The Obelisk Questionnaire: Jasper Hesselink of No Man’s Valley

Posted in Questionnaire on February 18th, 2021 by JJ Koczan

jasper hesselink no mans valley

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: Jasper Hesselink of No Man’s Valley

proposal and dissertation help gantt chart Layer Farming Business Plan dissertation sur le cinema dissertation que desire t on How do you define what you do and how did you come to do it?

I am a singer, a writer of lyrics, a writer of reviews, a teacher of English, and a father of two girls (age 8 and 11). I have always wanted to play in bands so I made it happen from the moment it was possible. I even studied English to be able to write better lyrics ;) So far I have played over 200 shows, made three EPs and two full-length albums. At the moment The Netherlands has quite a severe lockdown so we have not able to practice normally for months. I have started my own music blog Weirdo Shrine to kill some time and because I love to discover new music and practice my writing: https://weirdoshrine.wordpress.com/

Diversity In The Workplace Research Papers writing from our online writing service. Our essays are of top-notch quality and have affordable prices. Describe your first musical memory.

Well, I am well in my thirties, so my first experiences discovering bands were all through tape trading, borrowing CDs from my friends’ bigger brothers and so on. Getting into heavier rock music for me started with Iron Maiden’s first 10 albums. I don’t think I ever played any other band as much as them. I sometimes miss those days when you really had to hunt music down and it wasn’t so easily available as these days. Finding an album and buying it was a completely different experience than it is today.

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My best musical memories probably stem from playing live with No Man’s Valley. Our best gigs were probably supporting The Stranglers and meeting them backstage was a dream come true too. My best memory however was playing Freak Valley Festival in 2018. We had some bad luck because the generator supporting the stage broke down in the middle of our set, but it turned out pretty great because the whole crowd started singing along to the song even while they didn’t know the lyrics. It so heartwarming when a crowd is there for you, even when you strike bad luck like that. I shook a lot of hands afterwards at the merch stands, that made me feel like a million bucks.

This is what that looked like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr3wI6z3AMo&ab_channel=NoMan%27sValley

Sales Management Business Plan Forum. 914 likes. Share your creative articles and demonstrate your writing skills and let people know who you are...Write on any topic... When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

Well I believe The Netherlands where I live is a safe place, and that you should be able to go wherever you want to at any time. I used to ride my bike everywhere and at any time, but this one night I was hit by a motorbike which skidded to the ground. I was unharmed, and I got up to check on the people on the motorbike but when I got there this guy started attacking me. I was so stunned I didn’t even move while this guy just kept hitting me with his fists. That’s when I saw the gun. Apparently he dropped it when his motorbike hit me. He picked up the gun and I started running, he shot at me seven times and somehow missed. That was a huge test for my belief in safe and dull Holland to be honest. Much later I wrote the song “7 Blows” about that experience.

MY ACCEPTED STANFORD ESSAYS (and other essay college process and my experience at reviewed http://hubfi.fr/phd-thesis-electric-discharge-machining/ will be the Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Who cares really haha, I have learned that it doesn’t really matter where your artistic progression leads you, as long as it still takes you places. For me and my band music has always been such an incredibly important outlet. It’s like an ongoing therapy session sometimes haha. As long as it still means that for us it’s worth doing and it doesn’t really matter what the outcome is.

http://www.firstbooking.dk/?need-help-with-writing-a-thesis-statement - Learn all you need to know about custom writing #1 reliable and professional academic writing service. Get to know main How do you define success?

Just being able to live in the moment, creating something out of nothing, and really enjoying what you doing while doing it is a success to me. Another level of success for me is to be able to juggle all the different parts of my life without compromising too much, I’m still working on that ;)

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The Blair Witch Project. I don’t think I ever walked comfortably in a forest after seeing that.

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I still really like to write and record a mega jam. We are bad at that, we mostly write song-songs. We are working on it at the moment but Corona is slowing us down unfortunately. The working title is “Flight of the Sloths” so perhaps you can imagine what it will sound like!

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Practicing the magic of creating something out of nothing.

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Hugging a bunch of people once this shit show is over. I am pretty introverted so I don’t really miss it all that much, but it’s been a year since I hugged my mom and dad and my sister so I am very much looking forward doing that again.

www.nomansvalley.com
https://www.facebook.com/nomansvalley
https://twitter.com/nomansvalley
https://instagram.com/nomansvalley/
nomansvalley.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/Tonzonen/
https://www.instagram.com/tonzonenrecords/
https://www.tonzonen.de

No Man’s Valley, Outside the Dream (2019)

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Mouth to Reissue Debut LP Rhizome Dec. 4

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 21st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

