Sunday, November 24, 2013

Siena Root and Øresund Space Collective- Loppen, Christiania Nov 19th, 2013

This was one of the rare occasions that ØSC decided to take an opening slot. Due to the improvised nature of the music and that it takes some time for us to warm up (and we prefer to play for 2-3hrs), we rarely except offers to open shows. Siena Root have been our friends for many years and former and current members have also played with us live and in the studio, so when Anders asked us to play, I accepted. It was really shit weather outside, with a light rain when Sabine and I loaded up my Christiania bike with the gear and headed off for the club. The band I had assembled for the night, were mostly there already as well as Anders, the local promoter and his assistant, Rhona. The mood was good but we were a bit wet!

               The guys in Siena Root were due to arrive about 18:30 and we had decided to share the backline to make everything go a bit faster on this Tuesday night. I was not sure how many people would come out. We had some food, set up our small merch stand, and got some of the synths ready and that was all we could do before they arrived. They did, we greeted each other and they got down to business quickly and all was set up and people were just hanging out until the show started.
ØSC hit the stage right at 22 (this is the earliest any band can start at Loppen due to the restaurant upstairs) and we played until 23. The line-up tonight had never played before and since we did not have a proper soundcheck, we decided for a slow space in starting only with the drums and bass and then the guitars and synths would enter. This actually worked very well, if you listen to the recording. The first jam was really spacey, the 2nd Rune came up with a heavy riff that was cool and we were all really coming together. The 3rd piece was a bit like early 70’s Miles Davis but more psychedelic. The last piece, Rune nearly stole the opening riff from the song Black Sabbath. I even did a partial vocal part and would have done a few more lines but I could not get the attention of the soundman, who had turned off my mic. The closing piece was 20mins long and had great dynamics. I was happy with our set and about 40 people were present, I guess.   If you want to hear the show go to this link:

              We did not mess about and took our gear off straightaway and within 40mins or so Siena Root was ready. I took a picture of them just before they hit the stage (see right) and they were off with their usual western intro theme. For the past few years they either open with an instrumental or a sort of jam. Never totally free form but a structured jammed out intro. This is the first tour without the original guitar player KG, so it might feel a bit strange for the original members (Love and Sam). Anyway, the band were playing fantastic and I have to say they are jamming out the songs with longer solos than ever before and the new guitar player, he reminds me of Warran Haynes and Dickey Betts, so he is very good. They played their new single, Conveniently Blind, which was supposed to arrive in physical form for the tour but was delayed, which they were not happy about. The set is mostly tracks from the first record and new material, with no tracks from the bands records with Sonja or their last studio album.  Pity the crowd was so small for this amazing band. There are a lot of bands in Sweden and Europe playing this 70s style rock but few are anywhere near as good as this one. Don’t miss them on this tour. They are smokin’!  Great visuals and sound as well so thanks to those folks…

Set List: Intro Jam>Conveniently Blind, Words, Waiting for the Sun, Sabbath Shuffle, Fever, Little Man, Between the Lines, Kitchen, Long Way, 7 Years, Rasayana, Coming Home

Friday, November 22, 2013

NYMF- From the Dark (Transubstans TRANS115-666)

NYMF are back with their 2nd record. This band features the fantastic and intense vocalist, Niklas, who also sings in the Graviators. This CD features 13 tracks. The band is from Sweden and features two members of the Graviators (Singer and one guitarist) as well as guys from other Swedish bands (Seeds Of Cider and Trollfnask). The record features a number of different styles mixing stoner rock with a more metallic and Black Sabbath like sound at times. The opening track, Fear of the Doom (after the intro track) starts fast with some double bass drum but then slows down a bit but the track maintains a mostly metallic sound. Possessed and Blackcore slows things down and reminds me a bit of Candlemass in the slower parts. Evolution Blues is a longer track which reminds a bit of Pentagram with a more metal sound than 70s sound. Thin Ice starts as a ballad before gaining in intensity with huge double bass drums and the mid-section has some nice guitar solos (which there are far too few on this record). Postmortem, is a mixture of slow and faster riffing sections and a lot of evil vocals. Drive starts with a Kyuss like riff but then never returns to that territory really but stays in a stoner rock like vibe until the middle section where it chills out and there is a beautiful guitar solo and a more laid back singing style (Niklas can be pretty intense!). Lucifer takes the Crown again reminds me of Candlemass (recent). In the Name of Vlad slows things to a doomy pace and has a killer riff but they don’t stick to this for very long. Later it slows down in a heavy riffing section which is followed by a guitar solo to end the short song. Your Soul is Mine is pretty intense and reminds me of King Diamond a bit. The Greatest Burden is probably the most melodic track in some ways on the record but still intense.  Like a Giant Orange Sun features Tommy from Dozer on lead guitar and ends this very intense record. One of the best tracks as well. Phew…

Sasquatch- IV (Small Stone Records SS-138)

The US stoner rock band, Sasquatch is back with their 4 release. I think I only ever heard the first one.. Anyway, I have to say this record really rocks like a MF. The Message is a really cool melodic opening track but he just sings, I’ve got a message, just way too much. Started to drive me crazy… Eye of the Storm slows things down a bit but has a nice stoney groove that almost reminds me of some old Warrior Soul, in a way. Sweet Lady starts with a pretty aggressive wah guitar before the massive power riff kicks in. Keith (vocals and guitar) plays a really cool solo and after that the intensity is raised a notch. Great song. Money has another strong riff and killer groove. Smoke Signals is 7½ mins and the band get really psyched out for a long section of the song…. Wow..get stoned…. The next three tracks are shorter 3-4mins and often Keith reminds me a lot of the Stone axe vocalist (Dru) and some of these songs could also be like a stoner rock version of Stone Axe at times. Wolves at my Door has a foot stomping and a bit more bluesy approach, while Me and You is another strong track with a Kyuss vibe but without the massive bass and passionate singing. Corner has a cool power riff and groove when it picks up the pace in this under 3min track. Drawing Flies is the closing track and the longest at 7mins and 41 seconds. A fucking good record…

Insider- Event Horizon (Andruid Records AR001)

The instrumental Italian band Insider is back with their 2nd release in less than a year after quite a long break between releases. I have been a fan of the band since the old days when they released Simple Water Drops. This new album features 8 tracks in 58mins and some pretty intense heavy riffs and a lot of double tracked guitars. The line up is the same as on the last jam record called Vibrations from the tapes with Marco Ranalli on guitars and synths, Stefano di Rito on drums and Piero Ranalli on bass. Escape Velocity starts things off with a pretty complex track with a lot of different time changes and heavy riffing and some nice chorus, harmony guitars before the main guitar solo section hits, where the wah guitar comes on heavy and in multiple layers til the faded end. Magnetic Field Lines continues in the same complicated mode but with an even more heavy riff until the solo section when some synths come in and he goes into a very beautiful melodic solo. Gravitational Mass slows things down to a more melodic almost doomy feeling (except the sound production is so clean). The guitar solo comes in early on this track. I really like the riff section on this track and marco goes into a killer guitar solo while keeping the melodic one running underneath. Great stuff. Jet starts off with a Slayer like riff and some synths. Eventually Marco comes up with another really killer riff but returns to this harmony guitar theme. Synths come in here and there. Event Horizon is an acoustic track with some really spaced out sounds in the background. This leads into the Expansion of the Universe track, which is a 9 min 6 piece suite. It starts with some really nice melodic guitar and a synth line, which later switches but the focus is really on the cool guitar playing of Marco in this really complex track. The next two tracks are called Black Hole and White Hole. The first track is slower and features some repeated guitar lines and melodies in it’s 8min journey, with the synths coming every minute or so. The riff gets a big heavier at the end and he kicks in the wah pedal as well. I like the opening riff, which he doubles up that starts the last 6min track, White Hole. The synth that repeats is pretty cool as well. This is quite a different record than the last jammed out one the band made and features a lot of really complicated tracks. Enjoy.

The Golden Grass- One More Time 7” (Electric Assault records ASLT-05/Svart SVR237)

The Golden Grass is a new act from the USA. They are a three piece. The singer reminds me of the guy from Kadaver! The band also plays 70s rock as well. Anyway, this is a pretty cool track with cowbell, a nice melodic theme but also some heavy guitars and riffs as well. A real classic rock track. Tornado is about a woman and is a slow heavy bluesy song. The last section the band really takes off and the track really develops goes in a different direction with a short solo and a lot of changes. There is some acoustic guitar in the outro and echoed vocal that closes the B side. Just a small taste. I for sure want to hear more.

Hogjaw- If it ain’t Broke (Swamp jaw beamusic 2013)

Hogjaw are a southern rock band from Arizona and this is their 4th record. They write some damn good songs and mix up more melodic southern rock with more hard edged Clutch like stuff but without that killer swing. They also write some damn good lyrics that people can really relate to as well. One More little One starts things off with a foot stomping shuffle that reminds me a bit of Skynryd. Built my Prize is a melodic mid paced track with a decent groove. It is with Am I wrong that this side really starts to cook. This track is a great and features the other vocalist (drummer?). Dig the riff on this one and it reminds me of Cactus until the more laid back section with the dual guitar solos. Shiny Brass and especially Cold Dead Finger are cool songs and especially the hard rocking uptempo CDF track. Side B starts off with The Wolf pt1 and pt2! It starts with a nice heavy guitar riff and a short guitar solo straight away and then into the main track. The part 2 is a long and very cool spacey guitar solo section. The Devil’s Eyes is a more bluesy track and now the vocals have changed (I think it is the drummer Kwall). ’83 is a very fun song and has a long about listening to Iron Maiden on your Walkman! I was totally into Iron Maiden in 1983! The last track is sort of silly, Beer Guzzlin’ ‘Merican and for sure my least favourite on the record but I am sure this is a great one live and the audience totally get into it. Glad they mix some serious playing and some fun as well. I liked their last record better but maybe this one I have just not heard enough.

Monomyth- Monomyth (Burning World Records BWR032)

Monomyth are a new Dutch band with the drummer from 35007. It is all instrumental music with a lot of mood and drive. the band are a five piece with one guitar, bass, drums and two synthesizer/keyboard players. The double LP features 6 songs and side A starts off with the track Vanderwaalskrachten. It starts slow and spacey but then slowly builds up and Thomas plays a very cool and intense guitar solo and later the organ takes the lead as it builds up more and more intensity. Great start. Vile Vortices reminds me a bit of Pink Floyd the way the organ and slide guitar is played and the spacey vibe in the track. Then, it gets into stoner rock and a heavy bass line licks in and everything is lifted to a higher level. Wow.. The Groom Lake Engine starts off very spacey and has a really nice slow build. This is really space rock, slowly building a bit like My Sleeping Karma, not in sound, but vibe. Almost predictably, the bass kicks in again and the whole track lifts in intensity and they just take off. First the guitar solo which is intense and quite short and back into the main theme again and repeat the cycle once again with more added organ as it evolves. Now, the next phase of the trip begins with a slow build and this one just stays in the spaced zone for nearly the entire track and then you get quite a surprise when the organ starts to raise the intensity. The guitar plays some freaky stuff that is panned around as are the synths at the end. Spaced out! Now side C and D are each full album side track so get ready. Huygens slowly builds and has a cool third stone from the Sun inspired guitar section as the rhythm section is very steady and repeatitive supporting the long solo section. Then it goes off into some sort of almost like mainstream rock style music and then it all starts to distort and get nasty and build up with the same riff and theme repeated over and over and over and over. I wish they would break out into a killer guitar or organ solo but they don’t until the very end when it all reaches climax. Spaced out ending. Particles has no sound to start the side for like 30 seconds and then slowly the synths and stuff start to fade in, The sound is very far out to start and then suddenly clears like the cloudy sky turning blue. It takes a long time as the synths just get totally spaced out before the rest of the band decides to join in 10 mins later and then it is a very simple drum and the intensity of the synths builds up and they add more and more delay and until it is just reverberating.  If you are fans of Monkey 3, My Sleeping Karma, Colour Haze, you will for sure dig this record. A very cool debut.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hipiersonik- Czarna Skrzynka (Falani 2013)

