RELEASE: Courage Reels
RELEASE DATE: 21st April 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Morningside Young Team Records
Following on from a handful of well-executed, tight and impressively written EP’s and singles that explored a wide array of genres including traditional shoegaze and much louder feedback ridden noise rock, is the debut full length album 'Courage Reels' from Edinburgh based four piece Wozniak. It’s a heavy, noisy and progressive listen, and one on which the band decides to take full advantage of their instruments, creating several lengthy songs with two or three lines of vocals in it amid riff after riff of sonic noise and what sounds at times to be well-captured jam sessions. Many songs take on this structure; and through it 'Courage Reels' at times sounds anywhere from stoner/sludge metal, progressive rock, shoegaze, dream pop, alt-rock, then throw in a bit of alt-metal and a weird kind of krautrock for good measure and tie them all together in layers of noisy feedback and what you get are tall sprawling arrangements that make Wozniak sound like a ten piece. 'Courage Reels' gets it's full release on April 21st 2017 via 'Morningside Young Team Records' and it is available to pre-order right now in various formats from wozniak.bandcamp.com
Courage Reels by Wozniak
'Courage Reels' opens with the instrumental ‘Shader’ that morphs itself around a heavy stoner metal riff and the gentle tapping of the drums in the background. However, after this introductory riff, the band launch into what sounds more like a traditional shoegaze due to the tone of their guitars and the musical melding between the guitar and the drums. ‘Shader’ takes this form for almost the entire song; jumping from a stoner metal riff into more airy shoegaze passages, all the while masking a background of feedback that compliments the music immensely. Much slower and distant is the shoegaze track ‘Ghosting’ whose form takes the shape of ‘Shader’ in that it jumps from heavy fuzzing back to its mellow origins; coming off as less heavy than ‘Shader’ but more intricate. The slowed, winding parts of the song are soothingly beautiful, masking mood and sound over a distinct form of song writing. ‘Ghosting’ also happens to contain vocals; all five lines of them, so drowned out you can hardly hear them, which actually fits in well with the context of the song. ‘Super Panther’ ties both previous songs together and revisits the more shoegaze sides of the bands sound, implementing fuzz bass and a fantastic drum track over the top of the winding and shimmering guitars that play a demented kind of indie rock. This song also sounds strongly influenced by alt-rock, with its more linear structure and ‘traditional’ riff centred form of song writing on display.
Back in March 2017 the band released the first single from 'Courage Reels', and that single was ‘Perihelion’ which crops up as one of the best tracks on the entire release. It’s a beautiful, trance inducing mix of down-trodden guitar strumming that harkens back strongly to the classic shoegaze sound with swirls of a darker kind of dream pop. The vocal performance here is also fantastic and an album highlight, as well as the instrumentation and backing noise to which the song takes it cues and creations from. Although the song goes for several minutes, the band condense the vocal, quieter and more accessible section of the song to its beginning and then launch into a wild and commendable instrumental section that winds out the second half of the song strongly and passionately. In a similar way is ‘Scottish Dancer’ which blows past the eight minute mark in its form, which is distinctly reminiscent of cold shoegaze, to again show the bands strength in song writing. Scottish Dancer’s beginning, featuring another well produced vocal section, sounds better than ‘Perihelion’ in terms of every aspect of the song fitting swiftly together. Another amazing instrumental outro leads the songs second half, in which background feedback is used as a soundscape style to greatly enhance the songs sound. ‘Natsuko’ returns to a more conventional length and sounds more akin to post-punk than anything else the band touch on 'Courage Reels'. Although its beautiful and holds some impressive moments, I did wonder what its significance in context of the album was, and upon a second listen parts of it tended to sound more like an album filler than anything else.
‘Erebus’ is another true album highlight, perhaps due to fantastic contextual balancing by Wozniak in terms of the track listing on the album. After a few lengthy, heavy and layered songs, the band turns things back to the simple and the minimal, placing the listener’s perceptions upon simple guitar based strumming that goes further to highlight a mesmerizing undercurrent of dream pop-like guitar tones and textures in the mix. ‘Crush’ features the best drumming performance on the album, but unlike the few previous tracks avoids stronger shoegaze elements instead focusing upon a kind of alt-rock type sound, driven by a distant but interesting vocal performance. ‘Death Suit’ turns things back up to the lengthy heights of ‘Scottish Dancer’ and ‘Perihelion’ but with much less conviction. It starts strong, with a neat little guitar intro, but seeps into uneven sections of music that seem to be so far removed from the other that it becomes more of a slog than a listen. However, the six to eight minute section is absolutely masterful and deserves praise for being one of the greatest passages of music on the release.
