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...
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more