Appalooza Premiere “Conquest” from The Holy of Holies

Posted in audiObelisk on November 23rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Appalooza

French trio click to read more - Essays & dissertations written by top quality writers. Let specialists deliver their tasks: get the required assignment here Appalooza will make their debut on see url do my homework for me please How it Works. Thousands of college students have used GetMyClassDone as their secÖThis site won Ripple Music early next year with their second full-length, Hire the best Example Of Hypothesis In Research Papers Work with the worldís best talent on Upwork ó the top freelancing website trusted by over 5 million The Holy of Holies. The Brest-based troupe were recently announced as one of a set of four pickups for groups with releases to come in 2021, and with the unveiling of “Conquest” and the striking cover art for How We Manage to Deliver Top Quality Services Throughout Australia? No Need To Get Near To Worries But Say I Am Ready To Speaker Recognition Phd Thesis The Holy of Holies — suitably enough by Looking to buy term paper online? Itís the 21st century now and Essay Website is the modern way that students today make it through Wild Horse Artworks, working in the style of If you are pressed for time or lack editing skills, just say "Edit my essay!". Our professional Business Plan Of Construction Company service is willing to give you a helping hand. John Dyer Baizley — a fuller picture begins to emerge of things to come.

Certainly, buy term paper line Dissertation Consulting Service Et Juge Administratif 2014 is odysseus a hero or not financial research paper Appalooza‘s first, self-titled long-player gave some clues as to what they were about when it came out in 2018, but in listening to “Conquest,” you’ll want to pay particular attention to the fullness of the tones and the spaciousness of the mix. The band, who seem to take a smidge-plus of influence from the Order Online see page at EssayErudite.com. Here at EssayErudite we try to distribute ourselves as one of the most cost-effective methods of Wovenhand school of neo-Americana and treat it to a due roughing up and thickening of low end — make it heavy, in other words — exhibit a marked scope on the song in question, from the weighted roll that takes hold initially, tipping chapeau in some ways to the progressive heft of Parisian countrymen¬† Writing Content Services provides ace http://www.suzukimarine.ch/?college-essay-for-admissions for ebooks, product reviews, website content, press releases, newsletters, resume and blogs. Abrahma¬†while ultimately taking their own direction. The first turn is aggro, but the build smooths into a longer, acoustic-driven break, and the end-result impression is that¬† Are you afraid of math? Thatís not a big tragedy as you can take advantage of Home Page. The Holy of Holies won’t be so willing to be pigeonholed.

What does that mean for the entirety of the record? I don’t know, I haven’t heard it yet. But if you, like me, are so, so, so very done with 2020, you might consider digging into the song below as a glimpse at an optimistic future on the horizon, if one that’s still rooted in the sounds of the past.

The band very kindly offers some comment below on the album to come, and if you’re the type to keep an eye out for preorders,¬† Are you browsing for the best assignments.discoveryeducation? We only hire American writers and can take care of the whole document or a single chapter. Ripple‘s Bandcamp is certainly a good place to start. It’s linked below.

Enjoy:

Appalooza, “Conquest” official track premiere

Appalooza on The Holy of Holies:

“‘The Holy Of Holies’ is an ironic comment on religion. A storm is coming and ready to send mankind to a certain death. They are deprived and punished for their individualism, appearing already dead. They accept it and seek a new being to venerate, then send a scapegoat to the desert with all their sins, to find the demon Azazael, the Holy of Holies. This fallen angel takes possession of mankind. He reincarnates them into a half-man half-beast species by transplanting a horse skull, symbol of a lost freedom. Our lyrics deal with subjects such as the lie of religion, the failure to assist a person in distress, the exploitation of man by man, the disappointment that one may have in general towards people, the eternal questioning about our existence and the universe.”

Album preorder: https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/

APPALOOZA released their first two demos ‚ÄúSquamata‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúChameleon‚ÄĚ respectively in 2013 and 2014, further to which they embarked across the pond for their first ever US tour, taking them to Colorado, Nevada and California. Fired up by a brand new energy ensuing from this successful experience, the band officially released their eponymous debut in 2018, quickly followed by a second North American taking them from the Midwest lands to the Pacific Coast.

Some hundred shows later, APPALOOZA signed to Californian powerhouse Ripple Music for the release of their sophomore album “The Holy Of Holies” in early 2021. The beginning of a new era driven by an album that perfectly embodies the trio‚Äôs musical and visual reincarnation, through an intense sonic escape and ultimately, freedom.

Appalooza is :
Sylvain – Vocal/Guitar
Vincent – Drum
Tony – Bass
The Horse – Arrangements

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Review & Track Premiere: Grayceon, MOTHERS WEAVERS VULTURES

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

grayceon mothers weavers vultures

[Click play above to stream ‘This Bed’ from Grayceon’s MOTHERS WEAVERS VULTURES. Album is out Dec. 18 on Translation Loss Records and available for preorder here and here.]

Jackie Perez Gratz on “This Bed”:

“‘This Bed’ is a bleak observation about humanity’s betrayal to Mother Nature, told in a first-person narrative that insinuates we have all been unfaithful in the relationship.”

