Review & Full Album Premiere: Various Artists, Legends of the Desert Desertfest 12″

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

va legends of the desert 4 way split

For the last several years, German imprint H42 Records has partnered with Desertfest to create a special limited split release for in honor of the Spring festivals in London and Berlin. Past editions have included Karma to Burn and Sons of Alpha Centauri, Raging Speedhorn together with Monster Magnet, and Greenleaf locking heads with Steak — the tracks generally with some measure of exclusivity, be they previously unreleased, a remastered oldie (which I seem to recall was the case with Greenleaf), etc. In 2018, a year where the entire universe has unveiled its conspiracy against humanity to be completely overwhelming, H42 has also decided to up its game, though it does so in particularly serene fashion.

This year’s Desertfest split is titled Legends of the Desert, and in addition to jumping from 7″ vinyl to a full 12″, it also doubles the amount of acts included from two to four, bringing together the interrelated projects Fatso Jetson, Yawning Sons, WaterWays and Mario Lalli und Matthias Schneeberger to each present one cut seemingly representing one aspect or another of the Californian desert that the principle figures involved call home. Speaking of, while there are four groups included on Legends of the Desert, the platter is really telling the story of two key figures of California’s initial low desert rock scene in Mario Lalli and Gary Arce. Arce‘s trademark shimmering surf-derived guitar tone features on two of the four inclusions — Yawning Sons’ “Down in the Street,” and WaterWays‘ “Three Rivers” — while Lalli is aboard for three as a member of Fatso Jetson, WaterWays and of course his solo-project with Schneeberger, whose production work not only for Fatso Jetson but also the likes of earthlings?, Nick Oliveriand Gutter Twins, among many, many others, has made him a crucial presence behind the board in that scene.

As they should, Fatso Jetson lead off the proceedings with “Semi Lost,” which even if it weren’t the only track to include vocals would probably still be the catchiest song here. Aside from their “desert legends” status, which is basically irrefutable more than 20 years into their career, Fatso JetsonMario Lalli on guitar/vocals, Dino von Lalli on guitar, Larry Lalli on bass and Tony Tornay (now also of All Souls) on drums — have retained the experimentalist sensibility of their songwriting. As their last album, 2016’s Idle Hands (review here) reminded, their songwriting process is deeply varied, and as they open side A with “Semi Lost,” it’s a more laid back feel than some of their more forward punk-blasting groovers. Just so happens — total coincidence, I’m sure — that in addition to providing that landmark hook, it suits the vibe of the split really well.

Last I heard, Mario Lalli and Tony Tornay were both in WaterWays as well, featuring as the rhythm section alongside Gary Arce‘s inimitable guitar tone, derived from surf and goth rock but unmistakably of the desert itself. Though the two groups are very different, Arce serves as the uniting force between WaterWays closing out side A with the four-minute just-too-active-to-really-be-drift-but-kind-of-drifting-anyway “Three Rivers,” his guitar tone echoing out spacious as ever and evocative of the desert in a manner that groups from around the world have done their best to emulate and generally fallen flat in the effort. “Three Rivers” is resoundingly hypnotic, despite being just four minutes long, and though it’s twice the length and has a much fuller arrangement owing to the complete lineup of UK progressive instrumentalists Sons of Alpha Centauri, Yawning Sons‘ “Down in the Street” might dip lower in low end tone, but ultimately winds up in a similarly broad sphere, the ambience stretching out comfortably and patiently for the song’s duration, no less trance-inducing leading off side B than “Three Rivers” was in capping side A, though I will readily admit to being a sucker for Yawning Sons as I still consider their lone full-length, 2009’s Ceremony to the Sunset (review here, vinyl review here), among the finest releases Californian desert rock has ever produced. Anything new from them is welcome as far as I’m concerned.

