Great Electric Quest to Release Live at Freak Valley March 27

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

great electric quest

I’m not usually the type to go in on a release on the basis of one song, but let’s face it, Great Electric Quest covering Deep Purple‘s “Highway Star” could hardly be more appropriate. And they nail it as they wrap their set on Live at Freak Valley. Well established across their two studio full-lengths as being rad in the long-running West Coast tradition of heavy rock radness, the four-piece took to European stages last summer and included a stop at the Siegen, Germany-based festival that was captured and will see issue through Ripple Music on March 27. The cover isn’t streaming yet, if it will at all in advance of the release, but they’ve got “Seeker of the Flame,” taken from 2018’s Chapter II: Of Earth (review here), available to check out down below and it gives a pretty good sense of the energy they bring to the stage.

Never having had the pleasure myself, I’m nonetheless aware of the reputation for bombast Great Electric Quest have when it comes to performing live. It’s not hard to imagine them climbing amps and going all-in for this one as you listen.

From the PR wire:

great electric quest live at freak valley

GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST share details for upcoming “Live At Freak Valley” album on Ripple Music!

The mighty rock’n’roll crusaders have returned! After touring extensively in North America and Europe, San Diego’s one and only GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST return with their blazing hot “Live From Freak Valley” album this March 27th on Ripple Music. Listen to a first excerpt now!

With “Live At Freak Valley”, GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST are about to establish their mighty reign over the heavy rock underground for good. If headbanging to their first two albums “Chapter I” and “Chapter II” wasn’t enough, you are about to experience the exhilarating force of their live shows through this absolutely must-have live record. Clocking in at one full hour, the band delivers with maestria those epic vocals, high-flying solos, proto-metal grooves and jam-laden turnarounds they are known for: electricity instantly fills the air while the crowd jubilates… You’ve just been thunderstruck by the sheer awesomeness of Rock’n’Roll’s saviours GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST.

Guitarist Buddy Donner comments: “Ahhhhhhhh yeah! Freak Valley Festival 2019 was the absolute highlight of our three-month “Beer Wars Tour”. Journeying from the west coast of North America to Canada and all over Europe, nothing topped the vibe at Freak Valley Festival in Netphen, Germany. A sold-out gathering of 2500 people, but it felt like everyone knew each other. One massive Rock’n’Roll Family. It was an honor to share the stage with Corrosion of Conformity, Wolfmother, Brant Bjork, Dead Lord, DeWolff and so many more. We are quite excited to release a live version of our performance at this event, and most honored to be releasing this with the mighty Ripple Music! It’s been a long time coming!”

GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST “Live At Freak Valley” Out March 27th on Ripple Music

TRACK LISTING:
1. In The Flesh
2. Seeker Of The Flame
3. Of Earth Part I
4. Of Earth Part II
5. Of Earth Part III
6. Victim Of Changes
7. The Madness
8. Heart Of The Son
9. Wicked Hands
10. Highway Star (Deep Purple cover)

GREAT ELECTRIC QUEST is
Tyler “T-Sweat” Dingvell – Vocals
Buddy Donner – Guitar
Daniel “MuchoDrums” Velasco – Drums
Jared Bliss – Bass

https://www.facebook.com/electricquest/
https://electricquest.bandcamp.com/
http://greatelectricquest.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
https://www.ripple-music.com/

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Ape Machine to Release Live at Freak Valley May 26; West Coast Tour on Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 13th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

ape machine

Underrated Portland heavy rockers Ape Machine kicked off a West Coast tour last night at the Star Theater in their hometown. The run will take them down through California and into Texas for South by Southwest and then back up to Seattle over the next couple weeks with stops in Arizona along the way. Kind of standard procedure for Ape Machine by this time, as they seem to bust out West Coast dates on the regular. They’re still supporting 2013’s right-on-the-money Mangled by the Machine (review here), but they’ll have a new live record, Live at Freak Valley, out through Ripple Music in May as well.

