Black Bombaim Update on New Releases, European Touring

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 23rd, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Black Bombaim‘s two-track third album, Far Out, continues the Portuguese heavy jammers’ affinity for sonic exploration. Each song is a side and what you get on both is the next stage in the development of a dynamic that’s been growing since the band got their start. At the same time, it seems like Black Bombaim have begun to branch out from their self-contained cosmic meanderings, and I find it particularly intriguing that both their collaborations noted below, with La La La Ressonance and Rodrigo Amado and Luis Fernandes are jazz-related. Fascinating to think of Black Bombaim in that regard as well, and their will toward improvisation certainly bears it out. You never quite know where they’re headed next.

That may be true sound-wise, but more literally, where they’re headed next is out on tour in Europe. They’ll start a run this weekend in Spain this weekend and end up back in their native Barcelos at the end of June, presumably digging into some serious jams in between.

They sent this update along the PR wire:

Black Bombaim New Record(s), Europe Tour and more!

Here at the Black Bombaim HQ, we’ve been pretty busy in 2014!

We released two records: a collaboration with post-jazz ensemble La La La Ressonance simply called “Black Bombaim & La La La Ressonance” (BBLLLR) and our 3rd LP to date, “Far Out”, out now on Cardinal Fuzz and Lovers & Lollypops.

Permanent Records also reissued our 1st album, Saturdays and Space Travels in the US as a Record Store day 2014 exclusive.

You can find out more about BBLLLR here:

All of the record was captured live on a forest, and everything was filmed.

Our 3rd album “Far Out” is a 35 minute avalanche of fuzzed out guitars and otherwordly grooves.

We’ve collaborated with free jazz tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado and Luís Fernandes aka The Astroboy on the modular synthesizer.

Find everything about this record and more, on our brand new WEBSITE!

If this wasn’t enough, we’re also up for an European tour starting next week! Besides that, we’re also scheduled for a few festivals, including the famous Boom Festival, the brand new Reverence Festival and the psychedelic Mecca Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia.

Check the euro dates below:
25.5 – Zona C – Santiago de Compostela, Spain
26.5 – Le Bukowski – San Sebastian, Spain
28.5 – Le Gazoline – Rennes, France
29.5 – The Windmill Brixton – London, UK
30.5 – 13th Note – Glasgow, UK
31.5 – Mello Mello – Liverpool, UK
01.6 – The Roadhouse – Manchester, UK
04.6 – Glazart – Paris, France
05.6 – Cinema Cartoons – Antwerp, Belgium
06.6 – SunBakedSnowCave – Gent, Belgium
09.6 – Jägerklause – Berlin, Germany
10.6 – OstPol – Dresden, Germany
11.6 – Fluc – Vienna, Austria
12.6 – Hana-Bi – Marina di Ravenna, Italy
13.6 – Schießstand – Latsch (Bolzano), Italy
14.6 – Officina degli Angeli – Verona, Italy
21.6 – 261 Club – Genova, Italy
27.6 – Festival Fumo – Setúbal, Portugal
28.6 – Casazul – Barcelos, Portugal

Black Bombaim, Far Out (2014)

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Insider Post Video of New Song “Jet”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 11th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Working quickly to follow up on 2012’s Vibrations from the Tapes (review here), Italian instrumental outfit Insider have released a new album in the form of Event Horizon. Presumably they named it after the gravitational border of a black hole and not the crappy movie from 1997, which the band actually pre-date. Insider have been around in one form or another since 1991, and the song “Jet,” which has made its way online — I think at the behest of the band, but maybe not? — feels immediately more structured than a lot of what they were jamming out last time around. That could just be this one track, or it could be the whole record. You never really know with these guys.

But two guitars, an intricate groove and a healthy dose of keyboards give “Jet” a progressive feel, even if Insider are still well within the range of heavy rock for how they seem to lock in where they want to go with the progression and then stick to it for the duration, trading off here and there for instrumental verses and choruses but basically moving back and forth along a single linear flow.

