Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Vokokesh- Dr. Hofmann’s Bicycle Ride (Phonospera Records ph02)

Great to see Richard Franecki and the guys back with a new Vokokesh album and what a cool one this is. The CD features 7 new tracks and one improvisation. Born Losers is a 3½min track and features a potent fuzzed out guitar that leads the track and the rest follow. The Texas Asphalt Blues is really a slow spacey track with some totally killer space guitar by John Helwig and some synth sounds entering into the soundscape every now and then. Richard plays a sort of country blues guitar line underneath. Cool stuff. The Cruising Song is more laid back and spacey with a floating pad synth part and some great guitar. Kesh #10 is a long 11 min long improvised track that is very searching and spaced out and Rusty is never really given a chance to start up the drums until late in the track and he plays mostly some fills here and there and some percussive parts. Pretty acoustic piece, is more or less what it says but it has some spacey electronics filtering in and out of the soundscape as well in this most melodic track. The Highway Song is back to a more heavy and fuzzed out guitar riff and has a dissonance used to great effect. The guitar soloing is quite freaked out at times. 1000 Pictures in one Word starts slowly with a prominent bass line and some nice spacey electronics and guitar. Dr. Hofmann’s Bicycle Ride is a 15 min space out that reminds me of Pink Floyd at the start but then it just floats away with really spacey stoney guitar. A great instrumental space rock CD….

http://www.myspace.com/vocokesh http://www.myspace.com/phonosphera

White Hills- Live at WFMU (Who can you trust WHO-07)

 This is the latest new (old) release by White Hills. It is two radio shows recorded on WFMU, NY. The A side is recorded on May 4th, 2010 and side B of the cassette is from April 10th 2007. Both have fantastic sound and the A side is mostly material from DEAD and really heavy guitar space rock stuff with lots of effects. Super cool stuff. Side B is way more spaced out and exploring. The highlight is the 17 min version of Don’t be Afraid. There is a really nice interview with the band at the end of the side A of the tape. Only 150 copies made of this release. Cool stuff..

Three Seasons- Life’s Road (Transubstans Records TRANS 079)

This is the new band from Sartez, former singer in Siena Root and Mouth of Clay. I love both of these bands so I was very excited to hear this record. How Transubstans decided to call this Stoner-Doom metal has completely lost me, as this is totally classic 70s rock with bands like Govt Mule, FREE, Siena Root, Led Zeppelin much more the roots of this sound, with strong guitar, organ and vocals. The record starts off with Too many Choices, a song that closely resembles old Siena Root. Cold to the Bone is a more bluesy foot stomping track with some nice organ. Each to their Own is a fantastic 11 min song with some great guitar and organ interaction (a blues jam!). Feel Alive is another track with a great riff and groove, killer vocals and some excellent guitar. An endless Delusion is another really excellent track with harmonica, cool organ and a great guitar riff. Since our first Day starts slowly with some nice bluesy guitar and the bass slowly comes in as does the vocals as the track builds up. Life’s Road is another amazing track with such great dynamics. Fans of Siena Root, especially the album, Far from the Sun, will want to explore this release. I just found out this will be out on double vinyl soon on Clear Spot. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Vibravoid- You keep on Falling 7” (Nowhere Street Music)

This is the latest limited edition release by Vibravoid. It is released in association with the Greek psych magazine Gew Gaw. It comes in black, green and purple swirl vinyl. The title track is a 33RPM 5½ min pretty psyched out track with a repetitive vocal, highly distorted up front guitar with the drums almost not there at all. It is pretty mind heavy stuff. I guess this is a taste of what the new record they will release in May called Mind Drugs will be like?  The B side is two live tracks from Bari, Italy October 2010. Vivid Vision and Christmas on Earth, which have been standard in the bands live set for some time now. Cool 7” release.

Graveyard- Hisingen Blues 7” (Nuclear Blast Records)

Graveyard is back after a very long break between records. This is the first single from the record and it is very promising. The record is a pretty cool picture disk on thick vinyl and starts with the title track, which I would say you can hear it is Graveyard right away and they have a pretty 70s production on this one and Joakim’s voice is a bit harsher sounding but still cool. A good hard rocking and catchy number with a spacey intro before heavy stoney riff and vibe kick in. Some nice guitar soloing as they bring the spacey sounds in again at the end. The unreleased B-side, Granny and Davis is a very uptempo rock and roll track that sounds a bit like it came out of a jam and even has a bit of piano hidden in the background towards the end. Cool stuff. I look forward to the full length record.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tangle Edge- Dropouts (Tangle Edge Music)

Wow. It is almost hard to believe it but this release is finally out as either a double CD slip pack or triple vinyl record. I visited the band back in 1998 in Narvik and my friend Carl and I heard some of this material which comes from the bands very first cassette release from 1983 called Improvised Dropouts. Delerium records was suppose to release this as a double CD and it had a totally different title as well, which I don’t recall anymore. So that is 13 years ago and it is finally out now. I will not go through each and every improvisation here (there are 23). These were all recorded in late 1982 and early 1983 in the bands studio in Narvik, Norway. One track was recorded live in Harstad, Norway in Nov 1983.

