Quarterly Review: Pallbearer, Dread Sovereign, Lizzard Wizzard, Oulu Space Jam Collective, Frozen Planet….1969, Ananda Mida, Strange Broue, Orango, Set and Setting, Dautha

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

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Here we are, on the precipice looking out over a spread that will include 50 reviews by the week’s end. Somehow when it comes around to a Quarterly Review Monday I always end up taking a moment to ask myself if I’ve truly lost my mind, if I really expect to be able to do this and not fall completely flat on my face, and just where the hell this terrible idea came from in the first place. But you know what? I haven’t flubbed one yet. We get through it. There’s a lot to go through, for me and you both, but sometimes it’s fun to be completely overwhelmed by music. I hope you agree, and I hope you find something this week that hits you in that oh-yeah-that’s-why-I-love-this kind of way. Time’s wasting. Let’s get started.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Pallbearer, Heartless

pallbearer heartless

Three albums and nearly a decade into their tenure, Pallbearer stand at the forefront of American doom, and their third outing, Heartless (on Profound Lore), only reinforces this position while at the same time expanding beyond genre lines in ways that even their 2014 sophomore effort, Foundations of Burden, simply couldn’t have done. A seven-song/hour-long sprawl is marked out by resonant melodies, soulful melancholy conveyed by guitarist/vocalist Brett Campbell – the returning lineup completed by guitarist Devin Holt, bassist Joseph D. Rowland and drummer Mark Lierly – and tonal weight set to a mix by Joe Barresi, who from opener “I Saw the End” onward arranges layers gorgeously so that extended pieces like “Dancing in Madness” (11:48) and closer “A Plea for Understanding” (12:40) become even more consuming. What comes through most resolute on Heartless, though, is that it’s time to stop thinking of Pallbearer as belonging to some established notion of doom or any other subgenre. With these songs, they make it clear they’ve arrived at their own wavelength and are ready to stand up to the influence they’ve already begun to have on other acts. A significant achievement.

Pallbearer on Thee Facebooks

Profound Lore Records website

 

Dread Sovereign, For Doom the Bell Tolls

dread-sovereign-for-doom-the-bell-tolls

With the considerable frontman presence of Primordial’s Alan Averill on vocals and bass, the considerable riffing of guitarist Bones (also of Wizards of Firetop Mountain) and the considerable lumber in the drumming of Johnny King (ex-Altar of Plagues), Dread Sovereign make some considerable fucking doom indeed. Their second album, For Doom the Bell Tolls (on Ván Records), follows three years behind their debut, 2014’s All Hell’s Martyrs (review here), and wastes no time giving the devil his due – or his doom, if you prefer – in the span of its six tracks and 37 minutes. Atmospheric and seemingly on an endless downward plod, the 13-minute “Twelve Bells Toll in Salem” is a defining moment, but the trad metallurgy of “This World is Doomed” rounds out side A with some welcome thrust, and after the intro “Draped in Sepulchral Fog,” “The Spines of Saturn” and the thrashing “Live Like and Angel, Die Like a Devil” play dramatic and furious intensities off each other in a manner that would seem to truly represent the fine art of not giving a shit what anyone thinks about what you do or what box you’re supposed to fit into. Righteous. Considerably so.

Dread Sovereign on Thee Facebooks

Ván Records website

 

Lizzard Wizzard, Total War Power Bastard

lizzard-wizzard-total-war-power-bastard

Noise, largesse of riffs and shouted vocals that distinctly remind of Souls at Zero-era Neurosis pervade the near-hour-long run of Lizzard Wizzard’s Total War Power Bastard, but as much as the Brisbane four-piece willfully give themselves over to fuckall – to wit, the title “Medusa but She Gets You Stoned Instead of Turning You to Stone, Instead of Snakes She has Vaporizers on His Head… Drugs” – songs like “Shithead Nihilism,” “Pizza” and the droning “Snake Arrow” brim with purpose and prove affecting in their atmosphere and heft alike. Yes, they have a song called “Nerd Smasher,” and they deserve all credit for that as they follow-up their 2013 self-titled (review here), but by the time they get down to the roll-happy “Crystal Balls” and the feedback-caked “Megaflora” at the record’s end, guitarists Michael Clarke and Nick McKeon, bassist Stef Roselli and drummer Luke Osborne end up having done something original with a Sleep influence, and that’s even more commendable.

