23 Sep 2019
Monocle Radio invited The Utopia Strong to their studio for an interview about the band and their S/t debut album.
Listen here: Monocle
Tune into BBC6 Music tonight at 7pm to hear Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs live Session on Marc Riley show...
Tune in here: BBC6 Music
One extra track recorded from the session will then be played exclusively on Gideon Coe's show straight after.
20 Sep 2019
After the success of the first Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs beer 'Sweet Relief', Northern Monk have revealed the second of the series, a new beer called 'Psychopomp'
When thinking about Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs second beer, we struggled to get hold of them. Turns out they were locked away in a recording studio laying down some new material. All they were craving was the sun.
Multivitamin Tropical Juice IPA. Launching tomorrow
You can buy the beer direct from the brewery here: Northern Monk
Plus some bars and bottle shops across the country will also be stocking it.
Russian stargazers Gnoomes have revealed more shows to add the already announced Italian tour:
29 Sep / RU / Perm / Centre of City Culture
11 Oct / RU / Nizhniny Novgorod / Black XO
12 Oct / RU / Moscow / Bumfabrika
13 Oct / RU / Smolensk / Aebleheaven
18 Oct / NL / Rotterdam / Left of the Dial Festival
22 Oct / NL / Eindhoven / DDW Music Festival
23 Nov / BE / Liege / KulturA
26 Nov / IT / Padova / UltraSuono c/o Grind House Club
27 Nov / IT / Milano / Spazio Ligera
28 Nov / IT / Pescara / Scumm
29 Nov / IT / Jesi / Mancave
30 Nov / IT / Savona / Raindogs House
More shows are to be announced over the coming weeks
Buy latest album MU! here: Bandcamp
The acid house soaked, heavily psychedelic rock of Bonnacons of Doom returns alongside shock of the new reworks by JD Twitch, Liars and Capac
Liverpool-based heavier-than-night collective Bonnacons of Doom prowl the primordial stage, cloaked and hooded like Adepts of Great Old Ones. Their sound ploughs giddy depths, a conjured means to communicate with vast intelligences, beings beyond our ken. “Esus” thus falls from the sky, an out of this world talisman, a transformative token. It hints at Mogwai circa Come on Die Young with its opening chords, before firing up half-dreamt memories of listening to Welcome to Sky Valley by Kyuss. “Esus” is the band’s only new composition on the EP, but that is not to suggest that the reworks (of tracks from their 2018 self-titled debut album) deliver anything other than the shock of the new. Each piece opens up a portal in the band’s sound, inviting in different directions of experimentation.
Bonnacons may exist within the realms of experimental, heavily psychedelic out rock, but they point to acid house as forming the collective memory of the band. So it makes absolute sense to have JD Twitch involved here. “Solus (JD Twitch Optimo Remix)” is an irresistible drums in the deep banger that has something of Sabres of Paradise about it around the edges. Through extraction and recontextualising, Twitch has made the ritualistic vocals more beautifully pagan, while also recalling Edda Dell’Orso’s performances for Ennio Morricone. Inventive percussion and delicate synth lines are host to a glacially-paced Gabba beat sure to ruin dancefloors of an open persuasion. Those bass-soaked drums are an Earth-rattling howl into the desert, as if carved from deep time and activated in the present...
Read the rest here: Concrete Islands
19 Sep 2019
Steve Davis has enjoyed the most interested career rebirth since Mickey Rourke decided he wanted to punch flesh and bone for a living. Anyone familiar with the sport of snooker will know it’s not hyperbolic to declare Davis one of the greatest players of all time, a six-time world champion who established his own era of domination in the 1980s, when snooker was a staple of British TV. So imagine the bemusement surrounding the native Londoner’s rebirth as a club DJ in recent years; instead of making trick shots, Davis spins records as one “DJ Thundermuscle”—at festivals like Glastonbury, natch. And this was a man once dubbed snooker’s Mr. Dull because of his methodical play? What a time to be alive.
