Katla to Release Móðurástin Oct. 27; New Song Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

katla

Not to be confused with the Swedish space rockers who made their debut last year on Svart and share the moniker, Iceland’s Katla is a duo comprised of former Sólstafir drummer Guðmundur Óli Pálmason and multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Einar Thorberg Guðmundsson who will issue their own first outing, titled Móðurástin, Oct. 27 via Prophecy Productions, and who exist in a much different sonic sphere. Rife with melancholy and progressive intent, one can nonetheless hear an air of classic doom in their leadoff single “Hyldýpi,” streaming below, and from their Katatonia-esque logo to the My Dying Bride-vibe of Móðurástin‘s cover art, they seem to embrace that notion on several levels.

Seems like a cool release, one way or the other, and listening to “Hyldýpi” only makes me more curious to discover what Katla have in store for the rest of Móðurástin. If you’d like to have your interest piqued as well, the PR wire offers the following:

katla Móðurástin

Katla (ex-Sólstafir) to Release Debut Album, ‘Móðurástin’, October 27

Influential Icelandic Metal Duo Named In Tribute to Legendary Active Volcano!

Katla is an Icelandic band featuring ex-Sólstafir drummer and visual artist Guðmundur Óli Pálmason and singer/multi-instrumentalist Einar Thorberg Guðmundsson (Fortíð, Potentiam). Named in tribute to one of Iceland’s greatest active volcanos, Katla creates powerful, panoramic music where shimmering guitars, crushing melodies and atmospheric density meet dark, entrancing power. Katla’s debut album, Móðurástin, will be released on October 27 via Prophecy Productions (Alcest, Dool).

Móðurástin, shines a spotlight on Katla’s hook-heavy, horizon-stretching sound. The lyrics tell tales of living in a country of contrasts; a land where fire and ice co-exist and dark winters are offset by the summer’s midnight sun. Iceland: a country where insular existence has spurred a rich and vibrant culture. Móðurástin, Icelandic for (a) Mother’s Love, might seem like a strange title for a metal album, but Katla dares to be different. What on Earth is stronger than a mother’s love? Nothing. Not hate, not lust, not greed.

Katla has shaped a towering sound sharpened by experience and forged for fans of heavy, atmospheric music. It is time for Katla to erupt again!

Track listing:
1.) Aska
2.) Hyldýpi
3.) Nátthagi
4.) Hvila
5.) Hreggur
6.) Kul
7.) Móðurástin
8.) Dulsmál

Móðurástin will be available as digipak CD (with 24-page booklet), gatefold LP (on black and limited dark green vinyl) and as a collector’s 2xCD art book edition (28×28 cm, 72 pages, with art photography of Guðmundur Óli Pálmason and a full-length bonus CD featuring remixes of all album tracks). Pre-order Móðurástin at this location.

https://www.facebook.com/katla.band/
https://katlaiceland.bandcamp.com/
http://katlaband.bigcartel.com/
http://us.prophecy.de/artists/katla/
https://www.facebook.com/prophecyproductions/
https://twitter.com/ProphecyProd
https://www.instagram.com/prophecypro/

Katla, “Hyldýpi”

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Árstíðir Sign to Season of Mist; New Album Coming Soon

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Icelandic chamber folk ensemble Árstíðir have signed a deal to release their fourth album through Season of Mist next year. The Reykjavík-based crafters of melody haven’t set an exact date yet so far as I’ve seen, but if that means it’s going to be a winter release, one could hardly think of more appropriate fare for those darker, still and reflective moments of that time of year than the rich folk harmonies they offer.

Even if it winds up being a Spring 2018 outing — leaving you even more barren, eternal hopelessness of February — Season of Mist has done well in the past setting fellow Icelanders Sólstafir up for colder-month releases, and as a kind of companion outfit, Árstíðir are even more of a fit with the label’s ongoing expansion in roster and style. Not that they need me to say so, but this is a cool pickup.

