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

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Sonic Flower on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds on Bandcamp

 

Demon Head, Viscera

demon head viscera

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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.

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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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Rakta & Deafkids to Release Live at Sesc Pompeia May 21; LP Preorder Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 22nd, 2021 by JJ Koczan

rakta and deafkids

Just in case anyone ever asks you what the future sounds like, the answer is Rakta and Deadkids. The two Brazilian outfits have toured together in the past, and it’s from one of their collaborative shows in São Paulo that the forthcoming Live at Sesc Pompeia comes. The vinyl is set to release May 21 through Rapid Eye Records, and I see no reason to dissemble. In sound and style, it is Space Rock: The Next Generation and it pushes boundaries of punk, what the kids used to call electronica, krautrock, and probably six or seven other genres on its way. If the cool kids actually had any idea what was cool, this is the shit they’d be listening to. Fire emojis and so on.

That’s all there is to it.

Preorders are up now and you’ll find the link right before the info from Rapid Eye on the other side of the artwork. Hold on, you’re almost there:

Rakta Deafkids Live at Sesc Pompeia

Rakta & Deafkids “Live at Sesc Pompéia” OUT MAY 21

Preorder: https://www.rapideyerecords.com/store/rakta-amp-deafkids

Our first release of 2021 is a collaboration between the incredible RAKTA and DEAFKIDS from Brazil. You have surely heard of both in the past years as they have been dominating the underground with their unique, genre-bending take on psychedelic rock, post-punk and beyond.

The LP “Live at Sesc Pompéia” is out on May 21 in a very limited edition of 400 copies.

Rapid Eye Records are proud to present two of the most innovative bands of the international underground scene; RAKTA and DEAFKIDS. On July 2nd, 2019 they performed an electrifying concert together at the legendary venue Sesc Pompéia in São Paulo, Brazil. Previously released only digitally, a selection of the set will now be available on LP as a limited edition release via Nada Nada Discos (Brazil) and the Berlin-based Rapid Eye Records (rest of the world).

The setlist includes songs from the EP “Forma/Sigilo”, which showcases compositions written by both bands together, for the first time played live. “Miragem” and “Flor da Pele” from RAKTA, out of their “Falha Comum” album, and “Templo do Caos” and “Espirais da Loucura”, taken from “Metaprogramação” by DEAFKIDS – complete the record.

There’s no political anachronism in the songs, but rather a fragmented identity. Just like samba and other native cultural manifestations with roots in Brazil’s history of cultural resistance, this blend of punk, primordial rhythms, electronic and experimental music also resonates as somewhat transcendental. Among instrumental distortions and parallel paths through music-making, Douglas, Marcelo and Mariano from DEAFKIDS, and Carla, Paulo and Maurício from RAKTA have shared many creative interactions, including a joint tour through Europe. The album sounds as a register of this psychoactive journey, one of aggressive echoes and sensations, that go beyond any sonic dimension.

Tracklisting:
Side A
“Miragem”
“Templo Do Caos”
“Sigilo”

Side B
“Forma”
“Flor Da Pele”
“Espirais Da Loucura”

Rakta & Deafkids:
Carla Boregas: Bass and synth
Paula Rebellato: Vocals and synth
Maurício Takara: Drums and electronics
Douglas Leal: Guitar and vocals
Marcelo dos Santos: Bass
Mariano de Melo: Drums

https://www.facebook.com/raktaraktarakta/
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https://rakta.bandcamp.com/
https://deafkidspunx.bandcamp.com
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Roadburn 2019 Adds Three Fests’ Worth of Bands to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2019 banner

Yeah, I put it at about three festival’s worth of bands added to Roadburn in this announcement. Maybe four. Consider Tomas Lindberg‘s curated event its own fest. Then you have the Holy Roar Records showcase with five bands playing. Then you have the announcements besides, and that’s enough for at least one fest on their own, if not two, so yes, at least three festivals happening here as Roadburn 2019 continues its let’s-be-all-things-to-all-people-and-actually-get-away-with-it push into new aesthetic territory, working to redefine and proliferate ideas of what “heavy” can and needs to encompass. If you don’t see this as an art project, you’re looking at it wrong.

I haven’t heard whether or not we’ll be doing the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch daily ‘zine as part of Roadburn 2019 next April, but of course I’m hopeful it happens. Hard to imagine a year without a Roadburn at this point. I’d prefer not to, actually.

