The Obelisk Questionnaire: Raif Box

Posted in Questionnaire on March 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

raif box bones of the earth

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Raif Box of Bones of the Earth

Get Quality How To Write A Good College Research Paper Services and Dissertation Help at Best Price Ever, DissertationHelpUK all kind of writing services in UK. Contact us now! How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I play bass and sing in Bones of the Earth. I also own a small studio called Holy Anvil Recording Co. Being a musician has been a dream of mine since I was a kid but becoming an audio engineer happened purely out of curiosity. It was like, “hey I wonder if I could learn how to do this?” and that just spiraled out of control until I eventually came to open up a little studio here in Fayetteville, AR.

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I want to say my family went to some sort of country festival in Texas when I was real young. I believe it to be one of my first memories, although to be honest I have a terrible memory. Alan Jackson was the headliner. All I remember is that it was very hot, and at some point the people a couple rows up had too much to drink and started fighting.

Buy Cheap Dissertation At Not all students are working, and they need a service which does not burn a big hole in their pocket. The good news is that the website offers best site help. It is user-friendly and makes your essay ordering experience easy. Buying cheap custom dissertation will make your life simple Describe your best musical memory to date.

Russian Circles at George’s Majestic Lounge was easily the best performance from any band I’ve ever seen. What they can accomplish live is incredible.

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I’ve been struggling lately with the notion that most people are generally well intentioned and kind. Perhaps that was just a naivety.

Home Page, buy dissertation uk, depression term papers, dissertation buy online, dissertation title sample, 500 word essay on respect, dissertation buy online, book report writing help, buy cheap essay papers Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

I think that there is a very fine line between refining your craft and becoming stagnant. I doubt that it’s a simple thing to find once you arrive there, but I can hope that if that time comes for me I can look back at what I’ve accomplished and be proud.

how to write a literature review based dissertation Argumentative essay writing my neighbourhood executive ghostwriting services How do you define success?

If I can survive purely off of doing what I love to do, I’d call that a success. If that’s living in a van with my best buds, hell yeah.

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I went to see Nickelback with my dad once. I love my dad, but boy I really could’ve done without seeing that. offers Best Thesis Writing Services & Best Description Of Venture Business Plan Services UK at affordable price. We provide professional Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

One day I want to start an actual play D&D podcast with some friends.

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Empathy. I think regardless of the medium, the goal is to share something unique to you with other people and hope that they can make a connection with it. When someone does that and you see it happen, and you know that you took part in creating something that changed something in the world, however small, that’s just the best feeling in the world.

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The new Mass Effect.

Bones of the Earth, II. Eternal Meditations of a Deathless Crown (2021)

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Live Stream Review: Mountain Tamer, Live in the Mojave Desert

Posted in Reviews on March 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

mountain tamer live in the mojave desert with text

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Because they’ve always been individual. I don’t think you get to notch so many impressive labels under your belt — three records, four imprints — unless there’s something unique about you, especially as a young group. After watching their ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’ stream on a sunny Saturday afternoon, as well as their ‘Couchlock and Rock’ interview segment with ‘Mojave’ showrunner Ryan Jones as guitarist/vocalist Andrew Hall and drummer Casey Garcia recounted tour stories of watching a naked man on PCP be brought down by police and firefighters at six in the morning in Oklahoma, I feel like I have a little better understanding of where they’re coming from.

Angry psych. Hall noted it in his interview as well, that he was having a rough time seeing his pedal board while they played — the word “challenge” was used multiple times, which took as diplomacy-speak for “fucking pain in the ass” — but that seems only to have fueled in their performance what was already in the songs the entire time. They’re pissed. There’s a lot of psychedelia out there today, but not a lot of it is legit angry. There’s political commentary, there’s party-psych, mellow-peaceful-groovy psych, space rock, all that stuff. Mountain Tamer have found a way to hone inner disaffection into a lysergic rager in a way that no one else I’ve heard does.

It comes through on their records, and listening back to Psychosis Ritual, it’s there for sure, but the rawness of their form was front and center for the ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’ stream. As they have been for the entire series, sound and production level were both top notch, and where their trippy garage noise metal might otherwise have been eaten by the expanse of Joshua Tree National Park, Hall, Garcia and bassist Dave Teget came through sounding full, mad, and purposeful. It’s not that their psych is a bummer, but if you get it drunk enough it might break something.

mountain tamer

Teget, who was the only member absent from the interview as Jones led a taste-test of Mountain Tamer‘s new pineapple and cactus fruit hot sauce — impressively, they grew their own peppers — plays like a headbanger, and headbangs while he plays. Watching him tear into Psychosis Ritual cuts like set-opener “Warlock” and “Turoc Maximus Antonis,” I was reminded of Scott Reeder in old Kyuss videos: hair in front of face, stomping around like at any moment he might just stumble down, some straight-out circle headbangs in Teget‘s case. It was not laid back. It was not serene. It was animalia, suited to the wilder surroundings of not-a-venue as he kicked up sand along the way. Through performances by Earthless (review here), Nebula (review here) and Spirit Mother (review here), he has been the most physical player yet shown in ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’ series. If this were a high school yearbook, he’d easily walk away with Most Likely to Spill Beer on Stage. I mean that as a compliment.

Only the title-track of Psychosis Ritual wasn’t played, and the three-piece brought out “Funeral of a Dog” and the downer-boogie “Living in Vain Pt. II” to close, the former finding Hall breaking out a maraca before tossing it into the sand and hitting into the next riff. “Chained” and “Scorched Earth” might’ve been the most resolutely pissed off they got, but that edge was right there from “Warlock,” and even as things smoothed out, “Death in the Woods” and “Black Noise” made sure their grungy aggro-spaciousness was given its fair shake. Kudos go to Garcia on the subtle class of his play and his ability to pull together the guitar spreading out in one direction and the bass digging in in another; these fascinating, sometimes conflicting impulses in the band’s sound.

Conspicuously absent was Mad Alchemy. The famed psychedelic lightshow purveyor has been on board for at least part of each stream to-date, but Mountain Tamer played the entirety of their set by sunlight, so I guess that was that. Kind of hard to light up the desert when you’re competing with a literal star. Fair enough. The 36-minute set will nonetheless make for a killer live record (not that I’ve heard it, but yeah, I have; don’t tell anybody), to be delivered in the US by ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’ itself and in Europe by Heavy Psych Sounds. If they haven’t yet, Mountain Tamer should consider doing their next LP completely live in the studio. If ever there was a heavy psych band tailor-made for Steve Albini, here they are.

‘Live in the Mojave Desert’ is slated to continue in two weeks with Stöner, the anticipated new collaboration between Brant Bjork and Nick Oliveri. Worth noting that Mountain Tamer were ‘Vol. 5’ in the series and Stöner ‘Vol. 4,’ but if we’re running out of order, my only response is a shrug. Jones and his company of humans and drones have proven at this point they can put on a show. I’m happy to tune in, whatever number we’re on.

Mountain Tamer, “Living in Vain Pt. II” from ‘Live in the Mojave Desert’

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Enrico Meloni

Posted in Questionnaire on March 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

enrico meloni

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Enrico Meloni of IKITAN and The Healing Process

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I am the drummer of IKITAN and have been into music since my early teen years. Being self-taught and having been into bands at different times and with varying intensity in many parts of my life, I can’t say “I’m a musician” as there was never the drive to make it a profession or something too professional (as in, studying for hours a day), but I do love playing and experimenting with music.

It was easy for me to listen to albums back to back and try and reproduce them when I first picked up drums (around 11-12 y-o), and then go and play with my bands and do the same without too much study, so I guess I’ve been lucky I can express myself to an acceptable degree without having to invest too much time or energy.

IKITAN came about in just the right moment in my life: I had recently moved back to Italy (in Genoa) after 5 years in London and, having explored a lot of different kinds of music, it was time to do something different, whatever that means. Which for me means: not having a “musical” plan and going with the flow, without being afraid of crossing barriers and mixing things up. Try and do something original, and never be afraid. Also, don’t get too much in love with something as “a better idea” might be around the corner.

After some not-too-successful experiences, I met Luca (guitar) and Frik Et (bass) thanks to an adv on a local FB page for musicians, we met and started jamming from day one. Thanks to them I learned about the existence of the world of instrumental music in the form of post-rock and the likes. This is how IKITAN was born: a jam session-driven band wanting to play instrumental music, and heavily influenced by post-rock, stoner and prog.

We’ve been playing together for over a year now, released one EP called Twenty-Twenty (one only song which lasts 20 minutes and 20 seconds, released on 20th November 2020) and this is the result of our personalities meeting and creating music. We call it heavy post-rock but there’s a lot more into it. Sounds cliché, I know, but this is what it is.

Like in my original plan of not having a plan, this whole thing took me somewhere unexpected, and I’m very happy about it.

On top of this, last Summer I got in touch with The Healing Process, a Milan-based one-man technical thrash metal band who was looking for a session drummer to record their upcoming album. I met with Carlo and we’ve started working on a killer 7-track album that will take you back to the sound of bands such as Heathen, And Justice for All-era Metallica, and Toxik.

I’ve always wanted to play thrash metal, probably my fav type of metal, and this is the perfect opportunity to do it.

Describe your first musical memory.

Watching my dad and sister play guitar together. She’s a great classical guitar player and my dad, who knew the basics of guitar, was very much into the Italian songwriters of the ’70s and ’80s, De André mainly (which, ironically, was from the city I now live in, and where IKITAN happens to operate), and with my mom singing all types of tunes as all the time, there was always music in the house.

All I could do was call for attention by thrashing pans and spoons while they gently and mindfully played their strings. I was doomed from that early age, yes.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

My first ever gig, when I was 12 and we just went on stage with my elder cousin and a couple of other guys and played two songs we never actually rehearsed before (from Italian rock band Elio e Le Storie Tese: “John Holmes” and “Catalogna”).

Back then it looked like every single teenager in the town I’m from was playing music, so little festivals and concerts were literally all over the place. You could just ask people “do you know this and that song?” go on stage and have the time of your life.

On that very day I was also challenged by some stranger who said I was too young to play Iron Maiden, so I went on stage and started playing “Be Quick or Be Dead,” completely random, between bands.

This was my initiation!

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

In all fairness, I’ve never been a fond fan of instrumental music, but now I feel very comfortable playing it with IKITAN. I’ve discovered a whole new world and I love it. Not having a vocalist gives us the flexibility we need to be fully driven by the music, without having to worry if this or that part of the song has to be aggressive or sweet vocally.

Some of the bands I like the most, even though it did take me a while to fully appreciate them, are As I Watch You From Afar, Pelican, Long Distance Calling, Russian Circles and If These Trees Could Talk.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

You gotta be happy and proud of what you do at all points of your career. I’m not in this for the money (I guess I’m a bit late for it lol) so I feel that artistic progression and what one creates have to make oneself happy in the first place.

What do I mean by happy? Satisfied with the music, with the people you share the journey with, and content with what is being reached with hard work on a daily basis.

If you’re not satisfied by your passion, what’s the point? To keep this feeling consistent is not easy, of course, and I’m not even talking about the music per se here, but more about the experience of being in a band as a whole.

Too many times, when looking for a band playing “that” genre, I met people who had a very precise idea of where they wanted to go and how they wanted to appear etc. This often didn’t coincide with my idea (which, in a way, is “I have no idea where I am going, let’s start and see where we can get together”), and now I feel with IKITAN we’re more or less on the same wavelength, which makes the project interesting and relevant every day, both musically and as human beings.

How do you define success?

This kind of links back to the previous question. If that could be summarized as “wake up every day and not be ashamed of what you see in the mirror,” I’d go for that.

Success means peace of mind, having the time and opportunities to experiment and be well with the people you like.

In my and our case, with IKITAN, our first success was to stick to our plan to actually release an EP even though the band was less than one year old, no social media presence, no concerts, but a lot of playing together, jamming around and the right mentality to make things happen.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

The movie of IT when I was six years old. It was a game-changer and one of the first, real “fears” I’ve ever had when I was a kid. Little did I know the book is even scarier when I read it a few years later.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

I can’t wait for IKITAN’s upcoming album to take shape and be released to the world. We will want to do a proper PR campaign and let the world know about it. I feel we’re where we want to be with this band, everyone is contributing in a relevant and tangible way to the project and we’re playing with the music a lot. It looks like after years of purposeless projects we’re finally in a stage in our lives where we can and want to invest in this project and we’re doing whatever we like to do.

So yes, creating a real full length album and releasing it would do for now.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

Enrico: to lift your spirit, whatever that means for each one of us. Some might “get high” by giving art a political connotation, some others might only be interested in the music, some others use it to convey a spiritual message… whatever that is, get lifted.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

As non-original as it sounds (I suspect everyone’s said this lately lol), I can’t wait to go back to concerts and life to stop being about wearing a mask. And visit my family in Sardinia, it’s been so annoying not being able to travel, whether it’s for work, for leisure or to visit your family. I really hope personal liberty will go back to where it was very quickly. I wasn’t particularly affected on a mental level by the restrictions but after one year… hard not to be!

As IKITAN, we’d like to do our first concert, for example, as we started playing together in November 2019 and then shit hit the fan big time.

Stay tuned as some cool surprises will be unveiled to the world in the next few weeks.

IKITAN, Twenty-Twenty (2020)

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Paradise Lost Release Gothic Live at Roadburn 2016

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

paradise lost

I was fortunate enough to be in the crowd when Paradise Lost celebrated the 25th anniversary of Gothic by playing the album in its entirety at Roadburn 2016. To say the very least of it, it was a show worth remembering. The set, captured like so much of Roadburn by Marcel van de Vondervoort, was released this past Friday because blah blah Bandcamp Friday, but I don’t care what day it is, this is worth your time.

Paradise Lost released their Obsidian (review here) LP last year, continuing a decade-plus run of strong studio work, and joined the masses of bands doing livestreams last Fall to support it. An imperfect solution for an imperfect world, but better than nothing, maybe.

Lot of live albums out there right now? There sure are. This one has the decided advantage though of being Paradise Lost playing Gothic. So there.

Here’s the info that came in on Friday:

paradise lost gothic live at roadburn 2016

Paradise Lost to release ‘Gothic live at Roadburn 2016’ album

Following on from their new album ‘Obsidian’ in May last year and December’s ‘Draconian Times’ 20th anniversary reissue, British gothic metal legends Paradise Lost will release ‘Gothic Live At Roadburn 2016’ digitally and exclusively via Bandcamp this Friday.

The now legendary festival based in Tilburg, Netherlands saw Paradise Lost play their 1991 album in full for the very first time on a line-up alongside the likes of Converge, Cult of Luna and Neurosis in 2016.

Reflecting on the performance vocalist Nick Holmes comments,

‘I remember when we got asked to play Roadburn, I knew of the festival but I’d never actually been. The people that run it have an incredible knowledge and passion for music, so it was a great honour to be asked.

We played Gothic in full for the first time ever, perhaps slightly apprehensive how it would go down live as it’s not really a ‘festival’ set. However I was pleasantly surprised with the audience’s reaction and it was a really enjoyable experience.

The back drop was an animation that had been hand drawn by Costin, and it really helped I think with the overall performance.’

‘Gothic Live at Roadburn 2016’ is released tomorrow as part of Bandcamp Friday, which sees them waive their revenue share to help support the many artists who have seen their livelihoods disrupted by the pandemic. The album download will also include access to the full stage animations that featured in the original Roadburn performance.

Paradise Lost, “Shattered” Live at Roadburn 2016

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Shiva the Destructor Post New Single “Hydronaut”; Find the Others Due March 26

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


Ukrainian heavy psychedelic rockers Shiva the Destructor are giving a nine-minute preview of their upcoming debut album, Find the Others, in the new single “Hydronaut.” Following on from the prior-unveiled “Nirvana Beach,” it finds the Kyiv four-piece running out of songs to post in advance, so it’s probably a good thing the record’s out on March 26. You’ll find the track at the bottom of the post, and if and when you put it on, be ready to spend the entirety of its run with it. There’s a warm-toned, welcoming vibe that’s a little bit reminiscent of defunct Kyiv troupe Ethereal Riffian, but maybe more born of post-Elder progressive heavy and My Sleeping Karma‘s penchant for getting lost in the groove. But whatever else you take awawy from that meandering-ass last sentence, take the word “vibe,” because that and the melody are what it’s all about.

Haven’t heard the record yet, but it’s easy enough to dig “Hydronaut” and “Nirvana Beach,” so by all means, yes, do that.

The PR wire awaits you:


Rodion Tsirka on “Hydronaut”:

It all started with a dense swampy riff that I came up with on April 20, 2016. I wanted to post a video on my YouTube channel that day, so I washed the dishes thoroughly, picked up a downtuned guitar and started playing. Right off the bat, the main riff came out.

On May 1, using the “range hood” method and having returned to the uptuned Shiva-tuning, I got out of my head almost all other parts of the future track. The method is that I record the main riff using a looper, leave it in the living room to play the loop, go to the kitchen, turn on the range hood fan at a speed at which I can barely hear the riff, and wash the dishes. After these five to ten minutes, melodies “derivative” of the main riff start playing in my head. The next step is to let myself simmer in those for a little, then come back to the living room, quickly turn off the looper and take the guitar just in time to figure out everything still playing in my head. In a way, the range hood fan works like a subway ride after a rehearsal — it has its own sonic range that can be relied on as a support on which something similar to what’s stuck in my head after a rehearsal starts to play.

