Monday, July 13, 2015

Dementia Five- Revolt in the Fifth Dimension (Yoshiwara 303)

This is a very cool limited edition (100 copies) cassette release from my friend Danny and his friends of the Yoshiwara Collective in Ireland.  This is not a totally new band (they have been playing around Portland, ME since at least 2011) and features the drummer (and his wife on vocals) and guitarist from Ogre! The music has some similarity to Ogre but features a lot of organ (Gina Brown) and reminds me a bit of Glitter Wizard at times. The first track is called Revolt in the 5th Dimension and it gets up and going quite quickly and really rocks. Later it slows down for a nice wah wah guitar solo section Magic Man is simply a kick ass high energy rock track with some ripping guitar work by Ross. 
What a killer track. Path of Decay is a more laid back melodic track with some nice organ and guitar but some intense drumming before the killer riff kicks in. Reminds me a lot of Glitter Wizard but not as funny lyrics or sense of humour. Lots of nice organ playing on this one as well. Flip the tape over for Crossroads of Indifference. This is a slower one and a bit more psychedelic with some in your face organ but a heavy riff in the background. IT turns into a quite happy almost party tune.. A catchy one… All the way Around is the most doomy track and less organ and a focus on the heavy guitar riff and a great psyched out guitar solo… Fantastic track. Dementia ends this tape.. I guess it was about 30mins of music..    This last track starts off with a bass line and then the rest of the band joins in for one last blast with a long jam in it. Great tape….

Cary Crane- Tygerland (Door 13 Music D130016)

Cary Grace is an American artists living in the UK. On this record she collaborated with some pretty cool people including Steffe Sharpstrings (here and now, GONG), John Garden (Scissor Sisters), Graham Clark (GONG), and Spencer Cullum jr (Dead String Brothers, Steelism).  The CD 8 tracks.  Tracks 1,2,4,5 and 8 were recorded in a live session with Steffe and John in August 2014. The intro starts things off with some crazy guitar and sounds that then merges into a dream state with some cool spacey synths and this leads into Cyanide. A very cool moody song with some dark lyrics but some melody but sometimes heavy guitar as well. I liked this track a lot and Cary has a nice voice as well. Orange Sky is more minimalist with mostly synths, drums and vocals (with some long delays which sound great). Steffi come in with a nice but short solo later.. War Child is more of a melodic blues rock track with a ing jam in the middle and a bit of spaciness at times in this 8 min track. Limelight is something totally different, and a sort of relaxed jazzy atmosphere, which is cool. Lots of different styles represented here. Razorwire has a great bass line but the rest of the song was like a pop number that I did not like much. Into the Indigo features Graham and Spencer and is another pretty spacey track with some nice violin by Graham. The title track lasts 20 mins and is a quite cool jam. I have to say this CD really surprised me and has a lot of great numbers. I will for sure look forward to what Cary does next.. You can hear the record on her bandcamp site..

Ball- Fyre Balls 7” (Subliminal Sounds)

Ball is a mutant off-shoot of the Swedish band Skogen Brinner and is apparently 3 brothers. This debut 7” features 2 tracks. The first on called Fyre Balls is a 2 1/2 min track which sounds like a short psychedelic jam with some keyboards and a raw nasty fuzzed out guitar. Cool song. The video for 'Fyre Balls' will debut on on Tuesday July 16th. 

Fyre is 8 mins and features some vocals and intense guitar and great rock groove. A nasty band but good fun psychedelic rock and roll with some bursts of cool guitar parts.  Might remind me of Santa Cruz (Orange Sunshine side group). A promising new band if you like psychedelic rock with a lot of guitar and I do. 

Side Effects- A four LP box Set (Fruit De Mers Records)

Fruits de Mer never shy away from ambitious and large projects and this box set featuring one song per side by 8 bands over 4 LPs in an elegant box…. There are some really cool covers here starting off with The Soft Bomb’s take on Echoes by Pink Floyd. They are pretty true to the original but take a step further to make it more psychedelic and faster tempo! Arcade Messiah take on the Aphrodite’s Child track, Four Horsemen. Very spacey and nice. For most people it will be the first time to hear the full 22min version of China, an old Electric Sandwich track covered by the Bevis Frond. This was released in a shorter 9min version previously by the label and features a lot of guitar with Nick and Bari! Wreaths do Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot. I don’t know the original but I am sure this is a quite far out take..  I love the Finnish band Superfjord and they really space out with CTA-102 by the Byrds! 

