Review & Video Premiere: Saturnia, Stranded in the Green

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on March 10th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

saturnia stranded in the green

[Click play above to stream the premier of the video for ‘Fibonacci Numbers.’ Saturnia release their new album, Stranded in the Green, March 26 on Sulatron Records.]

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Lisboa-based multi-instrumentalist and songwriter DoMyWriting provides http://www.grosspetersdorf.at/?proposal-and-dissertation-help-research service. We process all "write my essay" requests fast. Only 100% plagiarism free essays Luís Simões founding  Even with the help of Term Paper Writing Help, its difficult to choose the best service. Avoid useless browsing with our advice! Saturnia, and the Portuguese institution of psychedelia marks the occasion with the release of its seventh full-length,  Book Report Help Sites me - experience the advantages of professional writing help available here Spend a little time and money to get the paper you could Stranded in the Green, through  How Can dissertation proposal on supply chain management Benefit Me? Hiring a dissertation writing coach may seem like an unusual choice, but it could ultimately make all the difference between a passing and failing grade. When you come to us for dissertation coaching services, we can assist you with any part of your thesis preparations. Our highly-qualified team can provide several types of dissertation Sulatron Records. A veteran of  Watch best videos about Cover Essay Maker Online Jobs on our tube site! Elektrohasch Schallplatten and http://redout.kpoe.at/?1004. If you are here, you are in need of a custom dissertation. We began as a small team helping students customize their dissertations in America and now from all around the world. When we started out a few years ago, we aimed at networking native English speakers that currently have become a group of experts and professionals Cranium Music, follow link - Stop receiving bad grades with these custom research paper advice Dissertations, essays and academic papers of best Simões has always kept  Get your paper done by an expert. High Quality. 100% original. On time. Search for quality term paper Essay On Poor Health Services? Saturnia pretty close to himself in terms of lineup, going back 20 years to the band’s debut,  Risk Management Assignment Help writer service for masters. Even if the topic is simple and you have enough time at your disposal, there may be other factors that cheap course work writer service for masters come into play when you don't expect them Pay for Coursework Writing Help worth Every Dime. 5000+ Coursework Writers,Top Quality Work,Guaranteed better Grades,Plagiarism Free,Best Price,24/7 Support. The Glitter Odd, and sure enough, in addition to producing/recording here over a period of two years between 2018-2020 and mixing last August, he handles vocals, electric, acoustic and 12-string guitar as well as a swath of other instruments — Hammond, Philicorda, Rhodes, piano, synthesizer, gong, chimes, drums, bass, various effects, keyboard samples, tampura and acoustic sitar among them. In terms of other personnel throughout the nine-song/56-minute offering, Our Dissertation Le Comportement De La Victime writers start working on each project by analyzing its instructions. Your guidelines are the foundation. They dont base their work on pre-written samples. Each piece of content is absolutely unique. The work you get from our custom essay writing company is yours to use. Its 100% plagiarism free. We will never publish it online. We will never store it. Well never Simões welcomes only two others:  Writing a go to link is a long and arduous business for both the client and the writer. If you want to shorten the time that will be necessary to write one and guarantee you get exactly what you want, try to provide as many details, instructions and indications when you order dissertation writing service online. This will minimize the possibility of misunderstandings something that causes our industry a lot of grief every day. When the writer knows exactly what is expected of Ana Vitorino speaking on the intro “Pan Arrives,” and Winga bringing djembe to the subsequent “Keep it Long.” Certainly any number of solo albums have involved more players. http://archiv.alpen.sac-cas.ch/?physiotherapy-personal-statement for freelance assignments. Write what you want. They were shown in figur the possible modes of resonanc assume the position of observer x. The normal force weight force acting on the web, www and negotiation, in detail, and more resilient and they searched for ways to organize people and groups who commissioned or pur pennells comments do not possess all these subfields of Simões even designed the cover art, with his own pictures as well as those by Formal review provided by myassignmenthelp.net at affordable price. João Bordeira. So yes, a personal feel is somewhat inevitable.

