Quarterly Review: Boris, DVNE, Hydra, Jason Simon, Cherry Choke, Pariiah, Saavik, Mountain Tamer, Centre El Muusa, Population II

Posted in Reviews on December 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

THE-OBELISK-FALL-2020-QUARTERLY-REVIEW

Kind of a spur of the moment thing, this Quarterly Review. I’ve been adding releases all the while, of course, but my thought was to do this after my year-end list went up, and I realized, hey, if I’ve got like 70 records I haven’t reviewed yet, maybe there’s some of that stuff worth considering. So here we are. I’ve pushed back my best-of-2020 stuff and basically swapped it with the Quarterly Review. Does it matter to you? I seriously, seriously doubt it, but I believe in transparency and that’s what’s up. Thought I’d let you know. And yeah, this is going to go into next week, take us through the X-mas holiday this Friday, so whatever. You celebrate your way and I’ll celebrate mine. Let’s roll.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Boris, No

boris no

As a general project, reviewing Boris is damn near pointless. One might as well review the moon: “uh, it’s big and out there most of the time?” The only reason to do it is either to exercise one’s own need to hyperbolize or help the band sell records. Well, Boris doesn’t need my push and I don’t need to tell them how great they are. No is 40 minutes of the widely and wildly lauded Japanese heavy rock(s) experimentalists trying to riff away existing in 2020, delving high speed into hardcore here and there and playing off that with grueling sludge, punk, garage-metal and the penultimate “Loveless,” which is kind of Boris being their own genre. Much respect to the band, and I suppose one might critique Boris for, what?, being so Boris-y?, but there really isn’t a ton that hasn’t been said about them because such a ton has. I’m not trying to disparage their work at all — No is just what you’d expect as regards defying expectation — but after 20-plus years, there’s only so many ways one wants to call a band genius.

Boris on Thee Facebooks

Boris on Bandcamp

 

DVNE, Omega Severer

DVNE Omega Severer

Kind of a soft-opening for Edinburgh’s DVNE as an act on Metal Blade Records, unless of course one counts the two songs on the Omega Severer EP itself, which are post-metallic beasts of the sort that would and should make The Ocean blush. Progressive, heavy, and remarkably ‘next-wave’ feeling, DVNE‘s awaited follow-up to 2017’s Asheran may only be about 17 and a half minutes long, but it bodes remarkably well as the band master a torrent of intensity on the 10-minute opening title-cut and answer that with the immediately galloping “Of Blade and Carapace,” smashing battle-axe riffing and progressive shimmer against each other and finding it to be an alchemy of their own. Album? One suspects not until they can tour for it, but if Omega Severer is DVNE serving notice, consider the message received loud, clear, dynamic, crushing, spacious, and so on. Already veterans of Psycho Las Vegas, they sound like a band bent on capturing a broader audience in the metallic sphere.

DVNE on Thee Facebooks

Metal Blade Records website

 

Hydra, From Light to the Abyss

hydra from light to the abyss

There’s no questioning where Hydra‘s heart is at on their debut full-length, From Light to the Abyss. It belongs to the devil and it belongs to Black Sabbath. The Polish four-piece riff hard and straightforward throughout most of the five-track offering (released by Piranha Music), and samples set the kind of atmosphere that should be familiar enough to the converted — “No One Loves Like Satan” reminds of Uncle Acid in its initial channel-changing and swaggering riff alike — but doomly centerpiece “Creatures of the Woods” and the layered vocal melodies late in closer “Magical Mind” perhaps offer a glimpse at the direction the band could take from here. What matters though is where Hydra are at today, and that’s bringing riffs and nod to the converted among the masses, and From Light to the Abyss offers no pretense otherwise. It is doom rock for doom rockers, grooves to be grooved to. They’re not void of ambition by any means — their songwriting makes that clear — but their traditionalism is sleeve-worn, which if you’re going to have it, is right where it should be.

Hydra on Thee Facebooks

Piranha Music on Bandcamp

 

Jason Simon, A Venerable Wreck

jason simon a venerable wreck

Dead Meadow guitarist/vocalist Jason Simon follows 2016’s Familiar Haunts (review here) with the genre-spanning A Venerable Wreck, finding folk roots in obscure beats and backwards this-and-that, country in fuzz, ramble in space, and no shortage of experimentalism besides. A Venerable Wreck consists of 12 songs and though there are times where it can feel disjointed, that becomes part of the ride. It’s not all supposed to make sense. Yet what happens by the time you get around to “No Entrance No Exit” is that Simon (and a host of cohorts) has set his own context broad enough so that the drone reach of “Hollow Lands” and sleek, organ-laced indie of closer “Without Reason or Right” can coexist without any real interruption of flow between them. The question with A Venerable Wreck isn’t so much whether the substance is there, it’s whether the listener is open to it. Welcome to psychedelic America. Please inject this snake venom and turn in your keys when you leave.

