ARTIST: Holy Monitor
RELEASE: Holy Monitor
RELEASE DATE: 17th February 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Primitive Music Records / Blackspin Records
Stunning Athens based experimental psych/kraut rock collective 'Holy Monitor' have announced their debut self-titled full length release filled to the brim with luscious soundscapes that skip through a multiple of different sonic disciplines with blistering aplomb. Not content to have wowed us with last years 'Ongakubaka Records' release 'Golden Light/Aeolus', a compilation containing both of the bands previously released (only digital & in a ltd edition cassette) EP's, 'Holy Monitor' have returned with a ten track monolith that will literally blow your mind. Released via 'Primitive Music Records' in collaboration with 'Blackspin Records' the album is available to pre-order digitally right now from holymonitor.bandcamp.com
Physical copies are available to pre-order in two limited editions of high quality clear-copper & blue-white marbled vinyl, 200 copies each:
Holy Monitor by Holy Monitor
Swirling into the ether on a repetitious instrumental drone we jump off into the unknown just as 'Halcyon' powers up it's atmospheric core and washes us in subtle fret noises, serine lead lines and reverberating swells of sonic delight. 'Nemesis' arrives just as we're getting comfortable and we're soon dragged with it as it's motorik percussive swagger spews forth cascading organ lines, throbbing bass frequencies and the delicious whip of lead guitars. Otherworldly vocalisations arrive, riding a wave of screaming guitars and malicious synth swells as the sonic tension builds into a raging tremulous beast. Up next, 'Holy Monitor' unleash a full on psych behemoth in the form of the albums lead track, the mind altering, mescaline charged 'Bed Of The Earth'. Hypnotic lead guitars gently caress whirring organ swells as steadying drums and a humming baselines carry another impressive vocal performance. 'Bed Of The Earth' meanders deftly through sonic peaks and troughs until eventually exploding into a mesmerising lead break filled with electronic trickery, explosive percussion and the constant swirl of the organ all collectively awash with swathes of reverb. It's haunting vocals swirl and soar, peppered at times by delectable backing lines that seem to morph into one big throbbing behemoth tumbling gracefully through the ether like some new gravitational sonic phenomenon.
'The Vine' undulates and spirals as it floats into earshot circumnavigating itself in a peaceful haze of chandiramani percussion & shimmering tambourines before the hypnotic tendrils of it's utterly addictive guitar progressions take over, whirring above melodious baselines, the cascading plink of brilliantly constructed organ progressions and hauntingly good vocalisations. Before we can float away in a melancholic bliss however, the opening bars of 'Golden Light' (appearing here again and originally released back on 2015's 'Golden Light' EP) grace our ears and we're soon awash with it's eastern esoteric influences, menacing organ swells and stunning reverberations that loop and arc throughout, painting sonic pictures and instilling a blast of shimmering atmosphere. Up next, 'Αφροδίτη' gyrates into audible range trapped in a swirling synth drone before pounding drums and incessant organ stabs metronomically lead the charge accompanied by throbbing bass frequencies and constant barrage of lead guitars that leaps in and out of those blissful vocalisations with aplomb. Electronic theatric's announce the arrival of 'Bend The Tree's' (appearing here again and originally released on 2015's 'Aeolus' EP) and it gracefully glides on a droning synth progression and a highly addictive guitar line. This track bathes in swathes of stunning reverb as its hushed vocalisations take centre stage continuously urging the instrumentation to keep up with the pace.
'Icarus' builds rapidly, trapped in a turbulent instrumental drone, haunted by atmospheric guitar squall, reverberating fret noises, subtle sonic swells and the constant thump of the incessant bass drum. This track glides and arc's through a dark and malicious psych induced world filled with howling vocalisations that twist and morph into many different frequencies at will. Up next, the albums penultimate piece swings deliciously on a bedrock of driving kraut/motorik percussion and repetitious instrumentation. 'Ice Giants' conjures up hypnotic hallucinations of 70's sci-fi b-movie aliens aligned with a modern day sonic twist. The albums closing piece (appearing here again and originally released on 2015's 'Golden Light' EP) charges into ear shot on a bedrock of pounding drums, swirling guitars and soaring synth swells that are constantly building in tempestuous fashion and continuously circumnavigating that fragile vocal track. 'Cacti' builds from the off adding layer after layer of stunning instrumentation as it deftly skips along its chosen sonic path. A fitting ending to wonderfully creative album. Apart from the noticeable & previously released track inclusions, 'Holy Monitor' have put together a serious collection of impressive soundscapes that are sure to attract both new and old listeners alike. My favourite track on this album however has to be the highly addictive 'Bed Of The Earth' and it's driving cacophony of delectable psychedelic sounds.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last four years 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 now on hiatus) The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped 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.