Now, joined by multi-instrumentalist and co-DJ Kavus Torabi, as well as Michael J. York of Teleplasmiste, Davis has formed The Utopia Strong. The group’s self-titled debut record is an electronic wonderland, touching on 16-bit scores, sci-fi cinema, and stoned philosophy (how else to describe song titles like “Do You Believe in Two Gods?”). The neo-noir synths of “Swimmer” ostensibly pull influence from Vangelis. And, like the genre god, The Utopia Strong adroitly use synthetic instrumentation to form deeply humane sound patterns: “Konta Chorus” builds and blossoms like a rush of excitement that’s about to burst out of your chest. Elsewhere, the 10-minute flagship single “Brainsurgeons 3” is a captivating mix of bleeps and blips cut with tangled electric guitars that winds to a dramatic conclusion. Taken all together, the album is a poised suite of expert electronic arranging, made by a 62-year-old who seemingly achieved everything he wanted in life; who makes music for the passion of it while having fun with both sides of his persona. That’s pretty cool.
See the rest here: Bandcamp Daily
Gnoomes are returning to Italy for a tour in November
26 Nov / Padova / UltraSuono c/o Grind House Club
27 Nov / Milano / Spazio Ligera
28 Nov / Pescara / Scumm
29 Nov / Jesi / Mancave
30 Nov / Savona / Raindogs House
The band's stunning latest album MU! is available to buy here: Bandcamp
Meet a snooker legend, an ambient electronic musician and a psychedelic rocker at the bar: what sounds like the beginning of an old man joke, is rather the terabe, astonishingly everyday startup story of Utopia Strong .
Steve Davis, Michael J. York (Coil, Teleplasmiste) and Kavus Torabi (Gong, Cardiacs, Knifeworld) hung out together at the Glastonbury Festival in 2017, discovered their common musical preferences and formed a band whose debut albumnow rooted in between the Proto-Ambient of the Seventy and the Frickelbeats of the Nineties. The result sounds surprisingly little herbaceous rehearsal room, but rather after the cooldown of a relaxed rave, on which all have a good taste in music. Sounds and atmosphere surround the listener in part like the favourite blanket, from which one knows exactly how the familiar texture on the skin feels. Sometimes, however, you are suddenly in some underground club on the dance floor, around it flickering lights and bodies.
This field of tension makes "The Utopia Strong" too bulky to hear it by the way. Instead, concentration and attention are required, but they are well invested here because of the wealth of ideas and bandwidth.
Read the piece here: Neoyld
Driving home from Whitby in North Yorkshire on a gloriously sunny Sunday was definitely a strange time to channel cyberpunk beats and severe monastic soundscapes through my sun-baked earholes. But, combining what initially seem like opposed and contrasting musical environments can often lead to weird and wonderful states of mind, as I would soon discover with Teeth Of The Sea’s consuming and hypnotic 2019 release Wraith.
I thought it would be appropriate to begin with that anecdote because it encapsulates the method by which Wraith evokes mood. Contrast. The familiar and the unfamiliar. Have you ever coasted through a whole day with the subtle but definite feeling that something is just off? You can’t quite seem to place why, you’re not sure whether it’s you or everyone else. You go to bed that night still pondering but you never end up putting a finger on it. That is precisely what this album feels like.
There’s an ancient quasi-religious aura that Wraith emits, similar to the paganistic sonic palette Porcupine Tree were shooting for with albums like 1996 record Signify. It’s enveloping and unnervingly funereal at times but with a slick modern edge...
Read the rest here: Heavy Blog is Heavy
18 Sep 2019
Turns out Steve Davis is not just good at snooker. The six-time world champion makes up a third of The Utopia Strong – having got into modular synthesizers a couple of years before this album was made – and it is clear he is not just here for window dressing. He is joined by Kavus Torabi, a long-time collaborator of Davis’s on radio and a member of Gong, Knifeworks and Cardiacs, and Michael J York – of Coil and Guapo – and the result is a woozy, cosmic testament to the benefits of spontaneity. Or at least evidence of what can happen when three like-minded people with wildly different life experiences get together and make music for fun.
The tracks on this album started life as jams, with no plan whatsoever to make a record. As Davis puts it, “We hung out so we could have a laugh together. But we made some music, improvising and jamming, just for the fun of it and it was recorded by Mike [York], who had the presence of mind to record the sessions. We listened back and thought ‘bloody hell! This is exactly… we would like to listen to stuff like this, why don’t we make it into something more?”
It is lucky for us that they did. Because from the opening track, ‘Emerald Tablet’ with its clear-pool-and-crystals vibe, this is an album brimming with warmth and good feelings. ‘Konta Chorus’, which follows, is a highlight, in an if-Ozrics-did-krautrock kind of way, while the trio of ‘Swimmer’, ‘Unquiet Boundary’ and ‘Transition To The Afterlife’ would serve as an excellent soundtrack to a spacewalk...
Read the rest here: E&D