30 Sept 2019

Rocket Probes – September 2019 playlist

Julie's Haircut – Sorcerer
(Great second track to be revealed from the forthcoming mesmerising album 'In the Silence Electric')

Bonnacons of Doom – Solus (JD Twitch Optimo remix)
(Amazing bass heavy remix by the mighty JD Twitch)
Bonnacons of Doom 

(New Gnod jams)

Tomaga & Pierre Bastien – Bandiera Di Carta
(Essential listen)
Tomaga & Pierre Bastien

Various – No sleep 'till Avon
(Amazing new comp of killer sounds from Bristol)
Avon Terror Corps

Fabulous Diamonds – GBH
(New Fabulous Diamonds on Alter)
Fabulous Diamonds

Giant Swan – 55 Year Old Daughter
(First track from forthcoming debut album)
Giant Swan

Joe Henderson/Alice Coltrane – Elements
(Thanks to one of the Centrum guys for passing this on to us!)
Joe Henderson

Human Beinz – April 15th
(Killer fuzz wah jams)
Human Beinz 

Jandek – The Electric End

Talking Heads – The Overload
(Moody Heads)
Talking Heads

SabaSaba – S/T
(Great new album of dubbed out drones and rhythms on Maple Death Records)

Ngozi Family – Kumanda Kwa
(Another killer track from Chris Zebby and Co)
Ngozi Family

Nurse With Wound – Swamp Rat
(Thanks to Cherrystones for his amazing NWW special on NTS, if you haven't listened then check it out, he plays this great track!)
Nurse With Wound

J. Zunz – Eagle Eye
(Floydy noise-pop)
J. Zunz

Punctum – Quick Botta
(Growing repetitions)

Subs – Gimme your heart
(Glam punk groove)

Besombes/Rizet – Pôle
(Experimental French sounds from '76)

Sad World – Apadana
(Psyched synth n'grooves with an Egyptian feel and a nod to Spacemen 3 from '93)

The Transcendence Orchestra – Live at Dekmantel Festival, Bimhuis, Amsterdam
(Paddy from GNOD joins Anthony Child and Daniel Bean take you on a journey "through deep subterranean caverns and out to the farthest reaches of space")
The Transcendence Orchestra

The Chills – Pink Frost
(Nice 80's psychy pop)
The Chills 

Slaylor Moon – Mothgirl’s Dream
(Really nice n'minimal beats n'drones n'voice...another great release on Maple Death Records)
Slaylor Moon

The Cosmic Dead – Scottish Space Race
(New dead)
The Cosmic Dead

Alessandro Alessandroni‎ – Industrial
(Italian soundtrack explorations)
Alessandro Alessandroni

Cherrystones – Metallic Vines
(Soundtrack to the nights drawing in)

Eric B and Rakim – Follow the leader
(Best rapper ever?)
Eric B and Rakim

Arkh/Wagner – Music For Meditations Vol.1
(Alex from GNOD and Mark from H.U.M.'s meditative sounds)

Listen to our 'updates monthly' Rocket Probes Spotify playlist:


New Musical Social reviews The Utopia Strong

They say:

‘I'm sometimes tempted to make my own music, and Kavus is encouraging. It would never be anything more than a whim, though. I'm 56; I'd have known years ago if it was any kind of calling. And even if I do come up with something, I'd never play it on our show. No way. I have a feeling it would be pathetic’.

​Steve Davis, interviewed in the Independent in 2014.

I nearly fell off my seat when I saw a post announcing that 6 times snooker champion, Steve Davis had teamed up with Kavus Torabi and Michael J York to make a ten minute plus track as the Utopia Strong. I should have known it would be good though, given that it was being released by the ever reliable Rocket Recordings, the home of such quality music as the wonderful Gnoomes and the sadly now defunct Josefin Ohrn and the Liberation.

​So I put Brainsurgeons 3 on and was pleasantly surprised to hear its rather appealing blend of Komische, Ambient and Psychedelia.

