Italian space metal instrumentalists L’Ira del Baccano will issue their new album, Paradox Hourglass, via Subsound Records on April 14. It’s listed below as their third full-length, but my count has it as their second behind 2014’s Terra 42 (review here) — entirely possible and indeed likely I’m mistaken; the band did have a live release and a split before the studio offering, if one goes by their Bandcamp discography — but either way, preorders are up now for the new one, and after Terra 42‘s blend of cosmic impulses and crunchier, solidified riffing, it seems like one to keep an eye out for.
Comprised of four likely extended-length tracks, Paradox Hourglass will be on vinyl and CD, as the PR wire affirms:
Subsound Records proudly unveil details and pre-orders for the doomdelic instrumental heavy rockers L’IRA DEL BACCANO 3rd album “PARADOX HOURGLASS”
The album will be released on 14th April, distributed by Goodfellas in Italy, Cargo Records Germany, on 5th May via CODE 7 Distribution / Plastic Head in UK and Cobraside Distribution Inc. in USA.
Available in Digipack Cd, 180 gr Coloured Vinyl and Digital
2 years and half after the critically acclaimed “TERRA 42″ the italian band returns with ” PARADOX HOURGLASS ” and continue the instrumental journey through different songs structures while melting in their unique style and sound vibes going from the doom influences of Black Sabbath with the 60’s/70’s psychedelia of Pink Floyd and Hawkwind, to heavy-prog vibes of bands like Rush, as well as the performing freedom of jam bands as The Grateful Dead.
The album has been produced in Rome at Kick Recording Studio by Marco Mastrobuono and the band mastermind Alessandro Drughito Santori. Mixed/Mastered by Mastrobuono & Matteo Kutso Gabbianelli
“PARADOX HOURGLASS” signs again the collaboration and link between the band and the Italian artist Fabio Listrani, who also did all the marvelous artwork for the previous album Terra42.
This time Listrani translate the band music and album main theme, paradoxes, in his fascination for tarots and symbolism..
Tracklist: – Paradox Hourglass part 1 (L’Ira Del Baccano) – Paradox Hourglass part 2 (No Razor For Occam) – Abilene (The trip to) – The Blind Phoenix Rises
[Click play above to stream Double Quartet Serie Vol. 1 by Hifiklub vs. Fatso Jetson & Gary Arce in full. Album is out next month on Subsound Records.]
In 1960, saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman recorded Free Jazz with what was deemed a “double quartet,” including two trumpets, two basses, himself, a clarinet, and two drummers, each quartet playing in one channel. Roman label Subsound Records would seem to be following that blueprint with the beginning of its own Double Quartet Serie Volume 1 that pits Californian desert rock mainstays Fatso Jetson and Gary Arce of Yawning Man in right channel and Toulon, France-based experimentalists Hifiklub.
The project, the connections to jazz for which can be found through the general spirit of improvisational exploration more than swapping solos or anything like that, was recorded in Coxinhell Studio in Southern France. Fatso Jetson were working with the lineup of guitarist/vocalist Mario Lalli, bassist Dino von Lalli and drummer Tony Tornay on a European tour with Yawning Man, and Hifiklub — who in the past have collaborated with Mike Watt, Lee Renaldo of Sonic Youth, and Alain Johannes, who mixed and mastered this release, are comprised of bassist/vocalist Régis Laugier, guitarist Nicolas Morcillo, art-and-stuff-ist Arnaud Maguet and drummer Pascal Abbatucci Julien.
Eight dudes, in a room together, making their way through seven tracks/37:41 of improv vibing, it’s no wonder one can hear bits and pieces of conversation taking place throughout, though that might also be samples playing through the songs. With such a wide-open sonic range, it’s important to acknowledge any number of possibilities for what could be happening at any given moment.
Goes without saying that Hifiklub vs. Fatso Jetson + Gary Arce, as a whole, eight-piece unit, are tailor-made for headphones. Any single one of those entities would be headphone-worthy on their own, and together, their sounds coming through different channels on the vast “A la Fin Je l’Espère Calme,” that’s even more the case. The album glides through a suitably varied scope of moods, from the rolling, massive-in-the-low-end march of side A closer “Glorious Whores” — also the longest cut at 8:02 — to the noise-wash build of “Safe in Pieces,” which is almost straightforward compared to some of what’s going on.
