ARTIST: Shoegazin' Your Waves Magazine
RELEASE: Shoegazin’ Your Waves - Italian Shoegaze Compilation
RELEASE DATE: 15/03/15
There seems to be a real hotbed of musical activity coming out of Italy these days, especially in the genre of shoegaze. Bands like Clustersun, Stella Diana, and Klam keep crossing my path, and now we have yet another superb shoegaze compilation put out by Shoegazin’ Your Waves magazine (all in Italian). And not everyone is riding the MBV vein either, judging from the selections here. In fact, I hear Joy Division and The Cure as often as I hear the usual musical influences you expect from shoegazers.
For example, the aforementioned Klam give us “Depression Ridin’ Cowboys”, which would have slotted nicely on any Joy Division record. For that matter, I also hear a strong Chameleons influence in the guitar work. Give it a whirl to see what I mean.
Clustersun may have the highest profile here, and they’re coming to the US at the end of April. They also sing in English, which may make them a bit more accessible to some. “Planar I II Live” is reverb drenched with the requisite intensity, and leans more toward heavy psychedelia than shoegaze.
The Gluts could be in bed with Band of Susans on “The Thing”, throwing down those heavy riffs with aplomb. They must be loud bordering on insane in a live setting.
86 Sandals dials it back on “If” with watery guitar and a repeating woman’s voice. It is minimalist shoegaze, for want of a better description.
Allie’s Dope brings “Misread When Overthought” to the table, and it’s a pleasant, low key sort of affair.
Rev Rev Rev on “Rip the Veil” also sing in English, and have mastered the MBV playbook. They have the messed up guitar over vocals buried deep, and it works well for them.
“Smell of Rain” is a lovely but subdued instrumental from Good Morning Finch.
Kimono Lights offer the pretty “Aurora”, though it sounds like they are playing very far away from the listener.
Novanta brings their shimmering sound front and center with “Worthless Whirls”, and they have a killer bass line to underscore its excellence.
Add into the mix Grass On The Sun - The Corner, In Her Eye - Chameleon & My Invisible Friend - Eyes and we have a serious combination of great tracks.
Stella Diana close out the collection with “Navarre”, a song that flits easily between delicate passages and heavier sound waves. They employ voice recordings in one place, marking this as fairly different from the other songs.
All in all, this is a very nice collection of tunes from a talented list of bands.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Music has always been a driving force for Elizabeth Klisiewicz, which she days "continues to define my existence". During and after her college years, she ran a weekly radio show at WMUA FM Radio and also at a community station in Springfield, MA, in addition to writing music and concert reviews for the college newspaper. At present, she writes for The Big Takeover Magazine and The Active Listener Blog, and recently began producing a semi-regular Mixcloud-based show called The Kitchen Sink. In the real world, when not writing technical manuals, she gets her thrills from reading mysteries, birdwatching, and can always be found with a camera and a maxed-out storage card full of music.
by Primal Music
ARTIST: La Casa Al Mare
RELEASE: This Astro EP
RELEASE DATE: 07/04/15
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
I first came across La Casa Al Mare after the release of their double A side single 'CD girl / M' back in September 2014 & their blissful sound had me hooked instantly. Their walls of reverb laden guitars enticed me in and welcomed me with open arms. They have a distinct sound that harks back in parts to the hazy shoegazing sounds of the early 1990's. Full of expressionism & psychedelic influence La Casa Al Mare create a maelstrom of lucid but emotive shoegaze that transcends most modern day shoegazing bands but they don't showboat or gloat about it in any way. They are reserved in their songwriting ability but can bend & twist frequencies at a whim to manufacture a sound so addictive that it will have you yearning to hear more. I firmly believe that listening to them will transport you to another sonic plain - a higher plain, where psychedelic Shoegaze is king! Hailing from Rome, Italy - La Casa Al Mare are: Marco Poloni - Bass & Vocals, Paolo Miceli - Drums & Alessio Pindinelli - Guitars & Vocals and they have just released their epic debut first full EP entitled - 'This Astro EP'. The EP includes the previously internet-only released double A-singles - M/CD Girl, Sunflowers/Tonight Or Never, plus three previously unreleased songs - I Don't Want To, At All and the album's title track 'THIS ASTRO', exclusively available on CD only! The CD pre-order incudes the immediate DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the whole tracklist, minus the 'This Astro' song. A download code for At All will be sent separately via email to You. The CD shipping date is due in early May.
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The EP opens up with the magnificent - 'I Don't Want To'. A solid wall of sound hits you between the eyes and transports you back to 1989/90 & into a live venue packed with people focused on a new musical adventure unfolding before their eyes. This Is shoegazing as it should be. Touches of My Bloody Valentine swirling around a tornado of Guitars, Bass, Drums & Vocals to create a sound so beautiful it will blow you away.
