Naam, White Hills, Black Rainbows and The Flying Eyes Split: So Much Space, So Little Time

Posted in Reviews on June 11th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

The four bands included, tripped out as they are, can hardly account for the amount of space traversed. Italy’s Black Rainbows, led by guitarist/vocalist Gabriele Fiori — whose own contributions to European psychedelia include running the label issuing this release, Heavy Psych Sounds and assembling this year’s inaugural Totem Psych Fest, taking place this summer outside of Rome (more info here) — unite with Brooklyn heavy space rockers and past tourmates Naam, well-kept New York secret outfit White Hills and bluesy Baltimore explorers The Flying Eyes for a 2LP gatefold four-way split featuring a side from each. All four groups work regularly in pretty extended forms, so you basically get a song or two from each, but still, the fact that they all got together and combined their efforts for this release makes it something special, the limited numbers of the vinyl and various colors (as well as a CD version) having been pressed in time for this year’s Desertfest, at which Black Rainbows also appeared. Everyone involved shares an obvious affinity for heavy psychedelic rock, but as one would hope for a release of this nature, there are also four distinct takes presented across the split — the official title of which is Heavy Psych Sounds 4-Way Split Vol. I – and each band takes advantage of an opportunity to bliss out in their own way, beginning with Naam – who’ve spent significant time on tour in Europe both before and after issuing their latest album, 2013′s Vow (review here) — on their two tracks, “Skyscraper (Ambient Mix)” and “Thickening Web,” which are included as side 1A leading off the 51-minute double-LP.

Its title is a dead giveaway, but “Skyscraper (Ambient Mix)” is a reworking of Vow highlight “Skyscraper,” and what was a landmark on the ultra-spacey sophomore full-length from the Brooklyn four-piece arises on the Heavy Psych Sounds split as a stripped-down wash of effects, elements dropping in and out over the course of its seven-plus minutes, guitarist/vocalist Ryan Lee Lugar‘s voice barely distinct for the reverb it carries, a slow, mellow progression playing out behind given further depth between the high and low end thanks to a swirl of effects. “Skyscraper” proper was not short on ambience, between the guitar, John Weingarten‘s keys, John Preston Bundy‘s bass and Eli Pizzuto‘s percussive roll, but “Skyscraper (Ambient Mix)” — on which engineer/mixer Jeff Berner has added some instrumentation as well — feels thoroughly reworked and comes across experimental enough to make the original seem straightforward in comparison. With a fuller-sounding instrumental stretch to over eight minutes, “Thickening Web” furthers the atmosphere of the opener while building on it, Weingarten coming to the fore in a dreamy midsection as the bass, guitar and drums fade out and back in around his keys. There’s a build at work and constant movement, but Naam still evoke a laid back feel, which is all the more fitting leading into White Hills‘ experimental 11-minute “They’ve Got Blood… Like You’ve Got Blood,” presented here as an alternate version to what appeared as the title-track of the 2005 self-released full-length, They’ve Got Blood Like We’ve Got Blood. As much as they’re clearly separate entities with their own sonic aims, a linear flow is present as well, and White Hills further Naam‘s sprawling ambience and percussive undertones with engrossing space-drones and an ending movement with lo-fi techno beats and organ leadout. You’ve got four psych bands all contributing to the release. It was bound to get weird at some point.

Read more »

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

Four-Way Split Between Naam, White Hills, Black Rainbows and The Flying Eyes Due in May on Heavy Psych Sounds

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 13th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

On May 5, with presentation earlier at the London and Berlin Desertfests, Italian imprint Heavy Psych Sounds will release a four-way split featuring some of heavy psych’s finest purveyors. Teaming up Naam and White Hills from Brooklyn and New York, Rome’s Black Rainbows and Baltimore’s The Flying Eyes, the double-LP is set to arrive in three separate vinyl editions as well as on CD, with preorders coming at the beginning of next month.

What’s truly terrifying isn’t this culling of impressive names establishing a wide variety within an aesthetic sphere — though certainly that’s something noteworthy as well — but as the video teaser below hints, this is the Heavy Psych Sounds 4-Way Split Vol. 1, as in, the first of more to come. Gabriele Fiori, who runs the label and serves as guitarist/vocalist in Black Rainbows, is no stranger to supporting underground heavy and obviously has his ear to the ground in both the European and American psych scenes, but to think this might become a series puts it in a different category altogether. I’d be eager to find out what the plan ultimately is.

