Roadburn 2020 Adds 40 Watt Sun, Patrick Walker, Inter Arma, Darsombra, Dommengang, Kungens Män & Many More

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 29th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

ROADBURN 2020 BANNER

This announcement went out yesterday from Roadburn 2020, and as we in the United States celebrated Thanksgiving — one of our least morally reprehensible holidays until one examines it in any sort of historical context whatsoever — I was extra grateful for the fact that I found out this week that the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch, the daily festival ‘zine for which I’ve served as editor for the last six years, will run again. It’s always a fingers-crossed scenario as to whether there will be the budget for such a thing — it’s not like I could begrudge them making the right choice if it was “who needs the money, David Eugene Edwards or WCD?” — but I am of course beyond thrilled to say that I will be at Roadburn Festival for the 11th year in a row in 2020. If you’re going, I’m the guy with the cosmic backpack dorking out during Patrick Walker‘s solo set.

Which, by the way is a thing that’s happening. That was added along with Inter Arma playing their latest LP, Sulphur English, in its masterful entirety, DommengangDarsombra, two sets from Alcest40 Watt Sun doing The Inside Room in full, and Kungens Män and a whole bunch of others. I’ll look forward to feeling completely overwhelmed by it all as I try to cover as much as possible — like always.

Thanks from the bottom of my heart to Roadburn for having me back. This festival has changed my life.

Here’s the update:

Today’s announcement for Roadburn Festival 2020 includes the only band where our two curators cross over: Alcest, who will play a special set titled ‘Visions du futur’, focussing on their last two albums. James Kent (AKA Perturbator) also added OKKULTOKRATI to his curation, whilst Emma Ruth Rundle added INTER ARMA (playing Sulphur English in full), 40 Watt Sun (playing The Inside Room in full) and a solo Patrick Walker set, Helms Alee and FACS.

Elsewhere we added Algiers, Richard Dawson, Dynfari (playing The Four Doors Of The Mind), BAD BREEDING, White Ward, Dommengang, Kungens Män, darsombra and TAU and The Drones Of Praise.

With 97% of weekend tickets now gone, and day tickets on sale on December 10 – we’re looking forward to seeing you all in Tilburg in April: roadburn.com/tickets

EUROPEAN FESTIVAL AWARD NOMINATION

Roadburn has been nominated in the best small festival category (less than 10,000 visitors) at the European Festival Awards 2019. Votes can be cast HERE. Votes and spreading the word are appreciated as it would be a huge honour for us to win such recognition.

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Roadburn 2020: David Eugene Edwards to Play Solo Acoustic Set; PH, Elizabeth Colour Wheel, The Flenser Showase & Much More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2020 new banner

David Eugene Edwards. Solo. Acoustic. Every year I’ve been fortunate enough to go, there’s been one keeps-you-alive-until-April Roadburn set, from Saint Vitus with Wino in 2009 and Garcia Plays Kyuss in 2010 to Sleep playing Sleep’s Holy Mountain this year. There’s always one. At least. In 2020, for me, that’s David Eugene Edwards of Wovenhand and 16 Horsepower playing by himself on stage. Whatever else gets added, whoever else is playing, hell, even if Wovenhand end up playing, this is the one that got me. Well done, Roadburn 2020.

Also featured in this massive lineup addition are PH (whose announcement I wrote), Elizabeth Colour Wheel, familiar faces Primitive Man and a host of other, of course widely varied, incarnations of badassery. I’m not trying to take away from anyone else or anything like that, or anything that might still come by saying the above, you understand. Roadburn 2020’s already primed to push well beyond the common bounds of heavy. It was before this announcement, frankly. But from here on in, my schedule already has its circle, and whether we do the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch or not (every year I kind of wait for the shoe to drop on that like it’s something we’ve been getting away with for the last six editions), I’m there, and I don’t care who he’s up against or who’s on next on what stage. If I have to sleep in the gutter of Weirdo Canyon in order to be there, I’m not missing a minute of David Eugene Edwards‘ set. Period.

From the fest:

roadburn 2020 david eugene edwards

Roadburn 2020: new announcements, more curator picks, and a showcase!

– Less than 10% of 4 day tickets remain
– David Eugene Edwards joins Emma Ruth Rundle’s curated event
– James Kent picks a special collaboration for his curation
– The Flenser will present a label showcase

Less than 10% of 4-day tickets remain for Roadburn 2020, and single-day tickets will go on sale on December 10.

Artistic Director, Walter Hoeijmakers comments: “As we edge closer towards selling out Roadburn 2020, I am excited that we still have so much more to announce. This year we are putting an emphasis on the context and creativity of the artists we’re announcing and knowing that we have still more up our sleeves means I am delighted to see where Roadburn 2020 is heading.”

EMMA RUTH RUNDLE’S THE GILDED CAGE:

DAVID EUGENE EDWARDS
At Roadburn, David Eugene Edwards has graced us with his presence on two occasions as part of Wovenhand. Each performance pulsated with energy and elevated the sets to be highlights of each respective edition of the festival – in no small part due to David’s electrifying presence. We’re delighted to bring him back to Roadburn, this time as part of Emma Ruth Rundle’s curation, The Gilded Cage. David will perform an acoustic, solo set that promises to showcase the diversity of his delivery and the nuances of his craft. Emma comments:

“It’s been a secret wish to see DEE playing solo and delivering his songs in their most bare forms. This was the very first thing that came to mind when I was asked to co-curate Roadburn and it’s going to be a rare and precious jewel of a performance.”

JAMES KENT’S CURATION:
REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER
A product of the burgeoning French underground scene that has produced so much incredible music in the past few years, over the course of two records so far, Regarde Les Hommes Tomber have used scraps from the most sinister subgenres, from black metal to sludge to build up truly frightening epics. Always apocalyptic in feeling, emotional and ruthless in equal measures, drenched in religious imagery and references, and creating a sonic depiction of the fall of mankind… and its subsequent rising to replace the cruelty of the established gods. Not only will we be expecting all of this maelstrom of fiery feelings, but also a healthy measure of the unexpected as well, since Regarde Les Hommes Tomber will be playing their new not-quite-announced-yet album in its entirety.

HANGMAN’S CHAIR X REGARDE LES HOMMES TOMBER
Regarde Les Hommes Tomber will join forces with Hangman’s Chair for a collaboration at Roadburn 2020. Hellish, sludgy black metal will clash horns-first with cold, despondent doom, and the result will surely transcend even the most delirious of descriptions that we can come up with at this point. Originally commissioned by Red Bull, this unholy collaboration has occurred just once previously, in Paris. That performance lasted 45 minutes, but for Roadburn an additional 15 minutes of material will be debuted just for us.

PLEBEIAN GRANDSTAND
Plebeian Grandstand are a band that have morphed from a core of quite technical, hardcore charged metal to be the hulking beast of black metal fury we see before us today. The creative journey they have been on has led to an infusion of influences from outside the black metal sphere, resulting in nuance and depth that can sometimes be hard to find within the genre. On top of that, they eschew the cartoonish elements of extreme black metal – you’ll find no burning churches here – in favour of something rooted more firmly in reality. After all, what’s more nightmarish than the real world?

TRUE BODY
With a calculated sense of tension and just enough human touch to cut through their own cold post-punk atmospheres, Virginia’s True Body has built a following with their urgent and impassioned music. Instead of falling into melodramatic excess or disconnected affectations, the band manages to bring the best of each realm for something that leaves audiences rapt and thrilled. With this masterful take on such a beloved sound, we’re honored to announce that True Body will be performing at Roadburn 2020 as part of James Kent’s curation.

THE FLENSER SHOWCASE
In 2020, The Flenser will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the label’s first release. The San Francisco based label has been committed to releasing experimental, avant-garde music for a whole decade – which – naturally – has not escaped our notice here at Roadburn HQ. To celebrate this milestone and to acknowledge the impact that The Flenser has had on our record collections and the broader musical landscape we have invited several of the label’s current artists to perform at Roadburn 2020.

