Roadburn 2018 Day One: Gifted by the Wind

Posted in Features, Reviews on April 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2018 banner

04.19.18 – 11:33PM CET – Thursday Night – Hotel Mercure Rm. 224

Long day. Great day. I saw more bands than I photographed, which was among my most essential goals for Roadburn 2018: Just watch music. Just enjoy it. Don’t sweat getting down the front. Don’t sweat anything. This is a good time.

That whole “not sweating” part? Pretty much impossible. It’s apparently Global Warming Week in the Netherlands, so while Waste of Space Orchestra — the first of the weekend’s two commissioned projects, with members involved from Finnish fest-veteran outfits Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising — were tearing the Main Hall to shreds with their avantdelic blackened swirl, outside the sun was shining brightly in a conceptual contrast that, to be perfectly honest, was almost too much to take. waste of space orchestra (Photo by JJ Koczan)Outside, the cafes of Weirdo Canyon were packed to the hilt with libation quaffers. Inside, the goal seemed to be who could be first to prove the human soul exists and then tear it apart.

Hyperbole, you say. Fucking a right. How’s this for hyperbole? Waste of Space Orchestra‘s set might have been some of the most forward-thinking music I’ve heard since BorisFlood. Maybe. I’d have to hear it recorded, which hopefully will happen in a Live at Roadburn-style context, if not an actual studio album — it seems to me the substance there is too great to be left as a one-time-thing-and-gone experience. The ebbs and flows from almost-nothing drones to full-intensity, dual-drummed madness set a scope worthy of its dream-based concept, and there did not seem to be a moment of it that departed from the central mission of exploration. The gorgeous derived from the hideous and vice versa. A laugh in the face of anyone’s expectations, my own included. A first “holy shit” moment for a span of days that promises many.

My brain already so much goo only kept from leaking out of my skull by my earplugs blocking the way, I galumphed in that American-with-a-sore-back kind of way over to Het Patronaat to watch Colorado’s Khemmis play their first European show ever. Imagine that. Your first show on the continent, and it’s at Roadburn. I hope anything else on the tour measures up, because they absolutely packed out the church, and the assembled congregation bid them much welcome once they got going following a moment of turns-out-this-isn’t-plugged-in technical difficulties. That is to say, the crowd knew them and knew their two albums, 2016’s Hunted (review here) and 2015’s Absolution (review here), so there was none of that awkward getting-to-know-you phase. Everyone dove right in.

In fact, that seemed to be the way it went all around, not just for Khemmis or even Waste of Space Orchestra. Sometimes it takes a day khemmis (Photo by JJ Koczan)or two for Roadburn to really dig in. Not this year. From the moment Sannhet started in the Green Room, the vibe was set. Whether they were inside watching the bands or standing in the open air having a smoke of this or that — did you know Europeans put tobacco in their joints? I’ve been coming to the Netherlands for a decade and that’s some shit I just found out today, which I guess tells you how concerned I am generally with the matter. Still, fascinating.

What was I saying? Oh yeah, the vibe. The vibe was right on. I don’t know if it was starting off the Main Stage with such a landmark performance, or the sense of gratitude that Khemmis had from the beginning of their set on, or just all these super-laid-back West Coast dudes walking around, but it was quick immersion in and about the 013 venue. The good times were immediate. The rooms were jammed right from the beginning, and in the best way possible, it felt way more like day three than day one. Again, I did my best to take it easy and just enjoy it, soak in everything I could.

That’s not to say there wasn’t a bit of back and forth to the evening. Plenty, actually, but I knew that Earthless were on my must-see list for the day. The forerunners of San Diego’s heavy rock boom are wrapping a European tour here supporting their new album, Black Heaven (review here). They had a decent portion of acolytes rocking out at the side of the stage, and guitarist Isaiah Mitchell casually noted that it had been 10 years since the first time they played the fest, which of course resulted in the now-legendary LP, Live at Roadburn (discussed here). He wished everyone a great weekend. My big question going into their Main Stage set was how their new material, specifically that with his vocals, would fit alongside the three-piece’s longform instrumentalism.

The answer couldn’t possibly be dumber:earthless 1 (Photo by JJ Koczan) It just does. It’s the same band. It absolutely works. After about 20 minutes of their set, and further, as they moved into “End to End” and “Gifted by the Wind,” I began to wonder exactly what the hell I thought was going to happen, like all of a sudden Mitchell would start singing and bassist Mike Eginton and drummer Mario Rubalcaba would stop and be like, “Dude, what’re you doing?” in the middle of a song. It’s a big transition they’ve made with Black Heaven, but they 100 percent pulled it off on the record, and they did likewise live. Once they started playing, there was no doubt. They absolutely owned the stage and owned the room, the dynamic between each member of the band and the others making all of them utterly essential to the whole; a classic power trio with boogie enough to move thousands. I know. I saw it happen.

And while we’re on the subject, bonus points to Rubalcaba for wearing a t-shirt representing their tourmates Comet Control, who play tomorrow at Cul de Sac and are my absolute must-see band for the day. Like, not staying the whole time for Crowbar, missing Supersonic Blues‘ covers set, Panopticon and Kikagaku Moyo to see them. That’s how fucking essential I consider that. I also hope to get my own shirt.

My intended next stop after Earthless was Insect Ark, at Cul de Sac. I ran back to the hotel room to throw water on my face and drop off the issues I’d snagged of Weirdo Canyon Dispatch, but got back to the venue in Weirdo Canyon itself 20 minutes early and probably about 10 too late to get a spot down front. They went on and I stood in back nursing my regrets and my umpteenth espresso for the day that I picked up from the machine in the hotel lobby, then tweedledummed my way back to the Main Stage toearthless 2 (Photo by JJ Koczan) watch some of Converge playing last November’s The Dusk in Us.

I made it in time to catch the title-track, which frontman and Roadburn 2018 curator Jacob Bannon took a moment to explain was about depression and that if anyone “could relate,” the most important thing to do was survive. “Nothing is more important than you,” he said. I had to stop for minute as the song got going with its slow build and dramatic semi-spoken lyrics and realize that I’ve never felt that to be less true. I don’t begrudge Bannon the sentiment, but yeah. Not a chance, bro.

Harder to argue with Converge‘s on-stage delivery, though. They’ve been at it for nearly 30 years, and while I can’t claim to have seen them in 1990, the passion seems not to have dulled in the slightest. My stop in the Main Hall was temporary though, as I knew I wanted to head to the Green Room to catch Ex Eye, about whom I’ve been hearing more or less since I got to Tilburg yesterday. And actually much longer than that.

Somewhat telling that I walked into the Green Room with more than half an hour to go before the New York-based four-piece took the stage — they were soundchecking at the time — and still couldn’t get a spot to take a semi-decent photo. When they actually rolled in, Ex Eye represented the league of hyperprog better than anyone I’ve seen in a good long while. Guitar, sax, Moog, drums — though no shortage of low end. Instrumental experimentation turning metal into jazz and jazz into metal in a way that would have Cynic blushing and Colin Marston breaking out his Warr guitar to try and get in on the fun. Now I know what people who saw Blind Idiot God in 1989 must’ve felt like.

And I guess by that I mean outclassed by a decade or two. I’d never heard Ex Eye before — look at me, trying new things! — and they were as opaque as they were breathtaking, but it was clear they were on their own wavelength.ex eye (Photo by JJ Koczan) Is extreme prog a thing? If it is or it isn’t, they are.

Having some time before my last stop for the night, I popped up to the merch area to see what was what for shirts and CDs and the like. Part of my annual sojourn in the past has been catching up on Nasoni Records releases by buying a host of CDs, but there were none to be had. I consoled myself with some treasures from Svart — Talmud BeachGarden of WormKimi Kärki‘s solo record, Hallatar — and an old compilation on Hellhound that I’d never seen around before. Distros had a lot of vinyl, same as everywhere, and I usually allot myself one piece of it before the weekend is out. I may yet, but didn’t this time. I’m sure I’ll get there.

But as to that last stop for the day, it was Mirror Queen back at the Cul de Sac. A bit of New York to wrap up a day that spanned even more broadly in terms of style than I could’ve planned had I actually circled names on the schedule. If I could end every night of this fest with some good old fashioned heavy rock and roll, I think I could only call it a win. Mirror Queen brought exactly that: wholesome ’70s flavor with not an ounce of pretense to be found. They’d been on tour for a week alongside Lonely Kamel and were tight enough to make one believe it, and they pulled a good crowd supporting their new single “Inviolate” (video premiere here) and last year’s full-length, Verdigris (review here), which was likewise rife with classic heavy charm and a naturalist modern presentation.

Not my first time seeing them by any stretch, but in my experience there’s always a difference between seeing a band at Roadburn and seeing them anywhere else. Plus, this was my first time watching them play with guitarist Morgan McDaniel in the lineup alongside founding guitarist/vocalist Kenny Sehgal, drummer Jeremy O’Brien and bassist James Corallo. I saw McDaniel here a couple years back when he played bass in The Golden Grass, but he can and did shred on lead guitar and it was a pleasure to watch. He fit right in that band in a way that made me hope he stays.

After taking pictures down front, I made my way to the back of the room for a mirror queen (Photo by JJ Koczan)bit to catch my breath prior to heading out. It had been, as I noted at the outset, a long, great day, but the get-back-to-the-hotel-and-start-writing-you-jerk itch was making itself felt, so I eventually departed the boogie proceedings and lumped it down Weirdo Canyon and back here, where I remain, somewhat stunned by the news that Sleep are apparently releasing a previously-unannounced album tomorrow, on April 20. I would be very surprised if some clever venue DJ doesn’t have it playing somewhere here this weekend. What a way to end day one.

Up in the morning early to work on the ‘zine again, so I’ll leave it there for now. I’ve got some more pictures up after the jump if you get the chance to check them out. Thanks for reading either way. More to come.

Read more »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Roadburn 2018 Trip Pt. 3: Getting Weird in the Canyon

Posted in Features on April 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

weirdo canyon

04.19.18 – 11:55AM CET – Thursday morning – Hotel Mercure Rm. 224

I get asked a lot how I do this every year. Roadburn. The lack of sleep. The back and forth. Well, I’ve had about nine espressos from the machine in the 013 office so far today and I seriously doubt they’ll be my last, so I’ll just say there’s very little mystery when it comes right down to it. The fact is Roadburn comes once a year. The fact is I’m so, so, so fortunate espresso machineto be here. The fact is heart palpitations are a small price to pay for spiritual rejuvenation.

Those are the facts.

The first issue of Weirdo Canyon Dispatch with a review of the Hardrock Hideout by me that bears an awful lot of resemblance to a much more concise version of that which was posted here last night is done. Starting an hour earlier because of the new printer was no thing once we got in the 013 building. We weren’t even the first ones in the office. Busy busy.

Deadline to have the issue out was 11AM though and it was sent at 10:46 by my watch (Lee had 10:45), so I’d say that’s pretty good for a first day. Usually there’s some manner of lost passwords, failed connections, printer malfunctions, etc. I didn’t hear any explosions when the PDF was sent off to the press, so like the supervillain that I am, I walked away confident that the giant laser would split the hero in half starting at the crotch exactly according to my overly complicated evil masterplan. Because that’s how it works, right?

I walked back to the hotel through Weirdo Canyon. There’s a kind of tension in the 013 and the area surrounding. The air is tight. I think for many who come here repeatedly, Roadburn is an experience of what my country’s former secretary of defense might classify as the known-unknown. It’s easy enough to have the lay of the land roadburn 2018 issue and pass— though don’t ask me where the Koepelhal or the Hall of Fame are — but every year, something different unfolds in this space. It’s a heartening moment right now, and that tense edge is part of it. I think it’s called excitement. Yeah, that’s it.

