29 Jan 2010

"...its a Mole!"

Johnny O...Rocket's sleeve designer/lighting man etc has just completed his first video for the Bristol fuzz rockers 'The Moles'

The band features Billy Fuller from Fuzz against Junk and Beak.....

Teeth of the Tweets

Teeth of the Sea have set up a Twitter page and a blog so if you are interested you can keep up with all the latest band news including studio reports from the new album:

26 Jan 2010

Rocket Probes January 2010 Playlist

The Group – Feedback
(Ennio Morricone’s psych group on top form, taken from the Psych Funk 101 compilation which has some other pretty good tracks...well worth checking out)

Alan Spawhawk – Solo guitar
(The title of this says it all...the guitarist from Low plays a slow and doomy ambience, reminds me of the most recent Earth albums but even sparser...thanks to **K for tuning us into this)

Earthling Temple – Pilgrimage to Thunderbolt Pagoda
(Some nice Kosmiche soundscapes on this collaboration between Earthling Society and High Mountain Temple)

Serpentia Satelite – As yet untitled second album
(Received tracks for this new album from this great space rock band from Peru via New York...this newy is a lot more dense and psychedelic compared to their amazing first....watch this space, the vinyl version could be a future launch!!)

Group Inerane – Nadan Al Kazawnin
(Nice repetitive fuzz from another great Western Sahara band, this track is taken from their Guitars from Agadez LP)

Gnod – Science and Industry cassette
(The brilliant Gnod return once again with two amazing new tracks...this cassette released by Not Not Fun sold out in a day!!!)

Sun Araw – Hey Mandala
(Can't stop playing this dubbed-out hallucinatory Funkedelic like tribal monster)

Can – Ogam Ogat
(2 lengthy outtakes from Can's legendary 1971 "Tago Mago" sessions, worth it just for Auf Der Einbahnstrasse Part One)

People Ceremony – Buddha Meet Rock
(Japanese tripped out oriental hypnotic grooves courtesy of Gareth from The Big Naturals)

Spacemen 3 – Perfect Prescription (re-issue)
(Euphoric drone pop, soundtracking the snowy days)

23 Jan 2010

The Big Naturals - Introduction

Rockets friends The Big Naturals play a gig with the Heads in Finland at the Psychotropic festival on Friday the 5th & 6th of Feb. They have been ripping up ears in the UK's West Country for the past few years & after a few line up shifts, the two piece have found their feet firmly clinging to a psyche-out drum & bass wall of amplified blitz.

In 2008 they played the Rocket 10th Anniversary show and supplied a track for the now highly sought after CD that also included exculsive tracks by The Heads, White Hills, Teeth of the Sea etc. With Solar Projectors in tow and the addition of new drummer Jess Webb, this two piece are stomping in the footsteps of many 1970's intense heavy rhythm sections.

Watch this space for some exclusive footage soon. In the meantime here is the mark 1 line up with original drummer Sam James & guest Paul Allen (The Heads) on guitar:

22 Jan 2010

New Gnod cassette on Not Not Fun


Soon to be joining us on-board the Rocket orbiter, label faves Gnod release another 2 stunning jams on cassette via Not Not Fun (NNF 184). Great to hear any new Gnod tracks, especially ones that appeared in the recent Holy Trinity tour set list......outside the dream syndicate, here we come.

Side One : Deadbeat Disco In Paper Error Shocker !

Side Two : Big Chief

Another clip of Gnod psyching their boots off:

Check out further Gnod material:

ONEIDA live cassette

New tape from oneida!!!

"Fine European Food And Wine" is the latest release from NYC psych rock masters, Oneida. This is tape features 2 monster improv jams... each clocking in at around 15 minutes.


Yep. . .there are 100 of ‘em and apparently the women who printed up the covers (designed by our pal Eli Lehrhoff) looks like a 21 year old Claudia Schiffer. Unfortunately (fortunately for her) she lives somewhere in Ontario. . .oh wait. . .we’ll be there shortly. . .anyway. . .if you are interested in ordering this cassette called Fine European Food and Wine. . .you can. . .here

Here’s what I wrote to Scotch Tapes about the release:

Greetings intrepid world travelers who may or may not have the blues! Oneida is a lucky band – we are probably an unlucky band as well but we won’t get into that here. Let’s dwell on our luck. Cut to: 2002. Oneida releases our vinyl only double album Each One Teach One to an indifferent public. The word trickles out. The word trickles back. Founding member Papa Crazee quits the band.* The remaining trio of Oneida wonders whether we will continue on. . .