The Flenser label manager, Jonathan Tuite comments: “Roadburn is my absolute favorite festival in the world. The lineup is always diverse, the audience enthusiastic, and the curation is second to none. I can’t think of a more appropriate place for The Flenser to celebrate our ten years of existence.”

GILES COREY
For over ten years Dan Barrett has been cementing his role as a visionary in dark music history.Perhaps none of this work has resonated with more intimacy than Giles Corey, his acoustic guitar led, ghost noise-soaked songwriting vessel. While on paper an acoustic led-project sounds like a potentially low-key affair, Giles Corey is bursting with electric energy–recordings are awash in swirling organs, reverberating choirs, striking horns, and blown out drums. While Giles Corey has performed as a solo-act, Roadburn 2020 will mark the project’s first appearance as a full-band. Members of Have a Nice Life, including central figure Tim Macuga, will help bring the album’s haunted sounds to life: expect the stage and audience to be left in a scorched earth state of desolation.

ELIZABETH COLOUR WHEEL
“Otherworldly” is a description often applied to artists that evoke the ethereal, and whilst that is occasionally applicable to Elizabeth Colour Wheel, the otherworldliness they invoke is more to do with the fact that it’s not always clear if they really inhabit the same world as we do. Their debut album, Nocebo, laughs in the face of genre descriptors, forging a new path that may be tricky to describe but that offers a wildly enticing prospect.

DROWSE
Drowse is an outlet for Kyle Bates to explore his place in the world; his music echoes what he experiences on the varied paths of this internal-reflection. Sometimes those paths lead to extraordinary places – this year’s Light Mirror LP was inspired by an isolated trip to northern Iceland where he took up an artistic residency in 2018. The melancholic results are the sonic equivalent of a sliver of sunlight permeating an otherwise bleak and drizzly morning. The weight of Bates’ reflections is mighty, but it never quite succeeds in suffocating the shards of harmonious hope that glint in the winter sun.

MAMALEEK
Mamaleek have been unearthing truly uncategorizable sounds from the catacombs of black metal since 2008. Founded by two anonymous brothers, the Bay Area project has become known for both its wild experimentation and aesthetic cohesion. The use of left-field samples threads their discography together, with sound sources growing more bizarre with each release. The current lineup mixes childhood friends and total strangers. Their participation is an outgrowth of the core duo, an experiment in a live setting, using instruments and sounds that highlight experimentation and flout genre conventions. Who knows how long this iteration will last before the next metamorphosis.

MIDWIFE
As a multi-instrumentalist, Madeline Johnson AKA Midwife has sculpted a fuzzy take on experimental dream pop, drenched in melody and punctuated with distortion. Despite a central theme of “devastation” Midwife makes for nuanced and evocative easy listening that can’t help but feel like something of an audio honey trap. We’ll have to wait until April to find out exactly what lurks beneath the surface…

ALSO ANNOUNCED…

PRIMITIVE MAN
It is with great anticipation that we’re delighted to announce that Primitive Man will be playing twice at Roadburn. One set will be a business-as-usual, throat-ripping, bone crushing display of what makes them a must-watch band. And one set will be a run through of their 2017 album, Caustic. This is the kind of endurance test we relish – an audio pummelling so intense that there’s no way to come out the other side without a shift in our worldview.

LANKUM
When The Livelong Day – the latest offering from Dublin four piece, Lankum – passed over our desks, our ears pricked up and we knew we had to invite them to Roadburn next year. It’s not uncommon to find us feeling effusive about noise, drone and ambient projects in the Roadburn world, but it’s a much rarer prospect to find such tonal qualities on what is undoubtedly, most definitely a folk album. Uilleann pipes and harmonium come together to create a cinematic soundscape that many Roadburners will feel right at home with. The album makes for an appropriate gateway for those attending Roadburn, regardless of which side you’re approaching from – a folk fan heading towards darker territories, or a heavy music fan lured by the promise of a genre steeped in history and countless traditional flourishes.

HILARY WOODS
Hilary Woods wrote her debut full length, Colt, alone – before before taking her recordings to Berlin to work with James Kelly (Wife, Altar of Plagues). The solitude is palpable, and listening to what she has made feels like a cautious invitation into a quiet place that she has created. Imagine a soft cocoon of sound, enveloping you as you step through into the netherworld of her making.

FÖLLAKZOID AND ATOM TM
Spearheading Chile’s vibrant psych scene, Föllakzoid will transport Roadburn 2020 on an all-encompassing voyage. Joined once again by German electronic artist and producer, Atom TM, the band will make their Roadburn debut, aiming to, “modulate the gravitational waves in order to alter the temporality perception and get sucked into the timeless space continuum,” as guitarist/singer Domingæ Garcia-Huidobro aptly puts it.

TORPOR
Rhetoric Of The Image showcases Torpor’s confidence; lengthy post-metal tracks smoulder whilst shorter, more experimental cuts punctuate the album. The three piece will expand a little for Roadburn in order to do justice to the full fifty one minutes that make up Rhetoric Of The Image as they perform it in full for us at Roadburn.

SUM OF R
The current incarnation of Sum of R already sees Reto teamed up with Jukka Rämänen (Dark Buddha Rising, Hexvessel, Waste Of Space Orchestra), which has allowed them to forge even more adventurous paths from their dark ambient/drone of yore, but now yet another figure from that particular Finnish scene will be adding his own very particular twist to the proceedings and giving them a new voice, quite literally, as it is none other than vocalist Marko Neuman (Dark Buddha Rising, Waste Of Space Orchestra, Convocation, Ural Umbo).

PH
Earlier this year, PH released Osiris Hayden, their second offering through Svart Records and fifth overall in their prolific decade together. Their latest work finds them embracing new reaches of the cosmic infinite, taking on electronic charge as they never have before and exploring the connection between organic and inorganic audio experiences.

MANY BLESSINGS
Those of you familiar with Ethan McCarthy will know him as the formidable frontman for Primitive Man. Under the banner of Many Blessings, Ethan performs a much less frenzied kind of music – and yet somehow it manages to be no less disturbing and spine-chilling. Many Blessings has seeped into our consciousness – a slow, creeping threat of sonic menace. Whilst the ferocity we are are perhaps more accustomed to is not present, the wordless missives are brooding and visceral.

EYE FLYS
After listening to their blistering debut album Context, and considering the fact that guitarist Spencer Hazard was already roped in for Roadburn 2020 as a member of one of our artists in residence, the wonderful Full Of Hell, how could we ever pass on Eye Flys? The Backslider rhythm section of Jake Smith – here on guitar and vocals – and Patrick Forrest plus Triac’s Kevin Bernsten complete the line-up.

ROADBURN 2020 TICKETS

Weekend tickets for Roadburn are on sale now (3-day tickets are sold out, 4-day tickets remain on sale). Single day tickets will be on sale on December 10. More information about tickets and accommodation options can be found HERE.

Already announced for Roadburn 2020 is: Emma Ruth Rundle and James Kent as curators, commissioned projects from James Kent & Johannes Persson, Jo Quail, and Vile Creature & Bismuth, the return of Julie Christmas, Red Sparowes, Russian Circles, Torche, Brutus, Bada, Dool, Health, Hide, She Past Away, and two Artists In Residence: Full of Hell and Lingua Ignota. Check the full line up HERE.