            Anyway, as you might know, this amazing three piece have a musical language of their own and converse in a very special way and listening to these recordings makes you feel like you are sitting in their studio with them having a personal peak into the creative spirit that makes this band so unique. The band has stayed active for the past 30 years and continue to this day making exciting music that pushes the boundaries of rock, jazz, world music, when three people (bass, guitar, drums) come together to pool their collective spirits and push and pull, create special dynamics, and make interesting music. A band like Tangle Edge has for sure been an influence on my own band, Øresund Space Collective, in we take the same spirit but just more and different instruments and challenge each other.

            You will find elements of 70s jazz rock, blues rock and experimental music in these different tracks. All the members are superb players. Highly recommended. Check out the bands web site for information on how to obtain the limited edition triple vinyl or double CD slippack version of this or the bands other music. Be adventurous and support an amazing band.

Candlemass- Don’t fear the Reaper/All along the Watchtower 12” (High Roller Records HR 155)

This is a very limited edition two track 12” by the amazing Candlemass. It is pressed on bright green vinyl in 250 copies and 100 copies on black vinyl. I am not sure if there is another pressing in blood red vinyl as the band was selling this at their Stockholm show in December to celebrate 25 years. Looks great. Side A starts with the bands take on the Dylan classic, All along the Watchtower. They play an uptempo version with some nice guitar by Lars. Not much more to say about this one except it will surprise you. I really like their version of late 70’s Blue Oyster Cult classic, Don’t fear the Reaper a lot. They have slowed this one down a lot and it sounds really cool and doomy and spacey at this speed. The vocals are fantastic. Good luck finding one of these as I think they sold out very quickly. High Roller Records is releasing a lot of really cool stuff.

Good Morning- Sister Rain (Kommun2:12)

The Malmö based vinyl only label is back with a new release. This release features label owner Tobias as well as the members of the Technicolor Poets and female vocalist. The A side is a album side version of the Pentangle song, House Carpenter. I really like their version a lot although I think the vocal is mixed a bit high at times. It features some really nice fuzz guitar. A very cool version and great song.  The LP title track, Sister Rain starts the B side with some organ and spoken words before the track really takes off into a nice psychedelic jamming track that reminds me a lot of the UK band, the Higher Craft, but the singer is not as intense as Christina and the track a little less together. They mix in some nice spaced out synth sounds here and there, which I like. I am sorry that I have to refer to the female singer has her, but the LP has no information about who plays in this band and I can not find anything on the internet either. The LP ends with the shortest track on the LP, Morrigan. It features some very nice guitar playing and bit darker feeling than the other two tracks. A solid psych rock record from the young Swedish musicians. The record is released in a very nice thick gatefold sleeve with great artwork by Peter Wallgren. It is pressed in 500 copies on 140 gram vinyl. 

Kobi- Earplugged (Endofhum-11)

This is some very far out experimental music (or sound, as many people would not consider this music) by a Norwegian artist who calls himself Kai Kobi Mikalsen. He is apparently quite popular in Japan! This CD comes in a thin large size DVD case with some interesting artwork. I quite like the cover but I am not so sure about the music. The bio describes it as death ambient. It is one 40min track that is split into several pieces but the first 5 min piece is just like some windblowing in the background and some strange static noise. In the 2nd piece he starts to mix in some more different sounds as it starts to evolve a bit but still not a lot happening really and then by track 4 it is more or less back to the way it sounded at the beginning. Track 5 a few more sounds like a storm, door closing, but mostly it is a low frequency hum-rumble with some static like sounds. Very minimal. Track 6 some like distorted sounds that are hard to make out what the source is come to the front.  At the beginning of track 7 and 8 there are some louder noises but mostly it goes back to the low frequency rumble or drone with this distorted broken glass sound with a strong frequency cut off or something that pops into the sound every now and then. By track 13 there is more sound happening but not very exciting stuff. This is music (sound) for a quite limited audience. Try to check it out if you dare.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Electric Moon- Lunatics Revenge (Nasoni Records)

