Psychedelic duos take a tandem tour at Bottom of the Hill
SAN FRANCISCO — Two heavyweight psychedelia frontrunners share the stage at the bottom of the hill Tuesday night when Telekinetic Yeti and White Hills bring their tour to San Francisco.
Formed in 2015 in Dubuque, Iowa, by guitarist Alex Baumann and drummer Anthony Dreyer, Telekinetic Yeti combined elements of sludge metal, doom and the most extreme end of psychedelic rock with Baumann’s heavily processed seven-string guitar covering low frequencies. Within two years, the duo had made their mark with the release of their well-reviewed debut album. Abominable and tours supporting like-minded artists like Weedeater and Truckfighters, gaining legions of new fans with their fierce spectacle.
Despite the album’s success, tension between Baumann and Dreyer over touring commitments would disrupt the band the following year, leading the Baumanns to fire the drummer and enlist a replacement player to tour with Red Fang. In October 2019, Baumann announced that he had started writing and recording songs for the band’s second album with drummer Oscar Johansson (formerly with Truckfighters and Witchcraft). While the sophomore effort wrapped up in 2020, the pandemic and accompanying uncertainty regarding touring led Telekinetic Yeti to delay its release until last month, when Primordial became the duo’s first release with heavy music imprint Tee Pee Records. With new drummer Rockwell Heim behind the kit, the duo are garnering praise for the melodious, exploratory anthems featured on the album produced by Philip Cope (Kylesa, Baroness, Black Tusk).
Partnering with Telekinetic Yeti on this tour are Brooklyn-based White Hills Psychic Cosmonauts. In nearly 20 years of musical creation, the band has earned a reputation as one of America’s foremost proponents of space fuzz rock. Founded in 2003 by guitarist, lead songwriter and former SF resident David W, the band has released a flurry of albums and EPs blending juggernaut riffs and heart-pounding krautrock dronescapes.
With the band’s only other constant Ego Sensation on bass, White Hills achieved notoriety through their stunning live performances with heavy visuals, strobe lights and thick fog as well as a prolific production of recordings that ultimately made their mark. the group an agreement with Thrill Jockey records. (although they continued to release a steady stream of albums and EPs for other labels). Efforts like 2007’s explosive psychedelic opus heads on firethe band’s self-titled debut album Thrill Jockey and H-p1 expand on the legacy of Hawkwind, Can and early Tangerine Dream with their deep space epics. The band gained further exposure with their appearance in director Jim Jarmusch’s 2014 vampire romance. The only lovers still alive.
On the group’s effort in 2017 Stop Mute Defeat, the band teamed up with former collaborator and veteran NYC engineer/producer Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Afrika Bambaataa, Swans, Bill Laswell) who explored a different sonic approach. Looping and sampling their instruments and using a drum machine, the duo created a sound that nods to the no-wave movement and electro punk of Suicide. The band continued to delve into an industrial-tinged post-punk style on their 2020 album. Shattered metal sky which included collaborations with Psychic TV producer/engineer Jeff Berner, Jarmusch (playing guitar on two songs), and synthesizer Jim Coleman (Cop Shoot Cop, Human Impact).
White Hill’s next album – the first for the band’s new label Heads on Fire Industries – revisits one of the band’s signature efforts. Revenge of the Burning Heads features new remixes of all six tracks from the original album plus six rediscovered and previously unreleased additional tracks, expanding on the record’s remarkable psychedelic vision. Telekinetic Yeti and White Hills bring their tour to the Bay Area on Tuesday night (it also stops at Café Colonial in Sacramento on Sundays) and are joined by new all-star local team Desslock, a synth-fueled post-punk quartet with members of Zen Guerilla, Carlton Melton, Acid King, Frisco and Frehley’s Vomit tribute act Ace Frehley. DJ Sasquatch Borracho plays records before and between bands.
Telekinetic Yeti and White Hills with Desslock
Tuesday, August 16, 7:30 p.m. $15 to $20
The bottom of the hill