EUROPEAN FESTIVAL AWARD NOMINATION

Roadburn has been nominated in the best small festival category (less than 10,000 visitors) at the European Festival Awards 2019. Votes can be cast HERE. Votes and spreading the word are appreciated as it would be a huge honour for us to win such recognition.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1081424195382564/
https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival/
http://www.instagram.com/roadburnfest
http://www.roadburn.com

David Eugene Edwards, “Straw Foot”

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Roadburn 2020: Oranssi Pazuzu to Present New Album; Crypt Sermon, Blanck Mass, Hangman’s Chair & More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2020 new banner

So three-quarters of the tickets for Roadburn 2020 are gone. I have to wonder what the corresponding percentage of the lineup has been unveiled. Maybe a third? Maybe? I doubt half. There are still smaller rooms to fill out and other this and that-type happenings. It’s amazing the culture around this festival though. Just look at these adds. Lana Del Rabies and Crypt Sermon. How does that even happen? And somehow, Roadburn pulls it off, year after year after year. It’s because people want to add to that culture, to be a part of it. It’s like nothing else. Like this joint art project that everybody there becomes a piece of. And if that description sounds totally unbelievable, then good. It is unbelievable. And yet, here we are. Year after year after year, on Planet Roadburn, Tilburg, The Netherlands.

I don’t know what else to say except that, as always, I hope we do the ‘zine again. Seems like there’ll be a lot to talk about this time around.

From the PR wire:

roadburn 2020 oranssi pazuzu

Roadburn 2020: Further announcements; over three quarters of tickets sold

– Over 3/4 of weekend tickets are already sold
– Oranssi Pazuzu will present their new album as part of James Kent’s curation
– Further additions to both James Kent and Emma Ruth Rundle’s curated events.

With over three quarters of weekend tickets already sold (three-day tickets are completely sold out), and many more bands still to announce, Roadburn’s Walter Hoeijmakers comments:

“I am absolutely overwhelmed by the faith that people have put in us to deliver an exciting line up. We will honour that faith and Roadburn 2020 will be one for the history books. Sincere thanks to everybody who has picked up a ticket so far, it’s an incredible feeling..”

JAMES KENT’S CURATION:

ORANSSI PAZUZU
There are so many pieces of the puzzle that will fall into place between now and next April, and we’re sworn to secrecy on just about all of it. But what we can tell you is that Oranssi Pazuzu will be performing their as-yet unnamed new album in full at Roadburn 2020, as a part of James Kent’s curated event. It seems incomprehensible that Oranssi Pazuzu may have evaded your attention at this point. But we’re sure there’s a few of you out there – the uninitiated. Begin preparations immediately, as come April 2020, there will be dark forces at work here in Tilburg. A magical, mind-melting mangle of psychedelic avant-garde spirits will cast a spell over us all.

BLANCK MASS
Among the list of achievements that Blanck Mass can be proud of is soundtracking the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony in London – and come April 2020, Benjamin John Power will also be able to say he played Roadburn! Whilst we might not have an audience of 900 million watching what goes down in Tilburg that day, we can be sure to give Blanck Mass a customary Roadburn welcome. Soundtracking the emotions that accompany personal and societal loss, intimate and global grief – his latest album, Animated Violence Mild, is direct, honest and absolutely drenched in melody.

HANGMAN’S CHAIR
Making a return to Roadburn – this time under the curatorship of James Kent – is France’s Hangman’s Chair. The cathartic doom/post-punk combination will be familiar to Roadburners who witnessed them back in 2016, but the intervening years have only seen the four-piece pick up the pace. Their 2018 album Banlieue Triste (which featured James in his Perturbator guise, and Wolvennest’s Marc de Backer) will be played in full during their Roadburn performance. Sink into the melancholic explorations of some of the darkest places they have been.

EMMA RUTH RUNDLE’S THE GILDED CAGE:

MIZMOR
Mizmor’s latest album, Cairn, is a mesmerising piece of work. Back in 2016, we were bowled over by Yodh – Mizmor’s previous offering – and we invited multi-instrumentalist, A.L.N, to bring his project to the Roadburn stage in 2018. The set proved to be a defining element of Roadburn that year for all who witnessed it. Cairn is a continuation of Yodh – yet somehow more personal, more intense and more captivating. It’s not necessarily an easy journey, but it’s one we went on willingly. So, it is with enormous pleasure that we announce Mizmor’s return – performing Cairn in full at Roadburn 2020.

CLOUD RAT
We already announced that Cloud Rat would be playing Roadburn 2020, but we’re delighted to announce that they have agreed to a second show. There are dozens of reasons why their latest offering, Pollinator, stands head and shoulders above many other 2019 releases, and just one of them is the accompanying EP that was released at the same time. Performing tracks from this EP, as well as a couple of cuts from elsewhere in their catalogue, Cloud Rat will be showing off a different side to themselves. In order to do justice to the songs in a live setting, the band are enlisting the help of a familiar face and dear friend of Roadburn – Thou’s Andy Gibbs.

SRSQ
The haunting, sorrow-tinged melody that envelopes SRSQ’s debut album, Unreality, gives a big clue of what to expect when Kennedy Ashlyn takes to the Roadburn stage next April. Formed after her previous project, Them Are Us Too, ended due to the tragic death of Kennedy’s collaborator, Cash Askew, SRSQ (pronounced Seer-skew) retains much of the magic that made TAUT so compelling. The soaring synths and layers of swirling emotion are still present, as of course is her lullaby-esque dreamy vocals.

FVNERALS
Their 2016 album, Wounds, is a creeping, eerie voyage through some incredibly dark shadows. Dripping with lethargic menace and hazy atmospherics, Fvnerals paint a sonic landscape that feels devoid of sunlight, absolute desolation pervades. News has reached us that writing will soon commence for their next opus due out in late 2020. Whilst Fvnerals are not a cheery prospect, they are a strangely alluring one. We’re delighted to welcome them to Roadburn 2020.

ALSO ANNOUNCED…

BIG BRAVE & JESSICA MOSS
Big Brave are a modern wonder – a trio of musicians that have seemingly created their own little universe, with no need for our earthly categorisations, no need for our restrictive genres, and no need to stick to any kind of formula. A joy to witness live at any point, but especially so when they’re joined by a special guest. Jessica Moss featured on the Big Brave albums, Au De La and Ardor, performing violin, and on extremely infrequent occasions she has performed with the band live. We’re thrilled to announce that this unholy union will be sharing a stage at Roadburn 2020; the stars in the Roadburn universe have aligned and we’ve captured this most rare of beasts.

JESSICA MOSS
As well as performing alongside Big Brave, Jessica Moss will take to the stage a second time at Roadburn 2020 to perform her own set. Her captivating sonic experimentation and ethereal violin playing will be an all-consuming musical journey for Roadburners lucky enough to witness it live. For those who appreciate the intricacies of quiet moment found at Roadburn – Jessica Moss is the show for you.

CRYPT SERMON
Confidently lassoing all that is great about traditional heavy metal, straddling it and whipping it into shape for a contemporary audience, Crypt Sermon may just have concocted a magic formula that pays tribute to those who have paved the way, whilst simultaneously forging a new path. It’s time to break out your leather jacket – or if you’re feeling bold, the double denim – and get ready to rock out: Crypt Sermon are heading straight for Roadburn 2020 to play their new album The Ruins of Fading Light in full.

LANA DEL RABIES
The origins of Lana Del Rabies may have a connection to her namesake, but since those early days of paying a droney tribute to the pop star, Lana Del Rabies has taken a life of its own. The project and pseudonym of Phoenix, Arizona resident, Sam An, blends synthesized electronics, drone/noise elements and industrial heaviness into an atmosphere of existential abreaction and an exploration of the occult.

RED KITE
For Roadburn 2020, we will continue our quest to bring you some of the most exciting prog bands around. Championing the burgeoning Norwegian psych-prog-jazz scene is Red Kite. Their self-titled debut is a master class in progressive jams and hypnotic soundscapes, hence inviting them for Roadburn.

ROADBURN 2020 TICKETS

Weekend tickets for Roadburn are on sale now (3-day tickets are sold out, 4-day tickets remain on sale). More information about tickets and accommodation options can be found HERE.

Already announced for Roadburn 2020 is: Emma Ruth Rundle and James Kent as curators, commissioned projects from James Kent & Johannes Persson, Jo Quail, and Vile Creature & Bismuth, the return of Julie Christmas, Red Sparowes, Russian Circles, Torche, Brutus, Bada, Dool, Health, Hide, She Past Away, and two Artists In Residence: Full of Hell and Lingua Ignota. Check the full line up HERE.