Jason Simon on Bandcamp

BYM Records website

 

Cherry Choke, Raising Salzburg Rockhouse

Cherry Choke-Raising Salzburg Rockhouse-Cover

You won’t hear me take away from the opening psych-scorch hook of “Mindbreaker” or the fuzzed-on, boogie-down, -up, and -sideways of “Black Annis” which follows, but there’s something extra fun about hearing Frog Island’s Cherry Choke jam out a 13-minute, drum-solo-inclusive version of “6ix and 7even” that makes Raising Salzburg Rockhouse even more of a reminder of how underrated both they are as a band and Mat Bethancourt is as a player. Look no further than “Domino” if you want absolute proof. The whole band rips it up at the Austrian gig, which was recorded in 2015 as they supported their third and still-most-recent full-length, Raising the Waters (review here), but Bethancourt puts on a Hendrixian clinic in the nine-minute cut from 2011’s A Night in the Arms of Venus (review here), which is actually less of a clinic than it is pure distorted swagger followed by a mellow “cheers, thanks” before diving into “Used to Call You Friend.” A 38-minute set would be perfect for an vinyl release, and anytime Cherry Choke want to get around to putting together a fourth studio album, well, that’ll be just fine too.

Cherry Choke on Thee Facebooks

Cherry Choke on Bandcamp

 

Pariiah, Swallowed by Fog

Pariiah swallowed by fog

It’s a special breed of aggro that emerges as a result of living in the most densely populated state in the union, and New Jersey’s Pariiah have it to spare. Bringing together sludge tonality with elder-style New York hardcore lumbering riffs on their Trip Machine Laboratories tape, Swallowed by Fog, they exude a thickened brand of pissed off that’s outright going to be too confrontation for many who take it on. But if you want a middle finger to the face, this is what it sounds like, and the six songs (compiled into four on the digital version of the release) come and go entirely without pretense and leave little behind except bruises and the promise of more to come. They’re a new band, started in this most wretched of years, but there’s no learning curve whatsoever among the members of Devoid of Faith, The Nolan Gate, Kill Your Idols, Changeörder and others. I’d go to Maplewood to see these cats. I’m just saying. Maybe even Elizabeth.

Pariiah on Bandcamp

Trip Machine Laboratories website

 

Saavik, Saavik

saavik saavik

So you’ve got both members of Holly Hunt in a four-piece sludging out with spacey synth and the band is named after a Star Trek character? Not to get too personal, but that’s going to pique my interest one way or the other. Saavik — and they clearly prefer the Kirstie Alley version, rather than Robin Curtis, going by drummer Beatriz Monteavaro‘s artwork — are damn near playing space rock by the end of “He’s Dead Jim,” the opener of their self-titled debut EP, but even that’s affected by a significant tonal weight in Didi Aragon‘s bass and the guitar of Gavin Perry, however much Ryan Rivas‘ synth and effects-laced vocals might seem to float overhead, but “Meld” rolls along at a steadier nod, and “Horizon” puts the synth more in the lead without becoming any less heavy for doing so. Likewise, “Red Sun” calls to mind Godflesh in its proto-machine metal stomp, but there’s more concern in Saavik‘s sound with expanse than just pure crush, and that shows up in fascinating ways in these songs.

Saavik on Thee Facebooks

Other Electricities on Bandcamp

 

Mountain Tamer, Psychosis Ritual

mountain tamer psychosis ritual

There’s been a dark vibe all along nestled into Mountain Tamer‘s sound, and that’s certainly the case on Psychosis Ritual, with which the Los Angeles-based trio make their debut on Heavy Psych Sounds. It’s their third full-length overall behind 2018’s Godfortune // Dark Matters (review here) and 2016’s self-titled debut (review here), and it finds their untamed-feeling psychedelia rife with that same threat of violence, not necessarily thematically as much as sonically, like the songs themselves are the weapon about to be turned on the listener. Maybe the buzz of “Warlock” or the fuckall echo of the prior-issued single “Death in the Woods” (posted here) aren’t out there trying to be “Hammer Smashed Face” or anything, but neither is this the hey-bruh-good-times heavy jams for which Southern California is known these days. Consider the severity of “Turoc Maximus Antonis” or the finally-released screams in closer “Black Noise,” which bookends Psychosis Ritual with the title-track and seems at last to be the point where whatever grim vibe these guys are riding finally consumes them. Mountain Tamer continue to be unexpected and righteous in kind.

Mountain Tamer on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds on Bandcamp

 

Centre El Muusa, Centre El Muusa

centre el muusa centre el muusa

Hypnotic Estonian psychedelic krautrock instrumentals not your thing? Well that sounds like a personal problem Centre El Muusa are ready to solve. The evolved-from-duo four-piece get spaced out amid the semi-motorik repetitions of their self-titled debut (on Sulatron), and that seems to suit them quite well, thanksabunch. Drone trips and essential swirl brim with solar-powered pulsations and you can set your deflectors on maximum and route all the secondaries to reinforce if you want, there’s still a decent chance 9:53 opener an longest track “Turkeyfish” (immediate points, double for the appropriately absurd title) is going to sweep you off what you used to call your feet when that organ line hits at about six minutes in. That’s to say nothing of the cosmic collision later in “Burning Lawa” or the just-waiting-for-a-Carl-Sagan-voiceover “Mia” that follows. Even the 3:46 “Ain’t Got Enough Mojo” lives long enough to prove itself wrong. Interstellar tape transmissions fostered by obvious weirdos in the great out-there in “Szolnok,” named for a city in Hungary that, among other things, hosts the goulash festival. Right fucking on.