Sula Bassana and Lulu are back with another Electric Moon release, their third in a year. Again Lulu has made the cool album artwork and played the bass. Dave also plays the keyboards, which are very prominent on the great opening track, Gefaehrliche Planetengirls, which was the first track on the CD (and not on the first vinyl record). Lunatic was the 2nd track on the CD and now appears on vinyl. I already reviewed these tracks in my full review of the debut record (link). So onto the new tracks, which starts with D-Tune, which is an 18 min track. Sula has never really played this kind of heavy psych guitar before and he really plays some heavy riffs and cool effects as the sort of trance builds up as Lulu thumps along in E and Pablo keeps a steady flow for Sula to explore the guitar cosmos of the world. An excellent track. It reminds me of White Hills at times and Lulu does some spacey spoken word stuff as well. Landing is a 5 min piece where Sulu plays two layers of beautiful guitar and some space sounds, there is no drums on this track. A lovely track. If you get both vinyl records, you can have all the Electric Moon stuff on vinyl now and two new songs not on CD. Nice.

http://www.myspace.com/electricmoons http://www.nasoni-records.com

Jaguar- Opening the Enclosure of… (High Roller Records HRR 143)

Remember the UK NWOBHM band, Jaguar?? They still play around today but this is the first very demos the band recorded in 1980 (7 tracks) and then two tracks from 1982 and one rare track from 1983. I really liked the bands Power Time record a lot and the original Neat Records 7” (Chasing the Dragon) so I decided to pick this one up. While the sound is pretty raw on these demos, Gary’s guitar is mixed in your face as it should be and has that cool raw sound that I liked about the band. They had a different singer on these early demos, a guy named Rob Reiss, so it is not the voice you were used to hearing (Paul Merrell). He is ok but nothing to write home about. The LP comes with a great heavy insert with old pics of the bands, the lyrics and all the details you would want to know about these old recordings. A really great class package if you are a fan of this band. Garry plays a lot of ripping guitar in these mostly uptempo hard rocking tracks. If you don’t know this German Label, they are releasing a lot of classic stuff from the 80s, and some of it is really rare old underground recordings. They will release the original Trouble demos on vinyl in Feb and March 2011. I just got my copies so will review them shortly, I hope.

DeWolff- Orchards/Lupine (REMusic Records 28024)

This young Dutch band is back with their 3rd record. I reviewed the last one and quite liked it a lot. I was really surprised at how different this one was yet still damn cool. The band have taken their Cream influence and mixed in some King Crimson like elements (the way they use synthesizers-mellotron, not composition wise). The singer sometimes reminds me of the guy from Wolfmother and you could say they have a lot in common with a guitar player who is the singer, the bass player plays a lot of keyboards and drums. Musically, they are more rooted in the 70’s though and this album has a lot more keyboards and less guitar than the latest Wolfmother material. One of the last tracks is a very cool take on classic Allman Brothers. Fans of Hypnos 69, Motorpsycho, Cream, Wolfmother…. Check this excellent band out. This album really grows on you, so give it more than a few spins. Excellent stuff…

The Egocentrics- Center of the Cyclone (Nasoni Records)

The Egocentrics are a band from Romania and their debut record was released on Nasoni last year. I just received this new one on CD-R and it is due out on Nasoni anyday now. The CD features 7 instrumental tracks in 39 minutes. The opening number. A Road less travelled, opens with some nice delay guitar and then the track evolves with some heavy stoney bass and nice melodic guitar lines. It sort of floats. You need to play this loud… Off the Center picks up the pace and is the longest track at 8 mins and has more intense down tuned riffing in a similar vein (but not production sound) as Colour Haze. No real guitar solos though, just riff changes with the bass and drums very much to the front of the sound and the drums in the back with a very garagy sound. Sink or Swim has quite melodic guitar lines that hold the 6  min piece together. Half way through the track there is some spoken words. They say in the liner notes that there is organ on tracks 1 and2 but it is really buried in the mix as I really did not notice it at all and Sink or Swim is suppose to have electric piano, which I did not hear at all or just barely. Blissful Idiot hits the ground running and is a fast paced track with a Colour Haze feel and flavour in the guitar riffing. Intuition and Coincidence starts very different with a nice reverb effect on the bass as the guitar slowy enters into a very cool track with some nice delay on the guitar and some different style playing from the other tracks (more like the opening track). Lost and Found kicks it up into high gear again and has a great ending section with a spoken word sample from a movie. This last track is one of my favorites on the record.