We offer writing jobs for freelance Why Should I Do My Homework who possess the necessary academic knowledge and skills for a mostly academic customer base in the UK. Grayceon‘s all-caps-styled¬† Info College Chem Homework Help - Quality reports at affordable prices available here will make your education into pleasure get the necessary review here MOTHERS WEAVERS VULTURES follows two years behind the San Francisco three-piece’s prior outing for¬† Dissertation Com Uagmail Com - Let professionals deliver their tasks: order the needed paper here and wait for the best score Entrust your essay to Translation Loss, Need Custom Writing Paper With Names? Browse profiles and reviews of top rated application essay editors and have your application essay professionally IV (review here). It’s not the first time the band have had a relatively quick turnaround — their self-titled debut and second LP,¬† This Grand Show, arrived in 2007 and 2008, respectively — but it’s noteworthy because the break between their 2011 third full-length, All We Destroy (review here; discussed here), and¬†IV‘s arrival in 2018 was so much longer. Inspiration strikes? If so, it’s a somewhat tragic inspiration, and as the dried pupa of the Kevin Earl Taylor cover art alludes,¬†Grayceon are working on a dedicated theme with¬†MOTHERS WEAVERS VULTURES.

Beginning with “Diablo Wind” and the fear born of watching wildfires rage in California for what was then a record season, the album moves through the all-we-have-is-this-planet-and-each-other entreaty “The Lucky Ones,” the reminder of humans being universally complicit in climate change in “This Bed” (“we have made” are the next words), and ends not with further harsh judgment, which would certainly be well enough earned, but love. “And Shine On” finds vocalist/cellist¬†Jackie Perez Gratz making a hook of the line “Don’t let them break you down,” likewise addressing the listener as much perhaps as her own progeny, and “Rock Steady” follows suit with love and encouragement, even as its title line emerges in screams from the song’s gentler first half.

The nuanced perspective of¬†Grayceon —¬†Gratz (formerly¬†Amber Asylum and¬†Giant Squid, also known for contributions to¬†Om,¬†Neurosis, etc.) alongside guitarist¬†Max Doyle (ex-Walken) and drummer Zack Farwell (ex-Giant Squid) — is one that fits exceedingly well alongside their music, which boasts a similar complexity. Eschewing bass altogether, the cello brings mid-to-lower-range frequencies alongside the guitar while at the same time allowing for softer melodic passages to coincide both with lumbering, distorted doom and charge-laden thrash. As frontwoman and the one holding the cello,¬†Gratz gets much of the credit for how¬†Grayceon‘s songs are delivered, but the winding and creative contributions of Doyle and¬†Farwell‘s mercurial, deeply engrossing drumming are not to be understated. When one actually sits and listens,¬†Grayceon is an every-member band.

Working with¬†Jack Shirley at Oakland’s¬†The Atomic Garden for recording, mixing and mastering,¬†Grayceon begin¬†MOTHERS WEAVERS VULTURES with a telling intro of Americana-styled cello, drawling notes pulling in a spirit of wistfulness for something that may or may not have ever existed, and it’s when the guitar strum enters ahead of the drums that the tension begins to mount as they build toward the first shove. Melody and rhythmic intricacy are brought together in bold fashion that has very much become the band’s wheelhouse over their decade-plus together, a sound that is as much their own as it is singularly identifiable in its patient urgency. Gratz‘s vocals often come in layers, and the hints of bite as “Diablo Wind” pushes through its midsection and the slowdown that follows bring foreshadow of what’s to unfold in the subsequent pairing of “The Lucky Ones” and the album’s centerpiece, “This Bed.”

grayceon

Together, the two songs encompass 24 of¬†the total 42-minute runtime — so more than half — and it is in them that¬†MOTHERS WEAVERS VULTURES makes its thematic case and unfolds the greater part of the sonic vision that accords. It’s in “The Lucky Ones” (12:55) that the name of the album appears, broken up in the lines, “We are all mothers of this place we call home/We are all weavers of this fabric we shroud ourselves in/We are all vultures feeding on what’s left for dead,” and that serves as well as the central lyrical indictment, the wordplay of “worship the ground you walk on” and repetitions of “open your eyes” that follow bringing the environmentalist post home. This occurs as Grayceon careens between melodic sprawl and pointed surges, the first five minutes of the track playing out like a genre meatgrinder ahead of the slam on the breaks that brings¬†Gratz‘s already-noted screams.

Gallop and roll play back and forth throughout the second half of “The Lucky Ones,” the chorus returning amid what’s far too stately to be considered chaos but is headspinning nonetheless, and the song bookends with a quieter stretch to match its initial impression, capping with the “worship the ground” line again en route the immediate, full-volume nod of “This Bed” (11:54). The centerpiece of the five-song tracklisting is as close as¬†MOTHERS WEAVERS VULTURES gets to sheer hopelessness, including both “you” and “we” in the making of the bed while asking “…Is it too late to say sorry?/Will tomorrow come?…” in the verse. Following a more linear progression, “This Bed” establishes its verse and chorus patterns early and then breaks to quiet as it approaches its halfway point, only to push upward again and move into a bigger finish, still resonant in melody and emotion, its cold finish flowing smoothly into the subdued guitar intro to “And Shine On.”