Here’s the latest announcement in its yes-this-is-all-happening-at-one-fest totality:

roadburn 2019 mono

MONO, MYRKUR: FOLKESANGE, MARISSA NADLER, AND MORE ADDED TO ROADBURN 2019

– MONO to perform Hymn to the Immortal Wind as part of Tomas Lindberg’s curation
– Myrkur: Folkesange set to captivate the main stage
– Marissa Nadler will make her Roadburn debut
– Holy Roar x Roadburn showcase to take over Hall of Fame
– Day tickets on sale December 13

Of the new additions to the Roadburn line up, Artistic Director, Walter Hoeijmakers comments:

“We’re incredibly excited to announce this latest group of bands to the Roadburn line up. As well as representing well established artists, we have also included a huge array of boundary-pushing performances which will continue to expand the scope of the festival. These are artists that we believe will shape the future of heavy music.”

MONO & MORE FOR TOMAS LINDBERG’S CURATED EVENT

Tomas Lindberg has added a clutch of new bands to his curated event, The Burning Darkness, topped off by MONO who will be performing a special anniversary show.

The Japanese post-rock four piece will celebrate their 20th anniversary as a band, and the 10th anniversary of of their iconic album Hymn to the Immortal Wind with a full album set at Roadburn 2019. They will be joined on stage by the JO QUAIL QUARTET, adding another layer of lush instrumentation to their intricate tracks. Lindberg comments: “It is with great pride I present them as a part of my curation this year.”

In addition, Lindberg has chosen three further bands for his curated event. AGRIMONIA – who Lindberg loosely describes as “a more progressive Amebix” – plus Swedish dynamic prog outfit GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA have also been confirmed. Rounding out the new additions is ORCHESTRA OF CONSTANT DISTRESS – a hybrid of Brainbombs and Skull Defekts.

MYRKUR: FOLKESANGE

MYRKUR: FOLKESANGE will bring some folk magic to the main stage as she is accompanied by musicians including Heilung’s Christopher Juul, and celebrated cellist Jo Quail. Folkesange brings together both traditional Nordic folk songs, as well as her own original compositions in a mesmerising swirl of ethereal darkness.

MYRKUR will be performing with her metal band at the 013 on December 16, with support from Jo Quail.

MARISSA NADLER

Darkness comes in many forms, and one of the most beautiful we’ve witnessed this year is on the tracks of MARISSA NADLER’s latest album, For My Crimes. We’re thrilled that she will bring these songs – and more – to life, on the Roadburn stage this coming April.

HOLY ROAR X ROADBURN

For 12 years now, HOLY ROAR have been quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) releasing a steady stream of incredible albums. The label has become home to some of the most exciting rising bands around and we’re thrilled to team up with the label to bring you five of their brightest stars for HOLY ROAR X ROADBURN.

On Friday, April 12, the Hall of Fame venue will play host to the unapologetic abrasiveness of SVALBARD, the sonic alchemy of PIJN, the nihilistic post-metal of CONJURER, the genre-bending delights of SECRET CUTTER, and the label’s newest recruit, the haunting A.A.WILLIAMS

ALSO CONFIRMED….
BLACK BOMBAIM & PETER BRÖTZMAN will see Portuguese psych masters team up with a free jazz legend
BLISS SIGNAL will be fusing the jagged edges of blast beats and black metal with the hypnotic tremors of dark electronics
BOSSK will perform Audio Noir in full
CRYPT TRIP are a righteous trip back to days when acid-tinged rock was both exciting and thriving on attitude and energy
DEAF KIDS combine D-beat, and psychedelia with their South American roots
DEAF KIDS X PETBRICK will team up to deliver audio chaos
MALOKARPATAN offer a mix of the best classic heavy metal with an oblique take on black metal
MORNE will deliver a crushing dose of sludge
MYTHIC SUNSHIP are poised to deliver a set as iconic as their Another Shape of Psychedelic Music album
PETBRICK mix together crushing electronics with grinding drum violence, featuring Iggor Cavalera
RAKTA bring post punk, death rock, psych and just good old noisy garage rock’n’roll
STUCK IN MOTION prove there’s vibrancy in classic forms
TERRITOIRE performing Alix in full
THE END is the new project of saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, bringing chaos and beauty to the Roadburn stage

TICKETS:
Single day tickets will go on sale on Thursday, December 13. Weekend tickets are on sale now

Tickets are be priced as follows:
3 days ticket (Thu-Sat) €181 + €4,50 service fee
4 days ticket (Thu-Sun) €204 + €4,50 service fee
Day ticket (Thu, Fri or Sat) €62 + €4,50 service fee
Sunday ticket €55,50 + €4,50 service fee

https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival/
http://www.twitter.com/Roadburnfest
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http://www.roadburn.com

Roadburn 2019 announcement video

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