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Artist of the Month
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July 2015
Ecstatic Vision
"Sonic Praise
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Heavy-psych three-piece Ecstatic Vision conjures cosmic soundscapes with their debut LP Sonic Praise (Relapse Records). Self-ordained as “primal,” the group’s orchestration is undeniably gripping and visceral, altering the embodied state of its listener at an instant. Pressing past the tropes of genre, Sonic Praise is a hypnotic example of the outfit’s versatility. The release of Ecstatic Vision’s tripped-out LP is hopefully the first of many.
 
Beginning with the well-titled “Journey,” Sonic Praise’s opening track unfolds like a swirling chant that gradually builds to bawdy, passionate dirge filled with buzzing riffs and drums. The song’s lyricism is straightforward yet amplified by the unrelenting progression of its instrumentation. The declaration of “Journey” is unapologetic. It’s not a conversation; it’s an invitation. At its climax, the resonance of the recording brings to mind similarly transcendent tracks like Moon Duo’s “Free The Skull” or Ty Segall’s “I Wear Black.”
 
“Astral Plane” is a tentative tip of the hat to the iconic Sun Ra’s masterpiece Space Is the Place, unfolding with driving riffs and drumbeats that elicit the sensation of being transported into the ether. By the two-minute mark, “Astral Plane” is in full swing, impressive guitar work resounding as the track’s earlier established foundation persists. Each component of the song’s structure expands as frontman Doug Sabolick’s vocals urge listeners to “Look in the mirror and tell yourself/this is the place to be.” Undoubtedly indicative of the cosmos (metaphorically or literally), “Astral Plane” is trancelike, with its instrumentation possessing the power to cast a psychedelic spell that lingers well past the song’s end. Nearly thirty seconds shy of thirteen minutes of length, the temporal duration of the recording is as well warranted as it is executed. “Don’t Kill The Vibe” is equally shamanistic, with riffage that feels psychotropic. The LP’s title track, “Sonic Praise,” begins with primeval distortion comprised of oscillating tempos and forlorn chants. The effect of its prelude is mesmerizing, dark, and strangely beautiful. Thematically cult like, “Sonic Praise” is satisfyingly otherworldly, seducing its listener to give in to Ecstatic Vision’s melodic ethos without hesitation. 
 
Sonic Praise’s final anthem “Cross the Divide” extends the mysticism of the album’s narrative, ending Ecstatic Vision’s debut on a plane similar to where it began - one of enlightenment and pure rock 'n' roll. - Dianca London Potts

 

 

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Volutes @ Quenchers

Volutes is the work of Christina Dennaoui and back in early 2014 we shared her debut EP Elegant Grey. A few months ago she shared a new single, "Lossless", from her upcoming LP, The Quite Hours.

Volutes performed earlier this month at Transitor and has posted her full set on soundcloud. You can catch her live at Quenchers on May 21st.

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Monobody

The local label Naked Alley released the self-titled debut album from experimental jazz, math rock quintet Monobody last month. Consisting of Al Costis, Steve Marek, Conor Mackey, Collin Clauson, and Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, Monobody creates a unique instrumental groove that covers multiple genes but always stay steady and focused.

Below is their video for "Gilgamesh (R-Teaxs)" filmed in the basement of Naked Alley.

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District 97

The Leslie Hunt fronted rock band, District 97 announced this week that their third LP, In Vaults, will be released through Laser's Edge on June 23rd. Hunt has released solo albums but is most well-known for being a finalist on American Idol in 2007.

The 9 tracks on In Vaults were recorded at IV Lab Studios in Chicago and promises to be band's finest release to date. Below is the kickstarter video that helped fans fully back this project last summer.

You can help the band celebrate the release on June 19th at Martyrs with Lovely Little Girls.

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Stefan Ponce

Stefan Ponce has released the first single from his forthcoming EP, Somewhere. The track is called "Lost In Translation" and features local emcee The Mind.

You can catch Stefan Ponce at Bottom Lounge on May 29th.

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Ratboys

Topself Records announced today that they will be releasing the debut LP, AOID, from Ratboys on June 9th. Ratboys is now a four piece band lead by delicate vocals of Julia Steiner. On their earlier EP's and singles the band was a duo consisting of Steiner and Dave Sagan. Now flushed out rock band, Ratboy released the single below, "Have a Heart" back in January.

 

 You can catch Ratboys with Arthur, Nice Things, and Regular Oatmeal on May 18th at Gypsy House.

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