Tribu Announce Círculo Vinyl Release

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

There is an awful lot to process on Círculo, the debut album from Peruvian experimentalists Tribu, as the record digs into native instrumentation and folk influences, psychedelia, progressive rock and minimalist atmospherics, all the while employing a wide range of guests around the core multi-instrumentalist/vocalist duo of Richard Nossar (Matus) and Yazmin Cuadros. The material ranges from the modern to the ancient, and as in “Todos los Jaguares (Canto para Yana),” finds itself digging into chanting in ceremonial fashion, not so much cult ritual as communion with something beyond the self through music, which I’m pretty sure is how music was invented in the first place. So kudos. Roots psych, maybe?

Tribu released Círculo digitally this past Fall through Catrina Records and have aligned to Clostridium for the vinyl version. 300 copies will be pressed, as the PR wire informs:

tribu circulo

TRIBU’s debut album Círculo vinyl release

Bochum based Clostridium Records in association with Lima’s new label Catrina Records proudly announce the worldwide vinyl release of Circulo, the debut album of Peruvian Shamanistic Psychedelic Shoegaze duo TRIBU.

TRIBU, formed in late 2016 by singer multi-instrumentalist Yazmin Cuadros and Richard Nossar of (Don Juan) Matus fame in the archaeological monument Chavin de Huantar, a place which was the religious-administrative center of the Chavin culture, built and inhabited between 1500 and 300 AC.

Circulo uses recorded sounds of over 20 instruments ranging from tribal percussion devises to electric guitars and featuring over 10 guests including members of well known Peruvian bands such as La Ira de Dios, Pax, Matus, El Aire among others.

The album, which earned “record of the year” accolades in Peruvian underground and mainstream media, was originally issued, on CD format only, in late 2018 via Catrina Records, therefore making this the first time the album is available worldwide in analog format.

The LP will be a limited hand numbered edition of 300 copies, pressed on 180g marbled vinyl.

Tracklisting:
1. El Camino de las Luciérnagas 03:20
2. Llegando al Sol 04:45
3. Oiré 02:14
4. After Dark 04:35
5. Todos los Jaguares (Canto para Yana) 06:23
6. Viento 04:11
7. Nube Roja 06:10
8. Dice Ser 1:55

TRIBU is:
Yazmín Cuadros – Lead vocals, acoustic guitar, bolang gu, ceramic whistle, kaossilator, maracas, Native American double flute, owl flute, ocarina, sequencer, siku, shakapa, Tibetan crotales & water drum
Richard Nossar – Electric guitar, electric bass guitar, keyboards, gong, pun & vocals

https://tribu8.bandcamp.com/releases
https://soundcloud.com/tribu_peru
https://www.facebook.com/clostridiumrecords/
http://www.clostridiumrecords.com/

Tribu, Círculo (2018/2019)

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We Here Now Sign to Elektrohasch; Touring Europe Later This Year

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

we here now

Earlier this year — so I guess like a month ago — the multinational outfit We Here Now offered up their debut release, The Chikipunk Years, blending elements from rock, South American folk, psychedelic punk and more to a highly individualized style that was intricate and memorable in kind. Swamp Booking has picked up the band for European touring representation, and Elektrohasch Schallplatten — the label of Colour Haze guitarist Stefan Koglek will give the album an official release later this year, in May, which I’d guess is ahead of summer tour plans yet to be unveiled.

The announcements from both were recently made and follow below, as well as the stream of the album from Bandcamp. Have at it:

we here now the chikipunk years

Elektrohasch 179 – We Here Now – The Chikipunk Years

Back to the future: I haven‘t heard anything like this yet – guitar, bass, drums – of course… But: a band with members from Brasil, India and Peru mixing the uneven rhythms of Asia with South-American feel, full of modern twists and breaks, driving it into a furious intensity and lay above all this beautiful relaxed melodies with a twist from the Andes to the Himalaya… finally a truly new, fresh take on Rock! – this should be the future!

I am proud to present the debut of We Here Now on Elektrohasch.

Don‘t miss it – so once you can tell you have been there : )

Swamp Booking: Really happy to announce this new addition to our roster!

The multinational band WE HERE NOW is a young new band from Brasil, India/USA and Perù. An exciting approach to the straight-forward aesthetics of fuzzed-out rock. Different cultural and sonic methods of expression delivered with an unmistakable raw punk attitude.

Their debut album will be released by the German record label Elektrohasch (Colour Haze) next May 17th and they will tour Europe ALL summer, playing like there’s no tomorrow!

https://homemadegiftsrecords.bandcamp.com/releases
www.elektrohasch.de

We Here Now, The Chikipunk Years (2019)

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We Here Now to Release The Chikipunk Years Jan. 17

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 21st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Marked by a frenetic shuffle and a still-weighted tonality that’s nonetheless put to celebratory purposes, We Here Now‘s debut album, The Chikipunk Years, clocks in at all of 21 minutes long, but considering its three members live in three different countries — Peru, Brazil and, uh, kind of everywhere — that seems like plenty. Involvement from members of the boogie-laden Necro (the Brazil), the glorious Montibus Communitas (the Peru) and the ever-experimentalist Queen Elephantine (the everywhere) assures a varied mix of sounds, and as they draw on different cultural and sonic methods of expression, they pack about two records’ worth of scope into that 21 minutes, so yeah, they can be short if they want. It’ll still be a while afterwards in parsing it all out.