How To Start A College Admissions Essays. 30,401 likes 565 talking about this. Meeting the most deadliest Deadline is our Guarantee Stranded in the Green, though, is as much about breadth and atmosphere as it is personal expression. It is not bedroom psychedelia, and those familiar with  SaturniaSimões‘ most recent prior outing was 2018’s The Seance Tapes (review here), which reworked older material — shouldn’t expect it to be. Rather, despite quiet moments like the beginning of the near-14-minute centerpiece “Super Natural,” Simões uses the album in semi-narrative fashion to portray a communion with nature. The pagan representation of Pan in “Pan Arrives” is fair enough ground for the beginning of the record, and while sitar rock and uptempo ’60s-fashioned heavy psych are the initial impressions in “Keep it Long,” the subsequent “Fibonacci Numbers,” with its vague keyboard impressionism, quieter melody and patient execution kept to an underlying movement with a simple tom progression during the verse, and the drift-dream-int0-mellotron that is “Smoking in the Sun” — which admittedly may well be the very core of the record’s functioning storyline, further tying in with “Super Natural” and second-half-of-album cuts like “When I’m High” and the closer “Just Let Yourself Go” — soon show that the beginning is only the beginning, as it were, and that Saturnia are undertaking the songwriting, the showcase of craft and melody and rhythm, even the arrangements, as a kind of ritual in nature. Stranded in the Green, with all its expanse and atmosphere, is effective in maintaining this overarching purpose.

And with the word “stranded” in the title, there is a modern, COVID-era sense of isolation as well. After “Super Natural” has swelled and receded and one-man-jammed its lush and gorgeous landscape directly into the clearer piano line laced with synth and sitar drone that comes with “When I’m High,” the pairing of “Perfectly Lonely” and “Butterfly Collector” recedes into minimalist backwards guitar and subdued cymbal wash in the former track. It’s more substantial than an interlude at nearly four and a half minutes, but if one was to place a bet as to which portion of Stranded in the Green was conceived and executed under quarantine — a kind of willfully meandering experimentalism that’s deeply personal despite the lack of vocals — “Perfectly Lonely” would be a solid pick. Whether or not that’s actually the case, I don’t know, but that’s how it reads, and with a return of birdsong accompanied by chimes leading to Rhodes (I think), rolling drums and a fluid synthy vibe, “Butterfly Collector” expands on that ambience with 7:45 of escapist immersion. As so many people did for so many months, it seems simply to explore the space around it, going for a walk, reengaging with the colors that go so often taken for granted.

saturnia

By the time “Butterfly Collector” comes around, Stranded in the Green has already pushed the boundaries of a single LP — it’s worth noting that the Sulatron LP version omits “Perfectly Lonely” and “Just Let Yourself Go,” which appear on the CD — but the journey is the point, and certainly the shifts in arrangement and general mood are enough to hold more fickle attention spans. “Butterfly Collector” is the closer of the vinyl, and its concluding wash and minor-key mystique in the parting lines serves that function well, but “Just Let Yourself Go” manages to do well in summarizing the outing just the same, with a nodding rhythm beneath returned sitar drone and a bluesy lead line at the outset, synth/effects swirl peppering in, and more of the unmitigated instrumental flow that has served Simões so well throughout. It wouldn’t be fair to call the album incomplete without it, but it is one more example of Simões‘ ability to pull together a full-band atmosphere and still maintain the intimacy of a solo affair; the central dynamic around which the album is based. That is to say, it can sound “Perfectly Lonely” while still creating its own special kind of wash.

A quarter-century after its founding, maybe it shouldn’t be such a surprise that Simões is capable of engineering that balance, but that doesn’t make the listening experience any less satisfying, and for sure there is an aspect of refinement and continued growth in the processes on display throughout. It’s possible that engaging with older songs helped inspire Saturnia to move forward with these tracks, or that lockdown played a role there as well, but Stranded in the Green is that much stronger for it in manifesting its expressive purpose. There is an element of escapism — or at very least there can be — in terms of hearing it. One might be tempted to turn off one’s mind, relax, and float downstream. But Simões isn’t so much dropping out here as tuning in to the world around him, and that sense of interaction is as infectious as any chorus contained within the songs themselves. Thus, when met with its due consideration, Stranded in the Green is the kind of album that might make colors seem brighter afterward.

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Days of Rona: Antonio Santos of Places Around the Sun

Posted in Features on May 28th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the varied responses of publics and governments worldwide, and the disruption to lives and livelihoods has reached a scale that is unprecedented. Whatever the month or the month after or the future itself brings, more than one generation will bear the mark of having lived through this time, and art, artists, and those who provide the support system to help uphold them have all been affected.