They’re also gearing up to record their next studio album, and are promising some new material on this tour, so if you happen to be in their path, it seems like solid reasoning to stay there. We turn to the PR wire for the particulars:

ape machine tour dates

Ape Machine to release Live At Freak Valley LP/DVD set via Ripple Music | US Tour Dates for March (Inc. SXSW appearance)

Ape Machine’s Live At Freak Valley (LP/DVD) to be released on 26th May 2015

Having recently toured the US and Europe in support of their latest full-length album Mangled By The Machine, Portland stoners Ape Machine are set to hit the road this month in support of their new Live LP/DVD combo release Live At Freak Valley on Ripple Music.

The daring new release was filmed and recorded at the Freak Valley Festival in Germany last year; an event that has proven to be a veritable showcase and ‘Who’s Who’ in the brave new world of upcoming psychedelic and heavy stoner-rock bands. The set features Ape Machine’s blistering hour-long performance in front of a sold-out festival crowd and serves up proof that the band lives up to their reputation of captivating and commanding live audiences.

In addition to the upcoming Live at Freak Valley release, Ape Machine has released three critically acclaimed full-length albums, two recent releases of which – Mangled By The Machine and War To Head – were produced by Ikey Owens (Jack White, Mars Volta, Mastodon) who also contributed keyboards to both albums. Owens was slated to produce the band’s fourth full-length this summer before his untimely death this past October while on tour with Jack White. In Ikey Owens’s absence, the band plans to record their next full length this April with long-time friend Jacob Golden producing.

Last year also found Ape Machine touring extensively, sharing the stage with bands such as Motorhead, Helmet, Orange Goblin, Crobot plus many others. This March however the band kicks off their own West Coast tour, bringing their frenzied live show stateside on a trip through SXSW and beyond. (For the full list of dates see below.)

With their Live At Freak Valley release arriving on 26 May, this coming spring tour across the US, a new album in the pipeline and more planned for later in the year, 2015 promises to be busy year for one of the best new bands on the scene.

Tour Dates:
March 13 – Club 66 (Ashland, OR)
March 14 – Cafe Coda (Chico, CA)
March 15 – Audie’s (Fresno, CA)
March 16 – Slide Bar (Fullerton, CA)
March 17 – JR’s (Sierra Vista, AZ)
March 18 – Blue Max (Midland, TX)
March 19 – Eastdown Warehouse (Houston, TX)
March 20 – DIY Spot (Tyler, TX)
March 21 – SXSW Official Showcase on the Monster Energy Stage (Austin, TX)
March 21 – Fuzzed Out (Lola’s) (Ft. Worth, TX)
March 23 – Flycatcher (Tucson, AZ)
March 24 – Casbah (San Diego, CA)
March 25 – The Saloon (Encinitas, CA)
March 26 – El Rio (San Francisco, CA)
March 27 – Black Forest (Eugene, OR)
March 28 – The Mix – (Seattle, WA)

apemachine.com
facebook.com/apemachinemusic
twitter.com/apemachine
youtube.com/user/ApeMachineMusic/videos
instagram.com/apemachinemusic/
ripple-music.com

Ape Machine, “Wear Me Out” from Live at Freak Valley (2015)

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Causa Sui, Live at Freak Valley: Sacred Blood in the Garden (PLUS Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 31st, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Generally speaking, one of the problems with a live album is that save for rare exceptions, unless you happened to be at the show where it was recorded, it’s that much harder to make a connection to the experience of actually seeing the band on stage. I wasn’t so fortunate to be in Netphen, Germany, when Danish heavy psych masters Causa Sui played at Freak Valley 2013, but listening to the El Paraiso Records 2CD/2LP document of their set — fittingly titled Live at Freak Valley and available for preorder now ahead of an April 7 ship date — the audio easily gives a sense of the warmth and vibrancy of the four-piece’s performance. The material is culled from their 2005 self-titled debut (the inimitable “El Paraiso”) all the way to and through 2013’s hyperbole-worthy Euporie Tide, touching on the expansive jams taken from their Summer Sessions and Pewt’r Sessions along the way for a steady flow that, as the lineup of guitarist Jonas Munk, bassist Jess Kahr, drummer Jakob Skøtt and keyboardist Rasmus Rasmussen progress through their own catalog in swells of volume and stretches of subdued exploration, never subsides throughout the two-disc entirety of the release. Live at Freak Valley is Causa Sui‘s first official live album, and it’s not difficult to tell from listening why they’d want it made public. Especially in the longer-form cuts like “Red Valley” (10:19), the “Lonesome Traveller” medley that also includes pieces of “Santa Sangre” and “Garden of Forking Paths” (14:07), “El Paraiso” (12:36), “Euporie” (12:02) and “Homage” (9:56), Causa Sui are as engaging on their live incarnation as they are in their studio output.