For me, I’m going to do my best to remember not to pull my bracelet off this year — felt like quite the dumbass after doing so the first night in 2017 — and I’m going to try to take it easy, enjoy the day for what it is and bask in that wonderful Roadburn thing that every year when I go back to the States, The Patient Mrs. remarks on how refreshed I seem. Admittedly, it’s a different process of disconnecting from home for a few days — Walter came in the 013 office this morning and first thing accused me of missing the baby; I denied it outright and then video-chatted The Patient Mrs. just to recite a few memorized lines of Hippos Go Berserk for The Pecan — but the weather here is beautiful and the happening here is beautiful and I will soak in as much as I possibly can and write as much as I possibly can because these are the days one lives for.

Roadburn 2018 starts now. I hope I’m ready.

Tags: , , ,

Live Review: Roadburn 2018 Hardrock Hideout, 04.18.18

Posted in Features, Reviews on April 18th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

butcher on stage photo jj koczan

04.19.18 – 12:11AM CET – Wednesday night – Hotel Mercure Rm. 224

The Hardrock Hideout is Roadburn‘s annual way of bringing fest-goers into the world of the happening itself. I’d say it eases them in, but there’s usually very little easing happening at all. This year? Three Belgian acts — one multi-genre noise assault and two thrashing speed-rippers each more metal than the last. It was a bill organized in conjunction with Babylon Doom Cult Records and booked in honor of Bidi van Drongelen, who worked at the fest, was close with Walter, and passed away last year. Thrash with a purpose, then. So be it.

One consistent theme for Roadburn each year is growth and I look at how the personality of the Hardrock Hideout has changed even over the last couple years as an example of that. There’s still space for the occasional bit of doom — Atala played, as did The Skull maybe two years back — but the dominant persona of the evening is way more metal than it once was; a capsule analog for how the festival itself has redefined and expanded its scope.

It was an 8:30PM start for a bill with Witch TrailSpeed Queen and Bütcher, in that order, and after a nap that I was going to take whether I wanted to or not, I made it down to Cul de Sac well in advance of the start time.

Here’s how it went from there:

Witch Trail

witch-trail-photo-jj-koczan

I already wish I’d bought a copy of their 2017 album, Thole, which doesn’t bode well for the weekend to come in terms of pulling the trigger on merch-regrets, but so it goes. The three-piece were easily the odd-men-out on the bill and that seemed like a position they should be well used to considering the complexity of the stylistic blend they play, running anywhere from alt-noise riffing in the ’90s style to doomed crash and plod to blackened blastbeating and screams. Based in Ghent, they impressed on cuts like “Splendour” and “Unnatural Caresses,” which took their time unfolding the aesthetic gamut, but never seemed more patient than was warranted or failed to justify one turn into the other. They were right on, in short, and it’s a good thing Thole is up as a name-your-price download so at least I can mitigate my not-CD-buying woes. It’s not the same of course, but it’s hard to argue with, anyhow. They had a couple hiccups during their set but were my pick for the night, hands down, with a sound that seemed as likely to pique the interest of Fenriz as that of Thurston Moore. Not an easy bridge to cross for most bands.

Speed Queen

speed-queen-photo-jj-koczan

High tops, studded belts, two guitars speed-picking, fists raised, beer downed, Speed Queen had the thing nailed, and the thing was classic thrash. For their traditionalist West Coast presentation — see above re: high tops, etc. — they were notably tight, which was doubly remarkable considering the liberal amount of beer pounded while on stage. Frontman Thomas Kenis, with “1992” tattooed on one wrist and an infinity symbol tattooed on the other — it’s good to have goals — didn’t even lose his balance in all that windmill headbanging during songs like “Speed Queen,” “Midnight Murder” and “Live Hard” early in the set. “King of the Road,” somewhat sadly, was not a cover (in fact it’s the title-track of their 2017 debut EP), but “Nice Boys Don’t Play Rock ‘n’ Roll” was, and they gave the Rose Tattoo track a thrashing sneaker to the ass no less fervent than that delivered to their originals. By the time they were deeper into their set, the shouts of “Hey! Hey! Hey!” were coming from more than just their road crew, and it was plain to see Speed Queen‘s classic style had won the hearts and increasingly addled minds of the assembled.

Bütcher

butcher (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Their setlist promised a “Speed Metal Attakk,” and that’s precisely what Antwerp-based five-piece Bütcher delivered as they supported last year’s debut album, Bestial Fükkin’ Warmachine. Need I say more? Probably not, but I will. A rare moshpit was formed at the Cul de Sac, which generally I wouldn’t think has the size to support such a thing, let alone the festival temperament, and yours truly got shoved around a bit as I watched the band deliver their oldskööl metal onslaught, one slicing, punishing cut into the next. Frontman R. Hellshrieker was quick to throw a spiked-armband claw when not holding onto his upside-down-spiked-cross mic stand, and guitarists KK Rippeand DB Deströyer tore into classic-style everything while bassist JA Pulsatör and drummer PB Tormentor pummeled ahead into the forward-thrust grooves. It was heavy, duh, and while I could say I was tired, jetlagged, needed to go back to the hotel and write, and so on, the truth is that Hellshrieker and his elaborately named companions gave oldschool metal a culminating representation worthy of being called true homage, and still managed to find space to inject a personality of their own into the proceedings. I’m telling you, I’ve seen a lot of bands play the Cul de Sac. I can’t recall any of them inducing a mosh. Clearly that takes something special in intent and execution, and Bütcher‘s unabashed metal-for-the-love-of-metal was exactly that.