Lizzard Wizzard on Thee Facebooks

Lizzard Wizzard on Bandcamp

 

Oulu Space Jam Collective, EP1

Oulu-Space-Jam-Collective-ep1

Should mention two things outright about Oulu Space Jam Collective’s EP1. First and foremost, its three songs run over 95 minutes long, so if it’s an EP, one can only imagine what qualifies as a “full-length.” Second, the Finnish outfit releasing EP1 on limited tape through Eggs in Aspic isn’t to be confused with Denmark’s Øresund Space Collective. Oulu is someplace else entirely, and likewise, Oulu Space Jam Collective have their own intentions as they show in the 57-minute opener “Renegade Spaceman,” recorded live in the studio in 2014 (they’ve since made two sequels) and presented in six movements including samples, drones, enough swirl for, well, 57 minutes, and a hypnotism that’s nigh on inescapable. I won’t take away from the space rock thrust of 14-minute closer “Artistic Supplies for Moon Paint Mafia” (also tracked in 2014), but the smooth progressive edge of three-part 24-minute centerpiece “Approaching Beast Moon of Baxool” is where it’s at for me – though if you want a whole galaxy to explore, hit up their Bandcamp.

Oulu Space Jam Collective on Thee Facebooks

Eggs in Aspic webstore

 

Frozen Planet…. 1969, Electric Smokehouse

frozen-planet-1969-electric-smokehouse

They freak out a bit toward the end of 12-minute opener “Ascendant” and in the second half of the subsequent “Supersaturation,” but for the most part, Aussie three-piece Frozen Planet…. 1969 play it weirdo-cool on their fourth full-length, the excellently-titled Electric Smokehouse (on Pepper Shaker Records). From those jams to the dreamy beachside drift of “Shores of Oblivion” to the funky-fuzz bass of “Sonic Egg Factory” to the quick noise finish of “Pretty Blown Fuse” – which may or may not be the sound of malfunctioning equipment run through an oscillator or some other effects-whatnot, the instrumentalist Sydney/Canberra trio seem to improv a healthy percentage of their fare, if not all of it, and that spirit of spontaneity feeds into the easygoing atmosphere only enhanced by the cover art. On a superficial level, you know you’re getting psych jams going into it, but once you put on Electric Smokehouse, the urge to get lost in the tracks is nigh on overwhelming, and that proves greatly to their credit. Wake up someplace else.

Frozen Planet…. 1969 on Thee Facebooks

Pepper Shaker Records on Bandcamp

 

Ananda Mida, Anodnatius

ananda-mida-anodnatius

Ananda Mida make their debut on Go Down Records with Anodnatius, fluidly working their way around heavy psychedelic and more driving rock influences propelled by drummer Massimo “Max Ear” Recchia, also of underrated Italian forebears OJM. Here, Recchia anchors a seven-piece lineup including two vocalists in Oscar de Bertoldi and Filippo Leonardi, two guitarists in Matteo Scolaro and Alessandro Tedesco, as well as bassist Davide Bressan and organist Stefano Pasqualetto, so suffice it to say songs like the subtly grungy “Passvas,” the dreamy highlight “Heropas” or the vaguely progressive “Askokinn” want nothing for fullness, but there seem to be moments throughout Anodnatius as on “Lunia” and the shuffling “Kondur” early into the proceedings where the band wants to break out and push toward something heavier. Their restraint is to be commended since it serves the interests of songcraft, but part of me can’t help but wonder what might happen if these guys really let loose on some boogie jams. Keep an ear open to find out, as I have a feeling they might be headed in just that direction.

Ananda Mida on Thee Facebooks

Go Down Records website

 

Strange Broue, Seance

strange-broue-seance

The heart of Séance – The Satanic Sounds of Strange Broue might come in the 11-minute sample dump that is “Cults and Crimes,” late into the second half of the 52-minute album. Capturing meticulously compiled news and talk-show clips from the late ‘80s, some of which talk about the Satanic roots of heavy metal, it gets to the ritualism that Quebec four-piece Strange Broue proliferate elsewhere on the record in the lo-fi post-Electric Wizard doom of “Satan’s Slaves,” “Kill What’s Inside of You” and the rolling opener “Ritualize” (video here). These pieces offset by other interludes of noise and drone and samples like “Satanic Panic,” “In Nomine Dei Nostri Satanis, Luciferi Excelsis,” the acoustic-until-it-gets-shot-in-the-woods “Las Bas,” the John Carpenter-esque “Séance IV – L’Invocation” and the extended penultimate drone of “Séance V – The Mystifying Oracle with Bells” ahead of the countrified pop gospel of “Satan is Real,” which finishes in subversive fashion, interrupted by more news reports and a finishing assault of noise. Like an arts project in the dark arts, Séance crosses some familiar terrain but finds Strange Broue on their own trip through cultish immersion, as psychological as it is psychedelic.

