monomyth
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Desertfest Belgium 2015 continues to add to its enviable lineup. As in, I’m envious that I probably won’t get to go. Harsh Toke will hit it up as part of their just-announced European tour, and French heavy psych mavens Mars Red Sky are most certainly welcome on any lineup I’m writing about. Black Bone and Vandal X also join the bill, which hey, just for fun, let’s remind that it already featured fucking Goatsnake, Orange Goblin, Fatso Jetson, Ufomammut, Dozer, Greenleaf and Bongzilla.
That list of bands was only going to be like three long and then I kept seeing more. I could’ve kept going. The full list is below. It’s insane:
Mars Red Sky, Harsh Toke, Black Bone and Vandal X confirmed for DESERTFEST BELGIUM
European heavy/stoner/doom gathering DESERTFEST BELGIUM has a few more announcements coming this summer, and we’re happy to bring four more bands to the 2015 bill today: France’s finest heavy psych trio MARS RED SKY, San Diego’s cosmic jammers HARSH TOKE, some straightforward rock’n’roll with Eindhoven’s BLACK-BONE, and last but not least, German prog noise duo VANDAL X. Antwerp is set to be borne away by a whirl of fuzz-drenched rock and psychedelia in October!
Bands already confirmed are: Goatsnake, Orange Goblin, Bongzilla Fatso Jetson, Dozer, Moon Duo, Greenleaf, Valient Thorr, Ufomammut, Causa Sui, Siena Root, Monolord, Mars Red Sky, Sourvein, Glowsun, Carlton Melton, Monomyth, Child, Harsh Toke, Planet Of Zeus, Vandal X, Tangled Horns, Psychonaut, The Progerians, Wheel Of Smoke, Sunder, Fever Dog, Black-Bone and 3rd Ear Experience.
More acts to be announced soon…
On the other hand, we are sorry to announce the cancellation of Philly’s psych act Ruby The Hatchet, who won’t be touring Europe this fall due to personal reasons.
DESERTFEST BELGIUM 2015 October 9-11th at Trix Muziekcentrum – Antwerp 3 day tickets (96€) on saleHERE
The 2011 self-titled debut from French heavy psych rockers Mars Red Sky has remained special to me for the last four years since it was released. Easily one of my top five albums of the last half-decade, its arrival with well-hewn tonal warmth, gorgeous melodies, easy-rolling grooves and memorable songwriting made it a perfect summer offering, and I’ve spent many nights since with it on during the warm weather, the hooks of “Strong Reflection” and “Curse” giving way to the spacious jam in “Falls,” guitarist/vocalist Julien Pras, bassist Jimmy Kinast (also vocals on “Marble Sky”) and then-drummer Benoit Busser crafting a presence that would send ripples through the heavy rock underground. It’s also a particular standout for me, because it coincided so much with Hurricane Irene in 2011. In fact, the day I reviewed it — Aug. 29, 2011 — was the day after the storm hit the northeastern part of the US.
New Jersey had been slammed, the power and water was out, and The Patient Mrs. and I wound up at a packed-out Panera Bread to work for the afternoon. I brought the CD with me, its thick-stock digipak and silver lettering no less lush than the sonics contained within, and reviewed it there, post-storm chaos all around me in downed trees, a crowded mall parking lot, people shoving past each other to get lousy sandwiches and/or halfway decent coffee. “Way to Rome,” “Strong Reflection,” “Saddle Point,” the swinging “Marble Sky,” and the quiet closer “Up the Stairs” were my escape from that, and they’ve remained an escape ever since.
I have no problem saying that Mars Red Sky — now Pras, Kinast and drummer Matgaz — outdid their self-titled with their second album, 2014’s Stranded in Arcadia (review here), which was also their debut on Listenable Records, but that doesn’t make the debut any less of a landmark on its own level. I’ve heard rumblings about a new LP in the works for 2016 and that’s one I’ll very much look forward to, but in the meantime the trio continue to support the second offering, this very weekend playing festivals in Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as a gig in their native France that, with the time difference between the US and Europe, is probably already winding down.
So be it. I could’ve dipped back and found something from the heavy ’70s to close out the week, or another older offering of one sort or another, but that Best Songs of the Last Five Years post had me thinking about Mars Red Sky‘s Mars Red Sky again, and with the beautiful weather around, it seemed high time for a revisit. I very much hope you enjoy.
