Posts Tagged ‘Kryssi Battalene’

Headroom – “Equinox 20”

A brand new psychedelic soaker courtesy of New Haven’s Headroom. The track popped up on Sweden’s Dischi Del Barone label, covering two sides of a 7” at the tail end of 2020, but this is the first time you can nab the track digitally and without international shipping. At just a hair under 13-minutes the track’s a full head down immersion of the New England band’s scorched psychedelics, letting Kryssi Battalene’s guitar throttle through the speakers oscillating between transcendental wander and noise-baiting squall. The band keep the rhythm chugging behind her, nodding with just a touch of the German Progressive pulse, though taking note not to wander too far into the vortex that they shave off the human element. If you’ve spent time with Headroom howling in the speakers, then this should be of instant interest. Probably about time to get this one into rotation and let it lace the brain a bit for the next few rounds.



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Jeffrey Alexander + The Heavy Lidders – “West Ellet Fadeaway”

Caught The Heavy Lidders last weekend in the first feasible show I’ve been able to attend in seven month. Its good to be out watching it happen in the flesh, even if its 10 feet from anyone else in an Upstate NY farm field while it happens. The band was cut down to the core of Alexander, Jesse Sheppard, and Scott Verrastro but even with the austere lineup they brought a storm of psychedelic fury. On their first release propper The Lidders are fleshed out between 4 and 5 with extra help from Eklhorn’s Drew Gardiner, Headroom shredder Kryssi Battalene, and Sunwatchers’ Jeff Tobias on sax. The air is thick with ash and amplifer fallout here and there’s a feeling that the band may tear it all down at any moment. The good news is that this is just the first from the band, with rumblings of more Lidders on the way soon. For now, the high-tensity jet fuel burn of “West Ellet Fadeaway” and the rest of this zone out on Baked Tapes will just have to tide you over.




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Kawaguchi Masami’s New Rock Syndicate & Kryssi Battalene

RSTB has had no lack of love for New Haven guitar-wrangler Kryssi Battalene (Headroom, Mountain Movers, Medication) over the years, and with her latest she’s only letting that love grow. The guitarist spent some time in Japan in 2018 and surprised legend-in-his-own-right Kawaguchi Masami (LSD Pond, LSD March, Aihiyo) at a solo show. The two made a connection and eventual plans to collaborate. Thus, a new version of the New Rock Syndicate was born with Battalene and Kawaguchi trading off on guitar and vocals. The record pushes both through new terrain, showing off their ability to flash fry a riff, but also a more mercurial side to both. While first couple of tracks light the wick on amp-toasted explosions, “Drown” finds them wading into the haunted mists of Ghost or Cosmic Invention.

The band only tumbles further into the cosmos after that. The guitars become more entangled and synths begin to swamp the speakers. On “Shadow of the Earth,” Kawaguchi takes the reins for the first half, letting the band wander through a nebulous darkness that stares out at the upper edges of the ionosphere from a position rooted in the mossy shade of gravestones and gravel. Battalene brings things down softly to the ground with her own haunted croon on the second half. “Pieces of You” closes out the record with a shuddering tumble that threatens to bring the whole thing crashing down around the listener. The record is a layered, seething mass of psychedelic throb and both artists prove that their individual, indelible forms only multiply when they’re together. This ones a limited platter, out on New Haven’s own C/Site. Fans of either artist should grab one while its there. Definitely too good to let this one go.



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Sarah Louise, Sally Anne Morgan & Kryssi B – “Cherry Tree Carol”

Black Dirt has been kicking out some real gems from their NATCH series in the last year and it looks like 2020 is off to a similar start. Entry number 11 in the series is a collaboration between Sarah Louise and Sally Ann Morgen of House and Land and Kryssi Battalene of Headroom/Mountain Movers. The set finds a balance between styles, feeling neither as heavy as anything Battalene is typically involved in or as pastoral as Louise and Morgen’s duo or solo works. Some of the best moments of the set comes in the longform pieces that the trio puts together, weaving the folk with Kryssi’s gnarled guitar. “Cherry Tree Carol” is a particular highlight of dark, shadowy folk. In other news Black Dirt is looking to restructure the studio game, and working towards a patron-based system of keeping the doors open so they can do more great sessions like this and keep bands from having to hammer out their best works at hourly rates. One of the best studios running so give ‘em some love it you have the means.




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