It’s a waltz, naturally. “And Shine On” is the shortest cut on the LP at just 3:48, and “Don’t let them break you down” is the core message, but “I’ll light the sky for you/Empower you so that you can find your truth/And shine on” and “Love hard, wild heart,” back the parent-speaking-to-child feel, the guitar, cello and drums too loud to be a lullaby, but giving something of that vibe just the same. “Rock Steady,” which like “Diablo Wind” is a little over seven minutes, complements that well, with a more gradual unfolding and softer-sung lines, less defiantly belted than “And Shine On,” but suited to the purpose of the subtle build toward the finale that takes hold following a stop at 3:56, the swaying groove that backs the throaty-screamed lyric “rock steady” being the last word as the closer fades out to the record’s end.

Though it was written for a different disaster, the fear, the judgment and the daring (not to say “audacity”) to hope and love in spite of them are nothing if not relevant — not only for the fact that the climate crisis is ongoing, but so is a massive pandemic wave. Grayceon, whose albums are consistently made to be digested over a longer term, were obviously not writing to the latter — it hadn’t happened yet — but the fact that¬†MOTHERS WEAVERS VULTURES speaks so well to present experience is emblematic of the songs’ and the band’s greater individualism. They stand within the moment and outside of it by refusing to be anything other than themselves.

Grayceon, MOTHERS WEAVERS VULTURES (2020)


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Review & Track Premiere: Samsara Blues Experiment, End of Forever

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Samsara Blues Experiment End of Forever

[Click play above to stream the title-track of Samsara Blues Experiment’s End of Forever. Album is out Jan. 2021 with preorders coming next month.]

Two weeks ago, German heavy psychedelic rockers Samsara Blues Experiment announced they would be going on indefinite hiatus. Fair enough. 2020 makes it a decade since the band made their full-length debut with the jammy fluidity of¬†Long-Distance Trip¬†(review here), a record that in no small part would define listener expectation from them even as they went on almost immediately to more progressive work. They’d already toured the US by then, hitting the West Coast in 2009 on the heels of their demo (discussed here, review here), and though they wouldn’t North American shores apart from two more shows in 2015, the years since they stopped through have not lacked adventure.

Even as they moved from a four-piece to the trio of guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist Christian Peters, bassist/backing vocalist¬†Hans Eiselt and drummer¬†Thomas Vedder, a strong European and South American touring presence helped establish them as one of Germany’s foremost post-Colour Haze heavy psych acts, and an indelible commitment to evolving sonically, to never releasing the same album twice, assured they would reach almost immediately beyond their starting point. For however long “indefinite” may last, they’ll be missed, and in End of Forever, they leave behind a final document that summarizes the mindset that has defined them by doing precisely what they’ve done all along: moving forward.

Comprised of seven songs (six plus a bonus track), topped with the visual intricacy of Jessica Rassi‘s cover art, and running a total of 51 minutes,¬†End of Forever was recorded in the plague-addled summer of 2020 with former bassist¬†Richard Behrens at the helm at¬†Big Snuff Studio. It follows three years behind 2017’s One with the Universe¬†(review here) and likewise sees release through Peters‘¬†Electric Magic Records. That album was defined perhaps inevitably in no small part by its consuming 15-minute title-track, and¬†End of Forever does share some aspects with it, in terms of performance, the winding style of riff that emerges in “End of Forever” itself — indeed, the riff in question, which first emerges at 1:14 into the song’s 7:56 run, would seem to be a purposeful self-reflective nod toward Samsara Blues Experiment‘s early days, and maybe a thank-you card to fans as well — and in the organic production sound.

But¬†End of Forever is distinguished from its immediate predecessor as well as 2013’s Waiting for the Flood¬†(review here) and 2011‚Äôs¬†Revelation and Mystery¬†(review here) for how it works in conversation with¬†Peters‘ solo explorations of synth and keyboards. Working under the moniker of¬†Surya Kris Peters, the guitarist — also relocated to Brazil — has been prolific to the point of a creative explosion, with four outings this year to his credit, the latest of which was September’s Leaving Berlin EP.

From the outset of¬†End of Forever in 11-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Second Birth,”¬†Samsara Blues Experiment make it known that such elements are by no means off limits when it comes to the personality and atmosphere to be established across this album, and while it’s an¬†Eiselt bassline that launches the record and a smooth jam that takes hold, the synth line the sneaks in along with¬†Vedder‘s drums and the guitar is telling of what’s to follow in terms of¬†the album’s ability to create a melodic wash, often with keyboard and synth working together alongside guitar.

As it nears the five-minute mark, a funky progression of bass, soulful lead guitar and drums takes hold, and ’70s-style Hammond soon enters the fray to set up the arrival of a verse. The song moves through a hook into denser-toned riffing, bringing the organ along for good measure, and hits a thrilling culmination circa 9:30 topped by¬†Peters‘ vocals before making its way out in grand fashion. As the leadoff, it’s a journey unto itself, and it does much to affect the vibe for the rest of the offering, but it’s also not necessarily giving everything away up front.