Whilst Steve Davis is a household name, and one of Romford’s best known sons, I had to do some digging on Kavus Torabi and Michael York. Both of them have been making music for many years within bands such as Gong, the Cardiacs, Coil, Current 93, Knifeworld, Teleplasmiste, and Guapo. Davis met with Torabi at a Magma gig in 2009 and they hit it off, Torabi soon discovering that Davis was a music nerd with a liking for head music. The story of their meeting is told in that article in the Independent...

Read the rest here: New Musical Social


Soundblab reviews Julie's haircut's 'In the Silence Electric'

They say:

Many listeners to In The Silence Electric, the new album by the Italian band Julie’s Haircut, will probably shout (out of rage or happiness) - Spiritualized! Ok, possibly, but there are a few things to have in mind with that comparison - both Spiritualized and Julie’s Haircut have been around from the first part of the Nineties, so maybe the Italians were or were not inspired by J. Spacemen and his crew. On the other hand, does it really matter?

Listening to In The Silence Electric, the answer would be a resounding - it doesn’t. You see Andre Rovacchi and co. are neither newcomers nor do they come from music without any roots. From the late Sixties, the Italian modern music scene has had a penchant for developing their own inroads into psych, krautrock, and prog with some quite amazing results.

And all that could be heard in the music Julie’s Haircut came up with here, sometimes even in a single song like “Until The Lights Go Out”. From the NYC cool of Suicide to the Kraut wailing of Amon Duul II and a few other things in between. And then Jason Pierce innovations step in like in the “Lord Help Me Find The Way”, that follows immediately...

Read the rest here: Soundblab


Watch footage of Julie's Haircut live in Newcastle


27 Sept 2019

Listen back to Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Marc Riley session

Listen back to last Monday's Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs BBC6 Music session for Marc Riley.

Listen here: BBC6 Music


25 Sept 2019

Teeth of the Sea and Gum Takes Tooth announce joint Manchester show

Teeth of the Sea and Gum Takes Tooth are playing a joint show in Manchester for the great Beauty Witch:

Soup Kitchen / Manchester
7 March


Teeth of the Sea to play Chaos Theory 10th Anniversary Festival

Teeth of the Sea have just revealed to play Chaos Theory Festival (10 Years Of Chaos) joining MAI MAI MAI, David Terry, Zu, Gold and many more

Dome / Tunnel Park / London
29 February


24 Sept 2019

Julie's Haircut European tour starts tomorrow – watch new promo video

Julie's Haircut's tour starts tomorrow and Rocket's Johnny O has created this great little video above to promote it.

The tour dates are as follows:

25 Sep / FR / Saint Etienne / Disorder Club
26 Sep / BE / Gent / Café Charlatan 
27 Sep / BE / Paris / Supersonic
28 Sep / UK / Bristol / The Lanes
29 Sep / UK / Newcastle / The Cumberland Arms
01 Oct / UK / Glasgow / Broadcast
02 Oct / UK / Chester / The Live Rooms
03 Oct / UK / Leicester / Soundhouse
04 Oct / UK / Manchester / The Peer Hat
05 Oct / UK / London / Shacklewell Arms
11 Oct / IT / Carpi/ Kalinka
12 Oct / IT / Firenze / Glue
18 Oct / IT / Torino / Spazio 211
19 Oct / IT / Monza / Tutto il Nostro Sangue @ Scuotivento
21 Nov / IT / Cagliari / Karel Music Expo
23 Nov / IT / Livorno / The Cage
30 Nov / IT / Roma / Angelo Mai
10 Jan / IT / Milano / Ohibò
11 Jan / IT / Bologna / Locomotiv

Stream new album 'In The Silence Electric' 10 days ahead of release on 3 October exclusively here: Sentireascoltare

And preorder the ltd LP/CD here: Bandcamp


Poster for PETBRICK album launch at Shacklewell Arms

Tickets: See


Ahrkh Wagner reveal new album on Golden Ratio Frequencies

Ahrkh Wagner the duo that consists of Alex Macarte of GNOD and Mark Wagner of H.U.M have announced a new album called 'Music for Meditations Vol. 1' to be released on Alex's very own Golden Ratio Frequencies label.