I’ll hope to have more to come on this one closer to the release, but as a notice to keep your eyes peeled for the preorder link, which can’t be far off, and to give a first taste with the promo clip, I humbly offer the below preliminaries courtesy of the PR wire:

Heavy Psych Sounds records
hps016 //::// Naam / White Hills / Black Rainbows / The Flying Eyes – Split album

released in double gatefold 12″
– 70 Ultra LTD edition in golden
– 350 LTd edition in white splatter purple
– solid red
and digipack

the release will be presented at Desert Fest (Berlin and London) – April 25/26/27 2014

pre-sale starts end of march

available from 05/05/2014
in the best record shops and mailorders

http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Heavy Psych Sounds 4-Way Split Vol. 1 Teaser

Tags: , , , ,

VIDEO PREMIERE: Scion A/V Interviews Roadburn Records Crew; Earthless & White Hills Split EP Now Available

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 3rd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Stay with me, friends, because there’s a lot going on here. Last November, Scion A/V and Roadburn Records got together in Hollywood to put on a label showcase at the Roxy. By all accounts, it was a ritzy affair. Red carpet, Orange amps, Blue Velvet, green horseshoes, the whole nine. Okay, I don’t know any of that, but whatever. On the bill were Enslaved, Astra, White Hills and Earthless. You don’t need me to tell you that’s a hell of a show.

Okay. At this gig of gigs, Earthless and White Hills had some material recorded, and that’s being presented today as a FREE DOWNLOAD LIVE EP at the Scion A/V website. I’ve also included the widget below for your convenience. Needless to say, both bands are in top form, because when the dudes from Roadburn come to town, you don’t want to let anything slide.

In addition to the aforementioned EP, which features the wah-drenched 12-minute “Red” from Earthless and 7:38 antigrav excursion “Under Skin or by Name” by White Hills, the Scion A/V team also sat down with the Roadburn Records crew — Jurgen van den Brand (note his 35007 shirt; awesome) and Jean-Paul van Steen — to talk about the formation of the label and how you sell music in the post-download age.

The clips provide an intensely fascinating look behind the scenes, and of course the EP is choice, so I’m thrilled to present the premiere of both below.

Please enjoy:

Scion A/V Roadburn Records Label Visit – The Festival Label

Scion A/V Roadburn Records Label Visit – Strategy

Scion A/V Releases Split EP Featuring EARTHLESS and WHITE HILLS

Celebrated Space Rock Bands Team Up, Deliver Herculean Cosmic Sound

Scion A/V, the creative enterprise of Scion devoted to the discovery, nurture, funding and distribution of compelling music and arts programming today releases a special two track, 20 minute EP featuring the heavy sounds of San Diego cosmonauts EARTHLESS and Brooklyn astral rockers WHITE HILLS. Recorded in November, 2012 at the world famous Roxy in Hollywood as part of the Scion-presented Roadburn Records label showcase, the free EP features EARTHLESS performing the stargazing track “Red” and WHITE HILLS delivering the boundless cut “Under Skin or by Name.” The EP is available as a free download now at ScionAV.com.

 

“Roadburn is an influential rock festival that is well respected internationally,” ?comments Jeri Yoshizu, manager of sales promotion for Scion. “We love what they do and wanted to be the first to bring Roadburn to the U.S.”?

EARTHLESS was formed in 2001 by Mario Rubalcaba, Isaiah Mitchell and Mike Eginton with the desire to create music incorporating a wide array of influences ranging from diverse bands (from Flower Travelin’ Band, Jimi Hendrix and Hawkwind to The Birthday Party, Can and Rory Gallagher, to name a few) re-imagined and born to stand on its own. Described by Rubalcaba as a “heavy, loud, sonic mind melt,” the music of EARTHLESS features epic instrumental passages that have solidified the California trio as one of the must-see heavy psych rock bands on the planet today.

