Austin Chronicle Exclusive Stream of “The Shadow Over Overkill”

Kaiser, Cogburn, Hoffnar & Håker Flaten Rock Free and Lovecraftian

A track premiere from the Mountains of Excess

Henry Kaiser / Chris Cogburn / Ingebrigt Håker Flaten / Bob Hoffnar: En Las Montañas de Excesos

Henry Kaiser / Chris Cogburn / Ingebrigt Håker Flaten / Bob Hoffnar: En Las Montañas de Excesos

Henry Kaiser lays out his artistic credo: “I’m a die-hard improviser and I’m a die-hard experimentalist. I always want to try things I haven’t done before and see what happens.”

The premise behind the veteran Bay Area guitar wizard’s next release pivots on collaborating with new musicians. That scenario came to fruition on a 2015 session that found him interfacing with a trio of A-list Austin improvisers: bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, drummer Chris Cogburn, and pedal steel expert Bob Hoffnar.

“There was no plan,” admits Kaiser. “There was no discussion. We hadn’t met. We came to the studio, set up, and we played without talking much at all.”

The resulting En Las Montañas de Excesos (In the Mountains of Excess) cuts loose an expressionistic, free-form fusion alternating between aggressive musical pile-ons and anti-gravitational space sections. Cogburn’s malleable meters and Håker Flaten’s muscular electric bass serve as the quartet’s rhythmic tail fin. Meanwhile, Kaiser and Hoffnar beam prisms of squirrely melodies that challenge electric guitar and pedal steel conventions.

While it’s tempting to deem such unrestrained movements as free jazz or avant-garde, Kaiser characterizes it as something more familiar.

“It’s just rock & roll,” he chuckled over the weekend. “It’s improvised rock & roll and I grew up with a lot of that in the Bay Area where it went to a lot of crazier extremes than it did on the albums by San Francisco bands like the Grateful DeadMoby Grape, and Quicksilver Messenger Service.

“You’ve got little fringe things with improvisation in what passes for rock & roll nowadays,” he continues, “but the way pop music has become so conservative and mainstream, most of what sells a lot isn’t Jimi Hendrix playing ‘Purple Haze.’ It’s indie rock that’s about as experimental as Perry Como.”

En Las Montañas de Excesos
 arrives April 6 on Austin’s Self Sabotage Records. The collection subdivides into two continuous vinyl sides as well as four longer digital tracks. Each is titled with the self-effacing corruption of an H.P. Lovecraft story. Lead cut, “The Shadow Over Overkill,” streams here for the first time:

Interview with Ingebrigt Haker Flaten at Bass My Fever

Austin Chronicle Reviews ‘Hong Kong Cab’

Ingebrigt Håker Flaten’s Time Machine

Hong Kong Cab (Self Sabotage)

Texas Platters

Bass solos are all well and good, but why listen to an album’s worth of unaccompanied thrums without the band dynamics that make the grooves come alive? Happily, Hong Kong Cab, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten’s fourth solo bass album, is a different breed. Unconcerned with unadorned rhythm, the Norway-born/Austin-based jazz maverick uses his instruments as paintbrushes, expressing himself with slashing strokes and controlled splatter like Jackson Pollock. He bows his double bass like a butcher cutting meat on “Hotel Isabel,” plucks his Rickenbacker into echo oblivion on “Time Machine,” and disintegrates his gear on the title track. Even when he just plain grooves on “Guts” and “All or Nothing,” Flaten stretches the boundaries of what it means to be in the pocket.


Richard Interviewed for Sonic Transmissions Festival

Richard Lynn and Ingebrigt Haker Flaten Talk Sonic Transmissions 2017

Richard Lynn and Ingebrigt Haker Flaten Talk Sonic Transmissions 2017: festival heads discuss adventurous music festival’s 2017 lineup. 

Billing itself as “Austin’s Newest, Most Vital Jazz & Experimental Music Festival”, Austin, Texas’  Sonic Transmissions festival is one of the most unusual fests in the Lone Star State capital, showcasing underground music, often in an improvisational context.

The festival, now three years in the running, runs September 14th-16th (taking place at Barracuda, Kick Butt Coffee, and Kenny Dorham’s Backyard  & Victory Grill, respectively) features a diverse mix of genres, featuring everything from punk, hip-hop, jazz and cumbia, with acts from all over the world.

I recently had a chance to speak to festival founder Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and presenter Richard Lynn (owner of Austin’s Self Sabotage Records) about what attendees could expect for this year’s lineup, which certainly sounds like an intriguing event.  

Enjoy the full Q&A below.

Questions 1-3 by Richard Lynn, owner Self Sabotage Records, Presenter STF

When did you first become involved with Sonic Transmissions and what drew you to the project?