Centre El Muusa on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records webstore

 

Population II, À La Ô Terre

Population II a La o Terre

The first Population II album, a 2017 self-titled, was comprised of two tracks, each long enough to consume a 12″ side. Somehow it’s fitting with the Montreal-based singing-drummer trio’s aesthetic that their second long-player, À la Ô Terre, would take a completely different tack, employing shorter freakouts like “L’Offrande” and “La Nuit” and the garage-rocking “La Danse” and what-if-JeffersonAirplane-but-on-Canadian-mushrooms “À la Porte de Demain” and still-more-drifting finisher “Je Laisse le Soleil Briller” amid the more stretched out “Attaction,” the space-buzzer “Ce n’est Réve” while cutting a middle ground in the greaked-out (I was gonna type “freaked out” and hit a typo and I’m keeping it) “Il eut un Silence dans le Ciel,” which also betrays the jazzy underpinnings that somehow make all of À la Ô Terre come across as progressive instead of haphazard. From the start to the close, you don’t know what’s coming next, and just because that’s by design doesn’t make it less effective. If anything, it makes Population II all the more impressive.

Population II on Thee Facebooks

Castle Face Records website

 

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Kikagaku Moyo to Release Live at Levitation LP on Jan. 15

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

Right on. Live Kikagaku Moyo recorded at Austin, Texas’ Levitation Fest in 2014 (when it was still Austin Psych Fest) and 2019. Hey that’s awesome. Guruguru Brain puts out wild shit, the band is rad, and preorders are up. There’s a video and that’s a good time too. If you’re turned onto these cats, that’s its own best argument in favor of digging in. I’m not really cool enough for the Kikagaku Moyo, their label — the band put out a reissue of 2014’s Mammatus Clouds, in August and I didn’t get to hear it — or Levitation Fest, so I doubt I’ll be high on the list of reviews they’re seeking, but whatever. Still looks like something worth your time, so I figured the least I could do was post the release info.

And you know I’m all about doing the least. Ha.

Here’s PR wire info:

kikagaku moyo live at levitation

Kikagaku Moyo – Live at Levitation Out January 15

The Reverberation Appreciation Society Launches New Album Series: Live at LEVITATION

The Reverberation Appreciation Society is proud to launch a brand new live series, Live at LEVITATION. Recorded over the history of the world-renowned event, the series captures key moments in psychedelic rock history, and live music in Austin, Texas. The artists and sets showcased here have been chosen from over a decade of recordings, and captures key artists in the scene performing for a crowd of their peers and fans who gather at Levitation annually from all over the world.

The first LP in this series features Japanese psych heavyweights Kikagaku Moyo. This particular record is as strong sonically as it is meaningful in the band’s history. It showcases one of the band’s very first US shows in 2014 on the A-side, and their triumphant return in 2019 on the B-side with them firing on all cylinders amid a sold out US tour.

“Playing Austin Psych Fest / Levitation was always a goal from our earliest days of the band – to join the psychedelic community for a weekend of music and present our live performance. This show in 2014 was a landmark for us. To return years later in 2019 and find the same welcome, the dream was still very much alive and well.”
– Kikagaku Moyo

Kikagaku Moyo have come a long way – both literally and metaphorically– since their humble beginnings busking on the streets of Tokyo back in 2012. A tight-knit group of five friends who bonded over the desire to play freely, and explore psychedelic music. The band’s progressive, folk-influenced take on psychedelia marked them out from their peers, helped revive Japan’s psych rock scene, and soon brought them international acclaim. Fast forward a few years, and you find the band crushing headline sets at festivals, embarking on sprawling international tours, and with a dedicated fanbase for their music and record label Guruguru Brain – all while steadfastly maintaining their creative freedom and DIY ethos.

Kikagaku Moyo are the real deal: masterful musicians, a powerful creative force, and one of key bands in the psychedelic rock movement. The Reverberation Appreciation Society is thrilled to have them kick off the Live at Levitation Series with this incredible record.

Kikagaku Moyo Live at Levitation has been given deluxe treatment, with two eye-popping vinyl options available exclusively through the Levitation webstore + an Indie Store exclusive audiophile version, available at your favorite record store. A t-shirt and tie dye t-shirt is also available, featuring the artwork from their 2019 appearance at Levitation by South African artist Simon Berndt.

The record will be released on January 15, 2021, and is available now for pre-sale: https://shop.levitation-austin.com/products/rvrb-046-kikagaku-moyo-live-at-levitation

Track Listing:

Side A:
1: Elevation Jam
2: Streets of Calcutta
3: Tree Smoke
4: Smoke and Mirrors

Side B:
5: Dripping Sun
6: Gatherings
7: Nazo Nazo

Credits:

All Music by Kikagaku Moyo

Side A – recorded at Carson Creek Ranch, APF 2014
Recorded and mixed by Craig Lawrence

Side B – recorded at Barracuda, LEVITATION 2019
Recorded by Alexander Dubois, mixed by Craig Lawrence

Mastering and Lacquers Cut by Nick Townsend
Track Sequencing by Harry Portnof
Layout by Rob Fitzpatrick
Photos by Daniel Cavazos (front) and Alicia Santiago (back)
All Rights Reserved 2021, The Reverberation Appreciation Society

https://www.facebook.com/kikagakumoyo
https://www.instagram.com/kikagaku.moyo/
https://www.kikagakumoyo.com/
https://kikagakumoyoggb.bandcamp.com/
https://shop.levitation-austin.com/
https://reverberationappreciation.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/austinpsychfest/
https://www.instagram.com/levitation/
https://levitation-austin.com/