Legends of the Desert ends with a particular note of intrigue in Mario Lalli und Matthias Schneeberger‘s “Spector,” which at 4:17 brings together the clear collaborative elements of the former’s guitar and the latter’s keys, but there are also drums and bass involved and I’m not sure who handled them. If it’s a studio project, it could’ve certainly been either party or someone like Tornay stopping through for the afternoon, but the real question is why “Spector” isn’t a Fatso Jetson song. Sure it’s instrumental, but Fatso Jetson have done plenty of instrumentals over the years, and Schneeberger, aside from producing, has been a regular guest contributor to their work. One can easily imagine, then, it was a conscious decision to adopt the Lalli/Schneeberger banner, and extrapolate from that the curiosity as to whether the two will collaborate directly on some future release apart from Lalli‘s work in Fatso Jetson, and what that might sound like. “Spector,” for what it’s worth, continues in the open-feeling spirit of Yawning Sons and WaterWays before it — a bit darker in tone — and whether or not it’s a harbinger of things to come, it makes a satisfying closing argument to Legends of the Desert, each side of which tells the tale of arid-climate-born fluidity and resonates with a creative force unlike anything from anywhere else. These Legends are still being told, still being shaped, but there’s no question that the impact they’ve had on the worldwide underground is massive, and if that’s what’s being celebrated here, you’ll get no argument from me.

I have the pleasure today of streaming the complete Legends of the Desert 12″, which officially releases May 4. You’ll find it below courtesy of H42 Records and Desertfest, and it is presented with my gratitude to both of them as well as to you for reading and listening.

Please enjoy:

DESERTFEST is just around the corner in May. 2018. For the past three years we contributed in collaboration with the DesertFest team the vinyl for the FEST. We decided to change the format into the 12″ vinyl format this year.

And what fits better to the DesertFest, as an album with bands with a very big relation to the ‘desert’? So we called the album LEGENDS OF THE DESERT (RELEASE MAY 4th 2018). For this fantastic vinyl we could won great bands and musicians, each of them with a previously unreleased song:

FATSO JETSON, YAWNING SONS, WATERWAYS and a solo project under the direction of MARIO LALLI & MATHIAS SCHNEEBERGER. As always ALEXANDER VON WIEDING was responsible for artwork and layout: a slightly variation of the original 7″ art.

Desertfest London website

H42 Records on Thee Facebooks

H42 Records on Bandcamp

H42 Records website

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Glory or Death Records Announces Bow to Your Masters Vol. 2: Deep Purple

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Seems to me that if you want to get a shit-ton of bands to contact you, this is probably a good way to go about it. Glory or Death Records, the California-based imprint that’s just weeks out from having digitally released the much-awaited Bow to Your Masters Vol. 1: Thin Lizzy tribute compilation with contributions from the likes of Mos Generator, Goya, Mothership, Slow Season, the sadly defunct Egypt and many others — and vinyl is forthcoming with an entire other platter’s worth of homage-paying — has announced the second installment in the series. And yes they’re looking for bands to take part.

The big mystery, of course, was in whose honor Bow to Your Masters Vol. 2. Few bands are as inarguable in terms of overall quality as Thin Lizzy — and I say that as one who considers himself a dilettante at best when it comes to actually being a fan — but in classic-era Deep Purple, it would seem the label has found another good match ripe for interpretation. Have to wonder if anyone would be bold enough to take on something from the first three albums, if there isn’t a San Diego psych band out there willing to give “Hush” a go or something like that. Or maybe The Golden Grass could pull it off. Anyway, Deep Purple‘s catalog has enough depth and range that there should be plenty to choose from, and yeah, if you’re in a band and you want to be involved in the project, the email address is below.

Dig:

glory or death records bow to your masters deep purple

And now that Bow to Your Masters Volume 1: Thin Lizzy (LP1) is posted on Bandcamp…it’s time to talk about Bow to Your Masters Volume 2. We already have a wicked set of bands to start with, but we want to hear from bands who are interested in going on the volume 2 journey with us.

Bands-interested in being involved please email gloryordeathrecords@gmail.com.

And now…we Burn. Another master who needs no introduction. Who will be on the record? What will they play? Can’t wait to share.

Bow to Your Masters Volume 2: Deep Purple…

https://www.facebook.com/Gloryordeathrecords/
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https://gloryordeathrecords.bandcamp.com/

Various Artists, Bow to Your Masters Vol. 1: Thin Lizzy (2018)

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No Legacy Vol. 1 Compilation Brings Together Northern and Southern California

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Hard not to dig the mission here. Anyone who’s had the pleasure of being in one and the other can probably tell you that Northern and Southern California are fairly different worlds. Forest vs. beach, off-grid pot farmer hippies vs. those hitting the dispensary on their way to whatever charmed adventure next awaits them. Weather vs. no weather. I don’t know, man. I’m from the Northeast. All I know is that driving southward down the Pacific Coastline, there’s a marked shift in ecosystem. To put it another way: things in one place be different from things in another place. Boom. Language economy. You’re welcome.

Anyhoozle, No Legacy Records is a new imprint helmed by L.A.-based Erik Kluiber of the bands Ironaut and Void Vator, and the label’s first release, No Legacy Vol. 1: Socal/Norcal features not only his own groups but a slew of others whose geographical disparities serve here to unite them in one underground. Always cool to see bands like Disastroid and Astral Cult show up, but along with Aboleth, Hazzaard’s Cure and others, the company they’re keeping is both good and plentiful. Like I said at the outset, hard not to dig the mission.

Info follows, courtesy of the PR wire:

no legacy socal norcal vol 1

NO LEGACY RECORDS DEBUTS WITH A FULL-LENGTH COMPILATION VINYL RELEASE ‘VOL. 1: SOCAL/NORCAL’, IN CELEBRATION OF TODAY’S CALIFORNIA HEAVY METAL UNDERGROUND.

Los Angeles, CA’s No Legacy Records formally announces their debut full-length ‘No Legacy Vol. 1: Socal/Norcal’ is available strictly on vinyl pressing. Featuring nine of California’s modern heavy music acts that span the full genre spectrum of ‘heavy’, including Ironaut, Disastroid, Madrost, Astral Cult, Void Vator, and others. There are ‘no legacy’ acts on the compilation, as the label was created to specifically highlight professional up & coming bands not already in popular awareness.

California is long-known for its contributions to the heavy metal music world. Be it bands, venues, and for many eras – record labels. With the digital stream eruptions, physical music sales plummeted and many major labels focused only on their ‘legacy’ artists, or outright folded. This gave smaller, independent labels room to grow and their underground artists found that same sunlight. Recent years sprouted a resurgence of physical format music on CD, Vinyl, and even cassettes. Yet, major labels still tote primarily ‘legacy’ artists, with reissue after reissue of legendary artist releases in every color vinyl in the rainbow.

However, music lovers still attend live music shows, searching for new heavy music that doesn’t carry that hefty legacy price tag. No Legacy Records was launched for this specific purpose. Erik Kluiber, label founder and executive producer of the compilation, knows his way around the California heavy metal scene. Erik is a long time heavy music artist, currently a member of both Void Vater (guitar) and Ironaut (bass and vocals), as well as former guitarist for Gypsyhawk and White Wizzard.

According to Kluiber,
“The title is called No Legacy, because this album features exclusively contemporary up-and-coming bands in the underground California heavy music scene. From my perspective, the heavy metal movement has shifted over to an unhealthy focus predominantly fixated on established legacy acts. Metal has become all about the brands, instead of the bands.”

“I met all of the bands included on ‘No Legacy’ by sharing the stage with them at club shows across California. I hear and see hundreds of bands every year and the good ones stand out. In 2017, I had this idea of the compilation album in my head. I approached bands that made an impression the night I played with them and asked them if this idea of a compilation album was something they would be interested in participating in. I was surprised on the immediate positive feedback. They reminisced about albums like ‘Metal Massacre’ from decades ago and understood the fan crossover potential.”

The “No Legacy Volume 1: Socal/Norcal” compilation is available in a limited edition, first press run of 500 on 180 gram black vinyl, with printed sleeve insert. Executive produced by Erik Kluiber, with assembly and additional mastering by Michael Hateley at Lotus Mastering. Cover artwork, design, and layout by Ryan Bartlett. The album compilation features nine California heavy underground bands, including Ironaut, Disastroid, Madrost, Astral Cult, Void Vator, Aboleth, Grand Lord High Master, Hazzard’s Cure, Tzimani.