In continuing the Days of Rona feature, it remains pivotal to give a varied human perspective on these events and these responses. It is important to remind ourselves that whether someone is devastated or untouched, sick or well, we are all thinking, feeling people with lives we want to live again, whatever renewed shape they might take from this point onward. We all have to embrace a new normal. What will that be and how will we get there?

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

places around the sun antonio santos

Days of Rona: Antonio Santos of Places Around the Sun (Lisboa, Portugal)

How have you been you dealing with this crisis as a band? As an individual? What effect has it had on your plans or creative processes?

Besides the obvious bad financial side in all of this as a band we got a lot of time we wouldn’t get otherwise to really write our songs without any pressure of having to go to work the next day. And that is probably the best thing out of all of the things, our hobbies became a full-time job.

With the creative process it has also helped a lot since everything stopped and it left a lot of space for the creative mind to take place. I’ve seen a lot of new ideas, whether them being podcasts, Instagram lives or new music coming up in these last months and the best part is that everyone is attending to all of it because people want something to pass their time.

In a general view I think we’re making the best of it and still manage to finish the new album we’re currently working on.

How do you feel about the public response to the outbreak where you are? From the government response to the people around you, what have you seen and heard from others?

Here in Portugal, I feel like in a way we got very lucky comparing to a lot of other countries here in Europe. Our government reacted as fast as one would ever react with such a sudden threat.

Everybody at first shared the mind set of “The virus won’t ever get here”, foolishly enough since our country relies a lot on tourism, and thousands of tourists enter our country everyday. But when it came people actually reacted fast and a lot of people went into voluntary lockdown, but of course there were those people who felt like it was an overreaction. But now I think pretty much everyone is being aware and respectful of the rules.

There’s an uneasy feeling around everyone we know, since we all work in the film and music industry, we really depend on a lot of events that can’t happen right now and probably won’t happen in the next year.

But being all creative people I think we’ll all find some way or another to keep going and adapt to this new reality.

What do you think of how the music community specifically has responded? How do you feel during this time? Are you inspired? Discouraged? Bored? Any and all of it?

The music community took a big hit, every band we know had their shows canceled and we were all obligated to leave almost everything in stand by. But I think everyone is aware of how hard it is for all the artists and people are sharing everyone’s work on their social media. It’s amazing to see so many people coming together to help everybody in need during this time.

Although there’s a little bit of discouragement, because we know we can’t play live, being one of the most exciting parts of being in a band, and of course the best source of income. But some of the best songs and ideas came from boredom and the need to make something, I think everyone that has the creative side should use this time to let it come into fruition. Everyone is at home and now more than ever people need the entertainment industry to help them get through all of this a little bit easier.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything? What is your new normal? What have you learned from this experience, about yourself, your band, or anything?

Me personally, I was going through a really rough time mentally before all of this. And having to suddenly stop everything really made think and reflect on everything going in my mind and I got to value a lot of things that I always took for granted and I fortunately could channel everything through music, we were in the middle of recording an album, and luckily we stopped when we were about to record the vocals, which is something that can easily be done at home, so I brought my studio set up home and really took the time to record and write everything feeling like I had all the time in the world.

I recorded a vocal idea and sent it to everyone and we went back and forth a lot and I think that really allowed us to come up with stuff we would never had the time to do before.

We as band can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on as we feel like it has some of the best stuff we’ve ever wrote and hopefully sooner than later we’ll be able to play it live.

https://www.facebook.com/placesaroundthesun/
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Days of Rona: Luis Simões of Saturnia

Posted in Features on April 30th, 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

Luis Simões of Saturnia

Days of Rona: (Lisboa, Portugal)

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?

I was already editing and pre-mixing the new Saturnia album for a couple of months, so, as that is something I do on my own from home and there were no plans to play live at all, Saturnia’s daily routine hasn’t really changed radically.

There is a certain irony as this new record is an outdoors album, I recorded most of it in the countryside earlier on; actually some of it was recorded outside under the trees, but i’m now working in lockdown regime.

I’ve been in contact with André Silva (drums) and everyone else involved with Saturnia and so far everyone is okay.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

Over here, in Portugal, the state of emergency has been officially declared; social isolation is the rule, you can go to the supermarket, bank, post office, pharmacy and walk the dog in the immediate area where you live in but you can’t move about in groups and if you are making a more serious movement you have to be ready to justify it.

The authorities aren’t being over aggressive with people but are acting firmly.

