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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Arenna Premiere “Drums for Sitting Bull” from New Album Given to Emptiness

Posted in audiObelisk on April 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Arenna (Photo by Rhythm and Photos)

Spanish heavy psych rockers Arenna will release their second album, Given to Emptiness, on May 7. It’s been four years since the five-piece made their debut on Nasoni Records with the full-length Beats of Olarizu (review here) and today I have the privilege of unveiling track three from Given to Emptiness, “Drums for Sitting Bull.” Duly percussive, but no less centered around its heavy groove and warm, fuzzed-out tones, the song finds the melody front and center in contemplative style somewhat similar to the debut, but understandably developed in the four-year interim between releases.

Immediately laid back and catchy, a tell early on is the vocals following the lead guitar. That will come up again later in the song, before a late break cuts short to resume the roll of the central riff, added to by Mellotron (provided by Poti, who presumably is the same Poti from Atavismo, formerly of Viaje a 800), ending out the instrumental push with a quiet sort of apex. For Arenna — guitarists R. Ruiz de Portal and Kike (which I’m not even comfortable typing, but is apparently how he wants to be known), bassist Javi, vocalist Txus Dr. Sax and drummer Guille — it’s a steady flow that reinforces something the first album did well but also shows them trying new things with their sound. Hopefully that’s indicative of what the rest of Given to Emptiness has to offer.

Recording info for Arenna‘s Given to Emptiness and the lyrics in Spanish and English follow “Drums for Sitting Bull,” which you can find on the player below. Please enjoy:

ARENNA – GIVEN TO EMPTINESS

Format: CD / LP / Digital download
Genre: Rock / Psychedelic / Stoner
Label: Nasoni Records
Release date: May 2015

Tracklist:
1 Butes (10:20)
2 Visions Of Rex (6:29)
3 Drums For Sitting Bull (6:17)
4 Chroma (9:00)
5 Move Through Figurehead Lights (7:02)
6 The Pursuer (6:15)
7 Low Tide (1:40)
total (47:04)

Recorded by Javier Ortiz at Estudio Brazil (Nov. 1-7, 2014)
Mixed by José López Gil at Sound Experience Studio & Estudios K.
Mastered by JJ. Golden
Produced by José López Gil and Arenna
Music by Arenna
Artwork by Khoa Le
Designed by Artidoto

Music by Arenna
Javi: bass
Guille: drums & percusions
Txus Dr. Sax: vocals & chorus
R. Ruiz del Portal: guitars; mellotron (on track 2)
Kike: guitars; acoustic guitars & Tibetan bowls (on track 7)

All lyrics by Cameron Webster, Estíbaliz Urretxu, Javier Arbulu & Txus Dr.Sax with special collaboration of P. Quignard (Butes) & F. Kafka (Drums for Sitting Bull)

Additional musicians: Poti: mellotron (on all tracks), theremin (on track 5) and chorus (on tracks 3, 5 & 6), Jony Moreno: chorus (on tracks 3 & 5), and Manix S. acoustic guitar (on track 5).

3. Drums for Sitting Bull
If one were only an indian,
Alert, on a racing horse,
Leaning against the wind,
Until one shed one’s spurs,
& threw away the reins.
Hardly saw land before one,
When horse’s neck & head
Would be already gone.

3. Tambores para Toro Sentado
Si uno pudiera ser un Piel Roja,
alerta, cabalgando sobre un caballo veloz,
apoyado contra el viento,
hasta arrojar las espuelas,
hasta arrojar las riendas.
Apenas viera ante sí el campo,
ya habrían desaparecido
las crines & la cabeza del caballo.

Arenna on Thee Facebooks

Given to Emptiness preorders

Nasoni Records

Tags: , , , , ,

Axis/Orbit to Release LP on Nasoni Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 24th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

axis orbit

Long Island trio Axis/Orbit have announced they’ll release their debut LP on limited vinyl through ultra-respected long-running German imprint Nasoni Records. The LP, of which the title has yet to be revealed, is the follow-up to a self-titled EP that contains three songs and was issued by the band digitally late in 2014, and to my knowledge, this will be their first physical pressing. Due date is June 1, though as the band notes, that’s tentative.

The prior EP is streaming on the band’s Bandcamp, and as you can hear below, they dig into classic heavy rock with some garage-style flourish. Tones are warm but not necessarily retro, and the vibe on cuts like “Hazy” and the bass-led “The Owl” is laid back — at least until the animal noises kick in — and closer “Riot Canal” has an open-spaced, jammy sensibility that follows a linear course toward a satisfying freakout. Not to spoil it if you were going to listen, but solos are had.