Well, I made it. I’m back on the East Coast. I left the conference I was at in San Francisco for work yesterday afternoon and went to SFO airport, pretty much to sit around for a few hours, get most of today’s writing done (everything except this post) and essentially have a chance to be quiet and not have to socialize for a while, which, after the last couple days, was about as good as “sitting at the airport” gets. SFO, though, is very much in need of the revamping that is apparently in progress. Still, they had coffee, which was what I wanted. My flight was 10:50PM Pacific time, and I got in at 7:30AM Eastern. Bumpy ride. I did not sleep on the plane at all.
That was kind of a bummer in itself, but really I was too busy counting down the minutes until I landed and waiting for the aircraft to jolt and drop out of the sky, plunging us all to our fiery death, to get any substantial shuteye. I nodded off here and there, but snapped back to consciousness quickly each time.
The Patient Mrs. picked me up at Boston Logan — we came in swooping around Boston and its harbor in the morning sunlight, which was not unpleasant — and drove us both down to Connecticut, where we are for the weekend. I would’ve done a post to close out the trip, but it wasn’t really a music thing in the first place, and it seemed like if I wasn’t record shopping, it didn’t really matter what state I was in. Yesterday, I was in Cali. Today I’m in CT. I slept for about two hours this afternoon but I expect I will crash pretty hard tonight when the time comes.
On Monday, look out for a full-album stream of Sacri Monti‘s self-titled debut. It’s out next Friday, July 24, on Tee Pee and it’s killer, so that will be a blast. Then on Tuesday, another full-album stream, this one for Goya‘s new record, which just so happens to be called Obeliskand is coming out on STB Records Aug. 1. Wednesday will bring a track premiere from Kaleidobolt and Thursday one from Sweat Lodge, so there’s a lot of really cool stuff in the works. I’ll have reviews with those and one somewhere in there for T.G. Olson‘s vinyl of The Rough Embrace as well. I think I’ll try and get some Radio Adds done too, as it’s been a while, and somewhere in there I’ll have a ticket giveaway for Portland’s North West Hesh Fest, which I’m thrilled to be involved in sponsoring. But of course we’ll see how it all comes together. I’m already behind on news too, so that’s always a constant.
I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Please check out the forum and the radio stream.
In just under a week’s time, Bordeaux heavy psych rollers Mars Red Sky will make a return trip to South America for shows in Argentina and Brazil. The latter, of course, is where they wound up recording their second album and Listenable Records debut, Stranded in Arcadia (review here), after their original plan to track in the California desert was scrapped by US customs in what I’ve since considered an embarrassing international incident caused by the ignorance of my countrymen to quality fuzz. No doubt somebody went home that day and thought they’d done a good job. Wrong-o, chief.
Those issues are easy enough to put aside because Stranded in Arcadia, which was recorded at Estúdio Superfuzz by Gabriel Zander, turned out so well. The trio of guitarist/vocalist Julien Pras, bassist Jimmy Kinast and drummer Matgaz crafted not only a progressive step froward from their 2011 self-titled debut (review here), but a highly individualized blend of sonic weight and psychedelia, the melodies, the riffs and heft all their own. It was a gorgeous record, whatever the circumstances of its making, and even as they’ve recently announced intentions toward a third album, they’re still supporting Stranded in Arcadia both on the road — that stopover in South America will be followed by another European tour — and with a new video, this one for the opening cut “The Light Beyond.”
It’s one of the most singularly gorgeous tracks on Stranded in Arcadia and the video is their most elaborate production to date. They’re known for sort of compiling clips through manipulated footage, maybe blending live shots with old movie clips and things like that, but “The Light Beyond” is a more traditional music video approach, the band staged on a sandbar as a giant manta ray made of shadow flies over head and a mysterious shaman wanders the desert. Fun note: From what I hear, the drone used for filming the band actually crashed in that lake. Hazards of working with robots, I guess.
As always, hope you enjoy:
Mars Red Sky, “The Light Beyond” official video
Taken from 2014’s critically acclaimed ‘Stranded In Arcadia’ album, the gallic power trio rockers stay true to their roots. Shot on location in France and Australia, ‘The Light Beyond’ features downtuned fuzzed up guitars, blues soaked doom laden riffage, wandering shaman, flying manta rays and deserts as far as the eye can see.