“No Legacy Volume 1: Socal/Norcal” Track List:

Side 1
A1. Ironaut – ‘Sick Stupid Lies’
A2. Disastroid – ‘New Day’
A3. Madrost – ‘Scorned’
A4. Astral Cult – ‘Drowning’

Side 2
B1. Void Vator – ‘No Return’
B2. Aboleth – ‘No Good’
B3. Grand Lord High Master – ‘Sludge’
B4. Hazzard’s Cure – ‘Starvation’
B5. Tzimani – ‘Final Hour’

https://www.facebook.com/Nolegacy/
http://www.nolegacyrecords.bigcartel.com/product/no-legacy-volume-1-socal-norcal

Void Vator, “No Return” official video

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Heavy Psych Sounds Announces Vol. III Label Sampler

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

You gotta watch out for these. They’re sneaky. Label samplers can be tricky in general — sometimes it’s nothing but rehashed tracks from years ago with one or two new songs from a band somebody’s trying to push, but with Heavy Psych Sounds, their annual sampler series has been a way of sneaking new tracks out for first public showcases. Last year, new Black Rainbows showed up, and sure enough they appear here as well, and there also seems to be some new stuff from The Freeks included, which as far as I’m concerned is reason enough on its own to chase the thing down. Also Tons will have a track on there ahead of their album release in April, and new Killer Boogie, so yeah, plenty to grab onto, and even the stuff that’s already out — Mother Engine, Fvzz Popvli, The Lords of Altamont, Nick Oliveri — is all still current, and righteous. That “Kyuss Dies” song is hilarious.

Full tracklisting follows here, courtesy of the PR wire:

heavy psych sounds sampler iii

As every Year, my little dear, what we have here is: HPS074 ***HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS SAMPLER VOL.3***

We’re so proud to announce the new Sampler, is the third year we are going to release this, and tracklist look awesome!

You will find it in your HPS boxes when you will purchase from the site, or at some good festival in Europe for free at the merch table, or on tour with HPS bands…

RELEASE DATE:
16th MARCH 2018

PRESALE:
8th FEBRUARY 2018

Enjoy the tracklist!

Avon – Red Barn
Black Rainbows – High To Hell
Deadsmoke – Emperor Of Shame
Fvzz Popvli – Lost In Time
High Reeper – Die Slow
House Of Broken Promises – Toranado
Killer Boogie – Atomic Race
Monsternaut – Landslide
Mother Engine – Tokamak
Nebula – Between Time
Nick Oliveri (Kyuss Lives) – Kyuss Dies
The Freeks – American Lighning
The Lords Of Altamont – Going Downtown
Tons – 99 Weed Balloons
Turn Me On Dead Man – Vimana
Wedge – Lucid

https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/

VA, Heavy Psych Sounds Records Sampler Vol. II

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Sweet Times Vol. 6 Now Available; Features Dealer, Char-Man, Hydromedusa and Zig Zags

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Oh, how do they ever pack so much rock and roll onto such a tiny platter. Sweet Times Vol. 6 is the latest installment in an apparently ongoing series of seven-inchers curated by Who Can You Trust? Records, and in the span of a barely-started-before-it’s-over 11 minutes, it brings four bands who sound like they’re in the process of heralding a new movement in underground heavy. Consider, if you will, the punks.

But not like the pop-punkers. Consider the early punk and hardcore. Consider young Black Flag and the semi-metallized, bass-present push of earliest C.O.C. That’s what Oakland’s Dealer would seem to be after with “Casino,” while their side A compatriots Char-Man go full-on Ramones with the jangly and uptempo “Freak Rock.” Australia finds representation in the relative sprawl of Hydromedusa‘s three-and-a-half-minute “Falco,” which is more modern in production, but still derives from a blend of heavy rock and classic thrust and arrives topped with biting vocals, and side B caps with the garage-fueled careening of Zig Zags, whose raw chorus in “Blood” reminds of Death Alley tapping into Motörhead, but is even meaner and presented as raw as can be. In other words, it sounds awesome.

