The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio Recap: Episode 11

Posted in Radio on March 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

gimme radio logo

Oh, it was a cold and snowy Sunday night, but the rawk was hawt, and so on. Okay, so maybe I’m not much for the introductions, but I dug this episode. I want to screw with what I’ve kind of made the “format” of this show, and starting out with Kings Destroy, Clamfight and Forming the Void in honor of the show I saw on Saturday at the Saint Vitus Bar was fun. So it’s a little more than just be being like, “Duh, I like this record so here’s this song by this band,” though of course that pretty much applies here as well. I don’t know. Just something a little different. Branch out a bit. Try not to set rules for myself.

Speaking of a lack of rules, this one gets a little weird. Look out for Return to Worm Mountain and Hhoogg in the second hour, and then Volcano leading into longer tracks from Sons of Morpheus and Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree. That last song from the latter is 17 minutes long, and hell yeah I was going to include it. So good. That record is an unexpected turn from them, but absolutely awesome, so if you know it, all the better, and if not, maybe you’ll dig. Dig dig dig.

New tunes besides from Hexvessel, Snowy Dunes, High Reeper, Yatra and the sadly-defunct Cloud Catcher, and a classic riff-roll from Spirit Caravan round out what I thought was a pretty killer mixtape, so yeah, if you checked it out last night or get to listen to it tomorrow morning, thank you.

Here’s the full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 03.03.19

Kings Destroy Fantasma Nera Fantasma Nera*
Clamfight Echoes in Stone III
Forming the Void On We Sail Rift
BREAK
Yatra Smoke is Rising Death Ritual*
Hexvessel Wilderness Spirit All Tree*
Snowy Dunes Let’s Save Dreams Let’s Save Dreams*
High Reeper Bring the Dead Higher Reeper*
Cloud Catcher Beneath the Steel The Whip*
BREAK
Spirit Caravan Cosmic Artifact Jug Fulla Sun
Hhoogg Journey to the Dying Place Earthling, Go Home!*
Return to Worm Mountain Song for the Pig Children Return to Worm Mountain*
Smokey Mirror Sword and Scepter Split w/ Love Gang*
Volcano No Evil Know Demon The Island*
BREAK
Sons of Morpheus Slave (Never Ending Version) The Wooden House Session*
Bees Made Honey in the Vein Tree Cinitus Grandmother*

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio airs every other Sunday night at 7PM Eastern, with replays the following Tuesday at 9AM. Next show is March 17. Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Radio website

The Obelisk on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Review & Full Album Premiere: Sons of Morpheus, The Wooden House Session

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on February 21st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

SONS OF MORPHEUS THE WOODEN HOUSE SESSION

[Click play above to stream Sons of Morpheus’ The Wooden House Session in its entirety. It’s out Feb. 22 on Sixteentimes Music.]

It happened, as one might imagine, in a wooden house. The proverbial cottage in the forest, to which a band withdraws to remove themselves from the distractions of real life, society, obligations of employment and/or family, and all the rest of everything that’s not making music, in order to trap themselves into a creative mindset. In the case of Swiss trio Sons of Morpheus, The Wooden House Session is the second release they’ve been able to cull from undertaking this experience early in 2018 — the first was a split with Berlin’s Samavayo dubbed The Fuzz Charger Split (discussed here) that came out last May — and its six-track/33-minute run speaks to both the intimacy and the urgency of the experience, as the band self-recorded and effectively captured a live feel in so doing. Part of what let them do that might be owed to the fact that Schüxenhaus Ins, where they tracked, is also a venue hosting shows.

So maybe it’s not so much the getting-lost-on-purpose impulse as it was they found a cool spot and dug the surrounding way-out vibe, but either way, as guitarist/vocalist Manuel Bissig, bassist Lukas Kurmann (who also mixed) and drummer Rudy Kink embark on The Wooden House Session, they nonetheless play to the narrative of working to get out of their own heads as a collective and pursue something truly special as a band — to discover who they are. That may be what The Wooden House Session does, and if it is, fair enough. It’s their third album behind 2017’s engaging Nemesis and their 2014 self-titled debut, and so a kind of natural maturing point five years on from their first record, and with a somewhat rawer tone in the guitar and bass, they’re able to bring a grunge sensibility to tracks like “Loner” and “Nowhere to Go” in a way that the slicker production of Nemesis likely wouldn’t. Dirtying up their sound works in their favor.