The PR wire has details and heralds good things to come:

arstidir

ÁRSTÍÐIR sign to Season of Mist

Season of Mist are proud to announce the signing of Iceland’s ÁRSTÍÐIR. The contemporary indie/chamber folk band will release their much anticipated new album through Season of Mist later next year. The band’s complete catalog is now available digitally in North America, on all platforms including Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp, and more.

Regarding the recent signing, the band comments: “We have admired bands associated with Season of Mist for years. In our minds, this label represents quality and artistic integrity. It has that aura which tells you that it is all about the music, that the bands are the real deal, and not just grist to the grinding mill of commercial music. And that is the kind of label, you want your music on. We feel a kinship with the good people and artists at Season of Mist, and we are proud be a part of this family.”

ÁRSTÍÐIR first emerged from the burgeoning Icelandic music scene in 2008, when the three founding members (Daniel Auðunsson: guitar, vocals; Gunnar Már Jakobsson: baritone guitar, vocals; and Ragnar Ólafsson: piano, vocals) discovered their mutual love for vocal harmonies. Daniel, Gunnar and Ragnar quickly went from playing acoustic covers to their own music, amalgamating influences from classical compositions, folk rock, and minimalist soundscapes into something they could call their own.

With early lyrical references pointing towards the spectacular nature and scenery of the Icelandic volcanic landscape, and the wildly different seasons there, the band took the name ÁRSTÍÐIR, which translates to “Seasons” in their native tongue.

Only four months after their formation, ÁRSTÍÐIR scored a number one hit on Icelandic national radio with the track “Sunday Morning”. The band then released their eponymous debut ‘Árstíðir’ in 2009, and began touring internationally.

ÁRSTÍÐIR’s second album, ‘Svefns Og Vöku Skil’ followed in 2011, and only a year later, the band won Geramny’s prestigious Eiserner Eversteiner European Folk Music Award. Shortly thereafter, an impromptu acapella performance of an old Icelandic hymn in a train station, went viral on YouTube, attracting millions of views.

ÁRSTÍÐIR launched a highly successful crowdfunding campaign in 2014 to finance the recording of their third full-length ‘Hvel’, which translates to “Spheres”. The campaign exceeded all expectations, raising almost four times their original goal, and uncovering a legion of North American fans that the band was unaware they had.

A 2016 collaboration with Anneke Van Giersbergen (formerly of THE GATHERING) followed. The album, ‘Verloren Verleden’ contains a collection of re-imagined traditional and classical songs.

https://www.facebook.com/arstidir/
https://twitter.com/Arstidir
http://instagram.com/arstidir
http://www.arstidir.com/
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial/
https://twitter.com/SeasonofMist
https://www.instagram.com/seasonofmistofficial/
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

, “Scarborough Fair” live Dec. 23, 2016

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Boris, Sólstafir, Desert Suns & Chiefs, Elara, Fungus Hill

Posted in Radio on July 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk radio cavum

Some bigger releases going up to the playlist for The Obelisk Radio this time around, and that’s just fine by me. It’s five albums listed here, but there are a few others included as well that you can see listed on the updates page and it’s good stuff all the way around. It was all actually supposed to go up last week, but you know, life is chaos and all that. I hope as always that you manage to find something you enjoy, and if you haven’t heard some of this stuff as yet — I suspect you have, because you know what’s up and I’m perpetually behind on these things; more than just a week, on average — then all the better. Let’s dig in together.

The Obelisk Radio adds for July 31, 2017:

Boris, Dear

boris dear

If you were Boris and you were looking to celebrate a quarter-century of innovating heavy rock, noise, drone, J-pop, and genreless forays into bizarre sonic delights, how would you do it? If you said, “I’d release 69 heavy-as-hell minutes of rumbling tectonics and progressive scope making for one of the best albums of the year,” you’d seem to be on the money. The Japanese trio’s umpteenth full-length, Dear (on Sargent House in the US/EU and Daymare in Japan), begins with the appropriately-titled “D.O.W.N. – Domination of Waiting Noise,” setting forth a consuming six-minute onslaught of feedback and lumbering pummel before the SunnO)))-rivaling drone of “Deadsong” takes hold, shifting at its midpoint to a spaciousness all Boris‘ own. Then they chug out galloping riff triplets on “Absolutego” like it ain’t no thing. That’s Boris: the band who named themselves after a Melvins song and then utterly outdid their namesake on every creative level and have continued to do so throughout one of underground music’s most landmark tenures. Dear offers simultaneous melodic breadth and droning depth on its centerpiece duo of “Kagero” and “Biotope” after counteracting minimalist march with explosive crash on “Beyond,” but they’re still just getting started. The seven-minute “The Power” leads off the second of the two LPs and seems to stem upward from the same roots as YOB at their harshest, brutally feedbacking into the dronegaze of the shorter “Memento Mori” before the 12-minute “Dystopia – Vanishing Point” and the nine-minute title-track comprise a side D that’s nothing less than a triumphant lesson in how to meet your audience head-on right before you swallow them whole, setting its stage with keys and tribalist drums quickly before hypnotizing through five minutes of quiet stretch and bursting gloriously to life ahead of one last contrast of empty spaces and crushing tonality on “Dear” that gives way at last to the noise and feedback that’s always been so essential to their process. If Dear is a letter to Boris‘ fans, as they have said, it is also a willful embrace of the wide-open sensibilities that have made the last 25 years of their craft so uniquely their own. They can go anywhere stylistically and remain Boris precisely because they refuse to settle on a single idea that defines them.

Boris on Thee Facebooks

Boris at Sargent House’s website

 

Sólstafir, Berdreyminn

solstafir berdreyminn

Having now passed the 20-year mark since their founding in 1995, Iceland’s Sólstafir continue to reshape melancholy in their own image on their sixth album and third for Season of Mist, Berdreyminn. The Reykjavik-based four-piece keep the significant achievements of 2014’s Ótta (review here) close to the chest throughout the eight-track/57-minute offering, but songs like “Ísafold” have an upbeat push behind their emotional resonance, and even on a brooding piano piece like “Hvít Sæng,” the overarching sense of motion and the dynamic is maintained. The penultimate “Ambátt” — first of two eight-minute cuts in a finale duo — might be Berdreyminn‘s richest progressive achievement, with its lush opening vocal harmonies giving way to a patiently-delivered clinic on texture, build and payoff that borders on the orchestral. Of course, strings and horns to appear on the album, adding to already complex arrangements, but Sólstafir never lose their corresponding human center, and as “Bláfjall” closes with an intensity of thrust hinted at by the cymbal-crash wash of opener “Silfur-Refur” and the post-blackened push of “Nárós” but ultimately on its own level, they underline the realization and poise that is simply all their own. Berdreyminn is the sound of a band doing important work, and with it, Sólstafir only prove themselves more crucial on an aesthetic level, yet it might be their ability to somehow still feel in-progress that most defines what makes them so special. More than two decades on, they still come across like a group exploring their sound and finding new ways to develop their songwriting — which they are and which they do here. That in itself is an accomplishment worthy of every accolade they reap, and Berdreyminn lives up to that standard front to back across its engaging, encompassing span.

Sólstafir on Thee Facebooks

Sólstafir at Season of Mist’s website

 

