Album Review: Elder, Omens

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

elder omens

There has yet to be an pharmacy admission essay help You Can Trust. As you know, any writing assignment requires individual approach and good writing skills. Our company offers Elder release that did not move forward from the one before it. They have never repeated themselves, and even if 2017’s The Scarlet Letter Essay Help' Handbook is an essential guide, useful for brand new writers and experienced professionals. Reflections of a Floating World (review here) seemed to be in direct conversation with its predecessor, the landmark 2015 outing, Teacher Essay Writing — it is easier than you think! Our best writers provide top-quality help to everyone who decides to order theses. Leave all Lore (review here), it found ways to expand their sound by incorporating the work of then-new keyboardist/guitarist  Get More Info Requirements admission college essay help requirements Diversity Scholarship For Minority Students In Medicine At AUA!need help in writing an academic essay for london College Essay Requirement Admission essay on love gay marriage persuasive essayYour essay can give admission officers a sense of who you are, as well as showcasing your writing skills. Mike Risberg, opening up to fluid sections of kraut-inspired improvisational jamming that came to fruition more on 2019’s instrumental  Recommended Site Essay Writer Generator - Title Ebooks : Essay Writer Generator - Category : Kindle and eBooks PDF - Author : ~ unidentified The Gold & Silver Sessions EP (discussed here). The band’s fifth album, Looking for Assignment Expert advice, online assignment help, Help Me Term Papers help, assessments writing service in economical price? Omens — which is issued through Your professors enforce different essay projects, term papers, essay online, you need to buy essay online. If you do not weblink in Armageddon Shop in the US and  A Cause And Effect Essay Should Be Written - Use this company to get your sophisticated thesis delivered on time Top affordable and trustworthy academic writing help. Spend Stickman Records in Europe and might as well be taking its title from what an entire league of other groups’ debuts will sound like four years from now — is no exception to the rule. It is, instead, a leap with eyes and both feet forward into new echelons of lush melody and progressive rock.

While their foundation may have been in the lumbering riffery of their 2008 self-titled (discussed here), a penchant for complexity began to take hold in 2011’s  MedEdits' medical school admissions consulting services will help and reputable medical school cheap dissertation writing. Dead Roots Stirring (review here) and 2012’s Don’t know how to Cv Writing Help Uk? The procedure is quite straightforward. You simply need to inspect our landing page, search an ordering form and Spires Burn/Release (discussed here), but even that feels primitive in hindsight in comparison to what they bring to light across the five tracks and 55 minutes of ut quest homework help http://futablog.com/best-wishes-for-new-assignment/ thesis custom nav menu business plan writers phoenix az Omens.  BUY hop over to here College Essay: Academic Writing Company Sets Example Press release – October 04, 2012 Ukplatinumessays.com, an academic writing Risberg‘s work is central to that, and he’s joined on keys throughout by founding guitarist/vocalist  http://hinzlab.com/?non-assigned. US-based service has hired native writers with graduate degrees, capable of completing all types of papers on any academic level. Nick DiSalvo — whose linear style of composition has remained an essential facet to dissertation articles esay on leadership Search dissertation on evaluation of training homework help american government Elder‘s approach even as so much else has changed — as well as guest spots on mellotron and Fender Rhodes by  Read our review of Sample Math Problems wriitng service to know whether you should trust them your academic papers. Fabio Cuomo, who makes an impression with the latter early in the near-11-minute rollout of the opening title-track. It is a shift in breadth of influence as much as one of sonic priorities, but  Omens neither forgets where it came from nor gives up its sense of heft. Jack Donovan‘s bass arguably carries more responsibility than ever before for serving as the anchor of the rhythm section, since even as Elder have so clearly coalesced with Risberg as “the new guy,” they here introduce drummer Georg Edert (also of Germany’s Gaffa Ghandi) to the fold in place of Matt Couto.