The Luck of Eden Hall go for Starship Trooper by YES…. now dedicated to Chris Squire, whom we recently lost.. Very true to the original but some really cool dual guitar soloing going on in the jam section. Julie’s Haircut surprise us with a take on a couple of Mile Davis tracks (Shhh/Peaceful). Peaceful and floating. Sendelica freak us all out with I feel Love by Donna Summer that you would never recognise. Totally spaced out to start and then…. well you will find out..  I love the Kingston Wall version but am not sure about this one. Every track is a really long jammed out version with the shortest side being 16 mins!  Amazing collection of songs.. I love this release..

ZX+- DON’T DRINK THE WATER CD (Play and Record Records PRR4)

ZX+ is basically a one man project by a gentleman named Stephen Evans. He has some help on drums and some female backing vocals as well on a number of tracks. This CD features 13 tracks in a little more than 30mins. He has previously released an LP in 50 copies and a compilation CD of different tracks. The Crazies starts things off and has a crazy high pitch ring noise at the end, that is meant to annoy you and make you pay attention…. Weird pop… Kurtz is a quirky fast paced track with some weird samples. Something Real has the drums mixed very high and a simple bass line and seems to be personal song with Mary adding some dreamy vocals.. Mud and Rubble is a fast paces sort of garage rock track. - is a short acoustic track that leads into Pet Sematary. Yes.. it is spelled that way… The Desert has a bit of a western tinge to it and starts with some acoustic guitar and then goes electric and is a very cool song.. I will not go through all 13 tracks but this is some very personal pop with a tinge of psychedelic here and there to make it all not quite as normal as it seems. There are some really cool songs and a few that did not speak to me at all..  hard to find much info about him on the net but see the links below… This is a really diverse collection of songs with a each different from the previous, which I like.. Enjoy.. 

Der Blutharsch and the Infinite Church of the Leading Hand- Joyride (Self Released)

This is apparently quite an old band who will celebrate their 20th anniversary next year. I had never heard them before and I have to say after hearing the record 4 times now, I still don’t really know what to write about these folks….. Strange, gothic, krauty, weirdness….   Cool CD slip sleeve with nice artwork but almost no information. Without my glasses I would have never been able to figure out who this band was… no information virtually… Anyway…. Bizzare stuff, very minimal at times and a special sound production. Female spoken words, dreamy synths, strange sound effects, sometimes backwards instruments, no or minimal drums…… vibrating synths, bass drones, muffled guitars,…. spacey at times… intense… just check them out and make your own opinion! 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Aerosol- Byhaven, Copenhagen July 9th, 2015

Aerosol is a solo project by Rasmus Rasmussen of Causa Sui. He has recently released a new album that I reviewed a few weeks ago. LINK. I had never seen him live in this context. He was joined by a guy named Keith on guitar. On the albums, Rasmus plays all the instruments but he obviously can’t do that here.. Anyway, it had been awful weather all day and although it was not raining now it was still quite cold (58F, 14C) for a July day. About 50 people were hanging out, mostly friends of his wife.  He played about 6 tracks I think for about 45mins. The sound was great and it is cool music but more for small club with some cool visuals of skydiving or floating in space or running through grassy fields would add to the experience.. It was nice. I did not stay to see the next band, Irene..

You can hear his channel on you tube!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Roskilde Festival 2015

I believe this is the 16th time I have gone to the Roskilde Festival. I stopped going two years ago as it has become to difficult to camp due to the huge parties and large music stereos that people bring to the area. It has destroyed the ability to be there for four days for the music. The program has been very weak the past few years and this year was perhaps the weakest I had ever seen so until my band, Øresund Space Collective was invited I had not planned on attending. There are always a lot of suprises though and even though you don't see names you know there is usually a lot to discover. 