Strange Broue on Thee Facebooks

Sunmask Records webstore

 

Orango, The Mules of Nana

orango-the-mules-of-nana

Not much to argue with in the sixth long-player from Helge Kanck, Trond Slåke and Hallvard Gaardløs, collectively known as Orango. As they make their way onto Stickman Records (which also handled Euro distro for their last album, 2014’s Battles) with The Mules of Nana, the Norwegian trio deep-dive into harmony-topped ‘70s-style vibing that, well, leaves the bulk of “retro” bands in their V8-crafted dust. Mind you they do so by not being a retro band. True, the fuzz on “The Honeymoon Song” and “Head on Down” is as organic as if you happened on it in some forest where all the trees were wearing bellbottoms, but if you told me it was true, I’d believe Orango recorded The Mules of Nana onto – gasp! – a computer. I don’t know if that’s the case or not, but “Heirs,” the sweetly acoustic “Give Me a Hundred” and motoring “Hazy Chain of Mountains” find Orango making no attempt to cloak a lack of songwriting or performance chops in a production aesthetic. Rather, in the tradition of hi-fi greats, they sound as full and rich as possible and utterly live up to the high standard they set for themselves. Pure win in classic, dynamic fashion.

Orango on Thee Facebooks

Stickman Records website

 

Set and Setting, Reflectionless

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There’s an undercurrent of metal that’s quick to show itself on Set and Setting’s Reflectionless. The instrumentalist Floridian five-piece delve plenty deep into heavy post-rock on cuts like the shoegazing “Incandescent Gleam” and subsequent “Specular Wavefront Of…” but they’re not through opener “Saudade” before harder-edged chug emerges, and “…The Idyllic Realm”’s blastbeating nods at black metal while the churning endgame build of closer “Ephemerality” holds tight to a progressive execution. While its textural foundation will likely ring familiar to followers of Russian Circles ultimately, Reflectionless finds distinction in aligning the various paths it walks as it goes, creating an overarching flow that draws strength from its diversity of approach rather than sounding choppy, confused or in conflict with itself. Not revolutionary by any means, but engaging throughout and with a residual warmth to complement what might seem at first to be a purely cerebral approach. It offers more on repeat listens, so let it sink in.

Set and Setting on Thee Facebooks

Set and Setting webstore

 

Dautha, Den Foerste

dautha-den-foerste

Primo short offering of pure, fistpump-ready, violin-infused doom traditionalism. I don’t know what Norrköping, Sweden’s Dautha – the five-piece of vocalist Lars Palmqvist, guitarists Erik Öquist and Ola Blomkvist, bassist Emil Åström and drummer Micael Zetterberg – are planning to do for a follow-up, but this Den Foerste (or Den Förste) two-tracker recalls glory-era Candlemass and willfully soars with no sense of irony on “Benandanti” and “In Between Two Floods” after the intro “Horkarlar Skall Slås Ihjäl,” and having already sold out a self-released pressing leaves little to wonder what would’ve caught the esteemed tastes of Ván Records. And by that I mean it’s fucking awesome. I’m ready for a full-length whenever they are, and from the poise with which Palmqvist carries the melodies of these tracks, the quality of the riffing and the depth of arrangement the violin adds to the overarching mournfulness, they definitely sound ready. So get on it. 15 minutes of dirge-making this gorgeous simply isn’t enough.

Dautha on Thee Facebooks

Ván Records website

 

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Review & Full Album Stream: Deep Space Destructors, Psychedelogy

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on February 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

deep-space-destructors-psychedelogy

[Click play above to stream Deep Space Destructors’ Psychedelogy in full. Album is out Feb. 27 on Space Rock Productions.]

Goes without saying that time is a construct and that humans’ ability to understand it only relates to our very small, very remote position in a much vaster universe and that even the figures the construct presents are utterly beyond our conception — i.e., we cannot fathom 200 of our own years, and our years are meaningless to the surrounding cosmos. That’s a given. However, three years between full-lengths still feels like a long time for Finnish (nations: also a construct) trio Deep Space Destructors. Their fourth full-length, Psychedelogy, arrives via Space Rock Productions, which is the imprint helmed by synth wizard Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective and known for releasing that band’s work as well as other projects and offshoots.

To my knowledge, Deep Space Destructors — bassist/vocalist Jani Pitkänen, guitarist/backing vocalist Petri Lassila and drummer Markus Pitkänen — have no relation to that collective (yet), so all the more it’s an endorsement that should ring in the ears among the cosmically converted. The Oulu natives earn it well in the four tracks of Psychedelogy, which follows the 2015 two-songer Spring Break from Space (review here) as well as their first three long-players, 2014’s III (review here), 2013’s II (review here) and 2012’s I (review here), and stay true to the Hawkwindian roots of the genre while exploring progressive textures of their own. At an easily-digested 38 minutes, Psychedelogy presents its two sides — side Space and side Void (the last EP did likewise) — with poise and without pretense. They’re going on this trip one way or the other. Whether or not you come along is going to be your call.

