Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Celestial Transmission- Kontrapunkt, Malmö, Sweden 3/28-29/2015

Auh Soj
This was a crazy night at the underground club Kontrapunkt in Malmo. I had never been there and it was a merging of two diverent music scenes with one room with Psy-trance DJs (Ursa, Matt with an S, Nos and Balistica) and space rock in the other room (Mantric Muse, Øresund Space Collective and Auh-Soj). The doors opened at 21 and Auh Soj (Joshua) played some different ambient electronic stuff then about 22 he put on a guitar and his friend, a very nice handicapped guy worked the laptop. He just sat on the floor and noodled away on his guitar under the beats. He was mixed quite low but you could hear him. He played his electric guitar very much like an acoustic guitar. He had a sitar at the soundcheck but he did not play it. There were no people here yet so he performed for 5-10 people. 
Mantric Muse
          Mantric Muse were to start at 23:30 but there was not a whole lot of people, maybe 40 but there was a steady stream. They started a bit later and played an amazing concert for 2hrs. Wow.. This must be one of the best space rock bands and if you can’t see Ozric Tentacles, you should see these guys. Seeing Mantric Muse live though is about as often as the eclipse! This was the first show since the Nov 2013 tour with ØSC in Germany, except for a private party. The band played 3 of the 4 new songs that they will record for the new record as well as all the tracks from their CD.  There was some extended parts in a few of the songs but they were pretty programmed as they have to follow the computer precisely for all the pre-recorded stuff that Magnus can’t play live due to having to play guitar as well. Ola just gets better and better with the band as well on the lead synthesizer.  Amazing concert..

Set List: DMU, Cinope, Armh+ Jam, Nanoid, DSC, Azur, Gnoxience, Sinbad søførenen, Wobbegong Wookie, Dr. Tits Kitel, SFunx.

          It was about about 3 in the morning when ØSC finally hit the stage. The first gig ever with drummer, Dag (ex-Agusa). Everyone was very tired but there was still quite a lot of people in the building (most in the techno room) but perhaps 60 people filled the front of the stage for the show to start and it got fewer and fewer as it got later and later… We played a pretty high energy show considering.. I think we would have all fallen asleep if we did not keep the energy high. The jams were quite short but people were into it and we all had a good time. It was not our best show. You can hear it below and decide for yourself!

          I only popped in and out of the techno room a few times and there was always a lot of people but it all sounded the same to me…. It is a different world. One of the DJs played only vinyl records which I thought was cool…  Fun night and a very cool club.. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Taylor’s Universe- Børneteater, Christiania March 21st, 2015

This was just supposed to be a normal release party before a concert in the evening with the members of the former Frank Zappa live event band and some of the people that played on Robin’s great new record… but.. they managed to talk Robin into playing some mostly improvised music for about 30mins and it was great. I showed up about 16 and there were very few people I knew; actually only Claus Bøhling and Robin but later my friend Lone arrived so we hung out.  They played the entire new CD while they gave away free beer and soda at the bar and you could buy the last couple of CDs for 100kr. Quite a few people were smoking inside as they always do at this place but at least they had the door open to have some fresh air. After the CD finished the band took the stage with Robin on bass, Claus Bøhling on guitar, Karsten Vogel on sax, Thomas Thor on synths and Klaus Thrane on drums. Not only was this the first time that this group of people had been on stage, it was the first time they had all been in the same room together!  Anyway, they played a 30min jam that had some planned parts but everyone got to do solos except Robin and there was some great guitar and keyboard jams. Robin might not admit it but I saw him smiling quite a few times, and I sense he enjoyed this more than he might admit. It was so fun to see them play.. They should book a gig at the Jazzhouse…  A very rare event to witness as Robin rarely plays live. I have no idea when the last time was.. Such nice people to talk with as well. Danish music heritage..