Jagjaguwar steps in and releases this double LP onto CD and sends a copy to Italy. To this magazine called Blow Up. Blow Up is basically the Rolling Stone of Italy (so we’ve been told). The editor decides that Each One Teach One is amazing and that it is so amazing Oneida must grace the actual cover of the shit. This is the first and last time that Oneida has appeared on the cover of a magazine exclusively. I say exclusively because Plan B put a blurry photo of me on their cover once but we learned that most of the magazines they printed had The Detroit Cobras on it. Then there was this New York magazine called Ghetto Blaster. . .they put us on the back cover and misspelled our name – so that’s that.

But this Blow Up shit is for real. They put our mugs on the cover. They talk about Each One Teach One like it’s the heaviest shit ever. We know its true (check it out) but we never expected anyone to agree with us.

All of a sudden we are minor stars in Italy – well if not stars – music fans actually care about us. This is quite novel. We get flown over to Italy to do a tour. We arrive in Rome and open up for Cat Power. She was not in good shape. As the audience files into the venue – people are pointing us out and hollering at us. “Oh – neigh – da!!!!”

The energy level that’s coming off these people is extraordinary. Some of them happen to be beautiful Italian women. People recognized me on the street in Naples – and if you’ve ever been to Naples you know that might not be a great thing. But it was a great thing for us. . .it was amazing.

We got a taste of adoration and it was really fun for us.

We started off a lot of these shows with improvisations and we recorded them all onto mini disc. They languished in the vaults (a box) for the last 6 years. This label in the UK Rocket went through those shows for us and picked out a few performances that they liked but decided they did not sound good enough to release onto LP. . .and that’s where Scotch Tapes came in. . .and we appreciate it. This cassette goes out to all our fans in Italy – who have shown us the way for the last few years. Thank you Italy – we love you.

21 Jan 2010

Wooden Shjips & The Heads Gig

Wooden Shjips & The Heads

Monday 19th April

(19:30 - 23:00)

Bush Hall

310 Uxbridge Road

Shepherds Bush


W12 7LJ

£13.00 (Advance Tickets)

20 Jan 2010


Party to celebrate the launch of the Hypnoticon EP
6th February
8pm till late / free entry
The Olde Peculiar at the Mucky Pup, Angel, London


White Hills Live Dates

YES! It's the tour you've all been waiting for....White Hills and Pontiak, two of the loudest, heaviest bands on the Thrill Jockey roster, if not the world, have confirmed some exciting live dates in March. Between them these two have spent months and months on the road, finely tuning their craft and earning well deserved reputations as bands with ear-splitting and galvanising live performances!

These shows are sure to be off the richter in their hypnotic intensity and grizzled psych noisiness...DO NOT MISS OUT!!!

Sun 28 Feb - ITA Verona Interzona
Mon 01 Mar - ITA Ravenna Bronson
Wed 03 Mar - SWI Lausanne Le Romandie
Thur 04 Mar - GER/FRA TBC
Fri 05 Mar - HOL Amsterdam
Sat 06 Mar - UK Brighton Engine Room
Sun 07 Mar - UK Manchester Ruby Lounge
Mon 08 Mar - UK Glasgow Captain's Rest
Tue 09 Mar - UK London Luminaire
Wed 10 Mar - UK Nottingham the Art Organization
Thu 11 Mar - UK Bristol Louisiana
Fri 12 Mar - HOL Tilburg O13
Sat 13 Mar -GER TBC
Sun 14 Mar - FRA Paris (w/ MONO) Maroquinerie
Mon 15 Mar - CZE Prague V Jeleni
Tue 16 Mar - GER Leipzig
Wed 17 Mar - SWE Malmo
Thu 18 Mar - SWE Gothenburg
Fri 19 Mar - NOR John Dee
Sat 20 Mar - SWE Stockholm Fritz's Corner @ Debaser
Sun 21 Mar - DEN Copenhagen Lades
Mon 22 Mar - GER Hamburg Hafenklang

More to be confirmed.....

You can watch a video trailer created especially for the tour by White Hills' Ego Sensation right here...

