Hello Earthlings & Aliens alike!
It's going to be a busy Spring for Astral action... We have already five albums ready and waiting for release. I though it might be a good idea to tell something about all of them already, since people often find my release schedule confucing and insane...which might just be true!
Wonderland CD-R (ASTRAL022), release date 3.2.23
Wonderland is an album with no guitars (except bass guitar), but there are still some rocking stuff on it in addition to the more electronic and experimental stuff. It's just me except Shane Beck does the spoken word on the last track "Seen through the Cosmic Eye". Includes for example "Thunder Rider's Last Flight", a tribute tune I did the next day I heard my old pal Nik Turner had passed away. Only 40 copies on CD-R as well as a digital release, of course.
Deep Space Expedition CD-R (ASTRAL022.5), release date 17.2.23)
This album is unique since all the sounds were made by me with just analogue synths (Moog
Grandmother, Moog Werkstatt, Make Noise O-Coast, Behringer DeepMind 12,
Behringer VC340) with just a little improvised human voice on three of
the eleven tracks. I realise that this is not perhaps for everyone since the style is pretty experimental and cosmic... So, only 30 copies on CD-R were made. If you dig the earlier albums A Crack in the Fabric of Reality, Transmissions from Outer Space and The Lost Transmissions, this is for you! Very far-out.
The next in line on the limited edition (100 copies only!) digipack CD series on Astral Magic Music. This is maybe the best so far since there are some killer songs on it and the sound is just superb! Space rock, psych rock, prog, pop, it's all there with just one more experimental piece. Jonathan Segel plays on all the music as well (guitar, electric sitar) and Shane Beck offers his cool spoken word for two of the tracks. Alisa Coral (Space Mirrors) makes her Astral Magic debut playing synth pads & synthi effects on the title track. Only one instrumental on this one and absolutely no fillers!
Mystic Dreams Reversed CD (ASTRAL024), release date 6.4.23
After Apparition's Breath CD Shane kept on sending me more great spoken word pieces so finally I had absolutely no other option except to make another Astral Magic album featuring him! This one started as cosmic, electronic ambient thing with also some prog rock and psych elements. Then I came up with the idea to ask Jonathan to overdub some acoustic instruments to add an acid folk layer to the album. Being such a bad-ass, multi-talented and professional musician as he is, he did a wonderful job very fast! Think of Popol Vuh mating with Klaus Schultze and Ash Ra Temple and you might be close... Master and cover art are ready to go, just waiting for the previous releases to get out of the way first...
Am I Dreaming? LP/CD (ASTRAL025), release date 5.5.23(?)
Phew, this is a really special case in all aspects... I have made all kinds of psychedelic music with Astral Magic ever since the project started. One of my great musical loves is psych/garage rock & pop of the late 60s and early 70s and this album is definitely influenced by that stuff. You might hear echoes of bands like early Pink Floyd, The Seeds, The Byrds, The Who, The Zombies, The 13th Floor Elevators and more. This has also been a long project (in Astral Magic's terms, of course...) since the earliest songs on it were started at the very beginning of the project in Spring 2020. Also the guest list is pretty stellar: Dr. Koch (Vibravoid, he also planned the cover art in one day!) plays guitar on half of the tracks, Jaire Pätäri (Octopus Syng) on two and Fred Laird and Gregory Curvey both on one. Jay Tausig plays all the drums except for three songs where Perttu Lindberg does the job. There's also some narration on one track by Jasmin Anglén who will be featured on backing vocals on a later album called Strange Sensation...
It has always been clear that this album just had to be released on vinyl and I have offered it to several labels since 2021 to no avail. For years there have been rumours of a vinyl pressing plant starting in Helsinki, and now it finally is reality! Helsingin Levypuristamo Oy has just started and I just had to be one of their earliest customers! 200 copies will be pressed on black vinyl and I will probably also do a very limited CD/CD-R run with one bonus track. The title track was already released on the taster 10" lathe-cut EP A Peak into the Future featuring four of the peak tracks of four future albums. You can check it out here:
Also the track "Let's Take a Ride" has been previously released last year on a very limited lathe-cut single in Ireland, so you can hear that too: