Los Angeles, CA – After suiting up as the Space Gypsy in 2013, blasting off on an epic Space Fusion Odyssey in 2015 and enjoying Life In Space in 2017, pioneering musician/songwriter Nik Turner is now set to venture to the outer reaches of space rock with his awe-inspiring new studio album The Final Frontier! Picking up where his last album left off, Turner brings another set of psychedelic freak-out grooves that will take listeners on a journey they won’t soon forget! Standout tracks include the album opener “Out Of Control,” a super-collider of rollicking psych rock that unites saxophone and guitar in spectacular fashion, and the dramatic space ballad “Interstellar Aliens.” Once again joining our intrepid traveler Turner is Nicky Garratt of UK Subs and Hedersleben, Jürgen Engler of Die Krupps, and Jason Willer of UK Subs and Jello Biafra’s band as well as special guest appearances by Hawkwind alumni Simon House and Paul Rudolph. Available on CD in a digipak case as well as a gorgeous limited-edition yellow vinyl in a gatefold jacket! The Final Frontier will be in stores everywhere starting March 8.
Fans of Atmospheric Prog Rock will have something to look forward to on the 3rd of May, because that’s the date that Karisma Records will release “A Storm is Coming”, the latest album from BJORN RIIS, also known as the co-founder, songwriter and lead guitarist of Norwegian Prog Rockers AIRBAG.
And, as a taster of what’s to come, Karisma have today released “Icarus”, a single of a track from the album, and about which Riis had this to say:
“Icarus”is based on a chord progression that I had lying around, and which seemed to fit the more stripped down, rock production that I had in mind for the new album. The title refers to the old Greek tale about Icarus flying too close to the sun and getting burned. This hubris is translated to a relationship between two people where one is constantly being burned for trying too much.
I’m very proud of the vocals on this one and I think we managed to create a sound that’s, at least for me, a bit different to what I’ve done on previous albums. “Icarus” features Henrik Bergan Fossum (AIRBAG) on drums and Kristian Hultgren (WOBBLER) on bass.
A follow up to 2017’s critically acclaimed “Coming Home” MLP, “A Storm is Coming” will be the third full-length album from Riis, and promises to be heavier, but at the same time more tender, than his previous releases. It is formed of six epic songs, clocking in at 51 minutes, and is built around the central themes of human relations and loss, written as a dialogue between two people.
Recorded at the Subsonic Society in Oslo, and majestically combining the art of rock, prog and atmospheric pop, “A Storm is Coming” was mixed by long-time collaborator Vegard Kleftås Sleipnes, and mastered by Jacob Holm-Lupo (WHITE WILLOW, THE OPIUM CARTEL).
In addition to Bjørn Riis on vocals, guitars and a wide variety of instruments, the album features performances by Henrik Bergan Fossum (AIRBAG) on drums, Simen Valldal Johannessen (OAK) on keys, Ole Michael Bjørndal on guitar, and Mimmi Tamba on guest vocals.
With artwork by Asle Tostrup, tracklisting on “A Storm is Coming” is as follows:
1 When Rain Falls 2. Icarus 3. You And Me 4. Stormwatch 5. This House 6. Epilogue
“A Storm is Coming” will be available in Digisleeve CD, Digital, and two different vinyl formats, which include a limited edition, one-time-only pressing on marble vinyl with an alternative portrait album cover, and a standard black vinyl version. All formats are now available to pre-order from the following:
BJORN RIIS’ next live appearance will be on the 17 May at the three-day Terra Incognita Festival in Quebec, Canada, where fellow Karisma Records label-mates AIRBAG and OAK are also scheduled to perform.
Long Island, New York – Aussie-American acoustically driven rock ‘n’ roll quintet THE WALK-A-BOUT hail from the artistic East End of Long Island, New York. THE WALK-A-BOUT released their sophomore album THINGS ARE LOOKING UP, produced by Andrew Michael Bertrand and mastered by Roger Lian, in stores and online worldwide on June 15, 2018. A limited edition 180-Gram Red Splatter Vinyl is also available exclusively on their website.
Since the album’s release THE WALK-A-BOUT has achieved massive radio success, consistently landing in Top 20 charts alongside artists such as Paul McCartney, Jeff Tweedy, Mumford & Sons, Death Cab for Cutie, Sharon Van Etten, and Jackie Greene. THINGS ARE LOOKING UP is currently at #12 on Roots Music Radio’s Alternative Rock Chart. The singles “Consequences” and “By My Side” each broke the Top 10 RMR Alternative Rock Chart, and the single “That’s Just The Way It Goes” reached #13. The video for that song had play on over 75 broadcast outlets throughout the summer and early fall of 2018.
Hit singles from the album are receiving support from incredible radio stations across the US including: KFAI in Minneapolis, MN; KKFI in Kansas City, MO; KPFT in Houston, TX; KAOS in Olympia, WA; KRUX in Las Cruces, NM; KXUA in Fayetteville, AK; WERU in East Orland, ME; WKKL in West Barnstable, MA; KDHX in St. Louis, MO; WFWM in Frostburg, MD; KAFM in Grand Junction, CO; KSER in Seattle, WA; WTCC in Springfield, MA; WPKN in New Haven, CT; WHFR in Dearborn, MI; the internet station TME.FMRadio; and even CJAM in Ontario, Canada.
