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"Hovering Resonance"

Sound of Cobra


12"EP (edition of 200 in silk-screened covers)





Expo `70 is the Kansas City, Missouri based multi-instrumentalist Justin Wright and `HOVERING RESONANCE` is his new 12inch (one sided) released by Sound of Cobra from Italy. We consider Expo `70 one of the most interesting musicians of North America`s new kosmische music scene and with this album he continues his travel into a sound made of hypnotic vibes, ecstasy and cosmic oneness. The two tracks of the album are played with synth, guitar, analogue electronics and percussions and trough a wise use of repetitons and loops they are able to conduce into altered states of psychedelic listening and space rock meditations. Limited edition of 200 one-sided LPs.




As you may know, one of 20jazzfunkgreats’ favourite fantasies concerns mankind’s eventual reckoning against vastly superior alien forces whose judgement about our survival will be informed by a choice slice of our cultural output.


The musical migration that we report today may increase our chances of survival, as the inhabitants of the digital interstices we have described above will experience contact with those alien intelligences sooner than the self-obsessed so-called muppet civilisations of meatspace, and present a more palatable face to our alien overlords/Earth-wreckers too.


What music says about mankind, and how that weights in the ultimate decision, is a different question, given the way we have treated it. We can only hope.


Expo 70’s Moon Raga is an accurate approximation of the significance of that eventual rendezvous with the forces beyond, say, as skimmed over at the end of Neuromancer, and an example of the best we have to offer for our salvation.


It pounces with a primeval Vangelis-ian drone the likes of with we haven’t witnessed since International Feel blew our socks off with its Coptic Sun, and coils with violence barely contained under a hermetic veil of noise, the mutterings of a nocturnal force whose seductiveness won’t be resisted, by ourselves or our much mightier destructors.


And therein lies salvation.




Justin Wright returns with another floating vabrational anthem under the Expo '70 moniker. His latest release comes from small run masters Sound of Cobra and features two cuts of dark, driven Kosmiche marked with the usual high quality musicianship that we've come to expect from Wright. The title track is a definite highlight, underpinned by an ominous drone and Wright's snaking guitar only building the inky tension to a white-knuckled height. The second cut injects an Eastern raga template to Expo's usual adherence to the Space Rock/Kosmiche axis and its a fittingly ornate counterbalance to the title track's dark spirals. It seems that in our opinion, Wright can do little wrong and this Hovering Resonance is further proof of this theory. It is, however, extraordinarily limited so be sure to pick one up in its handsome vinyl packaging as soon as possible.




Dopo Burial Hex tocca all'ancor più prolifico Justin Wright da Kansas City, meglio noto come Expo '70, a dir la sua su Sound of Cobra: nuovo LP one-sided stavolta in edizione ancor più limitata, solo 200 gli esemplari.


Da dove iniziare? Dalla splendida grafica a cura dello stesso musicista, con immagini che anticipano l'imminente trip cosmico e dai toni complementari talmente saturi da ferire gli occhi? O dal trip stesso? Hovering Resonance è un mantra interminabile a base di shruti box (l'India, uscita dopo uscita sempre più presente nella "nostra" musica), un Om dilatato a dismisura che tocca gli estremi dell'universo, il dialogo con l'eternità affidato al blues di una chitarra lisergica sul baratro del nulla. La kosmische musik di ieri adottata dell'America di oggi, vibrazioni ipnotiche e sentori sci-fi al crocevia tra John Carpenter e Ken Russell. E il viaggio continua con Moon Raga, una nota di synth lunga come la notte e lo scorrere del tempo scandito da percussioni regolari come il moto degli astri, opera dei compagni d'avventura Aaron Osbourne e Mike Vera. La fusione tra l'universo più remoto e l'infinità dei mondi microscopici che ci circondano.


Da dove iniziare, dicevamo. Abbiamo finito: cosa state aspettando?




We begin 2012 with a carefully balanced one-sided 12” vinyl from Justin Wright, originally Los Angeles, later Kansas City based guitar-wielding cosmic courier, who plays an updated, expanded take on Kosmische Musik, where six strings and analog synthesizers go hand in hand with a mission to create vast, psychedelic mindscapes. Why balanced? Because of its one side, on which there are two tracks, both making up some 24 minutes - which probably should classify this release as a “mini-album”, but maybe even an EP.