As fluid as the results are throughout Omens, that is a major change. Couto‘s personality as a drummer is rare and distinct, and he’s not the kind of player one can simply replace. Much to their credit, Elder don’t try. Rather, Edert establishes quickly through “Omens” and “In Procession” his own style of play, feeding off the unfolding dramas of melody in the keys and DiSalvo‘s sweeping guitar progressions. A straightforward backbeat grounds the winding verse of “In Procession” even as Elder move into new textures and a more contoured sound than they’ve ever had before, some midsection crash satisfying those seeking a payoff along the way — indeed, the title-track’s opening riff likewise serves as something of an embrace of heavier impulses; give me a bit, we’ll get there — ahead of a keyboard solo and return of the vocals and finishing section, and Edert‘s play not only keeps up with these characteristically head-spinning, sometimes-maddening shifts from part to part, but enhances them. He emerges as a drummer of class and intention, able to bring a jazzy sensibility when called upon to do so or to rock out as need be. Though he’s inevitably the new “new guy,” this material is stronger for what he brings to it.

elder

That’s true as well in “Halcyon,” the designation of which as the centerpiece would not seem to be happenstance. The longest cut at 12:48, it summarizes much of the growth that’s to be heard throughout Omens, opening with a gloriously languid unfurling of electronic and natural rhythm and multi-layered melodic coasting. There is a subtle build happening, with tension mounting in the guitar that moves forward gradually, but there’s a stop in the drums before the full-volume surge happens at 4:24 (also, by coincidence, the release day), and Elder successfully bring together the various sides of their continually deepening sonic persona — the weighted tonality of their earliest work, the push into conscious craft, too heady to be psychedelic but too aerial to be called anything but otherworldly. It is time to start thinking of DiSalvo among composers like Opeth‘s Mikael Ă…kerfeldt, not just because of an affinity for prog, but in terms of the ability to take seemingly disparate styles and create something new and individual from them. Elder‘s sound, despite an increasing amount of bands working in their wake, is their own, and there is no compromise to be found across Omens.

“Halcyon” is a triumph of their method, its finishing balance of patience and push all the more emblematic of their well-earned maturity as a unit, and yet it hardly stops before the returning mellotron in “Embers” signals the next movement of the record is underway, with chunky start and stops and a heavier roll that gives ground about halfway through to an instrumental build that could almost be in answer to “Halcyon,” culminating in wah sweep and farewell spiraling noise. This, ahead of the wistful standalone guitar that begins closer “One Light Retreating” and is soon joined by the full crux of tonal presence, DiSalvo‘s voice in the initial lines bringing to mind an almost post-hardcore/emo mindset in the verse before that heavier part returns in a back and forth that finds the one building off the next. As Elder has progressed relentlessly, so too has DiSalvo as a singer and somewhat reluctant frontman, but the feeling conveyed in “One Light Retreating” is at a level that wouldn’t have been possible even five years ago. Unsurprisingly, “One Light Retreating” does not blow itself out at the finish, but indeed retreats, with a poised instrumental flow that once again underscores not just the emotionality on display — I haven’t had the benefit of a lyric sheet, so I’m just going by what I hear — but a genuine encapsulation of the melodic and rhythmic grace they’ve been displaying all along.

Elder are a refinement process. They are driven by this need to move forward, and each of their albums becomes a summary of what they’ve learned since the last. Omens, whatever its title might directly be referencing, inevitably looks ahead. An omen does not occur in the past — lore does. Omens is Elder signaling the beginning of their next stage as a band, as all their work has been, and as ever, it finds them not thinking about where they’ve been, but where they might still go creatively, and these songs are made to be lived with. They will reveal their nuances to listeners not over a period of weeks or months, but years. This is part of what makes Elder such a special, singular band, and part of what has led their work to resonate on as great a scale as it has. Whatever they might do next, don’t expect it to sound just like this, but if Omens is itself a portent of things to come, heavy music will be all the more fortunate to have Elder as statesmen.

Elder, Omens (2020)

Elder on Thee Facebooks

Elder on Instagram

Elder on Bandcamp

Armageddon Shop website

Stickman Records website

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Freak Valley Festival 2020 Postponed to June 2021

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

I knew this was coming — we all did — and I readily acknowledge that people are losing their lives and there are bigger concerns at play here than the fact that I don’t get to fly to Germany and see cool bands in June, but damnit, this was gonna be my year! And a fucking pandemic breaks out? Seriously? After years of being invited, after having a friggin’ Obelisk logo on the poster for the fest — next to the bloody likes of Rockpalast; do you have any idea what an HONOR that is? — I was finally, finally, finally going to make the journey to Siegen and bask in the glory of Freak Valley Festival. And, well, here we are.

