BRANT BJORK's Solo Debut, Jalamanta, To Receive Deluxe Reissue In September
August 2, 2019, 5 months ago
Jalamanta is the debut album from Brant Bjork. Originally released in 1999 on the now defunct label Man's Ruin Records, the record launched the solo career of the former Fu Manchu and founding Kyuss member. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Jalamanta, Bjork presents a remastered re-release of the LP, remixed by Brant and original engineer Tony Mason using the master tapes, and featuring beautiful new album artwork in shining tribute to the record's original design. This edition also contains Bjork's cover of Blue Öyster Cult's "Take Me Away". Jalamanta will see a September 13 release via Heavy Psych Sounds Records. Pre-order here.
Hailed as "an exercise in the rhythmic hypnotism" and "a soulful, heaping helping of melody with a side order of slowly unwinding grooves," Jalamanta is an album that sees Bjork touch on funk, jazz, psychedelia, ambient, garage rock and has traces of folk, avant-pop, punk, and improvisational music. It's perfect for a warm summer night, for sitting on the porch with a beer and watching the twilight settle.
"Jalamanta was a life changing record for me," says Brant. "It's the record that launched my journey as Brant Bjork. Listening to the tapes 20 years later was amazing. The record's engineer Tony Mason and myself were transported back to that moment in time. Jalamanta was a first for both Tony and myself: my first record as a solo artist and his first record as an engineer. We didn't have to think twice about re-mixing it. With our combined experience over the years, we knew we could take Jalamanta to the place we always wanted it to go..and we did. Dig it."
At the time leading up to the recording of Jalamanta, Bjork had previously played with the legendary Kyuss and Fu Manchu. At some point in 1998 or early 1999, Bjork decided he wanted to make a record on his own. He rented a week's worth of studio time at Rancho de la Luna in Joshua Tree, California. The month prior, Brant would record demos on a 4-track and test out how the songs "grooved" on daily bike commutes. With time and money limited, Brant rehearsed enough to work all of the LP's songs out in his head by the time it came to record, drawing influences from the likes of CAN and Peter Tosh. Brant then painted together a record representing the desert and small town life as he envisioned it.
If Kyuss represents the desert at it's harshest, all heatwaves and howling winds and Gila monsters, then the Jalamanta album is the desert at it's most tranquil; peaceful, spacious and calm. The mostly instrumental LP is the perfect summertime soundtrack; listening is like a mellow trip to a California beach, at dusk.
Brant Bjork recently announced a North American headlining tour. Set to launch on September 12 in St. Louis, MO, the two and a half week trek will run up the east coast, concluding on September 28 in Milwaukee, WI. Support on the Brant Bjork tour will come from Philadelphia heavy psych unit, Ecstatic Vision.
12 - St Louis, MO - Firebird
13 - Indianapolis, IN - Citadel Music Hall
14 - Youngstown, OH - Westside Bowl
15 - Baltimore, MD - Otto Bar
16 - Columbus, OH - Woodlands
17 - Buffalo, NY - Iron Works
18 - Boston, MA - Middle East Upstairs
19 - Brooklyn, NY - Kingsland
20 - Teaneck, NJ - Debonair
21 - Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Knecktie
22 - Providence, RI - Dusk
23 - New Haven, CT - The State House
24 - Brattleboro, VT - Stone church
25 - Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace
26 - Detroit, MI - Magic Bag
27 - Chicago, IL - Reggie's Rock Club
28 - Milwaukee, WI - Walker's Point
Brant Bjork has spent over a quarter century at the epicenter of Californian desert rock. From cutting his teeth alongside Fatso Jetson’s Mario Lalli in hardcore punkers De-Con to drumming and composing on Kyuss’ landmark early albums, to propelling the seminal fuzz of Fu Manchu from 1994-2001 while producing other bands, putting together offshoot projects like Ché, embarking on his solo career as a singer, guitarist and bandleader, founding his own record label and more, Bjork's history is a winding narrative of relentless, unflinching creativity.
(Photo - Adam Cohen)