The opening track, 15-minute long “Hovering Resonance”, is a showcase of Expo 70’s trademark elements: a massive, distant, and pulsing synthesizer drone sets the mood for an endlessly looping and overlaying guitar hallucinations constatnly evolving and fluctuating in the form of Le Berceau de Cristal era Ash Ra Tempel style soloing. Last, but not least, Wright throws a slow beat, yet unstoppable beat into the mix, like a clock marking the changes in this ever-unfolding piece making it sound nearly like very slowed down, drugged out ambient techno jam.


The shorter piece, “Moon Raga”, changes the mood from a “cosmic-shamanic-desert-plateau-guitar/synth-ritual” mood to a more down to Earth, somewhat “traditional” Orient-inspired mood, replacing LSD with hashish. The bassy synth drone pulsates throughout the piece, looming in the background like a vintage electric organ sustained on the lowest note with Arabic drum instruments taking the spotlight. But instead of going on a rampage with maniacal drumming (like Popol Vuh would do on their In den Gärten Pharaos, the drums play a steady, unchanged beat (like the electronic heart of the previous piece). Sinister metallic noise explodes in the back every now and then, adding an unsettling, a little uncomfortable vibe to the druggy, floating experience of the EP.


Apart from many, many Kosmische Musik revivalists there are just a few who really stand out with their visions of music and their idea of taking their sound to the new levels while staying true to their ancestors. These include Expo ‘70, who takes the guitar-synth harmony of Manuel Göttsching and updates it with a roughed up, spacerockish imagery, Le Révélateur, who perfectly catches the sunny, proto New Age side of German synthesists and Food Pyramid, who flat out rock with their clean-cut, Neu!-infused krautrock. Are we entering the new krautrock era? I certainly hope so - Justin Wright is paving the way.




Dammit, Raven Sings The Blues beat me to this by a day! Goes to show what wading through a backlog of music will do to ya. Still, RSTB is an amazing music blog, if you don't already frequent their page and delight in their delicacies, then you aren't living.


Sound Of Cobra put out a cool release by Cannibal Movie last year (word is that CM are bringing out a full length release this year - watch this space...), and now they have mixed blood with the ever excellent Expo 70 (AKA Justin Wright) for Hovering Resonance, a swirling, coalescing masterpiece of motorik haze. It is nuts how many releases of great consistency this dude puts out - it's hard to even ascertain where to start! But I think that this rivals anything he put out last year, including the Night Mist cassette he put out on Nurse Etiquette, or Inaudible Bicoastal Trajectory which was far spacier. This has a hedonistic bent that is yet somehow more palatable, and that isn't a detriment. There is a lot of playback value on this one. The krautrock drive underneath the title track in particular will have you coming back for more.




Expo ‘70 nous livre donc sa dernière création, fruit d’expérimentations et d’improvisations soniques, 100 % Avant-garde free !!! Libre, expérimentale et improvisée, la musique d’Expo ’70 l’est effectivement. Malgré une durée de 23 min, ce Maxi n’est composé que de 2 seuls titres, soit un par face comme au bon vieux temps des K7 et vinyles.


J’imagine aisément le bazar dans le studio lors des sessions d’enregistrements du disque. Au sol, une batterie de pédales d’effets en tout genre que Justin Wright manipulait frénétiquement tout en jouant soit de sa guitare électrique (enchaînement de délicats arpèges en une succession de notes répétitives) soit de ses claviers analogiques vintages type Moog, produisant ainsi des vagues soniques et des drones cosmiques lors de ces deux longues plages méditatives. On navigue alors entre Space rock céleste, Ambiant drone et néo-psychédélisme atmosphérique.



Le premier morceau, au titre éponyme du disque, est une longue errance (+ de 15 minutes), un voyage immobile et onirique où le bourdonnement est roi. Malgré son absence de rythme et son extrême répétitivité, je le trouve très prenant et captivant, ce qui n’est pas toujours le cas avec nombre de morceaux arythmiques.



