Right now he's working on a 300 foot long mural together with indeginous aboriginal artists, placed in Lismore, NSW north coast of Oz... give him a pile of praise! Congrats comrade!
"The Sturm und Drang of Khanate"
Khanate at The Ritz, March 20, 2004
SXSW, Southern Lord Showcase
Live Review by Dege Legg
Amazing night. Place was packed. The Southern Lord Showcase, which included a mind-blowing line-up: Graves at Sea, Khanate, Outlaw Order (members of Eyehategod), Earthride, and Place of Skulls (featuring the legendary Victor Griffith) seemed to bring out everyone in the "Heavy Scene"…from the members of the above mentioned bands to Greg Anderson, Tim Moss (Porn), Joey & Lori (Acid King), Trinidad (Dixie Witch), and Billy Anderson. Killer vibe in the room.
Khanate came out ripping in their own unbelievably, unique approach, which means they jammed a hulking crowbar into the evolutionary gearbox of mankind and took the crowd on a slow-rolling turn into the darkness…roasting souls in the blast furnace of No Man’s Land. BlackLight-SlowHeat. Khanate is a mind-bending atom-killing spree… that stretches the parameters of musicality with the musicians’ Zero-Point Energy, non-gravitational, mausoleum door-pounding emotional assault.
Stephen O’Malley, from the instant he hit the first of his Plate-Tectonic rattling chords, guided the band, and crowd, into a journey thru the equatorial ruins the subconscious. The crowd-slow and in sway with the earth-moving machine tempos-seemed to be vibing the music telepathically and in unison with the roaring volume. Very interesting.
Khanate is a band so unlike any other (much in the same way as my beloved Birthday Party), I can’t help but ramble when attempting to decipher the code of their artistic intentions. On the surface, yes, of course there seemed to be an element of the crowd that simply reacted and reveled in the titanic crush of their sound (Note: this was the slowest head-banging I’ve ever witnessed in a club…many lowered heads…as if at a Black Mass Eulogy for a fallen comrade in the Drug War), but if you listen closely, and have your radar antenna twisted at an oblique angle, you begin to piece together the incredible subtext of their art, which in my opinion, is where the true essence of Khanate’s music resides.
The music was tumultuous, crawling along-locked in Dirge Drive-with the rumbling grammatiks of the instrumentation functioning like cardinal, exclamation points exacted from the death knell of black mammoth bells tuned to a frequency well versed in the dark grandeur of the Unknown. Over and over, the accents pound and the string section hounds your mind’s eye into conjuring slack-jawed visions of crumbling gray monasteries-colossal and incomprehensibly bombed-out-where clouds rain embalming fluid-and the MileWideSun leaks a black, inert grease. The chord sequences send the mysteries of the quantum to the Scar-Center of a thousand time-lapse centuries, burnt into the daguerreotype of your heart. All of this is dramatically punctuated with periodic runs of BloodHaunt silence laced with Rorschach feedback transmissions…loosed against the concrete walls of an abandoned asylum. The band plays on, and then comes the nuances: enigmatic scribbles of sound-samples, peeping into focus from an elliptical orbit…like a malfunctioning homing beacon, running in tandem to the lone voice/vocals, meditating-in encrypted-primeval lyrical code-on the sawed-off metaphysics of its own eventual destruction. The band answers these distress-signal-communiqués with Zarathustra-like craters of soundhulk, jamming the transmitters of Ground Control to the point that all communication is blasted back to an enlightened state of Paleozoic-frankness.
The Khanate Aesthetic, brilliant and so genuinely inspired in its execution, to me, seems in part to be one of contorting any & all of the listener’s preconceived notions of what constitutes music in general. The presentation, as a whole, is one that verges on performance art (movingly delivered by these guys with not a hint of pretension…just total commitment to each fanatical passage) where the continuous and deliberate sluggishness of the "piece" is the art and the primary emotional vehicle of the content and parallel subtext. The tortured pace serves as the means of transport most fitting for conveying this particular species of irradiated-narcoleptic melancholy…one denied in most of us, but present, I think, in all humans who are somewhat aware of the quiet horror of conventional society and, in turn, its demented effect on us in this new millennium.
In simpler terms, Khanate is like the sound of an omni-directional mic hung in a forgotten cellar of the contemporary Collective Unconscious. Amazing. Grand in scope. Awe-inspiring…and even strangely regal.
I loved this show. It’s difficult to describe how inspiring it is to see this degree of intelligence utilized in a genre that sometimes relies heavily on common denominators.
It’s 21st Century Sturm und Drang. A new Long-Pig Noir. Can you dig it? Take the Khanate Sensory-Depro-Overload Test and see if you can pass.
Sunday April 4th
Downriver plus Quay
8pm / $7
With Gerald Menke (steel guitar), Tim Wyskida (drums), Gabe Katz (bass), Andy Hawkins (double neck and six string guitar). Downriver makes instrumental music that is dense, flowing and melodic.
Below: Joe Preston's iPod & another SUNN O))) fan's gone wild
LET LOOSE THE LAMBS
3/12/04 Tonic 107 Norfolk Street New York, NY (w/THRONES) $8/21+
3/13/04 ModernFormations 4919 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA (w/Snowflake, First Day Dead) $8/All Ages
3/14/04 Uncle Pleasants 2126 S. Preston St. Louisville, KY $6/21+
3/15/04 Pilot Light 106 east jackson Ave Knoxville, TN (w/ BAD WIZARD, PLACE OF SKULLS) $7/18+
3/16/04 Calendonia Lounge 56 West Clayton. Athens, GA $7/21+
3/18/04 Lizard Lounge 200 Decatur Street New Orleans, LA (w/ Scelsi Girls, and Hagus) $5/21+
3/19/04 Polk Street Warehouse Cnr Polk & Roberts, Houston, TX (w/ Ossum, Goat, Pretty Little Flower, Kairos, [Eye against Eye Video projections]) $8/All Ages
3/20/04 SXSW The Ritz Austin, TX 320 East 6th St Austin, TX (Southern Lord Showcase w/Place of Skulls, Earthride, Outlaw Order, Graves at Sea) $??/21+
3/21/04 Conservatory 8911 N Western Oklahoma City, OK (w/ Place of Skulls, Graves at Sea) $7/21+
3/22/04 Lemp Gallery 3301 Lemp Ave $5/All Ages
3/23/04 Gabes Oasis 330 E. Washington Iowa City , IA (w/ Flacid Trip) $8/21+
3/24/04 Empty Bottle 1035 N. Western Ave. Chicago , IL (w/ KEVIN DRUMM, WHITE LIGHT) $8/21+
3/25/04 Mac's Bar 2700 E. Michigan Ave. Lansing, MI (w/THREATENER) $6/21+
3/26/04 Grog Shop 2785 Euclid Hts Blvd Cleveland, OH (w/ WOLF EYES) $7/21+
3/27/04 The Balcony 1003 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA (w/ 27) $8/21+
Great poster for our Pittsburgh show on the 13th by BUDAI.
WITCHCRAFT is a great occult rock group from Örebro Sweden, who are about to put their debut album out of Rise Above. Lee sent me this great flyer which evokes the core spirit of the band and music! Check them out if you get a chance!
Here's their intro from the website: "Witchcraft was formed in Örebro the year 2000 by former Norrsken guitarist Magnus Pelander, who wanted to record a tribute single to his idols Bobby Liebling and Roky Erickson. He gathered some friends, (John Hoyles, Ola Henriksson and producer Jens Henriksson), and recorded the single, "No angel or demon" released by primitive art 2002. The same year Witchcraft got a record deal with Rise Above Records and spent the following months recording their debute album.....
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