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Track 2 is the immense - 'Sunflowers'. For those of you who have never listened to 'La Casa Al Mare' before this should be your starting point. A blissful roller-coaster ride of sonic emotions wash over you as you glide on a wave of reverb laden guitars, pounding drums & blissful vocal tones. This is how it should be. This is shoegaze.
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Sonically mind-blowing & immensely addictive 'M' enters the musical arena like a steam train. Released back in September 2014 this is a swirling monstrous maelstrom of sound twisting around an addictive vocal line that sends shivers down your spine with its wave after wave of reverb laden guitar swells! Its another triumphant track & the very first track that I initially ever heard from this immense band. After listening to this I was instantly hooked. You will be too.
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Subtle hints of 60's psychedelia float on the sonic waves of track 5 on this impressive debut EP release from Rome based 'La Casa Al Mare'. 'Tonight Or Never' - is a laid back slice of coolness. Acoustic guitar tones soothe the atmosphere & create a welcome break from the previous sonic onslaught of the opening 3 tracks. Check it out:
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The closing track on 'This Astro EP' doesn't disappoint. 'CD Girl' is another brilliant example of a band in love with their music. This track will take you by the hand and guide you through a universe of immense sonic delights with crashing drums & addictive guitar lines. Reminiscent at times to Ride, Slowdive & Chapterhouse - 'CD Girl' will wash over you, cleanse you of your sins & take you on a magical journey. A modern day masterpiece. Wait for the chorus change to hit you & enjoy:
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This is a magical EP full to the brim of what modern day shoegazing should be about. Emotive, awe inspiring & addictive tracks that open up your senses to every single blissful note. Do yourselves a favour & go and get a copy of this release. It is simply stunning . This is only a starting point for 'La Casa Al Mare' & I now urge them as a band to go & write a full album of new material & unleash it on to the world because I for one will be top of the Q to buy it when they do.
'This Astro EP' is now available to pre-order on CD from - lacasaalmare.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. He also currently writes for Canadian based online music webzine ReplicantEars. 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: The One2's
RELEASE: EP 2
RELEASE DATE: 06/01/15
We get contacted regularly on the Primal Music Blog by a lot of bands with expertly written press releases outlining their sound & influences etc etc. What I mean is that most of the time their press release's or band bio's tell us what they want us to know just so they catch our eye, rather than telling us the truth. We then go and listen to their music and they sound nothing like their written bio reads and most of time we don't review or write about them at all. Its a common occurrence unfortunately & one that I can only put down bands being uneducated in the ways of contacting music blogs or reviewers. So imagine my surprise to read an email from a band who do exactly as it says on the tin via their press release & then go that extra mile to sound immense musically. Philadelphia based noise merchants 'The One2's' create a full on, no messing around, sonic attack on your senses. Their sound is heavily laden with multiple influences from many genres of music but they manage to focus it directly at the listener & not let it get swallowed up in the maelstrom of screaming vocals, pounding drums, throbbing bass, layered walled guitars & synth sounds. Yes they have a solid shoegazing foundation in parts but they also manage to intertwine post-punk, touches of early grunge & flourishes of dream-pop into the mix to create a sonic manifesto all of their own. 'The One2's' are made up of: Leiana - Bass & Vocals, Sean Bombz - Guitars & Vocals, Jay Dyer - Drums & Tom Nuzzie - Guitars & Vocals. The 5 track - 'EP2' was released on the 6th January 2015 and we reckon that it's immense!
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The EP opens with a two minute seven second instrumental montage (or modern day tribute) to the 80's synth era with added post-punk swirls. A bit of a misnomer for me, but it works! Check out 'Gazed Out' for yourselves:
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Track 2 is probably my favourite on the whole EP & is most definitely full on shoegazing at its very best. An addictive chord sequence heralds the arrival of a musical behemoth in the form of a sonic wall of reverb laden guitars, pounding drums, throbbing bass & soaring vocals. Im in shoegaze heaven! The chorus break alone will have you screaming at your stereo willing the band for more. 'Cryer' is absolutely stunning. Check it out:
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Track 3 - 'Pop The Ripper' opens with that distinctive post-punk fuelled Philadelphia sound of charging Bass & Drums, swirling effected Guitar swells and addictive Vocal lines reminiscent in parts to Philly stalwarts - 'Stellarscope'. A triumph of a track and one that should come across monstrous in a live setting. Check it out:
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'The One2's' Dream-Pop influences are clearly audible throughout the beginning of Track 4 on this impressive release. With an intro of Drums, Bass & impressive Guitar swells 'I Can See' introduces us to the vulnerable vocal tones of bassist Leiana before opening up into another explosive shoegaze fuelled maelstrom of effected Guitars thriving Drum tracks & subtle Bass lines. I've listened to this track on headphones & it is really impressive.
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The EP closes with what at first comes across as a tame slow burner of a track - but don't be fooled. 'Blank Stare' is spacious & bright with floating reverb drenched guitar lines, a simple drum pattern and a serine bass line all cradling & protecting the venerable vocal track up to a point. This track explodes half way through spilling its guts onto the musical canvass with screaming vocals, heavy guitars and pounding drums. A truly immense track full of peaks & troughs that incites the listener into its inner core before expelling it through the medium of full on sound waves. Check it out:
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Overall this EP is an impressive body of work from a band who are not afraid to experiment with particular genres of music to create something all of their own. 'The One2's' continuously show songwriting prowess throughout this EP & their song structures are faultless. Apart from the opening track, this EP is a marvel and I look forward to hearing what comes next from this distinctively sounding group of musicians.
Postpunk? Shoegaze ? Pop? Hermetic Delight aren’t afraid to play with aesthetics, embracing a singular identity. With the release of Heartbeat 12’’, in 2013, their last maxi single that splashed all over the blogosphere, the five members of Hermetic Delight have built up a solid following and are a band to keep an eye on. Founded in 2011 & hailing from Strasbourg in France, we caught up with the band and asked them a few questions on Music, Future Plans & their involvement in Revolution - The Shoegaze Revival. Check it out:
WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOUR BAND AND HOW YOU ORIGINALLY CAME TOGETHER?
We are a 5 piece band from Strasbourg/France in 2 guitars, a bass, drums and a singer format. We’re making this music that is sometimes called to remind a good mixture of noise pop and shoegaze.
We can say that the band was actually formed by Delphine (drums). She took up drum lessons for a while and she wanted and needed to form a band. She had met Bob (bass) and Atef (guitar). They kept playing together for a while and when Geoffrey (guitar) and Zeynep (vocals) arrived in 2010, the actual line up was ready to go.
WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES?
This has always been a difficult question because each member in the band is into listening to various kinds of musical styles. Our tastes make an eclectic blend altogether but to start with, My Bloody Valentine, The Cure, Wire, Sonic Youth, etc. are what comes out as influences on both the sound and shape of our band.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START MAKING MUSIC?
Everyone in the band has a different story to tell. Some of us started at really early ages some of us a little bit later. What inspired us maybe, is the urge to smash our heads on punk rock (as Sebadoh named it well.)
IS IT A SHOEGAZE REVIVAL OR A REBIRTH? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE RECENT FILM 'BEAUTIFUL NOISE' AND REUNIONS OF SUCH BANDS LIKE RIDE, SWERVEDRIVER, MEDICINE & SLOWDIVE?
It is too early to tell whether this is a revival or a rebirth, but it somewhat seems like both of them are happening. I haven’t watched the film yet, but I definitely will. One of the best parts of this now is that we get to see many of these first-wave bands in live action. We missed the chance to see when they were active because many of us were too young and some of us weren’t even born yet. It’s also amazing that these bands are still great today and that they continue to write new stuff.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR INVOLVEMENT IN THE RECENT REVOLUTION SHOEGAZE REVIVAL COMPILATION?
All of a sudden, Gerpfast Kolektif from Indonesia contacted us to send a title for an upcoming joint shoegaze compilation with Ear to Ear Records, but we really didn’t know that this would be such a huge event! This has been a good occasion for us to consider how widespread the shoegaze community really is, and this is very exciting for us to receive such positive feedback from all around the world about this compilation.
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MUSICALLY, WHAT ARE YOUR BANDS PLANS OVER THE NEXT YEAR?
The next year for us will be about composing as much as we can for an album that we plan to release in 2016 but meanwhile we won’t totally leave live acts aside and we will surely make small surprise releases from time to time. We are in negotiation process with labels at the moment.
IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO COVER ANY ARTIST, WHO WOULD IT BE & WHY?
We already did two covers for a digital release that came up in 2013. The Funeral Party from The Cure (which is included in the compilation) and The Gravedigger’s Song from Mark Lanegan. The first reason was our desire to pay homage to two musicians, who we respect and love. At the same time, the idea to try to challenge ourselves by experimenting with these songs without totally turning them into mutants, but to reshape them in order to try give an essence of H.D. anyway, was a fun thing to try.
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IF YOU HAD TO PICK 1 OR 2 OR 3 WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Heartbeatful noise, edgy and danger.
As the shoegaze music movement starts making waves a tsunami of love and passion for the music ensues. Shoegazer Sanctuary will be here, on Facebook, for Shoegazers who want to share and listen to the best Shoegaze around and find some of the most obscure tunes that sculpted this genre into what it is today. The music that preceded the Shoegaze/Nugaze of today deserves to be heard once again. We have found some of he most amazing music in obscure Shoegaze and want to keep sharing it and inspire members to search for it as we do. This is the Spirit of Shoegazer Sanctuary - Care to join us?
Shoegazer Sanctuary was created for Shoegazers period; people who are obsessed with the sound of a guitar being influenced by sound pedals and deep reverb effects that makes the music irresistible. It was initially a secret FaceBook group but was finally made 'public' in the hope of attracting many Shoegaze bands and fans alike that want nothing more than to love the music and share it night and day. It has been working out amazingly so far. Our Shoegazer (member) base keeps growing out of control like a wild fire, but more importantly than the numbers is the love for the music, ecstasy is more like it.
My name is JOE 'SHOEGAZER' GIANGRAVE & I manage the group and initially came up with the name. A Shoegaze obsessed mega fan, and as a song writer as well, I love the genre and cannot stop my search for the most obscure Shoegaze I can find and also continue my research for all things Shoegaze. I really owe where I am now in music to a band called 'The Joy Formidable', if it was not for them back in November of 2010 when I saw them live for the first time I do not believe my interest in shoegaze would have arrived to the obsession status it has reached today. They are the reason I believe in music once again. Thank You 'The Joy Formidable' - my heart is with you always!
So this is who we are in a nutshell. I hope you enjoy our featured Shoegazer playlist. This will be the first of many to come. We want to thank Del Chaney and Shauna McLarnon for sponsoring Shoegazer Sanctuary and giving us the chance to share our passion for Shoegaze with alot more people outside of Facebook.
Aren't you curious? Join and/or look us up on Facebook, and find out what all the hype is about - THIS IS SHOEGAZE!
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THE BLACK RYDER:
BLACK HEARTED BROTHER:
THE HIGH VIOLETS:
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ARTIST: The Marbles Jackson
RELEASE: Notes To The Dust
RELEASE DATE: 05/04/15
RECORD COMPANY: Feline Frequency Recordings
Every musical artist worth their salt with a dream of recording & releasing a body of work physically either on Vinyl, Cd or Tape will eventually run into a brick wall when it comes to funding their musical adventure’s because in every walk of life imaginable the mantra remains the same - ‘Money Makes The World Go-Around’. These days artists have a wealth of ways to generate cash (without gigging themselves to death) with one medium also allowing them to expand their fan-base at the same time! That pretty cool medium of garnering funds is called - Crowdfunding. One such act to do so are UK based sonic adventurers ‘The Marbles Jackson’ who after a successful crowdfunding campaign, raised enough funds to not only release their debut album ‘Notes To The Dust’ digitally but also fund a Vinyl release! Hailing from Hakney over in London Town - ‘The Marbles Jackson’ are: Terry Kirkbride - Guitars, Vocals, percussion & Mouth Organ, Naoko TakaHashi - Guitars & Backing Vocals, Smon Gwynne - Keys, Guitar & Sound Effects & Mikey Belfast Gibson - Bass and what they have created musically is nothing short of beautiful. Most of the tracks were written by Terry Kirkbride & Naoko Takahashi except - 'Nowt Will Ever Be The Same' & 'I Want Never Gets' by Kirkbride and 'What Remains' by Simon Gwynne. The album was Produced by Kirkbride and Takahashi, Engineered, Recorded and Mastered by Mark Jasper @ Sound Savers, Hackney, London & Mixed by Takahashi @ Shabby Road Studio, Hackney, London.
We have picked a few of our favourite tracks from ‘Notes To The Dust’ for the purposes of this review and you can read what we thought about them below:
Track 1 on this very impressive release opens up a portal to a world of daydreams, shoegaze & dream-pop. ‘If Symptoms Persist ( Nothing Wrong With Me )’ is a slice of laid back sonic heaven on a grand scale reminiscent in parts to early 90’s musical stalwarts such as Spiritualized & The Verve. Anyone new to this band is in for a treat as this is the entry point to a musical adventure you could only ever dream about. Beautiful in its conception with dreamy vocals and addictive guitar lines, it will evoke memories of life & love and have you floating on a wave of tone & reverb. Absolutely blissful.
Light & dark tones are magnified to shimmering brilliance on the albums second track - ‘Murder Mile Sunshine'. This is stunning. You stay fixed on the main vocal while a maelstrom of swirling effected guitars, immense backing vocals, lazy drum beat & hazy samples immerse you in a world of dreamscape infused shoegaze with immense psychedelic swirls.
‘Requiem For The Have It All’s’ - is a journey track. Beautiful vocal harmonies lead you in and caress your eardrums with intricate guitar lines, delayed tones & stunning ethereal vocal swells all intertwined around it's post-rock 'esque core. One for the headphones! Check it out:
Passionate, emotive & immense are all words that can be used to describe the feelings you get when you listen to track 8 on this stunning release. ’Running Man’ is a blissful ride through addictive guitars stabs, beautifully immersive reverb drenched vocal lines & swirling backing tracks that tells a sonic story through the medium of sound waves. Check it out:
It’s a strange thing these days for any band to touch this listener as deeply as ‘The Marbles Jackson’ have. Their attention to detail on every single one of the epic tracks on this release will stay with you long after you have finished listening to them & that’s a great thing in my opinion. Somehow they stick in your subconscious and you end up humming their tunes or speaking their lyrics at absurdly different & weird times of the day & for me that’s the mark of a great song and the total embodiment of a great band. I’ve been following the journey of this band intently ever since they got in touch with me about airplay on a radio show in early 2014. They haven’t disappointed & this album is a stunning body of work by a band that will leave you with a sweet taste in your mouth after every listen. Sonically sound & immensely beautiful ‘Notes To The Dust’ is album that every music fan should have in their collection. If you missed out on pre-ordering the album during their crowdfunding campaign, don't panic, you can still get your hands on a copy of 'Notes To The Dust' as it is available to order on Vinyl through www.RoughTrade.Com & will also be available via iTunes & the labels BANDCAMP PAGE from the release date.