Vibrations from the Tapes was a lot to take on at 79 minutes, but if you haven’t had a sample of Insider‘s wares, “Jet” is hardly going to tell the full story, but it might be enough to pique your interest and drive further investigation. You’ll find it in the YouTube clip below, which was brought to my attention through the graceful diligence of Christina Bishop. Cheers:

Insider, “Jet” from Event Horizon (2013)

Insider on Thee Facebooks

Insider’s website

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The Obelisk is Now on Twitter

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 8th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

It just wouldn’t be hypocrisy if I hadn’t said it’d never happen. Many things change in four years’ time, and I’ve signed up for a Twitter account for The Obelisk. What does this mean to you? Well, if you don’t use Twitter, probably not a whole lot. If you do, it means you can keep up with The Obelisk-y doings via that most brevity-inducing of social media platforms by using the image on the right or the link below:

I’ve never been an early adopter of this kind of technology, so if I’m late to the party here, you won’t find me claiming otherwise. Nonetheless, if you’re on Thee Twitters, I hope you’ll take a second to follow along with my many fumbles as I figure out how to use a hashtag — it’ll always be a pound sign to me — and all the rest of it.

Thanks as always for your continued support.

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Mars Red Sky Post Trailer for Be My Guide EP

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 4th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

I was just about to put up a post (partially) concerning France’s foremost fuzzers Mars Red Sky, when lo, the trio unveiled a new video trailer for their forthcoming Be My Guide EP. Timing is everything. The three-piece will issue Be My Guide on April 8, 2013, through their own Mars Red Sounds imprint in a vinyl edition of 100 numbered and signed colored vinyls, and the release will feature four tracks, as listed below:

Side A :
Be My Guide
Seen A Ghost

Side B :
Clean White Hands

Mars Red Sky, Be My Guide EP Trailer

Pre Order :

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On the Radar: Stonehenge

Posted in On the Radar on March 1st, 2013 by JJ Koczan

A young, organ-heavy four-piece out of Potsdam, Germany, Stonehenge make their debut with Bunch of Bisons, a mostly instrumental collection showing influence culled from classic rock jams and modern heavy psych. The four-piece, comprised of guitarist/vocalist Enrico Semler, bassist Michael Paukner, drummer Ole Fischer and organist Johannes Walenta, lock into some righteous if mostly familiar grooves, but what really stands them out is Walenta‘s organ work, the natural production of the album’s seven component tracks and the band’s occasional touches of flourish, such as the handclaps and vocals on opener “Arctic Brother.”

The requisite Deep Purple influence mostly shows up in the straightforward guitar-and-organ riffing of “Sun on the Asphalt,” on which Semler (also of the Potsdam sax-infused foursome Minerva), far back in the mix, seems tempted to start in with a verse but thinks twice and just tosses out a couple Cactus-style lines here and there for bluesy affect. Can’t say I blame him, since the instrumental portion of “Sun on the Asphalt” delivers enough of a hook and the songs themselves — not a one of them comes in under seven minutes — are jammy enough that when there isn’t singing, it doesn’t seem to be lacking. A series of “Hey!” gang shouts on “Concrete Krieger” is enough to get the point of a chorus across.

Tonally, they hint at heavy psychedelia, as on the opening of closer “Delay,” but even when Semler‘s guitar seems at rest and Paukner‘s bass is at its richest, Stonehenge — contrary to their moniker, which has earned its reputation by essentially sitting still over a great stretch of time — never come to a halt, switching from one groove to the next to the next, switching up who’s playing what and, in Semler‘s case, belting out soulful vocals way off-mic so as to barely be heard in the riff-rocking rush. That makes Bunch of Bisons a more energetic listen than one might think for something with extended tracks, and as “Delay” moves in its second half to a slower, building progression, one can only wonder how Stonehenge might approach a follow-up to Bunch of Bisons and if their next outing won’t find them a more patient band.

Not that they need to be — they hardly sound winded at the finish of their debut — just that their instrumental dynamic seems to be in its beginnings and could lead to any number of interesting evolutionary paths, particularly as Semler develops his vocals and Stonehenge continue to toy with the balance between the guitar and Walenta‘s organ, which adds melodic depth to these arrangements and is a clear focal point of their sound at this stage. Could be some fascinating things to come.

Stonehenge have made Bunch of Bisons available for streaming, and you can listen on the player below courtesy of their Bandcamp:

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The Kings of Frog Island Release IV on iTunes

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 24th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Their last album found them veering more toward a jangly garage rock sound, and with IV, UK fuzz experts The Kings of Frog Island seem to marry those influences with the fuzz that made 2008’s II so entrancing, resulting in a heavy psychedelic brew arriving as two whole vinyl sides, sans compromise and fully tripped out.

