Doctors of Space Premiere Horrifying Video for “Ghouls ‘n’ Shit”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

doctors of space

Much respect to Doctors of Space, the Portugal-based experimentalist psych duo of synthesist Scott “Dr. Space” Heller and guitarist Martin “Apparently Also Earned a Space Doctorate” Weaver, perhaps best known as the axe behind the classic heavy ’70s riffage of Wicked Lady, who aside from a formidable pedigree have in their new video for “Ghouls ‘n’ Shit” created something genuinely nightmarish. I mean, there’s a lot of music out there that’s dark — and Doctors of Space isn’t particularly so — and a lot of affected horror donned as part of an aesthetic in underground music. It’s just kind of part of the thing. The clip for “Ghouls ‘n’ Shit,” which may or may not have been made by Weaver himself, goes beyond that. It’s a psychological horror, gruesome in the raw visual, yeah, but haunting in a way that speaks to something primal and wrong. That many teeth can only be signifying a threat on a preternatural level.

Are those “Ghouls ‘n’ Shit?” doctors of space ghouls n shitQuite possibly. They are ghoulish. Could also be that the “ghouls” in question are the lines of synth that seem to be screaming throughout the song. Either way, the upcoming 7″ release for the track will mark the first physical offering from the project, which has a couple digital singles to its credit as it is. Heller‘s own Space Rock Productions is handling the pressing, and it’ll be 100 copies with spraypainted covers each of course somewhat different from the others. You can get them signed too, which is always fun. The B-side is a demo of the same track, with Weaver playing bass and programming drums in addition to playing guitar. No doubt that too is gleefully weird.

Heller, known around these parts as the bandleader of Øresund Space Collective and synthesist for Norwegian psych jammers Black Moon Circle, fits well in this more experimental context, adding out-there flair to what’s already a pretty vast concept. As to where his work with Weaver might go, I’m told the universe is only expanding, so I guess it could be just about anywhere they want. It’s a level of adventurousness that suits them just fine. And hey, maybe the next video will be all puppies and flowers. For now, let this one plague your dreams.

Enjoy:

Doctors of Space, “Ghouls ‘n’ Shit” official video premiere

Doctors of Space is a fairly new project that features Dr Space (Øresund Space Collective, Black Moon Circle, Dr Space’s Alien Planet Trip, etc..) and Martin Weaver (Dark, Wicked Lady). The songs are conceived as collaborations either starting with synths and Martin adds his parts or Martin creating tracks with drums, bass and guitar and Dr Space adding his spacey sounds.

This 7” is limited to 100 copies, hand numbered and each cover unique, spray painted by the artists. It features the track Ghouls ‘n Shit as well as our original demo version on the B-side. The final version features Hasse Horigmoe (Tangle Edge, Øresund Space Collective) on bass.

The track is an uptempo rock number with some great guitar and spaced out Ghouls in the background, courteous of the Plague Bearer synth module and the Korg SQ-1 sequencer. This is a preview for our full length record that will be out in the spring next year.

Martin Weaver- Guitars, bass, programmed drums
Dr Space- Analog Synthesizers, spoken word, mixing and Mastering
Hasse Horgimoe- Bass guitar

Doctors of Space on Bandcamp

Space Rock Productions website

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Øresund Space Collective Meets Black Moon Circle, Freak Out in the Fjord: Cosmic Collision

Posted in Reviews on May 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

oresund space collective meets black moon circle freak out in the fjord

It happened once upon a Nov. 17, 2017, that respected cosmic improvisationalists Øresund Space Collective made their way from Denmark/Portugal/Planet Omega to Trondheim, Norway, where they were set to join with Black Moon Circle and take part in the Freak Out in the Fjord festival for which they’d eventually name this album. The title, though, is more homage than descriptor, as what makes up the record isn’t the actual live set, but the results of a studio session the next day. That might seem counterintuitive — especially for a band who are not at all shy about putting out live material — until one actually listens to Freak Out in the Fjord, at which point the results become largely inarguable. I say that as a fan of Øresund Space Collective, of course, but if you want to try to make a case against gathering a nine-piece lineup together, sticking them in the studio like some kind of off-the-cuff orchestra — three drummers and all — I’m happy to entertain it.

Certainly by the time they get around in opener “Rendezvous in the Nebula” to tossing off a swaggering reference to Jimmy Forrest‘s “Night Train” (also recorded by James Brown for Live at the Apollo in 1963), any such issue should be settled. From that interstellar-swinging 26-minute leadoff on through the other three more-than-a-side-consuming pieces on the 119-minute Space Rock Productions-issued triple LP, the personality changes, but the ultimate course of exploration is consistent. It’s jammy bliss, and as a particular sucker for an interplay between more than multiple drummers/percussionists, it seems like the rhythms here stand up especially well to the wash of guitar, bass, keys and synth surrounding. For reference, here is the lineup for the session, with their credits directly cut and pasted from the Øresund Space Collective Bandcamp page:

Magnus Hannibal – Fender Rhodes, Synthesizer
Tim Wallander – Drums (right), Fender Rhodes (Side B)
Simon W. Gullikstad – Drums (left)
Hasse Horrigmoe – Bass (slight left)
Øyvin Engan – Bass (slight right)
Vemund Engan – Guitar (right)
Jonathan Segel – Violin, Guitar (left)
Scott “Dr. Space” Heller – Modular Synth, Kaoscillator, Korg Monotron
Per Andreas Gulbrandsen – Drums (side B right, side C/D center)