That’s not to say there isn’t a sense of structure throughout. Beginning with “Tenderloin Vignette” (video premiere here), Double Quartet Serie Vol. 1 pairs longer tracks with shorter ones. It’s not that “Tenderloin Vignette” is a rocker and the subsequent “Un Gribouillis De La Beauté” (3:10) an interlude — both keep a consistent focus on ambience — but it seems more about different jams working in different ways depending on which element is in the lead.
“Tenderloin Vignette” follows the guitar and “Un Gribouillis De La Beauté” presents a more sparse, key-led wash that gets immediately contrasted by the double-drum solo from Tornay and Julien at the launch of “Glorious Whores,” soon enough joined by a bass tone so rumbling it’s almost funny that turns out to be a defining aspect of the song around which the guitars and drums build to a considerable plod.
There are vocals on several of the tracks, “Glorious Whores” among them, but no discernible lyrics to form a verse/chorus trade, which only underscores the dudes-in-a-room-playing-off-the-cuff spirit of the record as a whole. None of these players are strangers to improv or to collaboration, so to have them working together is still an experiment, but definitely one that benefits from their general readiness to plug in and play.
And the shorter, more atmospheric pieces — “Un Gribouillis De La Beauté,” “Black Without White,” “A la Fin Je l’Espère Calme” — do much to avoid a “sessions” kind of feel, adding range to the project overall and giving context to the post-grunge guitar work on “Safe in Pieces” or the dreamy meld in “Tenderloin Vignette.” That tradeoff becomes even more apparent on side B, with four tracks beginning with “Black Without White” leading into “Safe in Pieces” and the pair of “A la Fin Je l’Espère Calme” and “The Rocky Road to Holiness” closing out.
More conversation is had — literal and figurative — as guitars play off each other in “A la Fin Je l’Espère Calme,” but with how fluidly they do so, it would be easy to listen to a a whole record of nothing but that, particularly with the keys surrounding. To call it a jam I guess is fair enough, but it’s more of a standalone piece, and it comes apart to let the quiet start of the finale set its mood with more foreboding guitar, toms and cymbal wash, introducing chanting before the two-minute mark and dropping out circa 2:30 into its 7:29 to let the guitar introduce the figure on which “The Rocky Road to Holiness” will roll Double Quartet Serie Vol. 1 to its conclusion, both drummers working in lockstep as the bass and guitars build around them.
By the time they’re about five minutes deep, they’ve brought the wash to its head, and topping it with some “ohh”-type vocals from one side, the other, or both, it’s a cohesive way to cap the release as it winds down, underscoring the point that throughout, it’s not so much a case of Fatso Jetson and Gary Arce opposing Hifiklub as working in concert with them. I said as much with the video premiere, but really, what the eight-piece Hifiklub vs. Fatso Jetson + Gary Arce conjure is molten to the point of liquidity, and with how well they fit together, Double Quartet Serie Vol. 1 is able to engage front-to-back with a genuine sense of adventure and immersive depth.
Hifiklub vs. Fatso Jetson + Gary Arce, The Making of Double Quartet Serie Vol. 1
The official name of the project — Hifiklub vs. Fatso Jetson & Gary Arce, Double Quartet Serie Volume 1 — is kind of complicated, but what it works out to is gorgeous psychedelic spaces crafted with a spirit of resonant improvisation. Indeed, the parties involved in the seven-track Subsound Records release are collaboration-prone French experimentalists Hifiklub (they’ve also worked with Alain Johannes and have a new record out with Jad Fair and kptmichigan), as well as Fatso Jetson — who at the time of the recording were touring as the trio of Mario Lalli, Dino von Lalli and Tony Tornay — and Yawning Man guitarist Gary Arce, with whom they were on the road. Two quartets. Hence “double.”
