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“Stony Sugarskull are, on the evidence of this record, a force to be reckoned with. […] Her Mazzy-Starish vocals switching between English and German as smoothly as her music transcends genres. Shot through with a distinctly Berlin ennui […] LiONESS is a trip from start to finish.” (Classic Rock Magazine)

“As a world class musician, Dr. Demmler has been pushing the boundaries of the modern music industry for years now and I hold her to the highest regard. In an industry filled with those who are content to merely imitate their peers, she is a fearless innovator that I consider to be hugely inspiring.” Leron Thomas NYC (trumpeter, vocalist, composer, producer’ Iggy Pop)

The most distinctive thing about Berlin artist is Monika Demmler’s unique vocal style and transcendent delivery: a collage dreamy, playful, innocent, ironic, clever, with earnest, spiritual psychedelic thrown in –a kind of detached artsy Velvets thing happening. (Fran Ashoft, Producer)

Lioness, the debut album from Berlin artist Stony Sugarskull, I s a fierce, feline mix of psychedelic, punk, shoegaze and kraut-rock fitting of its title. Stony Sugarskull is the sonic project of Dr Monika Demmler (Berlin), a mix of psychedelic, punk rock, shoegaze and kraut-rock. Credited as the first to combine healing sound frequencies with rock, the album functions in part to expand on aspects of her doctoral research in metaphysics and music philosophy. While it works as a straight up chunk of rock and roll goodness, blending shades of Marianne Faithful, My Bloody Valentine and Mazzy Star into its own beast, Lioness also has emotional and theoretical concepts at it’s core that make it interesting to delve into further. (Louder than War: https://louderthanwar.com/stony-sugarskull-albumlioness-review-interview/)

In 2020, she produced and released her debut album LiONESS (funded by Initiative Musik and Music Board Berlin) On her own label Sugarskull Records (DE), STP Records (UK) and Moon Bus Records (US). Currently she is working on her next release PRiNCESS (2021) with Franz Bergmann (Michael Rother/Neul, Camera) and Aurelien Bernard (Blue Man Group, 3Southandbanana), performing on live stream eventssuch as Mondo NYC festival October 2020 or at the opening of the exhibition of legendary photographer Martyn Goodacre at Southtrade Records Berlin in Decenmber 2020.

"Ein starkes Album mit hörbaren VELVET UNDERGROUND-Anklängen und Bezügen auf MAZZY STAR, das einen ganz eigentümlichen Magnetismus entfalten kann." (Oxfanzine)

 

The sheer amount of variety and rich personality that exists within this record is simply staggering. You walk away from it just thinking nothing but “damn… what a hyper-talented, versatile band!” (Record Crates United)

 

"Each of the song is just full of so much life. It’s like each one of them is their own little album, forging through with big sounds and just feeling dramatic in the best possible way. It’s not often that I hear an album these days where it feels like each song could stand on its own merits, but what I love even more about LiONESS is that it is also able to follow that rhythm of loud to soft where you can tell an importance was placed on the album itself so that this is seen less as a collection of songs and more as a true overall experience from start to finish." (Raised by Cassettes)

 

"Lioness, and boy is the name apt, with it coming growling and snarling out of its cage with a take-no-prisoners attitude and ready to let rip. This is a full album of garage future-classics, with Demmler’s personality, wit and sheer chutzpah front and centre." (Indie Republik)

 

Lioness represents the female who fights for a positive change and protects the week. The songs on this album are arranged according to a breakdown (which we’re currently suffering) and the re-organization of chaos. On a side, a climax is reached with the B side going back to a beginning, an effort to reach a meaningful synthesis of technological advances and an inner and societal return to nature in order to save humanity/future generations. In this album, each song is imbedded in certain healing sound frequencies. (Dr. Monika Demmler).

The album appeared as a deluxe edition on white vinyl, CD cassettes and is available on all major platforms. Songs of the album for example, “House on Fire gained up to 20,000 K playies on Spotify, were included on major playlists such as Harvey Spector Suits  or 360: The best indie music or picked up by major radio stations like SoHo Radio London (Naked Lunch) Radio Perta Rome. (Thursday the new Friday) and Alex Radio Berlin (Madchenradio).

What a brilliant album Lioness is, you’ve really found yourself, and it’s worth every minute of work you put into it. Every thing about it is right. I think you’re a force to be reckoned with! (Fran Ashcrof, Producer)

Pigiama magazine, Italy

STONY SUGARSKULL // Interview

Pigiama Magazine30/04/2021Musicians

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Precedente

Interview with STONY SUGARSKULL/Dr. Monika Demmler

Dr Monika Demmler is a lecturer by day and Stony Sugarskull, underground musician, by night. Her main interest is in the functions of sound frequencies from the perspective of the science of sound.

Hereby she focus on the connection of nature/ecology and sound, the physical realm of sound frequencies, intergalactic communication, ecological soundscapes and sound healing.

When it comes to musical influences, with her avant-garde vocals and shimmering distortions, Monica is said to be as Mazzy Star, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine and The Velvet Underground.

 

How do you manage your academic life with your underground side?

I’m learning to manage it daily. After I’ve lived in the academic philosophical side, I turned to music afterwards to realize my philosophical ideas I’ve had in my mind. And now I’m combining these two worlds. I have to be very self-disciplined to stick to my daily schedule as to me, both worlds go together and influence each other. 

