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2024-04-14

WV Soul Sorcery with DOPE PURPLE & BERSERK, 李劍鴻 LI JIANHONG and ZAÄAR


Last triple review before the annual Roadburn pilgrimage? Probably, unless something extremely spontanous comes up before Wednesday morning. And as always when I have received a package from the French-Chinese quality Avantgarde label WV Sorcerer Productions you can bet it's some stuff far from any norms!






李劍鴻 LI JIANHONG - 魂​靈​獨​居​者 Soul Solitary (Pale Coral Pink vinyl LP) (2024)

However, if the sheer prospect of one guy playing two twenty-two minute improvisations of seemingly erratic experimental Noise / Drone / Feeback pieces on his guitar, occasionally accompanied by barks, shouts and traditionally inspired Chinese singing, throws you off... then you should probably skip this new live album of Li Jianhong.

However again... if you appreciate his work on "Mountain Fog" or his phenomenal collaboration with Wen Zhiyong and Deng Boyu, then "Soul Solitary" should almost be a no-brainer, especially considering its awesome artwork, even though it's not presented on a gatefold sleeve, as it would deserve.

Undoubtly more aggressive and unsettling than the aforementioned works this really might either be a more or less accessible record, depending on where you're coming from. For sure this is rather suited to experience in an introspective deep listening session than as coversation backdrop music on a party. But that shouldn't come as a surprise, right?

Probably not the easiest entry into Li Jianhong's body of work, but maybe I'm completely wrong here, since I just love this stuff aynway.








DOPE PURPLE & BERSERK - This Is The Harsh Trip For The New Psyche (Bloodshot Eye vinyl LP) (2024)

Taiwanese Acid Mothers Temple worshippers Dope Purple are back with a new album quite different to its predecessor "Grateful End". This time their Space Rock seems to be less wild and chaotic, more controlled and... no wait, that's not the whole truth. For the most part this would probably be an indeed much more relaxed record - had they not added a new secret sauce to their recipe. Enter electronic Harsh Noise artist Berserk!

Sometimes he just blends in harmonically beside the band's own keyboard player and guitars, but once he's really let loose it becomes a miracle that this music still works.
On a rather short, wild and heavy overload of everything like "Highlander" it just resembles a raging war between elements. On longer tracks like "Norman on the Moon", "Never (Say) Die 星​期​天" or "Ashes of My Telepathic Love" on the other hand Dope Purple are seasoned sailers steadily piloting their ship through the most ridiculous storms completely unfazed by the winds and waves around them going completely berserk.

Mixing this confrontation must have been a challenge: preserve the maelstrom, but also don't lose the musicality! This "Harsh Trip For The New Psyche" masters this excercise. You're asking yourself WTF you're listening to, and in the same thought you can answer this question, because you still actually understand everything which is going on, no matter how fucking nuts it gets. Brilliant Psych Noise insanity!

This album is a collaborative release not only available from WV Sorcerer Productions, but also from Riot Season Records.








ZAÄAR - Musique Cryptique (Live in Liège) (CD) (2024)

And finally a group which builds a bridge to Roadburn for me, as they have not only played there in 2022, but several of their members will also be on stage with Neptunian Maximalism next Sunday.

The packaging of "Musique Cryptique" looks like a seven inch single, but there's actually a full live album on compact disc inside. Zaäar take their primal esoteric freeform music into a cave and oh boy, what a beast are they unleashing!
The tracklist reads ten titles, but you hardly even realize most of their transitions, as this is one big ecstasy of timeless expression. The most radical Coltrane spirit speaking through a modern quintet, which now switches the bass against an amplified santur (an Iranian variant of the hammered dulcimer) and further accompanies drums, percussions and saxophones with all kinds of electronic drones and textures, samples, throat singing, animal noises, flutes, trumpet, zurna and zither.

That sound like a lot? It for sure is! Zaäar don't play your grandfather's Free Jazz, but they might play Mitocondrial Eve's Free Jazz or the Free Jazz of a future post humanity. Whatever it is, it feels Spiritual, tribal, global, inimitably Avant-Garde, yet universal conscious. What a hammering meditation! What a monstrosity of freedom! What a wildfire of inspiration!

Piss off already, Jazz police! This slaps.





SULA BASSANA - Dreamer

Ich mag nicht der größte Komplettist und Sammelfreak sein, doch inklusive der neulich vom Minerall-Konzert mitgenommenen 6-CD-Box ist meine Kollektion von Schmidtchen Bassanas Solomaterial inzwischen immerhin groß genug, um mich elf Stunden dauerbeschallen zu lassen.

