In early 2017, CANNAHANN, founded in 2014, started recording their second album with producer Daniel Schobert (Stonesound/Bamberg), retreating for a productive two weeks to the studio (Unique Musique/Bischberg) and an improvised recording facility at a concert location in order to spend time together, party and of course work. As an impressive result, the listener is treated to ten accomplished tracks which form CANNAHANN’s new album.
Throughout their new record, the four-piece from Frankonia (Germany) stays true to the driving, angry desert rock which also characterizes their thoroughly well received debut „NN“, resolutely blending it with grunge, stoner, noise, psychedelica, alternative, blues and pop elements. Even more so than CANNAHANN’s previous outing „Staub Und Wasser“ (means: „Dust And Water“) is all about catchy hooks. Efficiency is everything!
A perfectly attuned rhythm group forms the pushing basis for a consistent guitar part, and the multifaceted voice of lead singer Ralf Rossbach exploring a vast range of styles from soft melancholy to aggressive distortedness – no doubt one of CANNAHANN’s most compelling assets. An appealing panoramic sound production, paired with a powerful master from the Oldenburg-based recording studio Tonmeisterei (Omega Massif, Escapado) carries the band’s strong live presence right to the listener’s speakers.
With this enhanced impact and a consumer-friendly 40 minutes’ worth of relentless yet thoughtful tunes, „Staub Und Wasser“ draws the listener in, taking them to an all-encompassing, intense journey. The album’s sparse and likewise meaningful artwork by Oliver Hummel rounds off the experience and convincingly conveys the album’s textual content to the visual realm. A polar, dynamic interplay of elements, fierce and fragile, wild and enticing. Dust and water.
CHVOS stands for minimalistic soundscapes full of emotion, but is lacking unnecessary pathos. Swinging between soundtracks and modern scandinavian weltschmerz-pop it creates its own niche, combining meditative quiet and spheric sounds with catchy melodies and interesting arrangements. Either with electronic beats, classical Orchestration or the instrument that started it all – the guitar – CHVOS creates the bond between old and new and constantly manages to create a thriving suspense.
Eleven years is a long time. Over such a long period of time, life throws up all kinds of personal changes and developments – and can’t be held back by anyone or anything. All of which makes it even more noteworthy when connections between people remain constant despite these everchanging circumstances.
This all sounds very clichéd, but it truly does apply in the case of the band Flares. The Saarbrücken five-piece have been playing instrumental post-rock, with a decent helping of prog-rock, since 2007. Their sound has been influenced by bands such as Oceansize, Mogwai and Boards Of Canada. After the self-released EPs „Levitation“ (2008) and „Kingdom Come“ (2012, nominated „Demo of the Month“ by German magazine „VISIONS“), the band‘s first LP, „Solar Empire“, was released by the Karlsruhe-based indie label Wolves & Vibrancy Records in May 2014.
Over the years, Flares have opened for such acts as Mono, Red Sparowes, Caspian, and Animals As Leaders – winning over European Union cultural attachés, who didn’t hesitate to sign the band up to the „Multipistes“ talent pool and give them the chance to take to the stage at „L’Autre Canal“ in Nancy in France.
Even though the band’s history now goes back over a decade, and their members are strewn across Germany, neither their friendship nor their creativity has dimmed. For proof, look no further than their LP „Allegorhythms“, produced by keyboardist Mike Balzer.
Hell And High Water
The three-piece indie/alternative rock outfit Hell and High Water was founded in 2014 and consists of Matthias Schwettmann (vocals, guitar), Kai Namslau (bass) and Dennis Reher (drums). All members share equally in songwriting.
The band’s independent sound is extraordinarily diverse revealing influences from American powerpop bands from the 70s and fusing elements of 80s British underground and 90s indie rock. Loud and screaming, Dinosaur Jr.-like fuzz guitars can be heard along with typical power chords.
Their first self-produced EP „Bird“ released in May 2017 was instantly crowned „Demo of the Month“ by the German music magazine „VISIONS“. This success spurred the band to get busy.
In November, Hell and High Water are releasing their long-awaited debut album „Neon Globe“ on Barhill Records. It was produced by Role Wiegner at „Die Tonmeisterei“ (Marathonmann, Long Distance Calling and others) in Oldenburg, Germany. Following the release, the band will again embark on a club tour presenting their dynamic and brute sound at venues all over Germany.
