Saturday, 31 December 2016

Reissues, Compilations, Live Albums and other curiosities from 2016.

As list season comes to an end i'd like to mention some of the reissues this year worthy of your attention. Below are some of the best Compilations, Splits and Live Albums that I've really enjoyed.
All title links are clickable and will take you to the artists pages; as always, if you like what you hear then please support the artists and labels by purchasing their music.

There's some killer stuff here, Enjoy !

Interkosmos - Hypnotizer.

The Band Whose Name is a Symbol - Symbol Box

E Gone - Advice to Hill Walkers

Dead Sea Apes - Soy Dios

Brown Acid - The Second Trip

Space Rock: An Interstellar Traveler's Guide

Knall - Alienfunk (Live)

Jonathan Morgan - Alchemical

Electric Moon - Zeiss Planetarium Bochum 2015 (Live)

White Hills - No Game to Play

Heavy Psych Sounds 4 Way Split - Golden Grass/Killer Boogie/Wild Eyes/Banquet

Ripple Music: Second Coming of Heavy Chapter 4 Red Mesa/Blue Snaggletooth

Hevisike Presents: Gorilla Vs Grifter

Monday, 26 December 2016

Album Review... Atomic Simao - Echo

3 Years ago Kiev's Atomic Simao released 'Nōdo'; a brilliant Spacerock LP with a really heavy undercurrent of Stoner Blues and Psych.  The record was soaked in references and influenced by the genius of Jimi Hendrix, right the way down to its iconic "Hindu Hendrix" sleeve design. The band have been busy of late, with the recording of the follow-up 'Echo', as well as touring with revered artists Psychic TV and The Herbaliser.

Clearly a lot has happened to the band in 3 years.  The opening track 'Intro' smashes in like something from The Chemical Brothers 'Dig Your Own Hole'.  The distinct changes in instrumentation are apparent immediately.  Second track 'The Mask' is full full on Psych-funk; its raspy saxophone and synths prove that the band have worked hard at delivering something new.  This isn't a record they want you to sit still and listen to, they demand that you move!
'Around the Sun' is next.  It runs on a lead sax again, but this time showcases some of the brilliant guitar work, last heard on Nōdo; also noteworthy here is the outstanding drum work of Georgiy Valchuk, coming off like Nick Mason on speed.  The tempo's and techniques change constantly but retain a Floydesque feel.  'The Fox' has a very dancey, sixties feel to it.  The organ sounds show an Acid Jazz flavour and a different facade to the band, but remain absolutely within the spirit of this record.  'Liquid Shadows is a slower, deeper number rooted in Jazz and old spy movie soundtracks, once more lead by the raspy sax.  It can also be heard on the final track 'Space Veils'.  However this song itself, sounds much more like something from past releases.

Despite its very late December Release, I'll say right now that this is going to be one hell of an album to beat in 2017.  Atomic Simao may well continue to remain known as a psychedelic rock act; but they bring so much more now than with previous releases as the evolution of the band continues. 'Echo' shows a development in sound and style that should surely catapult them forward on to bigger stages and to wider audiences.  The use of saxophone as a lead instrument is a bold and brilliant move and through its various filters, dazzles in the ways a great vocalist should.  The band wear the influences from electronic big beat records and psychedelic rock with pride; it all feeds into an album with a massive sound. The heavier use of synths and some of the best drumming you'll hear on record for a long time, add up to an essential listen.  There's no doubt about it;  'Echo' is fucking special.

Atomic Simao Bandcamp

Atomic Simao Facebook

Atomic Simao Soundcloud

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Bandcamp Roundup...

The latter end of 2016 has produced a wealth of unexpected delights at a time of year reserved for best of releases and retrospectives; These are usually by the same artists as some sort of unnecessary and cynical cash in, well worry not......

Below you will find some brilliant alternatives...Stoner Rock, Desert, Space Psych and much more besides, click the links and hear the albums in full. The bandcamp pages for these artists will have social media connections there ready for you, click the titles above the player to go to the bandcamp pages directly, there will also be tags on the AHM  Facebook page post.

As always if you like what you hear please support the bands by buying their music and showing your support by following them on social Media.

There are more reviews to come on AHM so please keep coming back, you can also find me on Mixcloud, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Enjoy !

Last of the Easy Riders - Self Titled Ep

Age of Man - About Time

Øresund Space Collective - Visions Of ...

Odd Couple - Flügge

Tumbleweed Dealer - TDIII Tokes, Hatred and Caffine

Buried Sleeper - Colosseum

Second Coming of Heavy Volume 4 - Red Mesa/Blue Snaggletooth

Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard - Nachthexen

Craneium - Explore the Void

Hair of the Dog - The Siren's Song

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Listen to Decembers Atom Heart Mutha RadioShow on Mixcloud anytime

December's Atom Heart Mutha RadioShow is now available to listen to online anytime on the Mixcloud Player.