Listen via The Quietus here: The Quietus


Stream Julie's Haircut's new album 'In the Silence Electric' in full

You can stream the the stunning new Julies Haircut album 'In the Silence Electric' in full - a whole 10 days ahead of release now via the great Italian site Sentireascoltare.

Stream here: Sentireascoltare

The mag says:
In publication October 4, 2019, In The Silence Electric is the eighth album by Julie's Haircut (not to mention the Music For The Last Command , also released in 2019), the second for Rocket Recordings after the jazzy cupcakes of  Invocation And Ritual Dance Of My Demon Twin of 2017.

On the cover is a work by the German avant-feminist artist Annegret Soltau, who "forced" her face with a black thread, almost mummifying it: a reflection on freedom of communication. Even the psychedelia of the Italian collective, now more than ever guided by the subconscious, gets rid of all constriction with the dark synth-punk veins in the wake of Suicide of the first singles, Until The Lights Go Out and  Sorcerer  ( videoclip ). Between the influence of Mozambican music, following a journey by Andrea Rovacchi, and the recurring dualism between sex and death, the band described In The Silence Electric as his most direct work ever. 

"We welcomed the unexpected, leaving the songs to guide us to their final form, rather than trying to force them towards a precise direction," the band emphasizes. In the widget section of this page, from September 24, 2019, you can listen to the whole album.

Preorder the album on Ltd LP and CD here: Bandcamp

Sleeve art by Annegret Soltau


23 Sept 2019

Listen to Monocle interview with The Utopia Strong

Monocle Radio invited The Utopia Strong to their studio for an interview about the band and their S/t debut album.

Listen here: Monocle


Watch IMPATV footage of PETBRICK live at Wooodland Gathering

In August last year PETBRICK played at Woodland Gathering Festival and the lovely folks at IMPATV were there to capture it.

Watch the full set here: IMPATV


Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Marc Riley session tonight

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 Sept 2019

Northern Monk reveal second Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs beer 'Psychopomp'

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'

They said:

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.


Gnoomes reveal more Autumn dates

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


Concrete Islands reviews Bonnacons of Doom's Esus EP

They say:

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 Sept 2019

Bandcamp Daily makes The Utopia Strong its Album of the Day

They say:

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 announce Italian tour

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


Neoyld reviews The Utopia Strong

They say:

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


Heavy Blog is Heavy reviews Teeth of the Sea's WRAITH

They say:

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 Sept 2019

Echoes and Dust reviews The Utopia Strong album

They say:

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


Listen to unreleased PETBRICK song on new NTS show Wiggly World

Friend of Rocket Heather, formally of NTS show Black Impulse has created a brand new show called Wiggly World and on her first show she sneaked in the first play of an unreleased PETBRICK track called Coming, Featuring the vocal talents of Mixhell's Laima.

Listen here: NTS


Louder than War give a glowing review for The Utopia Strong

They say:

You’ve come here for the fail haven’t you. You’ve come to hear how an album made by a band that includes an ex-snooker player (and legend of the sport) is pure vanity project…that fabled midlife crisis. Well if that is what you are in to then you go need to find your kicks elsewhere because The Utopia Strong is a project that taps into a base need in us for internal examination. A project that manages to sound the same yet different on every listen. This is a project that not only works but has such a distinct sense of purpose and of teamwork that you can see nothing but a bright future ahead for the trio of Kavus Torabi (Gong/Cardiacs/Knifeworld/Guapo), Steve Davis and Michael J. York (Coil/Teleplasmiste/Guapo). In a recent interview with our friends over at The Quietus the trio explained how fun the album was to make and how they have formed such a strong friendship and that is obvious from listening to the music they create…..

Ah yes the music. Free yourself of any preconceptions. The music here is dripping with soul and invention. Whilst it is walking in the fabled gardens of kosmische and psychedelia and you can feel its ancestors spirits within the machines, the music that The Utopia Strong create feels new and urgent. It is a music that manages to be “a mirror into your soul” as the band pointed out to this writer recently and it is very true that what you get out of the album depends on where you are at mentally and spiritually at the time...

