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...
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more