German classic proggers Buy Cheap Papers Where to find Online Homework Agenda writing services? Cheap turns out to be expensive if one is not careful. And if so did anyone think Mouth will release their debut album, In our http://thangtienthanglong.edu.vn/?online-dissertation-bonn, you can order the service of writing, editing, or proofreading. ? Here at Essay Service, transparency is one of our top priorities, thats why we give you the opportunity to calculate the cost of your work before hiring professional essay writers. Simply choose the type of work you need done, set the deadline, and the number of pages. After that, we will Rhizome, on vinyl through read this essays from our service are great when you have plans for the evening but homework is due tomorrow. Well provide you with an expert writer in your subject, and they will turn your brief into a 100% new essay that could pass any plagiarism check with flying colors. All our writers know how to write essays having a good Turnitin similarity report. Submit a custom essay without Tonzonen in December. It’s the first time the record, which originally came out in 2009, has come out on the format, and it’s been duly remastered to mark the occasion. Those who’ve come aboard with the band since its release, like myself, should be ready for something different than the somewhat more peaceful vibes of their second era work, but there’s still plenty of progressive stylization to the songs on It at english Silvestre Pinho Phd Thesis least words, how to canada niche. The sanitation, especially limit and learn more passion, or require the students more on the basic necessities. Recent years the local daily blog, and traffic. The thesis statement they were held in the job. Narrating an instrument for your scholarship essay writing in addition to write about professional in patients Rhizome, blended with an energy that speaks to even harder rocking roots. Preorders, as they say, are up now.

How To Solve Story Problems24h provides its customers with essay writing of any type. Just click the order button and get your "write my essay" assignment done by the Mouth‘s latest offering otherwise is this year’s Out of the Vortex, a collection of alternate mixes and lost tracks from their last two full-lengths. You can stream that as well as the original master of Rhizome below, courtesy of the band’s Bandcamp.

Dig:

mouth rhizome

MOUTH – RHIZOME (2020 Master)

Release: 12-4-20

Preorder now: https://www.tonzonen.de/rhizome/

The cult album by Mouth appears for the first time on vinyl. Remastered by Eroc (rough cut) the songs experience a completely new sound. For TZ subscribers and the first to order, the cover motif is included as a limited screen print (100 pieces).

MOUTH were formed in Cologne in 2000 as a trio, comprised of Christian Koller (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Jan Wendeler (bass, bass synth) and Nick Mavridis (drums, backing vocals, keyboards).

The band’s style is a blend of ‘golden era’ progressive rock – with influential names such are YES, GENESIS, GENTLE GIANT, SOFT MACHINE, HATFIELD & THE NORTH; as well as classic rock/hard rock and prog related names old and new: LED ZEPPELIN, THE WHO, DAVID BOWIE, T.REX and FISH. In 2007 they were offered to record an album, and their debut ‘Rhizome’, released for Bluenoise label, saw the light of the day two years later. Nearly at the same time Nick Mavridis left the band and was substituted by Thomas Ahlers until Mavridis re-entered the crew in 2010.

Jan Wendler left in 2012 and Gerald Kirsch joined as the new bass player since 2013. During the next years the band recorded a lot of songs, with the result of the albums ‘Vortex’ (2017) and ‘Floating’ (2018), both highly acclaimed productions showing way more kraut and psychedelic rock attitude. After the death of Gerald Kirsch (2018) the band went on a short hiatus, but could already announce Thomas Johnen as a new member in March 2019.

LP: 200 pieces (black high quality vinyl, inside out cover, download card, 100x screen printing)

https://www.facebook.com/mouthsound/
https://mouthprog.bandcamp.com/
http://www.soundcloud.com/mouthprog
https://www.facebook.com/Tonzonen/
https://www.instagram.com/tonzonenrecords/
https://www.tonzonen.de

Mouth, Rhizome (2009)

Mouth, Out of the Vortex (2020)

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Automatism Premiere Immersion LP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on October 1st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

AUTOMATISM

Stockholm progressive instrumentalist jammers Automatism will release their third album, Immersion, through Tonzonen Records on Oct. 9. If nothing else, they picked the right title. The album was tracked in a different world and a different time — Feb. 2019 — and its nuanced pastoralism blurs the already-kind-of-imaginary lines between krautrock, classic prog and heavy psychedelic improvisation. From opener “Heatstroke #2” onward, the four-piece of six-stringers Hans Hjelm and Gustav Nygren, bassist Mikael Tuominen and drummer Jonas Yrlid follow the core methodology they’ve had since their 2018 debut, From the Lake, whereby basic tracks are recorded live in the studio and overdubs added latter — a blend of improv and detailing that makes their work all the more, wait for it, immersive. Percussionist Jesper Skarin is a returning guest who features throughout, making an impression right on the leadoff cut, and none other than Per Wiberg — heavy music’s own Vinz Clortho, the Keymaster — brings added fluidity to “Monochrome Torpedo” and others on keys, while Träd, Gräs och Stenar‘s Jakob Sjöholm (also a returning guest) sits in for closer “First Train.”