Here’s the announcement and the band’s bio off the PR wire:

axis orbit ep

Axis/Orbit sign with Nasoni Records to release limited edition vinyl!!

Long Island’s stone groovers Axis Orbit have signed with seminal Stoner/Psych label Nasoni Records in Berlin to release their debut LP in a limited edition run of colored vinyl. Tentative release is June 1, 2015. Distribution through Clearspot of the Netherlands.

The album was recorded at Freedom of Speech Recording and engineered by Micky James (Chris Angel Mindfreak). Original art by Vincent Scala (www.vincentscala.com).

Axis/Orbit makes Rock and Roll. Stoner rock, retro rock, doomy, but unabashedly not completely metal. More of a cavalcade of 60’s-70’s rock stylings from the menace of Sabbath to the spaciness of Floyd’s cosmic tracks, to the heavy prog jam trio art of Cream and Band of Gypsies, with strokes of classic Cali folk rock, vintage grunge and straight up garage rawk. Formed in 2014 on Long Island, NY by drummer Mike Margulis, guitarist Bill Fridrich and bassist Lee Greenman with all contributing to writing, arranging and vocal duties, the group is rapidly gaining a following headlining regional shows, releasing an EP and preparing for a full length album of heavy psyche rancor for 2015.

https://www.facebook.com/axisorbitmusic
http://www.axisorbitmusic.com
http://axisorbit.bandcamp.com/releases
https://twitter.com/axisorbit
http://www.nasoni-records.com/

Axis/Orbit, EP (2014)

Tags: , , , ,

Deadpeach, Aurum: Taste of Gold

Posted in Reviews on December 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

deadpeach aurum

For their third full-length, Italian heavy psych rockers Deadpeach offer five varied explorations, each with its distinct personality. Aurum, which takes its name from the elemental name of gold, is out on vinyl through Nasoni Records and splits well into two sides, but still works as a front-to-back listen with engaging turns and a blend of jammed and structures approaches to which the four-piece of guitarist/vocalist Giovanni, guitarist Daniele Bartoli, bassist Mr. Steveman and drummer Federio Tebaldi are amiably suited. On a superficial level, there isn’t anything in the span of Aurum‘s 38 minutes that couldn’t fall under the heading of heavy psychedelia, and I don’t think there’s anything present that’s intended otherwise, but Deadpeach prove bold within those parameters and find themselves ranging beyond genre confines more than it might at first seem. Side A, in particular, is an ambitious beginning, with just two songs — “Calcutta” (10:01) and “Gold” (9:14) — that comprise the first half of the record. As someone who gives immediate credit to records that open with their longest tracks, to find the longest two by a considerable margin pushed to the front of Aurum is a rare-enough treat to be remarkable, but even within themselves, they begin to show some of the range that unfolds as the album plays out, recalling the earlier fuzzy riff rock of their 2006 Psycle debut and the development that showed itself on the 2011 follow-up, 2, while continuing to push into newer, jammier ground for the band. Whether one approaches Aurum as two sides or in linear form, the first two tracks and subsequent “The Line,” “Stomper” and “Traffic” reveal an act capturing a vital spirit of creative spontaneity while also following a decided course.

Aurum has an easy appeal for the already converted among heavy rock heads. Giovanni and Bartoli offer up enough fuzz and riffs in “The Line,” “Gold” and the early going of “Stomper” that, if there’s a quota, it’s met. What really pushes that basic appeal to another degree is the shifts that take place between the songs and how well Aurum moves with them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 10-minute “Calcutta” unfolds gradually to reach its full breadth, but immediately the guitars and bass set an atmospheric foundation that becomes the basis from which the rest of the album is built. Light chanting and, later, lyrics emerge in a style not too far from Lamp of the Universe, but lead guitar is the focal point and the movement playing out behind it. Hypnotic, the jam comes to a head about halfway in and quickly recedes, only to be constructed again, a little faster the second time, and given an ambient leadout that smoothes the way into “Gold,” which takes Mr. Steveman‘s bassline as its driving element and, rather than split its build, follows a single line over the course of its nine minutes, hitting a stride of fuzz and crash after a midpoint break, shifting into more straightforward-seeming stonerly swing and verses, a Hawkwindy space factor not at all lost among the proceedings. Thinking of Aurum as one song flowing into the next, “Gold” bridges a gap between “Calcutta” and “The Line,” with a jammy first half leading to a more traditionally structured second, but the track itself has more substance to it than a mere transitional moment, be it in classically layered leads or the tonal weight of the push running alongside them. To discount either part as simply feeding out of or into something else doesn’t do the song justice, or acknowledge the fact that in putting the two sides next to each other and making it work as smoothly as Deadpeach do, they’re summarizing a good portion of the album’s appeal on what’s also as close as they come to a title-track. Even way out in space, there’s consciousness at work.

