Naxatras II (2016)

John Delias, Kostas Harizanis, John Vagenas, Alexis Vagenas

Naxatras is a hard psychedelic rock band from Greece. 

"The otherworldly wonder that is Thessaloniki, Greece’s primarily instrumental space travelling trio Naxatras have issued the digital version of their new full-length ‘II‘ (CDs are expected by mid-May and there are plans for Cassettes and Reel-To-Reel versions also). It is the fast follow-up to the 2-song ‘EP’ released a little less than a month ago as well as their self-titled debut from last year but there is nothing that indicates a rushed product in any way, not by any stretch of the imagination. After all, that’s the key phrase here..”stretch of the imagination”, as that is exactly what Naxatras invites you to do yet again with this interstellar-traversing example of sonic explorations. John Vagenas – Bass & Vocals, John Delias – Guitar, and Kostas Harizanis – Drums, are suited up and rocketing off with 6 songs of fluid, moody progressive psychedelia that the guys have said is an “homage to space travel, inner and outer…” and that properly sums it up well in my opinion." -, by Dragon

John Delias - Guitar
John Vagenas - Bass and Vocals
Kostas Harizanis - Drums
Alex Vagenas - Tambourine on "Sisters Of The Sun" and Saxophone on "Evening Star"

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Naxatras II (2016)

John Delias, Kostas Harizanis, John Vagenas, Alexis Vagenas

    The Obelisk

Greek heavy psych rock trio Naxatras issued their second album Naxatras II with little by way of fanfare. It's a quick follow-up to the Thessaloniki outfit’s well-received 2015 self-titled full-length debut — and that method suits the stripped back nature of their musical approach as well. Comprised of six tracks that, if they’re not solely jams, certainly feel built out from them, II is a flowing exercise in organic execution, vinyl-ready at 37 minutes but even better taken as a front-to-back whole, an entire work the parts of which make each other stronger for the different sides of the band’s sound they represent. At their core, Naxatras are an instrumental band, and that remains true despite the vocals on “Sisters of the Sun” (perhaps a companion to the also-vocalized “Sun is Burning” from the debut). A central running theme here is the chemistry between guitarist John Delias, bassist/vocalist John Vagenas and drummer Kostas Harizanis, the language they’ve learned to speak together since forming in 2012, and the fluidity they’re able to harness across these songs, which maintain the raw, live, analog feel of the debut, but feel more laid back in the consciousness of what they’re doing. The album was recorded live to reel-to-reel tape by Jesus I. Agnew at Magnetic Fidelity Studio, and particularly in Harizanis‘ drums, I think that comes through, but the tone in Delias‘ guitar and the ’60s garage psych-pop echo on Vagenas‘ vocals on “Sisters of the Sun” complement this natural feel with a lush vibe, so that there’s depth to the mix as well as movement in what Naxatras are playing, however fast, slow, active or still it might be. They build and release tension through heavy psych nods and wind up in a peaceful psych jazz — something Jim Morrison might’ve seen fit to ruin with poetry. The subtle variety and sense of purpose they bring to this material is pivotal to absorbing (and being absorbed by) the flow between and within the tracks, and while they seem to be on a progressive course moving forward, I wouldn’t speculate where their journey might lead them their next time out.

The Obelisk[read full review]

Naxatras II (2016)

John Delias, Kostas Harizanis, John Vagenas, Alexis Vagenas

Mastering Engineer: J. I. Agnew
Mastering Equipment:

100% Analog Direct-to-Master Recording on ATR Magnetics 1/4" Tape at Magnetic Fidelity, using mostly vacuum tube equipment. Engineered by J. I. Agnew. Disk Mastering/Cutting at Magnetic Fidelity by J. I. Agnew on a 100% analog signal path directly from the 1/4" Master Tapes. CD authoring by Sabine Steldinger on a GNU/Linux audio workstation. 
The conversion to DSD was done with high quality equipment directly from the analog mastertapes. No signal processing was done in the digital domain. The DSD version is a direct transfer of the master tape done as the final step, with every effort taken to ensure that it sounds as close as technically possible to the original analog recording.

Mixing Board: Thermionic Culture Fat Bustard II
Monitoring system: Magnetovolt Extended Range Modular Monitoring System based on KEF Reference Series Drivers
Recording Engineer: J. I. Agnew
Recording location: Magnetic Fidelity, Greece
Recording Type & Bit Rate: Analog to DSD128

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NXTRS03: Naxatras II
00:37:08   Select quality & channels above
Oort Cloud (Intro)
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Proxima Centauri
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Sisters Of The Sun
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The Great Attractor
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Garden of Senses
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Evening Star
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