Artist: Lava Lite
Release: Lava Lite EP
Release Date: 23/04/14
Record Company: Unsigned
Lava Lite are a Shoegaze/Dream Pop band, formed in Saint-Petersburg, Russia in 2011. They are: Sergenty Timoshenko - guitar, keys & vocals, Nikita Tarakanov - guitar & keys, Paul Kostyaev - bass & Eugene Kulikov - drums, percussion & backing vocals. This band have slipped under the shoegazing radar but from the very first listen it sound's to me like they've put their boots on, kicked down the door & unleashed a mesmerising whirlwind of beautiful shimmering shoegaze on their latest 5 track, self-titled offering. We've chosen 3 tracks from this EP and you can read what we thought of them below:
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'Fear Of Silence', the first incredible track on the EP, with guitar nods to nirvana and bass lines similar to the ilk of dare I say it - 'Twiggy Ramierez'(Marilyn Manson) circa 1996, it's also got the fire of the smashing pumpkins! Check it out:
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Track 2- 'Have You Ever', is somewhere between 'Waterfall' by 'The Stone Roses' & 'Kevin Is Gay' by 'Giant Drag'. This song meanders on a little bit and is by no means the best offering to the shoegaze gods but it is a solid second track. The one thing I really like about this track is the vocal line as it sears around the tracks like water around a stone in a running river.
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On 'Can't You See', the third track on this epic EP we are treated to sparse bass lines, octaving smoothly as if they were lounging around in a funk track. It has an energy to it thats similar to the 'Brian Jonestown Massacre' but with its own vitality. It invokes a sort of 'post rum libido' for that special someone you only met 3 hours ago at the local bar. This track also comes with the standard wailing unison bend that we all know and love, the lazy guitar line that refuses to change key and the bass line's are playing very nice with the drums. This epitomises what shoegaze is all about & its one of my fave tracks on this lovely EP.
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From start to finish this EP is a display of music made by a band who have embodied the sonic culture completely by the way that they consume the music of the sophmoric shoegaze era ,eating other modern bands for dessert. The musicianship and production values on this EP are fantastic plus the songwriting is lush and the lead singers voice is immense. What I would love to hear from them is music in their own language, but moreover I can't wait to hear what they come up with next. Their sound is already very mature and their production impressive. 'Lava Lite' are ones to watch.
The EP was recorded & mixed by Vladimir Nosyrev at the Petersburg Recording Studio, Saint Petersburg, produced by Lava Lite & mastered by Andrey Subbotin at the Saturday Mastering Studio, Moscow and is available up on their band camp site - www.LavaLite.Bandcamp.Com
Robert Von Ciaran is the Vocalist, Guitarist, Producer & Engineer in Irish heavy shoegazers 'Tuath'. Hailing from Galway in Western Ireland Robert's musical influences span numerous genres and are far reaching. 'Tuath' are quietly establishing themselves as forerunners in Ireland's shoegaze & psych-rock scene.
'Tuath' are an Irish language prog/ psych/ noise/ gaze band from Donegal/Galway & Dublin in the Republic Of Ireland who specialises in recording, producing & self releasing magnificent soundscapes through the medium of gaze! The outfit started off as just Robert Mulhern, sick and tired of being let down by other musicians, he got together with a band hell bent on exposing the Irish language to a bigger audience. He decided that his native tongue would help spread the word & be the vehicle that was needed to get the Irish language out through their songs! Eventually the project was minimised to just himself & Ashley Mobasser ( Saxophone) for recording purposes only, with session musicians coming on board for live experimentations! Their debut 7 track EP - 'Tuath - An Taobh TAat(hail)' had its official release on 17th March 2015. We caught up with Rob & Ashley from the band and peppered them with a few question on influences, future plans & shoegaze! Check it out:
WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT THE FORMATION OF THE BAND & YOUR HISTORY?
'Tuath' was started by me (Rob) in my sitting room in Galway, Ireland. At the time of recording & mixing it I was in the process of working on an EP for another band of which I play bass in called 'The Death Letter Devils'. I was playing around with my loop pedal after a stressful day of mixing so I recorded some bland guitar chord progression for a song that will be on our second EP called 'Poll Mór',
I recorded drums, bass, 2 guitars and zero vocals for half of it and I used it to pretend that we were an already existing band and that we just needed a 'new drummer' & ' bassist' for it. Declan Huban(cracking drummer) and Dave Cigs(cracking bass player) fit the bill and off we went. My wonderful warrior girlfriend Rachel and I were running an open mic at the time and Ashley Mobasser showed up. We jammed over some Jazzy stuff and I invited him to be in the band. He accepted and off we went.