deadpeach

“The Line,” which leads off the second half of Aurum, is the shortest track included at 4:55, and true to the latter end of “Gold,” it’s a more straightforward fuzz rocker, updating classic heavy methods with a modern vibe. Giovanni‘s vocals still echo out from under the fuzz, and Mr. Steveman runs circles around the central riff, but whether it’s as a centerpiece of the five tracks or as the start of side B, no question “The Line” is a major shift from “Calcutta” and “Gold” before it, despite consistency of mood and swirl. Deadpeach find room in their only-song-under-five-minute rush to jam a bit behind a solo section, but with deft songwriting in their favor, they return to the chorus before finishing out, ending noisy and satisfying en route to the similarly rocking launch of “Stomper,” though it’s Tebaldi who takes that track over, turning an instrumental rocker into essentially a drum jam peppered with airy guitar. To his credit, he holds it together, and to the band’s, they bookend with a resurgent progression similar to that which led into the percussive stretch, a symmetry that keeps the vibe of Aurum steady even as Deadpeach move toward their finale and yet more ground to cover. Presumably because by now their listener might expect a fuzz-toned jam of one kind or another, the band dial back the distortion and close out with a jazzy instrumental movement that — while, yes, it kicks later into a fuzzy conclusion — provides one last turn from a foursome who’ve already shown plenty of variety. What the initial stages of “Traffic” demonstrate, however, is that there’s more to Deadpeach‘s fluidity than a pedal board. The vibe is maintained in the chemistry between players, but to jump back from “Traffic” to “Calcutta,” it would be easy to imagine you were hearing two different bands. Again, what makes Aurum work so well through this is the band’s ability to carry the listener along with them for the trip. As wide a range as Aurum works with, it never lets go of that connection.

Deadpeach, “Calcutta” official video

Deadpeach’s website

Deadpeach on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records

Tags: , , , ,

The Dead-End Alley Band Release New Album Odd Stories

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 22nd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

the dead-end alley band Photo by Malcorazon

Organ-laced heavy psych rockers The Dead-End Alley Band have released their second album, Odd Stories. It’s the follow-up to 2012/2013’s debut, Whispers of the Night (review here), and sees the Peruvian four-piece continue their adventurous psych explorations, dipping into surf tonality on “Devil’s Mask” and vibing out long-form on the eight-minute “Lost Again,” a strong current of Floydian progressivism emerging from the start of opener “The Nightmare Goes On” and serving as a unifying theme throughout several of the tracks. Vinyl and CD are apparently out now through a variety of labels — CD through Tóxiko Records and Inti Records in Peru, vinyl through Nasoni in Germany — and the band has also made Odd Stories available for front-to-back streaming on their Bandcamp page. Because it’s the future, and that’s how it goes.

Downloads are cheap, and if you need impetus to hit play on the embedded doodad below, Javier Kou‘s bass tone should serve nicely:

the dead-end alley band odd stories

People, our 2do Disco ‘ odd stories ‘ is already in Europe, in the format vinilo. But if you do not have tornamesa or you can not wait to come to the records, you can hear you toditititititiiiiiito here. :D to see what you think.

‘Odd Stories’ (2014) is the second studio album of Peruvian psychedelic rock band ‘The Dead-End Alley Band’. It was recorded and produced in Lima, Peru, by Javier Kou, Sebastian Sanchez-Botta and Chino Burga. Edited, manufactured and released on vinyl in Europe by Nasoni Records (Germany) and on CD and tape in Peru by Tóxiko Records and Inti Records (Peru).