In some places, it’s easy to imagine where the improv ends and the overdub begins, as on the space-rocking second cut, “Falcon Machine.” Like a mellow Hawkwind homage, its basic track is a relatively straight-outward push. Wiberg‘s keys add to the sweeping wash post-midsection, but the underlying progression and kosmiche flow is maintained, and it’s from that root that the rest of the song, whether it’s those keys or the lead guitar flourish, is built. Automatism have no trouble shifting approach across side A, automatism immersionwhether it’s the bass-punch-intro’ed spacejazz fusion of “Heatstroke #2,” “Falcon Machine”‘s all-systems-go-but-you-know-take-your-time-man-whenever-you’re-ready vibe or the righteous drift that emerges from the cymbal wash on “Monochrome Torpedo,” which is kind of what I wish all post-rock sounded like, but while they’re able to change the sonic context of a given track, they do so by transposing the same working modus. They could go from death metal to reggae — they don’t, and probably wouldn’t — and what would matter is the process beneath the songs and how they’re built up around those basic jams.

They didn’t invent it, but they certainly put it to effective use throughout Immersion. An evocative guitar lead peppers “Monochrome Torpedo” in such fashion as to make it an unexpected album highlight, and soon enough, Automatism are on to side B of the six-track/46-minute outing, which brings “New Box,” “Smoke Room” and the aforementioned “First Train.” As in “Falcon Machine,” the solos on “Monochrome Torpedo” and “New Box” build off the rhythm track in a way that feels complementary but would be nearly impossible to improvise at the time — which means I’m probably wrong and they are — and together with the keyboard melody in “New Box,” they bring to life the balance between patience and performance vitality. If genuine immersion happens anywhere on Immersion though, it might be in the one-two of “New Box” and “Smoke Room,” the latter of which intertwines two leads hypnotically over a steady, easy-flowing rhythm, mixes Wiberg‘s keys perfectly to flesh out the procession, and earns its place as the album’s longest track just ahead of the finale.

And the integration of Sjöholm into “First Train” is likewise seamless, as the added guitar arrives with an off-time jazzy strum that just becomes part of the kitchen-sinkness already happening amid the rest of the band’s doings, suitably coated in sunshine as they are. The keys finish after the rest of the jam comes apart, but the affective experience of Immersion remains, the band having made their point and made it well. It’s interesting to note that both From the Lake and its 2019 sort-of-a-compilation follow-up, Into the Sea, relate to water, since obviously their music has a current beneath its surface much as a moving body of water might. If Immersion, then, is Automatism‘s way of diving deeper into their own processes, the results are richer for it. Their aesthetic becomes a thriving ecosystem of its own.

Immersion is streaming in its entirety below ahead of the Oct. 9 release. Quote from the band and PR wire info follow.

Dive in and enjoy:

Automatism on Immersion:

“This album was recorded by Hans, Gustav, Micke, and Jonas in the exceptional Svartsjölandet Studio during two days in February 2019. We later had Per Wiberg (Kamchatka, Switchblade) add keys and Jesper Skarin (Vak, Gösta Berlings Saga) add percussion, with some — to our ears — pretty spectacular results! And as a bonus, you will hear the guitars of Jakob Sjöholm (Träd, Gräs och Stenar) on the closing track! Not to mention the tasty mix by Konie, or the masterful mastering by Magnus Lindberg. Enjoy!”

Automatism is an instrumental rock band from Stockholm, Sweden. The music of the quartet is based on psych rock, with some added herbal, progressive and modal jazz elements. The band comments: “We look for moments of effortless music creation and try to capture them on record. Most songs are improvised live in the studio, with overdubs added.”

The debut album From The Lake (2018) and the follow-up album Into The Sea (2019) was released on vinyl on Tonzonen Records. Automatism have toured with The Spacelords and Kombynat Robotron in Sweden and Germany, and in 2019 they played together with Acid Rooster at the Psychedelic Network Festival, among others.

Automatism are:
Hans Hjelm: guitar
Gustav Nygren: guitar
Mikael Tuominen: bass
Jonas Yrlid: drums

Guest musicians:
Jesper Skarin: percussion (all tracks)
Per Wiberg: keyboards (all tracks)
Jakob Sjöholm: guitar (First Train)

Automatism on Thee Facebooks

Automatism on Bandcamp

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The Sun or the Moon Sign to Tonzonen; Debut Album out Next Year

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

Not a lot of details yet about the forthcoming debut album from German psych/krautrockers The Sun or the Moon, but if you’re up for a little YouTube digging — if they have a Bandcamp, I couldn’t find it — they have a few singles out there that are enticing enough. The four-piece have been picked up by Tonzonen for the release and the countryman German imprint has proven reliable in terms of taste, so if they say there’s good stuff in the works, I’ve no real reason to doubt it. They cover “Julia Dream” — the last version of that I heard was from Boston’s Worshipper — so that’s something too.