They’ve got three songs streaming now on the Bandcamp player below, and you’ll also find the preorder link there, which there’s a good chance you’ll want after you listen:

We Here Now The Chikipunk Years

We Here Now – The Chikipunk Years

WE HERE NOW is a multinational band, formed by the prolific musicians Pedro ‘Sozinho’ Salvador (Necro) from Brazil, Indrayudh Shome (Queen Elephantine) from India/USA and Fr. Sofista from Peru. Emanating fast n’ bulbous sounds, the music presents an exciting approach to the straight-forward aesthetics of fuzzed-out rock. They dig deep into their roots, unearthing the gifts of their vast cultural and historical backgrounds. Complex time signatures, original tonal schemes and a free-form sense of music-making are delivered with an unmistakable raw punk attitude.

‘The Chikipunk Years” is the debut album by WE HERE NOW. The trio conjures a raw but complex sound, tending bridges between fuzzed-out forms of garage rock, prog punk and heavy psych, all infused with structures owned to south american, african and indian music. Throughout these seven tracks the trio consolidates, on the one hand, a cohesive and fiercely direct sound while, on the other hand, delivers a challenging music full of odd rhythmic patterns and exquisite non-western scales, all tied with a playful production that reminds at times the ironic approach of Canterbury bands. Paradoxical yet intoxicating, WE HERE NOW’s debut album is the kind of record that wins the listener by K.O.

Tracklisting:
1. Soujourns
2. Gathering and Separation 03:16
3. Detachments 02:39
4. Planes of Inmanence 04:26
5. Frontiers and Determinations
6. Dukkha
7. Detachments (Reprise)

‘The Chikipunk Years’ is out on January 17th, 2019.

Preorder link for the album https://homemadegiftsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-chikipunk-years

https://www.facebook.com/Homemadegiftsrecords/
https://soundcloud.com/homemade-gifts-records

We Here Now, The Chikipunk Years (2019)

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Quemos Second Album Quemos II: The Rebirth Now Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

The High Priest of Moab returns! The self-titled debut album (review here) from Peruvian psyche-demolition experts Quemos, arrived some four years ago and brought with it a scorched soundscape that they now follow-up with Quemos II: The Rebirth, which seems to have been out since January but which the band purports in the truly black metal announcement below — from their use of “opus” to the direct challenge of listeners in “don’t lie” and calling them “mortal mouthbreathers,” they pretty much nailed it — is available for a limited time only. Comprised of eight parts of a larger whole work that’s been dubbed “Journey into the Realm of Fire,” I wouldn’t be surprised if they pulled it from the page at some point, so yeah, if you want to check it out, now might be the time. It’s streaming in full below and there’s a teaser video as well, if you’d like a quicker sampling.

Dig it:

quemos ii

Quemos – Quemos II: The Rebirth

Quemos is proud to announce the release of its sophomore album II: The Rebirth. Temporally available only through the band’s Bandcamp page, this new opus consists of an eight part suite called Journey Into The Realm Of Fire and features the talents of Raúl Valenzuela Silva (formerly drummer for Chile’s Ocultum) on drums. On the other hand, the band is on the works of a visual extravaganza that explores the sounds of this new album, which teaser has just been unleashed.

Have you ever walked through a flaming pyre? Don’t lie, you were engulfed all along, being a mere mortal mouthbreather. On the other Hidden Hand, the narrative behind the Immortal Men of Quemos’ return to the studio alludes to the calls you make to your Deity of choice, which as all Deities tend to do inevitably betrays you under a false pretext of salvation. Redemption through Unholy fire will bring a cleansing stench. Burn again.

Tracklisting:
1. Journey into the Realm of Fire A) Invocation 02:56
2. B) Arrival 07:39
3. C) Our Lord Has Landed 01:52
4. D) Decline In Fire’s Ecstasy 04:20
5. E) The Wave of Fire 03:04
6. F) Words of Wisdom Before Eternity 04:30
7. G) Answer of Innocence 04:42
8. H) Transcending Reality 06:55

https://www.facebook.com/thecultofquemos/
https://quemos.bandcamp.com

Quemos, Quemos II: The Rebirth (2018)

Quemos, Quemos II teaser

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Ayahuasca Dark Trip to Release Upaya on Argonauta Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

By the time multinational psychedelic exploratory conglomerate Ayahuasca Dark Trip got around to releasing their second album last year, the title had changed from its original II (discussed here) to Upaya, but whatever you want to call it, the thing is an exercise in tripped-out worldbuilding, the continent-spanning lineup offering primo doom/drone trippery and lysergic technicolor expanse. They let it get weird in other words, and for a band based in the US, in Europe and in South America, they sounded remarkably cohesive in doing so.

