“We just wanted to play kind a music we like and have fun. And in Hisko Detria we have no musical limits, so we can do whatever we like.”
Let me indulge in the pettiest critique yet. The cover art for the Static Raw Power Kraut demo by Hisko Detria (hand drawn by Rajanovitch - axes, vox) had me on board before I even heard the music. Before I even leapt joyously into this beautiful scathing rock genius that takes that Holy McGrail Shake Appeal cover and applies it to EVERYTHING like a small child given free reign over a paint roller except the paint is steady hard-rock concrete smeared haphazardly across your walls, ceiling, living room and all of your record collection! Even before I discovered that this may well be underground record of the year, I took one look at that artwork (and I’ve got a specially massive copy just so you gorgeous motherfuckers can clickety click and enjoy it too) you got your trippy highway rolling right out to meet with the very nice psychedelic concentric circles that y’know are going right into the centre hole in the vinyl edition of this. Can’t wait to get ahold o’ that and line it up with the sun (divergent rays motha’fucka’s); oh and what, what’s that off to the left? Dear Jesus god it’s the Earth. Clearly this spacial highway is going the way of Sputnik, Enos and Uri Gagarin, but also be steaming along that same desert highway as Kowalski. I’d go as far as to say never before has cover art been so indicative of a record’s trip... except that Grand Funk red workout that sure as shit did work out the redline in every meaning of the phrase. Of course this first-rate album artwork is only the beginning of the journey. Total post-Hawkwind groovescapes are the engine that’ll take you across these beautiful vistas, the destination? A town on the outskirts of perfection.
Through an unstoppable guitar yowl and scratch thrumming at increasingly breathtaking pace across the cosmos, Hisko Detria create pacey and enjoyable rock songs stretching for fifteen minutes without ever feeling long. For the most part the four radials spinning are the drums and bass providing the driving wheels, and spinning up front in this muscle car of a machine are the twin duelling guitars. Everything swings together to create an orchestral feel, sometimes bands with this much instrumentation can feel cluttered like an old house full of crap, whereas Hisko Detria’s trip is marvellously spartan, letting you focus on these seriously solid grooves. There are no curves, no swinging bends, just like that hyperspatial highway on the cover this is a straight line trip, racing this overpowered brute across forty years of spacerock, through the eye of a needle and up your nose with no respite or resistance. It’s smooth like those out-west roads, you can play snooker on this bitch if they make the vinyl big enough!
Things just get weirder the more I look into this buncha lunatic longhairs. Their bassplayer is unironically namechecked as Andreas Baader (for suckers who read a lot of socialist writings, the R.A.F. were the best and the worst of socialism in Germany in the 1970s... Baader Meinhoff Complex is a great film though) and in a fantastic example of a band creating their own myth, their Last FM page needs to be read to be believed. I advise you to take it with enough salt to turn your blood to concrete. But then again, creating a myth around yourself is a rock and roll staple, up there with Chryslers in the swimming pool and unspeakable things in the bloodstream. Without bullshit mythmaking what would old Robert Zimmerman be? Nothing. He only got a free ride at the start because of his connection to the old rural working class that he fucking made up. I had a little word with Hisko Detria, and it sure was eye opening. The demo was recorded in the space of ten hours of a single day “including setting up the gear, pizza break and listening to the takes we want to save”; also much like Het Droste Effect, the band make specialist copies of their CDr’s for you to have, so if you snap up a corporeal copy, that’s what you get, uniqueness motherfuckers.
Hisko Detria are self-professed music nerds and obsessives, so we’re in good company. “If we’re talking about bands that inspire us, I could talk about it forever”, “even though you can hear our influences on this record, we still sound like nothing else, which I’m proud of”. The roads of the scintillating album artwork run through the whole work. Roads are a key theme and a key place to listen to the music “it's really good record to listen to with your headphones when you're on a long bike trip! You're on the move but the road never ends. Motorik madness. Woosh!”
“We are playing just for ourselves and meditating one riff. If somebody else likes it, it's fine!”, “we’ve only played four gigs so far, first and second were alright, but third and fourth were excellent! We are definitely a live band, we are not too good with our instruments so every live gig is like a jump into the unknown and we just try to rock out our drunken selves as best we can. We are not a shoegaze band when we play live hehe!”
As it turns out, the version of Canned Heat’s classic On the Road Again featured on the demo, a blistering white-knuckle spacerock ride that is four times longer than the Canned Heat original but seems ten times shorter, was recorded in one take. Recording like this is something I’m excited to hear more of, and I really want to see them live, sounds like they have a totally different beast when they’re in front of a crowd! To close, I’ll simply leave you with how Hisko Detria closed their email:
“Thanks for the interview and interest man! Now I'm drinking beer and have been listening to Killing Joke, Van Der Graaf Generator, Dead Can Dance, Grand Funk Railroad and Roky Erickson. See you on the gigs and listen to ZEKE!!! ZEKE RULES!!!!!!!!!! ZEKEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAARRRGGHHHH!!! Into the night!!!!!!”
Get your FREE fix here [Bandcamp].
Written under duress by Steven.