I must fully admit that I’m a fan of Wozniak, whose style and experimentations in guitar-orientated music have shone through in a fantastic and interesting way through past releases. I especially love the song ‘El Maresme’ which is quite an old song from their fantastic EP Pikes Peak. I say all of this simply because 80% of the music on 'Courage Reels' is less like the bands previous studio EPs and singles; the engaging single 'Harker' remains firmly an alternative shoegaze/dream pop song, so does 'Auster' and its more guitar driven sound. For 'Courage Reels' to feature lengthy, heavy, more straight forward rock arrangements that you could almost always classify as alternative-rock, rather than the hazy dream pop or shoegaze-based musings of their previous efforts is somewhat of a challenge for the listener. I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way, and we must all congratulate and encourage bands to transform, progress stylistically and traverse new terrain over song writing and performance, but I wonder if 'Courage Reels' is in fact the right kind of progression. It is a fantastic album (as noted by the rating) but ultimately it sounds like a band who are carrying only fragments of their previous skin after shredding it. Personally, as a fan and a listener, I would have loved to have heard more vocals on this instrumentally generous album. Also for some out there, a cover to cover listen would be just too much; the songs are lengthy affairs, the transitions within the songs are at times slightly awkward and the piling of lengthy songs after lengthy songs makes the album feel longer than it is. All of this probably sounds like mad criticism, but that could not be further from the truth. In fact, for all of the criticisms of the music I have, there is equal acclaim and admiration for 'Courage Reels'. It is exquisitely well produced and mixed, and the band shines through on every track to display a commitment and a wild sincerity to the well written songs featured on it. These elements amount to a well rounded and impressive album, bundled up fluently in commitment and sound.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on Baeble Music and Culture (USA), Sounds and Colours Magazine (Latin America, London), Easterndaze (Latvia) and the Australian based heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.
by Primal Music
Edinburgh based noise manipulators 'Wozniak' have unleashed yet another super sonic cut entitled 'Shader' lifted off their forthcoming & highly anticipated debut album 'Courage Reels', penned in for release on the 21st April 2017 both digitally and on a limited edition CD via Morningside Young Team Records. The band are made up Simon Cuthbert-Kerr - guitar, Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr - guitar/vocals, John Sinclair - drums & James Urquhart - bass and their collective sound swirls deftly in a heavy sonic stew filled with hazy shoegaze, atmospheric post-rock and fuzzed out noise rock.
'Shader' is an angry sonic behemoth that tumbles menacingly in a dark and fuzzy universe filled with repetitious frequencies and layered reverberations that swirl and undulate precariously on top of a trembling bass line and another impressive percussive assault. Highly addictive, the instrumentally brilliant 'Shader' spins through its verse progressions with intense atmospheric rage before using its powerful chorus parts to soar into the ether on utterly sublime shoegaze inspired highs. Thoroughly enjoyable, this track is a stunning prelude to the forthcoming full length release.
Edinburgh based noise merchants 'Wozniak' have announced an immense new single entitled 'Perihelion' lifted off their forthcoming & highly anticipated debut album penned in for release on the 21st April 2017 via Morningside Young Team Records. The band are made up Simon Cuthbert-Kerr - guitar, Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr - guitar/vocals, John Sinclair - drums & James Urquhart - bass and their collective sound swirls deftly in a heavy sonic stew filled with hazy shoegaze, atmospheric post-rock and fuzzed out noise rock. 'Perihelion' gets its full official release on the 3rd March 2017. A limited edition CD includes extra exclusive tracks 'Ground Echo' and 'Portents' and you can pre-order it right now via wozniak.bandcamp.com
'Perihelion' squeals into earshot on a repetitious instrumental drone as jangling guitar progressions spin in close orbit peppering the senses with waves of pulsing reverberation. Ethereal vocalisations hang precariously on the edge of a tightly coiled metronomic beat as the constant hum of bass frequencies hover and cajole the entire piece, looping and arcing menacingly into a turbulent tidal wave of shimmering noise. 'Perihelion' is darkly atmospheric, filled with raging torrents of latent noise and intense production. This is a stunning return to form from a band who can do no wrong! We can't wait for the full album.