Part of that has to be because Causa Sui‘s albums are closely tied to live performance. That sense was certainly true on Euporie Tide, where the mood was spontaneous, like the band could take their laid back grooving and tonal warmth anywhere they wanted to do go, places alternately lush and expansive or driving in their heavy riffs. Live at Freak Valley doesn’t allow for quite the same level of production value as a studio album, but it’s not far off, either. Munk handled the mixing and mastering himself, so the band’s touch is on every level of the release, and that’s clearly made a difference in the atmosphere of the audio. Each disc — or each platter, if you get the vinyl version — holds just under 45 minutes of runtime, so Live at Freak Valley comes across not as a live album sloppily assembled, lazily mixed and tossed out to capitalize on a willing fanbase, but as something that not only recounts Causa Sui‘s work in the past but actually adds something new to their oeuvre as well because of how well the spirit behind their material is carried through these songs and how plain to hear is the chemistry between the band members. Both the first disc (red) and second disc (blue) position Causa Sui not just as a group hitting their stride on stage, but pushing themselves past where they’ve been before to new places that are captured here. As “The Juice” and “Boozehound” from Euporie Tide flesh out into “Lonesome Traveller”-plus, the band elicit a hypnotized response that shows their command of their form and presentation and is only interrupted when the disc ends and it’s time to put on the other one. If anything interrupts the flow on Live at Freak Valley, it’s the constrictions of media.

That’s inevitable, however, and the tradeoff — aside from the positive, atmosphere-enhancing presence of physical media as a whole in comparison to the digital alternative — is that each half of Live at Freak Valley can be read as having a personality of its own, the first plenty immersive but more varied, with more songs included, the pieces worked into “Lonesome Traveller,” the jazzy jumps in “Mireille” and the thoroughly nailed build of “Red Valley” from Summer Sessions Vol. 3 marking the transition point to the second half’s come-get-lost-in-here sprawl. Those four songs alone — “El Paraiso,” “Euporie,” “Homage” and closer “Soledad” — make for what I have no doubt will prove one of 2014’s most satisfying in heavy psychedelia, but to have them coupled immediately with the preceding five tracks and to think of the entirety being presented whole, as one free-flowing set performed live, well, it’s one of the best live albums I’ve heard in a very long time and makes a solid argument for the live album as being able to capture the essence of a band on stage while also giving those who weren’t there a closer look at what they might have missed. Listening back to Munk‘s guitar and Rasmussen‘s keys lead the way over the steady progression of Kahr and Skøtt toward that song’s payoff, it’s clear that Causa Sui‘s creativity extends to how they conduct themselves live. It’s also clear that I need to see these guys play as soon as humanly possible, because whether it’s the initial wall of fuzz that “The Juice” builds or the serenity that bleeds through “Soledad,” Live at Freak Valley showcases some of the finest heavy psych that Europe has to offer. It’s a release the success of which exceeds even the considerable ambition that birthed it. Recommended.

PLEASE NOTE: I’ve been given permission to host the premiere of the full stream of Live at Freak Valley with this review. Please find it on the YouTube player below and enjoy!

Causa Sui, Live at Freak Valley (2014)

El Paraiso Records’ website

El Paraiso Records on Thee Facebooks

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