Again, I know there are life-and-death concerns here, and I’m not at all advocating the position that they fest should take place as was planned for this June — it absolutely should not — but I just needed to take a second, step back, and whine about it for a while.

I was going to see Beastwars… I was going to hang out with the Slomatics guys…

I’m allowed to be bummed about this stuff.

Thank you for your indulgence.

I wrote this announcement, and it was painful to write, but I do honestly believe that the festival will work to build an even stronger 2021, and the invite has already come in, you can bet your ass that — notwithstanding global catastrophe — I’ll be there.

From social media:

freak valley 2020 off

Hi Freaks,

Well, we all know why we’re here, right?

Believe us when we say we’ve held out hope as long as we could — and we’re sorry for the delay in news — but with Germany putting the lock on live shows until Aug. 31, obviously we’ll have to postpone Freak Valley until next year.

Here’s what you need to know quickly:

– FVF will happen June 3-5 2021.
– Your 2020 tickets remain valid for the 2021 fest.
– If you want/need to get a refund, email tickets@freakvalley.de. This option is valid till September 30 2020.

Every year, we sit down and think about what would make the most amazing heavy festival possible, and then we pour our hearts into making it happen. After 2019, we knew this year was going to blow doors down and we are crushed to not be able to see it do exactly that.

Of course the health of our beloved freaks, our performers, our crews and ourselves — let alone anyone else that any of us might come into contact with — has to come first. So here we are.

Today we’re sad not to be able to bring you Freak Valley Festival 2020.

Tomorrow we’re going to get on making Freak Valley 2021 even better.

That’s who we are. That’s what we do. And that’s what’s going to keep us going until all this madness is over and we can all stand together in front of the stage again.

Please stay well, take care of yourselves, and we promise we’ll speak soon.

FREAK VALLEY 2021
No Fillers – Just Killers

https://www.facebook.com/events/2434350453469407/
https://www.facebook.com/freakvalley/
http://www.freakvalley.de/
http://www.rockfreaks.de/

Beastwars, IV (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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Days of Rona: Behrang Alavi, Andreas Voland & Stephan Voland of Samavayo

Posted in Features on April 16th, 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. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

samavayo

Days of Rona: Behrang Alavi, Andreas Voland & Stephan Voland of Samavayo (Berlin, Germany)

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 everyone is healthy in our band and crew. Basically, we are continuing to write songs for our new album, which is planned to be released in 2021.

We had to cancel some shows in May, which is sad, but we were lucky again, that we had no tour planned in early 2020. We are still working on plans for autumn 2020, but no one knows what will happen in the next months.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

In Germany we have to stay home but can go out for a walk or for running some errands. We are allowed to meet family members (living in the same household) or to meet up with one person (not living in the same household). We are also allowed to go out to work… that means for us we can meet for rehearsals.

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

People are acting very differently. Basically everybody accepts the situation and the rules. Some people are drifting into conspiracies, which is very annoying, because they spread this shit in social medias, etc. We have a lot of contacts with friends and we keep us informed and encourage each other.

Some bands are starting to play online concerts. And well it is fun. I don’t know if that would be something for Samavayo, maybe later in May, as a substitute for the canceled shows.

Of course we have a lot of friends working in the music business and they are heavily affected at the moment. They are struggling really hard to make ends meet. We hope they will overcome this period: bookers, promoters, drivers, tour managers, club owners, festival managers, etc.

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

We hope people are seeing the whole situation as a chance. That people are finding back to the important things in life. The system of constant growing, the philosophy of capitalism and growing markets are not everything that counts. More important is a good working friendship, family, social life in general, to help and encourage each other and to value a good working government and social system.

Our thoughts are with our friends around the globe fighting to survive in places being in a much more difficult situation than Germany like USA, Italy, Iran, Spain and many more. We hope to meet each other soon on one of those festivals!

https://www.facebook.com/samavayo/
https://www.instagram.com/samavayo/
https://www.samavayo.com/
https://www.youtube.com/user/samavayo

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Review & Video Premiere: Wight, Spank the World

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on April 10th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Wight Spank The World

German heavy psych-funk rockers Wight release their new album, Spank the World, on April 24 through Kozmik Artifactz and Fat and Holy Records. Let it suffice to say that Spank the World is the funkdoobiest, trippiest, soul-drippingest apocalyptic sci-fi heavy psych epic you’re going to hear this year, and the fact that it’s likely also the only one you’re going to hear this year has very, very little to do with that. Based in Darmstadt and working as a more involved four-piece with percussionist Steffen Kirchpfening having become more ingrained as a part of the band since joining after most of the skeletal writing for 2016’s Love is Not Only What You Know (review here), Wight moves guitarist/vocalist/key-specialist and directional figurehead RenĂ© Hofmann into the role of producer as well, tracking over the course of most of last year even as his Wasted Life Studio was being built to completion.