I’m at least several things, if not many. Two or three. One thing I’m not is the “partying kind.” Socialization? Good times? Sounds utterly horrifying, and I don’t care what anti-anxiety meds you put me on, it won’t be enough for me to not notice how much that party isn’t me-in-front-of-laptop. Weirdo Canyon was jumping off for a Wednesday night — a whole other level on which Roadburn 2018 was being launched, and as I walked out of Cul de Sac, I not only saw Walter and Becky, but Lee from The Sleeping Shaman — with whom I’m once again sharing a hotel room and considering myself fortunate to be in his company — and the artist Cavum, Yvonne, the photographer Dante Torrieri, the dudes from Mirror Queen and a goodly portion of the San Diego Takeover guys with whom I’d rode into town this morning. Strange sometimes to feel like you don’t belong in the one place you belong. That’s all I’ll say about it.

Tomorrow’s a busy day. First day of the fest, sure, but also the first day Lee and I will be finalizing the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch and, for the first time, sending it off to a professional press to be done ahead of doors opening. That makes me less guaranteed to get a copy, but I’m going to try anyhow, of course. This is our fifth year of the WCD daily festival fanzine. It’s hard to imagine how stupid lucky I am to be able to be here and to work on that as a part of my trip every year. I’ve been looking forward to sitting in the office for months. Really.

Lots more to come. Thanks for reading in the meantime. Some extra pics after the jump if you’re up for such things.

Read more »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Roadburn 2018 Trip Pt. 2: Hello Again, Tilburg

Posted in Features on April 18th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

san diego takeover dudes at roadburn 2018

04.18.18 – 1:26PM CET – Wednesday afternoon – Hotel Mercure, Room 200-something

The flight was a flight. I had my middle seat, someone on either side of me. Full plane. I availed myself of the entertainment package and watched that inexplicable but not necessarily awful Blade Runner sequel. That ate up a decent chunk of time. Then I slept for about the last two and a half hours. As well as one does on a plane, and by that I mean my eyes are closing as I type this. Ker-plunk.

I was supposed to share a car with Stephen Brodsky from Mutoid Man — or, you know, the dude who sang “Jupiter” when Cave In were the shit — but I waited for like an hour at the shuttle place at Schiphol Airport and he never showed up, so Dave Sweetapple, who helped organized the San Diego Takeover, plays in Witch and Sweet Apple, and is responsible fora lot of the awesome shit that Tee Pee has put out over the last however long and his very kind wife Robin were generous enough to offer me a spot in their van. Actually they were two vans.

And I don’t know who else might’ve been riding around, but these might’ve been the two gnarliest vans on the road in the country at that given moment. Dudes blasted tunes, dudes shouted random stuff about Dutch cows as we passed farmlands. Dudes laughed it up with enough inside jokes that I felt like I’d been invited to sit at some other clique’s lunch table. They tried twice to stop for beer atweirdo canyon in progress gas stations — to no avail either time. Drugs were discussed. A can of beer was thrown.

Rowdy only begins to cover it. It was high-performance shenanigans and though I was falling asleep by the end of the ride — much as I am now — it was still a good time. Got to the venue, my bag was unloaded with the rest of the gear, and I grabbed it and made my way back here, walking down the street of an in-progress Weirdo Canyon, which gven how nice the weather is here, should be packed for the next few days.

Roadburn 2018 starts in a few hours with the Hardrock Hideout. I’m going to crash and see if I can buy some fruit or yogurt beforehand. Fingers crossed and more to come.

Tags: , , ,

Roadburn 2018 Trip Pt. 1: Departure, Terminal A, Gate 14, Boston

Posted in Features on April 17th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the airplane

04.17.18 – 4:54PM Eastern – Tuesday evening – Boston Logan Airport, Terminal A

The Patient Mrs. heartily recommended an airport egg salad sandwich. I think she’s out of her mind. So it goes.

They were boarding an earlier flight to Amsterdam when I walked up to the gate, and I thought maybe if I asked nicely enough they’d let me change — anything to avoid a middle seat — but no dice. They were polite enough at the info counter but I was shot down more or less immediately all the same. Blamo. Full flight departs in about two hours, gets in early morning CET. I expect it will be a much less pleasant kind of red eye than the one (or three) I made this morning when I poured espresso in my coffee. No worries. I’m hearty.

A little too hearty for the middle seat, these days.

I don’t eat plane food as a general rule. I was on an Air India flight once, and that was okay, but beyond that I generally think of it as microwaved poison. I brought ana apple, an orange and some protein bars. They’re trying to kill you, the airlines. Fortunately I was born with a special brain and can see through all the friendly smiles in the safety videos. Did I mention I’m flying Delta? This is going to be amazing.

I’m actually not being sarcastic about that last part. This is going to be amazing. 2018 will mark my 10th year attending the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, the Netherlands. I’ve been fortunate enough in my time to come to know the city the pecanreasonably well — at very least the area by the venue and train station and record shops, etc. — and I’ve never managed to feel so at home that at a place that wasn’t actually my home.

This year will be different from last year or any other year before, since in addition to leaving The Patient Mrs. behind I’m also leaving The Pecan behind. He turns six months old in about a week. I’ll be back in time for that, but he’s proto-crawling at this point and I expect he’ll be on the move at least in some capacity by the time I return. I got video of him the other day rolling over back to front for the first time. Dad stuff.

A bunch of people waiting for the flight in Boston Marathon jackets. That’s a thing that apparently happened this week. I’d be as likely to run to the Netherlands as I’d be to make it 26 miles, so yeah. Way to get a bright orange windbreaker.

I’m excited to see what the next few days bring. Each Roadburn is a different experience seeing it, being there writing about it, the whole thing. I don’t know yet what Roadburn 2018 will be like, and I’ve got a while to go before I get there and actually find out, but it gives me something to look forward to while I’m in that middle seat inevitably taking up more room than I want to be.

Thanks in advance for reading this year’s Roadburn coverage if you do. Off I go.

