Listen to the latest Astral Visions Mixcloud Show!

tiistai 27. syyskuuta 2022

Custard Flux - Phospherus


Phospherus is the fourth album by Gregory Curvey's (Detroit, Michigan) acoustic, psychedelic progressive rock project Custard Flux. I got to know him around 15 years ago when he started to send the The Luck of Eden Hall albums for review. I just loved them, and still do! Nothing has been heard of The Luck of Eden Hall for five years, that's when the split album with Red Sun was released on VE Recordings in Italy, but I'm happy Curvey is still making music. He has also performed and recorded with the Welsh space rockers Sendelica, among others. I'm also proud to say he has recorded some excellent guitar etc. tracks for my own Astral Magic project too!

Anyway, let's consentrate on Custard Flux now... It's been two years since the previous album Oxygen was released (read my review here) and besides driving his Harley Davidson and doing beautiful renovation work etc. Gregory has also written, recorded and mixed another killer set of new songs. The main idea still is to use mainly acoustic instruments (piano, hapsichord, harmonium, guitars, autoharp, drum kit, percussion) and vocals to make progressive rock music. Electric guitar is only being used for some of the solos. Like before, we have some guest musicians: Vito Greco on guitars and Portuguese guitar, Timothy Prettyman on double bass, Mars Williams on saxophones and another keen Astral Magic collaborator Jay Tausig on flute and backing vocals. Great! Especially the saxophones and Portuguese styled guitar give the album some new angles.

The 80-minute opus has 12 tracks on it. Some are around 10 minutes, some less than 5, but all are excellent. I love the way Curvey is able to use catchy choruses, weird scales and chords, very progressive rhythms, eerie atmospheres and psychedelic vibes and often within just one song! He is just such a talented multi-instrumentalist that I'm left in awe. So, usually you would think that using mostly acoustic instruments would lead to making a more folk oriented album, but this is definitely not the case with Custard Flux, although there are bits of that too in the mix. There is usually a lot of stuff going on in one track, some of it also pretty hectic, but luckily there is also time to chill out and relax. It is pretty hard to think of any other bands or artists that would sound like this, but some elements remind me of The Beatles, King Crimson and some others. There must also also be some more modern influences I can't really point out. This is very unique, interesting and great sounding music, anyway, and warmly recommended for all the adventurous listeners out there! The CD and limited edition (250 copies) LP will both be available iat the end of December, but you can pre-order right away. Just do it!


tiistai 6. syyskuuta 2022

Dark Sun Bandcamp changed into Astral Magic Bandcamp!


I just changed the Dark Sun Bandcamp site I've also been using for Astral Magic to:
This means the old release links to the old site won't work anymore, unfortunately. But you will find everything from the new address. It was time to let Dark Sun go... I still sell that stuff too, of course!

torstai 1. syyskuuta 2022

New Astral Magic album In a Haze released tomorrow!


Time for some Astral Magic news. A new album In a Haze will be released tomorrow on Bandcamp Friday as a limited edition digipack CD. There were only 100 copies made.

This album has Jonathan Segel on guitar and violin again and the cover art is based on a video still image by Piet Koster. Jonathan also mastered the album. Everything else is by Santtu Laakso.

You can buy the CD for 10€ at:

 Also digital download available and you can of course listen to In a Haze on all the digital platforms there are. I hope you'll like it! Check out the album tour video with clips from all the 11 tracks below. Lots of different stuff in there but all trippy and psychedelic I think!

All Peace to You, Galactic Brothers and Sisters...

maanantai 25. heinäkuuta 2022

Ambassador Hazy – The Traveler

 Hazy House / Cardinal Fuzz (HH01 / CFL0224)

The Traveler is the second album by Sterling DeWeese's solo project Ambassador Hazy. You might have read my review of his debut album Glacial Erratics last year. This new album was released together with (Sterling's?) Hazy House label in the US and UK's Cardinal Fuzz so it should be pretty easily available, at least until the limited pressing of 250 copies is gone everywhere. Cardinal Fuzz no longer have this available on their Bandcamp, though. There is also a limited Sam Giles CD-R edition.