Like a crawl through the undergrowth appear the four tracks on the fifth nighttime filling full-length of KILLFLAVOUR. Harsh, dark, confrontational, dreamy, calming and jarring, thereby KILLFLAVOUR are playing intuitively, which gives every played tune and every played show a very unique and unrepeatable mystical character.
Founded way back in 1995 and arisen from the ashes of different bands (e.g. ABC Diabolo), KILLFLAVOUR is a highly individual Darkkraut project based in Saarbrücken, in the south-western part of Germany.
20 years after KILLFLAVOUR’s bursting “Untitled” 12” vinyl release on Common Cause and several sold-out digital releases during the 2000´s, KILLFLAVOUR released “Forest Mirror” on vinyl via Barhill Records, distributed by Cargo Records.
Recorded live in spring 2016 with X-Y technique for capturing the pure stereophonic sound and mastered with analogue equipment from the golden recording age, “Forest Mirror“ invites you to an aural feast.
P.S.: After the recording of „Forest Mirror“ Ulrich Steffens (bass), who was already involved in the nineties, joined Alexander Britz (vocals), Uwe Kartes (guitars), Manuel Stuhlsatz (e-machines) and Marc Schönwald (drums; of Yagow-fame) as a fifth band member.
The Yellow King
The Yellow King was founded in spring 2015 out of former members of the bands LLynch, Traeos and In The Event Of Fire. Their musical style consists of an up-to-date mixture of metal, hardcore and post/math-rock.
The Yellow King serves hard and heavy music that crashes strongly in the ears. Besides the dark basic nature, their sound attracts attention due to atmospherecial elements. The different musical backgrounds of the band members merge into a total package that sets a course in their local music scene – and beyond.
After the production of demosongs, the band signed a recording contract with Barhill Records. The debut album called „Debris And Modern Wreckage“ was recorded single-handedly, then mixed and mastered at RAMA Recording Studio. It contains eight songs with 40 stunning minutes of playing time. Keep your eyes and ears open for The Yellow King.
ZESURA is a Post-Punk-Indie-Punk-Rock-Band from Saarbrücken in the southwest of Germany. Even though ZESURA exists only since 2014, you could say that ZESURA was born on the evening Guildo Horn was representing Germany at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998. The same evening the bands „Karcher“ and „Mental Tearing After 9“ (MTA9) were playing their first show togehter.
Karcher from Saarbrücken were infamous for their Lo-Fi-Noiserock while MTA9 from Neunkirchen / Saar (a town which is probably best known as birth town of Eurovision Song Contest winner Nicole) had already gained some reputation with their noisy hit „Cudercaven“ that had been published on the VISION Magazin Sampler.
Both bands liked each other from the beginning and played several shows together in the following years. Then, families were started, jobs were searched and locations were moved. When both bands finally disbanded, it didn’t take long until some of the remaining members found together.
In mid 2014 Werner Martin (formerly of MTA9) and Ralf Klein-Kretzschmar (formerly of Karcher) decided to play some music together and started looking for a drummer. By recommendation, Alexander Pfingst was found. Alex had been playing with punkrockers „The Pistons“ from Saarlouis and had nearly given up on music when the two convinced him of a comeback.
The newly formed band found a practice room in a former precasting plant and started jamming. In the end of 2014 Dietmar Bottler, the former leadsinger of Karcher was tired of trying alternative hobbies and joined the band too. The band explored the possibilites of the newly formed configuration and new songs quickly emerged .
In April 2016 five songs were recorded by Charles Greywolf (of the successful Metal Band Powerwolf) in his Greywolf-Studios. The songs were published as EP „Post Modem“ via Bandcamp.
In June 2016 the band first appeared on stage, playing with befriended bands, among others the band „Ex-Nerven“ (Fidel Bastro Records). The energetic music and show took their hometown Saarbrücken by surprise. Gigs as support act for „Tomorrows Tulips“ and „Gold Class“ followed.
In 2017 a dream came true for the band members. They were invited to play the main stage at the Nauwieser Viertelfest , an alternative street fest in Saarbrücken. The band also shared stage twice with punkrock-legends „Steakknife“ later that year.
Since the beginning of 2018, ZESURA is proud to be a part of the BARHILL Records Label roster. ZESURA are playing their own, energetic mix of Post-Punk, Punk-Rock and Indie-Rock that definitly will never be heard at the Eurovision Song contest. By their own account, they are influenced by the likes of Hot Snakes, Sonic Youth, Modest Mouse and more recent Bands like Gold Class, Big-Ups or SUUNS.