Subsound will have the full-length out next month, and I haven’t yet heard the whole thing, but listening to the two tracks included in the video below, “Tenderloin Vignette” and “Glorious Whores,” my only quibble is with the “vs.” part of the collaboration’s moniker. There’s very little working against each other going on here, if any. Granted it might be awkward to go with Hifiklub & Fatso Jetson & Gary Arce, but that’s really kind of how it works out. Each party makes clear contributions, but I wouldn’t say there’s any antagonism on a sonic level to be found — only fluid, desert-infused psychedelic jamming, oddly choral vocalizations, and a bendy-string intro that soon gives way to two cuts anchored by warm and consuming bass tone over which guitars shine out in engaging progressions. I get the use of “vs.” as a stylistic choice in naming the project, but it’s worth making clear that nobody in Hifiklub or Fatso Jetson seem like enemies by the time the songs are done.
Rather, the vibe that pervades is delightfully let’s-go-into-the-studio-and-see-what-happens. The underlying motion of “Tenderloin Vignette” and the bass push that starts “Glorious Whores” seem to have been thought out beforehand, but there’s a lot here that sounds off the cuff, a real “sessions”-kind of release. You get members of one band or the other screwing around between the tracks and all, and it makes the whole thing seem even more natural, not that it was hurting in that regard.
The video, directed by Laetitia Bica, captures Mont Faron, in Hifiklub‘s native Toulon. Some of the portion in the second half going backwards gave me kind of a queasy feeling, so if you’re affected by that kind of thing, keep an eye out, but even if you put it on and click to another window, I think you’ll agree it’s well worth your time to listen.
More to come on this release next week. Please enjoy:
Hifiklub vs. Fatso Jetson & Gary Arce, “Tenderloin Vignette”/”Glorious Whores” official video
Subsound Records is happy to announce the ‘2 Tracks video’ (track 1 and 3) from the upcoming album “Double Quartet Serie” Vol.1 HIFIKLUB Vs FATSO JATSON w/ GARY ARCE, directed by the artist Laetitia Bica.
It’s a portrait of the montain in Toulon, Le mont Faron, France.
The release will be out via Subsound Records in October and distributed worldwide.
Tracklist : 1. Tenderloin Vignette 2. Un Gribouillis De La Beautè 3. Glorious Whores 4. Black Without White 5. Safe In Pieces 6. À La Fin Je L’Espère Calme 7. The Rocky Road To Holiness
Double Quartet Serie Volume 1 Hifiklub vs Fatso Jetson + Gary Arce 2016, Subsound Records
Two tracks: 1. Tenderloin Vignette 2. Glorious Whores — starts at 6.49
Music by Pascal Abbatucci Julien, Régis Laugier & Nico Morcillo Arranged with Gary Arce, Ahmad Compaoré, Mario Lalli, Arnaud Maguet, Tony Tornay & Dino Von Lalli
Posted in Whathaveyou on January 26th, 2016 by JJ Koczan
Hailing from the northern side of Italy’s western coastline, it’s little wonder that Cecina trio Mr. Bison are looking to have a good time. The upbeat heavy rockers will release their second album, Asteroid, via Subsound Records on March 18, and it will serve as the foll0w-up to the band’s 2012 debut, We’ll be Brief, which showed some clear influence from modern fuzz à la Truckfighters — who at this point should be charging royalties to the Italian Ministry of Culture — and a clear readiness not to take itself too serious in songs like “Grocery Store” and “R&R Cobra.”
If there’s any shame in Mr. Bison moving beyond that record and toward the new release, it’s that they didn’t make a video for “Grocery Store” from the debut, which featured the chorus, “I go to the grocery store,” and seem ripe for some visual representation. Perhaps even of someone going to the grocery store. A missed opportunity, but four years after issuing their first LP — they also had an EP out in 2011 called We Don’t Like Love Songs that, like the debut, is available as a free download from their Bandcamp — it’s probably time for them to roll on one way or another.
Since their last time out, the band has apparently dropped the bass in favor of a dual-guitar approach. The PR wire brings confirmation of that as well as the preorder link for Asteroid, which you’ll find under the artwork below:
Subsound Records is thrilled to announce the signing of the italian stoner rockers MR.BISON
The long awaited album “ASTEROID” will come out worldwide on March 18th 2016, powered by a new double guitar line up balancing the absence of bass with a wall of sound result of home made splitted triple amplifiers.
