Delving Finish Recording Second LP

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 2nd, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Delving, the exploratory progressive side-project of Elder guitarist/vocalist Nick DiSalvo, has finished the recording process for a full-length follow-up to 2021’s Hirschbrunnen (review here), slated to release this summer, presumably through Stickman Records. Home base for the yet-untitled offering was Berlin’s widely-utilized-for-good-reason Big Snuff Studio, with Richard Behrens (he’s the reason) at the helm in a returning role as producer, and joining DiSalvo for the venture are multi-instrumentalist Fabien de Menou (who steers his own course into mellow fluidity as the ostensibly-one-man weirdo psych unit Perilymph), and Elder bandmate/low-key-secret-weapon Michael Risberg, who also contributed to the debut three years ago.

They’ll let it rest for a bit, mix, master, then do the whole thing. I read ‘penciled’ below as regards the release date to mean ‘here’s hoping,’ and fair enough. For what it’s worth, Delving are already confirmed to appear at Krach am Bach (also in Germany) the first weekend of August — most likely along with others by now — and if the tour noted in DiSalvo‘s done-tracking announcement below is around that, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to think that’s loosely around when the album would show up as well. But they gotta mix, master and press it first. So, you know, here’s hoping.

From social media:

delving nick at big snuff studio cropped (Photo by Leon de Backer)

Recording of album II is finished after 9 days of tracking with my stalwart partner in sound Richard Behrens at Big Snuff Studio! I can say with confidence that this is probably the most ‘out there’ record I’ve written: ambitious, perhaps confusingly fluent in genres, densely layered and quite loooong. I guess that’s what happens when you write music in the in-between times over a few years.

I had some great help from Fabien de Menou (from Perilymph) who handled basically all of the keyboard parts on this record as well as Michael Risberg who lent some awesome spacey touches. Thank you guys for your help in pulling this off! Special thanks of course to Richard as well for your patience and assistance in giving flight to ideas.

We’ll return in a few weeks to start picking through the weeds and mixing this thing; a release date is already penciled for late summer and we’ll have some tour dates to announce as well. Looking forward to sharing some new music with the world, as always!

Photo by Leon De Backer

Delving, Hirschbrunnen (2021)

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Full Earth Premiere “Echo Tears”; Cloud Sculptors Out March 15

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on February 7th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

FULL EARTH Cloud Sculptors

Norwegian progressive instrumentalists Full Earth will make their full-length debut with the 2LP Cloud Scuptors on March 15. The Oslo-based outfit release through respected purveyor Stickman Records, which makes them labelmates to Elder, Iron Jinn and King Buffalo — Stickman is also the ancestral home of Norwegian prog dispensers Motorpsycho, which will be relevant shortly — and like each of those outfits, Full Earth have their own take on a progressive heavy ideology. To call it expansive is to say the least of it.

There’s been a palpable buzz around Full Earth, and reasonably so. With the three members of Kanaan all involved — guitarist Ask Vatn Strøm, bassist Eskild Myrvoll, and drummer/project spearhead Ingvald André Vassbø — alongside bassist Simen Wie and organist/synthesist Øystein Aadland, the five-piece seemed to be immediately embraced as part of that band’s ongoing momentum. Before a song was released, let alone word of Cloud Sculptors or more details about the project’s prog-honoring, sometimes-longform, deeply methodical approach, the band were popping up on festival bills for Spring 2024, and indeed, they’ll be at Desertfest in Oslo and Berlin as well as Roadburn, with Freak Valley in Germany this June and Down the Hill in Belgium in August and probably tours hither and yon as well.

The actual arrival of the album, then, is anticipated. Full Earth meet that electric undercurrent with a massive glut of headspinning prog and other atmospheric and purposeful explorations. The bulk of Cloud Sculptors‘ feature-length 85 minute runtime resides in its most extended pieces: opener “Full Earth Pt. I – Emanation” and the title-track for a 40-minute one-two pairing at the start of the record. This initial impression, the runs of keyboard notes alongside sustained distortion and feedback around 14 minutes into the leadoff, or the bounce of organ that sweetly starts “Cloud Sculptors” hinting at some of the vintage-synthery both of the largely-melancholy-in-the-Lake-era-King-Crimson-tradition “The Collective Unconscious” (18:37) and the exploratory “Echo Tears,” which premieres below.

You would be hard-pressed to find someone less qualified than I to discuss the work of Daniel Lopatin or probably any number of the other krautrock and classic prog influences under which Full Earth are operating, but what you really need to know in listening to the album is everything’s under control. Yeah, Full Earth are kind of doing for krautrock and the headier end of kosmiche what Earthless did for classic heavy in cherrypicking stylistic aspects and blowing them out to epic proportion while staying conscious enough to actually guide the listener. But it’s that last part that’s the most important, because what most affects the listening experience is the skill with which Full Earth execute these pieces.full earth echo tears

I won’t pretend that “Full Earth Pt. I – Emanation” or its closing counterpart “Full Earth PT. II – Disintegration,” “The Collective Unconscious” or “Cloud Sculptors” itself aren’t overwhelming. They absolutely are and I think that’s the point; operating under the “put it out now and let them spend the next six years picking it apart” ethic, and indeed Cloud Sculptors might be densely packed enough at its most intense to provide fodder for a long-term deep-dive (if they do more records, I expect the phrase “long term deep dive” to come up again as a summation of their career arc), while remaining dynamic in the starts-peaceful “Full Earth Pt. II – Disintegration” and “Weltgeist,” which makes me want to put on a lounge jacket and make a documentary about space with all the latest science 1976 has to offer, speaking in clear, Saganian tones about the mysteries of the universe while Full Earth remind that at its heart all of the cosmos is math.

It is rare that a debut album comes with such a sense of mastery, and Cloud Sculptors has purpose to match. Each song, each change, a little swap in the drums or on keys in that all-in immersive rollout at the start, is in its place and keyed to bring as much to the proceedings as possible. They’re willing to reside in parts, as a band with 20-minute songs had better be, but cognizant of the listener’s place in and interaction with the material. Songs unfold in movements, ideas fluidly melding with graceful performances, a marked heft in reserve for when it’s needed, and guide the listener through Cloud Sculptors‘ otherwise staggeringly complex path. They might be pairing the half-time drums and what sounds like double-time guitar on “The Collective Unconscious” or making aural references that at very least I’ll probably never get, but you can also put on the album and Full Earth, through the music itself, act as a guide to get you safely from one end to the other. So while it’s a lot to take on, you can also roll with it as Full Earth quickly earn a trust that can’t be faked.

