Album Review: Viaje a 800, Coñac Oxigenado: Deluxe Edition

Posted in Reviews on April 3rd, 2024 by JJ Koczan

viaje a 800 Conac Oxigenado deluxe edition

I readily count Viaje a 800 among the most criminally undervalued heavy rock bands Europe has ever produced, so maybe if you’re looking for an impartial assessment of Spinda Records‘ do-it-up-right Coñac Oxigenado: Deluxe Edition reissue of their 2012 swansong (review here), I’m not the one to provide it. They were never super-prompt on output, but between 2001’s Diablo Roto Dë… and 2007’s Estampida de Trombones, the band that in 2010 would record as the trio lineup of bassist/vocalist/keyboardist Poti, guitarist/backing vocalist J. Angel and drummer Andres, fostered a style of heavy rock that was utterly their own and represented not only influences from the Californian desert, but from classic progressive rock as well as Andalusian folk melodies, flamenco rhythms and percussion, and a resulting atmosphere that was ahead of its time.

As the culmination of Viaje a 800’s original run, Coñac Oxigenado pushed their craft as far as it would ever go (to-date; never say never) into those proggy leanings, and from its 12-minute opener “Oculi Omnium In Te Sperant Domine” through the in-English cover of “What’s Going On” originally by Australian heavy-’70s rockers Buffalo, the fluidity, depth and presence they were able to establish in this material still feels innovative 12 years after the fact. And it may well be that having such an individual sound is part of the reason they’ve been so undervalued – I’m sure out there somewhere is a German band who’ve got handclaps in a song like those in the purpose-declaring, scorcher-solo-inclusive jammy middle of Coñac Oxigenado’s lead track, but I wouldn’t expect it to work as well – but even from an outsider’s perspective, it’s easy enough to read an element of cultural discrimination in how isolated the Iberian heavy underground for the most part is even today, beyond whatever language barrier may or may not apply to a given act as it might here.

Thus Coñac Oxigenado: Deluxe Edition — which arrives coinciding with a return to the stage for limited live shows this year — feels something like an 88-minute love letter to Viaje a 800, whose original 1998 demo, Santa Agueda, also saw release through Spinda in 2019, and its 3LP presentation captures an archivalist impulse, preserving a complicated narrative of the recording and of the band more generally. In addition to the five-song/51-minute original tracklisting, the ‘deluxe’-ness manifests in four additional cuts, three of which are alternate versions — “Oculi Omnium In Te Sperant Domine,” “Tagarnina Blues” and “Eterna Soledad” — and the last of which is the previously-unreleased “Todo es Nada.” To my understanding, none of these recordings have surfaced before (the difference being that a re-recorded “Todo es Nada” didn’t make the final 2012 LP), and that lineup changes were part of it — anybody looking for a probably-wrong complete retelling of Viaje a 800‘s lineup history here? I didn’t think so; moving on — but with 15 years’ distance from the original 2009 sessions at Seville’s Doghouse Studios with Curro Ureba, the previously-lost tracks present a new look at the scope of the band’s sound.

A full rundown of the changes between the 2009 and 2010 recordings — the latter of which became the album released in 2012 — would be academic and (again) probably wrong unless I was cut and pasting factoids like Orthodox‘s Marco Serrato guesting on vocals for the ’09 session or the guitar contribution from 2010-version producer José María Sagrista to “Eterna Soledad.” Neither of those is irrelevant, but neither gives much of an impression of the differences most resonant when setting the tracks in question side-by-side. While the finished, non-prequel Coñac Oxigenado presented itself as Viaje a 800‘s fullest-sounding recording in the low end, and the band always had a brooding element in their vocal melodies, the 2009 versions feel closer to chasing an ideal based on live performance, and so come through as both rawer in their basic sound and brighter in tone.

VIAJE A 800 (Photo by Tomoyuki Hotta)

The acoustic strum of “Eterna Soledad” feels more direct in its folk lineage without the keys accompanying the transition from the initial verses to it, and “Tagarnina Blues” hits with more punch in its snare as it makes ready to shift into the solo, and as anyone who’s ever sat in for a mixing process can tell you, a lot can be done to change the personality of a song in minute adjustments to the balance of its component elements. As they perhaps inevitably would, the 2010 recordings feel more realized and considered in terms of the transitions from one to the next, and there’s a smoother overall sound to their production. Does that mean that the force with which 2009’s “Oculi Omnium In Te Sperant Domine” hits doesn’t work. Oh no. It absolutely does. But it’s fascinating to hear Viaje a 800 working toward two different goals in style with the same material, and where the lushness of Coñac Oxigenado became a marked example of how the band had grown since Estampida de Trombones half a decade before, Coñac Oxigenado: Deluxe Edition broadens the appeal further by showcasing a heretofore-unheard side of these songs. And frankly, they rock.

