Black Bombaim & Peter Brötzmann Release Collaborative Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 29th, 2016 by JJ Koczan


I guess that’s one that Black Bombaim can cross off their collective bucket list. The always adventurous Portuguese psychedelic jammers have just released a new collaborative LP with free jazz saxophonist Peter Brötzmann, whose experimental deeds span decades and remain ever forward-thinking. Issued on CD/DL with vinyl due out Nov. 15 via Lovers & Lollypops and Shhpuma, the full-length offering breaks down into four component parts. It was, of course, recorded live and I’d suspect a good deal if not all of it came together on the spot, but what must have been a challenging record to mix results in a fluid combination of can-go-anywhere horn and guitar wash atop a rock solid rhythmic foundation in bass and drums.

There are a couple moments when Brötzmann — whose catalog boasts more than 100 albums and collaborations going back to 1967 — even takes a back seat to let Black Bombaim carry the groove, but at no point is either party phoning in their weirdness. They mean it through and through, on all sides, and present a vision of psychedelic fusion that’s rarely heard even amongst the bravest of jams.

It’s streaming in full now courtesy of Lovers & Lollypops, and you can hear it under the release info below if you’re up for a trip:


Black Bombaim & Peter Brötzmann

This is not a secret anymore: we recorded a full-length with Peter Brötzmann earlier this year. The record is eponymous and was released via Lovers & Lollypops and Shhpuma.

1. Part I 13:04
2. Part II 08:41
3. Part III 11:32
4. Part IV 07:07

Recorded live at Estúdios Sá da Bandeira by João Brandão and José Arantes. Mixed by José Arantes at B-House Studios. Mastered by Chris Hardman. Produced by Black Bombaim & Peter Brötzmann. Executive production by Travassos (Shhpuma) and Joaquim Durães (Lovers & Lollypops). Design by Sérgio Couto. Special thanks to Pedro Costa.

Black Bombaim & Peter Brötzmann, Black Bombaim & Peter Brötzmann (2016)

Tags: , , , , ,

Aspen, Winds of Revenge: Debts Paid to Lilith

Posted in Reviews on February 29th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Wrapped in a gorgeously-designed cardboard sleeve, Winds of Revenge, the debut outing from Portuguese instru-metallers Aspen is deceptively complex. There are moments of Melvins or High on Fire worship, but there’s a considerable doom lurch that’s balanced off of, and a bit of noise angularity as well. At five songs/28 minutes, it’s well within the EP realm, but there’s a flow between these tracks that could be read as that of a full-length. They’re on the border, either way, and that seems to suit the trio, who likewise skirt the line between stoner and heavier metals, the guitar of Tiago Pereira having more crunch than fuzz and a tendency toward the intense. He and drummer Cristiano Veloso founded Aspen in 2009 and bassist Vitor Oliveira joined ahead of Winds of Revenge’s late-2011 release on Lovers and Lollypops. The tracks they present sound natural, if formative, and their presentation has clearly been thought through – opener “Arashi” is a two-plus-minute introduction that sets up the low-movement doom to come in the EP’s last two tracks, while “Autopsy Headcrush” and “Winds of Revenge,” which follow, are shorter, paced quicker and significantly less centered on ambience. What that shows is that although Aspen have the capability to bruise, they’re not always going to do it. As a result, the cymbal washes and ringing notes of “Arashi” are all the more effective for how it leads into the pummel of “Autopsy Headcrush.”

It would earn points for its title alone, but “Autopsy Headcrush” also works well within the sphere of twisting modern heaviness. The central riff from Pereira’s guitar is winding and complex, but Veloso’s crash cymbal provides an overarching groove even as his snare beats a seemingly insatiable momentum going into the title-track. Vocals aren’t necessarily missing, but they’d fit easily enough over “Winds of Revenge” – a Matt Pike snarl perhaps, or something more shouted – which is decidedly more metal but ultimately doesn’t accomplish either the kick in the ass of “Autopsy Headcrush” or the sonic breadth of “Like Crows, They Drop,” which at 9:26 is the longest cut on Winds of Revenge and longer than the first three tracks put together. Veloso’s drums start out in war-march fashion on the toms, and Pereira soon follows on the guitar and Oliveira fills out on bass, leading to start-stop chugging – the bass drum is especially full and natural – that acts as a set up for a modified version of the bridge to Sleep’s “Dragonaut,” eventually cycling through again before moving onto more complex territory, and, by the time the song is three and a half minutes in, a more shuffling groove that’s still more aligned to stoner metal than the noise rock of “Autopsy Headcrush” or “Winds of Revenge.” The Sleep riff returns at around 4:30 and acts as a transition to more chugging that ultimately gives way to a huge slowdown and the EP’s darkest stretch, with underlying feedback providing a bed for sparse droning guitar and a slow-developing doom lurch.

Read more »

Tags: , , ,

Black Bombaim Take the Weekend Trip

Posted in Reviews on September 29th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Comprised of two massive psychedelic jams, Black Bombaim’s first full-length, Saturdays and Space Travels (Lovers & Lollypops), follows up a demo and an EP in startling fashion. The Barcelo, Portugal, trio display a surprising amount of chemistry for a band who’s only been together a couple years, which says to me that these dudes jam out — a lot. You don’t play this well together without practice, and though I’ve heard neither their 2007 demo nor the subsequent Black Bombaim CDR EP, I wouldn’t be surprised if you could trace the growth of the band as players across those releases, eventually arriving as they have at Saturdays and Space Travels, which meanders with such light feet that you have no choice really but to follow where it takes you.

When thinking of instrumental psych bands specializing in extended jams, acts like Earthless and Tia Carrera come to mind. Black Bombaim are less improvisational than the latter, and where the former seem hell-bent on capturing the specific aesthetic of the jams on ‘70s live albums from the likes of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, Black Bombaim don’t follow as specific a course. Guitarist Ricardo leads the way for most of the time, either by soloing as on Side-B of this vinyl (you could call it “Space Travels” if you want, but the file I got was just named Side-B) or igniting plumes of stone-worthy riffage on Side-A (ostensibly “Saturdays”). It’s a little disingenuous to call the guitars “leading” though, because bassist Tojo and drummer Senra are more than worthy collaborators. Perhaps even more than Ricardo’s blazing leads, it’s their foundation that gives these two 19:47 tracks — yes, they’re both the same length — their overarching groove.

Read more »

Tags: , , ,