ARTIST: The Valkarys
RELEASE: Since I Was Fifteen
RELEASE DATE: 28th October 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Wrong Way Records
Edinburgh based garage/psych five piece 'The Valkarys' have announced the release date for their forthcoming five track EP entitled 'Since I Was Fifteen'. It's penned in for release on October 28th 2016 via Wrong Way Records with both a digital pre-order and a very limited 10' orange vinyl pressing available via wrongwayrecords.bandcamp.com . Collectively, 'The Valkarys' have a very unique sound that skips nonchalantly through a beautifully melodic & endearing sixties psych vibe thats deliciously underscored by a distinctly modern approach.
Since I Was Fifteen by The Valkarys
The EP opens up with 'Grandma', a brilliantly executed slice of tremolo induced melancholy. 'Grandma' swirls blissfuly through cascading guitar lines that seem to perfectly filter out to envelope those incredible duel vocal lines courtesy of Scott William Dunlop and Sarah Ross. Up next, 'This Time's Today' floats into earshot on subtle acoustic vibrations coupled with the hum of bass frequencies, steadying drums and a jangling lead lick that snakes in and out of Scott William Dunlop's distinct vocal takes with aplomb. 'This Time'sToday' is wonderfully melodic and takes the listener with it on a beautiful journey of sonic discovery. The EP's title track ambles into earshot next. 'Since I Was Fifteen' begins with an acoustic guitar progression and a whirling drone before exploding into a cacophony of reverberating colour as the drums, bass and slide guitar soar into the ether. Vocally sublime, 'Since I Was Fifteen' is possibly my favourite track on the entire release. Simply beautiful.
The EP's penultimate piece, 'I Cheated Time', is a foot tapping 60's garage juggernaut. It rattles into the ether on a hi-hat heavy percussive pattern coupled with driving guitars and shaking tambourines, ploughing a heavy furrow as it deftly meanders on its predesignated course. A monumental track that will have you humming along to its hypnotic instrumentation. The EP closes out on a jangling acoustic strum and subtle synth swells. 'Crazy Shoes' introduces slide guitar to proceedings as Scott William Dunlop preaches the good word to the baying masses. Reminiscent at times to mid 90's Verve, The La's & Echo And The Bunnymen, 'Crazy Shoes' shakes and rattles into a glorious finale. A fitting end to a very satisfying EP.
Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
ARTIST: Archipelago Swell
RELEASE: Archipelago Swell EP
RELEASE DATE: 14th September 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
There are support groups for drug users, there are support groups for alcoholics; where is the support group for fans of post-rock? Much like the aforementioned substances post-rock is addictive, translucent and a trip of sorts for the listener; for those addicted, we must always go searching for the next ambient, picturesque sound of swirling guitars and pounding drums. On this search it is clear to see just how popular the genre has become and fully displays the kind of culture (or aesthetic) its fans sport and love. But, as is with every genre, there are both masterpieces and… I don’t know, less than masterpieces? Where does Scottish post-rock/post-metal/instrumental band Archipelago Swell’s self-titled EP land on that spectrum? Well, somewhere in the middle, I suppose…
Archipelago Swell by Archipelago Swell
Archipelago Swell begins with ‘Terraforms’ a dark, heavy piece of post-metal underpinned with a touch of psychedelia for good measure. Impressively, the guitars switch between the tones of a heavy metal band to that of beautiful touching post-rock soundscapes; the drums do a similar dance but not as obvious or perhaps entrancing. In fact, the drums and percussion stay heavy and airy for most of the EP, something that always brings the band back to its post-rock roots; in a good way. As with most songs on the EP, the guitars eventually launch into a much, much heavier sound that rickets through your speakers with all the makings of Viking metal, backed nicely to sound heavier by the drums and the neat but at times inaudible bass. For the most part ‘Terraforms’ takes the shape of almost an intro track; the beginning shuffles around minimally (for the most part) before evolving into a heavier/metal-infused track of an epic scale. And that’s where things get a little bit awkward. After some beautifully intricate guitar playing and soft-dream like backing and textures, Archipelago Swell begin to turn up the metal-scale, and do so to their advantage; things still seem neat and instrumentally interesting. And then after the three minute mark there is a cringe-worthy tempo and riff alteration that weaves itself into some slightly embarrassing drum pieces and boring-as-paint-drying guitar *sexually explicit word*. For the small portion of what could be considered an outro the band regain some of the magic that was withheld at ‘Terraforms’ playful beginning, but all in all the bizarre attempt at ‘experimental’ rock is enough to make the listener take a step back and assesse what the band was trying to do.
