REZN Announce New Album Calm Black Water Due Oct. 10

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

rezn

After an encouraging debut in 2017’s Let it Burn (review here), Chicago psych-of-stone riffers REZN are back on the quick with a second album. Titled Calm Black Water, the new offering is set for issue on vinyl through Off the Record Label in the Netherlands (see also Stone Machine Electric), and will be pressed in three different versions all totaling 500 copies. The same imprint stood behind a vinyl edition of the first record that’s nearly sold out, so they’ll have preorders open for Calm Black Water a month in advance. Plenty of time ahead of the Oct. 10 release.

In order to give a bit of a glimpse — not too much of a glimpse, but you know, a teaser — the band have a clip posted from the track “Quantum Being,” and while the mere use of the word “quantum” in a title makes one want to compare them to YOB, the song has more in common with earlier Windhand or Electric Wizard at their foggiest, and as it rolls out a lurching, nodding groove, it only bodes well in terms of sonic largesse for whatever else the record might hold in terms of overarching atmospheric breadth/crush. I look forward to finding out.

Like the song snippet, their announcement was quick and to the point:

rezn calm black water

REZN has conjured another sonic gateway. Entitled ‘Calm Black Water’, the new full-length record embodies a deep-sea journey to the center of your mind.

Limited to 500 copies worldwide via Off The Record Label, ‘Calm Black Water’ will be available on vinyl in three exclusive colors: Blue/Clear/Black, Purple/Clear/Black, and 180g Black.

Listen to a preview of the track “Quantum Being” here.

Preorders for vinyl open September 10th and the digital/physical release date is set for October 10th, available here:
US/Canada: rezzzn.bandcamp.com
International: offtherecordlabel.bigcartel.com

Prepare your consciousness for the abyss.

REZN are:
Phil Cangelosi
Patrick Dunn
Rob McWilliams
Spencer Ouellette

facebook.com/reznhits
instagram.com/rezzzn
rezzzn.bandcamp.com
offtherecordlabel.bigcartel.com
https://www.facebook.com/Off-The-Record-1558728014411885/
https://www.offtherecordshop.nl/index.php/off-the-record-label

REZN, “Quantum Being” teaser

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Void King and Boudain Touring Europe this Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 3rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

You’re just going to have to take my word for it when I say I don’t mean this as condescendingly as it might sound: but I think it’s fucking awesome that Void King and Boudain are teaming up for European tour dates. Seriously. If either band winds up seeing this post, good for you guys. Way to live the fucking dream, get off your asses and make it happen.

The Indiana and Louisiana-based acts will head out beginning in Den Haag on Oct. 26 and make their way around Belgium and Germany en route to Kampen, back in the Netherlands, for the Off the Record Festival on Nov. 4. No question the fest is the occasion/impetus behind the tour, since both bands head abroad supporting 2016 releases that came out through Off the Record Label, and while it’s not the longest run, and they’re not the biggest bands in the world, for every US-based group I’ve ever had talk to me about how perfect life would be if only they could get over to Europe and do shows, it’s awesome to see two bands actually putting it together like this. Warms my heart. I mean it.

Info from the PR wire:

void-king-boudain-tour-poster

VOID KING / BOUDAIN to Launch European Tour in October

Indiana’s VOID KING and Louisiana’s BOUDAIN will embark on a European Tour in late October. The Stoner Rock Double Threat will perform in The Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium, including Kampen’s (NL) Off The Record Festival. Tour dates are below.

Oct. 26 – The Hague, Netherlands @ Vereniging de vinger
Oct. 27 – Wommelgem, Belgium @ JH Wommel
Oct. 28 – Antwerp, Belgium @ Kid’s Rhythm ‘n Blues Kaffee
Oct. 29 – Osnabrük, Germany @ Dirty Dancing
Nov. 2 – Gouda, Netherlands @ StudioGonz
Nov. 3 – Arnhem, Netherlands @ Brigant
Nov. 4 – Kampen, Netherlands @ Off The Record Festival

If there is nothing, as we have long suspected, then let the Void take us there. Let the volume of the oncoming storm compel us forward, into what can only be considered to be our one true calling; to praise the riff.

