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torstai 12. heinäkuuta 2018

Automatism ‎- From The Lake

Tonzonen Records (TON 039)

Fans of Swedish improvisional, instrumental space/psych/krautrock band Kungen's Män will be delighted to know that two of the members are also playing in a band called Automatism. Mikael Tuominen plays the guitar and bass, Hans Hjelm the guitar, phin and synthesizer and the other members are Gustav Nygren (New Rose, ex-Borås Energi) on bass and guitar and Jonas Yrlid (Partikel) on drums. There are also three guest musicians on board on percussion, drums, drum machine and synthesizer. All the six tracks on this debut album were improvised in the studio and later some overdubs were added to a great effect.

I really like the mellow, blissful and somewhat jazzy mood most of the tracks have. They make you float in a pleasant, hazy dreamstate, even if the beat might be a bit faster like on the long, excellent opener "Standing Wave". The shortest track "October Swim" has some Dungen / The Amazing vibe. The over 12-minute "Propeller Propulsion" has a mekanik, hypnotic krautrock beat and brings to mind NEU! a bit which is never a bad thing in my books. Really great going, actually! Maybe my favourite on the LP. I do really enjoy all the other tracks as well, though. All in all, this an absolute must for all lovers of modern improvised space/kraut/psych rock music so make yourself a big favour and check the band out! Both the CD and LP editions are limited to just 500 copies.

tiistai 26. kesäkuuta 2018

Hotlist June

The weather in Helsinki hasn't been THAT hot lately, but the music on my turntable has:

Various Artists ‎– Goldfish, Fruits de Mer Records 10 Years on Vinyl 3LP + 7".
Wooden Shjips ‎– V.
Flowers Must Die ‎– Där Blommor Dör
Dark Buddha Rising ‎– II 12"
Moths & Locusts Cocaine Kangaroo​/​Peyote Coyote 7" + CD-R
Pharaoh Overlord ‎– Zero
Here Lies Man ‎– You Will Know Nothing
Cosmic Ground ‎– IV
Gnod ‎– Chapel Perilous
Ecstatic Vision ‎– Under The Influence 12" EP


maanantai 25. kesäkuuta 2018

Cosmic Ground - IV

Adansonia Records (ar025)

Electric Orange's Dirk Jan Müller keeps himself busy with his Berlin-school styled kosmische electronic/ambient solo project Cosmic Ground. This 2LP is the project's fourth studio full-length release and includes seven new instrumental, atmospheric and mostly rather minimal tracks. There are also a few EP's and a double live album. As always, you can hear echoes of the old electronic kosmische masters like Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, but Cosmic Ground still have its own taste and the amazing sound is rather modern. For example the opener "Possessed" brings to mind some of the experimental ambient acts of today rather than the electronic krautrock legends of the past.

This time, I will not go through all the long tracks here. I tend to prefer the ones with hypnotic, tingling sequencers like "Stained", "Greasy" and "Progeny". You really need to listen to this amazing album on good headphones in vertical position with your eyes closed and mind opened for the best results. Just let these wonderful sounds float through your consciousness and take you through strange spaces. I bet you can't find much better cosmic electronic music out there these days. There is a CD as well as two different 2LP versions with the hand-numbered white/green version being the more limited at just 110 copies. Go for it!

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!