The band will be off for a their « Soviet Attack tour » in South America next week, which will be quickly followed by a full European tour, including a special guest slot in London with Eyehategod at Desertscene Festival, among other nice events this summer:
26.05 BUENOS AIRES (Ar) Uniclub 27.05 PORTO ALLEGRE (Br) Signos Pub 28.05 SANTA MARIA (Br) Boteco do Rosário 29.05 PETROPOLIS (Br) Gypsy Bar 30.05 RIO DE JANEIRO (Br) Rio Rock & Blues 31.05 SAO PAULO (Br) Inferno Club 25.06 CARDIFF (UK) Moon Club 26.06 MILTON KEYNES (UK) Crauford Arms 27.06 LONDON (UK) The Dome (w/ Eyehategod) 28.06 PARIS – Deep #2 – Péniche Antipode 03.07 BRESCIA (It) Somen Fest 04.07 JESI (It) Field Fest 05.07 ROMA (It) Sinister Noise 17.07 MIRAMONT DE GUYENNE (47) Abracada’Sons 18.07 DOUR (Bel) Dour Festival 19.07 NIJMEGEN (NL) Valkhof Festival 29.07 KIEV (Ukr) Open Air 14.08 SAINT NOLFF (56) Motocultor Festival 15.08 VERDUN (55) Musiques & Terrasses 29.08 THONES (74) Backwoods Festival 25.09 SAINT PETERSBURG (RU) Zoccolo 2.0 26.09 MOSCOW (RU) Depressive Fest – Volta
Posted in Whathaveyou on May 8th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
Before Mars Red Sky hit the studio in August to record their third full-length in their native Bordeaux, the trio will embark on tours of South America — shows in Brazil and Argentina — and crisscrossing Europe for festival appearances. Brazil of course is where they wound up tracking their second record, last year’s stellar Stranded in Arcadia (review here), which also served as their debut on Listenable Records, and even as they begin to move past that album to work on the next, they’ll be releasing a new video from Stranded in Arcadia this coming week, for the song “The Light Beyond,” the engrossing eight-minute opener.
Something to look forward to there. Also will be interesting to see whether the new outing will surface later in 2015 or early in 2016. Could go either way recording in August depending on how long the mixing and mastering takes and what else they encounter along the way. Presumably recording in their hometown in a familiar setting with a friend at the helm is at least in part an effort to avoid some of the fraught experience that led to Stranded in Arcadia — the album’s title being a reference to the fact that they were supposed to record in the California desert but were ultimately denied entrance and had to scramble to find a spot in Brazil — though one was hardly inclined to argue with the results of that scramble.
From the PR wire:
MARS RED SKY: Spring and Summer news!
May 12th – New video release “The Light Beyond” The band will unveil their brand new video for “The Light Beyond” (directed by Sébastien Antoine), this May 12th.
May 26th – South American tour One year after the remarkable release of their second album “Stranded In Arcadia”, French heavy trio MARS RED SKY will be back where it all started, with six shows across Argentina and Brazil.
“Soviet Attack” Tour 2015 / South America 26/05 BUENOS AIRES (Ar) Uniclub 27/05 PORTO ALEGRE (Br) Signos Pub 28/05 SANTA MARIA (Br) Boteco Do Rosário 29/05 PETROPOLIS (Br) Gypsy Bar 30/05 RIO DE JANEIRO (Br) Rio Rock & Blues Club 31/05 SAO PAULO (Br) Inferno Club
August 2015 – New album recording Shortly after this sonic odyssey across Europe and the new continent, MARS RED SKY will take a well deserved break to focus on their upcoming full-length, to be recorded in their hometown Bordeaux with their friend and producer Gabriel Zander.