Desert Suns & Chiefs, The Second Coming of Heavy – Chapter 5

second-coming-of-heavy-chapter-5-desert-suns-chiefs

Ripple Music has made its The Second Coming of Heavy series of split LPs an essential showcase of the variety in underground rock. The Second Coming of Heavy – Chapter 5 brings together San Diego heavy psych/blues rockers Desert Suns, who also reissued their debut long-player through Ripple in 2016 and followed it with the single “The Haunting” (review here) in conjunction with Ripple and HeviSike Records, and Phoenix, Arizona’s Chiefs, whose 2015 debut, Tomorrow’s Over (review here), arrived on vinyl via Battleground Records and whose five tracks included on side B here cast them among the best Ripple Music bands in the Southwest not currently signed to Ripple Music for their next album. More than some prior installments, The Second Coming of Heavy – Chapter 5 finds its two featured purveyors complementing each other’s work excellently, as Desert Suns offer three seven-plus minute tracks running from the harmonica-inclusive “Night Train” and the rolling, long-fading “Solitude” with the push of “Heavy” in between and Chiefs — though their individual runtimes are shorter — holding straightforward heavy/desert rock methods at their core in unpretentious fashion across “The Rhino,” the standout “Baron to Chancellor,” “Low Tide,” “Caroline” and “My Last Stand,” nodding initially at ’90s noise rock à la Helmet in “The Rhino” but in the end keeping to their sandy, well-structured mission. As ever, The Second Coming of Heavy asks nothing more of its audience than a basic exploration of the groups included, and certainly both Desert Suns and Chiefs earn that. Whether one takes it on in the context of the prior chapters or as a standalone split release, it delivers a collection of cuts from two outfits with a shared core of quality songcraft and the underlying message that sometimes the straight-line route is the way to go. Right on, once again.

Desert Suns on Thee Facebooks

Chiefs on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Elara, Deli Bal

elara deli bal

Both sides of Elara‘s PsyKa Records-released debut full-length, Deli Bal, are comprised of one shorter track on either side of eight minutes and one longer one, 12 and 17 minutes, respectively. Between that and the cover art, it should come as no surprise that heavy psychedelic drift is central to what the Stuttgart, Germany, trio of bassist/vocalist Daniel Wieland, guitarist/noisemaker Felix Schmidt and drummer Martin Wieland — who also stylize their name as the bracketed [Elara Sunstreak Band] — get up to in their first offering, but there’s an underlying progressive melodic sensibility as well, and Schmidt‘s guitar seems to have picked up a few lessons from My Sleeping Karma‘s minor-key solo mysticism, so one can hear a sound beginning to take shape early as the leadoff title-track gives way to “Amida,” which swaps back and forth between organ-laden krautrock meandering and fuller-fuzz thrust, and as “Quarantania” reinforces that classic vibe with a warm bass tone from Daniel. Whether you’re listening to the platter itself and switching sides or digitally or on CD, Deli Bal is clearly intended to be consumed as a whole work, and one can hear the vocal melody of “Harmonia” tying back to that in the opener as another example of the underlying structure with which it plays out, despite the broad feel of the songs themselves and the expanses they both intend and actually do cover. The LP has just the four tracks, but the digital version comes with the 9:42 bonus cut “Trimenon,” which builds around a core post-rocking guitar line to come to a fervent apex before receding again to let the listener go gently from Deli Bal‘s total 56-minute runtime; no minor undertaking, but effectively executed and a pleasure in its wandering mind and spirit.

Elara on Thee Facebooks

PsyKA Records on Bandcamp

 

Fungus Hill, Creatures

fungus hill creatures

This early-2017 psychedelic curio from Umeå, Sweden’s Fungus Hill begins by asking “Are You Dead?” The just-under-nine-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) of the groovy outfit’s four-song, self-released, 28-minute debut Creatures EP doesn’t sound overly concerned with whether the answer is yes or no so much as enacting a serene flow by posing the question over a laid back bluesy vibe. Arrangement? Fluid. With dual vocals from guitarist Gustav Orvefors and percussionist Jenny Isaksson — the five-piece is completed by guitarist Erik Sköld, drummer Nils Mörtzell and bassist Tom Westerlund — Fungus Hill are able to bring variety as they turn to post-Ghost straightforward ’70s chorus-leaning in the first half of “Beware of Evil in the Sky,” prior to a midsection trip outward on subdued shimmy and deceptively complex melodicism. The flute (or keyboard flute sounds) of the jazzy “Evolution” brings Isaksson to the floor with a smoky, even-bluesier feel, and the guitar answers back with fuzzy lead flourish that only enhances the soul on display, while a seven-and-a-half-minute closing title-track delves deepest of all into thicker riffing, a “Na na na na” hook taking hold quickly just in case you weren’t sure it was going to be a highlight. It is. More tonally dense than most retro boogie — and less retro, for that matter — Fungus Hill‘s Creatures nonetheless has its traditionalist elements, but across its individual pieces each one points to a different side of the band’s personality, and from the Alan Watts sample at the beginning of “Are You Dead?” to when we meet the troll later in “Creatures,” each side of that personality utterly shines.

