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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!

ambassadorhazy.bandcamp.com/


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.

www.facebook.com/sterling.deweese

infinitespinrecords.bandcamp.com/releases 


maanantai 30. toukokuuta 2022

Mark McDowell - Freedom Tapes

 Self-released


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!

https://markmcdowell.bandcamp.com/

 

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 Dark Sun's Bandcamp site and also listen to three of the tracks online.


 

 

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!

www.facebook.com/TheChemistrySetUK 


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.

www.facebook.com/StKraut 


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.

 www.facebook.com/more.experience.music