Artwork by acclaimed designer Luca Solo Macello. “ASTEROID” will hit the stores in Cd and Lp formats
Posted in Reviews on January 1st, 2015 by JJ Koczan
I thought last night about changing the name of this feature to “First Licks 2015,” but on further reflection, that’s just too much licking. It’s bad enough as it is. All the same, Happy New Year to you and yours, wherever you and they may be. I hope in 2015, your reviews pile never gets so backed up that you think about doing something so absolutely insane as tackling them all at once to wipe the slate clean. Then again, being completely inundated with music has its upsides. The music, for one.
We press on today with the fourth installment in the “Last Licks 2014” series. These are reviews 31-40. I passed the halfway point yesterday with barely so much as an inward breath to appreciate the moment, and I can only hope the pile of discs before me goes so smoothly. I’ll let you know when I get there. Until then, no need to dally, let’s get underway with the first reviews of 2015.
Thanks for reading:
Seven that Spells, The Death and Resurrection of Krautrock: Io
Reportedly second in a series of three albums from Croatian heavy psych rockers Seven that Spells, The Death and Resurrection of Krautrock: Io follows a first installment subtitled Aum released in 2011 and brings forth heady, mostly instrumental progressions of extended runtimes and a satisfying blend of weighted tones and stylistic clarity. The three-piece who released their first album in 2003 alternate between three shorter pieces and two longer ones across the 47-minute Sulatron Records outing’s five tracks, and while I’m not entirely sure what is the narrative that’s taking place across them, there’s definitely a plotted course and concept at work behind the material – it does not come across as haphazard in any way. When they arrive, vocals do so as chants coinciding with sweeping passages, as on “Burning Blood,” the culmination of which is worthy of being the apex of a trilogy in progress. Io takes the off-the-cuff authenticity in heavy psych and gives it direction and purpose beyond simply being. No small feat, no small results.
Some metal isn’t doom, some doom isn’t metal, but Texas trio Elliott’s Keep play doom metal, and make no mistake. Their third long-player, Nascentes Morimur, comes after 2008’s In Medias Res (review here) and 2010’s Sine Qua Non (review here), and like them, it was produced and mixed by J.T. Longoria, so that their darkened, metallic chugging is presented with a crisp bite. The three-piece of Kenneth Greene (bass/vocals), Jonathan Bates (guitar) and Joel Bates (drums) toy with the balance between death and doom effectively across Nascentes Morimur’s nine tracks, making highlights of early moments like the double-kick-laden “Now Taken” and the chorus of the proceeding “Days of Hell.” Later cuts like “Tale of Grief” and “Omen” follow suit, with Jonathan riffing out classic metal vibes while Greene switches between clean singing and a rasping, almost black metal in places, scream. Their command never wavers, though, and while there have never been many frills about their approach, Elliott’s Keep have come to offer a fist-pumpingly heavy, sharp-edged push.
Bluesy Minneapolis double-guitar four-piece The Lone Crows show an affinity for classic rock stylization on their World in Sound second full-length, Dark Clouds. Produced modern, with lead guitar front and center, there’s more rock to Dark Clouds than heavy rock, but the vocal style of guitarist Tim Barbeau – joined in the band by guitarist Julian Manzara, bassist Andy Battcher and drummer Joe Goff – has some ‘90s inflection to it, and every now and then they get into a bit of bounce, as on the title-track and “The Dragon.” The penultimate “Midnight Show” would seem like the peak of the album, and sure enough it has one of its best hooks, but the recording doesn’t allow for the same push one imagines the material would carry live, and the quiet ending of “On that Day” feels flat compared to some of The Lone Crows’ bluesy peers. I chalk it up to the difference between blues rock and heavy rock and my own expectations, rather than some fault in the band.
I’m not sure if it would be appropriate to call Krautzone an offshoot of Zone Six, of which all four members – guitarist Rainer Neeff, synth-providers Modulfix and Sula Bassana, and percussionist Komet Lulu (the latter two also of Electric Moon) – take part, plus bassist Onkel Kaktus, but either way, the sound is nebulous, brilliantly textured for a meditative, slow-motion churn, and utterly engrossing. Their Sulatron debut, Kosmiche Rituale, is comprised of three lengthy explorations, tones washing in and out of each, smoothly offset by Neeff’s flight-taken guitar, minimal but earthy percussion and an improvised sensibility. “Liebe” (12:46) and “Kosmiche Rituale” (9:09) comprise side A and “Only Fools Rush In” (20:41) consumes side B entirely, a wash of synth and cymbals announcing its arrival as it sets about unfolding its long course, every bit living up to the album’s title in the process. Krautzone also released a split with Lamp of the Universe in 2014 (review here), but on their own, they shine with the chance to really stretch out.