Is a stage being set for a new wave of retro punk? Maybe the lessons of groups like Off! are beginning to take hold and some of those bands who a few years back might’ve hit into shuffling early ’70s boogie have now moved onto to what followed and ultimately displaced the initial heavy rock movement. Think ’76-’81 instead of ’70-’74, and you might get a pretty good idea where Sweet Times Vol. 6 is coming from in terms of style.

You can hear a track premiere for Dealer‘s “Casino” at the bottom of this post to get yourself acquainted, and the 7″ is available to order from Who Can You Trust? Records now.

Dig in:

sweet times vol 6

Sweet Times Vol. 6 – Dealer, Char-Man, Hydromedusa & Zig Zags

Ok… you can finally order your very own copy of this greasy, filled to the bursting point, barrel of rock ‘n’ roll goodness!!

Four shiny new tracks by Dealer, Char-Man, Hydromedusa and Zig Zags!!! …WHAT ELSE TO SAY ?!

A raw diamond… a glimmer of light among today’s vintage/retro/nostalgia rock and roll mediocrity… the silver lining you needed more than anything else in your life… maybe that one thing that gives you hope for a brighter future and keeps you going?!

GIVE IT A TRY…

At least you’ll have a sweet time – ANY TIME !!!

This time the artwork has been handled by the one and only Jesse California and i can’t wait to hold the physical thing in my hands, as the whole package is going to look more than sweet!

„SWEET TIMES – Volume 6“ features brand new recordings by Dealer (former Sexless) from Oakland, California… (If you haven’t yet, go and check out their full-length on Wicked World Records!!), Char-Man (feat. Zarian from Lecherous Gaze on vocals!), Hydromedusa (the self-described Rock & Roll parasites from of Adelaide, South Australia!) and (if that wasn’t enough already…) there’s also a shiny new ripper from Zig Zags that’ll find you senseless after the last note, hidden in the deepest corner of the run-out groove!!! OH MY…

http://whocanyoutrustrec.bigcartel.com/product/va-sweet-times-volume-6-7-vinyl
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Various Artists, The Sun, the Moon, the Mountain: Of Ancients and Futures

Posted in Reviews on September 13th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

va-the-sun-the-moon-the-mountain

One should note immediately that the subtitle of The Sun, the Moon, the Mountain is ‘A Passage Through Greek Psychedelia.’ A passage. Not the passage. Because while the six-track debut offering from Archaeopia Records covers plenty of ground across its intricate, varied and obviously-curated 35 minutes — perfect for a limited LP made even earthier and more naturalistic via woodcut-screened cover art and hand-designed calligraphy — there’s just about no way it could be comprehensive at this point in drawing together all sides of Greece’s underground. The scope has simply gotten too big. Certainly to fit on one LP. You might get a sampling across three 12″ platters, but by then the cost is prohibitive and you too easily run the risk of losing listeners’ attentions somewhere along the “journey.”

No. Archaeopia head Theo Prasidis plays it smart with his assemblage here, bringing together seven acts diverse in sound to represent multiple sides of a Greek scene that’s undergone a massive boom in the last five to 10 years with acts like Planet of Zeus and 1000mods spearheading a presence becoming even more known across the wider sphere of Europe. As a movement, it’s still a nascent scene when one compares it to the decades-since established heavy rock output of countries like Sweden or Germany, but in taking influence from these places and bands, the acts represented in The Sun, the Moon, the Mountain bring something of their own — something definitively Greek — to the mix as well, and as that continues to be refined and defined in the years to come, it will no doubt be the foundation of an influence spreading within and without the country’s borders alike. As a document of that process’ beginnings, this passage through Greek psychedelia couldn’t be more welcome.

