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THURSTON MOORE GROUP

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We are beyond ecstatic to have Thurston Moore Group headline the 6th Astral Festival. Thurston Moore is the founder of seminal US alternative rock experimentalists Sonic Youth. You may have seen that Sonic Youth are currently celebrating the 30th anniversary of their incredible album Daydream Nation.

Thurston Moore Group first released their critically acclaimed album The Best Day  in 2014 on Matador Records. That introduced the core members James Sedwards (guitar), My Bloody Valentine's Deb Googe (bass) and Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley (drums). Their second album Rock n Roll Consciousness (2017) was a creative highpoint for anyone interested in Thurston Moore’s legacy of avant-garde music and writing, as strong a statement as anything he has recorded these last three decades - serious and precocious and strangely accessible.

Thurston Moore - guitars, vocals

James Sedwards - guitars

Deb Googe - bass, background vocals

Steve Shelley - drums

 

TEMPLES

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"Doing something different with a pop song, breaking the convention of verses and choruses -- it's something we always keep in mind when we're recording," says bassist Tom Warmsley, who founded Temples with singer/guitarist James Bagshaw in the summer of 2012.

Looking like a West Coast psych band, Temples bear all the hallmarks of cosmic travellers. There's the band name, for starters, there are track titles that sound like JG Ballard novels (Prisms, The Golden Throne, Sun Structures) and there's the fact that they take incense sticks on the road with them. But if all of the above suggests Temples are backwards-looking, think again. The Kettering four-piece's music is a mix of scuzzy glam stomp, dreamy, 12-string-drenched folk-rock, droning psych and more -- all given a 2013 spin. Retro is a dirty word.

"Psychedelic music has always been forward thinking," says Tom. "|t's so easy to fall into that kind of revival band thing, but our aim is to reference these things and bring something completely new to it. A song like Sun Structures talks about something contemporary using old imagery and eastern religion. It isn't a fictional work that people won't be able to find anything in. And the fidelity of the sound alone says we're doing something that couldn't really be done before."

 

MATTIEL

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It’s a familiar story: fledgling singer does soul-sucking day job in order to fund their real passion during the nocturnal hours. Except Mattiel Brown, Atlanta’s rising star, is a rare exception to this time-honoured tradition: a fulfilled creative by day andnight, albeit in different contexts. “It’s like I have two full-time jobs: designer and musician,” she says, humbly hip to her good fortune.

During office hours, Brown works as an ad designer and illustrator at MailChimp, a position she’s enjoyed for four years. “I work with a great video production team, in a great studio. Luckily, they’re a company that encourage side gigs.” Out of office hours, Brown swaps the design studio for the stage, a softly-spoken, chilled-out design nerd turned rock & roll belter, performing bold, vintage soul as Mattiel (pronounced ‘maa-TEEL’).

Brown grew up on a five-acre farm in rural Brooks, Georgia, the only child of a Detroit native. “My mom bought the farm in the early ‘90s. She had – still has – horses, so I learned to ride western-style when I was 6, 7 years-old,” (a skill Brown nods to in her cover art).

As an adolescent, Brown delighted in the ‘60s folk and pop of her mother’s limited vinyl collection: Donovan, Peter Paul and Mary, and Joan Baez. As an adult, relocated in neighbouring Atlanta, she’d sing along to the radio on the long drives to work: Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Andre 3000, Dylan, Marc Bolan, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Jack White.

When Brown first began jamming with InCrowd, the Atlanta-based song-writing and production team behind her dynamite eponymous debut, she had no real designs on making a whole album and no gameplan beyond the fun of “creating something out of nothing.” She said, “That process is always pretty astounding to me, and doing it with other people is even better.” But her producers, Randy Michael and Jonah Swilley, knew a good thing when they heard it: Brown and InCrowd had chemistry.

InCrowd’s founders, both skilled multi-instrumentalists, met in 2014, as session musicians touring with soul man Curtis Harding. Michael – an experienced player who’d co-written with Harding and racked up impressive session spots with the likes of Bruno Mars, and The Next Day-era Bowie – played guitar, while Swilley (producer, writer and performer since age 9 and younger brother of Black Lips bassist Jared) played drums. On the road, they bonded over a mutual love of vintage R&R and ‘90s rap. “We discovered we both loved The Beatles as much as Jay-Z, Dylan as much as the Arctic Monkeys,” remembers Swilley. Back in Atlanta, once the Harding tour had wrapped, the pair formed a band, Black Linen, writing reverb-washed guitar music inspired by Tarantino soundtracks, by way of ‘60s Cambodian psych.

