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2018-12-31

DEAD NEANDERTHALS - Gestation

Ok, I guess it's an annual tradition by now:

My last text of the year is a half-assed review of a one-track EP Dead Neanderthals just dropped on Bandcamp.


DEAD NEANDERTHALS - Gestation (download) (2018)


Appearantly at some point in September Otto Kokke discovered a note on his saxophone.

So he held it for eighteen minutes, like you do.

Meanwhile someone switched the Aquarius drum robot and a recording machine on.

Afterwards layers of synth swellings and chords were added.

And they saw that it was good.

Some nice raw and monolithic, sax-and-synthie-laden industrial not-your-grandfather's jazz this is.










2018-12-30

SONS OF KEMET - Your Queen Is A Reptile

"Our Queens walked among us. Our Queens led by action, by example, our Queens listened. Our Queens made bright futures out of cruel and unfair pasts. Our Queens cried and laughed with us. Our Queens knew that they were just like us from the beginning, not just when it suited them."




SONS OF KEMET - Your Queen Is A Reptile (CD) (2018)


In den Liner Notes zu "Your Queen Is A Reptile" teilen die Sons Of Kemet ordentlich gegen die imperialistische englische Monarchie aus. Im selben Atemzug zelebriert das britische Jazzquartett aber auch seine wahren Königinnen.
Und dieser kämpferisch positive Ansatz zieht sich dann auch durch das Album, auf dem jeder Track einer bedeutenden Frau der internationalen  Black History (sowie der barbadischen Urgroßmutter von Bandleader Shabaka Hutchings) gewidmet ist.

Damit liegt dieses Album konzeptionell ganz klar auf einer Linie mit gleich mehreren Werken, die es in meine Bestenliste 2018 geschafft haben.* Die Besinnung auf die Erfolge der Vorfahren und die damit verbundene Ergreifung der Erzählungshoheit über die eigene Geschichte findet sich sowohl bei Vodun als auch (erweitert auf eine fiktive Parallelhistorie) Zeal & Ardor. Zudem teilen Sons Of Kemet das Verständnis von Jazz als Sound der Schwarzen Bewegung mit diversen Zeitgenossen, am prominentesten darunter natürlich Saxophon-Maximalist Kamasi Washington.

Da Kunst immer eine Reaktion auf die Welt um den Künstler herum ist, kann man den Trend zu großen Statements bezüglich Schwarzer Identität und vor allem auch Geschlechtergerechtigkeit, natürlich unmöglich als Zufall betrachten. Die Zeiten erfordern die Botschaft.

Zwei Punkte machen jene Botschaft hier besonders kraftvoll: Zum einen handelt es sich - wie der Name schon sagt - bei Sons Of Kemet um eine rein männliche Band, die sehr deutlich und selbstbewusst unchauvinistisch auftritt.
Zum anderen hätte die Gruppe wahrscheinlich gar keinen konzeptionellen Überbau nötig, da ihre Musik alleine einfach schon saucool im Quadrat ist.


Die musikalische Grundformel der Söhne Kemets ist so brilliant simpel, dass man sich wundert, sie nicht schon viel häufiger umgesetzt zu sehen. (Ich meine, es gibt z.B. ein paar The Roots-Stücke, die zumindest ähnlich funktionieren.)
Die Gruppe ist reduziert auf Saxophon, Tuba und zwei Schlagzeuge. Zu dieser Konstellation gesellen sich z.T. noch ein zweites Saxophon und in den ersten beiden, sowie dem letzten Stück Rapgesang.

Und im Grunde ist das von Shabaka Hutchings gespielte Stakkato-Saxophon auch oft ein Rapper.

Bebop, Karibik, Hip Hop, Tribal, Funk. Was diese Konstellation hervorbringt, ist ein anspruchsvoller, aber super direkter und eingängiger, vor Bass und Groove strotzender, unwiderstehlicher Powersound. Moderner (und das ohne jeden Elektrofirlefanz) und kämpferischer kann Jazz wohl kaum klingen.

Ich denke, es ist keine exotische Ausnahmemeinung, wenn ich vermute, dass "Your Queen Is A Reptile" neben Kamasis "Heaven And Earth" wohl das wichtigste Jazzalbum des Jahres ist.
 




Highlights: My Queen Is Yaa Asantewaa, My Queen Is Doreen Lawrence, My Queen Is Ada Eastman, My Queen Is Anna Julie Cooper





*Sons Of Kemet kamen leider zu spät zur Party (sprich: in meine Sammlung), um in meinen Jahrescharts berücksichtigt zu werden.








LA MUERTE - La Muerte

Fuck Feingefühl!

Viva La Muerte!

Erst 2015 ein Livealbum, dann 2016 die "Murder Machine"-EP und als persönliches Highlight natürlich die mörderische Show auf dem Roadburn Festival.

Und nun sind die bösen Belgier back mit ihrem ersten vollen Studioalbum nach ihrer Auferstehung. Es heißt... *Trommelwirbel*... "La Muerte"!




LA MUERTE - La Muerte (gold vinyl LP) (2018)


Das Cover mit dem golden eingestanzten Bandlogo auf dem zwar vernünftig fotografierten, aber doch inhärent trashigen La Muerte-Mördermännchen im Walde, drückt schon ganz gut aus, worum es bei dieser Band geht: Pulpiger Whatthefuck, aber mit Klasse. Irgendwie. Naja, zumindest mit reichlich Böse.

In zehn Tracks knallen sie uns ihren schweineborstigen Crustpunkasozialenrennfahrertriebtäterdrecksackröchelrock an den Latz. Und würden die alle klingen wie - ich sag mal - "King Kong - Godzilla", yep, dann wäre mir das wohl auch zu stumpf.

Ok, auf seine Weise stumpf ist natürlich jeder Track, sonst wäre es ja nicht La Muerte. Doch der Kratzkapuzenmann und seine Freunde haben halt schon ein paar fein unterscheidbare Nuancen von stumpf drauf.

Auf der A-Seite dominiert punk'n'rolliges Uptempo, und wem ich das Album empfehle, der mag sich hier vielleicht noch wundern - inzwischen kann man's ja wohl sagen, ohne gleich geshitstormsteinigt zu werden -, dass ich mich nie sonderlich für Motörhead interessiert habe.
Aber La Muerte haben halt jenes gewisse B-Horrormovie-Feeling und diese räudig übertriebene Boshaftigkeit, für die Lemmy wohl doch ein zu netter Kerl war.

Der richtig geile Scheiß bricht allerdings erst auf der zweiten Albumhälfte aus, welche vor allem durch das Doppel aus dem fast blackmetallischen Intro "Welcome Tomorrow" (oder "Welcome To Murder One" oder "Welcome To My World"; ich glaube, die Band wollte sich da nicht festlegen) und dem Midtempostampfer "Darkened Dreams", sowie dem epochalen "Lost" geprägt wird.