Fungus Hill on Thee Facebooks

Fungus Hill on Bandcamp

 

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Sólstafir to Release Berdreyminn May 26

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

solstafir

I only have one hesitation — and let me stress, only one — when it comes to the notion of a new album from Icelandic progressive melancholia specialists Sólstafir. Simply put, it’s that I’m not sure I’m done with 2014’s Ótta (review here). That fifth outing was my first exposure to the four-piece’s emotionally resonant moodiness — universal enough to overcome a rather significant language barrier — and the prospect of a sixth full-length makes me a little nervous. Still, time marches forward, and Berdreyminn is due out May 26. Hopefully that’s enough time for me to begin to wrap my head around the concept of its existence.

Among my most vivid memories of live performances over the last couple years as well was being able to catch Sólstafir at Roadburn in 2015 (review here). They performed as part of the day curated by Enslaved guitarist Ivar Bjørnson and Wardruna multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik, and stunned in both presence and execution. They’d go on to tour the US and Europe multiple times over, and I expect Berdreyminn will bring them back again. That set played significantly in growing my affection for Ótta, so hopefully at some point we’ll cross paths as they support the new one.

Really, I’m nervous about it.

The PR wire brings album preliminaries and gorgeous cover art from Adam Burke:

solstafir berdreyminn

Sólstafir announce new album, reveal cover art and track list

Acclaimed Icelandic rock band SÓLSTAFIR have revealed new details their highly anticipated forthcoming sixth album. The new album is titled ‘Berdreyminn’, (which translates to a “dreamer of forthcoming events”) and will be released worldwide on May 26th. The new full-length was produced by Birgir Birgirsson (SIGUR RÓS, ALCEST) and Jaime Gomez-Arellano (GHOST, PARADISE LOST, ULVER).

The album cover, painted by Adam Burke (UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS, DANAVA) and track list for ‘Berdreyminn’ can be found below.

Track list:
1. Silfur-Refur
2. Ísafold
3. Hula
4. Nárós
5. Hvít Sæng
6. Dýrafjörður
7. Ambátt
8. Bláfjall

https://www.facebook.com/solstafirice
http://twitter.com/solstafir
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial/
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Sólstafir, “Dagmál” official video

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Sólstafir Recording New Album; “Dagmál” Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 1st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

With their new video, Reykjavic’s Sólstafir end what’s been a pivotal chapter of the band. The Icelandic melancholy specialists gleaned a substantial following behind 2014’s Ótta (review here), and rightly so, touring in North America for the first time as well as of course Europe, Japan, and so on behind material as emotionally vibrant as it was sonically and atmospherically heavy. They’re currently in the process of making the follow-up to Ótta — as of Nov. 29, guitars are done — but their new clip for “Dagmál” is as fitting a goodbye to the prior album as I can think of, capturing the band on stage throughout the year and a half they basically spent on the road.

Like Ótta, Sólstafir‘s next album will be released by Season of Mist, as the PR wire confirms:

solstafir-700

SÓLSTAFIR release new video, re-sign with Season of Mist, and record new album

Acclaimed Icelandic rock band SÓLSTAFIR have released a new video for the track “Dagmál”. The video, shot during the band’s extensive touring across Europe is streaming now, here. “Dagmál” appears on the band’s most recent full-length album, ‘Ótta’.

Regarding the video, the band comments: “‘Ótta’ is coming to a close with a third and final video for the song, ‘Dagmál’. The footage for this clip was shot over the course of 18 months of heavy touring. It also features our newest band member Hallgrímur ‘Grimsi’ Hallgrímsson, who started filling in for us behind the drum kit in April 2015.”

The quartet have also signed a new deal with Season of Mist, and begun work on their forthcoming new album.

Regarding the signing, the band comments: “With our previous contract coming to an end, we have had plenty of great offers on the table for which we are grateful. Yet, why should we end a good thing? The entire team works brilliantly together and everyone involved decided that continuing is the logical step moving forward.”

