Rangda (Bishop/Chasny/Corsano)/Major Stars/Kohoutek in DC, Saturday 9/4
Arguably the show of the year...that is, for anyone who appreciates mind-melting, life-altering psychedelia. I couldn't think of a better "supergroup" to form in recent years, comprised of three musicians and proven innovators who continually push the threshold of experimental music. Kohoutek is honored to open for them and the fantastic Major Stars, and DC should feel honored to be able to see Rangda live.
Clavius Productions presents:
Saturday, September 4
915 U St NW WDC
$10, 18+, doors at 9pm
Many centuries ago on the island of Java lived the witch queen Mahendradatta. When she was exiled from her kingdom for practicing her dark arts, she took revenge by using her witchcraft to spread chaos among the people. In defeat, she was transformed into Rangda, the demon queen of the leyaks. Rangda leads an army of witches in endless battle against Barong, the force of good. When witch-gods collide, it might sound something like this. Six Organs of Admittance…Richard Bishop…Chris Corsano. Riders of the apocalypse, it’s them vs. us. After absorbing their uber-holy dynamo, you’ll be prepared to join up with these wraiths, making it all of us against…well, whomever’s fool enough to stand in our way. To evil! Rangda’s been building up behind the scenes for some time now. As label mates and members of an exclusive mutual admiration society, Sir Rick and Kid Chasny thirsted for a conflagration involving two electric guitars plus a drummer. In such an environment requiring excellent survival skills as well as composition and improvisation rhythms, who better than Chris Corsano to work the skins? On paper, this was colossal, but actually getting everyone together proved awesomely impossible, with each man in a different city sprawled across the vastness of the United States — not to mention each man’s diverse state of mind sprawled across the vastness of inner space. And so, time passed. Chuckling, the guitar men dreamed of visiting Rangda on our world, working figures on their necks in anticipation. Finally, with the desperate recklessness of the ancient witchsoul herself, they booked a live show, followed by a studio session with Seattle sound guru Scott Colburn. Beforehand, a mere ninety minutes was allotted for the three to further discuss ideas and play together for the very first time. What would happen? What do you think happened, stupid? Of course they planted a garden of lyricism seeded with several compositions and several improvisations! Placed end-to-end, the six pieces of the Rangda saga (part the first) rock from splintering onslaught to soulful meditation and back again with manifest precision — this was a planned attack. Unceasing battery slides suddenly into ritual form with elemental ease. The fretworks of Richard Bishop and Ben Chasny split time while Corsano shapes the air around them. Each players moves as part of the whole of Rangda, and whether surging, cycling, or in pastoral, they are never less than explosive. This initial foray flies under the banner of FALSE FLAG.
The Major Stars
Nobody shreds like Major Stars -— they probably couldn’t if they wanted to. The Boston-based sextet (led by outsider/psych record label owners Wayne Rogers and Kate Biggar of Twisted Village) packs three full-time guitarists, all of whom, it’s fair to say, play lead. While on past Major Stars records, songwriting was treated as a necessary evil, on the group’s latest, Return to Form, precision and concision prove just as important as the guitar squall.
"People interested in music that defies the pop song convention, music that challenges that part of your brain that lies dormant during most aural experiences, need a band like Kohoutek. This [collective] began their wildly meandering journey across the more peripheral realms of free-form psych rock a few years back and from the very beginning they seemed determined to try to cross swathes of interstellar drone, guitar squall and loose, slowly evolving improvisations of drum and bass grooves and squelchy electronics with tapestries of gravitationally flowing darkness. What we get is a sonic bag that is raw, gorgeous, loud, dreamy, dissonant and mystical at the same time, somehow managing to transcend all sorts of seemingly limited genre barriers. Dedicated followers of bands such as the Spacious Mind, SubArachnoid Space and Ash Ra Tempel will for sure want to check these cats out, with a musical s t y l e that at its best rarely goes wrong in the live setting." (Mats Gustafsson)