As if the Supersonic lineup wasn’t spectacular enough this year, Manchester’s finest psych-rock collective Gnod have just been confirmed for another mind melting sonic showdown! Supersonic regulars will already be familiar with these guys (especially if you caught their transcendental performance back in 2010), but if you’re a Gnod newcomer, their extensive discography of splits, CD-Rs and limited edition releases can seem a little daunting. To help ease you into the band’s majestic psychedelic sounds, here’s our quick guide to some of the band’s highlights to prepare you for their live ritual, and your subsequent sonic baptism…
The Somnambulist’s Tale (Sloow Tapes 2008)
This early sonic voyage found Gnod experimenting with the textures and harmonics of the hung drum, layering these ethereal, mystical sounds with lucid snippets of an interview with a particularly intoxicated individual, creating an otherworldly aural tapestry and slowly lulling the listener into a lysergic dream-state. A truly bizarre yet strangely relaxing listening experience!
Bong / Gnod Split (Box Records 2009)
After a string of extremely hard-to-track-down CD-R releases, Gnod teamed up with sitar pluckin’ doom lords Bong for this extravagant odyssey into the unknown. After Bong’s aptly titled ‘Bong Lives’ has sent your psyche spinning uncontrollably into a black hole the size of the Gobi desert, the 13 minutes of Gnod’s ‘Twin Within’ offer an experience similar to watching Amon Düül II perform at the Taj Mahal in a blotter fuelled haze, whilst the two part ‘Abstehen’ unfolds with a certain mystical tranquility that can’t fail to captivate even the most discerning acid rock afficionado. Gnod’s cosmic freakouts provide the perfect counterpoint to Bong’s distinctive style of free form lysergic hypnotism, resulting in a truly great split indeed.
Gnod & White Hills – Gnod Drop Out With White Hills II (Rocket Recordings 2010)
Seeing as their first collaborative release with New York’s most glamorous cosmic voyagers White Hills was such a success, it was only a matter of time before these two psych behemoths crossed paths again. This release finds both bands drifting downstream into more serene waters than their last record, as blissed out guitar licks and lazy, rolling bass lines trickle across luscious soundscapes to glorious effect. A beautifully restrained and incredibly engaging record, no psych-rock fan’s record collection should be without this!
In Gnod We Trust (Rocket Recordings 2011)
‘In Gnod We Trust’ found the band venturing even further into their collective psyche, with the dark, sumptuous pulse of ‘Tony’s First Communion’ coming across like krautrock’s heavily sedated, velvet lined younger cousin. This hypnotic and slowly evolving piece is the perfect counterpoint to ‘Vatican’, a spiritual excursion with an absolutely enormous groove that throbs it’s way through the cosmos before reaching a potently apocalyptic climax.
Chaudelande Volume 2 (Tamed Records 2012)
Gnod’s most recent release represents the second half of the band’s triumphant session at Studio Chaudelande in France (the first half is compiled in the aptly titled ‘Chaudelande Volume 1’), and finds the band in full-on, no nonsense astral rock mode. If the Stooges stole the keys to Hawkwind’s spaceship, weighted the accelerator down with a brick and took off on a hedonistic thrill ride through the universe, the outcome would probably sound extremely similar to this triumphant record!
You can purchase these recordings from Gnod’s official website and the Rocket Recordings site, and it’s a safe bet that the band will be bringing along a number of limited releases to sell at the festival too. In addition to releasing a staggering ammount of fantastic recordings, Gnod really excel in the live arena, and if you enjoy elongated psychedelic experiences that build to an explosive crescendo of ecstatic noise (which I’m guessing is pretty much all of you, right?) then their set this year is not to be missed under any circumstances!
Whilst anticipation for Goat‘s first foray into the live arena reaches fever pitch, the band have just released this teaser video of themselves unleashing a haunting rendition of ‘Goatlord’ from deep within their Korpilombolo based temple, complete with ritualistic costumes and strobe light!