Samsara Blues Experiment

To wit, the acoustic guitar that steps forward and trades off with electric soloing in “Massive Passive” turns out to be an aspect no less crucial to the album’s overarching flow than are the keys. With the ever-strong foundation of¬†Eiselt and¬†Vedder in the rhythm section,¬†Peters constructs dynamic waves of psych-prog, keeping that acoustic line as part of the build even as the track moves through its culmination and into the percussion at the outset of “Southern Sunset,” which brings more organ and due-seeming shimmer as it moves through its intro and into its acoustic-led verse of love-song pastoralia (the sun and moon also making appearances in their work since the beginning), surging back with electrics and organ and backing vocals during the chorus. “Southern Sunset” makes its way out as it came in, with drums and percussion, but has one of¬†End of Forever‘s best hooks along the way and a vibe unique among¬†Samsara Blues Experiment‘s now-five long-players. It’s telling that even as the band winds down, they’d still refuse to rest on their laurels.

In that, the instrumental centerpiece/presumed side B leadoff “Lovage Leaves” is likeminded. It brings together a gorgeous swath of melody, lush but still natural in its feel, and answers “Southern Sunset” as a four-minute companion-piece that also serves as a bridge to “End of Forever” and “Orchid Annie,” which serve as the closing salvo. The title-cut, as noted, boasts a singular sweep among its compatriot songs, but works with a similar spaciousness as that which surrounds, and while it’s perhaps the most outwardly heavy inclusion in terms of tonal push, it nonetheless represents well End of Forever‘s open-minded approach that melody can and might come from anywhere at any time. As it fades to its conclusion, it feels conscious of being a last statement on the part of the band, and if that’s the case, one looks to “Orchid Annie” (slightly longer at 8:24) as a classic rocking epilogue, organ and lead guitar woven together around lyrics bidding farewell to the titular character.

Choice basslines and nuanced drumming — both of which are balanced in a nigh-on-impeccable mix considering the swirl around them — back Peters‘ layers of keys and guitar, and I’m pretty sure I hear an acoustic strum in there too, though I could be wrong. Either way, “Orchid Annie” embarks circa 4:30 on a midtempo proggy chase that shifts into and through a few quick lines in the next couple minutes, and then keys, wah, electric soloing and the last lyrics gradually coming to a head and then ending cold as perhaps they’d have to in order to end at all.

Given how likely it seems¬†Samsara Blues Experiment knew that¬†End of Forever would be their last record for at least an indefinite amount of time, if not outright forever, the title-track and “Orchid Annie” serve as a wistful goodbye, while the bonus track — a 6:48 instrumental jam called simply “Jumbo Mumbo Jumbo” that seems to be based on where they go in “End of Forever”; a ‘slight return’ or reprise, then — offers one last weight-behind-it-but-still-melodic shove for those who’ve taken the trip to enjoy. And among those, count the band as well as their listenership, because if anything,¬†End of Forever feels like a shared experience, its awareness of self not dulling its progressive mentality but adding to it as Samsara Blues Experiment knowingly hang it all on a wire in order to fashion this completeness to their catalog.

Yes, they will be missed for however long they’re gone, but with¬†End of Forever,¬†Samsara Blues Experiment bring the keystone to hold up the arc of their decade-plus-long stylistic development. Like each of its predecessors, it’s the bravest, most outward reaching and inward looking record they’ve done, and so could not be a more fitting conclusion.

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 46

Posted in Radio on November 13th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

Here’s how I figure it. The usual episode of¬†The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal runs about an hour and 50 minutes. Somewhere between 1:45:00 and 1:50:00, anyhow. That accounts for two voice tracks each roughly three minutes long and whatever promo pieces they want/need to throw in between songs. Okay.

This episode is 1:56:00. So that’s the two voice tracks gone. There’s still some room for a few promo pieces, but I didn’t really feel like talking anyway. I felt like mellow psych jams and space rock, and dammit, that’s what I got. Honestly, if you were to hear me yammering on about how good Electric Moon or Mugstar are, it would add nothing to the experience of listening to the show. You know it and I know it. These jams, many of which are instrumental, speak for themselves, and by the time I got around to AXIOM9, my feeling was a fervent “screw it, go all in.” So we go from Causa Sui easing into the proceedings with the closing track of their just-streamed LP¬†Szabodelico to the 45-minute epic exploration of the final included cut from the aforementioned AXIOM9. And if you’ve got a problem with it, well, you have my permission to go do something else with your life for these two hours. This is what I wanted this episode to be.

