Bangalore: German Psychedelic Rock Icons Colour Haze Set To Headline Indie March Music Festival
If you Google Colour Haze you’ll find options to buy their music, chords for nearly all of their songs and one reoccurring press image of them standing on the stairs of a subway station. There are hardly any articles, interviews or reviews. But in the ones you find (beginning on Google page 5) it is clear that they are regarded as legends and “leading lights of the European stoner rock scene”.
Formed in the mid 90s, Colour Haze comprises of guitarist/vocalist Stefan Koglek, bassist Phillipp Rasthofer and drummer Manfred Merwald. Although they are regarded as one of the founding fathers of stoner/psychedelic rock, they modestly consider themselves more as a classic rock-trio in the tradition of Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience or Grand Funk Railroad. “Contemporary Record Store Section: Heavy Psychedelic”, as they write on their homepage, already makes it clear that the categorisation of this band is the subject of constant change. While their first two albums ‘Chopping Machine’ and ‘Seven’ are described by the band themselves as better remaining out of print, since they have little to do with what they became; with every following album, they constantly demonstrate the opposite of artistic stagnation, while continuously evolving with each album.
With their third album ‘Periscope’, everything seemed to fall into place as they have settled into their permanent lineup. Warm, fuzzy guitar sounds surrounded by a soothing teeming mass of bass and drums, from which every now and then single elements emerge out of the mass and submerge again. Even Stefan’s voice seems to add to this mass, instead of standing out from it, as if it was another instrument.
Without even knowing how, you get dragged into their sound. In their last album ‘To The Highest Gods We Know’ their songs pile up around you like an enclosing entity. The sounds solidify more and more until they finally dissolve with the last song. If it were a Shakespearean tragedy, it would be quite easy to identify the different structural parts: from the smooth exposition, rising more and more rhythmically to the dense peaks, unwinding in the resolution. And although you might already know what is going to happen next, you are captivated anyway, while still retaining a laid-back, unhurried mood.
The fact that Indie March 2016 was fixed according to the time schedule of Colour Haze, makes them without doubt the main headliner of the festival. As CounterCulture’s flagship music festival, Indie March was born to push all things indie, bringing together a mix of bands from different musical genres – some of them not only debuting in India, but in the whole of Asia.
The festival takes place 19-20 March at MoonGate in Bangalore, Colour Haze will be performing on Saturday 19 March. Head to the Indie March Festival website here for further information.
written by Henrike Schröder
image curtsey of CounterCulture