The paranoia meter is in the red, and although i haven’t seen them myself, there are places with drones warning people to stay home, a pure dystopian vibe that reminds me of Hawkwind’s Sonic attack, just disturbingly real.

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

This is a nasty blow for everybody in general, obviously from the health perspective; this is the kind of history book stuff you heard of of the influenza pandemic in the WWI period, but now it is immediate reality; everything is closed so the economy is suffering on all levels.

Music is moving even more online but sadly, there isn’t any life-supporting revenue in online music, so this whole situation is very negative and it’s going to knock a lot of people’s lives down, for sure.

Music and art in general are frequently seen as a luxury item, although it’s what is keeping people sane at home…

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

Basically that Saturnia carries on doing its thing with the present time limitations, and so should everybody.

I want to urge everyone to be extremely careful, follow sanitary safety procedures and act with common sense, respect and responsibility so that we can all be here next year to listen to Saturnia’s new album and all albums old and new.

https://www.facebook.com/saturniamusic/
http://www.saturniamusic.com/
https://www.elektrohasch.de/

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Desert’Smoke Post “Mystic Lunar Ship” Video from Debut LP Karakum

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertsmoke

The first thing you see in the new video from Lisboa-based heavy psych rockers Desert’Smoke is a warning that the clip contains flashing lights that might cause a seizure. Well, okay. If you have photosensitive epilepsy, you might then want to change your viewing plans, but even if you go right to the Bandcamp stream of Karakum, the debut long-player from the four-piece outfit, you’d only be doing yourself a favor. Elements of meditative heavy psych show up amid a telegraphed desert rock influence, bits here and there of post-Earthless careening making themselves felt in “Mystic Lunar Ship” — the track with the video in question — and others across the five-track LP such as the 12-minute centerpiece “Solar Jam,” which is nothing if not aptly named for the vibe it elicits.

Can you dig it? Yeah, probably. There’s no real pretense in Karakum about where Desert’Smoke are coming from, and as the band follow-up their early-2018 Hidden Mirage EP, they unfold the debut with a careful patience that offsets some of the inevitable shred that emerges. Issued by Raging Planet, the album starts with a 39-second intro “Smoke One” — I hope their follow-up starts with “Smoke Two” — and then is off quickly into the winding “Darvaz,” named for a burning crater of natural gas that’s been on fire in Turkmenistan since the early ’70s. Because, heavy. That’s fun, and the vibe is pretty quickly set by “Darvaz” for “Solar Jam,” “Mystic Lunar Ship” and the righteous-wash-of-layered-solos finale “Gate of Karakum” to continue to push outward, working with consistency of mood even as each piece represents its own sonic excursion, based in jams but not simply meandering without purpose.

They’ve done SonicBlast, they’ll do Cartaxo Sessions in February, and I’m sure there’s more to come in 2020, but until then, if you can watch it without getting a headache, the video for “Mystic Lunar Ship” is below and, again, if you can watch it, it’s kind of awesome.

Hope you enjoy, or if you go straight to the audio below, hope you enjoy that:

Desert’Smoke, “Mystic Lunar Ship” official video

‘Mystic Lunar Ship’ from Karakum album – out now! – https://desert-smoke.bandcamp.com/album/karakum

Video and artwork by Senhor & Warini

Exploring the world of stoner and psychedelic rock, Desert’Smoke presents an instrumental show which blends the power of rock and the contemplative psychedelia with the beats of a symbiotic rhythm section. A trip in this desert created by André Pedroso ROCHA on guitar, João ROMÃO on guitar, João NOGUEIRA on bass and CLÁUDIO ‘Pidgeon’ Aurélio on drums.

‘Karakum’ means black sand and it’s the name of Turkemenistan’s desert. There you can find the Darvaz gas crater, a crater of natural gas that has been burning since 1971.