Void King is:
Derek Felix – drums
Chris Carroll – bass guitar.
Jason Kindred – voice.
Tommy Miller – electric guitar.

BOUDAIN’s Way of the Hoof is a storm of Space, Pork, and Riffs! Recorded at SpaceLab 420 studios, the follow-up to the band’s 2013 EP is perfect for anyone who enjoys the kind of groove that makes you want to smoke out, grill out, and chill with the swine.

Boudain is:
Brian Lenard – guitar
Chris Porter – bass/vocals
David Karakash – guitars
Stephen Jester – drums

http://voidking.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/voidkingband/
twitter.com/_VoidKing
https://boudain.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/boudainla/
https://twitter.com/Boudainmusic

Void King, There is Nothing (2016)

Boudain, Way of the Hoof (2016)

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Stone Machine Electric, Vivere: Dormiendo Somniare

Posted in Reviews on February 27th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

stone-machine-electric-vivere

Last Spring, Texas duo Stone Machine Electric — who by my estimation remain underrated as only a non-touring band can — self-released their second long-player in the form of Sollicitus es Veritatem (review here). The timing on that is important. It was May, and as a grueling primary season wound down, the US presidential election was beginning to take shape as a contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The Hurst-based two-piece acknowledged these current events in the cover art, which depicted a rat in a suit and a telling red tie standing in front of an audience of sheep, with his arm raised in front of a building burning with a giant skull behind it. Not subtle in visual metaphor, and the translation from Latin of the title — “nightmares are reality” — was correspondingly blunt.

Among what passes for a left-leaning contingent in the States, it would be difficult to see Sollicitus es Veritatem as anything other than prescient in hindsight. Songs like “Dreaming” had a bent of social commentary that never came at the expense of the liquidity of Stone Machine Electric‘s jamming, which has been central to their appeal over the last half-decade-plus, across offerings like the 2015 The Amazing Terror EP (review here), 2014’s Garage Tape (review here), their 2013 self-titled debut (review here) and their 2010 demo, Awash in Feedback (review here). Working frequently in the studio with Kent Stump of Wo Fat, guitarist/vocalist William “Dub” Irvin and drummer/thereminist Mark Kitchens (also synth and backing vocals) have developed a sound able at once to convey straightforward heavy roll and an echo of unpredictability, so that the listener never quite knows when they might take off and just where they might be headed on a given track.

That ability is a big part of why I call them underrated above, and it’s writ large over Vivere, their new live CD recorded June 3, 2016, at the Doublewide in Dallas and issued through Off the Record Label. As the Latin title — the infinitive form of the verb meaning “to live” — hints, the six-song/40-minute set is intended as a complement to Sollicitus es Veritatem, and it very much functions on that level. Its longer tracks, opener “I am Fire,” “Dreaming,” “PorR” and the finale “I am Fire (Slightly Burned)” all come from Sollicitus es Veritatem, and with the proximity of one to the other, another mixdown by Stump, and the general live feel that Irvin and Kitchens bring to their material, there’s no shortage of commonality between Vivere and its studio predecessor. Particularly for someone who’s grown to be a fan of the band and hasn’t been fortunate enough to see them play live — as I have and haven’t — the draw should be obvious.

For others, the question becomes what does Vivere have to offer that Sollicitus es Veritatem doesn’t? Fair ask. For one thing, like the studio counterpart, it’s the most cohesive Stone Machine Electric live outing yet. Their last one, 2013.02.07 (recorded, clearly, in 2013), was performed as a trio with Mark Cook on warr guitar, and caught them in the midst of a series of lineup shifts before they settled on the Dub/Kitchens duo as their seemingly permanent configuration. I don’t think I’m giving away state secrets in saying they work best in this form, and that shows itself from the nodding “I am Fire” onward here. It’s not uncommon for a live album to represent a band’s stage presence well — there are very few that are truly “warts and all” — but something else Vivere does is mirror the immersive listening experience of Sollicitus es Veritatem in how one song plays into the next via two short, seemingly-improvised transitional pieces: “Mindless Meanderings” and “Invented Passages.”

