Listen to Astral Visions Podcast

torstai 21. kesäkuuta 2018

Pelagos - Revolve

Svart Records

Pelagos is a new Finnish indie rock band formed by Teemu Elo, Petri Hagner and Janne Peltomäki who all were members of the Pori-based cult band Circle in the 90s. Their music is rather different to what Circle has ever done, though. Only the hypnotic elements are similar, but the vibe is much lighter, more atmospheric, electronic and pop-like. Most of the tracks are also rather melancholic. This is their first album following a few digital releases and a compilation cassette.

The album starts off with the very tranquil and beautiful "Code" that has celestial synths, pretty picked guitar and vocoder styled vocals. You get the feeling of flying above a vast ocean on the wings of a seagull. For the last two minutes we also get hypnotic bass and beat as well as some more tasty guitar. Wonderful! "River (Proxima Centauri)" has some late Spacemen 3 / Depeche Mode vibe and but more melody as well. This just might get you dancing. "Island of Pelicans" is one of the most Circle-like tracks but lighter and more mainstream in its sonic structure. Very nice! The instrumental "Aphrodite’s Shore" reminds me of Depeche Mode again a bit and the more acoustic "Invisible" sounds closer to some of Teemu Elo's previous bands like Alien Heat and Puhuvat Eläimet. The vocals are very manipulated and computerized, though. "Sea of Tranquility" is a very emotional, melancholic slow track. The shortest piece on the album is the beautiful and soft "Muted Stars" at 4:27. The last, very atmospheric track "Embryo" is the longest at 7:41 and you can sense some Spacemen 3 vibe in there again. Palagos definitely offers some of the best hypnotic, melancholic modern pop music there is and Revolve is a very enjoyable album that should appeal to fans of several different music styles.

keskiviikko 20. kesäkuuta 2018

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #80 now online

ArtistTrack NameStart Time

lauantai 9. kesäkuuta 2018

Pharaoh Overlord - Zero

Hydra Head Records / Full Contact Records (hh666-225 / KRYPT-122)

"Muscülar avant äcid röck from the ever-topical Circle camp" indeed. As always, the Pharaoh Overlords buys have something new in their sleeve. This time it's the growling vocals of Antti Boman from death metal band Demilich. The music still is hypnotic, psychedelic and powerful krautrock, though. Faust's Hans Joachim Irmler has worked with the band before but is definitely worth mentioning as well.

The album starts off with the cover of Spacemen 3's marvellous and rebellious "Revolution". Die-hard Pharaoh Overlords fans have already heard the band's live version of this track on Horn, a live album recorded at Torvi, Lahti in 2010, but this new studio version is pretty different. And highly effective, I must add! Antti's guttural vocals and added keyboards also give it a whole new vibe. "Maailmanlopun Ateriana" is a cool track with hypnotic krautrock stuff and heavier, more in-your-face parts, it gets you in a heady trance. Then it's time to get more experimental with the slower but no less trippy "Meanwhile". "Lalibela Cannot Spell Zero" is the longest track on the album at nine minutes and it's an up-beat, Circle-like motoric juggernaut that shows no mercy. Your brains will melt during this one! It's good to have a few moments to breath with "Satavuotiaiden Salaisuus", but the atmosphere is rather wicked and twisted. The album is finished with another mind-blowing fast hard rocker "I Drove All Night by My Solar Stomp" that is one of the highlights for me. Lot's of stuff happening on this one on top of the steady basic riff. All in all, another magnificent and hyper-strong album by Pharaoh Overlord. This is absolutely one of their best releases, if not THE best, so go and get it!

maanantai 28. toukokuuta 2018

Sun Dial - Science Fiction, A Compendium of Space Soundtracks

Sulatron Records (st 1802/-2)

Sun Dial, one of the most important and influential post-psychedelia bands from the U.K., has been among my favourites since the early 90s. Their debut album Other Way Out released in 1990 is a real corner stone in the history of psychedelic rock combining 60s psych with 90s style and the band have continued to pour out mind-blowing stuff ever since. New albums have been a few years apart during the new Millennia, but you can always count on Sun Dial to deliver the goods. Mind Control released in 2012 was a true masterpiece of hypnotic space/kraut/psych rock and on the latest album Made in the Machine (2016) the band had developed a more electronic but just as great and hallucinogenic brew of psychedelic sounds and beats. On Science Fiction the band have put together their Sci-fi / space oriented soundtrack music from the last 20 years and the end result is amazing. I knew that Gary Ramon & co. had done some film and television soundtrack work but I had never heard any of it, at least not knowingly. Here we finally have 12 previously unreleased tracks of atmospheric, instrumental and rather electronic but still rock oriented music of that stuff!