Mattiel’s sound might borrow from the past, but their art direction – Brown’s inspiring handiwork, of course – is decidedly forward-thinking, all colour block aesthetics (á la the White Stripes) and artful, design-savvy music videos. “I don’t wanna hit people over the head with like, bell bottoms and long hair and a Jimmy Hendrix outfit,” Brown laughs. “People have seen all that before.”

Mattiel is a “fresh mesh of retro and contemporary,” says Swilley, the latter thanks in large part to Brown’s vision, voice and on-stage energy. “She's very exciting to watch. She doesn't rehearse it or try to emulate anyone; she's just doing own her thing. And she's not fazed by the crowds [as evidenced during their shows to date: a recent, three-date support slot for Portugal The Man]. It’s kind of incredible really, because in person she's pretty chilled and softly spoken, but when she gets on stage...in the last six months, she's really been killing it.”

 

KING KHAN AND THE SHRINES

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In 1999 King Khan, Aquarius and founder of the greatest cult phenomenon since the parting of the Milky Way, assembles the 8-piece band called The Shrines. Together they begin spreading their hypersexual gospel around the world, stunning Krauts and becoming notorious for being one of the most entertaining groups since the days of Ike & Tina.

Dressed in their ceremonial duds, King Khan and the Shrines, are more than just a psychedelic soul revue, imagine Roky Erickson backed by the Sun Ra Arkestra or Wilson Pickett leading The Velvet Underground, wearing a golden cape that wraps around the world, a Bollywood James Brown reading his self-made tarot cards (WHO DOES THAT!?).

As the love child of Anubis and Kali, King Khan & The Shrines have pillaged countless stages around the world and are known to frequently drive audiences into a sweaty orgy. If musical salvation is what you need, if your soul is searching for true absolution, look no further….

Let King Khan & The Shrines come into your mind, body and soul to heal your every hurt.

 

BO NINGEN

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Enlightenment activists from far east psychedelic underground.Bo Ningen are from Tokyo, Gunmma, Tajimi, Nishinomiya, but all met in London.In 2006 Taigen (vocal & bass) met Kohhei (guitar) at a gig and they formed the first Bo Ningen duo. It was more noise than a straightforward rock or 'band' sound and they performed only once -- an improvised set (end up being thrown cups and cans). In 2007, Yuki (guitar) met Taigen they started to jam 10 hours a day in a studio in Hackney without any musical structure, they were later joined by Monchan on drums and the present day Bo Ningen was formed.Being 'psychedelic' means to us that stand quietly / loudly in the middle of interzone and stare at both sides at once.

 

GNOD

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Since their inception, Gnod’s musical trajectory has been one of constant fluctuation borne out of an incessant need to discover new sonic worlds. Beginning life as a shamanic drone ensemble, at times fitting up to 15 members on stage, these early rituals informed the core ideals that have come to define the group in their years of activity; community and trance-inducing repetition. Throughout a discography that has amassed dozens of CD-R’s, cassettes and vinyls for labels like Rocket Recordings, Trensmat, Krokodilo (Blackest Ever Black) and their own Tesla Tapes imprint, a restless yet organic need mutate their music into new realms has had critics clawing for comparative touch stones. Acts as far ranging as Hawkwind, Popul Vuh, Pan Sonic, Sunburned Hand of the Man and Pharaoh Sanders have all been referenced in attempt to pinpoint their output, one that has historically never aped any genre but with each record furthered their own unique place in truly independent music. It is the exact same dedication to the live arena that has seen Gnod become one of the most celebrated live bands in the UK and secured them multiple tours and festival appearances throughout Europe. In these times of cash in hand ‘glory days’ reunions and bands simply rehashing their recorded material pitch perfect live, Gnod are a stark and welcome anomaly. Already moving on from the barley released and universally acclaimed epic ‘Infinity Machines’, the current live incarnation of the band is characterised by a crushing, cataclysmic new protest music whose call to arms gravitas offers a meaningful defiance to Cameron’s Austerity Britain. Gnod have taken their very namesake and charged it with bludgeoning new edge that is as euphoric as it is nihilistic. It is one that stridently attests to the group’s spiritual center, one of community that is inclusive and respectful of its audience yet will never placate to their expectations. Instead, Gnod offer a gateway to an aural black hole and along with firm guiding hand, the opportunity to dive head and body first into a powerfully new psychedelic maelstrom full of possibilities.

