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Review + Q&A: Edena Gardens – Agar/Live Momentum (2023, El Paraiso Records)

Listening to the new Edena Gardens album Agar with headphones on is like slipping into a nice hot bath. While the band’s rich and smooth studio sound washes you clean, the slow majestic jams will put in you in a state of relaxation you had not experienced since their self-titled debut album came out last year. These Danish magicians simply cannot help themselves; they have something magical going on, and they are a prolific bunch.

The trio consists of drummer Jakob Skøtt (Causa Sui), guitarist Nicklas Sørensen (Papir), and bass/guitarist Martin Rude (Sun River), and as Edena Gardens they naturally lock together and jam dreamily with their eyes closed like they never did anything else in their entire lives.

So naturally these jams flow, that even though they are proper improvisations, the band finds themselves synching so similarly live that they perform back to back renditions of their album songs, even while not intending to. It’s like these jams have a will of their own, like water, slowly finding its way no matter what.

Which takes us back to my bath, the warm and soothing experience of Agar that calms the head and frees the spirit to wander where it may. When it comes to jamming, musically, technically, but most of all mindfully, there is no better album this year than this.

And still the water flows! Edena Gardens not only releases its second studio album this month, but also a live recording called Live Momentum that in a sense proves the above made point. The album most iconically features the seventeen minute monster jam Live Momentum, and is followed by a song from the debut album, and a song from the new album Agar.

Weirdo Shrine is proud to be able to premiere the first track Veil, which is a jam on the studio track from Agar, and definitely walks along the same lines. It is a minute shorter, but the ground rules are the same, and it sure makes you wish you were there when they played it. For now, while Edena Gardens does not play your city, it is a perfect substitute though.

But hey, let’s meet the band! It is always good to hear from instrumental bands as they do not have a mouth, and they are reliant completely on the abstract interpretation of their listeners. Edena GardensJakob, Martin, and Nicklas give off the vibe of being pretty happy campers, and why wouldn’t they be? They just released one of the best albums of the year, and they do not feel the need to quit any time soon…

How are you? How has the pandemic period been for Edena Gardens?

Jakob: We’re actually a post-pandemic band! But the pandemic started out just when Martin & I had recorded an improvised conceptual duo album of stand-up bass and drums (The Discipline of Assent) in March 2020, I think everything started shutting down a week after, so I had time to mix it really fast and get it out so the LP was pressed and out in August. That’s crazy fast. We did two more albums in much the same way and felt like we wanted to try something else. But that sort of set the timescale for Edena Gardens as well. It’s a single session from the spring of 2022 of just recording everything and then cutting out the bits that fit. So same approach, but with Nicklas on guitar and Martin on electric Bass & baritone guitar. I always liked the concept of drums and two guitars – a power trio sort of reversing itself and tuning down and out in a way, moving away from the obvious rock cliches into something else. It’s music that’s played live that’s not in a hurry to get anywhere, but that still feels fresh, so t get it quickly done was an element.

Martin: Excactly. The pandemic period has been crazy prolific for me and Jakob’s collaborations. And the interest and relative success of our projects really gave us the confidence to collaborate with people we find inspirational. The Edena Gardens project was proposed to me by Jakob and, I think, Jonas and I jumped at the chance as Papir always has been one of my absolute favourite live bands. Also the format of short intense sessions really lends itself to working during the pandemic as we could meet after testing and get a lot done without too much contact afterwards. With credit to the great work Jakob put into the mixing and producing after the sessions.

Can you introduce yourself, how did you meet, etc? 

Jakob: I play the drums in Causa Sui and run El Paraiso Records with Jonas Munk, who also runs the studio we record in, which is in Odense where I used to live. 

Nicklas: I play guitar in Papir and have done a couple of solo records on El Paraiso as well as a duo record with Jonas Munk. Long time fan of Causa Sui and the label too, so the meeting seemed kind of natural. 

Martin: I am usually a singer/songwriter type playing the guitar and singing. Once upon a time in the Sun River project on El Paraiso records.  But lately I’ve dug deep in my bag of stringed instruments and reinvented myself as more of a bass player/ instrumentalist. Me and Jakob have known each other since the early 2000s through the music scene in Odense and has worked together before on Sun River. And when I had a short stint as a stand-in bassist in Causa Sui we found out we really had a good time grooving together.

What can you tell me about your musical backgrounds?

Jakob: I’ve played the drums since I was 10. I’ve played with the guys in Causa Sui since I was 13, so it’s fun to finally get another group together. I’ve also produced my own music for years. But I’m always trying to learn new stuff, so with this project, producing electric guitars and bass was a first for me.

Nicklas: Although I wanted to be a drummer I got a guitar for christmas around the age of 10 and I started playing in bands and taking lessons in classical guitar. I guess I have been in at least one band since I was 10. Went to study jazz guitar for a while, which didn’t go well. I’ve played in a lot of different constellations, and done a bit of session work here and there, but Papir has been the main project for the last 12 years or so. And well… jamming has always been a big part of the motivation for playing music for me. 

Martin: I started out picking up my mothers short scale bass when I was really young. Maybe 5, and tried to get some tones out of it. I was glued to the bass until I was around 18 when I transitioned to the guitar.  

What does a regular day in your lives look like?

Jakob: Get up, go to work, cook dinner, then in periods when I work on music, label stuff or artwork I dedicate the evenings to that. I always read stuff before I sleep – often multiple books for whatever mood. Currently reading Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead’s autobiography, Bruce Adam’s You’re with Stupid, about his label Kranky & Ursula Le Guin’s Complete Hainish novels, which is some of my favorite sci-fi.

Nicklas: I work 30 hours a week at a library. Been doing that for 16 years now. A regular day would include a walk to the library where I work, and a walk home. I spend most of my time off listening to records, reading if I’m motivated (and sometimes even if I’m not). Currently trying to finish a book about philosophical aesthetics by Danish idea historian Dorthe Jørgensen, pretty difficult stuff as I’m not an academically trained reader. Also reading a book about the Vedic and Buddhist concept of “Dharma”, which is quite interesting.

Martin: I work as a carer for a disabled man. If you have seen “intouchables’ ‘that is pretty much exactly my job. It gives me a lot of free time that I mainly use in my workshop. I’m in between shops right now but usually I spend a lot of time there building furniture and guitars. The rest of the time I spend with my girlfriend, my guitars and my cat.

What is the best thing about Agar?

Nicklas: I like how we tried to let a little more of the obvious rock and more free (rock) influences into the music without trying too hard and without giving up the mellow pace. Don’t know if we succeeded, but I hope so. I also had a real feeling of being “in the zone” a few times when we recorded and listening back I think that feeling is still transmitted through some of the jams, which is not always the case, when you do this kind of improvised music.

Martin: The best thing for this project in general for me is when me and Jakob find some special deep groove, where we can let our minds wander and just enjoy the incredible inventiveness and presence of Nicklas’ playing. It get’s me every time we play together. Also I get an excuse to use some of the weird downtuned guitars in my collection so I can justify having them around.

Where do you live and how does it affect your music?

Jakob: I live in Copenhagen, which means my drums are 200 kilometers away. That’s probably one of the reasons I’ve gotten good at focusing on capturing lots of fresh ideas in the studio and then bringing them home and edit it heavily. That has been my modus operandi for years on both solo and collaboration albums.

Martin: I live in a small town outside of Odense. It is in a really beautiful landscape and lately I’ve been going for long walks in the hills and the forests around where I live, where Edena Gardens seem to be the perfect soundscape. Especially when I’ve walked for miles along an old abandoned railway that runs close by my house.

Who are some contemporary musical heroes of yours?

Nicklas: The term “heroes” has always seemed odd to me when used in a context of music. It’s a bit too fairytale-like or cartoonish, but that’s just my taste. There are of course a lot of musicians and creators of music I admire, too many to be honest. One could be Brian Eno – besides making a lot of fascinating ambient music, I’ve always admired his ability to put thoughts about music, aesthetics and society into words in a way that is easy to understand but doesn’t lack philosophical depth.

Martin: I’ve always been very into african music. And the past good while I really have been digging the “desert blues” scene in Mali and Niger. My go to guys lately have been Bombino and Mdou Moctar, who I think are both masterful guitarists.

Jakob: I also hesitate to have “heroes” these days, there are very people I can cast my entire ship behind, and I’ve always been more into grabbing different aspects from a multitude of different artists, than settle with just a few. I was surprised at how useful Rick Rubin’s book The Creative Act: A Way of Being was at pinning down what it means to be creative in a both very thoughtful yet practical way. 

Edena Gardens live

Can you tell me about how you went about composing and recording songs?

Jakob: Like I mentioned earlier, they’re not really composed, but stuff that we come up with on the spot. The weird thing is that we’ve started playing these things live, and despite there being sort of a loose vibe to it, some of the progressions and ideas are just stuck to the point where we’re playing them similarly each time. It’s not a bad thing, just something we noticed. So we try to throw some roadblocks in there, like “hey let’s do a free jazz part in the middle of the tune, just to empty our heads” sort of thing. But yeah, after the first one we decided that everything should have a “flow” – not actively chasing changes and progressions, but just following whatever happens from a specific idea or concept. Sometimes it goes nowhere, and you just leave that out of the album – and sometimes you make something that’d be really hard to recreate, and that’s the honest nuggets we’re aiming for in a long recording session. 

What are your immediate and long term future plans?

Nicklas: I’ve always been bad at making plans, but I hope to make more music with Edena Gardens in the near future. We do have a concert at the great Esbjerg Fuzztival, which I’m looking forward to. I also have a solo release coming out in May on an American cassette label called Aural Canyon. They release a lot of awesome music, so I feel honored and pretty excited about that. And hopefully we get time to finish the next Papir record this year.

Jakob: I’m currently working on some Causa Sui live albums and London Odense Ensemble, which also has a live LP coming out soon. And yeah playing with those cats again (you call people who play jazz cats, right?). But yeah keep milking this Edena Gardens thing for as much as it can take, it feels like a project with many sides to explore, and it’s an easy flowing thing so it’s not as much about effort as it is in simply making it a priority. Long term, it would be cool to go abroad with the project once the word gets around a bit more.

Martin: Yes, there will definitely be more Edena Gardens in the future. And I’m sure we’ll dip our toes into the jazz scene again soon as well. 

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do after reading this interview?

Jakob: I would recommend a deep dive into the El Paraiso catalogue – it’s kind of a red pill / blue pill thing: there are two playlists on Spotify, one for chilling out and getting mellow and one for the fuzzier explosive side. Take your pick, Weirdo Shrine reader:

Zone out and chill:
Freedom Fuzz party:

Edena Gardens live

Review + Q&A: L’Ira Del BAccano – Cosmic Evoked Potentials (2023, Subsound Records)

Wisdom comes with age. And cosmic wisdom might come with experience and many cosmic travels. Italy’s L’Ira Del Baccano have made many of those travels, they recently returned from another one in their favorite touring country Germany, and their experience shows on this new album.

Having been the same band under various names since the mid 90s, L’Ira Del Baccano have earned their stripes playing progressive instrumental stoner rock, with nods to more psychedelic and weird wanderings. On Cosmic Evoked Potentials they have distilled all their road burning and jamming years into five adventurous stoner jams that burst at the seams with cosmic energy and fresh ideas. It is a versatile space rocket ride with many attractions, and its forty minutes are over before you know it.

It is an album that presents itself majestically, in all its revered experience and musical skill. The production is also drawn up huge and spacious, with plenty of room for weirdo synth freakery, but always with a slowly head banging longhair in mind when it comes to heavy and memorable riffery.

It is clear to this particular psychedelic “head” that with Cosmic Evoked Potentials L’Ira Del Baccano are sharing themselves among the greats of instrumental stoner music. I guess this year, with releases by Rotor, Buddha Sentenza, Clouds Taste Satanic, and this one, we are truly being spoiled!

Alessandro “Drughito” Santori photos by :

Freshly off his tour through Germany, I found main axe man Alessandro Santori more than willing to shoot the shit with Weirdo Shrine about the band, its moniker, his personal musical roots, and a lot more. My personal goal is to drink a beer with this dude and hear him out about all his adventures while touring Europe, but for now, our little internet chat will do just fine too…

How are you? How have you been lately, and how has the pandemic period been for L’Ira Del Baccano?

Ciao to you Jasper and your readers!! I’m tired but very good.. we just came back 6 days ago from the first series of concerts to promote the new album Cosmic Evoked Potentials, that came out on March 3rd on Subsound Records while we were on the road already. We played 9 gigs,mostly in Germany  and it was amazing and almost surreal to be on stages again. The pandemic period has been, as for almost all I presume, very strange and unfortunately for many also hard and painful. To keep it on the musical side the impossibility to go on the road and play shows; in some cases, like here in Italy with the hard lock down the impossibility also to meet for rehearsal, for many weeks, changed the life and path of many bands and musicians. I must say that for L’IRA DEL BACCANO it was a bit  different maybe; because before the start of the pandemic we already faced a huge change with drummer of 16 years having a heart attack and deciding to not tour anymore and just work as drum teacher. That was a monumental change for us because as an instrumental band the bond between instruments it is possibly more “important” and deep than music based on vocals, and also the specific type of songs we play..very long and complex..made it all more scary. In this sense our new drummer Gianluca, a good friend of our ex-drummer and suggested in primis by him, had time thanks to the pandemic stop, to really enter and become part of the band. First learning songs that we played for so many years at that point and then putting his style to the new compositions

Can you introduce yourself, how did you meet, etc, what does the band name mean and does it still 100% apply to you? 