From Lisboa, Portugal
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at Lemon Drops Media by André Eusébio.
Record Label: Raging Planet

Desert’Smoke are:
André Pedroso Rocha (Guitarra)
Cláudio Aurélio (Bateria)
João Nogueira (Baixo)
João Romão (Guitarra)

Desert’Smoke, Karakum (2019)

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Saturnia Post “The Twilight Bong” Video from The Seance Tapes

Posted in Bootleg Theater on April 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

saturnia

I said last time around when Saturnia posted a video assembled from studio footage during the making of their latest album, The Seance Tapes (review here), that it probably wouldn’t be the last clip they did in that fashion. For all I know the Portuguese heavy psych rockers have the entire session captured, but for now, “The Twilight Bong” follows “Gemini” (posted here) from the 2018 collection, which found Saturnia founder Luis Simões in the studio for the first time with very nearly a complete lineup, handling guitar, bass, sitar and vocals himself while keeping company with drummer André Silva and keyboardist Nuno Oliveira, essentially able to record live for the first time, and accordingly reworking material from Saturnia‘s prior six full-lengths.

“The Twilight Bong,” for example, makes its sitar-laced way to The Seance Tapes via Saturnia‘s 1999 self-titled debut, and as the penultimate inclusion running a sprawling nine and a half minutes with keys and sitar, drums and percussion intertwining, it’s an especially vivid showcase of what the newer incarnation of Saturnia are able to accomplish, even though it digs back to a record that turns 20 this year. Simões has always been at the core of Saturnia, and to hear his sitar in conversation with Oliveira‘s Mellotron-style keys late in the track is an exciting twist on the character of the original track. The mission is still way trippy, but there’s a live dynamic in the recording throughout The Seance Tapes that a one-man-band would have an almost impossible time trying to capture.

Once again, I don’t think this will be the last time Saturnia put out a video from The Seance Tapes that was taken in the studio. I don’t know if they have footage for the whole record, but if they did and they were able to get it all together, it would only demonstrate the burgeoning, molten chemistry in development with the new lineup. One hopes that perhaps they’ll channel those energies toward further studio work on new material, but the truth of the matter is that if they want to let The Seance Tapes linger a little longer, “The Twilight Bong” is a pretty good example of why that would be just fine.

Please enjoy:

Saturnia, “The Twilight Bong” official video

Hope you are ready for a bit of sitar-Rock.

New video from The Seance Tapes. Enjoy.

Recorded at Colour Haze Studio, Reichertshausen.

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Saturnia Post “Gemini” Video from The Seance Tapes

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

saturnia

Somebody had the right idea. I’m gonna guess it was Luís Simões. When Portuguese heavy psych rockers Saturnia hit Colour Haze Studio — yes, run by the band of the same name — to record their latest album, The Seance Tapes (review here), they brought a video camera along to capture the process. This was the right idea because the band was recording live for the first time, and where it’s traditionally been Simões working on his own in multi-instrumentalist fashion handling guitar, sitar, bass, vocals, etc., this time he not only had drummer André Silva with him, but also key specialist Nuno Oliveira on organ, synth, electric piano and whatnot, tracking live as a three-piece.

This wouldn’t necessarily be a minor change if it was Saturnia‘s second record or even their third, but it’s their seventh. They’ve worked pretty much with Simões and various other contributors all along, and for the first time it’s a full band functioning as a live act. I guess Simões figured that if he was going to continue to push into new ground as the band had a six-album track record of doing, this was the way to go. It worked. The Seance Tapes is a collection of songs that featured on past Saturnia full-lengths, and even so, one can hear the new life breathed into the material as they go. It flows much as a live set would because basically it is a live set, played and then given further flourish later on atop the basic tracks laid down to analog tape.

I wouldn’t speculate as to whether Saturnia will continue in this manner or go back to the way things have always been, but either way, The Seance Tapes captures a special moment in their history, and as such, it’s all the more fitting that it’s caught on video and preserved in more than just the album itself. A video for “Mindrama” from 2007’s Muzak has already surfaced, but you can see the band in the studio below for “Gemini” from their 1999 self-titled debut. I don’t expect it will be the last clip that makes its way to the public.

The Seance Tapes is out now on Elektrohasch Schallplatten.

Please enjoy:

Saturnia, “Gemini” official video

New video from The Seance Tapes – Gemini.

Recorded at Colour Haze Studio, Reichertshausen.