If you tune in, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for listening and reading.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at http://gimmemetal.com

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 11.13.20

Causa Sui Merging Waters Szabodelico* 0:09:51
Mugstar Ghost of a Ghost Graft* 0:12:16
Hermitess Phone Call Celestial* 0:04:59
Electric Moon Increase Live at Freak Valley Festival 2019* 0:19:28
√ėresund Space Collective Summit Four Riders Take Space Mountain* 0:21:20
Face Off September Machines* 0:03:22
AXIOM9 Cosmic Slime Space Debris* 0:45:23

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is Nov. 27 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

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Thermic Boogie Premiere “A Herdhead” From Final LP Sheer Madness

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 12th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

thermic boogie is over

Over a year ago, Barcelona two-piece Thermic Boogie posted the above text image saying simply that the band was ‘over.’ Well, sometimes over means ‘done’ and sometimes over means ‘we’re still putting out one more record.’ The latter is the case for Albert Mart√≠nez-L√≥pez and Baptiste Gautier-Lorenzo, and the title of their third and final studio outing — following 2019’s Fracture EP (review here) and the 2016 debut LP Vastness and Matter (review here) — is Sheer Madness. As sendoffs go, the very least one can say about the seven-song/62-minute offering is that it’s comprehensive, the duo bringing a vibrant noise-metal cacophony that reminds here and there of¬†Mastodon‘s early pummel but works in flourish of psychedelia (“Song to the Mineral”), thermic boogie sheer madnessas well as massive swaths of feedback and drone (KT88_6550″). With only the 5:59 “Phobosophy” under eight minutes long and the 10-minute “The Drum Horse” leading off, an angular onslaught takes hold at a deceptively lurching pace — huge, it is — but ultimately¬†Thermic Boogie¬†are more manic than one tempo or modus operandi can contain.

And golly, that’s a lot of feedback.

The noise, of course, only adds to the sense of Sheer Madness living up to its name. The band use it as a means of transition from one song to another, and it only makes the winding progressions that ensue feel more unhinged. There are moments of stretch-out of where the intensity is pulled back somewhat, earlier in “Crystal Clear” or the more subdued “Song to the Mineral,” but the crux of Sheer Madness finds¬†Thermic Boogie at the most surging they’ve ever been (or ever were, as the case might be) and with the elephantine plod they evoke alongside their rushing tempos, the intricacy with which they execute the material and the fluidity they bring in moving from one part to the next, the only thing one can really say about the listening experience across¬†Sheer Madness is it’s too bad they’re not a band anymore. This isn’t a half-assed we-had-leftover-material-so-here-it-is record. They sound like a band with more to say.

To wit, the various assaults in “A Herdhead” and “Sheer Madness” itself, as well as, say,thermic boogie (photo by Nicolas Hyvoz) everywhere. With ace performances from Gautier-Lorenzo and¬†Mart√≠nez-L√≥pez¬†and unpredictable turns abounding from part to part as the tracks play out,¬†Sheer Madness manifests the shift in sound¬†Thermic Boogie¬†made with¬†Fracture, and they cap with what’s unquestionably their most aggressive statement, making seem entirely possible a scenario in which even with just the two of them the sound became too volatile to hold together. That’s not really how things work, of course, but even as “Song to the Mineral” strums its way through toward its melodic wash finish, there’s a sense that the rug might get pulled out from under the whole thing at any minute and the rained-down destruction will begin anew.

Which it does, but only because you hit play on the album again to continue to try to get your head around it.

With a farewell at least for now to¬†Thermic Boogie and this closing chapter, I’m happy to host “A Herdhead” for your premiere-streaming pleasure below, followed by some explanatory words from the band.

Please enjoy:

Thermic Boogie on Sheer Madness:

Sheer Madness is the fruit of an idea, as we wanted to create a whole album, with soul, and messages. We both stated that the present times looked like a complete mess, and talked a lot about the random bullshit that happened around us. It was around 2019, and after all the financial and personal efforts that we had to provide, that we finally succeeded to gather obscure riffs, attempting to reproduce the shapes and feelings of the kind of black cloud in which we had the impression to be. We also had in mind that the band had to come to its end, and it carried us to give a strong last shot.

The fierce impression that this album may give at first, is the result of our vicissitudes and concerns. We wanted the tracklist to be harsh and torturous to crush our thoughts and act as a painkiller. The recording took place in the studio we were renting. The sound is like our perspective about music: it is straight, as close as possible from the reality, and without any loop or extra bass. We so invite you to play it LOUD! We’d like to thank all our friends from Barcelona who helped us to play the gigs we had the chance to play, and those in France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Germany who helped us on tour. But also, our parents, record label mates, our families, and every person which is reading this article and giving life to Thermic Boogie. Cheers from Albert and Baptiste

Tracklisting:
1. The Drum Horse
2. Phobosophy
3. A Herdhead
4. Crystal Clear
5. KT88_6550
6. Sheer Madness
7. Song to the Mineral
Thermic Boogie was:
Albert Martinez-Lopez – Kramer guitars and throats
Baptiste Gautier-Lorenzo – Ludwig drums and throats

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Causa Sui, Szabodelico

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 11th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

causa sui Szabodelico

[Click play above to stream Causa Sui’s Szabodelico in full. Album is out Nov. 13 on El Paraiso Records and can be ordered here.]