For those familiar either with Øresund Space Collective or with the Norwegian-native Black Moon Circle, it will come as little surprise that the common thread between the two — aside from a propensity for psych-jamming — is Scott “Dr. Space” Heller. The bandleader of Øresund Space Collective has been a member of Black Moon Circle live and in the studio (also live there, as it happens), and as the two outfits work here under the collective banner of Øresund Space Collective Meets Black Moon Circle, he’s the one tying them together. It is a noble endeavor. The general method of Øresund Space Collective is to hit the studio or stage, press record, and go. Like off-the-cuff jazz born of psychedelia and space rock, their work is always an adventure and always captures the specific moment of its creation, never to come again. Bringing Black Moon Circle — the Engans and Gulbrandsen, as well as Gullikstad and Heller himself — into the fold, they only expand the reach, and as Freak Out in the Fjord plays through its massive sprawl across “Rendezvous in the Nebula” (26:18), “Afterglow in the Sea of Sirens” (23:55), “Dinner with Gregg A. and Jerry G.” (33:16) and “Freak Out in the Fjord” (36:03), the pieces each develop a persona of their own.

This is true whether it’s the Southern guitar inflection of “Dinner with Gregg A. and Jerry G.” or the engrossing well of energy of “Rendezvous in the Nebula,” the organ and synth making their presence felt in the second half of “Afterglow in the Sea of Sirens” by building a tension that instead of blowing up pays off in arguably the record’s sleekest groove, or the title-track’s experimentalist pulse, manifest in bouts of noise and swells of volume as the group moves inextricably toward a grand finale every bit worthy of the nearly two hours preceding. But as with either the work of Øresund Space Collective on their own or Black Moon Circle‘s jammy material or really any such release, Freak Out in the Fjord isn’t about the destination so much as the outward trip to get there, however satisfying the end proves to be.

So far as I know, it doesn’t, but Freak Out in the Fjord should probably come with some manner of warning label about melted consciousness or “these people are professionals; don’t try this at home” or something of the like. The fact of the matter is that whatever else is going on, Øresund Space Collective Meets Black Moon Circle are in their element when mounting these sonic excursions, and it’s never going to be for everyone. It is a kind of extremity. Not of volume, or intensity — at least not in a “metal” sense — but of purpose. It is a constant drive to push deeper into the heart of creativity and to document its realization. Øresund Space Collective, its related outfits and especially Dr. Space have amassed an extensive discography, as a group like this will, but some of their best work is done when they force themselves into a different avenue of collaboration, whether it’s with Black Moon Circle or the likes of KG Westman or Gary Arce.

The core of their approach is unwavering, and well it should be, but over time, it is also showing itself as infinitely malleable to a range of contexts. Maybe that’s easy to say for Øresund Space Collective, since their approach is based on an open sensibility, but the prospect of improv space rock is one that could just as easily fall flat, or sound empty, and instead, Øresund Space Collective Meets Black Moon Circle are engaging and immersive in kind. Whether you’re putting it on for a two-hour chillout or sitting with your headphones and picking out which drums are in which channel on which track, Freak Out in the Fjord delivers an ultimately satisfying experience for the converted or those willing to be, and while I know the whole point of the thing is to preserve the ephemeral spirit of a moment already gone — remember this was late 2017; though the two bands are touring together — I can’t help but hope Øresund Space Collective and Black Moon Circle meet again for another studio session, as it seems like there’s still so much of the universe to be discovered.

Øresund Space Collective Meets Black Moon Circle, Freak Out in the Fjord (2019)

Black Moon Circle on Bandcamp

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Øresund Space Collective on The Facebooks

Øresund Space Collective on Bandcamp

Øresund Space Collective website

Space Rock Productions website

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3rd Ear Experience with Dr. Space, Ear to Space: Souldreams and Eagle Bones

Posted in Reviews on May 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

3rd ear experience with dr. space ear to space

In 2017, scientists measured ripples in gravity for the first time caused by a neutron star collision in the galaxy rather unromantically-named NGC 4993. It was badass. I don’t know what effect bringing together Californian jammers 3rd Ear Experience with synthesizer specialist Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective will have on the universe at large, but if there are gravity waves caused as it beams itself out across space and time, one could hardly be surprised. The two parties coming together perhaps isn’t so much of an impact — that is, it’s actually a pretty smooth process, rather than two objects smashing into each other — but the end result on the 73-minute/five-track Ear to Space feels like a cosmic event anyway. Led by guitarist/producer Robbi Robb, 3rd Ear Experience have been rolling out desert-hued cosmic weirdo jams for the last half-decade, prone to massive explorations or tighter offerings in a varied, never-quite-know-what’s-coming aesthetic that extends to the vibe of the material itself as well as its construction, such as it is constructed at all, what with all the improv.