This bodes well for the band’s debut visit to these shores, and Supersonic is extremely proud to be hosting one of Goat’s first ever shows outside their native commune, on Sunday 21st October. This promises to be one wild trip indeed, so make sure you’re present for this slice of voodoo magic!
And if you haven’t yet become completely obsessed with Goat’s first record ‘World Music’, then where the hell have you been? The album is available now from Rocket Recordings.
Check out the new video from Sweden’s Goat for the song ‘Let it Bleed’ from their debut album ‘World Music’. We can’t quite get enough of them here at Supersonic HQ and can’t wait for their festival appearance.
“Goatman made me pull my shirt off and start quoting Predator 2: “Voodoo magic. Fucking voodoo magic, man!” John Doran, The Quietus. Well said, as ever.
Supersonic Q&A no. 5: TEETH OF THE SEA
From London, Teeth of the Sea play a wild, mixed-up strain of what sounds like semi-improvised jams. Structures are amorphous, reference points are redundant as they switch modes from song-to-song – noise-rock, electronics and dubbed-out trumpet all get a look-in. As DROWNED IN SOUND said in their review of current album ‘Your Mercury’ (Rocket Recordings, 2010), the band create “a steamy, light-starved jungle of tangled electronics and feral distortion occasionally punctuated by startlingly lucid bottom end. For the most part Teeth of the Sea’s second record defies any worries about genre categorisation, a hermetically sealed unit with such a strong sense of self that comparisons to other music seem perverse.”
1. Which five words describe what you know about Supersonic?
Jimmy: An embarrassment of sonic riches.
Mat: Great method of karma scouring.
Mike: It goes up to 11.
2. What can people expect of Teeth of the Sea at the festival?
Mat: Manifold contact highs. Seeing us should lead to elevation. Being down wind of us should lead to inebriation.
Mike: Hair raising, teeth grinding, ear bleeding, knob twiddling, move busting, figure hugging, fist pumping, face melting, load blowing, psyche fucking rock.
Jimmy: It’ll be a bit like that climactic scene in Raiders Of The Lost Ark, only with four skinny blokes instead of the seraphim, a total absence of the Third Reich, and the added bonus of just about being able to survive to tell the tale afterwards.
3. Why make music – what does it do for you that nothing else does?
Mike: We’d have to hand over to philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist Friedrich Nietzsche here, with his celebrated quote “Without music, life would be a mistake. Besides which, whenever I hear the sound of a needle hitting wax I get as hard as a diamond in an ice storm.” I think he speaks for us all.
Mat: Seriously, it’s the art form that allows for the greatest breadth of thinking and technique. Approach it from any angle and you can still make it dance. Which is what Supersonic is all about, right?
Jimmy: Music. Makes The People. Come Together.
4. Who else on the bill are you hoping to see? (And why?)
Mike: The fact we’re on the same bill as Zombi is making us collectively weep tears of joy and blood. Also looking forward to Alva Noto + Byetone quite possibly ripping a hole in the fabric of space and time above the Custard Factory.
Jimmy: I’m pretty excited about withstanding Astro’s cosmic assault, but there’s literally nobody on the bill I wouldn’t pay to go and see at their own show. Plus Electric Wizard as headliners are going to be one unholy rite.
Mat: I’m already upset that I won’t be able to see everything, but I’m really excited about seeing Circle again. Mainly because the rest of TOTS have never seen them and I want to be there when THE GREATEST LIVE BAND IN THE WORLD tear them all fresh ones.
5. Finally, your essential ‘surviving-Supersonic’ items are…
Mike: all essential. Trust me.
Jimmy: We’re still trying to secure lucrative sponsorship deals with Ginster’s Pasties and Anadin Extra, so I should probably say those. The only problem with Supersonic in my experience is that I end up so thrilled by the whole shebang that I’m a mess by about 10PM, but far be it from me to suggest something as vulgar as pacing yourself.
Mat: The Bat Belt will be equipped with nerve agents, tranquilizers, military issue med kit, Tescos coupons, guitar picks and holy water. As standard.