Pour le second, « Moon ragga », le schéma est différent. Un coup de gong retentit comme pour annoncer le début du voyage. Bourdonnements, sonorités aux fréquences modulées sont très vite accompagnés par une rythmique répétitive émanant d’un simple tambourin à clochette. Les drones et les diverses sonorités tournent en boucles. Régulièrement, des gongs sont martelés et diverses cymbales frappées, le tout vibrant et résonnant à travers ce magma sonique.



Enfin du rythme chez Expo ’70 où la plupart de ses morceaux (du moins, ceux que je connais) en sont généralement dépourvus. Dans sa musique, c’est le règne des drones, des boucles hypnotiques, des bourdonnements et des longues improvisations et expérimentations guitaristiques. Elle convoque à ma mémoire des groupes de Krautrock tel Harmonia ou Tangerine Dream et les travaux Ambiant de Cluster & Eno ! Et avec sa pochette au visuel et aux couleurs très rétro-psychédélique, je divague en plein décalage spatio-temporel, ne sachant plus très bien si je me trouve en Allemagne dans les années 70’ ou dans l’Amérique actuelle !!


Pour toutes ces raisons, « Hovering Resonance » s’est imposé à moi comme une des premières et excellentes surprises 2012 !


Toutes ces raisons......ce n'est pas totalement exact car il en est une autre qui a aussi joué sur mon avis. J'avoue que depuis quelques temps, j'arrive à écouter plus facilement, entièrement et même apprécier des oeuvres jugées auparavant par moi-même comme "difficile d'accès, expérimentales et bizarroïdes". Ce fût la même chose il y a des années avec le jazz "plus aventureux" où une période d'apprentissage a été nécessaire.


Ainsi, Drone, Atmospheric-noise, Neo-Psychedelic, Free-rock, Experimental & Ambiant Pop, Noise-dub Psyché, Hypnagogic......tous ces styles me deviennent plus familiers. Et des labels comme Not Not Fun, Sacred Bones Records, Thrill Jockey ou Les Editions Mego deviennent de parfaits terrains de jeux pour assouvir ma soif de nouveautés et de découvertes. Mais ça, c'est totalement perso et ne modifie en rien les qualités intrinsèques de ce disque. Cela explique seulement pourquoi je parlais de surprise face à ce disque que je n'attendais pas du tout. Comme quoi!!!!




Le label berlinois Sound of Cobra continue son chemin céleste et psychédélique au travers de sorties relativement tripantes et confidentielles.

Après Burial Hex, c'est au tour de l'artiste américain Justin Wright, plus connu sous le nom de Expo'70, de nous mener au nirvana.


Ce musicien prolifique oeuvre dans la musique cosmique depuis 2003 avec notamment quelques albums édités sur le label cosmic-space-drone Beta Lactam Rings Records. Il est aussi l'auteur de ses propres artworks, très inspirés par le style psychédélique et space-rock des 70's.


Le vinyl une face Hovering Resonance n'échappe pas à cet univers. Il comprend deux morceaux hypnotiques totalement improvisés lors d'une session enregistrée en 2011. On y retrouve des synthés vintages, une guitare électrique et de multiples percussions à main, ainsi qu'une boite à rythme.

La technique du loop est évidemment utilisée pour permettre la formation d'une nappe d'échos et de résonances intenses et progressives, sur plus ou moins huit minutes pour chaque morceaux.


Cet échantillon du savoir-faire de Expo'70 rappelle les premiers enregistrements de Tangerine Dream tel que le fameux album Ricochet sorti en 1975. L'artiste est clairement un fan des allemands et de toute cette époque nous menant au krautrock et à des groupes cultes comme Can ou Neu!, pour ne siter que quelques exemples.


Malheureusement, les 200 exemplaires de cette plaque sont déjà écoulés. On espère que Sound of Cobra pourra à l'avenir éditer un album de Expo'70 plus conséquent car ce voyage céleste en vaut vraiment la peine.