I’m the founder, together with the other guitarist Malerba of the band and L’IRA DEL BACCANO is a continued progression and evolution of a journey we started back in ’94 when the band was called Dark Awake and succesfully Loosin’o’Fequencies from 96 to 2002 and the line up had vocals at that point. As “Loosin'” we recorded and put out a mcd in 98 recorded and produced by the Italian guru of Doom Paul Chain. Later around 2004 after a long time searching for a new singer  we decided to become officially instrumental. To mark the change even more we decided to choose another name and L’IRA DEL BACCANO was an idea by Roberto. Baccano in Italian refers to something loud, noisy but Baccano is the most energetic and vital form of uproarious chaos. It is not simply a loud and continuous noise from bedlam It’s the sound of the overwhelming, participatory party, it’s a human sound. The word comes from Bacco/Bacchus God of wine. Ira is Italian for “wrath” . It’s actually very hard to translate it we could say it means ” The wrath of Baccano “. Our connection with Bacco comes from the fact that the zone out of Rome where we live is a territory of vineyards and wine and close here during the ancient days was huge the worship of Pagan Gods like Bacco or Diana, the Goddess  primarily considered a patroness of the countryside, hunters, and the Moon. We dedicated the cover and all artwork of our 2014 album Terra 42 to Diana.

What can you tell me about your musical backgrounds?

Speaking for myself, I started very young being attracted by music and guitar. Bought my first metal album, Iron Maiden‘s Piece of Mind, when I was 11 and recorded my first demo of original music when I was 14. I’ve always been a very curious person, as kid first, and then teen and man so I see myself still in a never ending evolution of new things to like and be passionate about. fortunately music is still one of these things! I can say that probably a very important passage for my musical background was discovering 3 Bands that changed me as listener and musician: Paradise Lost with the Gothic and Shades of God albums turned me into a fan of slow ,heavy music. Rush‘s live album Exit Stage Left for the progressive side and The Grateful Dead for the “open your mind and jam” side of music.

What does a regular day in your lives look like?

As thousands of other bands we do not live by our music, so in general therms we could say that playing music is still a wonderful hobby for us. Everyone has a regular job. Personally I’m a sound engineer so I stay  in the music field anyway. I think I could say that my regular day turns around the fact to gain money thanx to other musicians..and then later I’ll spend that money as a musician myself for my hobby!!!

What is the best thing about Cosmic Evoked Potentials?

That is out and real!!! really..for all we said before about the pandemic and also for some more personal reasons it feels incredible that the album is out, that it turned out so well and that it seems its not only me thinking this way! Lots of people are enjoying this new one a lot and  almost every day new reviews are coming out and all incredibly good. I really think it’s our best one in terms of songs feeling and what the music seems to transmit. I’m very happy about how this time the mix between all our different influences are balanced with our own distinctive sound and songs structure. It is various and cohesive at the same time as I’ve always wanted our music to be. I want our music to take the listeners by the hands on a trip where they can be surprised sometime on what is coming next, and other times to be secure of something more familiar. Like reading a good book and arrive to the moment of turning the page not knowing if the the story on the other side will continue as expected or a huge plot twist will change the perception of everything. I think Cosmic Evoked Potential is a very good balance in this sense.

Who are some contemporary musical heroes of yours?

Every friend in bands goin  on in the underground scene for the love of create music and possibly bring it on stages for other to enjoy. Those are my heroes today at this point of my life as man and musicians.

Can you tell me about how you went about composing and recording songs differently after the last album?

For Cosmic, after 2 albums recorded in what we could call a traditional recording studio, we went back to our roots and we recorded all live, no metronome , no pre production. I took, together with my work associate in Roaming Sounds Recording, our equipment to an old mansion of late ‘1700 outside Rome. We recorded all the live parts there in 3 days and lots of thing happened actually in those 3 days!!. for example since we had spare time and we started to improvise..months later 14 minutes of that improvisation became the second track of the album ” Genziana ( improvisation 42) ” and with that I decided to take out a song that was ready and arranged before starting the recordings. I learned to keep my mind open and free because when you work a lot and for long time, as musicians and in my case also producer, you can risk to get stuck in your ideas and become inflexible. Genziana was too good to not be on the album even if that meant to take out another one that was in original plan for 2 years at that point.

What are your immediate and long term future plans? 

We hope to be able to promote Cosmic Evoked Potentials as much as we can live on stages around Italy and ourside. As I said we all have jobs etc so we cannot be around for too long time, but we will do our best if hopefully promoters and bookers will be interested to have L’IRA DEL BACCANO in their cities. Another thing that I really hope would be to finally be able to play some festivals around Europe..because as much as I love even the level that we are now, I know very well that to reach a wider audience would be vital to go on a Festival stage and until now we are not been very lucky.

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do after reading this interview?

Well..I can only suggest to try our proposal…and see if they want to start their personal trip with us! But In general, what I really feel to say to your readers curious, always..try new music, new books, new art and so you always will be prepared to be amazed by something in this life, even in a very dark day.

All the best from me and L’IRA DEL BACCANO

photos by :

Review + Q&A: Talea Jacta – Est (2023, Worst Bassist Records/Echodelick Records)

Artwork by Lulu Neudeck

The world of instrumental drone music is not for everyone. It requires perseverance, and adventurous mind, and patience. It is not surprising in the least that many instrumental drone artists are also into mindfulness and/or meditation. For Talea Jacta I am not a 100% sure on restricting the artists involved within this mindset though, as their new album EST definitely does the drone thing (four LPs of it in fact), but it also does a lot more. It makes you move, for one thing.

But let’s introduce this duo first. Talea Jacta is a Porto, Portugal based duo consisting of Pedro Pestana (Tren Go! Soundsystem, 10.0000 Russos) and João Pais Filipe (drummer/percussionist of countless underground projects) from The project called EST is divided into four parts, each giving room for a twenty minute collaboration with a different guest artist.

For side A they chose the company of Belgian drone/noise artist Wendy Mulder (Onrust). It is the droniest track on the album, the claustrophobic soundscapes feeling like being dropped into a wind tunnel and hearing the blades of the turbines slowly rush closer from a great distance. The drums make all of the difference here, rhythmically pumping up the energy and making the whole soundscape come alive. The result is something that could do well as an art installation piece, but also at a dark underground rave party.

For side B Talea Jacta called in the help of 10.000 Russos band member André Couto, who mans the bass and synths on this one. Once again it is a dark affair, a soundtrack to a post apocalyptic wasteland outcome of two planets colliding. The collision is still happening, judging from the huge walls of tectonic percussion that this track throws up. Eventually the music gets more active, and now it is takes us on a wild ride through a HALO-like computer game landscape.