And Spank the World, though it runs a tidy 10 songs and 40 minutes, would not seem to have been a minor undertaking in terms of recording aspirations. Even putting aside the rhythmic complexities brought to bear by Kirchpfening and drummer Thomas Kurek and the shifts in prominence between Hofmann‘s guitar and various keys — organ, clavinet, synthesizers, samplers, etc. (Kirchpfening contributes in this regard as well) — and the swaps between fretted and fretless bass from Peter-Philipp Schierhorn, the guest spots of violin on post-intro opener “Hot,” sax, trombone and trumpet on “Nervous” and “Island in the Sun,” and yes, baritone oud on the three-part pre-outro closer “Bon Apocalypso,” all make for Wight‘s most sonically complex offering to-date, having grown out of the stoner-fuzz beginnings of 2011’s Wight Weedy Wight (review here) and into more psychedelic fare on 2012’s quick-turnaround follow-up, Through the Woods into Deep Water (review here), before restructuring the lineup and bringing in Kirchpfening as a fourth member.

The shift in direction toward broader arrangements seemed at the time to have necessitated that move, and listening to Spank the World, it makes even more sense. Songs like “Island in the Sun,” or the disco-funk tripper “Spiritual Gangster” — a quick instrumental that follows “Hot” and nonetheless serves as more than an interlude in transitioning between the album’s first single and “Nervous” and Motorgroove,” which follow in succession — have a sonic breadth to them that, well, probably would’ve taken much longer than a year to record, even if the three of them had managed to come up with all the same ideas that having a fourth person as a part of the process allowed them to explore. That of course is to say nothing of the aforementioned guest appearances on strings and horns, or the added background vocals, elements of gang shouts, and general twists of mood that come to fruition in the songs themselves, be it the bound-to-be-a-follow-up-single “Time’s Up” on side B or the seven-minute “Bon Apocalypso” itself, which is a somewhat pieced-together freakout jam, less psych than “Motorgroove” at the end of side A, but still flowing and progressive in the finished product. One way or another, people, it all gets pretty wild.

Wight (Photo by Jan Ehlers)

And there’s no doubt left as to that being the band’s precise intent, but that doesn’t mean the songs themselves are haphazard. After “Intro” sets up the rest of what’s to come with synth and various other elements and the robot-voice spoken word of, indeed, ‘The Robot’s Sermon,’ promising a funky end of the world to come, and that’s exactly how the narrative is framed, even as “Hot” — tagged in the liner notes with the line ‘Global Warming’s Not the Only Thing Heating Me Up!’ — and “Nervous” and “Time’s Up” could be just as easily regarded as relationship pieces one way or the other, and are. But, human life being what it is, and with the traditions Wight are working toward on Spank the World, from the mid-’70s P-Funk of  Let’s Take it to the Stage to the work of groups like Afreaka!, Mandrill, Cymande and so on, those records never lacked for sex, whatever other issues they might’ve been tackling at the time, so one is inclined to roll with Wight as they accordingly play it loose on the narrative.

As they come out of the subtly jazzy “Interlude” with the spoken delivery of the album’s title line, and embark into “Island in the Sun,” with its laid-back nod tempo and waka-chawaka guitar, they even go so far as to acknowledge the departure they’re making. Again, the liner: ‘C’mon, Everybody Needs It.’ Aside from the statement of class equality inherent in that ‘everybody,’ the simple ‘c’mon’ acts not only as an invitation to the listener to join them on the trip they’re taking sound-wise, but seems to be looking to be cut some slack as well. And it’s slack well earned, because no matter where Wight venture in terms of mood or atmosphere on Spank the World, they do so with precisely as much of a sense of control as they want to convey. “Island in the Sun” shreds out a solo late. “Hot” departs into talkbox psychedelic quirk. “Motorgroove” dream-jams its way into the collection’s crunchiest riff. The minute-long “Outro” distorts electronic beats and bass to act as a bed for a quick description of the aftermath of the funky overlords’ wiping clean the slate of the earth.