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http://www.instagram.com/roadburnfest
http://www.roadburn.com

Oranssi Pazuzu, Live at Roadburn 2017

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Roadburn 2020 Adds Red Sparowes Reunion, Warhorse, Torche, Russian Circles and Many More

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 24th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2020 new banner

God damn, Roadburn 2020. Warhorse AND a Red Sparowes reunion? And yeah, there’s a ton of off-the-wall stuff here and Emma Ruth Rundle‘s picks are every bit as adventurous as no doubt the festival hoped and intended they would be, but I can’t help but be hung up on the fact that Torche have never played at Roadburn before. How is that possible? Frickin’ Floor have played Roadburn! It seems crazy to me that Torche wouldn’t have been there before. Russian Circles have, and they’ll be there again. Dead Neanderthals have, and they’ll be there again. Rorcal haven’t played before to my knowledge, but they’ll be there with a new record too, and Alber Jupiter and Die Wilde Jagd, and that’s all pretty sweet. And oh, hey, tickets are on sale as of just a couple hours from now, so let’s say if you want one, today’s probably the day to make that happen before they’re gone.

Kaboom goes the brain:

roadburn 2020 tickets

– Roadburn 2020: new announcements ahead of ticket on sale date
– Tickets on sale September 24
– New additions to Emma Ruth Rundle’s curation inc. Red Sparowes and Torche
– Plus Russian Circles, Brutus, Warhorse and more…

With tickets due on sale in a little over 24 hours, Roadburn’s artistic director, Walter Hoeijmakers comments:

“I’m thrilled with the direction that Roadburn is taking this year – more than ever I feel like it is a real celebration of creativity and an opportunity to give a platform for bands to explore their artistry – hence inviting several bands to perform more than once. The response has been overwhelming so far, and we still have so much more to announce.”

EMMA RUTH RUNDLE’S THE GILDED CAGE
As one of our two curators for 2020 (the other being James Kent AKA Perturbator), Emma has added new names to her curated event, The Gilded Cage.

RED SPAROWES
Red Sparowes have been on hiatus for several years. Their component parts scattered in the wind, occasionally bumping into each other, collaboratively, musically or otherwise. Each piece of the Red Sparowes puzzle has their own tale to tell of where the intervening years have taken them, but we can give you a spoiler right now: all roads lead to Roadburn.

Emma comments:

“It is with great joy that I am able to announce that after a ten year hiatus, Red Sparowes will be reuniting for Roadburn 2020 for an exclusive performance. It’s a huge honor to resurrect the band that really brought me into the fold of the Roadburn family.”

TORCHE
The stars have aligned, under the watchful eye of Emma Ruth Rundle, we’re thrilled to announce that Torche will finally make their Roadburn debut in 2020. Long-time fan, Emma Ruth Rundle explains her pick:

“Torche have long topped my favorite current bands list, with Meanderthal still being a record I reach for while driving on tour. The energy and weight of the riffs are always exciting and I can’t wait to see them perform cuts from their awesome new album, Admission.”

MISERABLE
Within her Miserable project, Kristina Esfandiari combines the finest hooks of grunge with the lo-fi haze of shoegaze, creating an alluringly dark vista to lose oneself in. Invited back to Roadburn – having already played 2017 with King Woman – as part of Emma Ruth Rundle’s ‘The Gilded Cage’ curated event – Kristina is set to drench us all in her misery next April.

NGHTCRWLR
NGHTCRWLR is yet another vehicle for the creative impulses of Kristina Esfandiari – only this one is yet to be fully unleashed on the world. As NGHTCRWLR, Kristina has already notched up plenty of live shows including a US stint with Boy Harsher and soon she will bringing the project to Roadburn. Combining elements of noise, ambience, trap and techno, the dizzying results are a pulsating mass of slithering audio missives.

CLOUD RAT
Cloud Rat’s vast discography is a testament to their prolific nature and excess of talent, ripping and spilling at the seams – an unending stream of audio abrasion busting to get out there in the world. If they’ve remained under your radar until now, then their most recent release, Pollinator, should – or rather will – be the album to change that. Unsurprisingly, Cloud Rat have caught the eye of Emma Ruth Rundle and in her position as one of our curators, she has invited the extraordinary trio to perform at Roadburn 2020.

ALSO ANNOUNCED…

RUSSIAN CIRCLES
It seems we have inadvertently set a five year pattern, and we’re thrilled to announce that bang on time, Russian Circles will return to Roadburn for the third time in 2020. If you, too, think you already know what to expect then we respectfully urge you to reconsider. The band comment:

“We’re happy to be invited back for a third performance at Roadburn. Not only is it an honor to be a part of such a meticulously curated festival, it’s a personal affirmation of the power of art and music, as seen in the bonding of artists and fans from all across the globe in the immersive experience of this special annual event.”

BRUTUS
Continuing a strong tradition of power trios, Brutus serve up equal parts intensity, emotion, melody and sheer musical chops. Residing just over the border in Belgium, we’re delighted that they’ll be making the short trip to join us in April to deliver all of those parts on a Roadburn stage.

“It’s an honour to be part of what we always thought was a true pioneering event. Year after year, Walter succeeds in bringing the most inspiring bands of the moment together. We’re not only going to try to play a great show, but we’re also looking forward to be inspired by the other artists, as individuals and as a band.”

WARHORSE
In 2018, tragedy struck as Warhorse guitarist Todd Laskowski sadly passed away, aged 46. The rest of the band reunited for a one-off performance to honour their fallen comrade, and also marking the 20th anniversary of the band. Drummer Mike Hubbard explained:

“What started as a one-off tribute to Todd’s passing has become so much more. After all these years, we never expected to get this sort of response to us playing live again. It’s really quite amazing. Breathing new life into these songs has reinvigorated us. Walter was an early supporter of the band, so playing his Roadburn Festival is like coming full circle, and it’s pretty emotional. We are extremely honoured to be invited to play, and we plan to make this performance something that we, and our fans, will never forget.”

HANTE.
A one-woman powerhouse of electronic might and pulsating energy, Hante. AKA Hélène de Thoury will be bringing her Parisian darkwave to Roadburn 2020. Nestling in well with the other electronic-based artists we have at Roadburn 2020, Hante. is still a distinctly enigmatic prospect; glacial, assured and compelling. De Thoury possesses an imperturbable composure as she delivers with what appears to be effortless cool.

RORCAL
Rorcal will bring their pitch black brand of sludgy, high impact post doom/metal/everything to our stage. Better yet, they will come bearing gifts, in the form of their brand new album, Muladona, which will be presented at Roadburn.

ALBER JUPITER
Heavily inspired by Chilean Krautrock-afficinados Föllakzoid, the beautifully acceding trajectory of their hallucinatory grooves, drenched in pulsating washes of delay and reverb, makes their debut full-length, We’re Just Floating In Space, such an intoxicating affair. No wonder that Alber Jupiter’s throbbing soundscapes will appeal to fans of Neu!, Can, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, as well as those of Dutch trance-rock legends 35007. Read more about Alber Jupiter.

DIE WILDE JAGD
Channeling the playful, experimental slant and electrical throb of retrofuturism with Krautrock intensity and genre-bending, ritualistic, dark textures, Germany’s Die Wilde Jagd is definitely a breath of fresh air within the currently somewhat stagnating and over-saturated psych scene.

DEAD NEANDERTHALS
Dead Neanderthals will celebrate their tenth anniversary in an extremely on-brand fashion during Roadburn 2020. They plan to mark the occasion with a collection of four celebratory performances including collaborations with Sly & The Family Drone, Scott Hedrick of Skeletonwitch and more.

ROADBURN 2020 TICKETS

Tickets to Roadburn 2020 will go on sale on Tuesday, September 24 – 8pm CEST, 7pm BST, 2pm EDT via Ticketmaster.nl or from 6pm at Sounds Tilburg. More information about tickets and accommodation options can be found HERE.