On The Traveler Sterling continues his dreamy, trippy travels into home-cooked, lo-fi psychedelia and garage rock. There are also beautiful acid folk (check out "All We Wanted", for example) and some more experimental moments in there for great balance. His vocals somehow remind me of Lemmy during his Sam Gobal times which is not a bad thing. "Gone to My Head" has a cool, more pop oriented vibe, but there are also darker things. I think I prefer the fuzzy, 13th Floor Elevator styled rockers, but there is a lot to love here. Give it a try and locate a copy if you can!

The Terrapin Gun – Relax Your Mind

 Infinite Spin (ISR 10001110101)


I received this very limited LP from Sterling DeWeese from Cold Spring, New York. The guy previously sent me his first Ambassador Hazy LP for review last year. Terrapin Gun started as a duo with his soul brother Scott over 20 years ago on the East Coats of USA. These recordings were finished when some other members had joined in but never released until now.

Terrapin Gun played a weird, psychedelic mix of Spacemen 3 and Brian Jonestown Massacre and 60s bands like The Byrds, The Dead, Velvet Undergound and The Fugs. The album has a lot of acoustic guitars too to give it a flowing, West Coast folky blues feel at times. The recording techinique must have been pretty primitive at the time, but the sound is still good and very enjoyable. There are 12 rather short songs on the album and I got to say I like them all. You could consider this as a time capsule from 20 years ago or just as a great, timeless underground psych rock/folk/blues album with a lot of feelings and atmospheres. Check it out and hurry up if you want a copy, since there are only 125 of these beauties in existence. 

maanantai 30. toukokuuta 2022

Mark McDowell - Freedom Tapes


Freedom Tapes is the brand-new experimental psych rock/pop/folk album by Mark McDowell from Bristol, U.K. I was first introduced to him when Fruits de Mer put out a wonderful split 7" with him and Octopus Syng in 2013. I also reviewed his 2018 album Dark Weave (Friends of the Fish) and liked it a lot. I did miss his album Breakthrough in 2020, somehow. Anyway, let's see what we've got here this time.

The album includes 10 tracks, most around the 4-minute-marker in lenght. Most have a rather organic, acoustic feel, but sometimes Mark also rocks out. He sings, plays guitars, keyboards, drums & percussion. The collaborators are Pete Westaway: synth, John Hymas: strings and Juliet Winter: words, love and high vibes. There are some wonderful melodies and psychedelic effects that always makes this kind of music interesting and mesmerising for me. The music also has a hypnotic vibe. We have a couple of instrumentals on board too for a good balance. Especially the 6-minute "Zodiasi" is a real trip. The music was first recorded on cassette tapes and then manipulated and put together again digitally for a great, warm and sort of experimental result. I like Mark's music and his vocals and I think this album will be an important part of my Summer 2022 soundtrack. Check it out!


Astral Magic - Magical Kingdom out on Tonzonen Records June the 17th!

My psychedelic project Astral Magic will release a new album next month! Magical Kingdom will be out on coloured splatter LP limited to 500 copies. It is the first Astral Magic release on the amazing German label Tonzonen Records and will include a Bandcamp download card. This can be considered Astral Magic's first psychedelic, spacey PROG rock album and it is quite different to the stuff released before. Fans of Pink Floyd, Eloy, early Yes and Hawkwind should definitely check it out.

The guest musicians on this album are Jay Tausig (US, drums, guitar, saxophone, flute), Gregory Curvey (US, guitar, glockenspiel), Peter Dingham (UK, guitar), Markku Helin (FI, guitar), Anton Barbeau (US, guitar) and Perttu Lindberg (FI, drums). The album was mastered by Eroc for maximum sound quality. The painting used on the cover art is by Finnish psychedelic artist Vesa Peltonen. You can pre-order the album now from the label's web shop or Astral Magic's Bandcamp site and also listen to three of the tracks online.