Papir- Live at Roadburn (El Paraiso Records)

The instrumental Danish three piece are back with a new single CD or double LP from their live concerts at the amazing Roadburn festival 2014. There is also a limited edition version with an extra 10” with two more tracks but this is sold out now unless you contact the band directly. I have been following the band since the very early days and was even at the band’s first LP (the yellow one) release party and have seen them play in a lot of interesting places. It is great to see them rise to the top of the underground psych scene and playing Roadburn and Freak Valley Festival, etc.. Each album side features one song except for side B, which has two, each over 10mins. While you will recognize the main musical themes from each of the songs, the band really improvise and take each track to new heights and different directions each night they play them. True musicians who search for something new and magical in the music and often find it! Amazing version of the song Monday. In addition to the tracks you will recognize, if you own the records, there are two new improvisations/ tracks, simply called Live 1 and Live 2. The band was really psyched and on fire at these two concerts and the energy is well captured on the recording and the mix by Jonas Munk of Causa Sui. This is a great live record and I think you will dig it for sure if you are a fan of instrumental music with a lot of killer, guitar, bass and intense drumming. A great glimpse of a band still taking their music one step forward..  I should mention that the 10" is two new studio tracks, one 7 and the other 11 mins and not taken from the live concerts. 

Band at the release party at Skoven Kalder record store.. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Mind Flowers and Magic Jove- Lygten’s Kro, København March 20th,. 2015

I have not been to many concerts so far this year but I really wanted to see these two new young bands. I was supposed to go talk to the Gas Giant guys and see them rehearse but it was cancelled so I ended up hanging out with my friend Tom and Kasper at the new record store, Skoven Kalder in Nørrebro.  Tom and I arrived about 2230 and there was a lot of people at this traditional old Danish bodega, bar. The band was set up in the corner of a small pretty dark room. I said hello to Tim, the drummer of Magic Jove, who I know from playing with him in Agusa. He introduced me to the other guys.

          Anyway, the band opened with Ashes of your Soul, a very Robin Trower inspired track that will take you back to 1974! The young band are really amazing at channelling that early 70s hard rock vibe but with a lot of blues mixed in. they are not afraid to stretch things out a bit here and there also. Really nice dynamic between the drummer and the bass player. They have really nice dynamics. Guardian Angel is a mid paced track and again reminds me of Trower. This is a shorter more straight up rock track with a very focused solo. Really good players for such a young band. The next track, Track you Down, was a slower blues track with really passionate singing. Tim did a 3-4 min drums solo, which caught me by surprise. You hardly ever see drum solos these days much less in the 3rd song! Cool… I shot a video of Guardian Angel but it was really dark. Please check out the great video below with the first three songs as played at this show as well. 

All the songs except one were from their two EPS, which you can check out on bandcamp. The band kind of lost the audience a bit on some of the slower bluesy tracks but I thought they were excellent songs. I was really blown away by the band. Very cool.. The band has a new 10” release with 4 tracks following up on their digital only EP called In the Fields from 2014. It is made in only 300 copies.

Set List: Ashes of your Soul, Guardian Angel, Track you Down, Trumlåten, Drag me Down, In Chains, So Long, Black Clouds in Western Skies, Sonic Understanding

The Mind Flowers are a pretty new Danish trio who have a 7” record out on the local, Leviation record label. I had known the drummer and guitarist for some years but never seen this line up play before. The band started off with a track very inspired by House of the Rising Sun by the Animals. They had a cool sound and it was a mix of 60s inspired psychedelic rock, sounding a lot like so many Danish bands (you can only use those same chords and strumming patterns in so many ways!) but when they stepped more into the 70s hard-blues rock, that is when I thought they were best and had a more original sound. I enjoyed it a lot but after a while people started smoking inside and it was a really small room and I could not take it so I had to leave. I think I saw about 45mins of their set. Really excellent playing by all the musicians and the singer has an excellent voice (could have used some more delay on the vocal though!). They have only play playing for a year or so.. Cool band also. Great night of music.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Taylor’s Universe- From Scratch (Marvel of Beauty Records MOBCD025)