This months show went out as part of BigJaf.nets RockShow and again on American radio Station Grip Of Delusion

Music featured this month includes some of my favourite songs of the year as well as brand new tracks out now and early next year
Enjoy !

Track List:

Vintage Cucumber- Schritt Nach Schritt
JuJu - Samael
Ghost Box Orchestra - Flutter
The Cult of Dom Keller  - Ravens & Rockets
Blackash- Black Witch
Al Lover - NEUicide!
Blue Snaggletooth - Crystal's Gaze
Dreamtime - Fire
Sherpa - Sherpa
Svvamp - Big Rest

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Atom Heart Mutha...Albums of the Year 2016. Asteroid - III

After a sizeable gap between album releases, Asteroid returned this year to remind the world how Psychedelic Rock is done properly. 'III' is an album crafted with care and written to be taken out on the road. Despite how turbulent this year may have been for the band, the songs within show confidence and strength without a crack in sight. Play loud, Asteroid command it !
I spoke with Johannes Nilsson and asked how the bands return has been...

Hi Johannes!  It's good to speak with you.   You've just released 'III' after a fairly lengthy break; how does feel being back out there?  

Hey Jaf! Great to speak with you!  Yeah, we released the album in Europe just a couple of weeks ago.  It feels great being at it again and the response have been very promising so far.  By the way, I really appreciate your words on the new record.  It's always exciting to put out new material and getting the listeners opinions of it.

How has 2016 been for Asteroid? 

The year since we started up has been a handful. Bringing it all up takes a lot of effort and everything has to happen at the same time.  We decided to release the new album within a year of writing the new material; and recording; planning the release  booking shows and everything surrounding that, really took a lot of effort.  Suddenly, in the middle of it all, Elvis decided to quit for good. We are really sad that he’s not in Asteroid anymore, but we’re still friends, and I play with him in another project called Mörkla.  But it’s still Elvis appearing on the album! Being back in the road, on the other hand, is just pure pleasure.  I guess we’re all in it to play live.  We’ve all missed the fans.  It feels like we have a long term relationship with them and it feels great to see them again!  So everything combined, 2016 has been a turbulent, but a really awesome year.

It doesn't translate as turbulent on the record; in fact, it's a very focused and direct album.  You took quite a long break between albums II and III.  Has much changed in the way bands need to operate?

Thanks. Well, we’d never compromise with the song writing.  And, we’ve always been very careful when we’re putting the album together.  The total composition is important, and it’s written as a whole album, not just separate songs.  Therefore, we hope that people also listen to is as a whole!    I wouldn’t say the ways have changed in general; but we had to change the way to write and record the album.  As I said, we decided right away to release a new album within a year, after the reunion.  So, the process of writing and recording was really fast.  We even wrote the last song, Pale Moon, first on the album, while in the studio.  We had even started taking the mics down!  Previously, we let the music grow over a longer period, jamming back, and forth, and even play the songs live a few times. Playing songs live will change them constantly, giving them a closer live nerve.  I will admit that seeing the songs from III live now, will be somewhat different from hearing them on the album.

Tell me a little bit about the processes you go through as a band when you're recording.   

The recording procedure also changed because of the shorter recording span. Recording II was a completely different experience, spread out over maybe half a year. Back then, we recorded most of it live.  This time around, we did more of a standard separated production; laying the drums first and then adding each instruments and the vocals last. Personally, not at all a favorite way of doing music, but it was also a new and rewarding experience.

What were you listening too whilst you recorded the album? Does that ever influence your sound? 

I think the three of us have a wide variation of musical influences, and that probably affects the essence of our sound.  It has always been like that and we let our sound evolve around the musicians in the band, rather than clinging on to some assumption of what Asteroid should sound like.   I wouldn’t be surprised if the sound changes somewhat now when we’re adding Jimmi Kohlsheen to the mix, instead of Elvis.  The foundation for all of us is, of course, classic late 60’s and early 70’s rock, with loads of obscure bands many people not of heard of.  I, personally, listen to pretty much all kind of music from all kinds of progressive music, though hardcore and black metal, to old American blues and Swedish folk and jazz.  Professionally, I’ve listen to around a thousand new artists every year, for a bunch of years, and I usually try to have an open mind to new music whilst never getting stuck in certain genres.  As much as all music builds on many layers of historical efforts, so is new music.

Do you have plans to tour the album wider; you appear to be touring extensively already? 

