Naxatras is a hard psychedelic rock band from Greece. They play a warm psychedelia full of fat grooves, dreamy melodies, heavy riffs and trippy guitar solos all with the vintage touch of the 70’s.
They have been playing since 2012, developing their sound and finally recorded their first full-length album in a 100% analog way at Magnetic Fidelity (a studio in rural northern Greece) with Jesus Agnew, an engineer experienced in the field of analog and DIY recordings. Only analog equipment was used in the recording-mixing-mastering stages of the album. All the songs in the record were performed entirely live during just one day.
The band does high-energy live performances combining elements of psychedelic/progressive rock, stoner, funk, jazz and eastern music with a trippy video wall to accomplish full stimulation of the senses.
In summer 2015 they went on their first tour playing five european countries.
Total time: 00:59:56
Tascam DA3000 with Burr-Brown Converters
Magnetovolt Extended Range Modular Monitoring System, based on the KEF Reference Series Model 104aB
|Original Recording Format|
The album was recorded live in the studio with no overdubs during a single day in January 2015. ATR Magnetic Master Tape in 1/4" was used as the master tape, in a half-track stereo configuration.
Magnetic Fidelity Studios, Kilkís, Greece
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
Analog to DSD128
|Release Date||November 14, 2015|
Needle In The Strange
On a cloud of mythical Mountain Tea fumes, behold the swirling psychedelic groove of these three righteous fuzz brothers from Greece. Recorded in pure analogue with old-school recording guru Jesus Agnew, “Naxatras” offers up pure vintage rifforama that on further listens expands into something more exotic than the usual scuzzy head-nodding fare. There are heavy nods to Amon Duul 2, John Vagenas’s vocals have a Chris Karrer-esque ring about them, e.g the stoned off-hand reverb drenched proclamations of cosmic anxiety/wanting to get loaded on “Sun is Burning”. This of course is no bad thing 🙂 Plus while the atmosphere may recall such classic rock bastions as Cream ,Led Zep ,Hendrix and even Robin Trower, the cleanish wah-lead guitar extravaganza’s remind me of the prismatic, understated axe work of Stacy Sutherland on the 13th Floor’s “Bull of the Woods”.
Opening track “I am the Beyonder” is perhaps the most storming track here. A pleasingly symmetrical riff with a sun scorched Middle-eastern vibe soon expands into a sultry shuffle of band interplay, with a nice gear change thrown in for good luck. There’s an affirmation of the title then we are hurtled into a propulsive two chord groove (and tonight, Hawkwind on Hookahs!) which, after a keening solo, stretches out into a moody late-night trudge through the desert.
The aforementioned “Sun is Burning” starts as an earthy straight forward space rocker (great drumming from Kostas Harizanis gives this a less pedestrian feel than you may expect), the narrator drinking whiskey and smoking weed before musing on the astral plane- this blossoms into a close-knit slow-wah jam guiding you out over the bridge of sighs.
“Space Tunnel” centres round a looping bass-wah riff which drives the whole thing along, some choice blues phrases drifting from the frets of John Delias (think a more chilled out afro-headed Clapton before his psych cream clapped out so to speak) , this closes up with a bass/guitar chase off that sounds like the main riff to Jaws.
The slowly building (mainly) instrumental “Shiva’s Dance” is next, a gracefully unfolding wig-out that again features improv that’s more jazz-like than your supposed usual dunderhead 3 piece.
A personal favourite is the down and out, dazed and confused “Downer”, essentially a pure blues rock number but rendered with a real post-apocalyptic swagger, those loose Jimmy Page feels saturated and re-focused into a new intensity as the song progresses. A real soulful guitar break on this gives it a real authenticity, these guys mean it. This is the music Jack White should be making if ..(THE FOLLOWING SENTENCE HAS BEEN REMOVED AFTER LEGAL ADVICE RECEIVED FROM OUR LAWYERS 😉 ) .O.K that was a tad harsh,but you get my drift 🙂
Another highlight next “Waves” which comes on initially as a fairly standard two chord mid-tempo sprawler but soon the jamming opens out with widescreen chords and insidious key shifts. The three note counter riff becomes more established as a hook line as does the increasingly progressive rock-esque twists and turns of the bridging sections. After waves of swimming fuzz, the lights go down into a blissed out noodle as Floydian organ seeps into the stoned stew.
Penultimate psych rock brooder “The West” hangs on a D-drone bed, again the lolling groove sounding like Side 5 of Yeti as much as it does “The End” by The Doors. A reflective mid-point break notwithstanding, this is as heavy and serpentine as Naxatras get.
After some backwards studio trickery, “Ent” lurches into life, featuring shades of “Beyonder” to lend some closing continuity to this rocking debut. Vagenas’s vocals make one last plea for cosmic supremacy, there’s a knotty section of flanged to-ing and fro-ing then via a spent theme for an imaginary western, Naxatras take us to the end of the stoner rock highway to look at the sky.
While “Naxatras” serves as a pretty straight up statement of psych-rock intent replete with archetypal riffs and all the cosmic checkpoints covered, they bring something unique to the table that feels much more than just a vintage-drunk re-tread. The world flavoured riffs are infused perfectly and there’s a level of musicianship that’s both tasteful yet urgent. “Naxatras” is a perfect soundtrack for your 2015 (and beyond-er) psych summer daze and has enough going on underneath the rock exterior to keep on your late night (head) nod-out pile.
THE BARE FACTS!- Naxatras are John Delias – Guitar / Kostas Harizanis – Drums / John Vagenas – Bass & Vocals
Engineered by Jesus Agnew in a 100% analog way at Magnetic Fidelity Studio.
The album was recorded live in the studio with no overdubs during a single day in January 2015. ATR Magnetic Master Tape in 1/4? was used as the master tape, in a half-track stereo configuration.”
Having this spiritual way of playing is a strong and powerful weapon to create effective and trippy songs. OM definitely knows that, and Naxatras definitely want your full body to dance in a trance. Nothing here will crush your soul like Al’s bassline but everything here will elevate you! Naxatras is a great combination of musicians with a clear universe in mind they want to offer you, the best is still to come… They are one of those bands that could totally fit to DunaJam, Naxatras is tripping, softly strong, got this jazzy feeling to it, that make their songs beautiful and touching. In this one hour trip you will travel anywhere you want if you decide to take Naxatras as the pilot of your flight! You can trust them, remove your seatbelt and enjoy the trip!
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