Expo´70 ist der Amerikaner Justin Wright und wie der Bandname schon verspricht, geht es hier um die 70er, genauer gesagt zeigt uns Justin Wright, wie experimentelle Drone und Ambientmusik klingen könnte, wenn wir uns jetzt in den 70ern befinden würden. Ein bisschen Krautrock, ein wenig Psychedelic und so ein Hauch Avantgarde mit moderner Seele, das ist Expo´70. Was Expo´70 auch ist, ist produktiv. Denn was innerhalb einer kurzen Zeitspanne veröffentlicht worden ist, lässt staunen. Deswegen widmen wir uns jetzt exemplarisch einer der neuesten Veröffentlichungen.


"Hovering Resonace“ ist eine 12inch Vinyl EP, die über das kleine Label Sound Of Cobra erschienen ist. Darauf vertreten ist der 15minütige Titeltrack, der mit seinen kosmischen Drones gepaart mit Retrosoli und subtilen Synthieflächen und einem subtilen Groove überzeugen kann. Expo´70 versteht es, die verschiedenen Einflüsse gekonnt zu dosieren, so dass der Gesamtsound eine eigene Note erhält. „Moon Raga“ groovt sich mit Tribaldrums und sphärischer Gitarrenuntermalung ein und schließt die EP vorantreibend ab. Hier ist nicht Schluß. Expo´70 macht Lust auf mehr. Wem diese EP gefällt, der sollte sich unbedingt auch mit dem restlichen Material von Expo´70 beschäftigen.


Passend zur Musik ist das von Justin Wright designte Artwork auch ganz in den 70ern verhaftet. Bei dieser EP wurden die ersten 100 Exemplare (von 200) im handgemachten Siebdruck geliefert. Inzwischen hat das Label schon keine einzige Kopie mehr davon. Das heißt: Mailorders durchsuchen!




Edition of only 200 copies one-sided LP from Expo 70, already sold out at source, here with a trio line-up of Justin Wright, Aaron Osbourne and Mike Vera. Two tracks, one extended meditation on repeat string-burn and minimalist tectonics and a second track that marries almost Suicide-style drum machine pummel with vertical ascensions of bowed percussion, cymbals and gongs that makes you wonder if this isn’t what Martin Rev’s Reverend B might have sounded like when marrying improvised ecstasy with flat-lined electronics. All VT copies are the sub-edition of 100 with hand silkscreened sleeves.



THE CAVE blogspot

Da Kansas City, Missouri, continua il viaggio attraverso le vibrazioni psichedeliche del multi-strumentalista Justin Wright, meglio conosciuto come EXPO ’70, considerato uno dei migliori musicisti attuali sulla scena del krautrock del Nord America. Architetto di un cosmo ben strutturato con solide fondamenta e privo d’interventi umani. Per Sounds of Cobra esce Hovering Resonance, un 12’’onesided di due tracce in tiratura limitata di sole 200 copie. La prima traccia di sedici minuti circa ci conduce in un arido universo popolato da sintetizzatori e chitarre che sfiorano note di blues dove le percussioni e un costante loop scandiscono il tempo sempre più impietoso, quasi arrogante. In Moon Raga, la seconda e ultima traccia, l’eterea atmosfera respirata in precedenza sembra essere stata compromessa dall’invasione di un’anonima civiltà in grado di stravolgere lo stato di meditazione. Per un totale di nemmeno trenta minuti l’americano EXPO ’70 riesce a proiettarti in un trip ai confini della solitudine, dove è facile annoiarsi ma involontariamente la dipendenza ha già trovato il suo centro di gravità ed equilibrio. VOTO: 6,8 - FRANCESCO VECCHIONI




Wenn man den momentanen Musikmarkt der nicht ganz durchkommerzialisierten Sorte halbwegs beobachtet, dann fällt auf, dass in den letzten zwei Jahren neben der an jeder Ecke und vor jedem Namen stehenden Redundanz "post" vor allem Musik der psychedlisch-lilafarbenen 70s-Huldigung wieder stark an Fahrt gewann. Stoner und derart gefärbte Sludge-Bands prosperieren ebenso, wie namentlich nur zu bekannte Vertreter des Okkultrock - optisch wie musikalisch scheinen viele die drogengeschwängerte Vergangenheit für sich (wieder)entdeckt zu haben.


