Golden Void‘s second album, Berkana (review here), proved that there are still new places to explore in space. The Thrill Jockey offering brimmed with bright tones and lush psychedelia like its predecessor, the band’s 2012 self-titled debut (review here), but it also brought a fresh dynamic to what’s often a staid repetition, gave vitality to a style that, once you get past all that Hawkwind push, is usually just prog minus (some of) the self-indulgence. Golden Void have thus far managed to find a niche for themselves between all of these impulses, and in so doing, have become one of American heavy psych’s most intriguing acts.
Following a gig this month in their native San Francisco and a warm-up show in Chicago, they’ll head to Europe alongside labelmates Holy Sons (Emil Amos of Grails/Om). The information below came from the internet:
Golden Void is the new face of Bay Area psychedelic music. It’s a rich tradition and like many of the tradition’s greats, Golden Void’s songs are firmly rooted in melody and not afraid of exploration. The band’s hooks get stuck in your head and their riffs transport you to the astral plane. Golden Void’s undeniable twist, setting them apart from their city’s lineage, is the influence of classic bands like Sabbath and Pentagram. The quartet, Isaiah Mitchell (Earthless) on guitar and vocals, Camilla Saufley-Mitchell on keyboards and vocals, Aaron Morgan on bass and Justin Pinkerton on Drums, achieves a perfect balance of muscular riffs, soaring melodies, and hazy atmosphere on Berkana, their sophomore album. Recorded with Tim Green (The Fucking Champs), Berkana shows Golden Void expanding the scope of their sound without abandoning the heady groove they carved on their acclaimed self-titled debut.
Several members of Golden Void cut their musical teeth together during their middle school years and their natural ease and friendship is apparent throughout Berkana. Every member contributes to the writing process and to the arrangement of songs. Working with Tim Green at his isolated country studio, with all the instruments he has amassed, was integral to the expanded sound on this new record. While their debut album was mostly recorded live, Berkana was recorded with each member in isolation, allowing for more edits and overdubs. On songs like “Dervishing” and “Astral Plane,” there are layers upon layers of sound to dig into, with acoustic guitar, keyboards, and even flute being added to the band’s potent brew. Tim Green picked up the baritone guitar and added some Arp as well. Isaiah Mitchell, one of the best rock guitarists working today, shows off his chops, but also his incredible restraint, throughout. In addition to the stretches of outright shredding, such as on opener “Burbank’s Dream,” or the climax of “The Beacon”, there are moments such as the breakdown on “I’ve Been Down,” in which Mitchell employs subtle melodic flourishes that slowly build in intensity. Berkana is a sonically rich collection of heavy rock and roll.
Golden Void live:
01.16.2016 Bottom of the Hill San Francisco, CA
01.25.2016 The Empty Bottle Chicago, IL
Golden Void Europe Tour Winter 2016:
01.28.2016 Sojo – Leuven, Belgium
01.29.2016 The Black Heart – London, UK
01.30.2016 The Rainbow – Birmingham, UK
01.31.2016 Brudenell Social Club – Leeds, UK
02.02.2016 Batofar – Paris, France
02.03.2016 Le Romandie – Lausanne, Switzerland
02.04.2016 KAFF – Frauenfeld, Switzerland
02.05.2016 Kapu – Linz, Austria
02.06.2016 Blah Blah – Torino, Italy
02.07.2016 Bronson – Ravenna, Italy
02.09.2016 Arena – Vienna, Austria
02.10.2016 Klub 007 – Prague, Czech Republic
02.11.2016 Musik & Frieden – Berlin, Germany
02.13.2016 La Zone – Liege, Belgium