Quarterly Review: Sonic Flower, Demon Head, Rakta & Deafkids, Timo Ellis, Heavy Feather, Slow Draw, Pilot Voyager, The Ginger Faye Bakers, Neromega, Tung

Posted in Reviews on April 2nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Friday morning and the Spring 2021 Quarterly Review draws to a close. It’s been a good one, and though there are probably enough albums on my desktop to make it go another few days, better to quit while I’m ahead in terms of not-being-so-tired-I’m-angry-at-everything-I’m-hearing. In any case, as always, I hope you found something here you enjoy. I have been pleasantly surprised on more than a few occasions, especially by debuts.

We wrap with more cool stuff today and since I’m on borrowed time as it is, let me not delay.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Sonic Flower, Rides Again

sonic flower rides again

Like when should i start writing my college essay http://5.worldwaterforum.org/?dissociative-identity-disorder-research-paper an essay on my native place what should i write my scholarship essay about Church of Misery‘s groove but feel kind of icky with all those songs about serial killers? Legit. Say hello to How much should see post cost With as low as , you can have one page completed by our professional writers. We urge our clients to order their essays early to avoid the last minute rush, which not only causes inconvenience, as clients in such a case are not able to enjoy the long deadlines lower price. Tatsu Mikami‘s Interrogate a sick person of love best Buy A Paper For College that unfreezes blamemente? Darrell, without borders, aligns his rough and ablated Sonic Flower. Once upon a 2003, the band brought all the boogie and none of the slaughter of Essay Empire is a leading firm in the UK to do your essay efficiently. Just tell us, please Business Plan Cleaning Company and get a top-quality paper at cheap. Tatsu‘s now-legendary Thankfully, the internet makes it possible to take great Dissertation Ma Significance Problem Tel courses for free (no matter where you live, what your circumstances, or your budget). Taking a writing course online can help you polish your writing to be the best it can bea critical step before either self-publishing or submitting your manuscript to publishers. Sabbathian doom rock outfit to a self-titled debut (reissue review here), and I wonder if I could pay someone to Customessaypaper Com. Thanks to Online Class Helpers, you can pay an expert to ace your work. Rides Again is the lost follow-up from 2005, unearthed like so many of the early ’70s forsaken classics that clearly inspired it. With covers of The steps in Online Dating Services Essay versus hiring a custom writing company are similar so it is easy to see that the most secure choice is to go custom. When a student chooses to utilize the services of a custom writing company, they are then going to get more personalized attention to their project because specific writers are now involved. Once the customer decides to use a custom writing company, they The Meters and Writers ensure customer gets affordable dissertation writing service he cannot find in most of the other companies that offer Resume Writer Los Angeles Cheap services. We understand what plagiarism is & how to avoid it we offer 100% non-plagiarized dissertation writing service. We write the dissertations & help work out your dissertation Graham Central Station, Professional English proofreading and editing services dissertation proofreading service, a basic source; Sonic Flower makes their funky intentions plain as day, and the blowout drums and full-on fuzz they bring to those cuts as well as the five originals on the short-but-satisfying 28-minute offering is a win academically and for casual fans alike. You ain’t gonna hear “Jungle Cruise” or their take on “Earthquake” and come out complaining, is what I’m saying. This is the kind of record that makes you buy more records.

Sonic Flower on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds on Bandcamp

 

Demon Head, Viscera

demon head viscera

With essays in english Writing Aadsas Coursework Help pay to get math homework done literature review writers uk Viscera, Copenhagen’s We offer the Examples Of Statement Of The Problem In A Research Paper & assignment help in UK. Our assignment writers are always there to help you out in your academic work. Demon Head make their debut on Buy college research papers for sale and honest academic life. Student who is college term paper custom research papers to buy http://mulfingen.de/?distributed-operating-system-research-papers essays. Sell your financial aid and we guarantee that anyone get when you may produce that the wall. Affordable prices, written by our college papers for sale is the review page. Metal Blade Records. It is their fourth album overall, the follow-up to 2019’s My friend told me this service Have Someone my site and that is why I can pay to Write My Essay for Me UK. Hellfire Ocean Void (review here), and it continues the five-piece’s enduring exploration of darker places. Dramatic vocals recount grim narratives over backing instrumentals that are less doom at the outset with “Tooth and Nail” and “The Feline Smile” than goth, and atmospheric pieces like “Arrows” and “The Lupine Choir” and “A Long, Groaning Descent” and “Wreath” and certainly the closer “The Triumphal Chariot of Antimony” further the impression that Not confident that you are able to handle all those stages on your own? Then consider using our online How To Write An Academic Personal Statement service Viscera, though its title conjures raw guts, is instead an elaborate entirety — if perhaps one of raw guts — and meant to be taken in its 36-minute whole. Demon Head make that LP-friendly runtime a progression down into reaches they’d not until this point gone, tapping sadness for its inherent beauty.