‘Terraforms’ is followed by ‘The Overview Effect’ a much wider, epic track in which the band majestically bounce back and showcase their true talent. A sweet, colourfully intellectual piece of music, filled with everything the band are good at; blending instruments, writing cohesive and enjoyable riffs and walking the preverbal line between post-rock and post-metal in a greatly pleasing way. The song builds around a sweet, sketched out guitar line that sweeps and plays around the pounding but delicate drums and churning bass guitar. Epic in scale but never pretentious, the band dabble with a touch of math rock in the outro; which is where some of the greatest slices of music on the track are stationed. This track functions as a full leap into the core of the sort of sound that features on the EP and a step beyond the basic functions of ‘Terraforms’.
What follows is ‘Olympus Mons’ which is... Not that flash actually. What starts as a semi-interesting guitar riff just goes on and on, full of meaty-ness or whatever you want to call it… Occasionally there is a noise in the background that’s supposed to make us all go ‘what a post-rock song this is’ but isn’t really fooling anybody. Wait, I’ll do a cover for you: *Chug-Chug-Chug-Chug* *drum roll* and so on and so forth. Congratulations to the bass player who wrote and played interestingly enough to keep the band slightly above water. This isn’t offensive or meant to be abusive because I still think the previous track is absolutely brilliant, and that elements of ‘Terraforms’ are also beautiful and genius pieces of song writing; but I really don’t know about ‘Olympus Mons’. So here goes; the song has way too much reverb, the opening sounds like an interlude; the riff is uninspiring, generic and bland… And then there is the mixing and the production… Which leaves a lot to be desired. The levels of the guitar on the second half of the song are just so all over the place it literally transcends making an effort. It’s like somebody spilt alcohol on the mixing desk and the levels just started doing the can-can all over the place. And what in all musical sanity made the band put galloping guitars in… Like what are they doing in the song? Is this to try and see-saw the song between credible but bland music and humour? I don’t know. I really don’t know. I didn’t want to make it sound like this, but this is the PG version of what could be written about this; I apologise, but I just can’t put it any smoother. That’s just ‘Olympus Mons’ and how it sounds, how it’s mixed and how it’s heard.
‘Olympus Mons’ leads into ‘Accretion’ which seems somewhat refreshing, albeit nowhere near the pleasing heights of the EPs opposing half. There is more chugging at the songs opening, reminiscent and following on from ‘Olympus Mons’, but this gesture soon seeps into a soft and pleasing outro. Said outro presents a beautiful and majestic piece of post-rock guitar playing. The drums and bass ease back and the whole song sounds like a gentle and atmospheric sigh of relief; like a return to form for the band who use the outro to showcase their talent at simple and dreamy song writing. Eventually the softness of the outro blends into a more heavy and guitar orientated piece of music. I feel like this part of the song is what ‘Olympus Mons’ was trying to or could have been; a nice and enjoyable but epic piece of music.
Okay, okay, okay; a few things you should know. It may sound like in this review that I’m spitting on post-metal… I’m not. I actually love post-metal and the sort of sound and instrumentation a band or artist can play around with while under the moniker of its name. This band has some fantastic pieces of music that are definitely worth listening to. And ultimately, I think both post-rock and post-metal are difficult genres to sound refreshing or original within. But Archipelago Swell at times just try to transcend this difficulty… You’re probably saying ‘well they aren’t pro so…’ but one would only have to look as far as how absolutely mesmerizing unsigned post-rock can be by listening to 'Vinter' by the majestic and very talented 'Star of Heaven' from Stockholm. And while there are certainly many beautiful and fantastic pieces of music and songs on Archipelago Swell, I just can’t help but wonder what they were doing on some songs. At times it’s awkward, at times it’s cringey and at times I wondered whether the band had re-listened to the songs before releasing them. Anyway… I did enjoy some of it, and those pieces of enjoyment were enough to perhaps recommend the EP around, but ultimately I just guess that the listener can decide for themselves. If you enjoy post-metal, if you enjoy post-rock then you might appreciate this. If you are looking for some instrumental songs to chuck on in the background without looking too closely at them, this is for you. If you’re a stickler for production, assessing song writing structures and neatly looking ‘into’ the mixing and the songs meaning, then this is not for you. Credit, however, to the band for their performances, which throughout shine and make things interestingly swift and engaging. Shout out to the bassist for keeping things always interesting throughout the EP (that’s not a joke). You should know that within this EP there is some fantastic and engaging music from a band whose talent sometimes drift, but when it’s practiced; it’s a rewarding listen. Within this talent the band impress through blending, performance and sound.