We went out on the first day of the festival, the Weds and got our wristbands which gave us access to the normal backstage food and bar places and a short cut through the festival site and shorter cues for the bathroom.. The first band we saw was an US punk rock group called OFF! Lots of fast, short tracks with political lyrics and some funny talk in between but they more or less all sounded the same. Still fun.

King Gizzard
Next we went to check out the Gloria Scene, where we would play on Sunday morning at 01:00.. A Danish group called Santiago was playing and they had acoustic guitar, electric guitar, pedal steel on a few songs and had a real US Americana feel to the music. All of the Danish groups doing this kind of stuff always go for a more mainstream pop sound rather than the organic backwoods Americana.. 
We saw 3-4 songs…

We caught King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, an Australian psych band on the Pavillion stage. I had never heard this young 7 piece band but they were pretty cool.. Very high energy with two drummers, three guitars, bass and a guy on effects and harmonica who also did some of the singing. Not sure why they had the two drummers as they played as an exact mirror of each other and could have done a lot of cool stuff…. I enjoyed the show.. 

Electric Eye from Norway had amazing visuals in the Gloria Scene and I could imagine how cool it would look when we played. Wow.. anyway,this was an excellent four piece band with an intense drummer and great dynamics between the two guitar players as they played cool psychedelic rock with some krautrock inspiration in the hypnotic bass lines and stuff.. I was pretty blown away…

On the way out we saw some of this Pharell Williams guy and the crowd was huge but the music was so bad.. it was like hip hop sings long songs for 12 year olds….. the people loved it.. Bizarre.. Glad I don’t get it….

We did not come out on thursday but besides Mastadon, Pallbearer and Muse, I did not know any of the bands. Friday, we also stayed home to rest. It costs 30€ each way for the train for us to go back and forth.. Anyway, Friday, I heard GOAT played a very cool concert. Lamb of God and Enslaved also played but again, nothing else I knew at all.. Kronos Quartet would have been cool though.

Sonhoy Blues
Saturday we arrived about 16 in the afternoon in time to see Sonhoy Blues from Mali at 17… Before that we heard a lot of Barrington Levy from the main stage. The only reggae band and he does a lot of all styles of Jamaican music so not straight reggae, like I like..  Anyway, Sonhoy Blues was really excellent. What a cool band playing a mix of Mali desert blues and rock… some quite hard.. IT was great but very hot in the Gloria scene so we had to go out and find a cool place as it was still 8 hrs before we play. We heard some of Chelsea Wolfe and Selvhenter at the Gloria stage and went and saw about 30mins of Paul McCartney, which was more interesting than it was good. Massive crowd but the volume was so low you could hardly enjoy it over the people talking all around. He had really cool visuals.  Selvhenter was so intense.. 6 ladies make a hell of a crazy mix of free jazz and noise rock, with two intense drummers. Wow..

ØSC hit the stage at 01:00 with a cool introduction and off we went…   We had a major failure to generate enough energy in our set and although the room was half full by the time we started by the time we had played an hour there was about 100 or less people left, which was a bummer. We had a stiff competition with the Africa Express in the Arena tent from midnight until 04….    I think if we had played intense high energy music, we would have held the audience… One of our guitar players was so tired and just played way too laid back, and we just did not have high enough energy playing so the band, we just cruised instead of fly…. lost the audience.. Pity.. The visuals were totally amazing and the rest of the band played very well. Our one chance at Roskilde to make a historic gig and we blew it….  The music is still very cool we played but just not what was needed for this late at night.. Check it out below..  

Super professional staff at all backstage areas and on stage.. Still an amazing festival. I will think about going back again but would have to sort out a place in the quiet camp……

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Vibravoid- 2001 4LP Box Set (Kraut Minded Records)

I think when you get this box all you can do is say WOW…. This is a very impressive box filled up with stuff and music to celebrate the release of the very first Vibravoid record.  The 4LP box has a lot of great stuff and each record is in a different multicoloured vinyl. There is a 16 page book, a large 2 sided poster and 12cm vibravoid patch… As for the music there are 30 tracks of all sorts of unreleased demos and live tracks, mostly are from the period when this original record came out. I have not heard the whole thing yet but it a very cool release. It costs about 75€plus postage, so it is not a cheap item. There are 750 numbered boxes. Only one press..  