Kikagaku Moyo, “Smoke and Mirrors” live at Levitation

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Sonic Flower to Issue Unreleased Album Rides Again; Premiere “Super Witch”; Self-Titled Being Reissued

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on November 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

sonic flower

There was word early in 2019 that renowned bassist/riffmaker Tatsu Mikami was working on new material with his Church of Misery offshoot project, Sonic Flower. Any new record that might’ve surfaced — and none has yet — would be first the band has done since their 2003 self-titled debut (reissue review here), and it seems now that not only will the band’s awaited new full-length come out through Heavy Psych Sounds, but the Italian label will also publish the band’s lost Rides Again second album from 2005 and a reissue of the self-titled to boot. Preorders are live for Sonic Flower and Rides Again as of… right now. Now. Okay now.

Now.

To celebrate that fact, one can dig into a premiere of the ripper opener “Super Witch” from Rides Again, which also boasts in its ranks not only a cover of The Meters, but one of Graham Central Station as well. Really nailing home the point of classic heavy rock and funk crossing over there, but it’s a point too often forgot and well worth making.

The lost album should and will be a gotta-grab for collector types and other interested parties, but I’m dying too to find out what Tatsu and co. have in store for a new record. Either way you go, you don’t lose, and if you’ve never checked out Sonic Flower before, take the time to get introduced.

PR wire info follows. “Super Witch” is at the bottom of the post.

Dig:

sonic flower rides again

Sonic Flower were formed as a side project of Church of Misery in 2001. Tatsu Mikami (bass) and at that time Church’s guitarist Takenori Hoshi (guitar on Church of Misery’s 2nd album “The Second Coming”), teamed up to play more bluesy & non Doomy taste instrumental Heavy Rock. They were influenced by famous 70’s heavy rock bands like CACTUS, GRAND FUNK RAILROAD, GROUNDHOGS, SAVOY BROWN etc. Soon female guitarist “Arisa” and drummer Keisuke Fukawa joined the band. In 2003, they released the self titled debut album “SONIC FLOWER” on Japanese Heavy rock label “Leafhound Records”. All instrumental bluesy heavy rock and improvised doubleguitar, they got a tons of good response from all over the world. They also played some shows as support for some foreign band’s Japan appearance like Electric Wizard, Bluebird (Amen’s side project), Acid King etc.

In 2005 they went to studio for new recordings. At that time the band has some problems and after the recording quit. So this recordings were long years sleeping in the vault. Totally unreleased studio materials. In 2018 Tatsu decided to re-form the band. He has already tons of new songs. This time he teamed up with old Church singer and his old friend. A new album is in progress and will be released in 2021.

sonic flower self titledSONIC FLOWER ‘Sonic Flower reissue out 22.01.20 on Heavy Psych Sounds Records
Presale start November 4th on heavypsychsounds.com

TRACKLIST:
A01 Cosmic Highway – 3:22
A02 Black Sunshine – 4:37
A03 Astroqueen – 3:45
B01 Sonic Flower – 3:39
B02 Indian Summer – 4:42
B03 Going Down – 5:10

Available as:
Test Press Vinyl
150 Ultra Ltd Splatter Red/Orange Vinyl
350 Ltd Fucsia Vinyl
Black Vinyl
Digipak
Digital

This Sonic Flower self-titled debut album is an instrumental bluesy heavy rock with no DOOM taste. A lot of improvised double guitar solo and a very special groovy rythm section. The release got a real unexpected awesome response all over the world. All the tracks are 100% original, except the cover of the blues classic “Going Down”.

SONIC FLOWER New album ‘Rides Again’ out 29.01.20 on Heavy Psych Sounds Records
Presale start November 4th on heavypsychsounds.com

TRACKLIST:
A01 Super Witch – 3:26
A02 Black Sheep – 3:10
A03 Jungle Cruise – 4:19
A04 Captain Frost – 3:45
B01 Stay Away ( Meters cover ) – 4:42
B02 Quicksand Planet – 4:08
B03 Earthquake ( Graham Central Station cover ) – 4:26

Available as:
Test Press Vinyl
150 Ultra Ltd Half – Half Orange/Blue Vinyl (With Alternative Orange Cover)
350 Ltd Transparent Red Vinyl
Black Vinyl
Digipak
Digital

All the tracks on this Rides Again album are unreleased studio material recorded after 1st album came out in 2005. At that time the band members had some troubles during recording, so after the recording sessions they broke up. These tracks were sleeping in the vault for more then fifteen years. The music is a mixture of psychedelic groove, rock, funk, and doom metal. For fans of Cactus, Grand Funk Railroad, Mountain, Sir Load Baltimore, Captain Beyond, Meaters, Graham Central Station and Funkadelic. On the album you can find four original songs plus two cover tracks: “Earthquake” from Graham Central Station and “Stay Away” from Meters.