That sensibility — improv — is all over Ear to Space, with the first three sides of the 2LP each consumed by a single track pushing out across ever greater reaches, such that opener “Screams of Eagle Bone” (14:51), “Anam Cara” (20:22) and the extra-kraut-feeling “Dreams of the Caterpillar” (22:22) become a nebulous sprawl of trance-inducing aural voyage, a put-on-and-mellow-out excursion of engaging atmospheres and deep-running interstellar salutation. The amalgam collaboration of 3rd Ear Experience with Dr. Space doesn’t feel so much like an anomaly as it does a cohesive unit, as the two parties work toward the same ends in proffering an ultima-kosmiche space rock, the sax infusion early on “Screams of Eagle Bone” giving immediate Hawkwindian flair to the initial push, but the album finding its own way shortly thereafter as though, having once broken out of the stratosphere, it decides to go wondering around the neighborhood and see what it might run into. Oh, hello cosmic enlightenment. Didn’t see you there.

It’s an interesting project in terms both of the actual results — which are frankly kind of hard to write about because they’re so entrancing — and the process by which they were made. The aforementioned first three tracks, also known as sides A, B and C, were put together first by 3rd Ear Experience, with Robbi Robb on guitar and synth-guitar, Jorge Carrillo on bass, Richard Stuverud on drums, Amritakripa on synth and the bizarre chanting at the end of “Anam Cara,” and John Whoolilurie on sax. They were then sent to Heller, residing in Portugal, who essentially sat in on the “finished” jams, adding his signature sound via custom modular synth box and presumably other beep-boop this-and-thats — don’t ask me how the magic happens; it’s technology beyond my feeble understanding. The short version of the tale is: it works. If they said Dr. Space wizarded his way to California to join 3rd Ear Experience in the studio live, no one would think twice about questioning it. But, the last two tracks basically flip the method. Dr. Space started out with the synth textures of “Coin in the Desert” (9:37) and “Sue’s Dream World” (6:04), then sent that to Robb and company to be finished and mixed and mastered.

3rd Ear Experience with Dr Space Ear to Space lps

Especially in the case of “Sue’s Dream World,” that change is palpable in a departure to more atmospheric reaches, a lack of drums emphasizing the feeling of floating that’s been there all along if somewhat tethered to molecular cohesion by Stuverud‘s drums and the other percussion around even in “Coin in the Desert,” let alone “Screams of Eagle Bone,” which is downright straightforward in comparison. That said, because “Sue’s Dream World” is shorter, “Dreams of the Caterpillar” might actually be the point where Ear to Space finds itself most crossing dimensions, though it hardly seems a coincidence that both songs involve the word “dream” in their respective titles. That’s not to say “Anam Cara” is lacking anything for otherworldliness. Its sax-laced midsection freakout is a joy to behold, especially in terms of what Carrillo brings on bass, and the solo-topped wandering that happens afterward only enhances the wash, organ and synth coinciding to ensure there’s due melodic breadth to go with all the spaced-out spread happening.

On some level, the listener who is most likely to take on a collaborative effort from 3rd Ear Experience and Dr. Space probably knows what they’re getting going into it. That is, Ear to Space is probably not the kind of thing that finds its way into the hands of the not-yet-converted, except through word-of-mouth proselytizing. Fine. I don’t think going into it knowing that it’s going to be spacey diminishes the listening experience at all, because that simple category is so open to interpretation. 3rd Ear Experience with Dr. Space are indeed spaced out. That’s the idea they’re working from. That’s what they’re going for. But that doesn’t account for the undulating swells at the start of “Dreams of the Caterpillar” or the percussion jam in “Coin in the Desert” or the serenity with which “Screams of Eagle Bone” later resolves its early outbound rocketing.

The nature of improvised space rock is to capture these moments at the heart of creation, and so even while the frame might be familiar, the portrait within is inherently fresh. The point is to make a moment, and that moment, that specific “right then,” doesn’t happen twice. It may seem like an incongruity that something so tied to ephemera — made once, not recreated — should have such a lasting impression, but this too is part of the whole idea and part of what makes Ear to Space so gorgeous as a concept. It’s two parties reaching across continents and an ocean to come together in one celebratory creation ritual. It’s not meant to last, but it does. I’d be surprised if Ear to Space is the only time Robb and Heller join forces, as there seems to be so much more to be explored, and space itself is endless. Until then, this is a most encouraging first contact.

3rd Ear Experience with Dr. Space, Ear to Space (2019)

3rd Ear Experience on Thee Facebooks

3rd Ear Experience on Bandcamp

Øresund Space Collective on Thee Facebooks

Øresund Space Collective on Bandcamp

Space Rock Productions website

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Dr. Space Premieres “Cosmic Explosions” Video from Alien Planet Trip Vol. 3

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

dr space

Pardon me, but is the head of the household available? Great! Might you have a few minutes to hear the good word of our interstellar salvation? Excellent!

In that case, I delightfully turn you over to Dr. Space, the synth wizard — sometimes actually in costume, sometimes more of a figurative wizard — who stands as figurehead of the amorphous improv outfit Øresund Space Collective. Once of the US, then of Denmark, currently in Portugal with probably six or seven other places in between in what we pitifully think of as “our” dimension, Dr. Space has in the last 20-plus years amassed a massive catalog of output in the form of live records, studio jams, collaborations, splits, and more recently, solo affairs as part of a serious aptly dubbed Alien Planet Trip. The first them (review here) appeared in the night sky circa 2017, and a second followed in moodier fashion last year, amid a general onslaught of offerings.

