Byl Zamechen... — Stalo Yeshcho Tol'ko Khuzhe (It Got Even Worse)
(Robustfellow, 2016, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2016-08-19
The warning label on the package says “lo-fi noise” and “stoner” — I swear somewhere there was a sticker that said “sludge” or something like that. I’m speaking metaphorically, of course, since this was a download and not a physical object. What this Ukrainian band does is a bit harder to pin down than the tags used on their Bandcamp page. There’s definitely an element of psych to it, with long-running riffs and trippy effects. Though in this case, the dominant effect is plain old distortion rather than endless echoes or phase shifting. Sometimes the noise takes on a droning quality something like a didjeridu, over which other parts are arrayed. As for the “lo-fi” label, I would say that while there’s a lot of distortion, it’s mostly distortion in the source material, not distortion from lo-fi recording techniques. In addition to guitar, bass, and drums, a couple of tracks feature saxophone, and there are bits of keyboard here and there, including some nice overdriven organ on “Shifroval.” This track consists of several sections of differing tempo, some of which are fairly fast, with “ba-ba” backing vocals like a twisted 60s go-go tune. Further drifting away from stoner rock, there is the track “V Odin Konets,” which is ten minutes of nearly formless meandering, with erratic percussion, chanting, and a freakout on what sounds like a wooden flute. On the whole, Byl Zamechen is noisier than a lot of psych bands coming out of the US, England, and Scandinavia, but nowhere near as abrasive as Hijokaidan. They’re adding a lot of varied elements into their sonic stew, many of which are nearly overwhelmed by the mass of fuzz coming out of the guitar amp. As it is, they’re producing some interesting music, but with a little sonic restraint, they could be doing something really special.
Related artist(s): Byl Zamechen...
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more