My Sleeping Karma, Moksha: Freedom through Realization

Posted in Reviews on May 12th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

my-sleeping-karma-moksha

The progression of German instrumentalists My Sleeping Karma has been as natural and flowing as the tones they’ve offered across their releases. Moksha is their fifth full-length and second to be released on Napalm Records behind 2012’s Soma (review here), and like that album, it finds the Aschaffenburg four-piece delving into Eastern religious themes — “Prithvi” being the world in which everything is contained, “Moksha” being freedom through self-realization, “Agni” the Hindu god of fire, etc. — and spacing out its graceful longer pieces with progressive interludes. In structure, Moksha could be considered a direct sequel to its predecessor, but much of what My Sleeping Karma accomplishes across its 11 songs/54 minutes finds its roots further back, in 2010’s Tri (review here), 2008’s Satya (review here) or even their 2006 self-titled. Their growth, in other words, has been steady, and the four-piece have proved over the better part of the last decade to be more inclined toward gradual, incremental steps forward than presumptuous leaps of sound. Moksha, then, is the next step for guitarist Seppi, bassist Matte, drummer Steffen and keyboardist Norman, and it proves to be their most entrancing work yet, pulling varied movements together across an immersive singular span that heavy, progressive, and hypnotically psychedelic while continuing to refine their sound as one of the most immediately identifiable in underground rock. The textured feel of the material here, whether it’s the building guitar swirl of “Vayu” or the keyboard and effects wash of the penultimate “Interlude 5,” is what unites it as a whole, and more even than Soma, it’s possible to make your way through the various twists and surprises Moksha has on offer without realizing just how far you’ve gone.

Like the best of heavy psychedelia, the feel is otherworldly, but My Sleeping Karma have never just been about jamming. Even less so over time. Their songs, though instrumental and portraying an open creative process, carry a refined feel, and that’s true from the first echoing guitar notes of “Prithvi,” which courses through keyboard and guitar melodies over a steady rhythmic foundation, leading into the first interlude’s ritualized drone, chanting and percussion coming to a head just as “Vayu” takes over, again led by the guitar and keys. Memorable turns, tonal warmth and easy transitions are nothing new for My Sleeping Karma, but both “Prithvi” and “Vayu” underscore just how much their sound has become their own over the course of the last nine years, and even with the three-year break preceding Moksha as the longest of their career, they have continued to evolve their approach. “Vayu” ends on a dreamy note of fading horns and “Interlude 2″ picks up with a quiet guitar line fleshed out atmospherically over 1:45 before “Akasha” kicks in as one of Moksha‘s most engaging moments, a driving rhythm and airy spaciousness playing back and forth with each other not so much in competition as complement, Steffen‘s drums tying it together as each build starts anew. Moksha is more linear than broken into sides A and B — more like LPs one and two, both for its north-of-50-minutes runtime and companioning of one song into the next into the next — but the acoustic guitars and mellotron sounds of “Interlude 3″ mark a halfway dividing point nonetheless, and keys remain at the fore in the beginning of the subsequent title-track, also the longest inclusion at 9:37. While not as immediately catchy as “Akasha,” the titular cut offers satisfying rumble in its distortion, a fervent swirl, satisfying tempo shifts and a sense of composition that has remained a key factor in My Sleeping Karma‘s style particularly over their last three outings. I won’t take anything away from the faster prog riff that emerges from the grand chugging of “Moksha”‘s largest moments, but what really makes the piece a standout is the post-rock guitar/key interplay that comes forward at about the 5:30 mark, Norman‘s intro line resurfacing and fleshing out for the remainder of the track, not so much in a build, but in a contemplative moment of exploration that hints at what the next step might be for the band.