The third is fully titled Dr. Space’s Alien Planet Trip Vol. 3 Featuring Martin Weaver, and feels very much like the beginning of a collaboration that will flesh out further in the future — or maybe it already has if we’re consideringdr spaces alien planet trip vol 3 the realm of non-linear time. Either way, true to its somewhat cumbersome title, it brings together Dr. Space — né Scott Heller — with the also-currently-of-Portugal guitarist Martin Weaver, whom heavy rock heads might recognize from his time in ripe-for-reissue proto-riffers Wicked Lady, among scores of others, and the two mount a kraut-hued exploration of synthesizer and guitar textures across a 50-minute eight-tracker (the LP edition is 44-minutes and seven tracks) that casts forth a hypnotic psychedelic suggestion every bit worthy of owning a song called “Trance Pants.”

That cut, by the by, is a techno freakout the likes of which probably won’t make it into “the club” unless “the club” is indeed on another planet, but emblematic of the kind of experimentalism on display throughout. Opening with the duo “Lost in the Desert” — on which Weaver adds drum programming and various other percussion as well as guitar — and the brazenly ambient “Veganporcotopia,” Alien Planet Trip Vol. 3 willfully blows down the doors of consciousness in its reach such that it’s not just about throwing ideas onto the tape and seeing what the magnet holds, but of helping conjure the other-world to which the title alludes. Even in the shorter “Where Aliens Go to Die” and also-percussive “Cosmic Explosion” find their way to do that, and “Spacey Placey” and “Sue’s Dream of Exploding Sheep” only push further out from there.

It’s a trip, sir or madam, well worth the taking. I thank you for your time and descriptor-indulgence and wish you well on your journey.

Enjoy:

Dr. Space with Martin Weaver, “Cosmic Explosions” official video premiere

Dr Space makes another Alien planet trip and this time he takes guitarist Martin Weaver along with him. This track ‘Cosmic Explosions’ is off the new record Vol 3. The album takes the listener through many different soundscapes and textures.

The 3rd volume of Alien Planet Trips is a collaboration with guitar player, Martin Weaver (Wicked Lady, Dark). We met a year ago and found we had a in common musically and should work together. These tracks were conceived during the summer of 2018, when it was too hot to do anything outside. It had been many years since I used my Nord Lead 2 so it was time to take it out and see what sounds it could produce. Many of the tracks the main synth lines were created on the Nord Lead and then additional layers were added and Martin then laid down some guitars. Hope you enjoy this 3rd Trip. It is very different from Vol 1 and 2.

Øresund Space Collective on Thee Facebooks

Øresund Space Collective on Bandcamp

Space Rock Productions website

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Øresund Space Collective Meets Black Moon Circle for a Freak Out in the Fjord

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 26th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

If you’re anything like me when it comes to the issue, Øresund Space Collective‘s jams arrive in the-more-the-merrier fashion. They’ve got two hours of live-captured improv psych and space rock? Cool, I’ll clear my afternoon calendar. Øresund Space Collective Meets Black Moon Circle is, as the name implies, the coming together of those two outfits — the Norwegian troupe Black Moon Circle being no slouches themselves in the jam department — and Freak Out in the Fjord is their six-sided 3LP release named for the show in Trondheim, Norway, that was the occasion for their coming together. The day after the gig, the two outfits hit the studio, recorded four sprawling explorations, and they’re being pressed by Space Rock Productions for release on May 7 on CD/digi. LPs are behind held back by some manufacturing issue — doubtless whatever poor pressing plant couldn’t handle that much cosmic energy brought to bear in a single burst — but should be out in June.

It’s not a split. It’s a collaborative effort, with two guitars, two basses and three drumsets and probably more synth than Norway allows by law. It is two-plus of the trippiest hours you’ll spend.

They’re streaming the 24-minute “Afterglow in the Sea of Sirens” now and you can catch it at the bottom of this post. Do so.

Enjoy:

oresund space collective meets black moon circle freak out in the fjord

Øresund Space Collective meets Black Moon Circle – Freak out in the Fjord

Release on Space Rock Productions, SRP059

Release date: 7th May 2019

In November 2017, ØSC and BMC played a show in Trondheim, Norway called Freakout in the Fjord, which also featured the local band, Red Mountains. The next day, we were booked into the excellent, Øra studio, one of the best in Trondheim for a jam session.

It took a few hours to set up all the gear (2 guitar set ups, 2 bass set ups, 3 drums kits (yes, 3!), modular synth, Fender Rhodes and Oberheim synth and we were ready to go. Four jams were recorded ranging from Miles Davis inspired (Afterglow) to Grateful Dead (Dinner) to heavy space rock (Freakout). It is a hell of a 2hr musical journey.

Recorded at Øra Studio, Trondheim, Norway on Saturday Nov 18th, 2017.
Recording engineer Magnus Koefod
Mixed and mastered at Brygga studio November 2018 by Magnus Koefod.

