Desertfest Berlin 2014 Adds Hull, The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic and Powder for Pigeons

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 29th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Here’s a quick impression of me the last time I saw Hull. Ready? Okay, here goes: “Duh Hull are fucking fantastic and I’m an idiot for not listening to them like every day. Duh.”

I was right, actually, because even now as I put on their 2011 to-date magnum opus, Beyond the Lightless Sky (review here), I’m reminded immediately of just how righteous the Brooklyn four-piece can get. I haven’t seen much word of new material for a follow-up, though they played some live if that counts (I think it does), and they reissued their debut EP, Viking Funeral, last year, so they’re definitely still active. Really interested to hear what they turn out for a new album though, since both their albums at this point have had such a conceptual framework. Like mom says though, good food takes time.

Hull will join the lineups for Desertfest in London and Berlin (they’re also playing Roadburn), and I’ve also included recent announcements below for Ed Mundell‘s The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic and German rockers Powder for Pigeons, who’ll play Berlin.

Dig:

We are thrilled to announce today that Sludge rock conjurors HULL will play at DESERTFEST BERLIN 2014!

Hailing from the streets of Brooklyn, HULL materializes as a massive entity storming stages and immersing their audiences in a blanket of grandiose down-tuned compositions. A shifting fault line of decibel heavy harmony, this collective force converges in a collision of thrash, doom, classic rock, and formal orchestral works. Submerged in cosmic soundscapes, HULL challenges the mind with flowing, off-time fugues and powerful, dynamic movements.

Hard at work since the release of their seminal EP “Viking Funeral” in 2006, HULL unleashed in 2009 a new creation “Sole Lord” that offered a promising extension of the ambitiously psychedelic doom legacies of Neurosis and Isis. Two years after, the band’s sprawling latest saga “Beyond the Lightless Sky” emerged, and was a colossal and cohesive statement full of misdirection and surprises.

Moment of atmospheric drift, mathematical twist, and belligerent march tied together into the suggestion that this was a band to watch. Fortunately for all of us, HULL has planned to embarked on a European mission with Elder this spring, and we are proud to get them at DESERTFEST BERLIN 2014 (with maybe new songs, if we believe what we could read on their facebook page!)

Some of you expected them, and here they are : THE ULTRA ELECTRIC MEGA GALACTIC! We are proud to welcome Ed Mundell (ex Monster Magnet, The Atomic Bitchwax) at DESERTFEST BERLIN 2014!!

When he left Monster Magnet in 2010, Ed Mundell began to explore a range of psychedelic jams. Gradually, this jammy impulse led to the formation of THE ULTRA ELECTRIC MEGA GALACTIC (from now on refered to as TUEMG), and toward the end of the last decade, the band composed of Ed Mundell, bassist Collyn McCoy (Trash Titans, Otep) and drummer Rick Ferrante (Sasquatch), began playing out here and there on the American West Coast.

TUEMG play an instrumental psychedelic, heavy spaced out power rock and it’s bloody fantastic! Hard Rocking, 70′s inspired, the band bring a new fresh take on the power trio set-up and they know how to make their instruments talk. As soon as you start listening TUEMG, the atmospheric mix of terrific and imaginative bass runs, cosmic guitar sounds and fanstastic drumming takes you for a trip into the furthest reaches of the seventies flavoured psychedelic universe the trio inhabits.

Early 2013 brought their S/T debut, and if you dig space travelling, these 9 songs are a must that you European people will be abe to enjoy in live for the first-time ever at DESERTFEST BERLIN 2014!

We are pleased to announce today the German-based Australian-born rockers POWDER FOR PIGEONS!!

POWDER FOR PIGEONS are an exceptional rock duo that was founded in 2012 by Rhys Jones (vocals/guitar) and Meike Hindemith (drums) in the hot and dusty Outback of Western Australia. Inspired by the rugged surroundings, they have crafted a gigantic sound that fills the frequency spectrum with punchy, warm, fuzzy guitar riffery and thumpin drums to be heard for miles around.

After releasing their debut album “Hell outta here” in March 2013 which they recorded live in the arid Australian desert, the Power Duo has toured extensively throughout Europe with stops in Germany, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, UK, Switzerland, Austria.