La Muerte sind zwar immer muffig bis modrig und (selbst)mörderisch, aber manchmal dabei halt doch irgendwie erhaben. Und speziell in diesen Momenten sind sie unschlagbar.


Die erste Pressung der Platte kommt in gold, im schön gestrüppig gestalteten Gatefold und mit einem ziemlichen großzügigen Textblatt / Poster, sowie Downloadcode. Da gibt es - abgesehen von mangelnder Handlichkeit, falls man die Lyrics tatsächlich mal mitlesen möchte - nichts zu meckern.




Klar, der "Kustom Kar Kompetition"-Kult von früher wird bei allem Bemühen immer unerreicht bleiben. Da können sie sich noch so den Arsch abspielen.

Trotzdem bleibt als Fazit:

La Muerte - "La Muerte", eine sehr schöne schlimme Aggressionsabfuhrschallplatte für die unsubtileren Stunden.




Highlights: Lost, Darkened Dreams, Crash Baby Crash, Suis-Je Un Animal





2018-12-29

Bandcamp shoutouts mit SENYAWA, THE THING WITH FIVE EYES, DARK SUN u.a.

Ok, das Review-Jahr neigt sich dem Ende zu. Ein paar 2018er Veröffentlichungen, die bereits in meinem Besitz sind oder bald eintreffen (u.a. von Laibach, Sons Of Kemet und La Muerte) werde ich wenn nötig allerdings auch im Januar noch besprechen.


Außerdem hat sich meine digitale Musiksammlungen in den letzten Tagen noch durch ein paar Promoaktionen und persönliche Schenkungen erweitert. Und diese stelle ich jetzt mal kurz in einem (qualitativ aufsteigend sortierten)  Guten Rutsch vor:






DARK SUN feat. Nik Turner and friends - Innerspace Astronauts - Rare and Unreleases (download) (2018)


"Dark Sun (and the Rising Telepaths) is a Finnish psychedelic space rock band formed in 1991."
Das ist, was Bandcamp sagt, und darauf beschränkt sich auch mein persönlicher Kenntnisstand. Es handelt sich bei dieser Veröffentlichung um eine physisch nur in kleiner CD-R-Auflage erschienene Sammlung rarer und unveröffentlichter Studio- und Live-Tracks.

Das "SPACE" in Dark Suns Space Rock wird groß geschrieben, da Keyboards hier immer eine sehr prominente Rolle spielen, häufig sogar die Gitarre überlagern. Der extra im Titel herausgestellte Nik Turner bringt hingegen in einigen Stücken noch Flöte und Saxophon ins Spiel.

Dadurch, dass die Aufnahmen einen längeren Zeitraum umspannen, ist "Innerspace Astronauts" sowohl stilistisch als auch was die Aufnahmequalität angeht, Schwankungen unterworfen. So ist z.B. der mit starkem Akzent vorgetragene Gesang mal sympathisch, mal (in erster Linie dadurch, dass er zu sehr in den Vordergrund gemischt wurde) etwas anstrengend, die musikalische Ausrichtung mal fast komplett elektronisch, mal eher organisch rockend. Es gibt auch Passagen, in denen Dark Sun drohen, vom episch Kosmischen in Kitsch zu kippen. Meistens bekommen sie aber noch rechtzeitig die Kurve.

Insgesamt wirkt die Zusammenstellung aber erstaunlich homogen und ist nicht nur für alte Fans, sondern auch Leute wie mich, die von der Band bisher nichts kannten, prima zu hören.

Über Geschenke soll man ja nicht meckern, aber wirklich schlechtes lässt sich über diese Weltraumfinnen eh nicht sagen. 













RAUMKLANG MUSIC - Snowflakes IX (Sampler) (download) (2018)


Raumklang Music ist keine Band, sondern ein deutsches Elektrolabel. Es handelt sich hier also um einen Promosampler, auf der Bands und Solokünstlern mit griffigen Namen wie Colony Collapse Disorder, Autoclav1.1, Polarlicht 4.1 und fetzigen Aliasen wie Philipp Münch und Dirk Geiger zusammenkommen. Der Weg, über den ich hierher gekommen bin heißt die neulich vor Toby Driver live erlebte Blurred Twin, hier als feat.-Artist auf einem gemeinsamen Track mit KiEw vertreten ist.

Stilistisch würde ich aus meiner nicht allzu fachmännischen Perspektive hier mal die üblichen Begriffe experimental, ambient, Noise, Synthwave, Industrial und gelegentliches umpffumpffumpff anführen.
Auf alle dreizehn Stücke / Künstler will ich hier nicht eingehen. Wie bei so einer Compilation zu erwarten, gibt es vielleicht zwei, drei Dinger, die man nicht unbedingt braucht. Und vielleicht ein paar, bei denen man dies zunächst denkt, da sie sich genrebedingt absichtlich schwer zugänglich oder nervenzerreibend geben.

Da Raumklang offenbar an einer klaren Signing-Linie gelegen ist und fast alle Tracks eine große atmosphärische Dichte gemeinsam haben, hört sich das Teil in der Gesamtheit sehr gut weg. Dieser Sampler hat eine schöne düstere, manchmal durch Einstürzende Neubauten-Anleihen und Tanzbarkeiten leicht gebogene Linie. Überwiegend feiner Scheiß!

Ob ich diese Promoveröffentlichung auch zum vollen Preis kaufen würde? Ganz ehrlich gesagt: Das wohl eher nicht. Dann lieber gleich direkt mit einigen der hier präsentierten Interpreten beschäftigen.












THE THING WITH FIVE EYES - Quetzlcoatl (download) (2018)


Fast ein Jahr nach dem fantastischen "Noirabesque"-Album hat Jason Köhnen ein paar Videoaufnahmen der ersten Liveperformances seines Projektes The Thing With Five Eyes veröffentlicht. Und eines davon ist nun auch auf Bandcamp zu haben.
Der Meister selbst stellt hier mit Gong und Elektrosounds die Leinwand bereit, auf dem zwei Musiker auf Oud und Kontrabass das Gemälde komplettieren. Was dabei herauskommt, kann man arabisch folkloreske Soundtrack-Musik nennen, die gut auf den Soundtrack von "Only Lovers Left Alive" passen würde. Oder einfach guten Jazz.

"Quetzlcoatl" ist ein hervorragender Track, der mich nach knapp vier Minuten mit dem Wunsch nach mehr zurücklässt. Am besten ein komplettes Konzert in erreichbarer Nähe.










SENYAWA - Sujud (download) (2018)


Und schon sind wir beim letzten Release dieses Post angelangt, dem aktuellen Album der Indonesier Senyawa. Und was für ein Album das ist!