Tracklisting:
Side A- Rendezvous in the Nebula
Side B- Afterglow in the sea of Sirens
Side C/D- Dinner with Gregg A and Jerry G
Side E/F- Freak out in the Fjord

Personnel:
Magnus- Fender Rhodes, Synthesizer
Tim- Drums (right), Fender Rhodes (Side B)
Simon- Drums (left)
Hasse- Bass (slight left)
Øyvin- Bass (slight right)
Vemund- Guitar (right)
Jonathan- Violin, Guitar (left)
Dr Space- Modular Synth, Kaoscillator, Korg Monotron
Peran- Drums (side B right, side C/D center)

Live dates:
Lygtens Kro, København, DK May 23rd
Spaceboat VI Hamburg, DE May 24/25th 2019
Urban Spree, Berlin May 26th, 2019
Lodz, Poland May 27th
Warsaw, Poland May 28th
Poland or day off May 29th
Fenix Bar, Alyst, Lithuania May 30th
Fontaine Palace, Liep?ja, Latvia May 31st
Ääniwalli, Helsinki, Finland June 1st
Vastavirta, Tampere, FIN June 2nd
Melody Box, Stockholm, Sweden June 4th
Sonic Rock Solstice, UK June 23rd 2019

http://www.spacerockproductions.com
http://blackmooncircle.bandcamp.com
http://oresundspacecollective.com

Øresund Space Collective Meets Black Moon Circle, Freak Out in the Fjord (2019)

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Quarterly Review: JOY Feat. Dr. Space, Rosetta, Pendejo, Lightsabres, Witch Hazel, CBBJ, Seedium, Vorrh, Lost Relics, Deadly Sin (Sloth)

Posted in Reviews on March 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Day Five. What would traditionally be the end of the Quarterly Review if going to six wasn’t the new going to 11. Whatever, I can hack it. The amount of good stuff included in these batches really helps. I’m not saying there are days that are a flat-out bummer, but I feel like the proportion of times in this Quarterly Review I’ve gone, “Wow, this is pretty awesome,” has seen a definite spike this time around. I won’t complain about that. Makes the whole thing fun.

Today will be no exception, and then we finish up on Monday with the last 10. Thanks for reading if you do.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

JOY Feat. Dr. Space, Live at Roadburn 2018

joy feat dr space live at roadburn 2018

Brought together as part of the ‘San Diego Takeover’ at Roadburn 2018 that featured a host of that city’s acts performing in an even broader host of contexts, JOY and Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective took the stage at the tiny Cul de Sac near the very end of the festival. It was how I closed out my Roadburn (review here). Dr. Space did a short spoken introduction and then they were off and they didn’t look back. The centerpiece of the limited LP is an extended jam simply titled “Jam.” It’s edited on the platter, but the digital version has the full 54 minutes, and the more the merrier. They round out with takes on Road‘s “Spaceship Earth” and JOY‘s “Miles Away,” and those are cool too, but the real highlight is about halfway through the longer “Jam” when the drums kick into the next gear and you suddenly snap out of your trance to realize how far you’ve already come. And you’re still only at the midpoint. I don’t know. Maybe you had to be there. So be there.

Øresund Space Collective on Thee Facebooks

JOY on Thee Facebooks

JOY Feat. Dr. Space at Øresund Space Collective Bandcamp

 

Rosetta, Sower of Wind

rosetta sower of wind

Philadelphia-based post-whatever-you-got outfit Rosetta continue to set their own terms with Sower of Wind, a self-recorded four-track/half-hour offering that’s something of an outgrowth of their most recent album, Utopioid. Broken into four tracks each assembled from ideas and layers churning throughout the four sections of that record, it brings out the ambient side of the band as guitarist/keyboardist/bassist Matt Weed serves as engineer for “East,” “South,” “West” and “North” as he, guitarist/keyboardist Eric Jernigan and vocalist Mike Armine — who here just adds samples and noise — construct fluid soundscapes that can either build to a head, as on “East” or offer a sense of foreboding like “West” and “North,” depending solely on the band’s will. It’s intended as an exploration, and it sounds like one, but if that wasn’t the point, Sower of Wind probably wouldn’t have been released in the first place. It’s not at all their first ambient release, but this modus continues to be viable for them creatively.

Rosetta on Thee Facebooks

Pelagic Records webstore

 

¡Pendejo!, Sin Vergüenza

pendejo sin verguenza

Whatever your current working definition might be for “over the top,” chances are Pendejo — also stylized as the exclamatory ¡Pendejo! — will make short work of it. Sin Vergüenza, their third long-player, sees release through their own Chancho Records imprint, and it’s not through opener “Don Gernàn” before the Amsterdam-based outfit break out the horns. Fronted by El Pastuso, who supplies the trumpet, the band roll through dense toned heavy rock in a crisply-executed, high-energy 10 tracks and 40 minutes that, even when you think they’re letting up, on the later “El Espejo,” they still manage to burst out a massive riff and groove in the second half. It’s the kind of record that’s breathtaking in the sense of you’re trying to run to keep up with its energy. That, however, should not be seen as undercutting the value of the band’s songwriting, which comes through regardless of language, and whether it’s the start-stops of “La Mala de la Tele” or the gleeful weirdo push of “Bulla,” Pendejo have their sonic terrain well staked out and know how to own it. They sound like a band who destroy live.