Not a huge surprise that Argonauta Records would pick them up given their connections to Queen Elephantine, who are also on the Italian label, but either way, Ayahuasca Dark Trip deserves to be heard by as many ears as possible, and if releasing Upaya in physical form on June 29 is a step toward that, all the better.

Seriously. It’s streaming at the bottom of this post. Dig in. If you’re still reading this, I can hands-down promise you that you will not regret it:

Ayahuasca Dark Trip

U.S. psychonauts AYAHUASCA DARK TRIP sign to Argonauta Records

ARGONAUTA Records is thrilled to announce the deal with US psychonauts AYAHUASCA DARK TRIP.

Uncompromising and fearless in its approach, the band creates hypnotic music that combines doom metal, acid psychedelia and ritual drone into an intense and explosive trip.

The multinational project was formed in 2010 by prolific Peruvian musician Brayan Anthony (Montibus Comunitas) and Buddy van Nieuwenhoven from Netherlands (Cosmic Nod). The group soon expanded with Indrayudh Shome (USA/India, Queen Elephantine), Pedro Ivo Arau?jo (Brazil, Necro), Sifis Karadakis (Greece), Floris Moerkamp and Robin van Rooy (Netherlands). AYAHUASCA DARK TRIP blasted off to explore revolutionary new possibilities of fluid musical collaboration across great physical and cultural distances.

“We’re very excited to join Argonauta, which has shown its solid support for bands like Suma that push boundaries beyond one realm. And we’re always glad to work with Gero, one of the most hardworking people in the community.” — Indrayudh Shome, lead singer of ADT as well as Queen Elephantine, whose last album was also on Argonauta Records.

The album “Upaya” will be released on physical format, for the first time on CD, and available from June 29th, 2018.

www.facebook.com/ayahuascadarktrip
https://ayahuascadarktrip.bandcamp.com
http://www.ayahuascadarktrip.com/
www.argonautarecords.com

Ayahuasca Dark Trip, Upaya (2017)

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Quarterly Review: Hallatar, Alastor, The Dead-End Alley Band, Hair of the Dog, Soup, Kungens Män, Smoke Wizzzard, Highburnator, The Curf, Ulls

Posted in Reviews on September 29th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk quarterly review

Here we are, gathered for round four of the Fall 2017 Quarterly Review. After the technical issues with the site for the last couple days, I’m glad to have everything back up and running, and one more time I thank Slevin and Behrang Alavi for making that happen. Though I have no idea what it might actually entail, I don’t imagine switching hosts on the fly for a site with as much content as this one has is easy, but they of course killed it and it is thoroughly appreciated. We move forward, as ever, with 10 more records. So let’s go.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Hallatar, No Stars Upon the Bridge

hallatar-no-stars-upon-the-bridge

Finland’s Hallatar was formed after the passing of Trees of Eternity vocalist Aleah Starbridge, life partner of guitarist and songwriter Juha Ravio (also Swallow the Sun). In the new outfit, Ravio pays homage to Starbridge with the debut long-player No Stars Upon the Bridge (on Svart) by using her poems as lyrics, samples of her voice reading on “Raven’s Song,” “Spiral Gate” and the piano-backed centerpiece “Pieces,” and by bringing in Amorphis vocalist Tomi Joutsen and ex-HIM drummer Gas Lipstick to complete a trio playing nine tracks/40 minutes of deeply mournful/beautiful death-doom. The extremity of lurch in “The Maze” late in the record is matched by the gorgeousness of the chants and shimmering guitar on closer “Dreams Burn Down,” and from the opening strains of “Mirrors,” the emotion driving No Stars Upon the Bridge is sincere and affecting. Cuts like “Melt” and the mostly-whispered-until-it-explodes “My Mistake” have a sense of the theatrical in their delivery, but that makes them no less genuine, and though one wouldn’t wish the circumstances leading to the band’s formation on anybody, there’s no question that with Hallatar, Ravio turns tragedy into a lush, resonant catharsis.

Hallatar on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records website

 

Alastor, Black Magic

alastor black magic

Cultish echoes pervade Black Magic, the debut album from Swedish doom-rolling four-piece Alastor, and it’s not so much that the initials-only four-piece of guitarists H and J, bassist/vocalist R and drummer S take influence from Electric Wizard and Black Sabbath, it’s what they do with that influence that’s most striking. Black Magic is made up of three extended tracks – “Enemy” (11:51), “Nothing to Fear” (7:42) and “Black Magic” (14:27) – and with a deep tonal engagement, each one embarks on a huge-sounding sprawl of doom. Yes, the guitars owe the swirl in “Nothing to Fear” to Jus Oborn, but the echoes behind R’s voice there and the melody have an almost New Wave-style feel despite the “all right now!” drawn right from the Ozzy playbook. In other words, Alastor are preaching to the converted, and that holds true in the snowblinded Luciferian spaciousness of the title-track’s early going as well, but the converted should have no problem finding the gospel in what they’re hearing, and as “Black Magic” rounds out with its chanted feel, Alastor affirm the potential to progress within this sound and to continue to develop it into something even more their own than it is now. Familiar superficially, but sneaky in the details, so watch out.