 

PART CHIMP

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Having mostly laid dormant since 2009, London noise-rock titans Part Chimp finally returned in 2017 with a new album IV, released via Rock Action.
IV follows three acclaimed studio albums, a live record, compilations and split singles and EPs alongside artists including Torche and Hey Colossus, sharing stages along with the way with the likes of Melvins, Deerhoof, Harvey Milk and Isis, as well as headlining last year’s Raw Power Festival.
Since their formation in 2000, Part Chimp have carved their own place in the archives of heavy music, with their fuzz-laden seismic rock. With Iv, the band have recorded their most precise piece of work to date, perfectly balancing crushing and intense riffs with undeniable melodies.
With nods to boundary pushing artists from the 60s to the present – from MC5 and Sabbath, to Big Business, Earth and Harvey Milk – it’s clear Part Chimp are not content to simply be labelled as one of the UK’s loudest bands. In everything the band create, songcraft is as important as the volume at which is played. This has never been more true than now.

 

SLIFT

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A deafening mass of sonic magma, epic fuzz guitar flying over the fearsome motorik machine of bass and drum. 
The fervent swayed hips and crazy energy are resolutely garage, but the psychedelic music of 70's (kraut and space rock at the top of line) is never far. 3 piece on from Toulouse who are the only band to be playing from last years festival, why? Well go see them and tell me you dont want them booked for every year!

 

THE NATURALS

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"Dropping sonic textures that range from futuristic electronic grind, to doomy, thumping guitars, its an exercise in excess that never lets up for a second. Your ears daren’t turn away." - Crack Magazine

"Were anyone to try and pigeonhole this four-piece into any conscripted genre they'd fail miserably. Which is testament to the ambition and dedication of a band never afraid to push boundaries to their absolute limit and leap over the fences if necessary." - Drowned in Sound

 

LA WITCH

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It’s easy to forget that just a few decades ago, the only viable means for penetrating the golden glamour of Los Angeles was via the dusty trail of Route 66. And just as the arteries of the interstate latched onto the thumping heart of California, so too came the amplified sounds of a new restless generation. There was acid on the streets and revolution in the air, but there were also Hell’s Angels in the alleys and Manson’s family on the desert periphery. It was an age of innocence, beauty, and opportunity, with an underbelly of lawlessness and depravity. And it had a soundtrack.

It’s impossible to listen to L.A. Witch and not hear echoes of that time. The sound of dusty neon and the first dim-lit bars of Sunset ring out with every reverb-drenched note. The juxtaposition of Hollywood allure and Skid Row desperation throbs in every three-chord riff. And the perilous wager of temptation lies in every sultry vocal melody. Yes, L.A. is the land of sunshine, but it also harbors a certain kind of dangerous magic. And no one seems to understand that more clearly than the three women of L.A. Witch. Whether they’re conjuring the downtrodden cowpunk of The Gun Club, the seedy metropolitan balladry of Velvet Underground, or the beefed-up blues of Black Sabbath, L.A. Witch remind us of that exhilarating revelation that a city can elevate you just as quickly as it can grind you into the dirt.

 

LEVITATION ROOM

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Their Decidedly hallucinogenic jams whisper and hum the same gentle refrains of their summer of love influences, conjuring up the cognitive imagery of sunny days at the park, spent with friends in a euphoric haze along with lyrics ad sonic mediations on life, love and self-awareness.
It just happened. Kind of like how humans crawled out of the slime and came into existence.

 

TRIPTIDES

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Triptides is a psychedelic rock group led by multi-instrumentalist Glenn Brigman. It began as a series of home recorded tape machine experiments but as the music has grown and transformed, so has the project. As a musician as well as a producer, Brigman has always surrounded himself with other like-minded musicians who have allowed him to perform his recording studio creations for audiences across the USA and Europe. From festival appearances at Desert Daze and Barcelona Psych fest to late night appearances on Last Call with Carson Daly, two European tours and a West Coast tour with the UK’s Temples, the group has continued at a strong pace and shows no signs of slowing down.