That’s shown quickly as the introductory “Doomed Cowboy” melds together the Western-style imagery of the album’s artwork with the foreboding atmosphere and the dense tonality toward which its title hints. In the span of a little more than three minutes, its effective wash of crash cymbals becomes surrounded by siren guitars and full-on noise assault as a sludgy march takes hold and deconstructs to abrasive feedback and noise. It’s nasty, but it’s supposed to be, and it doesn’t last long before Kurmann‘s bass starts the bounce of “Loner,” which gets under way with more scorching lead lines from Bissig, swinging drums from Kink, and the album’s first vocal lines. Those familiar with the band will already know the primacy of Queens of the Stone Age as an influence in Bissig‘s vocals and in some of the style of riffing.

sons of morpheus

It’s less true on The Wooden House Session than it was on Nemesis, and whether that’s owed to the circumstances of the recording or just a general result of having toured more and worked to develop a more individual approach, it suits him and the band as a whole. “Loner” plays back and forth between restrained verses and a let-loose hook, but grows spacious in its back half, with a solo taking hold over broad-sounding echoes, and a concluding bluesy lick that speaks of some of the ground later to be covered on the extended closer “Slave (Never Ending Version).” Before they get there, “Paranoid Reptiloid” digs into my personal all-time favorite conspiracy theory, which is that of the lizard people secretly running the earth and using humans as food and fuel — otherwise known as capitalism — amid another right on hook and a more extended instrumental break that gets suitably freaked out for the subject matter, held to earth somewhat by the punctuation of a cowbell amid the barrage of crash, but still churning in a way that Sons of Morpheus haven’t yet showed on The Wooden House Session. They draw it back to the chorus deftly at the end, underlining that their priority is songcraft, which again, holds true until the finale.

The fuzz on “Nowhere to Go” is particularly satisfying, and arrives in surges of volume that answer multi-layered vocal lines with a fervent sense of strut before the track turns to its more fully-toned midsection and a rousing melodic ending. The Wooden House Session, very subtly, has been toying with structure all along, and it continues to do so with “Nowhere to Go,” but especially with the push in the second half, it’s arguably the most switched-on summary of the album’s appeal. They back it with the shorter, catchy “Sphere,” which serves as a penultimate moment of straightforward push before “Slave (Never Ending Version)” takes hold. It’s arguably the most Songs for the Deaf that Sons of Morpheus get, but by the time they’re there, the context of what surrounds is enough to still make it their own. And that’s only more true when one considers “Slave (Never Ending Version)” behind it. A shorter edit of the track appeared on The Fuzz Charger Split, but the full spread of it here tops 13 minutes and becomes a defining moment for The Wooden House Session, fluidly turning from the verse/chorus trades of its early going to a free-sounding exploration that makes its way farther and farther out as it goes.

They ride the central riff and the chorus progression for a while, then over time let it d/evolve into its own space, the change happening right around the nine-minute mark as Sons of Morpheus make it clear that no, they’re not coming back this time. The last few minutes of “Slave (Never Ending Version)” are given to building a jam up to a considerable wash of noise and then letting it end naturally, and as they do, they highlight not only a strength they haven’t yet really shown on the album — i.e. for jamming — but further capture the atmosphere and narrative of The Wooden House Session‘s making. This organic sensibility has been at root in the material all along, but “Slave (Never Ending Version)” brings it forward in such a way as to make it the perfect capstone for the release and the listening experience. Their titling the album after where/how it was made would seem to hint to it being something of a one-off outside the normal album cycle. If that’s the case or not, there are valuable lessons for the band to learn from its construction, and one hopes those carry into whatever it might be they do next.

Sons of Morpheus on Thee Facebooks

Sons of Morpheus on Instagram

Sons of Morpheus on Bandcamp

Sons of Morpheus website

Sixteentimes Music website

Tags: , , , , ,

Samavayo & Sons of Morpheus to Release The Fuzz Charger Split May 18

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 30th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Next time you’re looking at a pair of cartoon tits on an album cover with a cowskull instead of a woman’s face or some shit, remember the artwork for Samavayo and Sons of MorpheusThe Fuzz Charger Split, because that is how a stoner rock album cover is fucking done. I’m not saying every record needs to have a muscle car out front, but you want to speak directly to your audience? This does it better than all that pointless pseudo-ritualistic misogyny anyday. Looks like something straight out of 2002. Kudos to the bands and to Sixteentimes Music for putting it together.