Archipelago Swell is available to buy/download right now from archipelagoswell.bandcamp.com
Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.
Far from the multi-platformed mainstream musical hubs and hidden deep within a scene so overlooked by the big radio corporations that its generally left alone to allow shoegaze fans run a meandering course of blissful musical discovery, sits an online radio station so important that its unhealthy demise due to corporate bureaucracy would be nothing short of a bloody travesty. We've all read about the unhealthy reams of read tape surrounding online broadcasters and their downgrading of broadcast rights due to the changes in US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) fees and we've seen first hand various online stations being forced to cease all operations indefinitely due to lack of funding to pay these overhyped & inflated broadcasting fees! If it continues we will lose a very important tool that allow's unsigned artists to get their music across to a wider online radio audience. Online stations worldwide, Dj's & their embedded radio shows, focusing on various musical genres are a key promotional resource for todays underground artists. I mean, how many TRUE champions of this modern day underground shoegaze scene can you count on your fingertips at this present moment in time?
READ ON -
Mute Swan by Half / Wozniak
Broadcasting out of Fresno, California, DKFM has been at the forefront of the genre's resurgence since it launched in 2012 but more recently has faced an uncertain future due to changes in US Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) fees. They are an important mainstay in todays scene, helping to sustain and develop many of the movement's best bands. DKFM continue to be a major influence on us here at Primal Music and have been the 'Go To' site for us for all things shoegaze & dream pop since our early radio show days on Radioaktiv back in 2012.
Now, two brilliant UK based musical outfits, the impressive Gateshead based 'Half' & Edinburgh's finest 'Wozniak', have released a stunning collaborative track entitled 'Mute Swan' with the aim of raising much needed funds to help DKFM to stay on the air. The track has been released as a pay-what-you-like download through Bandcamp with all income going to help support DKFM and you can help in the fight by heading over to: herelieshalf.bandcamp.com and pledging as much or as little as you like.
RELEASE DATE: 29/06/15
RECORD COMPANY: Morningside Young Team Records
In the realm of instrumental shoegaze noise-rock, psych & post-rock it is the ability of the musician and or musicians to collectively carry a project to its finality thats the most important overriding factor. These modern day creators of psychedelic gazing are tasked with the job of carefully enticing listeners into their world by virtue of a sonic journey through many layers of infectious mind bending tone & shape and on into a blissful arena of sound. Musicians need to be masters of their craft & commit to enthralling listeners with their collective creative abilities in order to achieve their fans adoration. One such band have continued to impress not only me but the vast majority of the underground shoegaze, noise-rock, psych & post-rock world with their stunning musical soundscapes & their collective ability to bring listeners to their music on a psychedelic rollercoaster ride through waves & waves of addictive shoegazing goodness.
From their earliest creations Edinburgh based sound gazers 'Wozniak' have produced mind numbing music of brilliant shimmering proportions. 'Wozniaks' first release 'MFMB / New Hampshire' was a tiny crack in the surrounding framework that encompasses their musical world but what it did was to allow us to briefly peek inside. Listening to it let us collectively (as music fans first & foremost) sample a small sliver of their psychedelic might. It wasn't until the release of their immense EP 'Pikes Peak' that they broke the mould & unleashed a torrent of beautifully inspired shoegaze & noisey post rock infused cinematic sounds into the atmosphere that are so good they actually had the ability to sweep up this listener & carry him on an awe inspiring wave of shimmering musical brilliance.