Stationed in Germany for months now, with a swag full of dirty new material, the band released last week their new amazing and thriving Rock and Roll effort making quite clear that they “live and breathe” the music for/on every rocking note! We are very happy to have them bringing their brand of sweaty fuzz/grunge to DESERTFEST BERLIN 2014!

http://www.desertfest.de
https://www.facebook.com/HULLsounds
https://www.facebook.com/TheUEMG
https://www.facebook.com/PowderForPigeons/

Hull, Beyond the Lightless Sky (2011)

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Dali’s Llama Celebrating 20 Years in the Desert with a Wild Rumpus

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 20th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Palm Springs desert rockers Dali’s Llama, led by Zach and Erica Huskey , will celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band on Oct. 5. They’re throwing a killer party to mark the occasion, and before you ask, yes of course it’s in the desert. Forest music they are not, though their last album, 2012′s Autumn Woods (review here), leaned that way a bit in its atmosphere.

I’ve gone on before about how I consider Dali’s Llama‘s ethic of following their passion for two decades deeply, richly admirable and inspiring, so I’ll spare you that, but suffice it to say that even in a realm of the underground where people say they are on their own path all the time, Dali’s Llama actually are. And they have been for a long, long time. 20 years, or so I’m told. Kudos. One of these days I’ll get to interview Zach or Erica. Maybe for the next record, which never seems to be far off.

The cast of characters they’ve assembled to help them celebrate two decades at what they’ve awesomely decided to call “Dali’s Llama’s Wild Rumpus” reads like a desert wishlist for people you’d want to have show up to a party. Lineup, link and a cool Skillit poster follow:

Dali’s Llama’s Wild Rumpus

Celebrating 20 Years Underground
13 Bands (only $5)
at The Palms in Wonder Valley
All Ages • Bar with ID
Free Overnight Camping
Bands start at 2:00 pm!

We hope you’ll join us to celebrate our band’s 20th Anniversary with a gathering of friends, music & fun.

Dali’s Llama

Rubber Snake Charmers
(feat Mario Lalli & family + special guests)

The Freeks
(former members Nebula, Fu Manchu, Backbiter, The Angry Samoans)

Ultra Electric Mega Galactic
(former/current Monster Magnet, Sasquatch, Trash Titan)

Hornss
(members of Solarfeast & The Jack Saints)

Rise of the Willing
(high desert DOOM masters!)

Whiskey and Knives
(desert stoner/punk kings!)

Brave Black Sea
(former members Kyuss, QOTSA & Slo Burn)

Undead Cuervo
(L.A. stoner rock!)

Caveman Voicebox
(feat member of The Adolescents)

Hit It!
(like early Redd Kross)

and special acoustic performances by

Joe Dillon & Scott Brooks
(The Hot Beat Duo!)

Josh Heinz
(the Big Daddy of Blasting Echo)

After the show there will be a free informal test screening of the music documentary “Lo Sound Desert”.

https://www.facebook.com/events/143851785822433/

Dali’s Llama, Autumn Woods (2012)

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Doom in June III Tickets Now Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 2nd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

The lineup is admirably varied and unflinchingly heavy, and Doom in June III is set to take place June 1, 2013, at the Cheyenne Saloon in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tickets for the day-long get-down are now available via the link embedded below in the info sent down the PR wire:

DOOM IN JUNE III MUSIC FESTIVAL

Saturday, June 1st, 2013
The Cheyenne Saloon in Las Vegas

April 2, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV — The celebrated DOOM IN JUNE MUSIC FESTIVAL returns for the third time on Saturday, June 1st, 2013 with some of the coolest names in Doom, Stoner Rock and Metal. The event provides a full day of immersion into some of the greatest music of the genres, drawing people from around the world to Las Vegas to get down and get rockin’. Prepare for another wicked dose of the heaviest of the heavy.

Remaining true to the original format, Doom In June III kicks off the summer on the first weekend in June. Thirteen bands are confirmed – including many established acts — as well as providing an opportunity for guests to catch some of the brightest young talents. The venue offers a carefree, good time environment which is why bands and guests alike look forward to returning to The Cheyenne Saloon (3103 N. Rancho Blvd.).

Performances include THE SKULL featuring former TROUBLE vocalist Eric Wagner and bass player Ron Holzner offering the best of Trouble; legendary ‘80s cult favorites MANILLA ROAD; instrumental power trio KARMA TO BURN, ANCESTORS, New Mexico’s LAS CRUCES, CASTLE, SNAIL; Monster Magnet guitarist’s Ed Mundell’s new band ULTRA ELECTRIC MEGA GALACTIC; Las Vegas’ female-fronted doom four-piece DEMON LUNG — who will celebrate the event as a record release show for their highly anticipated debut album on Candlelight Records; a couple San Diego area bands DALI’S LLAMA and ALBATROSS OVERDRIVE and two promising locals opening the day – MEGATON and SPIRITUAL SHEPHERD.