Das experimentelle Duo mischt folkloristische Klänge seiner Heimat mit extremem (z.T. Kehlkopf-)Gesang, mächtigem Drone und anderen welt- und noisemusikalischen Einflüssen.

Das Resultat dieser Melange ist ein einzigartiger, schamanistischer Sound, traditionsgeerdet und doch vollkommen frisch. Vergleiche, die in den Sinn kommen wären z.B. Phurpa, Sunn O))) (insbesondere deren Zusammenarbeit mit Boris), The Thing With Five Eyes, Dead Can Dance, Experimentalgedüstere der Marke Costin Chioreanu, vielleicht sogar ein bisschen Swans, aber durch den Gesang in "Penjuru Menyatu" und "Kehendak" (Was für ein Irrsinn!) auch System Of A Down und Mike Patton.

Letztendlich ist aber jeder Querverweis unzureichend. Nein, was Senyawa hier heraufbeschwören, ist mir in dieser Kombination neu. "Sujud" ist auf jeden Fall nicht nur ein Album, dass ich mir durchaus auch noch gut in phyischer Form im Plattenregal vorstellen kann, sondern hätte es bei früherer Begegnung auch durchaus in meine Jahresbestenliste 2018 schaffen können.

Sensationell gutes Zeug!















2018-12-25

AGUSA - Ekstasis - Live In Rome

I think it has been established in this blog by now that the Swedish quintet Agusa is one of those bands that I just fucking love love love without any need of over-analysing them. There just isn't much to say, but oh so much joy to feel!

And here they are again with a new live album:



AGUSA - Ekstasis - Live In Rome (CD) (2018)

Ok, so the Agusa short summary is: These guys rock a classic line-up of guitar, bass and drums plus organ and - very prominently, almost as a substitute for vocals - flute.
No matter whether you label them under prog, psychedelic, folk or kraut rock; they play mammoth instrumental songs, which combine excellent musicianship with a joyous sense of naivity and timeless melodies.

If you love Colosseum's "Valentyne Suite" you cannot do wrong giving this a listen.

These compositions cry for extensions and improvisations  on stage - and Agusa know exactly how to deliver those! They proved it on their first official live recording "Katarsis" in 2016 and now on "Ekstasis" they are doubling down on that.
There has been a personell change last year, so this is the debut for new organ player Jeppe Juul, and he fits in excellently.

The track list of this new live document consists of the first four (out of five) songs of their self-titled third studio album from 2017, all about one, two, three minutes longer than the original version.
The last song, "Uti Vår Hage" from the 2014 debut "Högtid" already grew from eleven to over seventeen minutes on "Katarsis". The new version however clocks out after almost twenty-four minutes. And it's glorious!

This band, this album... they just make me fucking happy, man. It's just all-out fantastic!

Ok, I'm not too keen of the cover artwork, which may have contributed to me only buying the CD version this time (but truthfully it was more me saving money - and also wanting to have some Agusa for those compact disc occasions, which still do happen). There are several double vinyl versions - including deluxe box sets with alternative artwork - out there.

And by the way this album finally reveals, why Agusa's music might feel so timeless. Appearently it's music from the past, but recorded... *drum roll* ...in the future:




[And yes, this is one of the rare cases which last happened to me a couple of years ago, when Blogger just shitfucking insists on turning an image ninety degrees around, no matter what the fuck I try to do. It's a mystery. It's complete bullshit. It's bullshytstery!]




Highlights: Den Förtrollade Skogen, Uti Vår Hage





2018-12-22

ALBATRE - The Fall Of The Damned

The Dutch are sick fucks!

But even though Albatre are part of the same New Wave Of Dutch Heavy Jazz my blog regulars Dead Neanderthals belong to, I cannot use this seemingly appropriate introduction here, because well... the members of this trio are actually from Portugal and Germany. So sneaky.

But the Dutch are sick fucks anyway.

No offence, I have absolutely no beef with anyone from the Netherlands.
But I like the absoluteness and confidence of the statement. Yeah, so what?
I chose it, and now I'm owning it!



ALBATRE - The Fall Of The Damned (CD) (2018)


As you can see I've worked myself up to a certain level of awkward detachment from reality. I'm just trying to find an approximation to how agitated a "vanilla" music consumer might feel when unexpectedly faced with albums like this.

But honestly, I'm way too accustomed to excepting any kind of sonic advantgarde as just one of the musical expressions I enjoy. Ultimately I really can't tell how hard or easy Albatre are to digest for the uninitiated.

"The Fall Of The Damned" is probably easier to get into than a lot of stuff of said Dead Neanderthals, who seem to be much more eager to alienate with their principle of unmelodious tonal minimalism in a free jazz context alone.
Albatre in comparison have a much more organized sound with tight, precise arrangements and structures, which are recognizable as equivalents to verse, chorus, bridge, lead etc., which surely helps in terms of accessibility.

The core instrumentation of the trio consists of drums, bass and saxophone, which is pretty much an all-time classic constellation in jazz. Even when you consider the additional keys and electronics, you can go as far back as in the 1970s, when Herbie Hancock incorporated those into his sound.
Yet the raw heaviness and clear influence from extreme music far outside of your grand grandparents' jazz point most clearly to the advantgarde tradition of several John Zorn projects including his Painkiller trio with ex-Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris in the 1990s.


So this isn't by any means a revolutionary formula, as there are several comparable acts like Brain Tentacles or (well in this case with guitar) Ex Eye out there. But damn, Albatre made a great diversified album out of it.

Most of the tracks are build around what are basically repititive groove metal meets mathcore riffs, so in a way you can view most of this album as some kind of instrumental technical post metal, performed with the tools of modern jazz fusion. So it's kind of the inversion of what Imperial Triumphant, who play jazz disguised as black metal, are doing.

Most of the material is dark, but has an actually very enjoyable drive to it. When the sound gets wider, be it with higher sax licks or synth patterns, it evokes huge Neurosis here, the jazzier side of Motorpsycho there.

And then you also have tracks which go into very different directions like the somehow lighter, super percussive "Dance Of A Dead Paradise", the arabic "Peasant Dance" or the bombastically droning closer "Horned Animal".

But no matter whether you locate the whole album more inside the realm of advantgarde metal or jazz, this is fucking sick shit!

My prevelant recent perception of "The Fall Of The Damned" is highly influenced by another album which I bought just a couple of days later.
I think this work makes a great Light vs. Dark / Yin Yang complementary piece to Sons Of Kemet's "Your Queen Is A Reptile".





Highlights: Ship Of Fools, Goya, Dance Of A Dead Paradise, The Fall Of The Damned



2018-12-18

TOBY DRIVER - They Are The Shield

"And a plane pulled itself through the air
Slow as honey
The whole sky moved with it"


In diesen letzten Zeilen von "470 Nanometers" hat Toby Driver praktischerweise gleich eine Beschreibung des vorherrschenden Gefühls mitgeliefert, welches sein im September erschienenes aktuelles Album durchzieht.