15 Jan 2010

Heads Relaxin Re-issue

Due out sometime this year, Rocket's own Johnnyo is finally putting the finishing touches to the deluxe 'Heads Relaxin with' re-issue artwork.

The artwork that was originally created by Rockets other head scientist Chris Reeder and is now getting the full expanded treatment with loads of rare photos and flyers.

The double disc will also be crammed full of extra tracks including radio show material from the likes of Peel and Radcliffe and feature the rare early singles.

It released via The Heads own label 'Rooster' in conjunction with Forte & will be distributed via:

So keep an eye open to it's release date.


14 Jan 2010

Teeth of the Sea – Hypnoticon EP out 01.02.10


3. THE ISLAND IS (11.31)

Hypnoticon is the first new release by London’s Teeth of the Sea
since their acclaimed debut album Orphaned by the Ocean was
released in early 2009.

Since their debut was released Teeth of the Sea have been taking
their unique sound around the UK’s stages and blowing-away
acolytes whilst touring with the likes of Oneida, Wooden Shjips
and The Heads, and playing several festivals including Offset and
Concrete and Glass; their set at the latter was subsequently to
make an appearance on Channel 4.

Now Rocket Recordings are proud to introduce Hypnoticon, an
EP of new material from Teeth of the Sea.

The EP kicks off with the track In the Space Capsule (Love
Theme), and Queen fans amongst us will recognise this track as
a cover version of a track from the Flash Gordon soundtrack. The
band covered the entire album in front of the film (and in costume)
on New Years Eve 2009, and this track struck such a nerve that
it became the opener of their live set, and was thus committed
spectacularly to posterity.

Those of you that witnessed their sets on the recent Oneida tour
may recognise the second track Hypnoticon Viva as their set
closer. An in-your-face keyboard-driven psychedelic juggernaut,
it combines a formidable acid-fried propulsion with a white-light
rock imperative that joins the cosmic dots between Spacemen 3
and Iron Maiden to euphoric effect.

Finally, we have the track The Island is, a 11 minute travelogue of
haunting ambience and panoramic melancholia that showcases
Teeth of the Sea at their most mournful, cinematic and

This EP is a forerunner to the second Teeth of the Sea album
which is due to hit the racks early summer June 2010, with a full
UK tour and festival appearances already being planned.

12 Jan 2010

TOTS' Hypnoticon is album of the day on Roadburn

Even though technically it is an EP, the new release from Teeth of the Sea has made album of the day on the great website (and festival) Roadburn... see the review here

As this follows their debut album Orphaned by the Ocean being a former album of the day, a Roadburn appearance by the band is on the cards, hopefully for 2011

The Heads and Big Naturals play Festival in Finland

8 Jan 2010

WHITE HILLS FREE MP3 from new album!

FREE MP3 from new album!

Space rock behemoths White Hills will be releasing their brand new self-titled full-length on 1st February 2010.

Having developed their sound from earlier recording such as the the Hawkwind and Mudhoney influenced Heads on Fire and the more drone heavy Dead EP, their new full length, White Hills finds the band at a break through point musically. It is still heavy and would certainly be labeled 'space rock' but the band are now employing a more open and free flowing style of playing.

Recorded over the course of three days in the summer of 2009, basic tracks for the album were laid down at The Ocropolis, Oneida's studio located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. All drums on the album were played by Kid Millions of Oneida. Later some overdubbing, vocal tracking and mixing were done at 60B in Manhattan. In contrast to previous recordings this album is loose and open. Dave W. wanted to 'let things fly' in the studio and focus not so much on precision but on capturing the emotion in the playing. White Hills stands apart from previous albums in that there's a certain intimacy to it, a toughness and brutality. In the mind of the band, it's a rebirth, a new beginning, and the eponymous title reflects this.

The LP and CD versions are not only different in artwork, they are sequenced differently with the respective formats in mind. The CD will have three exclusive tracks and is in a deluxe mini-gatefold LP jacket with a full-color booklet. The LP will have two exclusive tracks, come with a download that includes the CD tracks, and have a silver foil embossed sleeve that vinyl lovers can view and image of (to salivate over!) at the end of this mail.

To give you a taster of this amazing new release you can check out a FREE MP3 of the album track Dead right here.....


Praise for the band from John Doran of The Quietus..... "White Hills - bongloaded ubermensch rock from the country that gave you Calico Wall, Vannishing Point, crystal meth and the Unabomber - reminds me of the true spirit of rock and roll. Find a cosmic groove. Play loud. Kill your friends. Burn down your school. Merge with the infinite. Put simply, this is a gift for everyone interested in the destruction of life, municipal buildings and piss weak indie."