Recorded over a period of months between 2019 and early 2020,¬†Szabodelico — named for its own centerpiece track in homage to Hungarian jazz guitarist G√°bor Szab√≥, see also second cut “Gabor’s Path” — revels a bit in its sense of disconnection, in the flourish each of its total 13 pieces brings on its own. And yet, with the long-established chemistry of Danish instrumentalists¬†Causa Sui behind it, and a stated focus on capturing early takes, minimal overdubs, recording themselves, etc., there is an overarching flow and immersion taking place over the 2LP’s 63 minutes that is unmistakable.¬†Causa Sui are nothing less than a treasure of the European psychedelic underground. Their ongoing progression and exploratory impulses have in the past 15 years made them essential and influential listening, and as they’ve moved over the last half-decade toward bringing together tonal-presence-minded heavy psych and various manifestations of jazz, the “voice” they’ve found — such as it is with no vocals — has become their own in a way that is vibrant and encompassing.

Last heard from with 2017’s Vibraciones Doradas¬†(review here) and the Live in Copenhagen¬†(review here) live album issued earlier that year, they bring a sense of grace and spontaneity to¬†Szabodelico that transcends the stylistic shifts between ethereal free-jazz warmup in the opener “Echoes of Light,” spaghetti westernism on “Under the Spell” and organ/guitar call-and-response dueling on “Sole Elettrico.” There are a couple heavier-ish moments of distorted guitar and so on brought forth by guitarist¬†Jonas Munk,¬†drummer¬†Jakob Sk√łtt, keyboardist¬†Rasmus Rasmussen¬†and bassist¬†Jess Kahr, to be sure, but¬†Szabodelico¬†is more about mellow freedom. About finding out where you’re going when you get there. About playfulness and engaging with the creative process as it’s happening. It has become a pandemic-era clich√© to note the additional poignancy of such things, so I’ll say instead that Causa Sui are simply unmatched when it comes to the melding of progressive spirit and instrumental conversation, and the patience of craft they display in these works is no less theirs than anything jammed out across the multi-part Summer Sessions¬†series¬†(review here;¬†discussed here), their live outings, or their other studio work.

As one might expect, the album is structured to highlight the vinyl presentation. Each of the two component platters begins with a kind of introductory short work in the aforementioned “Echoes of Light” (2:33) and its dreamy, key-inflected side C counterpart “Honeydew” (2:58), which gives way with an especially smooth transition into “Lucien’s Beat,” suitably more percussive but still otherworldly. On the other end of these, rounding out sides B and D, are “Szabodelico” itself at 7:14 and the 9:52 album finale “Merging Waters.” The former builds up to become about as full-on rock as Causa Sui get throughout, so it’s only fitting that its companion should be as deeply entrenched in a liquid psychedelia as possible; the quiet lake as opposed to a flowing river, if we’re talking about water.

causa sui (Photo by Danny Kotter)

With the range¬†Causa Sui demonstrate in cuts like the winding “Vibratone,” with its folk-boogie emergence marked out by waves of synth, or the quick cinematic krautrock excursion that is “Premonitions,”¬†Szabodelico can be seen as unpredictable, and it is. On some level, it’s a collection of jams and quick installments gathered from multiple sessions and compiled together as a release. It’s inherent to the form that there would be disparity in purpose and delivery. The genius — and yes, I mean that — of the album is that it doesn’t hide from that so much as make it the point of the thing in the first place, so that each turn Causa Sui make becomes not a hardship for the listener, but a joy to relish along with the band. And on the most basic level of listening, when one puts on¬†Szabodelico, it is anything but a challenge to make the leap from one song to the next. Each side and each movement occurs with such a sure and gentle guiding hand that to not follow where one is being lead is to fail as an audience. The answer is to go with it. Go with it and know it’s all going to work out because, yes, it absolutely does.

The trust is well earned on the part of Causa Sui, and will only be more so going forward because of the work they do on¬†Szabodelico. It is a standout among their catalog of now-six full-lengths, various sessions-type offerings and sundry live albums, and is intended to be precisely that, right unto the ultra-chill percussion drips on “Rosso Di Sera Bel Tempo Si Spera” and the penultimate sunshine rocker “La Jolla” echoes and expands on some of the meditations in “Under the Spell,” bringing singular warmth ahead of the cool dive in “Merging Waters.” Wherever¬†Causa Sui go in a given track, they go with purpose, even if that purpose is simply the going itself, and while some who’ve basked in their desert-style fuzz progressions might be surprised by what¬†Szabodelico is doing, the basic fact of the matter is it’s not a high hurdle to jump.

That is to say, Causa Sui make it easy for the listener to expand their palette (and consciousness), to keep an open mind, because the material itself has such a correspondingly open approach. Maybe this is the band proving they can go anywhere. Maybe this is the shape of psych-jazz to come. Maybe it’s a one-off. You never really know with¬†Causa Sui what direction their output might next take, and when the result of that is material like they bring to¬†Szabodelico, which retains its vitality even at its most subdued and is lush without sacrificing the organic nature of its performance to craft a wash of effects, it is their righteousness reaffirmed. This record feels like a gift built by masters of the form, and it is precisely that. Whatever it may lead to, if anything, is for future hindsight to dictate. As of now, it is a welcoming for anyone ready to be welcomed.