ASHLEY: Biggest influences are John Zorn, Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver & Black Sabbath,
ROB: My biggest influences are Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Primus & Korn. I stopped listening to bands around the age of 20 because Techno and Dubstep seemed more interesting. I still don't really listen to music but have really fallen in love with 'The Northern Drones' from Dublin.
DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND?
Our sound is quite varied and will continue to change a lot due to the fact that much of it is coming directly from my (Robs) back catelog of the best of failed projects from different parts of my development. At the moment electronics are starting to become more stationary but there is talk of a desert rock EP in the not to distant future. Our first EP was largely progressive, noise rock & shoegaze with some elements of Techno. Our second EP is doom jazz influenced and damn near metal levels of palm muted guitars! The lyrics are largely about depressing stuff but Ashley and I are thinking of doing a 'Shadows' influenced spaghetti western type of thing with whisteling and trumpets and some telecasters! Drum n' Bass is a big influence of mine. Im going to donate money to the surviving Winstons members from the profits of our music. How much will depend on what I can afford, but we owe them a lot.
ASHLEY: What inspired me? Music was the only thing that gave my life a purpose and made me feel alive.
ROB: What inspired me to start making music was a few guys around me. My friend Eamonn McGee taught me the opening chords to 'Tonight Tonight' by the 'Smashing Pumpkins' & I was fascinated as it was the first thing I was able to do well & very quickly. Then I heard 'System Of A Down' and there was no quenching my thirst. Their first album has some of the best guitar work ever.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR THE WORLD TO HEAR YOUR MUSIC? WHAT KIND OF MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH INTERNATIONAL LISTENERS?
The reason that I decided to sing in this band was because I didn't think anyone else would see my vision correctly and I didn't want to argue with anyone over the end decisions. Drawing on my experience in Portugal, a country whose culture is insanely rich and romantic and juicy and vibrant, all I could see everywhere were TV's playing VH1's nostalgic 80's pop hits, like - 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' etc etc. This upset me, as people were just kinda singing along and nobody even spoke English. So this lead me to really see how much the English language is gentrifying culture accross the Globe. These people are being exposed to mind numbing drivel when they could be exposed to the beautiful culture of 'Faro' music and other such things. This is when I decided that hearing brutal music on the radio (sung in english) & seeing Irish people acting like 'Tupac' when they have probably never even seen a gun their whole lives, just made me think that We Are Having The Piss Taken Out Of Us so I chose our native tongue as a medium of vocalisation. I have strong feelings about it. Also, my main gripe with it is that the language is being destroyed by Nationalism and guilt. When I was growing up I hated the language because it was forced down my throat by Nationalists - specifically in my Secondary School. It was Nazism on a smaller scale. I also don't care about 32 counties either. I think we need to leave them on their own. They have been living in the 'Occupied 6' for just as long as we foreign french 'gauls(gaels)' invaded Ireland for the first time and we invaded them first so Nationalism is just a tool that divides people and I could not care less about it. The Irish language is a beautiful, descriptive, floaty sounding language. It has with it - gutteral tones, lovely oohs & aahs that when combined with reverb and delay result's in top quality sounds and rhythms. It also obscures the measuring stick for me as nobody can really be compared to me vocally because nobody has done this before. If you take the reverb and delay away then my voice sounds like a frog croaking. The message I want to send is that our language is class. Its upsetting that we are willing to let it die as a language. It is a window into the past & words are the amber that preserve the mosquito of culture and to lose that is to lose the history of an entire people.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE BANDS & ALBUMS?
ROB: SOAD, Toxicity - Unknown Mortal Orchestra(all of it), Primus - Tales From The Punchbowl, Deftones - Saturday Night Wrist, Black Sabbath - Paranoid, Tool - Aenima, Aphex Twin - Drugs, Tame Impala(All Of It), Fear Factory - Archetype, Format B -Restless, Meshuggah - obzen. Miles Davis - Bitches Brew, Phantogram - Eyelid Movies, Holy Fuck - both Lp's...those guys are so awesome!, The Flying Eyes - Self Titles.
ASHLEY: Headhunters by Hancock, Ten by Pearl Jam, Cape Verdean Blues by Horace Silver & Aenima by Tool.
MUSICALLY WHAT ARE YOUR BANDS PLANS OVER THE NEST YEAR?
We plan to play all over the place! Release an album & 3 EP's, do a live soundtrack for a silent film(all the cool kids are doing it) & the grand mission is to be able to afford better equipment to make it so we can play more dense sets live with visuals and head to europe and the states for a tour(s).
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER:
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. He also currently writes for Canadian based online music webzine ReplicantEars. 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.