Doors are at 1:00 pm and event features thirteen bands performing for twelve hours on one stage. Tickets now on sale at www.brownpapertickets.com for only $16 advance. Rooms are available at The Fiesta Rancho Hotel/Casino which is located very close to the Cheyenne Saloon and offers affordable accommodations.

For more information email salemrosemusic@aol.com or visit Doom In June III on Facebook at www.facebook.com/doominjune. Event sponsors include Fly PR, Heavy Planet, Planet Fuzz, Doom Metal Alliance, All That Is Heavy Shop and Hellride Music.

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The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, The Freeks and Blaak Heat Shujaa to Embark on 4/20 Long Weekender

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 15th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

I guess if you’re gonna take a long weekend, that’s the one to do it. Ed Mundell‘s The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, The Freeks – featuring ex-members of Nebula — and desert newcomers Blaak Heat Shujaa are hitting the road on a five-date weekender circa April 20 that’ll find them on a pilgrimage around California. As if the last two posts about Desertfest and Roadburn weren’t enough to fill your April, check this out:

4/20 Weekend Tour (USA)
(The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, The Freeks, Blaak Heat Shujaa)

Three major players of the California heavy psych underground will join forces on a five-day American Southwest tour on 4/20/2013 weekend.

The 4/20 Weekend Tour will feature the first shows from The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, the latest endeavor of Ed Mundell (of Monster Magnet and Atomic Bitchwax fame), which also includes members of Sasquatch and Trash Titan. They will be joined by psych warriors, The Freeks (with Ruben Romano from Fu Manchu and Nebula on guitar, and Tom Davies from Nebula on bass), and by TeePee Record’s hottest new signees, Blaak Heat Shujaa, who deliver a loud, enticing blend of fuzz heaviness, surf rock and neo-psychedelia.

Dates:
04.17 The Slidebar – Fullerton, CA
04.18 Level 2 Bar & Lounge – Cathedral City, CA*
04.19 The Tin Can – San Diego, CA
04.20 Favorites – Las Vegas, NV
04.21 The Satellite – Los Angeles, CA**

* Pre-Coachella Festival Party, w/ Yawning Man & Hot Beat Pussy Fiend.
** Third edition of TeePee Records Night LA.

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The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic: Sending out the Exploration Team

Posted in Reviews on March 4th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

As lead guitarist in Monster Magnet from 1993-2010, Ed Mundell contributed to some of the most essential American heavy psych and heavy rock put to tape. Exploratory albums like Superjudge and Dopes to Infinity led to the more straightforward and commercial Powertrip and God Says No, and while the band settled into that aesthetic, Mundell continued to show his affiliation with heavy psych and traditional classic rock ethics in The Atomic Bitchwax, a project he left after releasing two full-lengths and an EP upon relocating to California circa 2004. His tenure would continue for more than half a decade with Monster Magnet and the Bitchwax continued on and have thrived against the expectations of many in his absence, but Mundell began to explore a range of psychedelic jams in the years subsequent, beginning with a track contribution by an instrumental trio called The Formula to the High Volume compilation put out by High Times magazine in ’04. Gradually, this jammy impulse led to the formation of The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, and toward the end of the last decade, the band began playing out here and there on the West Coast, low key. Shows were jams, basically, with Mundell joined by bassist Collyn McCoy (Trash Titan) and drummer Rick Ferrante (Sasquatch), but sooner or later an album was bound to happen, and when it finally did, Snail’s Matt Lynch stepped in to record at his Mysterious Mammal Studios.