This new album is loaded with more heavy, fuzz and stoner scents, that gives the band a new unabashedly sound. An eternal lone and mad trip, through a neverending odd nightmare.

released 20 September 2014

The band:
Javier Kou (Guitars / Bass / Vocals)
Sebastian Sanchez-Botta (Vocals / Organs / Piano)
Leonardo Alva (Lead Guitar at ‘The Cosmic Cry Out’)
Jaime Diaz (Drum)

The staff:
Chino Burga (Producer)
Hans-Georg (Nasoni Records CEO)
Marco Marin (Toxiko Records CEO)
Diego Valdivia (Inti Records CEO)
Jaime Diaz (Drums edition)

https://deabperu.bandcamp.com/album/odd-stories
https://www.facebook.com/deabperu
https://soundcloud.com/deabperu
https://www.facebook.com/ToxikoProducciones
https://www.facebook.com/IntiRecordsPeru
http://www.nasoni-records.com/

The Dead-End Alley Band, Odd Stories (2014)

Tags: , , , , ,

Manthra Dei Release First Single from Debut Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 3rd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

If perhaps you’re like me and you’re an eternal sucker for a heavy psych jam, you might want to tune your mind into what Italian foursome Manthra Dei have going on. The Brescia outfit have signed to Acid Cosmonaut Records for the CD release of their self-titled debut, and they’ll match that with a vinyl issue through Nasoni. Two rousing endorsements, and with the laid back exploration of “Stone Face,” the recently revealed first audio from the album, I’m happy to add my endorsement as well, whatever it might be worth.

Don’t get lulled too far to sleep, because “Stone Face” picks up to some pretty killer space rock (the synth!) and I wouldn’t want you to miss out.

Info and of course the track follow, per gentile concessione di the PR wire:

We’re really happy to announce our next CD release, the homonymous album by Italian Heavy-Psych masters Manthra Dei! Coming this october, also on vinyl by Nasoni Records!

Here’s the first track off the album, Stone Face, a majestic trip into space/psych/prog areas. Enjoy it!

More than a band, Manthra Dei are a bunch of friends in love with lysergic deserts and forged by nights spent listening cassettes of teenage idols. Spontaneous, raw and mind-tripped tunes get pierced together by their bipolar personalities and become straight as headbanging on a kick-ass riff. Michele, Paolo and Brano started back in 2009 as an instrumental power-trio that brought them to self-produce an EP with two log trips for almost 40 minutes of improvisations. Soon after, Maestro Paolo T. (yes, a real Maestro) joined them to start a long list of live-shows with Karma to Burn, Yawning Man, Vibravoid among many others up to a memorable Pietrasonica Festival in 2011.

After that the band decided to fix their jams into an album and consequently to get closed in a rehearsal room for almost two years … at least up to 2013, when Nasoni Rec – Colour Haze, Machine, Siena Root anyone? – decided to cast on vinyl their recordings. CD edition was taken in charge by a young Italian label, Acid Cosmonauts, that spread the world with a limited edition of 300 copies of their first full-length.

What to find in the album? Hawkwind, Causa Sui, Can, Kyuss, Earthless, Black Sabbath, Colour Haze, King Crimson, Motorpsycho, Popol Vuh, Sleep, Goblin, Hypnos69, Jethro Tull, Ozric Tentacles mashed-up with no criteria but with horns up against the sky.

https://www.facebook.com/ManthraDei/
http://acidcosmonautrecords.blogspot.com/?
http://www.nasoni-records.com/

Manthra Dei, “Stone Face” from Manthra Dei (2013)

Tags: , , , , , ,

Cosmic Trip Machine Release Golden Horus Name on Nasoni Records

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

My unrequited nerddom of Nasoni Records continues. The ultra-respected German purveyor of psychedelic fare has issued the new long-player from Belgian lysergians Cosmic Trip Machine. Dubbed Golden Horus Name and entrenched in a narrative that you can get a feel for in the PR wire info below, it’s richly progressive in the post-Floyd sense, textured and purposeful in the way its sprawl develops, with heavier flourishes of guitar coming on for a song like “Let Your Eye Come Down,” which you can also hear at the Cosmic Trip Machine Bandcamp, also linked here.

And while we’re at it, audio follows as well, so you can get a feel for some of the fascinating weirdness the band have on offer.

Dig if ya dig:

February 2008, Cosmic Trip Machine, named in tribute to 60’s and 70’s records, started by recording one album, shortly after Will Z. and Majnun first group split (with angry quarrels and strong divergence in opinion). The two friends collected materials for an opus called Lord Space Devil, a never-completed project began in December 2000 (unreleased songs, instrumentals, experimental and conceptual ideas).