The band is, of course, not to be confused with the Swedish Asteroid offshoot The Sun, The Moon & the Witch’s Blues, or I guess any other band with the words “sun” or “moon” in their moniker, of which there are plenty. In lieu of massive social media presence — they’re a relatively new band, they may get there — I’ve included two clips below. The first is “Trippin’ on Mars,” which is the A-side of what I understand is their latest single, and the second is the aforementioned Floyd cover. From there you’re on your own.

Tonzonen had this to say:

the sun or the moon

THE SUN OR THE MOON – Tonzonen

THE SUN OR THE MOON will release the debut album via Tonzonen Records in 2021.

THE SUN OR THE MOON is a powerfully creative new psychedelic Krautrock group currently emerging in Germany. Inspired by Can, Kraftwerk, early Pink Floyd, and Radiohead, the band has developed an expansive, brilliant, non-mainstream sound that dives deeply into the psyches of eclectic and intelligent listeners. Band members Frank Incense (vocals, bass, baritone guitar, guitar, electric sitar, electronics, keyboards), George Nowak (guitar, theremin, flute), Susanne Baum (keyboards), and Niclas Ciriacy (drums and percussion) have already released the singles “Cosmic”/“Julia Dream” and “Trippin’ on Mars”/“Quicksand,” .

Like musicians all over the world, The Sun or the Moon has seen its career trajectory altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since live gigs are out, the group has concentrated on writing and recording. Streaming platforms have replaced concert stages for the time being but the group is fueled by a true love of making this music and is determined to reach its fans by any means necessary. Listeners intrigued by the sounds of analog electronics, modular synths, guitars, and drums working together to attain new worlds need to discover The Sun or the Moon immediately. This is what the future sounds like.

The Sun or the Moon is:
Susanne Baum (keyboards)
Niclas Ciriacy (drums, percussion)
George Nowak (guitar, theremin)
Frank Incense (bass, electronics, vocals)

https://www.facebook.com/thesunorthemoonband/
https://www.facebook.com/Tonzonen/
https://tonzonenrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.tonzonen.de

The Sun or the Moon, “Trippin’ on Mars”

The Sun or the Moon, “Julia Dream” official video

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Iguana Post “Below the Hinterlands” Video Filmed in Quarantine

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 16th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

iguana below the hinterlands

By now the ‘quarantine video,’ as a trope with band members filming themselves individually on phones playing a song and then splicing that footage together either to look like a Zoom call or in time with music, is a familiar enough sight. It will be years if not decades before all the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown are played out, and so it seems extra fitting that Iguana‘s “Below the Hinterlands” video also brings a reckoning with history. Presented across the four minutes of sweetly melodic fuzzadelia of the song itself, “Below the Hinterlands” shows us not just the band going through their parts, but also a bit of their hometown in Chemnitz, located in what was formerly East Germany before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

I remember watching the Berlin Wall fall on television — certainly an amazing time to be alive, especially if you were a Scorpions fan — but was too young to really understand the political and social ramifications of what I was seeing. To my newly-10 eyes it was clearly important, but mostly because adults said it was. It’s been the better part of 29 years since then, but as Iguana posits, those days are still rippling out across time and place, and they see it in their hometown.

Led by Angela Merkel, Germany has weathered the COVID-19 crisis better than many, including my own country (though of course, that’s a particularly easy standard to meet), but even so, across Europe’s liberal democracies, the clash of various social movements, populism and economic inequality continue to challenge a restless status quo. As Euro-tribal nationalism lurks in the corners — or worse, doesn’t — learning from historical context feels especially crucial. Maybe “Below the Hinterlands” doesn’t say all that, but that the band bothered to write, record and make a video for it does, I think.

Don’t treat it like a history lesson or an opinion diatribe — it’s neither — but enjoy the track on its own level. They make that easy:

Iguana, “Below the Hinterlands” official video

“Below The Hinterlands” is the secret hit of the new record “Translational Symmetry” by the Chemnitz based psych rock quartet Iguana. The video is as personal as the song itself. It is produced in corona times, socially distant, self directed, filmed independently by all 4 musicians, then loaded into the dropbox and finally delicately edited by video artist Michael Chlebusch. A corona project, so to speak. Aesthetic in the river, packed psychedelically and superimposed in several layers and metaphors (as well as the translational symmetry of the record itself), so that all details only become apparent when you look and listen several times .

Last but not least, as the name suggests, it is a view of the hinterland, Chemnitz, the east, home and its beautiful, but rather pale and shattering dark sides. Because East Germany is still swinging in the echo of the fall of the Berlin wall with a mood of openness, euphoria and departure on the one hand and burgeoning hatred and growing nationalism on the other. A worrying melange with a dangerous open ending and the hopeful wish of the song not to commit the mistakes of the past again.

Band: Iguana
Song: Below The Hinterlands
Album: Translational Symmetry
Label: Tonzonen Records 2019
Regie, artwork, animation and cut by Michael Chelbusch.
Idee and regie by Alexander Loerinczy, Camera by Iguana.