For convenience’s sake, the roster of bands and tracklisting:

SIDE A THE SUN, THE MOON
1. Tau & Villagers of Ioannina City, Wakey Wakey
2. The Road Miles, 600 Miles
3. Cyanna Mercury, The Flood
4. Sleepin’ Pillow, Amplifier in My Heart

SIDE B THE MOUNTAIN
5. Green Yeti, Monkey Riders
6. Craang, When in Ruins

Part of the challenge The Sun, the Moon, the Mountain puts to its audience is in helping figure out just what that “something definitively Greek” actually is. This may be a question never answered. Why is grunge grunge? What makes Southern heavy Southern? Where does one style end and another begin? Ultimately this kind of question is academic in its nature — it’s entirely possible to make your way through the songs here, not care at all and still have a perfectly good time — but as the leadoff cut “Wakey Wakey” by a collaboration between Tau (who are actually based in Berlin) and Villagers of Ioannina City delves into a ritualized Americana lyrical thematic and sets its foundation in strummed post-Monster Magnet laid back fuzz jangle, the message is clear: buckle up. “Wakey Wakey,” with mantra-esque vocals and an overriding moodiness marked by flourish of slide guitar deeper in the headphone-worthy mix, sets a distinctive tone, but it’s one of only multiple directions in which the release will decide to go.

the sun the moon the mountain woodcut

The Road Miles make a more classic impression with spacey organ and a fervent heavy push on their “600 Miles,” and Cyanna Mercury‘s “The Flood” seems to Europeanize All Them Witches-style heavy rock blues, their own keys a predominant factor but not overwhelming the strength of their chorus, which retains a link to Greek folk in its scale work and later jabbing starts and stops, reminding the listener that right across the border lies Turkey and the gateway to the Middle East. As side A rounds out with the sleek, electronic-beat-inclusive “Amplifier in My Heart” by Sleepin’ Pillow, an already expansive breadth pushes even further outward. A quiet and hypnotic verse rises to a volume swell of guitar for the chorus and rolls out an immersive groove thereafter, tying together with the somewhat darker ambience of “Wakey Wakey” earlier, but in a much different sonic context. And while the aural surroundings could hardly be more modern, somehow it feels appropriate that Sleepin’ Pillow should cap the first half of The Sun, the Moon, the Mountain with talk of an “ancient fire,” since that seems in part to be what’s driving the offering as a whole.

And that spirit — of offering, of passage — is one that only continues as side B pushes into the longer-form work of Green Yeti and Craang. Both acts are upstarts in the Greek scene, but both have already made a mark as well, and their respective inclusions, “Monkey Riders” and “When in Ruins,” are the two longest tracks at 8:21 and 7:56. Sure enough, the flow that results between them is all the more complementary for that, hitting a level of immersion even beyond side A between Green Yeti‘s rolling, feedbacking central riff on “Monkey Riders” and the galloping payoff that ends and Craang‘s patient but still deeply weighted heavy psych execution that caps with a prog-rock dreamscape of keys and fading, drifting guitar. There’s no mystery in the intention on the part of Archaeopia to take the audience to the edge of space and then give that last little shove, but as that scenario plays out, it seems even more crucial for the listener to realize the cultural interplay at work as well and the various traditions being engaged and built upon, by Craang and indeed by all their counterparts included here.

One might rightly accuse Archaeopia of aiming high with its first release. Indeed, little says scope like The Sun, the Moon, the Mountain — short of “the ocean,” you might as well have called the compilation “Light, Dark and Everything” — but what’s happening in these six pieces is not only a showcase of some of the sonic persona of Greece’s underground, but a representation of the forces modern and otherwise that have taken root and helped shape that persona in the first place. For many who engage it, that will of course be a secondary concern to just checking out a new track from Cyanna Mercury, or from Craang, or hearing what Tau & Villagers of Ioannina City bring to light in working together, and that’s fine too, but there’s an underlying message being conveyed, and in the end, it’s less about saying “these are the Greek bands you need to know” than “this is why you should know Greek bands.”

That works out to be a huge difference in the listening experience. I don’t know whether The Sun, the Moon, the Mountain is the beginning of a series or not from Archaeopia — that’s an awful lot to ask of a new label, and no doubt Prasidis wants to get down to the business of releasing proper albums, etc. — but it could be, and even if it’s only a fleeting, one-time passage, it serves notice of the arrival of yet another player of note in the Greek heavy underground in its conceptual purpose and the sheer class of taste behind its selections. “Wakey Wakey” indeed. Nicely done.

