Monday, March 26, 2012

White Hills and Arobrot- The Lexington, London 3/24/12

White Hills have just released their new record, Frying on this Rock, which I will review soon (and is really cool) and are doing a pretty big Europe tour but sadly not coming to Denmark. I was lucky to be able to catch the Deviants and White Hills in one weekend! I had listened to this Norwegian noise metal band Arabrot on the internet and it was pretty wild and crazy stuff but I never really got into it much. Intense for sure, so I was not sure if I would like them live or not.

          The show was sold out and really packed with people (holds 200). Sue and I met up with Michele from the Atomic Workers again and he was kind enough to bring me some of their music that I did not have. I also met Alan Last, who I had not met in years despite us exchanging many mails. Nice to see some people I know, I spoke briefly to the White Hills folks and they were in a great mood.
          The Lexington was a really cool place. It was very American downstairs and they served 20 different American beers like Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams, Anchor Steam, Blue Moon, Brooklyn Lager, etc… Nice décor. The upstairs had a couple of levels and we had a sofa almost dead center upstairs so we had a perfect view. This was the second night now where the clubs have no one to do lights so it was just the same all night long. Too cheap to hire someone, I guess? IT took a while for it fill up. The Norwegian band hit the stage at 20:45 (late for London!) and were damn intense.. Just a three piece with bass, drums and guitar and it was fucking loud. The bass player also had a floor tom that he would beat at times. The music was a wall of sound, like an angry Melvins meets dÿse but not as complex. Both the drummer and the guitar player shared screaming irate vocal parts. I filmed a couple of tracks and the first one was the best track they played an actually very cool and had more dynamics. They got a good crowd response and they had some super heavy tracks but it was a bit much for me in the end. They ended their set with just drums (bass player also playing) and the guitar player just singing,

Set List: Holes, Nubile, Wheels, Valkyrie, Madonna is a whore, Scag Cat, Dolorous, AUU, Solar Anus

          White Hills have to change out the cymbals and set up a lot of pedals but got ready pretty fast. I had never seen Dave use so many. I have to say this concert was way too loud. It was fucking deafening! Over 115db on my phone db meter! Great sound but too loud. They played half of the new record and some of the songs you would expect but a pretty fresh set and mostly high intensity space rock. They had some pre-recorded intro and spacey sounds that started and ended some tracks, since they don’t have anyone to make all those spaced out sounds live like they have on their CDs. The new songs sounded amazing live especially Robot Stomp with this really intense repeated bass line. Great song,. See the video below. They had a set list on the stage but there was no chance for me to get it so I am not sure exactly what was played. They opened with Path of Light. The encore was quite long and spaced out. The audience was into it and Dave said that London was always great. A fun night but my ears were really ringing and I even wore earplugs. I did not think bands were aloud to play that loud anymore? Great night…
Set List: Intro, Path of Light, Radiate, Skin, Song of Everything, You Dream, Robot Stomp, Condition, Peace of Mind, H1-P1

Mick Farren and the Deviants/Del Bromham- Borderline, London March 23rd, 2012

Mick Farren and the Deviants/Del Bromham- Borderline, London March 23rd, 2012

          This was going to be a very special night. Mick was being backed by the original Pink Fairies rhythm section of Sandy on bass and Russell on drums. Mick’s long time guitar player Andy as well. I saw the Deviants at the 1st Terrastock festival in Providence RI in 1997 (recorded the show too!). I even dug out the t-shirt for this night. It was a fun show back then and I was hoping the same tonight.

          The lead guitar player, Del Brohman from Stray opened the show with an acoustic set of blues stuff. Sue is a big fan of Stray but I am not all the familiar with them but I like their hard rocking stuff. It was mostly tracks from his CD from a few years ago called Devil’s Canyon plus a few Stray songs. At first people were not very attentive but by the end the crowd of older people was into it. I did not feel like the youngest in this crowd for sure. He played about 45 mins.