The resulting self-titled full-length (released through the band’s own Orbit Unlimited imprint) is probably too layered with psychedelic effects, backwards guitar, Echoplex, and leads to completely represent The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic’s live show, but at the root of each of the album’s nine tracks is an organic sounding jam that’s simply been built upon. Commonalities exist on songs like “Hello to Oblivion” to early The Atomic Bitchwax, and perhaps that’s to McCoy and Ferrante’s credit as a versatile rhythm section as much as it is to Mundell, who leads with no shortage of twists and turns in his intricate riffing. They are, true to form, a powerful trio, and the album – instrumental but for an intro spoken by the writer Harlan Ellison that appears reprinted on the inside of the gatefold digi-liner – essentially works as a showcase for their chemistry, playing out with immersive, driving psychedelia over the course of just under 55 minutes. Sasquatch guitarist Keith Gibbs appears on second track “Exploration Team,” donating a solo in complement to Mundell, and flourishes of sitar and extra percussion appear on the Eastern-keyed “The Man with a Thousand Names,” but for a good portion of the album, it’s McCoy, Mundell and Ferrante on their own in outer-headspace, the backwards guitar and warm bass tone of intro cut “Unassigned Agent X-27” providing lead-in for “Exploration Team”’s winding riffs and immediately engaging fuzz. As with most of the material on the album, riffs feel plotted out beforehand – that is, for how well McCoy plays off Mundell’s guitar with bass fills, I don’t think he’s hearing this stuff for the first time as though it were made up on the spot in the studio – and changes are positioned well, guitars emerging, receding, making way for the bass and then coming forward again, but the underlying core is organic and working on a time-tested ethic of players in a room playing. Everything else is added around that central idea.

While that goes to deepen the actual listening experience, The UEMG’s Hendrixian jam-ready modus probably would’ve come through no matter what they put on top. Even as he takes an extended, soulful solo in “Get off My World!,” Mundell seems to leave room for the groove Ferrante and McCoy ride, and the result is one of the self-titled’s more engaging moments of laid back heavy psychedelia, produced crisply but not overly clean, and a distinguishing factor between The UEMG and Mundell’s work in his past outfits, the real character of the band emerging even as the track fades into “7000 Years through Time,” and the signature style of winding riffs is revived. Structured into two vinyl sides with cuts both just over 11:40 ending each one, The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic is well symmetrical as an album, whatever spontaneous characteristics it might present, and the band works ably within that sphere. Perhaps after so many years in Magnet, Mundell couldn’t help but give this record a sense of structure, even as comparably off the rails as it might seem on the surface with the difference of approach. Either way, it’s a stronger, richer listen for it, and with “7000 Years through Time” running into the extended “The Third Eye” to end the first half, their cosmic flow is well underway, only moving farther out into the far out with the longer jam, which starts out barn-burner fast, but eases into a slower groove toward the middle to rock a build near the end with some of McCoy’s best basslines of the album, holding the song together in its stillest moments and driving it forward toward the end at its most raucous.

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Friday Long-Player: The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic, The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic

Posted in audiObelisk on February 15th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’ll be reviewing this one as well in the next month or so, but as California’s The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic made their self-titled debut available for streaming today through Bandcamp, it seemed only fair to cap the week with it. I hope you’ll forgive the preemptive doubling up. I’ve been stoked for this album since interviewing guitarist Ed Mundell and premiering a track from the band last year, so to finally hear the record in full is a boon.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a band moniker as ripe for acronymic representation as is The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic — a trio completed by the formidable rhythm section of bassist Collyn McCoy (Trash Titan) and drummer Rick Ferrante (Sasquatch) — and the band even occasionally refers to themselves as “The UEMG.” As such, though I don’t usually like to abbreviate band names, I’m on board this time around, and I’ve decided that should they come up in conversation, I’ll be pronouncing UEMG as “oo-meg,” which, you know, is fun.

As always, I hope you dig the selection.

What I week this was, and I hope you can hear me exhale as I type that knowing it’s “over” as much as it ever is. I feel like between The Eye of the Stoned Goat 2 last Saturday and the YOB show on Sunday, I was finished before I even crossed the starting line, but a couple late nights at work and my ass is pretty well kicked. We’re supposed to get some snow between now and then — nothing like last week — but my plan for tomorrow is to head into Brooklyn and catch Elder at The Acheron with It’s Not Night: It’s Space, Eidetic Seeing and Ancient Sky. Should be an evening of heavy reverb. If you’re going, I’ll see you there.

That review should be posted Monday if all goes to plan, and also look for writeups on new records by Magic Circle and Endless Boogie next week. The latter outfit are NYC native and playing Brooklyn tonight with Arbouretum. That’s actually a show I’d have loved to have seen, but Williamsburg on a Friday night’s a pretty daunting prospect these days, driving, parking and existence-wise. Still, the record’s killer so far and I’m looking forward to digging in deeper for the review this week.