But through all of this and everything else, Wight never seem to get lost, and each piece of Spank the World not only feels complete within itself — the instrumentals feel instrumental for a reason; the hooks are well placed — but feeds into the larger progression of the record as a whole. Spank the World is not at all a full-length that one might’ve guessed the band would eventually come up with nine years ago listening to Wight Weedy Wight, but finding out what they’re going to do next has always been part of what makes hearing a new Wight release such an exciting proposition, and as they take the forward steps they do with these tracks, working in and further toward continued mastery of their highly, highly individualized approach, they remain both exciting and unpredictable. This album? It’s a blast. Maybe you can get down and maybe you can’t, but if you find yourself thinking that an LP about giant alien robots coming not to make the Earth stand still, but to boogie into its oblivion is something that doesn’t appeal to you, I dare say it’s time to rethink that position. Today. Do it now.

I’m thrilled to host the premiere of the video for “Hot” below, and even more thrilled because it comes accompanied with such thorough background on the album from bassist Peter-Philipp Schierhorn. Thanks to the band for letting me host the clip, and to Schierhorn in particular for taking the time. Spank the World is out April 24 on Kozmik Artifactz and Fat and Holy Records.

Enjoy:

Wight, “Hot” official video premiere

Preorders here: https://lnk.to/Wight_SpanktheWorld

Peter-Philipp Schierhorn on Spank the World:

This is Peter, the bass player from Wight. Rene asked me to write a few words on our new album – right before the release, there are tonloads of stuff to do, and Rene is in charge of most of those. And maybe it’s also not the worst choice to hear the story from the personal perspective of a guy who was involved, but not from THE main guy who did almost everything the entire time.

As you may read in the “official” press text, Rene was definitely in charge of almost everything during the recording as well. At the first glance, that’s only a small change from previous releases, he was quite obviously credited as the producer or pre-producer on all our releases. Which makes sense, the guy went to college for sound engineering and has gathered quite a lot of experience as a live and studio engineer and producer over the years. “Spank the World” is however the first Wight release that didn’t involve at least some external sound engineer getting involved at some point (well, a friend mastered it in the end, but that was when everything was basically finished already).

There is of course a bit more to the story than we put in the official press text. Usually, people never read more than one page (if at all), but Rene told me you may be interested in some more background information. Lots of different things happened since we came back from the last tour in fall 2017. We haven’t been playing live all that much in the meanwhile, but as you can hear on the album we weren’t really lazy either. But we obviously didn’t spend two and a half years recording.

After “Love Is Not Only What You Know”, we were really figuring out how to work as a four piece band. Steffen wrote and recorded percussion for the album, but only got involved after the rest of the music had already been written. We then had to see how to perform live and quickly found out while percussion and synthesizers were a nice addition to our sound, they bounced us from being the easiest-to-mix rock trio in the world to being every FOH engineer’s nightmare. On top of that, we carried a full recording rig with us on one of the tour legs, which resulted in the “Fusion Rock Invasion – Live over Europe” live album. That one turned out nicely, but the tour was semi-hellish especially for our sound guy Josko (the guy who mastered our album) and Rene, who was of course supporting him besides being the front man of the band. Over time, we found a couple of solutions that made everyone’s life easier, such as having a sub-mixer on stage and only sending out a stereo signal of percussion and synths to the FOH. But that was only the beginning.

We also found out we could do a lot more musically with the additional member and a multitude of additional instruments, but that also meant that our usual approach of jamming in the rehearsal room, then playing the songs live until they were really tight, and then recording them in one go, no longer really worked. There are a few old-style jam tracks on the album, but at some point we decided to really focus on a studio recording. Finish and arrange stuff in the studio, use whatever means necessary to produce a great record, and then try and arrange those songs we wanted to play into proper live versions.

I don’t remember exactly when the decision was taken, but I remember that before the last “LINOWYK” tour in late 2017, Rene proposed a live hiatus afterwards, which we should use to help him build a studio so we could record our next album all by ourselves and take all the time we needed. He only had this tiny little studio, but the room next door in the building had just become available, he had rented it and wanted to make a proper recording room out of it.