Italian instrumentalists L’Ira del Baccano make their full-length debut with the lushly conceived Terra 42, a six-track, 57-minute outing that works in three overarching “phases.” The first of them includes tracks one through three and is dubbed “The Infinite Improbability Drive,” and it makes up more than half the album’s runtime, the first, 13-minute part standing alone while the two subsequent nine-minute stretches feed one directly into the next in a psychedelic wash of open guitar building to a raucous heavy rock finish. Phase II, “Sussurri… Nel Bosco di Diana” is the next two cuts, and moves smoothly from a Yawning Man-style jam to more riff-based thickness. The longest individual part, Phase III, is the 14-minute “Volcano X13,” track six, on which the band move fluidly through their heavy psych and rock impulses, synth and guitar intertwining well as L’Ira del Baccano affirm their more-than-burgeoning stylistic breadth. It’s an interesting, somewhat familiar blend, but they put it to good use on Terra 42 and engage with the spaciousness created.
Reactivated Montreal noisemakers Lae enlisted the help of their producer, Today is the Day’s Steve Austin, in handling lead vocals for their debut, Break the Clasp, which is a move fitting for their anti-genre approach to noise, drone, doom, post-everything, and so on. A Battleground Records/The Compound release, Break the Clasp reworks unheard material from Lae’s original run in the mid-‘90s – an album that never came out, essentially – but the vitality in the 13 tracks (yes, even the crushingly slow ones) is fresh to the point of its newness, and even the parts meant to be abrasive, opener “Sexy Sadie” or pieces of “17 Queen,” for example, hold onto a wonderful depth the mix and a feeling of texture that feeds Break the Clasp’s otherworldly spirit and brings you along its path of consuming strangeness. Austin is a presence, but by no means the star, and the whole band Lae shines across Break the Clasp’s fascinating span. A debut no one knew they were awaiting, but they were.
Psychedelia implying such a colorful sound, and black metal implying essentially the absence of that color, the two have rarely been paired well, but Finnish four-piece Atomikylä display a resounding space on their five-song debut full-length, Erkale (released by Future Lunch), and they’re not through the 13-minute opener, “Aluaineet,” before I think they might have mastered the balance between effects wash, unmitigated thrust and far-back screaming that most others have left too far to one side or the other. The four-piece with a lineup half from Oranssi Pazuzu and half from Dark Buddha Rising don’t stay in one place stylistically – the title-track has an almost krautrock feel, while the subsequent “Ihmiskallo” is more resolved to doom – but they keep a consistency of blinding bleakness to Erkale that results in a decidedly individualized feel throughout the 48 minutes. Droning and jazzy guitar experimentalism prevails in “Who Goes There,” and 10-minute closer “Musta Kulta” both broadens the atmosphere and underscores Atomikylä’s vicious stylistic triumph, capping Erkale with a mash of squibblies and screams, effects and distortion that’s so filthy it can’t help but be beautiful.
Freiburg, Germany, trio Deaf Proof – guitarist/vocalist J. Fredo, bassist JP and drummer Pedro – released their first demo in 2013, but the three-song/34-minute EP (it’s more like an album, but I won’t argue) Death Sounds Angry is a decidedly more assured, professional affair. The vibe is loose and, in the reaches of 18-minute middle cut “Origin of Pain,” jammy, but the three-piece still seem to have some idea of where they want their material to go, even as they feel their way toward those ends. A Colour Haze influence? Maybe, but less than one might think given the current climate of European heavy psych. JP’s bass has a tendency toward darker undertones, and when they hit the payoffs for “Death Sounds Angry and Hungry for More,” “Origin of Pain” and “The Sense,” they reveal themselves to be in search of something heavier and less peaceful. J. Fredo’s vocals are a little forward in the mix, but Death Sounds Angry still offers plenty to chew on for the converted.