Even better? The rest of the car is on back. I fucking love this genre.

Six tracks kicked off by the immediate momentum build of Samavayo‘s “Rollin'” and running through the dug-in desert fuzz and anchoring bassline of Sons of Morpheus‘ “Slave,” you don’t lose. You only win. Whole thing is 31 minutes well spent.

PR wire background follows, including the preorder link. You’ll want that:

samavayo sons of morpheus cover

Samavayo and Sons of Morpheus – The Fuzz Charger Split

Date: 18th of May 2018
Via: Digital and 12” Vinyl
Label: Sixteentimes Music
KatNo.: SIXT020

Preorder here: https://bit.ly/2ITQb2t

All three band members of Samayo grew up in East-Berlin, in the neighbourhoods Lichtenberg and Friedrichshain. As a 10 year old kid, singer Behrang Alavi fled as a political refugee from his home country of Iran to Berlin, Germany. The brothers Andreas and Stephan Voland grew up in the GDR (East-Germany) in East-Berlin.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the city was open, letting in cultural influences from any foreign country.

The capital city became a multi-cultural melting pot where a singer from Teheran and two brothers from Berlin started making music. More than 500 live shows in Europe and overseas followed, including gigs in Brazil, Albania, Greece, Croatia and France. They also played at one of the most well-known European Stoner Rock festivals “Stoned from the Underground.”

Before Sons of Morpheus were able to tour across Europe (f.e. with Karma to Burn and Kamchatka) and playing shows in 17 countries including USA, a simple feeling gave birth to everything: The need to crank up an amplifier and doing some good-shit rock music. Fuck the world! And that’s exactly what made singer/guitarist Manuel Bissig start conquering stages in Switzerland by the name of “Rozbub” (Swiss-German for “brat”). Everything followed the call, it was loud, nasty and raw – and immediately everyone could see, hear and feel: This “brat” knows exactly what he’s doing.

No surprise that 2013 released debut “S’esch ziit” climbed the Swiss iTunes-charts right away. In no time Sons of Morpheus played shows in the rock-republic of California and recorded for two weeks in Tucson AZ with Producer Jim Waters. That thriving spring in 2014 gave birth to new material and as a result a debut-album simply called “Sons of Morpheus” was about to be released. The band’s call for the following year 2016 was clear: To go back to rehearsal, write new material and get it recorded. Listening to “Nemesis,” Sons of Morpheus appear gloomier yet explosive.

Tracklist:
A01 Rollin – Samavayo
A02 Chopper – Samavayo
A03 Justify – Samavayo
B01 Dark Shadows – Sons of Morpheus
B02 Money – Sons of Morpheus
B03 Slave – Sons of Morpheus

https://www.facebook.com/sonsofmorpheus/
https://www.sonsofmorpheus.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFgOFTihCGzzmoDo24e3TQA
https://twitter.com/SonsofMorpheus
https://www.facebook.com/samavayo/
https://www.samavayo.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/samavayo
https://twitter.com/samavayo

Samavayo, “Cross the Line” official video

Sons of Morpheus, “Monotone” official video

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sons of Morpheus Premiere Live-in-Studio Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

sons of morpheus

Swiss heavy rockers Sons of Morpheus are currently on a tour of the Iberian Peninsula, running through Portugal and Spain for the rest of this week as they support the March 2017 Deepdive Records issue of their second album, Nemesis. You might recall back in early 2015, the Basel-based trio did a video premiere here for a Snakehill Productions-filmed clip of three songs performed live in a single take (posted here). Well, as they hit the road for the new record, they’re back with a new three-song presentation, bringing one-take live versions of “Cage,” “Riding the Wave” and “Amanita Muscaria” from Studio Stübio in Lucerne and showing off what the last couple years have brought them in terms of forward growth.

That’s no small amount, as it happens. All three cuts come from Nemesis and between them, the lineup of guitarist/vocalist Manuel Bissig, bassist Lukas Kurmann and drummer Rudy Kink demonstrate pointed riff-led structures blended with a heavy psychedelic flow. To wit, the departure in the midsection of “Cage,” ironically enough, finds them more or less completely uncaged and free to explore the aural spaces around them. Likewise, “Riding the Wave” finds itself on either side of driving forward propulsion and blown-out spacey noise and “Amanita Muscaria” drifts into laid-back flow topped with spoken vocals before opening into a solo-topped roll that serves as a suitable closer here and provides a highlight on Nemesis as well. Each song tops six minutes and has a distinctive personality, but as you can see in the clip, Sons of Morpheus have no trouble tying it all together with fluidity in a live setting, even live-in-studio.