That’s what we ended up doing, but it didn’t really go as planned. The more predictable bit was that Rene ended up doing most of the work himself, but as it was to be his workplace afterwards anyways, that wasn’t really that big of a problem (Rene may have a slightly different opinion here ;-)). Us other Wight members and many other friends helped and did some work, but of course the bulk got stuck with Rene himself, who basically spent every day in there for almost half a year.

But things didn’t end there – Thomas suddenly fucked off to the US, as he had taken a session job with an American band for four months, Rene’s wife became pregnant (ok, that one was planned I guess), my engineering job suddenly kicked into overdrive and had me flying all over the world, and on top of that, Rene and I got a bit sidetracked with Glanville, the heavy metal band we had founded as a fun little project a while earlier. The studio was usable by late 2018, but the band Wight hadn’t really played at all in the meanwhile. We had a few songs written before and started recording those right after Christmas 2018, but ended up spending most of 2019 rehearsing, writing and recording.

That actually kind of went in waves. The first couple of basic tracks went in pretty quickly, we went back to rehearsing, made a few more, back to the studio, same drill. At the same time, Rene kicked his brain into producer mode and kept layering stuff over the band tracks. There’s a new synth sitting in the studio? Let’s try that out. This sounds like we need horns – call up some friend that play sax and trombone here. Periklis Tsoukalas of Baba Zula is in town? Oh well, let’s see whether we can fit his electric oud in somewhere.

That entire process culminated somewhat in September of last year. We needed one more song for the album (as well as, of course, more overdubs), Rene had a basic structure and a few chords he had made up while lying on the beach in Thailand a few months earlier, and we took one week in the studio to make it into a song. I ended up playing the bassline one evening while high as fuck, with Rene telling me to change individual notes from time to time, but the rest of the week was basically Rene going crazy in there, calling up different guests for features, having Thomas and Steffen arrange some percussions and synths, and trying out every instrument that happened to be in the studio. Can you tell which song was the result of that?

Short story long, there were a few things more to be done, and I think Rene recorded the last bits and pieces only in December 2019 while already in the mixing process. Funnily enough, the cover artwork had been finished a long time before. Rene and our artwork guy, Ingo, hat met up God knows how long before and developed this piece with the huge intergalactic robot appearing over the Darmstadt skyline to destroy the world. That also ended up pushing the lyrical content of the album into a certain direction. Or did it? I’m still a bit surprised that basic love songs like Hot and Time’s Up actually ended up working very well in this entire apocalyptical context, but hey, sometimes things just work. And maybe Rene also knows what he’s doing a bit more than we sometimes give him credit for.

So the album was on its way, but we figured we needed a video. Not the usual live or live-ish video, but a proper music video like in the old days. We met in January 2020 to record the live scenes to the Hot music video, in one of our favorite pubs in town. The entire video was concepted by film students of Darmstadt’s University of Applied Science, with some input from Rene. One of the reasons why I’m writing this already overly long email is that Rene was just finishing the last shoots for the video this weekend… well, as you have the video or will get it very soon, I won’t lose any extra words on it, just see for yourself. And enjoy our new album – you now have the full background story, and I realize that I just made it sound like a mad journey full of “we don’t know what the hell we’re doing” and “oh shit, we didn’t see THAT coming”, but that is also kind of what happened. Does the album reflect that? I’ll let you be the judge. At least you know how it came to pass now, which may ease your confusion… or contribute to it.

Wight on Thee Facebooks

Wight on Instagram

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Kozmik Artifactz website

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Days of Rona: Sven MĂĽller of ElbSludgeBooking

Posted in Features on April 10th, 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. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

sven mueller elbsludgebooking

Days of Rona: Sven MĂĽller of ElbSludgeBooking (Dresden, Germany)

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

First of all: We are a crew of 20 peeps and set up shows for fun. We don’t depend on it — at least financially. Thus far we had to cancel nine shows with 24 bands due to Corona. We still have two shows on in May — a festival and a regular show with two bands. For the fest three bands from abroad have cancelled already, so if the fest is possible we will try to find local bands to jump in. Right now our plan for the rest of the year is to forget about our annual summer break and do some extra shows in July/August if shows are allowed. And we try to move some of the cancelled shows or bands to the fall. The real problem is that this crisis affects all genres so the always crammed September and October will be full to the absolute max. And all without even knowing if we can do shows by then at all.