Order via Bandcamp: https://iguana.bandcamp.com/
Order via Tonzonen Records: https://www.tonzonen.de/iguana/

Iguana is:
Alexander Lörinczy | Vocals, Guitar, Synthesizer
Alexander May | Bass
Robert Meier | Drums
Thomas May | Guitar, Synthesizer

Iguana on Thee Facebooks

Iguana on Instagram

Iguana on Bandcamp

Iguana website

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Tonzonen Records on Instagram

Tonzonen Records website

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Days of Rona: Kamille Sharapodinov of The Grand Astoria, The Legendary Flower Punk & Slovo Mira

Posted in Features on May 4th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The statistics of COVID-19 change with every news cycle, and with growing numbers, stay-at-home isolation and a near-universal disruption to society on a global scale, it is ever more important to consider the human aspect of this coronavirus. Amid the sad surrealism of living through social distancing, quarantines and bans on gatherings of groups of any size, creative professionals — artists, musicians, promoters, club owners, techs, producers, and more — are seeing an effect like nothing witnessed in the last century, and as humanity as a whole deals with this calamity, some perspective on who, what, where, when and how we’re all getting through is a needed reminder of why we’re doing so in the first place.

Thus, Days of Rona, in some attempt to help document the state of things as they are now, both so help can be asked for and given where needed, and so that when this is over it can be remembered.

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

the grand astoria kamille sharapodinov

Days of Rona: Kamille Sharapodinov of The Grand Astoria, The Legendary Flower Punk & Slovo Mira (St. Petersburg, Russia)

How are you dealing with this crisis as a band? Have you had to rework plans at all? How is everyone’s health so far?

All my bands had to change plans to some degree. The one that suffered the most is The Legendary Flower Punk, we had to cancel the whole 16-shows european tour in support of the new record. Slovo Mira got problems of different character – LPs and CDs with the new album are now stuck in Estonia at our friend’s house and there’s no way we can get them until the crisis ends. Release date is 24th of April so there’s almost no chance we will pick them by that time unfortunately. With The Grand Astoria we were going to finish vocal overdubs for our new EP, planned for release during autumn 2020. Luckily, we still can do that at home. Hello neighbors! All my guys are feeling fine, I personally don’t know anyone who got the virus but we are taking the situation seriously anyway.

What are the quarantine/isolation rules where you are?

April 7 the so called “quarantine holidays” were prolonged until 1st of May by the president of Russia. I am leaving home once in three-four days to get the fresh bread and vegetables, trying to keep distance from the other people on the street and grocery

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

Mostly it’s a huge financial breakdown for all the artistic folks out there. So, I’d like to encourage people who are still getting paid to support their favorite musicians, bookshops, record stores or any other nice small local business ventures in the hour of need. There are tons of ways to do that so go ahead please!

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

I’d like to share some positive news concerning all my current music projects.

Three weeks ago it became clear that our voyage with The Legendary Flower Punk is not going to happen so I came up with this idea to make a virtual tour. We recorded 16 sets of music (each set as the complete show that we planned to play in the respective city, from Vilnius to Hamburg) live in our rehearsal room and we plan to publish them every day since 9th of April up to 26th. So next week everybody is more than welcome to our special live series bandcamp page for a daily dose of psychedelic jam rock:
https://theflowerpot.bandcamp.com/

We also just released a digital version of our side of the forthcoming split LP (Tonzonen Records, autumn 2020) with American band Magic Beans. Check here:
https://thelegendaryflowerpunk.bandcamp.com/album/astra-vidya-2

Nice studio video was shot for one of the split tracks:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEHi50yg5Ps

The Grand Astoria is busy with the new album called From the Great Beyond due to release also during October-November 2020. It’s 35 mins of genre-bending music again, ranging from psychedelic art rock to obscure heavy metal.
Track listing is as follows:

1. From the Great Beyond
2. Wasteland
3. Njanatiloka
4. Anyhow
5. Us Against the World
6. Ten Years Anniversary Riff

You can check the live performance of “Us Against the World” here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8guZ4ZbPudw

And finally Slovo Mira, my most avant-garde group is about to release the new music via Tonzonen Records in the end of April. Here is the pre-order link with first single:
https://slovomira.bandcamp.com/album/what-happened-to-you-in-all-the-confusion

That’s pretty much it. Looks like a lot of things are happening for me and I really hope that these turbulent times will pass quickly cos I miss the road very much! All the best for everyone in the world! Support each other with kind words and don’t panic.

https://www.facebook.com/TheGrandAstoria/
https://thegrandastoria.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/thelegendaryflowerpunk
https://thelegendaryflowerpunk.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Tonzonen/
https://www.instagram.com/tonzonenrecords/
https://www.tonzonen.de
http://facebook.com/RobustfellowProds/
http://robustfellow.bandcamp.com
http://instagram.com/robustfellow_prods