Sein erstmals 2002 erschienenes Debüt hatte ich mir trotz mehrerer Reissues bisher allerdings noch nicht zu Gemüte geführt. Und ich muss sagen, es hat mich tatsächlich etwas überrascht!


SULA BASSANA - Dreamer (LP) (2002/2024)

Doch zunächst einal etwas Orientierung: "Dreamer" kam zunächst wie gesagt 2002 raus, und zwar über Nasoni Records, exklusiv auf Vinyl. Zwei Jahre später folgte dann die erste CD-Auflage mit neuem Coverartwork auf Sulatron Records, schnell gefolgt von einer zweiten Pressung 2005 auf Elektrohasch Records. Zum Zehnjährigen Jubiläum 2012 kam dann wieder auf Sulatron Records eine remasterte Version mit nochmals neuem Cover auf CD und LP... letztere noch einmal im Folgejahr nachgepresst.
Alles kapiert soweit? Jetzt gibt es das Ding nochmals auf Schallplatte (wie mittlerweile von Dave präferiert farbiges Recycling-Vinyl), aber mit dem Artwork der ersten beiden CD-Ausgaben. 

Nun packt Herr Schmidt ja allerhand unterschiedliches Zeug unter sein Sula Bassana-Banner. Klar, irgendeine Form von pilzentrücktem Psych ist es immer, aber manche Aufnahmen sind klar rockorientierter und klingen mehr nach Band, während andere eher den eigensinnigen Homestudiotüftler mit kauzigem Elektrokraut oder verträumtem Ambient in den Vordergrund stellen.

Die Überraschung bei "Dreamer" lag für mich insofern darin, dass ich angesichts des Titels doch stark mit einem Tangerine Dream der letzten Art gerechnet hatte. Tatsächlich aber hätte ich Sula Bassana hier ohne Hinweis wahrscheinlich nicht einmal wiedererkannt, so sehr hört sich die Musik nach einer perfekt aufeinander eingespielten Sechziger/Siebziger-Rockgruppe an. Es ist natürlich nicht so, dass es stören würde, aber fanatische Hardcore-Realisten müssen sich hier schon ständig daran erinnern, dass dieses Album von einer Nase alleine aufgenommen wurde, denn vor dem inneren Auge spielt hier unweigerlich eine fünfköpfige Band.

Nachdem "Dreamer", "Dealer McDope" und "My Blue Guitar" sich ausgejammt haben, ändert sich der Ton allerdings deutlich mit der düstereren superelektronischen "Nervenlähmung".
Mit "Ananda" bleibt es danach noch über zwölf weitere Minuten lang spooky atmosphärisch. Unter einem pochenden Puls und minimalitischen Keyboardakkorden soliert der Meister hier zunächst sehnsüchtig jaulend, später orientalisch in und über sich hinaus gehend auf den Saiten, sich viel Zeit nehmend, ehe das Stück schließlich doch noch stärker eruptiert.

Die letzten neuneinhalb Minuten pendeln sich dann klanglich irgendwo in der Mitte zwischen den beiden Albumhälften ein. Der "Baby Blue Shuffle in D Major" nutzt einen Drummaschinenbeat, balanciert darüber aber zu gleichen Anteilen Analogsynthies und Gitarren. Obwohl es sich um ein Pink Floyd-Cover handelt, hätte ich hier wohl am zielsichersten auf Sula Schmidt getippt.

Mal ganz davon abgesehen, dass das ganze Ding ohnehin super gealtert ist - also heute musikalisch genauso wertvoll wie vor zweiundzwanzig Jahren -, ist retrospektiv an diesem Debüt interessant, wie es eigentlich schon den Rahmen für das ganze Spektrum von Sula Bassana setzt. Fast alles, was auf späteren Album noch weiter und tiefer erforscht wurde, scheint hier zumindest in Ansätzen schon vorgedacht worden zu sein.

Die neue Edition ist auf dreihundert Stück limitiert und direkt bei Sulatron Records zu haben.

2024-04-07

LOTUS THIEF / FORLESEN - Lotus Thief / Forlesen

The personell-wise extremely overlapping bands Lotus Thief and Forlesen have released a split CD with one eleven something minutes long song each. I guess the critic's challenge here is to determine what's the difference between the two groups in the first place. Which is a bit tricky, because they both don't stick to one specific style but still incorporate several similar influences. Hard to say where Lotus Thief ends and Forlesen begins.... I guess I'll simply listen to the music at hand and see if I can crack that enigma along the way.