The World Ends: Afro Rock and Psychedelia in Nigeria in the 70s Part 1 and Part 2 (Soundway Records)

I have to say that I was totally blown away when I received these amazing compilation records from Soundaway. I have been a big fan of Nigerian music for many many years and even saw Fela Kuti play in the early 90’s but this is not about Afro Beat, this is about the guys who were surrounded by Afro Beat, James Brown, HiLife music finding out about rock and trying to do make use of what they heard. What we have on these 12 albums sides (each Part is a triple vinyl record!) is a diverse range of bands mixing their local sounds with some rock influences, be it 4/4 tempo, cool guitar solos, or trying to sing like rock singers…. For me the bands on side 3 or both records are the real stand out artists but there is a lot of great material here. I don’t think it is that psychedelic compared to what you would normally call psychedelic rock but it sounds really cool, the mix they have come up with considering this stuff was mostly recorded in pretty primitive studios in Africa in the early 70s…. I highly recommend these records. You can hear all the songs streaming at the Soundway web site but owning the vinyl is great as there is a little story about every band. Amazing find...

GNOD - 'LiveBirth' cassette (WHO-04 c38)

UK based psychedelic kraut drone rock band, GNOD are back with their latest cassette only release and this time it is totally improvised material from the bands first ever gig in 2007! It was recorded at their local dig, The Royal Oak, Chorlton and features Gnodders G (Monstrosus SEX GHOST), Sie Haslam, Jim Bonham and a fuckload of wannabe hippies (so the band says…). The opening track develops into a very cool jam with a lot of tribal drumming and a cool groove going. This track is more or less the same for a while but when it starts to loose it, they kick back into life with some spaced out sounds and the bass is back pushing in your face and the guitar comes back a bit more and it really gets intense. Cool stuff. They give the jam 4 song titles but there is no real transitions in this 38min jam. The same thing is repeated on both sides of the tape. The cool cover is by Justin Wright of Expo70 and the tape is made in only 150 copies.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hills and Flowers must Die- Mayhem, København 3/5/11

I had never been to this pretty new underground place in an old industrial park. It was not that easy to find and my friend Peter called me in the middle of Flowers must Die saying they were driving around on their bikes and could not find it and they never made it, which might explain a little bit of why there were only like 30 people. The place is large with space for around 300 people. I met up with Tom, Sally, Ole, Nils, Rhona, Martin, Aron, Nick, Tobias from Kommun2 (whose, band SKL was to play but had to cancel due to a sick guitar player).

Flowers must die started about 21:30 or so and this place has a very harsh should, with metal doors covering one side and the rest just concrete. They have a few things hanging form the ceiling to try to dampen the sound a bit but it does not seem to do much. Nick who was doing the sound said the PA was crap, so this does not help either. Anyway, they are a five piece band and have released on vinyl record and have another one out in about 2 weeks. The last track they played, which everyone really liked a lot, the synth player said was on the new record. They do a lot of improvising and spacing out. The Synth player did some vocals and trumpet stuff with a lot of delay and effects in one of the numbers. They opened with a quite slow doomy psychedelic thing and it took a while to evolve, as all their numbers seem to do. The guitar player on the left did most all of the lead while the other guitar player played very repeptitive stuff while the bass player laid down really great stuff. He was really killer in the last piece they played where they launched into a total old school Hawkwind like jam. They had an older drummer who was quite laid back but solid. They were pretty good and played an hour. Very psychedelic stuff. 

            It was pretty late, nearly 23:30 but the time Hills started to play and they wanted to close at 24. The folks in Hills said they were playing as a 3 piece today. I had never seen them before so I don’t know who was missing. For most the tracks, they tape their organ onto one drone tone and then just play long with that. The organ guy, he started off on guitar and then switched to bass and also played the flute at the end of the show briefly. Later in the show the guitar player played the bass. They started off with a very slow moving 15min opening piece (see video). The female drummer, she was really hard working once the music and grooves started going. They play some really psyched out material and are very cool if you are patient. Sometimes they can be a bit like Wooden Shjips or White Hills (although the Hills guitar player never really played any ripping guitar solos), and with the drone, I am also reminded of the Spacious Mind. They played 4-5 pieces and less than an hour.

            I had a really good time but my ears where hurting after being in this sonic death chamber. I can’t imagine what the free jazz, noise stuff they usually do in this club would sound like. Fun night…..