White Hills S/T Studio Report

Studio Report

A few months ago I was talking with Ego Sensation…we were discussing the new album at which time I stated that the only music I’ve been listening to over the last month is our new record. I joked with her that I should just write about it for my next installment of On The Decks! The next day I received an email from Chris over at Rocket suggesting that I do a studio report on the new album for the Rocket Blog… the synchronization of events spoke too loudly. So here it goes…a few months later…a month a half before the album hits the stores…a look at the new White Hills album from the inside.

The new album is simply titled WHITE HILLS. We see the album as a rebirth. Everything that we employed in previous recordings was thrown out the window when we went into the studio to record this album. We weren’t well rehearsed and many of the songs had very loose structures. I knew I wanted the album to feel different than the others…it needed to breathe…to be intimate and honest. I wanted to have an excess of material to choose from as well. What was formulated in my mind as to how the album was going to be at the beginning completely changed by the end.

The tracks for the album were recorded at Oneida’s studio, The Ocropolis, in Brooklyn over the 4th of July weekend in 2009. Three days and no time restraints. During this time we tracked 17 songs. A few were played more than once a number of them were made up on the spot. Out of these 17 songs 4 made it on to the album. The song by song breakdown later goes over the track in more depth. This first session was with Kid Millions on drums. Ten days later we entered The Ocropolis again with The Doctor on drums and recorded another 10 songs. The Doctor has toured Europe with us twice and most recently played with us on out last US tour in support of Wovenhand. Some of these songs were ones we recorded with Kid others were not, only a couple were played more than once. None of these tracks made it on to the album, but one, Heads On Fire, is slated for release on the upcoming Fall Down Compilation
http://www.myspace.com/fallingdowncompilation …needles to say we had an over abundance of material to choose from. There are already plans for future releases from these sessions.

In the end I decided to make two versions of the album…one for vinyl and one for a CD. Both versions have 4 songs that are shared between the two, but each has a different song order and some different edits to the songs. The CD version contains 3 songs that are not on the LP and the LP contains 2 songs that are not on the CD. Both versions will have different packaging as well.

Here are the track listings for each release.

The CD version…
Counting Sevens
Three Quarters
Let The Right One In
We Will Rise
Polvere di Stelle

The LP version…
In Circles Too
Three Quarters
Let The Right One In
In Circles
Polvere di Stelle


This track has been apart of our live set for a while now. It was one of the first songs we wrote when Kid Millions came aboard. I came up with the riff and the song just worked it’s own way out as we jammed on it. The lyrics for this one have to deal with how people are disconnected from their surroundings, from the experience of life, from what gives life and how they just don’t care. So many people are just concerned with the money god that they don’t see what they do as hurting what ultimately gave them life.

LTROI is a jam we have toyed with on and off. We never really had a strict guideline as to how the song would be played. All I knew is that I wanted there to be tension in the song and for it to build. It is a haunting number. The titled of the song is named after a recent Swedish film. It was Ego’s suggestion, because the music evoked the same cold and stark feelings as did the film. The vocal line came while mixing the song. At first there was no plan to have any vocals on the track at all. I sang it in one take and it fit perfectly.

The riff for this song came to me at a time in which I was listening to Popol Vuh and nothing else. At that time I wanted to write a song that would invoke heavenly sounds as Popol Vuh did so well, while maintaining White Hills’ leanings toward the intense. This was another track that we have jammed on now and again, but never really had a set standard as to how the song would play out. I love the way the song almost falls apart during the breakdown. That is something you cannot rehearse. The lyrics come from images I have had in my dreams.

I brought this song to the table the day before we headed into the studio. I had the riff and that was it. The song took shape instantly. For a song titled DEAD it has so much life in it. It is a punishing riff that drives you into oblivion. Upon recording the song there were no lyrics. When I sat down to write lyrics for this song they came quickly. While we were recording Ego and I were talking about having her sing more. This track fit that want perfectly.

Both of these tracks are recordings from rehearsals. When I first started to put the album together I did not plan on using either of these tracks. As the album took shape I found that both of these jams fit the feeling of the album. Both of these tracks will only appear on the CD version.

