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tiistai 26. huhtikuuta 2022

The Chemistry Set - Pink Felt Trip

 Regal Crabomophone (winkle 46)

The Chemistry Set is a London based psych rock outfit formed by Dave Mclean and Paul Lake in 1987. They had a big part in making the late 80s UK neo-psychedelic moment what it was. Great thing these guys are still active and releasing superb new stuff on Fruits de Mer and Regal Crabomophone so regularly even in modern times. Pink Felt Trip is their latest and another winner for sure. According to the promo sheet, this is the band's 61st release, can you believe that? They have opted for a bit heavier sound on many of the tracks but there is still room for magnificent melodies and all kinds of trippy tricks and hooks.

There are nine tracks on the LP. The band has previously covered for example "Legend of a Mind" by The Moody Blues and "Silver Birch" by Del Shannon, and this time it was time to do a great version of "The Witch" by Mark Fry. It follows right after the heavy, short title song that opens the album and works really well with added Gregorian chant intro. Things get pretty heavy and psychy... The whimsical "Lovely Cup of Tea" was already released on a 7" EP in 2017. "Firefly" (previously released on 7" in 2018) is a great, mystical and heavier tune that I really enjoy and "Psychotronic Man" a lighter, atmospheric piece with acoustic guitars, tablas etc., really cool stuff. Also "Paint Me a Dream" was released on 7" before (2021), marvellous tune, read my review here. Also has "The Witch" on B side. "Sail Away" reminds me of Led Zeppelin a bit, acoustic guitars, slide guitar, tablas. This was the B side of "Firefly" single. "The Rubicon" is a catchy, simple pop psych song that we also had heard before on the "Lovely Cup of Tea" 7" EP. Even the hard core fans have 11 minutes of never-before-heard stuff at the end when the "Self Expression Trinity" blows your mind. This is an excellent trilogy with lots of different emotions and vibes. Mellotrons are always welcome addition... Some superb guitar solos in there too, for example. I also really like the vocals, as always. An amazing ending for a really great album! My only little complain here is that so many of the tracks were already released before on 7" singles/EP's so not completely new. Still, in this albun context they sound a bit different and definitely have their right to be included. One of the best album releases so far in 2022! 

tiistai 15. maaliskuuta 2022

St. Kraut - Roerich Trilogy 3CD-R

 Strange Fish (Strange Fish Twenty Five)

When the vinyl pressing gets too hard even Fruits de Mer Records (and their sister label Strange Fish) must turn into other media. Here's a 3CD-R/3tape release including all three releases by Russian band St. Kraut. The albums were originally released during 2020 and 2021. The ultra-limited tape box set was actually released in Russia and already sold out but the 3CD-R set is still available.

You could think that St. Kraut plays pure plain krautrock in the 70s German style, but they actually do a lot more. There are plenty of emotional post-rock/ambient passages (like the 15-minute opener "Inner Altar") and they have a more modern way to produce music in every way. So, this is not a retro-krautrock band in anyway, although there are some kraut influences in there for sure. The instrumental tracks are usually long so perhaps not exactly for the standard indie rock audience but there are moments that could be considered even radio friendly. Some of it is still too weird (like the 23-min-plus "Tropic Slumber") for mass consumption which, of course for me, is a definitive plus side. The albums this compilation includes are Boris & Gleb, Ann Without Hand and Fire Madness from Outer Space. I think my favourites are the most rocking tracks like "Ann Without Hand", "Lucid Dream Exchange", "Ann Without Head" and "Fire Madness from Outer Space" but I also enjoy there slower, dreamier tracks a lot. My only complaint is that this is not on vinyl but it is acceptable considering the tough times we are living in... So let's buy some CD-Rs/CDs and still try to enjoy our lives and great music from all over the world!

In the UK, get this from Fruits de Mer and in the EU from Shiny Beast. 

tiistai 22. helmikuuta 2022

More Experience - Electric Laboratory Of High Space Experience

Old Hippie Records (VII MMXXI)


Released on full moon, 23 july 2021, Electric Laboratory of High Space Experience is the fourth album by this great Polish psych rock band More Experience. I have reviewed their previous album Follow Me in 2018, check it out over here. Sorry for being a bit late with this review, I blame working hard on my own project Astral Magic. This is a 46-minute CD release, but I would guess the band would also be ready for an LP release that would suite this kind of late 60s/early 70s styled hippie stuff even better.

The album has eight tracks. After the two-minute bird-song intro of "The Twilight" the band dives into full-blown, almost 12-minute head trip called "The Dream". Starting off with acoustic guitars, bass and symbals, we soon get wonderful organ, and full drum set as well. Then we also get electric guitars and wonderful harmony vocals that even enhance the progressive hippie era vibe. I really enjoy this stuff! "The Trip" is next, as if you weren't on one already... This is chilled-out stuff with some cool spoken word poetry and very trippy instrumentation. Things start to rock out later on, phew! The nine-minute "The Mind" has female vocals and a sort of harder rocking edge before it goes into Eastern-tinged sitar and tabla thing and then turning into jazzy analogue synth and guitar solo heaven. And it is not even over yet, so be prepared for some mystical, groovy going at the end... Reminds me of Gong a bit? Loving it, anyway! "Beelzebufo" is a short field recording piece and "Fairy Tale" a peaceful song with some cool synth leads and spoken word including vocoder. Trippy! The title track "Electric Laboratory Of High Space Experience" comes next and starts off with harmonium and tabla etc. Soon the band is in prog rocking mode and then we get some bautiful female vocals and some great solo guitar work and jamming. Another winner for sure! The album is finished with the nature sounds of "At the Gates of Dawn" in a relaxed way. All in all, this a very enjoyable, psychedelic and adventurous album and also has a great production and skillful playing so comes warmly recommended for all lovers of reinterpretations of the original hippie vibes.


maanantai 7. helmikuuta 2022

Stream Astral Magic - Lords of Space CD version in full here!