I won’t say they were wrong to trade out “Todo es Nada” for “Ni Perdón, Ni Olvido” for the 2012 release, not the least for the movement the latter enacts across a similar seven-minute runtime from a riff I likened in the original review to Megadeth to the psychedelic build that leads into its later charging chorus and multi-stage crescendo, but through its start-stop repetitions, semi-spoken lyrics and the procession it undertakes into crash and vocal effects, “Todo es Nada” offers a bleaker ambience than anything that did wind up on Coñac Oxigenado while still holding to a progressive structure and in its vocals-over-drums ending, capping Coñac Oxigenado: Deluxe Edition with an invitation to speculate at what they might have done had they kept going into the 2010s.

Does it matter? I think so, but again, I was a fan of the original Coñac Oxigenado, of the band generally, and of outfits like Atavismo and Mind! that Poti went on to found in Viaje a 800‘s wake. And if you don’t care about art or music or those who’ve made contributions in service to either, yeah, a 3LP reissue of a Spanish heavy band’s record from 2012 might not be the birthday present you’re asking for this year, but the very, very least I can tell you about Coñac Oxigenado, deluxe or not, is that it holds up, and if you’ve never engaged with the band before, these songs are a world waiting for you to find your place in them. I don’t know if Coñac Oxigenado: Deluxe Edition will be how Viaje a 800 come to receive a modicum of the respect they deserve for what they accomplished during their time, but it’s a big piece of why they deserve that respect in the first place, and this revisit is a celebration well earned.

Viaje a 800, Coñac Oxigenado: Deluxe Edition (2024)

Viaje a 800, “Todo es Nada” official video

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Viaje a 800 to Release Coñac Oxigenado Deluxe Edition April 4; “Todo es Nada” Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 14th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

VIAJE A 800 (Photo by Tomoyuki Hotta)

Whatever combination of fingers and toes might need to be sacrificed on the altar of deregulated capitalism in order for me to see Viaje a 800 before I die, I have to think it’d be worth giving up at least a few. Generational spearheads of Spanish-language heavy rock in the 1990s and the outfit from which bands like Atavismo sprang, the Algeciras trio released their last record, Coñac Oxigenado (review here), in 2012. Undervalued during their time and, as with so many of the Iberian acts operating in their wake, never given the credit that was their due owing in part to European tribalism, they’ll get back together for three exclusive live dates this year (perhaps more) and offer a deluxe edition of Coñac Oxigenado on April 4 through Spinda Records.

And by ‘deluxe,’ they mean an entire second version of the album. Actually, it the first version. Recorded in 2009 and featuring the unreleased-until-today start-stopper “Todo es Nada” — video streaming at the bottom of the post — the lost Coñac Oxigenado is set to accompany the 2012 version in a 2CD or 3LP set for which preorders are also open as of today. They’ll do the album in full at the aforementioned shows, reportedly, as well as highlights from their other two records, 2001’s Diablo Roto De… and 2007’s Estampida de Trombones, either of which would deserve the same lush reissue treatment if they also happened to have alternate recordings laying around. And who knows, maybe they do.

I hope they keep going and I hope they do more shows.

From the PR wire:

viaje a 800 Conac Oxigenado deluxe edition


Release date: April 4 | Single & Album pre-order: March 14


Viaje a 800 is back with a deluxe edition of ‘Coñac Oxigenado’, which includes songs and unreleased versions up to date. The band from Algeciras (Spain) will be presenting it live in 2024 during a series of exclusive dates.

The legendary Spanish rock band Viaje a 800 announces the reissue of ‘Coñac Oxigenado’, their last studio album. This special release will be available on April 4, 2024, promising not only a celebration of the band’s musical history but also an unparalleled auditory experience for their devoted fans and rock enthusiasts alike.

With a legacy dating back to the mid-90s, Viaje a 800 has made an indelible mark on the rock scene with their distinctive heavy psych and progressive rock sound. Hailing from Algeciras in the very south of Europe, the band has earned acclaim from both critics and fans for their unique fusion of eclectic musical elements, ranging from heavy blues to proto-stoner rock or even Andalusian rock, creating a style of their own that has withstood the test of time and now positions them as an influence for many contemporary artists.