Progressive, mostly instrumental and hypnotic, Zagreb, Croatia, trio Jastreb released their self-titled debut as a single 36-minute song in 2012, and the follow-up, Mother Europe (on HauRucK), is no less ambitious. Vocals appear here and there, both from the core three-piece and a guest spot, but the heart of what Jastreb do is rooted in their ability to craft movements that pull listeners in without falling into lulls of unconsciousness – to wit, the repetitions of “The Black Mountain” seem still but are constantly building and moving forward – as well as in arrangement flourishes like synth, Hammond, sitar and violin among the shades of post-metal in “Haemmer” or the bleary, drone-backed opener “North,” which comes companioned by the subtle churn of “South” to end the album. Not necessarily psychedelic in a loose or jammy sense, but immersive, and purposeful in its variety; the sitar and guest vocals on “The Silver Spire” arrive just at the moment when one thinks they might have heard it all. Could say the same of the record itself, I suppose.
Passage of Gaia is the sixth album from progressive melo-doomers Arctic Sleep. A four-piece from Milwaukee including bassist/drummer/cellist/vocalist Keith D, guitarist Mike Gussis and vocalist Emily Jancetic (John Gleisner plays drums live), one is reminded both of the Floydian consciousness of mid-period Anathema (my go-to comparison point for this kind of stuff, admittedly) and the drama in Katatonia and some of Novembers Doom’s clean sections, but ultimately, Arctic Sleep emerge from the eight-track/54-minute DIY long-player with their own personality, measured out in the careful vocal collaboration between Keith D and Jancetic, songs like “Terra Vindicta,” “Green Dragon” and “Passage of Gaia,” and the varied structures between the more rocking “Terra Vindicta” and the build of “Solar Lament.” Through it all, nothing’s out of balance, and Arctic Sleep execute Passage of Gaia with the poise demanded by the style and the fact that it’s their sixth album, accomplishment suiting them as well as the melancholy of closer “Destroy the Urn,” which almost loses its restraint at the end. Almost.
Posted in Whathaveyou on August 25th, 2014 by JJ Koczan
Italian astral plane enthusiasts L’Ira del Baccano have announced a September release for their debut studio album, Terra 42, through Subsound Records. The reason I make the distinction “studio” is because when the Rome four-piece issued their first full-length, Si Non Sedes Is…, it was live. That record came out in 2008, and while L’Ira del Baccano put out a split in 2010 and have been playing shows in and around Italy — they recently supported Church of Misery — their debut is awaited and arrives in suitably deluxe fashion, splatter vinyl, foldout poster and all.
The PR wire has details:
L´IRA DEL BACCANO “TERRA 42” – NEW ALBUM, DETAILS & COVERT ART
L´IRA DEL BACCANO “TERRA 42” – NEW ALBUM, DETAILS & COVERT ART The new album by the instrumental doomdelic rockers L´Ira Del Baccano “Terra 42” is set to be released by Subsound Records in September 2014. Distributed in Italy by Goodfellas and worldwide by Code 7/ Phd
The album will be available in digipak CD with a 25×27 cm poster inside, and double gatefold vinyl with 3 different colours to choose from.
L´IRA DEL BACCANO “Terra 42” tracklist:
Phase I – The Infinite Improbability Drive Part 1-2-3 (32:05 min)
Phase II – Sussurri…Nel Bosco di Diana (11:20 min)
Phase III – Volcano x13 (14:34 min)
“If we were to describe a concept behind this album it would be the freedom to play in different ways and with different approaches. That´s what we explored..our ways to communicate with each other through our instruments and within different song structures; from a breathless trip that never repeats itself during almost 33 minutes (The Infinite Improbability Drive, inspired by Douglas Adams “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”), to a song in which we play around the same theme, yet always change the rhythmic perception and divisions (Volcano x13). In the middle (Sussurri…Nel Bosco Di Diana), a song with the first “static” part, and is followed by a progression of riffs”. [Taken from the credits of “Terra 42”]
Produced by guitarist and founder member Alessandro Drughito Santori. “Terra 42” has been recorded, mixed and mastered byMatteo Gabbianellii at Kutso Noise Home. All the artwork, concept and realization, is created by the Italian artist Fabio Listrani.