We started touring right away.  Playing live is our main objective and we probably wouldn’t be in it at all if it wasn’t for the live side of it.  Doing the last tour through Europe and meeting old friends and seeing familiar faces really gets to you.  We met people that have been with us as long as the rest of us in the band, dressed in band shirts from tours back in like 2008!  So, for us this is a long term relationship that we want to keep up!  As for the future, we will keep on playing as much as possible. I think we will put much effort in establishing the new sound with Jimmi and make new music right away!  I can’t say when that will be released, but it will not take another six years!

It must be a great opportunity for newer bands to tour with a band of your stature and reputation.  Are there any new bands out there we should keep an eye on? 

 I love seeing new bands!  I think I’ve seen pretty much all of the bands we’ve played with over the years.  Both to get in live mood for my own sake, but mostly to see what kind of stuff they do.  I have a big respect of all musicians and artists making their own music and I try to help with advice and tips if I can.  On the last tour, we had the German band Limestone Whale with us for almost all of the tour.  They were really cool and helpful guys and they were constantly picking our brains for advice!  We were all glad to help out with what we could.  Furthermore, check out Danish 'The Boy That Got Away' and Finnish 'Death Hawks'.  They are really cool, upcoming bands and also great people!

Do you have any favorite albums of the year? 

 I’d go with ‘Nucleus’ from our fellow Örebro rockers in Witchcraft.

Great hearing from you Johannes; Happy New Year to you all!

Asteroid Facebook

Asteroid III on Bandcamp

Fuzzorama Records

Monday, 5 December 2016

Atom Heart Mutha...Albums of the Year 2016. Svvamp - Svvamp

Svvamp's debut for RidingEasy Records was joy to listen to from the very first time.  They somehow managed to record a classic blues rock album and make it sound contemporary.   It's an album with a warm sound that demands repeat plays.  I caught up with the band to ask how 2016 had been for them...

Hey! Thanks for speaking with me; how has 2016 been for you?

2016 has been great! We're really proud and happy to be a part of the RidingEasy crew.  We got a new family member in the band and we took a short break to focus on some new songs

RidingEasy have had a good year; they've put out some really interesting records.  How did you become involved with them?

A friend came to one of our shows in Stockholm and made a Snapchat-clip of us playing.  Later, she told us RidingEasy had picked it up and suddenly, we were talking on the phone.  It was pretty wild; we couldn't believe it at first!

When did you start recording the album?

We've been playing together for nearly 5 years now and have been making demos and recordings ever since.  The album really is a mix of places and time during a 2-3 year period.  We switched rehearsal rooms A LOT during the recording, that kind of dragged out the recording process, but we also took our time to really try out different recording techniques.

I'm reluctant to use the word "retro" but the albums' sound certainly has a vintage feel to it; these songs wouldn't be out of place on some of the great rock albums from the 70s.  Were you conscious of your influences whilst recording?

We definitely wanted to tribute our inspirations from that time on the album.  We recorded the album with very few overdubs and live on to tape; that way we captured the songs quickly and while they were still fresh.

Now that the record has been released, do you take it out on tour or do you start thinking about writing the next one?

We're taking a short break at the moment but we're hoping to take the album on the road next year. We're using this time to get some work done on our new songs and ideas.

How easy is it to tour outside of your home country?  A lot of the bands I’ve spoken to find hard to get out to tour overseas.

To tell the truth we haven't done any touring outside of Sweden... yet.  We'll see what the future has in store.

What have you been listening to this year? Any favourite records from 2016?

Pretty much every release from RidingEasy! Brant Bjorks "Tao of the devil", our buddies Maidavale "Tales of the wicked west" and probably some other great music we can't think of right now!

Haha! Fair enough, thanks again for catching up...Happy New Year!

Nice talking to you and happy new year as well!

Svvamp Bandcamp

Svvamp Facebook


Sunday, 4 December 2016

Atom Heart Mutha...Albums of the Year 2016. The Judge - The Judge

Ripple music have had an incredible year, they seem to have found a bottomless well of Hard Riffing bands that truly know how to rock like Mthafcka's ! The Judge came out of nowhere for me, i'd somehow missed the original ep release, the debut however didn't pass me by and the second the first track 'The Witcher' kicked off, i knew i was in for something special. The band play a mean blend stoner psych with a defiant 70s rock edge and have a reputation as a formidable force live;  I caught up with Bass player Kevin Jones to find out how the bands year had been.

Hi Kevin! Good to hear from you! How has 2016 been for you and the band?

Really good! We finally put out our debut album that's been in the works for 5ish years and did our first tour ever!

That seems like long time to get a record out; were there hurdles?

We were just young.  No money. These past few years since we got Tyler, our singer, we really busted ass to get ourselves in the right gear to get it going.

I hear you have a follow up record ready to go; have you written this one from scratch?

Yes. We recorded it quite a while ago and had it pretty much ready going into the studio.