Hipiersonik is a band that I saw opening for Hawkwind in Liverpool. They are a 3 piece band of saxophone, drums and a guy with a sampler. A lot of stuff is sampled. The guy on the sampler also provides the spaced out vocals. The music is a mixture of techno beats, mostly melodic spacey rap or vocals but with some cool drumming and great saxophone. Some nice piano is featured on some of the songs as well. It is quite a mixed back of electronica. The 10th hidden track is actually a short pretty cool version of 21st century schizoid man by King Crimson. Check out their web site. The CD comes in a cool 5 ¼ inch floppy disc! If any of you remember these?

Circle and Mammifer- Enharmonic Intervals (Sige Records SIGE-020)

I think a lot of people are wondering just what the hell this collaboration will be like. Let’s just say it is like a mostly instrumental trip to the dark side of the mind, where evil things dwell, where people are tortured, exposed to extreme violence, visual madness, and insanity. There are 7 themes spread over the 3 sides of vinyl. I would not recommend a CD version as you would most likely kill yourself or someone else if you heard the entire 3 sides without a break. Be careful as this is very dangerous when consumed, in even small quantities. You have been warned!

Aerosmith- Rock for the Rising Sun DVD (Japanese Edition)

Aerosmith is one of the bands that I grew up listening to in the early 70s and I have a real soft spot for the bands early albums and they play mostly that material to this day. I think this must be one of the few bands from the 70s that play mostly improvised and jamming on every single song (on this tour!). On this DVD they rarely play a single song like the records, every song is played with long guitar solos, having fun, not worried about being super tight.  This concert opens with Draw the Line (1977) and they are just jamming.. Love in an Elevator, while having a very poppy chorus has a pretty heavy riff and both Joe and Brad just do great and pretty long solo sections. I skipped Livin’ on the Edge but Hangman Jury was played even though they did not rehearse it and they mix in some backstage banter about Steven wanting to play it even though they did not rehearse it. Throughout the DVD they mix in some backstage banter, pics and interviews of the band in and around Japan, etc. between most songs. All but a few of the songs are shown completely.  No More no More, Mama Kin, Toys in the Attic… every song just jammed out all the time.  I got the Japanese version from my friend Hatsumi and it is well worth it with nearly 30mins of extra songs (One Way Street, Lord of the Thighs (Best song on the DVD with a great long Brad Whitford solo), Train kept a Rollin’ and Lick n’ Promise!). I don’t think there is another band from this era that plays so much early material and just jams out every single song and not just sticking to the formula.  Which bands still play 3-4 songs from their first record? Not UFO, Scorpions, ZZTop, Deep Purple, none… Great DVD… A huge surprise and I had not expected it to be that good.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hawkwind and Hipiersonik- O2 Academy, Liverpool, UK Nov 9th, 2013

I had to see Hawkwind on the Warrior on the Edge of Time reissue tour where they would perform the entire record in it’s entirety. Sue and took the train to Liverpool and spent the afternoon on the Magical Mystery tour, which took you around to all the historical Beatles sites in Liverpool, then we had a nice Indian meal and headed to the venue around the corner. The place is upstairs and holds a bit over 1000 and it was quite an intimate small place to see Hawkwind. Stage was pretty small for them and all their dancers. When we came in about 19:45, a band from Poland called Hipiersonik was just starting. It was a mixture of some pretty cool jazzy, electronic, GONG like stuff with more electronic stuff with rapping that I did not really dig so much (like the video I shot. The song before was really great). I think they played about 45mins. The 2nd to last song they played as a short crazy version of 21st century Schizoid man (King Crimson) and that was really cool.