my-sleeping-karma

That step? One can only speculate, but listening to Moksha and in particular listening to the song that shares the album’s name, it seems that where My Sleeping Karma might be headed is in drawing the heavy psychedelic and progressive influences together, taking the adventurous ambience and arrangements of their interludes and the solidified movement of their longer tracks and bringing them into a new cohesion. Whether that comes from expanding the interludes or broadening their songwriting as a whole, I don’t know what shape it might take, but five albums deep, that’s part of what makes My Sleeping Karma an exciting listen. Airy guitars continue amid a poignant surge on “Interlude 4,” while “Jalam” continues the expansive cascade of “Moksha,” careening into and through heavier parts en route to a sprawling, firm-rooted middle ground, the turn in one direction or another sudden but easy enough to follow, and the last of the interludes, the aforementioned “Interlude 5″ has a smokier feel in its guitar and keyboard spread. Almost a bluesy drama, if filtered through the band’s own style. That leaves “Agni” to close out Moksha with a note reinforcing the album’s progressive vibe, which it does via intricate riffing and overarching thrust offset by more open “verse” riffs and a calm midsection that acts as the launch point for the last of the record’s builds, My Sleeping Karma taking one more lead-topped run into weightier distortion amid a comfortable lumber, adding intensity to the push until a final crash lets the ending tones fade away. One way or another, My Sleeping Karma have already made an impact on heavy psychedelia, not notably in Europe, but if listening to Moksha and trying to parse out what they might do next proves anything, it’s how fascinating a project theirs continues to be even a decade after its inception. Whatever direction My Sleeping Karma may or may not go, their output has only become more resonant with time, and as the most recent check-in on their progress, Moksha finds them at their most accomplished yet. But they in no way sound like they’re done, either.

My Sleeping Karma, “Prithvi” official video

My Sleeping Karma on Thee Facebooks

My Sleeping Karma’s website

Moksha at Napalm Records

Tags: , , , , ,

audiObelisk Transmission 047

Posted in Podcasts on April 22nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Click Here to Download

 

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

If you listen to these podcasts on the regular, you might notice this one is a little different than other recent editions have been. I was all set to start it off at a raging clip as per usual and then that Bison Machine track stood out to me with that warm bassline and I just decided that was the way to go, start off languid with that and My Sleeping Karma and ease into the rawer and meaner stuff from there. There are a couple jarring moments here and there, but that’s kind of the idea too, and I think overall across the board it flows well across the two hours, the second of which builds across All Them Witches’ jams and Ichabod’s sludge rock right into the atmospheric doom extremity of Bell Witch. Three songs in about 55 minutes. Awesome.

You might also notice the tracklist below has time stamps. Listed is the start time for each song, so if you get lost along the way, that should hopefully provide some point of reference. In case there was any doubt I pay attention to the stuff people say in comments to these podcast posts.

As always, hope you enjoy:

First Hour:
0:00:00 Bison Machine, “Gamekeeper’s Thumb” from Hoarfrost
0:07:12 My Sleeping Karma, “Prithvi” from Moksha
0:13:39 Weedeater, “Claw of the South” from Goliathan
0:19:00 Sinister Haze, “Betrayed by Time” from Betrayed by Time EP
0:24:15 Sun and Sail Club, “Dresden Fireball Freakout Flight” from The Great White Dope
0:26:11 Lasers from Atlantis, “Protectress” from Lasers from Atlantis
0:33:29 Arenna, “Drums for Sitting Bull” from Given to Emptiness
0:39:40 Mirror Queen, “Scaffolds of the Sky” from Scaffolds of the Sky
0:45:47 Les Discrets, “La Nuit Muette” from Live at Roadburn
0:51:02 Cigale, “Harvest Begun” from Cigale
0:54:49 Black Mare, “A Low Crimes” from Black Mare/Lycia Split

Second Hour:
1:00:03 All Them Witches, “It Moved We Moved/Almost There/A Spider’s Gift” from A Sweet Release
1:24:09 Ichabod, “Squall” from Merrimack
1:33:39 Bell Witch, “Suffocation, a Burial I – Awoken (Breathing Teeth)” from Four Phantoms

Total running time: 1:55:50

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 047

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My Sleeping Karma Post Art and Details for New Album Moksha

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 26th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

my sleeping karma

One day, I’ll see My Sleeping Karma live. I’m confident it will happen. The German heavy psych instrumentalists are pretty high on my list at this point, to be honest, but I’ve seen enough things I never thought I’d see to be hopeful that, sooner or later, our paths will cross. Sooner would be better.