Though these are quick courses run at 2:54 and 2:42, respectively, and the broader impression of Vivere is found in moments like Dub‘s execution of the hook in “Dreaming” — the lines “Hustlers ain’t in the alley/They’re runnin’ the global scene/They’ll take you down/And take you further/Oh, how I wish I was dreaming” standing out as something of a centerpiece and summary of the set as a whole, let alone the track itself — and the raucous uptick provided at the end by “I am Fire (Slightly Burned),” on which Kitchens joins in a vocal call and response, both “Mindless Meanderings” and “Invented Passages” are crucial to the flow of Vivere. The first arrives between “I am Fire” and “Dreaming,” and gives Stone Machine Electric an even more atmospheric space in which to work, shifting via guitar lead and drum fills between the one longer song and the other without stopping. They are a band of few words, it seems.

Amid an initial hum at the outset of “I am Fire,” Dub says, “Yeah, we don’t talk. We’re just Stone Machine Electric,” and over a closing bed of synth drone in the ending of “I am Fire (Slightly Burned),” he follows up with “We’ve been Stone Machine Electric…” and something else only semi-intelligible, but other than that, they move from song to song without stopping. Accordingly, “Invented Passages” rises from the end of “Dreaming” with a bit of rhythmic push from Kitchens and a winding riff to accompany but hits the brakes well in time to start the familiar drift of “PorR,” which tops 13 hypnotic minutes riding that progression — down from over 14 for the studio version — and builds to an apex of thud, rumble and slow-motion riffing that moves via feedback into “I am Fire (Slightly Burned)” feeling both practiced and unforced; the closer picking up after about a minute and providing Vivere‘s final movement, which turns to brief cacophony just before ending in a way that seems only to re-suggest the improvisational elements at root in their creative approach.

The reinforcement thereof is another aspect of Vivere that shines through especially in its following Sollicitus es Veritatem, which was arguably the most song-based outing from Stone Machine Electric to-date. Still, this is the part where I say that one doesn’t need to have heard the studio album to appreciate the live one. A cliché, and probably only half-true, but valid when considering the molten nature of the band’s execution in either sphere. One of the joys of following Dub and Kitchens over their years together has been the way in which one release has always fed into the next — the debut into the first live album and Garage Tape into The Amazing Terror into Sollicitus es Veritatem — and Vivere adds to that line, acknowledging what they’ve done before and using it as a basis for moving forward.

What makes it even more engaging, though, is that the songs themselves do the very same thing on a meta-level, and are reshaped and recontextualized by this performance on this given night. One expects that as Stone Machine Electric put more distance between themselves and their second full-length headed perhaps toward a third, the evolution of their ideas will likewise continue, and the multi-tiered fluidity they’ve thus far shown will reach its next stage. That’s the hope, anyhow. But though their heavy psychedelia is often tinged with a darker, brooding sensibility, and Sollicitus es Veritatem certainly had its air of cynicism, I hear nothing on Vivere to make me think that core vibrancy will dull anytime soon. And who knows? If the live album turns out to be as predictive as its predecessor, we might all just survive these curious times in which we’ve found ourselves.

Stone Machine Electric, Vivere (2016)

Stone Machine Electric on Thee Facebooks

Stone Machine Electric on Twitter

Stone Machine Electric on Bandcamp

Off the Record Label website

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Stone Machine Electric Release Vivere Live Album

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

“We don’t talk. We’re just Stone Machine Electric.” So begins the (spoken) introduction to Vivere, the new live album from the Texas two-piece to complement their 2016 studio offering, Sollicitus es Veritatem (review here). Opening with the rumbles and roll of “I am Fire,” Vivere also features “Dreaming,” “PorR” and “I am Fire (Slightly Burned)” from the record, as well as a couple off-the-cuff transitional pieces and for those of us who’ve yet to have the pleasure of seeing the band live, it’s an appreciated glimpse of the flow that William “Dub” Irvin and Mark Kitchens are able to bring to the stage these days. A mix by Wo Fat‘s Kent Stump doesn’t hurt either, of course.