Alastor on Thee Facebooks

Twin Earth Records webstore

 

The Dead-End Alley Band, Storms

the dead-end-alley-band-storms

Lima-based four-piece The Dead-End Alley Band aren’t far into opener “Red Woman” before the dark-psych vibe and languid groove have properly emphasized just how much the guitar of Leonardo Alva and the organ of Sebastian Sanchez-Botta (also vocals) complement each other. Propelled by the rhythm section of bassist/vocalist Javier Kou and drummer Jafer Diaz, Storms is the third album from them behind 2015’s Odd Stories (discussed here) and 2013’s debut, Whispers of the Night (review here), and it continues to blend fuzz and classic garage doom impulses on songs like “Headstone Fortress” and the shuffling “Thunderbolts and Lace,” the latter of which wah-trips to the max around a stirring boogie before “The Clock has Stopped” weirds out on extra vocal echoes and nine-minute closer “Waiting for the Void” brings in the progressive touches of pan flute and percussion. Even in the earlier, shortest track “Need You (It’s Enough),” The Dead-End Alley Band bring no shortage of personality to the proceedings, and confirm that the rough edges of their early outings have matured into essential aspects of who they have become as a band, completely in control of their craft and able to conjure an atmosphere both classic and individual.

The Dead-End Alley Band on Thee Facebooks

The Dead-End Alley Band on Bandcamp

Forbidden Place Records website

 

Hair of the Dog, This World Turns

hair-of-the-dog-this-world-turns

Making their debut on Kozmik Artifactz, Scottish trio Hair of the Dog give their guitar-led compositions plenty of time to flesh out on This World Turns, their third album, as they demonstrate quickly on the nine-plus minute titular opener and longest track (immediate points), but one would hardly call their songwriting indulgent there or anywhere else as “This World Turns” flows easily into the following seven-minute push of “Keeping Watch over the Night” in a resolute one-two punch that soon gives way to the shorter and more driving “Ctrl-Alt-Del,” touching on influences from Thin Lizzy and Scorpions en route as well as modern practitioners like Kadavar, whose stamp can also be heard on side B launch “The Colours in Her Skin.” That’s not to say Hair of the Dog — guitarist/vocalist Adam Holt (interview here), bassist Iain Thomson and drummer Jon Holt – don’t leave their own mark as well, just that their blend stems from multiple sources. A bit of Lynottism surfaces in the penultimate “In Death’s Hands” as well, which has a more subdued feel despite fervent rhythmic movement underlying, and closer “4AM” soars with enough vigor and soul – and a little falsetto – to give This World Turns a suitably smooth and vibrant finish.

Hair of the Dog on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz website

 

Soup, Remedies

soup remedies

With ties to Motorpsycho through guitarist Hans Magnus “Snah” Ryan, Soup issue their sixth long-player in the five-track lush melodicism of Remedies, which feels particularly aptly named for the immersion the wash that opener “Going Somewhere” is able to elicit. That is, of course, just the first of the spacious, semi-folk-infused progressions, and it’s with the longer-form “The Boy and the Snow” (11:33) and the psychedelic purposeful meandering of “Sleepers” (13:35) that Remedies truly unveils its considerable breadth, but the Crispin Glover Records release holds a sense of poise even in the two-minute centerpiece church organ interlude “Audion,” and the harmonies of “Nothing Like Home” bring to mind peak-era Porcupine Tree patience and fluidity while holding fast to the bright, orange-sunshiny warmth of the atmosphere as a whole, instruments dropping out just before three minutes in to showcase the vocals before returning to embark on the march to the final crescendo, not at all overblown but with just a touch of extra volume to let listeners dive deeper into the moment. Remedies feels quick at 42 minutes, but turns out to be just what the doctor ordered.

Soup on Thee Facebooks

Crispin Glover Records website

 

Kungens Män, Dag & Natt

kungens-man-dag-natt

Prolific psych-progging Stockholmers Kungens Män return with Dag & Natt, a 2CD/2LP issued through Kungens Ljud & Bild (CD) and Adansonia Records (LP) that overflows with jazzy fluidity and gorgeous immersion. The band’s last studio outing was late-2015’s Förnekaren (review here), and whether it’s 13-minute pieces like opener “Morgonrodnad” and the even-more-krautrocking “Aftonstjärnan” or the seemingly complementary inclusions of the kosmiche-minded “Dag” and wonderfully drifting “Natt,” the album as a whole is a joy and a boon to anyone looking for an extended psychedelic meander. The saxophone of Gustav Nygren on the aforementioned leadoff and “Natt” makes a particularly striking impression, but with a steady, languid wash of guitar, synth and warm bass throughout, Dag & Natt wants nothing for flow, and the gentle, classy spirit is maintained even as the penultimate “Vargtimmen” ups the sense of thrust leading into the finisher payoff of “Cirkeln är Slut.” As of now, Kungens Män should be considered a too-well-kept secret of Scandinavia’s psych underground, though listening to Dag & Natt, one wonders just how long they’ll stay that way.