The four-piece have announced the details and release dates for their second album through Napalm Records — fifth overall; where does the time go? — which is titled Moksha. It follows behind 2012’s excellent Soma (review here) and boasts cover art by Sebastian Jerke that you can see, along with the tracklisting and formats below.

It’s worth noting that, since they made their self-titled debut on Elektrohasch in 2006, the three years between 2012 and 2015 is the longest stretch My Sleeping Karma have gone without releasing a full-length. They’ve usually worked on two-year intervals. Granted they toured Soma pretty hard, but it only adds further intrigue to the prospect of Moksha that it was a little bit longer in the making.

Here’s that info off the PR wire:

my sleeping karma moksha (art by Sebastian Jerke)

German quartet MY SLEEPING KARMA are back with their fifth studio album “Moksha.” The band considers this album, their strongest record to date. The sound and tone of the album perfectly fits into the Instrumental Progressive – and Ambient Post Rock realms.

From the start the listener is kidnapped by the spherical sound, between enormous atmospheric compositions with pure rock riffs and psychedelic melodies perfectly intertwined into this scenery.

Immerse yourself, both with the risk of completely losing yourself in this brand new masterpiece, because you might not be able to emerge again. Perhaps you don’t want to…

Find the cover, release dates, track listing & available formats below:

Formats:
Digipack
2LP Gatefold Edition (Black & Limited Color Editions)

Release Dates:
29.05.2015: GAS, RoE, AUS
01.06.2015: UK/NOR/FR/DK/IT
03.06.2015: SE/ESP
09.06.2015: US/CAN

Track listing:

Prithvi
Interlude 1
Vayu
Interlude 2
Akasha
Interlude 3
Moksha
Interlude 4
Jalam
Interlude 5
Agni

For More Info Visit:
www.mysleepingkarma.com
www.facebook.com/MySleepingKarma
www.napalmrecords.com
www.facebook.com/napalmrecords

My Sleeping Karma, Soma (2012)

Tags: , , , , ,

My Sleeping Karma Post In-Studio Video Series; Finish Recording New Album

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 4th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

my sleeping karma

German heavy psych rockers My Sleeping Karma have finished the recording process for their next album. Their last outing was also their Napalm Records debut and their fourth offering overall after three increasingly complex and satisfying releases on Elektrohasch Schallplatten. That full-length, Soma (review here), came out in 2012 as the follow-up to 2010’s Tri (review here), and proved a jump not only in breadth of distribution, but in sound as well, the four-piece Aschaffenburg outfit playing off their already established tendency toward keyboard textures and ambient melodies to create even richer and more immersive material. The response was accordingly welcoming.

Maybe that’s putting it mildly, since what Soma essentially did for My Sleeping Karma was thrust them to the upper echelon of Europe’s heavy psych movement. They worked hard to get to that point, of course — both in the studio and on tour — but no question that had that record fallen flat their work wouldn’t have been so readily recognized. Soma was a pivotal moment for them, so it’s with marked interest that one finds the news of the fifth album being done and on to the mixing stage prior to mastering and the eventual release. My Sleeping Karma posted regular video updates from the studio — a series of three — and each installment features some snippets of new music in the process of being made. As you can hear, the smoothness of their style and tones isn’t happenstance and it sounds like album number five will continue the thread forward from where Soma left off. Glad to hear it.

My Sleeping Karma are set to appear at both Desertfest London and Berlin in April. More tour news as I see it come down. In the meantime, here are the studio clips:

My Sleeping Karma in the Studio



Dear Friends,

We have finished the recording process. All main instruments as well as the gimmicks are “in the box”. Now we start with the mixing process.

Have a great week end.

My Sleeping Karma website

My Sleeping Karma on Thee Facebooks

My Sleeping Karma at Napalm Records

Tags: , , ,

London DesertFest 2015: Sleep, Orange Goblin and My Sleeping Karma Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Three bands deep and already DesertFest London — which from here on out I’ll be presenting with the capital ‘f’ in accordance with their own stylization and in contrast to years past; I’m tired of feeling like I’ve got it wrong — has an enviable lineup. Sleep was already confirmed shortly after this year’s fest, and they’ll headline Koko, a place about which I know nothing but assume is sizable, as Orange Goblin celebrate their 20th anniversary. Not bad shakes. I’ve seen both of those bands, and they destroy, but I’ve never seen My Sleeping Karma and they’re on my wishlist at this point, their last several records having been so very, very good.

