Ape Shifter — Ape Shifter
(Maximum Booking BSO40 1639, 2017, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-03-26
Jeff Aug is the guitar hotshot in this three piece German instrumental hard-rock / psych / metal outfit. Somewhere I had heard the name before, and indeed after a little research I discovered I am the owner of his 1998 CD titled Before Then After, according to a database I keep. I can’t recall what it sounds like, and I can’t find it in all the boxes of old CDs down in my basement. Aug is certainly an accomplished player, although from what is presented here it’s just within this super hard edged effected stoner rock style, kind of like some of what Randy California was doing back in the mid-80s, but without any lyics or vocals, so every song is just an assemblage of flashy riffage and not a lot more. Joining Aug are drummer Kurty Münch and bassist Florian Walter, both working together to support the guitar pyrotechnics. The info-sheet from the label calls Ape Shifter a progressive rock ensemble, but I just don’t hear that, unless that’s a term that applies to anything outside of mainstream pop, or anything that doesn’t feature vocals. What I hear is pure instrumental guitar riffage delivered with a punk-rock vengeance. I like it, but honestly after three or four songs I’ve had more than enough. Listening to the entire 11 tracks was a real chore. Your mileage may vary.
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