Hey Colossus have undergone a spectacular metamorphosis in the last three years - the 2015 Rocket Recordings double-drop of ‘In Black And Gold’ and ‘Radio Static High’ displayed not only a band with a work rate to put most all their contemporaries to shame, but one arriving at an atmospheric and rewarding sound with as much flair for the beguiling as the barbaric.
Changes may have been afoot in the Hey Colossus camp, yet their latest transmission ‘The Guillotine’ marks another peak for an innovative force in the realm of heavy amplification. Darker and more brooding than their recent work, it’s also perhaps their most richly melodic to date - the interplay of their three guitar lineup has never sounded more fluent than on these eight songs, nor their songcraft more well-defined.
This is a record whose alchemical charge arrives from a reinvention of loud rock shapes into forms both feral and fresh - whilst Hey Colossus can still bludgeon with overamped vigour, as on the hypnotic and devastating krautrock-Jesus-Lizard hybrid of ‘Back In The Room’ they can also deliver the dusky and haunting waltz-time serenade of ‘Calenture Boy’ with uncompromising fortitude, with the new-found confidence and allure of Paul Sykes’ vocals at the forefront.
These menacing and immersive songs chronicle a band exploring a unique sound and invigorating approach in a decade in which cliches and genre pieces in the realm of the psychedelic have frequently surrounded - here the six-piece find themselves transcending the limitations of the underground scene from whence they came, whilst exposing the paucity of inspiration in much of the guitar-rock mainstream.
Hey Colossus are at their sharpest, and none will survive ‘The Guillotine’.
Tracklisting: Side A: 1. Honest To God 2. Back In The Room 3. Calenture Boy 4. Experts Toll
Side B: 1. Potions 2. Englishman 3. In A Collision 4. The Guillotine
The album is limited to 300 and comes on pink vinyl and comes with a DL.
Walls Of Dada is Chris Olley from SIX BY SEVEN and Peter G Holmström from The Dandy Warhols. It's a Transatlantic coldwave pop album which has all the analogue warmth and cold war atmosphere of a record coming out in 1982. Chris and Pete first met in 1998 when The Dandy Warhols asked Six By Seven to support them on their first UK tour.
They have been in contact with each other and remained friends ever since and over the years had always talked about making some music together. About a year ago, after hanging out at a Dandy's gig in Nottingham, they made a plan to get something started.
For Chris, and his aversion to making music using computers, the idea from the outset was to create something by simple means so as not to get bogged down by technology and end up sending myriad files and stems across the internet from one computer to the other. In his studio in Nottingham Chris put a drum machine through an amp and synced and sequenced an analogue synth to it and recorded the sounds onto an 8 track recorder.
After adding vocals a Stereo Mix was bounced down and sent over to Portland, Oregon. There, in his home studio, Pete added guitars, bass, synths (and a banjo) to the mix and topped and tailed the songs and sent his own stereo mix back. That was it. No more overdubs were added and there was no heavy mastering or compression or loudness wars were entered into.
A lot of vintage guitars and pedals and synths were used in the process and everything was recorded through amps. This was a throwback to the days of the early eighties when bands started to record on the first commercially available four track recorders and portastudios made by Fostex and Tascam. Because there were only four tracks, a lot of bouncing had to be done and this resulted in hard decision making at an early stage of the recording process and a 'no-going-back' recording, which meant you were committed to something you couldn't change.
This is the process which Chris and Pete wanted to tap into to make Walls Of Dada have that unusual edge that bands these days just don't have anymore because the digital world now provides unlimited space and tracks.
After working on roughly 20 songs across the year the result is an album that sounds like it could have been made in a cold Sheffield or Manchester basement or bedroom back in 1982.
Tracklisting: Side A: 1. You Pollute Me 2. Tung 3. Born Ruthless 4. Anything
Side B: 5. I Never Promised You 6. ILL 7. Pigman 8. There is Only This
Visions Congo is yet another moniker from Discrepant’s head honcho, Goncalo F Cardoso, taking Africa as a starting point to evoke the memories and re-imagined experiences of his 6-month stay in the region, back in 2015.
Most of the recordings and compositions were done in the great lakes of Africa region of Uganda, Congo (DRC), Tanzania as well as the island of Zanzibar.
Meshing impromptu in situ compositions with old dusty samples and his own field recordings is the go to modus operandi of Goncalo F Cardoso's various monikers (i.e. Gonzo, Papillon), creating deep layered 'exotic/alien' soundscapes of various moods and feels.
Here’s another series of surreal and augmented field recordings that try to brace the listener with fresh alien authenticity before toying very pointedly with antiquated constructs by mixing avant-garde dustbin synth music with concrete field recordings and humorous, tongue in cheek intersections - not to ‘ever’ be taken too seriously.
With a brand new art collage by US artist Evan Crankshaw.
Mastered and cut at Dubplates @ Mastering by Rashad Becker.
There are many ways for a band or an artist to compile an album: some make it in a week and some let the process go on longer. The latter approach does often mean that that the record will not be better than had it been recorded and mixed within a short amount of time, rather the contrary. However, there are those albums that just could not be made within in a week or a month, those compilation of songs that needed the time to melt together to form an album.
Fontäns third album titled “Fontän”, released on Höga Nord Rekords is that kind of an album. Put the opening track “Mangsebung” on, then stay with the record until the closer “Shadows” rings out and you will go clear, sharp, and mildly messed up by the listening experience because this is an extremely well directed trip in mind-altering music! This album needed time to reach such heights. The width of range in influences has become somewhat of a trademark for Fontän.
Magma, Pink Floyd, Bhutanese and Nordic folk music, Manuel Göttsching and Ashra, Robert Fripp and King Crimson, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Talking Heads, DJ Shadow, Brian Eno, Boards of Canada, are some of the music that has made a mark on the psychedelic duo.
One of the main differences though between Fontän and other bands with a similar setup of names to drop is that many cannot transform those musical traditions into timeless and boundless songs like those in Fontäns catalogue. With Johan Melin’s and Jesper Jarold’s love for music and non-sentimental creative approach, this album proves that the band never gets hung up on trying to sound like the past masters, but to develop what they once started.
2017 will be the year when Fontän once again challenges the framework for genre bending music. “Fontän” captures the inspired and unafraid feeling from their releases in 2016 but is managed and even more refined on this album. This is Fontäns evolution.
Tracklisting: 1. Mangsebung 2. Greven 3. Meh-The 4. Bardo 5. Gangri 6. Nautilus 7. Sen Sen No Sen 8. Shadows