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Archaeopia Records Announces The Sun, The Moon, The Mountain Compilation; Cyanna Mercury Track Premieres

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on September 4th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Click play at the bottom of this post to stream the premiere of a new Cyanna Mercury track featured on the upcoming compilation The Sun, the Moon, the Mountain from Archaeopia Records. The song is titled ‘The Flood’ and it’s one of five to be featured on the vinyl release, which is appropriately subtitled as ‘A Passage Through Greek Psychedelia,’ and which also features works by Tau in collaboration with Villagers of Ionnina City, The Road Miles, Craang, Green Yeti and Sleepin Pillow. Six bands on five tracks for a 36-minute deluxe LP that’s rich in vibe throughout and brimming with homage to Greece’s history in heavy, in mythology, and more.

At the same time, if you needed further evidence of the heavy psych and heavy rock explosion happening in Greece right now, at this very moment, look no further. Archaeopia isn’t just highlighting random bands — these acts have been selected and curated for an offering that flows from front to back across its two sides — and not only are they relevant to the past, but to the future of the Greek scene as well. As the label’s slogan goes: “Where Cosmic Beats Vibrate the Deathless Soil.” Clearly we’re looking to cross a span of time here.

That admirable mission bears some righteous fruit on the LP, about which you can read more below ahead of preorders going live in the coming weeks for the Fall release. I’ll have a review up as well soon, so keep an eye out, and the meantime, enjoy the track premiere:

va-the-sun-the-moon-the-mountain

The Sun. The Moon. The Mountain. Three fundamental elements of the Greek psyche. From the Homeric hymns of the fiery-stallion-riding sun-god Helios and his ethereal sister Selene, goddess of the moon, to the myriad myths and legends surrounding the highlands and the consecration of Mount Olympus as the dwelling of the gods, these inextricable components of the Greek landscape, brimming with rich symbolism and religious gravitas, have dominated indigenous lore, mythology, literature, poetry and music for millennia.

In modern-day Greece, one of the music genres that largely incorporated with such symbols and concepts of old -either lyrically or musically- is undoubtedly psychedelic rock. The pioneering work of Socrates Drank The Conium and Aphrodite’s Child in the seventies, established the connection between Greek psychedelic music and religious/folkloric themes. Vangelis’ epically toned solo career focused on mythical ideas, while psych bards Purple Overdose delved deeper into the magical mysticism of antiquity.

Today we’re amidst a full-on psychedelic rock revival. New bands emerge consecutively, recalling old motifs on one hand, contributing essentially to the genre with new ideas on the other, whereas occult and spiritual notions are commonplace. With this release we want to honour the ever-growing Greek psychedelic rock scene that stands strong in the current global renaissance of the genre.

Juxtaposing our title to the collection of songs featured on this vinyl, the following concept might arise: The sun represents psychedelic rock in its most lurid expression, a euphoric desert plain walkabout towards a bacchic celebration of light. The moon takes us on a slow-burning trip into the night, with the melancholic exaltation of glazed psychedelia. The mountain is manifested by a massive wall of sound, evoking visions of dark rites and primordial cults. Each featured band mirrors a singular element,
steering into a substantial whole.

The Sun. The Moon. The Mountain. As influential and imposing and radiant as ever. Enjoy!

Tracklisting:
SIDE A THE SUN, THE MOON
TAU & VILLAGERS OF IOANNINA CITY, WAKEY WAKEY
THE ROAD MILES, 600 MILES
CYANNA MERCURY, THE FLOOD
SLEEPIN PILLOW, AMPLIFIER IN MY HEART

SIDE B THE MOUNTAIN
GREEN YETI, MONKEY RIDERS
CRAANG, WHEN IN RUINS

All tracks are original recordings, except “600 Miles” by The Road Miles, featured in the album “Ballads for the Wasteland” and “Amplifier In My Heart” by Sleepin Pillow, featured in the album “Apples On An Orange Tree”, both newly remastered and presented in vinyl format for the first time.