Tags: , , ,

Roadburn 2018 Announces Cul de Sac Lineup with Bison, Comet Control, Mirror Queen, Hair of the Dog and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2018 banner

And so we see Roadburn 2018 once again open its gaping maw of righteousness to hurl forth another barrage of acts to its long-since-completely-overwhelming lineup. You know how many distinct acts are discussed in the press release below? 32 by my count. And granted, I’ve never been much for counting, and a couple of them were previously announced and are playing additional sets, etc., but do you see my point?

My point is this: Roadburn 2018 makes an announcement for its smallest venue — the get-there-super-early-no-earlier-than-that Cul de Sac — and tightens up a few other odds and ends, and all of a sudden you’ve basically got an entire other festival being announced. 30 bands? That’s a fest. Roadburn throws it all out there like, “Oh it’s nothing. We do this every year.” And they do.

So who’s my absolute gotta-see on this list? If you read the names below and have been hanging around here for a bit, you can probably already guess it’s Comet Control. I was hoping they’d be added since they’re touring with Earthless and still supporting 2016’s much-loved Center of the Maze (review here). I’ll be there for them for sure — scheduling conflicts be damned. If it means there’s a chance I might get to watch that band play “Artificial Light,” I don’t care if I have to set up a tent in the middle of the Cul de Sac floor. I’m not missing it.

Here’s the update from the PR wire:

Roadburn 2018: Cul de Sac bands, pre-show party & more!

Roadburn’s artistic director, Walter Hoeijmakers comments:
“The sales of day tickets alongside weekend passes have surpassed our expectations and we’re on course for another sell out year at Roadburn. We couldn’t be happier as we dive headlong into putting the finishing touches to the 2018 edition.

“We still have the side programme to announce, and of course, the all important schedules, but for now, we think there’s plenty for you to sink your teeth into with this announcement. The depth and variety of talent on show here is truly stunning.”

CUL DE SAC
The Cul de Sac may be Roadburn’s smallest venue, but each year a hell of a lot of talent is packed into it’s confines. 2018 is no different with a stellar line up of bands both big and small who will be squeezing into the diminutive space and packing an enormous punch.

THURSDAY will see Une Misère reprise their performance with a second set. They’ll be joined by instrumental duo Insect Ark, hard rockin’ New Yorkers Mirror Queen, Dutch force of nature – Black Decades, the droning riffs of Galg, plus your personal soundtrack to the end of times courtesy of Sum of R.

FRIDAY has Earthless’ tour mates, Comet Control preparing for lift off, extreme metallers Départe from Down Under, Danish export Hexis, Dutch death metal darlings, Ulsect and a second set from Worship that promises some special surprises.

SATURDAY will see Planning for Burial perform again, mining his back catalogue for gems. Hair of the Dog will return to Roadburn, and be joined by fellow 2016 alumni Concatenatus, plus Mania’s mix of doom and black metal, and Phantom Winter’s suffocating sludge.

SUNDAY sees tour mates Bison and LLNN roll into Tilburg in an uncompromising fashion. They will be joined by the progressive sounds of Hidden Trails, a dual pronged Dutch attack in the form of Dystopia and Nefast, and visceral Italians, Syk.

SAN DIEGO TAKE OVER
Good news for fans of psychedelic riffs! There are new additions to the San Diego Take Over, and they’re sure to bend your mind further into previously unknown directions. Unraveling the threads that run between the family of bands that make up the SDTO would require a headspace much clearer than anyone involved is quite capable of, but suffice to say that the pedigree running through the bands is of the standard you have come to expect.

RED OCTOPUS mix influences such as early Sabbath, Hawkwind and Can into a psychedelic wonderland.

ARCTIC is a California power trio steeped in the roots of early 70’s blues/psych, á la Blue Cheer and Band of Gypsies, while drawing elements of modern heavy, reminiscent of early Sleep. Heavy, sludgy, stoner psych played with a slow, driving energy. The band features three pro skaters, Figgy on guitar, Frecks on drums and Nuge on bass.

VOLCANO is a soundtrack for an ancient apocalypse. Primordial rhythm and afro-inspired melodies fill their grooves. The rumble in the distance grows, the forest falls silent. Let their trance fuel the dance, while theres still time. Let the lava flow…

PHARLEE was forged in the middle of the white-hot psychedelic jam scene in San Diego, California from members of Harsh Toke, Sacri Monti and Joy. But don’t let their geographical origin and associated acts mislead you. Pharlee walks their own path on scorched-earth. Forgoing the weed-fuelled jams of their counterparts for full-on the speed-ruled riffage. Partying off the sounds of Priest, Motorhead, Betty Davis and ACID, Pharlee create a new shrilling sound.

The San Diego Takeover is supported by the Performing Arts Fund NL.

TOBY DRIVER & ZVI
These two component parts of Kayo Dot will be making their presence felt at Roadburn 2018 as they perform (separately) on Thursday, 19 April.

As a solo performer, on guitar, keyboard, and voice, Toby Driver has been exploring dark, austere neofolk akin to Grouper, Talk Talk, Current 93, and others, with a subtle progressive and unsettling edge, featured in his recent release, Madonnawhore (The Flenser, 2017). Along with songs from Madonnawhore, he will also be performing pieces from his forthcoming solo album, They Are The Shield, and additionally, a few left turns are of course to be expected.

Zvi is guitarist / vocalist Ron Varod (Kayo Dot, Sabbath Assembly, Psalm Zero, Myrkur) performing and recording solo since 2004. During the 40 minute run time of Zvi’s 2016’s Death Stops Us All, Varod gently wakes us up with a whispered vocal over nylon string guitar, pummels us with throbbing noise and lulls us back to sleep with droned out suspended clusters and Talk Talk-esque clean guitars.