This is The Kings of Frog Islands‘ first offering since the departure of guitarist/vocalist Mat Bethancourt, and the band is reportedly looking to release the album on vinyl pending a response to the digital version, about which you can find more info below:

The Kings of Frog Island IV Receives January 2013 iTunes Release

We proudly present a digital only release of the latest episode from the Leicester UK based fuzz rock collective. The album is available as a download consisting of 2 x 20 minute long tracks, and the track listing is:

Side A
The Tenth Stone
The King Is Dead
Witches Warning
In The Watchers Blood

Side B
The Night Juno Died
Weaving Shadows
Eleven Eleven Eleven
Long Live the King

It is our intention to release the album in a limited vinyl format should demand warrant, but no date has been set. A CD version is not anticipated.
In keeping with previous installments, information from the band is at a premium as they resist leaving their natural studio habitat. Drawing inspiration from film sound tracks and ambient fuzz from years gone by, this is a journey into innerspace from the Midlands.

The Kings of Frog Island IV are:
Mark Buteux
Tony Heslop
Gavin Searle
Dodge Watson
Gavin Wright
Ally Buteux
Ian Piggin
Jim Robinson

Recorded at Amphibia Sound Studios II, Leicester, between the summers of 2010 and 2012.
Copyright and Produced by The Kings of Frog Island 2013.

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On the Radar: Methadone Skies

Posted in On the Radar on January 8th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

A four-piece hailing from Romania, Methadone Skies waste no time busying themselves balancing ethereal post-rock noodling off heavier-ended psychedelic grooves. Periodically driving but never quite losing its focus despite an obvious jam-based ethic, their second album, Enter the Void, arrived in 2012 as a self-released sleeve CD preceding an allegiance with Sweden-based Ozium Records. The six-track offering sandwiches lengthy explorations with even lengthier explorations, the opening title-track topping out at 13:36 as the longest of the bunch (immediate points) while its closing companion piece, “Exit the Void” answers back at 11:54. Between, “Hyperspace,” “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” “Versus Evil,” and “Mudstar” tap into modern heavy psych ethics like they’re trying to bridge the gap between Russian Circles and Colour Haze. Frankly, it’s not a bad gap to bridge.

Both guitarists — Wehry and the more effects-laden Casi, who also handles keys — satisfy on a tonal level, with rich and warm fuzz that melds well with the echoing lead notes peppered throughout, as one can hear in the second half of “Hyperspace” on Enter the Void. The bass and drums provided by Mihai and Retea, respectively, are mostly relegated to a follower’s role, but  as “Hyperspace” slows to its finish and “Long Day’s Journey into Night” ensues, their presence is more than duly felt in the added heft to the capably executed instrumental builds, which seem to be as much about going from spaced-out to grounded as from calm to chaotic. It works, perhaps most of all on “Versus Evil” — the lead lines of which I’ll mark as the most memorable on the album — which finds its culmination after six minutes into its total 9:33 as the two guitars match step with the complex rhythm for a thickened, oddly-timed apex.

The level of noodling might be too much for some. They’re not exactly subtle about it. But for Methadone Skies‘ second outing behind 2010’s Explosions of the Sun, Enter the Void can offer an engrossing listen if approached with an open mind and willingness to go along with its hypnotic aspects. “Mudstar” is a bit crunchier, but “Exit the Void” re-ups the space elements and gives a solid tripout to close with, the leads taking a more active role early on with a cascading line only to give way later to thicker entanglements before ending with even more  echoing riffery and a surprisingly quick fade. One might have expected a long sustained echo or something like that, but I guess at 53 minutes in, Methadone Skies figured they’d said all there was to say. True enough, if you haven’t gotten the point by then, well, yeah.

Methadone Skies can be found upon Thee Facebooks, and Enter the Void is available for stream and purchase via Bandcamp, from whence this player comes:

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Video Premiere: Blaak Heat Shujaa, “The Revenge of the Feathered Pheasant”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 30th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Watching Blaak Heat Shujaa in the desert with a bunch of tripped-out effects is like watching a nature special with some kind of sun-drenched lizard in its natural habitat. They just fit. Same applies to the poet Ron Whitehead, who features in the Paris-then-New-York-then-Los-Angeles trio’s new video for the song “The Revenge of the Feathered Pheasant” — an 11-plus minute track taken from their upcoming Tee Pee Records debut EP, The Storm Generation, due out Dec. 11.

Whitehead plays a kind of desert guru — so basically himself — in the clip, which was directed by Cole Jenkins and Andrew Baxter, who you might recall from having helmed Blaak Heat Shujaa‘s docu-series of the recording of their next full-length and West Coast tour with Whitehead and other luminaries from out that way. The video was filmed at Vista Point, which by all accounts (including Yawning Man‘s, who named a record after it) is the place to be.

Please enjoy:

Blaak Heat Shujaa, “The Revenge of the Feathered Pheasant”

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