The band’s carefully crafted songwriting has allowed THE WALK-A-BOUT to explore the outer reaches of the orchestral atmosphere, and their dynamic new collection explores that avenue with a welcome pop appeal while maintaining their depth and introspection. Members of THE WALK-A-BOUT have worked with the likes of Bill Ortiz (Santana), Vince Welnick (The Tubes, The Grateful Dead), renowned jazz saxophonist David Murray, Earl “Chinna” Smith (Bob Marley and The Wailers), and Grammy winning film composer Alex Wurman. With something in their catalogue for every mood, whether it is a smooth island vibe, a high-stepping funk feel, or straight hard-driving rock, their music is visceral, emotional, fun, and easy.
After self-realized string master Kevin Anderson had composed a growing catalog of guitar vignettes over several years, fate brought him together with Australian singer/songwriter, blues harpist, and didgeridoo player Darren “Sully” Sullivan. Sully was the perfect songwriting partner to translate Kevin’s vision into the lyrical domain, and they began working together in the fall of 2015. At that time, as part of a crew on a ship, Sully penned his lyrics for the material while sailing around the world. He applied his very special brand of wordsmithing, creating imagery for Kevin’s original titles that spanned a wide range of subjects from heartbreak, to soul-searching, adventure, to introspection, to even the simple concept of enjoying being alive, permeating each musical piece with a special energy.
THE WALK-A-BOUT lineup moved closer to completion with a chance introduction to career drummer/producer Drew Bertrand in December 2015. Drew quickly acknowledged the unique nature of Kevin and Sully’s writing and began sculpting arrangements and cadence for every song, carefully recognizing the distinct identity of each piece. Dave Christian, a longtime musician friend of Drew’s, quickly fell in love with their sound; he expressed interest in working together, and the subsequent sessions proved that Dave’s vocal and electric guitar contributions were ingredients that rounded out the sound on all the material the band had been recording and performing live.
THINGS ARE LOOKING UP is the second album from THE WALK-A-BOUT and was primarily conceived in the studio during pre-production, with the songs on the record representing the momentum that the band was feeling during the time. The essence of urgency within the album was derived from this unique way of developing the record, and is reflected in the undeniable energy of the release. Already in the studio writing their next release with their new virtuosic bass player Keenan Zach, THE WALK-A-BOUT will continue to tour along the East and West Coasts throughout 2019 leading up to the Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue, NY, and an Australia tour is in the works for the coming year.
Featuring Killing Joke’s Youth, Dave Barbarossa of Adam And The Ants/Bow Wow Wow and ex-Hawkwind legend Nik Turner!
New York/London – International rock collective Sontaag, whose conceptually ambitious, eponymous debut album (a sonically cinematic, cross-generic space opera) arrived into the progressive firmament to critical acclaim in 2014, are finally set to re-establish contact with our much-troubled earthly realm.
On March 15th, 2019, Sontaag return with a fiercely contemporary interpretation of Hawkwind’s iconic 1972 hit, “Silver Machine.” The Sontaag crew on this particular mission finds core creatives Richard Sontaag (guitars, keyboards, producer) and Ian Fortnam (vocals and guitar) joined by Killing Joke’s Youth on bass, Dave Barbarossa (Adam And The Ants/Bow Wow Wow) on drums and ex-Hawkwind legend Nik Turner on sax.
“Silver Machine” is mixed by Youth.
Design and photo montage by Julie Cunnah. Thanks to Kevin Nixon.
“Silver Machine” is available through Cleopatra Records via all digital platforms and also comes in radically remixed form courtesy of Sontaag’s fellow travellers in outer and inner psychedelic space, The Orb.
Ian Fortnam:“Hawkwind were punk-proof. Even in ’77, Richard and I would jam on ‘Silver Machine.’ Hawkwind were the UK’s counter-cultural underground incarnate. I discovered them in that narrow space between Bolan and Bowie, simultaneous to Alice, in the summer of ’72. Astral explorers. Eyes aflame with psychedelic visions. The people your parents dreaded you becoming. The coolest band alive. ‘Silver Machine’ was Hawkwind’s magnum opus, a spiralling maelstrom of riff-driven brilliance. Who wouldn’t want to cover it? Four years ago I found myself spirited to Nik Turner’s place in Wales, where we spoke of the Great Pyramid, orgone accumulators, space rituals, hallucinogenics, sonic generators, woodwind and Hawkwind. Before we parted, I gave him a copy of the first Sontaag album and the seeds of the ‘Silver Machine’ project were sown. Obviously, the very best material deserves the very best band, so calls were made to maestro Youth and Dave Barbarossa (the dream rhythm section) and here we are. And what a rare privilege to work with The Orb whose ‘Imaginarium Translucent JellyFish Dub’ remix is a work of art in and of itself.”