While I consider the finer points of starting an NPR-style pledge drive in order to cover travel expenses (no, not really), check out the announcement from the PR wire:

DESERTFEST LONDON 2015 : Sleep, Orange Goblin and My Sleeping Karma confirmed

European stoner/doom/psych festival DESERTFEST LONDON just unveiled the first batch of bands to be part of its fourth edition, taking place on April 24-26th, 2015 in Camden. Tickets are on sale now, so it’s time to make plans for next spring!

First bands confirmed are:

SLEEP (headlining Koko’s on Sunday 26th)
ORANGE GOBLIN
MY SLEEPING KARMA

For the fourth year running, Camden’s finest venues will be hosting one of the most exciting stoner/doom/sludge/psyche gatherings in Europe, for a full weekend of fuzzed-out tunes, psychedelia and partying. After they announced their long-awaited return a few weeks ago, American stoner rock pioneers SLEEP will be treating the Desertfest crowd to their twenty minutes long smoked-out sonic odysseys, with an exclusive headlining set at London’s famous venue Koko’s on the Sunday. Camden’s ground is set to tremble once again this year, with UK metal heavyweights ORANGE GOBLIN delivering their fiery metal anthems, for a one-off 20th anniversary special performance. This first announcement couldn’t be complete without a cosmic touch (because it wouldn’t be DESERTFEST if we weren’t sonically high at least once), brought to you by German psych trio MY SLEEPING KARMA.

Keep an ear to the ground as more bands will be announced really soon!

DESERTFEST LONDON
April 24-26th 2015 in Camden Town
Koko – Electric Ballroom – The Underworld – The Black Heart

3-day tickets (£99.50) available at THIS LOCATION

More infos on www.thedesertfest.com
http://instagram.com/desertfest
https://twitter.com/DesertFest
https://www.facebook.com/DesertfestLondon

Sleep, “Sonic Titan” Live in Boston, Aug. 24, 2014

Tags: , , , , , ,

Friday Full-Length: My Sleeping Karma, Satya

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 25th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

My Sleeping Karma, Satya (2008)

I was fishing through YouTube as I sometimes do looking for something to close out the week, and once I got to My Sleeping Karma‘s Satya and got about two seconds into opener “Ahimsa,” I knew I had no reason to search any further. The German heavy psych instrumentalists’ second album, released in 2008, was the first record I ever reviewed for this site (review here; though honestly it’s so needlessly packed with internet snark that I’m almost embarrassed to post the link), so obviously it has sentimental value there, but considering how hard My Sleeping Karma has worked on the two albums since, 2010’s Tri (review here) and their 2012 Napalm Records debut, Soma (review here), to push themselves creatively and further their craft, I think there’s plenty of aesthetic value as well. More than I appreciated at the time, and I liked Satya plenty when I first heard it. I guess I was figuring out how to do this and thought the only way to go about it was to be a wiseass about everything. Hindsight makes fools of us all.

Satya, however, only sounds richer with the context of the subsequent years, the Aschaffenburg four-piece blossoming in that time into one of the forerunners of the European heavy psych movement, moving beyond the jammy Colour Haze influence that marked their earliest work and emerging with a character all their own that, by now, has become a point of influence for others in their wake. I’m not sure they had such lofty ambitions six or seven years ago when Satya was coming together, but listening back to it now, their grip on their aesthetic was firm and they knew how to elicit movement within individual songs while also creating an overarching full-length flow. They had some stuff they were still figuring out — experiments with vocals, samples, etc. — but you can hear the heart of what My Sleeping Karma has become in this material, and more than that, right now, it’s really hitting the spot.

Should go without saying at this point, but I hope you enjoy it.

