DUNDDW & Dr. Space Premiere Live @ Club Void Effenaar 23-03-23 in Full; Out Today

Posted in audiObelisk on February 23rd, 2024 by JJ Koczan

dunddw and dr. space live at the effenaar 2023

It doesn’t take long on Live @ Club Void Effenaar 23-3-23 before you’re in the room. You can hear voices in the crowd as Dutch instrumental improvisationalists DUNDDW begin to unfold their set, soon enough to be joined by Scott “Dr. Space” Heller (Øresund Space Collective, Doctors of Space, Black Moon Circle, solo work, etc.) expanding the trio as a four-piece with a guest spot on synth after about 12 minutes in, some comment and a chuckle as things mellow and space way, way out thereafter in the jam’s dreamier midsection, and so on.

The LP-length single-song set is out today as an independent release from DUNDDW, for whom it follows a 2023 split with Kombynat Robotron (review here) and their 2022 debut, Flux (review here), and the occasion that brought Heller from Portugal to the Netherlands was Black Moon Circle touring to support their 2023 LP, the expansive Leave the Ghost Behind (review here). Held weekly in the smaller room at the legendary Effenaar in Eindhoven (and no, it’s not just legendary because I saw Motorpsycho there one time, though that’d be enough in my head), ‘Club Void’ is a series of shows put together by the venue’s Robert Schaeffer as well as Paul van Berlo of the Into the Void Festival (also Loud Noise Booking) and Peter van Elderen, formerly the vocalist of Peter Pan Speedrock. All of these are endorsements that, existentially speaking, are good to have.

But DUNDDW have been pretty well encouraged since their outset bringing bassist Huibert der Weduwen and drummer Peter Dragt of Bismut together with Mt. Echo‘s Gerben Elburg on guitar for pointedly exploratory purposes, and the flow they conjure throughout Live @ Club Void Effenaar 23-3-23 presents a vivid picture of why for listeners who haven’t had the chance to actually see them. The cosmic adventure is mellow in spirit on the whole, but communal in a way that feels active, and inviting in tone and groove. Dropping nearly to silence at times, it represents well the conversation happening on stage as the sounds were being made, while allowing the audience and the LP-listener space to put themselves in the moment. In the initial build-up, DUNDDW work their way into a voluminous build, guitar signaling volume changes as they ooze past nine minutes, and when Dr. Space hops on board after (or maybe during) the ensuing wash a short time later, the proceedings get duly hyperspatial.

They drift and reorient, finding a new path with the four of them on the stage, and gradually the float becomes more driving, pushing into intense space rock before noising out behind the waves of Heller‘s synth with Dragt‘s crash and tom fills marking the end of that movement circa 26:30 and the beginning of the final cycle of ebbs and flows, more solidified in their purpose than they were only minutes before, but clearly having learned from the second part of the jam. Keep an ear out for bells, which you might just hear in that last stretch if they, it, or anything actually exists, and know that DUNDDW save their most fervent push for the crescendo, and that the experience of getting there is as much the point as the big finish and ringout itself.

Live @ Club Void Effenaar 23-3-23 isn’t intended to be some grand statement. At its heart, it’s a bootleg-style outing that captures one night among many DUNDDW went on stage and did what they do. This, coupled with the Heller collaboration that stands it out among other gigs, is the appeal. It would be ridiculous if DUNDDW did some hyper-produced live record. They might as well go to a studio and jam out an new LP if they’re going to spend the time and money. But here, they express the sense of journey from one end of this massive piece to the other, while also conveying their root ethic of commitment to organically capturing the creative moment as it happens. For that, Live @ Club Void Effenaar 23-3-23 offers resonance even beyond that of its echoing final tones.

Again, it’s out today, so by all means, dig in below and enjoy. Some PR wire-type info follows:

Friday, February 23rd, we (Dutch improv instrumental spacerock band DUNDDW) will digitally release a 40 minute jam we played last year at Club Void in The Netherlands. Around 17 minutes in Dr. Space – aka Scott Heller from Øresund Space Collective, Black Moon Circle a.o. – joins in on the jam.

Order link: https://dunddw.bandcamp.com/album/dunddw-dr-space-live-club-void-effenaar-23-03-2023

Says DUNDDW: ” We really felt the flow during this jam. It builds up in three waves, with Dr. Space joining in about halfway through with some great synths, bells and spacy genius.”

Says Dr. Space: “I’ve been friends with the guys in Bismut, and DUNDDW invited me to jam with them and it was fun. Sure we will do it again. Great guys.”

DUNDDW is a 100% improvising, instrumental spacerock/krautrock trio from The Netherlands, with members from Bismut and Mt. Echo. Their first full length album Flux was released in November 2022. In June 2023 they released a split vinyl LP with German krautrock band Kombynat Robotron. February 2024 marks the release of a live jam they played in 2023, with Dr. Space joining in.

Peter Dragt – Drums
Huibert der Weduwen – Bass
Gerben Elburg – Guitars

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Friday Full-Length: Øresund Space Collective, Helsingør 2021

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 13th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


Sometimes, at the end of a perfectly wretched week, there’s nothing like putting on some Øresund Space Collective and letting your head go for a little while. The long-running psych improvisationalists will celebrate their 20th anniversary in 2024, and Helsingør — the live album above named for the city in Denmark where it was recorded — sees them characteristically, fully, awesomely dug into their craft. With opener “The Key of Secrets” and the charmingly-named “Technical Problems” both topping 20 minutes, immersion is quick and comprehensive, and if there are actually issues in the latter, I’m not sure where. Certainly you wouldn’t say anything is holding them back over the course of that 22 minutes.

Helsingør was recorded by Patrik Barrsäter in Oct. 2021 as one of three gigs in Scandinavia undertaken by Øresund Space Collective, who despite being named after a city in Denmark have ranged geographically far enough — synthesist and bandleader Scott “Dr. Space” Heller has his Estúdio paraíso nas Nuvens where this stuff is mixed, and others in the consistently rotating lineup come from Belgium, Germany, Sweden, etc. — that one wouldn’t necessarily think of Helsingør as a homecoming, especially since, as Dr. Space notes between songs in “Just Fucking Go,” they’d never played there before. In any case, as one of three shows in that run, the nearly-two-and-a-half-hour set isn’t the first live album Øresund Space Collective have put out from the same time. Their H​ø​stsabbat 2021 live release showed up in March ahead of their latest studio work, Everyone is Evil (review here), both of which along with Helsingør and just about everything else the band does most of the time comes out through Heller‘s Space Rock Productions imprint.