Kungens Män on Thee Facebooks

Adansonia Records website

 

Smoke Wizzzard, Run with the Wolf

smoke-wizzzard-run-with-the-wolf

Whether it’s through the striking and gruesome cover art or through the lumbering post-Sabbath, post-Cathedral stoner-doom nod contained within, Smoke Wizzzard’s five-song self-titled debut LP thoroughly earns its third ‘z’ – and, for that matter, its second one – with played-to-form thickness and a tonal push that starts with 10-minute opener/longest track (immediate points) “Astro Lord” and continues to swagger and swing with due viscosity through “Reptiles” after the minute-long punker curveball “Soul Train.” The highlight of the Pittsburgh trio’s first outing might be “The Pass,” which has a hazy patience and some rightly-featured bass tone, but as “Run with the Wolf” moves from its early Electric Wizard muckraking to cap with piano and included howls for a doomier feel, it becomes clear Smoke Wizzzard have yet to play their full stylistic hand and the real highlights may still be yet to come. Fair enough. Something tells me getting stranger is only going to be a boon to Smoke Wizzzard’s approach on the whole, so bring it on.

Smoke Wizzzard on Thee Facebooks

Smoke Wizzzard on Bandcamp

 

Highburnator, Keystoned State

highburnator-keystoned-state

If you hit up Highburnator’s Bandcamp and download their name-your-price Keystoned State EP, you might note the fifth and final inclusion is the entire live-recorded, 28-minute release presented as a single track. No doubt the Pennsylvania three-piece intend the four-song outing to be taken just that way. They begin with the “mad as hell” speech sampled from the 1976 film Network and from there unfold a potent riffly brew met head on with harsh East Coast hardcore-style vocals and more metallic growls. That’s nine-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “The Brass Rail,” and it sets the tone for what follows on the eponymous “Highburnator” before “Desert Funeral” and the Sleep-style nod of “Peaking at the Coffin” push into even more stonerly vibes. This melding of pissed-off disaffection and mid-paced heavy rock groove is particular to the sludge of the Eastern Seaboard – think of it as regional fare – but Highburnator find space for themselves in the rawness of their riffs and the charm of their puns, and by the time they’re through the four songs, it makes sense why they might want to present the full onslaught as a single entity, essentially giving it to their listeners on one overflowing platter. Got the munchies? It’s right there waiting.

Highburnator on Thee Facebooks

Highburnator on Bandcamp

 

The Curf, Death and Love

the-curf-death-and-love

Greek psych-doomers The Curf made their debut in 2007 with I and then went radio silent until last year’s Royal Water EP. Their sophomore full-length, Death and Love, then, arrives via Fuzz Ink Records with some amount of intrigue behind it, but either way, the sans-pretense heavy roll the band unfurls on “Dark Hado,” and the more uptempo “Smoke Ring,” the dig-in low end of “Lunar Lair” and the scream-topped start-stoppery of “California” present a varied take brought together through heft as well as the crispness of production and delivery, such that when it wants to, Death and Love can bite down hard, but as on the closing title-track or the earlier “Order ‘n’ Sin,” it can rumble out spaciousness as well. Whatever might’ve taken The Curf so long to put together a second album beats the hell out of me, but if they were looking to make an argument for a third one, they do so convincingly across these nine songs, which hold firmly to their overarching flow despite the emergent stylistic range.

The Curf on Thee Facebooks

Fuzz Ink Records webstore

 

Ulls, I

ULLS I

For now, Ulls is the solo-project of Barcelona-based David Trillo, formerly guitarist/vocalist for the heavy progressive trio Lord Summerisle, but the hope seems to be to build a full band at some point in the future. The I EP might rightly be called a demo, then, but for the professionalism and cohesiveness of sound with which its three songs are presented and the clarity of intent behind them. With Trillo rumbling away on bass beneath, six-minute opener “Inhumat” fleshes out its arrangement with organ alongside guitar swirl and sets up the classically swinging strut of “Llot Convuls,” on which the drums post-midsection lead the way through starts and stops à la a restless King Crimson and the guitar joins with no less angularity. Eight-minute closer “L’Emersió de l’Executor” brings about a thicker overall tone, but holds to a similar mood through its first half, Trillo finding room after about the four-and-a-half-minute mark for a standout solo executed with the bass running fluidly alongside that carries the song to its fading finish just before seven minutes in, at which point a residual drone takes hold to lead the way out. That ending is telling when it comes to various impulses that might show themselves in Ulls going forward, but as an initial demonstration, suffice it to say that I makes it plain Trillo shouldn’t have much trouble finding other players to come aboard the band with him.