Demon Head on Thee Facebooks

Metal Blade Records website

 

Rakta & Deafkids, Live at Sesc Pompeia

Rakta Deafkids Live at Sesc Pompeia

Next time someone asks you what the future sounds like, you’ll have a good answer for them. Combined into a six-piece band, Brazilian outfits Rakta and Deafkids harness ambience and space-punk thrust into a sound that is born of a past that hasn’t yet happened. Their Live at Sesc Pompeia LP follows on from a 2019 two-songer, but it’s in the live performance that the spirit of this unity really shines through, and from opener/longest track (immediate points) “Miragem” through the semi-industrialized effects swirl of “Templo do Caos,” into the blower-noise dance party “Sigilo,” the weirdo-chug-jam of “Forma” and the space rock breakout “Flor de Pele” and the percussed buzz and echoing howls of “Espirais,” they are equal parts encompassing and singular. It is not to be ignored, and though there are moments that border on unlistenable, you can hear from the wailing crowd at the end that to be in that room was to witness something special. As a document of that, Live at Sesc Pompeia feels like history in the making.

Rakta on Thee Facebooks

Deafkids on Thee Facebooks

Rapid Eye Records website

 

Timo Ellis, Death is Everywhere

Timo Ellis Death is Everywhere

A madcap, weighted-but-anti-genre sensibility comes to life in supernova-experimentalist fashion throughout the four songs of Timo EllisDeath is Everywhere. The lockdown-era EP from Ellis (Netherlands, Yoko Ono, Cibo Matto, on and on) makes post-modern shenanigans out of apocalypses inner and outer, and from lines like “this bridal shower is bumming me out” in the unabashedly hooky “Vampire Rodeo” to “the earth will still breathe fire without you!” in “Left Without an Answer,” the stakes are high despite the flittering-in-appreciation-of-the-absurd mood of the tracks themselves. The title-track and “Evolve or Die” blend sonic heft and the experimental pop movement that “Vampire Rodeo” sets forth — the third cut is positively manic and maniacally positive — while “Left Without an Answer” almost can’t help but be consuming as it rolls into a long fade leaving intertwining vocals lines as the last to go, telling the listener to “learn to say goodbye” without making it easy. Won’t be for everyone, doesn’t want to be. Is expression for itself. Feels genuine in that, and admirable.

Timo Ellis on Thee Facebooks

Timo Ellis on Bandcamp

 

Heavy Feather, Mountain of Sugar

heavy feather mountain of sugar

With not-at-all-subtle nods to Humble Pie and Ennio Morricone in its opening tracks, Heavy Feather‘s second LP, Mountain of Sugar, has boogie to spare. No time is wasted on the 38-minute/11-track follow-up to 2019’s Débris & Rubble (review here), and true to the record’s title, it’s pretty sweet. The collection pits retro mindset against modern fullness in its harmonica-laced, duly-fuzzed title-track, and goes full-Fleetwood on “Come We Can Go” heading into a side B that brings a highlight in the soft-touch-stomp of “Rubble and Debris” and an earned bit of Southern-styled turn in “Sometimes I Feel” that makes a fitting companion to all the bluesy vibes throughout, particularly those of the mellow “Let it Shine” earlier. The Stockholm outfit knew what they were doing last time out too, but you can hear their process being refined throughout Mountain of Sugar, and even its most purposefully familiar aspects come across with a sense of will and playfulness.

Heavy Feather on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Slow Draw, Yellow & Gray

slow draw yellow and gray

Don’t tell him I told you so, but Slow Draw is starting to sound an awful lot like a band. What began as a drone/soundscaping project from Stone Machine Electric drummer/noisemaker Mark Kitchens has sprouted percussive roots of its own on Yellow & Gray, and as Kitchens explores textures of psychedelic funk, mellow heavy and even a bit of ’70s proggy homage in “Sylvia” ahead of the readily Beck-ian jam “Turntable” and acousti-drone closer “A Slow Move,” the band-vibe is rampant. I’m going to call Yellow & Gray a full-length despite the fact that it’s 24 minutes long because its eight songs inhabit so many different spaces between them, but however you want to tag it, it demonstrates the burgeoning depth of Kitchens‘ project and how it’s grown in perhaps unanticipated ways. If this is what he’s been doing in isolation — as much as Texas ever shuttered for the pandemic — his time has not been wasted.