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

Sonic Flower, “Super Witch” official track premiere

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Boris Release ‘Archive’ Series of Studio & Live Recordings

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 11th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Damn, Boris. I guess the selling-via-Bandcamp process for their latest studio album, NO (discussed here), went pretty well, because here they are about a month later following it up with an archive of six out-of-print or otherwise previously-unavailable offerings. If that New York show that’s on Pink Days was at the old Knitting Factory in Manhattan, I was there that night, though I can’t remember if that was for Pink or Smile. Hard to keep up with Boris, and things like this are pretty much why. But hell, I’ll take the excuse to listen to “Flood” today, that’s fine by me, and those demos and whatnot should be plenty blown out, so even for established fans, there’s a lot to dig into as they continue to deal with firelung-induced societal collapse. So it goes.

More Boris though. That’s good news.

Check it out:

boris

BORIS ANNOUNCE SIX-VOLUME ‘ARCHIVE’ SERIES

These long out-of-print releases will be available Friday, August 7 on Bandcamp.

Boris will begin to archive past limited releases on their Bandcamp page.

In July, among the turmoil of the Coronavirus sweeping the world, Boris suddenly dropped their new album “NO” as a Bandcamp-only release, which garnered a tremendous response as the band themselves are trying to find a new means of communication with listeners in times of the Coronavirus.

Tomorrow, and over the course of several months, the archiving of Boris past limited releases will take place on their Bandcamp. They’ll start off appropriately with the “Archive” series, 3 live album CD’s released in 2005 from the US label, “aRCHIVE”, limited to 600 copies that sold out immediately.

These 3 live albums were reissued as “Archive I” (Vol. 1, 2, & 3) along with “Archive II” (Vol. 4, 5, & 0) in 2014. Both sets of 3 CD’s each were limited rereleases of 1,000 copies, and thus quite difficult to obtain.

Boris’s early demo tape recordings, as well as a compilation of at the time unreleased live recordings spanning “Heavy Rocks,” “Akuma no Uta,” ”dronevil -final-, ”mabuta no ura,” up through “PINK” can be found on “Archive II”.

These 6 CD’s worth of material, labeled as Boris “Archive” Volume Zero to Five, are a total of 6 releases. Getting a glimpse at a piece of the band from the Boris Book of Genesis to the present, these are some precious recordings indeed.

As a result of the current COVID-19 situation, long-term overseas tours are postponed with no sign of resuming, and the continuation of music culture is in critical condition. Thank you all for your understanding and backing of cultural activity. Your continued support to artists is much appreciated. Please look forward to further successive releases going forward.

Details for each Archive release can be found below. Look for more news and music from Boris in the near future.


Boris Archive Volume Zero “Early Demo”

9 songs selected and compiled from 3 independently produced demo tapes, from the early period of Boris’s formation.
The final 10th track, “Soul Search You Sleep,” was recorded in 1996 during Boris’s first tour of the US west coast, and has been brought out of a long slumber to complete Volume Zero.
(Originally released on March 5, 2014. Included in Archive 2, limited to 1,000 copies)

1. Loudd
2. AYA
3. Spell Down
4. Nods
5. Scar Box
6. Mosquito
7. Matozoa
8. Deep Sucker
9. Water Porch
10. Soul Search You Sleep

Track 1,2 from 1st Demo 1993
Track 3,4 from 2nd Demo 1993
Track 5-9 from 3rd Demo 1994

Recording Engineered by Kokage
Mixed by fangsanalsatan

Track 10 Recorded at Capitol Theater, Olympia, WA. Mar 1st & 2nd 1996

Takeshi: Bass & Vocal
Wata: Guitar & Echo
Atsuo: Drums & Vocal
Nagata: Drums(Track 2,3,4,6,7,8,9)

Mastering: Soichiro Nakamura
Design: fangsanalsatan
Produced by Boris

Boris Archive Volume One “Live 96-98”

Originally released in 2005 from the US label “aRCHIVE,” limited to 600 copies which sold out immediately. Compiled from live recordings during Boris’s “Power Violence” period 1996 – 1998, including songs from the 1998 studio album “Amplifier Worship” and Archive Volume Zero “Early Demo.”
(Reissued as part of Archive 1 on March 5, 2014. Limited to 1,000 copies)

1. Huge
2. In Hush
3. Soul Search You Sleep
4. Vacuuum
5. Mosquito
6. Mass Mercury
7. Scar Box
8. Hama

Track 1,2 Recorded at Koenji 20000V 21st Dec 1996
Track 3,4,5 Recorded at Koenji 20000V 21st June 1996
Track 6,7 Recorded at Shinjuku Loft 4th Oct 1997
Track 8 Recorded at Koenji 20000V 2nd Aug 1998

Takeshi: Bass & Vocal
Wata: Guitar & Echo
Atsuo: Drums & Vocal

Re-Mastering: Soichiro Nakamura
Design: fangsanalsatan
Produced by Boris

Boris Archive Volume Two “Drumless Shows”

Originally released in 2005 from the US label “aRCHIVE,” limited to 600 copies which sold out immediately. Includes 2 songs recorded live from Boris’s 1998 studio album “Amplifier Worship” and 1 song from “Early Demo,” all arranged for a drumless performance. The beginning of Drone Metal history in 1997.
(Reissued as part of Archive 1 on March 5, 2014. Limited to 1,000 copies)

1. Huge
2. Mosquito
3. Vomitself

Track 1 Recorded at Nagoya Music Farm 9th Aug 1997
Sound Engineer: Yukihito Okazaki (from ETERNAL ELYSIUM)