Das ist schön, dann brauche ich hier ja kaum noch etwas tun.



TOBY DRIVER - They Are The Shield (CD) (2018)

Ambientsynthies.     Berlin-Bowie.     Brian Eno.     Melancholisches Starren aus dem beschlagenen Diner-Fenster auf die nasse Straße.     Kammermusik.     Brent Oberlinsche Lyrik.     Fernöstliches Dramakino.     Hypnopazuzu.     "Black Aria".     Marvel? Nein.     Aber ohne dieses eine YouTube-Video neulich wäre ich ja gar nicht die Idee gekommen, dass Chloe Bennet halb chinesisch ist.     Barock.     Als blutroter Ball brennt sich die Morgensonne durch den Nebel.     "Exciter"-Depeche Mode.     Dunkelbjörk.     Croonende norwegische Wölfe.

Ok, ich unterbreche meinen Assoziationsfluss an dieser Stelle mal für eine Rezension.

"They Are The Shield", welches ich mir neulich nach dem beeindruckenden Konzert auf der MS Stubnitz mitgenommen habe, ist eine logische Fortführung von Drivers letztem Soloalbum "Madonnawhore" und genau wie jenes ein geduldig atmendes, sphärisches Modern Gothic-Album, welches mit im Vergleich zu seiner Band Kayo Dot relativ sparsamen Mitteln eine maximale Wirkung entfaltet.

Das deutlichste Alleinstellungsmerkmal des neuen Werks ist ähnlich wie bei "The Alone Rush" von Wrekmeister Harmonies der Einsatz der ausdrucksstarken Violinen als zum zum Gesang gleichwertiger Stimme. Und natürlich erinnert das kammermusikalische Element auch ein wenig an die Zeit der exzessiven Line-Ups am Anfang von Kayo Dot und der advantgardemetallischklassischen Vorgängergruppe Maudlin Of The Well.

Rhythmisch geht es tendentiell wieder ein wenig mehr zurück zum synaptisch Herausfordernden, selbst wenn unter Gitarre, Streichern und flächigen Synthesizern gar kein Beat zu hören ist. So weit wie auf dem letzten Kayo Dot-Longplayer "Plastic House On Base Of Sky" treibt Toby Driver es zwar längst nicht, aber es genügt, um einen effektiven Gegenpol zur Ruhe der restlichen Instrumente zu schaffen, was das Ganze noch traumhaft entrückter im Raum schweben lässt.

Toby Driver live auf der MS Stubnitz
Wie die meisten Werke aus der Diskographie des Meisters verlangt "They Are The Shield" eine erklärte Grundbereitschaft, sich auf die Musik einlassen zu wollen und tut sich schwer, wenn man innerlich eher auf Krawall oder Party gebügelt ist.

Doch selbst wenn man die sechs Stücke tatsächlich eher nebenbei laufen lässt, verlieren sie sich trotz sich langsam schlängelnder Instrumentalpassagen und weitgehendem Verzicht auf griffige Hooklines oder schnell erfassbare Zählweisen nicht in vom Hörer abgeschottete Selbstverliebtheit.

Klar, das ist alles sehr ambient und introspektiv, doch es bleibt dabei eben auch stets interessant, so dass man ihm auf diesem gleichsam verkopften wie gefühligen Pfad gerne folgt.

Tendentiell finde ich die erste Hälfte des Albums zwar leicht stärker, doch gerade mit dem weiblichen Gastgesang von Bridget Bellavia auf "Scaffold Of Digital Snow" und dem Klavier im Abschluss "The Knot" spielt Toby Driver auch im weiteren Verlauf noch einige Trümpfe aus.

Insgesamt ist "We Are The Shield" ein ausgesprochen reifes, ambitioniertes, aber in sich ruhendes Werk eines einzigartige Stimmungen mit intelligenten Konzepten kombinierenden Musikers.

Das ganz gute Gothic eben. Im Ernst: dieses Album ist enorm!



Highlights: Anamnesis Park, 470 Nanometers, Scaffold Of Digital Snow



2018-12-15

SEID - Weltschmerz, Baby!

Seid!

Ok, ich bin.

Was für ein Befehl, ey.

Und beim Albumtitel haben sich die Norweger auch noch verschrieben. Angesichts des Covers müsste es nämlich "Augenschmerz. Baby!" heißen.



SEID - Weltschmerz, Baby! (2018)

Der erste Song kam mir zunächst einmal lange merkwürdig vor, ohne dass ich wusste, warum. Jetzt ist es mir aber aufgegangen! "Haukøye" ist nämlich im Grunde eine stilistische Übersetzung des Muse-Meisterstücks "Knights Of Cydonia" in Space Rock.
Was gleichzeitig bedeutet, dass es sich um einen gnadenlos groovenden Psych-Turbostarter handelt.

Auch wenn sie sich anschließend mit dem experimentelleren "Trollmannens Hytte" zunäachst einmal ins indirektere, experimentellere Gefilde abducken, ist die vorherrschende Ansage bei Seid doch Volle Kraft voraus. Ähnlich wie ihre neulich wiederaufgelegten Sulatron Records-Brüder Liquid Visions schieben Seid dabei - durch ihre gemeinsame Herkunft aus Trondheim und persönliche Bekanntschaft* wahrscheinlich sogar noch etwas dicker - einen enormen Motorpsycho-Einschlag.

"Satan i Blodet" und noch eine Spur flotter der Titelsong gehen herrlich ab, ehe im längeren "Coyoteman" epischere Tore aufgeschlossen und im Doppel aus "Moloch vs. Gud" und "Mir (Drogarna börjar värka) schließlich durchschritten werden, wobei die Band vollends in die Sphären von Eastern, Western und lässigtstem Prog Rock  eintauchen. Und ja, wenn es nicht zwischendurch mal ein wenig hillsig wird, ist das alles irgendwie immer noch total Motorpsycho.

Das heiß aber nicht, dass Seid Kopisten sind. Nein, gerade die Gitarren und Keyboards setzen schon auch ein paar klar unterscheidbare Akzente.

Und die Texte sind - die Titel lassen es bereits erahnen - allesamt norwegisch. Mit ein paar deutschen Fremdwörtern, klar. Und das steht der Musik hier irgendwie ausgesprochen gut. Ich mag die Sprache.


Insgesamt wird das Album seinem Titel nicht gerecht, lenkt es doch eher prima vom Weltschmerz ab. Locker flockiges, ultrasouverän serviertes Psychotainment halt.

In dem Sinne: Augen zu (das Cover...), genießen und ganzkörpermitwippen!


Erhältlich auf CD und hellblauem Vinyl.