Healthwise we are all good. Only actual case I heard of in the closer community is one pupil at the school of my godchild.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

People are told to stay home as much as possible. No shows/parties allowed. If you need to go out only two persons together are allowed and only for sports and groceries. Bigger families can go outdoors together though. I work mainly at a theatre and it is closed now until the end of April so I am home with my kids since the kindergarten/school is closed.

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

It is a huge blow to the music scene, be it bookers, labels, promoters and bands. For professional bands depending on gigs it is a nightmare. On the other hand we do a lot of shows with smaller bands too who don’t rely on the money from touring so it is not that tough I guess. Some of them will even save money.

Within my community the general feeling is that we can get through this alive and we can cope with this situation. There is so much going on everywhere and it’s hard to keep track of all the information buzzing around. So we sit here and wait – watching live shows on Facebook, drinking some beers and thinking what we can do with our lives without LIVE MUSIC!

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

For the music scene I suggest to bands to consider to tour Europe in January and February 2021. Before that the competition will be tough. With the warm winters lately the conditions to tour here are quite okay.

Personally for me it could be worse. I have time for my kids, I have the internet, my guitar, time to cook properly and some new albums on Bandcamp. If only there would be one live gig each week. And a constant flow of free money too. Lol

https://www.facebook.com/Elbsludgebooking/
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Days of Rona: “Comet Lulu” Neudeck of Electric Moon & Worst Bassist Records

Posted in Features on April 6th, 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. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

electric moon lulu neudeck

Days of Rona: Lulu Neudeck of Electric Moon & Worst Bassist Records (Germany)

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?

At the moment, we are separated from each other, as our drummer is living in Vienna, Austria. We really miss each other and also are sad about the so far canceled shows.

Dave [“Sula Bassana” Schmidt] and me are also at the edge at the moment, cause this situation really affects our labels Sulatron Records and Worst Bassist Records. Means, distribution does not sell so much anymore due to closed record stores, it’s not possible to ship records worldwide at the moment ’cause of the shutdown of flights and restrictions, and of course playing no shows also affects, so there is not much income at the moment, which brings us struggles quickly.

Health is okay, no one infected with covid-19 (yet). The only thing is my cronical disease which puts me on the risk-list in getting critical with covid-19. So, fingers crossed, won’t get that shit.

So we’re doing music everyone on his own at the moment. Which brings also many new ideas. But we all can’t wait to meet again, playing together. We also have plans for a fourth bandmember and can’t wait to rehearse with him, so Corona really crossed some plans…

But, most important thing is we all stay healthy!

At the moment, the days are somehow running quick and slow at the same time.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

At the moment, we have the restrictions to meet up with people, only family members are allowed. Also, it is allowed to walk outdoors but you may not rest anywhere. Building groups is forbidden, not more than two people are allowed walking together.

You have to keep a distance of two meters of each other, also in supermarkets, and they only let a certain amount of people in to make sure it’s possible to keep that distance.

Shops which are not really necessary for the system to go on, are all closed down, like record shops, book shops, tattoo and so on, only supermarkets, pharmacies and banks are opened. Now they are talking about the obligation of wearing masks in public, people get the advice to make their own ones and not buying medical supplies as there is a lack of it.

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

It is weird, outside, somehow all looks normal but everything is different than before. Streets are empty. People are stressed in supermarkets, or are totally making fun of the situation, but go for tons of toilet paper. It’s a surreal feeling, I try to go into a supermarket as rarely as possible.

But nature seems to feel happy right now, the air smells better, it feels surreal to be outdoors, surreal beautiful, birds sing louder than usually –- this maybe seems as if because of the silence in the streets. Like a silence before a storm…

In music I feel a big shift within the connection between each other. I’m totally impressed of the support by all the people to the bands and small labels. It feels huge in my heart to get such a response.

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

We’re in this together, take care of those who might need your help! And: Don’t lose the humour…

www.electricmoon.de
https://electric-moon.bandcamp.com/
www.facebook.com/ElectricMoonOfficial
www.sulatron.com
https://fb.com/worstbassistrecords
https://worstbassistrecords.bandcamp.com/

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Days of Rona: Christian Peters of Samsara Blues Experiment

Posted in Features on April 3rd, 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

christian peters samsara blues experiment (Photo by Srta Castro)

Days of Rona: Christian Peters of Samsara Blues Experiment (Berlin, Germany)

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?