Track 2,3?Recorded at Koenji 20000V 8th Aug 1997

Takeshi: Bass & Vocal
Wata: Guitar & Echo
Atsuo: Drums & Vocal

Re-Mastering: Soichiro Nakamura
Design: fangsanalsatan
Produced by Boris

Boris Archive Volume Three “2 Long Songs”

Originally released in 2005 from the US label “aRCHIVE,” limited to 600 copies which sold out immediately. A precious live recording from their early days, of Boris’s 1996 debut single song release, “Absolutego,” and “flood,” released in 2000, performed live together as “1 song, 1 production.”
(Reissued as part of Archive 1 on March 5, 2014. Limited to 1,000 copies)

1. Absolutego
2. flood

Recorded at Koenji 20000V 3rd May 2001

Takeshi: Bass & Vocal
Wata: Guitar & Echo
Atsuo: Drums & Vocal

Re-Mastering: Soichiro Nakamura
Design: fangsanalsatan
Produced by Boris

www.borisheavyrocks.com

Boris Archive Volume Four “Evil Stack Live”

Full set live recording that was broadcast on Japanese government-owned radio. The setlist is compiled from songs representative of their “Uppercase BORIS” distinction, including tracks from “Heavy Rocks” (2002) and “Akuma no Uta” (2003).
(Originally released on March 5, 2014. Included in Archive 2, limited to 1,000 copies)

1. Heavy Friends
2. Korosu
3. Ibitsu
4. Death Valley
5. Naki Kyoku
6. Furi
7. Akuma no Uta
8. Dyna-Sore
9. 1970

Recorded at NHK Tokyo 15th May 2003
Sound Engineer: Yasuaki Satake

Takeshi: Bass, Guitar & Vocal
Wata: Guitar & Echo
Atsuo: Drums & Vocal

Mastering: Soichiro Nakamura
Design: fangsanalsatan
Produced by Boris

Boris Archive Volume Five “Pink Days”

Recorded live in New York during Boris’s 2006 US tour. Selections from “dronevil” “mabuta no ura” and “Akuma no Uta” combined with songs from “PINK,” during the period of its release that transmits wild enthusiasm; the songs in this full set recording could even be called their greatest hits.
(Originally released on March 5, 2014. Included in Archive 2, limited to 1,000 copies)

1. Blackout
2. PINK
3. Woman on the Screen
4. Nothing Special
5. ibitsu
6. Electric
7. A Bao A Qu
8. the evilone which sobs
9. Akuma no Uta
10. Just Abandoned My-Self
11. Farewell

Recorded at New York 31st May 2006
Sound Engineer: Randall Dunn

Takeshi: Bass, Guitar & Vocal
Wata: Guitar & Echo
Atsuo: Drums & Vocal

Mixing: fangsanalsatan
Mastering: Soichiro Nakamura
Design: fangsanalsatan
Produced by Boris

http://www.facebook.com/borisheavyrocks/
https://boris.bandcamp.com/
http://borisheavyrocks.com/

Boris, Pink Days (2020)

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Boris Post “Zerkalo” Video; No Out Now on Bandcamp

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 17th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

boris

Boris‘ new album, No, is out now through Bandcamp, direct from the trio themselves. Before the release actually arrived, the long-running Japanese avant/experimental heavy rockers issued a lengthy statement about how the record was made as a resistance against what amounts to modernist conformity, the unquestioning of one’s surroundings and the apathy that might lead someone not to seek a deeper truth. They called it “extreme healing music.”

Getting from there to the sludgy scathe of the nine-minute “Zerkalo” is fair enough if one considers the fact that a forest has to burn down before it can grow again. The video arrives in various CGI landscapes, morphing and shifting from one to the other, depicting futuristic-looking cities and oceanic expanses alike. At the end we see the cityscape is devastated and in burnt out ruins — the metaphor is clear enough. What’s more interesting is the harshness of the song itself, how it seems to speak not only to the hardcore roots the band explores elsewhere on No, but the massive doom that they’re sometimes able/willing to conjure when it suits their purposes. Their purposes here are meditative but not still, and if perhaps the harsh nature of the noise they’re making is intended to be jarring, especially as it precedes their reworking of “Perforation Line,” it’s only fair to call it successful in that regard.

To be perfectly honest, I may or may not get to review No. I got a promo download for it, but really, in the pantheon of unceasing plaudits the band get, does anything I have to say about them really matter? Is there some insight I can bring to Boris that someone hasn’t already offered? I guess I have my doubts. Maybe in place of a review I’ll just say it’s Boris being Boris, which means doing whatever they want at pretty much any time and pulling it off because that’s just what they do.

There.

Enjoy the video:

Boris, “Zerkalo” official video

Just two weeks after Boris delivered their triumphant new album NO, the group has surfaced once again with a music video for the album’s crushing single “-? -Zerkalo-.” The dystopian and panoramic visuals were assembled by producer Yoshiki Shimahara— who was also responsible for CG works in the movie Shin Godzilla, etc.— and the footage aptly captures the tone and feeling of the song itself. Boris comments of the video, “The song as a mirror that reflects this world.”

