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perjantai 15. lokakuuta 2021

Thought Bubble - Around

Dirty Filthy Records

Around by Thought Bubble (UK) fits in fine to the rather varied although eccentric style of Dirty Filthy Records. They play experimental, improvised electronic music in an interesting and unique way. This is their first album following a few digital only singles and one EP. Thought Bubble is a duo project of Chris Cordwell & Nick Raybould mixing together synths and live drums. Some of you might remember them from the band Glowpeople. Their recordings also feature guest musicians, this time Suzette (voice on "The Waves" and "Beatwave"), Pablo Raybould (voice on "Möbius Trip"), Shaun Bailey (guitar and loops on "Möbius Trip" and "Devoider") and Gregg McKella (clarinet on "Fluctuate") who give the music more colour in a nice way.


The rather short album includes six, almost instrumental tracks. The opener, "The Waves" has a strange, bit oriental vibe and lots of psychedelic sound effects. This track is also included on the latest Fruits de Mer freebie CD Music For Amphibians, very nice! "Beatwave" has a sort of motorik beat and futuristic, hypnotic atmosphere. Maybe my favourite! "Möbius Trip" has cool narration, great lead guitar work and a weird feel to it. Quite trippy! "Rat Race" is a shorter, faster experimental piece and like ther rest of the album, has a rather modern sound. Next is the longest track of the album called "Fluctuate" and it has a nice cinematic vibe due to the addition of clarinet and string sounds. I like it a lot. The last track "Devoider" is the slowest one and has a quite strange atmosphere getting closer to ambient music before speeding up towards the end. All in all, this is an interesting album and I got to say I have not heard anything quite like it before, although some of it brings to mind 80s King Crimson and some of the solo works of Brian Eno. Out on LP, CD and digital.


torstai 23. syyskuuta 2021

Scaling down even more

 Hello! You must have noticed that there have been very few reviews or any other postings lately. The main reason for that is that most of my rather limited free time goes to my own music project Astral Magic.

I have always preferred physical media over digital downloads (that have a habit of getting lost in my hard drive anyway). I have still reviewed some downloads from time to time. Due to lack of time I hereby declare that I won’t review any downloads anymore. Please take me off your mailing list. Only option might be the Astral Magic collaborators. Sorry about that. However, if you want to send your stuff in physical form please contact me and a review is guaranteed.


Dj Astro

keskiviikko 15. syyskuuta 2021

Superjord - For the Moment Vol 1

 Fruits de Mer Records (strange fish twenty four)


For the Moment is planned as a continuous stream of mainly improvised live recordings by this great Finnish psych rock band. Vol 1 was recorded at their superb G Livelab gig in Helsinki in january 2020 (I was there!) and released in digital form in the Summer. As often with digital only releases I missed it completely even though I really like the band and have been following them since the very beginning. It's a really great thing that a proper vinyl release is upon us now! The band on that day were Sampo Fagerlund: drums, percussion, Mikko Kapanen: vocals, guitars, Juho Ojala: vocals, keyboards, synthesizers, Jussi Ristikaarto: vocals, guitars, electronics, percussion, Teemu Soininen: bass and Olavi Töyli: tenor saxophone, percussion. All excellent musicians, I might add!


The whole gig was not of course improvised, but the hyper sonic quality of G Livelab was perfect for the band to strech out into the unknown every now and then. Around 40 minutes of thet is captured on this great sounding release. The side A starts off peacefully with "Moment 1". It has a bit jazzy vibe at first and grows intoo more psychy territories. Great jamming, something for The Grateful Dead fans for sure.  Later on there is also some moody sax. "Moment 2" has a positive, sunny vibe thagt I really like. Some weirder, Zappa-like stuff happens in the middle and the soft ending also includes some vocals. Very nice! "Rainbow" of course is an actual song from the band's second album, but the version heard here has more improvisation than usual I think. Superb and very groovy playing by all here! It turns into magical "Moment 3" at some point when minutes have already lost all their meaning. I really enjoy listening to this record since it immediately takes me back to the live experience this amazing band can offer. Oh how I miss live gigs! Anyway, get your copy before they're all gone, definitely worth it.

perjantai 3. syyskuuta 2021

Astral Magic - A Trip to Alpha Centauri on pre-order today for Bandcamp Friday!


Okay folks, it's once again the first Friday of the month and Bandcamp Friday! It means that BC does not take their share of the artists' sales for 24 h. As it happens, I have a new album to put on pre-sale today!

A Trip to Alpha Centauri is the instrumental album that was supposed to be released on Misophonia Records on tape this month. The label was sadly decided to be put on hold for now and the release got cancelled. I decided to do a limited, home-grown CD-R edition instead, just 40 copies. Make sure to pre-order now if you want one!

Also of course available on digital download. Official release date is September the 17th.


lauantai 28. elokuuta 2021

Kev Ellis and the Space Cadets - The Silent Band

 Self-released / The Electric Salac Co.

