lördag 3 augusti 2013

The Mighty Aquarius Records Review Hills - Live

Looks like we like this one so much that both Allan and Andee, unbeknownst to one another, each wrote reviews of it for this list, whoops! But they're almost the same review, which just goes to show that what they say about Hills Live must be true. For an exercise in comparative literature, here's both reviews, Allan's first:
This is one of the first records we've managed to get in on the new Cardinal Fuzz label out of England. Frustratingly, we missed out on some stuff they did earlier by the likes of The Heads and Hookworms, but at least we now have THIS, a live album from Swedish hypno-rock jammers Hills, whose previous two albums we're totally loved (we reviewed Master Sleeps on list #391). Their spacey, krautrock channelling grooves hit the spot like those of that other 'Hills' band, White Hills, and we recommend 'em to fans of Wooden Shjips too, big time, for another positive contemporary comparison.
This record finds Hills in their element, the title simply says it all: Live. Stretching out improvisationally over two sides of vinyl, this contains two roughly 15-minute long tracks, "Kristallen Den Fina" and "Frigorande Musik", the latter recorded exclusively for this release. Both are just want we want - massive, mantric, sometimes flutey rhythmic churn with underlying Eastern drone vibes...
What's especially obvious from the music here, and dunno why we didn't mention it before, is how much Hills are serious acolytes of their aQ-beloved countrymen Trad, Gras Och Stenar, sounding a heck of a lot like them in their various incarnations of decades past (TGOS, Harvester, International Harvester, Parson Sound). If you love those groups you'll totally dig this!!
And then Andee's very similar take on this lp:
We've been dying to carry records on UK label Cardinal Fuzz, but with no US distribution, we had no luck at all, UNTIL NOW! Elsewhere on this week's list you'll find a double lp from Swedish heavy space psych combo the Janitors, and then there's this, a long out of print cassette from hippie psych space rockers Hills, reissued on vinyl with a whole second track/side exclusive to this release! Recorded live, the A side (and the new B side for that matter) find these guys channeling their Swedish forefathers (Parson Sound, Trad Gras Och Stenar, etc.), and we're ALWAYS skeptical when a band is compared to a group like Parson Sound, but these guys totally pull it off, and if we didn't now any better, we might have even bought that this was some unearthed live tape from back in the day. Tranced out psychedelic krautrock style instrumental minimalism woven from motorik drumming, buzzing distorted guitars, looped sounding psych guitar riffage, everything fuzzy and hazy and druggy, laced with cool wah guitar leads, and rife with subtle shifts and sonic variations, but ultimately, the band locked tight into a single groove, playing on endlessly, utterly mesmeric space-kraut that sounds like classic minimalism (Reich, Riley, Young) recast as heavy psychedelic hippie folk hypno-psych. The flipside is even cooler, slower, dirgier, murkier, just as tranced out and hypnotic, but all woozy and washed out, all churning low end, and killer drumming, loose and free, but forever bound up in this droney druggy psych-murk mega-jam, that sort of epic psychedelia that could and SHOULD go on forever...
Obviously WAY recommended! LIMITED TO JUST 200 COPIES for the USA, vinyl only, get 'em while you can. With this as a teaser, we're really looking forward to Hills upcoming album on Rocket, as well!