What can you tell me about the new album? Will it be different to the Debut?

To me, it's a lot more straight forward rock n roll.  We stepped out of our comfort zone a little bit.  It's a lot more in your face!  So far, we're thinking about an early 2017 release; nothing specific yet.

Your debut came out on Ripple.  How did you get involved with them?

We put an EP on bandcamp for free, and my guess would be somehow the news spread to California about us.  Todd got in contact with us with an offer to join Ripple and we couldn't resist.  We had to take it!

You have a reputation as a great live act; are there plans to tour outside of the States?

We've had invitations to play festivals overseas, but money seems to be the big thing keeping us from going.  Plane tickets aren't cheap.

Well, It’d be great to see you here in the UK, for sure.  What road plans do you have for 2017?

Probably just stick around here.  Do more small tours in some of the bigger cities around us; Chicago, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Memphis, and so on.

Do you have any favourite albums from this year?

Red Fang just put out their Album "Only Ghosts" that I've been jamming to.   Wolfmothers newest album is in my current iPod rotation.

Are there any bands you recommend keeping an eye out for in 2017?

One band we played with on tour down in San Antonio, Texas was Smokey Mirror, those guys ripped, Thrashy doom metal.   It was mind blowing!  There's a band local to us named Spacetrucker. Super heavy riffage, they're kinda like Red Fangs little brother.
Oh! Let me throw one more album out there!  A band Called Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. I love their new album!

Good Speaking to you Kevin!  Happy New Year to you all!

The Judge Facebook

The Judge Bandcamp

Ripple Music

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Atom Heart Mutha...Albums of the Year 2016. JuJu - JuJu

JuJu is the latest incarnation of Sicily-based Gioele Valenti. Lay Llamas, Herself, used to designate objects, such as amulets, and spells used ceremoniously in West Africa.  Valenti broadens the scope of ‘juju’ to encompass a mix of rhythmic psychedelia, ancient myths and Mediterranean neo-paganism. Through the music, JuJu tells the story of an on-going exodus from Africa that, more often than not, ends in ignored tragedies at sea; ‘a total defeat for humanity.’ Inspired by sources of Earth magic and soil secrets, JuJu strives to turn that defeat into a celebration of spirit and modern psychedelia.

I really couldn't explain what JuJu is, any better than that.  Released earlier this year on Sunrise Ocean Bender to widespread acclaim, this is an album that took on so much and delivered in spades.  If  anything deserves an accolade for the most original and unexpected record of the year; its this.
I was fortunate enough to meet Gioele this year in Manchester, sadly the meeting was cut short following some very sad news.  We reconnected recently to talk about how this year has been following the release of JuJu.

Hey Gioele, good to hear from you again.  How has 2016 been?
2016 has been very intense and rich of experiences.  JuJu's debut was out in May, and from that moment everything has gone very fast.  I put together a band;  I knew a lot of people who appreciated the project, and I've been witness of great changes in my own country.  The very sad moment, at the end of the tour, with Josefin Ohrn supporting Goat - I was in Manchester - I sadly lost my father, after a long sickness. Different opposite emotions.

You released JuJu quite early on this year, when did you start recording it?

I started JuJu's recordings in 2015.  In the beginning, just chaotic ideas, riffs and stuff like that... It was in June..., i was shocked, by images of people dying among waves, off the coasts of Sicily, it made an impression on me...Then all it became more systematic, and within July the concept of the disc was ready.   Five months later I finished the recordings, and in May 2016 was out.

There's a lot of different styles musically; was it a difficult album to record?

Yes, it s a sort of tribute to all marvellous music I grew up with.  It was a natural process, not so difficult to record... But it was quite hard to keep all those influences together, in a credible way.  To put in the same Ideal space, Bart Bacharach, Joy Division and Peter Kolosimo;  It's something strange to achieve.

It's certainly a unique record, I haven’t heard anything else like it this year.  Have you started writing again?

Thank you. Yes, I am currently working at new JuJu's album...

You’re signed to Sunrise Ocean Bender, they’ve had a really interesting output of late, how did you become involved with them? 

Very simple, SOB was the first label I sent JuJu, they had very great bands, I really liked the esthetic of the site, and they appreciated the music so much, they said "that was damn good!".  A very traditional way to get involved!

 How well has the JuJu album been received? 

JuJu had a very incredible welcoming from journals, netzines and people! Everyone is enthusiastic, and it was something I didn t expect. I mean, I was conscious of the potential on it, but you know, I didn expect that the concept beneath it could interest so many people, and I am proud of the work.

The last time we met you were playing as part of Josefin Öhrn and The Liberation and Touring with Goat. How did you become involved with that tour?