You can now hear all the tracks of this heavy space rock album just here! Pre-order the limited to 300 copies CD now, release date is 1.3.2022. 

tiistai 1. helmikuuta 2022

The Lost Stoned Pandas - Dark Side of the Noom

 Frg Records

The Lost Stoned Pandas is, more or less, a different version of Welsh psych/space rock band Sendelica making a bit more electronic/ambient music. Dark Side of the Noom is already their fifth release and a very tasty one. Released on three different vinyl editions (one of which also includes an exclusive lathe-cut), CD and digital it should please to all fans of ambient space rock and psychedelic electronic music. Although we have the bass, guitar and drums from Sendelica Colin Consterdine's cosmic sound engineering is playing a huge part of the overal sound. We also have Chris Mekon on board with his electronics as well as viola and violin players to also give the album some more organic vibe. What a great combination!

What we have here is one long title track on side 2 and three shorter pieces on side 1. The totally instrumetal album begins with "Dark Side of the Noom (dub mix)" that to me brings back memories of the electronic, psychedelic ambient/dub (sub)culture of the 90s UK (Banco de Gaia, Children of the Bong, Divine Soma Experience etc.) that I used to love. "Interregnum" is a very nice, atmospheric piece where the strings are playing an important role. "Luna Sunrise (Strings Mix)" is more ambient in nature and the shortest track at 5:14. Beautiful! The second side of the LP is filled with the closer to 20-minute title track. It is a rather laid-back, although sort of majestic, very pleasant and floating trip that I really enjoy. Again, lots of strings to give a more earthly vibe. Excellent! Like before, all editions are rather limited so hurry up if you want your piece of this ambient mind candy!


maanantai 10. tammikuuta 2022

The Hobbit House Collective - S/T 2 x 7"

 Fruits de Mer Records (winkle 45)

Crystal Jacqueline, The Honey Pot, Icarus Peel's Acid Reign and The Locker Room Cowboys are together known as The Hobbit House Collective. Of course these acts also share members so the borders were dissolving already, anyway... All of them offer one track for this very cool double single. You just can't go wrong with some of Fruits de Mer's best artists, and I'm sure most if not all the fans wil anjoy these pieces!

This is the first time that Led Zeppelin gets covered on Fruits de Mer, if I remember correctly. Crystal Jacqueline's version of the mighty "Battle of Evermore" is definitely my favourite on the single, just wonderful! Curved Air fans must be interested to know that Darryl Way is playing some great violin on it too. Over seven minutes splendidly spent. The Honey Pot then does another Zep classic "Ramble On" and it is pure magic. Then it's time for an instrumental: a rocking version of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" by Icarus Peel's Acid Reign. The single is finished with the only original tune, another instrumental called "Wolfgang Does The Nurburgring". This is funky stuff with lots of guitar soloing and some cool organ etc. You can preorder this very cool double single now and it will be released at the end of the month.

keskiviikko 22. joulukuuta 2021

Vibravoid - Zeitgeist Generator

Stoned Karma Records


Oh yes, the wait is now almost over: the new Vibravoid 2LP / CD will finally be released on the first of March 2022! problems with the vinyl pressing delayed the album for a year or so, which is sadly of course quite common nowadays. What we have here is for sure the band's best studio album ever including 15 new, original compositions. This time most of the tracks are in the "normal" 3-to-6-minute duration which I think is a good thing. Mastermind Dr. Koch has included only one 16 minute mind-excursion, the more electronically charged "A Taste Like Sugar" that you can already check out in edited form on YouTube. Sweet!


In general, the songs are as groovy, catchy, psychedelic and punchy as possible without loosing the plot and the interest of the listener. As always, we've got plenty of 60s oriented fuzz/tremolo/delay guitar, organ, drums, bass, hypnotic vocals, tons of spacey effects, sitar, you name it. All in all, a perfect mix of 60s psych/garage rock with krautrock vibe and modern production values. It is impossible to pick out any favourites, since the first time you put the album on you are totally hooked until the end with the seducing, mesmerising, trippy and mind-expanding beats and sounds. I have a feeling that this might be a bit more radio-friendly album too, but maybe I'm just a bit too biased. I got to admit that I have each and every release the band has put out since 2001 in at least one format, usually more... I just love Vibravoid! I'm so happy and proud that Koch has also recorded great guitars for five of my Astral Magic songs. You can already hear one of them, "Sixth Sense" on the Flipside Freaks: Red compilation LP/CD on Flicknife Records, and the rest will be available on the 60s psych rock oriented Am I Dreaming? LP mastered by Dr. Koch as soon as someone has the wits to release it. Anyway, you can now pre-order several different 2LP versions (priced from 39.90 to 130€) as well as the CD and digital version of Zeitgeist Generator from the Stoned Karma Records Bandcamp site and that's what you really should do!