          They did not take too long to set up. I noticed Mick sitting to the left of the stage alone so I tried to approach him to say hello and show him the Terrastock shirt and ask him nicely about his memory of the gig but he was not feeling very well. He was really struggling to catch his breath, so I left him alone.

          They opened with I’m the Man with Sandy singing before Mick was helped up on to the stage to sit on his chair with his stand for his lyrics. He sounded slightly drunk, like his is suppose to and was in a very good mood, even though you could see he was not feeling that well, sweating a lot and having a hard time breathing. He also spoke about having to quit smoking or die. He seems like he is suffering from emphysema. Anyway, back to the gig. Half Price Drink was one a lot of people knew. The band sounded great with Andy playing lots of guitar solos. The rhythm guitar player, Tim Rundall, could not be heard at all the entire night and we were standing right in front of him and his amp! They played several brand new songs including the funny Cocaine and Gunpowder, Andy sang the next one, Police State. Another new one Beautiful Women and Broken Machines followed. Mick would say some funny stuff in between the songs including talking about quitting smoking was the toughest thing. He still has a strong wit and humor and excellent delivery of the vocals, despite struggling to breath. They played one really old Deviants song, Billy the Monster. Another new song, the Aztec calendar has run out was pretty funny. Andy sang Stopped at the Border and this gave Mick a break. Something to do between Cigarettes was one I had never heard. They ended the set with a couple of blues songs.

          I was surprised they did not do any of the famous Pink Faries songs but it was a short 65min set. I had a very nice time. It was reat to see Jon Jarrett and Andy Gilham, whom I had not seen in some years, especially Andy. I also met up with Mick and his wife Joy from the Atomic Workers. A fun night and I am really glad to have been here since Mick may not play that many more gigs..

Set list: I’m the Man, Half Price Drinks, Leader, Concaine and Gunpowder, Police State, Beautiful women and broken Machines, Billy the Monster, Aztec Calendar just ran out, Stopped at the Border, Something to do between cigarettes, Taste the Blues, Blues?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Troldmand and Flowers must Die- BETA, Copenhagen March 10th, 2012

I was looking forward to this night as Troldmand were really excellent last time they played. I was not sure how many people would show up but I knew the guys in Papir, Tom, and a few others would show. Magnus and I were hanging out at my place listening to Troldmand, GNOD, My brother the Wind, Gösta Berlings saga and some other cool music before the show.

          Troldmand started about 22:15 and the room filled up nicely with about 40 people or so and the sound was very good. I was recording the show from one of the tables in the center of the room. They were one member less now in Troldmand, with only one space sound guy and his sounds were really dry during the first couple of numbers. They really were excellent tonight, with some real Hawkwind like elements (really good at channelling that vibe!), into Kraut elements, and just cool stuff. Kasper did most of the lead guitar parts on the first few songs and then it switched to the other guitar player.. They did a cover song (I think it was called Time Machine) by a Japanese band. They played 45mins and then came back for a encore Jam that was really nice.  Very cool set… A very promising new band.

Flowers must Die
          Flowers must Die, from Sweden, they played in Copenhagen almost a year to the date with Hills. I spoke to them this evening and they said that their previous show here was the worst one they ever played! They were hungry to really deliver today. They started with the guitar player on the right playing flute and the sound generator guy playing trumpet in a slow spaced out beginning. There were like 5 people in the room for the first 10mins and then people slowly started to filter back in as they could hear the sound building up. They played 4 or 5 long pieces about 10mins each. They had really cool dynamics and both guitar players play really cool parts and really different. The sound generator guy has a couple of wakemans with cassette tapes that he is actively recording on and using the microphone and doing strange stuff including torturing one with a pair of scissors! They were amazing on this night. Really blew me away…  I bought their latest vinyl record. They also had a new cassette tape out. I should also mention that my friend Ole was the DJ this night and playing pretty cool music but the volume was very low…

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Øresund Space Collective and ILDHU- BETA, København 2/24/12 Øresund Space Collective and ILDHU- BETA, København 2/24/12

This was our first concert of the year for ØSC and our first in 6 months. Everyone was pretty excited to play. ILDHU was already loading their gear into the elevator at the back of the venue when I road up in my Christiania bike filled with all my synths, stands and merchandise. It was a damn hard ride as the wind was very strong and blowing right in my face for the entire 1.5km..  Anyway, all was well and people were in a good mood, the venue is really nice with each band having their own backstage room, etc.. with a fridge full of drinks, one case of beer and fruits and snacks. We each got 80kr for food to eat out.