PINKSHINYULTRABLAST – RAVESTAR SUPREME
To me Pinkshinyultrablast’s – Everything Matters, is one the best releases this year. So I’m glad the band is creating new music videos to accompany their songs. ‘Ravestar Supreme’ is directed by Timothy George Kelly, the viewer is presented a psychedelic black and white glitch art video. Fluid, alive and flawlessly edited, a video you will want to put as a backdrop while you perform. The glitched slow motion heads look cool and fresh. As the music becomes faster so does the editing turning a mellow video in to a intense crazy strobe awesomeness.
The whole album is a warm entity, feels like a springtime in the forest, it probably was my viewers expectation to teleport somewhere in the woods and run around for just a short moment. And oh, the director has certainly thought about that, and delivered! So it’s definitely ultra-mesmerizing mix. Thumbs up Pinkshinyultrablast, whose latest is out via Club AC30 / Shelflife / Vinyl Junkie.
INDIGO SKY - HIDE
Indigo Sky's video for song "Hide" was the first I thought about, while I was choosing this week's music video list.
Why? Guys really put a lot of effort with their 2nd music video, and they definitely had fun with it.
The Camerawork is top-notch, with every shot well planned and tracked throughout the video, not to mention bits with aerial filming since that requires an extra effort. There is a lovely progression from the streets / the block [aerial] to the stage / the city [aerial], the band aims high and that’s the right way to go!
But what I really like about this video is the personality. Even though most of the video concentrates on the lead, [which makes sense since everyone in the band are supposed to hide], band members appear at the right moments, steal the screen time and rock it in the end. The director Tolli Myers, managed to show band the way they are without fakeness, and video gives me the feeling that I’m looking at a well-organized, well placed band that won't fall apart tomorrow. [We hope] This single was released through Wales-based indie label Ear to Ear Records, which is where the video was also shot.
FONOGRAM – LULLABY
Recently I found this wonderful wavy minimalistic video and I must say I’m impressed by the feelings it managed to deliver in combo with the song. Genre is always being associated by something watery, dreamy and something you probably won’t have in common with most of the people around you. But what happens when you find someone who shares your mind set, and sees the world way you do? This video of course! Your everyday waves turn in to something special.
Dariy Karyakin is a freelance experimental filmmaker, having been involved in this sphere for the past 7 years in various capacities. He is active in video journalism for several Latvian news agencies and also recently became a member of the international Krinum Art and Design team. He is dedicated to making music videos and short films, for which he has earned various awards and honours. To boot, he is an audiophile with a wide array of musical preferences and an entire FB wall full of music videos. He is always online because there’s always a video to make! His recent video Nocturne Blue ‘You’re The Only One I Really Want’ was praised by 6-time Emmy Winner Dutch Rall. He has also completed several videos for forthcoming release by dreampop shoegaze artists Ummagma & Sounds of Sputnik.
Italian shoegazing is on the rise as far as we're concerned here in the Primal Music Blog HQ. Every one of our contributing writers are in agreement. Italian 'Nu- Shoegaze' bands are creating some of the best sonic sounds around, not only in Italy, but in our opinion, some of the best in Europe!
CLUSTERSUN are an Italian based band riding the crest of the Italian shoegaze tidal wave right now. They create sonically astute, washy, loud shoegazey reverberations infused with blissful walls of sound, cold wave atmospheres & crystal clear dreamy melodies. The band are Marco Chisari - vocals & bass, Mario Lo Faro - guitars, Piergiorgio Campione - synthesizers, keyboards & backing vocals & Andrea Conti - drums. Hailing from Catania, Italy, the band have been together since the beginning of 2013. Their first selfproduced single “Be Vegetal” was included in the CD Summer Sampler 2013 published by american indie label Custom Made Music (Peter Hook & The Light, Freebass, Ringo Deathstarr, Dead Leaf Echo). After that they got signed to the italian indie label Seahorse Recordings for the release of the first album “Out Of Your Ego”. We caught up with the band as they prepare for their first American East Coast tour ( April 23rd to May 3rd - New York, Boston Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Providence, Lancaster, and Lowell) & asked them about their influences, band history & future plans. Check it out:
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=2070568991 size=large bgcol=333333 linkcol=e32c14 tracklist=false artwork=small]
Who are you? Tell us about your band and how you originally came together?
CLUSTERSUN are basically four long-time and really close friends from Catania, Italy, that enjoy making loud noises together. Everything started at the beginning of 2013, when all us four began to rehearse together just for having fun and playing loud. Very loud! We instantly found a wonderful feel and interplay between us: that comfortable sensation of speaking the same musical language, with cranked amps, reverbs and eyes pointed at our feet. So our strong human interconnection and common musical background helped a lot in moving things really fast. We soon self-produced our first song, "Be Vegetal" and put it on Soundcloud. The wonderful Dave Allison of U.S. indie label Custom Made Music heard it and appreciated it: he included it in CMM Summer Sampler, a compilation of shoegaze, post-punk, psych, garage from great acts of all over the world. That really pushed things up and was a big spotlight for us. A few weeks later we signed with Italian indie label Seahorse Recordings, run by Italian underground legend Paolo Messere: he brought us in the studio at the end of 2013 for recording our first album "Out Of Your Ego", which came out in April 2014.