Richard Sontaag:Ian’s been pestering me to do a Hawkwind cover since way back when — the coolest kid in our school, he was often seen walking around with the Doremi Faso Latido LP under his arm between classes. But our Silver Machine came about in an unexpected way. I was alone in the studio late one night, and noticed that the guys had strung up a microphone from the ceiling. I put all the amps in a circle around it — which is really bad technique – and went round each one, blasting out Silver Machine on different instruments. That was the most fun I have ever had in a studio — and some of it even made it on to the final track.
Here’s what the press have raved about Sontaag:
“Progressive restored to its original sense. By referencing the last five decades of music and film, Sontaag create a highly original sci-fi morality tale for the future, and one of the year’s most unusual listening experiences, itself crying out for movie status.” 8/10 – Classic Rock
“Progtastic!” 4/5 – Daily Mirror
“Just download it to your brain from the nearest orbiting space station.” – Huey Morgan, BBC Radio 2
“A schizophrenic head fuck of an album, switching between ambient electronica and crunchy hard rock.” – Detroit-Metro Times
“A spectacular collision of British eccentricity and dramatic storytelling.” – Line Of Best Fit
“Sontaag have created one of the year’s most unusual listening experiences with this 21st century take on a sci-fi morality tale.” – Shindig
It might have come to everyone’s attention that IMAGINE DRAGONS and MARATON has the same cover for our singles?💁♂️ Wich one is cooler?😂
Here’s the story: Instagram is a wonderful place for art. We bought our artwork from an incredible artist called Beeple_crap. We contacted him and asked him if we could buy the rights of using these photos for our singles and album. After much consideration we found 5 pieces that really suited our music perfectly.
It is really not cheap to be a musician these days, and our budget was not something to brag about. We payed a one time fee for using his art, and did not think much more of it.
Suddenly we saw that Imagine dragons had a new single coming up with the same artwork, 6 months after our release. With no deal in hand giving us the exclusive rights for the photos, we can only say one thing. DAMN – They got good taste!!
In related news MARATON’s debut LP Meta will be released April 26th
MARATON pushes the boundaries between pop music and progressive rock, mixing machine like drums and roaring bass groundwork with shimmering guitars, ethereal keys and sacral vocal performance. The band has sought to create a style of music which combines the rhythmic heaviness from bands such as Mars Volta with the pop aesthetics of Muse. In 2014 a dream and a journey towards a record emerged from the guys of Maraton. They had a vision to make an album that was uncompromising and groovy with hook`s that would make you sing along after the first listen. By digging into Simen Ruud`s (Maraton’s songwriter) creative foundation they pulled out sketches and ideas that could have potential of becoming record material. After several months of productive creation, Maraton could finally see a shape of what to come. During this year, the only thing that mattered for the guys was making music and lyrics that in the end could merge into “META”.
One of the criteria and dream of the band was to only work with the best and qualified professionals in Norway when it came to studio, mixing and mastering. On this list are amongst others the incredibly talented Henning Svoren, at Ocean Sound Recordings.
During the recordings of the album, the band spend a lot of time on every instrument. They were constantly reaching for the perfect Maraton-sound. It was also extremely important that each song had a meaning and that the final album had a red line in which all the tracks could be connected. When writing the lyrics and the melodies, Simen’s magnificent writing and melodic skills were combined with Fredrik’s passion to convey. With this perfect match they were able to create a story and nerve behind each song. The theme on the album is mainly human mentality; individual and personal reflections of this crazy world. One can say that the theme is psychology.
During this process from 2014 until today, 2 of the members left and three new have entered. Maraton today is a strong team with good companionship full of passion and ambitions for the band and its sound. This album has brought laughter, tears and hundreds of hours of work. “META” has been a journey that Maraton can be proud of and stand behind the rest of their life. And now, after a year with 5 single releases and great feedback, the album is finally set for release on April 24 th, 2019!
Where The Action Is will be Available in May on a Deluxe 2CD, LP or in a Deluxe 2CD & Marble LP Bundle + Signed 12×12 comic strip print
1. Where The Action Is 2. London Mick 3. Out Of All This Blue 4. Right Side Of Heartbreak (Wrong Side of Love) 5. In My Time On Earth
6. Ladbroke Grove Symphony 7. Take Me There I Will Follow You 8. And There’s Love 9. Then She Made The Lasses-O 10. Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
Deluxe CD Tracklisting:
1. Where The Action Is 2. London Mick 3. Out Of All This Blue 4. Right Side Of Heartbreak (Wrong Side of Love) 5. In My Time On Earth 6. Ladbroke Grove Symphony 7. Take Me There I Will Follow You 8. And There’s Love 9. Then She Made The Lasses O 10. Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
CD 2 – Where The Action Is… Mashed
1. Where The Action Is (Mash) 2. London Mick (Jess’n’Zeenie Mix) 3. Out Of All This Blue (Soul Choir) 4. Right Side Of Heartbreak (Box & Vox) 5. In My Time On Earth (Scott & Wickham Mix) 6. Ladbroke Grove Coda 7. I Will Follow You Take Me There 8. And There’s Love (Mashtrumental) 9. Then She Made The Lasses (Mash) 10. Where The Action Is (Reprise) 11. Piper At The Gates of Dawn (Instrumental)