I attended the festival the first two years and loved it each time. Last year, I was sitting there watching Black Spirituals play, and the crowd wasn’t as big as it should have been, and I thought “people would love this festival if they only knew about it.” So I decided to try and help if I could. I believe Ingebrigt has built Sonic Transmissions into the best music festival in Austin in only its third year.

So this is the third year of the festival. How has it grown over the years and what can audiences expect this time around compared to the last two lineups?

Each year has provided incredible performances by artists from around the world. This year we believe that Ingebrigt has put together the best lineup yet. I often say that if someone were to attend every session of the festival, they would be treated to a musical trip around the world.

One thing that separates Sonic Transmissions from other Austin music festivals is its diverse roster: what criteria dictates how the festival is curated, and which acts are you most excited about seeing perform this year?

There simply are no rules, other than bring together the greatest musicians from around the world into a mishmash of music that will blow you away. Many festivals tend to have a narrow selection of bands; Sonic Transmissions is the opposite. Ingebrigt and I were watching Lung Letters at my label’s showcase during SXSW earlier this year, and he loved them. It was his first time to see them, and he turned to me after it was over and said “I want them to play the opening night of the festival.” And I said, “That’s crazy and that’s why I love you.”

I don’t believe there is any set in stone criteria when it comes to the bands that Ingebrigt selects to play the festival. He basically seeks out the best of the best from various musical genres and locales from around the world. One of my record labels, Self Sabotage Records, is presenting the first night with Astral Spirits Records, and not only do we have Lung Letters on the bill, we also have incredible jazz/improv musicians such as Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark, Susan Alcorn, and Ingebigt himslef, among others. But it’s too hard to pick who I am most excited to see, the festival is full of incredible musicians.

Questions 4- 7 Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, festival founder/curator/ musician

Another thing that makes Sonic Transmissions stand out from the pack is its improvisational aspect. How do you decide which acts will do improv sets together, and how important do you think it is to showcase that aspect of musicianship?

The curation of this festival is based in strong musicianship, everybody we present are masters within their game. So let’s say, when we put together Susan Alcorn, Ken Vandermark and Joe PcPhee, or Charalambides with Joe McPhee –all with almost a lifelong experience within improvisation- we believe this will create new and fresh music because as improvisers their all brilliant and we know that in a meeting between such musicians something special will happen that cannot be planned for! It’s as exciting for the musicians as it is for the audience!!

I’m also a professional musician and travel the world meeting new people all the time through situations like this, my experience in this field help me create a lineup where improvisation becomes an important element and somehow the ‘red thread’ between all the artists on this festival.

I was also curious how the daily lineup is structured given the variety of genres represented in the festival–what is that process like? I imagine it’s more complicated than other more homogenous music festivals.

Our goal is to create a daily lineup with a focus on strong musicianship and which is not genre specific, we wan’t to give the audience a new experience every day by presenting something they will find familiar with something that’s new and unfamiliar.  Like having a particular audience that are there to listen to Carmelo Torres  being surprised with a set by solo guitar and banjo maestro Brandon Seabrook. Or when people come out to hear local punk hero’s Lung Letters they will maybe also get a surprise when listening to Susan Alcorn playing the Steal Guitar in a way they never thought was possible…and so on!!

I see that there is an Indie-Gogo campaign associated with the festival. What are some of the unique perks that donors can receive for helping to fund Sonic Transmissions, and what other ways can supporters get involved?

Supporters can sign up for volunteering through our website (under Support Us).  We can use help with production, artists and more… it’s a great way to get to know artists and to get an inside view of how the festival operates! Everybody who sign up and do a few shifts for us get a free festival pass for the weekend.

And those who donate through the Indie-Gogo campaign get the following:

a unique print by local artists Lindsey Verrill

-a unique EP by Ingebrigt Haker Flaken

-a unique mix-tape with tracks chosen by some of the festival artists.

-a screen printed and signed festival poster

Well that wraps up my questions: Is there anything else you’d like to mention about this year’s Sonic Transmission to potential attendees?

This is a chance to see incredible artists and bands from around the world at a great price!

You can buy tickets and keep track of all things Sonic Transmissions by clicking here for their official website.

Announcing Sonic Transmissions Festival III


Sonic Transmissions Festival III







Three-Day Music Festival Features Punk Rock, Improvised Jazz, Cumbia Dance Party, Futuristic Hip-Hop, Artist Collaborations, and More


Tickets on Sale June 20, go to


June 19, 2017 (Austin, Texas) Sonic Transmissions Festival III, Austin’s only improvisational music festival without boundaries, takes place Thursday, September 14 through Saturday, September 16 across four eastside venues: Barracuda, Kick Butt Coffee, Kenny Dorham’s Backyard, and Victory Grill.