Read the rest here: Louder than War


17 Sept 2019

Listen to special Petbrick Mixtape via Cvlt Nation

Cvlt Nation has just published an exclusive Gabba/Breakcore mixtape compiled by Petbrick that features tracks by Shit and Shine, VVM, DJ Donna Summer, Full of Hell, Scotch Egg, Motorhead and many, many more.

Immerse here: Cvlt Nation


Velvet Sheep say some words about The Utopia Strong

They say:

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today it’s an intense triple header, with an interesting brand new synth psych band called The Utopia Strong with its trio of esteemed members choosing a tune each. They consist of Steve Davis who has swapped the baize of his legendary snooker past for the 1s and 2s (by which I don’t mean a red and then a yellow), his partner-in-crime behind the decks Kavus Torabi (Gong/Cardiacs/Knifeworld/Guapo) and  the well-appointed Michael J. York (Coil/ Teleplasmiste/Guapo). The music is mesemerising, modular and magnificent, like The Heads meets John Carpenter, via John Carpenter and Loop and it’s on Rocket Recordings home of Teeth of the Sea (whose Mike Bourne introduced Steve to the modular synth), Gnod and VS favs Lay Llamas.

Steve has truly gone from Snooker Loopy to Loop, snooker god to disciple of Gnod – and in Kavus Torabi has found a spiritual touchstone that nobody could have seen coming and that I can see going for miles and miles, as the Byrds might have said once... 

See the rest of the piece here: Velvet Sheep


16 Sept 2019

Trebuchet Magazine reviews Julie's Haircuts 'In the Silence Electric'

They say:

Italian psych-rock veterans Julie’s Haircut have zoned in on making incredible, catchy, satisfying and challenging records for 20 years.
One of their two (so far) major releases of 2019 is In the Silence Electric which is as total a summation of a band hitting a blistering career peak as can be ascribed. Pulling influences from Spaceman 3, Can, and the Fall, they avoid falling into the trap of dwelling at length at either poles of the emotional spectrum. Rather they move effortlessly between bliss-laden trails and grinding paranoid depths, all the while propelled by grooves so epic, they’ll flap your flares for hours on end.

What marks this record above all other Julie’s Haircut albums or many other contemporary psych releases is the quality of the songwriting and production restraint. There is a tendency in psych to either milk an idea to death or bury it within a tonne of flourish, but Julie’s Haircut draw from decades of experience to maintain the sweet spot of stoned groove and captivating musical evolution on damn near every track. The one exception is “In Return” which is an exploration of 70s synth-driven evocative avant-garde and as such is beautifully decadent, wondrously unnecessary, and borders on sublime. Purposely cut from a different cloth than the rest of the album, this third-quarter psychic freak out downs the mood before the tribal jazz drums summon “Pharaoh’s Dream” and we’re back in pound land.

It is hard to fault this record on any front. As an album it works from start to finish and pulls you back for numerous rewinds. It has a ‘dance with abandon’ single in “Until the Lights Go Out” that is so ripe for remixes it might relaunch the disco-noise of electroclash. Furthermore the technical playing is so tasteful that despite having a pretty standard sonic palette (guitar, bass, drums, organ, synth, sax, and voice) the listener is carried away wholesale by the music. One is never drawn into considering specific facets such as ‘oh nice bit of guitar there’, ‘whoa synthy-synth time’ or ‘wow that drumming is pretty flashy’, despite there being plenty of ‘oh yeah’ moments. The balance of sonic elements emerges fully formed, seamless and boundless.,,,

Read the rest here: Trebuchet


iNews interview with Steve Davis about The Utopia Strong

They say:

On the list of things sports stars are supposed to do after they retire, releasing an ambient synth album won’t appear. After hanging up the boots, gloves or, in Steve Davis’s case, cue, the orthodox path is into property development, coaching, representation or punditry.

DJing at Glastonbury and putting out an album of woozy, wonky left-field music on a record label that hosts bands with names like Gnod, Goat, Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs and Hey Colossus is indeed uncharted territory.