LOTUS THIEF / FORLESEN - Lotus Thief / Forlesen (CD) (2024)

The first track is Lotus Thief's "In Perdition". Their Scripture Metal has always been based on ancient texts. This time it is the novella "Il Decamerone", which Giovanno Boccaccio published in 1353, a tale in which people seek shelter during the Black Death. It's a majestic, partly Blackened Doom Metal epic, mostly carried by Bezaelith's beatiful, yet also grave and stern voice, whereas Ascalaphus' occasional harsh vocals serve a rather textural purpose. The historic air and solemn ceremonial tone of Lotus Thief sets them apart and makes this a great memorable song.

Forlesen then move away from expectations with their version of the American traditional "Black Is The Color", which joins interpretations from The Body & Big|Brave and Jazz singer Youn Sun Nah in my collection, proving that great source material can be translated into all kinds of different languages without loosing its power. This song sees Bezaelith as the dominant vocalist again, yet this time with Ascalaphus adding deep clean harmonies to this profoundly sad funeral dirge. Definitely a somehow easier to grasp track than what we're used to from this band (whose 2022 album "Black Terrain" is still among my very favorite Doom offerings of recent years), yet the interplay between singing, minimal drums, droning guitars and hopeful piano makes this amazing rendition work perfectly.

Unsurprisingly the résumé of this review can only be the desperate question: Why not more of this? It's fantastic.

So can you distinguish the bands based on this split alone? While the songs are indeed quite different, I'd still say: No, not really, I guess. But that also just plainly means they're both great.
Anyway, the Albrecht Dürer cover artwork fits both groups, while the small black-on-red typography on a shiny digipak continues the I, Voidhanger Records tradition of horribly readable items. Maybe that's just a test to question whether we really love the music itself. And yes, we do love this!

(Still waiting for Roadburn Festival to book both of them as a package, honestly. Well, maybe next year!)  

2024-04-06

Embrace your dark sides! with CANCERVO, DIABOLIC OATH, LETHE and LUSTMORD


Yeah, maybe you have even more dark sides than four, maybe you're a truly happy-go-lucky angel. There isn't any real connection between these releases other than that they are all somehow sinister or at least nocturnal stuff and have (or will) come out recently / soon. And their cover artworks make a pretty harmonious, aesthetically pleasing collage, right?

In other words: These are the four latest digital promo invitations of the last weeks I just couldn't resist.





DIABOLIC OATH - Oracular Hexations

"Rusted Madness Tetherig Misbegotten Haruspices"
"Serpent Coils Suffocating the Mortal Wound"
"Winged Ourobouros Mutating Unto Gold"

Guess the genre by those song titles! Yeah, of course it's absolutely sick and gnarly Blackened Dissonant Death Metal!

It seems to be a mission statement of Sentient Ruin Laboratories to constantly present bands which find successful ways of maximizing the infernal impact of Extreme Metal with a signature twist. Commonly those groups will consist of precise, fast and brutal, skilled musicians, whose performances will be drowned in seemingly muddy and cavernous, often ridiculously distortion-heavy productions to convey the most hellishly chaotic maelstrom of maliciousness.

All this applies to Portland's Diabolic Oath too. Their special sauce however is the use of exclusively fretless guitars, which adds both a layer of uneasy weirdness and advanced musicality. On top of that they're roaring and belling with three vocalist. No chance to lean back in confident anticipation of what's coming next. The only certainty is that it will be sick and brutal.
"Oracular Hexations" brings just the unbound Death metal frenzy I love. This scratches an itch similar to DisimperiumCh'ahom or Qrixkuor for me. Let chaos reign supreme! Rating: Six out of six unequivocal fuckyeahs echoing endlessly in a maze of torment!
 







CANCERVO - III (2024)

We're staying completely inside the realm of Metal for one more record, but this time it's traditional Black Sabbath worshipping Doom. The "Intro" sounds as if it comes directly out of Count Dracula's pipe organ lair, but the trio Cancervo actually comes from Italy and is named after a mountain near Bergamo.

