Days of Rona: Bo Sejer of Vestjysk Ørken & Esbjerg Fuzztival

Posted in Features on April 2nd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

Thanks to all who participate. — JJ Koczan

bo sejer vestjysk orken esbjerg fuzztival

Days of Rona: Bo Sejer of Vestjysk Ørken & Esbjerg Fuzztival (Esbjerg, Denmark)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

Luckily we only had a few live shows planned in March and April domestically in Denmark. Still, even a few shows cancelled meant a few boxes of freshly made merch we were not able to sell after live shows. Compared to other bands we’re talking to, we got off easy in that regard. We just announced a new album, though, and in that respect it could not come at a worse time: We’ll not be able to ride the new album wave for long and book new gigs as a current band.

This is only made worse since most venues are now busy re-booking bigger bands and acts for the Fall that should’ve played in the spring, meaning less potential dates for smaller bands like ourselves. Even worse though is that we can’t jam or rehearse, as we do not live in the same city. This last part is the most frustrating, I think. There’s little worse than being a band that can’t get together to create.

As a promoter for Fuzztival in Esbjerg, Denmark, we’ve been working overtime for weeks now. It took less than a week before the first band had to cancel after the crisis got really bad in Italy and the restrictions started happening all over Europe. After that we had somewhat of a snowball effect that resulted in some tough decisions. It’s not cheap to relocate a festival you have been working on for the better part of a year, and it’s not easy. But we felt it had to be done, and luckily we have been met with cooperation and understanding from all parts.

I don’t think anyone got much sleep the first two weeks, but once the decision was made to postpone the festival and we made the necessary arrangements to do so, I think we could all take a deep breath and reflect a bit on the situation. We have to make a lot of changes all over in the coming months, but I’m still positive we’ll have one hell of a party come August. People will be starved for fuzzy music, especially after both Desertfests and Roadburn had to cancel. While things can still be affected well into the summer, I think we all feel that something has to happen in August,or we’ll simply loose our minds!

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Right now the borders are completely closed, all airports are closed down, and all travel restricted. All gatherings, inside or outside, of more than 10 people are forbidden (this means parks, beaches, whatever). All restaurants, cafes, bars, venues, theatres, whatever are closed. Everyone working in the public sector have been sent home, except healthcare workers, and everyone else have been asked to work from home, if they are able.

These are so far in effect until after Easter, but I think most people are expecting it to be extended at least two more weeks after that. Most likely we’ll see a gradual return to normalcy, maybe the oldest schoolchildren and students returning for the summer exams, and smaller establishments reopening sometime in April. Unlikely that we’ll be having any live music this side of the summer holidays, though.

How have you seen the virus affecting the community around you and in music?

Luckily, I don’t know anyone personally who contracted the virus, and I hope to keep it that way. People are taking this thing seriously, staying home. Sadly we’ve already seen several venues, smaller booking companies, promoters, and more going out of business, and several others struggling. I’m afraid this in turn mean that niche music like stoner/doom/heavy-psych is going to have an even harder time this year.

Already we’re seeing venues being booked solid this Fall with no room for touring bands in this genre, and I’m afraid it’ll continue into 2021 as well. This crisis will probably be the biggest blow a lot of bands will ever get to experience, and I fear for the consequences. Luckily, a lot of artists tend to bloom in their darkest hours, so what we’ll miss out on in live music, we might get to enjoy from upcoming releases. That’s a silver lining if any.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything?

It’s crucial to stand together right now and support artists struggling to keep head above water. We’re not one of them, at least not financially, but we are represented by a one-man record company, and I know it’s not easy on his part either with the added shipping time all over. I think a great way to support these small businesses is buying records directly, if you can.

Our festival will survive this, as will most, but this is also a time to make sure you support your favourite festivals and venues. Keep your tickets, don’t return them, if you in any way can afford to do so. And make sure you get out, party, and listen to live music, as soon as you can wherever you are. This is a time to take chances on new music, and support artists you don’t necessarily already know. Let’s show the scene all the support we can – make sure even the smallest and most unknown of bands attract full venues later this year. That would really be something.

https://www.facebook.com/VestjyskOrken/
https://www.instagram.com/vestjysk_orken/
https://vestjyskorken.bandcamp.com/
https://interstellarsmokerecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/esbjergfuzztival/
https://www.fuzztival.com/

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Quarterly Review: Ocean Chief, Barnabus, Helen Money, Elder Druid, Mindcrawler, Temple of Void, Lunar Swamp, Huge Molasses Tank Explodes, Emile, Saturno Grooves

Posted in Reviews on March 27th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

I’m not saying I backloaded the Quarterly Review or anything — because I didn’t — but maybe subconsciously I wanted to throw in a few releases here I had a pretty good idea I was gonna dig beforehand. Pretty much all of them, as it turned out. Not a thing I regret happening, though, again, neither was it something I did purposefully. Anyone see A Serious Man? In this instance, I’m happy to “accept the mystery” and move on.

Before we dive into the last day, of course I want to say thank you for reading if you have been. If you’ve followed along all week or this is the only post you’ve seen or you’re just here because I tagged your band in the post on Thee Facebooks, whatever it is, it is appreciated. Thank you. Especially given the global pandemic, your time and attention is highly valued.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Ocean Chief, Den Tredje Dagen

ocean chief den tredje dagen

The first Ocean Chief record in six years is nothing if not weighted enough to make up for anything like lost time. Also the long-running Swedish outfit’s debut on Argonauta Records, Den Tredje Dagen on CD/DL runs five songs and 59 minutes, and though it’s not without a sense of melody either instrumentally or vocally — certainly its guitars have plenty enough to evoke a sense of mournfulness at least — its primary impact still stems from the sheer heft of its tonality, and its tracks are of the sort that a given reviewer might be tempted to call “slabs.” They land accordingly, the longest of them positioned as the centerpiece “Dömd” seething with slower-Celtic Frost anxiety and the utter nastiness of its intent spread across 15-plus minutes of let-me-just-go-ahead-and-crush-that-for-you where “that” is everything and “no” isn’t taken for an answer. There’s respite in closer “Den Sista Resan” and the CD-bonus “Dimension 5,” but even these maintain an atmospheric severity consistent with what precedes them. One way or another, it is all fucking destroyed.

Ocean Chief on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records store

 

Barnabus, Beginning to Unwind

barnabus beginning to unwind

Come ye historians and classic heavy rockers. Come, reap what Rise Above Relics has sown. Though it’s hard sometimes not to think of the Rise Above Records imprint as label-honcho Lee Dorrian (ex-Cathedral, current With the Dead) picking out highlights from his own record collection — which is the stuff of legend — neither is that in any way a problem. Barnabus, who hailed and apparently on occasion still hail from the West Midlands in the UK, issued the Beginning to Unwind in 1972 as part of an original run that ended the next year. So it goes. Past its 10-minute jammy opener/longest track (immediate points) “America,” the new issue of Beginning to Unwind includes the LP, demos, live tracks, and no doubt assorted other odds and ends as well from Barnabus‘ brief time together. Songs like “The War Drags On” and “Resolute” are the stuff of ’70s-riff daydreams, while “Don’t Cry for Me My Lady” digs into proto-prog without losing its psych-folk inflection. I’m told the CD comes with a 44-page booklet, which only furthers the true archival standard of the release.

Barnabus on Thee Facebooks

Rise Above Relics store

 

Helen Money, Atomic

helen money atomic

To those for whom Helen Money is a familiar entity, the arrival of a new full-length release will no doubt only be greeted with joy. The ongoing project of experimental cellist Alison Chesley, though the work itself — issued through Thrill Jockey as a welcome follow-up to 2016’s Become Zero (review here) — is hardly joyful. Coping with the universality of grief and notions of grieving-together with family, Chesley brings forth minimalism and electronics-inclusive stylstic reach in kind across the pulsating “Nemesis,” the periodic distortion of her core instrument jarring when it hits. She takes on a harp for “Coppe” and the effect is cinematic in a way that seems to find answer on the later “One Year One Ring,” after which follows the has-drums “Marrow,” but wherever Chesley goes on Atomic‘s 47 minutes, the overlay of mourning is never far off.

Helen Money on Thee Facebooks

Thrill Jockey Records store

 

Elder Druid, Golgotha

elder druid golgotha

Belfast dual-guitar sludge five-piece Elder Druid return with seven tracks/39 minutes of ready punishment on their second album, Golgotha, answering the anger of 2017’s Carmina Satanae with densely-packed tones and grooves topped with near-universal harsh vocals (closer “Archmage” is the exception). What they’re playing doesn’t require an overdose of invention, with their focus is so much on hammering their riffs home, and certainly the interwoven leads of the title-track present some vision of intricacy for those who might demand it while also being punched in the face, and the transitional “Sentinel,” which follows,” brings some more doomly vibes ahead of “Vincere Vel Mori,” which revives the nod, “Dreadnought” has keys as well as a drum solo, and the penultimate “Paegan Dawn of Anubis” brings in an arrangement of backing vocals, so neither are they void of variety. At the feedback-soaked end of “Archmage,” Golgotha comes across genuine in its aggression and more sure of their approach than they were even just a couple years ago.

Elder Druid on Thee Facebooks

Elder Druid on Bandcamp

 

Mindcrawler, Lost Orbiter

mindcrawler lost orbiter

I know the whole world seems like it’s in chaos right now — mostly because it is — but go ahead and quote me on this: a band does not come along in 2020 and put out a record like Lost Orbiter and not get picked up by some label if they choose to be. Among 2020’s most promising debuts, it is progressive without pretense, tonally rich and melodically engaging, marked out by a poise of songcraft that speaks to forward potential whether it’s in the coursing leads of “Drake’s Equation” or the final slowdown/speedup of “Trappist-1” that smoothly shifts into the sample at the start of closer “Dead Space.” Mindcrawler‘s first album — self-recorded, no less — is modern cosmic-heavy brought to bear in a way that strikes such a balance between the grounded and the psychedelic that it should not be ignored, even in the massively crowded international underground from which they’re emerging. And the key point there is they are emerging, and that as thoughtfully composed as the six tracks/29 minutes of Lost Orbiter are, they only represent the beginning stages of what Mindcrawler might accomplish. If there is justice left, someone will release it on vinyl.

Mindcrawler on Thee Facebook

Mindcrawler on Bandcamp

 

Temple of Void, The World That Was

Temple of Void The World that Was

Michigan doom-death five-piece Temple of Void have pushed steadily toward the latter end of that equation over their now-three full-lengths, and though The World That Was (their second offering through Shadow Kingdom) is still prone to its slower tempos and is includes the classical-guitar interlude “A Single Obulus,” that stands right before “Leave the Light Behind,” which is most certainly death metal. Not arguing with it, as to do so would surely only invite punishment. The extremity only adds to the character of Temple of Void‘s work overall, and as “Casket of Shame” seems to be at war with itself, so too is it seemingly at war with whatever manner of flesh its working so diligently to separate from the bone. Across a still-brief 37 minutes, The World That Was — which caps with its most-excellently-decayed nine-minute title-track — harnesses and realizes this grim vision, and Temple of Void declare in no uncertain terms that no matter how they might choose to tip the scale on the balance of their sound, they are its master.

Temple of Void on Thee Facebooks

Shadow Kingdom Records store

 

Lunar Swamp, Shamanic Owl

Lunar Swamp Shamanic Owl

Lunar Swamp have spawned as a blusier-directed offshoot of Italian doomers Bretus of which vocalist Mark Wolf, guitarist/bassist Machen and drummer S.M. Ghoul are members, and sure enough, their debut single “Shamanic Owl,” fosters this approach. As the band aren’t strangers to each other, it isn’t such a surprise that they’d be able to decide on a sound and make it happen their first time out but the seven-minute roller — also the leadoff their first EP, UnderMudBlues, which is due on CD in June — also finds time to work in a nod to the central riff of Sleep‘s “Dragonaut” along with its pointed worship of Black Sabbath, so neither do they seems strictly adherent to a blues foundation, despite the slide guitar that works its way in at the finish. How the rest of the EP might play out need not be a mystery — it’s out digitally now — but as far as an introduction goes, “Shamanic Owl” will find welcome among those seeking comfort in the genre-familiar.

Lunar Swamp on Thee Facebooks

Lunar Swamp on Bandcamp

 

Huge Molasses Tank Explodes, II

Huge Molasses Tank Explodes II

The nine-track/42-minute second LP, II, from Milano post-this-or-that five-piece Huge Molasses Tank Explodes certainly finds the band earning bonus points based on their moniker alone, but more than that, it is a work of reach and intricacy alike, finding the moment where New Wave emerged from out of krautrock’s fascination with synthesizer music and bring to that a psychedelic shimmer that is too vintage-feeling to be anything other than modern. It is laid back enough in its overarching affect that “The Run” feels dreamy, most especially in its guitar lines, but never is it entirely at rest, and both the centerpiece “No One” and the later “So Much to Lose” help continue the momentum that “The Run” manages so fluidly to build in a manner one might liken to space rock were the implication of strict adherence to stylistic guidelines so implicit in that categorization. They present this nuance with a natural-seeming sense of craft and in “High or Low,” a fuzzy tone that feels like only a welcome windfall. Those who can get their head around it should seek to do so, and kudos to Huge Molasses Tank Explodes for being more than just a clever name.

Huge Molasses Tank Explodes on Thee Facebooks

Retro Vox Records on Bandcamp

 

Emile, The Black Spider/Det Kollektive Selvmord

Emile The Black Spider Det Kollektive Selvmord

Set to release through Heavy Psych Sounds on the same day as the new album from his main outfit The Sonic Dawn, The Black Spider/Det Kollective Selvmord is the debut solo album from Copenhagen-based singer-songwriter and guitarist Emile Bureau, who has adopted his first name as his moniker of choice. Fair enough for the naturalism and intended intimacy of the 11-track/39-minute outing, which indeed splits itself between portions in English and in Danish, sounding likewise able to bring together sweet melodies in both. Edges of distortion in “Bundlos” and some percussion in the second half’s title-track give a semblance of arrangement to the LP, but at the core is Emile himself, his vocals and guitar, and that’s clearly the purpose behind it. Where The Sonic Dawn often boast a celebratory feel, The Black Spider/Det Kollective Selvmord is almost entirely subdued, and its expressive sensibility comes through regardless of language.

Emile on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds store

 

Saturno Grooves, Cosmic Echoes

saturno grooves cosmic echoes

Sonic restlessness! “Fire Dome” begins with a riffy rush, “Forever Zero” vibes out on low end and classic swing, the title-track feels like an Endless Boogie jam got lost in the solar system, “Celestial Tunnel” is all-thrust until it isn’t at all, “Blind Faith” is an acoustic interlude, and “Dark Matter” is a punk song. Because god damn, of course it is. It is little short of a miracle Saturno Grooves make their second album, Cosmic Echoes as remarkably cohesive as it is, yet through it all they hold fast to class and purpose alike, and from its spacious outset to its bursting finish, there isn’t a minute of Cosmic Echoes that feels like happenstance, even though they’re obviously following one impulse after the next in terms of style. Heavy (mostly) instrumentalism that works actively not to be contained. Out among the echoes, Saturno Grooves might just be finding their own wavelength.

Saturno Groove on Thee Facebooks

LSDR Records store

 

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Esbjerg Fuzztival 2020 Lineup Complete & Pre-Party Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

esbjerg fuzztival 2020 banner

The final two acts announced for Esbjerg Fuzztival 2020 are The Goners, the new Salem’s Pot offshoot, and Captain Caravan. From Sweden and Norway, respectively, they’ll head to Denmark in early May to play the two-day festival, which will also be preceded the day before by a free pre-party, at which Australia’s Khan and Sweden’s Stew will accompany a screening of the heavy rock documentary Such Hawks, Such Hounds, which, somewhat oddly, I’ve never seen, aside from the bonus scene with Wino talking about his pepper garden and knowing that Sleep‘s telling of the story of Dopesmoker in the film essentially helped revive their career. But yeah, never seen it. Go figure. I hear good things.

Speaking of good things, the lineup for Esbjerg Fuzztival 2020 in its full-packed-with-band-itude can be seen on the posters below (click to enlarge and then click to shrink again), and the fest put out word that it’s still a go as of now despite current restrictions on travel and some such. Whether there will be any changes ultimately of course depends on the ongoing pandemic, but what the hell doesn’t at this point.

Here’s what they had to say about all of it:

We are thrilled to announce THE GONERS at Fuzztival ’20!

A new fuzz’n’roll band from Sweden with their debut album out in March on the famous RidingEasy Records, Fuzztival is looking to be the band’s first festival appearance. At least we think so! You will probably recognise the unique vocals from the famous Salem’s Pot as well as the approach to songwriting, and we can’t wait to see this band in action!

The temperature are rising in Norway, and we’re positive it’s largely because of the scorching desert riffs of CAPTAIN CARAVAN!

Signed to Cursed Tongue these desert rockers are sure to satiate your thirst for the riff!

Just when you thought it couldn’t get more badass, we go right ahead and do a free pre-party the day before — just because we think you deserve it! Adding Khan and STEW to play as well as screening ‘Such Hawks Such Hounds’ during the day! We’ll have plenty of our Fuzz IPAs on tab as well as a selection of other beer!

Are you psyched yet?!

We just wanted to reach out once more to assure everyone: Fuzztival is going ahead as scheduled!

While the next 4 weeks are going to suck for so many bands, fests, and events, right now we have nothing that should indicate that Fuzztival would have to be cancelled.

We get why you ask us, and we get why you’re nervous. We are reaching out to say: Please don’t hesitate buying a ticket. While the pandemic is bad enough, not selling tickets would be so much worse for a small DIY fest as ours.

Stay safe & wash your hands. That apply in general as well. /Thomas & Bo

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT www.fuzztival.com

Huset Esbjerg
May 8+9 2020

https://www.facebook.com/events/2277251089027506/
https://www.facebook.com/esbjergfuzztival/
https://www.fuzztival.com/

The Goners, “World of Decay”

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Vestjysk Ørken to Release Full Dark No Stars on May 8

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 24th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

In some ways, Vestjysk Ørken are very much a heavy psych jam band, but within that framework, there’s still a lot of refusal to be defined in their sound. In May, they’ll follow-up 2018’s Cosmic Desert Fuzz (review here) with their second long-player for Interstellar Smoke Records, Full Dark No Stars, and is it instrumental? Not entirely. Is it laced with samples? Not entirely. Is it improv jamming? Not entirely. Is it all of these things? Well, sometimes definitely.

It’s spacious and weighted and exploring psychedelic reaches in its own way, and one gets the sense that the three-piece — who are also the crew behind putting together the Esbjerg Fuzztival, which will be their release party this year — are finding their approach out there in the sonic ether even as they’re having a good time gathering up clips from their favorite movies and, in this case, picking out some of Kurt Russel’s many awesome lines from over the years. No, I don’t think any from Captain Ron made it in, but I could be wrong.

Kind of amazed some studio hasn’t rebooted Captain Ron, frankly. Missed opportunity.

In any case, there’s no music out yet from Full Dark No Stars, but it’s coming next month, as the PR wire informs:

Vestjysk orken Full Dark No Stars

’FULL DARK NO STARS’ sophomore album by Vestjysk Ørken out May 8th 2020

Danish cosmic desert fuzzers Vestjysk Ørken once again sign to Interstellar Smoke Records to release their second album ’Full Dark No Stars’ in May of 2020 on name appropriate black vinyl, limited to 250, just in time for the festival ‘Esbjerg Fuzztival’, which the tree-piece space rockers organize themselves.

Vestjysk Ørken once more take your hand through a grand back catalogue of 60’s and 70’s sci-fi films, dusty desert guitar riffs, smoldering fuzz, funky bass, and earth shattering drums, all mixed with samples, synthesizer drones, and a loose and open relationship with vocals. Once more they take their DIY approach to music and recording to present you with a spacey desert rock opera of epic proportions.

The album follow up on the debut from 2018 (released on vinyl via Interstellar Smoke Records in 2019) with 4 new tracks, clocking in at around 45 minutes total runtime.

First single and pre-order of the album on March 13th 2020!

Full album and vinyl release May 8th 2020.

Vestjysk Ørken live:
14/3 states, aarhus
20/3 races, kbh
21/3 Kansas City, odense

Vestjysk Ørken are:
Søren Middelkoop Nielsen, bass guitar.
Thomas Bonde Sørensen, drums/percussions.
Bo Sejer, guitars & vocals.

https://www.facebook.com/VestjyskOrken/
https://www.instagram.com/vestjysk_orken/
https://vestjyskorken.bandcamp.com/
https://interstellarsmokerecords.bigcartel.com/

Vestjysk Ørken, Cosmic Desert Fuzz (2018)

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Esbjerg Fuzztival 2020 Brings Cegvera to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The two-piece Cegvera, with members based in Mexico and the UK, recently announced the release of The Sixth Glare, their new full-length, as well as tour plans. The band will join Vinnum Sabbathi — with whom they share guitarist Gerardo Arias — in the lineup for Esbjerg Fuzztival 2020 in Denmark this May. Does this mean they’re touring together? Wouldn’t be the first time, but of course nothing’s definite at this point from what I’ve seen and not seen.

With the album announcement — part of which you can see below, talking about the record’s environmental theme — Cegvera also unveiled “Red Swarm Beyond,” a new single that showcases some of the atmosphere and severity of impact throughout the offering as a whole. You can stream that at the bottom of the post here and I’ll hope to have more to come on it before it’s out.

Dig it:

esbjerg fuzztival 2020 Cegvera

Proud to announce the British/Mexican duo Cegvera will grace Fuzztival ’20 with their presence!

Some might recognise one member of Vinnum Sabbathi in this post-doom outfit and remember the split album they made together. Cegvera have a new album out in March, and we can’t wait to doom on with these legends!

Following on from their now sold out split release with Vinnum Sabbathi ‘The Good Earth Is Dying’ in 2018, Cegvera have become a two piece – Gerardo Arias (guitar) and Matt Neicho (drums). The bass duties have been taken on by Gerardo splitting the guitar between guitar and bass amps. A sound that needs to be seen to be believed. ‘The Sixth Glare’ represents the first full-length album that Cegvera has to offer as a duo. Recorded and mixed by Joe Clayton at No Studios (Manchester, UK) and mastered by KB at Testa studio (León, Gto. México).

‘The Sixth Glare’ is a reference to the environmental crisis that we are living through today and the anthropogenic extinction events that are referred by world-renowned scientists as ‘the Sixth Mass Extinction’.

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT www.fuzztival.com

Huset Esbjerg
May 8+9 2020

https://www.facebook.com/events/2277251089027506/
https://www.facebook.com/esbjergfuzztival/
https://www.fuzztival.com/

Cegvera, “Red Swarm Beyond” official video

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Esbjerg Fuzztival 2020: San Diego’s Monarch Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 10th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Good news keeps rolling in from Denmark. Last time out — and by that I mean just last week — it was confirmation that the headliners of Esbjerg Fuzztival 2020 would be no less then countrymen psychedelic masters Causa Sui, and following-up on that, the fest has gone ahead and brought San Diego five-piece Monarch on board to perform. They’re of course on El Paraiso Records, so one can’t help but wonder if they might be doing a few shows around Esbjerg Fuzztival in the company of the aforementioned Causa Sui, who run the label, but one way or the other, they’re keeping excellent company there, as well as with other slated acts like The Whims of the Great MagnetHazemaze, fellow San Diegans Sacri Monti (who share Thomas DiBenedetto in their lineup), Japan’s Dhidalah an others.

Not trying to tell anyone how to live their life or anything, but the vibe here seems like it’s going to be pretty insane for these two days, and the getting’s good.

Monarch‘s latest offering was last year’s Beyond the Blue Sky (review here), which was every bit as sweet as whatever pie you want to put it next to.

Here’s what the fest had to say:

monarch esbjerg fuzztival 2020

Esbjerg Fuzztival 2020 – Monarch

Thrilled to add Monarch to Fuzztival ’20!

In recent years Southern California has proved to be fertile ground for heavy psych, prog and free rock. The amount of excellent bands growing out of the San Diego soil is simply unparalleled. Among the youngest generation of these bands are the five-piece Monarch, a band rooted in psychedelia and experimental prog, with a view towards broader horizons.

There’s something refreshing about Monarch’s take on psychedelic rock: they aren’t afraid to weave allman brothers-esque dual guitar lines with synthesizers and saxophone. They can be heavy, but there’s an unmistakable panoramic quality to their compositions too, reflecting the rich and diverse environment they’ve grown up in, with dazzling pacific coastlines, mountains and desert highways.

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT www.fuzztival.com

Huset Esbjerg
May 8+9 2020

https://www.facebook.com/events/2277251089027506/
https://www.facebook.com/esbjergfuzztival/
https://www.fuzztival.com/

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Esbjerg Fuzztival 2020 Announces Causa Sui to Headline

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Well that’s only appropriate. Causa Sui headlining Esbjerg Fuzztival 2020 in their native Denmark, on a bill that includes the likes of DhidalahSacri MontiVokonisHazemaze and Vinnum Sabbathi, among others? Yeah, that makes sense to me.

Given the recent stirrings in the Causa Sui camp — they’ll be at Sonic Whip in the Netherlands as well in May and Høstsabbat in Norway in October — and the fact that their last proper studio LP was Vibraciones Doradas (review here), which came out in 2017, I’m wondering if we won’t get a new record from them sometime this year. They’ve done a few reissues of late, with re-pressed Summer Sessions stuff and Free Ride (review here), but they’re probably due a new record at some point in 2020, if you believe in “due.” Could be the shows are a way of trying new material in front of a crowd, or could be it’s all already hammered out and ready to record, or could be recorded or could be they haven’t yet jammed out a note. We live in a universe of infinite possibilities, friends. Causa Sui‘s music is nothing if not a reminder of that.

I applied to cover Esbjerg Fuzztival 2020. Wrote a bio for myself — which was awkward in a hilarious, absurdist kind of way — as part of a grant application and everything. I haven’t heard anything about it so I’d assume it’s a no-go, and my travel schedule isn’t hurting at this point, but if it had happened, I know Causa Sui would be high on the list of reasons I’d be excited to make the trip. I put the entire El Paraiso Records playlist for the band at the bottom of this post, just to make your day better.

Enjoy:

esbjerg fuzztival 2020 causa sui

Causa Sui will HEADLINE Fuzztival 2020!

One of the biggest names in free-form jazz influenced instrumental heavy psych in the world will join our small fest! We’re still celebrating the news, and we imagine that you will too! This party will be absolutely legendary – hope to see you there!

Causa Sui consists of Jakob Skøtt, Jonas Munk, Rasmus Rasmussen and Jess Kahr, and have released eight albums since 2005. The trilogy set Summer Sessions that saw the band move away from the heavy-psych of their two first albums to more abstract, instrumental sounds that owes as much to electric Miles Davis or Can as to american stoner-rock.

Causa Sui’s sound has been described as the sound of a giant wave rolling up through the last four decades of rock.

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT www.fuzztival.com

Huset Esbjerg
May 8+9 2020

https://www.facebook.com/events/2277251089027506/
https://www.facebook.com/esbjergfuzztival/
https://www.fuzztival.com/

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The Sonic Dawn Stream “Young Love, Old Hate”; Enter the Mirage Preorder Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 31st, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the sonic dawn

What hidden psychedelic treasures will a new full-length from The Sonic Dawn unearth? Remains to be seen, but they’re dropping a good-sized hint in the unveiling the organ-laced lead track “Young Love, Old Hate” from the forthcoming Heavy Psych Sounds release, which has been given the title Enter the Mirage and a March 27 release date. First of all, it’s short, in the ’60s psych-pop tradition to which the trio have remained loyal, and second it’s catchy. Third, and most important, it’s deceptively intricate. The vocal arrangements, the key arrangement, the guitar tones — nothing there is haphazard or by mistake. It’s all according to the band’s framework. I don’t imagine Enter the Mirage will lack its moments of spontaneity or energy — it’s The Sonic Dawn‘s fourth record, and they’ve long-enough-since known what’s up in terms of their studio work — but the clarity of their intent is striking, even as the album’s title invokes visions of something not really there.

The Sonic Dawn‘s Emil Bureau also has a solo record coming out early next year, so keep an eye out for more on that, but here’s the info and preorder link for Enter the Mirage, courtesy, of course, of the PR wire:

the sonic dawn enter the mirage

Danish psych rockers THE SONIC DAWN unveil details for new album ‘Enter the Mirage’ on Heavy Psych Sounds; stream new single now!

Copenhagen’s psychedelic trio THE SONIC DAWN announce the release of their fourth studio album ‘Enter The Mirage’ this March 27th on Heavy Psych Sounds Records. The band share first groovy single “Young Love, Old Hate” today

“Young Love, Old Hate” is the opening track of THE SONIC DAWN’s new album ‘Enter The Mirage’. On this soulful and stirring single, they not only lead us through the darkness but also into the orange sunshine. It is a journey full of psychedelic mystery with a clear message: “Only love is true, don’t let hatred get the best of you”. “Enter The Mirage” is arguably the most blazing and powerful album yet by the Copenhagen trio. It has an unusual live feel for a studio album, packing much of the raw energy and electricity that has made their psychedelic shows famous in the rock underground.

Turn the volume up and experience “Young Love, Old Hate”

Frontman Emil Bureau explains about the album’s inception: “First I lost my father, then I lost my job and finally I lost my will to be a servant of anything that isn’t peace, love and freedom. It should be simple, but in this world it isn’t. Instead of getting back on the so-called career path, which is generally a dead end, I took a leap of faith, with the band’s support.”

‘Enter The Mirage’ overall theme is freedom, and visions that may seem too distant to be real, but only those who take the trip will ever really find out. Bureau spent half a year in a songwriting frenzy, spawning for The Sonic Dawn and also for his solo folk album (available soon on Heavy Psych Sounds). To give form to these song ideas, the band rented a space in the gloomiest part of Copenhagen, set up a studio there and rocked out for two months. The roughness of the place translates the determination from a tightly knit band. At the end of their long and laborious creative process, the band was completely broke. Fortunately, friend and former producer Thomas Vang (Roger Waters) allowed them to mix the album in The Village Recording at night, after his own sessions. Thanks to this and a skillful mastering by Hans Olsson Brookes (Graveyard), “Enter the Mirage” puts the high back in high fidelity.

THE SONIC DAWN New album ‘Enter The Mirage’
Out March 27th on Heavy Psych Sounds
Preorder now

TRACK LISTING
1. Young Love, Old Hate
2. Hits of Acid
3. Loose Ends
4. Children of the Night
5. Shape Shifter
6. Enter The Mirage
7. Soul Sacrifice
8. Join the Dead
9. Sun Drifter
10. UFO

THE SONIC DAWN is
Emil Bureau – Guitar, vocals
Jonas Waaben – Drums
Neil Bird – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/thesonicdawn/
https://thesonicdawn.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/thesonicdawn/
http://thesonicdawn.com/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/

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