Already announced for Roadburn 2020 is: Emma Ruth Rundle and James Kent as curators, commissioned projects from James Kent & Johannes Persson, Jo Quail, and Vile Creature & Bismuth, the return of Julie Christmas, Boy Harsher, Acid Rooster, Bada, Dool, Health, Hide, She Past Away, and two Artists In Residence: Full of Hell and Lingua Ignota. Check the full line up HERE.

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Die Wilde Jagd, Uhrwald Orange (2018)

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Roadburn 2020 Adds Lingua Ignota and Full of Hell as Artists-in-Residence; Dool, Acid Rooster, Boy Harsher & More Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2020 banner

As ever, there’s a lot going on in this announcement for Roadburn. It’s only the second one from Roadburn 2020 and already the festival seems to be setting its course to once again be bigger than ever as it continues to redefine itself and broaden its outlook on the underground. Two curators for the first time was announced last time around, now it’s two artists in residence, and oh, by the way, they’ll also collaborate for a set, because it’s fucking Roadburn and that’s just how it has to be. Lingua Ignota‘s set at the skate park at this year’s edition of the festival was the talk of the weekend — at least until Thou did those Misfits covers — and Full of Hell aren’t exactly strangers to Roadburn either. It’s going to be a busy and all over the place kind of Roadburn, I expect. Who would have it any other way?

If you haven’t, I can only urge you to check out Dool, who’ve also been added, and I’ve included the stream of Acid Rooster‘s 2019 self-titled debut below because its dreamy tones are sitting just right this afternoon.

Dig it:

roadburn 2020 full of hell x lingua ignota

ROADBURN 2020

– For the first time, Roadburn Festival will have two Artists In Residence

– First announcements for curated events including HIDE and BOY HARSHER

– Tickets on sale September 24

ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE

Every edition of Roadburn has an Artist in Residence who will perform multiple times across the four days of the festival – each time showcasing a different facet of their creativity. Much like with other aspects at Roadburn 2020, this year we’re mixing things up a bit; for the first time there will be two Artist In Residence positions…

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE: FULL OF HELL

With 30+ releases – EPs, splits, full lengths and more – there’s rich pickings to pull together material for four distinctive sets at Roadburn 2020. Full of Hell will perform Weeping Choir in full, as well as sister album Trumpeting Ecstasy. Also on the slate is a set comprising of their early material including songs from Roots of Earth Are Consuming My Home, as well as early 7” releases – and perhaps even a couple of covers thrown in for good measure.
The twist in the tale is that for one of their four sets they will collaborate with fellow Artist In Residence Kristin Hayter AKA Lingua Ignota.

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE: LINGUA IGNOTA

Performing four times over the course of the festival weekend, Kristin Hayter will peel back a layer of the Lingua Ignota form, shining a light in a dark corner. Performing alongside our other Artist In Residence, Full of Hell, some dark forces are sure to be summoned by the unholy noise they’ll make collaboratively. In addition to that, there will be an extremely special covers set (the details of which we will keep under wraps for now) and a performance comprising entirely of ALL BITCHES DIE material. The centrepiece of Kristin’s residency will be a grand re-imagining of CALIGULA – pulled apart and elegantly pieced back together in a new way.

EMMA RUTH RUNDLE’S- THE GILDED CAGE CURATED EVENT

HIDE

The first artist to be confirmed as part of Emma Ruth Rundle’s curated event is HIDE. An uncompromising duo who have a message that alone deserves to be heard, but the accompanying pulse of grit-flecked industro-slickness is what makes HIDE an essential booking for Roadburn. Demonstrating that heavy music doesn’t need a guitar to be crushing, HIDE are dragging ‘heaviness’, kicking and screaming, in their wake.
Emma commented: “I’m very happy to announce HIDE as the first band in my curation. No one else is touching on all the subjects that really twist the blade in my being the way they can. Their work is brutal, visceral, painful and poignant in all ways. From their videos, albums, lyrics, uniquely sourced samples and undeniably intense live performance- HIDE not only transcend – they absolutely destroy.”

JAMES KENT’S CURATED EVENT

BOY HARSHER

Boy Harsher’s minimal synths, beats and fuzzed up vocals have been in our eyeline for a while now – and we’re thrilled that our intentions line up with those of our curator.

He comments: “Boy Harsher brings a kind of visceral darkness through their minimal electronic beats that is extremely fascinating. The whispering-like vocals mixed with detuned-synths and old drum machines always felt to me like an invitation to a forbidden yet alluring world.”

HEALTH

HEALTH has plenty of sharp edges; jagged, pixelated, and raw. The complex layers of synths and samples coagulate into a hypnotic, pulsating mass – perfect for those who find comfort in the claustrophobic confines of noise and synthwave.

James comments: “Health are amongst my favorite acts out there at the moment. Their unique sound blending heavy electronics, pop vocals and aggressive noise will make for a perfect addition to the festival.”

SHE PAST AWAY

As part of James Kent’s curation for Roadburn 2020, we are thrilled to announce that modern Turkish darkwave legends She Past Away will be joining us to share this year’s Disko Anksiyete in its entirety. Over the course of their prior albums, the band built a strong identity rooted in genre classics yet carving its own path rather than merely following in the same well trodden gothic footsteps.

Also announced…

DOOL

As the band gear up for the release of their as-yet-unnamed second album, we’re thrilled to announce that Dool will be premiering their new material at Roadburn next year. We may have to wait a little longer for the juicy details of the release, but much like it was in 2016 when they first debuted at Roadburn, our faith in them delivering the goods is unwavering.

BADA

BADA is another vessel for the Gothenburg-based musicians Anna Von Hausswolff, David Sabel, Gianluca Grasselli, Filip Leyman and Hannes Nilsson (some of whom also perform as part of Anna Von Hausswolff’s solo project) to channel their creativity.
BADA’s output is a cinematic drone – sliced through with abrasive noise passages and ominous darkness. Fans of Dead Magic might have to adjust their receivers to be able to detect the Anna they’re most familiar with, but through the layers of static something special will still shine through.

ACID ROOSTER

Though Acid Rooster have flown their freak flag high for many moons, the band only released their impressive S/T debut very recently. And not to exaggerate — Acid Rooster is one of the best contemporary psych records around, hence inviting them for Roadburn 2020.

ROADBURN 2020 TICKETS

Tickets to Roadburn 2020 will go on sale on Tuesday, September 24. More details will be made available in the coming weeks.

Already announced for Roadburn 2020 is: Emma Ruth Rundle and James Kent as curators, commissioned projects from James Kent & Johannes Persson, Jo Quail, and Vile Creature & Bismuth, and the return of Julie Christmas.

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Acid Rooster, Acid Rooster (2019)

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Roadburn 2020 Makes First Announcement with Curators, Commissioned Pieces and Lineup Confirmations

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2020 banner

History has shown that Roadburn has never been shy about taking chances and embarking on a creative progression, and Roadburn 2020 certainly seems to follow suit. Confirmed as curators are Emma Ruth Rundle and Perturbator‘s James Kent, who will no doubt each bring something very different to expand the festival’s already spectrum-encompassing sonic palette, and there will be three commissioned projects, one involving Kent, another Jo Quail and still another a collaboration between Bismuth and Vile Creature. Sounds pretty “out there?” Well, “out there” is what Roadburn does at this point, becoming the place whereby the new normal is established and promulgated while the rest of us try to keep up.