WHITE HILLS/MUGSTAR SPLIT 7” (God Unknown Records)

What a great combination… This 7” is limited to 300 copies and is part of the singles club started by the Mugstar guys. The Mugstar track Wire to Wire is a great Farflung like space rock track with a high energy and drive, a bit punky and quite hypnotic. A bit too short though but it is a 7”. The White Hills track as is a strange outtake from their last recording sessions and features a drum machine and a repeated chant vocal with some far out effects. Only synths and programmed instruments and a bass line. No guitar. Quite psychedelic stuff. 

F/i- VENUSIAN HOLIDAY LP (Kraut Minded Records)

F/i are the longest running US Space rock bands, going on and off since the early 80s. I was first turned on to their really early electronic music by Doug Walker of Alien Planetscapes and have followed the band for more than 20 years and heard most everything they have produced except a few releases. This is the same line up that made the bands last release. This album features 4 jammed out tracks of instrumental space rock with some cool electronics. Grant, the only original member left in the group makes his own synthesiser modules and makes some cool sounds here…  The title track starts things off with the band all searching with a lot of spaced out sounds before the cymbals and drums slowly enter and the jam begins with the bass line and guitars. Alien Planetscapes vibe at times with all the spaced out synths and intense panning of the guitar makes it quite psychedelic. Welcome to the Jewelled Forest kicks in with a slightly faster pace and a nasty distortion guitar and some organ as the bass line drives things. This is very much a guitar driven jam with the synths being much less involved but Brian killing it on the guitar. 860 degrees in the shade is a short 4 min track and almost like a distorted garage rock song with some crazy sounds going on. OM17 is a really cool track and returns with the synths playing a greater role in the track and making it really spacey.  Love the modular synths stuff as it sounds so rich.  At the end they borrow the Pink Floyd- Set the Controls for the heart of the Sun riff and vibe for a most excellent piece of music.  Cool album. 

DATURA4- DEMON BLUES (Alive Records ALIVE0172-2)

Datura4 is a great new band on the Radio Moscow label, Alive Records. They are from Western Australia and for sure heard a lot of Buffalo and Master’s Apprentence. The CD features 11 tracks and starts off with Out with the Tide, a cool blues rocker with a lot of way guitar, that sets the standard for what will come from this quartet (two guitar, bass, drums). Both guitar players, Dom and Greg sing. You ain’t no friend of Mine is a hypnotic stoner blues track. Another Planet is a fantastic 60s inspired laid back and amazing song, probably my favourite on the entire record. Just an amazing song that I can hear over and over again… Journey Home has a more heavy bass line to start this one off but the melodic guitar leads the track while the heavy fuzzed one gives the vibe. Reminds me of Arc of Ascent a bit.. Cool song with some nice psychedelic guitar and a great stoned vibe. Hoonswing is a down dirty slow blues track. Demon Blues takes the foot stomping good fun vibe up a step and is a great track to crank up but it is short.. Pissing up the Wall features some slide guitar an again a nice return with a cool groove. Killjoy starts with a solo guitar and then the wall of stoned sound kicks in and off we go.. Gravedigger Man is a more laid back track about working in the cemetery! Love to Burn is another real 70s inspired hard rock track but with that nice stoney vibe. If 7 was 11 is called a Bonus track on the CD…  It is a slow bluesy instrumental track that was probably just a jam in the studio. I really dig this record a lot. Amazing stuff.. This will be on my list of top records for 2015 for sure… 

Seremonia- Hasiskultti 7” (Svart SVR365)

The Finnish Cult rock band are back with a new 7” and full length record. This 7” comes in hash brown and black vinyl editions. The opening track is really cool and translates to Hash Cult. It is very much an anti-hash song though when you read the translated lyrics.  Of course anything in excess is bad for you but not this music!  Very cool dark mystical vibe on this track with heavy bass and some piano lines and Finnish vocals.. Hulluus (Insanity) is the b side and a more heavy track but still quite slow and mystical in some way.  The band also have a new full length record called Kristalliarkki that is excellent. I really like it a lot.. A cool band.. Hope they come back to Denmark again..