The reason that I've been touring with Josefin and Goat, is due, in some sense, to the resonance of JuJu's debut.  Josefin and JuJu share the same love for music and art, and we started to follow each other on Twitter.  Then we listened to each other works, they liked my own so much, and we talked about a possible collaboration.  One month later, they invited me to join the band for the tour.  Shortly, we became friends.  The rest is history.

You've certainly been on the road a lot this year; what plans have you got for 2017?

I have planned a tour of Italy in February.  I am waiting for some dates in UK as well... and I'm currently working to the second album (as Herself, my folk side-project) with ex The Steppes John Fallon and his friends.  We'll see what happens.  2017 will see a new JuJu, that's for sure, and it'll be great!

I think its been a strong year for new music; what have you enjoyed listening to?

To tell the truth, I didn't have much time for listening to new tunes...But, I liked so much of the new stuff by Alcest (Kodama), Meshuggah (The Violent Sleep Of Reason) and the reissue of The Steppes (Drop Of The Creature)... as you can see, not strictly psych ;)...Oh! new Egone is also good!

It's great speaking with you again Gioele. Happy new year, Im really looking forward to hearing the next record.

JuJu Facebook

JuJu Bandcamp

Sunrise Ocean Bender

The Next Atom Heart Mutha Show Goes out on...

...on December 10th at 9pm.

Listen live Online as it happens HERE or you can catch the encore playback at American Station Grip Of Delusion HERE on Sunday 11th at 10amEST/4pmCET/3pmUK.

This month features some of my favourite tracks of the year as well as some brand new for 2017.

For now you can hear last Decembers end of year show with tracks chosen by friends of AHM.
Enjoy !

Turn Me on Dead Man - El Schitzo
Hills - Bring Me Sand
Mugstar - Axis Modulator
Rhyton - Shank Raids
Voice of the Seven Thunders - Set Fire to the Forrest
Niagara - Kattarh
Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced
Box - Zekes
Dead Meadow - Indian Bones

The Dukes of Stratosphear - 25 O'Clock
Jonathan Morgan - Days of Euphoria
Rainbows are Free - Are You Dead
Megaritual - ∞
Sergeant Thunderhoof - Enter the Zigurat
Colour Haze - Roses
Jacco Gardner - Find Yourself
Birth of Joy - Three Day Road
The Liquid Scene - Hey Moondog ( See the God of Odin Come )
Love - You Set the Scene
Chocolate Watch Band - it's all over now Baby Blue
AC/DC - Ride On

Friday, 2 December 2016

Atom Heart Mutha...Albums of the Year 2016. The Spacelords - Liquid Sun

Read the Atom Heart Mutha Review of Liquid Sun HERE

Here's another LP that came out in the early part of the year and has stayed with me ever since.  The Spacelords are a German trio with a reputation for translating their massive live sound into their brilliant studio recordings.  Coming in at 43 minutes and only 3 tracks long, Liquid Sun is a mammoth record.  The riffs are heavy; the vibe is trippy and band are on brilliant form.  This is how Heavy Psychedelic Stoner Spacerock is done!

Good to hear from you Marcus; how has this year been for The Spacelords?

2016 has been (and still is) a very good year for the Spacelords!  We've played many festival and club gigs this year and met a lot of new fans and friends.  Our album 'Liquid Sun' sold very well. The 3rd edition was released recently; we're now working on a new album as well.

Sounds like a busy year? What can you tell me about the process of writing and recording Liquid Sun?

Normally Hazi comes up with some nice guitar melodies, we go jamming around these melodies and record them.  After listening to those recordings, we take the best parts of the jam and develop them further.  Mostly one idea bears another and so on; at the end we arrange the tune and practice it until it's ready to record in the studio.

Great to hear it's on its third issue already; how long have you been with Tonzonen Records?

Tonzonen Records had released the second edition of the 'Synapse' album, in Spring 2015.  It was actually originally released by Sulatron records.  It sold very well and they wanted to continue with us; we also feel very comfortable with Tonzonen.

The album is 3 tracks long; Black Hole is 22 minutes long.  How do you go about writing a song of that length?

We didn't plan to write a 22min song. It happened that we had so many ideas following the basic melody and at the end it was that long! We were surprised ourselves because it felt like it was 6 or 8 minutes when playing.  Even when we play it live people feel the same, they never think this song is 22minutes long!

Yeah, I agree it really doesn't feel that long on the LP too.   Your social media shows that you're touring a lot, do you play much outside of Germany?

We have toured outside of Germany, but not too much yet.  We are thinking of touring the UK next year.

Thats great news!  How far in to the new album are you and what can you tell us about it?

One track of of the new album has already been recorded, the other tracks are almost ready. We plan to go in the studio end of January.

What have you been listening to whilst preparing the new record?

