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tiistai 22. syyskuuta 2020

Desert Lord - Symbols

 Under a Serpent Sun (USSR-004)

This is the second full-length release by Finnish stoner doom metal band Desert Lord. It follows the great 2014 CD To the Unknown (check out my review over here) and is released on vinyl. They also have one limited 7" put out in 2011. Like before, vocals on some of the tracks are harsher and on some cleaner which gives a nice balance. Personally I get bored if all the vocals are the same in this kind of music. The sound is a bit home-grown somehow but just fine for the Desert Lord vibe I think. You can't except small bands like this to go to expensive top studios, do you?

Like on the debut, the band kicks things off with an energetic opener. I really like the lyrics of the tittle track "Symbols", hear them out... A killer song! "Damage Dealt" is a slower, bluesy, moody and more desert rock oriented, long tune, not bad at all. Then is time for something heavier when "The Arsonist" blows your speakers! Some serious screaming on this one. "Sinner's Playground" is a doomy, dark piece with some faster parts and a groovy, cool middle jam part. I know I haven't said it yet but I really like the guitar solos on this album and the playing is top-notch all the way. Then some more emotional stuff with "The Funeral", I'm reminded of Sweden's Goatess (who the Desert Lord guys have shared the stage with). Nice, melodic vocals on this one. The guitar solo here brings to mind the legendary Mark "The Shark" Shelton (R.I.P.) from Manilla Road, so... One of my favorite tracks! The beginning of "Keys to the Peace" reminds me of "Come Together" by The Beatles... Then things get heavier, of course! And rather intense and noisy, towards the end. "Close the Curtains" is a little acoustic piece to round things up nicely. All in all, this is killer stoner doom album that has a suitably varied set of songs and vibes. The cover art is cool as well! The album will be released on the 25th. Try it out!

sunnuntai 20. syyskuuta 2020

Automatism - Immersion

 Tonzonen Records (TON088)

The Swedish group Automatism have just released their latest album Immersion and I've got to say it's really great, instrumental, jazzy, krauty, proggy psych rock once again! They seldom go over the top in psychedelic experiments so their music might be quite easy to digest for some more mainsteam listeners as well. Lots of great melodies don't hurt either! Still, this is definitely not your normal radio-friendly pop music, that's for sure. The music has a very hypnotic, soothing effect and the tracks are pretty long, around eight minutes on this album.

The first piece "Heatstroke #2" has great twin guitar melodies and a synth solo making it pretty progressive rock sounding. A bit faster krautrock number "Falcon Machine" is perhaps the most psychedelic piece on the album and one of my favourites as well. Get lost to the hypnotic web of sound! "Monochrome Torpedo" is a slow, dreamy track that fills your head with hazy moods, very nice. "New Box" has a bit oriental, mystical vibe that I like. "Smoke Room" is a very slow and sort of bluesy piece. I like especially the atmospheric ending. The album is finished with the sunny mid-tempo "Last Train" that has some jazzy vibes in there as well with electric piano, Mellotron and stuff. Wonderful! This is another killer album by this stellar band so my warmest recommendations! There are 300 copies on vinyl and it is also available on CD.

perjantai 11. syyskuuta 2020

Sounds Of New Soma ‎– Live At Studio Helmtown

Tonzonen Records (TON085)

I guess you can say that the appearance of this limited (just 200 copies on a very cool blue with black dust vinyl!) LP is one of the GOOD things the COVID-19 has brought us. Since live gigs were banned this German psychedelic, experimental kraut/ambient unit did a live stream gig in a studio for YouTube. The first part of this gig (around 35 min) was already released digitally on the band's Bandcamp site in April and now the rest of it (44 plus min) is out on vinyl. If you (like myself...) are sad that the whole gig was not released on 2LP you can always try to locate a copy of a tape release that have them both! This is even rarer with just 100 copies though.

Anyway, let's focus on this actual release/gig for a while. The line-up was this time just the core duo of Alex Djelassi and Dirk Raupach so no live drums for example. This LP includes one, massive cosmic ambient jam edited for the two LP sides as "First Mushroom" and "Second Mushroom". The sound quality is superb and I love the vibe these guys cancreate with just electric guitar, synthesizers, sequencers, keybords and drum machines! You will be transported to a mysterious, colourful and weird plane of existence once again. The first ten or so minutes are just peaceful, atmospheric floating until the drum machine kicks in. I get some Tangerine Dream vibes along the way but the music is still very original and highly entertaining and interesting. You really get carried away with it and just can't stop listening... Very addictive! There is another totally ambient phase again before the rather modern sounding beat gets added on the B-side. I like the organ sounding drone. Towards the end they go through some weird, very hypnotic sonic scenery... Phew! What can I say, another killer album by the superb SONS, get it while you can!

keskiviikko 2. syyskuuta 2020

Hotlist May - August 2020

Phew, how time flies... When you are making music, that is. I have now made over 50 tracks since the middle of March so not any time or interest for reviews, Mixcloud shows or even Hotlists... But I try to get back to all these little by little. Here's some of the hottest stuff that has been spinning at Astral Zone HQ during those short moments I have not been making more Astral Magic music:

Tuhosieni - Kiinni sinuun

Sei Still - S/T

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. Feat: Geoff Leigh ‎– Chosen Star Child's Confession