So, there was this initial dense swampy guitar riff, and then a swampy dense bass riff emerged from it, layered by a light guitar intro. Actually, the whole track is a result of mixing something dense and swampy with something light and airy.

Then, with the guys, the verses were developed where the harmony moved somewhere and not always stayed in one place, as it often happened with my riffs back then, and the lyrics were written.

My initial idea was much thicker and slower, but together we made a song that significantly expanded the range of emotions it initially covered.

Pre-Order of “Find the Others” album at this location:

Progressive heavy psych group Shiva the Destructor plays sprawling, spiraling rock music that is superbly crafted for maximum atmospheric flow. Hailing from Kyiv, Ukraine, the formidable four-piece is a band of true compositional ambition. Shiva the Destructor will release the new full-length LP, ‘Find the Others’, on March 26 via Robustfellow Productions.

1.) Benares
2.) Hydronaut
3.) Summer of Love
4.) Ishtar
5.) Nirvana Beach

Shiva the Destructor features Andrii Pryimak (guitar, vocals, backing vocals, keyboards), Rodion Tsikra (guitar, vocals), Andrew Sernyak (bass, backing vocals) and Kostiantyn Kalachikov (drums), who replaced Marco Sharyi, the band’s original drummer and ideological co-creator who performed and composed lyrics on ‘Find the Others’.

Shiva the Destructor, “Hydronaut”

Shiva the Destructor, Find the Others (2021)

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Wheel Announce Preserved in Time Out April 9 on Cruz Del Sur

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 8th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


15 years on from their founding and eight years since their most recent long-player, Germany doomers Wheel are set to make a return next month with Preserved in Time. With the release, Cruz Del Sur continue their admirable allegiance to quality doomcraft and traditional metal, and the Dortmunders should find welcome among those who’ve opened their arms in recent years to the likes of Orodruin and Pale Divine, among other choice acquisitions the label has made inside and out of the genre.

Icarus, which was Wheel‘s 2013 album — you’ll note the new record closes with “Daedalus,” which is fair enough — came out through Eyes Like Snow, as did their 2010 self-titled debut, and though it’s been a while since anything’s come out under that particular banner, it remains a trove of well-curated acts for those who might seek to dig. If you find after listening to the new Wheel track “She Left in Silence” below that you’re game to dig further into their prior two LPs — the cover art here also calls back somewhat to the profile on the debut, so there’s definitely some self-directed conversation happening — they’re streaming on Bandcamp. It’s not going to make your day less doomed.

The ol’ PR wire puts it thusly:

wheel preserved in time

WHEEL – New Album “Preserved in Time” via Cruz Del Sur Music – Lyric Video available

Cruz Del Sur Music proudly announces “Preserved in Time”!

On their first studio album in eight years, Germany’s WHEEL deliver seven songs of brooding, emotional doom. It will be released on April 9th 2021.

A lyric video for the track “She Left In Silence” has just been revealed.

True, epic doom of the highest order in the vein of Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus and Trouble!


WHEEL was formed in 2006 in Dortmund, Germany. In 2009 a 2 Track Demo led to a deal with EYES LIKE SNOW. The debut was released 2010. The successor “Icarus” came out 2013. 2014 the band released a live tape from their performance at Hammer of Doom. 2021 the third Album “Preserved in Time” will be out on Cruz del Sur.

1. At Night They Came Upon Us
2. When The Shadow Takes You Over
3. After All
4. She Left In Silence
5. Aeon of Darkness
6. Hero of the Weak
7. Daedalus

Wheel, “She Left in Silence” official lyric video

Wheel, Preserved in Time (2021)

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 54

Posted in Radio on March 5th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

Back to normal, such as it is, for The Obelisk Show. I did two songs in two hours last time and though it seemed to go over decently well in the chat, it was less welcomed by the station itself. Fair. I’ll readily admit that two hours of psychedelic improv is not going to be everybody’s cup of tea, even in a setting that supports extreme fare as a central ethic. I’m lucky they decided to air it. I’m lucky they let me do another episode.