But then again, not all retired sports stars are Davis, the six-time snooker world champion, die-hard music fan and latterly modular synthesizer aficionado. This is a guy who arranged for one of his favourite bands – Magma, the French prog leviathans – to play in London so he could see them live.

Now he and two collaborators, Kavus Torabi and Michael J York – both professional musicians – have formed a band, The Utopia Strong, who released their self-titled debut album on 13 September.

“It is off the scale isn’t it?” Davis tells i. “I am sort of quite chuffed in a way because there was no plan to do this.

“There was no plan apart from me and the other two guys in the band getting on like a house on fire, hanging out and having a laugh, me getting into modular synthesizers and finding it a fascinating world and a total rabbit hole as well, then wanting to get better at playing at it.

“We hung out just 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, who had the presence of mind to record the sessions. We listened back and went ‘bloody hell! This is exactly… we would like to listen to stuff like this, why don’t we make it into something more?’ It was all arse-about-face in a way. Because there was no plan, it has been a surreal journey into the unknown.”...

Read the rest here: iNews


Loudwire say some words about Petbrick

They say:

Sepultura legend Igor Cavalera has unveiled a new industrial project, Petbrick. The band, which also features Big Lad’s Wayne Adams, will release its debut album, I, on Oct. 25 via Rocket Recordings and Closed Casket Activities.

The two musicians decided to collaborate after Cavalera found himself impressed by a Big Lad gig in London. The duo eventually made their way to Adams’ Bearbiteshorse Studio and began tinkering with industrial sounds under the influence of caffeine.

"We wanted to do something different than the other projects we were involved in. Making horrible noise was the first concept behind Petbrick," says Igor.

“I think we realized that we were both pretty much in tune with each others taste, both into a lot of weird electronic music, as well as some decent far out guitar stuff,” Adams adds. “For me personally I definitely pushed the electronics in a much harsher direction.”

"I think the industrial side of things probably comes a lot from Igor’s playing. He hits hard, really fucking hard, and just goes like the clappers, so mix that with gabber and noise you have instant industrial vibes. Yet rather than being an album with its foot firmly on the accelerator throughout, it's one just as comfortable with the elegiac atmospherics of a track such as ‘Sect’ as the hyperactive breakcore-damaged brew of ‘Roadkill Ruby.’

Petbrick released the new track “Horse” earlier today (July 17), which is reminiscent of bleak Ministry works and Alessandro Cortini synth textures.

Read the piece here: Loudwire


13 Sept 2019

Andrew Weatherall spins two Julie's Haircut tracks on latest NTS show

Tune into Andrew Weatherall's latest NTS show to hear the first radio plays of TWO Julie's Haircut tracks from their forthcoming 'In The Silence Electric' album.

Listen here: NTS


The Utopia Strong released today

We are exceedingly thrilled to release 'The Utopia Strong' featuring Steve Davis, Kavus Torabi and Michael York and their self titled debut today.

The album is now on sale via all the best outlets on LP/CD/DL & comes in a special holographic foil board sleeve for the vinyl edition & hot foiled front on CD. There are 3 versions avialable froim today, if you go to watch the band live you can pick up the ultra lim ited 'Two colour Black Hole' version, plus there is a ltd indie exclusive in 'Fireball Orange' and a second ltd version in 'Dark Matter Transparent Blue'.

Buy/Stream: The Utopia Strong 
Bandcamp: Bandcamp

"A storming debut”
The Quietus
"The band’s pulsing krautrock and hazy synthwork should appeal to freaks of all stripes”
"Effortlessly mixes progressive rock, Krautrock and modern electronica”
"An extraordinary marriage between celestial radiance and hallucinatory repetition”
Circuit Sweet
"An hypnotic and ever changing musical soundscape”
Backseat Mafia
"Not bad for the man nicknamed Mr Boring as a snooker player”
The Mirror

The Press Release:

  The overall sound was pretty accidental” reckons Kavus Torabi. “I certainly didn’t expect the music to sound so ecstatic and positive, Without wanting to puncture the mystery, there really felt like an element of magic at play in making this album. For the most part it was incredibly effortless”