This is the first announcement and there will for sure be plenty more to come. Roadburn unveiled its gorgeous poster art last week — I friggin’ love it — and promise a year that will challenge convention and continue to push into new territory of and beyond what “heavy” means and can accomplish. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tickets on sale next month. Here’s word from the PR wire:

roadburn 2020 poster

Roadburn Festival 2020 – Curators, Commissioned Projects & More

– For the first time, Roadburn Festival will have two separate curators
– Three commissioned projects for 2020
– Julie Christmas
– Tickets on sale September 24

CURATORS

Each year we give over a slice of Roadburn’s line up to a carefully hand picked curator; they put their distinctive stamp on a corner of the festival and make it their own. For 2020, we have not one but two curators stepping up to the plate. Operating entirely separately, and connected by little more than their common association with Roadburn Festival – and of course their insatiable appetite for creativity – Roadburn’s 2020 curators are limbering up to deliver something special. Expect the unexpected.

CURATOR: EMMA RUTH RUNDLE

Emma has left such a mark on the festival, and the wider musical landscape over the past few years; we’re honoured to invite her back to Roadburn as a curator – a new role for her, but one that she is more than ready for. Her expansive creativity and curious explorations have already led her towards collaborations – both live and on record. Her musical taste is broad and in keeping with Roadburn’s desire to explore the many facets of heavy music.

CURATOR: JAMES KENT (PERTURBATOR)

Few artists have straddled metal and electronic audiences as effortlessly as Perturbator. With personal tastes deeply rooted in metal, and an output that pulsates with digital slickness, James Kent embodies everything that is exciting about dark synth music today. His refreshing approach to creativity and his ability to explore heaviness in innovative ways makes him an ideal candidate for Roadburn’s 2020 curatorship role. We’re thrilled to have him on board. Read more about James’s curation here.

COMMISSIONED PROJECTS

2020 marks the third edition of Roadburn during which we will host specially commissioned pieces of music making their worldwide debut. Already, Roadburn’s commissioned projects have spawned ambitious, life affirming, bone-trembling ensembles that exceeded our expectations and wildest dreams. 2020 is shaping up to continue where we left off, with yet more innovative and exhilarating collaborations. Roadburn’s commissioned projects are made possible thanks to the continued support of Brabant C and The City of Tilburg.

JAMES KENT & JOHANNES PERSSON

Our 2020 curator, James Kent AKA Perturbator is set to join forces with Cult of Luna’s Johannes Persson for a commissioned performance that will form something of a grand centre-piece for Roadburn, and of James’s curation.
Their open-mindedness in relation to creativity and composition is well documented in their individual back catalogues, and for the first time we’ll witness what their combined efforts will look, sound and feel like, come April 2020. A hypnotic build of atmosphere and layering is likely to feature heavily during the performance; cinematic ambiance and enveloping emotional soundscapes are coded into their DNA.

JO QUAIL PRESENTS THE CARTOGRAPHER

Jo Quail dipped her toes in the intoxicating waters of Roadburn back in April when she performed alongside Mono, At The Gates, and Myrkur. She may not have been centre-stage but her contributions were not unnoticed; Jo conveys enormous emotion via her passionate and extraordinary cello playing.

With an intention to explore heaviness, Jo’s focus is exploring the juxtaposition between classical and more contemporary music, in this case post-metal. “Arguably heaviness is an emotional concept, reaching far beyond the confines of volume, speed and instrumentation,” Jo says. Jo will join forces with Rotterdam’s highly regarded New Trombone Collective – a group of trombonists who pride themselves on innovation, creativity and collaboration – to work towards communicating specific feeling through their combined output.

VILE CREATURE & BISMUTH: A HYMN OF LOSS AND HOPE

An overwhelming response to both bands at Roadburn 2019, coupled with our own insatiable appetite for creativity and innovation has led to us inviting VILE CREATURE and BISMUTH to collaborate on a specially commissioned project for Roadburn 2020. Titled A Hymn of Loss and Hope, the collaborative piece will be performed for the first – and the last – time at Roadburn. A literal once in a lifetime chance to see these incredible forces combine to perform a piece that is already brewing and a-bubbling as you read.

JULIE CHRISTMAS

Julie Christmas has one of the most distinctive voices in alternative, discordant music – and it’s a thrill for us to announce that we’ve not heard the last of that glorious voice at Roadburn. From Made Out of Babies, through Battle of Mice, as a solo artist, and as a collaborator with Cult of Luna’s on their stunning 2016 album Mariner, Julie has left a distinctive, subtle but indelible bruise on our record collections.

Her back catalogue is varied but all branded with a distinctive Christmas flair, so whichever route she takes, it’s a rabbit hole that we’re ready and willing to follow her down. At Roadburn 2020, Julie will perform a special, exclusive set comprising of both old favourites and new material. Read that again: new material. Joining Julie as part of her backing band will be Johannes Persson and ex-Kylesa guitarist, Laura Pleasants.

OFFICIAL POSTER ART: DOUWE DIJKSTRA

Last week we unveiled the official poster artwork for Roadburn 2020. Created by Dutch artist, Douwe Dijkstra, the poster very much sets the scene for Roadburn – exploring new musical landscapes and embarking on a voyage of discovery.

ROADBURN 2020 TICKETS

Tickets to Roadburn 2020 will go on sale on Tuesday, September 24. More details will be made available in the coming weeks.

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Roadburn 2020 First Announcement Video

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Live Review: ROADBURN 2019 Day Four, 04.14.19

Posted in Features, Reviews on April 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2019 banner day four

04.14.19 – 01.17 CET – Sunday night – Hotel

Just now, before I sat down to write this post, I went to the tap in the bathroom to refill my water bottle. You can drink the tap water here — it’s really something. Anyhow, I stick the bottle under the cold water and look down about two seconds later to see I’ve left the cap on. Water running down the side of bottle. That’s about where one’s head is at on this last day of Roadburn 2019. You ever been nostalgic about something while it’s still going on? Yeah, emotions are running high in Tilburg. Many hugs, many slaps on the back, many see-you-next-years from one denizen of this temporary planet to another. Lucy in Blue (Photo by JJ Koczan)Indeed, even strung out on caffeine and obliterated by volume, it’s difficult to say goodbye to Roadburn, always.

Still somewhat reminiscent of when it was the Afterburner, Roadburn‘s Day Four has fewer stages, but I mean, it’s still four. Five if you count the Ladybird Skatepark, which I was at twice today. So yeah, not a laid back affair. And while the shows ended earlier — Imperial Triumphant and Cave both ended at 00.30, in Patronaat and the Green Room, respectively — the day also started early, with Lucy in Blue going on in the Green Room at 14.00 presenting their new album, In Flight, in its entirety. Based in Iceland, their sound is a classically progressive kind of rock with notable use of keys and vocal harmonies to go with the kraut-ish riffing and repetitive progressions.

They were young, but had both a firm grip on their aesthetic intentions and many aspects of their performance. Maybe some kinks to work out in terms of songwriting efficiency and their onstage persona, but the elements were there in a way that you couldn’t call anything other than encouraging. They were a mellow start to the day for those not watching Have a Nice Life on the Main Stage next door, and as far as I’m concerned, that was welcome. I did pop over to check out some of the Connecticut-based unit, Supersonic Blues (Photo by JJ Koczan)but only after Lucy in Blue were well in flight and had left the ground behind. It was a palpable contrast.

Didn’t watch Daughters. I know. But, well, Supersonic Blues were added last-minute to play at the skatepark, and well, they ruled last year, so it seemed like an easy-enough pick to head up and see them again. There were more skaters than yesterday, but they cleared out so the Dutch three-piece could play. Like Lucy in Blue, Supersonic Blues are probably under 30 — unless I’m just old enough now that 30 year olds look like kids; possible — but they command a warmth of tone and a sense of appreciation for classic boogie rock that comes complemented by an easy-rolling sense of craft and a sans-pretense approach to what they’re doing. I’ll take that any, any, any day of the week. I heard they got added yesterday and was only stoked that I’d get to see them again. They’ve had two singles out but sound like they’re about ready for a first LP, or at very least an EP.