          ILDHU hit the stage at 22 and played a 50min set of melodic Viking stoner indie rock.. I am not sure how to describe the band. I spent some years playing with these guys in Gas Giant but now they play much more simple music, all sung in Danish (great lyrics) but sometimes heavy stoner rock like stuff with some jams as well. They have a dedicated 20 or so people, most of whom I am friends with as well who come out and see them and really enjoy it. The ØSC fans in general did not really like it much, that was my general impression.

Set List: Himmel og Jord, Gnisten, Blomsten, Troede de var Dig, hil du Frænde, Nordens Vind, Farvel, Kom til Mig
Øresund Space Collective

          We tried to change the drum kit, and get all the synths set up as fast as we could and get started as we had to stop at 01:00. Rasmus, the sound guy was really nice and professional. Three people from Malmö from the Kristallen group of people came over and saved the day with making some very nice projections on some white screens they set up that really enhanced the atmosphere of this normally very black room. Anyway, we hit the stage and I guess there was about 60 people and we played the alphabet set (every jam in a different key starting with A to G). the combination of Pär on bass and Christoffer on drums was a lethal combination as far as energy as I felt we hardly had a let up at all and played damn high energy space rock. The Jam in E was particularly memorable as Mogens played a killer synths-organ solo. Wow.. The guitar players (both named Nick) were great together and played lots of cool solos and textures. It was a great concert and we had a lot of really positive feedback from the audience, We sold a few shirts and CDs but no vinyl this night. I should mention also that Sabine drove all the way from Hamburg to see us play and Sue was here from England as well. There was a Hungarian guy who was also really into our show..

Set List: Jam in A, Jam in B, Jam in C, Jam in D (for Sabine),, Jam in E, Jam in F, Jam in G

Saturnia- Alpha Omega Alpha (Elektrohasch 154)

Luis Simões is back with a double CD of very cool music recorded between 2007 and 2011 in Portugal. It is the 5th album recorded under this name. Unfortunately, I have not heard all of them and many are out of print and difficult to find. He plays all the instruments himself and it is a wide range of instruments including strings (Guitar, bass, drums, dulcimer, sitar), keyboards, synthesizers, flutes, drums, gong, etc… Very impressive. They lyrics are really cool and special as well. The 9min Utopia starts the psychedelic journey and reminds me a bit of Vibravoid. Aura is a spacey floating track with some very nice flute. Obsidian Spiral is a very psychedelic track with sitar (highly effected), acoustic guitars, layers of keyboards and synths… trippy.. Arcadian Watcher starts very floating and spacey like a Pink Floyd dream. It sounds like harp at the beginning of the track. Now the drums are back in an uptempo track with many layers of synthesizers, piano, and a dramatic synth pad voice that sounds like a long drawn out “ahhhhhhhhhh” that is repeated over and over at intervals. Rings of Smoke features Stefan Koglek (Colour Haze) on vocal in German. Clepsydra is a beautiful track with spacey electronics, flute, acoustic guitar, electric piano and then the drums come in as you float away in a ring of smoke.. This one really builds up and he plays some cool heavy guitar riffs and solos. Amazing track. Alpha Omega is the longest track on CD1 at 13 mins and starts also with a very dreamy space state and some laid back vocals, nice electric guitars, occasional sitar drone, etc… Mikado Players and Lotus Eaters is an instrumental track that closes the first CD. A very Pink Floyd inspired track.

