Exile On Mainstream unleash an eclectic trio of releases this Autumn and complete their line up for their very own festival, South Of Mainstream.
First to be released is STINKING LIZAVETA. Yanni Papadopoulos (guitar) and his brother Alexi (upright electric bass) grew up with the liberating, fist throwing, DIY sounds of the DC scene in the 1980s. Cheshire Agusta’s (drums) origins are in West Virginia, raised on hard mountain music, classical piano, and Stravinski. Their stories converge in STINKING LIZAVETA.
Born in 1994 in the basements of West Philadelphia and tempered by seventeen years of American and European tours, sharing stages with bands such as Clutch, Corrosion of Conformity, Rollins Band, Fugazi, Zeni Geva, Today Is The Day, Weedeater, Hidden Hand, Don Vito, Antikaroshi, End of Level Boss, and Beehoover, STINKING LIZAVETA has built a reputation as one of progressive metal’s most unique and devastating live acts and stands as one of America’s most durable and powerful rock bands. STINKING LIZAVETA is the instrumental trio specialising in what one reviewer calls, “insane improvisations, relentless rhythms, and volumes of groove.” STINKING LIZAVETA will restore your faith in rock and roll.
And here we are: 2012 brings 7th Direction, the long awaited new album by STINKING LIZAVETA. It was produced by the great Sanford Parker of Engine Music Studios. Sanford has performed with Minsk, Buried At Sea and Nachtmystium and has engineered/produced the heaviest of us all including Brutal Truth, Bible of the Devil, Bloodiest, Krieg, Lair of the Minotaur, Pelican, Rwake, Sweet Cobra and Unearthly Trance to name but a few. He proves his versatility by capturing 7th Direction, an album which defies categorisation as STINKING LIZAVETA always does, with their ability to span emotional range and style.
Without speaking a single word, STINKING LIZAVETA has achieved maximum narrative capacity with 7th Direction. After all, it’s what they always wanted and always did tell stories.
Coming up next is DARSOMBRA aka Brian Daniloski and Ann Everton’s audiovisual music venture. Daniloski, a veteran of heavier, sludgier, grittier rock bands such as Meatjack and Trephine, controls the sound of DARSOMBRA, alternating between mammoth vocal swells, monolithic soundscapes and searing guitar riffs replete with leads, loops, and samples. One part metal, one part psychedelic rock, sprinkled with a dash of prog and krautrock, all in all, utterly experimental. However, there is more than just Daniloski’s sonic world at play here as video artist Ann Everton takes his work to the next level by bringing her own visions to the stage through her kinetic psychotropic video projections, creating a constantly shifting backdrop to Daniloski’s live performances.
Climax Community, DARSOMBRA’s 2012 release on Exile on Mainstream, marks the evolution of Daniloski’s familiar epic arrangements with a change of pace and more dynamic variance than on his previous recordings. With three songs clocking in at 45 minutes, this is definitely a record to dive into and explore it’s depths. The first track, “Roaming The Periphery” is a 23-minute opus of colossal vocal swells and guitar pilgrimages, a full meal in itself, leaving the listener both stimulated and soothed. “Roaming the Periphery” leads into a short yet absorbing acoustic track “Green”, then followed by the album closer “Thunder Thighs” with it’s 18-minutes of mind-melting, wordless storytelling. The inclusion of “Green”, between the two, ample time-giants of the record, is a cunningly essential one, as it reminds the listener that it isn’t the great mountain-monster from Fantasia’s “Night on Bald Mountain” creating these aural sagas – but rather, a man, with a guitar, who practices everyday, and will continue to do so from now to the horizon. This sort of psychedelic experience doesn’t recreate the effects of drugs; the music is the drug.
Climax Community ultimately represents DARSOMBRA‘s love for the creative journey to other planets through music. Both the LP and CD will be released with a direct link to the visual accompaniment to this project, intended for viewing whilst listening to the album, for a full visceral experience.
Onto something completely different, OBELYSKKH. Called out as the “Phantom Of German Doom“ because of their self-proclaimed abstinence from record releases, Germany’s OBELYSKKH have been shipping themselves for several years around the parameters of ‘normal business’. If you dig into the history of this band hailing from the Fürth/ Nürnberg area, it becomes obvious that something outstanding in approach and result must be happening here. Founded in 2008 as a project to work on a few ideas of guitarist Torsten (formerly of The Walruz and vs The Stillborn Minded fame) with his friend Adi it was never planned to become a full operating band. But you know, such an origin sometimes intends to become the hotbed for something different. At least it did here. Soon the two-piece were joined by Steffen of seminal German Stoner Rock stalwarts Desert Sun, who played bass but soon switched to the drum kit after they couldn’t find a dedicated drummer. The vacant bass position was taken by the multi-instrumentalist David aka Dirty Dave, who literally was recruited at a disco. And so the story goes…
The band became one and released an album called “Mount Nysa” in 2011, fully self-recorded and self-produced on the now defunct German label Droehnhaus. The response exceeded all expectations and the record sold out within less than 3 weeks. And this wasn’t the only surprise in an ever shrinking market for record sales – another one was a viral impact that almost seems like a made up story but it’s actually the truth: based on 2-minutes of live footage cut on Youtube the band’s inbox literally got stormed by promoters from Germany and other European countries and soon after they found themselves on the road playing nonstop in clubs and festivals. And they didn’t disappoint. Slaying with a monstrous amount of heaviness and unbearable feel for sonic urgency OBELYSKKH have won over more and more fans. Now they present their brand new album…
White Lightnin’ is a monstrous pound of sonic heaviness, psychedelic grooves and emotionally charged riffage – ingredients that bring stunning results. Drawing from solid sludge filth via psychedelic soundscapes and amalgamating elements of post-rock, the album is heavy and massive but it also breathes with a soothing repetitive mantra, which clears the air here and there and thus declines total negativity.
Recorded, mixed and mastered in winter 2010/2011 by the great Billy Anderson (Sleep, Neurosis, Mr. Bungle, Eyehategod, High On Fire, Melvins – to name a few) creating a raw sound that gives you a hint to what an immense experience it is to witness OBELYSKKH live – clearly something you shouldn’t miss.
Finally, Exile On Mainstream Records annual music festival commences at the start of September and features a wonderful array of music from label mainstays, new signings and members of the extended family. The Obsessed, Ides Of Gemini and Ostinato will headline. For further line up information and other important details, please head on over to the website www.southofmainstream.de/2012/