In talking about “Echo Tears” under the player below, Vassbø talks about using instruments “to their full extent.” That’s a classic prog phrase and mentality. He’s pushing himself and the instrument(s) as part of the same drive, trying to “get as much out” of the drums, organ, whatever it might be. Keep that in mind as you listen to “Echo Tears,” which is drumless and comparatively minimal next to “The Collective Unconscious” before or “Full Earth Pt. II – Disintegration” after. Because it doesn’t just have to mean playing fast, or making a part as busy as it can be, but utilizing a given instrument as a tool of emotive expression or sonic exploration, as seems to be the case with this track. And no, “Echo Tears” doesn’t represent the whole crux of Cloud Sculptors‘ 85 minutes — how could it? — in terms of basic sound, but as you listen to the track, know that Full Earth‘s ability to carry the listener through its atmospheric contemplations absolutely does.

The potential here is vast, and it’s difficult not to think of what Full Earth might accomplish in the future based on their achievements here, but worth staying in the moment as you listen.

As always, I hope you enjoy:

Full Earth, “Echo Tears’ track premiere

Full Earth (Photo by Thea Grant)

Echo Tears is the second single from the up and coming experimental rock band Full Earth’s debut album, Cloud Sculptors. Album preorders launch Feb. 9 via

The tune is one out of two shorter organ-compositions from the album that are more inspired by electronic and modernist classical music. The song is an echo-jam for Full Earth’s combo-organs in the style of Oneohtrix Point Never’s early releases, and an attempt to adapt this cosmic style for fluttery organs. The French band Heldon and Laurie Spiegels Expanding Universe are two other important references. The organ-arpeggios, recorded by Øystein Aadland and Ingvald Vassbø in their rehearsal space, feels like they are levitating and circling freely in the air. One goes into a trance and the insisting and repetitive music grows continuously. In a mechanical but analog way, always towards an ecstatic vision. Echo Tears is exploring another edge of the Full Earth-universe than the band’s first single Cloud Sculptors did, and shows how wide and multicoloured the bands’ pallet at times can be.

Says Ingvald Vassbø: «A few years ago, I was totally in love with the early and cosmic synth-works of Daniel Lopatin, and listened to it almost every night before going to sleep. It was a really fun process to let myself be inspired by that music, make some kind of echo-jam in that vein and record it together with Øystein in our rehearsal space. We got really inspired, and I really feel that we managed to utilize our instruments, my Terry Riley-organ, Øystein’s Farfisa and our tape-echo to their full extent.»

Cloud Sculptors tracklisting:
1. Full Earth Pt. I – Emanation (21:06)
2. Cloud Sculptors (20:05)
3. Weltgeist (6:08)
4. The Collective Unconscious (18:37)
5. Echo Tears (5:36)
6. Full Earth Pt. II – Disintegration (13:46)

The fantastic “Echo Tears” artwork is made by Sunniva Hårstad
Pre save:

Full Earth live:
18.04 – @rare_guitar Münster 🇩🇪
19.04 – Magazine 4 Brüssel 🇧🇪
20.04 – @roadburnfest , Tilburg 🇳🇱
22.04 – @le3pieces , Rouen 🇫🇷
23.04 – @linternational_paris Paris 🇫🇷
24.04 – Venue tbc, Köln 🇩🇪
25.04 – @trauma_marburg Marburg 🇩🇪
26.04 – Freaques de la Musique, Bremen 🇩🇪
27.04 – @husetkbh , København 🇩🇰
10.05 – @sonic_whip , Nijmegen 🇳🇱
11.05 – @desertfest_oslo 🇳🇴
23.05 – @gjovikkinoogscene 🇳🇴
24.05 – @lokal.trhm , Trondheim 🇳🇴
26.05 – @desertfest_berlin 🇩🇪
29.05 – Blauer Salon/Hausbar, Tübingen 🇩🇪
30.05 – @freakvalleyfestival Netphen 🇩🇪
30.05 – Posten, Odense 🇩🇰
31.05 – @esbjerg_fuzztival l 🇩🇰
31.08 – @downthehillfestival Rilaar 🇧🇪

Full Earth are:
Øystein Aadland – farfisa organ, yamaha yc30 organ, mellotron, synthesizer
Ask Vatn Strøm – guitars
Simen Wie – electric bass, additional guitar
Eskild Myrvoll – additional guitar, korg MS-20 synthesizer, noise
Ingvald Vassbø – drums, yamaha yc30 organ

Full Earth, Cloud Sculptors (2024)

Full Earth on Facebook

Full Earth on Instagram

Full Earth on Bandcamp

Stickman Records website

Stickman Records on Facebook

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Live Review: Elder at Madison Square Garden, 01.12.24

Posted in Reviews on January 15th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Elder (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Elder have played in front of big crowds. They’re inarguably one of their generation’s most influential bands and they arrive at their first arena tour in a manner almost absurdly organic, having spent years on the road in the US, Europe and elsewhere supporting legitimately groundbreaking records. The last decade-plus has seen Elder become what they are today — the celebrated vanguard of a kind of heavy progressivism that is their own even as more and more artists work under their influence in structure, atmosphere Elder (Photo by JJ Koczan)melody and groove, all of which Elder offer in signature fashion.

They’re going to make some new friends on this tour. The popular wisdom has it that Tool drummer Danny Carey is the one responsible for picking their openers. Elder follow in the footsteps of Meshuggah, YOB, Author and Punisherand a slew of other good bands who were ready as they are now, and while it’s the nature of fandom that not everyone here to see the headliner would even be in the building when Elder played, I was there and you’ll pardon if that’s my main priority at just this moment.

But it felt like a big deal that it was happening, and I don’t know, maybe it was. Maybe it was a big moment for heavy rock and roll to even be in front of that many people not already converted. Maybe when your band is about to do two nights at MSG you just look at it like another tour date. Or maybe you try to. I promise I wouldn’t know.

Did Elder nail it? Well of course they did.

