Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Birth (ex-Astra) releases debut LP “Born”

“Birth’s dedication to exploring the sounds of the late sixties and early seventies is impressive enough, but their ability to bring those sounds back to life on ‘Born’ is even moreso.” – The Big Takeover

Southern California psychedelic/progressive rock unit, Birth, releases its full-length debut LP, “Born”, via UK rock label Bad Omen Records (Wytch Hazel, Spell, Satan’s Satyrs). Featuring members of San Diego’s revered retro rockers Astra, along with current or former members of Joy, Radio Moscow, and Sacri Monti, Birth owns a cavernous cache of credibility rarely found in developing musical groups. Described as “a magic-eye journey into kaleidoscopic sound”, and “a dystopian take on the here and now”, “Born” is available for purchase at: http://birthprog.bandcamp.com

A taste as to what Birth’s “Born” holds in store can be experienced now as the band is streaming the LP in its entirety; hear it now at: http://birthprog.bandcamp.com/album/born

In celebration of the record’s release, Birth will perform a free show on Friday, July 22 at the Booze Brothers Brewing Company in Vista, California. For full details, visit the Facebook event page at: facebook.com

Featuring guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Conor Riley and lead guitarist Brian Ellis, musicians who burst onto the prog-psych scene in the late aughts with Astra, a formidable, foundational group hailed as “prog goliaths” (AllMusic), who would shape the sound of things to come alongside co-conspirators such as Earthless, Diagonal and Dungen, and whose albums “The Weirding” (2009) and “The Black Chord” (2012) stand proud as two of the greatest progressive achievements of this century thus far, there is a palatable excitement surrounding Birth and the group has been pegged as one to watch in underground circles, an excitement which kicked into a new gear once a now-deleted demo ep was unleashed, on a pay-what-you-will basis, on the Bandcamp platform in 2021, which marked the spark of creation for the Birth universe and delivered a blast of vibrant progressive rock rich in cinematic scope and psychedelic intensity and laid the groundwork for what was to come.

“Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world.”

So wrote Mary Shelley in Frankenstein, arguably the first science fiction tale. A full 204 years later, the quest remains – how best to elucidate our daily lives with some form of inspiration that moves the spirit beyond its earthly shackles? On “Born”, Birth musically and creatively constructs a science-fiction-inspired sound-world in which bleak tumult and skybound rapture co-exist. The result is an intoxicating album haunted by earthly concerns while its sonics aim simultaneously for the stars.

Riley notes:

“I’m a scientist by trade and I read a lot of dystopian sci-fi, which I believe is relevant to many of the events that have been occurring lately. These views feed a dark, spiritual and mystical relationship that I have with scientific thought”.

1. Born
2. Descending Us
3. For Yesterday
4. Cosmic Tears
5. Another Time
6. Long Way Down

Photo: V. Edwards