               Hawkwind hit the stage just before 21 and it was really hot in this place now, even though it was quite cold outside (8C). They opened with an old Calvert poem and straight into Master of the Universe. The soundman was working on the sound as it was a bit out of balance, with Dibs standup bass being the loudest instrument drowning out all the guitar. Dibs voice was clearly hurting after 5

nights in  a row and was sounding pretty rough but hanging in there. Steppenwolf was next and a big surprise for me and Dibs played the main frontman (well, he is basically the voice of Hawkwind these days) and actor. The Hills have Ears is the best song off Onward, so that was cool to see. The dancers and the projections were really cool but they guy doing the main lights had these blue lights going straight out into the audience and it totally bleached out the visuals and was quite annoying. Southern Cross also off the Onward record and then they went directly into the complete Warrior on the Edge of Time. It was great to hear this classic record live and I enjoyed it so much but I was surprised they played it even shorter than the studio version with shorter versions of Magnu, Opa Loka and others. These are great songs for the band to jam and space out but they didn’t at all and infact there were no

guitar solos yet in this concert. The beautiful one that is usually in the Goldn void that Dave plays was replaced with a short sax solo! Kings of Speed was so fantastic to hear live and they all had a fun time playing it. If I have one complaint besides the jamming is that Dave hardly sings anything and when he does, Dibs voice is also singing and much louder than Dave. Since Dave is taking a lot of breaks and hardly singing, he has been sort of sidelined, almost. Sentinel, also from Onward, and then into Silver Machine with Richard singing lead. Two more from Astounding sounds (Reefer Madness and Assassins of Allah, with a long electronic section). The show ended with a new version of Utopia (the only song they played from the 80s (with no songs being played from the bands catalog from (1985-2012). The show ended with Seasons (also from Onward and also on the new Spacehawks CD). Great concert. Hawkwind still kicks some ass live and provides a great visual and musical show.

The Awakening, Master of the Universe, Steppenwolf, The Hills Have Ears, Southern Cross, Assault and Battery>The Golden Void, The Wizard Blew His Horn, Opa-Loka, The Demented Man, Magnu, Standing at the Edge, Spiral Galaxy 28948, Warrior On The Edge, Kings of Speed, Sentinel, Silver Machine, Reefer Madness, Assassins of Allah Encore: Utopia, Seasons

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Taylor's Universe- Evidence (Marvel of Beauty Records)

Multi-instrumentalist, Robin Taylor is back to take you into Taylor’s Universe. It is quite a few of the same folks with Karsten Vogel on sax and bass clarinet, Klaus Thrane on drums but also some new blood with Thomas Ulstrup on synthesizer solos and Claus Bøhling on guitar solos, with Robin playing everything else you hear, except Louise Nippers voice on Red Afternoon. This is the first new records from Claus Bøhling since his work with my band, the Øresund Space Collective and I have to say he is still in top form! This album was recorded between May and October 2013, so they put it out weeks after finishing it!  The CD begins with the long and moody track, Buildings, which features a number of solos by all those involved. The end gets really freaky before coming back to a normal sound and beautiful outro solo by Karsten. The synth solo prior to the freaky section had a really cool sound. Red Afternoon is next and starts right off with the dreamy voice and keyboard and bass before the others join in. This is a pretty cool track with a really slow pace and just drifing bass that I like. Great balance between heavy and lightness. Claus plays a killer solo at the end of this track. Great wah guitar! Marie Marolle has a mysterious theme, almost like it should be in a Dario Argento movie but then it really changes when Claus kicks in around 2½ mins. They return to the strange theme that it started with eventually. Karsten comes in later than on the other tracks. Forever and a Day features a lot of great guitar and synths solos and they just trade back and forth over a good portion of the song. Karsten is playing a much smaller role in this track. For those of you out there that are not familiar with Taylor’s Universe it is basically an instrumental jazz rock outfit with a bit more improvised flavour than Robin’s other work. Robin composes, arranges and produces all this records but he leaves a lot of space for all the other players and actually rarely is the one taking the lead, except on the bass on this CD, even though he also plays guitar, keyboards, flute and percussion and other things you can hear. I like this stuff a lot…

Pale Moon (Private Release Finland 2013)