Apologies for the lack of posts today. Not looking for sympathy or “sorry for the loss” or anything like that — just letting you know what’s up — but I had an uncle pass away this week and after driving back up to Jersey last Sunday, had to come back down on Tuesday. Wrote the obituary, actually, and sort of ghost-wrote the eulogy with my cousin, which was an experience. Anyway, this afternoon and this evening was the wake, so pretty much the whole day went to that. Not much I could really do about it and sometimes that kind of thing just needs to take priority. I appreciate the understanding, and if you were looking for more posts, stick around next week because there’s a lot coming.

I’ve been asked to do another Red Kunz premiere. The last one went so awesomely well, that there’s another live video I’m in talks with the labels to get going. It might be Monday or might be later on or of course the whole thing could fall through and they could go a completely different direction, but I’ve got my hopes up it comes together, since that EP has a really cool sound and is worth getting the word out on as much as possible. Anyway, fingers crossed.

Also next week, I’ve got other family stuff going Wednesday, so I’m going to try to put together a podcast and get it posted, but that’ll probably be it for that day. I’m backed up on Radio adds, so those will go up, and I’m planning on posting the bio I wrote for the new Lo-Pan album, and a review of the new Karma to Burn. I’m so backed up on reviews it’s sad. I was thinking maybe of taking one week and just putting up 300 words of everything on the pile, doing that and nothing else, each record its own post, just to plow through everything and get back to square one. Not sure I’ll ever be that brave, but if you’ve sent something in, please know I’m doing my best. It’s been a time the last few months.

After the memorial tomorrow, though, I’m driving back up to Massachusetts. I’ll hopefully have time to stop off at home, or at least empty out the car, but then it’s off to the airport to pick up The Patient Mrs., who returns from Greece tomorrow night. It’s been a long month and I can’t wait to see her. This will have been the longest we’ve ever been apart since we first got together almost 18 years ago, and I survived, me and the dog, but with the move and everything, it’ll be so good to have her home and I feel like I’ll be able to get my head on straight a little bit for the first time in at least a couple weeks. Point is I can’t wait. The thought of seeing her has been carrying me through the past couple days.

Before I forget, I also passed the 1,000 followers mark on Twitter this week. That’s more than I ever thought would care enough to click the button, so thank you to everyone for the support there.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. I’ll be back home on Monday and we’ll pick up then. Right on.

Please check out the forum and the radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

Tags: , , , , ,

Colour Haze Albums to be Reissued; Touring with My Sleeping Karma

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 20th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

I always like posting news about Colour Haze, both because it means the band are active and working and because it gives me an excuse to also include a track by them. As you can see by the live version of “Grace” from Germany last year, I’m only too happy to take advantage. For what it’s worth, the accompanying update from guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek which came courtesy of the latest Elektrohasch Schallplatten newsletter is pretty noteworthy, especially for anyone who’s missed out of their albums Los Sounds de Krauts, Periscope, C02 and Ewige Blumenkraft, since they’re all being reissued through Elektrohasch on CD and vinyl.

To celebrate the 10th birthday of the label, a slew of other records will also come out again that are detailed below, and Colour Haze also start a tour with My Sleeping Karma next week and have some fest dates lined up for the fall, including the golly-I-wish-I-could-see-that Keep it Low fest.

Check it out:

News from Elektrohasch:

Colour Haze

We are working on the rereleases of our old and mostly long time unavailable albums. I started remixing Los Sounds De Krauts and I`m surprised myself how much the soundquality of the old digital recordings can be improved by mixing on our fine analogue gear. I`m working steadily song by song but it will take some time until everything is finished.

Next week we`ll remaster Ewigen Blumenkraft – unfortunately we don`t have the multitrack recordings of this one anymore. It will be released pretty soon though in autumn. For CO2 and Periscope we have to check the available data to see if a remix or only a remaster is possible. All records will be released on CD and vinyl. We`ll adjust the artwork so the original precious collector items won`t loose value.

There won`t be any limited editions!

I also intend to release an album with Duna Jam live recordings and a collection of songs which have been unreleased or only on special formats or compilations. So in the next months step by step a lot of new old records by Colour Haze will be released.