The Golden Horus Name project is the return of Cosmic Trip Machine on stage then, from May 2012, in studio, with a new line-up. The album tells two different stories melted: the celestial cow Egyptian myth in broad outline and the story of Barrington, a cursed rock star, a Great Pharaoh reincarnation, who lived in the Swinging London and fell into a deep depression. The character is directly inspired by the life of the musician Ramases who recorded during the 60’s and the 70’s some singles and two beautiful albums. Golden Horus Name is a return to heaviest roots of the band, with progressive structures.

http://www.nasoni-records.com/COSMIC_TRIP_MACHINE__release_GOLDEN_HORUS_NAME.html

You can listen to extracts on Cosmic Trip Machine bandcamp: http://cosmictripmachine.bandcamp.com

And read more about the project on Cosmic official website: http://www.cosmictripmachine.be/

Cosmic Trip Machine, Golden Horus Name (2013)

Tags: , , , , ,

Six Dumb Questions with Traveling Circle

Posted in Six Dumb Questions on February 14th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Proffering rich, organic tonality with an unpostured flair for the soulful and classically rocking, Brooklyn’s Traveling Circle made enough of an initial impression to be picked up by Germany’s Nasoni Records for the release of their first album. That’s high praise for psychedelia — especially American psychedelia — and the record, 2010’s Handmade House (review here) left little to question of the three-piece’s having earned it, a patient but still motion-minded flow playing out over the course of tight grooves and well-placed flourishes of synth. The follow-up, Escape from Black Cloud (review here), was also issued on LP by Nasoni late last year.

Its pulse is no harder to read in terms of overall accessibility, but Escape from Black Cloud is nonetheless a more developed full-length, two-sided all the way in its blend of classic psych and modern tonality, a steady beat throbbing under unrepentantly shoegazing opener “Higher,” while the high-pitched vocals space out above the sway. Elsewhere, as on side B’s shuffling “Fountain of Time,” they touch the ground, but there’s little interest presented in remaining there, as the sleepy “Newborn Shadow” demonstrates and the more playful “Rock this Feeling” confirms. At rest or in motion, Traveling Circle draw forth an engaging atmosphere akin to but not necessarily biting off anyone else’s work in psych or space rock. The more you let yourself be carried off by Escape from Black Cloud, the more satisfaction the album is like to provide.

Traveling Circle is comprised of guitarist/vocalist Dylan Maiden, bassist/backing vocalist/electric pianist Charlie Freeman and drummer Josh Schultz. All three were kind enough to participate in the following Six Dumb Questions. Please enjoy:

1. Escape from Black Cloud seems to have a more laid back feel than Handmade House in general. Were there things you knew you wanted to do differently coming off of the last record, or is that just how the songs came out of the jams?

Josh: I do think our attitude was a little different for the new record. We kept in a more sort of spacey pulse area for this album. For me, I really tried to keep the drums more pulsing. I tried to be creative in the approach but also keep it simple. I saw a documentary on Krautrock a while ago and Jaki Liebezeit describes a spaced-out audience member approaching him to suggest he should “play more monotonous.” I definitely tried to “play more monotonous.”

Charlie: Simplicity was the general approach all around. I tried not to overthink things but we had a certain sound in mind.

Dylan: Yeah, the goal was to compose a more linear structure throughout and fill it with melodic accents that give you the feeling of moving up and down.

2. How does the Traveling Circle writing process usually work? Am I way off in hearing a soul/funk influence? If I’m not, where does it come from?

Dylan: There may be some influence from those territories. But, to be honest, I draw inspiration in my writing from just about every place conceivable. The subliminal and subconscious are important drivers behind our writing process. There are many elements at work. We usually enter the practice studio and start arranging these elements into the sonic positions we feel are most appropriate for each song’s narrative.

Charlie: I can see what you mean with the soul/funk influence. “Rock this Feeling” has that vibe running throughout. In general, Dylan has a very soulful vocal delivery and Josh and I have an intertwined approach to drums and bass. This album definitely has more groove injected in it.