Elder (Photo by JJ Koczan)The tour had started a couple evenings prior and would stay at MSG — dude, Elder just played where they had the first Wrestlemania — for two nights, of which this was the first, and to be honest, it wasn’t a question in my mind. Founding guitarist/vocalist Nick DiSalvo, guitarist Mike Risberg, founding bassist Jack Donovan and drummer Georg Edert have not only toured like the dickens, but as noted, they’ve spent a fair amount of time at this point on bigger stages. I saw them in August at SonicBlast Fest 2023 (review here), and they played to a crowd of thousands. I don’t know the respective headcounts, but my point is that even if you don’t count the 15-plus years that Elder have been building to where they are creatively and in terms of stage presence, they’re not a deer-in-headlights band when it comes to entertaining a mass audience. They’ve been there before.

Even if it was Madison Square Garden. Elder, playing Madison Square Garden.

They got to do three songs, which felt short and was short, but fair enough. And the three Elder songs — “Sanctuary” from 2017’s Reflections of a Floating World (review here), which has been a staple, as well as “Merged in Dreams/Ne Plus Ultra” from 2022’s Innate Passage (review here) and “Halcyon” from 2020’s Omens (review here), all over 10 minutes each — wanted nothing for substance in their intertwining twists of riff from Risberg and DiSalvo, set up on either side of the stage in that cavernous space with the luxury boxes up yonder and middle-class splurge for floor seats as they were with Donovan in between giving force to all that linear motion as Edert’s drums push and pull the material forward.

They are not a commercial band, and some headbanging and DiSalvo’s gotta-get-my-hair-out-of-my-face-anyway flip-back — also a staple — aside, they’ve never been about thrashing around on stage, so they weren’t Elder (Photo by JJ Koczan)here either. But it’s a different kind of engagement, a different connection being made between a band in a room that size and a band at even a club show like Elder sold out in Boston at Sonia the other night. Intimacy is part of it, but if you think of it as the difference between you and I having a conversation and you having to communicate an idea to a room of 20 people, you’re going to change the way you speak to a larger crowd. That extends to live performance as well. If Elder were nervous — I was nervous for them, so it was covered either way — it didn’t show, and the simple truth is they’re too good a band for it to have fallen flat. Right band, right time, right place. Just so happened those all aligned around Elder at Madison Square Garden. Life is weird sometimes.

No doubt the tour will raise Elder’s profile, though if that was ever really a priority for the band they’d probably have been chasing down major labels by now, but it seems like it might be more valuable as a life experience — on this run they’re playing at a level that most heavy rock bands will never achieve, but also just being in these places and seeing how arena tours work, etc. — than something that’s going to immediately make the band some antiquated version of rock stars. So much cocaine! Not likely. As an Elder fan, I appreciated the chance to share in some piece of that experience, to be in the room when Elder at MSG happened for the first and not the last time. A win for the heavy rock and roll home team, it seemed to be.

And when they were done, cheers. They hadn’t really stopped, except for pauses in the songs, since the set started, so the end was the first real opportunity to get a sense of the response, and it was positive. I had seen a few folks rocking out on the floor as others were still coming in, the vibe very clearly monumental Elder (Photo by JJ Koczan)to some while passing as these things pass to others. I was glad to be in the former camp, and felt fortunate to have seen Elder play on that stage as I imagine many of the crowd both felt after the show and will feel years later in hindsight, because whatever happens next for, to, or with the band, they’ll keep moving forward as they always have. This just happened to be a particularly big step.

More pics after the jump. Thank you to The Patient Mrs. for the lift into Manhattan, and to the band for the access.

Read more »

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Quarterly Review: Tortuga, Spidergawd, Morag Tong, Conny Ochs, Ritual King, Oldest Sea, Dim Electrics, Mountain of Misery, Aawks, Kaliyuga Express

Posted in Reviews on November 30th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


Generally I think of Thursday as the penultimate day of a given Quarterly Review. This one I was thinking of adding more days to get more stuff in ahead of year-end coverage coming up in December. I don’t know what that would do to my weekend — actually, yes I do — but sometimes it’s worth it. I’m yet undecided. Will let you know tomorrow, or perhaps not. Dork of mystery, I am.

Today is PACKED with cool sounds. If you haven’t found something yet that’s really hit you, it might be your day.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Tortuga, Iterations

TORTUGA Iterations

From traditionalist proto-doom and keyboard-inflected prog to psychedelic jamming and the Mountain-style start-stop riff on “Lilith,” Poznań, Poland’s Tortuga follow 2020’s Deities (discussed here) with seven tracks and 45 minutes that come across as simple and barebones in the distortion of the guitar and the light reverb on the vocals, but the doom rock doesn’t carry from “Lilith” into “Laspes,” which has more of a ’60s psych crux, a mellow but not unjoyful meander in its first half turning to a massive lumber in the second, all the more elephantine with a solo overtop. They continue throughout to cross the lines between niches — “Quaus” has some dungeon growls, “Epitaph” slogs emotive like Pallbearer, etc. — and offer finely detailed performances in a sound malleable to suit the purposes of their songs. Polish heavy doesn’t screw around. Well, at least not any more than it wants to. Tortuga‘s creative reach becomes part of the character of the album.

Tortuga on Facebook

Napalm Records website

Spidergawd, VII

spidergawd vii

I’m sorry, I gotta ask: What’s the point of anything when Spidergawd can put out a record like VII and it’s business as usual? Like, the world doesn’t stop for a collective “holy shit” moment. Even in the heavy underground, never mind general population. These are the kinds of songs that could save lives if properly employed to do so, and for the Norwegian outfit, it’s just what they do. The careening hooks of “Sands of Time” and “The Tower” at the start, the melodies across the span. The energy. I guess this is dad rock? Shit man, I’m a dad. I’m not this cool. Spidergawd have seven records out and I feel like Metallica should’ve been opening for them at stadiums this past summer, but they remain criminally underrated and perhaps use that as flexibility around their pop-heavy foundation to explore new ideas. The last three songs on VII — “Afterburner,” “Your Heritage” and “…And Nothing But the Truth” — are among the strongest and broadest Spidergawd have ever done, and “Dinosaur” and the classic-metal ripper “Bored to Death” give them due preface. One of the best active heavy rock bands, living up to and surpassing their own high standards.