But at first we are on tour with My Sleeping Karma:
27.09. – D -Karlsruhe, Substage
28.09. – B – Leuven, Het Depot
29.09. – F – Paris, Divan Du Monde
30.09. – F – Nantes , Le Ferrallieur
01.10. – F – Toulouse, La Dynamo
02.10. – ES – Madrid, Caracol
03.10. – ES – Barcelona, Razzmatazz 3
04.10.- F – Lyon, Clacson
05.10. – CH – Pratteln, Up In Smoke Festival + Monkey3, Radio Moscow, Truckfighters a.o.
19.10. – D -München, Feierwerk, Keep It Low Festival + Rotor, Been Obscene, The Machine, My Sleeping Karma, Cherry Choke, Ufomammut, Truckfighters a.o.
22.11. – D -Aschaffenburg, Colosaal, 16. Eclipsed Festival + Baby Woodrose

www.colourhaze.de

10-Years-Elektrohasch

For the 10th anniversary of Elektrohasch I intend several rereleases on vinyl. As with the old Colour Haze material it`s not so easy sometimes to get the old masters and artwork data. From October the following sold out LPs will be reprinted:

EH 115-2 – Hypnos 69 – The Eclectic Measure LP (single sleeve, no FOC)
EH 122-2 – Causa Sui – Free Ride (without the 7” of the limited issues)
EH 139 – Causa Sui – Summer Sessions 3LP
EH 147 – The Machine – Drie DLP
EH 151 – Cherry Choke – A Night In The Arms Of Venus LP
EH 152 – Rotor – Festsaal Kreuzberg LP

Additionally the first and second LP by Rotor will be rereleased in a DLP set.

Several Elektrohasch artists are preparing new albums – more later….

Colour Haze, “Grace” Live in Cologne 2012

Tags: , , , ,

Up in Smoke Festival Announced — Pentagram, Colour Haze, Truckfighters and More Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 9th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Who wouldn’t want to settle in for a Switzerland autumn? Frankly, it sounds about as close to ideal as I can picture, and it would seem that Sound of Liberation — the booking powers that be behind the last few years’ Up in Smoke traveling fest — are in agreement. In league with the Swiss venue Z7 in Pratteln, they’ll present the first Up in Smoke indoor festival, and they’ve put together a killer lineup for their first outing. With Pentagram, Colour Haze, My Sleeping Karma and Truckfighters among their first batch of announced headliners, the Up in Smoke fest is sure to get a heavy beginning and hopefully it’ll be the first of many to come.

Here’s the poster and official announcement, plus a live clip of Colour Haze from the first Up in Smoke tour, just for the hell of it:

UP IN SMOKE indoor Festival

Born in 2011, the concept initially called UP IN SMOKE Roadfestival is a tribute to the clouds of blue smoke which wave around the dances and trances of music lovers around the world ! Each time, for each volume, we offered a well suiting band package and got them to hit the European roads to meet their fans and rock the crowds with psychedelic, doom, heavy rock and experimental riffs.

As free to move as a cloud of smoke were the four first editions of the road festival…
But this year, the UP IN SMOKE festival becomes sedentary, and sets up in PRATTELN (CH), a location close to the French and German borders.
On October 5th 2013, a new puff of smoke will rise up from the one of the very best Swiss venues : Z7 KONZERTFABRIK ! Take part and join us !

date : 05th October 2013
place: Z7, Pratteln, Switzerland

The roadfestival UP IN SMOKE stops its caravan in Switzerland for a new rendez-vous: after 3 years of wandering around Europe, we have decided to offer a “home” to UP IN SMOKE for one full day in the sweetest swiss rock venue : Z7.
Description: Heavy Rock, Stoner, Sludge, Doom & Psychedelic Festival
16 bands – 2 stages – 1 day

Line up so far:

PENTAGRAM (US) ***excl.Switzerland Show
COLOUR HAZE (D) ***excl.Switzerland Show
TRUCKFIGHTERS (SWE) ***excl.Switzerland Show
MY SLEEPING KARMA (D) ***excl.Switzerland Show
RADIO MOSCOW (US)
GLOWSUN (F)
MONKEY 3 (CH)
SHEVER (CH)
JOULES (CH)
MARANT (CH)
+ more bands to be announced soon

www.soundofliberation.com

Colour Haze, “Lights” Live at Up in Smoke 2011

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,