It’s true though, they don’t have much to say throughout the set banter-wise, but as it’s streaming in full now I think you’ll find that only makes the listening experience more immersive. If you didn’t check out Sollicitus es Veritatem, you should, but whether you have prior knowledge of these tracks or not, they’re still likely to swallow you whole, so while advised as a proper course, it’s not 100 percent necessary. Can’t imagine that if you take the time to listen to Vivere you’re not going to want to chase the studio versions down anyhow, so either way.

Better band than people know.

Dig it:

stone machine electric vivere

Off The Record Label based in The Netherlands has got the CDs for “VIVERE” on the way to us! So you folks in the states will be able to get them from us soon. The release date is scheduled for 01/27/2017. You can order from www.clearspot.nl, or if you are in The Netherlands, go by Off The Record’s shop and get one. Tjeerd will also be sending some copies to All That is Heavy for distribution in the states.

Here’s the track list for the album:
I Am Fire
“mindless meanderings”
Dreaming
“invented passages”
PorR
I Am Fire (Slightly Burned)

Recorded live on June 3rd, 2016 at the Doublewide in Dallas, TX by Rob Stercraw. Mixed by Kent Stump and mastered by Ryan Lee at Crystal Clear Sound. Available on CD from Off the Record Label – www.offtherecordlabel.com

https://www.facebook.com/StoneMachineElectric/
https://twitter.com/SME_band
http://stonemachineelectric.bandcamp.com/
http://www.stonemachineelectric.net/
www.offtherecordlabel.com

Stone Machine Electric, Vivere (2017)

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Stone Machine Electric Announce Vivere Live Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 23rd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Texas duo Stone Machine Electric have a new live release coming next month through Off the Record Label. Titled Vivere, suitably enough, it will be their first outing since the almost woefully prescient Sollicitus es Veritatem (review here) studio offering came out earlier this year. Seems like no matter what Dub and Kitchens are up to — and they’re usually up to something — they’re never too far removed from the live experience anyway, so a proper live outing recorded this past summer around the time the latest album came out makes a lot of sense. Fact is I dig these cats and will take what I can get at this point when it comes to their releases. Live record it is.

Note the consistency in Latin titles. Makes me wonder just how much of a companion for Sollicitus es Veritatem the forthcoming Vivere is intended to be. We’ll find out next month I suppose.

From the PR wire:

stone machine electric

Stone Machine Electric to issue Live Album through Off The Label Records

In Stone Machine Electric’s last release, these two gents built on the previous jam-based albums – the Garage Tape and The Amazing Terror EP. The duo merged the slow and ominous riffs of their song writing style with improvised grooves locked inside them to pull you into their realm and take you on a tour of your own mind. The five tracks of Sollicitus Es Veritatem compose one cohesive journey from fire to dreams and back.

Culled from this last year, the band has teamed up with Off The Record Label in The Netherlands to release a live album. This performance was recorded at the Doublewide in Dallas, Texas on June 3rd by Rob Stercraw, and mixed and mastered at Crystal Clear Sound in Dallas, Texas by Kent Stump and Ryan Lee. This performance captures how the duo crafts and intertwines structured songs with improvised jams, thus creating a continuous, trippy journey from start to finish.

A release date has not been set, but should be out in January.

https://www.facebook.com/StoneMachineElectric/
https://twitter.com/SME_band
http://stonemachineelectric.bandcamp.com/
http://www.stonemachineelectric.net/

Stone Machine Electric, Sollicitus es Veritatem (2016)

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