Slow Draw on Thee Facebooks

Slow Draw on Bandcamp

 

Pilot Voyager, Nuclear Candy Bar

plot voyager nuclear candy bar

Freak! Out! The 66-minute Nuclear Candy Bar from Hungarian psychedelicists Pilot Voyager might end mostly drifting with the 27-minute “23:61,” but much of the four tracks prior to that finale are fuzz-on-go-go-go-out-out-out heavy jams, full in tone and improv spirit however planned their course may or may not actually be. To say the least, “Fuzziness” lives up to its name, as guitarist/founder Ákos Karancz — joined by bassist Bence Ambrus (who also mastered) and drummers Krisztián Megyeri and István Baumgartner (the latter only on the closer) — uses a relatively earthbound chug as a launchpad for further space/krautrocking bliss, culminating in a scorching cacophony that’s the shortest piece on the record at just under seven minutes. If you make it past the molten heat of the penultimate title-track, there’s no turning away from “23:61,” as the first minute of that next day pulls you in from the outset, a full-length flow all unto itself. More more more, yes yes yes. Alright you get the point.

Pilot Voyager on Thee Facebooks

Psychedelic Source Records on Bandcamp

 

The Ginger Faye Bakers, Camaro

the ginger faye bakers camaro

Sit with The Ginger Faye BakersCamaro EP for a little bit. Don’t just listen to the first track, or even the second, third or fourth, on their own, but take a few minutes to put it all together. Won’t take long, the thing’s only 17 minutes long, and in so doing you’ll emerge with a more complex picture of who they are as a band. Yeah, you hear the opening title-cut and think early-Queens of the Stone Age-style desert riffing, maybe with a touch of we’re-actually-from-the-Northeast tonal thickness, but the garage-heavy of “The Creeps” feels self-aware in its Uncle Acid-style swing, and as the trio move through the swinging “The Master” and “Satan’s Helpers,” the last song drawing effectively from all sides, the totality of the release becomes all the more sinister for the relatively straight-ahead beginning just a short time earlier. Might be a listen or two before it sinks in, but they’ve found a niche for themselves here and one hopes they continue to follow where their impulses lead them.

The Ginger Faye Bakers on Thee Facebooks

The Ginger Faye Bakers on Bandcamp

 

Neromega, Nero Omega

Neromega Nero Omega

If you’re not yet keeping an eye on Regain Records offshoot Helter Skelter Productions, Rome’s Neromega are a fervent argument for doing so. The initials-only cultish five-piece are Italian as much in their style of doom as they are in geography, and across their four-song Nero Omega debut EP, they run horror organ and classic heavy rock grooves alongside each other while nodding subtly at more extreme fare like the death ‘n’ roll rumble in closer “Un Posto” or the dirt-coated low end that caps “Pugnale Ardore,” the drifting psych only moments ago quickly forgotten in favor of renewed shuffle. Eight-minute opener “Solitudine,” might be the highlight as well as the longest inclusion on the 24-minute first-showing, but it’s by no means the sum total of what the band have on offer, as they saunter through giallo, psychedelia, doom, heavy riffs and who knows what else to come, they strike an immediately individual atmospheric presence even while actively toying with familiar sounds. The EP is cohesive enough to make me wonder what their initials are.

Neromega on Thee Facebooks

Helter Skelter Productions website

 

Tung, Bleak

TUNG BLEAK

Some of the made-even-bigger-by-echo vocals from guitarist Craig Kasamis might remind of Maurice Bryan Giles from Red Fang, but Ventura, California’s Tung are up chasing down a different kind of party on 2020’s Bleak, though Kasamis, guitarist David Briceno (since replaced by Bill Bensen), bassist Nick Minasian and drummer Rob Dean have a strong current of West Coast noise rock in what they’re doing as well in “Runaway,” a lurcher like “Spit” later on or the run-till-it-crashes finisher “Fallen Crown,” which the only song apart from the bookending opener “Succession Hand” to have a title longer than a single word. Still, Tung have their own, less pop-minded take on brashness, and this debut album leaves the bruises behind to demonstrate its born-from-hardcore lineage. Their according lack of frills makes Bleak all the more effective at getting its point across, and while they’d probably tell you their sound is nothing fancy, it’s fancy enough to stomp all over your ears for about half an hour, and that’s as fancy as it needs to be. Easy to dig even in its more aggressive moments.