Ulls on Instagram

Ulls on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Les Discrets, Test Meat, Matus, Farflung, Carpet, Tricky Lobsters, Ten Foot Wizard & Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, The Acid Guide Service, Skunk, The Raynbow

Posted in Reviews on July 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-summer-2017

My friends, the time has come. Well, actually the time came about two weeks ago at the end of June, but I won’t tell if you don’t. Better late than never as regards all things, but most especially The Obelisk’s Quarterly Review, which this time around features releases recent, upcoming and a bit older, a mix of known and lesser known acts, and as always, hopefully enough of a stylistic swath to allow everyone whose eyes the series of posts catches to find something they dig between now and Friday. As always, it’ll be 50 records from now until then, 10 per day, and I see no reason not to jump right in, so let’s do that.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Les Discrets, Prédateurs

les discrets Prédateurs

After offering a preview of their marked stylistic turn in last year’s Virée Nocturne EP (review here), Lyon, France’s Les Discrets return with the suitably nighttime-urbane vibing of their Prédateurs full-length via Prophecy Productions. Five years after Ariettes Oubliées (review here), Fursy Teyssier and company reinvent their approach to the sonic lushness of their earlier work, departing the sphere of post-black metal they previously shared with sister band Alcest in favor of an anything-goes heavy experimentalism more akin to Ulver on cuts like “Le Reproche” or the deeply atmospheric “Fleur des Murailles.” Drones pepper “Rue Octavio Mey” and closer “Lyon – Paris 7h34” effectively conveys the sense of journey its train-schedule title would hint toward, and indeed Les Discrets as a whole seem to be in flux throughout Prédateurs despite an overarching cohesion within each track. It’s a fine line between multifaceted and disjointed, but fortunately, Teyssier’s grip on melodicism is unflinching and enough to tie otherwise disparate ideas together here.

Les Discrets on Thee Facebooks

Les Discrets at Prophecy Productions

 

Test Meat, Demo

test meat demo

Considering the pedigree involved in guitarist/vocalist Darryl Shepard (ex-Milligram, Blackwolfgoat, Kind, etc.), bassist Aarne Victorine (UXO, Whitey) and drummer Michael Nashawaty (Planetoid, Bird Language), it’s little surprise that Test Meat’s Demo would have a pretty good idea of where it wants to come from. The five-track first showing from the Boston trio blends raw-edge grunge and noise rock on “He Don’t Know” after opening with its longest inclusion (immediate points) in the 3:50 “Cuffing Season,” and though centerpiece “Done” nods at the starts-and-stops of Helmet, the subsequent 2:35 push of “If You Wanna” is strikingly post-Nirvana, and closer “Permanent Festival” rounds out by bridging that gap via a still-straightforward heavy rock groove. Formative, yeah, but that’s the whole point. Test Meat revel in their barebones style and clearly aren’t looking to get overly lush, but one can’t help but be curious how or if they’ll develop a more melodic sensibility to go with the consuming, full buzzsaw tones they elicit here.

Test Meat on Thee Facebooks

Test Meat on Bandcamp

 

Matus, Intronauta

matus intronauta

Worth noting that while the opening cut here, “Claroscuro,” shares its title with Matus’ 2015 full-length (review here), that song didn’t actually appear on that album. Does that mean that the Lima, Peru, classic progressive rockers are offering leftovers from the same sessions on their new EP and perhaps final release, Intronauta? I don’t know, but the four tracks of the digital outing are a welcome arrival anyway, from the laid back easy vibes of the aforementioned opener through the riffier “Intronauta (Including Hasta Que El Sol Descanse en Paz),” the Theremin-soaked finish of the harder-driving “Catalina” and the acoustic-led four-part closer “Arboleda Bohemia,” which unfolds with lushness that remains consistent with the naturalism that has always been underlying in the band’s work. They’ve said their last few times out that the end is near, and if it’s true, they go out with a fully-cast sonic identity of their own and a take on ‘70s prog that remains an underrated secret of the South American underground.

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Farflung, Unwound Celluloid Frown

farflung unwound celluloud frown

The jury, at least when it comes to the internet, still seems to be somewhat divided on whether the name of Farflung’s five-track/34-minute EP is Unwound Celluloid Frown or Unwound Cellular Frown. I’d say another argument is whether it’s an EP or an LP, but either way, let the follow-up to the more clearly-titled 2016 album (review here) demonstrate how nebulous the long-running Los Angeles space rockers can be when it suits them. Hugely and continually underrated, the troupe once again aligns to Heavy Psych Sounds for this release, which is rife with their desert-hued Hawkwindian thrust and weirdo vibes, permeating the rocket-fuel chug of the title-track and the noise-of-the-cosmos 13-minute headphone-fest that is “Axis Mundi,” which seems to end with someone coming home and putting down their car keys before a slowly ticking clock fades out and into the backwards swirling intro of lazily drifting closer “Silver Ghost with Crystal Spoons.” Yeah, it’s like that. Whatever you call it, the collection proves once again that Farflung are a secret kept too well.