          CD2 starts off with Moving Mandala. This is a very groovy track also with some sitar, the first real sitar playing. It also has a really nice keyboard solo towards the end. Trance Dance has the drums mixed quite a bit back compared to the other tracks, with again a real Pink Floyd floating vibe and spacey vocals, cool synths… He plays a nice guitar solo in this track with a bit of a Portuguese flavour to it. Mellifluous is another dreamy track with some cool synthesizer work and some of the most psychedelic stuff on the CD. Specialists of the Invisible is a 4min song with just layers of synthesizer sounds and some bells. Tetrahedron has the heaviest guitar riff of any track on the CD and starts with a lot of spacey intense synth sounds that kind of fade away as the uptempo pace of the track takes hold and the eastern feel kicks in. I like the hand drumming on groove on this after so many floating spacey Pink Floyd inspired tracks, I really needed something uptempo, rocking and different. Grand Lodge of Forever starts with some beautiful guitar and spacey synths and organ as he begins a whispery style of vocal. It is a real drifting track and quite amazing. The transition at 3½ is really great and super spacey. The CD ends with Cosmonication. A slow track that is heavy on the organ and keyboards and very spaced.

          It is awesome that Elektrohasch is releasing this cool space rock music from Portugal. The sad thing about projects like this when it is only one person and it takes him years to make it, that it will likely never be transformed into a live act where you could experience these great songs live and maybe with some jamming.. Great album.

Gnod-Chaudelande Volume 2 (Tamed Records TMD-003)

Gnod are back with the 2nd lp of material that they record in France last year. There are 3 tracks of very spaced out stuff. Side A starts off with Man on the Wine (autobiographical, perhaps?). It starts slowly with bells, slow drums and like a choir. This fades out and the drums and bass come in followed by the repetitive rhythm as the synths loop and it just slowly builds up with some far out delay vocals that you can’t really understand, simply for an effect to space your head out. The end is really tripped. Entrance is next.. Entrance to a quite freaked out place, I would say.. It is quite similar to the first track with the massive delay vocals but the synth sounds come across more intense in these crazy waves. The guitar also has some really intense parts as the riff gets really cool when it is half way through the track. Heavy spaced out stuff at the end. Awesome track. Flip the record over for the 17min Genocider! This is a quite heavy track and remind me of a more spaced out version of Ministry! They really channel that vibe but in a more low fi way. It slows down as they fade down the repeated heavy guitar riff and bring the drums and strangeness to the front before they kick back in and blast your head straight back into the cosmic blender! Phew.. be careful, as this music really messes with your head. I do not recommend headphones.. Could send you to the hospital… You have been warned…

Weltraum- Sounds of the Underground (Nasoni Records)

Weltaum is a really cool young, and large German band. This is their debut release on Nasoni and most of it is recorded live. They feature a lot of interesting world music instruments as they take you on various different trips. Kallileo in Taiwahn starts off the journey with some rhythmic drumming, didgeridoo, and spacey synthesizers. This has a really hypnotic and psychedelic floating groove. Dieterminated is a fast paced track that is very synthesizer driven but is backed up by the didgeridoo playing. How to leave too Soon is nearly 12mins long. It starts with hand drumming, a bit more distantly mixed synths and soon follows the didgeridoo. This is recorded live and has a very different sound from the first two tracks. Very hypnotic..  Teatime Tsunami (14mins) starts slow and spacey and this is the first track where the bass and guitar really plays much of any roll in the sound. In all the previous tracks if they were there they were mixed very low. This track really builds in a super cool way and they really freakout at the end of this live track. Die Molldur is a laid back track with hand drums, bells, light delay guitar, to start. That was a fantastic dreamy track. Spacetrashes is another live track and features a more intense soundscape, almost sinister in nature, dark, frightening. Last flight to Bluedub ends this pretty cool instrumental, psychedelic world music adventure.

          My only complaint with this damn cool CD/LP is that the drum sound is just weak, this very thin sound. Some of these tracks are not on the single LP release. The band has just released another live record on Nasoni. I have not heard this one yet.