RRRAGS
Formed by singer / drummer Rob Martin (formerly of Bliksem), guitarist Ron Van Herpen (Astrosoniq, ex-The Devil’s Blood) and Rob Zim (bass, Lords of Altamont), RRRags emulates the sounds and styles of power trio’s such as Grand Funk, Blue Cheer and James Gang. But in addition to their fuzzed-out and soulful approach, there are also touches of psychedelica and psyfunk, which sets the band apart from the current crop of Sabbath worshipers, or old school hardrock devotees.

HARD ROCK HIDEOUT
Roadburn’s annual pre-party returns! For those in Tilburg on Wednesday evening, before the festival kicks off “proper”, we welcome Roadburners to the city in style! This year we have teamed up with Babylon Doom Cult Records in Belgium to present speed metallers Bütcher, and Speed Queen, plus genre-crossing Witch Trail.

The Hard Rock Hideout is FREE and will take place at the Cul de Sac.

As with last year, the festival’s wristband exchange will be open on Wednesday, April 18 between 18.30-23.00 for early arrivals to pick up their passes in advance of Roadburn kicking off on Thursday.

https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival/
http://www.twitter.com/Roadburnfest
http://www.instagram.com/roadburnfest
http://www.roadburn.com

Roadburn 2018 Cul-de-Sac Announcement Video

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

Roadburn 2018: Wear Your Wounds, All Pigs Must Die, Supersonic Blues, Spotlights and More Added; Day Tickets on Sale This Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 17th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2018 banner

Pretty clearly the overarching message of Roadburn 2018 has become that if you thought you had a snowball’s chance in hell of pinning the festival down to a single idea, genre or theme, it’s simply grown too massive, too sprawling and too complex to ever be subject to such easy definition. I mean it. If you squint and look at the lineup above, from Earthless jamming with Kikagaku Moyo to the likes of returning Icelandic black metal entities Misþyrming, Naðra, and Svartidauði, to Hague-based boogie newcomers Supersonic Blues — whose writeup I did and whom I’m particularly stoked to see — to All Pigs Must Die and all the bizarre stuff Justin Broadrick seems to have involved himself in, I think it’s inarguable this is the farthest ‘OUT THERE’ Roadburn has ever been, and as a result, I’m not sure the festival has ever been so exciting on a creative level.

As always, there’s a lot to dig into in the announcement that follows. Make sure you let the varied implications sink in. Then go ahead and get yourself a ticket while you still can.

Here’s to ya:

Roadburn 2018: details of second commissioned performance, final bands for Jacob Bannon’s curation & more

– Icelandic black metal bands unite for the second of Roadburn 2018’s specially commissioned performances
– Jacob Bannon confirms final bands for his curation including All Pigs Must Die.
– Day tickets go on sale – January 18!
– Further to the already announced commissioned project featuring Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising, Roadburn Festival is thrilled to announce details of the second of such projects, among the next batch of confirmations for the 2018 edition of the festival.

Artistic Director Walter Hoeijmakers comments:

“For several years now, I have been a passionate supporter and advocate of the incredible music scene that is brewing in Iceland. I have witnessed some truly awe-inspiring performances, both on their home soil and further afield, and it is always an honour to have these musicians join us at Roadburn. What makes all of this even more exciting to me, is that I believe that the best is still yet to come for these talented performers – and I have every confidence that we’re going to get a good dose of that with this commissioned performance at Roadburn 2018.

“We’re nearing the end of our announcements for 2018 as the festival looms ever closer – our side programme and Cul de Sac bands announcement is pencilled in for early February. With day tickets going on sale this week, Roadburn 2018 looks like it will be another sell out edition, and yet another artistic triumph.”

COMMISSIONED PROJECT: Vánagandr – Sól án varma

The second of Roadburn’s specially commissioned projects will encapsulate the spirit and creativity of the thriving Icelandic black metal scene. Leading the charge has been Misþyrming who were our artists in residence in 2016, a tenure that surely peaked with their ritualistic Úlfsmessa performance.

We’re thrilled to confirm that the second of our specially commissioned performances for Roadburn 2018 will unite the might of Misþyrming, Naðra, Svartidauði, and Wormlust under the banner Vánagandr.

The title of the piece these six musicians will perform is Sól án varma, which roughly translates to “sun without radiance”. The opus will encompass a slow primal roar – a process which cannot be stopped once started, and that only continues to grow, reinventing itself in its complexity.

Chaos. Dissolution. Confusion.

JACOB BANNON’S CURATION: WEAR YOUR WOUNDS

Jacob Bannon’s own Wear Your Wounds will reprise their 2017 performance this year, promising improvisation and experimentation into the mix.
“I’m extremely excited to perform live with Wear Your Wounds at Roadburn 2018. Playing the 2017 edition of the festival was a creative high point for me and I am honored to return. This time we will be integrating different songs into the set from both the “WYW” double album, the “Dunedevil” album, as well as other material. In a live setting we plan on expanding on the studio recordings, using them as a skeleton for improvisation and experimentation. Hope to see some of you there.”
– Jacob Bannon

JACOB BANNON’S CURATION: ALL PIGS MUST DIE

“In my opinion All Pigs Must Die are one of the best bands playing dark hardcore/punk today. Founded by friends bonded by their collective obsession of heavy music, they have evolved from merely a project into a true force in aggressive. With their members so busy with other bands/projects, live performances have been rare over the years. It is an honor to bring them to Roadburn 2018, so their brand of heavy can be experienced by the masses.”
– Jacob Bannon

JACOB BANNON’S CURATION: STOMACH EARTH

Beginning in 2001 under the name Nyarlathotep, the one-man doom/death metal project of Mike McKenzie (The Red Chord, Wear Your Wounds, Unraveller) released a few demos and sunk back into the shadows for several years, with little to no activity beyond a name change. Over a decade after its inception, a full length was released on Black Market Activities. This release prompted two live performances before it would lie dormant once more. As part of Jacob Bannon’s curation, Stomach Earth will surface again to perform their self-titled debut in its entirety. Joining McKenzie on stage as Stomach Earth will be multi-instrumentalist Greg Weeks (The Red Chord, Wormwood).