WHITE HILLS is guitarist Dave W., bassist Ego Sensation and drummer Nick Name. The New York group twists beauteous, brain-tenderizing riffs into tight spirals of sound that succeed through sheer momentum. Paying just as close attention to the quiet moments as the raging ones, WHITE HILLS’ songs are a push-pull between churning and floating, abandon and control. The end result is invigorating deep space rock that’s built to be performed (and experienced) live.

Track listing:
1.) EARTHLESS “Red” (12:31)
2.) WHITE HILLS “Under Skin or by Name” (7:38)

Roadburn Records Showcase at ScionAV.com

Roadburn Records

Earthless on Thee Facebooks

White Hills on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , ,

Scion A/V and Roadburn Partner for Label Showcase

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 15th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster

Roadburn goes Hollywood! If there was any conflict involved, you could almost call this a clash of the titans. Somehow “alliance of the titans” doesn’t have the same kind of ring to it, or “titans putting on a killer show.” Still, pretty bitchin’ that Roadburn and Scion A/V Metal could get it together for a label showcase. How bitchin’, you ask? Well, it’s just about giant-size poster bitchin’.

Dig it:

Scion A/V Metal are excited to announce their next Scion Label Showcase with Roadburn Records!

We are taking over The Roxy in West Hollywood, CA on Saturday, November 10, and we’re bringing Enslaved, White Hills, Scott Kelly, Earthless, and Astra with us. RSVP coming soon, so stay tuned to Scion A/V Metal’s Facebook page.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Frydee White Hills

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 11th, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster

Got back a bit ago from watching Deep Purple and a 38-piece orchestra rock the Baby Boomer pants off a woefully sparse PNC Bank Arts Center here in Jersey. The lawn was empty, save for a few stragglers who decided to sit there I guess on principle or somesuch, and there were a few sections that had more vacant seats than full ones. Kind of a bummer to see, but the band was good and the people who were there seemed appreciative.

It probably would have been fitting, then, to close out this week with Deep Purple, maybe “Space Truckin’,” which was especially enjoyable at the show, but hell, I’ve done that before, and the White Hills clip above seems worthy of attention. Even before David D’Andrea mentioned them in the interview posted yesterday, I’ve been seeing their name dropped increasingly in advance of their new record H-p1 (a title I can get behind), which is out June 21 on Thrill Jockey.

Before I wrap the week, I want to say a special thanks to everyone who grabbed the podcast over the last couple days. Downloaded 151 times in less than a week is huge and much appreciated. I hope you’ve been digging it. I’ve gone through it a couple times, and it’s really long, but I’m happy with how it turned out and I hope if you’re one of those 151 downloading parties, or even if you just streamed it or whathaveyou, that you are too.

Tomorrow night you’ll find me sloshed and gone mad watching a Black Sabbath cover band at my local townie, the Boonton Ave. Grille, and Sunday there’s a bastard lot of work to be done, so I’m on that. Monday should provide suitable relief when it shows up. And by relief, I mean more work. Nonetheless, next week, we’ll have an interview posted with Witch Mountain, whose album you can stream here, and reviews of Elvis Deluxe and three or four others I can’t remember at the moment. I look forward to The Obelisk being what gets me through these long summer afternoons.

Hope you have a safe, enjoyable weekend. See you back here Monday, or on the forum in the meantime.

Tags: , ,

Winter and White Hills to Support Sleep in NYC

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 3rd, 2011 by H.P. Taskmaster

Good news on top of good news for anyone in the New York region or who might be traveling there next month to see Sleep. Winter and White Hills were announced yesterday as support acts for the upcoming Terminal 5 show in Manhattan on June 25. Should be awesome to see the reaction as Winter lays doomly waste to that warehouse-turned-dance-club-turned-rock-venue. I suspect a whole bunch of people are about to be viciously schooled in the ways of the abrasively slow. Killer.

This from the PR wire:

West Coast stoner metal legends Sleep recently confirmed support for their special New York City show at Terminal 5 on June 22 . The bill will now include two New York-based acts: Space rock duo White Hills and recently reunited death/doom trio Winter. Both bands were featured on this year’s illustrious Roadburn festival in Tilburg, Holland.

Sleep 2011 tour dates:
06/22 Terminal 5 New York, NY w/ Winter, White Hills
06/24 Sled Island Festival Calgary, AB
06/26 The Wiltern Los Angeles, CA

Tags: , , ,