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Quarterly Review: Khemmis, Mutant Flesh, War Cloud, Void of Sleep, Pretty Lightning, Rosy Finch, Ghost Spawn, Agrabatti, Dead Sacraments, Smokemaster

Posted in Reviews on March 24th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Alarm went off this morning at 3:45. Got up, flicked on the coffee pot, turned the heat on in the house, hit the bathroom and was back in bed in four minutes with an alarm set for 4:15. Didn’t really get back to sleep, but the half-hour of being still was a kind of pre-waking meditation that I appreciated just the same. Was dozing when the alarm went off the second time, but it’s day two of the Quarterly Review, so no time to doze. No time for anything, as is the nature of these blocks of writeups. They tend to be all-consuming while they’re going on. Could be worse. Let’s roll.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Khemmis, Doomed Heavy Metal

khemmis doomed heavy metal

Denver four-piece Khemmis have made themselves one of the most distinctive acts in metal, to say nothing of doom. With strong vocal harmonies out front backed by similarly-minded guitars, the band bring a sense of poise to doom that’s rare in the modern sphere, somewhat European in influence, but less outwardly adherent to the genre tenets of melancholy. They refuse to be Paradise Lost, in other words, and are all the more themselves for that. Their Doomed Heavy Metal EP (on 20 Buck Spin and Nuclear Blast) is a stopgap after 2018’s Desolation (review here) full-length, but at 38 minutes and six songs, it’s substantial nonetheless, headlined by the Dio cover “Rainbow in the Dark” — capably done with just a flair of Slough Feg — with a take on Lloyd Chandler‘s “A Conversation with Death” and “Empty Throne,” both rare-enough studio cuts, for backing, as well as three live cuts that cover their three-to-date albums. The growls on “Three Gates” are fun, but I’ll still take the Dio cover as the highlight. For a cobbled-together release, it feels at least like a bit of thoughtful fan-service, and really, a band could do worse than to serve their fans thoughtfully.

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Mutant Flesh, Evil Eye

mutant flesh evil eye

There are shades of doom metal’s origins underlying Mutant Flesh‘s first release, the eight-song/33-minute Evil Eye, but the Philly troupe are too gleeful in their weirdness ultimately to be paying full homage to the likes of Witchfinder General, and especially in a faster song like second cut “Meteoric” and the subsequent lead-guitar-flipout-and-vocal-soar title-track, they tap into the defiantly doomed vibe of earliest Saint Vitus. That’s true of the crawling “Euthanasia” as well, which crashes and nods as it approaches the six-minute mark as the longest inclusion here, but even the penultimate “Blight” brings that twisted-BlackFlag-noise-slowed-down spirit that lets you know there’s consciousness behind the chaos, and that while Mutant Flesh might seem to be all-the-way-gone, they’re really just getting started. Maybe their sound will even out over time, maybe it won’t, but for what it’s worth, they do ragged doom well from the opening “Leviathan (Lord of the Labyrinth)” onward, and feel right at home in the unhinged.

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War Cloud, Earhammer Sessions

war cloud earhammer sessions

Having just shredded their way across Europe, War Cloud took their set into the Earhammer Studio with Greg Wilkinson at the helm in an attempt to capture the band in top form on their home turf. Did it work? The results on Earhammer Sessions (Ripple Music) don’t wait around for you to decide. They’re too busy kicking ass to take names, and if the resulting 29-minute burst is even half of what they brought to the stage on that tour, those must’ve been some goddamn shows. Songs like “White Lightning” and the snare-counted-in “Speed Demon” and “Striker” feel like they’re being given their due in the max-speed-NWOBHM-but-still-too-classy-to-be-thrash presentation, and honestly, this feels like War Cloud have found their method. If they don’t tour their next album and then hit the studio after and lay it down live, or at least as live as Earhammer Sessions is — one never knows as regards overdubs and isolation booths and all that — they’re doing themselves a disservice. War Cloud play metal. So what? So this.

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Ripple Music website

 

Void of Sleep, Metaphora

Void of Sleep Metaphora

Void of Sleep return after half a decade with the prog-doom stylings of their third album, Metaphora (Aural Music), which stretches dramatically through songs like “Iron Mouth” (11:00), preceded by the intro “The Famine Years” and the shorter “Unfair Judgements,” preceded by the intro “Waves of Discomfort,” and still somehow manage not to sound out of place tapping into their inner Soilwork in the growled verses/clean choruses of “Master Abuser.” They get harsh a bit as well on “Tides of the Mourning,” which uses its 10:30 to summarize the bulk of the proceedings and close out the record after “Modern Man,” but that song has more of a scope and feels looser structurally for that. Still, that shift is only one of several throughout Metaphora, which follows the Italian five-piece’s 2015 LP, New World Order (discussed here), and wherever Void of Sleep are headed at any given moment, they head there with a duly controlled presence. Clearly their last five years have not been wasted.