A little bit of continuity to the start of the day between Lucy in Blue and Supersonic Blues, and though that coolest of colors wouldn’t factor into the moniker of Stuck in Motion, there was plenty of blues in their sound, and a fervent ’70s stylization as well. They fit with what I was looking for, is the short version of theStuck in Motion (Photo by JJ Koczan) story, and I stood and watched from the Green Room balcony as they classic-heavied their way into the hearts and heads of the assembled, easing out sleek grooves and keyboards/organ that only added to the depth of the melody. Cool band, and I felt justified in not fighting my way to the front to take photos by how chill their sound was. As if to say, “It’s cool man, you go ahead and take this one easy. We will too.” It was a winning decision all the way around, I think.

I had gotten turned onto their 2018 self-titled debut (review here) by Walter on Facebook posting about them, so checking them out in the flesh only seemed fair. They were cool, but I felt like I owed it to myself to watch Thou close out their residency on the Main Stage. Given the set they played last night at the skatepark doing Misfits covers, somehow a straight-ahead performance seemed anticlimactic, but hell’s bells were they heavy. I mean, really. Spread out across the stage, they brought full-on volume to the kind of atmospheres they had in their almost-acoustic set the other night, something disquieting in the mood and challenging of themselves and their audience. They are a band people really like. A lot. I can’t say that I’m a Thou (Photo by JJ Koczan)huge Thou fan like the people I saw chasing down the vinyl over in the merch area, but they’re undeniably powerful on stage, whether screaming or melodic, loud or quiet, or, you know, playing Misfits tunes, as one apparently will. I know they played like 50 sets in the last four days, but how could they not be back at some point in the years to come?

That question gave me something to ponder as I plotzed up to the Ladybird Skatepark for the last time to see Bismuth, who played earlier in the fest but were given another chance to volume-pummel everything in their path. Loud? Shit. There were parts of that building vibrating that were not meant to vibrate. Bassist/vocalist Tanya Byrne won Roadburn 2019 as regards t-shirts with the selection of Khanate, and she and drummer Joe Rawlings doled out grueling nod and brutal tone with unmitigated intensity. Their 2018 album, The Slow Dying of the Great Barrier Reef (discussed here), was some manner of preparation for seeing them live in terms of the basic air-from-lungs push of low-end — also tree-trunk drumsticks — but the volume factor made it all the more of a steamroller running atop the assembled masses Bismuth (Photo by JJ Koczan)in the skatepark, that big, high-ceilinged space seeming to fill up with sound no matter where you stood. Audio as a physical presence. It was righteous.

And then, of course, Sleep played. As far as culminations go, one could hardly ask for more than Sleep returning after so dutifully handing the 013 its ass last night to play their 2018 album, The Sciences (review here), front-to-back. But here’s the thing: Sleep played last night doing Sleep’s Holy Mountain in full. It was incredible. But The Sciences was better. The material sounded fresher, the band sounded more comfortable, and I’m not sure there’s hyperbole dramatic enough for how fucking loud they were. It was incredible. I’ve been lucky enough to see Sleep a few times. My go-to for the best I ever saw them was Roadburn 2012 (review here). After tonight, I might have to change my opinion. There was a technical glitch or two along the way — Matt Pike blew out one of his several guitar heads — but he, Al Cisneros and Jason Roeder Sleep (Photo by JJ Koczan)were utterly incredible. It was the kind of set that could make you believe in the magic of Christmas. A true Santa Claus of a set. They threw in “Holy Mountain” and “Dragonaut” as well, I guess just in case anyone in the room wasn’t there the night before. I heard no complaints for the repeaters, and registered none myself. Those songs too were better the second time around.

No clue how many times I’ve made this observation, but I think Jason Roeder might be the best drummer I’ve ever watched play. Yeah, Matt Pike just won a Grammy with High on Fire, and Al Cisneros deserves a Nobel for his work in Om, but between those two titans, Roeder — who, just to mention it so you don’t think I’m undercutting his own pedigree, was well established in fucking Neurosis before he joined Sleep in place of original drummer Chris Hakius — is crucial to the band Sleep have become. It was all the more emphasized in the The Sciences material, songs like “Sonic Titan” and “Giza Butler,” which unto itself was a highlight of the entire festival. If last night was a celebration of Sleep‘s earlier glories, then tonight was confirmation of the reason they’re the most influential riffers since Black Sabbath themselves. They were a joy to behold, and the perfect ending to my own personal Roadburn 2019.

There was a line outside Het Patronaat as I was leaving after aSleep (Photo by JJ Koczan) few quick goodbyes. Imperial Triumphant would be on shortly as the last Roadburn band ever to play the venue — there’s a bit of festival trivia for you — and I heard they were doing a whole thing with masks, but honestly, how could I ever hope to improve on the night I’d just had or what I’d just seen? Sad as it was to realize, it was time to go.

So I went. Roadburn 2019 ended on a higher note than I could’ve wished for, and I walked out of the 013 and down Weirdo Canyon to get back to the hotel sweaty, smelling like smoke, tired, hungry, thirsty and sore, but still feeling 100 percent refreshed. The only tragedy is it’s another year till the next one.

Thanks for reading. I’ll close out the Roadburn coverage tomorrow assuming I have time, but first and foremost thank you for reading. You’re pretty great.

More pics after the jump.

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Live Review: ROADBURN 2019 Day Three, 04.13.19

Posted in Features, Reviews on April 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Roadburn 2019 banner (Photo by JJ Koczan)

04.14.19 – 02.15 CET – Saturday night – Hotel

It snowed today. That was a first. Hail too. I wasn’t outside for it, but unless European snow bounces, it was hail, followed by snow. 11 Roadburns later, Tilburg still holds a few surprises. And no, I don’t just mean the secret Thou set where they did the Misfits covers and Emma Ruth Rundle got in on the action, though that too.

ROADBURN 2019 WEATHERThe weather wasn’t a hardship or anything — the joke was that Sumac were so heavy they made it hail, and fair enough — since apart from a short walk here or there I spent very nearly the entire day inside. I was bumming hard after finding out about a brutal fuckup on my part with today’s issue of the daily ‘zine, the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch. Basically I left out an important piece and we’ll run it tomorrow anyway, but I still felt very, very much like shit about it. Like, “I don’t deserve to be here” beating myself up. I went and found the writer in question and damn near broke out into tears apologizing.

I know it’s a festival fanzine and all, but that shit is important to me, and it was squarely my mistake that dropped the article. It won’t be as timely tomorrow when it goes in the issue. I know it’s not the end of the world, ultimately, but this fest puts its faith in me not to screw up doing this one thing, and I screwed it up. I’d already seen Temple Fang and Wolvennest and a couple seconds of Confusion Master by then, and I thought long and hard about just coming back to the hotel and going to bed, but eventually got it together. It sucks being bad at, like, everything you do.

Like I said, I saw Temple Fang again. They opened up the pre-show on Wednesday (review here), and they opened up today in a kind of super-early showcase slot at 1:30PM in an especially foggy Hall of Fame, up by the Koepelhal and the Ladybird Skatepark, which is very quickly becoming another Roadburn venue. Launching with “Gemini,” Temple Fang were this time around a little less Temple Fang (Photo by JJ Koczan)tense — maybe just waking up — and a little more locked into an overarching groove that still highlighted their progressive take on space rock and psychedelia, but seemed to give the songs a little more space to breathe. I’m not sure I can speak to exactly what the difference was. It might’ve been just as simple as playing a little more relaxed. But both sets showed the serious potential on the part of the band and my only problem with seeing them play a second time was that it meant they did not immediately on Thursday morning enter the studio to record their debut album, which had been my hope after their first show. Oh well. Always tomorrow, guys.