All 3 of us are deeply into music and there's a wide range of music styles that we like; mostly we love psychedelic music and garage-rock, kraut-rock and so on.  We don't think that our listening behaviour has anything to do with what we compose.  The ideas just pop up in our heads as we play!  We believe this is a good thing, cos we don't want to sound like anyone else, of course!

Do you have any favourite albums from 2016 and are there any bands to look out for in 2017?

Yeah, there are many, for example, the album 'Stockholm Marathon' from Kungens Män.  We had a small tour with them in September this year.  Nice band, great music and loads of fun!
We dig bands like Giöbia, Vibravoid, Papir, Yuri Gargarin, Earthless, Causa Sui, Electric Moon...we could go on, there's just too many good bands out there!

I've really enjoyed a lot of those records too, especially the Causa Sui and Kungens Män albums; it’d be great to see them and Liquid Sun reach wider audiences. 

Thank you Geoff, that would be really great. And thanks for your support! We very much appreciate people like you, you're doing great work.

Thanks for catching up Marcus and send my best wishes to the band! Happy new year!

And to you too ! We're going to perform our new songs live tomorrow, and the day after, as a last test.  After a few more rehearsals we'll be ready to record them; we promise a pleasant flight with the new album!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Atom Heart Mutha...Albums of the Year 2016. Ghost Box Orchestra - High Plaine

The last time Ghost Box Orchestra released an album was in 2013. This year the follow-up 'High Plaine' surpassed all of my expectations, by miles.  The songs featured this time around were far more intricate and focused, yet intensely heavy.  From the opener 'Flutter' and its brain smashing, psychedelic drones, you could tell you are about to hear an album that would refuse to sit quietly, in the background. 
I can't recommend this album enough; it's a record that gives something new with every listen...if you haven't heard it yet, you need to click the player now !
I caught up with Jeremy Lassetter from the band to find out how GBO's year had been.

Hi Jeremy, thanks for catching up, how's this year been for the band?

This year has been great.  It felt fantastic to finish up the record, get the cover art all set and be able to release it through Evil Hoodoo.   We got a great reaction from the record and it's been nice to hear from everybody that has reached out.
My favourite show of the year was Fuzzstival; our local psych/fuzz fest.  Every year it's two full days of the best that Boston has to offer in the psych/garage/fuzz crowd and it's always a blast to be involved.

We've been taking things slower this year, playing less shows and it's been working really well. That's given us all some extra time to do some of the things we've all been wanting to do (some of us are starting families, writing, recording and working on other art). We're getting to a good place where we can all go off and do our own thing to scratch those creative itches. For me, it's been nice to do some writing, spend time working on visual art and making some videos for the album. It takes some time, but I dig it - and it lights up some new parts of the ol' brain.

High Plaine is a deeply focused record; was it difficult to record?

In a way, it was difficult to record.   Tracking was fun, but intense.   We tend to go into the studio chomping at the bit to knock everything out.  It's easy to get ahead of yourself, so it's a matter of allowing a little more time than you'd think to get everything tracked and still allow room for the unexpected.  From minute one, we pretty much turn out all the lights and keep a pretty dim atmosphere; it's intense, but it's by design.   After about a week, it's time to get out and get some sunshine!

Where did you record the album?

We recorded with Dan Gonzales, at a place called Oddfellows, in East Weymouth, MA.  It was a huge live room and we were able to spread out and really use the space.  Some overdubs had us scooting a floor tom across the entire room, whilst letting the reverb change and morph through the take.  We found piles of metal in one of the side rooms and found ways to incorporate them.   I think my favourite over dub was lining up a lane of seltzer and beer cans, then stomping those, in time with the snare.  We probably had close to 100 or so!

You mention Fuzzstival; is there a big Psych Scene in Boston? Do you tour wider than the USA?

Boston has a strong psych scene.  Some of my favs are Creaturos, Magic Shoppe, Doug Tuttle, Prefab Messiahs, Black Beach, December Sound and Beach Toys.  These guys are all busting ass and making some excellent music.  As we've been playing fewer shows, it's been nice to take some time and go see everybody else do their thing.   It's been energising.  We have done wider US tours, but sat it out this year - it's very possible we will next year though.  I think everybody in the band is missing the road - and it's about time we get over to the UK!

What plans do you have for 2017?

Plans for 2017 include revving the engines and writing some new material.   We have a good amount of unreleased material, so it's about time we look at putting those out.  We'll probably play a handful of shows while everyone continues to work on some of their own projects.   There's also a special edition of High Plaine in the works and we're sorting out the final details now.

Do you have a favourite record from this year, and are the any bands you recommend looking out for in 2017?