Highlights: Satan i Blodet, Coyoteman, Haukøye




* Tatsächlich sind laut Insiderinfo Seid schon ähnlich lange dabei und waren sogar zeitweise Motorpsychos Proberaumvermieter und Mellotron-Verleiher.




HESPERIAN DEATH HORSE - Živ

I just rediscovered an interesting promo request from Hesperian Death Horse in my social media messenger, which was buried there since August. Didn't find the time to check it out back then, put it aside and forgot about it. Shame on me, because this is really something!


HESPERIAN DEATH HORSE - Živ (download) (2018)


After Otrovna Kristina this is probably the only group from Croatia I'm aware of. And with the Nationality the similarities pretty much end. Ok, you can tag both bands as #psychedelic, but that in itself opens quite a wide spectrum of possibilities.

We are venturing into the world of special interest advantgarde here. So friends of cozy, comfortable listening experiences - you can skip the rest of this text now.

What Hesperian Death Horse are presenting on this four-track EP is harsh, dissonant and challenging. Imagine the larger than life post metal giantism (and also a little of the ambient atmospheric side) of Cult Of Luna combined with the blackened dissonance of Kayo Dot's "Choires Of The Eye" or as an even more black metal influenced recent example Imperial Triumphant on "Vile Luxury".

"Živ" pummels and overwhelms in the best way, but it's also strangely detached and distenced, which is mainly due to the vocals lingering in the background in almost shoegazy, often hypnotic repetitive fashion.

The sound aesthetics of Hesperian Death Horse seem to thrive on contradiction. This band goes for a very disturbing overall impression, but it does it with super captivating riffs and world domination grooves.

So all in all this is a full-on killer EP.


On a related note let me mention that I also dig their promo picture game:




Highlights: (Part 1: Prizma), Liv (Part 4: Horde)



MYRKUR - Juniper

The hype is still strong, so everyone concerned will probably know it by now anyway, but fuck it, here's my "review". Amalie Bruun aka Myrkur has released six minutes of new music, available digitally or as a limited 7", which is probably already sold out by now.



MYRKUR - Juniper (download) (2018)


The song "Juniper" is a dark pop ballad with hymnic metal passages, an atmospheric but catchy tune, which would have fitted right onto here last album "Mareridt".

There are soft clean vocals and her unmistakable siren wailing, but no banshee shrieks this time. So apart from the guitar sound in the heavy parts she forgoes the obvious black metal side of her sound here.

"Bonden og Kragen" is a short solo track of Amalie interpreting a Danish folk song from the 1600's. It's the folky side of Myrkur, which she mostly presents in short videos on social media and special shows. I'm pretty sure this also foreshadows a "Folkesange" album coming in 2019.

Both songs are good stuff. Neither the greatest Myrkur pieces of all time, nor the worst, but definitely nice to have.




Highlight: Juniper



2018-12-11

MUSIC 2018: top EP, live recordings, reissue




It's end-of-the-year list season. The "big one" with my favorite albums and concerts of 2018 is already done, so here comes the appendix with the best of other musical stuff.

While compiling it I realized that it really was an album-centric year for me. I obtained so few 7" or 10" records, split releases or download-only stuff, that it would be silly to make lists of any of those categories. So the whole thing is a rather short one this time.

To compensate I've thought about reviving the cheerful disappointments section, but despite being the longest text here that actually didn't generate too much solid content either.

The final part of this post is just a look back on what little my own experimental duo was doing this year.







TOP EP:

 

 

DARK BUDDHA RISING - II

   
Droning. Mystical. Colossal. Judging from the playing time this work may count as an EP, but the sonic reality is that Dark Buddha Rising rolls over your senses like a cosmic giant.










TOP 3 live recordings:

 

  1. BELL WITCH - Live At Roadburn 2015

    Watching Bell Witch open Roadburn 2015 with their genius duet take on funeral doom still counts as one my most imprinting concert experiences in recent years. So to finally get this show as a crushing record is the best addition to the two special 2018 Roadburn shows I could ever imagine - and another worthy tribute to the late Adrian Guerra. Worship the shit out of this!
      


  2. Yes, the music is as insane as the title. This Turkish / Japanese free jazz / noise rock cooperation is definitely among this year's most borderline crazy advantgarde shit releases. Also - to make things even weirder -, don't confuse this with previous year's studio album of the same name, which is comprised of totally different compositions!
      

  3.     
    Even though I already own the studio album and have witnessed the very last of those rare shows for it at Roadburn, I still got my fingers on this live album, which once again features the stellar collaboration of Swedish post metal force Cult Of Luna and Julie Christmas. Some vocal arrangements may remain unperformable, but the live setting adds so much energy and so many layers at other places, that it has become my most listened-to version of "Mariner".
     




TOP reissue:





While the first-time vinyl release of Swans' "Die Tür Ist Zu" may be of more exclusive content, I have to go with this 10 year anniversary reissue of Earth's already timeless and legendary masterpiece here. I had this on CD, but not only for the bonus track the vinyl is an upgrade. So much fuller and richer... It's almost like discovering a whole new record for me.

When has western psychedelic desert doom ever sounded cooler?


  

 

 

Disappointments 2018?

 

I don't know about any huge disappointments... Has any band or artist fucked it up big time? Nothing severe comes to mind.

Of course bands are disbanding. Norway's advantgarde metal specialists Virus are a huge loss that comes to mind immediately.


And then there's the never-ending "Laibach Revisited" story. The release has grown into a big, extremely promising box set, which I already have pre-ordered and payed for, but it has been postponed from September to spring 2019. While it is a bit annoying, the reason is that they are still adding additional stuff like a whole extra album. So that's fine with me.
I'm significantly more pissed that my vinyl copy of "The Sound Of Music" still hasn't found its way to me. Fucking Christmas.

Bruce Dickinsson outing himself as a Brexiteer, that was a shame. Well, he's rich. But yeah, that's not really music-related. And if we're going in that direction, the world has become way too absurd to do it justice here.


I guess my major general complaint is that the year goes by so fast, with so many albums which I still haven't bought or listened to yet. I mean, you still need some time to process all of it, right?

Of course I cannot blame Dead Can Dance, Florence + The Machine, Obscura, Sons Of Kemet etc. for me not having purchased their albums yet.

On the other hand just a little pinch of scepticism about the musical direction can hold me back for a long time - as seen with Khemmis, who after two great works are now maybe too traditional metal / hard rock for me? Don't know, I should really take a listen.
Same goes for Janelle Monae, who has finally delivered a successor to 2015's "The Electric Lady", but ditched her Cindi Mayweather persona. "Dirty Computer" has at least some good tracks on it, I know, but I'm having a hard time adjusting to the aesthetics of those modern pop royalty productions... The same thing made me avoid previous year's Kendrick Lamar album.

Damn.

 

 

  

 

DRUTURUM activities:


And finally a brief look back on my personal activities with Druturum.