And if two live albums out of three shows — the first date was in Malmö, Sweden; I don’t know if it will be released or not, but if it was, you know what that means: 10LP box set! — tells you anything, it’s that the band was locked in and they knew it. Sure enough, Jiri Jon Hjorth‘s bass turns the 13-minute “Wiggle Waggle Shake That Funky Thing” into much more of an embodiment of its title than was “Technical Problems,” and with regular features in the band like Hjorth, synthesist Mogens Pedersen, guitarist/violinist Jonathan Segel and Heller himself, along with Nicola on guitar and Marten on drums, the chemistry in the explorations — which I’ll just note for emphasis are made up on the frickin’ spot — shouldn’t be understated or taken for granted. Apparently filmed and available as a multi-cam DVD, Helsingør follows its course through two full sets and only grows more lysergic as “Wiggle Waggle Shake That Funky Thing” gives over to the half-hour of cosmic adventuring they decided at some point to call “Sailing Eastward,” Heller noting at the outset that the first set was funky — true — and they were going to get trippier.

Fair enough since they do. In most contexts, “Sailing Eastward” would be a full-length on its own, and it follows a complete front-to-back progression from its unfolding through the proggy noodling of the midsection, the drum pickup circa 17 minutes in and the build into space-jamming that rolls out from there. Like the universe itself, Øresund Space Collective work Øresund Space Collective Helsingør 2021on a different scale of patience, and sometimes just a flourish of guitar, bass, keys, synth, violin, a cymbal crash or whatever it might be, can spark an entire shift in where they’re headed. For being “more acidic,” there’s plenty of funk in “Sailing Eastward” — sometimes the groove can’t be denied — and they balance that late in the track with the guitar solo running overhead with warm and psychedelic tonality. When they arrive at the end with the drums bashing away, everyone seems to know it. “I think he almost knocked me off the stage,” says Heller of Marten‘s drums.

A second round of band intros — it’s a second set — shifts into the final two songs of Helsingør, which also happen to comprise just about the last hour of the “evening with” runtime. Keys open “Moody Mother” (25:00) and remain prominent in the opening section, but over the steady playfulness of the mellow-swinging drums, guitars and bass are not at all forgotten. Mellotron sounds after 10:30 or so might be the source of the title, but it’s a languid nod until about 20 minutes when the swirling solo mixed probably lower than it was in real life (but is nonetheless well placed) provides the drums a chance to take off at a speedier clip, which they do, rallying everyone on stage to the linear purpose of an apex. All of this communication happens without words, organically in the music. It’s what Øresund Space Collective do. It is no small part of what makes them such a comforting listen.

They’re also not perfect and they’ve never been, which in my head just makes them a better band for the lack of pretense. “Moody Mother” courses smoothly, though, and caps in a dream-drone of synth and keys and guitar before Heller implores the crowd to tell their friends and asks if they want one more. “We’ve only played two hours? Okay, we can play some more.” Laughs and applause, thanks in Danish.

That “some more” turns into the 35-minute “The Never Ending Trip,” which is just going to take its time, alright? Yes? Good. Take a breath. There’s some keys, some guitar, some effects on the violin, the drums not trying to bother anybody but they gotta move a bit with the bass. Segel‘s violin takes on an almost Yawning Man winding sensibility atop the rhythmic jabs, but they’re having fun and you can tell. They let the piece take shape as it will and then set out with it, not quite sure where they’ll land and maybe even actually okay with that — which I feel like is as admirable as an ethic as any of the actual sounds they make are — but finding serenity, scorch, bop and drift along the way, the latter of those holding sway for a long stretch after about 25 minutes in until in just the last stretch, the guitar returns with a definitive strum and the synth and bass move toward it. Long gone are the drums. Long gone is earth. Synth and keys bring down “The Never Ending Trip” as everyone seems to wonder for a second if the jam is really done, and then yes, it is, with one more ‘tusen takk’ (‘thank you very much’) for good measure.

I’ve written a fair amount about Øresund Space Collective and/or related projects over the years and I don’t regret any of it. They are among the bands on earth I most feel a void at having never seen live, but we live in a universe of infinite possibilities and face an unknowable future, so I may yet get there. And I’ve no doubt I’ll be writing about them again at some point as they celebrate their 20th anniversary — even if they don’t put out one, two, three, maybe four releases in the next 12 months, there’s always plenty of back catalog to dive into — but to my ears, Helsingør puts emphasis on the personality and character of what they do and the multi-hued dynamic that makes their work so resonant. I wanna live on this wavelength.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

Just in case it didn’t come through in the first sentence of the post, the week sucked. I spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday home with a sick kid out of school who was extra miserable even before throwing up all over the couch yesterday morning. It has been a deeply unpleasant time. Also we need a new couch.

I had intended to review the Mondo Drag album — which I’m pretty sure came out in fucking August — for this Wednesday. I got about a third into it early Tuesday morning and it’s been there ever since. When I’ve had the energy, I haven’t had the time. Yesterday there was a premiere scheduled and today I had two, one of which I nearly forgot about since I hadn’t even had the chance to put it in the notes doc by which I manage the whats and whens of this site.

Throw this on top the garbage pile that is my mental state, and yes, I did spend a decent portion of yesterday evening imagining ways to off myself in the garage. I could go on about that. Yes, I’m in the market for a therapist. See “time,” above. Anybody know an LCSW who likes riffs? Would be amazing to speak to somebody who could know what I mean when I talk about feeling more doomed than Conan on tour with Sunn O))). Speak the language, etc.

I did an interview earlier this week with Scott Spiers who runs Cleanandsoberstoner. He’s an addiction counselor, which I guess makes the name of his site make sense. We met at Desertfest New York and it was great to talk shop for a while, chat about favorite bands, new albums, all that stuff past and present. I went on. He was saying he wanted to run it as a two-parter, which I’d imagine will change once he edits it and sees how many times I lose my train of thought. There’s also a definite chance I called him Chris as I had brainfarted and was thinking of a childhood friend he reminded me of. I’m kind of a wreck right now and probably shouldn’t have done the interview in the first place, but, well, one doesn’t always make the best decisions for oneself when ‘in it’ as I seem to be. Anyway. He called me “mercurial,” which I think just meant “busy,” and “very private,” which was interesting since I had talked about being bulimic a little bit before and got to shout that out for comic effect. If and when it gets posted, I’ll share.

The Pecan is back in school today. We sent her in coughing and complaining about having to carry her backpack, so I expect it will be a banner morning on her end too. Next weekend we’re having a big birthday party for her turning six. You should come. Seriously. If you’re reading this and want to hang, you’re invited. It’d be nice to have someone there to talk music. If you don’t have my email or we’re not connected on social media or whatever, the contact form is right there. “DM for address,” in the parlance of our times. Bring the kids. We’ll have a bounce house and they can meet the puppy. I’ll probably spend most of the day doing dishes, which is fine.

But that’s on the other end of next week. Between now and then will I ever finish that fucking Mondo Drag review? Hard maybe. Every day next week is booked as well, with full album streams for The Spacelords and Bismut, a video premiere for Vitskär Süden (it’s fun in a Halloweeny kind of way) and a review on Friday for the Howling Giant record that I’ve slated as a favor to myself writing the day before. Thursday might be when Mondo Drag happens, if it does, and that pushes Zone Six to Oct. 30, which is my next open day. I hate fighting with my own schedule, by which I mean I apparently love it since I do it all the time.