SÓLSTAFIR are now three weeks into the recording their new album. The new full-length will be produced by Birgir Birgirsson (SIGUR RÓS, ALCEST). Jaime Gomez-Arellano (GHOST, PARADISE LOST, ULVER) is also assisting on the new record.

Vocalist and guitarist Adalbjörn “Addi” Tryggvason comments: “We are back here at Sundlaugin for the third time to record our seventh album. We feel right at home and after being locked up in songwriting mode for two months, it is a one of a kind feeling hearing the demos gaining life. We have fourteen songs recorded but at the moment it is too early to tell what will end up on the album. The new album will definitely sound like SÓLSTAFIR and as always, there will be surprises too.”

Gomez-Arellano also comments: “I feel humbled to have the opportunity of working with SÓLSTAFIR. As a fan of the band for many years, I have been trying to work with them before and now it is finally happening. So far it has been a great, creative and positive experience. Working alongside Birgir in his beautiful Studio Sundlaugin has been very productive and fun. I am very excited about the new material.”

The new album is yet to be titled and will be mixed at Arellano’s Orgone Studios in the UK.

https://www.facebook.com/solstafirice
http://twitter.com/solstafir
https://www.facebook.com/seasonofmistofficial/
http://www.season-of-mist.com/

Sólstafir, “Dagmál” official video

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ROADBURN 2016 Trip Pt. 9: Homegoings and Transitions

Posted in Features on April 18th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

iceland

04.18.16 – 13:05 – In air, en route to Reykjavik

Same thing as last year, minor tweak in the execution. I rolled over at 08:50 for an 08:00 alarm, immediate mental brutality. It was six when I went to sleep – same as the night before, and while the alarm was set, it just didn’t happen. I was showered, packed and out the door by 09:10 and that felt pretty good, considering. Like I said, same as last year.

At this point, it feels almost like a part of the Roadburn tradition that I have some snag getting to the airport. After hightailing it to the train station as fast as my sore feet could carry me, I bought my ticket and waited 20 minutes – the Zwolle had just left, the Utrech Centraal would take me to den Bosch, where I’d change to the airport – for it to show up. It did, and though I was stressing the whole time about missing the flight and sent The Patient Mrs. her annual “I’m not gonna make it this time” text message, I got to the airport, through check-in and security with about three minutes to spare before they closed the gate. Made it. A splash of water on the face and neck, a relatively smooth flight, and I’ll connect in Reykjavik before going on to Boston. Back to work tomorrow.

Which seems cruel in hindsight.

A few things to wrap up the Roadburn 2016 coverage. First, the names of these posts come from various song titles worth recognizing. Some were obvious picks, some less so. If you’re unfamiliar, they are:

1. “Hover,” by Spotlights
2. “Dawn” by Elephant Tree
3. No song title
4. “Eternal Waltz” by Beelzefuzz
5. “Cosmic Truth” by Hexvessel
6. “Living with the Dead” by With the Dead
7. “Times of Grace” by Neurosis
8. “Black Magick Boogieland” by Death Alley
9. “Homegoings and Transitions” by Floor

I was falling asleep all night last night at the laptop screen and though it’s the early afternoon, I find right now is no different. Still, before I land and have to find my gate and all that flying-deathtrap nonsense that is, to the shame of our entire species, still allegedly the best way of traveling around the planet, I have a few thank yous to get out. Including but not at all limited to:

Walter Roadburn, whose ceaseless passion and efforts are an inspiration both this weekend and all around the year. The work he’s done and the community he’s built felt more than ever like coming home, even with the changes to the venue, and it was through Walter’s grace and the grace of the 013 staff that it was able to happen.

Thank you to my family for their unending support. If you follow me on Thee Facebooks at all, you probably saw my mother commenting on photos from Instagram. I love that.

Lee Edwards for sleeping (shaman-esque, you might say) through my nighttime typing and for the most excellent work he put into the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch, writing and layout. As well as for the friendship and good chats in the 013 office on those tired mornings for the folding ritual. Seeing Lee was one of the aspects of Roadburn 2016 to which I was most looking forward.