Boris New Album “NO”
Only available on Bandcamp now.

https://boris.bandcamp.com/album/no

01.Genesis
02.Anti-Gone
03.Non Blood Lore
04.Temple of Hatred
05.? -Zerkalo-
06.HxCxHxC -Perforation Line-
07.????? -Kiki no Ue-
08.Lust
09.Fundamental Error
10.Loveless
11.Interlude

Takeshi: Vocals, Guitar & Bass
Wata: Vocals, Guitar & Echo
Atsuo: Vocals, Percussion & Electronics

Recording: Fangsanalsatan at Sound Square 2020
Mix & Mastering: Koichi Hara (koichihara-mix.com)

Logo Type: Kazumichi Maruoka

CG works: Yoshiki Shimahara
http://shimahara-yoshiki.com/
Directed & Edited by fangsanalsatan & Ryuta Murayama (foodunited.)

https://borisheavyrocks.com/

Boris, No (2020)

Boris on Thee Facebooks

Boris on Bandcamp

Boris website

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Boris Announce New Album No Coming to Bandcamp; Stream “Loveless”

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Boris aren’t wrong. About anything. Basically ever. Their new album is called No. It’s out July 3 through their Bandcamp. They’re using it as a means of questioning implicit bias. If anyone can do that with a record, I have to believe it’s Boris. Because they’re fucking Boris.

That’s all I have to say about it. They say plenty. Here’s info:

boris no

A message from BORIS:

“International borders are ‘closed’ now.

All kinds of anxieties, fear, sadness, anger, and hatred have arisen to drive the world apart.
Everyone is in a process of trial and error, doing what they can to live.
The critical state of the world has placed culture, art, and other means of expressing ourselves into a dilemma as well.
We decided to start managing our band ourselves again a few years ago, so we even more keenly aware of the current situation.

It was our actions up to this point and our methodology, various cultural influences, as well the connections and support we received from people around the world that led us to create this latest album.

Culture is lore that is not bound by blood, in other words ‘Non Blood Lore.’

We have put all of our influences and connections into this album so that they may be passed on circulated.
That is our current stance now as Boris, our role and mode of action.

The title of this album is NO.
People have a system whereby they unconsciously grow accustomed to things and adapt to them.
But, this same system is also cursed in the way it allows inconvenient or troubling things to be disregarded as if they were never there to begin with and goes by other names such as ‘resignation,’ ‘subordination,’ and ‘forgetfulness.’
We renounce this system.
‘Is this something I felt on my own? Is this idea something I came up with on my own? Is this something I chose to act upon myself?’
Everything begins with questioning and denying oneself.
That is the proper stance for people to adopt.

Music and culture possess incredible power.
The anger and discontent we had no outlet for in our youth shone through in our music, helping us to channel negative energy channeled towards creative ends and leading us to new means of expression and artistry.
We hope this latest album can be a mirror that gathers and reflects people’s negative energy at a different angle, one that is positive.
That is the power and potential of the dark, extreme, and brutal noise music that we have experienced up to this point.
Today’s society is littered with words that may or may not be true, making it easy to want to just not listen to what anyone has to say.
But, that’s all the more reason why we hope that you will at least open your ears to these songs sung in the language of another land.
These shouts that have no proper meaning as words will help release the raw, unshaped emotions within you.
This is ‘extreme healing music.’

International borders are ‘closed’ now.
When we’re able to travel again, it will be proof that the world has moved forward.
We pray for the day when we can share the same time and place again.

Boris

PS.
NO includes a cover of the song ‘Fundamental Error’ by Japanese hardcore punk legends GUDON, who were active during the 90’s in Hiroshima.
The same track also features guest guitars by Katsumi, the former of guitarist of similarly legendary Japanese hardcore punk bands OUTO and CITY INDIAN and now a member of SOLMANIA.
This album is also being released completely D.I.Y. and without the help of any label.

‘The answer we have been given doesn’t change anything, and this album is not an answer either.’”

Look for Boris NO to be released July 3rd on Bandcamp and pre-orders are available now. More news + music coming soon.

Boris, NO track listing:
1. Genesis
2. Anti-Gone
3. Non Blood Lore
4. Temple of Hatred
5. ? -Zerkalo-
6. HxCxHxC -Parforation Line-
7. ????? -Kiki no Ue-
8. Lust
9. Fundamental Error
10. Loveless
11. Interlude

Boris is:
Takeshi: Vocals, Guitar & Bass
Wata: Vocals, Guitar & Echo
Atsuo: Vocals, Percussion & Electronics
Guest Guitar: Katsumi on Track 09
Recording: Fangsanalsatan at Sound Square 2020
Mix & Mastering: Koichi Hara (koichihara-mix.com)
“Fundamental Error” Originally Perfomed by GUDON
Logo Type: Kazumichi Maruoka
Design: Fangsanalsatan

http://www.facebook.com/borisheavyrocks/
https://boris.bandcamp.com/
http://borisheavyrocks.com/

Boris, “Loveless”

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Greenmachine’s D.A.M.N. Reissue out June 19

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

greenmachine

With label representation in Japan, Europe, Taiwan and the US, it seems safe to say there’s a consortium standing behind this June 19 reissue of Greenmanchine‘s 1996 debut album, D.A.M.N., and reasonably so. The Japan-based troupe were raw beyond their years a quarter-century ago and D.A.M.N. still offers enough scathe to well earn its cult following in noise and sludge rock. The band had a new album out last year called Mountains of Madness, and I didn’t get to hear it, but their reunion has been going on for a while now on and off, and both this record and its follow-up, The Earth Beater, which was also issued on Man’s Ruin Records, stand the test of time. Some bite never relents.