So what makes this band and album great? First I love how almost stubborn the fuzzy heavy guitar riffs are played - cavemannish primitivism reminiscent of the mighty Conan. Even when the drums decide to give a brutal Thrash Metal blast a go in the evil repetitive hymn "Burn Your Child", the riff just riffs on unfazed. An old trick, but this band uses it to great effect!  *slowly but firmly nodding my head along*

Cancervo cultivate a very classic evil atmosphere, which kind of reminds me of Cirith Ungol, but through very different means concerning the vocals. Because where Baker is famously shrill and excentric, bassist Luka goes for a rather deep, snarling voice. On some tracks it resonates in a clarical way, on almost spoken word performances like "Sacrilegious Mass" it strikingly reminds me of Laibach's Milan Fras on "Jesus Christ Superstars". And yes, that's awesome. Even though everything else is great on this short but sweet album, too - the vocals are the frosting which gives this cake of Doom its special flavour.

I probaly should also check out their properly Roman numbered previous albums "I" and "II"!






LETHE - Alienation (2024)

While the other stuff here has already been released by now, we have to wait until the end of April until the Swiss/Norwegian duo Lethe's third album sees the dim cold light of the full moon night on Dark Essence Records. But it's absolutely worth the wait!

"Alienation" is brilliantly structured. On the first two-and-a-half or three tracks Anna Murphy and Tor-Helge Skei establish the band's sound, which will immediately capture you if you're a fan of artists like Of Blood And Mercury or as a less obscurele example the modern Synth Pop sound of Ulver. Dark drones, lush bright synths, exciting crispy beats. An ethereal angelic voice floating above it all. Yet also some jazzy brass (or brass-emulating?) sounds and rather subtle distorted guitars revealing the Metal background of the artists.
Even though these three pieces already bring different ideas into the forefront, you start to get a sure feeling of what the rest of the eight songs will be like.

And that's when Lethe start throwing curve-balls. "Éternel" first dials up the Metal part significantly, then suddely sounds like a Gggolddd track with break-beats, and finally goes Post Black Metal with a fast male Rap narration, which starts an unexpected ongoing thread of dark French Trip Hop popping up on several instances for the remainder of the album.

No need for me to go further into what else is in store, what details remind my of ArchiveMyrkur, LaibachKlaus Schulze, "Ralf und Florian". It's all wonderful midnight hour headphone fodder to deeply bewitch your ears. Dark Electronic Rock connoisseurs, don't miss this one!






LUSTMORD - Much Unseen Is Also Here (2024)

It's a Lustmord album, but some things are indeed... happening.





Yes, that's it.




Come on, can't you let me have one review of this kind every once in a while? It's Dark Ambient Drone from the godfather of the genre. Who needs me to babble about pitch-black caverns, poisoned abandonded Industrial sights and being lost alone inside a rusty space craft?

As expected this is long and demanding, not an album you'll always have the patience to sit through. But it still somehow is brilliant. And personally I especially deem the eery notion of Doom Jazz during the "Invocation of the Nameless One" rewarding. This album definitely is a promising recipe to get rid of party guests if you want to go to bed. Depending on the crowd you're hanging out with of course. Damn depressed vampires.







CARPET - Collision

I must admit that my knowledge about the Southern German band Carpet isn't fully up to speed, since so far I only owned their 2013 album "Elysian Pleasures". The spectacular gatefold cover was what had stirred my interest in the record, and - even though I know to expect quality music now and there are less visual details to discover this time - the artwork certainly helped to sell it again.   


CARPET - Collision (random colored recycled vinyl LP) (2024)

Maybe I should just write an essay about the cover and how it reminds me of Made Out Of Babies "The Ruiner". Yeah, this really is a good looking item. I'm also quite pleased with the looks of the record itself. The first hundred copies came on random-coloured recycled vinyl, and this time I was lucky and didn't get some ugly grey-ish furniture padding, but a decent tone. Sound quality is good too. A little confusing are the two lyric sheets, because there's much more text on there and it may take a while to find, where the lyrics you're listening to actually are... The design's great all around too, though.

Ok, come on! Why am I avoiding to say something about the music? Is it bad? No, abso-fucking-lutely not! The problem is that my first and still dominating thought about "Collision" - even though it's a high compliment - doesn't really do the work entirely justice. So here it is: There's not one single moment on this album which couldn't be part of a Motorpsycho record.

Specifically a Motorpsycho record of the lighter, yet still complex proggy side, with many catchy fab-four melodies and light-filled jazzy ideas. It's just the kind of carefree Psychedelic Prog Rock which feels cool and natural, but also doesn't shy away from showing emotions. It knows the genre's past but isn't stuck in is. A track like "Lost At Sea" seems to take just as much inspiration from the Seventies as it does from contemporary Jazz and Radiohead.