Due to the concept of exclusive shows itself and occasional difficulties to find rehearsal time, our tour schedule will always be easy to oversee, that's for sure. At the moment we're patiently working on "Druturum V: Wayfarer", but it will still take a while until we can confirm a date and location.

This year in May we've played two very different shows. For more background information follow the links to the respective bandcamp pages (english) or posts in this blog (german)!



https://druturum.bandcamp.com/album/druturum-iii-das-braune-rauschen



(stream/download/liner notes on bandcamp /blog post HERE!)





https://druturum.bandcamp.com/album/druturum-iv-the-science-behind-angel-encounters



(stream/download/liner notes on bandcamp / blog post HERE!)




2018-12-07

MUSIC 2018: top albums and concerts



And here's the annually impossible task again... You know the drill: These are my personal favorites of 2018, chosen only among albums I own in some form.

So there's absolutely zero sense in complaining about Beyoncé missing, because I didn't fucking buy the new Beyoncé album (and also that new Beyoncé album doesn't even exist, but you get my point).

Who knows how I will read this ranking in a couple of years? Especially since I seldom included so many album I bought so shortly before I finished this. And also there's so much good stuff out there, if I had bought only half of the releases which are still on several of my digital and cerebral wish lists, all this would possibly look significantly different.

In the end this is all about celebrating and recommending good stuff that came out or happened this year. So please don't care too much about the numbers on the left! Everything featured here is great in my book.

Below the albums are two concert rankings, one for club/solo shows, the other for festival appearances.

My favorite EPs and other stuff will follow shortly in another post!






ALBUM TOP 24:



  1. VOIVOD - The Wake

    After the "Post Society" EP it was a safe given that the new Voivod album would be great. But how incredible great it actually turned out to be was "way beyond, way beyond, way beyond all speculations" (to quote from the track "Event Horizon"). "The Wake" embraces almost all the strengths of Voivod's diverse, now thirty-five years old history, but it doesn't rely on nostalgia. Instead it still expands the band's innovative sound to create something really fresh and exciting.
    Voivod have already created some of the greatest metal (and beyond) albums of all time ages ago. "The Wake" looks strong beside any of them. A phenomenal addictive prog thrash fusion concept masterpiece.
     
     
  2. ANNA VON HAUSSWOLFF - Dead Magic

    For half of the year this album was unrivaled contender for the top spot of this list. And even now it's as close as you can possibly imagine. If magic is really dead like its title suggests, then it went out with a cataclysmic bang. The drone of Anna von Hausswolff's pipe organ and the emotional pull of her mystical voice are both unfathomably vast. "Ugly And Vengeful" alone is like the whole living and dying, buildup and collapse of a civilization. Mighty and beautiful beyond words.

    [If you like this one, you should also check out DNMF's organ-heavy drone monolith "Smelter"!]
     
     
  3. YOB - Our Raw Heart

    Not enough enormous pure feelings yet? Yob has them all. From crushing devastation to uplifting hope the essential doom record of 2018 offers insight into all of the brutality and preciousness of the human condition. Reflecting upon Mike Scheidt's very own fight against death and literally (he had to learn to sing again) finding him with a new, at times unbelievably gut-wrenching voice, "Our Raw Heart" more than fulfils the promise of its title.

        
  4. MYTHIC SUNSHIP - Another Shape Of Psychedelic Music

    Talking about promising album titles (and cover artworks): Conjuring Ornette Coleman's 1959 game changer "The Shape Of Jazz To Come"  like Mythic Sunship are doing it here is a pretty damn bold statement. But the former trio which largened itself to a saxophone and guitar fronted quintet has all the right reasons to be bold. Only after a few minutes in you know that this instrumental double album is not only an overwhelming ecstatic ride, but indeed an instant jazz fusion / stoner / psychedelic rock classic.
     
      

  5. Take a legendary female choir with unique vocal techniques, pair it with Dead Can Dance's Lisa Gerrard, back them up with first class folk musicians and a beatboxer, let them interpret new arrangements of traditional Bulgarian tunes... and then just feast on your own amazement. What a different, vivid, magical piece of world music!
      
      

  6. WREKMEISTER HARMONIES - The Alone Rush

    You want it darker? JR Robinson and Esther Shaw aka Wrekmeister Harmonies will surely help you with this bleak, existentially nightmarish work. Flowing from haunting Nick Cave / Michael Gira style singer/songwriter sensibilities to apocalyptic no wave (or free jazz?) noises "The Alone Rush" smothers almost all traces of light. "Forgive Yourself And Let Go" - but don't expect this droning chunk of depression to help you!
        
      
  7. ZEAL AND ARDOR - Stranger Fruit

    On his first full-length with Zeal & Ardor Manuel Gagneux gets serious and matures all the elements of his unique genre cocktail of black metal, gospel, blues, industrial, indie, soul, thrash metal and whatnot into a stunning collection of catchy rebellious tunes. "Stranger Fruit" connects his alternative history of satanic slave upheaval with the ongoing racial and social struggles of our time.
     
      
  8. KAMASI WASHINGTON - Heaven And Earth

    Tenor saxophonist / composer / Coltrane worshipper / personified jazz hype Kamasi Washington has done it again and proven himself to be the reigning maximalism colossus: His second full length album comes on a whopping five (5!) LPs including the "secret" bonus album "The Choice". Yet again Kamasi and his fabulous crew - all having grown as individual instrumentalists -, accompanied by strings and choir, embark on an extraordinary epic, action-packed spiritual journey.
      

  9. INSECT ARK - Marrow Hymns

    Minimalistic experimental instrumental doom with a strong Earth influence, mainly performed on bass / lap steel guitar and drums. From ambient and drone soundscapes to snarling parts reminiscent of Godflesh - it's amazing how the seemingly sparse arrangements of this duo open endless spaces of imagination.

    [Naturally I also have to highly recommend Dylan Carlson's even more stripped down solo work "Conquistador" here!]    


  10. WANG WEN - Invisible City

    China's finest never cease to impress. Once again packed in a spectacularly designed sleeve, yet even improving upon the already more than convincing production of the predecessor, (mostly) instrumental post rockers Wang Wen maintain the familiar elements of their sound - especially the signature majestic trumpet and horn parts -, but still put many new exciting twists and turns on it.
      
     
  11. MOURNFUL CONGREGATION - The Incubus Of Karma 
     
    I've said it in my review and I'll say it again: An album which has a song titled "A Picture Of The Devouring Gloom Devouring The Spheres Of Being" on it, has already won in my book. But also beyond this indisputable fact "The Incubus Of Karma" offers one of the most majestic takes on what ultra-slow funeral doom can be. Those ever-increasing lead guitar harmonies alone would make it worthwhile to bathe in the sadness of this masterpiece.