Okay. I wish you a great and safe weekend. Have fun, hydrate, stay well, and if you could please keep your eyes open for a small couch somewhere in the neighborhood of 62″ wide (about 1.5 meters), that’d be great, thanks. And one more time, thanks as always for reading. That you might do so is decisive in my mind as to the worthiness of this project.


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Quarterly Review: Weite, Mizmor, The Whims of the Great Magnet, Sarkh, Spiritual Void, The River, Froglord, Weedevil & Electric Cult, Dr. Space, Ruiner

Posted in Reviews on July 24th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


Welcome back to the Summer 2023 Quarterly Review. I hope you enjoyed the weekend. Today we dig in on the penultimate — somehow my using the word “penultimate” became a running gag for me in Quarterly Reviews; I don’t know how or why, but I think it’s funny — round of 10 albums and tomorrow we’ll close out as we hit the total of 70. Could easily have kept it going through the week, but so it goes. I’ll have more QR in September or October, I’m not sure yet which. It’s a pretty busy Fall.

Today’s a wild mix and that’s what I was hoping for. Let’s go.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Weite, Assemblage

weite assemblage

Founded by bassist Ingwer Boysen (also High Fighter) as an offshoot of the live incarnation of Delving, of which he’s part, Weite release the instrumental Assemblage as a semi-improv-sounding collection of marked progressive fluidity. With Delving and Elder‘s Nick DiSalvo and Mike Risberg in the lineup along with Ben Lubin (Lawns), the story goes that the four-piece got to the studio with nothing/very little, spent a few days writing and recording with the venerable Richard Behrens helming, and Assemblage‘s four component pieces are what came out of it. The album begins with the nine-minutes-each pair of the zazzy-jazzy mover “Neuland,” while “Entzündet” grows somewhat more open, a lead guitar refrain like built around drum-backed drone and keys, swelling in piano-inclusive volume like Crippled Black Phoenix, darker prog shifting into a wash and more freaked-out psych rock. I’m not sure those are real drums on “Rope,” or if they are I’d love to know how the snare was treated, but the song’s a groover just the same, and the 14-minute “Murmuration” is where the styles unite under an umbrella of warm tonality and low key but somehow cordial atmosphere. If these guys want to get together every couple years into perpetuity and bang out a record like this, that’d be fine.

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Mizmor, Prosaic

Mizmor Prosaic

The fourth album from Portland, Oregon’s Mizmor — the solo-project of multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, vocalist, etc.-ist A.L.N. — arrives riding a tsunami of hype and delivers on the band’s long-stated promise of ‘wholly doomed black metal.’ With consuming distortion at its heart from opener/longest track (immediate points) “Only an Expanse” onward, the record recalls the promise of American black metal as looser in its to-tenet conformity than the bulk of Europe’s adherents — of course these are generalizations and I’m no expert — by contrasting it rhythmically with doom, which instead of fully releasing the tension amassed by the scream-topped tremolo riffing just makes it sound more miserable. Doom! “No Place to Arrive” is admirably thick, like noisy YOB on charred ambience, and “Anything But” draws those two sides together in more concise and driving style, vicious and brutal until it cuts in the last minute to quiet minimalism that makes the slam-in crush of 13-minute closer “Acceptance” all the more punishing, with plenty of time left for trades between all-out thrust and grueling plod. Hard to call which side wins the day — and that’s to Mizmor‘s credit, ultimately — but by the end of “Acceptance,” the raging gnash has collapsed into a caldera of harsh sludge, and it no longer matters. In context, that’s a success.

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The Whims of the Great Magnet, Same New

The Whims of the Great Magnet Same New

With a couple quick drum taps and a clearheaded strum that invokes the impossible nostalgia of Bruce Springsteen via ’90s alt rock, Netherlands-based The Whims of the Great Magnet strolls casually into “Same New,” the project’s first outing since 2021’s Share My Sun EP. Working in a post-grunge style seems to suit Sander Haagmans, formerly the bassist of Sungrazer and, for a bit, The Machine, as he single-track/double-tracks through the song’s initial verse and blossoms melodically in the chorus, dwelling in an atmosphere sun-coated enough that Haagmans‘ calls it “your new summer soundtrack.” Not arguing, if a one-track soundtrack is a little short. After a second verse/chorus trade, some acoustic weaves in at the end to underscore the laid back feel, and as it moves into the last minute, “Same New” brings back the hook not to drive it into your head — it’s catchy enough that such things aren’t necessary — but to speak to a traditional structure born out of classic rock. It does this organically, with moderate tempo and a warm, engaging spirit that, indeed, evokes the ideal images of the stated season and will no doubt prove comforting even removed from such long, hot and sunny days.

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Sarkh, Helios


German instrumentalists Sarkh follow their 2020 full-length, Kaskade, with the four-song/31-minute Helios EP, issued through Worst Bassist Records. As with that album, the short-ish offering has a current of progressive metal to coincide with its heavier post-rock affect; “Zyklon” leading off with due charge before the title-track finds stretches of Yawning Man-esque drift, particularly as it builds toward a hard-hitting crescendo in its second half. Chiaroscuro, then. Working shortest to longest in runtime, the procession continues with “Kanagawa” making stark volume trades, growing ferocious but not uncontrolled in its louder moments, the late low end particularly satisfying as it plays off the guitar in the final push, a sudden stop giving 11-minute closer “Cape Wrath” due space to flesh out its middle-ground hypothesis after some initial intensity, the trio of guitarist Ralph Brachtendorf, bassist Falko Schneider and drummer Johannes Dose rearing back to let the EP end with a wash but dropping the payoff with about a minute left to let the guitar finish on its own. Germany, the world, and the universe: none of it is short on instrumental heavy bands, but the purposeful aesthetic mash of Sarkh‘s sound is distinguishing and Helios showcases it well to make the argument.

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Spiritual Void, Wayfare

spiritual void wayfare

A 2LP second long-player from mostly-traditionalist doom metallers Spiritual Void, Wayfare seems immediately geared toward surpassing their 2017 debut, White Mountain, in opening with “Beyond the White Mountain.” With a stretch of harsher vocals to go along with the cleaner-sung verses through its 8:48 and the metal-of-eld wail that meets the crescendo before the nodding final verse, they might’ve done it. The subsequent “Die Alone” (11:48) recalls Candlemass and Death without losing the nod of its rhythm, and “Old” (12:33) reaffirms the position, taking Hellhound Records-style methodologies of European trad doom and pulling them across longer-form structures. Following “Dungeon of Nerthus” (10:24) the shorter “Wandering Doom” (5:31) chugs with a swing that feels schooled by Reverend Bizarre, while “Wandersmann” (13:11) tolls a mournful bell at its outset as though to let you know that the warm-up is over and now it’s time to really doom out. So be it. At a little over an hour long, Wayfare is no minor undertaking, but for what they’re doing stylistically, it shouldn’t be. Morose without melodrama, Wayfare sees Spiritual Void continuing to find their niche in doom, and rest assured, it’s on the doomier end. Of doom.