Vocokesh- Seeing it from the Inner Side (Pure pop for Now People)

Vocokesh are back with a new limited edition record out in only 200 copies on the cool German label, Pure Pop for Now People. Side A starts with the song Theme from Get on the Train. It is a shortish track with sitar and an eastern vibe, a bit dark and mysterious. The next 3 tracks are all about 5 mins each starting with Jam in D. Richard plays an amazing spaced out wah guitar solo on this track. Act 2, Eddie plays his Theremin is a very slow track with some crazy piano, searching guitars and just a weird jam. The title track closes side A.

          Side B starts with Joe gets his Gun, which is a really slow super spacey instrumental version of the classic, Hey Joe. Really cool guitar playing on this track. Music for a really bad Spy Film is next. IT is a spacey noodling track with interesting interaction with the two guitars and then a cool groove kicks in like some sort of space psychedelic surf thing. Cool. Take the Slow Train has some really psyched out guitar freakout stuff in the right channel while the left channel guitar plays the freaky delay guitar part. Far out…

          I actually picked up the Electric Indian Blues record by Vocokesh that this label released as well at the same time, before it goes out of print and it is also very cool. Sadly, these are probably the last recordings with John Helwig, who played guitar and bass on both these records, as he passed away in 2011.

Black Rainbows- Supermothafuzzalicious (Long fellow Deeds)

Black Rainbows is back with their 3rd release. If you are not aware of this band, they are a trio from Italy playing fuzzed our rock and roll. Burn your Nation starts the record off. The band really has a great rock and roll groove and I like the bits of effects on the voice to give it a bit more of a psych feel. Behind the Line is another mid paced rocker with a similar start stop guitar riffing style, a bit like FuManchu. Mastermind has a very cool flanged out guitar at times and a nice solo section. Cool song. Feel the Beat keeps the hard rocking stoner groove a live. Solar System reminds me a bit of Nova Driver, if you know this Small Stone label band. I like the synth or guitar pedals sounds that move around in the background on this one. Great song. Anyway, Lady, the longest track on the CD is next and back to the stop start R&R riffing but it has a quite complex instrumental section that leads into the wild solo psych part. Brain Circles is a bit like a Radio Moscow song, a bit more bluesy but not so raw and a less intense guitar solo section. I love Rock and Roll is next and it is not the Joan Jett song! A slower also four bar blues rock song where all he says “I love Rock and Roll” over and over and then it changes and has a great ending with some of the best soloing on the record. The last song is called Cosmic Flower Blues and is under 2 mins long and really a pity it is faded out as it is a really cool track.

          It is a pretty cool record but you might have a hard time remember one song from the next as it the same style and uptempo stuff all the way through the record with just some slight variations of the riffs, lyrics and some tracks have more spaced out psychedelic elements than others. The end is more bluesy though. Why did they not mix these songs into the regular record? Still a cool record if you like intense rocking trio stuff with some psychedelic elements at time.

Ararat II (Elektrohasch CD155)

Ararat is a Los Natas side project and something totally different from Los Natas. It is both dark and light in nature, with minimal vocals and very bass driven, as the guitar takes a backseat. The CD features 7 tracks over 56mins.  El Carro starts the record off with some south American whistles, a repetitive guitar riff and then some acoustic guitar comes in and some cool synths sounds float across the landscape in this instrumental opener. Caballos is next and lasts for 16mins. This is mostly bass, drums and some ambient spacey keyboards for quite a long time as it slowly takes form. He starts to sing slowly as it builds in intensity. A long journey but not that captivating. Lobos de Cuerra has a much heavier bass riff and is also very repetitive. El Inmigrante is a very nice track with acoustic guitar. Atenas is another shorter track but also really interesting with mainly piano and some spoken word samples. La Ira de Dragon (Uno) is another 15min long journey. It features some female vocals and is by far the most psychedelic and interesting track with multiple cool layers of stuff in this mainly bass and drum track. Tres de Mayo ends the 56min trip with another piano driven track. I am not so sure if I like this that much. IT is very stoned in someway and just sort of prods on and on and is not quite dynamic enough for me at times. Still pretty interesting record and I don’t have one quite like it.