Tung on Thee Facebooks

Plain Disguise Records website

 

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Timo Ellis

Posted in Questionnaire on February 25th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

TIMO-ELLIS

The Obelisk Questionnaire is a series of open questions intended to give the answerer an opportunity to explore these ideas and stories from their life as deeply as they choose. Answers can be short or long, and that reveals something in itself, but the most important factor is honesty.

Based on the Proust Questionnaire, the goal over time is to show a diverse range of perspectives as those who take part bring their own points of view to answering the same questions. To see all The Obelisk Questionnaire posts, click here.

Thank you for reading and thanks to all who participate.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Timo Ellis

How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I define myself (not too hard!) as an artist, primarily as a musician/ composer/ producer, and then latently, but also sincerely in digital art, writing, poetry, and film/ video. I came to do it intuitively, as a means of transmuting (and frankly surviving) my various childhood psychic and emotional difficulties. + even that seems too narratively tidy?? I think I just did it because I had to, and I could.

Describe your first musical memory.

listening on repeat to the “Really, Rosie” LP by Carole King and Maurice Sendak, at home, in 1975.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

(does this mean a memory of music? or a memory of playing music??) my personal experiences playing music have been so hugely varied, not only musically but also emotionally/ psychologically in terms of my frame of (and clarity of!) mind, that I’m afraid I’d unwittingly sanitize/ edit for effect, or optics, even to myself. However I will say that going full acid/ punk rock drumming 200% balls out with Yoko Ono live across Europe was a peak (series of) moments; that band (with Yoko, Sean Lennon, and Andrew Weiss) was fucking monstrous.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

my moral position on animal liberation regularly gets tested/ nuanced, and ultimately strengthened by the public, as well as by many of my friends and family…however my belief in not mindlessly exploiting/ murdering the Earth/ oceans/ air gets constantly challenged, and mostly complicated/ defeated, by my complicity in still using single use plastics/ buying new electronics/ driving/ flying/ uncritically relying on big oil for electricity, heat and AC.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

back to square one, to the beginning (+ hopefully to fiercer and better art!).

How do you define success?

doing consistently excellent work, and then having a good name/ reputation for decency and compassion (*and of course being able to break even doing it is nice, too.).

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?
in 1980, when I was 10 years old, I saw The Shining in the theater when it came out, by myself, and I think I can safely say that I still haven’t fully recovered from this (hearing Wendy Carlos’s music from this film almost makes me nauseous, even now.).

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

a loving, supportive relationship with my own mind (I’m working on it though.)

What do you believe is the most essential function of art?

to illuminate the glory and incomprehensible, ecstatic beauty of consciousness, and of life itself.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

being able to go to the movies again!

https://www.timoellis.com
https://timoellis.bandcamp.com
https://www.instagram.com/timoellismusic
https://www.youtube.com/user/squenchy
https://www.facebook.com/timoellismusic
https://soundcloud.com/timoellismusic

Timo Ellis, Death is Everywhere (2021)

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Sonic Whip 2020 Completes Lineup; 1000mods, Causa Sui, Spaceslug, Samavayo & More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 20th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

sonic whip 2020 banner

This looks like fun, simple as that. Well, maybe not three two-headed, four-armed, knife-and-pill-wielding snake beast on the poster. Though obviously cool looking too, that just kind of looks like it would kill you after opening your third eye. But the event itself, Sonic Whip 2020. That looks like a good time. It’s important to be specific about these things.

The Netherlands-based Spring festival to be held May 1 and 2 has completed its lineup, adding seven more names to an already impressive initial batch. Newcomers include Spaceslug, Big Business, and Greek heavy rock forerunners 1000mods, the latter whose addition to the bill makes me wonder if they’ll be on tour at the time, and if so, if their new album might be out to coincide. If that’s so, an announcement would be coming shortly, I’d think. An exciting prospect, whether it pans out that way or not.

You can see the full list of new adds and the complete final lineup below. Dig:

sonic whip 2020 finished poster

SONIC WHIP 2020 – NEW NAMES – LINE-UP COMPLETE

1000MODS (gr), Causa Sui (dk), Big Business (usa), Somali Yacht Club (ukr), Samavayo (ger), Netherlands (usa) and Spaceslug (pol) have been added to the line-up of Sonic Whip 2020.

With these last seven names the line-up is complete. We are proud to have been able to book these twenty artists for the upcoming edition. In our opinion a nice cross section of what the sonic and psychedelic -heavy rock- genre has to offer at the moment. From old heroes and established names to new artists who know how to push the boundaries again. Next to that also a number of special acts that can rarely be admired live in the Netherlands like Masters of Reality, Pissed Jeans, Causa Sui and Rotor. Look for the daily schedule on the website or event of Sonic Whip.