My favorite two tracks on EST are on side C, where the Talea Jacta asked saxophone player Julius Gabriel to join them on a hypnotic journey that starts as a soundscape drone and ends up in a total freak jazz free for all that is both mind boggling and extremely danceable. Ivan The Tolerable could be a good point of reference for this sound, which is a perfect mixture of psychedelic soundscape and freeform jazz rock.

For the final part of this two disc release the duo jammed with Rafael Toral, an extremely prolific and experienced experimental sound artist from Portugal. This track is a maddening ride fuelled by tube channeled lightning through a fun fair park of bleeps, drones and sonic weirdness. Once again the drums play an important part in taking the listener for a wild rollercoaster, leaving us absolutely flabbergasted and windblown behind at the end.

I found Pedro Pestana more than willing to talk to Weirdo Shrine and introduce Talea Jacta, as well as the duo’s personal and musical backgrounds. During the interview it also became a meadow of brilliant easter eggs thrown in, with lots of beautiful new music to discover, so don’t forget to click on those Bandcamp links…

How are you? How has the pandemic period been for Talea Jacta?
Hi! We’re doing fine, thanks for asking. Hope you too! Let’s look at the future, shall we? 

Can you introduce yourself, how did you meet, etc? 
We are Pedro Pestana (guitar, fx & loops) and João Pais Filipe (percussion). Our mutual friends kept telling us for years that we should play together but we only started doing it in 2016 when Favela Discos invited us to play together in a series of improvised concerts they were hosting and after that gig we quickly got the taste of it, that’s for sure. A few months later we went to Marco Lima’s HertzControl Studio to do a live studio recording that ended up as our first release. Unknowingly, the start of the recording session was booked to the same day as the Euro’16 final. Neither Pais or Marco are football fans and but somehow I managed to convince them to watch the game. Ha! And what a game it was! 

Pedro Pestana

What can you tell me about your musical backgrounds?
Where to begin…? We’ve both been playing since our teens and we just entered our 40s so it’s been a while. We got a lot of 90s underground while growing up, I suppose. I started playing the bass and only got a guitar in my mid 20s and I always liked using pedals. Also started looping rather early back in ’04. Didn’t have many bands apart from Tren Go! Sound System and 10 000 Russos and couple of stints with Dreamweapon. Pais has been one of the most sought out drummers in town for a long time. He has played in so many amazing projects it’s hard to keep up to be honest. To name a few, HHY & The Makumbas, Sektor 304, CZN, Paisiel or his collabs with Burnt Friedman. And these are the recent ones. I suppose playing with so many people for so long helped him to develop his particular approach to drumming. 

What does a regular day in your lives look like?
Waking up and smelling the coffee. Or tea. Then I suppose going on about our business. When Pais is not playing, recording or gigging he’s making cymbals, gongs and all sorts of metal percussion. He makes really beautiful and great sounding pieces. On my end, when not gigging, I mostly spend my time between the practice room and my home where I have a small mixing room. 

What is the best thing about EST?
I’d say it’s diversity and what each artist brings to this universe. This is also kind of a document of where we were 5 years ago, when the recordings took place. In a way this timeframe was a turning point for us as musicians. At the time, Pais was developing his horizontal drum kit and focusing more on circular patterns and repetition into what he’d call ethno-techno.  On my end I was working a lot with the mass of sound and enjoying doing non-synched loops just as environmental layers rather than rhythmical ones while still playing on top. 

What can you tell me about the different artists you worked with on this album?
Well, something they have in common is that they are all amazing people! Wendy Mulder, aka Onrust, describes her music as “Tantric techno for the restless”. She brought in environments and textures from field recordings to beats allowing us to explore other zones like ambient and machine-made repetition.

Julius Gabriel plays saxophone and seeks to expand it sonically as much as he can from acoustics, to pedals, amplification, etc. He has by far the most melodic approach of all of the people involved but at the same time he’s a rhythmic behemoth. He has a few solo albums as well as a long list of collaborations.

André Couto plays in Dreamweapon and played in 10 000 Russos from 2014 to 2020. He’s an amazing bass player. I love the way how he texturizes his bass playing in waves. At this time he was transitioning from the bass to an amplified Korg synthesizer coupled with pedals.

Rafael Toral is hard to put in a few short sentences. In the 90s and early 00s he made absolutely stellar albums like Violence of Discovery And Calm Of Acceptance or Aeriola Frequency among others. These were quite influential on me. Later he radically changed his direction with the formation of the Space Program (I hope I don’t get this one wrong), of which Pais was a part of for a while, and it’s more in the realm of free jazz and electronics. In his many years he played with the likes of Lee Ranaldo, Jim O’Rourke, David Toop or Sei Miguel. He brought in a very intuitive way of playing and what we came up with feels like a live animal to me. I hope I made you curious enough to check this lot’s discography.

Who are some contemporary musical heroes of yours?
Instead, can I counter with stuff we saw live recently and really enjoyed? Like Sereias, also from Porto, a visceral live band, or NÂR who just released an album and we saw her play a fantastic set last year at Sailing Stones. 

Can you tell me about how you went about composing and recording songs?
We hosted residencies with each of the artists at Pais’ workshop and then played the results at Maus Habitos, in Porto. Those live sets were recorded and edited to become the album. We had between 3 to 5 days to work with everyone before each gig. It was at the same time refreshing and demanding to adapt to the different people and their musicalities in the context of this band even if we knew them before. The material comes from jams over someone’s suggestion, either a beat, a note, a loop or an accident. With what we discover in those jams we turn it into a structured, albeit not closed, improvisation.

What are your immediate and long term future plans?

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do after reading this interview?
The classic! If you haven’t already, find yourself some time, a nice sofa in front of a nice pair of speakers or headphones and listen to the album.

Pedro Pestana and João Pais Filipe

Review + Q&A: Shem – III (2023, Clostridium Records)

The creative musical machine from Stuttgart, Germany, also known as the human entity of Shem has delivered a brand new slab of improvisational psychedelic sound pulsations. With their third outing, simply baptised III, they prove that good improvisational music is like wine or whiskey; it gets better with age. This makes sense of course, because improvisational music depends on experience, confidence, skill, and of course becoming a well oiled machine together. This album definitely proves Shem‘s machine-like qualities like no release of theirs did before.

On this four song album (two long form pieces, and two shorter tracks) the band presents themselves as an enigmatic device, taking its time to land on your proverbial lawn. Quite literally even, opener Paragate feels like a gigantic space ship slowly coming down, and landing on earth. You can hear the engines throbbing, the weird lights glowing, and the strange spacey noises swirl. Everything grows louder and heavier with every inch the ship gets closer to the ground, until it finally lands with a great thundering finale.

Lamentum is a short intermission from the space rock density that premieres vocals for Shem, in a “lamenting” wordless style that radiates a gloomy and enigmatic atmosphere.

Restlicht is quite a deal longer, and shows a brighter side to Shem, with a feeling you might get when the earth outside is drying after a heavy rainfall. It is a feeling that intensifies, and slowly but certainly something dark interferes, but of course we never know what is is.