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The River, A Hollow Full of Hope

THE RIVER A Hollow Full of Hope

Even when The River make the trade of tossing out the aural weight of doom — the heavy guitar and bass, the expansive largesse, and so on — they keep the underlying structure. The nod. At least mostly. To explain: the long-running UK four-piece — vocalist Jenny Newton, guitarist Christian Leitch (formerly of 40 Watt Sun), bassist Stephen Morrissey and drummer Jason Ludwig — offer a folkish interpretation of doom and a doomed folk on their fourth long-player, the five-song/40-minute A Hollow Full of Hope taking the acoustic prioritizing of a song like “Open” from 2019’s Vessels into White Tides (review here) and bringing it to the stylistic fore on songs like the graceful opener “Fading,” the lightly electric “Tiny Ticking Clocks” rife with strings and gorgeous self-harmonizing from Newton set to an utterly doomed march, or the four-minute instrumental closer “Hollowful,” which is more than an outro if not a completely built song in relation to the preceding pieces. Melodic, flowing, intentional in arrangement, meter, melody. Sad. Beautiful. “Exits” (9:56) and “A Vignette” (10:26) — also the two longest cuts, though not by a ton — are where one finds that heft and the other side of the doom-folk/folk-doom divide, though it is admirable how thin they make that line. Marked progression. This album will take them past their 25th anniversary, and they greet it hitting a stride. That’s an occasion worth celebrating.

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Froglord, Sons of Froglord

Froglord Sons of Froglord

Sons of Froglord is the fourth full-length in three years from UK amphibian conceptualist storytellers Froglord, and there’s just about no way they’re not making fun of space rock on “Road Raisin.” “Collapse” grows burly in its hook in the vein of a more rumbling Clutch — and oh, the shenanigans abound! — and there’s a kind of ever-present undercurrent sludgy threat in the more forward push of the glorious anthem to the inanity of career life in “Wednesday” (it doesn’t materialize, but there is a tambourine on “A Swamp of My Own,” so that’s something), but the bulk of the latest chapter in the Froglord tale delivers ’70s-by-way-of-’10s classic heavy blues rock, distinct in its willingness to go elsewhere from and around the boogie swing of “Wizard Gonk” and the fuzzy shuffling foundation of “Garden” at the outset and pull from different eras and subsets of heavy to serve their purposes. “Froglady” is on that beat. On it. And the way “A Swamp of My Own” opens to its chorus is a stirring reminder of the difference drumming can make in elevating a band. After a quick “Closing Ceremony,” they tack on a presumably-not-narrative-related-but-fitting-anyway cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Born on the Bayou,” which complements a crash-laced highlight like “The Sage” well and seems to say a bit about where Froglord are coming from as well, i.e., the swamp.

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Weedevil & Electric Cult, Cult of Devil Sounds

weedevil electric cult cult of devil sounds

Released digitally with the backing of Abraxas and on CD through Smolder Brains Records, the Cult of Devil Sounds split EP offers two new tracks each from São Paulo, Brazil’s Weedevil and Veraruz, Mexico’s Electric Cult. The former take the A side and fade in on the guitar line “Darkness Inside” with due drama, gradually unfurling the seven-minute doom roller that’s ostensibly working around Electric Wizard-style riffing, but has its own persona in tone, atmosphere and the vocals of Maureen McGee, who makes her first appearance here with the band. The swagger of “Burn It” follows, somewhat speedier and sharper in delivery, with a scorcher solo in its back half, witchy proclamations and satisfying slowdown at the end. Weedevil. All boxes ticked, no question. Check. Electric Cult are rawer in production and revel in that, bringing “Rising From Hell” and “Esoteric Madness” with a more uptempo, rock-ish swing, but moving through sludge and doom by the time the seven minutes of the first of those is done. “Rising From Hell” finishes with ambient guitar, then feedback, which “Esoteric Madness” cuts off to begin with bass; a clever turn. Quickly “Esoteric Madness” grows dark from its outset, pushing into harsh vocals over a slogging march that turns harder-driving with ’70s-via-ChurchofMisery hard-boogie rounding out. That faster finish is a contrast to Weedevil‘s ending slow, and complements it accordingly. An enticing sampler from both.

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Dr. Space, Suite for Orchestra of Marine Mammals

Dr Space Suite for Orchestra of Marine Mammals

When I read some article about how the James Webb Space Telescope has looked billions of years into the past chasing down ancient light and seen further toward the creation of the universe than humankind ever before has, I look at some video or other, I should be hearing Dr. Space. I don’t know if the Portugal-based solo artist, synthesist, bandleader, Renaissance man Scott “Dr. Space” Heller (also Øresund Space Collective, Black Moon Circle, etc.) has been in touch with the European Space Agency (ESA) or what their response has been, but even with its organ solo and stated watery purpose, amid sundry pulsations it’s safe to assume the 20-minute title-track “Suite for Orchestra of Marine Mammals” is happening with an orchestra of semi-robot aliens on, indeed, some impossibly distant exoplanet. Heller has long dwelt at the heart of psychedelic improv and the three pieces across the 39 minutes of Suite for Orchestra of Marine Mammals recall classic krautrock ambience while remaining purposefully exploratory. “Going for the Nun” pairs church organ with keyboard before shimmering into proto-techno blips and bloops recalling the Space Age that should’ve had humans on Mars by now, while the relatively brief capper “No Space for Time” — perhaps titled to note the limitations of the vinyl format — still finds room in its six minutes to work in two stages, with introductory chimes shifting toward more kosmiche synth travels yet farther out.

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Ruiner, The Book of Patience

Ruiner The Book of Patience

The debut from Santa Fe-based solo drone project Ruiner — aka Zac Hogan, also of Dysphotic, ex-Drought — is admirable in its commitment to itself. Hogan unveils the outfit with The Book of Patience (on Desert Records), an 80-minute, mostly-single-note piece called “Liber Patientiae,” which if you’re up on your Latin, you know is the title of the album as well. With a willfully glacial pace that could just as easily be a parody of the style — there is definitely an element of ‘is this for real?’ in the listening process, but yeah, it seems to be — “Liber Patientiae” evolves over its time, growing noisier as it approaches 55 or so minutes, the distortion growing more fervent over the better part of the final 25, the linear trajectory underscoring the idea that there’s a plan at work all along coinciding with the experimental nature of the work. What that plan might manifest from here is secondary to the “Liber Patientiae” as a meditative experience. On headphones, alone, it becomes an inward journey. In a crowded room, at least at the outset it’s almost a melodic white noise, maybe a little tense, but stretched out and changing but somehow still solid and singular, making the adage that ‘what you put into it is what you get out’ especially true in this case. And as it’s a giant wall of noise, it goes without saying that not everybody will be up for getting on board, but it’s difficult to imagine the opaque nature of the work is news to Hogan, who clearly is searching for resonance on his own wavelength.