Going to try and maybe work in some shorter-type reviews as well, with the thought that not every record benefits from the 1200-word treatise and that time is limited whereas my backlog is dauntingly infinite, but maybe that’ll be this week or maybe it’ll be never. In the more immediate is fixing The Obelisk Radio, which has been down for several days now and is bumming me out. Glad to say Slevin seems to be on the case. I registered this afternoon with a different company to host the stream and last I heard he’s got it in process in terms of switching over with minimal upset to anyone who may have put the playlist in iTunes or anything like that. I’ll keep you posted when I have some better sense of when it’ll be up and running. My hope is sometime over the weekend, but these things are rarely as simple as they seem or would preferably be.

Whatever you spend your weekend listening to, I hope it’s a great and safe one and that you enjoy the holy hell out of it. I’m down to 32 copies of the Clamfight CD, and if you haven’t bought one yet, I’d sure appreciate the support if you could. Either way, thanks as always. I’ll see you on the forum and back here Monday for more keyboard-driven shenanigans.

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The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic Interview with Ed Mundell: Freedom and the Cost of Rockets (Plus Track Premiere!)

Posted in audiObelisk, Features on May 5th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

It was a surprise to fans when following the release of 2010′s Mastermind, lead guitarist Ed Mundell announced he was leaving New Jersey-based hard rockers Monster Magnet after a tenure that stretched back to 1993′s Superjudge. Mundell‘s persona on stage was certainly lower key than Magnet frontman Dave Wyndorf, but you could say the same about nearly everyone on the planet, and though Mundell showed a love of heavy power trios in his work on The Atomic Bitchwax‘s early albums, he’d long since left that band and moved to Los Angeles. An instrumental track called “Hello to Oblivion” from the Mundell-led trio The Formula showed up on 2004′s High Volume: The Stoner Rock Collection compilation, but that was just one song, and it’d be more than half a decade before Mundell actually left Monster Magnet.

During the last couple years, however, the cumbersome name The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic has been popping up, and as 2012 takes its shape musically, that will no doubt continue to be the case. The instrumental three-piece is comprised of Mundell on guitar (duh) joined by bassist Collyn McCoy of Trash Titan (who released a killer self-titled EP last year) and drummer Rick Ferrante, also of heavy rockers Sasquatch. They’ve been jamming for a while now and playing sporadic but rare live shows — just enough to gain a reputation — and they’re in the midst of finalizing their full-length debut at Mysterious Mammal Recording with none other than Snail bassist Matt Lynch (his band’s new album, Terminus, is reviewed here) at the helm. The goal is to translate the live chemistry between Mundell, McCoy and Ferrante to the yet-untitled album, and then layer on top whatever the hell they feel like.

That sounds like a joke, but to hear Mundell talk about the backwards guitar, wah, echoplex and loops that show up in The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic‘s jam-based songs, it’s abundantly clear that these traditionally psychedelic effects and the lengthy solos he crafts from them are indicative of the higher ideal of complete creative freedom, something he obviously relishes about working with McCoy and Ferrante, and his feelings of being refreshed creatively come through unabashedly. He sounds not just excited about the prospects for his new band or about his joy in working with these players, but also like the idea of being able to do what he wants on an album without being second-guessed is a novelty, and without saying so explicitly as regards his work in Monster Magnet, the guitarist hints that indeed that’s the case. It is a novelty.

All the more thrilling, then, is the prospect of the album the band is in the midst of recording. In our interview, Mundell discussed his feelings post-Magnet, the jams at the roots of The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic and the process by which some of those jams are turned into songs, working with Lynch as producer and engineer and just what goes into mixing a track that has so many layers cast on top of its original live recorded base, and much, much more. This is the first time I’ve interviewed Mundell, but his excitement about the band was palpable (if I haven’t yet made that clear), and he seemed completely in touch with what he wants this band to be, as well as admiring of McCoy, Ferrante and Lynch to the output that is as yet forthcoming. It was more than enough to make me look forward to the record.

By way of a teaser for that, I’m honored to have been granted to host an exclusive stream of the track “Rockets Aren’t Cheap Enough” from The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic‘s debut. They’ve had a rough version of a track on their website for a while, but to the best of my knowledge, this is the first time audio from the album itself has been made public. Special thanks to Lynch for making the connect that allowed this to happen.

Please enjoy “Rockets Aren’t Cheap Enough” and the complete 3,800-word Q&A (people from Jersey talk fast, no matter how long they’ve lived elsewhere) with Mundell, as well as photos of the band in the studio, after the jump.

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