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Saturnia, The Seance Tapes: An Open Channel

Posted in Reviews on July 9th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

saturnia the seance tapes

To-date, multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Luís Simões has led Saturnia through seven albums of ever-increasing cosmic reach. Simões, who is based in Lisboa, Portugal, and plays guitar, lap steel, theremin, bass pedals, Mellotron, and acoustic and electric sitar, has always been the core of the band and he remains so, but the difference with Saturnia‘s latest offering, The Seance Tapes (released by Elektrohasch), is that he’s joined in the studio by a stage-ready band. He and drummer André Silva have worked together before, unless I’m mistaken, but together in the studio with keyboardist, organist, electric pianist, synthesist — basically if it’s got keys, he’s right in there — Nuno Oliveira, the resultant trio tap into a live chemistry that’s never been conjured by Saturnia until now. It’s only fitting, then, that the 12-tracks of The Seance Tapes should be culled, two each, from the band’s six-album back catalog:

1. Chrysalis (5:31) from 2001’s The Glitter Odd
2. A Burnt Offering (8:10) from 2016’s The Real High
3. Infinite Chord (5:17) from 2007’s Muzak
4. I Am Utopia (8:52) from 2012’s Alpha Omega Alpha
5. The Real High (8:33) from The Real High
6. Hydrophonic Gardening (3:40) from 2003’s Hydrophonic Gardening
7. Mindrama (6:00) from Muzak
8. Gemini (4:44) from 1999’s Saturnia
9. Still Life (5:06) from The Glitter Odd
10. Sunflower (7:31) from Hydrophonic Gardening
11. The Twilight Bong (9:33) from Saturnia
12. Cosmonication (6:04) from Alpha Omega Alpha

Ordered for maximum flow rather than chronology, the 79-minute album stretches the limits of the CD format and is currently awaiting a 2LP issue, but however one might end up taking it on, the intention is plain in giving Saturnia‘s live ambitions a studio form, and hearing the sitar-drone-laced “The Real High” or the post-The Heads space-rock-meets-shoegaze-vocals vibes of “I am Utopia” before it, the vibrancy emanating from them is as infectious as the swinging rhythms brought to bear by Silva‘s utter mastery of psychedelic percussion. Whether it’s hand drums on “The Real High” or the far-off cymbals echoing behind the Mellotron-laced “Still Life” or the pickup brought to opener “Chrysalis,” or the subtle grounding given to the mellow psych-prog meandering of “A Burnt Offering” and the especially King Crimson-esque “Cosmonication,” Silva‘s contributions are utterly essential. One could say the same of the textures Oliveira brings to the same tracks alongside Simões, and even if power-trio-Saturnia had the blueprint of the band’s past albums to work from, it’s still an impressive amount of character brought to the material to make it come to life.

saturnia

No doubt actually recording live has something to do with that as well. Of course, Simões, who also helms Saturnia‘s production duties, has been at this long enough to know what he wants from the band in terms of sound, but with Silva and Oliveira on board, he’s still in relatively unexplored territory. While it seems likely that they would’ve gone back later to layer in effects, synth, swirls, percussion and so on, since there’s only so much a human being can be playing at one time — curse our limitations as a species! — to even put down the basic tracks live is a bold choice on the part of the band. A safe one, too, though, considering what they’re playing is established material rather than something new. Still, you want to show off your live band? Play live. Seems fair enough, right? Simões being the one running the show would know that, but that doesn’t mean the decision lacks bravery. On the contrary, two years after releasing The Real High and some 19 years forward from their debut (which Elektrohasch also reissued in 2009), Saturnia have chosen to take their exploration to a meta level — examining what it means to be a full band after so many years under Simões‘ direct control with complementary contributions from guest players. It’s the shape of the band itself changing now.

So what one ends up with on The Seance Tapes is a forward-looking retrospective. And for as much time as it covers, the sound throughout is strikingly cohesive when it comes to representing Saturnia‘s past material as hippie-dance-ready psychedelia. In more active stretches like “Mindrama” and the cosmic pulsations of “Sunflower” and the deep-dive moodier feel of the slow-rolling “Gemini,” there is a unity throughout that comes from the performance on the part of the band. That is, while Saturnia‘s sonic progression over the last almost-two-decades has brought it from electronic influences to being the kind of band who might decide to do a greatest hits record live in the studio rather than simply assemble the tracks as they were, there isn’t necessarily a hiccup throughout The Seance Tapes as they jump back and forth from album to album in Simões‘ discography. Rather, it’s the very fact that they’re putting it to tape live that draws the material together. They take advantage of the methodology in terms not only of bringing vitality to the songs — and these songs sound truly vital; vibrant and affirming like the best of peak-psychedelia, even with a heavier underpinning — but in creating a thread between them that helps make that vitality so pervasive. In the sitar-fueled revelations of “The Twilight Bong” and the spaced-out Mellotron epique groove of “Infinite Chord” and in the percussive serenity wash that is the second half of “The Real High,” there isn’t anywhere or anywhen that Saturnia go where they don’t seem right at home.