The story of ‘Coñac Oxigenado’, much like that of the band itself, is a saga in its own right, marked by unbridled creativity, perseverance, and a passion for music. Recorded analogically in 2009 at Doghouse Studios in Seville (Spain) by Curro Ureba, this album captured the raw and vibrant spirit of the band in its purest moment. However, after a series of events and artistic decisions, the final version of the album didn’t see the light until 2012, through Alone Records, and after being entirely re-recorded in 2010 by José María Sagrista at Punt Paloma Studios (Spain).

‘Coñac Oxigenado’
(deluxe edition)

1. Oculi Omnium In Te Sperant Domine
2. Ni perdón, ni olvido
3. Eterna soledad
4. Tagarnina Blues
5. What’s going on
6. Oculi Omnium In Te Sperant Domine
7. Tagarnina Blues
8. Eterna soledad
9. Todo es nada

On April 4, 2024, Spinda Records releases a deluxe edition of ‘Coñac Oxigenado’. For the occasion, both versions of the album are presented, from the original pre-mixes by Curro Ureba to the final version recorded by the renowned producer José María Sagrista, mixed by José Gil at Crab Studios, and mastered by Chris Rozioswki in the US. Undoubtedly, this is a unique window into the band’s sonic evolution and the creative magic that has defined their legacy.

In addition to the inclusion of both recordings, this reissue of ‘Coñac Oxigenado’ features a series of significant differences: arrangements, song durations, mixes, and lyrics vary between the two versions, offering listeners a complete perspective of the musical vision of the band from Algeciras. If in the final version they had the collaboration on guitar of José María Sagrista (Triana, Círculo Vicioso) in “Eterna soledad”, in the initial version Marco Serrato (Orthodox) contributed vocals in “Occuli Omnium In Te Sperant Domine”. However, the main difference lies in the inclusion of “Todo es nada”, an unreleased track to date that was part of the 2009 recording but was left out of the final version in favor of “Ni perdón, ni olvido”. With over 7 minutes of extremely dark, intense music and a raw sound unlike anything Viaje a 800 had shown before, it will be presented as the sole preview of this necessary reissue on March 14th at midnight, accompanied by a music video directed by Fernando J. Martínez.

These two journeys of ‘Coñac Oxigenado’ also offer a unique visual experience, with a revision of Julia Morell’s original artwork by The Braves Church, presenting it in a triple gatefold sleeve with the inclusion of lyrics.

The deluxe edition of ‘Coñac Oxigenado’ by Viaje a 800 will be available from April 4, 2024, in digital and physical formats (pre-orders will be available from March 14th at midnight on, in a double CD edition and in a triple black vinyl format, as part of Spinda Records’ ‘Trippy Series’. Each of the 300 vinyl copies is hand-numbered and represents a tangible tribute to the band’s lasting legacy in the history of Spanish rock; a necessary homage to an essential musical formation.


The band will offer a series of exclusive concerts to celebrate, where they will perform ‘Coñac Oxigenado’ in full, along with some classics from their discography. Those who saw them at the time or at one of the three concerts they played during their brief reunion in 2019 will know that they are in top form.

May 11 | Granada (ES)^
October 18 | Barcelona (ES)^
November 7 | Madrid (ES)^
November 16 | Algeciras (ES)

^Tickets on sale at on March 15 at midnight.

Viaje a 800, “Todo es Nada” official video

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Atavismo Announce Indefinite Hiatus

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 10th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

If they’re really done — that is, if the hiatus that Atavismo have newly announced will stick permanently — then I’m singularly sorry not to have seen the band. The Algeciras-based heavy psych and progressive outfit made their debut with the 2014 album Desintegración (discussed here; review here), and their most recent offering was the single, “Psicopatías del 2021” (premiered here), a reinterpretation of a track by the associated project Mind! that appeared on the Spinda Records 7″ compilation Grados. Minutos. Segundos., sprawling and limited as that was. Their most recent standalone release was 2018’s Valdeinfierno EP (review here), which followed their second LP, 2017’s Inerte (review here).

So you can see maybe it’s been a while, but I have no hesitation in telling you Atavismo was a special band, even never having seen them play. The Algeciras-based four-piece contributed significantly to the progressive course of Spanish psychedelia in the last decade, and the telltale blend of folk and heavy psych influences can in turn be heard in a slew of regional acts who’ve taken cues at least in part from what Atavismo did on their first two albums. I somehow doubt these people are actually done making music. Guitarist/vocalist Jose “Poti” Moreno has a pedigree that dips back to the seminal rock outfit Viaje a 800, while drummer Sandri Pow and bassist Mat both played with Moreno in Mind!, yes, the same band Atavismo covered on what’s now their swansong single.

I don’t know the circumstances behind the disbanding, but given the creative track of the members of Atavismo, the fact that Viaje a 800 were flirting with doing shows again, on and on, there will be more music. I’m bummed I didn’t see them play, but I’m awfully glad they played, and I’ll maybe always feel a bit like they called it quits too soon ahead of what would surely have been a joy of a third album. So it goes.

Their announcement, translated from the original Spanish, follows here. It appeared on social media:


It’s often said that a withdrawal time is a win.. And that’s how we all feel about making this decision.

No one knows what the future will hold for us, but since the only thing we live is the present, we went down here… We’ve decided to park Atavismo indefinitely…

We are still family but we need to be accountable to ourselves and our personal well being.

Thank you so much for being a part of our world, and for your support, as we always say, this would not be possible without you.

A big hug to all.

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Híbrido Premiere “Lale” From Grados. Minutos. Segundos.

Posted in audiObelisk on April 18th, 2022 by JJ Koczan

hibrido lale 1

In June, the final installment of Spinda Records‘ crazy ambitious year-long time-capsule of the Spanish heavy underground, Grados. Minutos. Segundos., will be shipped and the box set in its 12 x 7″ entirety will be released. In 2019, Algeciras-based four-piece Híbrido issued their self-titled debut (review here), and the new single “Lale” unites them with Kabbalah (whose “Dead Eyes” premiered here) on split number 11 of the total 12, so it’s not quite all the way at the end, but pretty close to it.

As this is probably the final of the several track premieres I’ve been lucky enough to host for the Grados. Minutos. Segundos. project, I’ll note one more time how remarkably admirable I find it. It is a madman’s monument to a scene as a muse — the madman in question being Berto Caceres Caracuel, the head of Spinda Records — and a gorgeous work of art to behold, and that’s before you get to any of the music. As a snapshot of Spain’s underground, it is indispensable at this moment, and as the serieshibridowinds down and this sure-feels-like-a-once-in-a-lifetime event cruises toward its conclusion, I can think of few bands better than Híbrido to feature here.

Why? Well, the band are something of a regional superpower, with bassist Jose “Pot” Moreno and guitarist Jose Angel “Oceano” Galindo having laid the foundation for an not-insubstantial amount of present-day Spanish heavy in Viaje a 800 before Moreno went on to found Atavismo with Mind! drummer Sandri Pow, who rounds out the lineup here with Los Bradlys guitarist Zoa Rubio. True to their moniker, as Híbrido they represent a sonic conglomeration drawing from multiple sides of their collective experience in heavy rock, psychedelia and prog, the two guitars allowing for a lush and warm tonality to go along with their solid rhythmic underpinnings.

On “Lale,” the vibe is serene and dug in. That warmth is there, and though instrumental, the track is memorable enough to make an impression in a way that’s not so much otherworldly as what you wish this world was like on any given day. Aspirational, maybe, as regards humanity, or that could be reading too much into it. Either way, at just under six minutes, it’s pushing the limits of the format and your consciousness at the same time and there’s little more appropriate than that to showcase Híbrido and the folk and rock aesthetic traditions they’re helping uphold and redefine.

Enjoy “Lale” here, followed by more from the PR wire:

This track is part of a 7″ split vinyl record shared with Spanish occult rock band Kabbalah, both featured in compilation boxset ‘Grados. Minutos. Segundos.’

‘Grados. Minutos. Segundos.’ is a no-return trip around the four cardinal points of the deepest underground music scenes in Spain. Thanks to a boxset full of previously unreleased tracks of 24 indie Spanish bands you’ll have the chance to understand how’s the sound of this new generation of independent musicians. You don’t want to be told about it, you want to be part of it.

‘Grados. Minutos. Segundos.’ will be made of 12x 7″ vinyl records (to be released in 4 batches from June 2021 to May 2022), being each of them shared by 2 bands with apparently no connection at all.


Split #1: MOURA – “Muiñeira da Maruxaina” // ROSY FINCH – “Black Lodge”
Split #2: ADRIFT – “Abracadabra” + “Lush Lands” // MONDO INFIEL – “Estigmas”
Split #3: PARTÍCULA – “La Fosa” // MEDICINA – “Vilo”
Split #4: HABITAR LA MAR – “Enrea” + “Ruina” // ACID MESS – “Algo grita”
Split #5: CRÓ! – “Buah” // THE DRY MOUTHS – “More Oo No Fluid”
Split #6: SATURNA – “Volver a empezar” // LAVERGE – “Y.D.H.A.S.”
Split #7: ATAVISMO – “Psicopatías del 2021” // MÍA TURBIA – “Centro de gravedad”
Split #8: SANTO ROSTRO – “Annual” // CEMËNTERI – “El verano más corto” + “El ritmo frenético”
Split #9: THE SOULBREAKER COMPANY – “Kill the Devil (with his dick)” // DOMO – “Aldorassa”
Split #10: BATTOSAI – “Auténtico” + “Entiéndeme” // PYRAMIDAL – “Cosmic Sound”
Split #11: HÍBRIDO – “Lale” // KABBALAH – “Dead Eyes”
Split #12: ARENNA – “Οιδίπους 70º30´S (cuidaos del enigma)” // HERE THE CAPTAIN SPEAKING, THE CAPTAIN IS DEAD – “Asymmetric Sequence”

Various Artists, Grados. Minutos. Segundos. (2022)

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Atavismo Premiere “Psicopatías del 2021” from Grados. Minutos. Segundos. Compilation

Posted in audiObelisk on December 7th, 2021 by JJ Koczan


The third shipment of vinyl records from Spinda Records‘ massively ambitious seven-inch box set compilation series Grados. Minutos. Segundos. has gone out, and to celebrate, the Spanish imprint overseeing the project bringing together 24 acts from Spain’s native heavy underground is premiering the inclusion from one of the country’s forerunning psych-prog acts: Atavismo. “Psicopatías del 2021” is a reworking of a song by Mind! — in which Atavismo‘s Pow and Pot and Matt played — called “Cucumbers From Mars.” The original track appeared on Mind!‘s 2013 prog opus Stunde Null (review here), and though the Atavismo take is shorter — it would have to be to fit on a 7″ record — the result is no less spacious and the smooth fluidity of the tones, groove and production are definitively Atavismo‘s own. Considering it’s some of the same players, it’s interesting how much it sounds like a different band.

If you haven’t been following Spinda‘s Grados. Minutos. Segundos. series — hey, it happens; everybody’s busy — it is a work of singular passion and regional pride. atavismo cucumbers from marsA total of 12 two-sided 7″s are being included, shipped out in installments of three singles, each one shared by two bands, which adds up to 24 different acts included in a limited one-time pressing and digital release. The art is beautiful and distinct, and the sense of curation that’s overarching for the whole affair is not to be taken lightly. Even amid an always crowded field of releases, it is something special.

As dug in as it is, it’s not going to be for everybody. I know that. But it’s important work, not just for highlighting acts from the Spanish heavy underground — though definitely for that too — but for the dedication to form. Plus it’s got new Atavismo, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s plenty to get me on board with just about anything. The band’s most recent outing, 2018’s Valdeinfierno (review here), is certainly due for a follow-up, and my understanding is that such a thing is in the works even as they unveil this new single. Nice to imagine another record from them coming sometime next year, though of course that’s wishful thinking on my part and I have no confirmation.

For now, I’m happy to host this premiere, and to continue to offer reminders about Grados. Minutos. Segundos. for as long as the series goes.


Note: this single is part of compilation boxset ‘Grados. Minutos. Segundos.’ (2021, Spinda Records); available at

After the first 12 stops, this trip around the indie music scene called ‘Grados. Minutos. Segundos.’ continues now with 6 new bands: Atavismo, Mía Turbia, Santo Rostro, Cemënteri, the Soulbreaker Company and Domo.

Grados. Minutos. Segundos.’ will be made of 12x 7″ vinyl records (to be released in 4 batches from June 2021 to March 2022), being each of them shared by 2 bands with apparently no connection at all.

But in this limited-edition boxset you won’t only find bands coming from Spinda Records roster as it is also open to others in order to get a solid project for the fans to enjoy. From the psychedelia of Acid Mess, Atavismo, Arenna or The Soulbreaker Company to the heavier sounds of Rosy Finch, Adrift, Domo or Santo Rostro; without forgetting the alternative rock of Medicina, Habitar La Mar, The Dry Mouths and Laverge; the hard rock of Partícula, Saturna or Kabbalah; the progressive rock of Moura, Pyramidal, Híbrido or Cró!; as well as new bands such us Cemënteri, Here The Captain Speaking The Captain Band, Battosai, Mía Turbia or Mondo Infiel. Fitting 24 bands in the same project can be tricky, and it is; but Spinda Records are here to have fun… Spinda Records is here for “fiesta”.

The project is limited to 240 hand-numbered boxsets, designed by The Braves Church and including 12x 7″ vinyl records, booklet, download code and stickers, as well as a tee-shirt and tote bag on its deluxe and freak editions. There won’t be reissues, so when they’re gone, they’re gone!

Mind!, “Cucumbers From Mars”

Various Artists, Grados. Minutos. Segundos. (2021)

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Friday Full-Length: Atavismo, Desintegración

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 12th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Not that you would need an excuse, mind you, but Atavismo were recently confirmed as taking part in next May’s Kristonfest in Madrid (info here) and next month I’ll be hosting a premiere for a new single they’re releasing as part of Spinda Records‘ mind-boggling Grados. Minutos. Segundos. compilation box set, so I guess the band have been on my brain in the way a band might be when you see there name a bunch of times in a row.

Andalusian heavy rockers Viaje a 800 released their final album, Coñac Oxigenado (review here), through Alone Records in 2012, and two years later, founding member Jose “Poti” Moreno resurfaced on guitar, vocals, mellotron, farfisa and theremin alongside drummer/backing vocalist Sandra Pow (Mind!), also mellotron/farfisa, and bassist/backing vocalist Mateo in Atavismo with the 2014 album Desintegración (review here), the four songs of which saw immediate release through Odio Sonoro on CD with an LP out in 2015 on Temple of Torturous. The link between Viaje a 800 and Atavismo via Moreno isn’t really crucial to know in terms of appreciating the later act’s work, but it’s helpful to note that their pedigree includes one of Spain’s most essential heavy bands, and to understand the shift in direction that Atavismo brought about. Because although Moreno‘s former outfit certainly had their psychedelic and progressive moments, the reshuffling of sonic priorities was plain to hear throughout Desintegración and was an immediately distinguishing factor — from members’ past work as well as the universe at large.

Though representative of some of the organic and folkish underpinnings that pervade the sound, the Antonio Ramirez cover art does precious little to convey just how bright and colorful Desintegración‘s four songs actually are, whether it’s the buildup across the 11 minutes of opener “Blazava,” or the melodic burst around the five-minute mark into “Oceánica” (8:17). Between those two, “Kraken” taps into a deceptively lush take on ’60s-era psychedelia, finding room in a mix led by acoustic and electric guitars to include any number of swirls and effects to fill out its own created space, and bookending as the finale, the 10-minute “Meeh” highlights a meditative procession marked out by the drums and the bass as the guitar drifts in and out around a memorable figure, culminating in a masterfully crafted wash that’s heavy and gorgeous and patient in kind.

All told, Desintegración runs a rather unassuming 37 minutes, but in that time each song offers something of its own while maintaining the overarching flow of the entirety. “Blazava” — and this will probably like hyperbole until you actually listen to the thing — comes across less like a standalone piece than an intro for Atavismo‘s entire career. At 11:24, it’s the longest track on the album, and where “Oceánica” and “Meeh” demonstrate the extent to which vocals are a strength of the bandatavismo Desintegración in arrangement as well as performance, the leadoff is entirely instrumental. And it works more or less on a single linear build, starting out with fading-in effects across its first minute-plus and gradually taking shape like the band just happened to wander in the room one at a time and pick up their instruments and do this.

That’s a simplification, of course. The movement of “Blazava” is more dynamic and its layers of guitar are more thoughtfully constructed as the song weaves through one apex en route to its final crescendo — but the vibe is so natural that it’s almost too easy to be subsumed. Hypnotic, but through more than just repetition. “Kraken,” to compare, is markedly straightforward. After the last crashes and thuds and residual swirls of “Blazava” twist into the second track, the electric, multi-layered strum of “Kraken” feels up front. Mellotron and other elements join and the album’s first verse begins with nearly a third of its runtime already past. Doesn’t even matter. The truth is that by the time the vocals come around, you’re already with the drift or you’re not. And you should be, lest you miss out on the not-quite-subtle-but-not-overblown push later in the track; the fuzzy bass almost tapping a Beatles “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” feel while the guitar and drums do jazzy laps until finally coming together around a redux of the central riff. It’s relatively short at 6:45, but no less of a journey, and clearly that’s the intention.

I’m not inclined to pick favorites, but the out-wandering-in-the-sun breadth of “Oceánica” is beautiful, with at least Moreno and Pow on vocals over quiet guitar, bass and effects, and the payoff that the song provides is singular. “Blazava” has its back and forth, and “Kraken” and “Meeh” both hit peaks as well, but what happens 4:56 into “Oceánica” is striking in a way of its own. It’s more diving-in-headfirst than crashing-wave, if you want to keep it to watery analogies, but in any case, it is cool and refreshing and it well earns the comedown that eventually follows. In most circumstances, such a thing would turn “Meeh” into an automatic epilogue, but the 10:32 finale works its own magic, distinct in mood from the prior track and anything before it on Desintegración while still lush in melody, languid in groove and reliable in its ultra-organic build. The trio end with a crash and a cymbal wash and a thud, as they might bring down a live set, and in accordance with that mentality, they leave their audience wanting more.