NYIÞ & WORMLUST PERFORMING HIEROS GAMOS

At the core of most innovative work is the collaborative spirit. While Icelandic ritual drone and folk act NYIÞ is already an inherently collaborative entity, they’re really stepping things up this year by fusing with psychedelic black metal giant Wormlust to create a new beast: Hieros Gamos.

Little of this planned masterwork shall be revealed before the performance itself, but those with any familiarity can imagine what otherworldly horrors and delights await. Those who witnessed NYIÞ’s massive performance piece as part of the Úlfsmessa in 2016 knows just how deep the currents run. With the addition of such a force as Wormlust, we need say little beyond urging you to arrive early to be the first to witness Hieros Gamos in its live debut.

GALLOPS

Having broken up shortly after the release of their debut album back in 2012, Gallops left quite the hole in the ranks of bands who push at the boundaries of rock music. Fortunately, Gallops returned in 2016. “It just needed a nap,” was how Mark Huckridge, Liam Edwards and Brad Whyte jokingly put it, so we’re very happy and also relieved that someone remembered to set an alarm. They’ll keep you guessing at every turn, moods fluctuating from eeriness to jubilation, from intimidating darkness to feverish light, but always pulsating and engaging.

SCATTERWOUND FEAT. JUSTIN K BROADRICK

Known experimentalist Dirk Serries (YODOK III, The Void Of Expansion, Fear Falls Burning) and Hellmut Neidhardt, aka N, had this collaboration idea floating around in the ether for, rumour has it, almost a decade. Before the universe shifts and we lose sight of it for good, measures have been taken, both by the band and by Roadburn: Scatterwound will perform at Roadburn 2018 with none other than Justin K Broadrick as their special guest.

SPOTLIGHTS

Coming from the streets of Brooklyn, New York, Sarah and Mario Quintero, the pair at the core of this remarkable entity, don’t shy away from genre hopping, and capture a voice of their own by mainlining doom with shoegaze, pairing post rock to sludge, and forming a dreamy yet very melodic concoction. Spotlights are capturing audiences with their emotional depth, and by the time they’ve finished with us at Roadburn, we’ll all have a really bad case of Spotlights (and no doubt love every minute of it!).

SUPERSONIC BLUES

Hailing from The Hague and infused with a funk-fuzz power in their delivery that makes them an immediate standout, the young trio Supersonic Blues are welcomed to Roadburn 2018 with open arms this April. Supersonic Blues will perform at the San Diego Clubhouse AKA the Hall of Fame alongside kindred spirits from the San Diego scene on Friday, April 20.

POSTER ARTIST: RICHEY BECKETT

As our day tickets go on sale this week, we’re delighted to present the day splits in the form of four spell-binding posters by renowned artist, Richey Beckett.

TICKET ONSALE INFORMATION

Roadburn 2018 tickets are on sale now. 3 and 4 day tickets are currently available and day tickets will go on sale on January 18, 2018.

Thursday, 19 April – €62.40
Friday, 20 April – €62.40
Saturday, 21 April – €62.40
Sunday, 22 April – €57.40

4-day-tickets €198,40
3-day-tickets €175,40
(all prices include €3,40 service fees)

Camping tickets are also available to purchase, with additional options (such as Festipis and camper vans) also possible. This year the urban campsite will be in a new location – but still within walking distance to the 013 venue – providing a comfortable and affordable option for Roadburn attendees.

A brand new hotel is due to open in Tilburg just weeks prior to Roadburn 2018. The Valk Exclusive hotel is offering a special deal for Roadburners. Click here for more information

Click here for more information on tickets and the campsite

https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival/
http://www.twitter.com/Roadburnfest
http://www.instagram.com/roadburnfest
http://www.roadburn.com

Roadburn 2018 Fifth Announcement Video

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

Roadburn 2018 Announces Boris Playing Absolutego, Godflesh Playing Selfless, Hooded Menace Playing Fulfill the Curse, Commissioned Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising Collaboration, and Much More

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Well, here’s Roadburn 2018 wishing you happy holidays as pretty much only Roadburn can. With Boris and Stephen O’Malley playing Absolutego in full, a one-off collaboration between Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising kicking off the festival, additional whole-record performances from Godflesh and Hooded Menace, a European debut from Khemmis, plus the likes of Thou & The Body, Motorpsycho, Fuoco Fatuo, Forgotten Tomb, Wolfbrigade and of course a completely overwhelming ton of others. So yeah, happy holidays from Roadburn, I guess. Probably even happier if you already have your tickets for next April.

If you don’t, gadzooks, I hear it’s the holidays.

From the PR wire:

roadburn 2018 new flyer

Further artists confirmed for 2018 edition of Roadburn Festival; including details of specially commissioned performance

– Dark Buddha Rising and Oranssi Pazuzu collaborate on commissioned project, Waste of Space Orchestra
– Boris join forces with Stephen O’Malley for Absolutego performance
– Jacob Bannon adds Godflesh, Motorpsycho, Thou x The Body and Forgotten Tomb to his curation
– Justin K Broadrick and Kevin Martin unite as Zonal, with Moor Mother
– Hooded Menace to play Fulfill The Curse in its entirety

COMMISSIONED PROJECT: WASTE OF SPACE ORCHESTRA

Artistic Director Walter Hoeijmakers commented:

“Roadburn has always been about bringing people together, creating a network where the line between friend, fan, performer and artist is blurred. The very foundation of Roadburn is the community that it is built upon, around, and within. Alongside this, Roadburn has always sought to push the boundaries of creativity and expression.

These two defining facets of Roadburn have been brought together for a brand new project – or rather, two brand new projects – for 2018. For the first time, we have commissioned a two groups of entirely separate musicians to create music to be performed specifically at Roadburn. Today we’re thrilled to announce the first of those groups of musicians.”