The album closer and its piece de resistance is Refugium (Beyond The Gravitational Field Of Time And Space) which brings together all the elements of the tracks that came before, pumps up the gravitas, and slams it out of the park in eleven haunting minutes. It is a dark and frightening experience, with hardly audible ghost chants haunting the echo chambers of your skull while you slowly gyrate towards a wormhole and the galactic location that the title of the song suggests. It is a space ritual if there ever was one, a shamanic mantra fest that drives its reverberations deep into your subconscious and makes you radiate with it even long after it has ended.

Visualization by Dave Guerrero

How are you? How has the pandemic period been for Shem?

Hi Jasper! We’re all good, thanks!

The pandemic period has mostly been good to us on a personal level. With the world arround us slowing down, we took the chance to re-focus and take things one step at a time: Some of us moved places, others worked on their education and so forth. Also, the pandemic allowed us to finish production on a lot of the material already recorded before the lockdown. All in all a very productive period that we are probably more fond of than most people. In a way, Corona also acted as a natural caesura regarding this project: Shem before and after the pandemic – a turning point which lead to new people joining the collective and new music being created through these collaborations.

Can you introduce the band, how did you meet, etc?

Most of us have known each other since school. The rest of us joined one by one along the trip through a shared musical interest and like-mindedness. We don’t think of Shem as a static band but rather as a collective of musicians that have gathered around a “core” line-up, varying in size, instrumentation and sound for different recordings and performances.

What can you tell me about your musical backgrounds?

Music has always played a very important role to each of us, with our formative musical experiences being shaped by what was being played in our parents homes – ranging from classical music to late 60s psych, 70s prog and the sounds of the 80s. The sound of our adolescence was mostly made up of metal, punk, rap, heavy-psych and stoner rock, with each of us exploring various genres throughout the years. All of us eventually started playing instruments – some tought through classical education, others purely through autodidacticism. 

A couple of years into our 20’s we mutually discovered the Krautrock greats of the 70s and started exploring the different fields of psychedelic, experimental and improvised music. Combined with an insatiable hunger for new musical discoveries, we decided to start improvising ourselves and before we knew it we already had our first couple of hours worth of material recorded – a lot of which now bring back vivid memories of spaced out weekends in our first practice space, not a care in the world and just jamming along to whatever motive, rhythm or bass line one of us would come up with.

What does a regular day in your lives look like?

We live pretty regular lives: Working, studying and trying to create as much room as possible for our musical endeavours in between the every-day hustle.

What is the best thing about the new album?

For us, it is to realise that our musical path is always evolving and constantly reshaping. Since it’s impossible for us to predict how people will perceive the new album, we are indeed curious to hear what others will particularly like or don’t like about it.

Where do you live and what is the environment like for musicians like you?

Some of us live on the southern edge of the black forest. The dark and misty woods there are a huge inspiration and also serve a place to find calmth and focus. The rest of us live in Stuttgart, South-West Germany, where a lot of bands and musicians struggle because of a dire lack of subcultural places and infrastructure – caused by what can only be described as a systematic attempt by the city council and their cronies to erase any sort of counter-cultural independence. 

It is called “Kaputtgart” (a word-play on Stuttgart and the German word for broken) for a reason. But, as they say: “Necessity is the mother of invention”. A lot of off-spaces are constantly being created by dedicated groups of people before being forced to shut down again most of the time. Luckily, we as a collective have secured a space which allows us to continue our work on Shem and related projects – one of the advantages of operating in relatively secluded area, „off the radar“ so to speak.

Can you tell me what improvisation means to Shem, and do you have tips for starting bands who would like to improvise more?

Improvisation to us means to free ourselves from any kind of expectations, to explore our gut-feelings and to reach a mutual understanding through music and sound as the only means of communication. For us, it’s a form of meditation and a cathartic rite of liberation at the same time.

As for some tips for anyone who would like to improvise more: Start with an open mind. Don’t let yourselves be framed by pre-determined ideas and “goals”. And don’t overdo it – take adequate breaks, let your creativity “recharge”, look out for new inspiration and be patient with the eventual outcome of things. 

Where does the sound come from? Can you take us to some of your inspirations? 

All of us have a wide range of influences that seem to shine through in our sound – be it psych, Krautrock, experimental music, jazz or even sludge or black metal. However, most of the time we are not really aware of how specific sounds and ideas come together to end up as a whole . We don’t think too much about how we do what we do in the way we do it. We just let things happen. And we are a bunch of weirdos – that might help. As for musical inspirations: The list would be endless and impossible to adequately prioritise.

What are your immediate and long term future plans?

Get rich or try dying – just kidding. This year we are planning to play more live shows and finish up the production on the next couple of releases – everything will eventually take longer than expected, as is always the case with our projects, but that’s something we have gotten used to by now. 

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do after reading this interview?

Perhaps check out our new album or any of the other releases that are presented on Weirdo Shrine! There is an endless stream of music out there that deserves to be discovered and cherished, and by taking the time to unearth some of these hidden gems you are doing an incredibly valuable job. Thank you Jasper!

Ein Bild, das Phase, drinnen, Szene, Raum enthält.

Automatisch generierte Beschreibung

Review + Q&A: Clouds Taste Satanic – Tales Of Demonic Possession (2023, Majestic Mountain Records)

Before we all streamed our heads off, and made fancy playlists, most of the real underground stoners found themselves immersed in YouTube channels. Channels with illusive names like 666MrDoom, Mr Stonebeliever, and The Bong Druid Of Mammoth Weed Mountain worked as a gateway for underground rock and metal bands, sometimes even lifting them up from obscurity and into a record label and live gigs. In that YouTube world you saw there was a penchant for long instrumental bands, who gained most views. Could it be that the long instrumentals were good for studying, reading, LAN parties, or binge drinking and therefore ended up on endless playlists? Who knows, all I know is that Clouds Taste Satanic was often on them.

Strangely enough it took them until this album Tales Of Demonic Possession, even though they have been steadily releasing album for quite some time now. Staying true to their original blueprint, the album consists of four long form tracks, all good for at least one LP’s side. What you see is what you get is pretty much the adagium here, with four dudes just riffing their asses off for almost eighty minutes, guitars, bass, and drums blazing.

Like all good instrumental music, it is music a listener can get lost in, making up their own story as they dive in each of the four rabbit holes presented here. Each song presenting new opportunities for mind travelling, no matter which other visuals or stimulants your are simultaneously using. Clouds Taste Satanic, like bands such as Rotor, Bismut, and Karma To Burn add a fifth dimension to it all; life experience, and the machine-like click of these four individuals as they have found the muscle memory to do this instrumental stoner thing right. They are as reliable source as you can find for this part of the heavy music spectrum, and hopefully will be in the years to come. Majestic Mountain Records have done themselves and the world a favour signing them!