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Album Premiere & Review: Øresund Space Collective, Everyone is Evil

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 25th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Oresund Space Collective Everyone is Evil

[Click play above to stream the premiere of Everyone is Evil by Øresund Space Collective. Album is out tomorrow on Space Rock Productions.]

Fresh jams from Øresund Space Collective, or, depending on the adventure you choose to have with Everyone Is Evil, at least a fresh jam, because even the 2CD version that stretches over two hours long finds its heart in the 64-minute sprawl of the title-track. Divided into three parts and accompanied by the 23-minute “Everyone is Good (Maybe)” as a 2LP  D-side, “Everyone is Evil” is as vast a single procession as the multinational improv heavy space jam conglomerate has ever undertaken in my experience, perhaps taking its horror-ific title from the pulses of synth that bring a vaguely cinematic flourish to “Everyone is Evil Pt. 1” (22:15), but they count it as their 28th studio album — David Graham did the striking cover art — and more to the point, it’s as current a showcase as they have, having been recorded live (as always) at the Portuguese studio Estúdio Paraíso Nas Nuvens by modular synthesist Scott “Dr. Space” Heller in Sept. 2022.

There are nine players involved — personnel has always been somewhat fluid around a central core — and I’ll list them here for record-keeping purposes. As accounted by the band, Everyone is Evil features:

Pär Halje – Synths (4)
Scott “Dr. Space” Heller (Black Moon Circle, Aural Hallucinations, Doctors of Space, etc.) – Modular synth, production, mixing (2, 4)
Jiri Jon Hjorth (Fri Galaxe, Univerzals, etc..) Conga, cymbal and shovel (1), bass (2, 3, 4)
Hasse Horrigmoe (Tangle Edge) – Bass (1), guitar (3, 4)
Mattias Olsson (Ånglagård, etc.) – Drums, guitar, Mellotron (1)
Mogens Pedersen (Univerzals, and others) – Synths and Hammond (1, 2)
Jonathan Segel (Sista Maj, Camper van Beethoven, Hieronymous Firebrain, etc.) – Violin, guitar, mixing (1, 3), mastering
Luis Simões (Saturnia) – Guitar
Tim Wallander (Ozric Tentacles, Agusa) – Drums (4)

Many of these figures will be familiar to those who’ve spent time in Øresund Space Collective‘s e’er spontaneous orbit, as I’m fairly certain all have contributed to the band before. One would fairly call a unit with members of AgusaSaturnia, ÅnglagårdBlack Moon Circle and so on a supergroup, but Øresund Space Collective have never been about fanfare; their mission consistent in their efforts to capture creative exploration as it happens and offer it to their audience as organically and as often as possible. As noted, it’s their 28th studio release, and their 40th overall — they say this in the Bandcamp info; but it’s relevant so I’m repeating it here — and that’s not counting the currently-174 show recordings posted as self-bootlegs on Archive.org, dating back to the outfit’s beginnings in 2005. One of the many ways they consult with the traditions of space rock, then, has been productivity.

Fair enough, and I won’t sit here and argue that Everyone is Evil is their greatest accomplishment in 18 years; one might as well use a ruler to measure the solar system in inches. After a few years of archival jams, older pieces edited and finished and brought forth on collections like 2022’s Oily Echoes of the Soul (review here), which was recorded in 2010, or 2021’s Universal Travels (review here), part of what “Everyone is Evil” does is to reposition Øresund Space Collective in the present. I don’t know how much more they might have recorded over the course of the three days they were together, but to their credit, “Everyone is Evil Pt. 1” (22:16), “Everyone is Evil Pt. 2” (23:43) and “Everyone is Evil Pt. 3” (18:40) do function as a single, linear work.

Oresund Space Collective Everyone is Evil gatefold

And if it isn’t the jam as it happened, it’s close enough, one movement unfolding into the next and parts coming and going as somebody mimics record scratches on synth about five minutes into “Everyone is Evil Pt. 2,” a long drone rises to prominence after 10 minutes into “Everyone is Evil Pt. 3” signaling the shift into the song’s final stretch, or “Everyone is Good (Maybe)” (23:44) answering the sitar-ish guitar and forward drums of “Everyone is Evil Pt. 1” with a serenity of woven guitar and synth lines, gorgeous and dreamy and allowed to flow as it seems to want. From the subdued beginnings — possibly Simões on that guitar-as-sitar, but he’s by no means alone if it’s him, keys, more guitar, Segel‘s violin soon joining — to its subdued ending, Everyone is Evil is an immersive journey to undertake. Øresund Space Collective are pushing themselves as far out as they’ve gone, and not so much daring the listener to keep up as inviting them into the space being crafted with sound.

I’ve said as much on multiple prior occasions as regards their work, but I am a fan in concept and practice of Øresund Space Collective. In their objective as a group and in the outcome of their efforts, their work is their own with a style and a chemistry that’s vital despite (because of?) the songs’ being made up on the spot, and that they would end up with a piece like “Everyone is Evil Pt. 1,” which drops to gorgeous standalone guitar and synth after eight minutes in, jazzy and fluid as the drums rejoin, or “Everyone is Good (Maybe)” with its follow-the-undulating-waveforms meditative patterns of synth, melodic wash and drone and guitar, is emblematic of the heart and passion that drives all their work, and in more than just the glut of it. While operating in a dimension of time that they seem to have all to themselves, they cast an otherworldly pastoralism — a sunny open field on a planet you just discovered — by which one would be fortunate to be carried along. And is that Rhodes along with the Hammond and guitar at the end of “Everyone is Good (Maybe)?” Could be.

But it’s telling either way how that piece ends on a fade like it could’ve kept going. Because it probably could and maybe did. The CD version includes the two bonus tracks “End of the World as You Thought You Knew It” (9:09), which feels like a snippet in comparison to what comes before it but is joyful in its beat and unfolds gracefully to end up not at all incomplete, and “Floating From Here to There” (29:04), which is an album unto itself with Mellotron sentimentality and plucked violin strings for a touch of class before the swirling synth brings its fadeout and the ultimate conclusion of Everyone is Evil.

The only remaining question is whether or not there’s more from this session [Edit: yes. A fair amount]. It could be that Everyone is Evil with the bonus tracks is everything ‘usable’ that was produced when the group assembled in Portugal early last Fall, or there could be hours of tapes still to be exhumed and properly mixed for release. Not knowing is part of the fun [Edit again: it’s also fun to know], but as a document of the reach of the current incarnation of the project, Everyone is Evil finds Øresund Space Collective at their most expansive, comfortable in musical conversation with each other, and inviting the listener into the room with them as they find the hidden spaces within their collaboration.

Øresund Space Collective on Facebook

Øresund Space Collective on Bandcamp

Øresund Space Collective website

Space Rock Productions website

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal Playlist: Episode 88

Posted in Radio on July 8th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

Well, in the aftermath of reviewing 100 albums over the span of 10 days, there was just about no way I wouldn’t have enough to fill out a Gimme Metal playlist, and hey guess what? I was only like six days late turning it in! At least the playlist. Voice tracks I think I cut on Tuesday. I honestly have no idea.