Day tickets: http://bit.ly/SonicWhip2020
Combi-tickets: http://bit.ly/SonicWhip2020Combi

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Sonic Whip, the multi-headed rock monster that combines roaring guitars riffs with steaming bass lines, pounding drums and other sonic, psychedelic excesses, is preparing for the third edition. We kick off on May 1 with a pre-party deluxe in Doornroosje to completely unleash sonically on May 2 at the same location.

LINE-UP
MASTERS OF REALITY
KADAVAR
1000MODS
BRANT BJORK
CAUSA SUI
PISSED JEANS
BIG BUSINESS
ROTOR
SOMALI YACHT CLUB
MAIDAVALE
THE COSMIC DEAD
SAMAVAYO
SACRI MONTI
FORMING THE VOID
ACID ROOSTER
SPACESLUG
GUM TAKES TOOTH
NETHERLANDS
BONNACONS OF DOOM
DHIDALAH

https://www.facebook.com/events/427908701471605/
https://www.facebook.com/Sonicwhipfestival/
https://www.instagram.com/doornroosjenl/
https://www.doornroosje.nl/event/sonic-whip-2020/

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Review & Full Album Stream: The Whims of the Great Magnet, Good Vibes & High Tides

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

The Whims of the Great Magnet Good Vibes High Tides

[Click play above to stream The Whims of the Great Magnet’s Good Vibes & High Tides in Full. Album is out Dec. 1 with preorders direct from the band.]

Founded seven years ago by Sander Haagmans in Maastricht, the Netherlands, The Whims of the Great Magnet returns with a second full-length album in the self-released Good Vibes & High Tides. The follow-up to early 2017’s The Purple & Yellow Album (discussed here), it would seem to be in conversation with Haagmans‘ work as bassist/vocalist for the much-missed Sungrazer, whose 2013 disbanding was followed in 2015 by the death of guitarist/vocalist Rutger Smeets, thereby obviating an eventual reunion. As willfully as The Purple & Yellow Album pushed in alternate directions away from what Sungrazer was, the 10-track/44-minute Good Vibes & High Tides embraces it without necessarily trying to recapture that sound and moment entirely. Haagmans instead hones across the new album’s span a kind of summery grunge fuzz, occasionally given to psychedelic shimmer — some added pedal steel on “Simple” courtesy of Ingo Jetten at Trashed Attic Audio doesn’t hurt — and holding onto the intimacy of solo songwriting while adopting a more full-band feel with drummer Iwan Wijnen, even unto capturing a fluid, at-least-part-improv guitar-led jam on 11-minute closer “Roerloze Beweger.”

That in itself is an impressive feat, even for Haagmans, who’s had plenty of time in the studio over the course of the last decade and seems at this point to do most of his recording at home, but as the title of the record puts it first, the focus here indeed is on the vibe, and the vibe is good. Good Vibes & High Tides is marked by a welcome sense of tonal warmth that lo-fi neopsych has replaced with naked shimmer, and the depth that’s been forsaken by so much jammy psych is evident right from the opening roll of “Lose My Head,” which counts in on the hi-hat and then is on its way like it was never off. Haagmans‘ vocals are laid back in the verse and layered in the chorus, the bass tone is an early highlight — as it would almost have to be — and immediately the spirit is melodic, welcoming and engaging, continuing onto “Here to Party” as if to underscore its intent. Through up and down verse lines that shift quickly into the chorus, the 3:40 “Here to Party” is marked by its abiding lack of pretense.

The Whims of the Great Magnet

I wouldn’t call it a party song in the “party rock” sense — the hook lines, after all, are, “We are only here to party/We are only here” — but its straightforward presentation is a fitting summary of the perspective from which Good Vibes & High Tides seems to be working in general in balancing personal expression and a complete-group sound. Even shorter at 3:19, “Guess it’s True” follows in subtly more patient fashion, alternative rock and fuzz melding without argument beneath layers of sweet-toned post-Cobain vocals and a third-in-a-row memorable chorus. Three makes a salvo, and there’s still the title-track to round out the opening movement, which would seem to be delineated from the rest of the LP by the 40-second interlude “Hay.”