    [A somehow similar feeling, yet not in a funeral doom but death metal context can be found on "Ossuarium Silhoettes Unhallowed" by Hooded Menace.]
     
      
  12.  ESBEN AND THE WITCH - Nowhere  

    Gothic post punk trio Esben And The Witch, fronted by bassist and captivaing, beautifully desperate vocalist Rachel Davies, seems to pick up right where it left on last year's "Live At Roadburn" record. There is "Nowhere" to hide from the bleak emotional truth nor to escape the dark melancholic undertow of this wonderfully raw album.
        
      
  13. THE THING WITH FIVE EYES - Noirabesque
     

    Meandering ambient landscapes and chirring electronic noises. Rhythmic experimentations. Orchestral film score and intimate chamber music arrangements. World music. Oriental flutes and percussions. The mystical voice of Laila Bounous. A yearning trumpet. Doomjazz. Jason Köhnen taps into countless primal, universally touching wells to form a gigantic musical narration. Mythic escapism masterclass.
     
     
  14. VODUN - Ascend

    Vodun are genre-bending fighters for equality, peace and ass-kicking explosive rock. Merging influences from stoner, sludge, psych, tribal, soul, prog, indie and thrash metal this tribe of powerhouse singer Oya, guitar wizard Marassa and never-enough-cowbell drummer Ogoun takes no prisoners. "Ascend" is a highly charismatic record with an urgent message and a strong afrofuturistic spirit. Just put this right next to Zeal & Ardor!   
      
     
  15. KIKAGAKU MOYO - Masana Temples  

    Many albums on this list have seriously great cover artworks, but this one in its bold original vividness is special even among the best of the bunch. Musically the newest work of the Japanese psychedelic kraut masters Kikagaku Moyo is a delicate colourful gem of the genre mixed with Far Eastern, Indian and jazzy elements. The musicianship, arrangements and production of "Masana Temples" are blissful perfection.

      

  16.  IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT - Vile Luxury
     
    Searching for the sickest, most advantgarde shit on this list? Look no further, because New York's Imperial Triumphant has got you covered. Extreme experimental jazz in a black metal disguise, completed with bar piano, a brass sextet and hellish descents into utter chaos. "Vile Luxury" is a disturbing and devastating maelstrom into glorious cacophony.
      
     
  17. SINISTRO - Sangue Cássia
      
    Heavy as the last night before the end of days and mesmerizing like the angelic image of your loved one in a dream, Sinistro swing the doom hammer right into the feels. The dramatically levitating, Fado-inspired Portuguese vocals of Patricia Andrade are still a wonderful singularity within the realm of metal, bringing this cinematic double album to perfection.

    [If you dig "Sangue Cássia" and death metal vocals, you should more than definitely also take a listen to "Támsins Likam" (that's Faroese) by
    Hamferð!]


  18. KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD - Gumboot Soup

    2017 saw King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard famously releasing five ambitious new albums. But since the physical version of the last one came out months after the digital release on December 31st, it really belongs on this year's list. Psychedelic, jazzy, funky, heavy, quirky, earwormy. "Gumboot Soup" is probably the most diverse work of the bunch - and my personal favorite alongside "Sketches From Brunswick East". Highly joyous entertainment.


  19. OCEANS OF SLUMBER - The Banished Heart  
     
    They did it again - and they doubled down on almost every aspect: more influences, but also more consistence. More epic melodies, more blasts, More death, doom and darkness. More emotion. Thanks to Cammie Gilberts stellar vocal performance "The Banished Heart" drills right into the heart. The title song is possible one of the most monumental love songs of all time - and pulls it off to make a calm piano solo passage the highlight of what ultimately still is a mostly brutal metal album. 
        
     

  20. BONG - Thought And Existence

    The meditative drone doom wizards from the home island of Stonehenge are finally back with a massive, ever increasing album. Or as I put it in my review: "It's a journey from the electric spark in your cortex to the edge of the redshift at the outer verges of the cosmos."

    [Extremely close to this in its monumentally elevating scope is the vinyl-only re-recording of Father Sky Mother Earth's self-titled debut.]
      
     
  21. RIVERS OF NIHIL - Where Owls Know My Name

    Progressive death metal with influences from all over the place and lovingly embraced guest intruments like trumpet, cello and most prominently saxophone. Rivers Of Nihil kick major ass - and they do it with style, originality and determination. "Where Owls Know My Name" offers a fresh take on the genre and is a flawless killer of an album.

    [If you you want the same amount of sheer death metal fun, but without all the fancy sax and prog and whatnot gimmicks, you can of course - as always - count on good old sick Autopsy with "Puncturing The Grotesque"]
      
     
  22. MALIA - Ripples (Echoes Of Dreams)
     
    One piano, a couple of strings - and a voice that is so smooth and soothing, so intimate and expressive. R'n'B / jazz pop singer Malia reimagines her whole album "Echoes Of Dreams" in a pure filterless form. Her take on the concept of stripping it down to the maximum is as obvious as it can be - but it's also that damn good.

    [Another incredible soulful voice which deserves to be honoured here and only barely didn't make the list is one which sadly became silent. Charles Bradley's posthumous "Black Velvet" thankfully is not a Christmas cash grab.]
     
      
  23. LUCIFER - Lucifer II
     
    So, appearantly there's a new queen of hard rock in town. And yes, I actually do give at least a little shit. Who would have thought that a couple of years ago? With a completely new crew (including Nicke Andersson, who played almost all instruments in the studio) Johanna Sadonis steered Lucifer into a less Black Sabbath, more Blue Öyster Cult direction on their sophomore album. I didn't ask for this, because I'm usually in favour of more doom, but hell, they really pulled it off.

     
      
  24. RMFTM & 10.000 RUSSOS - RMFTM & 10.000 Russos
      
    RMFTM aka Radar Men From The Moon are obviously a good partner when it comes to collaborative albums. Last year's joined work of the Dutch psych group with Gnod under the moniker Temple Ov BBV ended up being one of my favorite records of 2017. And now they have teamed up with their Portuguese labelmates 10.000 Russos to deliver yet another lesson in here pummeling, there hypnotic noise and drone.
     



But wait! No Laibach?


Yesterday I've received my CD copy of "The Sound Of Music" which is included in the Supreme Leader Edition Blu Ray of the documentary "Liberation Day" about Laibach's historical show in North Korea. And I'm still waiting for the vinyl which needs a seriously torturous time to ship here. Should have ordered that from Slovenia, too...

But well, what I was going to say is, that I have to draw a deadline at some point. I am absolutely positive, that "The Sound Of Music" would deserve a spot somewhere in the ranking, but beyond that I really cannot make up my mind yet.

The same goes for Toby Driver's incredible solo work "They Are the Shield", which I have only bought a couple of days ago. Supreme stuff, which probably belongs somewhere above, but it's just too late in the game now.

