[sic] Magazine

[sic] Scout #1

This latest batch of news, reviews and video comes on the back of a very fruitful week. Featured in this article is some of the best Stoner-Rock, Post-Rock and Drone I’ve heard in some time. From the thundering sounds of Gothenburg’s Jasper Tx latest disc through to the sheer thrilling euphoria of Japan’s Mono, with much more in between, [sic] Mag invokes the spirit of Kit Carson to unearth bands and artists worthy of your attention.

Jasper Tx – ‘Untitled No. 7 (Dead Pilot Records)

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Available in severely limited quantities, this 3” disc houses one 20-minute composition from Swedish drone-meister Dag Rosenqvist, better known as Jasper Tx . Not a lot happens initially, save for the depth-charge droning which certainly gets the nostrils vigorously flailing. Things get far more interesting as Rosenqvist subtly adds layers of drone as this slowly intensifying piece progresses. Before you know it, you’re swimming in the waters of murky distortion and muffled static. Full volume is essential here, while artwork is supplied by one Peter Broderick . Only drone-heads need apply.

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Elm – Woven Into Light (Blackest Rainbow)

This is monumental. It’s been a while since something this beguilingly massive sounding has passed through my letterbox. Elm is the solo endeavors of Jon Porras, one half of ambient/psych outfit Barn Owl , ‘Woven into Light’ possesses almost shamanic qualities. 1st track, ‘Rising Smoke Woods’ just about blows the roof off with its smoldering drones, spectral howls and monolithic swathes of scything guitar. Not a million miles away from the all-consuming work of say Stray Ghost or, indeed, Ekca Liena , Porras impresses on a number of tracks, including the mantra-like ‘Solemn Night Prayer’ and the nocturnal ‘Mist Left To Hide The Ashes’. The use of psych-folk acoustic guitar is one of the key factors in separating this release from the rest of the ‘drone’ pile.

The effect is somewhat akin to current Ambient heroes Mountains, though this record burrows far deeper into the abyss. The ghostly vocal howls that intercept a number of tracks only adds to the mystique. Again available in severely limited quantities, act fast as this comes with my highest recommendation.

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The Kings of Frog Island – II (Elektohasch)

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Psychedelic-tinged Stoner Rock in the vein of Kyuss or Monster Magnet . Some of the riffs here remind me of my teens when I thought of Josh Homme as the greatest guitarist on the planet and a number of tracks thrills in a similar manner to hearing Kyuss’ seminal ‘Blues For The Red Sun’ for the first time.

The Frogs though are no mere copyists with their scorched riffs and narcotic harmonies very much their own. The deeper than space basslines are so blissed-out they’re almost horizontal and the addition of synth and violin to some tracks show the extent that this band is prepared to go to branch out. If Stoner Rock is making resurgence then this troupe are surely its leading lights. Out now on German label Elektohasch.

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One To Watch – An Emerald City

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Video of the Week – Mono – ‘Follow The Map’

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