Spidergawd on Facebook

Stickman Records website

Crispin Glover Records website

Morag Tong, Grieve

Morag Tong Grieve

Rumbling low end and spacious guitar, slow flowing drums and contemplative vocals, and some charred sludge for good measure, mark out the procession of “At First Light” on Morag Tong‘s third album and first for Majestic Mountain Records, the four-song Grieve. Moving from that initial encapsulation through the raw-throat sludge thud of most of “Passages,” they crash out and give over to quiet guitar at about four minutes in and set up the transition to the low-end groove-cool of “A Stem’s Embrace,” a sleepy fluidity hitting its full voluminous crux after three minutes in, crushing from there en route to its noisy finish at just over nine minutes long. That would be the epic finisher of most records, but Morag Tong‘s grievances extend to the 20-minute “No Sun, No Moon,” which at 20 minutes is a full-length’s progression on its own. At very least the entirety of side B, but more than the actual runtime is the theoretical amount of space covered as the four-piece shift from ambient drone through huge plod and resolve the skyless closer with a crushing delve into post-sludge atmospherics. That’s as fitting an end as one could ask for an offering that so brazenly refuses to follow impulses other than its own.

Morag Tong on Facebook

Majestic Mountain Records store

Conny Ochs, Wahn Und Sinn

Conny Ochs Wahn Und Sinn

The nine-song Wahn Und Sinn carries the distinction of being the first full-length from German singer-songwriter Conny Ochs — also known for his work in Ananda Mida and his collaboration with Wino — to be sung in his own language. As a non-German speaker, I won’t pretend that doesn’t change the listening experience, but that’s the idea. Words and melodies in different languages take on corresponding differences in character, and so in addition to appreciating the strings, pianos, acoustic and electric guitars, and, in the case of “Welle,” a bit of static noise in a relatively brief electronic soundscape, hearing Ochs‘ delivery no less emotive for switching languages on the cinematic “Grimassen,” or the lounge drama of “Ding” earlier on, it’s a new side from a veteran figure whose “experimentalism” — and no, I’m not talking about singing in your own language as experimental, I’m talking about Trialogos there — is backburnered in favor of more traditional, still rampantly melancholy pop arrangements. It sounds like someone who’s decided they can do whatever the hell they feel like their songs should making that a reality. Only an asshole would hold not speaking the language against that.

Conny Ochs on Facebook

Exile on Mainstream website/a>

Ritual King, The Infinite Mirror

ritual king the infinite mirror

I’m going to write this review as though I’m speaking directly to Ritual King because, well, I am. Hey guys. Congrats on the record. I can hear a ton going on with it. Some of Elder‘s bright atmospherics and rhythmic twists, some more familiar stoner riffage repurposed to suit a song like “Worlds Divide” after “Flow State” calls Truckfighters to mind, the songs progressive and melodic. The way you keep that nod in reserve for “Landmass?” That’s what I’m talking about. Here’s some advice you didn’t ask for: Keep going. I’m sure you have big plans for next year, and that’s great, and one thing leads to the next. You’re gonna have people for the next however long telling you what you need to do. Do what feels right to you, and keep in mind the decisions that led you to where you are, because you’re right there, headed to the heart of this thing you’re discovering. Two records deep there’s still a lot of potential in your sound, but I think you know a track like “Tethered” is a victory on its own, and that as big as “The Infinite Mirror” gets at the end, the real chance it takes is in the earlier vocal melody. You’re a better band than people know. Just keep going. Thanks.

Ritual King on Facebook

Ripple Music website

Oldest Sea, A Birdsong, A Ghost

oldest sea a birdsong a ghost cropped

Inhabiting the sort of alternately engulfing and minimal spaces generally occupied by the likes of Bell Witch, New Jersey’s Oldest Sea make their full-length debut with A Birdsong, A Ghost and realize a bleakness of mood that is affecting even in its tempo, seeming to slow the world around it to its own crawl. The duo of Samantha Marandola and Andrew Marandola, who brought forth their Strange and Eternal EP (review here) in 2022, find emotive resonance in a death-doom build through the later reaches of “Untracing,” but the subsequent three-minute-piece-for-chorus-and-distorted-drone “Astronomical Twilight” and the similarly barely-there-until-it-very-much-is closer “Metamorphose” mark out either end of the extremes while “The Machines That Made Us Old” echoes Godflesh in its later riffing as Samantha‘s voice works through screams en route to a daringly hopeful drone. Volatile but controlled, it is a debut of note for its patience and vulnerability as well as its deep-impact crash and consuming tone.

Oldest Sea on Facebook

Darkest Records on Bandcamp

Dim Electrics, Dim Electrics

dim electrics dim electrics

Each track on Dim Electrics‘ self-titled five-songer LP becomes a place to rest for a while. No individual piece is lacking activity, but each cut has room for the listener to get inside and either follow the interweaving aural patterns or zone out as they will. Founded by Mahk Rumbae, the Vienna-based project is meditative in the sense of basking in repetition, but flashes like the organ in the middle of “Saint” or the shimmy that takes hold in 18-minute closer “Dream Reaction” assure it doesn’t reside in one place for too much actual realtime, of which it’s easy to lose track when so much krautgazey flow is at hand. Beginning with ambience, “Ways of Seeing” leads the listener deeper into the aural chasm it seems to have opened, and the swirling echoes around take on a life of their own in the ecosystem of some vision of space rock that’s also happening under the ground — past and future merging as in the mellotron techno of “Memory Cage” — which any fool can tell you is where the good mushrooms grow. Dug-in, immersive, engaging if you let it be; Dim Electrics feels somewhat insular in its mind-expansion, but there’s plenty to go around if you can put yourself in the direction it’s headed.

Dim Electrics on Facebook

Sulatron Records webstore

Mountain of Misery, In Roundness

Mountain of Misery In Roundness

A newcomer project from Kamil Ziółkowski, also known for his contributions as part of Polish heavy forerunners Spaceslug, the tone-forward approach of Mountain of Misery might be said to be informed by Ziółkowski‘s other project in opener “Not Away” or the penultimate “Climb by the Sundown,” with their languid vocals and slow-rolling tsunami fuzz in the spirit of heavy psych purveyors Colour Haze and even more to the point Sungrazer, but the howling guitar in the crescendo of closer “The Misery” and the all-out assault of “Hang So Low” distinguish the band all around. “The Rain is My Love” sways in the album’s middle, but it’s in “Circle in Roundness” that the 36-minute LP has its most subdued stretch, letting the spaces filled with fuzz elsewhere remain open as the verse builds atop the for-now-drumless expanse. Whatever familiar aspects persist, Mountain of Misery is its own band, and In Roundness is the exciting beginning of a new creative evolution.