Thanks as well to the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch staff this year – Alex Mysteerie, Andreas Kohl, Ben Handelman, Becky Laverty, Dom Lawson, Guido Segers, Jamie Ludwig, José Carlos Santos, Kim Kelly, Paul Robertson, Sander van den Driesche, photographer Paul Verhagen, the guys from Drawn too Late, Wendy Wright, Gijs Garenfeld, and Cavum, without whose art, the thing simply would not have been the same. All of the above did tremendous work, whether it was writing or other, and the ‘zine wouldn’t have happened were it not for them.

I met Tad Doyle this weekend. That was awesome. Some people I wasn’t brave enough to introduce myself to: photographer Ester Segarra, anyone from Neurosis, Sanford Parker.

Thanks as well to Tim Bugbee, Jon Freeman, Jurgen van den Brand, Rolf from Stickman and Torgeir from Crispin Glover, Ole from Tombstones, Frank Huang, Esther de Rooij, Sanne Reiniers, Miranda, Falk-Hagen Bernshausen, Stefan Raduta, and many more I will add to the list over the next couple days.

To read all of The Obelisk’s Roadburn 2016 coverage, click here.

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The Vintage Caravan Post “Babylon” Video; On Tour Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 9th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the vintage caravan

Icelandic trio The Vintage Caravan kicked off their first European headlining tour this past weekend, and to mark the occasion, they’ve unveiled the second, even-weirder video to come from their sophomore album, Arrival (review here). “Babylon” was the first audio to come from Arrival early last year in a lyric video (posted here) and its hook is resonant enough that if you checked out that track even once, it’ll probably come back to you here. Plus, it’s significantly longer than was “Crazy Horses,” which was the first video from the record, so the three-piece have more time to really get strange as they go on.

And they do. What starts with an awkward YouTube-style interview that takes Polish ‘zines down a peg quickly takes a turn as the band gets chased by volcano zombies and captured by merpeople, gives birth to an all-white demon, winds up at some weird tea party and then, finally, gets on stage to finish the song. The last video was weird. This one’s weirder. Call it artistic progression.

The Vintage Caravan stay on the road throughout much of March in Europe, and since they rounded out 2015 on tour, I wouldn’t be surprised if they had plans upcoming either for summer or fall as well. And hey, as cinematic as the clips for “Crazy Horses” and “Babylon” have been, it’s always possible the band will make it a trilogy of videos from Arrival before moving forward with their next album. We’ll see if they manage to survive next time.

Enjoy:

The Vintage Caravan, “Babylon” official video

THE VINTAGE CARAVAN RELEASE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR “BABYLON”!

Icelandic classic rock trio THE VINTAGE CARAVAN have released the music video for the song “Babylon” off their successful latest album, Arrival.

The band commented about the song,”From the beginning we always wanted to do a video to “Babylon”. It’s definitely one of the heavier, more primal songs off the last album Arrival.”

 