Das kleine und recht junge Berliner Label Sound of Cobra bedient sich ebenso zu guten Teilen dieser Strömung und bietet Künstlern derartiger Couleur eine Bühne, bedient hier vor allem stilecht den Vinyl-Hunger, denn wenn retro, dann auch direkt von der Nadel; die soweit aktuellste Veröffentlichung aus diesem Hause stammt aus der Feder und den Fingern des Impro-Projekts Expo '70, dem musikalischen Experimentierfeld des umtriebigen Amerikaners Justin Wright, hier von den zwei Musikern Aaron Osbourne und Mike Vera begleitet - Hovering Resonance mit Namen, in der mittlerweile vergriffenen Auflage von 200 Stück und in schicker & augenfeindlicher purpur-bordeaux-Hülle verpackt. Auf knapp 23 Minuten schaffen es die zwei Titel der leider nur einseitig gerillten Schallplatte; beide Stücke brechen zwar keine Innovationsbarrieren, schaffen es aber, den Kern psychedelisch schwelgender Tonkunst genau zu treffen und so trotz 40 Jahren Verspätung authentisch zu klingen.


Der erste und etwas stärkere Fühnfzehnminüter Hovering Resonance macht klanglich alles richtig: vor einem einzig aus dumpfen, hintergründigen Bassdrumanschlägen bestehenden Pulse baut sich eine sanfte Wand mehrschichtiger Synthieteppiche auf, die sofort ein Gefühl von Schweben und Wärme, von Entspannung und Loslassen wachsen lassen. Vor diesem Grund finden sich meist singuläre oder ab und an duale Gitarrenimprovisationen, die in vollkommener Dröhnung mit viel Echo durch den Äther wandern. Das Stück bietet in sich kaum Progress, wenn man von den ersten Minuten absieht, die es braucht, bis die Gitarre einsetzt - Expo '70 kümmert sich in vollem Maße um Intensität der Atmosphäre und ihre Steigerung in monotoner Länge, was perfekt gelingt.


Das darauf folgende, deutlich kürzere Stück Moon Raga geht anschließend einen etwas anderen Weg, und zeigt Herrn Wright in seiner Tonalität hier etwas dunkler und mehr dem Krautrock zugewandt: das begleitende Rhythmusspiel speist sich aus Cymbals und Schellen, die abermals monoton ihr Mantra schlagen, ein nach No-Input-Amp klingendes Dröhnen, das wahrscheinlich aus der orientalischen Shrutibox stammt, begleitet diese über die volle Distanz; die Improvisation entdeckt man diesseits in zufällig wirkenden, wellenartigen Gonganschlägen, die hintergründig dem Stück eine mystisch-oriantalische Note verleihen. Ein sich entwickelnder Spannungsbogen findet sich indes auch hier nicht - die gesamten knapp 24 Minuten dieser Veröffentlichung leben und atmen durch ihre Improvisation, durch die beständige Mehrschichtigkeit und die daraus resultierende lavaartige Bewegung; dies zu bewerkstelligen, ohne dröge Langeweile aufkommen zu lasssen, zeugt dabei von einem feinen Gespür für Musik und deren Gewichtung.



Hovering Resonance ist eine in ihrer Intention gänzlich auf psychedelisch-retroeske 70s-Atmosphäre bauende Arbeit, die es bestens schafft, genau jene träge Verneblung zu vertonen, die man von einem Trip in jene Jahre erwartet; zwar setzt man hier in einem momentan stark gefüllten Stil keine Innovation, doch aber überzeugt Expo '70 einfach durch die nicht von der Hand zu weisende Wirkung, die vor allem im ersten Stück vollends einnimmt und hinfortträgt.




On this release, Expo '70 begin by perfectly encapsulate the spirit of German supergroup Harmonia for a modern age. The epic title track marries blissed out guitar explorations to deep electronic experiments. The sound id rich, the results deeply satisfying and very hipnotic. It has sort of monged out analogue electronic feel akin to "Cluster II", but with a guitar gently soloing over it.