by Primal Music
RELEASE: Golden Light / Aeolus
RELEASE DATE: July 16th 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Ongakubaka Records
Hailing from the sunbaked Mediterranean shores of Greece, experimental neo-psych / krautrock space rockers ‘Holy Monitor’ have had both of their two previous self-released digital EP’s (Golden Light & Aeolus) seamlessly brought together on one fantastic full length album courtesy of Virginia based independent record label ‘Ongakubaka Records’. 'Holy Monitor' blend a stunning mix of neo-psychedelic krautrock & soaring space rock with motorik rhythms and dreamy hypnotic vocalisations that collectively form soundscapes so lusciously inthralling, they will have you hooked from your very first listen. The album is available to buy/download right now with a limited number also available on cassette from: ongakubakarecords.bandcamp.com
Golden Light/Aeolus by Holy Monitor
Like a pulsating beacon of musical promiscuity the opening motorik bars of track one, ‘The Way Out’ ripple outwardly, like some magical pre-ordained mantra, as the piece meanders through throbbing bass lines coupled with hypnotic rhythmic percussive patterns, surging synth swells and a magnificent vocal attack. This is a truly wonderful opening track as it sucks you into the collective mindset of ‘Holy Monitor’ and introduces you to their blissful acid-drenched musical landscape. Up next, we’re treated to a swirling repetitive guitar line intertwined with snaking bass frequencies and another impressive vocal performance. ‘Golden Light’ is full of eastern esoteric influences as its menacing organ swells and stunning reverberation loops and arc’s throughout, painting sonic pictures and instilling shimmering atmosphere.
‘Cacti’ charges into ear shot on a bedrock of pounding drums, swirling guitars and soaring synth swells that are constantly building in tempestuous fashion and continuously circumnavigating that fragile vocal track. It builds from the off adding layer after layer of stunning instrumentation as it deftly skips along its chosen sonic path. Up next, ‘Bend In The Trees’ gracefully glides in on a droning synth progression and a highly addictive guitar line. This track bathes in swathes of stunning reverb as its hushed vocalisations take centre stage continuously urging the instrumentation to keep up with the pace. A brilliantly executed track and possibly my favourite on this entire release. Track five, ‘White Sands’ slows proceedings down a tad initially as a golden cascading organ progression enters audible range. A steady beat is added to the maelstrom before the hypnotically charged vocal arrives and we’re treated to a masterclass of neo-psychedelic discovery.
The EP’s closing track is a thing of beauty. ‘Winterlong’ growls as its supercharged guitar lines expertly protect the immense vocal. Wurlitzing organ progressions swirl as throbbing bass lines add weight to the metronomic swing of the entire track leaving the listener wanting more.
A fitting finale to a stunning release!
Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish based 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 helped 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.
RELEASE: Existence Is Futile
RELEASE DATE: 16th June 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Nestled deep within the Irish Republic’s rugged northwestern periphery and held fast in a belief that sonic experimentation across many different musical genre’s is the only formula needed to express artistic freedom in todays overly diluted and increasingly crass home grown independent music scene, resides one of the best modern day experimental psych-gazing collectives to ever have graced this fair isle, led by the charismatic & multi-lingual Robert Mulhern and a rag tag bunch of instrumental geniuses. ‘Tuath’ mesmerised the musically saturated underground back in March 2015 with their intensely addictive & deeply experimental debut EP ‘An Taobh Tuath(Ail)’ closely followed by their immense spaced out single ‘Amhairc Thart Ort Fein’ in September of the same year. Now the band have returned with a blistering four track EP entitled ‘Existence Is Futile’, penned in for digital release on the 16th June 2016 and is absolutely jam packed full of experimental dreamscapes that skip from serine psych-rock to blissfully dreamy shoegaze and on into expressive jazz fusion coupled with swirling hypnotic progressive rhythms.
Existence is futile by Tuath
Tuath’s broad musical foundations are brought to fore on the EP’s self-titled opening track and we’re soon introduced to a swirling trip hop inspired percussive swagger thats inherently intertwined with massive swathes of reverb, purposefully unleashed to hold a protective sheen around those hazy vocal lines before the brilliantly hypnotic guitar progression takes hold and carries the entire track into its shimmering finality. A stunning opener! We’ve no time to take stock however as the glorious opening salvos of track two, ‘Who Do you Want Me To Be’ enters into audible range and introduces us to a swirling maelstrom of melodic guitars, brilliantly executed flurries of cascading Saxophone, steadying drum patterns and Mulhern’s instantly recognisable vocal. Possibly my favourite track on this entire release ‘Who Do You Want Me To Be’ is mesmerisingly good and worthy of a single release going forward! ‘Take Refuge’, the EP’s penultimate track screams into the sonic ether and unleashes reams of golden psychedelic ripples that pulsate into the musical atmosphere, all held fast to shimmering guitar progressions, pounding drums and another magnificent vocal display. Tuath’s creative wall of sound is exacerbated by flourishes of expressive saxophone swirls that seem to mimic the guitar progressions – like for like, building layer after layer of melodic sound waves until we’re left with one big immovable sonic force. Deliciously addictive, if you ask me, and a track that sends out a big bold statement of intent to the entire Irish psych-gazing fraternity!
Dark, creeping guitar squall coupled with a throbbing melodic bass line ushers in the EP’s closing piece, the menacingly good ‘Poll’. This track undulates like a venomous snake on the hunt, winding its way along a sandy psych induced wasteland as those tempestuous guitars build exponentially through its verse progressions and explode into the chorus parts thus unleashing a cacophony of smooth sax progressions, pounding drums and swirling reverb drenched guitars! There are subtle hints of 70’s progressive krautrock, late 80’s trash metal, space-rock and 90’s alt-rock circumnavigating the overriding psychedelic maelstrom as ‘Poll’ moves through its sonic gears with mesmerising aplomb. ‘Poll’ is sublime and a stunning bookend to a blistering EP from a band who continue to amaze!
Recommended Listening …….