The Vintage Caravan on Tour:
04.02.2016 Kolding (Denmark) – Godset
05.02.2016 Aalborg (Denmark) – 1000Fryd
06.02.2016 Copenhagen (Denmark) – BETA
07.02.2016 Kiel (Germany) – Die Pumpe
09.02.2016 Leeuwarden (The Netherlands) – Neushoorn
10.02.2016 Den Bosch (The Netherlands) – W2
11.02.2016 Antwerp (Belgium) – Het Bos
12.02.2016 Sittard (The Netherlands) – Volt
13.02.2016 Dresden (Germany) – Chemiefabrik
14.02.2016 Lille (France) – La Péniche
15.02.2016 Paris (France) – La Mécanique Ondulatoire
17.02.2016 Nantes (France) – Scène Michelet
18.02.2016 Bordeaux (France) – Void
19.02.2016 Bilbao (Spain) – Santana 27
20.02.2016 Almada (Portugal) – Cine Incrivél
21.02.2016 Madrid (Spain) – Sala Caracol
22.02.2016 Barcelona (Spain) – La 2
25.02.2016 Aarau (Switzerland) – Kiff
26.02.2016 Milan (Italy) – Lo Fi Club
27.02.2016 Mödling (Austria) – Red Box
28.02.2016 Graz (Austria) – Explosiv
29.02.2016 Salzburg (Austria) – Rockhouse
02.03.2016 Innsbruck (Austria) – Weekender
03.03.2016 Budapest (Hungary) – Dürer Kert
04.03.2016 Prague (Czech Republic) – Nova Chmelnice
05.03.2016 Cracow (Poland) – Zascianek
06.03.2016 Warsaw (Poland) – Hydrozagadka
08.03.2016 Lichtenfels (Germany) – Paunchy Cats
09.03.2016 Erfurt (Germany) – Museumskeller
10.03.2016 Bonn (Germany) – WDR Crossroads (only The Vintage Caravan)
11.03.2016 Nürnberg (Germany) – Der Cult
12.03.2016 Munich (Germany) – Under The Black Moon (Backstage) (Only The Vintage Caravan)
13.03.2016 Münster (Germany) – Sputnik Cafe
18.03.2016 Düsseldorf (Germany – Pitcher (Only The Vintage Caravan)
19.03.2016 Düsseldorf (Germany – Pitcher (Only The Vintage Caravan) – SOLD OUT

The Vintage Caravan website

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Sólstafir Post Video for “Miðaftann”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 21st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

solstafir (Photo by Bowen Staines)

Must be getting on winter as thoughts return to Iceland’s Sólstafir and their 2014 Ótta (review here). I expect that will be the case for years to come and regardless of whatever the band does next, since some albums just stand in for a certain time, place, etc., and Ótta was such a winter record. Its black and white progressive feel finds new manifestation in a video for the subdued piano piece “Miðaftann,” and perhaps unsurprisingly, the desolate atmospherics of the clip suit the song perfectly.

I wouldn’t exactly call it subtle in terms of visual metaphor, a stranded sailor carrying a white flag across an empty volcanic landscape in hope of finding his salvation somewhere, presumably anywhere that might hold life, screaming and grinding his hands into the black dirt along the way, but as a set-piece, its nod to The Seventh Seal feels appropriate, and while the band don’t appear, the cinematic value of the work holds the viewer in place to find out where and how the narrative will end. Spoiler alert: the ending is in color.

To go with the new video, Sólstafir just announced a string of UK/European dates for May 2016 in which they’ll play Ótta in its entirety, with full string and piano arrangements. You can find the info for that tour, as well as some comment from the band on the song and the director on the video, as well of course as the video itself, all below.

Enjoy:

Sólstafir, “Miðaftann” official video

Enigmatic Icelandic rock band SOLSTAFIR have seen the release of a new video for the track “Miðaftann”. The video, directed by Harri Haataja and Vesa Ranta, is streaming now.

Regarding the video, SOLSTAFIR guitarist/frontman Aðalbjörn Tryggvason comments, “The track is about wandering in darkness. Playing chess with Death, getting burned by salt, drowning in the ultimate wave of sin and returning back home by using moonlight as navigation.”

Video directors Harri Haataja and Vesa Ranta comment, “They told us a real-life story about a sailor who lost his crew at sea and was stranded to shore as the only survivor,” the directors write. “He proceeded to find his way to town and [along the way] he found a barrel filled with water. But the water was frozen, so he had to punch through the ice with his bare hands to fight the dehydration. Eventually, after a long journey, he found his way to town and survived.”

May 2016: Ótta in its entirety – complete with strings and piano – followed by a selection of fan favourites from Solstafir’s history.

14 May 16 London (UK) Islington Assembly Hall
15 May 16 Paris (FR) Divan du Monde
16 May 16 Haarlem (NL) Patronaat
17 May 16 Hamburg (DE) Gruenspan
18 May 16 Leipzig (DE) Taubchental
19 May 16 Aarau (CH) KiFF
20 May 16 Wörgl (AT) Komma
21 May 16 Wien (AT) Arena
22 May 16 Praha (CZ) Palac Akropolis

Sólstafir on Thee Facebooks

Season of Mist

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