What I even love more than the great songwriting on this record is the warm colour palette of its arrangements, the textures of Mellotron, Rhodes, trumpet, flugelhorn and the smooth vocal performance of Maximilian Stephan. This whole thing just comes together so well! From idea to execution, production and presentation every step just worked here and makes this a wonderfully flawless package.
And circling back to the great Trondheimians: If this was in fact a Motorpsycho album - it surely wouldn't be their worst.

As a further bonus it's released on the likable Kapitän Platte label, which means you can expect some weird, probably very random piece of historic cultural or political memoribila to accompany your music.







MYRKUR und JONATHAN HULTÉN live im Uebel & Gefährlich, Hamburg (05. April 2024)


Kinderpause, Folkesang und Pandemie... Lang ist's her dass Madame Amalie Bruun mit ihrer Band mal ganz regulär auf Tour gewesen ist. Auch wenn ich sie zwischendurch 2019 und 2021 mit folkloristem Programm  erleben durfte, war es keine Frage, dass ich sehen wollte, wohin sich Myrkur nun live entwickelt haben.







JONATHAN HULTÉN
Zunächst einmal kam aber Ex-Tribulation-Gitarrist Jonathan Hultén auf die rechte Seite der mit reichlich Deko-Gestrüpp verzierten Bühne (wo ich es von meinem Platz links in der zweiten Reihe mal gar nicht geschafft habe, ihn vernünftig bildlich festzuhalten). Gekleidet wie eine androgyne Mischung aus Klaus Nomi, Marge Simpson und orthodoxem Goth-Priester bot er seine ganz eigene Idee von Balladen und spirituellen Gesängen dar.

Vor einem Hintergrund aus Wettergeräuschen, Ambient-Wabern und Vogelzwitschern sang er mal mit, mal ohne akustische Gitarre mit Effekthilfe - und mich an Gggolddds "On You" erinnernd - als sein eigener mystischer Chor. Schon ziemlich außerirdisch und dennoch berührend, auch wenn die Merkwürdigkeit hier schon ziemlich weit hochgeschraubt war. Eine gute Show, deren Ende ich dennoch begrüßte, da es noch länger schon ein bisschen eintönig geworden wäre.








MYRKUR
Hier war also Bruuns neue Band: Schlagzeuger, Gitarrist, sie selbst hauptsächlich entweder nur am Mikro oder auch am Keyboard - und bei einigen heftigeren Stücken an der Schrammelgitarre. Der daneben offensichtlichste Unterschied zu ihren vorigen Formationen war, dass sie sich das Rampenlicht fast durchgehend mit ihrer Bassisitin/Keyboarderin teilte, welche exzellente Harmonie- und Duettgesänge zur magisch feenhaften Leadstimme beisteuerte.
Dass der Gesang in all seiner abwechslungsreichen Zauberhaftigkeit ein Hauptdarsteller des Abends war stand außer Zweifel. Das damals in Wacken 2016 noch prägende Black-Metal-Gekeife scheint die Künstlerin, wie sich ja bereits im Gruenspan-Konzert 2017 ankündigte, aber zumindest für den Moment komplett eingemottet zu haben. Selbst in "Ulvinde" wurde der entsprechende Part von ihr anders ausgefüllt. Als rotgoldener Faden im natürlich immer noch sehr breit aufgestellten Klangspektrum des Sets ergab dies aber durchaus auch Sinn.

Mit ganzen acht (von neun Stücken) vom aktuellen Album "Spine" und dazu passendem Material von "Mareridt" - und dem melodischen "Dybt I Skoven" von "M" als einzigem Verteter der vorherrschend blackmetallischen Phase - war klar, dass der Schwerpunkt auf der Mischung aus eingängigem, gelegentlich schwarzem und manchmal doomigem Metal mit elektronischem Pop und himmlischer Atmosphäre liegen musste. Dazu gehört die skandinavisch-folkloristische Note natürlich zu Myrkurs DNA, wurde jedoch mit ein paar Stücken von "Folkesange" auch noch einmal besonders herausgestellt.

Wie immer muss ich feststellen, dass Amalie einfach eine hervorragende, ausdrucksstarke wie entrückende Sängerin, Musikerin, Künstlerin ist. Mehr denn ja hat sie sich eine eigene Nische geschaffen, welche sie in magische Konzerterlebnisse zu verwandeln weiß. In diesem Fall hat die Show sogar meine Wertschätzung für das Album gesteigert.