Wolvennest opened the Main Stage, with theremin, incense and a few skulls here and there amid their darkened cult rock atmospherics. The Brussels-based outfit are celebrating the release this month of their new EP, Vortex, which came out last week through the ever-tasteful Ván Records, and I have no doubt they persuaded a few heads with their murky vibe and swirling, obscure but still progressive heaviness. Fronted by Sharon Shazzula, who’s done work over the years with Aqua Nebula Oscillator, Kadavar, Farflung and a host of others — in addition to having founded Swamp Booking — and she and the full band alongside her brought a consuming wash of noise to the big room at the 013, and once I got back from my Wolvennest (Photo by JJ Koczan)Beto-esque apology tour (except I meant it), I found I was even more into it near the finish. It was somewhere between black metal, psychedelia and lurch, and wherever that was, that seemed definitely like the place to be. I’m sure someone cleverer than me has already invented a genre tag for it. To me it just sounded awesome.

Today was Maalstroom — a massive celebration of Dutch black metal held at Het Patronaat and given the added poignancy of also serving as an ad hoc tribute to former Dodecahedron frontman Michiel Eikenaar, who passed away yesterday after a long illness. Malstroom itself is the third of Roadburn 2019’s commissioned projects, and like last year’s Vánagandr formed of Icelandic black metallers, Maalstroom drew/draws from various projects working together on a new piece as a new entity. The whole day at the church was dedicated to it, and though my own adventure would take me on a different path, it would be hard not to admire the vision in putting that kind of thing together with Witte Wieven, Turia, Laster, Terzij de Horde, the aforementioned Dodecahedron and then Maalstroom itself to close out. One way or the other, it was going to be a special day.

Sumac (Photo by JJ Koczan)There were also more acts today from Tomas Lindberg‘s curation, including UranThe Exorcist GBG, and Orchestra of Constant Distress, and it was the Exile on Mainstream Records 20th anniversary celebration. Oh, and Sleep played Sleep’s Holy Mountain (2009 reissue review here) in its entirety. You know, because why not. I wound up flitting back and forth between 013 and the Koepelhal complex for the day, as I think a lot of people did who didn’t otherwise camp out at the Patronaat. Sumac absolutely floored me playing the Main Stage. What’s been my hesitation with those guys? I have no idea. I’ve dug both their records — last year’s Love in Shadow (review here) and 2016’s What One Becomes (review here) — but I still never really considered myself a fan. It’s Aaron Turner (ex-Isis, etc.), Bryan Cook (Russian Circles) and Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists), and their tone was probably the heaviest I’d heard this weekend up to that point. I don’t know what my hangup was with that band, but yeah, I’ll go ahead and credit the universe with being right on that one. More records to buy: just what I need.

Mythic Sunship had added another set at the Skatepark — they wound up playing three times, so I’m extra glad I caught them at least once — so I made my way up there and stopped in Koepelhal first to see Boston’s Morne, who were casting death across that packed and massive space. Couldn’t help but notice guitarist/vocalist Milosz Gassan wearingMorne (Photo by JJ Koczan) a t-shirt for Armageddon Shop (or Armageddon Boston, to be more specific) on the stage. Today was apparently Record Store Day, so fair enough. Roadburn never seems to lack for commerce, as the merch area just outside the Koepelhal proper shows, but I’m sure plenty of people also made it over to Sounds, which is the local shop down the road a little ways. I went once. It was cool. This year, however, my feet were glued in place for Morne, who issued their To the Night Unknown LP through that same Armageddon Shop label last year. No regrets. Their sound has the classic emotional crux of death-doom but toys with that balance effectively and still holds a pervasive sense of atmosphere.

It was almost time for that Mythic Sunship show, and I was looking forward to it, but Treedeon in the Hall of Fame for the Exile on Mainstream 20th anniversary was too good to pass up. The German trio’s bizarre noise rock is so emblematic of that label, and while I don’t think my tastes and those of Andreas Kohl, who runs imprint, always line up — though we’re both big Wino fans — it’s a fair bet that something on Exile on Mainstream is going to at very least be interesting. In the case of Treedeon, it was interestingTreedeon (Photo by JJ Koczan) like a fucking boot to the throat. Even their recorded work — the latest LP was 2018’s Under the Manchineel (review here) — doesn’t quite capture the density of their approach to noise rock, and golly it was loud in the Hall of Fame. It’s a low ceiling, so the sound just feels like it’s collapsing on you, and that suited Treedeon well in portraying another vision of extremity after Morne.

Among other things, it was about the polar opposite of seeing Mythic Sunship in a skate park, so that was fun. Indeed, dudes were skating on the ramps and rails and whatnot and looking annoyed as people started filing in for the show. Sorry. The Copenhagen four-piece have been on tour since April 4 supporting their excellent 2018 offering, Another Shape of Psychedelic Music (review here), and though they didn’t have the sax with them today as they apparently did yesterday, they still tore it up ferociously, by which I mean they played a smoothly progressive jam-based kraut-psych-rock and their chemistry was out in full force. Their drummer ate a banana right before they went on, which I’m sure helped keep his energy up, and the Ladybird filled up well for them. They’re the kind of band I’d probably never get to see if I wasn’t here, let alone see in such a context, so I was stoked on the opportunity and the outcome of it. I don’t think they will, but if they played another set tomorrow, I doubt anyone would complain, Mythic Sunship (Photo by JJ Koczan)except maybe those skateboarders.

Dinner was chicken in peanut sauce. I had a few quick bites and then went back to the Main Stage to watch the end of Cave In‘s set. I gotta say, I haven’t listened to Cave In actively in a long time, and I still knew just about every word to everything they were playing. That band can write a song. They had Nate Newton (Converge) on bass in the place of Caleb Scofield, who passed away and was memorialized with an acoustic set last year by his bandmates Steve Brodsky and Adam McGrath that’s since been released by Roadburn Records, and while I didn’t see the full set, what I caught was dead on. They’ve always occupied a space between punk, metal and rock, but they’ve also always made that space their own, and to see them do that in front of a crowd so into it as that at Roadburn was affirming even if I only caught a couple songs.

It was time for Sleep. There was the requisite changeover after Cave In, and fair enough for the mighty stacks of amps and cabinets brought out, as well as Jason Roeder‘s drum riser. I mean, Sleep playing Sleep’s Holy Mountain. In full. Sleep (Photo by JJ Koczan)Front-to-back. As the first of two nights of sets. What the hell more could you want? If your answer was, “maybe a shortened version of ‘Dopesmoker’ and ‘The Clarity,'” they did those too, but obviously the highlight was seeing Al CisnerosMatt Pike and Roeder run through those Holy Mountain tracks. Pike even switched to an acoustic guitar for an extended take on “Some Grass” ahead of “Aquarian.” The Main Stage hall was packed to the point that the upstairs balcony looked like it was about to spill over, and the whole room just became a sea of nodding heads to each riff. Everyone kept up with the changes. Everyone knew where they were going. It was yet another of those Roadburn things that make you feel so stupid lucky to be here to see. Funny how those keep popping up all weekend. Every year. All weekend. They’re back tomorrow doing The Sciences in full. Again, Roadburn.

There was still plenty of Roadburn day three to go, but I was (un)fairly beat. Still, there was one more thing I had to, had to, had to see, and it was Bellrope. They were closing out the Exile on Mainstream celebration at Hall of Fame, and though the hike up there felt daunting to my riffed-out legs, I did it anyway and got up there before the two-bass-one-guitar-all-smash German foursome got started. Their debut album, You Must Relax (review here), is on my list of 2019’s best despite (because of?) its initial feedback assault to weed out the Bellrope (Photo by JJ Koczan)weak-hearted among its listenership. They did similar on stage, by the way, but shorter, and with a mammoth and punishing low end push to fill out that feedback, it was brutal in the best way possible. They brought up two members of Treedeon for a guest vocal spot and the sort of sludge ensued that you should need a prescription to get, which should explain the line that went out the door.

Despite the day’s rough start with my stupid, stupid, stupid, unprofessional bullshit error in the ‘zine, it was still a day that was as fantastic as it was busy. Tomorrow is the end of Roadburn 2019, and it’s always bittersweet, so while I’m plenty exhausted, like At the Gates before me, I’m going to try to drink from the night itself and let adrenaline carry me through as, hopefully, it will.

Thanks for reading. More pics after the jump.

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