I talked to CTS’s Steven Scavuzzo, a founding member and guitarist in the band. He was more than happy to add some words to their instrumental state of existence. We talked about line up changes, musical heroes, and their future plans.

How are you? How has the pandemic period been for Clouds Taste Satanic?

Well, thank you.  The pandemic period was very productive for Clouds Taste Satanic.  We were able to record and release the Cloud Covered album including vinyl and we did quite a bit of writing for the new record, Tales of Demonic Possession.  It was also a big influence on the music itself.

Can you introduce yourself, how did you meet, etc?

I’m Steve Scavuzzo and I play guitar.  Brian Bauhs also plays guitar. Greg Acampora plays drums and Rob Halstead plays bass.  I started the band in 2013 and the other guys joined over the course of a few years.  Brian was an acquaintance of our former bass player so that’s how he found out we were looking for another guitarist.  Greg and Rob replaced other players as well.  They have played together for years in various bands so it was a natural fit.

What can you tell me about your musical backgrounds?

All of us have played in other bands before.  All pretty much rock influenced to one degree or another.  We all may have had a few lessons to get going but for the most part learned our respective instruments by doing.  No prodigies.

What does a regular day in your lives’ look like?

Everyone works day jobs.  We practice once a week but so many additional hours are spent addressing everything else it takes to be a band that puts out albums and plays shows.  The more ambitious you are, the more work involved.  Up until Tales we put all our other albums out ourselves so you could say we run a record label as well.  Tales is our first album on a label, Majestic Mountain Records.

What is the best thing about Tales Of Demonic Possession?

What I like best is the ambition.  When we started writing during the pandemic I had visions of it being a triple record (6 twenty-minute songs).  We had already done a double album with The Glitter of Infinite Hell so it really seemed doable to go even bigger.  For logistical reasons that idea proved to be a little overly ambitious but in the future, who knows?

Who are some contemporary musical heroes of yours?

Sleep, Earth, Pelican, Russian Circles, Bongripper.  There are countless contemporary bands we love but these five, aside from the music, established band templates that we followed to various degrees from the beginning and continue to follow.

Can you tell me about how you went about composing and recording songs differently after the last album?

There was a conscious attempt to write more as a band during the creative process.  Instead of one person bringing in a completed song and then the band picking it apart and reworking parts and the arrangement, everyone was encouraged to write more and also to create more parts spontaneously during practice.  Full band participation in the writing and arranging has increased year after year.  We’ve taken it even farther with the next album which we start recording in March.  We all believe it has made for better songs and a more enjoyable creative process.

What are your immediate and long term future plans?

Tonight we have a gig at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn opening up for The Obsessed.   In March we begin recording our next album.  In May we go to Europe for a week of gigs including the Esbjerg Fuzztival in Denmark and in September we are playing DesertFest NYC.  In between we are going to try to squeeze in the recording of a few Christmas songs.

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do after reading this interview?

Check out our Bandcamp Page.  See if we sound like what you are into.  Even if we don’t, it’s great music for folding laundry.

Review + Q&A: The Black Cat’s Eye – The Empty Space Between A Seamount And Shock​-​Headed Julia (2023, Tonzonen Records)

When you start out your debut album with a twenty minute instrumental song I think it is safe to say you have some Godzilla size balls. Germany’s The Black Cat’s Eye make it clear from the start that they do not give a damn about their reputation, or about conventions. They do exactly what they feel like doing, just like the cats that lend their eyes for the band’s moniker.

Whether it is the weird sentence of the title, the unpredictability of the songs, or the strange artwork, even before you’ve heard a note of music it is clear that there is something special going on here. Most importantly though; there is some very good music on here too. Opener Kill The Sun And The Moon And The Stars is a Pandora’s box of beautiful secrets for latter day Pink Floyd fans, with an instrumental palette that unfolds itself majestically for twenty plus minutes without boring the listener for a second.

But there is more. On the other half of this shiny blue vinyl platter The Black Cat’s Eye proves they have more sides to them. There is Porcupine Tree echoing songwriting, soothing vocal harmonies, and expert musicianship. It is striking to note that whether the band decides to use vocals hardly seems to matter when it comes to the entertainment value.

The Empty Space Between A Seamount And Shock​-​Headed Julia is a quirky and impressive debut album that defies all logic and comes out on top winning. Adventurous prog and psych heads better watch out!

I talked to Jens Cappel (bass) and Christian Glaser (multi-instrumentalist and vocals) of the band. They kindly and elaborately informed me about their ways, from their various contemporary influences, to the way they created their enigmatic debut album.

How are you? How has the pandemic period been for The Black Cat’s Eye?

Thank you, we’re doing fine. During the pandemic we spent most of the time with our families, watching mediocre up to  good tv series, having long walks, but also working on compositions for the band. Many of the ideas for the songs on the album were already written before the pandemic. We didn’t play any online concerts, because in our opinion it needs two poles for a real concert experience: Band and audience.

Can you introduce the band, and how did you meet?

Jens and Christian had the most special first meeting:

Jens: “Oli, in whose studio we finally did our first recordings in 2018, had linked us. For our first get-together we wanted to meet at his studio. However, Jens and I were then faced with a closed door at the agreed time. Oli had already finished his workday and forgotten about us (apart from that, Oli is a very reliable guy ;). So we had to look for another place and ended up at the side of a forest nearby, where we chatted endlessly about our favourite bands having a beer or two and found out that we liked the same bands and musicians.”

But first things first:
Christian: “The beginnings of the band go back to 2016. At that time my two children had left the cradle and I had more time to bring ideas to life that I had had in mind for a long time. The years before I was guitarist for the Hamburg singer-songwriter Robert Carl Blank, recorded several albums with him, toured and played concerts. In 2016, I finally had more free time to work on compositions for an own band project. Wolfi is a long-time friend of mine, he was the first person I asked to join. Steffen, on the other hand, is a good friend of Wolfi’s. We have met from time to time at parties and jammed together, he was the second to join. And finally I came to know Stefan and Jens through recommendations from music colleagues.”

A special thing about the band is the line-up with three electric guitars, played by Wolfi, Steffen and Christian. Jens is the bass player, Stefan plays drums. Our music is mainly instrumental. Christian is doing the singing on some of the songs. Apart from that, he is the one who does the compositions and arrangements for the band. The mastermind of the band, so to speak.

What can you tell me about your musical backgrounds?

Our musical roots are wide ranged. From metal, jazz, indie and psychedelic rock to avant-garde and modern classical music. The guitarists all studied classical and jazz guitar at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts (Hochschule für Musik Frankfurt) at separate times. Steffen is now a guitar teacher there as well. Stefan studied jazz drums. Our bass player Jens has no academic musical background, but is nevertheless a fantastic bass player and very creative musician who has played in many interesting bands since his teens, and has been active as a musician throughout.

What does a regular day in your lives look like?