When White Hills has some down time I usually find myself locked up in 60B messing around with the various toys to be found there. Sometimes these experiments end up on our releases…Glacial is one of these experiments. This track will also only appear on the CD.

These tracks come from more experiments of mine at 60B. There are 3 acoustic parts that I tracked for “In Circles”. Each one only played once through and that was it. The guitar drone was recorded at a different time. The drone stands up on its own and flows nicely with the acoustic piece. Both of these pieces will only appear on the LP version of the album.


Dave W :
Orange Tiny Terror 15 watt class A tube amp through a 2x12 Marshall cabinet. Pedals : HBE Big D Distortion, HBE UFO Octave Fuzz, Boss RV-3 Reverb, Boss DD-5 Delay, Boss Giga Delay, HBE Psilocybe Phaser, Crybaby Wah, and Moogerfooger Ring Modulator. The main guitar used was a Gibson Smartwood Les Paul. For overdubs I used a Gibson SG.

Traynor amp head and cabinet…Pedals: HBE Hematoma Bass Distortion and a Boss RV-5 Reverb.

Kid Millions:
Used his normal kit…for the life of me I do not know the make, but it is vintage and a nice sparkly gold at that.

The synths used on the album include: KORG MS2000, Moog Little Phatty, MOOG MG-1 Concertmate, TRIO AG203 Oscillator.

The Ocropolis is an odd shaped room with many instruments lined up against all the walls. We did not baffle any of the amps or drums. Instead we positioned amps in certain directions to cutdown on too much bleed between the mics. In my opinion bleed is good… I wanted to capture the ambience of the room instead of having to recreate ambience during mixing. We used close and far mixing techniques as well as various room mics to capture the sound as it bounced around the room. During mixing it was decided what tracks sounded best for each particular song. In order to keep the feel of the album in place I did not want to overdub many parts. All overdubbed tracks were played through once, not bit by bit.

My thoughts on the album…
What stands out about this album to me is that it is dark. There is an intimacy and immediacy to it…a toughness and brutality….akin to Amon Duul II’s Yeti….not to say it sounds like that album…but the feel is the same. Yeti is loose, heavy, and intense…there are moments when the band sounds like it is falling apart and then somehow comes back together. The new White Hills album has a similar vibe to it.

Release date is February 23, 2010. We will be touring Europe in support of the album with label mates PONTIAK in March. Come spring we will be playing dates around the US. For all current information keep posted to our myspace page.


7 Jan 2010

White Hills News 2010

Our new album, simply titled WHITE HILLS, will be released by Thrill Jockey on February 23, 2010. There will be a CD version and an LP version. Both have exclusive tracks and a different art work.

You can
view the information and artwork for both releases here...
http://www.thrilljockey.com/catalog/index.html?id=104540 and here...

There is a video for the track DEAD off of the upcoming album. You
can view it here....

Later in 2010 the recent collaboration with Manchester, UK based band GNOD will see the light of day as a 2xLP release by Rocket Recordings. The LP is titled GNOD Drop Out with WHITE HILLS II. Some of you may have purchased the CD-r release of Drop Out during our Euro Tour this past spring. DO II will feature remixed and re-sequenced tracks from DO I plus a few more tracks that did not make it on to the first version.

Currently I am working on a split release with Der Blutharsch
http://www.myspace.com/derblutharsch) that will see the light of day as a 7" single. We hope to have this ready for release by Spring of 2010 at the latest. WHITE HILLS' contribution to this release is a number called "Todays I Want To Catch Clouds". It's a haunting number...a cry to the universe. Other releases are in the works but are too early to talk about now.

One release I can speak of is the 3rd pressing of "A Little Bliss
Forever". This pressing is limited to 25 copies and will come in a gatefold LP jacket. Each cover will be different, hand done by myself. These copies will be sold via eBay...one by one over the next year. Announcements will be made when they go up for sale.

We will also be back in Europe this coming February with our label mates PONTIAK. The tour will take place from the middle of February through the middle of March. Following the Euro Tour, in spring we will be doing dates around the U.S. All dates will be posted on our myspace page soon.

Lastly in Goldmine Magazine's latest issue there is an article on
Hawkwind. They asked me to contribute to it with my top 5 Hawkwind albums list... you can read the article here...
and my contribution here...

That's all for now... thanks for your continued support and we look
forward to seeing and hearing from you all in 2010!

best - dave