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Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Carpet, Secret Box

carpet secret box

Immersive and progressive psychedelia unfolds from the very opening moments of Carpet’s third album, Secret Box (on Elektrohasch Schallplatten), as the Augsberg, Germany-based five-piece explore lush arrangements of Moog, Rhodes, trumpet, vibraphone, etc. around central compositions of fluid guitar-led melodies and engaging rhythms. Their 2015 Riot Kiss 7” (review here) and 2013 sophomore long-player, Elysian Pleasures (review here), came from a similar place in intent, but from the funk wah and percussion underscoring the pre-fuzz-explosion portion of “Best of Hard Times” and the okay-this-one’s-about-the-riff “Shouting Florence” to the serene ambience of “For Tilda” and ethereal fluidity of “Pale Limbs” later on, the secret of Secret Box seems to be that it’s actually a treasure chest in disguise. Opening with its longest track in “Temper” (immediate points), the album hooks its audience right away along a graceful, rich-sounding melodic flow and does not relinquish its hold until the last piano notes of the closing title-track offer a wistful goodbye. In between, Carpet execute with a poise and nuance all the more enjoyable for how much their own it seems to be.

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Tricky Lobsters, Worlds Collide

tricky lobsters worlds collide

Full, natural production, crisp and diverse songwriting, right-on performances and a name you’re not about to forget – there’s nothing about Tricky Lobsters not to like. Worlds Collide is their sixth album and first on Exile on Mainstream, and the overall quality of their approach reminds of the kind of sonic freedom proffered by Astrosoniq, but the German trio of guitarist/vocalist Sarge, bassist/vocalist Doc and drummer/vocalist Captain Peters have their own statements to make as well in the stomping “Battlefields,” the mega-hook of “Big Book,” the dreamy midsection stretch of “Father and Son” and the progressive melody-making of “Tarred Albino” (video premiere here). The emphasis across the nine-song/42-minute outing is on craft, but whether it’s the patient unfolding of “Dreamdiver Pt. I & II” or the harp-and-fuzz blues spirit of closer “Needs Must,” Tricky Lobsters’ sonic variety comes paired with a level of execution that’s not to be overlooked. Will probably fly under more radars than it should, but if you can catch it, do.

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Tricky Lobsters at Exile on Mainstream Records

 

Ten Foot Wizard & Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, Special

ten-foot-wizard-chubby-thunderous-bad-kush-masters-special

Dubbed Special for reasons that should be fairly obvious from looking at the cover art, this meeting of minds, riffs and cats between Manchester’s Ten Foot Wizard and London’s Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters brings four tracks – two per band – and goes so far as to find the groups collaborating on the former’s “Get Fucked,” which opens, and the latter’s “Dunkerque,” which begins their side of the 7”, as vocalists The Wailing Goblin (of Chubby Thunderous) and Gary Harkin (of Ten Foot Wizard) each sit in for a guest spot on the other band’s cuts. Both bands also offer a standalone piece, with Ten Foot Wizard digging into heavy rock burl on “Night Witches” and Chubby Thunderous blowing out gritty party sludge in “Nutbar,” which rounds out the offering, and between them they showcase well the sphere of the UK’s crowded but diverse heavy rock underground. Kind of a niche release in the spirit of Gurt and Trippy Wicked’s 2016 Guppy split/collab, but it works no less well in making its impact felt.

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The Acid Guide Service, Vol. 11

the acid guide service vol 11

It turns out that Vol. 11 is actually Vol. 1 for Garden City, Idaho, three-piece The Acid Guide Service, who dig into extended fuzz-overdose riffing on the 52-minute nine-tracker, proffering blown-out largesse even on shorter cuts like the five-minute “Into the Sky” while longer pieces like opener “Raptured” (7:16), “EOD” (9:38) and closer “Black Leather Jesus” (10:04) skirt lines between structure and jams as much as between heavy rock and psychedelia. Proffered by the trio of guitarist/vocalist Russ Walker, bassist/vocalist Tyler Walker and drummer Nick McGarvey, one can hear shades of Wo Fat in the guitar-led expanse of “Rock ‘n’ Roll (Is the Drug I’m On),” but on the whole, Vol. 11 speaks more to the late-‘90s/early-‘00s post-Kyuss stoner rock heyday, with flourish of Monster Magnet and Fu Manchu for good measure in the hard-swinging “Dude Rockin’” and its chugging companion piece, “Marauder King.” Big tones, big riffs, big groove. The Acid Guide Service are preaching to the converted, but clearly coming from a converted place themselves in so doing. Right on.