With three of us (Christian, Wolfi and Jens) having families with young kids, our day usually starts with making breakfast and taking the kids to kindergarten or school. Or taking a check on their fever and putting out a puke bucket (those are the days we would rather do without :)) Jens works in a regular job. The others are full-time musicians, teaching their instruments and playing gigs with various other projects. Steffen, for example, is involved in numerous projects in the modern classical scene, such as the Ensemble Modern (which has worked with Frank Zappa and Steve Reich, among others). Stefan has several other band projects. Christian does the main work for the band. Besides the compositions he also does the graphics, social media, and booking.

What is the best thing about the new album?

To have put the album together with limited means. We only had a small budget, and for reasons of time and money we recorded the basic tracks live with the whole band in two days. Of course you need a bit of luck and a good hand. And you also need good musicians and sound engineers who can achieve the best possible results in a very short time.
We are happy that on 24.03.23 the album will finally be released on vinyl, and that with Tonzonen Records we have a very ambitious label behind us. 

Where do you live and what is the environment like for musicians like you?

We all live in Frankfurt am Main. Frankfurt and the Rhein-Main area are quite good places to be active as a musician. Frankfurt has only about 760.000 permanent residents. But other cities like Offenbach, Mainz, Wiesbaden and Darmstadt are only a few kilometres away. A great breeding ground for new projects and networking. Unfortunately Frankfurt in particular has very few gig venues for underground bands. And there are even fewer after Covid.

Who are some contemporary musical heroes of yours?

Jens is a huge Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and The Mars Volta fan. We also like Motorpsycho and other bands related to this genre. Chris loves the music of Pink Floyd and King Crimson since his teenage years. 

Recent music we’ve come across:

Baulta: A Finnish post rock band with a beautiful spherical and wide sound. 

Thundercat: Very wild prog/jazz/funk. 

Airbag: They sound like Pink Floyd at The Division Bell stage

Mono Neon: Freaky and cool funk music. 

Bruit≤: A great French post rock project. Check out their videos.

But there are also a lot of interesting bands on the Tonzonen label: Gong Wah is a pretty cool rock band. Glasgow Coma Scale is playing some awesome post rock.

Can you tell me about how you go about composing and recording songs?

Christian is the one who composes and arranges the music. He sets the musical direction. His demos are quite developed when he presents them to the band, and many of the drum grooves and guitar riffs are already set very precise. The demos are worked out on the computer. Except for the programmed drums, all demos are recorded with real instruments. For official releases we want the music sounding in the best possible way. That’s why The Black Cat’s Eye tends to release rather less material than worse recorded material.

What are your immediate and long term future plans?

It would be great to make more recordings and albums with this line-up in the future. But for now it’s about playing shows and promoting the record.

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do after reading this interview?

They should immediately listen to Keiji Haino‘s “My lord Music, I most humbly beg your indulgence in the hope that you will do me the honour of permitting this seed called Keiji Haino be planted within you“, repeat the Album title a hundred times and then fall asleep…

Oh, but first check out the Tonzonen web-shop for interesting releases from other bands on the label.

Review + Q&A: Buddha Sentenza- High Tech Low Life (2023, Pink Tank Records)

Buddha Sentenza does not play it hard to get on their new album High Tech Low Life. From the the get go album opener Oars puts it all out there, everything that makes this band so freaking awesome in nine glorious minutes. The Heidelberg, German instrumental band consists of five individuals, each wearing their distinct influences on their sleeves. On Oars you can hear it in an energetic culmination of heavy metal, prog rock, punk, space rock, and soundtrack atmospheres. It is in-your-face-heavy, virtuoso, but has its subtle moments as well where guitarist B.B. Blacksheep shines on violin.

video for Ricochet

There is a strong sense of joy emanating from the album. A more commercial band might opt for a more uniform sound perhaps, but you can hear these guys are bored easily. Not a minute is the same, and the songs gallop in all kinds of different directions from double bass drum trigger happy to epic fantasy movie soundscapes. Buddha Sentenza does what they want, and they sound thrilled doing it.

By being stubborn and sticking to their own values they have created a thing of their own that is hard to relate to anything else going on at the moment. I will give it a shot. Within the instrumental rock/metal spectrum they might be closer to a band like Long Distance Calling then to many of the more improvisational jam bands out there, but there are some Farflung-related space rock parts as well (synthesizers from outer space). They are not quite as technical as Animals As Leaders (they definitely don’t “djent” -thank buddha-), but they make up plenty by being adventurous and original. Ultimately though, Buddha Sentenza is their own beast. High Tech Low Life is a unique album of five gifted musicians doing what they love, and doing it right.

I talked to drummer Tom “Jesus Malverde” of the band about their new album, the place they are from, and contemporary influences. If anything, he definitely is as passionate about music as he sounds like drumming.

How are you? How has the pandemic period been for Buddha Sentenza?

The conditions for small underground acts and event organizers were already tough before the pandemic. This situation became even worse, but we don’t want to complain, we still keep on doing what we love.

Can you introduce the band, and how did you meet?

We met as students at the University of Heidelberg who enjoyed playing as a jam project together, just directly what came in our minds. Time after time we began to develop more complex song structures, but still integrate jam parts till this day.

What can you tell me about your musical backgrounds?

We have different musical backgrounds. I played in a punk band before, the guitar players are more into metal, the bassist played garage/indy rock and the keyboarder is a prog head.

What does a regular day in your life look like?

I work mainly as a drum teacher in a music school, but beside that I also run a small screenprint business and organize underground shows.

What is the best thing about High Tech, Low Life (and what does the title mean)?

The title is an hommage to an old friend of us called Ombo. He was a homeless man who lived a while in our rehearsal complex. He was a connoisseur of the art of living, a bohemian and a hedonist. He was the perfect example of a man living in a modern world but really reflected his needs and was satisfied with the little property he got and showed us that you don‘t need much to be happy.He was also an artist, who used everyday garbage to create partial complex art. That impressed us.

Where do you live and what is the environment like for musicians like you?

We live in Heidelberg, Germany, but originally I came from a small village where you had no options to do music and art and stuff. So we where forced to create our own entertainment by going in the fields with an generator and played from the back of a tractor trailer. We‘re used to create our own creative environment. We like the idea that you don‘t just consume culture. Create culture yourself and live the D.I.Y. spirit. If the environment doesn‘t fit your needs, start getting active yourself.

Who are some contemporary musical heroes of yours?

Mhhh, I‘m not the hyping type of guy and no fan of big names. I prefer people doing their stuff without any intentions of getting rich and famous. So I would recommend the underrated artists. To drop some Names however: Oma Hans, Nekropsi, Clutchy Hopkins, Dakh Daughters, Neptunian Maximalism, The Budos Band, Dead Quiet, Daniel Higgs, Matt Eliott.

Can you tell me about how you go about composing and recording songs?