But in any case, it didn’t feel as late as last time because it wasn’t, and I’m glad to be featuring a smattering of some of what stood out to me from the finished-today QR, plus a new Dreadnought track that I got excited about because the album announcement came in while I was putting the playlist together and I couldn’t not include it. Probably won’t be the last time.

But if you see/hear/want to dig more on any of this stuff, you can either look for the review or just tap and Google that shit. I think there were maybe two (maybe) bands who weren’t on Bandcamp easily accessible, so everyone else, it’s all right there for you. Plus here, all newly written up in my typical turnt-brain-to-goo Quarterly Review style.

Thanks if you listen and thanks for reading.

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

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 07.08.22 (VT = voice track)

Witchfinder The Maze Endless Garden
0N0 Clay Weight Unwavering Resonance
Church of the Sea Odalisque Odalisque
Dreadnought Midnight Moon The Endless
Faeries Fresh Laces Faeries
My Diligence Celestial Kingdom The Matter, Form and Power
Supplemental Pills Freedom March Volume 1
Kaleidobolt Ultraviolent Chimpanzee This One Simple Trick
Black Lung Hollow Dreams Dark Waves
The Cimmerian Silver and Gold Thrice Majestic
Astral Pigs Our Golden Twilight Our Golden Twilight
Carson Dirty Dream Maker The Wilful Pursuit of Ignorance
Kadavermarch 1,000 Yard Stare Into Oblivion
Electric Mountain A Fistful of Grass Valley Giant
Øresund Space Collective Deep Breath for the EARTH Oily Echoes of the Soul

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Metal airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is July 22 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

Gmme Metal website

The Obelisk on Facebook

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Quarterly Review: The John Denver Airport Conspiracy, Clara Engel, Cormano, Black Lung, Slowenya, Superlynx, Øresund Space Collective, Zone Six, The Cimmerian, Ultracombo

Posted in Reviews on July 1st, 2022 by JJ Koczan


Today’s Friday, and in most but a decreasing number of circumstances, that means a Quarterly Review is over. Not this one. Remember, doublewide means it goes to 100 albums. The really crazy part? It could go longer. I could add another day. It could go to 11! Have I done that before?

Probably. That Spinal Tap reference is too obvious for me to have never made it. In any case, I’ve got something booked for Monday after next already, so I won’t be adding another day, but I could just on the releases that came in over the last couple days. Onto the list for next time. Late September/early October, I think.

If you’re hurting for Quarterly Review in the meantime? Yeah, stick around. There’s a whole other week coming up. That’s what I’ve been saying. Have a great weekend and we’ll pick back up on Monday with another 10 records.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

The John Denver Airport Conspiracy, Something’s Gotta Give

John Denver Airport Conspiracy Something's Gotta Give

Hail Toronto psych. The John Denver Airport Conspiracy released Something’s Gotta Give as a 16-tracker name-your-price Bandcamp download nearly a year ago, and vinyl delays give squares like yours truly who missed it at the time another opportunity to get on board. The 14-song LP edition runs 42 minutes, and it’s time well spent in being out of its own time, a pedal steel Americana-fying the ’60s drift of “Comin’ Through” while “Jeff Bezos Actually Works for Me” pairs garage strum-and-strut with a cavernous echo for an effect like shoegaze that looked up. “2000 November” and closer “The Lab” dares proto-punk shimmy and “Green Chair” has that B3 organ sound and lazy jangle that one can’t help but associate with 1967, “Ya, I Wonder” perhaps a few years before that, but “The Big Greaser” works in less directly temporal spaces, and the whole album is united by an overarching mellow spirit, not totally in a fog because actually the structures on some of these songs are pretty tight — as they were in the 1960s — but they’ve definitely and purposefully kept a few screws loose. Their sound may solidify over time and it may not, but as a debut album, Something’s Gotta Give is deceptively rich in its purpose and engaging in its craft and style alike. I wish I’d heard it earlier, I’m glad to have heard it now.

The John Denver Airport Conspiracy on Instagram

Cardinal Fuzz Records webstore

Little Cloud Records website


Clara Engel, Their Invisible Hands

Clara Engel Their Invisible Hands

Clara Engel‘s experimentalist folk songwriting moves into and across and over and through various traditions and methods, but their voice is as resonant, human and unifying as ever, and that’s true from “O Human Child” through the softly echoing guitar pieces “Golden Egg” and “High Alien Priest,” the more ethereal “Glass Mountain,” and so on, while excursions like “I Drink the Rain,” “Cryptid Bop” and “Dead Tree March” earlier add not only instrumental flourish but an avant garde sensibility consistent with Engel‘s past work, even if as songs they remain resoundingly cohesive. That is to say, while founded on experimentalist principles, they are built into songs rather than presented in their rawest form. The inclusion of organ in finale “The Devils are Snoring” is striking and complements the minimalist vocals and backing drone, but by then Engel has long established their ability to put the listener where they wants, with the image of “Rowing Home Through a Sea of Golden Leaves” duly poetic to suit the music as demonstration. Gorgeous, impassioned, hurt but striving and ever moving forward creatively. Engel‘s work remains a treasure for those with ears to hear it. “I Drink the Rain” is an album unto itself.

Clara Engel on Facebook

Clara Engel on Bandcamp


Cormano, Weird Tales

Cormano Weird Tales

Though the initial push of doomer riffing and melodic vocals in the post-intro title-track “Weird Tales” reminds a bit of Apostle of Solitude, the hooky brand of heavy wrought by Chilean three-piece Cormano — vocalist/guitarist Aaron Saavedra, bassist/backing vocalist Claudio Bobadilla, drummer/backing vocalist Rodrigo Jiménez — on their debut full-length is more about rock than such morose proceedings, and in fact it’s the prior intro “La Marcha del Desierto” that makes that plain. They’ll delve into psychedelic airiness in “El Caleuche” — the bassline underneath a highlight on its own — and if you read “Bury Me With My Money” as a capitalist critique, it’s almost fun instead of tragic, but their swing in “Urknall” and the roll of “Rise From Your Grave” (second Altered Beast reference of this Quarterly Review; pure coincidence) act as precursor to the thickened unfurling of “Futuere” and “A Boy and His Dog,” a closing pair that reinforce Cormano‘s ultimate direction as anything but settled, the latter featuring a pointedly heavy crash before a surprisingly gentle finish. Will be curious to see where their impulses lead them, but Weird Tales is that much stronger for the variety currently in their influences.