European tour and summer festivals A full European and UK tour is to start soon, with a few shows in Italy. This summer, the band will hit renowned festivals such as Dour Festival (Belgium), Motocultor Fest (France), Valkholf Fest (Holland) and Depressive Fest in Moscow. Tour list is as follows:
07.05 TROYES (10) Chapelle Argence 08.05 TILBURG (NL) Little Devil 12.05 ROUEN (76) Les Trois Pièces 13.05 VILLENEUVE D’ASQ (59) La Ferme d’en Haut 14.05 UTRECHT (NL) dB’s 15.05 AMIENS (80) La Lune des Pirates 16.05 MAGSTADT (D) Wall Of Rock 26.05 BUENOS AIRES (Ar) Uniclub 27.05 PORTO ALLEGRE (Br) Signos Pub 28.05 SANTA MARIA (Br) Boteco do Rosário 29.05 PETROPOLIS (Br) Gypsy Bar 30.05 RIO DE JANEIRO (Br) Rio Rock & Blues 31.05 SAO PAULO (Br) Inferno Club 25.06 CARDIFF (UK) Moon Club 26.06 MILTON KEYNES (UK) The Crauford Arms 27.06 LONDON (UK) TBA 28.06 PARIS – Deep #2 – Péniche Antipode 03.07 OME – BRESCIA (It) Somen Fest 04.07 JESI (It) Field Fest 05.07 ROMA (It) Sinister Noise 17.07 MIRAMONT DE GUYENNE (47) Abracada’Sons 18.07 DOUR (Bel) Dour Festival 19.07 NIJMEGEN (NL) Valkhof Festival 14.08 SAINT NOLFF (56) Motocultor Festival 15.08 VERDUN (55) Musiques et Terrasses 29.08 THONES (74) Backwoods Festival 25.09 SAINT PETERSBURG (RU) Zoccolo 2.0 26.09 MOSCOW (RU) Depressive Fest – Volta
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 19th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
While I’m consistently bummed Mars Red Sky haven’t made it to the US yet in support of 2014’s righteous Stranded in Arcadia (review here), the release of their new video for “Circles” at least gives me an excuse to revisit the album this afternoon, and for that I’m grateful. The Bordeaux heavy psych rock trio offered one of last year’s most engaging listens with their second full-length, and this week they’ll hit the road in Europe to hand-deliver warm tones and memorable hooks to what I’ve no doubt will be a thankful audience.
The tour is broken up into different sections and really takes hold in March, but there are five dates this week, and that’s not nothing, especially with the new video accompanying. Whatever. Anytime I get to write about Mars Red Sky is a win.
Here’s this off the PR wire:
MARS RED SKY European takeover continues; new video for “Circles” unveiled
That’s a fact: MARS RED SKY love being on the road, to such an extent that touring has become their second nature. Once again, the French trio is set to drag even more audiences into their oniric stoner rock trip with a full winter tour across France and Europe. On the occasion of this recent addition, the band also released a hypnotizing video for “Circles”.
“Circles” is a song taken off MARS RED SKY’s sophomore album “Stranded In Arcadia” (listen here), released on April 28th through French music label Listenable Records. The video was created and edited by Geoffrey Torres, and features images from Kazumasa Nagai’s and German movie director Oskar Fischinger’s work.
MARS RED SKY’s winter tour is kicking off this week, more Spring dates and festivals will be announced later. As usual, you can contact me for guest list spots and interview requests.
UPCOMING SHOWS: 21.01 – ZARAGOZA (Sp) La Ley Seca 22.01 – MADRID (Sp) Maravillas Club 23.01 – BARCELONE (Sp) Rocksound 24.01 – LE FARE (13) L’Humus 25.01 – MONTPELLIER (34) Secret Place 20.02 – BRUXELLES (Be) Psych Fest – Le Magazin 4 21.02 – GERARDMER (88) Festival Gérardm’Electric 22.02 – GENEVE (CH) Kalvingrad 27.02 – NEVERS (58) Le Café Charbon 05.03 – BORDEAUX (33) “Help Kampuchea” – I.Boat 09.03 – MUNICH (D) Feierwerk w/ Colour Haze & Radio Moscow 10.03 – KÖLN (D) Underground 11.03 – LEIPZIG (D) UT Connewitz 12.03 – BERLIN (D) Zukunft am Ostkreuz / Theatersall 13.03 – DRESDEN (D) Chemiefabrik 14.03 – WROCLAW (PL) Sound Depot 15.03 – WARSAW (PL) Klub Hydrozagadka 16.03 – GDANSK (PL) Wydzial Remontowy 17.03 – COPENHAGEN (DK) KB18 18.03 – SWEDEN TBA 19.03 – SWEDEN TBA 20.03 – OSLO (Nor) Vulkan Arena 21.03 – AALBORG (DK) 1000Fryd 22.03 – BREMEN (D) Römer 23.03 – TILBURG (NL) Little Devil 23.03 – TILBURG (NL) Little Devil 24.03 – UTRECHT (NL) DB’s Club 25.03 – DUNKERQUE (59) L’Entrepôt 26.03 – VILLENEUVE D’ASQ (59) La Ferme d’en Haut 15.08 – SAINT NOLFF (56) Motocultor Festival Artwork by Markel Urrutia / Smoke Signals