Sons of Morpheus were recently confirmed to take part in Up in Smoke 2017 (info here) this October in Pratteln, where they’ll perform alongside GraveyardOrange GoblinWindhandRadio Moscow and many more. That live date, the remaining shows for the current tour, and others can be found under the three-song video, which you’ll find below, followed by credits and other info as well.

Hope you enjoy:

Sons of Morpheus, “Cage,” “Riding the Wave” and “Amanita Muscaria” live at Studio Stübio

“One-Take” live recording by Switzerland based SONS OF MORPHEUS performing “Cage”, “Riding The Wave” and “Amanita Muscaria” live.

Recorded Feb. 2017 in Luzern, Switzerland @ Studio Stübio by Stübi. Video and editing by Snakehill Productions, Switzerland: snakehillproductions@gmx.ch.

All songs and lyrics written by Sons of Morpheus, SUISA. © & ? 2017 Sons of Morpheus & deepdive records. Published by deepdive publishing. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying, reproducing, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

Sons of Morpheus live:
Jun 21 Daba Daba Donostia, Spain
Jun 22 Forum Celticum Culleredo, Spain
Jun 23 Cave Avenida Viana Do Castelo, Portugal
Jun 24 Stairway Club Cascais, Portugal
Jun 25 El Zagal Aldeamayor De San Martín, Spain
Jul 15 L’Unique Foodtruck Basel, Switzerland
Oct 07 Z7 Konzertfabrik at Up in Smoke 2017 Pratteln, Switzerland
Oct 13 Schüxenhaus Ins, Switzerland

Sons of Morpheus are:
Manuel Bissig – Guitars and Vocals
Lukas Kurmann – Bass
Rudy Kink – Drums

Sons of Morpheus website

Sons of Morpheus on Thee Facebooks

Sons of Morpheus on Bandcamp

Snakehill Productions on YouTube

Snakehill Productions on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , ,

Up in Smoke 2017 First Announcements: Graveyard to Headline; Orange Goblin, Radio Moscow, Ufomammut, Windhand and More to Play

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

Up in Smoke 2017 has made its first lineup announcements for this October. It’s the fifth anniversary of the Swiss-based fest put together by Sound of Liberation, and they’re immediately giving it due ceremony by putting word out that the just-broke-up-oh-wait-they’re-back-together-again Graveyard will headline. Will they have a new record out? Who will play drums? These are questions still to be answered, but there are seven months between now and then, so fair to expect it’ll all be worked out in the interim.

Along with Graveyard, putting the formidable likes of Orange Goblin, Radio Moscow (who will have a new album out), Ufomammut (who just might as well), Windhand and their tourmates in Satan’s Satyrs, as well as Swiss acts Zatokrev and Sons of Morpheus on the bill certainly doesn’t hurt it any either. Eight bands in the first batch to be announced and I’m already looking forward to the second. We’re not even really into the Spring season yet and Fall is starting to rear its head.

Festus fugit, my friends.

From the PR wire:

up in smoke 2017 first poster

Up In Smoke 2017 – First 8 Bands confirmed: GRAVEYARD to Headline!

We are now finally ready to unveiled the official Up In Smoke 2017 poster, and the first bands confirmed for this outstanding 5th edition! Located as usual in Switzerland’s best rock venue, Z7 Konzertfabrik, only a few kilometres from the German and French borders, our festival will feature about 20 bands on two stages with no overlapping set times, to guarantee you two days of Volume Worshipping!

So mark October 6th & 7th in your calendar, and get your 2-pass as soon as you can here or here! Up In Smoke 2016 was sold out, so better be quick, and to help you make your decision, we are proud to give you the first 8 bands we have confirmed!

GRAVEYARD (SWE)
ORANGE GOBLIN (UK)
RADIO MOSCOW (USA)
UFOMAMMUT (I)
WINDHAND (USA)
SATAN’S SATYRS (USA)
ZATOKREV (CH)
SONS OF MORPHEUS (CH)

Up In Smoke is an indoor festival for fans of Heavy Rock – Doom – Psych – Stoner… easily reachable by plane via the Euro-Airport (Basel/Muhouse) or by public transportations (train, bus) via Basel Main Station. There are plenty of affordable Hotels and Hostels located in Basel and for “budget savers” we are also offering to sleep over + breakfast (Coffee and bread rolls) in the venue for a small fee!

