Sons of Alpha Centauri to Release Push Aug. 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 24th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

sons of alpha centauri

Between you and me and the deepest microgenre recesses of the internet, I’ve been in a holding pattern waiting to interview Nick Hannon from Sons of Alpha Centauri for a while now, to talk about the new Yawning Sons release among other things. He’d said there was a big announcement coming, and, well, this would just about have to be it. For the always-up-to-collaborate UK outfit’s new offering, Push, they’re joined by Jonah Matrenga of Far on vocals and Mitch Wheeler of Will Haven on drums.

Some surprising new members of the band, whose post-rocking side has more recently been to the fore on their generally-instrumentalist tracks? Yes. But that’s also pretty much how Sons of Alpha Centauri operate, and if you don’t want to take my word for it, let the fact that Push is coming out on Exile on Mainstream tell you the rest of whatever you need to know.

Release date is in August, as the PR wire tells it:

sons of alpha centauri push

SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI: Post-Hardcore Quartet Inducts Members Of Far And Will Haven For Push LP Set For Release Via Exile On Mainstream

Exile On Mainstream announces the signing of UK-based alternative/post-hardcore quartet SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI for the August release of their third album, Push. With the album’s details and preorders, the lead single “Buried Under” has been premiered.

A radical departure from instrumental approach the band has maintained for the past twenty years, Push marks SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI’s first collaboration with musicians from two of the biggest and most respected bands in the Sacramento music community, as the act welcomes Jonah Matranga of Far and Gratitude and Mitch Wheeler of Will Haven.

The follow-up to their previous album Continuum, SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI’s Push is a powerhouse of searing post-hardcore, alternative metal, and progressive dreamy riff rock, with an ideology rooted in the ‘90s hardcore scene. The hypnotic pulsing riffs and the soaring emotional power of Matranga’s raw vocals provide his first heavy performance since the critically acclaimed Far reunion album At Night We Live. Push is an album that blends the instantly recognizable sonic landscape of SONS OF ALPHA CENTAURI with the emotional tone of Far and the epic backbone of Will Haven. Matranga uses his return to post-hardcore, and his subtle, almost subliminal delivery to challenge some of the core topics with a reignited fire of passion and emotional persuasion.

Push was recorded by Lance Jackman of EightFourSeven in Sacramento, engineered and mixed by Dan Lucas, and mastered by the legendary Nick Zampiello (Cave In, Converge, ISIS).

Founding bassist Nick Hannon offers, “SOAC has a split personality; this is most certainly our darker and heavier side. We grew up on ‘90s alternative rock and to harness our vision with the purveyors of the Sacramento post hardcore sound will make this a true landmark release and we have taken it to the extreme collaborating with Mitch and Jonah!”

On embracing the spirit of collaboration, Hannon continues, “We’ve always been interested in working in a collaborative manner, so despite the epidemic, we’ve continued building and expanding our spectrum of musical genres that we want to experiment with. This is an exciting phase for us and integrating the guys from Sacramento and their heritage is phenomenal. We have worked to sculpt the instrumental rock dexterity of SOAC and provided a hardcore backbone by integrating Mitch and Jonah that has breathed a whole new spirit into the vessel. It still has an element of mysticism but comes with a more direct connection to the audience.”

Exile On Mainstream will proudly release Push on all digital platforms and an LP/CD bundled package on August 27th. Find preorders HERE: https://shop.mainstreamrecords.de/product/eom98

Tracklist
1. Get The Guns
2. Listen
3. The Enemy
4. Push
5. Buried Under
6. Boys And Girls
7. Saturn
8. Dark Night
9. Own

Push lineup
Jonah Matranga – vocals
Marlon King – guitars
Nick Hannon – bass
Mitch Wheeler – drums
Stevie B – drums
Blake – effects

https://www.facebook.com/sonsofalphacentauri
https://sonsofalphacentauri.bandcamp.com/
http://www.sonsofalphacentauri.co.uk/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5N9S58a1trUvMiavf5vwFl
http://www.mainstreamrecords.de

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Trialogos Premiere “Hikikomori” Video From Stroh zu Gold out June 18

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 27th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

trialogos

Actually-experimentalist three-piece Trialogos will make their full-length debut on June 18 with Stroh zu Gold. Issued as the 100th release for respected purveyor Exile on Mainstream, the project’s first offering brings together a range of seemingly disparate elements, styles and methods, propelled by the willfully-off-the-wall creativity of multi-instrumentalists Kiki BohemiaSicker Man and Conny Ochs. And while the latter’s singer-songwriter stylings might be familiar to those who’ve followed his work either as a solo artist or in his Wino & Conny Ochs duo, Trialogos departs such traditionalist structure — there’s guitars in here of various kinds, but from opener “Lavu Santu” onward, the idea is so much more about texture than strum — and the eight-song/39-minute offering varies direction on a per-track basis, ready and willing to go where a given piece might lead.

In the opener, that’s to a droning wash. In the subsequent title-track, it’s key-backed dance-groove night-vibing. In “Batdance” — sadly not a Prince cover — it’s harsh-industrial blast turned to ’80s popmaking turned to ambient noise twists. Trialogos Stroh Zu GoldAnd in “Il Terzo Sogno,” which I’m going to assume is the wrap for side A, there is some acoustic drum in a modernist-classical-feeling progression; it feels like a lifeline considering the ground Trialogos have covered. And side B mirrors the intent, with “Mali:Berlin” progressing early into a buildup of string sounds around a central rhythm before dropping to drone wash and malevolent churn in its final moments, “Rip Current” renewing the mechanized feel that the opening of “Batdance” hinted at but pushing it into willful aural drudgery, and “Wellenreiter” boasting a few Ulver-style lyrics sung over a desolate soundscape that comes to life in consuming fashion, the voices no more expected than anything by that point but no more out of place.

It is a drifting, floating presence Trialogos create, but Stroh zu Gold is satisfying in its exploration. “Wellenreiter” gives way to the immediately wistful “Hikikomori,” which presents a lonely vision for a lonely time in its arrangement of strings, guitar and effects. Its shorter run recalls the cinematic touch of “Il Terzo Sogno,” and it rises and recedes subtly into the keys and loops that finish in a fade. The band performed “Hikikomori” (among others) in March at WUK Halle/Saale in collaboration with a dance performance by Ellen Brix, and it’s from that footage — suitably manipulated and mirrored, etc. — that the video below comes. There’s also a link where you can see the original dance pieces if so inclined.

Stroh zu Gold isn’t going to be for everyone, and it isn’t meant to be, but it’s a personal expression on the part of Trialogos and resonates in a very real and emotional way for something that so readily leaves the straightforward behind. You would call it evocative for its ability to take you from one place to another.

Please enjoy:

Trialogos, “Hikikomori” official video premiere

Experimental/cinematic rock collective TRIALOGOS – formed by Conny Ochs, Sicker Man, and Kiki Bohemia – presents a new video for the track “Hikikomori,” from the trio’s impending debut LP, Stroh Zu Gold.

The album is available here: https://shop.mainstreamrecords.de/product/eom100

Hikikomori: (jap.) also known as acute social withdrawal, is total withdrawal from society and seeking extreme degrees of social isolation and confinement. Hikikomori refers to both the phenomenon in general and the recluses themselves.

The actual video footage used in the “Hikikomori” video is taken from a performance involving the dancer and choreographer Ellen Brix. In March 2021 Ellen Brix and TRIALOGOS worked together on a dance performance at WUK Halle/Saale in Germany. Brix had developed and constructed a special moving floor on which she danced, while the band supported her with music and sound. The “Hikikomori” video was filmed by Lutz Kretschmann with final editing handled by Tobias Vethake.

The actual dance video can be found here and appears courtesy of Ellen Brix: https://fb.watch/5wTP9JjsP_/

Sicker Man comments on the creation of the track, “TRIALOGOS is a project that was formed during the lockdown of the Coronavirus crisis and the character of this pandemic also defined the way we worked on this album. We were sitting secluded in our studio and improvising structures and musical elements. We interrupted the stream of sound only to eat and drink or to play cards while listening to our recordings. The music was a kind of campfire we sat around to keep us warm and sane. And as ‘Hikikomori’ was part of the session, that was recorded on our very first day; it really represents the atmosphere and process of Stroh Zu Gold.”

Conny Ochs describes the performance as a special experience: “The session at the WUK Theatre space in Halle was our first glimpse at something that came close to an actual live performance. When we were offered the chance to improvise together with Ellen, we sure said yes to the chance to gain access to such a space and play at a high volume finally after weeks of isolation. The experience was truly cathartic, both frightening in the sense of feeling that isolation still after all and facing the gaping void where an audience would supposedly be, but also healing, through simply letting the music reverberate between us, and the longing of each of us to share it. That is why we chose to release some of the material that was shot that day. Having in mind the idea that it can accompany this tune about loneliness and hope in a way that will transport our experience at WUK. That healing comes through sharing.”

Conny Ochs: Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Vocals, Bass, Drums, Percussion
Sicker Man: Acoustic & Electric Cello, Guitars, Juno 6, Moog, Lapsteel, Beats, Effects
Kiki Bohemia: Rhodes, Vocals, Bass, Dictaphone, Autoharp, Effects

Trialogos website

Trialogos on Facebook

Trialogos on Instagram

Exile on Mainstream Records website

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Trialogos: Debut Album Stroh Zu Gold Out June 18 on Exile on Mainstream

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 15th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

I probably would have posted this yesterday, but to be honest with you I was hoping that the press release would be shortly followed by a download of the album or some streaming sample or something to hear to give some idea of what Trialogos sounds like. I didn’t see any A/V on their Facebook, and when you click the link to their website, it asks for a password I don’t have — which, if you ever wanted to know what I’m like at a party, I’m like the guy who just clicked the link to site with a password I don’t have; that’s me all the way. But anyhow, no audio there either. I gave it the extra day, but with Trialogos‘ debut at Roadburn Redux coming up on Saturday, I guess they figured that as a good time to do the unveiling. Can’t argue.

And, as I’ve said on numerous occasions, I trust the taste of Andreas Kohl from Exile on Mainstream implicitly. We don’t always align 100 percent in sound, but whatever that label is getting behind is at least going to be worth a shot. Plus Trialogos has Conny Ochs, and who doesn’t like Conny Ochs?

Goons, that’s who.

Enough yammering. Preorders are up for TrialogosStroh Zu Gold if you’re even more the dive-right-in type, and that’s ahead of a June 18 release. And while we’re here, congrats to Exile on Mainstream on the 100th release.

From the PR wire:

trialogos

TRIALOGOS: New Act Formed By Conny Ochs, Kiki Bohemia, And Sicker Man Presents Stroh Zu Gold Debut, Exile On Mainstream’s 100th Release; Band Plays Roadburn Redux This Week, Releasing A Special LP Edition

Exile On Mainstream excitedly announces the label’s 100th release, today unveiling the news and details of new experimental/cinematic rock collective, TRIALOGOS. Formed during the pandemic over the past year, the band will issue their newly completed debut LP, Stroh Zu Gold, in June. The details for the album have today been issued alongside news of the band’s participation in Roadburn Redux this week.

During the Roadburn performance, fans will be able to order a strictly limited, pre-release vinyl version of the album via a secret website that will become available as the show is streamed. Limited to 50 copies, the special edition will feature a special, manually screenprinted sleeve with different artwork and will be hand numbered.

TRIALOGOS’ exclusive Roadburn set will premiere this Saturday, April 17th 13:00 CEST and remain available on demand until April 20th at 23:59 when the Roadburn site will be taken offline. See the full schedule HERE: https://roadburn.com/

TRIALOGOS’ Stroh Zu Gold will be issued June 18th in a four-panel mini-gatefold CD, 180-gram pure virgin black vinyl LP including a download card, and digital platforms. Preorders are now available at the Exile On Mainstream’s webshop HERE: https://shop.mainstreamrecords.de/product/eom100

The performance will be streamed from the stunning location of Leipzig’s UT Connewitz, one of Germany’s oldest cinemas that was established in 1912 and home to a lot of mind-blowing performances by Exile On Mainstream-related acts before, among them the EOM20 festival in 2019. Roadburn regulars will likely be familiar with Conny Ochs, who has brought his haunting folk to the festival’s stages numerous times – both in a solo capacity and alongside collaborator Wino – and joined by Sicker Man and Kiki Bohemia, this performance promises to deliver something vastly different and equally memorable. Following Tony Conrad’s concept of maximalism in minimal music, TRIALOGOS’ widescreen Super-8 soundscapes and occasional haunted house vocals conjure up visions of winter lost beaches, bats dancing upside down, and sojourns in permanent dawn.

Conny Ochs states, “Now we have the chance to play our debut set of Stroh Zu Gold alongside so many astonishing artists and in the realm of the magnificent Roadburn Festival, that to me has always been a symbol of artistic freedom. This is a great honor to us. It feels like exactly the right place for this, a place to get together again on the playground. What a trip.”

Also taking part in Roadburn this week is Andreas Kohl. Almost becoming a regular sit-in for the fest, Kohl, Senior Manager at Optimal Media and Exile On Mainstream’s head of noise, will bring his expertise to Roadburn’s side program again this year. With hampering growth such as pressing capacities, new machinery now being widely available but still facing issues like shortage of well-trained and enthusiastic personnel vinyl records remain one of the most discussed topics in the music industry and among fans. Kohl has been holding Q&A sessions and lectures on these topics three times now at Roadburn with different focuses each time. In 2021, he will again give an insight on new technology hitting the market and the current state of manufacturing the black gold in general. The short lecture and update on the current state of things will be held as a Q&A session with fellow Jose Carlos Santos, a no less prominent face among Roadburn’s acolytes. Kohl’s talk will be live on Sunday, April 18th at 15:30 CEST.

TRIALOGOS:
Conny Ochs – acoustic/electric guitars, vocals, bass, drums, percussion
Sicker Man – acoustic/electric cello, guitars, Juno 6, Moog, lapsteel, beats, effects
Kiki Bohemia – Rhodes, vocals, bass, Dictaphone, autoharp, effects

https://www.trialogosofficial.com
https://www.facebook.com/trialogos
http://www.mainstreamrecords.de

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Conny Ochs

Posted in Questionnaire on March 31st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

Conny Ochs (Photo by Christian Thiele)

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Conny Ochs

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

Even with various works in composition through various projects, I feel myself being, at first, a songwriter. The filtering of my own reactions, emotions, as well as the stories of people I meet and the picturing of situations I encounter is the base of a song. In a song try to distill these elements into an emphatic moment of sharing, both to inspire and reflect, and hopefully transmit my understanding, that through sharing life it can become something more than a single but a universal experience. To me, this has become a strong medicine in the face of, sometimes, struggling with it. I hope it can do the same to others. Finally, I believe the transformation of consciousness, much as shamans once did, keeps us all sane, emphatic, curious, and very much alive.

Describe your first musical memory.

I remember my father playing me children songs by my bed, when I was very young. At that moment, through the music he played, he become something more than the father figure I knew, but a medium. Like a window that led beyond the world I knew.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

That would be writing my first own song with my best friend, around the age of 15. Before that, we had only played the songs of bands we liked. At that moment I felt all the possibilities that were given through means of communicating, and how it changed what I had thought I knew about myself. I never stopped following that road after that.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

When we started to work with a label for the first time, there were many suggestions made by third parties regarding sound, songwriting, also outfits and so on. We had to defend ourselves in front of people who had been in the music business early on, especially regarding our stage shows, which have been quite intense I guess. That was not always appreciated. Yet we did what we thought was right and true to us, with the consequences that it brought which did not exactly make is easier for us to release our music. But we stuck to our thing all the way though.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

I hope it leads to having the chance to meet and work with a whole bunch of awesome people, keeping an open mind, continuing to be curious about the ways of the world and understanding how to be a free person.

How do you define success?