Each half of Psychedelogy pairs a shorter piece with a longer one. Opener “Journey to the Space Mountain” (7:55) will be familiar to anyone who caught wind of Spring Break from Space, since it launched that brief offering as well. It is particularly suited to the task here too, with a fervent thrust that kicks up interstellar dust almost immediately following a quick sample and enacts immersive swirl as it makes its way toward its fist-in-the-air-moment-of-galaxial-righteousness title-line hook. Both it and the 10-minute “Spacemind,” which follows, have an underlying sense of triumph, but the momentum that carries through them isn’t to be understated, Markus and Jani making for a rhythmic powerhouse beneath Petri‘s echoing solo as “Journey to the Space Mountain” pours through its midsection, eventually making its way, gloriously, back to the chorus as part of a build the apex of which strikes just before feedback caps off.

A quieter, more Floydian beginning sets the course for “Spacemind,” but there’s a tension in the bass and drums as well as the first verse takes hold, Jani‘s vocals coated in effects, keys adding to the melody of Petri‘s guitar. Before the two-minute mark, “Spacemind” hits into its chorus with even more of a feeling of arrival than “Journey to the Space Mountain,” but it’s still just the beginning, as Deep Space Destructors use that as the launchpad for an instrumental bridge of classic prog fits and turns before moving back into the soothing verse section like nothing ever happened. They’re not yet at the halfway point of the track, but the fluidity of what they’ve executed already makes “Spacemind” a particular highlight of Psychedelogy. The ensuing jam, calm but purposeful with periodic vocal overlay, seals that, and when the three-piece ignite thrusters and push toward the song’s conclusion, the payoff seems to last until the very final second, clearly making the most of its time — which, just as a reminder, is a construct and doesn’t exist. Brain goes pop.

I don’t know if there’s an intentional difference between side Space and side Void in terms of what Deep Space Destructors are looking to accomplish, but it’s easy enough to read the second half of Psychedelogy as pushing further out along the progressive path the band has thus far marched. Both “Return to the Black Star” (7:05) and closer “From the Ashes” (12:34) keep the flow molten, the overarching vibe spontaneous but subject to some command, and come fleshed out by effects and synth, creating the parameters of the alternate universe in which they dwell. With Jani and Petri together on vocals, “Return to the Black Star” echoes some of the Hawkwindiness of “Journey to the Space Mountain,” but is more patient in that exercise and more willing to bring an improvised-seeming lead to the foreground in its back end. Again, this doesn’t necessarily mark a radical departure from the album’s beginnings, but the continuation presents some subtle turns for those ready to take Psychedelogy on for multiple listens — a process through which it only grows more fulfilling.

Something else “Return to the Black Star” and “From the Ashes” have in common is being less immediately about their hooks, but the core guitar/bass figure in the finale is especially memorable nonetheless for its proggy intricacy — one can’t help but be reminded of peak-era Steven Wilson in some of the ensuing shimmer — and the additional flourish of sitar is yet another distinguishing factor. Ultimately though it’s the core guitar/bass/drums dynamic between the Pitkänens and Lassila that carries “From the Ashes” over so effectively, and beneath the swirl, the kosmiche thematics and the range, that turns out to be what most draws these songs together with the rest of Deep Space Destructors‘ body of work. Their time on “spring break” was not misspent, and whether they’ll resume the album-per-year pace of their first three outings, I wouldn’t speculate, but they’ve come into Psychedelogy with a clear sense of who they are and what they want to be as a group. If they follow through going forward on their own terms, then all the better, whatever those terms might be.

Deep Space Destructors, “Return to the Black Star” official video

Deep Space Destructors on Thee Facebooks

Deep Space Destructors on Bandcamp

Deep Space Destructors website

Space Rock Productions website

Psychedelogy order page at Sapphire Records

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Deep Space Destructors to Release Psychedelogy Feb. 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

deep-space-destructors-Photo-by-Tatu-Ollanketo

On Feb. 27, Finnish trio Deep Space Destructors will release their new LP, Psychedelogy, on Space Rock Productions. The Oulu-based outfit were last heard from on 2015’s Spring Break from Space EP (review here), and while to let a whole year pass without a release seems crazy from a space rock band, I’ve no doubt their time was well spent in prepping this full-length as they have. How can I be so sure without actually having heard it?