Mountain of Misery on Facebook

Electric Witch Mountain Recordings on Facebook

Aawks, Luna

aawks luna

The featured new single, “The Figure,” finds Barrie, Ontario’s Aawks somewhere between Canadian tonal lords Sons of Otis and the dense heavy psych riffing and melodic vocals of an act like Snail, and if you think I’m about to complain about that, you’ve very clearly never been to this site before. So hi, and welcome. The four-song Luna EP is Aawks‘ second short release of 2023 behind a split with Aiwass (review here), and the trio take on Flock of Seagulls and Pink Floyd for covers of the new wave radio hit “I Ran” and the psychedelic ur-classic “Julia Dream” before a live track, “All is Fine,” rounds out. As someone who’s never seen the band live, the additional crunch falls organic, and brings into relief the diversity Aawks show in and between these four songs, each of which inhabits a place in the emerging whole of the band’s persona. I don’t know if we’ll get there, but sign me up for the Canadian heavy revolution if this is the form it’s going to take.

Aawks on Facebook

Black Throne Productions website

Kaliyuga Express, Warriors & Masters

Kaliyuga Express Warriors and Masters

The collaborative oeuvre of UK doomsperimental guitarist Mike Vest (Bong, Blown Out, Ozo, 11Paranoias, etc.) grows richer as he joins forces with Finnish trio Nolla to produce Kaliyuga ExpressWarriors & Masters, which results in three tracks across two sides of far-out cosmic fuzz, shades of classic kraut and space rocks are wrought with jammy intention; the goal seeming to be the going more than the being gone as Vest and company burn through “Nightmare Dimensions” and the shoegazing “Behind the Veil” — the presence of vocals throughout is a distinguishing feature — hums in high and low frequencies in a repetitive inhale of stellar gases on side A while the 18:58 side B showdown “Endless Black Space” misdirects with a minute of cosmic background noise before unfurling itself across an exoplanet’s vision of cool and returning, wait for it, back to the drone from whence it came. Did you know stars are recycled all the time? Did you know that if you drop acid and peel your face off there’s another face underneath? Your third eye is googly. You can hear voices in the drones. Let me know what they tell you.

Kaliyuga Express on Facebook

Riot Season Records store

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Spidergawd Launch Preorders for New LP VII Out Nov. 10; “Sands of Time” Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 24th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


Lots of Thin Lizzy, two Rush records, classic rock, heavy rock, grunge, Judas Priest, Aerosmith, big rock sounds like Boston, Dire Straits. More Thin Lizzy. Bruce Springsteen. Mob Rules. At the beginning of the video for “Sands of Time,” some of the members of Spidergawd are asked for the recipe that makes a record labeled ‘testpress’ that is presumably a copy of the band’s forthcoming album, VII, which is up for preorder now and out Nov. 10 on Crispin Glover Records and Stickman Records. It’s not an easy formula, but she ends up with a stack of records and there’s a twist ending that I won’t spoil for you.

I’m late on the news of the release and the video — it’s been a rough couple weeks; I do my best — but preorders I think are a recent advent, and that was what came through in the Stickman Records newsletter, which I know I’ve recommended before that you sign up because that label’s roster is absolutely vibrant and always has something cool going (Elder, King Buffalo, Temple Fang, Iron Jinn, Slomosa, Weedpecker, new offshoots like Weite or Full Earth, etc.) either in collaboration with anther label, as is the case here, or on their own. So yeah, here I am repeating myself: they don’t spam and it’s useful info. Plus, at least compared to my ass, you’d be ahead of the game. Some of this came from that, some came from Spidergawd‘s socials, and the video credits come from the video. All about sourcing lately, I guess.

Info, links, video — oh, and because it’s Spidergawd, there’s an entire slew of tour dates as well — follow here:

spidergawd vii

Spidergawd – VII On presale now – out November 10

Spidergawd have revealed their new full length coinciding with the band’s 10th anniversary. What’s changed over the years? As the band puts it themselves, “they have found THE recipe for what Spidergawd is all about.”

VII is an album full of tracks which are catchier, and indeed to a degree poppier, than ever before. Yet this element is matched by a significantly more “real” approach in production, which the band describes as “muddier, messier and bigger: everything that spidergawd vii tourtakes the listener closer to what’s going down on stage in a live Spidergawd performance.”

VII is available as a deluxe package including colored vinyl, a CD, a one-sided 7″ with etching and poster! We have two different color variants available.

1st edition 180gr LTD Hyacinth & Red/Black Vinyl w/ bonus one-sided etched 7″ + CD + Poster!

Follow links below(#128071#)

(#128293#)Norway / WW:

(#128293#)Germany / EU / WW:
Hyacinth & Red/Black:

(#128293#)Pre-save on all streaming platforms:

(#128293#)Do check out our whole release tour & tickets here:

1. Sands Of Time
2. The Tower
3. Dinosaur
4. Bored To Death
5. Your Heritage
6. Afterburner
7. Anchor Song
8. …And Nothing But The Truth

Music video by Finn Walther Film
Camera: Bjørn Ante
Crispin Glover Record Shop
Behind the counter: Ida Vie & Torgeir Lund
Bulgarian Knutsen: Øystein Dolmen
Little girl: Elina
Music by Spidergawd
(Spidergawd VII Album release 10.november 2023 – Crispin Glover Records / Stickman Records)

Spidergawd, “Sands of Time” official video

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Elder Announce US Tour Dates Supporting Tool

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 10th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Elder (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Just Elder playing Madison Square Garden. No big deal. Oh wait it’s like the biggest deal. Sorry, I get those mixed up all the time.

Having seen the Berlin-based four-piece just this past August playing to a crowd of thousands at SonicBlast Fest (review here), they’re nothing but ready. Born a trio, now a four-piece, the band have never missed an opportunity to grow, and completely on their own terms, they’ve become the most essential progressive heavy rock band in the world. Recent tours with REZN and Lord Buffalo, Howling Giant and Ruby the Hatchet, in North America and abroad at fests throughout the Eurozone have assured that 2022’s Innate Passage (review here) has gotten the support it’s due, and certainly that looks to continue. Nothing to say here that isn’t obvious, but this opens the band to a new audience (that that audience is legendary for being full of assholes is besides the point; the good ones will catch on) and raises their profile in a way for which, again, they’re ready.

Cheers to the band and kudos to Tool drummer Danny Carey on his continued good taste.

Fresh off social media:

elder with tool

We are beyond thrilled, honored, and in disbelief to announce that we will be supporting Tool this January and February in USA!