2017’s Inerte (review here) and 2018’s Valdeinfierno EP (review here), as well as other odds and ends and tours, carried the band forward in sound and style, pushing deeper into prog as they went. In 2018, Viaje a 800 made an appearance at SonicBlast Moledo in Portugal and followed that with a slot at Spinda Fest the next year, but Atavismo are active, as noted above, and in early 2020 they noted work underway on their next full-length. Whatever their plans were in that regard were no doubt changed by events beyond their control, but I’ve been more hopeful about less likely stuff than the band putting something out in 2022, so if you don’t mind I’ll keep that pleasant thought in my head for a while until such a thing either does or doesn’t happen.

But this one, in the meantime, was only a joy to revisit. I hope you feel the same.

Thanks for reading.

Kind of a chaotic week on my end. A lot of posts. Seven on Wednesday alone. I’d been averaging four for the last however long, but with the glut of returns on my last requests for Questionnaires, touring starting up again, and fest announcements like Desertfest New York today, it’s been a push to keep up even to the minimal extent that I have. I’ve already got a bunch of stuff slated for Monday as well, including an Iah review, which I’d wanted to do this week and had to push back because Tuesday was a wreck already.

Blah blah blah.

The Patient Mrs. is at a conference until Sunday, which is the primary reason I’m not going to Doom & Brews III in Connecticut tonight and tomorrow. I’m thrice vaccinated. I’d wear a mask. These are friends. So it goes. When I signed on to be a full-time parent, that’s the kind of tradeoff I was making, I guess. People have to miss shit for work all the time. Why should I be any different?

The Pecan has been alright though, just him and me. The last few weeks he’s been bucking hard, pushing boundaries, pressing buttons, mad. He straight up threw a punch at me the other day. Not one of his leg-flail kicks or a bite or a pinch, like he wound up and punched. Over some bullshit like putting on socks. I don’t even remember. I was like, “for this, you punch me?”

I went off the other night on him, said we could be the best friends in the world, but he doesn’t listen. He goes, “Like Frog and Toad?” I said, “Yeah man, we could be like Frog and Toad, hanging out, having a good time.” He had had a fit that morning over going to school or something and pinched and hit and tried to bite, and he just loses it. I held him off and then later in the day when he was doing it again, I yelled and held him down and we both just wound up on the kitchen floor trying to take deep breaths and calm down. I said I’d work on being more patient and he agreed to work on listening. Nothing of course is permanent that regard, for either of us most likely, but yesterday was comparatively pleasant. We went to a park in the afternoon, played in some leaves.

He’s at school now and it’s raining. Today’s The Patient Mrs.’ payday (I bought a Sasquatch shirt) and we need house stuff, so we’ll spend most of the afternoon running errands. Wegmans first, then back home to drop off groceries, then Costco for ALL THE PAPER TOWELS IN THE WORLD, then maybe hit Target for a return, then a sneaky loop around to Dick’s Sporting Goods to see if they have any wrist weights that might fit me (I’ve been wearing ankle ones all day while doing stuff around the house; calved of steel), then, if they didn’t have one at Costco, a new Burr grinder from Bed, Bath and Beyond, as my coffee grinder’s fritzing seems to be terminal.

It’s a busy afternoon. I’ll bring peanut butter crackers and the fruit pouches he likes in the car, maybe a bar of some sort. Then home for dinner, the usual round of pre-bedtime tv and brush teeth ritual, maybe go see The Patient Mrs.’ sister and mom in Connecticut tomorrow, let him run around someone else’s house for a while since it’s supposed to rain again. We’ll see.

He doesn’t know the Connecticut part yet. If you say it out loud, it needs to happen and I’m not sure yet on the plan. Right now it’s pouring so hard that I don’t want to go three minutes to the grocery store let alone two hours to New England. Plus I’d feel kind of sad being that close to Doom & Brews and still unable to attend. Again, we’ll see. There are arguments for and against.

Whatever you’re up to, I hope you have a great and safe weekend. I’ll be writing Monday stuff and trying to get a jump on the week, so if you need me shoot a message or an email or whatever and I’ll do my best to get back.

Have fun, watch your head, hydrate, enjoy Fall if it’s Fall where you are. This is my favorite season.

Thanks for reading.


