Listen to the latest Astral Visions Mixcloud Show!

keskiviikko 10. heinäkuuta 2024

Anton Barbeau - Dogstar / Queen of Eyes 7"

 Fruits de Mer Records (winkle 51)

I bet most readers know my pal and Astral Magic collaborator Anton Barbeau by now. Anton seems to live about  equal amounts of time in Berlin and California and why not. He's almost as productive as I am with several albums a year released. His latest single has a new original "Dogstar" on side A. This is a great, hard rocking glam rock stomper that brings to mind Marc Bolan, in a good way. One of Anton's biggest heros, along with Syd Barrett, David Bowie, Robyn Hitchcock, Julian Cope and lots of others, I suspect. Things don't stop here, since somehow, Anton managed to get Barry "The Fish" Melton (Country Joe McDonald and the Fish) to play some loud lead guitar through his custom-built Mesa Boogie! Very impressive. This song really works. For the B side, Ant chose a more atmospheric and melodic cover by Robyn Hitchcock called "Queen of Eyes". Wonderful! This single is also limited to just 300 copies so hurry up if you want one and I think you should. 


The Sand Pebbles - Sometimes A Great Notion / Desire Lines 7"

 Fruits de Mer Records (winkle 53)

The Sand Pebbles form Australia are one of those bands that I have to thank Fruits de Mer Records to even know about. They have been around for over 20 years and released seven albums. This new single is limited to just 300 copies which is sort of sad since it has hit potential. The three-minute A side "Sometimes a Great Notion" brings to mind The Who or something similar, a 60s vibe but with a bit more modern sound, though. The violin gives a nice extra mood. I must say I still prefer the B side taken from the previous album, though. "Desire Lines" starts off like a perfect Neu mash-up in a very motorik manner. Amazing! The vocals are quite low in the mix. There's a great break in the hypnotic beat and then they go again. Lovely little release! 

nick nicely - Mike Hall Is Calling 7"

 Fruits de Mer Records (winkle 52)

Yes! The big underground psych pop hero from the 80s, Nick is back! A brand-new limited edition 7" single is out now. Only 300 made on black vinyl! I've been a huge admirer of nick nicely for decades so it is always a big thing for me.

"Mike Hall Is Calling" is a hazy, beautiful, melodic and psychedelic song that only Nick knows how to produce. It is adventurous but pretty easy to digest in a same time. Lushful orchestration, dreamy vocals and clever sound manipulation , it's all there. What a marvellous piece! On B side, things get a lot more experimental and wild with "Wonderful Day", what the hell just happened? There's even some free jazz vibes in there, totally trippy stuff. Another excellent nick nicely single, just get it! 

tiistai 18. kesäkuuta 2024

Hanford Flyover - Garden of Earthly Delights 7"

 Fruits de Mer Records (crustacean 101)

Fans of the legendary US 60s experimental/psych rock band The United States of America will be delighted to know, that two of their best actual songs have now been covered by the duo Hanford Flyover! And they do a splendid job at them, as well. A side "Garden of Earthly Delights" sounds pretty musch like the original down to the clear female vocals, but the synth bubles are a nice extra. I just love this version! More analogue synth LFO madness continues on the B side. "You Can Never Come Down" is another up-beat mind-blower, this version a bit more different from the original. I wish I had these songs as an original single for dj use, but these great cover versions will work very well for that too. Amazing!

tiistai 4. kesäkuuta 2024

Custard Flux - Einsteinium Delirium

 Friends of the Fish

Gregory Curvey (ex-The Luck of Eden Hall) from Detroit has been pretty active and constant with his new band Custard Flux releasing about an album a year and also playing some live gigs. What started off as a mostly acoustic solo project has now turned into fully electric band thing on the new album Einsteinium Delirium. This is the fifth album by the band and possibly their best effort so far. It is also a concept album based on our historic atomic madness, einsteinium being the highly unstable element first discovered after the first hydrogen bomb explosion.

There are ten songs on the album that flow into each other effortlessly. On the CD version there are just two tracks, A and B side of the vinyl version. Like before, the music is rather progressive with weird scales and also some not so standard rhythms, but somehow everything still sounds very enjoyable, smooth and together. We get complicated riffs, plenty of psychedelic guitar solos, tight and groovy drums and bass, heavenly Mellotron passages and great vocals. This is probably the heaviest album by the band yet, which suits the rather dark subject matter. The sound quality is crystal clear down to the atomic level and I just love every and each song. There are also two very limited lathe-cut singles from the album, "Equinox" with a different version of "Transmutation" and one-sided single of "Right Now Here in Time", but both already sold-out.

The LP version is limited to just 200 copies and made in the UK. The band will also do a mini UK tour in July/August playing for example at Kozfest in Devon and The 20th Dream of Dr. Sardonicus in Wales. I will just happen to be at both, can't wait... Gregory has also contributed to a several Astral Magic releases so it will be great to finally meet him in person. Also his excellent drummer Nick Pruett will be featured on one track on a future Astral Magic album Interstellar Relations... Great musicians. Anyway, do yourself a favour and buy Einsteinium Delirium before it solds out, you will love it. Some copies will be saved for the UK dates as well. The official release date is this Friday!

perjantai 24. toukokuuta 2024

Us and Them - If the Summer Lingers

 Withdrawn Records (008)

After working on other project for a while our favourite Swedish folk duo Us and Them is back with a new single! I think the final product will included three tracks, since the promo copy I received has two and there are two on their Bandcamp site now but the second being entitled differently to the promo edition. But is says it's a "Limited edition  3-track CD" there. Mysterious, right? Anyway, let's see what we've got here.

The opening title track is a nice, shortish, summery folk rock piece. You immediately recognize the duo's wonderful style and vibe, marvellous! Just too short, if you as me. "Tear Apart" is a longer, slower, hypnotic and darker piece that also has some instrumental passages. Acoustic guitar and brilliant female vocals, yes, but also synths and mellotron etc. The chorus is a bit more melodic and lighter. I really enjoy this extended, magical piece! "In the Waiting Room" on the Bandcamp site seems to be the same track, so not sure which one is the right title of if the track is devided into two parts on the actual CD single or what. You will ove this one, anyway!


Doctors of Space - Astral Sessions Vol 6- Summer 2021

 Doctors of Space Music (DOSASCD 006)

Doctors of Space (Scott Heller and Martin Weaver) released a new limited edition CD (just 100 copies) last month. This is volume 6 in their Astral Sessions jam series and a pretty heavy one. I don't have all the albums in this series, but have enjoyed all I've heard. The four LOOOONG jams were recorded in two different sessions in June and July 2021. I love Martin's guitars on these, sad thing if he really does not plan to play any more guitar in the duo's recordings? I hope I just made this up, but that's what I remember hearing. Here he also plays bass guitar and does the drum programming, so there must be some overdubs on there I guess, or he just switches instruments ultra fast and uses loops. Scott's (Dr Space) synths are as spacey as ever, wonderful. He also plays some (digital) Mellotron and Hammond organ. There is 74 minutes worth of trippy instrumental space music so definitely worth the 10€ the CD costs! You can just buy the digital download, of course. For some reason not all tracks are available for listening on their Bandcamp site at the moment.