Artwork by Fotis Varthis. Woodcut engraved, inked and printed by hand on Rosaspina Fabriano 180gr paper by the artist. Watch the entire procedure here: youtu.be/w5QI9L36ICE

www.behance.net/FotisVarthis
cargocollective.com/FotisVarthis

Assembled by Theo Prasidis
Post-mastered by George Nikoglou

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Bow to Your Masters: Thin Lizzy Tribute to Feature High on Fire, Mos Generator, Mothership, Harsh Toke, Egypt and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Not that this one really needs a plug, considering that as of this writing Glory or Death Records‘ Kickstarter campaign for a Thin Lizzy tribute to be titled Bow to Your Masters has hit 274 percent of its fundraising goal, but it’s pretty awesome that as a result of that, the label has added a second LP to the project and announced the first band who’ll take part in it is High on Fire. The way the numbers have played out pretty much underscores the absolute no-brainer, duh-of-course-head-slap awesomeness of the idea in the first place, and among life’s many worthy tenets, “The more Thin Lizzy, the better,” continues to resound as dogma.

Will there be a Volume 2? Will Glory or Death earn enough in the remaining week of the campaign to add a third LP here? Time will tell.

Background info and the latest tracklisting update follow here, courtesy of the label:

Bow to Your Masters Volume 1: Thin Lizzy Set for Winter Release

First Vinyl Release from Glory or Death will be a Tribute Featuring Heavy Underground Heavyweights

Glory or Death Records is extremely excited to announce our first vinyl release, and the first in our series of Bow to Your Masters tribute albums. For this first release we chose a special band to pay tribute to: Thin Lizzy, one of the most influential rock-and-roll bands of all time.

The album announcement comes with a Kickstarter campaign that has already met the original goal, but is still going until 5/30/17. The Kickstarter preorder features limited vinyl and art packages and surprise rewards that will be added in the second half of the campaign. Buying now will grant access to the highly-limited first pressing of Bow to Your Masters Volume 1: Thin Lizzy, which will feature some of the best heavy metal, rock, and psych bands in the business putting their own unique spin on classic Thin Lizzy songs.

The album features bands from innovative labels like Doomentia Records, Riding Easy Records, Ripple Music, Tee Pee Records, and Totem Cat Records.

The 10 bands coming along for the ride are: Mos Generator (Seattle, WA), Egypt (Fargo, ND), White Dog (Austin, TX), Red Wizard (San Diego, CA), Slow Season (Visalia, CA), Mothership (Dallas, TX), KOOK (San Jose, CA), Great Electric Quest (Oceanside, CA), Sacri Monti (Encinitas, CA), and Harsh Toke (San Diego, CA).

**UPDATE-2nd LP announced, High on Fire First Band Added**

LP1 Band/Track Listing
Mos Generator-Massacre
Egypt-Suicide
White Dog-???
Red Wizard-???
Slow Season-She Knows
Mothership-???
KOOK-Thunder and Lightning
Great Electric Quest-???
Sacri Monti-???
Harsh Toke-???

LP2 Band/Track Listing
High on Fire-???
???
???
???

The launch teaser video for the Kickstarter campaign includes a sample of Mos Generator playing a monster cover of Massacre, and there is also a teaser of Egypt’s version of Suicide. The rest of the tracks will be revealed before the end of the Kickstarter campaign. The album will release in late 2017—with a current target of November.
The album cover features art from renowned album and band/poster artists David Paul Seymour and Austin Barrett; the 4-panel cover will feature re-interpretations of classic Thin Lizzy photos and album covers. The Kickstarter campaign has reward tiers that include the 4 original art pieces that make up the cover as well as signed screen-prints of the 4 cover panels.

Details:
Kickstarter Address: http://bit.ly/gloryordeath
Kickstarter pre-order deadline: 5/30/17

http://www.facebook.com/gloryordeathrecords
http://www.instagram.com/glory_or_death_records

Thin Lizzy, Fighting (1975)

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