Pale Moon is the solo project by Mikko (Ex-Dark Sun) from Helsinki, Finland. He plays all the instruments and it also features some guest including his brother and Nik Turner from Hawkwind! The opening track has some spoken words and very deep base. IT is a really cool and spacey number and reminds me of the more electronic modern day Hawkwind stuff or the White Zone material. A Lion’s Roar is a short track with a long guitar solo and is sort of like a simple rock jam with himself. Down by the roadside by the River starts with a long sample by a guy who saw a UFO. The groove in the background is really cool and groovy and spacey but the music is mixed quite far away. The Colour of your Blood is a really old track featuring Mikko’s brother on vocals and Nik Turner on sax and flute. This is from a one track demo I got from Mikko back in 1998! Anyway, it has all electronic drums and percussion beats (as do all the tracks, I don’t think Mikko plays a real drum kit). It has a slow moving mood and feel to it with cool layers. Hard to describe. The Illusionist features Dark Sun guitarist, Jurza on guitar and Mikko on vocals. The programmed drums are more prominent and the music quite dreamy. Jäba Tuli has a really cool vibe and this single repeated drum beat (maybe drives you a bit crazy!) but some cool guitar, cryptic voices and shaking percussion that drives this one… I think he should have added some more layers of stuff in the middle though as I kind of lost interest but what a super cool track. The colour of your Mood is nearly the same as the Colour of your Blood without Janne’s vocal and again featuring Nik Turner. It is basically like a reprise with slight differences. Moon rising reminds me of Set the Control for the heart of the sun but without any drums. Very spacey and a cool bass line and guitar with layers of floating synths… I wish it was longer. Featherfall is primarily and effected guitar in layers and Mikko on spoken words (by his wife). The CD ends with Palaemoon elegans (anyone a biologist?). This one has a unique percussion rhythm and floating synths at the beginning and then there is some hand drum playing and just a real ethereal feeling to this ending track. You end your trip in a happy place. This available for 5€ at bandcamp or a limited edition CD-R version in 100 copies you will also be able to buy soon.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Föllakzod and Papir- Stengade 30, København, Denmark 11/1/13

I had not expected to go out to a show tonight and did not know anything about this but a Greek friend tipped me off and sure enough a lot of my friends (Tom, Sven, Jens, Christina, martin) were all there as well. When I arrived a little after 21, the Papir guys were just standing around and we talked for a bit and the band from Chile had not even arrived yet! I had hoped to be able to bring them the new ØSC record, that they also all played on but it sadly did not arrive today as expected.

          Around 22 Papir hit the stage and it was clear they had a lot of young local fans and some family into see them play. They opened with a new song, which was different from the new one they played opening for White Hills in September. The set was a cool mix of old and new and included one jam towards the end of the set. The crowd was really into it and the sound was excellent and not too loud. The guy doing lights tonight actually had a good idea what to do and did cool lights for Papir. The last 4 shows I have been to it has been a guy who basically just knows how to turn the switches but understands nothing about doing lights in the dynamics and mood of the band. Great set, about 50mins long.

          It took a while, perhaps 45-60mins before Föllakzoid was set up since they arrived so late. There was still a lot of people and the mood was good and the lights blue with a lot of fog for almost the entire show. He had used a lot of red for Papir but none for this band. Anyway, this 4 piece band from Chile (young) play very repetitive groove music in the vein of Neu, Mazerati, Wooden Shjips, White Manna, Monomyth, etc. I can easily describe one of the songs and this will cover the entire concert as every song was nearly the same with slight differences. The guitar player is very good at playing cool delay guitar. The drummer and bass player really groove well together. The bass player does the singing in this sort of effected laid back way, very much like the Wooden Shjips guy does and it is mixed into the music in quite the same way as well. The synth guy makes mostly drones and repeated loops of sounds in time with the groove. All the songs are probably around 10mins and take you on this smooth cruising journey. They really need projections to go along with each one. I thought it was cool but the band simply never reaches any peaks in their music and I really need this to take me to the next level. They just cruise with some change in dynamic and when they do build up a bit they never head into a killer guitar solo or a massive freakout or anything to reach a crescendo. They played this song from their new record called Pulsar and it has a groove a lot like You shouldn’t do that from Hawkwind but they never really took it to the higher level. Still I enjoyed the concert and with visual projections it would have been even better. No idea what the set list was but from hearing their vinyl, they played all of these songs and for about 75mins.