Slift ‎– UMMON

Ashinoa ‎– Sinie Sinie

Vibravoid ‎– The Decomposition Of Noise

Yuri Gagarin ‎– The Outskirts Of Reality

Mara Balls ‎– Ratina Live '18

Custard Flux ‎– Echo

Vibravoid ‎– Psychedelic Blueprints Volume 2 (Alternative Versions, Mixes And Masters 1994-2019)

Eat Lights Become Lights ‎– Live

The Lost Stoned Pandas ‎– Tune In, Turn On, Get Panda'd

Vert:x ‎– HED

Autotelia ‎– I 

Spiral Galaxy ‎– S/T

Vespero ‎– The Four Zoas

Permanent Clear Light ‎– Cosmic Comics

Dr Space's Alien Planet Trip ‎– Vol.4 Space With Bass

Centre El Muusa ‎– S/T

Schizo Fun Addict ‎– The Last Wave



keskiviikko 29. heinäkuuta 2020

Culto Al Qondor ‎– Tannhauser Tor

Worst Bassist Records ‎(WORST_LP4)

This is the third LP by Peruvian space/psych/drone rock band Culto Al Qondor, The guys in the band have also been known to make music in such great units as La Ira de Dios, 3AM and Serpentina Satelite. I love all of those! The two previous C. A. Q. albums have been more rock oriented while this new one is pure psychedelic, blizzed out drone. It was recorded live with a cellphone at Drone Bar in July 2019 and includes just guitars, bass, drones & effects, no drums. Don't be scared about the recording method, since the sound quality is still great. A full-blown rock gig might have been too loud to record with a phone but here the sound does not get distorted or anything. Actually, the vibe is just perfect for this kind of experimental, droney sound exploration!

There are only one track on each side, "Part 1" and "Part 2", apparently one long instrumental jam was just edited to two pieces for this limited vinyl issue. The music is very hypnotic and dreamy, not too noisy or heavy to close your eyes and enjoy the ride inside the cosmos. This is not ROCK in the strict sense but very spacey and psychedelic. This is a very tranquil, pleasant journey and I really enjoy it. All the music seems to be improvised on the spot but works really well. The LP is released on transparent green vinyl and limited to 500 copies. There are also 10 test pressings, I've got number 1! Warmly recommended for lovers of spacey drone music.

tiistai 21. heinäkuuta 2020

Sula Bassana - CV Sessions

Digital download

Here's another great psychedelic musician that has used the time off gigging to make some cool new music at home... I bet all my readers are familiar with Sula Bassana (Dave) from Germany. He's been around for decades and always comes up with some exciting stuff in what ever project he partakes in. The CV Sessions name has a clever double meaning: of course it refers to COVID-19 epidemic but also to voltage controlled analogue synth gear that he has used making this album. There is also some  guitars, bass, keyboards and what ever but the main emphasis is on small analogue synths and drum machines.

The nine-minute "A Nice Constellation of the Planets" starts off the album being one of my favourites. Very hypnotic and deep stuff, makes your head feel dizzy and kaleidoscopic! "wtf?" is lighter but still psychedelic and pretty weird. "Wollschweber" has some cool electic guitar and keyboards as well and it's a beautiful, slow and melancholic piece. Wonderful! The next, dark piece "What is Reality?" has heavy guitar and and a sort of depressive vibe. "Ruins of Civilisation" is also a bit of a downer but a good one... Reminds me of some of the Electric Moon stuff, sort of groovy beat and nice electonics. Some excellent electric guitar work on this one as well! Then we get some acoustic guitar on "Foggy Forest", some Pink Floyd vibe on this one. Very nice! "Tick Attacks!" is weird electronica again but also has some bass etc. The rather ambient and pretty "Little Birdy" ends the album in tranquile moods. Superb! All in all, this is great release although a bit depressive as a whole but who can blame him if you see where this world is going to. Music is our best, safest and most enjoyable escape so let's use that!

Doctors of Space - Covid Sessions

Digital download

Doctors of Space is a new project featuring Dr Space from Øresund Space Collective/Black Moon Circle on synths and Dr Martin Weaver (ex-Wicked Lady/Dark) on bass and guitars. Both also do some drum programming. They have released one very limited 7" before. They have been very productive during the COVID-19 lockdown since they have produced three digital releases in this time. This is the first of the trio put out on April the 23th. All the music is improvised, experimental and very spacey and psychedelic although pretty minimal and simple.

Covid Sessions includes six long tracks. The very hypnotic "Apollo Groove" starts the journey into inner space. Just one synth track and a couple of guitar tracks is all that is needed, as far as I can say. Very nice and ambient! "Hold My Beer" is a cool, bluesy space boogie with programmed drums, bass, excellent acoustic guitar work and spacey synths. As you might have guessed, "From the Depths of the Universe" is more cosmic stuff again... Some beat, killer lead guitar, modular madness and that's about it I guess. "Viral Usurper" is the longest track at over 12 minutes. It is the most atmospheric and closer no normal music, even with some Pink Floyd vibes I would say. Sort of dark vibe, though. The last piece "Afro Ghost Ritual 47" is the most rhythic one actually pretty groovy, but still weird and experimental. I like this one a lot! My download also inlcuded one more track called "Funkee Caca" but I don't see that on their Bandcamp site now. Extra track maybe? A bit different for sure... Check this out!