 

Does your music reflect in some way a certain philosophy?

The first EP Gaia obviously reflects Gaian philosophy. Gaia is one of the first goddesses human beings prayed to. She’s the incarnation of nature and is said to return in the 21st century. The female element becomes stronger in our age, replacing parts of the male powers connected with the capitalistic system.

My debut album Lioness touches the aspect of ecology while still referring back to Gaian philosophy with the female element – that’s why it was called Lioness.

Beauty is truth and a true artwork or musical peace has aspects of divinity. Which means it touches your truest self. For instance, in music theory or science of frequencies, you find all the same formulas as in nature. 

 

Who’s Veronica?

I wrote the song on the day my grandma Veronica died. The lyrics tell about the feelings and the perceptions I had. I went for a walk to a nearby chapel in the countryside on 31 December and her face appeared smiling, in pastel colors in front of me. It was an exceptional day because even though it was high winter time, the sun was shining very bright.

I’m celebrating in this song my beautiful, lovely relationship with Veronica, my grandma. However, the song can also have a broader meaning.

Michele Brigante Senseverino (Paranoid Park) describes it very poignantly: “Veronica,” the last song of that record, full of passions that bite you in the throat, is a wide open window on the intimate courtyard of our memories, on those images, those people, those events that manage to touch the deepest chords of our soul. Stony Sugarskull, with her vocal harmonies, with the reflective textures of this song, allows us to escape from everyday life, to find ourselves in another place and another time – in New York, Berlin or elsewhere, it doesn’t matter – wherever there is a story to tell, a treasure to keep, a person to embrace again.”

Veronica was then recorded in Berlin at Impression Recordings, where I’ve embedded the song under certain healing frequencies for the listener. We’ve just recently released the music video by Gil de Ray with footage from me touring/traveling the US, UK, and my home in Berlin.

 

REVIEWS:

Each of the song is just full of so much life. It’s like each one of them is their own little album, forgoing through with big sounds and just feeling dramatic in the best possible way. It’s not often that I hear an album these days where it feels like each song could stand on its own merits, but what I love more about LiONESS is that it is also able to follow that rythem of loud to soft where you can tell an importance was placed on the album itself so that this is seen less as a collection of songs and more as a true overall experience from start to finish. (Raised by Cassettes)

             Ein starkes Album mit hörbaren VELVET UNDERGROUND-Anklängen und Bezügen auf MAZZY STAR, das einen ganz eigentümlichen Magnetismus entfalten kann. 4 out of 5 Stars (Oxfanzine)

 

The sheer amount of variety and rich personality that exists within this record is simply staggering. You walk away from it just thinking nothing but “damn… what a hyper-talented, versatile band!” (Record Crates United)

Lioness, and boy is the name apt, with it coming growling and snarling out of its cage with a take-no-prisoners attitude and ready to let it rip. This is a full album of garage future-classics, with Demmler’s personality, wit and sheer chutzpah front and centre. Highlights are singles “House on Fire” and “Empty” although the slowed-down. Weirdly disturbed soundsscape of “Beehive” is something special too. Veering off Cowboy Junkies, Libertines, the Velvets and with a general sixties psyched out garage rock vibe, Stony Sugarskull has established her spot in the rock firmament with her Lioness album (Indie Republik)

You can say a potpourri of enchantments. That’s what Stony Sugarskull is. And that means she’s more punk than you. (ComeHereFloyd)

Doctorates are not uncommon in the punk rock world but the fact that she’s researching the healing functions of sound frequencies indicates that her approach to music comes from a different angle.

[…] “House on Fire” opens “Lioness” with straight up 4/4 Ramones drum beat, but that’s where the predictability ends, alongside the punk influences there is also the spiky angular approach of post punk, a distinct undertone from the quality that separates Stony Sugarskull.

At times recalling vintage punk rock, others it heads off into hypnotic sections that bring to mind Krautrock and some heady west coast psychedelia, all the while embracing and balancing the excess of art rock. You can’t pick a track or a moment from “Lioness”, this is not an album that can’t be pinned down or pigeonholed, this is designed to be heard in full rather then embedded into an eternal and random shuffle.

     The more you listen to “Lioness” the more you find yourself drawn in, given her current research then this just might be the album that world needs right now. This is the soundtrack to the interesting times we live in, an old curse certainly has a ring to it right now, and this is an album to lose and immerse yourself in, which is exactly what we need right now. (4 out of 4 Stars) https://thepunksite.com/reviews/album-review-stony-sugarskull-lioness/

Music Video Premieres:

 

Berlin-based music act Stony Sugarskull, the sonic project led by the beguiling Dr Monika Demmler, has unleashed its inner lioness with the grainy punk-infused video for “House on Fire,” a track oozing with the kind of swagger you would find if Marianne Faithful were to push Iggy off stage and front the Stooges herself. (Post-Punk)

“Empty” is a straight rocker with strong melancholic undertones and ultimately an ode to not giving up and following your goals all the way through to the end. (Psychedelic Baby Magazine)

[…] die single “Turtles,” ein getragen romantischer Song mit Sehnsuchhts-Potential. Das dazugehorige Video wurde fast im Alleingang (Regie, Bearbeitung und Aufnahme) von Judith Jerome in Venice und Los Angeles kunstlerisch umgesetzt (Pretty in Noise)

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