How does this work? After the last concert of the day, we ask everybody to step out of the venue for a few minutes. During that time, the venue and toilets are cleaned and the floor covered with a plastic sheet. (people have to bring their sleeping bags and air mattresses)

https://www.upinsmoke.de/tickets
http://www.z-7.ch/event.php?eventid=1306
https://www.facebook.com/UpInSmokeIndoorFestivalInZ7
https://www.facebook.com/events/466424317082118/
https://www.upinsmoke.de/

Graveyard, “The Apple and the Tree” official video

Orange Goblin, Live at Freak Valley 2016

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sons of Morpheus Premiere Live Video of Three Songs in One Take

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 23rd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

sons of morpheus

Swiss trio Sons of Morpheus released their self-titled debut last September through Deepdive Records. Earlier this month, they hit Studio Stübio in Luzern to record three songs from that album. Intent on doing it live to best capture the chemistry between guitarist/vocalist Manuel Bissig, bassist Lukas Kurmann and drummer Simon Gautsch, they wound up bringing to life the tracks “Eye of the Storm,” “Sugar Boogie” and “Psilocybin” all in one take. Snakehill Productions, whose Karma to Burn behind-the-scenes videos were recently featured here, was on-hand to tape the proceedings, and I’m happy today to be able to host the premiere of that video.

The clip is 28 minutes long, and accordingly it doesn’t seem unreasonable to think of it as a short live set from the three-piece. “Eye of the Storm” and the aptly-titled “Sugar Boogie” appear next to each other on the Sons of Morpheus album as well, though in the opposite order, and the flow between those songs and “Psilocybin” is palpable. The openers are a catchy, natural-toned pair that work well side-by-side in showcasing the rhythmic fluidity between Kurmann and Gautsch and Bissig‘s penchant for tossing off classic-style leads at the drop of a hat. As they move into the faster “Sugar Boogie,” that dynamic holds, and it does so as well once they get into the more stretched out “Psilocybin.”

It’s a psychedelic jam directly descended from Jimi Hendrix‘s “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).” On the album, “Psilocybin” stretches over nine minutes, and I think it’s longer than that here, as Sons of Morpheus gradually build from a quiet psychedelia to more propulsive blues rock en route to jamming the whole thing to pieces in an intense final barrage. That too is a pretty classic notion, but whatever familiar elements Sons of Morpheus are working with, they’re right to do it live, because what most distinguishes them is how well the three-piece work together. If you’re not convinced by the end of the Snakehill/Studio Stübio video, I’m not sure what to tell you.

Please find the whole video on the player below (quite a future we live in), followed by some thoughts from the band on recording live and more. Enjoy:

Sons of Morpheus, “Eye of the Storm”, “Sugar Boogie” and “Psilocybin” Live

We all have our own answer regarding the question what it takes for a band to be truly special. The songs? The excess? The looks? All wrong. What makes music special is the life which is pumped into it. The sorcery. The magic. Enter Sons Of Morpheus: Three Swiss musicians, united in wish and goal. “We are a unit following the same thoughts and the same aims”, vocalist Manuel Bissig explains. No words are needed to express what these are. You hear it. Feel it. With their self-titled debut, they evoke a sonic trance between Stoner, Blues, Rock and wavering psychedelia, between the golden aura of yesterday and the expectant hiss of tomorrow. What unites Sons Of Morpheus with the heroes of the sixties and seventies, with all these iconic forefathers of our contemporary riff, is absolute freedom.

That’s why Sons Of Morpheus shows a sense of jamming, of improvising and of courageous edges despite all that groove and Stoner dust. Only all too clear that playing live lies at the very core of their art. “We are a live band, thus we record live”, Bissig states as if this was no big deal at all. Recording with titan Jim Waters (Sonic Youth, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion), consequently, was not only a logical step but also the best decision this band could ever make. This record rumbles, it roars, it creaks as if the band was thrashing your living room. “When recording live, this single moment gives birth to something that is feeding on the emotions present in this room. In this moment, only music matters.” And precisely this music is of such a dreamlike power that evokes envy even in the eponymous God of Sleep.

Sons of Morpheus website

Sons of Morpheus on Thee Facebooks

Sons of Morpheus on Bandcamp

Snakehill Productions on YouTube

Snakehill Productions on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , ,