Freak Valley 2020 First Announcement: Fu Manchu, Endless Boogie, Slomatics, Monomyth and Temple Fang

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

All I know is this: 2020 is my year for Freak Valley. I’ve been invited for years. In 2020 I’m going. And further, I’m saying it now. Normally I don’t commit really to anything that involves even a modicum of traveling until after all the plans are locked in and I’ve checked in at the airport, but Jens Heide at the fest passed along the invite once again, as he’s patiently done for a while now, and unless a piano falls on my head between now and then or my flight to Siegen crashes into the Atlantic, I’m gonna be there. Hell or high water, as it were.

I wrote the lineup announcement below, as I’ve done for the fest for a couple years now, and happily. It’s a great first round showing international reach and a range of styles, but of course look out for much more still to come. Freak Valley over the last few editions has begun to branch out in some fascinating ways, and I’d expect that to continue while also retaining its heavy core.

I can’t wait to get over there for it.

freak valley 2020 fu manchu

Freaks, the time is nigh!

Did you miss us? We missed you. Tickets go on sale TOMORROW (10/18) for Freak Valley 2020 and we couldn’t be more excited to bring you the first lineup announcement for next year’s fest! Get your calendar marked for 11-13 June and remember this is just the beginning and over the next couple months we’ll have so much more to come in terms of bands and other happenings for you. 2019 was our best year yet and we’re looking forward to topping it once again!

Tickets are officially on sale at our Freak Sabbath Vol.5 // Freak Valley Ticket Sale Kick Off, with Church of Misery and many more, but it’s time to dig into the first bands for Freak Valley Festival 2020 and we think you’ll agree it’s a great way to start.

FU MANCHU (30th Anniversary)

30 years of the Fu! Fuzz legends and heavy rock mainstays Fu Manchu are one of the most influential riff purveyors of all time. From the original stoner rock era in the ’90s through their modern takes on punk and spacey groove, Fu Manchu are, simply put, one of the most essential live bands you’ll ever see. They’ll mark three full decades of rock in 2020, and bringing them to Freak Valley was an absolute must. Of course we’re all huge fans and to have them on our stage is an honor no matter what the occasion, but this one is even more special considering their celebration. Happy birthday, Fu Manchu! Welcome to Freak Valley!

SLOMATICS

It was something of a tragedy in 2019 when our plan to bring Northern Ireland’s Slomatics over to play was cut short because of airline difficulties. That’s no way to go. We knew immediately we’d invite them back for 2020 and try it again and we’re glad to report that the band is on board as well. They’ll still be supporting their 2019 album, ‘Canyons,’ but where it was going to be brand new when they played this year, we’ve all had a little time to digest the massive riffs and wide-sprawling vibes that make their sound so distinctive. 2020 is the year! We can’t wait to finally see this band.

ENDLESS BOOGIE

There’s nothing better than a band with the perfect name, and New York-based mellow jammers Endless Boogie most certainly have that. The band are masters of hypnotic and class-style jams brought to life not with a wash of effects, but through sheer repetition and builds that are subtle in their dynamic but seem able to cover an infinity of ground that goes however far they choose at any given moment. Even among heavy and psychedelic rock, there’s nothing quite like them in terms of the character they bring to how they play. With onstage charisma, periodic improv vocals, and righteous jams, they’ll come to Freak Valley 2020 as one of our most anticipated acts.

MONOMYTH

From Den Haag in The Netherlands, Monomyth are a beacon of heavy progadelic instrumentalism. Their latest opus is ‘Orbis Quadrantis’ on Suburban Records, and its lush melodies and exploratory vibe carry the listener across its span with all the grace of masters of the form. They’ve been kicking around Europe and the festival scene for the last six years since their self-titled debut came out, and it feels only overdue to have them at Freak Valley as part of our 2020 lineup. Just look for the sea of nodding heads in front of the stage and you’ll know you’re in the right place. They are one not to miss.

TEMPLE FANG

Space, as ever, is the place, and Amsterdam’s Temple Fang are sure to take us there as they come to Freak Valley for the first of what we hope will be many happy returns. With former members of Death Alley and the vastly underrated Mühr, Temple Fang set out on a new voyage of their own last year, and while we anxiously await a debut release, the chance to bring them to Siegen to play was too good to pass up. Maybe you’ve heard them yet and maybe you haven’t, but trust us when we tell you that these guys are up to something special and this is a band you want to see or you’ll regret it later. We promise.

Many more to come!

Tickets will be available at these booking offices by Monday morning Oct 21st: Die Tintenpatrone & Siegener Zeitung

Online Tickets (print at home and Hardtickets) will be available Wednesday Oct 23rd 6pm cet

Ticketprice will be €95 for all 3 dayz incl. camping.
Camping will be possible from Wednesday June 10th next year!

FREAK VALLEY 2020
No Fillers – Just Killers

https://www.facebook.com/events/2434350453469407/
https://www.facebook.com/freakvalley/

Temple Fang, “Not the Skull!” live in Haarlem, March 2019

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Freak Valley Festival Announces 2020 Dates; Live Videos Posted

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 27th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

freak valley logo

The next installment of Freak Valley Festival will be held June 11-13, 2020, and I’m telling you right now, I want to be there. It’s held in Siegen, Germany, and as I’ve been writing lineup announcements for the fest over the last two years or so, I’ve been embarrassed to be invited and unable to make it. This year, Freak Valley was held not only the same weekend as Maryland Doom Fest in the US — where I was — but also as Hellfest in France, and probably six or seven other festivals throughout Europe I can’t think of off the top of my head. Was Copenhell this past weekend too? Yup.

Jesus.

This year, Freak Valley announced — I didn’t write it — they were teaming up with the iconic German concert-video institution Rockpalast to live stream the event as it happened, and the results were staggering. I sat in the early part of the day with my jaw hanging open and watched Monolord absolutely devastate the huge crowd assembled before them, the level of production and the job capturing it — audio and video — absolutely gorgeous. King Buffalo put on an incredible show. Electric Moon! So much awesome, so little time.

The only bummer was Slomatics having to cancel, but they’ve reportedly already been invited for 2020, so at least that’s something to look forward to, but the videos of the sets that came together and were streamed are awesome and still available for your perusal. Some aren’t up on YouTube yet, so I’m including the streams direct as they appeared on Thee Facebooks when they were live. I started out with five of them and then saw the Spaceslug one and had to add them as the sixth. Of course there’s also YOB, New Zealand’s Arc of Ascent and the aforementioned Monolord, Electric Moon and King Buffalo. I figure six-plus hours of live material should probably be enough to keep you occupied for a while. It’s certainly been doing right by me.

Enjoy:

YOB

Monolord

Arc of Ascent

King Buffalo

Spaceslug

Electric Moon

Freak Valley Festival website

Freak Valley Festival on Thee Facebooks

Freak Valley Festival on Instagram

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Freak Valley 2019 Adds Valley of the Sun, A Place to Bury Strangers, High Fighter and More; Lineup Complete

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

freak valley 2019 final banner

I’ll just go ahead and answer a question no one asked by saying that, yes, I was thinking of Arrested Development when I wrote the opening line of the announcement below with “MONSTER” in all-caps. Like Buster Bluth with his hook raised. But I mean, who could argue, anyway. Looking at the final lineup for Freak Valley 2019, long since sold out, it is indeed beastly. Even the final splurge of additions below, with Valley of the SunTuberOutsideinsideGreat Electric QuestA Place to Bury StrangersLacertilia, High Fighter and John Fairhurst Band shows the festival branching out in terms of style and geography, and there’s really no stopping it. Biggest Freak Valley yet? Yeah, I think maybe it is. They’ve had some righteous lineups in the past, but it’s hard to mess with Corrosion of Conformity playing Deliverance or the kind of reach that pulls in Arc of Ascent from New Zealand. For them and Spaceslug alone, this thing is masterful. If you go, well, good call.

It’s been a pleasure to help the fest in the small way I have by writing these lineup announcements over the last however long. Here’s the final one:

freak valley 2019 final poster

+++ A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS | TUBER | VALLEY OF THE SUN | JOHN FAIRHURST BAND | OUTSIDEINSIDE | GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST | LACERTILIA | HIGH FIGHTER +++

Freaks!

This is it — the last lineup announcement for FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL 2019, and it’s a MONSTER.

In grand finale fashion, we’re doing an absolute blowout to finish out the three-day lineup for this year’s fest, and we’re continuing to add more and diverse acts from across a broad spectrum of heavy so you can, you know, broaden your horizons while you expand your consciousness.

So keep eyes, ears and mind open as we welcome A Place To Bury Strangers, Tuber, Valley of the Sun, John Fairhurst Band, Outsideinside, Great Electric Quest, Lacertilia and High Fighter to Freak Valley 2019!

A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS
Chaos holds a strong sway in the aesthetic of Brooklyn’s A Place to Bury Strangers, but out of that chaos has derived some of today’s most essential post-space experimentalism. With over 15 years of tenure under their belt in one form or another, they’ve remained relentlessly committed to a forward-thinking, deeply affecting approach, and they’ll come to FREAK VALLEY with an intent to own the stage as only they can. We’ll just say it in advance: You’re welcome.

TUBER
The Greek four-piece Tuber made a definitive statement in 2017 with their second album, ‘Out of the Blue.’ It was a record that took Krautrock and heavy vibes and keyboard-based nuance to a new level for the band and the ultra-populated, much-loved Greek scene from which they’ve emerged. Since their 2012 self-titled EP and the follow-up 2013 long-player, ‘Desert Overcrowded,’ they’ve been geared toward doing their own thing, and we can’t wait to bear witness to their doing exactly that.

VALLEY OF THE SUN
Yes! You may or may not know it yet, but Valley of the Sun are about to release one of the best albums of 2019. It’s called ‘Old Gods’ and it’s the perfect occasion to have the Ohio band over to play. As they approach a decade since their first release, they take their melodic, catchy, and heavy desert-style rock to a new level entirely and stand tall like the statesmen they’ve always been ready to be. If you thought you knew them, prepare to be surprised.

JOHN FAIRHURST BAND
Got the blues? Want some? John Fairhurst is nothing short of an electric blues master and a troubadour for our tumultuous times. His latest work — released April 12 — is ‘The Divided Kingdom,’ and for the UK-based guitarist probably not much more needs to be said about the meaning behind the title. His modern perspective brings a much-needed edge to a classic blues style, and no doubt we’ll all be dancing the merry dance when he comes to FREAK VALLEY.

OUTSIDEINSIDE
Born out of the ashes of Carousel, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based rockers Outsideinside — who are named for THE BEST Blue Cheer record; that’s right, we said it — made their debut with 2017’s ‘Sniff a Hot Rock,’ a shred-laced paradise of ‘70s-style soul boogie. They’ve been quiet since last Fall, but they’ll come roaring back to Europe to join our festivities and we know their warm vibes will turn heads when they hit the stage.

GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST
The seekers of the flame themselves are coming to FREAK VALLEY! The legend of Great Electric Quest has spread far and wide and now we’ll get the real deal right in our faces. The San Diego heavy rockers aren’t shy about their classic metal leanings or anything else, and whether they’re climbing on the amps or waving their banner, literally, their brash, all-out performance will be one you’ll be talking about when the weekend is done. Get ready for true madness.

LACERTILIA
Genre-spanning UK progressive, heavy, psychedelic, space, whatever-you-got rockers Lacertilia have a new album in progress right now. They’re done recording and were mixing last time we checked, so let’s say FREAK VALLEY’s their deadline. Get it done, gentlemen! Whether it’s on-hand or not for the fest, we’ll be glad to see them doing new material after their debut album, ‘We’re Already Inside Your Mind,’ so thoroughly kicked our asses in 2016.

HIGH FIGHTER
Speaking of new albums, High Fighter are in the midst of making their second full-length, taking their metallic sludgecore to new places with a fresh batch of songs to answer the accomplishments of 2016’s ‘Scars and Crosses.’ They’ve been pretty secretive on what the new record sounds like, but we know already they’ll deliver something special, so while we all wait for the release date to be announced, get ready for one of the most aggressive sets you’ll see all year.

www.freakvalley.de
https://www.facebook.com/freakvalley
https://www.facebook.com/events/299339670806919/
https://twitter.com/FreakValley

Great Electric Quest, Chapter II (2018)

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Freak Valley 2019 First Lineup Announcement: The Vintage Caravan, Electric Moon, Arc of Ascent, Spaceslug & Slomatics Confirmed

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

It’s fest-announcement cliche to say that if no more bands were added, the event in question would still be worth attending. Yet, five bands deep, I nonetheless feel precisely that way about Freak Valley 2019. Aside from the long-dreamt-of prospect of watching Craig Williamson (Datura, Lamp of the Universe) play live with Arc of Ascent, seeing Electric Moon, Slomatics or The Vintage Caravan, there’s Spaceslug from Poland, who are absolutely unreal on record and I can only imagine what they’d bring to the stage. So yeah, it’s cliche. I don’t give a damn. If Freak Valley 2019 turned out to be a five-band bill, it would still kick ass. They’d have a hard time making it fill three days, but you know, I bet it could work if it had to.

And spoiler alert: These aren’t the last bands who’ll be added. They’re the first.

Here’s what the fest has to say, and if the sentence construction looks familiar, it’s because I wrote the announcement:

freak valley 2019 the vintage caravan

Freaks!

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for, and let’s face it, the moment we’ve been waiting for too. We’ve been working away behind the scenes to bring you the best Freak Valley ever in 2019, and while there are a lot of announcements still to come, we’re already so proud of what the eighth installment of the festival holds, and we can’t wait to welcome you all back to Siegen next June 20-22!

Tickets for Freak Valley Festival 2019 go on sale tomorrow online, and are available as of today in local booking offices (Die Tintenpatrone / Konzertkasse Siegen). While we’re still reeling from this year’s fest and we know there’s still the Freak Valley X-Mas Fest 2018 to come on Dec. 15, we fully expect Freak Valley 2019 to sell out, and can’t stress it enough: Get your tickets now!

Of course, we wouldn’t put that out there without giving you some reasons why. Please bid welcome to the first five acts revealed for the 2019 Freak Valley Fest: The Vintage Caravan, Electric Moon, Spaceslug, Arc of Ascent and Slomatics!

The Vintage Caravan

Iceland’s favorite heavy rock sons return to the Freak Valley stage! After hearing their latest album, ‘Gateways,’ we knew we had to get The Vintage Caravan back to follow-up their performance in 2015. They’re a constant request every year and an absolute favorite of ours, so don’t miss out as The Vintage Caravan show the world once again why they’re one of the most powerful power trios around!

Electric Moon

Who doesn’t love a mission to outer space? Electric Moon jam their way to the heart of the sun and back every time they play, and create an atmosphere unlike anyone else. Led by Sula Bassana’s guitar and Komet Lulu’s bass, they’ve brought back original drummer Pablo Carneval and will make their Freak Valley return in 2019 with some of the trippiest inner peace you’ve ever heard. Get ready to have your mind expanded.

Arc of Ascent

Coming all the way from New Zealand, heavy psych rockers Arc of Ascent have long been on the Freak Valley wishlist. In 2017, they made a return with their third album, ‘Realms of the Metaphysical,’ and secured their place between psychedelia and grunge with a sound that pulls the best from both. Fronted by the lysergic master Craig Williamson (also Lamp of the Universe), we couldn’t me more thrilled to have them in Siegen in 2019!

Spaceslug

Quite simply, this is one of our favorite new(er) bands out there. From their home in Poland, Spaceslug have worked quickly to put out three albums in three years, and the latest, ‘Eye the Tide,’ found them embracing not only the massive walls of fuzz and melodies for which they’ve become known in Europe and beyond, but also textures out of more extreme metal and a progressive sound that’s all the more their own. They just keep getting better.

Slomatics

If you’ve never witnessed Slomatics live, the only thing to do is correct that oversight. That’s all there is to it. The Northern Irish sci-fi doom rockers are unlike anyone else, with ethereal melodies and inhuman tone brought to bear with two guitars on opposite sides of the stage working together and with the drums to pummel the audience into cosmic dust? Never been cosmic dust before? Well, 2019’s your year to get on it. And you should. They don’t tour much, so this is a special opportunity. Don’t let it pass by.

Freak Valley 2019
Eight Years of All Killer – No Filler

Tickets on sale online TOMORROW. Don’t miss out, and stay tuned for more lineup announcements to come soon!

Thanks so much for your support. Freak Valley wouldn’t exist without you.

Your Rock Freaks

www.freakvalley.de
https://www.facebook.com/freakvalley
https://www.facebook.com/events/299339670806919/
https://twitter.com/FreakValley

Arc of Ascent, Realms of the Metaphysical (2017)

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The Flying Eyes to Play Last Show at Freak Valley 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Gonna miss these guys. Like far too many, Baltimore’s The Flying Eyes go out never having really received the acclaim they deserved. I thought their 2017 album, Burning of the Season (review here), might finally get the job done with Ripple Music standing behind it, but I guess now we won’t even really get to know how it plays out. The Flying Eyes are done.

I don’t know if they ever toured the US completely, and even if they did the coasts, it was nothing like the road time they put in abroad. Regular fixtures in Europe and South America, it’s only fitting that their last show should be on European soil, and only fitting that they should also be the final band announced for the Freak Valley 2018 lineup.

The writeup below was written by me (see if you can spot the Star Trek reference!) and posted by Freak Valley on the social medias thusly:

the flying eyes freak valley 2018

This is it, Freaks!

It’s been a long road, but we’ve finally reached the last band for the bill at Freak Valley 2018, and it couldn’t possibly be more special to us.

Please welcome THE FLYING EYES to the lineup!

The Baltimore, Maryland, nomads are no strangers to those who dwell in Freak Valley after multiple European tours, but getting them to play in 2018 was a necessity once we heard they were breaking up. That’s right – after their best album yet, 2017’s ‘Burning of the Season,’ they’re calling it quits. Taking their blues rock toys and going home.

The Flying Eyes leave us at the absolute top of their game, and we know their Freak Valley 2018 set will be a special, must-see one for all you loyal Freaks out there.

“We are really honored to play our final gig at the legendary Freak Valley Festival,” says drummer Elias Schutzman. “We weren’t planning to come back after our last European tour, but festival creator Jens Heide (an old friend) made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. And we realized it would be the perfect place to say goodbye, especially since Germany has always been so important to us.”

We’re sorry to see them go, but we know we’ll love watching them one last time on the Freak Valley stage. These guys were truly something unique, and they’ll be missed. Come celebrate everything that The Flying Eyes was with their last set ever!

Freak Valley Festival 2018 // No Fillers – Just Killers

Line-up 2018:
OM, Russian Circles, Candlemass, Karma To Burn, My Sleeping Karma, The Flying Eyes, MY BABY, Mars Red Sky, SUMAC, LUCIFER, Wolf People, Yuri Gagarin, Dýse, The Freeks, SACRI MONTI, Steak, Black Bombaim, Year of the Cobra, Purple Hill Witch, Ouzo Bazooka, Ruff Majik, Toke, Humulus, KALEIDOBOLT, Rage of Samedi, Nap, No Man’s Valley, Mountain Dust.

That’s it! Lineup is complete!

Have a freaky time – your Rock Freaks

www.freakvalley.de
https://www.facebook.com/freakvalley
https://www.facebook.com/events/738782742996668/
https://twitter.com/FreakValley

The Flying Eyes, Burning of the Season (2017)

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Freak Valley 2018: Candlemass, Steak, Wolf People, Mountain Dust & No Man’s Valley Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

freak valley 2018 banner

Time marches on and the lineup for Freak Valley 2018 only grows more substantial. I won’t take anything away from Wolf People (whose Ruins album currently sits in my Amazon cart awaiting purchase) or Steak or No Man’s Valley or Mountain Dust here, who’ve all joined the ranks, but the highlight here has to be the addition to doom legends Candlemass to the Freak Valley 2018 melange. If you haven’t seen them in the last few years, the Swedish innovators are absolutely dead-on on stage, and though it’s coming up on six years since they released their last full-length, they still do nothing but kill when it comes to delivering a set.

I wrote the announcement for them and everyone else that you’ll find below, as posted by Freak Valley on the social medias:

freak valley 2018 candlemass

Freaks, assemble!

Gather ‘round – it’s time for the next round of adds to our already-sold-out, already-massive 2018 incarnation of FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL! It’s got legends with ancient dreams and upstarts with tales of red rains, but before we dive in, we’d like to personally thank each and every one of you for making Freak Valley 2018 a sell-out months in advance. It warms our freaky hearts to know you feel as passionately about this as we do, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone to Freak Valley 2018 on May 30!

Alright, enough mushy stuff. Time to welcome Candlemass, Wolf People, Steak, Mountain Dust, and No Man’s Valley to the lineup!

CANDLEMASS

Since Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, nobody has doomed quite like the Swedish legends in Candlemass. Bassist Leif Edling has spent decades conjuring riffs that have become classics, and from that first album in 1986 through the new EP House of Doom coming in May, they’ve never failed to deliver Sabbath-worthy vibes and a groove all their own. There’s only one Candlemass and we couldn’t be more stoked to have them as part of Freak Valley 2018!

WOLF PEOPLE

In 2016, UK psychedelic four-piece Wolf People released their third album, Ruins, and told a tale of an earth without people. The buzz and the spaciousness through which the band created these unpopulated soundscapes were gorgeous, and still somehow tied to a folkish pulse. They’re not to be missed when they take the Freak Valley stage, and if you think you know the reaches of psychedelia, think again.

STEAK

As meaty as their name, these UK riff aficionados have been dominating Britain and beyond for years now, and their welcome to Freak Valley can only be called overdue. Their second album, No God to Save, came out on Ripple Music last year and absolutely blew us away with in following up 2014’s desert homage Slab City, as Steak came more into their own and their groove became even more lethal.

MOUNTAIN DUST

With cuts like “Evil Deeds” and “Tale of the Red Rain,” Montreal’s Mountain Dust proffered organ-laced blues across their 2016 debut, Nine Years, and blew away listeners and critics alike with the force and soul of their delivery. They’ve got a new record in the works for this year and will hit Freak Valley as part of their first-ever European tour, so don’t miss on these up and comers while you’ve got the chance to catch them now!

NO MAN’S VALLEY

Few first albums hit us as hard as the heavy blues of No Man’s Valley’s Time Travel upon its release in 2016. Like The Flying Eyes and All Them Witches before them, the interplay of keys and guitar and tales of witches gave a classic atmosphere to the Netherlands outfit’s work, and their memorable songwriting only made even more of an impression. We’re keeping our fingers crossed they show off some new material!

Freak Valley Festival 2018 // No Fillers – Just Killers

Line-up 2018:
OM, Russian Circles, Candlemass, Karma To Burn, My Sleeping Karma, MY BABY, Mars Red Sky, SUMAC, LUCIFER, Wolf People, Yuri Gagarin, Dýse, The Freeks, SACRI MONTI, Steak, Black Bombaim, Year of the Cobra, Purple Hill Witch, Ouzo Bazooka, Ruff Majik, Toke, Humulus, KALEIDOBOLT, Rage of Samedi, Nap, No Man’s Valley, Mountain Dust

More tba soon

Have a freaky time – your Rock Freaks

www.freakvalley.de
https://www.facebook.com/freakvalley
https://www.facebook.com/events/738782742996668/
https://twitter.com/FreakValley

Candlemass, Live at Rock Hard Festival 2017

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Freak Valley 2018: Karma to Burn, The Freeks, Toke, Ouzo Bazooka Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

freak valley 2018

How do I know the following announcement from Freak Valley 2018 is awesome? Well, for starters I wrote the frickin’ thing. That might put me in something of a position of authority on the subject, but even if not, you don’t really need to look any further than the bands themselves to realize there’s righteousness afoot. Karma to Burn — always greeted as liberators — will make an appearance, and L.A.’s The Freeks will head to Germany supporting their yet-to-be-released new album.

I wasn’t as familiar with Ouzo Bazooka, though I’d seen the name (and once you see that name, you remember it), but checked out their stuff and found it wanting nothing in its blend of psychedelia and classic surf, but I think it’s Toke who are really going to surprise a lot of people when they take the Freak Valley stage. I’ve said before that the North Carolina trio are the inheritors of a Southern sludge legacy going back to Buzzov*en and other such early/mid-90s noisemakers, but they deliver their sound with a next-generation energy and have toured hard the last couple years to refine their attack. I would not be surprised if they come back from Europe a significantly bigger band.

Just my thoughts. Here’s that announcement, which, again, I wrote, as posted by the fest on the social medias:

Freaks, gather!

The time is coming ever closer, and we’ve already announced so many killer acts from OM and Yuri Gagarin to Russian Circles, Nap, and Year of the Cobra. We could not possibly be prouder of the fact that Freak Valley 2018 is already sold out, and we thank you so much for your support both this year and in festivals past. It’s the community of freaks that lets this thing happen year after year and keep getting bigger, so thank you!

Four new bands to welcome today and they’re awesome, so pay attention! Please say hi to Karma To Burn, The Freeks, Toke, and Ouzo Bazooka!

KARMA TO BURN

Led by founding guitarist Will Mecum, KTB are pioneers of instrumental heavy rock and roll. Yeah, the first album had a singer, and they’ve brought in guests in the past – some dude named John Garcia, etc. – but as they are today, Mecum, bassist Eric Clutter and drummer Evan Devine have never been such a force from the stage, and after years and years of lineup changes, bad luck, more lineup changes and worse luck, it finally seems like Karma to Burn are ready to take their place among the top league of riffers worldwide.

THE FREEKS

Welcome to Freek Valley! Los Angeles classic heavy rockers The Freeks – with none other than Ruben Romano (Nebula, Fu Manchu) behind the kit – recently announced they’ll release a third full-length this year through Heavy Psych Sounds. Could we wait to hear what was in store after loving their 2016 offering, Shattered, so much? Obviously not. We booked them, didn’t we? Get ready for punk-funk-psych-boogie-blues like none other, because – hey, big surprise – The Freeks feel no need to fit in with the expected fare.

TOKE

These North Carolinian sludge bastards are pucking up the next generation of a legacy for filth-coated riffing and heavy-ass-those-bass-cabinets groove begun by the likes of Buzzov*en, Eyehategod, and Sourvein. Yes, that’s the league of bands we’re talking about. Their Orange LP was released earlier this year, and you might not know it yet, but Toke are very quickly getting ready to conquer every stage onto which they set their collective foot. Don’t miss the opportunity to see them prove the power of truly unhinged sludge riffing.

OUZO BAZOOKA

Look. We’re not saying you’re going to watch about 30 seconds of Ouzo Bazooka’s set and then immediately decide you need to hit the merch table as soon as they’re done and purchase everything they have for sale – but yes, that is exactly what’s going to happen. The Tel Aviv-based psych-surf four-piece issued their latest EP, Songs from 1001 Nights, at the start of 2018, and further refined their blend of Western and Middle Eastern influences to sound like nothing else out there – nuanced but familiar like a dance in some lost otherworldly dream.

Freak Valley Festival 2018 // No Fillers – Just Killers

Line-up 2018:
OM, Russian Circles, Karma To Burn, My Sleeping Karma, My Baby, Mars Red Sky, Sumac, Lucifer, Yuri Gagarin, Dýse, The Freeks, Sacri Monti, Black Bombaim, Year of the Cobra, Purple Hill Witch, Ouzo Bazooka, Ruff Majik, Toke, Humulus, Kaleidobolt, Rage of Samedi, Nap
More tba soon

Have a freaky time – your Rock Freaks

www.freakvalley.de
https://www.facebook.com/freakvalley
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Karma to Burn, Live in Paris, Dec. 23, 2017

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Freak Valley 2018: Russian Circles, Year of the Cobra, Black Bombaim, Ruff Majik & My Baby Added to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

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Not taking anything away from anyone in this latest announcement from Freak Valley 2018, but for me, the find of the bunch is South African heavy-grooving three-piece Ruff Majik, who, what they lack in spelling they more than compensate for with riff-led immersive roll as well as a prolific rate of releases.

Again, that’s not to detract at all from the radness of the fact that Year of the Cobra are making the trip, or that Russian Circles will no doubt feature somewhere near the top of the bill, but I wasn’t familiar with Ruff Majik prior to this announcement and was happy to have the chance to check them out.

If you’d like to do the same, their latest EP is streaming at the bottom of this post. Go ahead and give it a shot. Maybe name your price on one of those downloads they have set up on such terms.

Here’s the full announcement from the fest, which, as it happens, I wrote:

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Happy New Year, Freaks!

We’re creeping ever closer to the start of FREAK VALLEY FESTIVAL 2018, and you know what that means: More announcements, more reasons to come, and less time to plan your trip. If you missed out on tickets before they sold out, sorry, but you can’t say you weren’t warned. For everyone else, we’ve got FIVE awesome new confirmations to reveal for the lineup!

Please welcome Russian Circles, Black Bombaim, Year of the Cobra, Ruff Majik and MY BABY to the bill for Freak Valley 2018!

RUSSIAN CIRCLES

No way these guys need any introduction. For over a decade, Chicago instrumental trio Russian Circles have made themselves forerunners of heavy and psychedelic post-rock, and with their records Enter, Station, Geneva, Empros, Memorial and Guidance, they’ve become one of the most essential acts of their generation. Expect immersion like nothing else when they take the stage for all the Freaks! They might even leave the lights on! On second thought, nah, probably not.

BLACK BOMBAIM

If you’ve never experienced Portuguese jammers Black Bombaim live, you don’t even know what you’ve been missing. The raw chemistry, the dynamic turns – everything they do recalls the best of improvisational psychedelic rock. Their flow is molten and unlike anyone else’s in the style, and they come to Freak Valley as ready to explore new ground as ever in the far-out cosmic reaches.

YEAR OF THE COBRA

While the bass/drum two-piece recalled riffy greats like Sleep and Acid King on their debut album, In the Shadows Below, it was the 2017 EP, Burn Your Dead, that really showed off the diversity of sound Year of the Cobra could bring to bear. The Seattle duo hit Europe for the first time supporting the album and as they come back ahead of a new full-length in 2018, we’re thrilled to welcome them for their first visit to Freak Valley!

RUFF MAJIK

Traveling all the way from Pretoria, South Africa, the heavy-grooving trio Ruff Majik have been belting out releases at a prolific clip since their 2015 debut, The Bear. By the time they make it to Siegen this May, they’ll be riding high on the blues-psych vibes of their latest work, A Stag in the Leaves, and we can’t wait to introduce them to the Freaks and give everyone a taste of their laid back riffs and classic style.

MY BABY

Based in Amsterdam (because where else?), My Baby come to Freak Valley 2018 offering a spirit and a musical energy like nothing else on the bill. Their 2017 album, Prehistoric Rhythm, ran contrary to its name with a blend of soul, blues, funk, dance and classic rock that could only be from the future. Still, it spoke to something primitive in all of us – a basic need to move, to get up, to shake ass, and we know they’ll have the Freaks doing exactly that.

Freak Valley Festival 2018 // No Fillers – Just Killers

Line-up 2018:
OM, Russian Circles, My Sleeping Karma, My Baby, Yuri Gagarin, Dÿse, Black Bombaim, Year of the Cobra, Ruff Majik, Rage of Samedi, Nap
More tba soon

Have a freaky time – your Rock Freaks

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Ruff Majik, A Dragon and His Hoard (2017)

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