Sometimes we just start jamming and arrange the occured parts we like the most. Sometimes one of the guitar players develop a basic structure and then we add instrument after instrument to it until all of us played a part. It‘s quite grass roots democracy based.

What are your immediate and long term future plans?

Playing Shows, releasing more music, meeting interessting people, having a good time.

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do after reading this interview?

In general support your local underground, visit shows, buy some merch or start beeing creative yourself. In particular visit our bandcamp Site or check out some Videos on Youtube we did and maybe leave a comment.

Dead Meadow- Force Form Free (2022, Blues Funeral Recordings)

I am quite late with this write up about the latest album by US psych rock heroes Dead Meadow. To be honest, I was waiting for a response to my interview questions. However I decided that we as listeners perhaps did not need too many words from the band, as they themselves also mostly let their instruments speak for them on Force Form Free.

On their debut album for Blues Funeral Records Dead Meadow dive into their own riffs so incredibly and completely that it seems like guitarist Jason Simon just forgets to start singing entirely, fully immersed as he is in letting that riff wash over himself again, and again. At least that’s the impression on opener The Left Hand Path.

The Lure Of The Next Peak shows Dead Meadow’s wacky side, in a beautiful pastoral jam with a dancing wah wah pedal. On the third song Valmont’s Pad the heavy distortion returns on another quite merry tune that feels like a stroll in the countryside. Still no vocals though.

The vocals and lyrics only show up on To Let The Time Go By, a mostly acoustic affair with Simon’s characteristic lazy just out of bed vocal delivery dreamily accompanying the soothing tunes. Only he can sing it like The Black Keys just fell head first in a huge tub of jello, it’s quite magnanimous and heady.

And then it’s on to some more heavy jamming with revved up amplifiers and a ton of fuzz. Title track Force Form Free hits it off with a nice long build up that pretty much keeps on building and layering until the very end, leaving you with one more jam left. It’s the mighty Binah, that brings everything that makes this record awesome together and even adds some vocals.

But I’ll leave the comments for it to the legendary producer Steve Albini, who says it better than anyone here:

“Dead Meadow have laid down god’s own riffs over the years but the guitar solo that blankets the last four minutes of “Binah” from the new piece is a psychedelic chemical so pure I would drop it into my eyes from a pipette and stare at the stars.”

Put that in your pipe and smoke it Dead Meadow. You done did it again.

Review + Q&A: Fabriccio De la Mora- Entropy Death (2022, Echodelick Records, Dirty Filthy Records)

Instrumental music takes me to the movies. When there is no story told by a lyricist it is up to the mind to put images to the wordless music. In case of Fabriccio de La Mora (also check out his previous album) this is a very easy thing to do. He loves sci-fi and horror and the mixture of the two genres. David Cronenberg and Stuart Gordon are his celluloid heroes. So if titles like Robo Warrior, Bride Of Re-Animator, Dead Ringers, or Scanner mean anything to you, you’d be able to summon these images as well.

The music is often up tempo and oppressive, with a stifling eerie feel to most of these tracks. Synth effects warp up the sci-fi feel, while the guitars do most of the talking. It is like de La Mora and his band have watched a lot of flicks with speedy space ships and intense pursuit scenes while creating their jams. The guitars howl, the drums thunder, the riffs maul the listener in seemingly endless repetition…it is definitely not kraut rock for the hippie generation.

Steampunks and 80s VHS watching sci-fi nerds should however definitely take heed. Entropy Death might summon up a bunch of unseen movies they might enjoy…

I talked to Fabriccio de La Mora, who dialed in from his hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico. It is amazing how popular culture can connect people allover the world, as my music listening head was fully emerged in the sci -fi world and unsuspecting of its Earthly origins. It is a sign once again that music is universal, and a language we all speak fluently.

How are you? How has the past year been for you as a musician?
All good! Pretty chill actually. Been mostly composing and recording and mixing and making art and all that good stuff.

Can you introduce yourself?
I’m Fabriccio De la Mora. I’m 33 and I’m an artist from Guadalajara, Mexico. 

What can you tell me about your musical background?
My dad is a musician. He plays acoustic guitar since he was a teenager, but he couldn’t pursue a full-on music career because my mom got pregnant when they were both young. So me and my brothers and my sister lived in a musical environment, listening mostly to latin american ballads, son cubano and some rock classics of course. All of my brothers got to choose their favorite instruments, and I started playing drums when I was 12, which I sold later at 15 to get my first electric guitar. I played in a few bands. Been playing both guitar and drums since then. I went to art uni later and took a few experimental sound classes there, so that gave me that part of my background. I started a project called Par Asito in 2010 as a solo project, mostly to release noises I recorded independently. That project grew into a heavy psych band that still exists today. I started my solo project on 2019, and I released my first 2 albums this year. I play this solo work with my friends Bubu, Ratita, Fausto, and my cousin Buki.

What does a regular day in your life look like?
I usually wake up to read. Currently digging William Gibson. I’m a software engineer so I usually spend most of my day programming and by the end of the day I take an hour or two to work on music, but I’m currently on sabbatical so my day to day is quite different. Right now I’m mostly working on either art or music. I’m currently working on some art pieces involving circuit boards, I’m also mixing my 4th solo album which I plan to release on the latter half of 2023, and I just started working on my fifth album. I’m also a fan of old electronics and media so I go out thrice a week to flea markets to see what treasures I can find. I just found a working Powerbook 520 that works perfectly well.

What is the best thing about Entropy Death?
I feel like that album came out straight from the gut. I think there’s a lot of coherence between the conceptualization of the tracks and what is expressed sonically in them. I also think my friends and I did a good job recording it. Overall it feel like a solid art piece.

Where do you live and what is the environment like for musicians like you?
I live in Guadalajara. There’s lost of bands. They mostly don’t last more than one EP. People don’t seem to like spending more than $100 MXN (around $5 USD) on a local band. Some of the older bands I’ve played along for years seem a bit desperate now to get signed, so they come up with these goofy sounding silly looking side projects. Local venues are now being extorted by the cartels. I would say it is mostly not fun.

What is your main aim with your music, is it complete artistic expression, or an escape from the every day world? (or something else ;))
My main aim to create a body of work full of futuristic alien landscapes worthy of Stuart Gordon and David Cronenberg movies.

Can you tell me about how you go about composing and recording songs? And what is the main difference from last time around?
I started composing Grand Unified Theories on the guitar and then moved to the rest of the layers. I started Entropy Death on the drums and moved my way up. I just play until something interesting comes up and then I work on it. Usually takes a week per track. Once I have around 40 minutes I call the friends I work with and record things properly at home. I like having someone else mixing and mastering it.

What are your immediate and long term future plans?
Short term I could really use some help booking some cool shows. As far as the future goes, I have no idea.

What should the Weirdo Shrine reader do after reading this interview?
Go watch From Beyond by Stuart Gordon.
From Beyond (trailer)