Psychic Ills put out one of my absolute favourite albums this year.   To say I've been listening to it a lot, is an understatement.   I love what they are doing on 'Inner Journey Out' - lyrics, pedal steel and overall meditative vibe.  It's a special one.   I look forward to anything those folks put out!  Moon Duo has a new one coming out too...always ready for more Moon Duo!
Look out for Ocular Audio Experiment; a really great band if you haven't heard em yet.   Every once in a while, I get to sit in with them live and it's always a blast.

Thanks for catching up Jeremy; it was good speaking to you. Happy New Year!

Thanks y'all, it was great chatting.  Thanks for all the support and spreading the good word.  We'll see you in 2017!

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Evil Hoodoo Records

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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Atom Heart Mutha...Albums of the Year 2016. Slow Season - Westing

Californian hard rockers Slow Season released their third album 'Westing' on Riding Easy Records in the summer of this year, having already released an impressive self titled debut in 2012 and the follow up 'Mountains' in 2014.  My expectations were high, even more so, having heard the first single Y'wanna; Westing certainly didn't disappoint, the riffs are heavy and the Zeppelin influenced grooves infectious. 

Like all great albums, Westing just gets better and better with every play.  I caught up with singer Daniel Story Rice to ask him how the bands year has been.

Hi Daniel, its a pleasure talking to you, how has 2016 been for the band?

Ups and downs.
The tour was fun, but tough.  I'm adopting an infant daughter and that's awesome, but challenging when it comes to touring. Westing is the best thing we've done yet, but it's been a slow starter.  We have some cool plans for 2017, in spite of that.

For me, Westing was an attention grabber from the first time I played it, and it felt like a natural progression from Mountains.  Did you write the songs fresh for the new album or do you keep unrecorded songs back for recordings?

Westing is kind of about the political and social climate, in general.  Some songs were completely new, some took pieces of music from even before Mountains and Frankenstein-ed them into new songs. We don't really hang onto material for too long.  If it's hot, we track it; if it's not, we tend to forget it.

Where did you record the album? What was the process like?

We recorded it at Cody's house again and one track in an empty industrial office space, but this time with our new MS16 tape machine.  We then mixed down to a half-track for a true, all-analog process. The good thing about home recording is that you don't have to rush it or fake a vibe - you can wait until the time and take are right.

You mention touring.  Will you carry on taking the record out on the road? Is it an opportunity to write and rehearse the next one?

We will be taking it out on the road some more this Winter and Spring.  I'd like to write some more, but our family obligations are tying that one down for the moment. We'll see - maybe we can pull a surprise or two off.  A live album would be rad, I think.

So what are your immediate plans for 2017; are there plans to tour outside of the States?

We hope to go overseas this Summer.  Hopefully our booking agent gets a good offer.  We don't wanna run up a bunch of debt either, so we'll take what makes the most sense.  We want this band to be sustainable.

Do you have a favourite album from this year and are there any bands to look out for in 2017?

Bowie's Blackstar is great.  Mondo Drag's Occultation of Light is tops as well.  I've mostly picked up older records and reissues this year.  I'm on a big Lester Young kick, at present; the Stonewall reissue is killer too.
Look out for OutsideInside (former Carousel), High Definitions (Columbus), Stuyedyed (NYC), Crypt Trip (TX), Cloud Catcher (they recorded their next record at our place).  There were a bunch that were cool to play with, but I don't remember all the names.

Thanks for catching up Daniel, good to hear from you.

Thanks dude, anytime!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Atom Heart Mutha...Albums of the Year 2016. Sula Bassana - Shipwrecked.

Read the Atom Heart Mutha Review of Shipwrecked HERE

Shipwrecked was the first record of this year that I loved from the very first time I heard it.  It's a Kosmische masterpiece made on vintage equipment that takes in Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk and cool cinematic soundscapes. Once in a while an album comes along that's so brilliant you want to share it immediately; this is one of them. Dave Schmidt is a member of Electric Moon, Zone Six, Krautzone, Interkosmos and the head of Sulatron Records. He also makes solo music under the name Sula Bassana.  I caught up with him recently to ask him how his year has been.

Hey Dave, great to hear from you! How was 2016?

Hi Jaf! Yes, it was a busy year, but not as busy as the previous years; I need to do less so I'm doing less gigs in the future; that's more time for nature and my studio! It was a bad year for the health of some loved friends and us as well (but for us thankfully not too bad).  Let's hope the next year will bring back more positive energy! However, there were absolutely great moments, great releases and great concerts!

For me, Shipwrecked was the first great album of 2016, was it an easy record to make?