Cormano on Facebook

Cormano on Bandcamp


Black Lung, Dark Waves

Black Lung Dark Waves

Like the rest of reality, Baltimorean heavy psychedelic blues rockers Black Lung have undergone a few significant changes in the last three years. Guitarist/vocalist Dave Cavalier (also Mellotron) and drummer/synthesist Elias Schutzman (also Revvnant, ex-The Flying Eyes) bid farewell to fellow founding member Adam Bufano (guitar, also ex-The Flying Eyes) and brought in Dave Fullerton to fill the role, while also, for the first time, adding a bassist in Charles Braese. Thus, their first record for Heavy Psych Sounds, the J. Robbins-produced/Kurt Ballou-mixed Dark Waves is a notable departure in form from 2019’s Ancients (review here), even if the band’s core methodology and aesthetic are the same. The sound is fuller, richer, and more able to hold the various Mellotrons and other flourishes, as well as the cello in “Hollow Dreams” and guest vocals on “Death Grip” and guest keys on “The Cog” and “The Path.” Taking inspiration from modern global uncertainties sociopolitical, medical and otherwise, the band put you in a mind of living through the current moment, thankfully without inducing the level of anxiety that seems to define it. Small favors amid big riffs. With shades of All Them Witches and further psychedelic exploring transposed onto their already-a-given level of songwriting, Black Lung sound like they’re making a second debut.

Black Lung on Facebook

Heavy Psych Sounds website


Slowenya, Meadow

Slowenya Meadow

Make a big space and fill it with righteousness. Finland’s Slowenya are born out of an experimentalist hotbed in Turku, and the three-piece do justice to an expectation of far-out tendencies across the nonetheless-concise 31 minutes and six songs of Meadow, their second long-player in as many years. There’s an undercurrent of metal as “Synchronized” holds forth with a resilient, earthy chug, but the melodicism that typifies the vocals running alongside is lighter, born of a proggy mindset and able to keep any overarching aggression in check. With synths, samples, and ambient sounds filling out the mix — not that the massive tonality of the guitar and bass itself doesn’t do the job — a breadth is cast from “Intro” onward through “Nákàn” and the gone-full-YOB swell of “Irrevocable,” which is yet another of the tracks on Meadow one might hear and expect to be 20 minutes long and instead is under seven. The penultimate “Transients” pushes deeper into drone, and “Resonate and Relate” (7:53) caps Slowenya‘s impressive second LP with a due blend of melodic wash and lurching rhythmic physicality, the screams into a sudden stop effectively carrying the threat of more to come. You want to hear this.

Slowenya linktr.ee

Karhuvaltio Records on Facebook


Superlynx, Solstice EP

Superlynx Solstice

As their growing fanbase immediately set about waiting for their third full-length after 2021’s Electric Temple, Norwegian heavy-broodgaze trio Superlynx issued at the very end of the year the Solstice EP, combining covers from Saint Vitus, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Nat King Cole (because obviously he’d be third on that list) and Nirvana with two originals in “Reorbit” and “Cosmic Wave.” As bassist/vocalist Pia Isaksen has already put out a solo release in 2022, drummer Ole Teigen has a blues band on the side among other projects, and one assumes guitarist Daniel Bakken is up to something else as well, Solstice serves as a welcome holdover of momentum after the album. It’s worth the price of admission (eight Euro) for the take on Nirvana‘s “Something in the Way” alone, but the so-slow-it-sounds-like-it’s-about-to-fall-apart “Reorbit” and the leadoff adaptation of “Born Too Late” enforces that song’s message with a modernized and made-even-more slogging sense of defeat. Maybe we were all born too late. Maybe that’s humanity’s fucking problem. Anyway, after you get this, get Isaksen‘s solo record as Pia Isa. You won’t regret that either, especially with the subdued vibe in some of the material on this one.

Superlynx on Facebook

Dark Essence Records website


Øresund Space Collective, Oily Echoes of the Soul

oresund space collective oily echoes of the soul

The always-hit-record ethic of multinational conglomerate jammers Øresund Space Collective pays dividends once again as Oily Echoes of the Soul emerges publicly — it was previously released in a different form to Bandcamp subscribers — as carved from a session all the way back in 2010. At the time I’m pretty certain all members of the band actually lived in Denmark, but sitarist K.G. Westman, who appeared here while still a member of Siena Root, is from Sweden, so whatever. Ultimately the affair is less about where they’re from than where you’re going while hearing it, which is off to a laid-back, anything goes psychedelic improvisation, beginning with the funky and suitably explorational, half-hour-long opener “Bump and Grind ØSC Style” before moving into the sitar-led “Peace of Mynd” (13:27) and the 24-minute title-track’s organic surges and recessions of volume; proggy, ’70s, and unforced as they are. Before twang-happy and much shorter closer “Shit Kickin'” (4:10), the 15-minute “Deep Breath for the EARTH” offers affirmation of the project’s reliably expansive sound. I’ve made no secret that I listen to this band in no small part for the emotionally and/or existentially soothing facets of their sound. Those are on ready display here, and I’ll be returning to this 12-year-old session accordingly.

Øresund Space Collective on Bandcamp

Space Rock Productions website


Zone Six, Beautiful EP


Recorded in Dec. 1997 at Zone Six‘s practice space, the two-song Beautiful EP portrays a much different band than Zone Six ultimately became, with Australian-born vocalist Jodi Barry and then-Liquid Visions members Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt (bass, effects), Hans-Peter Ringholz (guitar, noise) and drummer/recording specialist Claus Bühler as well as keyboardist/etc.-ist Rusty and bringing two longform, molten works of pioneering-at-the-time heavy psychedelia. I mean, we’re talking 20 years ahead of their time, at least, here. It’s still forward-thinking. The guitars and breathy vocals in “Something’s Missing” are a joy and “Beautiful” plays off drone-style atmospherics with intermittently jazzy verses and a more active rhythm, winding guitar and pervasively spaced mindbending. Imagining what could’ve been if this record had been finished, one could repaint the scope of 2010s-era European heavy psychedelia as a whole, but on their own, the two extended inclusions on the 23-minute EP are a gorgeous glimpse at this fleeting moment in time. It is what it says it is.




The Cimmerian, Thrice Majestic

The Cimmerian Thrice Majestic

Thrice Majestic and four-times barbarous comes this debut EP release from Los Angeles’ The Cimmerian, a new trio featuring Massachusetts expat David Gein (ex-bass, The Scimitar, etc.) on guitar, and the brand of heavy that ensues readily crosses the line between metal and doom, as the galloping “Emerald Scripture” reinforces directly after the eight-minute highlight and longest groover “Silver and Gold.” Drummer David Morales isn’t shy with the double-kick and neither should he be, and bassist/vocalist Nicolas Rocha has a bark that reminds of Entombed‘s L.G. Petrov, and that is not a compliment I’m ever going to hand out lightly. Lead cut “Howls of Lust and Fury” promises High on Fire-ist thrash in its opening, but The Cimmerian‘s form of pummel goes beyond any single point of inspiration, even on this presumably formative suckerpunch of an EP, which balances intensity and nod in the finishing move “Neck Breaker,” a last growl perhaps the most brutal of all. Fucking a. More of this.