Perhaps most interesting of all when it comes to The Seance Tapes is the temporal accomplishment of it in using past material to establish the sound of who Saturnia are now. Much like the balance between safety and risk in recording older songs live with a new lineup, there’s also the fact that they’re making a definitive statement of intention across this graceful and extended span. Whatever Saturnia have been in the past, they’re working toward a new plane, and it’s inherent in the context of The Seance Tapes that it should be a landmark along the band’s timeline. Whether Simões will continue with the band in this form and adopt a more live-focused ethic, I don’t know, but it says something about creative will that after six records, the crux of what makes his project what it is has shifted so significantly. No doubt he could easily continue to bang out collections every couple years on his own, and that both might still happen and be just fine — it’s certainly worked before — but The Seance Tapes represents a drive that extends to more than just an adventurous sound. It is a genuine search for and attempt to bring something new to Saturnia, and what or may not be next, the dividends wrought here are not to be ignored.

Saturnia, “Mindrama” official video

Saturnia on Thee Facebooks

Saturnia website

Elektrohasch Schallplatten website

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Dollar Llama Post Video for “Louder”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

dollar llama

Portuguese bruiser rockers Dollar Llama issued their third album, Juggernaut, this past December via Raging Planet, and with it unfurl a swath of dudely aggro burl worthy of the title. Taking influence from the likes of Down, Goatsnake and those of harder, meaner edges, the band chug their way through cuts like “Knucklehead,” the ultra-catchy “Misery,” and the bullying but still hook driven “Bocanegra,” keeping structures straightforward but offering some variety of mood around the central crux of testosterone-fueled groove. In some of its nastiest charge, Juggernaut borders on sludge — somehow it’s never quite sloppy enough to actually get there — but it’s never ultimately too far from an underlying current of straightforward metal, as heard in the riffs and gruff vocals alike.

And yet, when one listens to a cut like “Louder” — for which the band have a new video which you can view below — the track isn’t without a sense of space or depth of arrangement, and the same applies to songs like “Nails,” the second half of the penultimate title-track and the verses of the slower “Currents.” This doesn’t quite set up a dichotomy between one side and another throughout the album, but it definitely gives Dollar Llama more of a sense of range than they’d have otherwise, vocalist Tiago Simões harmonizing in layers on “Currents” as guitarists Chikko Marques and Hugo Vieira intertwine riffs and leads atop the solid foundation of rhythm from bassist José Dinis and drummer Pedro Cardoso. No matter what direction a given song is headed in throughout Juggernaut, the band keep it crisp and professional, and offer stage-ready energy with a studio-born fullness of tone. To wit, it seems like no coincidence the record caps with the two-minute balls-outtery of “Stagefires,” which feels as much like a statement of intent as anything else.

All told, Juggernaut is 10 tracks and 44 minutes of dead-ahead push, stuck-in-your-head hooks and rocker-mosh vibing. There’s more than a little chestbeating going on and something of a sense of by-dudes-about-dudes-for-dudes comes through the proceedings, but there’s no arguing with the penchant for songcraft, and Juggernaut becomes even more of a destructive force when ridiculous volume is applied. Trust me, I tested it out.

PR wire info follows the video for “Louder” below. I’ve also included the full album stream of Juggernaut in case you’d like to dig in a bit more.

Either way, please enjoy:

Dollar Llama, “Louder” official video

DOLLAR LLAMA have released their third full length album in December 2nd 2017.

“JUGGERNAUT” can be defined as a “literal or metaphorical force regarded as mercilessly, destructive and unstoppable.” That’s how the band describes the sound of the 10 heavy tracks that makes “Juggernaut” the most powerful album in the history of the band so far.

“LOUDER” is the most psychedelic song, with a voyage of heavy riffs, trippy solos and raging vocals. The album was recorded at Black Sheep Studios, produced by Miguel Marques (Devil In Me, Comeback Kid, More Than a Thousand) and will be distributed by Raging Planet (PT) and Stone Groove Records (USA).

Dollar Llama, Juggernaut (2017)

Dollar Llama on Thee Facebooks

Dollar Llama website

Dollar Llama at Raging Planet Bandcamp

Raging Planet website

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