After releasing the brilliant explosive single 'Five Star' back in November 2014 as a follow up to the mighty 'Pikes Peak' the band have released another stunning collection of tracks on Morningside Young Team Records aptly named - 'Auster'. The EP takes its name from the Roman God of the south wind, and reflects the elemental forces at work on Auster’s four stunning tracks. With its swirling snarl of guitars, dark, dirty bass tones and tom-heavy drums, the EP builds on 'Wozniak’s' previous releases revealing sophisticated sounds and songs that reveal themselves over repeated listens. 'Auster’s' layers of shoegaze sounds are underpinned by a noise-rock intensity and the expansive structures of post-rock bringing to mind comparisons with Slowdive and Mogwai.
This latest release opens up with the rather beautiful 'Snow Effect'. Glimmering guitars, addictively layered lead progressions, fuzzed out intricate bass lines, the steading presence of John Sinclair on drums mixed with that absolutely stunning standout vocal performance from Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr makes this track shimmer. As opening tracks go this has to be one of the best that I've heard this year. 'Snow Effect' has the ability to tell a story through the medium of music. Its chorus alone will shake up your memories & have you dreaming of the heady sunny days gone by. This is an absolutely stunning first track!
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The opening salvos of 'Wings Of Pegasus' charge into the musical atmosphere & instantly bring you back down to earth with its full on instrumental noise-rock swagger accompanied by that ( a- typical of Wozniak ) swirling maelstrom of guitars courtesy of both Simon & Sarah's penchant for guitar effect pedals & their ability to craft wondrous sounds from them! This is an addictively repetitive monster of a track that belongs on an early Death In Vegas mixtape & should in my opinion be remixed for the dance floor at some stage further down the road.
Next up on this immense release is another instrumental masterpiece - 'Gospel Of Infinity' is a call to arms. It builds from its very first repetitive chord progression whilst sitting on top of Johns Sinclair's rolling drum pattern & intertwining with yet another addictive bass line courtesy of the brilliant James Urquhart until the band eventually explode in unison as one swirling singular mass of gazing noisy sound waves.
The closing track on 'Auster' is simply EPIC. 'Hester & Zelda' is eight minutes plus of pure joy. Its cinematic beginnings are steeped with post-rock tendencies but don't be fooled. Wozniak refuse to be tamed within any genre specific borders. They unleash a full on sonic assault on your senses that will have you on the one hand gazing at your shoes immersed in a beautiful swirling mass of sound & on the other I can guarantee you will spend your time being absolutely amazed at this tracks post-rock infused glory. A truly wonderful track by a band who are not afraid to experiment by beating & bending sound until its moulded into their preferred shape. Stunning!
If creating & releasing music can be classed as a continuous progression with each step a betterment of yourself as a musician or as a collective of musicians then Wozniak have made a serious leap up the musical ladder with this latest EP release. What 'Auster' shows is that this band are one with their music & that they have the ability to create serious waves in todays underground musical landscape. I firmly believe that they have (as a collective) raised the musical bar for others to see clearly. This is a bold statement of intent from a band that I have a lot of time for & who I know have a lot more to give to us paltry music fans going forward. This EP is a must have for any serious music fan reading this (who like me) love their music on the shadier side of noisy post-rock but with that full on atmospheric shoegaze wall of sound.
It is my belief that the sounds 'Wozniak' are creating today will be influencing new bands for years to come.
Next up a full album release .......... & I can't wait.
Del Chaney has spent the last three years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze Dream Pop Post-Punk & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
This double-header from Doncaster's '93 Million Miles From The Sun' and London's 'Kontakte' came recommended from the good folk of Goodsoul Promotions - a hot tip indeed! The stop at the Wee Red Bar was the Edinburgh debut for both bands and the final date on a mini-tour that also took in Doncaster and Inverness.
'93MMFTS' take the stage as a two-piece (a foot injury took their drummer out the game earlier in the week) and set free a cyclone of noise. Static-filled projections flash in the background as the bestriped Nick Noble wields his Jazzmaster, a variety of fuzz pedals and reverb-heavy vocals for a set that includes the driving squall of Sunshine Girl & See Forever from latest album 'Fall Into Nothing'. 'I Lost You' is a highlight with Kenno's brooding bass and dark washes of distortions. Set-closer 'Sonic Assault' starts with ambient drones and swells until our ears flow over with fuzz.