In here you’ll find some more rocky stuff like Greenleaf and Formula 400. I’ve yet to really dig into the new Domkraft, so I wanted to give that a roll, and then the show gets into some heavier industrial stuff. Godflesh were talked about here last week, and Trace Amount, but some Sanford Parker and Author & Punisher too. I’ve had an itch lately that stuff has helped scratch. After that and Yawning Sons is my little homage to the Live in the Mojave Desert stream series. Mountain Tamer are on that this weekend and it’s well worth your time to search out. Of course, Earthless started that series so they’ll end the show here. Only fitting.

Thanks for listening and/or reading.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 03.05.21

Greenleaf Love Undone Echoes From a Mass
Genghis Tron Ritual Circle Dream Weapon
Sunnata A Million Lives Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth
Sonic Demon Black Smoke Vendetta
Formula 400 Messenger Heathens
Domkraft Dawn of Man Seeds
Kauan Raivo Ice Fleet
Godflesh Avalanche Master Song Godflesh
Author & Punisher Ode to Bedlam Beastland
Trace Amount ft. Body Stuff Concrete Catacomb Concrete Catacomb
Sanford Parker Knuckle Crossing Lash Back
Yawning Sons Cigarette Footsteps Sky Island
Spirit Mother Space Cadets Cadets
Nebula Let’s Get Lost Holy Shit
Mountain Tamer Black Noise Psychosis Ritual
Brant Bjork Stardust & Diamond Eyes Brant Bjork
Earthless Violence of the Red Sea From the Ages

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is March 19 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Scott “Dr. Space” Heller

Posted in Questionnaire on March 5th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

scott heller

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective & Aural Hallucinations

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I make space sounds using mostly analog synthesizers. Magnus Hannibal from Mantric Muse was the first one to encourage me to experiment with synthesizers. If it was not for him, I probably never would have played synthesizers. My friend Doug Walter (RIP) from Alien Planetscapes was a huge musical inspiration towards exploring and making unusual music.

Describe your first musical memory.

Listening to Chuck Berry with my dad. Later taking the records into my room and trying to transcribe the lyrics. I recently found the book that I wrote them down in (see picture).

Describe your best musical memory to date.

school days dr spaceThis is a very hard question and a bit vague. When I played with Gas Giant in a small concrete bunker club in Leipzig Germany in 2003. The band was on fire, the audience was so intense and into it. I had never experienced anything like that. The power of live music and looking out and seeing these people moving to the sound and we would space out and jam and they were there for every last second and the way the place would erupt when we ended a song or a jam. I was totally blown away. It is hard to describe. I felt like I was levitating! Another was when Øresund Space Collective played the Freak Stage at Burg Herzberg Festival at 23 and just looking out and seeing a solid sea of people as far as I could see. Wow. We played til 3 am with a short break!!

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

Well, quite recently, when I signed a contract to build my music studio and after 8 months, the builder had not worked one day but only provided excuse after excuse for months on end. I always want to give people the benefit of the doubt and believe that they will do what they said they would, especially when you sign a contract. Anyway, I was hugely let down and delayed but this. So not, all people are good to their word, this is for sure, sometimes you can be too trusting of people.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

It hopefully leads to one feeling good about oneself and to unique musical creation. I have always been involved with bands that it is important to make music for the moment. I would not last long in a band that played the songs the exact same every night, as most bands do. I need that feeling of danger, excitement, that you get when you improvise and try new things and experiment with sound. This is progression for me. The same song can progress to something new each night, like with Black Moon Circle!!

How do you define success?

Can I still listen to it and say, “hell yeah, that is cool?” Then I succeeded. If you are speaking in a bit more generic terms, then I would say, “Am I happy, do I make other people happy, am I contributing to try to make the world a better place?” If so, then I have succeeded in life.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Tommy TuTone playing between Rose Tattoo and ZZ Top in 1981. Terrible ’80s pop music after rocking out with Rose Tattoo and waiting for ZZ Top. Totally ruined our mood. That should never have happened.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

My music studio. I hope it will be created this year and I can go on to record so many of the cool bands that I know like Papir, Syreregn, Øresund Space Collective, Elder, Black Moon Circle, White Hills, and more.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

Art should take you away from the current reality you are in. Be it a painting that you can look into and disappear or a song that just transports you away. A ballet, theatre, anything where you can forget the fucked up world we have and disappear into it. Then it has served its function.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Starting my new garden this year and seeing if have good success with some new varieties of chilis I have never grown before!!!

Øresund Space Collective, Four Riders Take Space Mountain (2020)

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