The group released their latest record “Visitors” in 2018 to critical acclaim with AllMusic calling it “their best sounding record to date” and LA Record describing it as “an expansive expedition into the undercurrent of the late sixties.”

Triptides has always meant something different to everyone; to the surfer it’s music to hit the beach to; to the psychedelic music enthusiast it’s an effort to create something groovy in the modern era without attempting to re-tread the same path; to some people it’s just a sound that makes them feel something. Whatever your style is, Triptides certainly aims to make you FEEL. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

 

KURO

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The band feature the amplified talents of French violinist Agathe Max and Rocket regular Big Naturals/Anthroprophh Bassist Gareth Turner. 

Agathe Max trained in classical music for 10 years, she graduated at the Bourgoin-Jallieu School of Music, France, in 1995. Inspired by a world both enchanting and draped in darkness, she has developed a wide range of sound textures, unique and melodious, creating unconventional and magnetic musical pieces reflecting a personality in constant search of rareness in music. She has released music with Table of Elements (Tony Conrad & Faust) and played live all over the world.

'At times her work approaches the supersonic escape velocity of Tony Conrad; elsewhere, she introduces delicate repeating threads, then  slowly weaves them into a fabric of vast, billowing sound more reminiscent of Steve Reich. With an elegant command of melody and a strident use of rhythm, Max manages to create a remarkably accessible collection of tracks, one that bridges the gaps between minimalism, post-classicism, the avant garde, krautrock, and plain old-fashioned pop. « This Silver String » is a genre-bender for certain, and a fine debut by any definition.'

 

ITS NOT NIGHT:ITS SPACE

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Exploring the depths of inner and outer space since 2010, It's Not Night: It' Space offers heavy dreamy instrumentals that are sure to transport. Their latest LP, Our Birth is but a Sleep and a Forgetting, served as their debut on Small Stone Records in 2016.

 

THE CULT OF DOM KELLER

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“Since late 2007 these sonic alchemists have been creating whacked out soundscapes and songs that appear to have been born from another universe, all from the confines of their sonic bunker”


'Righteous psychedelic abandonment' - Clash Magazine
'Goodbye to the Light is an astonishing piece of work' - Dean Jackson ( DJ ) BBC Introducing
'Cult of dom keller are a live juggernaut' - The Guardian

 

CREATURES

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Spaghetti Westerners inspired by modern pop muses, Creatures create a beginning, a middle and an end, sonically sending you on an adventure that spans intense landscapes, tear-jerking waltzes, foreboding chaos and lingering cliff hangers.

Childhood friends, the band formed when two members met years later by chance in Paris. Shortly after deciding to relocate to London to find the fellow members, the band have been writing and performing since 2016. After previously touring with Temples (Heavenly), Creatures continue their impressive live streak embarking on a UK tour with The Parrots (Heavenly / Burger Records) late last year.

“The band's inventive live shows and extravagant songwriting has made them cult heroes, taking them out on the road alongside the likes of Temples and The Parrots. Barbed indie rock riffs with odd flecks of Americana, Creatures sound somewhere between Cramps and Country Teasers, but with a warped sense of humour all their own.” - Clash Magazine

“The band channel their best Roy Orbison at Club Tropicana vibes - throwing things knowingly back several decades to a time when the grooves were smooth, and the entertainment delivered with a cheeky wink. Basically, instead of aiming for the futuristic cosmos, they’re jumping in the time machine back to somewhere far more chintzy.” - DIY

 

BONNACONS OF DOOM

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This elusive and constantly-evolving Liverpool collective harness the ritualistic and cathartic power of repetition, monstrous riffs and squalls of atonal noise in their unique take on rhythmic heavy psych. Blending vocals that range from hypnotic mantras to explosive psychic outbursts with brutal rhythmic pummelling and glacial electronics.
Bonnacons have been making waves in the UK underground through a series of explosive festival shows and site-specific performances.