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El Paraiso Records

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Review & Full Album Stream: √ėresund Space Collective, Four Riders Take Space Mountain (Plus Video Premiere)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 6th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

√ėresund Space Collective Four Riders Take Space Mountain

[Click play above to see the premiere of √ėresund Space Collective’s live-recorded video for ‘Descent to Reality’ from the album Four Riders Take Space Mountain, as well as stream the album in its entirety. It’s out Nov. 24 on Space Rock Productions.]

Very often a band like √ėresund Space Collective can be intimidating to new listeners, and fairly enough so. Ostensibly Danish, or at least named for a city in Denmark, they can pull members from Sweden, the US, Norway, Portugal and just about anywhere else — I don’t think they’d turn anyone away if the vibe was right — and between shifting personnel, their ever-growing discography, the fact that they’ve been at it for 14 years and that pesky slashed-‘o’ at the start of their moniker, it can be hard for the not-already-ingrained to know where to start. I’ll make it easy. Start with Four Riders Take Space Mountain. Start right here.

Why? First of all, it’s as good a place as anywhere. The group — headed by bandleader, synthesist, studio-mixer and guy-most-likely-to-get-on-mic-and-thank-the-crowd-for-showing-up Scott “Dr. Space” Heller — play improvised, instrumental and unflinchingly exploratory cosmic rock. Veering between the already-blurry lines that border heavy psychedelia, classic-style prog and Hawkwindian space fare, √ėresund Space Collective might have up to 30 records in their catalog, and my understanding is there’s even more than that when one subscribes to them on Bandcamp, but none of it is inaccessible once the listener has made the choice to dive in. It’s really just getting over that standing-on-the-edge-of-the-board feeling before hitting play.

And while in some ways¬† it’s as good for an introductory purpose as any of √ėresund Space Collective‘s other studio work — that is, these jams have their own personality to be sure, but it’s not like after however many full-lengths they’re suddenly going to put something out where the chemistry falls apart, though it would be fascinating if they did —¬†Four Riders Take Space Mountain seems to provide an especially warm welcome. The album is a 2LP and the first three sides are comprised of “Approach” (20:55) “Ascent” (20:00) and “Summit” (21:20), so there’s a clear narrative arc to follow that ties in with the title and the sense of journeying (or taking a trip) that is so emblematic of the band’s work on the whole.

That might make¬†Four Riders Take Space Mountain particularly engaging for newcomers, and where some other releases in the vast swath thereof pull from different sessions and offer what feel like extended sections of broader works or are just executed with various aims on their own, the fact that “Approach,” “Ascent” and “Summit” move so smoothly — the transitions are seamless on the CD/DL editions of the album, making the three sides one massive 62-minute jam — and flow so righteously between active and atmospheric sections, with drummer¬†Alex Skepp (G√∂sta Berlings Saga) and bassist Hasse Horrigmoe (Tangle Edge) holding together stretches of lead guitar, keys, synth, as well as the sheer sense of float that comes with the arrival at “Summit,” means that¬†Four Riders Take Space Mountain is a standout even among the band’s other work in being a joy to follow through its progression.

oresund space collective

Psychedelic effects on the violin of¬†Jonathan Segel (Camper van Beethoven), the keys of K.G. Westman (formerly of Siena Root), as well as the range of his guitars and those of Mathias Danielsson (My Brother the Wind, ex-G√∂sta Berlings Saga), Mats Orbation¬†and¬†Jonas Berge (also organ and synth), as well as the steady presence of synth from Heller himself, give Four Riders Take Space Mountain its engaging sense of sprawl, and as elements come and go and are woven into the fabric of the proceedings, that feeling of motion gradually becomes more prevalent, from the first outward steps and restless shuffle of drums on “Approach” to the wash that ensues atop it, ultimately finding its chill somewhere around 16-17 minutes in and thereby establishing the dynamic that continues in “Ascent” and “Summit” between ambience and underlying movement.

This isn’t new territory for √ėresund Space Collective — figuratively or literally; the sessions for these first three of the total four tracks took place in 2014 — but it is in the clarity of how they’re presented that they’re ultimately distinguished. “Summit” is announced with gracefully winding keyboard and unfurls with strikingly proggy guitar and synth and violin, the band united for an exciting moment around a near-cinematic chug in the middle that evolves into the final section. And even when the guitar lets go and all that’s left is some residual synth drone to fade out, there’s a feeling that at any moment they might pick up again and continue the voyage.

All the more appropriate then to have “Descent to Reality” added to side D. What on the vinyl is unedited appears on the CD/DL as a 17:35 jam with¬†Westman notably moving from keyboard to sitar. The vibe is different, the personnel is different, Tim Wallander on drums,¬†Heller on synth,¬†Segel on violin, and¬†Horrigmoe on bass — no guitar — and the departure is palpable as¬†Westman and¬†Segel play out sitar and violin melodies in a psychedelic raga made tense by the rhythm beneath and psychedelic by the synth above. Like the three tracks before, there are ebbs and flows, and an especially satisfying section of violin leading to sitar in the middle makes it a highlight, and they end in suitably meandering fashion on a wave of synth before a final tom run and strum of sitar.