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The Acid Guide Service on Bandcamp

 

Skunk, Doubleblind

skunk doubleblind

Professing a self-aware love for the earliest days of heavy metal in idea and sound, Oakland’s Skunk offer their full-length debut with the self-released Doubleblind, following up on their 2015 demo, Heavy Rock from Elder Times (review here). That outing featured four tracks that also appear on Doubleblind – “Forest Nymph,” “Wizard Bong,” “Black Hash” and “Devil Weed.” Working on a theme? The theme is “stoned?” Yeah, maybe, but the cowbell-infused slider groove and standout hook of “Mountain Child” are just as much about portraying that ‘70s vibe as Skunk may or may not be about the reefer whose name they bear. Presumably more recent material like that song, “Doubleblind,” closer “Waitin’ Round on You” and leadoff cut “Forest Nymph” coherently blend impulses drawn from AC/DC, Sabbath and Zeppelin. John McKelvy’s vocals fit that spirit perfectly, and with the grit brought forth from guitarists Dmitri Mavra and Erik Pearson, bassist Matt Knoth and drummer Jordan Ruyle, Skunk dig into catchy, excellently-paced roller riffing and cast their debut in the mold of landmark forebears. Mothers, teach your children to nod.

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The Raynbow, The Cosmic Adventure

the raynbow the cosmic adventure

As they make their way through a temporal drift of three tracks that play between krautrocking jazz fusion, psychecosmic expansion and Floydian lushness, Kiev-based explorers The Raynbow keep immersion central to their liquefied purposes. The Cosmic Adventure (on Garden of Dreams Records) is an aptly-titled debut full-length, and the band who constructed it is comprised of upwards of eight parties who begin with the 16-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Changes,” which builds toward and through a metallic chug apex, sandwiching it on either side with ultra-patient molten tone and soundscaping that continues to flourish through the subsequent “Cosmic Fool” (5:17) and “Blue Deep Sea Eyes” (8:18), the whole totaling a still-manageable outward trip into reaches of slow-moving space rock that whether loud or quiet at any individual moment more than earns a volume-up concentrated headphone listen. The kind of outfit one could easily imagine churning out multiple albums in a single year, The Raynbow nonetheless deliver a dream on The Cosmic Adventure that stands among the best first offerings I’ve heard in 2017.

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Ayahuasca Dark Trip Premiere “Water from Above, Water from Below”; Announce New Album II and European Tour

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on January 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Psychedelic conglomerate project Ayahuasca Dark Trip will embark on a European tour next month heralding the arrival of their second album, II. The multinational outfit draws members from Peru, Brazil, Greece, the US and the Netherlands and outfits like Montibus Communitas, Queen Elephantine and Necro, so if you’re wondering why a second full-length behind 2012’s Mind Journey (review here) might’ve taken five years to realize, consider the amount of logistics coordination involved in everything the band does. Consider that as well when wondering about whether or not you should show up at a gig — an Ayahasca Dark Trip tour does not seem like the kind of thing that will happen every day.

To further entice participation and perhaps to give the open-minded a glimpse at some of the dronescaping they’re up to on II, Ayahuasca Dark Trip today premiere the song “Water from Above, Water from Below,” which encompasses seven-plus minutes of weighted lysergic resonance, seeming to pull from all sides and all contributors around its central guitar figure as it lumbers toward its noisy, echoing conclusion. How it may play into the rest of II surrounding remains to be heard, but if the band wanted to effectively tease their second outing, consider the mission accomplished. I’ll hope to have more as we get closer to the release.

For now, an album announcement, a tour announcement and a track premiere seem like plenty for one day. Dig into all of it below, and enjoy:

ayahuasca dark trip euro tour

Uncompromising and fearless in its approach, AYAHUASCA DARK TRIP creates hypnotic music that combines doom metal, acid psychedelia and ritual drone into an intense and explosive trip.

FEBRUARY 2017 EUROPEAN TOUR —— The band is preparing for their first European tour. Looking for release, performance, and press opportunities. We need help to fill Feb 11-12 in Netherlands and Feb 25 between Wiesbaden and Amsterdam.

Ayahuasca Dark Trip Feb. 2017 tour:
02/13: Gent, BE – Kinky Star.
02/14: Brussels, BE – Cafe Central.
02/16: Karlsruhe, DE – P8.
02/17: Dresden, DE – ChemieFabrik.
02/18: Berlin, DE – Urban Spree.
02/19: Prague, CZ – Potrvá.
02/21: Vienna, AT – Weberknecht.
02/22: Ljubljiana, SI – Prul?ek.
02/23: Nuremberg, DE – Kunstverein.
02/24: Wiesbaden, DE – Kreativfabrik.

The multinational project was formed in 2010 by prolific Peruvian musician Brayan Anthony (Montibus Communitas) and Buddy van Niuewenhoven of the Netherlands (Cosmic Nod). The group soon expanded with Indrayudh Shome (USA, Queen Elephantine), Pedro Ivo Araújo (Brazil, Necro), Sifis Karadakis (Greece), and Floris Moerkamp (Netherlands). AYAHUASCA DARK TRIP blasted off to explore revolutionary new possibilities of fluid musical collaboration across great physical and cultural distances.

DISCOGRAPHY
New album “II” coming 2017.
Mind Journey (2010, 2012. Cosmic Eye/Greece)
“Manantial” Falling Down IVV compilation (2012. Falling Down/France)
Unknown Trip at the Top of the Mountain (2011. Buh/Peru)

facebook.com/ayahuascadarktrip
ayahuascadarktrip.bandcamp.com

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