It’s been hard sitting on this news for a few months and we are so excited to be on the road with these legends!

Tickets for all shows are on-sale this Friday, October 13th at 10 am local time.

Check the dates below and at

January 10th – Baltimore, MD – CFG Bank Arena
January 12th – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
January 13th – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
January 18th – Hollywood, FL – Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
January 19th – Hollywood, FL – Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
January 21st – Charlotte, NC – Spectrum Center
January 23rd – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
January 24th – Atlanta, GA – State Farm Arena
January 26th – Birmingham, AL – The Legacy Arena at the BJCC
January 27th – Biloxi, MS – Mississippi Coast Coliseum
January 31st – Austin, TX – Moody Center
February 2nd – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
February 3rd – Oklahoma City, OK – Paycom Center
February 5th – Denver, CO – Ball Arena
February 9th – Phoenix, AZ – Footprint Center
February 12th – Fresno, CA – Save Mart Center
February 14th – Los Angeles, CA – Arena
February 15th – Los Angeles, CA – Arena
February 17th – Ontario, CA – Toyota Arena
February 18th – Las Vegas, NV – T-Mobile Arena

Elder is:
Nick DiSalvo – Guitars, Vocals
Mike Risberg – Guitars, Keys
Jack Donovan – Bass
Georg Edert – Drums

Elder, Innate Passage (2022)

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King Buffalo Announce US Winter Touring

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 28th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

Starting tomorrow night at the Up in Smoke Festival in Switzerland, King Buffalo return to Europe for their second tour abroad of 2023, following up on a stint this past Spring that took them back to Freak Valley (review here) and elsewhere. In addition to Up in Smoke, the current run also boasts stops at Into the VoidKeep it LowDesertfest Belgium and Lazy Bones Fests, which isn’t quite all of ’em — there are always more sneaking around — but it’s a lot.

And King Buffalo have been touring. A lot. Time for a new record? You know it. No, I don’t honestly think the Rochester, New York, trio — who emerged from the pandemic as one of the US’ brightest hopes in heavy psychedelia and have only furthered their case since — haven’t written a song in the last three years. Doesn’t seem feasible. But it makes sense that they might want to knuckle down and get everything ready to record. They’re following up an entire trilogy of albums, remember. Want to make sure your ducks are in a row.

And you’ll note they say there’s nothing else planned now. Plans change. Still, if you want to catch King Buffalo on this weird album-cycle-times-three — and I’ll gladly argue that you do — these shows might be your last chance. Fair warning.

From the PR wire:

king buffalo us winter shows


Tickets go on sale THIS FRIDAY at 10am
–> Click here for tickets:

These are our last planned shows for 2023 & 2024. If you want to see us before we hunker down to write a new record, THIS IS IT!

12/6 Portland, ME @ House of Music
12/7 Portsmouth, NH @ 3S Artspace
12/8 Fairfield, CT @ The Warehouse
12/9 Providence, RI @ FETE Lounge
12/30 Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
1/12 Pittsburgh, PA @ Thunderbird
1/13 Detroit, MI @ El Club
1/14 Grand Rapids, MI @ Pyramid Scheme
1/16 Davenport, IA @ Raccoon Motel
1/17 Bloomington, IN @ Bishop Bar
1/18 Louisville, KY @ Whirling Tiger
1/19 Cincinnati, OH @ Woodward Theatre
1/20 Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups


29.9. (CH) Pratteln @ Up in Smoke Festival
30.9. (NL) Leeuwarden @ Into the Void
1.10. (DE) Lubeck @ Riders Café
3.10. (SWE) Gothenburg @ Musikens Hus
4.10. (DK) Copenhagen @ Loppen
5.10. (DE) Berlin @ Lido*
6.10. (DE) Munich @ Keep It Low*
7.10. (AT) Dornbirn @ Conrad Sohm*
8.10. (CH) Dudingen @ Bad Bonn
10.10. (ESP) Barcelona @ Razzmatazz3
11.10. (ESP) Madrid @ Nazca
12.10. (POR) Lisbon @ RCA Club
13.10. (POR) Porto @ Hard Club
14.10. (ESP) Hondarribia @ Psilocybenea
15.10. (FR) Toulouse @ Connexion Live
17.10. (UK) London @ The Dome
18.10. (UK) Leeds @ Brudenell Social Club
19.10. (UK) Nottingham @ Bodega
20.10. (UK) Brighton @ The Arch
21.10. (BE) Antwerp @ Desertfest
22.10. (NL) Deventer @ Burgerweeshuis
24.10. (DE) Cologne @ Club Volta
25.10. (NL) Amsterdam @ Melkweg
26.10. (NL) Eindhoven @ Effenaar
27.10. (DE) Frankfurt @ Zoom
28.10. (DE) Hamburg @ Lazy Bones Festival

Buy Tickets!

King Buffalo is:
Sean McVay – Guitar, Vocals, & Synth
Dan Reynolds – Bass & Synth
Scott Donaldson – Drums

King Buffalo, Regenerator (2022)

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Quarterly Review: Weite, Mizmor, The Whims of the Great Magnet, Sarkh, Spiritual Void, The River, Froglord, Weedevil & Electric Cult, Dr. Space, Ruiner

Posted in Reviews on July 24th, 2023 by JJ Koczan


Welcome back to the Summer 2023 Quarterly Review. I hope you enjoyed the weekend. Today we dig in on the penultimate — somehow my using the word “penultimate” became a running gag for me in Quarterly Reviews; I don’t know how or why, but I think it’s funny — round of 10 albums and tomorrow we’ll close out as we hit the total of 70. Could easily have kept it going through the week, but so it goes. I’ll have more QR in September or October, I’m not sure yet which. It’s a pretty busy Fall.

Today’s a wild mix and that’s what I was hoping for. Let’s go.

Quarterly Review #51-60:

Weite, Assemblage

weite assemblage

Founded by bassist Ingwer Boysen (also High Fighter) as an offshoot of the live incarnation of Delving, of which he’s part, Weite release the instrumental Assemblage as a semi-improv-sounding collection of marked progressive fluidity. With Delving and Elder‘s Nick DiSalvo and Mike Risberg in the lineup along with Ben Lubin (Lawns), the story goes that the four-piece got to the studio with nothing/very little, spent a few days writing and recording with the venerable Richard Behrens helming, and Assemblage‘s four component pieces are what came out of it. The album begins with the nine-minutes-each pair of the zazzy-jazzy mover “Neuland,” while “Entzündet” grows somewhat more open, a lead guitar refrain like built around drum-backed drone and keys, swelling in piano-inclusive volume like Crippled Black Phoenix, darker prog shifting into a wash and more freaked-out psych rock. I’m not sure those are real drums on “Rope,” or if they are I’d love to know how the snare was treated, but the song’s a groover just the same, and the 14-minute “Murmuration” is where the styles unite under an umbrella of warm tonality and low key but somehow cordial atmosphere. If these guys want to get together every couple years into perpetuity and bang out a record like this, that’d be fine.

