Posted in Whathaveyou on February 26th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster
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:
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)
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
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.
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
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 Satyaand 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 Satyaplenty 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 Satyawas 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.
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:
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
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….
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
Posted in Features on June 27th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster
They always say you there’s no going back. I don’t know who they are, but they’re right. As I searched back through posts to find the Top 20 of 2012, I realized it had been way too long since I heard some of these records. It’s so easy to get caught up with what’s current and what’s coming next that sometimes I forget to actually listen to albums I already enjoyed. That happened a couple times along the way.
When a year ends and the lists start coming out, it’s like records as numbered, stocked and then forgotten. I guess I’m guilty of it too. With that in mind, here’s a quick revisit to what I had as my favorites of 2012:
The Top 20 of 2012 Revisited
20. Mos Generator, Nomads
I can’t even look at this album cover without hearing the chorus to “Lonely One Kenobi” play in my head. Still a sentimental favorite.
19. Golden Void, Golden Void
Haven’t put it on in a while, but probably should.
18. Wight, Through the Woods into Deep Water
Ditto. This record was great and if I made the list today, it would probably be higher than it is here.
16. Pallbearer, Sorrow and Extinction
I’ve seen them three times so far this year and they’ve delivered each time, but haven’t put on the album itself in a while. Still looking forward to new stuff though.
15. Kadavar, Kadavar
I think I’ve had more fascinating conversations about Kadavar than any other band in the last year. So many opinions, so widely varied. I dig the self-titled, will probably have the follow-up on my list at the end of 2013. Nuclear Blast needs to bring them over to tour, maybe opening for Witchcraft?
14. Stubb, Stubb
Yay fuzz! Catchy songs, easy formula, well structured and impeccably performed.My favorite straight-up heavy rock record of 2012.
13. Orange Goblin, A Eulogy for the Damned
Hard to fuck with these dudes. The production here was a presence, but the songs still hold up.
12. Ararat, II
No shit, I live in terror of having Ararat release their third album and missing it. Like all of a sudden the album will have been out for three months and I’d have no idea.
11. Ufomammut, Oro
Haven’t listened to Opus Primumor Opus Altersince. Can’t help but think if Oro was released as one record, I’d put it on from time to time.
10. Conan, Monnos
I put this in the top 10 for a reason. Because it’s fucking ridiculously heavy. I stand by my reasoning. Looking forward to their new one.
9. My Sleeping Karma, Soma
An album I couldn’t manage to put down even when I wanted to, and one I still pick up from time to time. Glad I finally gave in an bought a copy to get away from the shitty digital promo version.
8.Graveyard, Lights Out
Maybe I burnt myself out on this? I went on a binge after their show in January for a bit and then put Lights Outaway and that was that.
7. Saint Vitus, Lillie: F-65
Every time I’m in a record store, flip through the Vitus selectionand see my quote on the sticker on the front of the jewel case of Lillie: F-65, I feel like an entire decade of shitty career decisions is justified. No bullshit.
6. Ancestors, In Dreams and Time
Brilliant. Mostly brilliant for closer “First Light,” but that song was brilliant enough to get this spot on the list anyway.
5. High on Fire, De Vermis Mysteriis
Hard to argue with its intensity. Not much staying power as I would’ve thought, but god damn that’s a heavy record.
4. Neurosis, Honor Found in Decay
An overwhelming listen. I have to prepare my head for putting it on, but I continue to find it worth the effort.
3. Greenleaf, Nest of Vipers
It was the highlight of my year last year to see this material live. Greenleaf have a new lineup now and another album in the works, but if Nest of Vipersis how the last one was going out, they killed it.
2. Om, Advaitic Songs
Sometimes I fantasize about living in a temple where I wake up and Advaitic Songsis playing every day. That is 100 percent true.
1. Colour Haze, She Said
I’d probably listen to it even more if it was on one CD, but god damn, this record is amazing. Another one that’s kind of overwhelming, but it gets regular play as I expect it will continue to do into perpetuity.
All in all, pretty great year. Some stuff that’s fallen by the wayside, but a few landmarks as well that have carried over, and more importantly, some that seem like they’ll continue to carry over and grow in appeal as more time passes. Wight should’ve been higher on the list, but other than that, I’ll take it.
Unsurprisingly, the My Sleeping Karma 20-minute tour documentary My Sleeping Karma: A Tour Video really makes me want to see My Sleeping Karma. Maybe that’s not fair, since I wanted to see the German heavy psych instrumentalists already, but let’s just say that after watching the footage chronicling their tour last fall supporting Monster Magnet – also supporting their fourth album, Soma (review here), which was their first for Napalm Records – my wanting to see them hasn’t diminished. Quite the contrary.
Maybe one of these days they’ll come to the States or I’ll be lucky enough to get back to Europe at a time when we can cross paths, but in the meantime, My Sleeping Karma: A Tour Video — compiled and edited by Tim Bohnenstingl of StonerRock.eu — does an excellent job of conveying the atmosphere on the road with the band and what they’re able to deliver in a live setting, which looks to be plenty.
Check out the full documentary below, followed by some more info on its creation, courtesy of Bohnenstingl himself:
My Sleeping Karma: A Tour Video
This 20 minute tour documentary was filmed over six days on tour, following My Sleeping Karma non stop. Hamburg, Paris, London, Manchester, Stuttgart. It focuses on the live shows, but also allows the audience to experience one day of a normal band on the road : Driving long distances, soundchecks, press interviews, photoshootings, load outs, jamming and just being yourself. All this is combined with interviews by the band commenting on the tour life and the “Flow” which My Sleeping Karma are kind of famous for in the underground scene.
“It was not only a pleasure and honour to be on tour with Monster Magnet, the band which brought me to the so called Stoner Rock, but much more so: My Sleeping Karma, one of the bands which still keeps me so interested in this flourishing genre. I had a lot of fun with the nicest people, I hope you will too while watching the movie.”. Tim, stonerrock.eu