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Viaje a 800 Reissuing Santa Águeda for 20th Anniversary

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 12th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

At the time of this posting, there are five (5) copies left of Viaje a 800‘s Santa Águeda available on tap through Spinda Records, and as I watch and listen through to the video for the 11-minute closing track “Al-Yazhira,” I have to think they’ll be gone in no time flat. The desert tones are raw and gorgeous in the guitar and yet there’s an airy effects layer as well that serves as foreshadow for some of the more progressive and psychedelic elements the band would bring to their sound later on. After reissuing their first two records through Spinda, putting out a live album and now this demo — the tape limited to just 50 copies worldwide — I have to wonder if maybe the Algeciras-based troupe might be headed toward the inevitability of a new full-length. I know José “Pot” Moreno is plenty busy with other projects, and Algeciras isn’t exactly short on related bands at this point, but there’s an awful lot going on the last couple years with Viaje a 800 in terms of playing shows and putting out releases for a band who are, you know, not really a band anymore.

If you’re lucky enough to grab one of these tapes, congratulations. You will have beat me to it, thereby giving you bragging rights into perpetuity.

Don’t forget Viaje a 800 also play Spinda RecordsSpinda Fest this month. Info on that is here.

From the PR wire:

Santa Águeda viaje a 800

New from Viaje a 800: Santa Águeda, Limited Edition Cassette

A bit earlier than expected… We’ve just started pre-sale for Viaje a 800’s demo tape ‘Santa Águeda’. Ah, and there are only 50 copies worldwide, so be quick!!!

Recorded at Estudios Pinrrel de Santa Águeda in 1997 and 1998.
Please listen to this as a demo as that is what it is.
Re-issued by Spinda Records to celebrate band’s 20th Anniversary

1. El dios de mi mentira
2. Equivocación
3. Solo
4. Cardio Límite
5. Esfera Violencia
6. Al-Yazhira

Viaje a 800 is:
José Pot Moreno – vocals, bass
Océano Galindo – guitar
David Ruiz – drums
Carlos Navas – bass
Miguel Acuña – guitar

Viaje a 800, “Al-Yazhira” official video

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Spinda Records Announces Spinda Fest with Viaje a 800, Bourbon and Grajo

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 29th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

viaje a 800

Spinda Records will celebrate its second anniversary on Nov. 23 by hosting the inaugural edition of what it has suitably dubbed Spinda Fest. It’s a three-band bill — now that’s the kind of festival I can get behind — with a free warm-up show before that Doctor Sax are playing, and the fest proper will feature Viaje a 800Bourbon and Grajo. In Algeciras, which is in the Andalusian home region of the bands. Fucking cool, right? Viaje a 800 have done just a handful of shows to this point celebrating the reissues of their first two records — which I very much need to review and kind of can’t believe I haven’t yet; enough that I just stopped writing this sentence and went and looked to double-check that I hadn’t, and nope, not there — and this will be the next one, and they’ll be joined for it by two more than companionable outfits of similar heavy psychedelic intent. What I’m saying here is if you can get there, you should. It’ll be cool.

Here’s the info, as run through a major internet company’s translation matrix and tweaked by me to preserve titles and whatnot:

What better way to celebrate the second anniversary of Spinda Records than with a party surrounded by friends?

And what a party! Point:

*** SPINDA FEST 2019 ***

23 NOVEMBER 2019, 20:30 H

FB event:
FREE Warm-up party FB event:

VIAJE A 800 / Heavy Psych: after 2 years of celebrations with the reissues of ‘Estampida de trombones’ and ‘Diablo roto dë …’, and their performances at the Festival Sound Isidro de Madrid and at SonicBlast Moledo (Portugal), those of La Novena had to finish celebrating their 20th Anniversary as a band with a pitch at home, where they did not play since 2012. If you did not have the opportunity to see them on their previous dates of this year, do not miss this one because he finds out when they get back on stage … Madness is coming! Ready to scream?

BOURBON / Psych Hard Rock: after kicking Spain with their most recent work ‘Fuente Vieja’ (among the best albums of 2018 according to many national media), those from Sanlúcar arrive at the Spinda Fest to make us fly with their particular way of understanding the hard rock; full of Andalusian psychedelia and folklore. If you have not seen them live, you do not know what you are missing; and if you’ve seen them, your repeat fixed … what if?

GRAJO / Space Doom Rock: like a true steamroller, that’s how Grajo sounds on stage. If you still had a good ear, you have little left because they are going to burst on the basis of the best doom that is done today in Spain, seasoned with a lot of space rock and Andalusian essence. Crushing rhythms and sidereal journeys, with a simply “unique” voice. A little jewel, come on!

Viaje a 800, Diablo Roto De… (2019 reissue)

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