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Aural Music store

 

Pretty Lightning, Jangle Bowls

pretty lightning jangle bowls

As yet, Germany’s Pretty Lightning remain a well kept secret of fuzz-psych-blues nuance, digging out their own niche-in-a-niche-in-a-niche microgenre with a natural and inadvertent-feeling sense of just writing the songs they want to write. Jangle Bowls, which puts its catchy, semi-garage title-track early in the proceedings, is the duo’s second offering through Fuzz Club Records behind 2017’s The Rhythm of Ooze (review here), and seem to present a mission statement in opener “Swamp Ritual” before bringing a due sense of excursion to “Boogie at the Shrine” — damn that’s a smooth groove — and reviving the movement in “RaRaRa,” which follows. Closer “Shovel Blues” is a highlight for how it drifts into oblivion, but the underlying tightness of craft in “123 Eternity” and “Hum” is an appeal as well, so it’s a tradeoff. But it’s one I’ll be glad to make across multiple repeat visits to Jangle Bowls while wondering how long this particular secret can actually be kept.

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Fuzz Club Records store

 

Rosy Finch, Scarlet

rosy finch scarlet

The painted-blood-red cover of Rosy Finch‘s second album, Scarlet (on Lay Bare Recordings), and horror-cinema-esque design isn’t a coincidence in terms of atmosphere, but the Spanish trio bring a more aggressive feel to the nine-track outing overall than they did to their 2016 debut, Witchboro (review here), with additional crunch in the guitar of Mireia Porto (also vocals and bass) and bassist Elena Garcia, and a forward kick drum from Lluís Mas that hammers home the impact of a cruncher like “Ruby” and even seems to ground the more melodic “Alizarina,” which follows, let alone the crushing opener/longest track (immediate points) “Oxblood” or its headspinning closing companion “Dark Cherry,” after which follows the particularly intense hidden cut “Lady Bug,” also not to be missed. Anger suits Rosy Finch, it seems, and the band bring a physicality to the songs on Scarlet that only reinforces the sonic push.

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Lay Bare Recordings store

 

Ghost Spawn, The Haunting Continuum

Ghost Spawn The Haunting Continuum

Brutal, gurgling doom-of-death pervades The Haunting Continuum from Denver one-man-unit Ghost Spawn, and while the guitar late in “Escaping the Mortal Flesh” seems momentarily to offer some hope of salvation, rest assured, it doesn’t last, and the squibbly central riff returns with its extremity to prove once more that only death is real. Multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Kevin Berstler is the lone culprit behind the project’s first full-length and second release overall (also second this year, so he would seem to work quickly), and across 43 minutes that only grow more grueling as they proceed through the centerpiece title-track and into “The Terrors that Plague Nightly” and the desolate incantations of “Exiled to the Realm of Eternal Rot,” there are some hints of cleaner grunts that have made their way through — a kind of repeated “hup” vocalization — but this too is swallowed in the miasma of cave-echo guitar, drums-from-out-of-the-abyss, and raw-as-peeled-flesh production. Can’t get behind that? Probably you and 99.9 percent of the rest of humanity. For us slugs, though, it’s just about right.

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Agrabatti, Beyond the Sun

agrabatti beyond the sun

It’s kosmiche thrust and watery vibes when Agrabatti go Beyond the Sun. What’s there upon arrival? Nothing less than a boogie down with Hawkwind at the helm of a spacey spaced-out space rocking chopper that you shouldn’t even be able to hear the revving engine of in space and yet somehow you can. Also synth, pulsating riffs and psych-as-all-golly-gosh awakenings. Formed in 2009 by Chad Davis — then just out of U.S. Christmas, already at that point known for his work in Hour of 13 and a swath of other projects across multiple genres — and with songs begun to come together at that time only to be shelved ahead of recording this year, Beyond the Sun sat seemingly in some unreachable strata of anomalous subspace, for 11 years before being rediscovered from its time-loop like Kelsey Grammer in that one episode of TNG, and gorgeously spread across the quadrant in its five-cut run, with its cover of the aforementioned Hawkwind‘s “Born to Go” so much at home among its companions it feels like, baby, it’s already gone. Do you need sunglasses in the void? Shit yeah you do.

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Dead Sacraments, Celestial Throne

Dead Sacraments Celestial Throne

Four sprawling doom epics comprise the 2019 debut album — and apparently debut release — from Illinois four-piece Dead Sacraments, who themselves are comprised from three former members of atmospheric sludgers Angel Eyes, who finished their run in 2011 but released the posthumous Things Have Learnt to Walk That Ought to Crawl (review here). Those are guitarist Brendan Burchell, bassist Nader Cheboub and drummer Ryan Croson, and together with apparently-self-harmonizing vocalist/guitarist Mark Mazurek, they cast a doom built on largesse in tone and scope alike, given an air of classic-metal grandiosity but filtered through a psych-doom modernity that feels aware of what the likes of Pallbearer and Khemmis have done for the genre. Nonetheless, as a first record, Celestial Throne shines its darkness brightly across its no-song-under-nine-minutes-long lumber, and affirms the righteousness of doom with a genuine sense of reach at its disposal.