So yes, here’s news from Robustfellow ProductionsLong Legs Long ArmsRiff Merchant Records and Bad Moon Rising. The more the merrier, I guess:

greenmachine damn

Greenmachine’s Sludge Classic “D.A.M.N.” To Be Released On Vinyl For The First Time Ever

Robust Relics Series is back with the reissue of the pure sludge masterpiece!

Please welcome Greenmachine from Japan.

Their debut album “D.A.M.N.” was released 24 years ago by local label TASTE Recs. [T/CD-1] in 1996.

Two years later it was released by the US cult label Man’s Ruin [MR103CD], with cover artwork designed by graphic artist/label owner Frank Kozik. That artwork still looks shocking and disturbing even today!

In 2003 Japan’s DIWPHALANX [PX-103] added “+3” to the title and re-released this beast once again. This Japanese re-issue is very difficult to find.

In 2020 Robustfellow invited two fine labels: Riff Merchant and Long Legs Long Arms to cover the globe with analogue sludgecore tunes, starting with “D.A.M.N.”

This is the first release of this album on vinyl in 24 years.

Biography:

Greenmachine named themselves after the Kyuss song “Green Machine,” the second track on Blues for the Red Sun. In 1996 they released their debut album, D.A.M.N. on TASTE Recs., reissued by Man’s Ruin Records. They followed with The Earth Beater two years later, also on Man’s Ruin. They disbanded in 1999 but resurfaced in 2003 with a new bass player and released The Archives of Rotten Blues in 2004 on Diwphalanx Records. Diwphalanx also reissued the two Man’s Ruin albums with bonus tracks in 2003. They played The Wizard’s Convention in 2005 and are featured on the DVD along with fellow Japanese artists Boris, Church of Misery and Eternal Elysium.

The band disbanded again in 2007, with the DVD release, “This is the End”, documenting their final show. The band has since done multiple reunion shows. The first was in 2010, the second in 2013. The line up for that show was MONZAWA on guitar/vocal, HASEGAWA on bass and DATSU on drums. After the 2013 reunion show, the band reunited again with MONZAWA on guitar/vocal, YOSHIKAWA on bass and DATSU on drums. The band recruited a new member, Max, on guitar in 2014 and released “FOR THE NIGHT AND BLOOD EP”(Daymare Recordings) in 2016. New full-length “Mountains of Madness” was released in 2019 via Long Legs Long Arms & Daymare Records.

Greenmachine Links:
https://www.facebook.com/GREENMACHiNE.Hardcorerock/
https://www.instagram.com/_grmc_/

Robustfellow links:
https://www.facebook.com/RobustfellowProds
https://www.instagram.com/robustfellow_prods
http://www.robustfellow.bandcamp.com

Long Legs Long Arms links:
https://www.facebook.com/3LAdisc/
https://www.instagram.com/3la_disc/
https://longlegslongarms.bandcamp.com/

Riff Merchant Records links:
https://www.riffmerchant.com/
https://www.instagram.com/riffmerchantrecords/

Bad Moon Rising links:
https://badmoonrisingtaipei.com/
https://www.facebook.com/BadMoonRisingTaipei/
https://www.instagram.com/bad_moon_rising_taipei/D.A.M.N
https://badmoonrising.bandcamp.com/

Greenmachine, D.A.M.N.

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Days of Rona: Tana Haugo Kawahara of Eternal Elysium

Posted in Features on May 5th, 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

eternal elysium

Days of Rona: Tana Haugo Kawahara of Eternal Elysium (Japan)

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

All three members live in completely different locations inside Japan. From this year, with the new lineup, we meet once a month for a two-day rehearsal in Nagoya, at Okazaki’s Studio Zen. February’s and April’s rehearsals were both cancelled due to virus concerns regarding travel to and from different parts of Japan. We have a few gigs scheduled during the second half of this year, and so far no cancellations have been made. All of us are in good health.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Japan declared a formal state of emergency for the entire country on April 16, but because of the way the Japanese Constitution is written, the government doesn’t actually have the power to enforce any kind of quarantine or lockdown. It’s “suggested” or “recommended” for people to limit their movement, work from home when possible, etc. I live in a small village deep in the mountains so the situation is completely different from the big cities — lots of space and few people is normal around here. Even still, people are concerned, so more folks are wearing masks than usual, and the local restaurants, including mine, are doing take-out only and/or limiting operation hours. This also reduces the number of tourists coming out to the countryside from the cities.

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

Everyone agrees, it’s a weird time. Difficult and uncertain on so many levels.

Events and gatherings of all kinds have been cancelled, lots of people are either out of work or told to stay home, so there’s financial worry and additional stress for many. And for some other people, they don’t seem to care about it or comprehend the situation at all.

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

Earth has spoken, we need to listen. Looking forward to the day we can gather to make and enjoy music with our brothers and sisters again!

www.eternalelysium.com/
http://eternalelysiumshop.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Eternal-Elysium-official-160089987381948/
https://www.facebook.com/RobustfellowProds/
http://robustfellow.blogspot.com/
robustfellow.bandcamp.com

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