“The band evolved from having had so much fun together and also sharing similar musical tastes” continues Steve Davis, “Mike (York) was living in Glastonbury where Kavus and I DJ’d in 2017. We all hung out together during the festival and the Utopia Strong was born. The name came later and I suppose reflects the fact that - once we’d jammed together and listened back to the improvising - the music felt pretty euphoric and otherworldly. It was very psychedelic but also strangely wonky”

It was never any secret that Davis - even at the peak of his household name status in the 1980s - was as happy putting a needle on a vinyl record as anything else involving a cue. Renowned as an aficionado of soul, jazz-funk and progressive rock from the seventies onwards, he famously once single-handedly promoted three nights at the Bloomsbury Theatre for French esoteric leviathans Magma, so frustrated was he by their absence from
British shores.

Steve was first introduced to the modular synthesis world by Teeth Of The Sea’s Mike Bourne at a show the latter was playing with Hirvikolari at Cafe Oto in 2016. “Like many others before me, I was intrigued by the wires, knobs and blinking lights of the modular synth and it wasn’t that long after that I felt the need to get my own, even though I didn’t have a clue what I was letting myself in for! The instrument has the ability to create whatever your imagination can deal with”

What’s more - with his tastes having moved into the fringes of experimental electronica as his record collection expanded exponentially, his music obsession took on new bounds after his retirement in 2016, with his DJ partnership with Torabi (Gong/Cardiacs/Knifeworld/Guapo) taking him to festivals and clubs for many a head spinning rampage, in which the wide-eyed assembled would be as likely to hear Autechre as Black Sabbath.

All this aside, few would have expected the artist whose previous recorded output comprised one Top Ten hit in 1986 (The Matchroom Mob featuring Chas & Dave’s ‘Snooker Loopy’) would be a part of the aural epiphanies that are chronicled in The Utopia Strong’s debut album, The combined forces of Davis, Torabi and Michael J. York (Coil/Teleplasmiste/Guapo) have arrived at no less than a modular-driven kosmische colossus of transcendent power enough to drive all talk of green baize firmly into the blue yonder.

An extraordinary marriage between celestial radiance and hallucinatory repetition -  in which Davis’ modular geometry and ambient structures weave with Torabi’s keen and skewed sense of melody and York’s various gifts for pipes, drones and fevered abstract - the result is a beguiling tapestry as likely to remind listeners of the countercultural benchmarks of Terry Riley, Cluster and Fripp/Eno as the later vortex-voyages of Emeralds and Seefeel.

Perhaps the centrepiece of the record is the ten-minute ‘Brainsurgeons 3’, in which techno-style exultance, hypnotic foward-motion and the perhaps unlikely but crucial arrival of York’s bagpipes collude to provide a truly formidable endorphin rush. “Kavus and I started programming an unmixed version of Brainsurgeons 3 into our DJ sets and the reaction was amazing!” concurs Steve. “Some nights the track got the most thumbs up of the set. We broke Shazam with it!”

“in twenty years of making records it’s certainly been the easiest and most enjoyable to make” reflects Kavus. “Now, this may have been partly due to us having no preconceptions or expectations but it wasn’t just that. There was absolutely no conflict, and we spent a lot of time together working on it - in my experience that’s a total fucking miracle”

“The personal journey I’ve been on since January 2nd 2018 with Kavus and Mike has been surreal” reflects Steve. “Probably more so than even the path that unfolded for me in snooker. That was pretty far out but this seems otherworldly! Maybe Glastonbury is a mystical place after all”


The band will be out performing a few shows over the coming months:
08 Nov | Golden Lion | Todmorden
11 Dec | The Cluny | Newcastle
12 Dec | Hare & Hounds | Birmingham

13 Dec | The Cube Cinema | Bristol
18 Dec | The Crescent | York
19 Dec | Deaf Institute | Manchester
20 Dec | Cafe Oto | London
21 Dec | Ramsgate Music Hall | Ramsgate

So enjoy the 'Medical Grade Music' that is The Utopia Strong