Pendejo on Thee Facebooks

Pendejo webstore

 

Lightsabres, A Shortcut to Insanity

LIGHTSABRES A SHORTCUT TO INSANITY

It’s rare for an artist to grow less predictable over time, but Lightsabres mastermind and multi-instrumentalist John Strömshed hits that standard with his former one-man outfit. Joined by session drummer Anton Nyström, Strömshed brings forth 11 tracks of genre-bending songcraft, melding fuzz and progressive folk, downer rock and thoughtful psych, garage push with punker edge, and seemingly whatever else seems to serve the best interests of the song at hand. On “Born Screaming,” that’s a turn to classical guitar plucking sandwiched on either side by massive riffs and vocals, like that of “Tangled in Barbed Wire,” remind of a fuzz-accompanied take on Life of Agony. At just 36 minutes, A Shortcut to Insanity isn’t long by any means, but it’s not an easy album to keep up with either, as Strömshed seems to dare his listenership to hold pace with his shifts through “Cave In,” rolling opener and longest track (immediate points) “From the Demon’s Mouth” and the sweetly melodic finale “Dying on the Couch,” which is perhaps cruelest of all for leaving the listener waiting for the other shoe to drop and letting that tension hang when it’s done.

Lightsabres on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records webstore

 

Witch Hazel, Otherworldly

Witch Hazel Otherworldly

Classic-style doom rockers Witch Hazel shift back and forth between early metal and heavy rock on their second full-length, Otherworldly, and the York, Pennsylvania, four-piece of vocalist Nate Tyson, guitarist Andy Craven, bassist Seibert Lowe and drummer Nicholas Zinn keep plenty of company in so doing, enlisting guest performances of organ and other keys throughout opener “Ghost & the Fly” and “Midnight Mist” and finding room for an entire horn section as they round out 11-minute closer “Devastator.” Elsewhere, “Meat for the Beast” and “Drinking for a Living” marry original-era heavy prog with more weighted impact, and “Zombie Flower Bloom” plays out like what might’ve happened if mid-’80s Ozzy had somehow invented stoner rock. So, you know, pretty awesome. The strut and shuffle of “Bled Dry” adds a bit of attitude late, but it’s really in cuts like the title-track and the aforementioned “Midnight Mist” earlier on that Witch Hazel showcase their formidable persona as a group.

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Witch Hazel on Bandcamp

 

CBBJ, 2018 Demo

CBBJ 2018 Demo

To a certain extent, what you see is what you get with CBBJ‘s 2018 Demo, right down to the wood paneling on the cover art. The band’s name — also written as CB/BJ — would seem to be taken from its members, Cox (that being Bryan Cox, founding drummer of Alabama Thunderpussy), Ball, Bone, and Jarvis, and as they look toward a Southern Thin Lizzy on demo finale “The Point of it All,” there’s something of a realization in what they’re putting together. It’s four tracks total, and finds some thrust in “Wreck You,” but keeps it wits there as well as in the sleazier nod of “The Climb” that precedes it as the opener and even in the penultimate “Can’t Go Home,” which gives booziest, earliest AC/DC a treatment of righteous bass. They’re apparently in the studio again now, or they just were, or will, or won’t, or up, or down, but whatever. Point is it’ll be worth keeping an ear out for when whatever comes next lands.

CBBJ on Thee Facebooks

CBBJ on Bandcamp

 

Seedium, Awake

seedium awake

Go on and get lost in the depths of Seedium‘s debut three-songer, Awake. The Polish outfit might be taking some cues as regards thickness from their countrymen in Dopelord or Spaceslug, but their instrumental tack on “Mist Haulers,” “Brain Eclipse” and “Ruina Cordis” oozes out of the speakers with right-on viscosity and comes across as infinitely stoned. The centerpiece tops 11 minutes and seems to indicate very little reason they couldn’t have pushed it another 10 had they so desired, and through “Ruina Cordis” is shorter at a paltry 7:08, its blasted sensibility and ending blend of spaciousness and swirl portends good things to come. With the murky first impression of “Mist Haulers” calling like a prayer bell to the riff-worshiping converted, Seedium very clearly know what they’re going for, and what remains to be seen is how their character and individual spin on that develops going forward. Still, for its tones alone, this first offering is a stunner.

Seedium on Thee Facebooks

Seedium on Bandcamp

 

Vorrh, Nomads of the Infinite Wild

vorrh nomads of the infinite wild

Programmed drumming gives Nomads of the Infinite Wild, the debut release from the Baltimore duo of Zinoosh Farbod and John Glennon an edge of dub, but the guitar work of songs like “Mercurial,” looped back on itself with leads layered overtop and Farbod‘s echoing vocals, remains broad, and the expansive of atmosphere puts them in a kind of meditative post-doom feel. Opener “Myths” strikes as a statement of purpose, and as “Morning Star” shows some Earth influence in the spaces left by Glennon‘s guitar, the band immediately uses that nuance to craft an individual identity. “Flood Plane” saunters through its instrumental trance before getting noisy briefly at the finish, only to let “These Eyes” work more effectively through a similar structure with Farbod on keys, seeming to set up the piano-foundation of “Ancient Divide,” which closes. This is a band who will benefit greatly from the fact that they record themselves, because they’ll have every opportunity to continue to experiment in the studio, which is exactly what they should be doing. In the meantime, Nomads of the Infinite Wild effectively heralds their potential for aesthetic innovation.