Weite on Facebook

Stickman Records store


Mizmor, Prosaic

Mizmor Prosaic

The fourth album from Portland, Oregon’s Mizmor — the solo-project of multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, vocalist, etc.-ist A.L.N. — arrives riding a tsunami of hype and delivers on the band’s long-stated promise of ‘wholly doomed black metal.’ With consuming distortion at its heart from opener/longest track (immediate points) “Only an Expanse” onward, the record recalls the promise of American black metal as looser in its to-tenet conformity than the bulk of Europe’s adherents — of course these are generalizations and I’m no expert — by contrasting it rhythmically with doom, which instead of fully releasing the tension amassed by the scream-topped tremolo riffing just makes it sound more miserable. Doom! “No Place to Arrive” is admirably thick, like noisy YOB on charred ambience, and “Anything But” draws those two sides together in more concise and driving style, vicious and brutal until it cuts in the last minute to quiet minimalism that makes the slam-in crush of 13-minute closer “Acceptance” all the more punishing, with plenty of time left for trades between all-out thrust and grueling plod. Hard to call which side wins the day — and that’s to Mizmor‘s credit, ultimately — but by the end of “Acceptance,” the raging gnash has collapsed into a caldera of harsh sludge, and it no longer matters. In context, that’s a success.

Mizmor on Facebook

Profound Lore Records store


The Whims of the Great Magnet, Same New

The Whims of the Great Magnet Same New

With a couple quick drum taps and a clearheaded strum that invokes the impossible nostalgia of Bruce Springsteen via ’90s alt rock, Netherlands-based The Whims of the Great Magnet strolls casually into “Same New,” the project’s first outing since 2021’s Share My Sun EP. Working in a post-grunge style seems to suit Sander Haagmans, formerly the bassist of Sungrazer and, for a bit, The Machine, as he single-track/double-tracks through the song’s initial verse and blossoms melodically in the chorus, dwelling in an atmosphere sun-coated enough that Haagmans‘ calls it “your new summer soundtrack.” Not arguing, if a one-track soundtrack is a little short. After a second verse/chorus trade, some acoustic weaves in at the end to underscore the laid back feel, and as it moves into the last minute, “Same New” brings back the hook not to drive it into your head — it’s catchy enough that such things aren’t necessary — but to speak to a traditional structure born out of classic rock. It does this organically, with moderate tempo and a warm, engaging spirit that, indeed, evokes the ideal images of the stated season and will no doubt prove comforting even removed from such long, hot and sunny days.

The Whims of the Great Magnet on Facebook

The Whims of the Great Magnet on Bandcamp


Sarkh, Helios


German instrumentalists Sarkh follow their 2020 full-length, Kaskade, with the four-song/31-minute Helios EP, issued through Worst Bassist Records. As with that album, the short-ish offering has a current of progressive metal to coincide with its heavier post-rock affect; “Zyklon” leading off with due charge before the title-track finds stretches of Yawning Man-esque drift, particularly as it builds toward a hard-hitting crescendo in its second half. Chiaroscuro, then. Working shortest to longest in runtime, the procession continues with “Kanagawa” making stark volume trades, growing ferocious but not uncontrolled in its louder moments, the late low end particularly satisfying as it plays off the guitar in the final push, a sudden stop giving 11-minute closer “Cape Wrath” due space to flesh out its middle-ground hypothesis after some initial intensity, the trio of guitarist Ralph Brachtendorf, bassist Falko Schneider and drummer Johannes Dose rearing back to let the EP end with a wash but dropping the payoff with about a minute left to let the guitar finish on its own. Germany, the world, and the universe: none of it is short on instrumental heavy bands, but the purposeful aesthetic mash of Sarkh‘s sound is distinguishing and Helios showcases it well to make the argument.

Sarkh on Facebook

Worst Bassist Records store


Spiritual Void, Wayfare

spiritual void wayfare

A 2LP second long-player from mostly-traditionalist doom metallers Spiritual Void, Wayfare seems immediately geared toward surpassing their 2017 debut, White Mountain, in opening with “Beyond the White Mountain.” With a stretch of harsher vocals to go along with the cleaner-sung verses through its 8:48 and the metal-of-eld wail that meets the crescendo before the nodding final verse, they might’ve done it. The subsequent “Die Alone” (11:48) recalls Candlemass and Death without losing the nod of its rhythm, and “Old” (12:33) reaffirms the position, taking Hellhound Records-style methodologies of European trad doom and pulling them across longer-form structures. Following “Dungeon of Nerthus” (10:24) the shorter “Wandering Doom” (5:31) chugs with a swing that feels schooled by Reverend Bizarre, while “Wandersmann” (13:11) tolls a mournful bell at its outset as though to let you know that the warm-up is over and now it’s time to really doom out. So be it. At a little over an hour long, Wayfare is no minor undertaking, but for what they’re doing stylistically, it shouldn’t be. Morose without melodrama, Wayfare sees Spiritual Void continuing to find their niche in doom, and rest assured, it’s on the doomier end. Of doom.

Spiritual Void on Facebook

Journey’s End Records store


The River, A Hollow Full of Hope

THE RIVER A Hollow Full of Hope

Even when The River make the trade of tossing out the aural weight of doom — the heavy guitar and bass, the expansive largesse, and so on — they keep the underlying structure. The nod. At least mostly. To explain: the long-running UK four-piece — vocalist Jenny Newton, guitarist Christian Leitch (formerly of 40 Watt Sun), bassist Stephen Morrissey and drummer Jason Ludwig — offer a folkish interpretation of doom and a doomed folk on their fourth long-player, the five-song/40-minute A Hollow Full of Hope taking the acoustic prioritizing of a song like “Open” from 2019’s Vessels into White Tides (review here) and bringing it to the stylistic fore on songs like the graceful opener “Fading,” the lightly electric “Tiny Ticking Clocks” rife with strings and gorgeous self-harmonizing from Newton set to an utterly doomed march, or the four-minute instrumental closer “Hollowful,” which is more than an outro if not a completely built song in relation to the preceding pieces. Melodic, flowing, intentional in arrangement, meter, melody. Sad. Beautiful. “Exits” (9:56) and “A Vignette” (10:26) — also the two longest cuts, though not by a ton — are where one finds that heft and the other side of the doom-folk/folk-doom divide, though it is admirable how thin they make that line. Marked progression. This album will take them past their 25th anniversary, and they greet it hitting a stride. That’s an occasion worth celebrating.