Kev is a singer, harmonica player and psych/space rock veteran from Portsmouth, UK. Some of you might remember him from the great psych/space/blues rock band Dr. Brown who were active from late 80s to early 00s. They also did an album together with Nick Salomon (The Bevis Frond) as Dr. Frond. Kev has been active on the UK psych/space festival scene ever since with various bands. He's also part of the Spirits Burning collective and we did the title track of their Alien Injection album together. I have previously reviewed his 2014 solo album Space Cadet as well as the excellent Dubbal album The Return of the Lonesome Traveller last year. The Silent Band was recorded, mixed and mastered by Kev himself last year during the lockdown, since there was no way of playing live gigs with a band.

All the instruments are played by Kevin who of course also does the vocals. The only exception is the long (18:51), hypnotic opener Tortoise, where Steve Plummer plays lots of vary tasty and cool wah guitar. The rest of the nine tracks are a lot shorter, ranging from 1:27 to 6:31 in length. The music is a cool mix of electronica, dub and space rock and I enjoy the album a lot.  Kev has a great, soulful voice that is a pleasure to listen to. His harmonica gives some of the tracks a more bluesy vibe too. There are also some more relaxed moments ("Far Sawney Part 1 & 2") and a beautiful space ballad "To the Stars" in the middle. My favourite probably is the mysterious "Messages in the Sky", but I do like all the tracks. All in all, this is very cool album that sounds great for a self-made home production. The album is also available as a limited edition CD you can onlyi get through Kev's Bandcamp site. I'm also thrilled to announce that Kev and Dr. Brown guitarist Stefan Olesinski will be taking part in my Astral Magic project contributing vocals and guitar for the electronic space rock album The Third Eye! Can't wait...


maanantai 23. elokuuta 2021

New Astral Magic albums released!

Things have been very quiet here, sorry for that. I just use all my free time writing and recording new music and trying to find labels to release it... A few new reviews should be done soon, though.

Anyway, I've been too busy to even mention the latest Astral Magic albums, so here they are.



Ode to the Stars was put together fast for the previous Bandcamp Friday. It's one of those more experimental, trippy ambient albums only featuring myself. I like it a lot! No physical version is planned at the moment, but let's see.




Shadows over Jupiter is an album I'm really proud of! It's the first fruit from my collaboration with the very talented multi-instrumentalist and producer Jay Tausig from Northern California. We've been in contact over the years but only started to collaborate a couple of months ago and it's been great! I have also contributed to some of his tracks. Jay plays drums, guitar, sax and flute and even sings a little bit of backing vocals on the title track. He also did the mastering job.

This is a really interesting album as a whole. Most of the tracks were originally recorded already last year but Jay added his magic to a great effect. "Cult of the Dead" and "The Gateway Experience" are brand-new. We've got some psych/space rock as well as more shoegaze oriented stuff. Fred Laird (ex-Earthling Society, Taras Bulba) is also playing some cool drone guitar on the long and hypnotic "Heaven on Earth".

I'm really looking forward to a limited tape release on Weird Beard, should be available soon! I also wish for an LP release, let's see...

I'm also really happy that Fruits de Mer decided to release Astral Magic's "Stars Above" (feat. Gregory Curvey on guitar) from their Birds of a Feather compilation CD as a limited lathe cut 7" split with my good friends Doctors of Space! There are only 80 copies available and all gone in advance, I'm afraid.

 As it always is with Astral Magic, that is not even half of it... I also have a new electronic album with Jonathan Segel ready called A Trip to Alpha Centauri. It was supposed to be released on tape in Misophonia but the label sadly closed and the release was deleted. It might see the light of day on one other label, fingers crossed! If not, I'll release it myself at least on Bandcamp. There are also 5/6 other albums I'm working on, more info soon...

tiistai 6. heinäkuuta 2021

Schroedinger's Cat - World of Lovecraft

 Planet Yraal Records

Phew... This is a massive compilation album including all the five H. P. Lovecraft themed albums that Schroedinger's Cat has released and worked on during the recent years. Schroedinger's Cat is a psychedelic and spacey project lead by the mysterious Lord Iain Hawk who I think is originally from Germany but has also been living in the UK being part of the space rock scene there. Some of the other musicians on these albums are from the UK like guitarist Vince Cory (who is also part of the Astral Magic family). The albums that this digital only release includes are The Unknown Kadath, The Strange High House in the Mist, The Colour Out of Space, The Nameless City and Dagon. All the albums are completely instrumental, so the Lovecraft them is only in the titles and dreamy, sometimes dark vibes.

The music sure is dreamy and vision-inducing. Seriously, you can really get lost in the maravllous, imaginative world of Schroedinger's Cat. There are a LOT of synthesizeres and keyboards, guitars, bass, sitar, drums and percussion in use as well as tons of spacey effects and some flute. All the music is very atmospheric, beautiful and tranquil, perfect to put on headphones and relax to. Most of the tracks are long and spacey jams with some experimental elements. Some of it also rocks out a bit, but the main emphasis still is on dreamy, peaceful stuff. The overal vibe is very hallucinatory and trippy, anyway. I think the sound is pretty original and unique, but I am sometimes reminded by some other ethereal psychonauts like The Spacious Mind. There are 26 tracks in total so no chance to go through them all here, but if you have a few hours to spend and float in mysterious space I recommend that you put this on, lay down and close your eyes and let it go. It will be a most rewarding experience!