Vorrh on Thee Facebooks

Vorrh on Bandcamp

 

Lost Relics, 1st

lost relics 1st

Well, they didn’t call it 1st because it’s their eighth album. Denver noise rock trio Lost Relics debut with the aptly-titled 18-minute four-songer, bringing Neurosis-style vocal gutturalism to riffy crunch more reminiscent at times of Helmet‘s discordant heyday. Dense tonality and aggression pervade “Dead Men Don’t Need Silver,” “Scars,” the gets-raucous-later “Whip Rag” and closer “Face Grass,” which somehow brings a Clutch influence into this mix, and even more somehow makes it work, and then even more somehow indulges a bit of punk rock. The vocals and sense of tonal lumber tie it all together, but Lost Relics set a pretty wide base for themselves in these tracks, leaving one to wonder how the various elements at work might play out over the course of a longer release. As far as a debut EP goes, then, that’s the whole point of the thing, but something seems to be saying Lost Relics have more tricks up their sleeve than they’re showing here. One looks forward to finding out if that’s the case.

Lost Relics on Thee Facebooks

Lost Relics on Bandcamp

 

Deadly Sin (Sloth), VII: Sin Seven

deadly sin sloth vii sin seven

Deadly Sin (Sloth) play the kind of sludge that knows how well and truly fucked we are. The kind of sludge that doesn’t care who’s president because either way the chicken dinner you’re cooking is packed full of hormones. The kind of sludge that well earns its Scott Stearns tape artwork. VII: Sin Seven is not at all void of melody or purpose, as “Ripping Your Flesh” and the Danziggy “Glory Bound Grave” grimly demonstrate, but even in those moments, its intent is abrasion, and even the slower march of “Icarus” seems to scathe as much as the raw gutterpunk in “F One” and opener “Exit Ramp”‘s harshest screams. Not easy listening. Not for everybody. Not really for people. It’s a malevolent bludgeoning that even in the revivalism of “Blood Bought Church” seems only to be biding its time until the next strike. It does not wait all that long.

Deadly Sin (Sloth) on Thee Facebooks

Deadly Sin (Sloth) on Bandcamp

 

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JOY with Dr. Space: Live at Roadburn 2018 Now Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

joy w dr space (Photo by JJ Koczan)

I was in the room when this one was recorded. I’ve been very fortunate the last several years in choosing well how I end my trips to Roadburn, and JOY with Dr. Space (review here) were my blowout for 2018. It could hardly have been more perfect. After a weekend in Tilburg marked out by the San Diego scene invasion that brought EarthlessVolcanoSacri Monti and others to the Netherlands for the fest, seeing JOY hit up the Cul de Sac with Roadburn regular Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective was exactly where I wanted and needed to be at that moment. I’m sure others felt precisely the same way about whatever they were seeing elsewhere, and that’s cool — it’s part of the thing to personalize — but for me, the expanded-mind jams that the collaborative four-piece got up to were just right for their time and place. They fit right in there.

Resulting audio releases from Roadburn are nothing new, but JOY with Dr. Space was a one-time thing. It’s not like they were touring together. I don’t even know how much they rehearsed beforehand. They might just gotten up and jammed. Either way, it worked, and the 54-minute “Jam” that you can stream at the bottom of this post along with “Spaceship Earth” and “Miles Away” bear that out. This one’s all about vibe, and with a limited-to-200 bootleg-style vinyl pressing that’s being officially released next week, I wanted to make sure any interested parties might have another chance to see it was available while it’s available. Because I don’t expect it will be for long.

Go on and get your head around it:

joy w dr space live at roadburn 2018

JOY featuring Dr Space – LIVE AT ROADBURN FESTIVAL 2018

Space Rock Productions
SRP055

Recorded at the Cul de Sac, Tilburg, Holland Sunday April
Recorded with an Edirol R-09 recorder and Audio Reality Microphones by Dr Space.
Audio enhancement by Jonathan Segel.
Vinyl track preparation and edits y Dr Space.

Limited edition of 200 on vinyl copies in plain white sleeve with a black and white insert like the old bootleg records of the 70s. Hand numbered.

The jam on side A/B was edited from 52 mins to 46 mins and misses the entire Dr Space intro. Thanks to Walter for making this gig happen.

Releases January 28, 2019.

Zach- Guitar and Vocals
Nasty- Bass
Thomas- Drums
Dr Space- analog synths

https://oresundspacecollective.bandcamp.com/album/joy-featuring-dr-space-live-at-roadburn-2018
http://www.facebook.com/oresundspacecollective
https://www.facebook.com/JOYHEADBAND/

JOY with Dr. Space, Live at Roadburn 2018 (2019)

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Øresund Space Collective, Kybalion: Augmenting Reality

Posted in Reviews on December 28th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

oresund space collective kybalion

It makes sense somehow that after 12 years and countless studio and live releases, Øresund Space Collective would at last go transdimensional. The vehicle for the beginning of their evolution into a noncorporeal cybernetic form is called Kybalion, and actually the title refers to the book of Hermetic philosophy teaching, among others, the principle of mentalism that puts thought as the basis for, well, everything, but either way, they sound thrilled to make the trip. Featuring eight songs and an 80-minute 2LP run, it was recorded in Nov. 2016, at either the same session or concurrent gathering to when the somewhat amorphous improv jam unit put down what became late 2017’s Hallucinations Inside the Oracle (review here). That’s by no means the first time Øresund Space Collective have gotten more than one record out of a session — 2016’s Visions Of… (review here), Different Creatures (review here) and Ode to a Black Hole (review here) were all recorded over a period of three days in Oct. 2014 — so there may yet be more to come from the Nov. 2016 session.