'Kontakte' specialise in creating glitchy soundscapes, at times almost pastoral, at times more visceral. Skittery electronic drumbeats take them beyond the post-rock pigeon-hole into a whole other place. Most of the set comes from their most recent album 'These Machines' released September 2014. A series of projections, including a stunning animation, add motion and emotion to these dark, sonic textures.
"When all hope is gone we paint colours on the sky" - flashes up on screen and when the audience trips blinking into the long summer night, the sky is still holding on to the fading sunset, mauve, blue and flecked with stars.
In her time Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr has attended raves and rock clubs. She enjoys pedals, pizza and spy dramas. Sarah also plays guitar in Edinburgh-based noisemakers Wozniak and is co-founder of Morningside Young Team who put on gigs and put out records for discerning audiences who enjoy fuzz and confusion.
We Came From The North are a Scottish post-rock four piece who's sound display's a crisp interpretation of this genre's formula! Their most recent EP is called 'Low Sun, Long Shadow' and it give's you an excellent example of 'We Came From The North's' near mastery of their skill's.Their sound is a tight example of a band who've got a solid and melodic backbone which allow's the guitarist to pivot and run into flourishes of beautiful solo's that make this genre so appealing.They also give us sparkle's of diversity and originality and outright talent in a genre that has concrete wall's as guideline's, just to keep us coming back to listen again, repeatedly!
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The album opens with the all too brief 'We Grew Old Too Soon' which get's off to a gentle start and show's the band's skill off well enough without giving away too many surprise's too early on in this impressive EP. 'Low Sun, Long Shadow' isn't all front, it take's it's time in unveiling its many twist's and give's the music sufficient room to move and breathe, reaching peak's of utter brilliant noise & never short of a melody before resting quietly on a close up detailed rhythm with gently worked guitar delay delighting your ear's!
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The second track, 'Listening Post' beginning's has classic element's of post-rock building from an elegant gentle intro and hook into a beautifully driven melodic piece before unleashing the full force of it's power while still being poised and graceful. Everything keep's it's shape here, there's no frenzied white noise to induce paralysis on 'Listening Post', but instead a brilliantly executed piece of post-rock goodness that surges to it's height's of power and dovetail's back toward's serenity before flying higher and louder again into it's final crescendo .
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'Model Home For A Nuclear Village' is a different beast altogether! While it still adhere's to a post-rock ethos, the dirtier fuzz bass and driving beat are brought to the foreground a little more on this fine track which set's 'We Came From The North' a little bit apart from many band's in this already burgeoning genre. This give's the impression that they have a much more to offer in term's of originality and longevity.
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The next track, 'There Is No Such Thing As A Friendly Ghost', is simply beautiful and show's yet more strength to 'Low Sun, Long Shadow'. It is both delicate and destructive! It's detailed quieter moment's are joyous and there's a hint of Animal's era Pink Floyd bass riff's which bring an interesting twist to the middle of the track.
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'Secret Piñata Party' is the closing piece to 'Low Sun, Long Shadow' and shred's it to the core. Whilst the track still showcase's then band's impressive ear for a melody and expert knowledge of building towards brilliant peaks! The finale of 'Secret Piñata Party' pin's your ears back and puts you in a force ten gale of distorted guitar's and attacking drums, with a filthy bass line steering directly toward's you as the guitar's wash over them like a giant wave! Check it out below -
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'We Came From The North' are an impressive Scottish post-rock band who seem to prefer to leave the glitchy sound's of the delicate moments of 'This Will Destroy You' in favour of allowing their ability as musician's take centre stage.They have a truly impressive sound that's both melody driven and as powerful as it come's, while keeping a tight hold on song structure! They don't fall into phases of noise and chaos but drive hard toward's powerful and moving hardcore music that stand's up to repeated hearing. The famous author and fellow Scot 'Ian Rankin' has declared himself a fan of the genre via Twitter by continually supporting bands like Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky, he's also known for supporting Scottish bands in particular. Perhaps 'We Came From The North' could benefit from contacting him?, if they haven't already? There's a distinct possibility that 'We Came From The North's' impressive force would catch his well tuned ear.
Since releasing 'Low Sun, Long Shadow', 'We Came From The North' have also brought out a new track called 'Galena' .
Major Tom Byrne - The Primal Music Blog - January 2015 - Meath, Ireland
You can find their work on their - Bandcamp Page.