Thank you! Yes, it was very easy! The ideas came quickly and it was fun to make the songs.  I totally enjoy producing electronic music with all the great old gear I collected over the years. And there will be more of this kind in the future. I've already finished a complete album with tracks I made basically on organs and portable keyboards, but also added synthesisers, drum machines; I've used guitar and bass in one of the songs, the album will be called Organ Accumulator.  This and a 7" single with two more songs of this kind will be released in early 2017 on Deep Distance records (UK) on wax. Also I recorded a side-long track in the Berlin School like elektronic direction. For another new album :-)

It sounds like you keep yourself busy! Do you write and record the Electronic music by yourself or do you use bandmates from Electric moon, or perhaps some of the bands on the record label?

Mainly I do everything by myself, but from time to time Lulu  joins on vocals, like on 'Disappear' (from the split LP with 3AM), or on 2 songs from my next psychedelic rock album.  For this album' I just need to record the vocals (on 2 tracks) and one complete song. :-)  In the past, I've made some albums together with Modulfix (Martin Schorn), they were mainly electronic music albums as well.

Where do your influences come from? Especially as you make very different types of music.

I am an open minded person, so I always get inspiration.  I let musical instruments influence me. Every Guitar or Synthesizer or whatever has it's own feeling and creates a different mood in me. Sometimes I wake up with a melody, sometimes I just let it flow... but the deepest inspiration, for sure, is life.  It takes me up and down and I need to make music to stand all the pressure.

How do you choose the artists that you sign to the label?

Oh, most of them are friends or our own bands/projects. But sometimes I get a really nice promo (in case of Giobia and Sherpa) or find a band somewhere that keeps my attention (Deep Space, Polska Radio One...). Or I just ask a band that I love, like I did with Sun Dial, and suddenly they are on Sulatron!

The live show recordings are incredible, particularly the last Planetarium one, it's hard to believe they're not studio recordings, how do you make the sound quality the recordings  so good?

Wow, thanks a lot! It was recorded on a very cheap 8-track recorder, just the main instruments. It's hard work to make it sound nice, hehehehe. But in this case it worked more or less. The new concert recording (from 2016) sounds awful, we can't do anything with it.

Are there any new upcoming bands you recommend looking out for in 2017?

Hmmm... I really can only recommend Sherpa from Italy! Their debut album "Tanzlinde" is out on CD on Sulatron already and the vinyl version comes out in very late December, it's a really good trip, Something that crawls into your body from the back, very slowly, but when it's got you, you can't stop listening to it! Hopefully I can see them live one day.
I'm very much into producing at the moment and I'm looking forward to releasing it all. There's also more Sun Dial stuff, they've already recorded a new album. I will be re-releasing all the QUAD albums (Gary Ramon's solo project), which I love totally; some of the most trippy stuff around!

Thanks for catching up Dave, Happy New Year!

Have a great 2017, Jaf, and thanks a lot for the Interview! I'm glad you like my electronic music adventures! :-) May peace be everywhere on this planet one day!

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Monday, 28 November 2016

Atom Heart Mutha - 2016 Review...AHM's Favourite Albums of the Year.

As 2016 draws to a close its time to look back on some of the highlights of the year.
Over the coming weeks i'll be looking back at some of the Albums that shaped 2016 for Atom Heart Mutha.  First off is a List of my favourite albums and below You'll find playable versions of 20 of them !

Over the the next few weeks i'll be discussing 10 more and interviewing some of the bands that recorded them so please keep checking back.
Decembers RadioShow will feature some of my favourite tracks of the year as well as a few brand new songs off albums out in the new year; i'll also be looking back on some of my favourite reissues.

Enjoy the list and if you like what you hear, please support the bands and artists.

Asteroid - iii
Autumn of Pækward - Cern
Boobs of Doom - 08: Wow is Dead
Causa Sui - Return to Sky
The Cult of Dom Keller - Goodbye to the Light
Dreamtime - Strange Pleasures
Filthy Lucre - Mara
Ghost Box Orchestra- High Plaine
Glitter Wizard - Hollow Earth Tour
Hotel Wrecking City Traders - Phantamonium
Jakob Skøtt - All the Colours of the Dust
The Judge - The Judge
JuJu - JuJu
Kikagaku Moyo - House in the Tall Grass
Kungens Män - Stockholm Maraton
Mythic Sunship - Ouroboros
The Myrrors - Entranced Earth
No Man's Valley - Time Travel
Psychic Ills - Inner Journey Out
Psychic Lemon - Psychic Lemon
Salem's Bend - Salem's Bend
Sergeant Thunderhoof - Ride of the Hoof
Sons of the Void - Sons of the Void
Slow Season - Westing
The Spacelords - Liquid Sun
Sula Bassana - Shipwrecked
Svvamp - Svvamp
Telstar Sound Drone - Magical Solutions to Everyday Struggles
West, Space and Love - West Space and Love II
Zed - Trouble in Eden