Familiar to most Roadburners, Dark Buddha Rising and Oranssi Pazuzu are combining their forces to write and perform a new concept piece especially for Roadburn 2018. The collaboration will be titled the Waste of Space Orchestra.

The performance will include ten musicians onstage plus an original video accompaniment, designed to tell a parallel story with the music. The ten-part, one hour piece is a dive into the consciousnesses of three beings – all of whom are on a search for deeper truths in comprehending reality.

The Waste of Space Orchestra performance will open the main stage on the first day of Roadburn 2018 – Thursday, April 19.

BORIS AND STEPHEN O’MALLEY PERFORMING ABSOLUTEGO

It was Absolutego that kickstarted everything for Boris in 1996 and put that strange little band from Tokyo named after a Melvins song on the map. If you further exercise your memory, you will surely recall that Absolutego was – above everything – a drone album, one single track that took the listener on a strange, intense and very dark trip.

We’ve invited Boris to come and perform that whole Absolutego giant of sound, and they said yes. Joining them for this exclusive, one off performance is none other than Stephen O’Malley.

Boris with Stephen O’Malley will play Absolutego on Saturday, April 21 at the 013 venue, Tilburg, The Netherlands.

JACOB BANNON’S CURATION

MOTORPSYCHO

“When discussing with Walter potential artists that fit the experimental spirit of Roadburn Festival, we both landed on the idea of Motorpsycho. I was first exposed to the band through their Demon Box album and have attempted to follow their unique twists and turns since. Their output is legendary and their need for experimentation has been inspiring to follow over the years. It is a true honor to help bring this diverse voice to the Roadburn audience.”

– Jacob Bannon.

GODFLESH

As part of Jacob Bannon’s curation, Godflesh will perform their groundbreaking album Selfless at Roadburn Festival 2018.

“I first experienced Godflesh when I picked up the Grindcrusher compilation from Earache Records as a teenager. The otherworldly power of Streetcleaner effected me in a way that I still find hard to describe. Since then I have been an avid follower of all music that Justin creates. Though I celebrate the expansive Broadrick catalog as a whole, it is his forays into melody under the Godflesh name I really connect with. Selfless as is an album that has everything for me. Punishing heaviness, incredible hooks, and limitless emotional depth. It is a true honor that they have agreed to play this album in its entirety at Roadburn 2018.”

– Jacob Bannon.

CURATION: THOU X THE BODY

“Since their inception I’ve been following Thou. Their restlessness and drive for experimentation has been inspiring to follow. The same goes for The Body. They’ve been such an incredible band to watch evolve from release to release. When they joined together on their Released From Love and You Whom I Have Always Hated collaborations I was floored. Together, they amplify the best parts of each band’s individual output. Making some of the heaviest and most intense music of the last few years. This collaboration is a must listen and perfect fit for Roadburn Festival.”

– Jacob Bannon

CURATION: FORGOTTEN TOMB

“I was first exposed to Forgotten Tomb through their incredible Springtime Depression album. To me, Herr Morbid’s vision was immediately appealing. Carrying a relatable sadness and inescapable darkness unequaled by other artists of the time. Since then I’ve been following his growth as an artist and the evolution of the band. I feel that artistically Forgotten Tomb are a perfect fit for the core Roadburn audience. They are a musical black hole that claims everything around it. I can’t wait to experience their set at Roadburn Festival 2018.”

– Jacob Bannon

ZONAL WITH MOOR MOTHER

Justin K. Broadrick is such an integral part of the Roadburn backbone by now that he needs little introduction. When it was announced that Justin and Kevin Martin, aka The Bug – who already made himself part of Roadburn with a staggering show alongside Dylan Carlson of Earth this year – would reunite under the name Zonal (a spiritual continuation from their iconic Techno Animal duo) it registered on our always-on radar. They will be joined by Camae Ayewa, the musician, activist and poet from Philadelphia who also goes by the name Moor Mother.

HOODED MENACE

Since their earliest rumblings, Finnish cult doomsters Hooded Menace have held an astonishingly high profile in the underground realms. Their uniquely energetic take on the classic hybrid of doom and death metal has been invigorating audience since the release of their 2008 classic, Fulfill the Curse. We’re thrilled to announce that the band will perform this classic album in full at Roadburn 2018.

ALSO CONFIRMED

Classic heavy doom from Khemmis

Move or be moved by Wolfbrigade 

Tribulation’s Jonathan Hultén will haunt Het Patronaat

Worship will perform Last Tape Before Doomsday in its entirety

Get sucked into a cold, dark void by Fuoco Fatuo 

Welcome the wild and unrestrained spirit of Alda

Zuriaake will be the first Chinese band to perform at Roadburn Festival.

Some nightmares take us towards Vampillia

VMO will prove they are more than “just” a side project

Head out on an exhilarating ride with Watter

Allow yourself to shape shift with Hail Spirit Noir

Watch Kairon; Irse! defy time and space

Dive headfirst into Hortes dreamy slumber

Old Tower make their live debut at Roadburn 2018.

TICKET ONSALE INFORMATION
Roadburn 2018 tickets are on sale now. 3 and 4 day tickets are currently available, with day tickets going on sale at a later date.

4-day-tickets €198,40 (including €3,40 service fees)
3-day-tickets €175,40 (including €3,40 service fees)

Camping tickets are also available to purchase, with additional options (such as Festipis and camper vans) also possible. This year the urban campsite will be in a new location – but still within walking distance to the 013 venue – providing a comfortable and affordable option for Roadburn attendees.

Click here for more information on tickets and the campsite

https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival/
http://www.twitter.com/Roadburnfest
http://www.instagram.com/roadburnfest
http://www.roadburn.com

Roadburn 2018 Fourth Announcement Video

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