Multi-instrumentalist, Robin Taylor is back with 7 new compositions featuring 11 Danish musicians, some very well known from the Danish 70s music scene (Karsten Vogel- sax and clarinet) and Claus Bøhling (Guitar) as well Thomas Thor on mini-moog, Klaus Thrane on Drums and Robin plays primarily bass but also all the keyboards except the mini-moog. There are a lot of guests: Jacob Mygind- sax, Carsten Sindvald- sax, and Jytte, Jan and Louise on voices.  Other Meetings starts things off with some fantastic guitar by Claus. Beta X is a strange more experimental track with a lot of synths, voices, vocoder, and strange things going on in the background. A very different mood from the rest of the record and a lovely organ sound and solo. The end is really far out. Balcony People has a bit of a dark mood to start and some samples or voices at the slow start. Interrail is the longest track at 9½ mins and starts off slowly. Claus kicks in around 1½ mins with some intense soloing that is really quite tortured as the whole piece grows in intensity and then the happy female voices come in, just to mess with your head. Some horns squeeze through every now and then but then the track falls down the well and disappears into a strange place and there is a struggle for dominance and then one prevails and the main theme escapes. Very cool song. Laura’s Lullaby is a beautiful piece of piano and sax-clarinet music but a bit predictable. Für Louise is next and features some lovely horn playing and the occasional guitar, which really makes the track anything but predictable. A dark mood is created by the keyboards but the rest a light and happy feeling. Later there is a really nice mini-moog solo by Thomas Thor. Autumn River is nearly 7 mins long and starts with a slow droning synth fade in before some spacey guitar with a lot of delay starts to build things up against the keyboard line. This track is all about highlighting the creative guitar work of Claus Bøhling, pity the solo is faded out at the end. Cool record, again. Thanks Robin…

Lizards Exist- Lizards Exist (Private release Croatia 2015)

Lizard Exist is a new band from Croatia playing instrumental music with a focus on obtaining authentic 70s sound using only old analog gear. The band has released this CD in just 100 copies and is looking for a label to release it on vinyl, as it should be. It was all recorded live in the studio in March 2014. The first track is entitled Bamija. It starts off with a heavy bass line and some spacey guitar and then a kind of jazzy theme begins. A lot of different directions are explored and Roko plays some really nice keyboards as Sinisa takes the main lead with the guitar parts. About 4½ mins in the track really gains in intensity and they get a bit psyched out. Ljetni Hit starts straight out the end of the first track quite seamlessly. The band is experimenting quite a bit at the start and around 3½ mins a more cohesive track comes together as the guitar leads the way and the keyboard player compliments with some space sounds and then takes the lead for a bit. A short drums solo kicks in a bit before 6mins and then a great organ jam takes off for the rest of the track ending at 7mins. 58 takes up the next 7½ mins and starts off quite funky and then goes onto a section that reminds me of GONG but without the sax and then they switch direction with a nice guitar break and cool organ to accompany. Great song. The CD ends with the 17min track, Anunnaki Dance. This has so many cool moods in it as well but starts off with a sort of space surf guitar with some spacey accompaniment. I should also mention the excellent bass and drums.. A very cool band. I look forward to follow their progression. If you dig instrumental bands with a bit of jazz, kraut and tiny bit of space rock thrown in.. check them out on the link here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCE7dYkaTwQ 

Night Flights Vol 1 (Agitated Records 034)

This is basically a solo record by Rich Millman from Carlton Melton. Andy Duvall provides guitar on one of the five tracks (Alpha Jerk) but the rest is Rich…. I first listened to this record with my friend Magnus at the end of a long night of hearing music. It was around 3am when we put the needle down on the record and the journey began. Night Flight starts things off and this is a slow flowing synth drone that really floats and evolves slowly and really makes yu feel like you floating in space.. If you did not completely drift off into space, the next track Orgins might take you there. There is a really long delay on the short organ like sequences that make this one really spacey. Side B starts off with a repeated synthesized beat as the synths fade up and sort of buzz and then another spacey sound, perhaps from guitar starts to pass through the soundscape. This track has a bit of edge to it.. Like the space ship is going to crash? Later on Rich or Andy plays a nice guitar solo to compliment the in your face synth drone. Cool stuff. Lure also makes us of long delays making the simple changes sort of get amplified to make it really spaced out. Corspe Strut closes this album of Night Flights again with some primitive percussion and a sort of unsettling feeling compared to the opening tranquillity of the record. I guess there will be a vol 2?? Thanks Rich.. I would describe this album as music to float into space with. Enjoy…

Black Rainbows- Hawkdope (Heavy Psych Sound HPS022)