Circle- Pharaoh Overlord (KRYPT-083) /Pharaoh Overlord- Circle (KRYPT-084)

So Circle and Pharaoh Overlord are back with new records, each sharing titles and ideas. I have started with the Circle record. It starts off with Koitto, a mellow track with just simple guitar and vocals my Mika. Very repetitive for a while and then a cool groove starts as the whole band joins in and Juho play some horns (tuba?). The vocals return to the same theme as it started with. Eventually Mika lets out a scream and then the same themes with slight variations are repeated over and over again for a bit too long actually. I really like the track a lot but not enough new happened to really keep me totally engaged. Kävelen Luiden Päällä is next and a bit of the same sort of theme with a repetitive theme with the simple horn line but then an occasional heavy guitar kicks in an Mika lets out a few screams now and then… The best part is when the bass line really becomes more noticeable in the mix and you feel like it is starting to build up but then it doesn’t and returns to the same theme. Again, quite a long track without a lot happening. The same over and over and over. Side B has three tracks starting off with Aavasksa with a repeated theme and again some singing (not words) as the track slowly grows and has acoustic guitar and similar simple horn lines as the song line is repeated over and over..  Akdebaran sounds a lot like one of the songs from the other side. Madonna of Viggiano ends the record and features some like spoken word vocals in English and again a simple theme repeated over and over and some horns. A more heavy guitar kicks in every now and then… That is it.. Circle is Circle and they do their own thing but this one did not turn me on much.. a bit boring..

Pharaoh Overlord is also quite laid back to start with and a lot of repetition but no horns. Cool laid back groove with a bit of spaciness to it. Some nice guitar parts start to evolve and a new age like synth line also joins in. Synths eventually take the lead role in this track, like Italian movie sound track stuff. Tarkennus is next and is really uptempo and also very synth driven. Verbi ends side A and is another fast one with what sounds like a lot of programmed drums (and maybe real ones also) and mostly synthesisers as well. This entire side sounds like no other PO stuff I have ever heard. Bizzare..

Villaa is mid paced and starts with a thumping bass line, quick drums and some guitar but then after 3mins or so, the synths overpower the guitars and then the guitars fight back and take the lead in creating the melody. Cool track.. Raide 2 takes things down a step and has some nice dual guitar lines and a synth arpeggio that lingers mostly in the background but other synth pads and sounds bubble up here and there.. Ystävinä ja Pariskuntina ends the side and is more hypnotic and has a pad synth line running through the track while there is some nice guitar played but it also never really takes off anywhere and repeats the same theme over and over..   Well, now you have to decide if you will like this new material or not.. It was not so exciting for me..

Aerosol- Leave (n5MD MD237LP)

Aerosol is the solo project from multiinstrumentalist, Rasmus Rasmussen, who plays keyboards in Causa Sui. He has been playing music for many years in all sorts of projects. This is his solo projects 3rd record. The record features 4 tracks on each side and Rasmus plays all the instruments and nearly all instruments analog while the recording was done digitally. My quick feeling when I heard the record a few times was that it was deeply inspired by Cluster. I think this is a good reference for fans of that band. Anyway, Paths starts things off on side A with a lot of multilayered synthesisers and a simple drum program and then he plays some melodic guitar over the top. The synths are the main focus though as you have one that is like creating these waves, one making spacey sounds and one swirling around the soundspace. Very cool and beautiful piece of music. Reach is next and has an appreciated synth line that leads, while the pad synths float and glide around the soundscape and melodic guitar plays over the top. Very minimal percussion is mixed low in the background. Leave is a slow building one with powerful low end on one of the synths and some what sounds like backwards guitar layered in. Quite triply. Possible ends side A and features acoustic guitar and piano. Side B starts off with Kicks, which has more drums and a bass line synth that leads the track. Eventually some guitar is layered in as well. Nice track. Exposure is back to the more floating and early kraut synth vibe. Passing starts with a repeated synth line and one that sort of buzzes across the soundscape. A lightly and airy guitar line is also included… Real closes this vinyl record If you like relaxing synth music, this is a great record..  enjoy and check out the great interview below.  (you can buy the record here!)