Transforming what you think and feel into a medium that can be grasped by others.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Can´t really think of something here, need to pass that one.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

I would very much like to become a good cook. Actually just become a cook at all, to my shame I rarely take up on cooking. Then the things i´d like to create would be anything apart from pasta and eggs, that would be something.

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

I believe art is the universal language that can connect human beings across cultural, intellectual and political borders. It can bring us back to our own truth, unveil what we hide from ourselves and what is hidden from us. It keeps us young and curious. Right now, I feel a lot of art has become just a means of making money and gaining fame. Which I feel actually does not make it art anymore, but maybe some sort of craftsmanship because the spirit is missing. Yet finally the function of art is what you allow it to be to you.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Right now in these blurred, confined times, I am looking forward very much to see my family and friends again. Also spring, that is just arriving, and a summer that hopefully can give us all some room to breathe. I am looking forward to simple things that we can all share again. Like throwing a good old party finally.

http://www.connyochs.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Conny-Ochs/112536815501097
http://www.mainstreamrecords.de

Conny Ochs, Doom Folk (2019)

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Gaffa Ghandi Stream Artificial Disgust in Full; Out Friday on Exile on Mainstream

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on April 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

GAFFA GHANDI (photo by Maren Michaelis)

Come on, let’s get weird for a little bit. You’ve got time; you know you do. This week is easily the busiest so far of 2020 for new releases, but while you’re spending the coming Friday pining over this or that landmark arrival — hey, I’m right there too — German experinstrumentalists Gaffa Ghandi will be issuing a debut album through ultra-respected countryman purveyor-of-stuff-that-doesn’t-sound-like-other-stuff-and-also-is-awesome Exile on Mainstream called Artificial Disgust, and they’re seemingly way freaked out about it.

I made the mistake of reading their quote below about the record before writing this, and it’s interesting to discover that they consider some of it to be an expression of pain on some level, because I get way more of a sense of joy from a song like opener “Symphony of Swag,” and even though the subsequent “War on Fire” starts off with a bit of doomed atmospherics, it soon enough finds its way into progressive chuggery and winds airy leads around a rhythmic solidity that reminds of just what an ultra-solid double-guitar foursome can accomplish when they knuckle down, decide to let their songs go where they’re demanding to go, and maybe unleash a little bit of their inner Zappa-tista in the process.

“War on Fire” culminates in due solo flourish, playing it over the top because — again, seemingly — it’s more fun that way, before “Ancient Dominator” shows a spirit of post-rock could be when played staring down the crowd instead of at one’s proverbial shoes. Its midsection is both hypnotic and head-spinning, dumbfoundingly technical and ambient, and as the heretofore central chugging riff of the track comes around, it feels like it might just roll on for the remainder of the song’s total nine-plus minutes,GAFFA GHANDI Artificial Disgust which it does, morphing of course here and there along the route to its eventual fade and the arrival of the well-golly-that’s-significant “Progressive Concepts for a Modern World of Multilayered Structural, Sociological and Individual Changeabilities.”

The title, which is not the name of any book I can find and so I’ll just assume is perhaps someone’s thesis-in-progress, is indeed a thoughtful meditation unto itself, running an academic-ready 16 minutes and unfolding in movements fluidly across that span, finding the guitars once more intertwining lines through expressive leads and intricacy of play while the bass hosts its own clinic in jazz while still serving the song’s best interests and the drums follow suit. Perhaps most impressively of all, as “Progressive Concepts…” builds and shifts and recedes and thins and thickens and winds and turns, Gaffa Ghandi — guitarists Alan Bittner and Frieder Ackermann, bassist Lucas Kazzer and drummer Georg Edert — admirably hold together. They’re not just each doing their own thing and mashing together parts and calling it a song. They’re writing a progressive piece of music that unites them as players. After 10 years together culminating in this first album, a realization of potential might be considered due, but it’s still striking just how cohesive they make seemingly disjointed elements sound.

If you get the CD or the digital edition of Artificial Disgust, it comes with the bonus inclusion “Phobophobie,” which presents six more minutes balancing thoughtful atmospherics and rhythmic complexity in the spirit of the offering preceding. If it’s from “the archive,” and maybe older, fine. It still works in the context of what Gaffa Ghandi are doing across the peacefully dizzying 38 minutes prior, and if you have prior experience with Exile on Mainstream‘s output, you probably already know to trust the label’s taste when it comes to new pickups, but if not, I’m glad to reinforce the point.

Gaffa Ghandi were going to play a traveling showcase of Exile on Mainstream bands to celebrate the release of Artificial Disgust, but of course that has been put off until who-knows-when, but perhaps that delay will give listeners some time to catch up to how much these songs actually have going on. Or maybe it won’t. In any case, it’s awfully fun to try, and I invite you to do exactly that and to listen for the varied emotionalism of Artificial Disgust as well as the varied time-signatures, on the player below.

Band quote and PR wire info follow.

Please enjoy:

Gaffa Ghandi on Artificial Disgust:

Artificial Disgust is the effort of a long-term pain; the joyful and relentless process of putting the ever-evolving concept of being an energetic and boundless live band into the solid and to some extent comparable version of our excesses on stage. Some of these songs had been in progress for quite some time and they have changed with every session we’ve played them live to the point we finally laid them to tape. We are, due to our personal influences and personal behavior, a very diverse bunch of friends with a lot of different specific preferences concerning sound and riff composition.

The album is to this point, in our opinion the most coherent, but also the most diverse offering of our ten-year history as a band. The record features classic ’90s moments of our early stoner and alternative approaches, but also, in a blink of an eye, progressive psychedelic stuff and experimental signatures we figured out in the rehearsal space over various sessions. All those pieces have gone through various stages of different moods, but, at the end, Artificial Disgust is what it is: a bastard of polyphonic heaviness with a hint of a painful, sardonic smile.

Exile On Mainstream will release Artificial Disgust on LP, CD, and digital platforms on April 24th, the LP joined with a download code, and the CD and digital versions bearing a bonus track from the archives. Place orders HERE.

Artificial Disgust was recorded by Jan Oberg at Hidden Planet Studio, Robin Ravn at FKN Recording Studio, Alan Bittner at Frieders Livingroom, Georg Edert at Gaffa Ghandi Rehearsal Space, Torsten Lang at Torstens Livingroom, and Niklas Wenzel at Virtuose Vibes Studio. The record was mixed and mastered by Torsten Lang and is completed with photography and design by Maren Michaelis and layout by Benjamin Butter.

The new LP was meant to see release in conjunction with GAFFA GHANDI’s participation in Exile On Mainstream’s RoadShow 2020 mini-tour including Treedeon, Darsombra, Kristian Harting, and Tourette Boys, but the trek has been disbanded due to the ongoing worldwide coronavirus situation. Watch for the band to reschedule new performances once the situation is contained.

GAFFA GHANDI:
Georg Edert – drums
Lucas Kazzer – bass
Frieder Ackermann – guitar
Alan Bittner – guitar

Gaffa Ghandi website

Gaffa Ghandi on Bandcamp

Gaffa Ghandi on Thee Facebooks

Exile on Mainstream website

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Gaffa Ghandi to Release Artificial Disgust April 24 on Exile on Mainstream

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 7th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

GAFFA GHANDI (photo by Maren Michaelis)

Anytime Exile on Mainstream signs a band, you can rest assured that said band isn’t going to be like whatever you were listening to immediately prior. The long-running German imprint has an enviable taste for nuance and individualism in acts, but seems to persistently find those who don’t sacrifice quality for the sake of being bizarre. From Treedeon to Conny Ochs to Bellrope to the periodic collaborations with Wino, there’s always going to be something distinct about whatever it is that comes along with their stamp of approval.

Gaffa Ghandi, then, immediately pique interest. The Dresden-based instrumentalists seem to blend progressive heavy noise and psychedelic ranging — because of course they do, right? — and they’ll make their debut through Exile on Mainstream April 24 with Artificial Disgust, which would seem to be their second overall long-player behind 2015’s Record of Success. Their otherwise most recent release was a 2016 split with Tourette Boys on Setalight Records and you can stream “Psychedelic Mode Activated” from that below.

The PR wire brings info and whatnot:

GAFFA GHANDI Artificial Disgust

GAFFA GHANDI: German Psychedelic Rock Act Signs With Exile On Mainstream; Artificial Disgust LP + RoadShow 2020 Tour Dates Announced

Germany’s eclectic Exile On Mainstream welcomes countrymates GAFFA GHANDI to the label’s roster for the springtime release of their impending debut album, Artificial Disgust. The new LP will see release in conjunction with the band’s participation in the label’s Exile On Mainstream RoadShow 2020 German mini-tour.

Artificial Disgust was recorded by Jan Oberg at Hidden Planet Studio, Robin Ravn at FKN Recording Studio, Alan Bittner at Frieders Livingroom, Georg Edert at Gaffa Ghandi Rehearsal Space, Torsten Lang at Torstens Livingroom, and Niklas Wenzel at Virtuose Vibes Studio. The record was mixed and mastered by Torsten Lang and is completed with photography and design by Maren Michaelis and layout by Benjamin Butter.

Exile On Mainstream will release Artificial Disgust on April 24th. The album features four tracks on the vinyl version with a bonus track from the archives on the CD and digital versions; the vinyl includes a download code. Watch for audio previews, preorder links, and other details to post in the coming days.

Artificial Disgust Track Listing:
1. Symphony Of Swag
2. Ancient Dominator
3. War On Fire
4. Progressive Concepts For A Modern World Of Multilayered Structural, Sociological And Individual Changeabilities
5. Phobophobie (CD/digital bonus track)

The label will celebrate the LP’s release with a run of three shows called the Exile On Mainstream RaodShow 2020, running from April 23rd through the 25th. The tour will play through Leipzig, Berlin, and Dresden, with GAFFA GHANDI joining Darsombra, Kristian Harting, and Tourette Boys on all shows, and the mighty Treedeon also performing at the Berlin show. Watch for additional tour dates to post over the weeks ahead.

GAFFA GHANDI on The Exile On Mainstream RoadShow 2020:
4/23/2020 UT Connewitz – Leipzig, DE w/ Darsombra, Kristian Harting, Tourette Boys
4/24/2020 Zukunft am Ostkreuz – Berlin, DE w/ Treedeon, Darsombra, Kristian Harting, Tourette Boys
4/25/2020 AZ Conni – Dresden, DE w/ Darsombra, Kristian Harting, Tourette Boys

GAFFA GHANDI:
Georg Edert – drums
Lucas Kazzer – bass
Frieder Ackermann – guitar
Alan Bittner – guitar

http://www.gaffaghandi.de
https://gaffaghandi.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/gaffaghandi
http://www.mainstreamrecords.de

Gaffa Ghandi, “Psychedelic Mode Activated”

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Quarterly Review: Bellrope, Cracked Machine, The Sky Giants, Sacred Monster, High ‘n’ Heavy, Warlung, Rogue Conjurer, Monovine, Un & Coltsblood, La Grande Armée

Posted in Reviews on March 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Day Six. Not that there wasn’t a bit of a crunch along the way, but I definitely think this Quarterly Review was aided by the fact that I dug so much of what I was writing about on a personal-taste level. You get through it one way or the other, but it just makes it more fun. Today is the last day and then it’s back to something approaching normal tomorrow, but of course before this thing is rounded out I want to thank you as always for taking the time and for reading if you did. It means a tremendous amount to me to put words out and have people see them, so thank you for your part in that.

This could’ve easily gone seven or eight or 10 days if scheduling had permitted, but here’s as good a place to leave it. The next one will probably be the first week of July or thereabouts, so keep an eye out.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Bellrope, You Must Relax

bellrope you must relax

How much noise can your brain take? I don’t mean noise like start-stop riffs and dudes shouting. I mean actual, abrasive, amelodic noise. Bellrope, with ex-members of the underrated Black Shape of Nexus start their Exile on Mainstream-delivered debut album, You Must Relax, with three minutes of chaff-separation they’re calling “Hollywood 2001/Rollrost.” It’s downright caustic. Fortunately, what follows on the four subsequent extended tracks devotes itself to lumbering post-sludge that’s at least accessible by comparison. “Old Overholt” is the only other inclusion under 10 minutes as the tracks are arranged shortest to longest with the 17:57 “CBD/Hereinunder” concluding. The thickened tones brought to bear throughout “Old Overholt” and the blend of screams and growls that accompany are more indicative of what follows on the centerpiece title-track and the penultimate “TD2000,” but the German four-piece still manage to sound plenty fucked throughout. Just not painfully so. There’s something threatening about the use of the word “must” in the album’s title. The songs realize that threat.

Bellrope on Thee Facebooks

Exile on Mainstream Records website

 

Cracked Machine, The Call of the Void

Cracked Machine The Call of the Void

Here be dragons. Though its core tonality is still within the bounds of heavy rock, Wiltshire, UK, four-piece bring a far more atmospheric and progressive style to fruition on their second album, The Call of the Void, than it might at first appear. With post-rock float to the guitar of Bill Denton, keyboard textures from Clive Noyes, and fluid rhythms carried through changes in volume and ambience from bassist Christ Sutton and drummer Blazej Gradziel, the PsyKA Records outfit present a cerebral seven tracks/47 minutes of immersive and seemingly conceptual work, with opener “Jormungandr” establishing the context in which each song that follows is named for a different culture’s dragon, whether it’s the Hittite “Illuyanka,” Japan’s “Yamata No Orochi” or the Persian “Azi Dahakar.” Cracked Machine use this theme to tie pieces together, and they push farther out as the record unfolds late with “Typhon” and “Vritra” a closing pair of marked scope. The shortest cut, the earlier 5:14 “Kirimu,” has probably the most straightforward push, but Cracked Machine demonstrate an ability to adapt to the needs of whatever idea they’re working to convey.

Cracked Machine on Thee Facebooks

PsyKA Records webstore

 

The Sky Giants, The Shifting of Phaseworld

the sky giants the shifting of phaseworld

Taking cues from psychedelia almost as much as jangly West Coast noise and punk, Tacoma, Washington’s The Sky Giants offer the 10-track sophomore outing The Shifting of Phaseworld, which finds a balance in songs like “Dream Receiver” between progressive heavy rock and its rawer foundations. The trio of guitarist/vocalist Jake Frye, bassist Jessie Avery and drummer/vocalist/engineer/graphic artist Peter Tietjen are comfortable tipping from one side to the other between and within songs, starting off with the shove of “Technicolor Kaleidoscope” and getting mathy on the later “Half Machine” ahead of the chunkier-riffed “Rhyme and the Flame,” which somehow touches on classic punk even as it hones a wash of distortion that that has to cut through. Closing each side with a longer track in the rolling, airy “Solid State” (6:53) and the frenetic ending of “Simian” (7:38), The Sky Giants stake out a sonic terrain very much their own throughout The Shifting of Phaseworld and only seem to expand their territory as they go.

The Sky Giants on Thee Facebooks

The Sky Giants on Bandcamp

 

Sacred Monster, Worship the Weird

sacred monster worship the weird

Topped off by the ace screams of vocalist Adam Szczygiel, who taps his inner Devin Townsend circa Strapping Young Lad on “High Confessor” and “Re-Animator,” Sacred Monster‘s debut album, Worship the Weird would seem to cull together elements of Orange Goblin and Bongzilla for a kind of classic-metal-aware sludge rock, the riffs of Robert Nubel not at all shy about digging into aggressive vibes to go with the layers of growls and throatrippers and the occasional King Diamond-esque falsetto, as on “Waverly Hills,” as bassist Guillermo Moreno and drummer Ted Nubel bolster that feel with tight turns and duly driven bottom end. I’ll take “Face of My Father” as a highlight, if only for the excruciating sound of Szczygiel‘s screech, but the swing in closer “Maze of Dreams” has an appeal of its own, and as a Twilight Zone and a Shatner fan, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” offers its own charm.

Sacred Monster on Thee Facebooks

Sacred Monster on Bandcamp

 

High n’ Heavy, Warrior Queen

high n heavy warrior queen

Shades of grunge and skate-fuzz fuckall pervade the Sabbathian grooves of High n’ Heavy‘s second album, Warrior Queen, as guitarist John Steele works some doomly keys into second cut “Shield Maiden” and vocalist Kris Fortin moves in and out of throaty shouts on side B’s “Lydia.” They thrash out in the noisy “Catapult” and Nick Perrone‘s drums seem to bounce even in the longer-winded “Lands Afar” and closer “Smell of Decay / Wings and Claw,” on which Mike Dudley‘s rumble backs classically metallic shred in the lead guitar after offering likewise support to the piano in the early going of “Join the Day.” Released through Electric Valley Records, the eight-song/36-minute LP comes across as raw but not without purpose in that, and its blend of tonal thickness and the blend of thrust and nod does well to ensure High n’ Heavy remain unpredictable while also living up to the standard of their moniker. There’s potential here that’s worth further exploration on the part of the band.

High n’ Heavy on Thee Facebooks

Electric Valley Records website

 

Warlung, Immortal Portal

Warlung Immortal Portal

Houston, Texas, four-piece make a quick case for the attention of Ripple Music on their sophomore outing, Immortal Portal, which is slickly-but-not-too-slickly produced and sharply-but-not-too-sharply executed, a professional sensibility in “Black Horse Pike” and the subsequent “The Palm Reader” — which manages to be influenced melodically by Uncle Acid without sounding just like them — ahead of the ’80s metallurgy of “Heart of a Sinner” and the reference-packed “1970.” “We All Die in the End” gives an uptempo swing to the opening salvo ahead of the more brooding “Between the Dark and the Light,” but Warlung hold firm to clearly-presented melodies and riff-led rhythms no matter where they seem to go in mood or otherwise. That ties the drift of the later “Heavy Echoes” to the earlier material and makes the harmony-laced “No Son of Mine” and the organ-ic proggy sprawling finale “Coal Minors” all the more effective in reaching beyond where the album started, so that the listener winds up in a different landscape than they started, still grounded, but changed nonetheless.

Warlung on Thee Facebooks

Warlung on Bandcamp

 

Rogue Conjurer, Of the Goddess / Crystal Mountain Lives

rogue conjurer of the goddess

Originally released digitally by the Baltimore-based unit in 2017, the two-songer Of the Goddess / Crystal Mountain Lives sees pressing as an ultra-limited tape via Damien Records and finds the three-piece of guitarist/bassist/vocalist Tonie Joy, drummer Colin Seven and organist Donny Van Zandt — since replaced by Trevor Shipley — honing a psychedelic take on doomly riffs and groove. “Crystal Mountain Lives” has a more distinct nod to its central progression, with a wah-drenched break and greater overall largesse of fuzz, but “Of the Goddess” brings an effective almost shoegazing sense to its downer spirit. The first track is also longer, so it has more time to move from that initial impression to its own payoff, but either way you go, Rogue Conjurer bring out their dead ably on the tape, showing influences from heavy psych and beyond as “Of the Goddess” winds its way to its close and “Crystal Mountain Lives” begins its fade-in all over again. No pretense, but a broad range that would allow for some if they wanted.

Rogue Conjurer on Instagram

Damien Records on Bandcamp

 

Monovine, D.Y.E

monovine dye

Athens heavy rockers Monovine wear their grunge influence proudly on their third full-length, D.Y.E, issued late in 2018 digitally with an early 2019 vinyl release. It’s writ large in the Nirvana-ism of the slurring “Mellow” at the outset and remains a factor through the melodies of “Void” and the later punkery of “Messed Up” or “Ring a Bell,” as well as the toying-with-pop “Me (Raphe Nuclei)” and “Your Figure Smells,” but where Monovine succeed in making that influence their own is by filtering it through a fuzzier presentation. The guitar and bass tones keep a modern heavy feel, and as the drums roll and crash through songs like “For a Sun” and “Why Don’t You Shoot Me in the Head,” that makes a difference in the overall impression the album leaves. Still, there’s little question as to their central point of inspiration, and they bring it out in homage and as a fairly honed mode of expression on closer “Haunt,” which teases an explosion in its melancholy strum and then… well, don’t let me spoil it.

Monovine on Thee Facebooks

Monovine on Bandcamp

 

Un & Coltsblood, Split

un coltsblood split

A festering 42 minutes of lurching agonies, Un and Coltsblood‘s split taps the best of modern death-doom’s emotionalism and bent toward extremity. Billed as a “tribute to grief: the final act of love,” it brings just two tracks, one per band, as Coltsblood open with “Snows of the Winter Realm” and Un follow with “Every Fear Illuminated.” Both bands proffer a terrifyingly weighted plod and offset it with a spacious ambience, whether it’s Un departing their grueling nod after about six and a half minutes only to build back up over the next six and grow more ferocious until devolving into noise and slamming crashes ahead of an outro of echoing, needs-a-tune-sounding piano, or Coltsblood fostering their own tonal brutalism and casting their lot with death and black metal while a current of airy guitar seems to mourn the song even as it plays out. Each cut is a monument built to loss, and their purpose in conveying that theme is both what unites them and what makes their work so ultimately consuming, as grief is.