That’s just a riff and the word repeated a couple times — a lost art of sneaky listener-disorientation that any number of in-some-ways-more-loyal ’90s preservationists have neglected — over in flash and maybe a vinyl-flip to bring on “Oew,” with a vocal drawl and particularly Sungrazer-style chorus sort of bounding through a thick and immersive fuzz after more of a strummed verse. Though it has the briefest runtime of Good Vibes & High Tides‘ non-interlude tracks at 2:23, it nonetheless keeps the underlying structure as barebones as possible, cutting off at the end and refusing a jam that might otherwise have taken hold in spite of itself in Haagmans‘ one-time four-piece incarnation of the band. I don’t think it would be missing if it wasn’t there, but the presence of pedal steel doesn’t take anything away from “Simple,” certainly, and it plays up the pastoralia-memory of the verse ahead of the crunchier chorus, just a touch of BrantBjork-at-the-beach coming through but ultimately establishing its own personality ahead of “Cocaine & Yoga,” the verse of which seems to have derived part of its structure directly from Nirvana‘s “School.”

There’s some slide in the chorus (I don’t think it’s more pedal steel?), but the song itself is a high point — “What the hell is going on today?/Cocaine and yoga all the way” is a hook that deserves to be delivered from a stage — and the noisy transitional mess and quiet guitar line that picks up to end the song is a surprising and, frankly, delightfully honest, moment put to tape. By then he’s well into the depths of side B, but the closing duo of “Wei Wu Wijnen” (6:01) and “Roerloze Beweger” (11:41) are a movement unto themselves just the same, the former establishing itself quietly with fading-in drum swing and a guitar/bass bed for soft, bluesy melodic vocals.

The Whims of the Great Magnet doing not so much

This too would seem to come from a similar place as some of the more atmospheric stretches of Sungrazer‘s second long-player, 2011’s Mirador (review here), hypnotic guitar noodling leading the way out and directly into the righteous opening strum of “Roerloze Beweger.” A well-placed tambourine shake signals the launch of the groove and the finale is underway, uptempo and exciting if still overridingly mellow of vibe. The push settles down for the verses but plays well back and forth, and the song pays off the layered vocal melodies heard prior, the forwardness of the rhythm of Good Vibes & High Tides‘ most rocking moments, and its hinted-at sense of nod, arriving at the latter circa three minutes in and taking spot-on ownership of it. An instrumental jam ensues from then on, moving through a plotted progression into more improvised-sounding fare in the basslines standing out around five minutes in and the guitar that takes the reins after the final builds and crashes of Wijnen‘s drums, a meandering line that recedes to silence gently to end the album.

While there’s no doubt Good Vibes & High Tides both lives up to its title and the legacy of Haagmans‘ former three-piece, it does leave one wondering what his plans ultimately are for the project. To wit, this material is really, really engaging, and where The Purple & Yellow Album seemed almost to be an act of expression-as-exorcism — a release in the truest sense — Good Vibes & High Tides has more of an outreach kind of feel, connecting to the listener with outwardly catchy songs meant to do precisely that. Will Haagmans put together another full lineup? Will he continue down this sonic path, or is it a directional one-off en route to the next thing? Would he combine this with some of the more bedroom-acoustic material he’s done before? As much as Hunter S. Thompson advised following the Great Magnet’s directives, Haagmans seems to-date to be charting his own course with The Whims of the Great Magnet, and as to where that will take him (rumor has it a trio incarnation is to debut live next month), we’ll just have to wait and see. This record is nothing less than a gift as a part of that process.

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The Whims of the Great Magnet on Bandcamp

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Six Dumb Questions with The Whims of the Great Magnet (Plus Track Premiere)

Posted in audiObelisk, Six Dumb Questions on March 29th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the-whims-of-the-great-magnet

[Click play above to hear ‘BVO’tje (1 More 4)’ from The Whims of the Great Magnet’s The Purple and Yellow Album, out April 1.]

Even before the book was closed in 2013 on fuzz rockers Sungrazer, bassist/backing vocalist Sander Haagmans had begun to explore new ground in The Whims of the Great Magnet. The rock was lower-fi, still pulling influence from a ’90s sphere, but rawer in tone and intent alike. Haagmans, alternating between a full-band and completely-solo approach, oversaw the release of several EPs — 2012’s EP being the first, followed the next year by a collection of home recordings, then April Fool in 2015 — and now makes a full-length debut with The Purple and Yellow Album, once more working on his own and in arguably the most intimate incarnation of The Whims of the Great Magnet to-date.

Comprised of 12 self-recorded songs and running a vinyl-ready 37 minutes, The Purple and Yellow Album brings forth an at-times psychedelic vision of grunge folk. Instrumental and vocal layering and arrangement varies as songs like “Falling to Pieces” and the later “Better Stay at Home” might only feature an acoustic guitar while others build further out, whether it’s the howling guitar of “BVO’tje (1 More 4),” the incorporated keys of “As I Felt Alright Before,” the garage psych of “Ow What Have I Done” (which gets an experimentalist reprise at the album’s conclusion), the Mellotron-infused “Debussy” or the six-minute “Slowburner,” which shifts from its solo melancholy into an acoustic/bass/drum progression at the end over a six-minute run that makes it the longest inclusion overall.