"Hangar 13" operates as a launch-pad to the space journey. A slow, droney, repetitive and spacey haze fills your mind. I love those Mellotron sounds. "White Stone" is a bit groovier piece and "Mind Machine" is a rather electronic juggernaut. "Saturn Return" has some early 70s krautrock as well as space disco vibes, cool. On "Space Travel" the journey into stars continues in a very nice way. "Alien X" is a beautiful space ballad and "Rise of the Robots" is a pure electronic piece. "Airlock" is closer to traditional psychedelia with sitar and percussion but still very spacey as well. "Aftershock" is another killer electronic rock number that also has some Air vibe I think. "Ghost Ship" is a bit darker and brings to mind Depeche Mode in a way. "Infra Red" is a groovy, funky and spaced-out piece and the album is finished with the more ambient, magnificent and gorgeous  "Starwatchers" that could almost be a Hawkwind out-take from Church of Hawkwind. Amazing! The LP version is limited to 750 copies and the CD limited to 500 also has the long version (15:29) of "Hangar 13" as a bonus track. All Sun Dial fans naturally NEED this album and everyone into spacey, psychedelic soundtrack music should also try it out. Marvellous!

Uleåborg Festival Of Psychedelia 13.-14.7.2018

Okay, this must be THE festival for all psych lovers in Finland this summer! Uleåborg Festival Of Psychedelia will be organized for the fourth time in Oulu, Finland, on July the 13th and 14th. The festival has now published the timetables and there really are some amazing bands on the bill!

This is the facebook event of the festival:

And here is their website for tickets & info:

Hotlist May!

Okay, the weather has been REALLY hot in Helsinki this month and so has the music.

Mythic Sunship ‎– Upheaval
Nicklas Sørensen ‎– Solo 2
Vive La Void ‎– S/T
Us and Them ‎– On Shipless Ocean
Minami Deutsch ‎– With Dim Light
Bong ‎– Thought and Existence
Øresund Space Collective ‎– Chatoyant Breath
Dr. Space's Alien Planet Trip Vol. 2 - Gloomy Horizon
Our Solar System ‎– Origins
Verstärker – Aktivität


lauantai 26. toukokuuta 2018

Sirkus - The Noise of Time

Nasoni Records (NASONI 195)

Sirkus is a bluesy indie rock band with hints of psychedelia from Germany. The Noise of Time is their second album following the debut album Dream Factory released in 2015 by the band themselves. This new, 40-minute album was released by Nasoni Records on vinyl and CD and includes 10 rather short songs. The band is formed by six musicians and there are also five guest musicians so the sound spectrum is rather full and varied but still guitar dominated.

"Goldmine of Truth" starts off the party with cool, gypsy music styled rhythms including percussion and rather heavy guitars. You can also hear some spacey effects in the background. The mellow and soulful "Leaving Ten Times" is one of my favourites. Pretty and melancholic stuff. "All Your Teachers" has a nice, summerly vibe. The singer has a rather unique, bit raspy sound. "Hotel Room" has an interesting, hypnotic thing going and "Cigarettes" is a slow, easy and bluesy piece. "Road Song" has some female voice and some cool lead guitar work. Another great, rather slow song. On "Last Year" there's more partying again, a bit Santana vibe I think. "Sea" sounds a bit like The Doors, not bad at all. The flute break is a nice bonus! "Mama" is again slow bluesy stuff. The longest track on the album is "Life Is Visiting" at 5:36. It begins with some minimal, experimental spacey sound effects and then the tranquil beat gets going. Sometime after the two-minute-marker the song grows and then we get some psychedelic lead guitar, cool! This might not be exactly my cup of (mushroom) tea, but I still enjoy it and if you like slightly psychedelic, bluesy alternative/indie rock you should try this out.