Either way, they certainly give plenty to chew on in extended jams like 21-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Open the Door and Ride,” and as alluded to at the outset, they’re working in multiple dimensions. The Space Rock Productions vinyl and a special edition of the CD come with cover art and extra artwork that works with an augmented reality app to give a 3D art experience, the cover coming to life as Øresund Space Collective synth wizard and bandleader Scott “Dr. Space” Heller speaks in echo about the mentalism and the power of thought in the universe and so on. Even the labels of the LP itself see the artwork of Batuhan Bintas (CyberRabbit) come to life. It looks to be remarkably well done, and as the cover is filled with various iconography, there’s plenty to dig into, from blue Venus to a rocking future Stephen Hawking and acid guru Owsley Stanley on what seems to be a cosmic bicycle.

As to the songs themselves, on the whole they’re shorter snippets than Øresund Space Collective sometimes manifest, but whether it’s the funky guitar and violin in the 17-minute “Take a Trip” or the classic rock flair to the extended guitar lead in “Open the Door and Ride,” there is a sense of personality to each jam that stands it out among its peers, whether it’s the running water sounds and later psychedelic thrust of “Pixie Dust,” the more forward synth of and motorik beat of “Down the Tube” or the sci-fi wash of “Sequencing the Human Brain,” synth and keyboard intertwining along with pulled bluesy guitar notes and an ultra-psychedelic crux that pushes the drums deep into the mix to let the ambience hold sway. Two sort-of-interludes appear as the second and second-to-last tracks, with “Drop It – Tropical Flavour of the Month” and “New Tropical Flavor” that indeed are named for the surf sound of the guitar, and they’re quick at under three minutes apiece and do well to tie together some of the disparate sides of Kybalion.

The band must have a million of these “usable moments” hanging around from their periodic get-in-the-studio-and-hit-record sessions, but the “Tropical” duo are put to effective use here. The last cut and the just the third out of the eight to touch the 10-minute mark is “Smooth Future,” and while, again, it’s relatively short at 10:10, it’s a gorgeous and serene note to end on, with synth gently cascading in and out in a slow-motion swirl as violin and guitar accent each other and the drums and bass hold together a steady and laid back space rocking outward progression. It comes to a pretty fervent push in its final minutes, but by the time they get there, the sense of drift is so palpable that there’s really nothing overstated about it, and they end, as the title indicates, smooth, with drums, synth and effects-laced guitars gently letting the listener go back to reality.

But who the hell wants to be in reality? Obviously not Øresund Space Collective, or they wouldn’t proffer such resonant sparefaring jams in the first place. As always for them, the music is improvised, and that exploratory sensibility has come to define their work. I have no doubt that they have their bumps in the creative road, and when I called pieces “snippets” above, that wasn’t an accident Even as “Pixie Dust,” “Down the Tube” and “Sequencing of the Human Brain” reach over nine minutes long, they feel like glimpses of longer jams, fluid moments captured on tape. Behind September’s Live in Berlin 2018 (review here) and May’s Chatoyant Breath (review here), Kybalion is the third Øresund Space Collective offering of 2018 — though Dr. Space also had a second solo album out — and it may or may not be the final collection culled from that Nov. 2016 session, but either way, for its multi-phase presentation and its as-ever glimpse at the big-bang moment of the creative process, the very beginnings of the spark that for many becomes the foundation of verses or choruses, the collective’s latest astrojazz/krautronaut excursion should well please fans looking to bask in the grand kosmiche chill that unites the various strings of galaxies and mind, thought and form.

Recent past outings have seen them partnered with former Siena Root/Indian classicist multi-instrumentalist KG Westman (Hallucinations Inside the Oracle) and guitarist Gary Arce of Yawning Man (Chatoyant Breath), but Kybalion reminds that so much of the appeal of Øresund Space Collective in the first place comes from the chemistry happening in the moment the jams are taking place, in that marriage between the ephemeral and the ethereal, their music seeming to speak to something so timeless while also being fleeting and gone the moment it’s put down, since, inevitably, the same improvisation can’t happen twice. Their megajams continue to stand them out in the sphere of heavy psychedelia and space rock, and while I don’t know the next time Øresund Space Collective will get together for a few days in Copenhagen or elsewhere, they only ever seem to push themselves further into the greater reaches of Far Out, and I can hear nothing in Kybalion to indicate their expansion will stop anytime soon.

Øresund Space Collective, Kybalion AR demonstration

Øresund Space Collective, Kybalion (2018)

Øresund Space Collective on The Facebooks

Øresund Space Collective on Bandcamp

Øresund Space Collective website

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