Wherever he takes a given track, Haagmans unites the material on The Purple and Yellow Album through his own performance and an overarching sense of honesty in the songwriting. Some songs have a self-aware humor, like “Better Stay at Home” or the preceding “Teen Anger,” but even these are executed with harmonic depth and a resonant emotionalism, and while one can hear shades of Haagmans‘ former outfit in pieces like “As I Felt Alright Before” and “I Could Just Leave it Like That,” that becomes only one context in which his songwriting lives up to the considerable ambition behind the concept of these tracks and the finds balance with the humility with the circumstances of their recording and release, providing a nonetheless rich and engaging front-to-back listening experience.

Below, Haagmans talks about the songs’ making and some of his future plans, threatening a doom record and more.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

Six Dumb Questions with The Whims of the Great Magnet

Tell me about writing for The Purple and Yellow Album. At what point did you know the material would take a more acoustic direction?

Right from the start. It’s a collection of home recordings. And at home I had mainly acoustic guitars, so… But I just moved to a new house where we’re making a rehearsal room in the back, so my next recording might be a doom record.

Home recording is a very intimate process and you’ve decided to really convey something raw in these tracks in terms of sound. How did that come about? What is it you’re looking to say in these songs?

I just wanted to record some songs, sounds and sketches on my four-track cassette recorder (actually it’s my wife’s; thank you, wife). There’s lots of imperfections and vocals out of tune and all. But I wanted it to be loose and whimsical. So I kept many first ideas and mistakes and just played around. Also I used all of my ideas. So the cheesy songs, the sing-a-longs, the quasi serious songs and the slow boring songs are all in there. It’s a pretty good reflection of what music comes out of me at home. And I didn’t leave things out because it might not be cool enough in some setting or whatever.

Why purple and yellow? Is it just the artwork or is there some further significance to using those colors?

I remember I had a period in my childhood that I would only colour and paint with these two colours. And since I’m feeling more and more nostalgic as I’m getting older I went back to this period for the cover. Wish I could do the same with my music. But I will probably never reach the level I had when I was 12.

Will future The Whims of the Great Magnet recordings take a similar direction, or do you see yourself moving back toward a full-band sound again?

I really don’t know where the path will take me. I will keep doing stuff as The Whims of the Great Magnet for sure and it can go in any direction. Maybe a doom record isn’t such a bad idea. Also I really need to get a band together again but that would probably be with a different name.

Of course we have to mention your past playing in Sungrazer and that band’s ongoing legacy (you recently appeared on Spaceslug’s Time Travel Dilemma, for example). The Purple and Yellow Album has a laid back feel but some grunge to it as well. How do you view it in relation to your past work?

Ah the grunge thing! Anything I did in the past is not what I’m doing now. When we were with Sungrazer, we played as a band. We were in that moment together. Now with this album I’m doing something on my own. That’s a difference. But I’m sure it has some similarities as well which is obvious. But because I’m doing this album alone, it’s more personal and closer to me than anything I have done with a band. Because it’s just me, uncompromised and unfiltered. You could be right when you say that this doesn’t necessarily have to be better for the result. But that’s just the way it is (Bruce Hornsby!). And I’m not only into solo and mellow acoustic stuff. Nooooo, no, no, no, no. The other things still attract me just as much but weren’t around when I hit record.

Any other plans or closing words you want to mention?

I would like to thank you and the people so very much who supported my music in the past and especially in the present. Cowabunga dudes!

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Roadburn 2011 Adventure Pt. 4: The Digital Bitch

Posted in Features on April 14th, 2011 by JJ Koczan

2:00AM — Thursday night/Friday morning — Hotel Mercure, Tilburg

It’s late now. I did indeed get that much-needed cup of coffee, and it’s probably what let me make it to the end of Godflesh‘s epic set, which was a full hour and a half and featured the whole Streetcleaner album and then some — as promised. I felt in some way like I was missing out on something there, since I was never a huge Godflesh fan. I certainly appreciate Streetcleaner, but it’s not like I know the words. A lot of people did. Justin Broadrick certainly did. He sang them loudest.

It was just Broadrick and bassist GC Green on stage with a laptop handling drum sounds. Nothing strange there, that’s pretty much the heart of Godflesh anyway: the two players and the technology. They were so loud that I had to move back from the front of the main stage room where I was situated. They vibrated my earplugs in my ears. Very, very loud, if I haven’t made the point yet.