Well, over the weekend the band put up a special preview on their website with clips from the four included songs and an interactive look at the artwork by Markus Räisänen, and one can get a pretty solid sense of where they’re coming from with that. Besides, as anyone who heard their prior 2014 album, III (review here), can tell you, dudes know what they’re doing at this point.

If you need more, consider the endorsement of Space Rock Productions, the label helmed by none other than Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective himself. You know he doesn’t want any part of it if it’s not spacey as hell. So yeah, keep an eye out. I’ll hope to have a review of Psychedelogy up before the end of the month.

In the interim, you can dig into the below info and links:

deep-space-destructors-psychedelogy

Take a trip to amazing gatefold album art made by Markus Räisänen, with sounds from “Psychedelogy” out on vinyl February 27th through Space Rock Productions!

Web design by Mikko “ruottis” Ruotsalainen. Preview: http://bit.ly/2kUUmC7

Psychedelogy tracklisting:

Side Space:
Journey to the Space Mountain
Spacemind

Side Void:
Return to the Black Star
From the Ashes

Deep Space Destructors plays psychedelic space rock from Earth.

DSD was founded in the beginning of the Earth year 2011 in Oulu, Finland, on band members’ mutual love for 60’s and 70’s kraut, prog and psychedelic rock.

DSD’s journey continues towards deeper space and sounds.

Deep Space Destructors is:
Jani Pitkänen – vocals, bass
Petri Lassila – guitars, backing vocals
Markus Pitkänen – drums

http://www.dsdband.space/
https://www.facebook.com/deepspacedestructors/
https://deepspacedestructors.bandcamp.com/

Deep Space Destructors, “Journey to the Space Mountain”

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Oulu Space Jam Collective Announce EP1 Tape Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 5th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

oulu space jam collective

Listening to the 57-minute opening track from the new Oulu Space Jam Collective tape, my brain feels like plastic that somebody put in the microwave. The song in question, “Renegade Spaceman,” comes accompanied by two others — “Approaching Beast Moon of Baxool” (24:07) and “Artistic Supplies for Moon Paint Mafia” (14:09) — which makes me think that the title EP1 of the limited-to-50-copies cassette release refers to “episode” rather than it actually being an “EP,” because frankly, if they were going to press it to vinyl, it’d be two 12″ records. Not exactly a short release.

Eggs in Aspic will have the tape out this Friday, but you can order it now, and if you caught that part in the paragraph above where I said they only made 50 of the suckers, you’ll probably want to jump on that. At least if you want your brain to do that whole plastic-in-the-microwave thing — which, frankly, I think we both know you do.

Info courtesy of the label, audio courtesy of the band:

oulu space jam collective ep1

Pre-order Oulu Space Jam Collective – EP1 Now!

Not much is known about mysterious Finnish psych outfit Oulu Space Jam Collective but that’s probably for the best. Since forming in the Northern Finnish city from which they took their name in 2014, the enigmatic sextet have been busy crafting their improvised new-age prog at a series of underground arts events across the city.

Proprietors of a sort of tribalistic, free-flowing nomadic-psych similar to fellow Scandinavians Goat, the group’s physical debut release on Newcastle cassette label Eggs in Aspic, brings together three of the band’s extended genre-hopping jams for the first time.

Clocking in at just under two hours, the cosmic vibes of Renegade Spaceman, Approaching Beast Moon of Baxool and Artistic Supplies for Moon Paint Mafia take the listener on an interplanetary trip to the outer reaches of reality.

Helmed by Joonatan Elokuu, Markus Pitkänen, Petri Lassila, Jani Pitkänen, Kalle Veikko, Olli Niemitalo and Petri Henell, the group’s self-styled ‘Oriental Oulu Kraut’ offers a heady mix of sitar, synths, percussion, lap steel, electronic wizardry and far-out guitars that chime together in shamanistic celebration.

Recorded across two nights at Oulu’s Deep Space Destructors’ Rehearsal Vortex and Etulyötyn Park’s Night of the Arts, EP1 will be released on 6 January 2017 in a limited edition run of 50 purple C120 cassettes featuring a laser-cut transparent J-card, metallic pin badge and digital download code.

Click here to pre-order the limited edition release now

https://www.facebook.com/Ouluspacejamcollective
https://ouluspacejamcollective.bandcamp.com/
http://www.eggsinaspic.com/product/oulu-space-jam-collective-ep1/
http://www.eggsinaspic.com/

Oulu Space Jam Collective, “Renegade Spaceman”

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Deep Space Destructors on Tour Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 22nd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

deep space destructors

Doubt very much I’ll be giving away any state secrets when I say I ran the announcement below through a translation matrix. Usually with that kind of thing, I might try to approximate, or reach out to the band/label/whoever and ask them for a translation so my ignorant, only-speaks-English ass can get hip to the news, but this time around, I kind of love what came back from the thing. It fits Deep Space Destructors so well, it’s kind of otherworldly, a communiqué piped in from the Finnish band’s own Northern cosmos. The kind of thing one might expect from a group who releases songs like “Journey to the Space Mountain” or “An Ode to Indifferent Universe.”

The band’s most recent release, 2015’s Spring Break from Space (review here), was named for a tour they were going on last year, and it shares its title as well with Deep Space Destructors‘ upcoming run next month as well, though there’s a “2016” added too. The Oulu-based swirlers will be out with Boar starting April 8, though there’s also a hometown gig April 1 to lead off the whole affair. “As a base for!”

That announcement, in all its glory, can be found with the tour dates below. Enjoy it, because language is fricking awesome:

deep space destructors tour dates

Deep Space Destructors & Boar, Spring Break from Space 2016

Oulu bad-ass Boar and Deep Space Destructors are leaving Europe to deceive the local population psychedelic kohkauksellaan. However, Hullusega cosmos karavan does not run without petrol, so a tour of the countdown starts from Oulu, as a base for! Come and support the bands tour and enjoy the audio-visual tykityksestä! It offers new songs, fresh merchiä and everything thingy on both bands!

1.4.2016 Tukikohta, Oulu
8.4.2016, Rock Bar, Örebro, Sweden
9.4.2016 KB18, Copenhagen, Denmark
10.4.2016 Weinstube Pizzini, Bamberg, Germany
11.4.2016 AKK, Karlsruhe, Germany
12.4.2016 Le Midlands, Lille, France
13.4.2016 Worm, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Jani Pitkänen – vocals, bass
Petri Lassila – guitars, backing vocals
Markus Pitkänen – drums

https://www.facebook.com/deepspacedestructors
https://deepspacedestructors.bandcamp.com/
https://boar.bandcamp.com/

Deep Space Destructors, Spring Break from Space (2015)

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Deep Space Destructors Release Spring Break from Space Vinyl

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 7th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

deep space destructors

If you listen to the tracks on the Bandcamp stream below and find yourself wondering why Oulu, Finland-based trio Deep Space Destructors might have gone with Spring Break from Space (review here) as the title of their latest two-track EP, I agree, it’s a little misleading. After all, if you listen to those songs, it becomes clear rather quickly that the three-piece are not at all on a break from space and that, rather, they’re way deep in it. “Spring Break from Space” was the name of the tour they went on this past Spring, so the idea is they’re normally in space, but they took a break to come to earth and do some shows. Make sense?

Now that I’ve done my good deed for the day in explaining that, I’ll turn it over to the announcement that Spring Break from Space is available now on vinyl through Sapphire Records and Space Rock Productions, pressed up in limited numbers. Behold:

deep space destructors spring break from space lp

Deep Space Destructors “Spring Break From Space”

The first vinyl release of the finnish Space Rock Trios …

Deep Space Destructors are a space rock trio fro Oulu, Finland. The band has previously released two excellent albums on CD.

This music was originally released as limited edition of 30 cassettes by Deep Space Destructors for Spring Break From Space Tour 2015.

With the release DSD dives towards innerspace, shamanistic rhythms and to the mystic realms of consciousness. What is the space mountain and will you discover it? Spring Break

From Space includes two songs recorded live at DSD’s Rehearsal Vortex, with vocals, percussions and analog synths added afterwards. — Space Rock Productions / Scott Heller

Limited Edition 270 copies total: 110x black – 160x yellow/red
This is the black 10″-vinyl edition – hand numbered

Side Space:
Journey To The Space Mountain (7:52)
Side Void:
Where Space Ends Time Begins (11:10)

Band:

Jani Pitkänen – vocals, bass
Petri Lassila – guitar, backing vocals
Markus Pitkänen – drums

Spring Break From Space EP now available as 10″ vinyl through Space Rock Productions and Sapphire Records!

Limited 100 copies on black vinyl:
www.sapphirerecords.de/Deep-Space-Destructors-Spring-Break-From-Space-black

Limited 150 copies on transparent yellow with red marble:
www.sapphirerecords.de/epages/61252611.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/61252611/Products/%2ALP10DSDc

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Deep-Space-Destructors/137326709697944
http://deepspacedestructors.bandcamp.com/

Deep Space Destructors, Spring Break from Space (2015)

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Deep Space Destructors Stream Spring Break from Space EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on March 27th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

deep space destructors

Next week, Finnish spacedudes Deep Space Destructors launch a quick tour they’re calling “Spring Break from Space,” and they’ll be bringing a limited-edition cassette EP — 30 copies only — with them to mark the occasion. Also called Spring Break from Space, the EP contains two rehearsal-room jams recorded live and then fleshed out with synth, vocals and percussion to extra spacey effect. Both cuts, “Journey to the Space Mountain” and “Where Space Ends Time” — yes, they’re working on a theme, and yes, that theme is “space” — offer marked swirl as a result, bassist/vocalist Jani Pitkänen, guitarist/backing vocalist Petri Lassila and drummer Markus Pitkänen pushing classically Hawkwindian jams past the thermosphere and into zero-grav floatation.

I’d say that’s nothing new for the Oulu three-piece, whose three full-lengths to date —  2012’s I (review here), 2013’s II (review here) and 2014’s III (review here) — have likewise thrust beyond the limits of convention, but where a song like the 15-minute “An Ode to Indifferent Universe” from III was certainly jam-based, it was more structured than either “Journey to the Space Mountain” or “Where Space Ends Time,” clearer and less awash in effects. “Journey to the Space Mountain” makes a hook of its title line, but still blasts pretty far out, a foundational bassline and drum progression setting a bed for a guitar-led freakout deep space destructors tape coverthat persists over a long midsection jam before the track resumes its charted course with a stop and layered recitation of a couple lines about — wait for it — space.

It’s fun to kid around that a band with space in their name would release an EP with space both in its title and in the titles of each of its two tracks, but the jams hold up. “Where Space Ends Time” starts with a slower march, minimal in percussion but picking up speed as it approaches the end of its first minute. When the bass kicks in, Deep Space Destructors are underway. Various washes of effects make their way in and out of the jam’s early going, sampled, spoken vocals appear and disappear with a pervasive experimental feel that builds as the track progresses, hypnotic and saturated. There are vocals later, echoing in the second half over a sort of ambient melody given tension by that same bassline, and while it’s easy to forget, the band are actually leading the song somewhere. An apex of “Where Space Ends Time” is signaled by crashing drums, but it’s short, and the track cuts out soon, ending cold as though you’ve just been pushed out the airlock.

There are five shows on Deep Space Destructors‘ upcoming tour, and they’re only making 30 copies of the Spring Break from Space tape, so I’m not sure how available it will wind up being to the worldwide cosmos-faring public. All the more reason I’m glad to be able to stream it in full today. You’ll find the tracks on the player below, followed by tour info and some words about the making of the new release.

Please enjoy:

Psychedelic space rockers Deep Space Destructors made a limited cassette release of 30 copies for the upcoming Spring Break From Space 2015 tour.

With the new material DSD dives towards innerspace, shamanistic rhythms and to the mystic realms of consciousness. What is the space mountain and will you discover it?

The cassette includes two songs recorded live at Rehearsal Vortex, with vocals, percussions and analog synths added afterwards. The cassette contains:

Space (A-side): 01. Journey To The Space Mountain (8:16)
Void (B-side): 02: Where Space Ends Time Begins (11:33)

The tour starts on April 1st from Oulu which is also the release date for the cassette. The songs will also be available for pay what you want digital download through bandcamp:
http://deepspacedestructors.bandcamp.com/

Spring Break From Space 2015 tour with
Boar (https://boar.bandcamp.com/) and Tuliterä (https://soundcloud.com/tulitera):

April 1st Tukikohta, Oulu, Finland
April 2nd Varjobaari, Tampere, Finland
April 3rd Lepakkomies, Helsinki, Finland
April 4th Depo, Riga, Latvia
April 5th Rockstars, Tallinn, Estonia

Deep Space Destructors on Thee Facebooks

Deep Space Destructors on Bandcamp

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Renate/Cordate, Growth: New Conjuring