Now in its third year, Sonic Transmissions Festival incorporates a fantastic lineup representing a diverse range of musical styles and cultural diversity. Festival-goers will experience an incredible array of musical entertainment incorporating aspects of punk rock, improvised music, jazz, free-jazz, psychedelic cumbia dance, futuristic hip-hop, and more.

Pre-sale festival passes are just $30 (pre-sale ends August 1, 2017, after which prices will increase slightly). Single day passes are also available. Go to the Sonic Transmissions website ticket link to purchase.

This year, the festival expands its footprint, spanning across four venues in three days. Showcasing over 35 local and international artists from Austin to Norway to Columbia, the lineup includes Austin’s own Lung Letters, Joe McPhee, Los Toscos with Carmelo Torres, Jawwaad Taylor, Stefan Gonzalez, Ken Vandermark and more. Festival highlights are:

Thursday, September 14 at Barracuda: Kick-Off Party, exploring the latest in adventurous punk, noise, and incendiary improvised music from around the world. Co-presented by Self Sabotage Records and Astral Spirits. 8 P.M. to 2 A.M. Located at 611 E 7th St, Austin, TX. 

Friday, September 15 at Kick Butt Coffee: Psychedelic Bogotá Cumbia Dance Party where deep tradition meets experimentation. Co-presented by Epistrophy Arts. 8 P.M. to 2 A.M. Located at 5775 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX.

Saturday, September 16 at Kenny Dorham’s Backyard and Victory Grill: Freedom jazz – classic meets new wave on the historic East 11th Street District. 2 P.M. to midnight. Located at 1106 and 1104 E 11th St. Austin TX.

Founded and curated by internationally renowned musician Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (The Thing, Atomic, The Young Mothers) and presented by Austin’s revered independent record label Self Sabotage Records, Sonic Transmissions Festival has quickly become the musician’s music festival, providing a platform for artists to perform, collaborate, and unite through music and culture.

“The motivation for starting the festival was to create an event where artists from all kinds of music and cultures could come together to share, create and celebrate music,” said Sonic Transmissions Festival Founder and Curator Ingebrigt Håker Flaten. “Music does not always have to be locked into general categories or descriptions and Austin is the perfect city for an open minded, creative type festival like Sonic Transmissions.”

“I love the concept behind Sonic Transmissions Festival — and Self Sabotage Records is extremely proud to be involved,” said Richard Lynn, Owner of Self Sabotage Records. “Ingebrigt has put together, what I consider to be, the best music festival in Austin. Most music festivals often have a narrow focus on musical genre; this festival’s focus is almost indescribable… If you were to attend each session of this festival, it would be like taking a musical trip around the world.”

Sonic Transmissions Festival takes place September 14, 15, and 16. Additional artist and exciting lineup information to be announced. To purchase tickets to the three-day festival or one showcase go to for pricing and details.


Follow on:

Twitter: @SonicTrans


Instagram: @sonictransmissions 



Founded and curated by Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and presented by Self Sabotage Records, Sonic Transmissions Festival is a three-day showcase presenting a far-reaching spectrum of genres, such as free jazz, post-punk, world music, experimental hip-hop, improvised music, and more. Sonic Transmissions Festival was born out of a passion to bring audiences and musicians from different communities together to collaborate, experience, and explore the possibilities of what a music festival can express to audiences today. This event is partially funded by the City of Austin Cultural Art Division.



Kris Ferraro, KFPR, 818-480-0229


Lauren Lyman, Other Side Austin

Recap From Austin Jukebox #7 Part Two 5/20/2017

Again, thank you to everyone who came out to Austin Jukebox 7 tonight (and yesterday)! The overwhelming support, appreciation, and kindness you all have expressed to us these last few days makes all the hard work that goes into making these shows reality more than worth it.

Austin Jukebox 7 is our first time to do a double header, back-to-back event. This allows us to bring you TWICE the mix of great bands each quarter! And tonight the greatness was in no short supply – local noise-rock band Coma in Algiers got things started with a near sold out crowd while local blues punk group The Crack Pipes, playing for the first time in a while, debuted some new material and got everyone pumped for the main event. We welcomed Pere Ubu back to Austin (their only US show for 2017 and their first time back in Austin in around 20 years!) to thunderous applause and singing along from an incredibly enthusiastic crowd. Local jazz greats Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and Dave Rempis rounded out the night with a delightful improv late set.

Here are a few photos from the night. As always, feel free to tag us or share your photos to our Facebook page! Pere Ubu photos are credit to either Mike Fickel (first two) or Chad Kappeler (last three).