The second track "Moon Raga" adds a percussive stomp to some rumbling keyboard drone and subtle waves of sound. It makes you want to dance nude in the woods by moonlight. Or is that just me? You could do this sort of thing and makes it sound boring and wanky, but Expo '70 have got enough style, substance and soul to make this a thrilling little EP packed with quality and charm.




Kansas City, Missouri's multi-instrumentalist Justin Wright is at his meditative best for Sound Of Cobra Records (who released that amazing Burial Hex LP at end of 2011), presenting two tracks of the lushest, opiated, oneiric kosmische. 'Hovering Resonance' is markedly restrained for Justin and refreshingly all the better for it. Gently propelled by a deep sleep bass pulse, tendrils of delayed guitar rise from the surface into a placid and unfathomably vast spacescape, each throb pushing us further from earth/bed/sofa into the blanket of smudged pin-pricks of starlight until the blue rock is no longer visible and we're suitably, comfortably stranded. Again, 'Moon Raga' is quite different to what you might expect from an Expo 70 record. Organic percussion keeps a steady, ritualistic groove while Justin's shruti box sustains slow, swirling drone and bowed gong and cymbals create peripheral disturbances.




Kansas Supreme hypnotic kosmiche from Justin Wright, the master craftsman in his field. Both songs here are relatively straightforward in Expo ’70 terms but are purer and more potent for it.


String stabs down in the mix are the freshest ingredient, as they gradually surge upwards to jolt ‘Hovering Resonance’ home on a bed of interstellar swirl and a colossal guitar workout beamed straight from the peak of Olympus Mons in eruption season.


‘Moon Raga’ takes a different tack, using a voodoo tribal rattle to entrance and zone out. It shakes slowly slowly to put you under, makes you loopy in Cambodian jungles where you saw a cow’s head off and impregnate the natives without even touching them. It’s in the eyes. The ears. Aural ayahuasca making you a better man.




- Space rock is a genre you’d like to explore a bit more

- You miss Garcia’s pieces and all the best from the 60s


I do not want to be always the nostalgic one, but I think that there’s nothing better than some good progressive/space rock soaked in 60s/70s influences in a cold and stormy night. The North American band named Expo 70 provided the soundtrack I was searching for, going from spacial atmospheres to some Pink Floyd-esque moments, and not just the “Dark Side of the Moon” ones, which I can clearly hear, but also some Barrett hints, going from contemplative to electric flashes (Grateful Dead’s acid rock is pivotal in this).


The single “Hoovering Resonance” is a 15 minute-long track, not really going through a real evolution, but keeping a constant pace interrupted by different interludes. Being out as a 7”, it also provides another track, “Moon Raga”. The song is more synth-oriented and magical in its shamanic outline, like a musical spell of a wizard. This is not just really Doors-esque, but it also reminds me of the Jim Morrison’s posthumous “An American Prayer”. “Hoovering Resonance” itself goes from the noisy rock of Dominant Male, to the cinematic influence of sci-fi movies from the 80s. Guitars and reverb are almost a perfect substitute of the vocals, creating a net of echoes that sharpens the feeling of being in a rite.


These two tracks provide almost an half an hour of music that may lead you to a parallel dimension, making an intergalactic journey in the saddle of a psychedelic guitar. Not too bad, counting on the fact that the only hallucinogen is acid. 8/10




Justin Wright, the psychonaut sensation behind Expo ’70 (Bandcamp) has been exploring the outer limits of space rock genre for the better half of the last decade. this prolific prodigy has collected dozens of releases that range wide, from heavy duty doomster drones, esoteric ambient zoners, and straight up stoner noodlin’, yet remain sonically cohesive within a mood that is dark, pensive, and bubbling with heavy energy. This night ripper should already be a household name for all you psych heads, but for you cave-dwellers out there, check out his latest release, Hovering Resonance (Sound of Cobra), surely his headiest trip yet. Innumerable waves of delay-heavy guitar loops crash against each other inside an echo chamber, creating shimmering crescendos that float over a sea churning, brooding with that unshakable malaise bordering on despair that always follows those intrepid travelers of deep space. GET LOST.