Well of course everyone has his own way of dealing with this individually. It’s a very unique and weird situation in recent history and there’s a lot one may worry about these days, especially when you’re with kids and may get into job troubles and such. Of course, like most other bands we have to work in other jobs besides, more or less… So as a band we have agreed on not rehearsing anymore, already before it became a rule to not meet more than one person at once here in Germany.

It appears we seem to be more cautious than others there… but it seemed wise to step back a while, and also get informed. Which is still the main problem, I don’t know if everybody really is informed enough. There’s seems to be a lot of panicking… But back to the band, we are in preparation of the fifth album, have studio time booked, tours planned, etc., and all is very uncertain now.

Even tours scheduled for this coming Summer may be affected, because no one can tell anything right now, which is a very unpleasant situation, speaking in plain terms… But the health thing in general, let’s put it like this; just I for myself probably have been in much worse situations throughout the last two years… all this is mostly about protecting elder folks, I get that…

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Well like I mentioned before, it’s not allowed to meet more than one other person when you’re outside. Some people still don’t get it, while others exaggerate in other forms which leads to quite a few bizarre situations in daily life. Since I am kind of a loner naturally for me all that’s not such a big deal, but I see that some people may have a complete new experience there.

Also, most of the stores are closed, which again seems a bit “funny” because just as one example there’s a lot of small groceries or convenience stores here where you hardly see more than two or three customers at once even on a regular day and all these small stores have had to close (and face serious financial trouble) while a lot of anxious peeps crowd that one supermarket in your neighborhood in quest of the holy toilet paper roll (exaggerated, but really… what’s the thing about that?).

Ahm, what can I say, it’s just a bit strange outside… you’re allowed to take walks, alone or with very close family members, and then you see all these “ninjas.” Dude… it’s weird.

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

Of course, it’s inevitable right? Not many people know that besides being a musician, having my own label and working for other labels, occasionally I also work in other parts of the music biz (yeah, the media) where you saw bands cancelling tours very early on, when it still seemed just a bit hyper-cautious,… and then this turned into a kind of snowball… To this day, I still haven’t seen or heard of anyone’s health being that roughly affected by the virus itself, but many are facing severe financial damage!

And that is a bit crazy to me. Well yes, you need to have a back-up, always. That may be something a lot of people may learn from this, and it’s probably easy to say for myself because I’m kinda modest and never had a lot of money to spend nor saw the bigger use in hoarding stuff etc, but… you know, also a lot of the live venues in Berlin seem to face bankruptcy (!!), after only a few weeks of being shut down (!!), and that’s sheer madness somehow…

I don’t know man, I really don’t know what to think. The whole world is freaking out because of this virus… btw, I saw a nice video of that Sadhguru-dude playing a new version of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sound Of Silence,” maybe you can add that below, just so that some people may have a laugh…

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

First of all, relax. Personally I’m hoping for a few good side effects that may, or may not, evolve from this. Our commonly known types of capitalism have to end sooner or later (yeah peace out bruh eh).

Maybe some peoples are becoming more conscious, more self-centered and balanced, yet prepared for things like that… coming out of the blue and throwing everybody’s lives upside-down. Personally I have just overcome a whole bunch of “situations” and crises that all seemed worse than all that still. So maybe that’s why I can sit here and still be relaxed.

Well, I don’t know if I really am in any position to give advice but… relax, and also try go inside yourselves (it’s really a good time for introspection, I think) and think about what is life, what is important, how important is love, self-love and self-affirmation in the first place, and how small is a fuckin’ virus and how small-minded are those people hoarding toilet paper… laugh a lot, that’s also a good medicine.

Well, I hope you have someone who makes you laugh, but then there’s a lot of good old movies to watch too… ah, I don’t know.

https://www.facebook.com/suryakrispeters/
https://suryakrispeters.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/samsarabluesexperiment/
http://sbe-official.tumblr.com/
http://instagram.com/samsarabluesexperiment”
https://samsarabluesexperiment.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/electricmagicrecords/
https://electricmagicrecords.bandcamp.com/

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