 

THE FINAL AGE

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In autumn 2015, Bristol-based drummer Jesse Webb developed the improvisational project The Final Age plainly out of a need to respond, acknowledge and overcome destructive emotion. Laboriously conceived as an accompaniment to an imagined film on themes of loss and isolation, this project is far removed from the soft drone or Philip Glass inspired piano that often accompanies one’s idea of a soundtrack. An original take on this format, The Final Age assimilates howling vocals, experimental percussion and a wide sound palette in such a way that allows a window into disjointed, feverish, ultimately Gothic scenes.
The Final Age is a project as ecstatic with energy as it is with ideas, shaped by its many artists whose sense of rhythm and improvisation is unforced, coherent and truly urgent.

 

WYATT E

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Hailing from Belgium, Wyatt E. is an instrumental doom/drone band with oriental influences that are distinguished for their long, tranquil tracks. They absorb you into their world, adding layer after layer of rough, polished sounds that give the music its organic feeling, and made me think that would come together if Godspeed You! Black Emperor went to the Sahara and locked themselves away to make a record. - Artic Drones

 

MODULATOR II

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Featuring members from Dusty Mush - Modulator II pick up the garage rock pace and stick it into overload.

 

EARTH TONGUE

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Sometimes music is supposed to feel weird and indescribable. It’s the moments of clarity within the dense, sonic mess that often feels the most satisfying. That’s the space that Earth Tongue occupy. At times, their songs are shrill and disorientating, other times their reverb-washed textures and instantly-familiar hooks can wrap you in a warm, loving embrace. The one consistent thread through their music, however, is the thick and all encompassing fuzz. Guitarist Gussie Larkin has become a master of the fuzz-smothered riff, and along with Ezra Simons’ off-kilter drumming, they’ve been sending punters into transcendental states since they began gigging in their home town of Wellington, New Zealand in 2016.

 

ELECTRIC RETRO SPECTRUM

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LOUD, DIY and FIERCE, like a mantra, three words that summarise Electric Retro Spectrum. 

Formed in Paris France, illustrated by the festival BarsEnTrans as "A sound between two giant fuzz pedal and a rain of reverb, invoking the great 70’s stoner in a dark black mass…" . 

The band’s been playing live non-stop for 2 years, searching for a new sound, before recording their latest ep:  SUB-URBAN (auto-recorded in 5 days in a kitchen in the Parisian suburbs by the drummer Pierre Dessauny, former sound engineer at la méchanique ondulatoire). 

Very hands-on, the band nearly makes everything themselves, from their screaming Cabs to their tortured guitars, even the merch (100% hand-drawn shirts). After touring in the US ( Echo fest in Detroit, Fort Wayne, Cake shop manhattan, Aviv Brooklyn ) and playing with some amazing bands ( wand, deap valley, the mirrors, the telescopes, kagoule, Pc Worship etc..) they developed their own trance on stage carried by a deep haunted voice. Often described as a mix of Pj Harvey, The Black Angels, and Sonic Youth.

 

OLANZA

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Bristol 3 piece instrumental DIY heros Olanza are here to make you dance at odd times.

“They hit the crowd with instrumental tracks comprising of mixed tempos and complex guitar riffs…it was the intricate guitar solos and feral drumbeats that livened up the crowd.”– Rock n Load

 

STEAL SHIT DO DRUGS

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The members of Steal Shit Do Drugs have been in other people's bands and done other people's drugs, now they are in their own band and do their own drugs. Hailing from Seattle, Wa, the raucous five piece combines the energy of rock groups such as The Stooges and marries it with elements of Pere Ubu and The Fall. Jermaine Blair and Ricky Cloudon's dual guitars blend nauseating psych and catchy garage. Bassist Erika Mayfeild and drummer Pete Capponi's rhythm sections powers through with a proto punk stomp. All the while front man Kennedy Carda narrates the chaotic affair with scenes of boredom, confusion and nihilistic urges. 

 

TEZETA

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8 piece instrumental group from Bristol combining elements of experimental jazz, afrobeat, soundtrack composition and collective improvisation. Featuring members from Bristols amazing Bloom collective.

 

EP/64

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EP/64 is a subtle wild improvisation combo with variable geometry, formed by raw vocalist Dali de Saint Paul.

Once Dali dreamt of a band that played 64 gigs and then stopped, "Ephemeral Project 64"... and so far, that is the only plan they adopt, the rest is spontaneous and free.