Un on Thee Facebooks

Coltsblood on Thee Facebooks

 

La Grande Armée, La Grande Armée

La Grande Armée La Grande Armée

The blend of drifting guitar and psychedelic wash on opener “El Canto de las Ballenas” earns La Grande Armée‘s self-titled debut three-song EP immediate favor, and the patient execution they bring to the subsequent “Tripa Intergaláctica” and “Normandía,” particularly the latter, only furthers that appeal. The Chilean trio keep a decidedly natural feel to the exploratory-seeming work, and if this is them finding their sound, they seem happy to do it by losing themselves in their jams. All the better someone thought to press record, since although there’s clearly some trajectory behind the progression of songs — i.e., they know at least to a degree where they want to end up — the process of getting there comes across as spontaneous. Guitar pans channels as bass and drums hold down languid flow, and even in the more active midsection of “Tripa Intergaláctica,” La Grande Armée there’s a sense that it’s more about the space being created than the construction under way. In any case, wherever they want to head next, they would seem to have the means of travel at their disposal.

La Grande Armée on Thee Facebooks

La Grande Armée on Bandcamp

 

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Bellrope Stream New Track; You Must Relax out Feb. 22

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

bellrope

Somehow, when Germany’s Black Shape of Nexus went the way of… well, of bands breaking up, it just didn’t quite seem like the end. Some creativity you just can’t kill. And sure enough, with Bellrope members of Black Shape of Nexus find a new outlet backed by the familiar source of Exile on Mainstream. They’ll play the label’s upcoming showcases in Leipzig and at Roadburn in the Netherlands this April, and they’re on my list of must-catch bands at the latter, considering I never had the fortune of seeing the prior band. Bonus points to the band for calling their debut album You Must Relax when surely there’s plenty of onslaught to behold. To that end, they’re streaming the track “Old Overholt” now, which features members of labelmates Treedeon, who also just happen to be brutally underrated.

Feb. 22 is the release date, as the PR wire confirms:

bellrope you must relax

BELLROPE: Exile On Mainstream To Release You Must Relax Debut LP By German Volume Abusers Featuring Black Shape Of Nexus Alumni; Track Streaming

Exile On Mainstream confirms the February release of You Must Relax, the debut album by Germany’s high-volume doom dealers, BELLROPE, the band which has ascended from the ashes of Black Shape Of Nexus. Raised on a diet of doom, noise, and crust punk, thriving in the international DIY/squat communities, BELLROPE is a band who dubs their sound as, “the total absence of tonal sanity.” The album’s thundering lead single “Old Overholt,” featuring Yvonne Ducksworth and Arne Heesch of labelmates Treedeon, is now streaming, and preorders for the record are now available.

Driven by a rabid sense of urgency, and with a simple goal in mind — “Amp hauling and amp abusing” — BELLROPE’s sonic maelstrom traverses many different plains of heavy, oft recognizable, but never bound to one formula. Case in point being the visceral album opener; more than a palette cleanser, this is sensory overload, total tonal (in)sanity. Elsewhere, the stomping second track, “Old Overholt,” replete with blood curdling bellows, pays tribute to the iconic rye whiskey, whilst the morose dueling vocals of Arne Heesch and Yvonnne Ducksworth of labelmates Treedeon, and sonic samples on “TD 200,” carry that colossal track to a climatic end, leading into the album closer “CBD/Hereinunder,” a heavy combination of chugging guitars and psych-like leads locking into a repetitive, almost entrancing groove.

Exile On Mainstream label owner Andreas Kohl remarks, “In utter contradiction to your usual heavy rock bands with an esoteric twist and the common (non)sense of interweaving ritualistic riff-mongery with some heritage-purveying focus to ancient rites, rituals, and ideologies, BELLROPE is a hurricane of fresh air, well needed and even more welcome. There will be no antlers, mandalas, fur or badly drawn symbols on stage when they are coming after you. BELLROPE doesn’t need to charge their sonic urgency with ideology.”

BELLROPE’s You Must Relax debut album will see release through Exile On Mainstream February 22nd on CD, LP, and digital formats. Fans of Celestial-era ISIS, early-Cult Of Luna, Old Man Gloom, and of course Black Shape Of Nexus must hear this. Find preorders at the label webshop HERE.

You Must Relax Track Listing:
1. Hollywood 2001/ Rollrost
2. Old Overholt
3. You Must Relax
4. TD200
5. CBD/ Hereinunder

BELLROPE is booking live performances in support of You Must Relax, including a run through Germany in early February. This will be followed by performances at the Exile On Mainstream 20th Anniversary Parties this year, April 4th through 7th at UT Connewitz in Leipzig, Germany, and on April 13th at Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Netherlands. Watch for more widespread tour news to be released in the weeks ahead.

BELLROPE Tour Dates:
2/06/2019 Lükaz – Lünen, DE w/ Eisenvater
2/07/2019 Zukunft am Ostkreuz – Berlin, DE w/ Eisenvater
2/08/2019 Rosenkeller – Jena, DE w/ Eisenvater
2/09/2019 JuHa West – Stuttgart, DE w/ Eisenvater, Arsen
4/06/2019 UT Connewitz – Leipzig, DE @ 20 Years Exile On Mainstream
4/13/2019 Roadburn Festival – Tilburg, NL @ 20 Years Exile On Mainstream

https://www.bellrope-doom.com
https://www.facebook.com/bellropedoom
https://bellrope.bandcamp.com
http://www.mainstreamrecords.de

Bellrope, You Must Relax (2019)

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