[EDIT: Review for Laibach finally done! Also add Sons Of Kemet and Senyawa to this list of (too) late arrivals.]

And of course there are still a couple of further artists like Sherpa who missed the list by a hair and (in their case) would at least have been featured in a similar-bands-footnote under Toby Driver.







SOLO / CLUB SHOW TOP 12:



  1. SUN RA ARKESTRA - Kampnagel, Hamburg

    Lead by 94-year young Marshall Allan and including several members who are already in the band since the 1950s the twelve-headed Arkestra embarked on a two-hour free jazz extravaganza that was just astonishing. An almost Magma-level live experience!
     
  2. LAIBACH - Kampnagel, Hamburg

    Presenting the "Also Sprach Zarathustra" album Laibach were in a significantly more primal, droning, theatrical and sinister mode than on previous tours. Laibach haben das Glück erfunden.
     
  3. ANNA VON HAUSSWOLFF - Kampnagel, Hamburg

    Colossal and all-encompassing like the movement of continental plates and as beautiful as a deadly volcano eruption caused by it. Am I being too dramatic? No, not for the mighty Anna von Hausswolff.
      
  4. VOIVOD - Logo, Hamburg
     
    I came to see Voivod and I ended up in a world of pain. Boy, that escalated brutally! Wildest metal concert of the year and one of my all-time favorite bands on top of their game. 


  5. Speaking of wild. Those Aussies are freaking insane, insane, insane, insane, insane, insane, insane, oh boy, insane. Fuck yeah! I think I just gizzed all over myself again.
       
  6. THE MYSTERY OF THE BULGARIAN VOICES feat. LISA GERRARD - Laeiszhalle, Hamburg

    And now for something completely... wonderful. Just as otherworldy as on this year's album (see above) the Bulgarian choir and Lisa Gerrard were something really unique and precious to behold.
      
  7. KIKAGAKU MOYO - Hafenklang, Hamburg
        
    Half a year after discovering them at their Roadburn shows (see list below), now with their new album "Masana Temples" (see list above) on heavy rotation, seeing Kikagaku Moyo on a small club stage was an even greater treat.
      
  8. YOB + WIEGEDOOD - Molotow, Hamburg

    Yob is love. And words cannot describe how much Mike Scheidt rules. The fabulous black metal inferno of Wiegedood did a great yob of completing the concert night.
     
  9. MOURNFUL CONGREGATION - Bambi Galore, Hamburg  
       
    This slow and grievous heaviness. And the grandeur of up to three lead guitars almost emulating a classical string terzet. Mournful Congregation are officially my favorite funeral doom live band besides Bell Witch now.  
      
  10. CARPENTER BRUT - Uebel & Gefährlich, Hamburg

    The boys were back in town and they brought the three big A's: aerobic, asses, axe murders. A synthwave party with all the glorious 80s clichés including glam metal and the dangers of hard rock and Satanism. Carpenter Brut fucking slayed.
     
  11. E-FORCE - Bambi Galore, Hamburg

    Parallel to the European tour of Voivod Eric Forrest, former bassist/vocalist on their 1990s albums "Negatron" and "Phobos", also played shows revisiting his Voivod stint. Heavy shit - and what an amazing sick voice!
      
  12. TOBY DRIVER - MS Stubnitz, Hamburg
      
    Despite it being a very exclusive show for a select crowd, Kayo Dot mastermind Toby Driver delivered the most mesmerizing advantgarde dream goth ambient chamber music imaginable.




FESTIVAL SHOW TOP 12:



  1. BELL WITCH - Roadburn Festival

    More than a thousand souls witnessed in respectful awe as Bell Witch and guest singer Erik Moggridge performed their 83-minute one-song funeral doom masterpiece "Mirror Reaper" in full. This was an experience for life, far beyond any regular concert.
    Leave it to Roadburn to not content with that alone, but also to put the icing on the cake with a second special show, where they performed those songs from their previous albums which also featured Moggridge on vocals.
     
  2. CULT OF LUNA & JULIE CHRISTMAS - Roadburn Festival

    "Put me down where I can see you run!" - I still get goosebumps when I think of that part. Being at one of those very rare "Mariner" was a privilege. Truly larger than life.
     
  3. WASTE OF SPACE ORCHESTRA - Roadburn Festival

    The two gigantic live forces Dark Buddha Rising and Oranssi Pazuzu together on one stage, performing a hypnotic black piece exclusively written just for this occasion. You can't even dream of epic shit like that.
     
  4. YAZZ AHMED - Überjazz Festival

    Trumpet / horn player Yazz Ahmed and her quartet performing their unique as complex as escapist mixture of microtonal arabic folk, traditional and modern jazz from her "La Saboteuse" album was an astonishing  trip into different worlds.
      
  5. ZOLA JESUS - Roadburn Festival 
     
    A "pop" artist at Roadburn? No worries, the dark electronic sounds and raw emotional power of Zola Jesus were far from being a danger to the integrity of the festival. On the contrary this was a show the attendees as well as the artist herself will surely remember for a long time as something very special. 
     
  6. BIG|BRAVE - Roadburn Festival

    Damn! My favorite canadian monolithic noise / drone rock trio just totally killed it.

  7. KIKAGAKU MOYO - Roadburn Festival

    The whole japanese psych kraut thing going on at Roadburn was amazing, but this stunning show clearly marked my most important new discovery of the festival.
    That they doubled down on the fair impression with the galactic "East Meets West Jam" with Earthless didn't hurt either.
      
  8. WREKMEISTER HARMONIES - Roadburn Festival

    A lot of Wrekmeister Harmonies' music may be on the calmer, sometimes even beautiful side, but especially in combination with the disturbing documentary visuals this full performance of "The Alone Rush" became an unexpectedly brutal, emotionally exhausting experience.
     
  9. PHAROAH SANDERS QUARTET - Überjazz Festival
     
    "The Creator has a masterplan: Peace and happiness for everyone." And a saxophone for Pharoah Sanders, that's for sure. I got the chance to see one of the greatest jazz legends alive and I'm glad I took it. What a melancholic experienced tone! Respect!
     
  10. GALLOPS - Roadburn Festival

    What the fuck did I just see there? Is this the post rock synthwave disco of a better tomorrow? I still have no clue even months later. Roadburn party show no. 1!
     
  11. GODFLESH - Roadburn Festival

    Finally! My first Godflesh show since the "Selfless" tour back in the 1990s. And what did they play? A special "Selfless" set of course, haha. Teenage angst nostalgia successfully fed.
     
  12. BURNPILOT - Heidenlärm Festival

    Ok, busted! I pushed this up a couple of positions to include at least three festivals in this list. Sorry, Phurpa and Motorpsycho! But hey, Burnpilot really delivered a formidable hypnotic psych excess that is absolutely worthy of being mentioned here.