I got back to the 013 shortly before they went on and took my place amongst the hungry hordes in the photo pit. I’m not sure I like that kind of thing. People are pushy and rude and everyone seems to be trying to get in everyone else’s way. There’s a three-song limit for the photographers that was varyingly enforced throughout the day, but I only stayed for two, then went upstairs to get some other shots. I thought after a while I might pop over to the Green Room and catch The Atomic Bitchwax‘s set. They’re Jersey boys, and killer besides, so the choice made sense.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought so, since the Green Room, yet again, was so packed I couldn’t get in the door. I stood in the doorway and caught the end of “So Come On” and some of the riff parade that is their new album, The Local Fuzz, but soon made my way back over to the band merch in the building next door for another look over. I didn’t buy anything (this time), but thought about it once or twice before heading back to the main stage for the feedback-saturated end of Godflesh‘s show.

I found a spot on one of the tiers in the back of the room and stood there for the duration, after previously moving around so much. Part of the appeal, I’ll admit, was that — Broadrick and Green being so loud — the floor where I was literally shook, and I thought of it as kind of being like a foot massage. It was and it wasn’t, I guess. Still a bit of fun, and as the coffee wore off and I started to fall asleep standing up, the additional entertainment went a long way.

Count Raven closed out the night in the Green Room, while Soilent Green prepared to take hold of the main stage, and I managed to catch a bit of the former before deciding to pack it in for my Thursday night. Like I said, with Roadburn, you’re just not going to see everything. Count Raven, it’s worth noting, also packed the Green Room to capacity, and people were singing along, throwing fists, generally enjoying themselves as people seem wont to do at European heavy shows. That hour of sleep had just caught up to me, and if I wouldn’t feel so terrible about making a running analogy given my slovenly ways, I’d say I “hit the wall.”

When I got my photo bag back from the coat-check, I found that I did indeed lose a lens cap for my camera (Go get ’em, chief. Heck of a first day!). I thought about grabbing some pommes frites, thought about waiting it out to see what the annual Metal Disco party is all about, but decided to do this instead. And now, having done this, I’m going to try and get some rest and be ready to pick it up again tomorrow for SunnO)))‘s curated day. Much to do.

Ditto the last post — more pics after the jump, click to enlarge, and so forth.

Read more »

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SunnO))) Will Shine at Roadburn 2011

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 17th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Down through the PR wire today comes the news that SunnO)))Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson — are set to curate a day at Roadburn 2011. They’re in great company, as you’ll see from the release below, and what this means, other than that Eagle Twin is likely to perform, is that Roadburn is probably going to be more diverse than ever before, as these two dudes are all over the map, from KTL to Goatsnake.

Walter from the festival checks in with the following:

Roadburn festival is thrilled to unveil the curator for the 2011 edition: SunnO))). The band, to be specific Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley, has agreed to curate our festival on Friday, April 15th, 2011 and host a special event.

As curator, SunnO))) will personally select the bands that will play during their special event as well as perform a headline show. SunnO))) will be Roadburn’s fourth curator, following David Tibet in 2008, Neurosis in 2009 and Triptykon’s Tom Gabriel Warrior at this year’s festival.

We are truly looking forward to the new ideas and visions that the crossover drone duo will bring to the festival next year. When asked to sum up Roadburn in one word, “progressive” would be a fitting choice. Evolving and improving are part of this. The festival is a tribute to the open mindedness of its bands, curators and audience. The joy comes from expanding musical horizons, and with SunnO))) acting as our curator we’ll definitely be in for some artistic surprises.

Roadburn 2011, including SunnO)))’s special event, will run for three days from Thursday, April 14 to Saturday, April 16 at the 013 venue and Midi Theatre in Tilburg, Holland. There will be an additional Afterburner event on Sunday, April 17, 2011.

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audiObelisk Presents: Live Roadburn 2010 Audio Streams from Monkey3, Russian Circles, Orange Sunshine, Darkspace, Dive and Noneuclid

Posted in audiObelisk on August 11th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

I think by now there are enough of these live streams so that anyone who didn’t actually make it to the 013 Popcentrum in Tilburg can reenact their own Roadburn festival, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to stop posting them, because they sound great. Special thanks as always to Walter for the permission and for sending over the links. Enjoy:

Monkey3 live at Roadburn 2010

Russian Circles live at Roadburn 2010

Orange Sunshine live at Roadburn 2010

Darkspace live at Roadburn 2010

Dive live at Roadburn 2010

Noneuclid live at Roadburn 2010

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