The Cimmerian on Facebook

The Cimmerian on Bandcamp


Ultracombo, Season II

Ultracombo Season II

You could probably sit and parse out where Ultracombo are coming from — geographically, it’s Vincenza, Italy — in terms of sound on the sequentially titled follow-up to 2019’s Season I (review here), but to do so denies the double-guitar five-piece credit for the obvious efforts they’ve put into making this material their own. Those efforts pay off in the listening experience of the five-tracker, which runs 25 minutes and so offers plenty enough to make an impression. Witness the slowdown in centerpiece “Umanotest” or the keyboard-or-keyboard-esque lead in the back half of the prior “Follia,” the added jammy feel in “Specchio,” the this-is-the-difference-the-right-drummer-makes “12345” or the return of the synth and an added bit of playfulness before the big ending in — what else? — “La Fine.” That this EP manages to careen and pull such hairpin turns of rhythm is a triumph unto itself. That it manages to do so without sounding like Queens of the Stone Age feels like a fucking miracle. “Dear Ultracombo, Hope you’re well. Time to make an album. Put in an interlude or two depending on space. Sincerely, some dude on the internet.”

Ultracombo on Facebook

Ultracombo on Instagram


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Video Interview: Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective, Etc.

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Features on September 30th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

scott heller dr space

Not that we weren’t going to have anything to talk about otherwise, but to give me a heads up for this interview, Scott Heller — better known to the psychedelic underground as Dr. Space himself — sent me a list of recent and upcoming outings from this and next year. There were more than 30 of them.

Consider that for a second.

I would post the list but I’m not sure they’ve all been announced yet.

Of all the people I’ve met through music — and I have met Heller in-person many times; I consider him a friend and talking to him about music for over an hour the other day was something I did largely as a favor to myself; a similar mentality to that which I approach writing about much of his output — Heller‘s creativity and work ethic is singular. As synthesist and band-leader for Øresund Space Collective, he has spearheaded a school of “totally improvised space rock” that’s grown in influence throughout Europe and beyond, and more recently, monthly jams as a part of the duo Doctors of Space with Martin Weaver of Wicked Lady — who happens to live relatively nearby in Portugal, to which Heller moved some four and half years ago after leaving Denmark — have seen release through Bandcamp in ongoing fashion. He’s meeting up with Weaver today, in fact. No doubt something will come of it.

But that’s barely a chip in the iceberg of his career. Going back to before his time managing Gas Giant and recording every show ØSC play — they’ll be in Oslo at Høstsabbat in a couple weeks — working with former Elder drummer Matt Couto in Aural Hallucinations, putting together his own Alien Planet Trip series of solo releases and collaborations, running the active label Space Rock Productions or contributing to acts like Black Moon Circle3rd Ear Experience and Albinö Rhino, among I don’t even know how many others, Heller has a history of writing and documenting his experiences with music that extends across four decades. With an autobiography and a studio build on his property between the two largest mountains in Portugal currently in progress, tour dates upcoming and those 30 offerings in progress or on the way, he simply is one of a kind, and even with so much behind him, is at his most productive ever right now.

I don’t even know how many times I said the word “amazing” in this interview, but it might also be over 30, and none of them were unearned on his part. I’m honored he took the time to talk and amazed he found it.

Please enjoy:

Interview with Scott “Dr. Space” Heller, Sept. 27, 2021

More info on Heller and his many, many, many doings is available at the links.

Doctors of Space, Studio Session July 2021 (2021)

Øresund Space Collective, Fuzz Fest 2021 (2021)

Dr. Space, Dr Space’s Alien Planet Trip Vol. 4: Space with Bass (2021)

Black Moon Circle, The Studio Jams Vol. 1-3 (2019)

Øresund Space Collective website

Øresund Space Collective on Bandcamp

Black Moon Circle on Bandcamp

Aural Hallucinations on Bandcamp

Doctors of Space on Bandcamp

Writing About Music blog

Space Rock Productions website

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Høstsabbat 2021 Unveils Full Lineup for Oct. 8 & 9

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 14th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

hostsabbat 2021 banner (Artwork by Trine Grimm and Linda K Røed)

Do you want to dream with me for a while, or will it be too much of a downer? It’s okay. This one hits particularly bittersweet for me. I haven’t been to every Høstsabbat, but I’ve been to enough to see how the Oslo-based festival has grown and is growing, and the thought of not being there in a few weeks for this one is that much harder to take as the lineup is revealed today. Imagine the existential payoff of being engulfed in Mars Red Sky‘s melodic wash on the first night and obliterated by Conan the second, or seeing Greenleaf bring the blues of their latest album to life.

I’ve never seen Causa Sui. I’ve never seen Øresund Space Collective. These are bands I think and write about all the time. And newcomers like Slomosa, Jointhugger, Superlynx, Saint Karloff and Kryptograf, Hymn and Kite and Suncraft — these are some of the best up and coming acts the Norwegian heavy underground has to offer. Imagine being able to say you’ve seen Besvärjelsen. The thought of this happening and my not being there makes me genuinely sad.

It’s just a Fredag and a Lørdag, right? I could go! It could happen. It’s not a huge festival. I’ll mask up, of course… After a year and a half of so much bullshit, fear, sadness, ongoing, don’t I have to eventually just accept that this is what life is now and some things are worth the risk? That this is something I need to be the person I am? Who am I without live music?

And there you go. Bitter because I’m forced to reconcile myself to not seeing it. Sweet because I know in my heart these are good, passionate people who make this happen and because I believe in what they do, and even if I can’t/won’t be there to see it, it’s happening. I’m sorry to make this one about me. Really it’s about awesome bands and a righteous bill. If you’re going, enjoy. Live.

Full Høstsabbat 2021 lineup — though I’m hearing rumors about a Torsdag to-do as well — follows here:

Hostsabbat 2021 poster


In the spirit of optimistic caution and with safety precautions at the forefront of our minds, we step forward in preparation for our stages to resonate with the heavy once again! The riffs will rise from our home at Kulturkirken Jakob and our Norwegian stage at Verkstedet on Friday the 8th and Saturday the 9th of October.

Today we proudly release the full lineup and hope you are as excited as we are to come together again in celebration of the riff and all things heavy.

Daypasses and program will be out on Friday. Until then, get your festival ticket asap!

TICKETS: https://bit.ly/hostsabbat2021

Lineup HØSTSABBAT 2021 – October 8th-9th

– Mars Red Sky (fr)
– Øresund Space Collective (dk)
– Slomosa (no)
– Hymn (no)
– Conan (uk)
– Causa Sui (dk)
– Gøsta Berlings Saga (se)
– Greenleaf (se)
– Saint Karloff (no)
– Besværjelsen (se)
– Kryptograf (no)
– Kite (no)
– Sibiir (no)
– Orkan (se)
– Warp Riders (no)
– Jointhugger (no)
– Draken
– Gunerius & Verdensveven
– Superlynx
– U-Foes
– Shaving the Werewolf
– Suncraft


Høstsabbat 2019 official aftermovie

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