Monday, September 2, 2013

No Magic Man Records reviews Die Geister Beschwören!

"Recorded by Oryan Peterson-Jones of the long running psych collective Datura Blues, this an album of beautiful instrumentation combined with field recordings and found sounds and brings to mind Six Organs Of Admittance and Ghost... Highly recommended..."
No Magic Man Records

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Terrascope Review of Die Geister Beschwören!

"Indo-influenced, multi-voiced instrumental music your thing? Then try "Those Who Came Before..." by Die Geister Beschwören, essentially multi-instrumentalist Oryan Peterson-Jones, with two guests on this very interesting album. Oryan plays guitars, sitar, synths, percussion and a host of ethnic instruments, so this is a varied brew indeed. Opening with the briefest of sitar and voice cuts, the first track proper fuses electric guitars with percussion and synths to make a trippy cut. 'Redbird 1: Krvavy Krk' is softer and tripper, with acoustic guitars duelling with synths and sundry sound effects. This and the flutes of the following cut reminded me a lot of my own early albums with Mooch - quite a surreal experience. Sitars and electric guitars return to the fore for 'Ars Notoria' (hints of Saddar Bazaar here), while 'Imprague 2: The Hunter's Moon' is a kind of Afro-noise journey through underworld regions. 'Donner Pass...' is a particularly nice, and rather too short track, as is the following '... Angel's Rest' - some lovely ambient textures and moods here. The final track 'Casa Cometa' is by far the longest on the album, merging softly plucked guitars, birdsong, synths, sounds, voices and more into a very fine track. This is an excellent album that fans of world music and electronica should enjoy..."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Review of DMT! (Datura Blues vs The Mindless Thuggs)

Datura Blues / Mindless Thuggs – “Untitled”
Posted on March 13, 2013

"OK, I’m not even sure this album has an actual name. Not only are the jacket and spine untitled, but both labels on the record are just black with no writing. No album name… no track lists… no nothing. So basically I had to make one up, and Untitled seemed as good as any. Fortunately the etchings in the runout indicate which side is which, otherwise it would always be a coin flip.

Initially I thought this entire album was by a band called the Mindless Thuggs. What little I’ve found online about them indicates they were formed on the other side of the state from me, in lovely Spokane, Washington, back in 1994 before eventually moving to this side of the mountains. It looks like they’re still active in the Seattle bar scene, but that their recorded output is supposedly limited to a couple of cassettes, which makes this record even harder to figure out. There is an insert that indicates the recording was from a live show at the Blue Moon Tavern, a Seattle institution, in December 2006, but other than that I have little or nothing to go on. Was this some kind of a sample? Was it ever available for sale at shows? I don’t know. A second flyer inside the jacket that shows a burned out building and reads, “Factories don’t burn down by themselves… they need help from you. Learn to Burn.” The band has pages on MySpace and Facebook, but neither appears to have been updated in the last few years. I emailed the address included on the insert but got a bounce-back… so this may remain a mystery for the foreseeable future.

But in doing some further research, I looked into another band mentioned on the Mindless Thuggs insert, the Datura Blues, and on their bandcamp site I found a reference to a split 12″ they recorded in 2007 with the Mindless Thuggs, and as an added bonus the site had one of the songs available for listening. Lo and behold, it matches the opening track on side A! So that explains a little about this album, as well as the flip side of the insert which has a trippy drawing and some poetry, but nothing that clearly indicates it is related to the Datura Blues unless you happen to recognize their logo at the bottom. Datura Blues are a sort of psych band out of Portland, so at least there’s a sort of northwest link to these two groups, and there are certainly similarities in musical styles. I’d be interested to learn how they ended up on an album together.

I guess if I was going to describe the sound of Untitled I’d probably have to go with something like ambient psych. It’s mostly instrumental and sort of meanders all over the place, with some use of distortion here and there, including possibly some electronics… though my guess is it’s guitar effects. There are some vocals on one song on side B (Mindless Thuggs), but for the most part this is sort of a slow paced musical stream of consciousness.

The recording quality is decent and it’s decent to have on in the background. That being said, I don’t know that you could ever find a copy of this. I’m almost positive the production run was small… I’d be surprised if there are more than a hundred copies out there, and quite possibly a lot less than that. Kind of cool and different though, so if you’re in Seattle and ever hear that the Mindless Thuggs or Datura Blues are playing somewhere, they might be worth checking out..."

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Die Geister Bechwören Review!

"Ah, dammit. Die Geister Bechwören, your band’s name got me all excited (okay, intrigued, really, not so much excited), thinking you were a band actually from Germany, or maybe at the very least some kind of Grimm tribute band, and yet, no, you’re just from Austin. sigh.

To make things murkier still, DGB is apparently the solo work of a guy named Oryan Peterson-Jones, whose main band is actually called Datura Blues, which is less a “band” and more a rotating bunch of musos split between Austin and Portland, Oregon.

This particular incarnation bills itself as “experimental folk,” and yeah, that’s not far off the mark — the music I’ve been able to hear so far is loose and psych-influenced, with lots of washes of sound, fuzzy guitars, and random bits of flute and other instruments tossed in at random to these fragile-sounding acoustic guitar compositions that come off like brief, hypnotic mantras more than anything else..."

Die Geister Beschwören & Kaiser Soze - Random Tea Room, Philadelphia 3/24/2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

...Another Die Geister Beschwören Review!

"Die Geister Beschwören, Oryan Peterson-Jones’ (of Portland’s Datura Blues) fascinating solo project is an oddball showcase of multi-instrumental, experimental folk pieces interspersed with ambient moans and field recordings. The twelve exploratory tracks highlight multiple ethnic influences and rhythms, particularly fadó, flamenco and gypsy, melded with traditional melodic structures and natural sounds.

“Some Become Birds” features trippy whistles, layers of woodwinds and strings, and some gorgeous sitar parts that pierce like sun glaring off a building. And I want to belly dance Bond-girl-style to the ominous “Donner Pass.” My favorite track is the ten-minute “Casa Cometa,” a field recording of chirping songbirds interspersed with gentle guitars, buzzy synth and looped guttural chanting. I’d totally take a relaxing eucalyptus bath to it on repeat.

“Those Who Came Before...” is surprisingly soothing and meditative after a few listens, but still weird enough to keep your ear at work..."
Leah Brzezinski, Savage Henry Magazine