Tom Byrne is a Dj, Blogger and founding member of online media hub Radioactive//Underground & it's sister website www.SoundAndVisionWeb.com. An avid fan of both mainstream & underground music alike, his passion for finding and actively promoting underground & unsigned music is relentless!
Release: Pikes Peak EP
Release Date: 09/06/14
Record Company: Morningside Young Team Records
From the very first note in the opening track of Wozniak's new EP, Pikes Peak, I knew that i was in for something great!
I'd heard murmurings around the internet, especially up on the Twittersphere, about this band but could never find any music, just constant chatter about a proper Shoegazing band playing Shoegaze the way its meant to be played! Having been around for the end of the first wave of Shoegaze in the late 80's where Cocteau Twins, For Against and Jesus And Mary Chain were a constant on my turntable, to the early 90's assault on my cranium by Loop, My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Ride etc etc, I can safely say that from the very first listen to 'Pikes Peak' I got uber excited about how good it really is. It sucks you in and caresses your ear drums in preparation for the sonic blast that's to come.
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'El Maresme', the lead track from the EP, is sheer musical brilliance! Coming in at 6 minutes 59 Seconds this track swoops and soars like an eagle. Layers of lush guitars explode into the atmosphere sitting atop a steady bass and drum pattern that somehow seems to keep the whole show fixed fast to the earth. Add a dreamy vocal into the mix and we're instantly transported to a different world. A world where sonic layering is king! This is Shoegazing at its very best!
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The EP Powers along and stuffs its second track 'Paper Hat' in our faces! It has that 'Slowdive' feel to it but with a driving pulse that's straight out of the 'MBV' mould. It's a brilliant Instrumental track and it's another treat for fans like me. A reminder of how it should be done!
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Track 3 is immense! - 'Kreuzberg' has instrumental 'Loop' all over it and after listening to it on the headphones, I'm reminded of 'Loop's' epic album 'A Guilded Eternity' and again I have to wonder what music 'Wozniak' were listening to during the writing and recording stages of the EP? I'm taken aback at how good Wozniak really are! 'Kreuzberg' ends with a magical piano line to settle your nerves and prepare you for the next aural onslaught. And it comes in the form of 'Columbo's Car', a monster of a track that picks you up and throws you against the wall in a good way! Its a sonic onslaught, a bloody great track and probably my second favourite track after 'El Maresme'. It too remind's me of another great band, a band who I'm a big fan of called 'Ghost Box Orchestra' and especially their 2013 LP 'Vanished'.
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Track 5, and the final track on the EP, has 'My Bloody Valentine' connotations all the way through it. 'Gesamtkunstwerk' is a blissful track. Looping and arcing all over your ear drums. And although I hate to use him as an example, It's as though Kevin Shields himself had stuck his fingers in it and crafted the layers of sound that streak through the track!
It's a triumph, a really great track and a fitting end to the EP. My recommendation is that you should listen to it with headphones on, sitting in a darkened room, for the total 'Wozniak' experience! It's Just brilliantly crafted ShoeGaze in its purist form!
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Hailing from Edinburg, in Scotland, Wozniak are a breath of fresh air to this listener! They are a four piece band, formed 2012 and are in their own words, 'working hard to cause terminal tinnitus through the medium of epic, effects laden guitars, bamboozling bass and pounding drums' which is by no means easy in this modern day, washed down, re- hashed trite that they call the Shoegazing scene! This is old school Shoegaze! I'm Hearing Loop, Lush, MBV, Ride, Chapter-house, Slowdive and The Telescopes! All bands that that got me excited about music in the 80's/90's and indeed bands that I started playing on 'The Quiet Room' for Radio Aktiv, in the early months of the show! It's not that often that a band really grab me and shake out memories of early 90's Gaze but Wozniak have done just that. Im Impressed at their level of understanding, either by a fluke of nature or purposely composed, of early sounding Shoegaze and I can honestly say that this EP is a must have in any music collection. And I'll stand over that statement
Wozniak's Pikes Peak EP is out June 9th on Morningside Young Team Records and you can pre order the EP or download the lead single 'El Maresme' from the bands bandcamp page here: www.wozniak.bandcamp.com
Del Chaney has spent the last two years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze Dream Pop Post-Punk & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.