The River on Facebook

Cavernous Records store


Froglord, Sons of Froglord

Froglord Sons of Froglord

Sons of Froglord is the fourth full-length in three years from UK amphibian conceptualist storytellers Froglord, and there’s just about no way they’re not making fun of space rock on “Road Raisin.” “Collapse” grows burly in its hook in the vein of a more rumbling Clutch — and oh, the shenanigans abound! — and there’s a kind of ever-present undercurrent sludgy threat in the more forward push of the glorious anthem to the inanity of career life in “Wednesday” (it doesn’t materialize, but there is a tambourine on “A Swamp of My Own,” so that’s something), but the bulk of the latest chapter in the Froglord tale delivers ’70s-by-way-of-’10s classic heavy blues rock, distinct in its willingness to go elsewhere from and around the boogie swing of “Wizard Gonk” and the fuzzy shuffling foundation of “Garden” at the outset and pull from different eras and subsets of heavy to serve their purposes. “Froglady” is on that beat. On it. And the way “A Swamp of My Own” opens to its chorus is a stirring reminder of the difference drumming can make in elevating a band. After a quick “Closing Ceremony,” they tack on a presumably-not-narrative-related-but-fitting-anyway cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s “Born on the Bayou,” which complements a crash-laced highlight like “The Sage” well and seems to say a bit about where Froglord are coming from as well, i.e., the swamp.

Froglord on Facebook

Froglord on Bandcamp


Weedevil & Electric Cult, Cult of Devil Sounds

weedevil electric cult cult of devil sounds

Released digitally with the backing of Abraxas and on CD through Smolder Brains Records, the Cult of Devil Sounds split EP offers two new tracks each from São Paulo, Brazil’s Weedevil and Veraruz, Mexico’s Electric Cult. The former take the A side and fade in on the guitar line “Darkness Inside” with due drama, gradually unfurling the seven-minute doom roller that’s ostensibly working around Electric Wizard-style riffing, but has its own persona in tone, atmosphere and the vocals of Maureen McGee, who makes her first appearance here with the band. The swagger of “Burn It” follows, somewhat speedier and sharper in delivery, with a scorcher solo in its back half, witchy proclamations and satisfying slowdown at the end. Weedevil. All boxes ticked, no question. Check. Electric Cult are rawer in production and revel in that, bringing “Rising From Hell” and “Esoteric Madness” with a more uptempo, rock-ish swing, but moving through sludge and doom by the time the seven minutes of the first of those is done. “Rising From Hell” finishes with ambient guitar, then feedback, which “Esoteric Madness” cuts off to begin with bass; a clever turn. Quickly “Esoteric Madness” grows dark from its outset, pushing into harsh vocals over a slogging march that turns harder-driving with ’70s-via-ChurchofMisery hard-boogie rounding out. That faster finish is a contrast to Weedevil‘s ending slow, and complements it accordingly. An enticing sampler from both.

Weedevil on Facebook

Electric Cult on Facebook

Abraxas on Instagram


Dr. Space, Suite for Orchestra of Marine Mammals

Dr Space Suite for Orchestra of Marine Mammals

When I read some article about how the James Webb Space Telescope has looked billions of years into the past chasing down ancient light and seen further toward the creation of the universe than humankind ever before has, I look at some video or other, I should be hearing Dr. Space. I don’t know if the Portugal-based solo artist, synthesist, bandleader, Renaissance man Scott “Dr. Space” Heller (also Øresund Space Collective, Black Moon Circle, etc.) has been in touch with the European Space Agency (ESA) or what their response has been, but even with its organ solo and stated watery purpose, amid sundry pulsations it’s safe to assume the 20-minute title-track “Suite for Orchestra of Marine Mammals” is happening with an orchestra of semi-robot aliens on, indeed, some impossibly distant exoplanet. Heller has long dwelt at the heart of psychedelic improv and the three pieces across the 39 minutes of Suite for Orchestra of Marine Mammals recall classic krautrock ambience while remaining purposefully exploratory. “Going for the Nun” pairs church organ with keyboard before shimmering into proto-techno blips and bloops recalling the Space Age that should’ve had humans on Mars by now, while the relatively brief capper “No Space for Time” — perhaps titled to note the limitations of the vinyl format — still finds room in its six minutes to work in two stages, with introductory chimes shifting toward more kosmiche synth travels yet farther out.

Dr. Space on Facebook

Space Rock Productions website


Ruiner, The Book of Patience

Ruiner The Book of Patience

The debut from Santa Fe-based solo drone project Ruiner — aka Zac Hogan, also of Dysphotic, ex-Drought — is admirable in its commitment to itself. Hogan unveils the outfit with The Book of Patience (on Desert Records), an 80-minute, mostly-single-note piece called “Liber Patientiae,” which if you’re up on your Latin, you know is the title of the album as well. With a willfully glacial pace that could just as easily be a parody of the style — there is definitely an element of ‘is this for real?’ in the listening process, but yeah, it seems to be — “Liber Patientiae” evolves over its time, growing noisier as it approaches 55 or so minutes, the distortion growing more fervent over the better part of the final 25, the linear trajectory underscoring the idea that there’s a plan at work all along coinciding with the experimental nature of the work. What that plan might manifest from here is secondary to the “Liber Patientiae” as a meditative experience. On headphones, alone, it becomes an inward journey. In a crowded room, at least at the outset it’s almost a melodic white noise, maybe a little tense, but stretched out and changing but somehow still solid and singular, making the adage that ‘what you put into it is what you get out’ especially true in this case. And as it’s a giant wall of noise, it goes without saying that not everybody will be up for getting on board, but it’s difficult to imagine the opaque nature of the work is news to Hogan, who clearly is searching for resonance on his own wavelength.

Ruiner on Facebook

Desert Records store


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