You can see my pictures at this facebook gallery as well.. https://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=277816&id=668857671&l=438a2d3630

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Space Ritual- Borderline, London, UK Feb 26th, 2011

This was my first time to get to see Nik Turner’s Space Ritual with Terry Ollis, Mick Slattery, and Thomas Crimble, all from the very earliest days of Hawkwind (they don’t play a single track from the only album most of the played on!). Anyway, the Borderline is a very cool club and it was pretty packed. I met up with some new friends (Brian, DJ Wierditude), David from Paradise 9, and briefly said hello to Nik, who blew me away by calling me by name and I had not seen him in person in many years. I saw and met Nik in the USA on the Jan 1994 tour and the one the following year with the Pressurehed guys backing him and both those tours were great!
 Anyway, the band started around 20:30, a bit later than stated and Sam Olis was playing some pretty damn cool music as well. They opened with Watching the Grass Grow and Nik looked and sounded fantastic. The whole band sounded great and was having a good time. They played quite a few songs from their only CD release, Otherworld, including Sonic Savages, Ritual of the Ravaged Earth, Time Crime, Walking Backwards and Otherworld. In between, we heard pretty long versions, usually around 10 mins long with lots of jamming on Steppenwolf, Reefer Madness, D-Rider (See video) and Ejection. A huge surprise was when 3 girls (two French horn and one trombone player) appeared on stage and the band played a famous Charlie Mingus track (see my video). Another guy snuck up and played clarinet also. This was pretty cool and psyched out and they stayed on stage the rest of the show for Master of the Universe (which they did not play much) and a pretty damn cool and unique long version of Brainstorm ended the show.

            I have to say it was a really good band, Terry is playing really solid and steady, Thomas Crimble plays some cool Hammond stuff but I think he should sit out on Master of the Universe and Brainstorm, as he changes the sound of the songs in a bad way, Nik was in top form and the bass player and synth player were great. They are for sure more like the 70’s Hawkwind then the Dave Brock Hawkwind of today (I also like them a lot and they play a more focused mixture of new age spacey music and harder rock stuff), in that they really space out, experiment a lot more. I think Thomas should just not play on all the songs and it would be really amazing. I had a great time and the sound was fantastic as well. Great sound man on this night. 

See my photo gallery at this link here... Photos..

Gnod/A Middle Sex- Split LP (Blackest Rainbow BRR202)

This record has quite minimal information on it so you really have to go to the net to find out much about it. Anyway, it is limited to 400 copies on vinyl and is pretty spaced out. GNOD is one 15 min track called Why don’t you smell like other Children. It is a slow moving psychedelic wallpaper soundscape type thing that GNOD are so good at. Pretty tripped out. A Middle Sex is something completely different with their track, Polytheism, which starts with a really cool synthesizer loop like old Kraut rock stuff but then develops into a new rhythm that take the listener into a totally new direction. Cool stuff..

Portobello Shuffle- A Tribute to the music of the Deviants and the Pink Faries (Easy Action)

This compilation CD came out to raise some money for Boss Goodman, who was the roadie, manager and 5th member of the Deviants and Pink Faires. He suffered a stroke back in 2006 and has not been able to work the way he used to so his old friend, felt they owed him a debt and did a benefit gig as well as put together this special CD. The CD features a lot of famous underground people on the 15 tracks. The very first track is a surprise as this is the original Pink Faries line up that recorded their classic early 70s records with Paul Rudolph on guitar. He has not played with anyone in many many years and they still have the energy, with a rerecorded version of their classic, Do it! Felix Dennis Felix has tracks (2nd and 15th tracks, one is a spoken word piece). I was really surprised by the Clark Hutchinson track, Rambling Back transit Blues, the old Deviants song. A strange group of folks calling themselves Pink FA doing a psychedelic version of Uncle Harry’s Last Freakout and Nik Turner joins in to blow some sax as well.  John Sinclair and Slim Tim Slide play the Farren track, People call you Crazy. I don’t care for the sound production on this one. I generally like the stuff that Rod Goodway and Adrian Shaw do but this version of Half Price Drinks, is ok for the first half but then Rod just says the same thing over and over and over for what seems like minutes while the track goes nowhere. A very nice mix by Adrian though with a lot of cool instruments mixed in. Captain Sensible bring back some energy and turn the Pink Faries song, Say you love me into a KISS song! Pretty cool. Rat Scabies play a frantic version of Teenage Rebel. Darryl Read (I don’t know who he is but I found out- early punk with his band Crushed Butler) play Somewhere to Go and do a cool quite true to the original vibe version, except the more modern sound. Willie Johnson band play the CD title track as a standard blues song. Wreckless Eric does a laid back version of the Larry Wallis track, I wish I was a girl. Mick Farren performing Baby Pink is quite a strange one. The Jello Biafra track is a really cool psychedelic track. One of the best songs on the compilation and also the longest. Larry Wallis is next with a terrible track with programmed drums, and cheesy keyboards. Its nice to hear the guitar solo and passionate vocals but the basic track is crap. Overall this is a really cool compilation CD and for a good cause.