To say this is √ėresund Space Collective¬†in their element is underselling it, but what¬†Four Riders Take Space Mountain does is to take the dug-in nature of their work and offer it in a manner that asks little indulgence on the part of the listener. Some, to be sure — this is nearly 80 minutes of improv psych jams we’re talking about — but the feeling of the album being purposefully constructed and built toward conveying this story is palpable and it gives someone who might be less familiar with √ėresund Space Collective¬†a way to orient themselves in the experience, rather than just flying blind in a sea of interstellar creativity. That has its appeal, don’t get me wrong, but for newcomers or the long-since-converted, Four Riders Take Space Mountain¬†brings into emphasis the transportive nuance and reach of what they do. It is suitably moving.

√ėresund Space Collective on The Facebooks

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√ėresund Space Collective website

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Hundred Eyes Premiere Debut Single “Vulture in a Suit”

Posted in audiObelisk on November 5th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

hundred eyes (Photo by Alyssa Herman)

A debut single five years in the making says perhaps not the most for productivity when it comes to Portland smashers Hundred Eyes, but when you take the seven and a half minutes to actually get introduced to “Vulture in a Suit,” you’re likely to be glad it showed up later rather than never. And it might indeed have been never were it not for the idle hands of quarantine on the part of vocalist/pianist Ben Jackson (Hippie Death Cult, ex-Sioux, etc.) and guitarist/synthesist Juan Carlos Caceres¬†(Alltar, Hound the Wolves, Tigers on Opium). The beginnings of Hundred Eyes date back to 2015, when the project came together around Caceres, Jackson bassist Ian Engblom and drummer Ryan Stabach. Everyone in different bands, didn’t click, didn’t go anywhere. It happens.

They apparently played live at least enough for the above photo to have been captured by the esteemed Alyssa Herman, but the songs sat on a hard drive. Again, it happens. Five years later, here comes the apocalypse and all of a sudden there’s time to finish up what was laid down, and at least the initial results of that are evident in the track premiere below. Combining post-Converge angularity with sludged tones and a spacious atmosphere that is crushing in purpose and execution, “Vulture in a Suit” is a pummeler-plus, offering flashes of technicality in the lead guitar work later that stand against the rawness of the earlier shouted vocals. On a sheer aesthetic level, there’s probably an EP’s worth of ground covered in this one track, so if you find yourself thinking of going back when it’s over and giving it another run, you’re not in the wrong to do so.

The revived¬†Hundred Eyes is just Jackson and¬†Caceres at least for the time being, and according to the info below they’ll follow “Vulture in a Suit” with a¬†Nine Inch Nails cover — I wonder what song they did; maybe a super-heavy “Reptile?” — sometime in the near future, then continue to work on new material. Both involved parties still have other bands going —¬†Tigers on Opium will have a track premiere here next week, Alltar have a new live album, and¬†Hippie Death Cult are in the studio — so who the hell knows what the timing will be, but who the hell knows anything, ever, anymore? Just hit play and be happy music is fucking happening at all before it’s outlawed on some weird Handmaid’s Tale¬†fundamentalist shit.

Life is hopeless. Music is good. Enjoy:

Hundred Eyes, “Vulture in a Suit” official track premiere

“Vulture in a Suit” is the debut single from Hundred Eyes. A dark, atonally jarring cog in the wheel of capitalism, rolling toward the gaping chasm of inequality.

Hundred Eyes is a collaborative music and art project between Ben Jackson and Juan Carlos Caceres based in Portland, Oregon. The initial roots of the project go back to 2014 when the duo entered Toadhouse Recording studio with producer/engineer Adam Bradley Pike, and a powerhouse rhythm section made up of Ian Engblom and Ryan Stabach.

Despite the sessions yielding an abundant amount of material, the musicians’ relationships were strained and everyone had other projects going. The band was put on hold in 2015 and during that time, the Pro Tools session files were lost on a failed hard drive after only the first mixing session had been completed.

Fast forward to 2020… The pandemic and subsequent lockdown gave Juan and Ben some time to revisit the idea of finally releasing the songs and continuing the project with a new line up. They enlisted Eddie Brnabic to do the mastering and put the final touches on the material from the Toadhouse sessions.

Their first single “Vulture in a Suit” will be followed by the release of a NIN cover song. In 2021 they will officially release two EPs and begin crafting their full length debut!

“Vulture in a Suit” lineup:
Juan Carlos Caceres – Guitar, Synth
Ian Engblom – Bass
Ben Jackson – Vocals, Piano
Ryan Stabach – Drums

Recorded at Toadhouse Recording by Adam Bradley Pike and Michael Moore
Mixed by Adam Bradley Pike
Mastered by Eddie Brnabic
Art by Brian Kim

ASSOCIATED BANDS: Beringia, Sioux, A((WAKE)), Temple Hotel, Tigers on Opium, Hound the Wolves, Hippie Death Cult, Alltar, Only Zuul, Edword

HUNDRED EYES is Juan Carlos Caceres and Ben Jackson

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Hundred Eyes on Bandcamp

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