[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=2070568991 size=small bgcol=333333 linkcol=e32c14 track=2817022375]
Describe your sound?
We try to mix shoegaze, dreampop, coldwave and psychedelia with hypnotic-obsessive bass lines, dark and cold drum pattern, a strongly expressive guitar with a range that goes from ambient ethereal mood to fuzz-and-reverb madness, fat analog synths and dreamy vocal melodies. Our album "Out Of Your Ego" came out with a distinctive airy-spacey-dreamy-ethereal mood that we love, but we are now at work exploring our fuzzier, grittier, dirtier side in the live renditions of the album tracks and especially in the new material that is coming out at rehearsals. We hate to stand still.
What do you love about shoegaze?
Shoegaze is a music that can bring you to another dimension, sonically and mentally. It lets you a lot of freedom and big room for experimentation, allowing your creativity to expand in many directions. From a musician’s point of view is like a place where you’re encouraged to breaking borders and pushing things at their limits.
Your song ‘Hipnosis’ is on the compilation ‘REVOLUTION – The Shoegaze Revival’. How did that come about and what does this all mean?
We were delighted to be involved In “REVOLUTION - The Shoegaze Revival”, which is an international compilation put together for Ear to Ear Records by a great artist and friend Shauna McLarnon – she is the vocalist in one of the bands we love most, Canadian-Ukrainian duo Ummagma. We were glad to contribute with our single “Hipgnosis”, that sits in excellent company alongside stunning tracks by 30 amazing bands from 16 countries of the world, covering 5 of the 6 inhabited continents: Orangenoise (Pakistan), Sounds of Sputnik (Russia), The Yours (Hong Kong), Trementina (Chile), Ummagma (Canada-Ukraine), Digilite (Indonesia), Jaguwar (Germany), Stellarscope (USA), Spool (Japan), Wozniak (Scotland), Ether Feels (Japan), Hideous Towns (Australia), Lights That Change (Wales, UK), Damascus (Indonesia), Weird. (Italy), Hermetic Delight (France), Rev Rev Rev (Italy), The Evening Primrose (Hong Kong), Stella Diana (Italy), Seaside (Indonesia), Blood Lips (UK), Magao (Japan), Clustersun (Italy), Duelectrum (Brazil), Intenna (Indonesia), Robsongs (Brazil), Slow Motion Picture (USA), Thud (Hong Kong), Sharesprings (Indonesia), and Puna (Peru). This compilation was released on British label Ear To Ear Records and the Indonesian label Gerpfast Kolektif – this is one of the major shoegaze events of 2015, a detailed representation of what shoegaze was, is and also where it could go, as confirmed by the great endorsement and support by legends like Creation Records co-founder Joe Foster, Graham Bonnar (Swervedriver/ Brian Jonestown Massacre), Stephen Lawrie (The Telescopes), and Louise Trehy (Swallow/ Strata Florida). We are so proud to be part of this. [Editor’s note: check out our recent interview with Joe Foster here].
Why is it important for the world to hear your music? What kind of message would you like to share with international listeners?
We can only say we make visionary music for visionary people, in the most genuine and honest way; we don’t pretend to deliver a particular message to our listeners, maybe an aesthetic ideal.
[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=2070568991 size=small bgcol=333333 linkcol=e32c14 track=1085813131]
Musically, what are your bands plans over the next year?
2015 is going to be a really great year for us! In just a few days we’ll announce our first American tour, 9 gigs on the East Coast between New York, Boston Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Providence, Lancaster, and Lowell, from April 23rd to May 3rd. After that we’ll plan touring in Italy and Europe for summer. We are also still at work on new material and it's a very productive and inspiring time for us. We have completed a bunch of new songs that are coming out in a grittier, edgier and more aggressive mood compared to the ones on the album.
[bandcamp width=100% height=42 album=2070568991 size=small bgcol=333333 linkcol=e32c14 track=2360824492]
Can you name some bands from your country or elsewhere as recommended listening?
So many great emerging acts to discover in our country, we highly recommend Rev Rev Rev, Stella Diana, Novanta, My Invisible Friends, In Her Eye, A Modern Way To Die, Weird, La Casa Al Mare, The Crackers, Kimono Lights, 86Sandals, Sonic Jesus, Snow In Mexico, Last Movement, Electric Floor, Allie’s Dope, Winter Severity Index, Klam, Ash Code, and Geometric Vision. You will be able to hear (and download) many of them on the compilation out this week from Shoegazin’ Your Waves.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Keep following CLUSTERSUN at the links below.