Josh: Over the two albums we have used a number of different methods in terms of writing. I think this record has some really great songs that Dylan brought in more or less done from a guitar/vocals perspective. Higher is a good example of this, the way I remember it. Some songs started as jams. “Closer” was sort of an unwritten jam at first. We first played that song as a jam at a bar in Brooklyn called Legend and just improvised it. The room was empty at the beginning of the song and began to fill up by the end. It looked like a good idea to polish it up after that. People seemed to relate to it. “Candle Light Sways” was an odd one in that I worked out the entire drum part at home and then brought it in to see if Charlie and Dylan would be up for making something out of it. The structure changed a bit with the group though. Maybe this is too mechanical an answer…

3. Tell me about writing and recording “Newborn Shadow.”

Dylan: This is one of my favorite songs on the album. I wanted to create a nostalgic atmosphere with the guitar sound, which involved very simple strums. Serendipitously, the guitar ended up sounding like a harp. Then I overlaid vocals that sound like they’re coming from a gothic cathedral. I really love Charlie’s bass on this track. It holds everything together and makes me feel like I’m on a teetering boat with a lantern in my hand, trying to make my way through the darkness ahead.

Charlie: This one came together pretty quickly right before we went into the studio. Dylan had a very clear idea of the overall sound he was going for. It has a really nice build to it. It’s a very haunting song.

Josh: The drums were more involved on that song at one point and it was worse for it! In trying out ideas we got around to the current treatment, which is much stronger for the simple drums.

4. The album sounds so natural. How much of Escape from Black Cloud was recorded live? What was your time in the studio like? Has there been any consideration to bringing in a synth player as a full-time member of the band?

Dylan: We’ve been praised for our live performances. Many people have said they prefer hearing us live to our albums. The aim of Escape from Black Cloud was to capture the energy and emotion of our live performance and bring it to the forefront. We brought in friends to help with arrangements such as synthesizer and Theremin, but this by no means compromised the integrity of our sound. Having our brethren by our side helped accentuate the most important bits and crystallize the vision. Nostalgia and dustiness aside, considering how many tracks we recorded live, Escape from Black Cloud came out sounding quite polished as a studio piece, both in its execution and production.

Josh: We did the bass, drums and guitar tracks all at once in a live fashion and then went from there. We recorded at Seaside Lounge with Mitch Rackin. Mitch is the best! His record with Heavy Hands is great. I listen to it pretty regularly. The album is called Smoke Signals. Seaside is a great place to record. They record to tape and have a lot of sweet vintage gear and are great guys! I wish I was at Seaside Lounge right now! As for the mixing, Dylan was in contact with Gordon Raphael and we decided to approach him about trying out some mixes, we really liked what he came up with and so we asked him to mix the album. He was working between Berlin and Texas so we handled the mixes through the mail. It was an unusual way to work for us but I like what we ended up with.

We have talked at times about adding a member but haven’t really done much about it. Charlie handles the keys on “Willow Tree Fair.” He comes up with great parts. Other additional parts include Theremin played by Matt Dallow and some studio magic from Gordon.

Charlie: We keep some pretty odd rehearsal times too. A lot of people don’t want to get up that early on a Sunday morning.

5. Can you give some insight into Erin Klauk’s work on the cover art? Was there some discussion of direction beforehand? How did you wind up working together in the first place?

Josh: Erin has done a lot of posters for us over the years and also the cover to the last LP. She did the posters for Brooklyn Psych Fest as well. I don’t recall much direction. I guess she just riffed on the title. Pretty far-out stuff, right? Alexandra Zorbas-Maiden took the sweet photos, including one on the back and another on the poster insert.

Charlie: Erin had some couch pillows made with the cover art and gave them to us as gifts. That was the first time I saw the art and I was blown away. We’re really lucky to have people as talented as Erin and Alex working with us.

Dylan: I was at an art opening in Chelsea that featured some really cool Himalayan artwork. They were dark depictions of mountains and clouds. Very simple line drawings that almost resembled wood engravings. I was very inspired and thought the tone somehow related to the songs we selected for our second album. Knowing Erin was going to illustrate the cover,
I texted her pictures from this Himalayan artist as inspiration for what would later become Escape from Black Cloud.

The photo on the back cover of Escape from Black Cloud was taken in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, by my wife Alex. The poster insert photo was also taken by her in the Muir Woods.

6. Will there be a CD release? Any shows, plans or other closing words you want to mention?

Josh: Currently there are no plans for a CD but we have been receiving requests. The best way to pick up Escape from Black Cloud is on vinyl at www.nasoni-records.com. They also have both an LP and CD of our first album, Handmade House. If you don’t listen to records, Escape from Black Cloud is on iTunes and Spotify. We are currently planning to hold record listenings in three cities as well, New York, San Francisco, and Sydney. If anyone is interested, keep an eye on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/TravelingCircle for more details.

Traveling Circle on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records

Tags: , , , , ,