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 21st, 2014 by JJ Koczan

renate cordate growth

Finnish four-piece Renate/Cordate (also stylized lowercase as renate/cordate) were last heard from with their early 2013 self-titled debut full-length (review here), which was a solidly constructed and smooth sounding execution of heavy psychedelia. Reminiscent at times of My Sleeping Karma‘s ultra-fluid push, it showed the then-instrumental outfit had room to grow but already a decent idea of what they were going for tonally and in terms of process. A good start, in other words. Twenty-one months later, they return with Growth, which the respected purveyor Breathe Plastic Records will release on tape in December, their sophomore outing comprised of four mostly extended tracks that come from a different enough stylistic base that I had to double-check and make sure I was listening to the same band the first time I put it on. With only one of the four cuts under 10 minutes long, Renate/Cordate have blown out their expansion to a cosmic degree, churning opener “Evolve, Submit” around Ufomammut-style repetition and following a psychedelic doom path of deep-echoing vocals around what seems a chaos swirl of massive tonality, hypnotic and deep. Working with Niko Lehdontie of countrymen psychedelonauts and Svart Records inductees Domovoyd to add extra effects to the wash, Renate/Cordate — the same lineup as last time of guitarists Ville and Samuli (the latter also vocals), bassist Aki and drummer Antti-Pekka — present such a stylistic turn that I’m tempted to think of Growth as a debut and of the self-titled as a demo for how much more solidified and clear-headed in their purpose the band seems to be. At very least, you could say the album is aptly-named.

And if the shift in sound is jarring, it’s bound to be less so for anyone who didn’t hear Renate/Cordate‘s debut and for whom Growth marks their first exposure to their work. It is an expansive 43 minutes, still perhaps vinyl-ready, though they’d more likely get rid of third track “Laudanum” and dedicate the whole of side B to the 17-minute closer “Mother” for ease of time. Side A, then, would be the back-to-back 10-minute post-doom wallops of “Evolve, Submit” and “Humankind (Not My Kind),” which quickly announce the band’s new direction in their sprawl and atmospheric take. The record is a big jump from where they were last year, and clearly a purposeful one, but not all of the elements from Renate/Cordate, the album, are gone. One can still hear the airy ringing of Russian Circles-style post-rock guitar presiding over the mix as the opener rolls past its third minute and into the first of Growth‘s encompassing space-doom nods. Heavy crashing leads to a quiet break of minimalist guitar — one of their most Ufomammut moments — and “Evolve, Submit” explodes again into cascades of echoing riffs that set a lot of the atmospheric course for what follows, rounding out with a long fade of feedback into dreamy synth that pushes forward into the quiet guitar opening of “Humankind (Not My Kind),” which is more about the tradeoffs than was “Evolve, Submit,” but no less ably conceived. An extended subdued intro builds for the first three and a half minutes before pushing into its first heavier section. The lull has the effect of drawing a listener further in, and should Renate/Cordate continue in this direction — after the difference between their first two albums, I wouldn’t speculate as to where they might go on a third — I wouldn’t be surprised to find them toying more with that feeling of stillness and the juxtaposition against pummeling riffs, but even here, they’re able to transition easily from light to heavy and heavy to light, as they do on “Humankind (Not My Kind),” taking the song all the way down to silence before rebuilding their way to the tone-wash apex that ends out.

renate cordate 2

The shorter “Laudanum” follows and is more immediate in its riffing though ultimately just as spacious as the rest of what surrounds, even finding room in its six minutes for a jammy midsection break that boasts some especially satisfying guitar work holding the tension until the heavier tones reemerge and thrust into a louder and louder burst of noise. If there are vocals — and there might well be — they are buried deep enough in the mix that they’re indistinguishable from a sample. All you get is a vague human presence, and it works to the song’s advantage, cutting out right before the thrust of the final echoing solo, deconstructed along with everything else to bring about the 16:53 concluding statement, “Mother.” Begun on a foundation of bass and drums backed by swirl and ambient noise, “Mother” unfurls essentially as a combination of everything else Renate/Cordate do on the album structurally, bridging the gap between a loud/quiet interplay and an extended linear build by simply doing both. Before its first four minutes are through, it has built up and peaked and moved to an ethereal, almost jazzy peacefulness, but the crushing reignites several minutes later, only to once again fall back past seven minutes in. This is the key transition, since the band uses this stillness as the starting point for the trip to to Growth‘s last crescendo. The turn happens right around the 12:30 mark, but by then, it’s less about payoff than just going where the band takes you, and that winds up being Renate/Cordate‘s greatest success with their second album. They’ve accomplished this change in style, which is all well and good, but they’ve managed to hold onto the immersive nature of what they did on their self-titled as well, and that only makes the ending of “Mother” more consuming and thus more satisfying. Yes, it’s wildly heavy, and yes, it’s a suitable ending, but what leaves an even more resonant impression is the ability of the band to retain their control over their sound even at its most unbridled. If they do wind up staying on this path, or if they don’t, that can only serve them well as they continue to progress.

[PLEASE NOTE: I’ve been given permission by Renate/Cordate to host a full stream of Growth for your listening pleasure. I hope you’ll give it a shot on the player below and enjoy.]

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

Renate/Cordate on Thee Facebooks

Renate/Cordate on Bandcamp

Breathe Plastic Records

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