Das heißt alles nicht, dass mich eine oldschoolige Furie-aus-dem-Sack-Attacke als Zugabe nicht noch enorm abgeholt hätte, aber vielleicht hat sie da ja auf der nächsten Tour ja wieder Bock drauf. Wenn man sich auf eines verlassen kann, dass Myrkur ein ihren Launen folgendes Projekt im ständigen kreativen Wandel ist. Und der jetztige Punkt ist schon verdammt nah dran, das beste aus allen bisher besuchten Welten zu vereinen.

Es war erst der zweite Abend der Tour, das Bühnengewächs noch nicht welk - wer also die Chance hat, Myrkur noch zu erwischen, dem empfehle ich dies unbedingt!







2024-04-01

IVAN THE TOLERABLE TRIO - Infinite Peace

Some stuff is just super awesome, but I don't really have any good idea what the heck to write about it. In this spirit let's just quickly put a checkmark behind this super awesome double LP, be done with it and just enjoy the freaking music!


IVAN THE TOLERABLE TRIO - Infinite Peace (eco colour vinyl 2LP) (2024)

I know that it's a laughable amount of his busy body of work, but so far I own four albums by multi-instrumentalist Oli Heffernan aka Ivan The Tolerable: "Black Water/Brown Earth", "Ritual In Transfigured Time", "Toft House Session" by the Ivan The Tolerable Quartet and (bought together with the that one) this latest record of the Trio. But even though those are all great - as far as I'm concerned "Infinite Peace" easily is the best.

At its core ninety percent of "Infinite Peace" just consists of wonderful dreamy Spiritual Jazz with a little touch of Psych (which might even be rather by association, because that's the main playground of the label Stolen Body Records) and Ambient sounds.

It's not a strict trio recording in the sense that you'll only hear three instruments at a time, but on the contrary rather maximalist. While Heffernan's bass and Neil Turpin's drums are their most indispensable contributions, Oli also integrates mostly subtle guitars and the special sauce of field recordings and synths which create a lot of the special Ivaness of the album, while Ben Hopkinson, who plays saxophone, (electric) piano, mellotron and shruti box always seems to be present with at least two equally important elements.

Everything comes together wonderfully fluent and relaxing. This is an album which confidently  claims its stake of the Spiritual Jazz cake, with the flan case made of tradition and a modern individual topping. With thirteen compositions on four record sides it certainly is quite a huge portion - but it's also a flavour which won't overgorge me anytime soon. The taste is just too excellent!

There are a couple of instances when the mood shifts. A bit of Bop here, a hint of what Bohren & der Club of Gore would call "Detective Jazz" there. And sometimes the music moves away from the relatively Easy Listening experience to something darker, especially during the layered Indian drones of "Autodidact IV" and the eery experimental johnzornish soundtrack atmosphere of the final track "Mother Shipton". 
And before that we get the longest of all tracks, being a respectable interpretation of Archie Shepp's "Hipnosis", which successfully puts the sometimes quite heavy Tolerable stamp on the 1975 composition.

In short: "Infinite Peace" is super awesome. And of course this review grew larger than I expected to actual regular size. But I won't go back to the beginning and change it now. Duh!







ARCHIVE - Call To Arms & Angels Live EP

Now this is an easy one to review! Says most of what's important already in the title: a selection of tracks from the fantastic 2022 album "Call To Arms & Angels", recorded live in Paris in November 2023.


ARCHIVE - Call To Arms & Angels Live EP (12") (2024)

It's also a rather unnecessary one to review, since this EP (which is still over forty minutes long!) is a limited vinyl-only release and of course long sold out. It's also pretty great.

According to my memory from Hamburg the four songs selected here were the new pieces, which had the biggest imprint on the character of the show among the new material: the multi-faceted "Enemy", the ballad "Surrounded By Angels" which introduced new singer Lisa Mottram, the new huge epic "Daytime Coma" and the strange but intriguing "The Crown".

Great tracks, perfect live renditions. You'll survive if you couldn't get your hands on this EP, but it's definitely a very nice item to own. It comes with a print of the show's whole setlist, which includes the obligatory misspelling "Daytime Corma", while on the label of the 12" itself it's made into a running gag with the variant "Daytme Coma".

The only thing I disliked is that the record was so statically charged that it was almost impossible to get it outside of its paper sleeve - and there are also so many micro particles on it, which produced a shitload of cracks and pops. Very annoying when you're recording you own personal copy, especially since there's no alternative digital version out there. That could have been avoided I think.

The as always uncategorizable Electronic Progressive Trip Hop Rock (just to cite what Discogs suggests for this one) music is of course absolutely brilliant.