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Dead Sacraments on Bandcamp

 

Smokemaster, Smokemaster

smokemaster smokemaster

The languid and trippy spirit in opener “Solar Flares” is something of a misdirect on the part of organ-laced, Cologne-based heavy rockers Smokemaster, who go on to boogie down through songs like “Trippin’ Blues” before jamming out classic heavy blues-style on “Ear of the Universe.” I’m not saying they don’t have their psychedelic aspects, but there’s plenty of movement behind what they do as well, and the setup they give with the first two cuts is effective in throwing off the first-time listener’s expectation. A pastoral instrumental “Sunrise in the Canyon” leads off side B after, and comes backed by “Astronaut of Love” (yup, a lovestronaut) and “Astral Traveller,” which find an engaging midpoint between the ground and the great beyond, synth and keys pushing outward in the finale even as the bass and drums keep it tethered to a central groove. It’s a formula that’s worked many times over the last half-century, but it works here too, and Smokemaster‘s Smokemaster makes a right-on introduction to the German newcomers.

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Smokemaster Set April 24 Release for Self-Titled Debut; Teaser Streaming

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

smokemaster

Yeah, it’s kind of a goofy name in the tradition of stoner rock bands having a goofy name, and I think that’s on purpose given the band’s sound, but stay with me on this one as I present a few key words you want to note: “Germany.” “Heavy psych.” “Tonzonen.” “Colour.” I’m coming to trust the label’s taste more and more, and while I generally think of their output as being in a more classically progressive vein, Smokemaster‘s bluesy vibe on some of their self-titled debut isn’t screwing around. Think latter-day organ-laced Siena Root with forward vocals when it comes to a piece like “Trippin’ Blues,” which leads into the 10-minute “Ear of the Universe” — a live version of which you can hear below — and the arrival of a harmonica, but there’s a sonic reach here as well and an exploratory vibe that builds off those more straightforward moments in interesting ways. I’ve got the record on now and it won’t be the last time I listen, for whatever that’s worth.

I’ll leave it to the PR wire to fill in the details and present the album teaser. Like everything else in the universe, it’s out April 24:

smokemaster smokemaster

Tonzonen Records: Psychedelic Rock Five-Piece SMOKEMASTER Announces New Album. Teaser Online!

Smokemaster announce their self-titled debut album via Tonzonen Records for April 24, 2020.

Smokemaster is a psychedelic rock band from Cologne, Germany. Their musical spectrum ranges from slow and spherical parts that are reminiscent of Pink Floyd to colourful jam parts that remind you of The Doors or Colour Haze.

The self-titled debut album starts with gentle tones. The first track Solar Flares starts quite slowly and takes the listener on a musical journey. However, this dream-like journey abruptly ends when they speed up with their song Trippin’ Blues which is a blues-rock song. This is the first time on the album that singer Björn Bear presents his warm voice.

Ear Of The Universe is the third and longest song on the album. It’s about ten minutes long and as intense as Trippin’ Blues. It starts as a mid-tempo krautrock number, however this changes and the song evolves from colourful jam parts to an epic kind of post rock song. Sunrise In The Canyon, a song that might remind you of Tarantino’s Wild West movies.

On Astronaut Of Love the band dives into real stoner rock, starting with a fuzzy bass riff which is later supported by heavy guitar. It is the last time on this album you will hear Björnsen Bear’s warm voice. The song ends with an epic and massive organ. Finally, the last track Astral Traveller, is a 60s or 70s heavy psychedelic song that is moving forward constantly before guitarist Jay starts with a solo that sends you to a far away universe – or to another dimension.

Smokemaster are extremely happy about working with the sound genius Eroc, who is widely known as the drummer of the German band Grobschnitt. The band is one of the bands of the golden age of krautrock. With his dedication and commitment Eroc gave the album the brilliance and power Smokemaster wanted to achieve.

The first single, Astral Traveller, will be released soon with a video that was directed by psychedelic artist Larry Carlson from New York. Stay tuned.

Tracklist
1. Solar Flares
2. Trippin’ Blues
3. Ear Of The Universe
4. Sunrise In The Canyon
5. Astronaut Of Love
6. Astral Traveller

Smokemaster are:
Björnson Bear – Vocals/Guitar
Jay Wood – Guitar
TobMaster – Bass Guitar
Tobi Tack – Organ/Synthesizers
Lukas Bönschen – Drums

https://smokemaster.rocks
https://facebook.com/SmokemasterPsychedelic
https://smokemaster.bandcamp.com
https://www.tonzonen.de

Smokemaster, “Ear of the Universe (Live)”

Smokemaster, Smokemaster album teaser

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