The Italian three piece, Black Rainbows, are back with another blast of Fu Manchu inspired spaced out stoner rock. I was a huge fan of the last record they made. It really blew me away so I was really excited to hear this one. The promo material says monster Magnet meets Hawkwind and as those are two of my favourite bands, this set the bar pretty high. The Prophet starts things off with a straight up fuzzed out stoner riff and a vocal a lot like FuManchu and some spaced out sounds in the mid- section of the guitar solo make it more spaced out. I really love how Gabrielle is not afraid to take long guitar solos and not just make them 20 seconds and back to the chorus and riff like most bands in this genre. Wolf Eyes is another shorter rocker in the same vein but a slower more spacey end with a spoken word sample going under the solo that fades the track out. Next up is the great Hawkdope track which is really spaced out and has a great repetitive riff and probably the most Hawkwind like except the vocal. No Fuel No Fun is a mid-paced tracked with some nice psychedelic effects on the vocal. Hypnotize my soul with rock and Roll is straight up grooving rocker with some massive fuzz and soul…. Jesus Judge is straight up stoned spaced out riff rock! Killer Killer Fuzz is even more fuzzed out in sound. The Cosmic Picker ends the record and along with the title track is my other favourite from the record. While I was totally blown away with Black Moon and it is still my favourite record by this band, this is another great one… Cool band..


NATE HALL- FEAR OF FALLING TAPE (Breathe Plastic Records)

Nate Hall is the guitar player from the band, US Christmas but he is probably more well known for his solo work with Scott Kelly and others. I really dug his solo LP from a few years ago and in the last year or so he has released two cassette tapes. One of them was really far out called Electric Vacuum Roar. Fear of Falling has also been released on CD on the Heart and Crossbone Label. Anyway, this tape features 5 songs and is very much in the vein of the music he makes with US Christmas. Unlike his other tape, this is recorded with a full four piece band (guitar, bass, drums and percussion). Heat and Sway displays that melodic spacey semi-tortured guitar that is so present in US Christmas in this first track. Really Cool psychedelic stuff with two different lead guitars in the left and right channels at some point. There is some singing but that is not the focus on this track.  77 is another emotional track with a slow stoned groove and vocal with the occasional guitar solo punched in the gaps. The Traveling Sun is stripped down to just Nate’s voice and guitar and is quite an emotional story.,  Flip the tape over for the track, Fall. This one the guitar riff reminds me of a really stoned CCR song. There is a very intense guitar solo on this track.  Fear of Falling is the last track continues the slow stoney, emotional psych rock with a focus on the heavy distorted guitar and powerful vocals.  If you like Nate’s other work and US Christmas, you will dig these new tracks for sure. Powerful…..

Carlton Melton/Kandodo3 Split LP (Creepy Crawl 001)

This is the first new material from Carlton Melton in quite some time and the first release on this new label, Creepy Crawl. Kandodo 3 is a sort of Heads off shot band, which I have never heard before. The CM side has three tracks and the Kandodo side one long space out. CM starts off with a track called Footprints (which you will also be able to hear on the CM meets Dr Space release due out in May on Space Rock Productions, along with the following track, Flags). A steady spacey track with Andy on drums and John mcBain on guitar and E-bow. It is all about the layers as the riff is pretty simple and repetitive. One thing you will notice is a much cleaner, less low fi production that you hear on most CM releases. Flags is next features Brian on drums and Rich and Andy on guitars. The title for this one is perfect, the mood of the guitar and vibe is great as it is some sort of anthem but a slow stoned one. Chinoteague finishes the side and features just Rich and Andy. A melodic uptempo rocker. Nice guitar playing. Flip the record over and enter into an entirely different world with Kandodo3 and a track called High on Planes, Drifter. Wayne- drums, keys, Simon- guitar, and Hugo-bass. This track starts off as a spacey guitar drone with minimal drums and bass until around the 9min point. Amazing spacey guitar and the build up really has tension that lasts for a long time as you wait for the explosion… Will it explode, maybe? You have to find out for yourself.. Cool record.

Enos/Mangoo split 7” (h42 records, H42-012)

This will be released on March 26th but go on sale on March 1st. Only 300 copies on clear (50), black (50), clear blue (100) and clear orange (100). It is a new split 7” with Enos from xx and Mangoo from Finland. Son of a Gun by Enos starts things off in a quite heavy way with a real rocking groove with a heavy guitar riff from this band with two drummer, two guitars, bass and vocals (six guys total). Awesome song.
Mangoo, has previously released a record on Small Stone, so you know what genre you are getting… The Grey Belly is a more mainstream stoner rock with the way the vocals are sung but the music is pretty adventurous with a lot of cool elements like congas, some spaced out keyboards, unexpected jams in strange directions… then back to the normal… A very nice 7” with two long songs..