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keskiviikko 21. marraskuuta 2018

Violet Nox - Twin Flame EP

Sleep Fuse (SF 13)

This CD-R EP is already the 13th release on Reverb Worship's electronic only sister label Sleep Fuse. Violet Nox is a band from Boston, MA. They play experimental, electronic no-wave/post-punk/psych music. They have been making music for at least a couple of years now. This mini CD-R includes two new tracks plus one remix.

The first track "Swan Pond" is an over 7-minute slow, druggy, and mesmerizing piece. It has different kinds of cool guitar sounds and later on also soft vocals over a minimal electronic beat. Nice! "AxA" is even longer at almost eight minutes and also faster. It sort of sounds like a modern version of Suicide with female vocals and a bit noisy guitar. Also some krautrock vibe in there I guess. Things get rather wild and weird along the way... This is actually pretty psychedelic stuff! The bonus track "Lamb on the Moon (Remix by Miss Geo)" is a shorter, cleaner, dancable electronica track and quite different in style and vibe. Not bad, but not exactly my kind of music. There are only 30 numbered copies of this EP so hurry up if you want one! Try

Domboshawa ‎– Beyond Vibrations

Drone Rock Records (DRR020)

Named after a hill with ancient rock art in Zimbabwe, Domboshawa is a solo project by Swedish multi-instrumentalist Anders Broström.  This is the third physical album by this project if you count the limited debut cassette Dark Lights that I unfortunately don't have. There are also several digital only releases on the Domboshawa Bandcamp site. I fell in love with last year's Mind Electrix LP also on Drone Rock, and this new one is even better.

Anders makes psychedelic, experimental and instrumental space/stoner rock, that varies from heavy, hypnotic rock jams to more ambient,  beautiful, dreamy and floating soundscapes. I think at least most of it is first improvised and then of course overdubbed. On this album he uses at least electric guitars with an (un)healthy amount of effect pedals, bass, drums, synthesizers and organ on his sonic wizardry. There are seven long tracks on the album. "Explorer" is mind-melting heavy stoner/space rock jam with spacey sound effects and a lighter, weird and spaced-out middle part. If you like continuous, fuzzy acid solo guitar work you'll enjoy this for sure! On "Azores" the jamming and guitar soloing continues but now with a more The Bevis Frond like backing also including organ. Very cool! With "Blå Lotus" Anders gives us an opportunity to close our eyes, dream and fly to a distant, magical place. "Safe Flight" is heavier, hypnotic stoner stuff again. The longest track on the album is "Yellow Dots" at almost 19 minutes. It starts off slowly and minimally and stays very experimental and weird. Very trippy stuff on this one! The dreamy and heady "Röd October" is similar in vibe and doesn't really start to rock out at any point. Nice! The album is finished with "Krystal Händs" and it's another ultra-trippy, slow mind-exploder that is pretty ambient and experimental at first but gets heavier and more coherent and intense towards the end. All in all, this is an amazing, psychedelic experience as a whole and keeps the listener surprisingly well intoxicated and interested for the long journey into the center of the mind.

This is the first double vinyl release on the amazing Drone Rock Records and on bright orange and bright pink coloured LP's that suit the beautiful, psychedelic open gatefold cover art perfectly. Beyond Vibrations is limited to just 250 copies so act fast if you fancy a copy! Warmly recommended for all psychonauts. There are still some copies available directly from the label.

maanantai 19. marraskuuta 2018

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #83 now online!

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #83 now online for your aural pleasure! Find new heady tracks by Mt. Mountain, Athereal, Jacco Gardner​, Vespero​, Astral Son, Spirits Burning​ & Michael Moorcock, The Oscillation​, Domboshawa, Mythic Sunship​, Vintage Cucumber​, Gösta Berlings Saga, Electric Orange & The Fellowship of Hallucinatory Voyagers​.


# / Track / Artist

1 Catherdral (from Golden Rise) by Mt. Mountain
2 Todd (from V/A - Sideshows By The Seashore) by Athereal
3 Levania (from Somnium) by Jacco Gardner
4 Moon -Trovants (from Hollow Moon) by Vespero
5 Matrix of Creation (from Wonderful Beyond) by Astral Son
6 To Steal A Space Traveller (from An Alien Heat) by Spirits Burning & Michael Moorcock
7 Descent (from Live at Beursschourwburg, Brussels Jan 2014) by The Oscillation
8 Explorer (from Beyond Vibrations) by Domboshawa
9 Backyard Ritual (from Another Shape of Psychedelic Music) by Mythic Sunship
10 Verrat im Palast (from Arabische Nächte II) by Vintage Cucumber
11 Square 5 (from Ex Et) by Gösta Berlings Saga
12 Hydrog (from Unterwassen Vol. 2) by Electric Orange
13 Dark Star (Book of the Dead Mix) (from Tenderness Avalanche) byThe Fellowship of Hallucinatory Voyagers

sunnuntai 18. marraskuuta 2018

Astral Son - Wonderful Beyond

Sulatron Records / Headspin Records (st 1809 / MEXS019)

Wonderful Beyond is the latest, fourth solo album as Astral Son by psychedelic musician and painter Leonardo from Groningen, The Nerherlands. I have really enjoyed his previous albums that have all been released on limited vinyl by Headspin and this one is no exception. This is the third one to also get a CD release on the marvelous Sulatron Records and the CD version includes also one bonus track "Quiet Love". The production values are now higher than before, not that the earlier output had sounded bad by any means. You can still sense a certain home-made, pleasant vibe on this album. As before, the album includes everything from acid folk to psychedelic space rock, experimental electronics and Eastern-tinged ragas.

"She" is a slow and heavy psyche/krautrock track somewhere in between Amon Düül II and Sun Dial. What a great, trippy and spacey tune! The hypnotic "Matrix of Creation" is closer to Steve Hillage or Gong and another winner. "Time and Space" is an acoustic, peaceful piece including also bird-song. "Your Mind" again brings to mind Hillage/Gong in a good way. On "Moving Slowly" we get to take it easy. "The Universe" is a more experimental, mantra-like track with cool narration and backwards guitar. "Cheap Magic Spells" is the longest track on the album at almost seven minutes. This melodic song sort of sounds like a mix of early The Bevis Frond and Ethereal Counterbalance, very nice. "Nothing New" is a bluesy track and "The Well" again brings to mind Ethereal Counterbalance a bit. Great psychy solo guitar work on this one! "Journey" is a hypnotic, heady instrumental and "Morning Dew" a mystical, weird piece that ends the vinyl version in a hazy manner. The CD bonus track "Quiet Love" is a pretty space ballad. This is absolutely another killer album by Astral Son, maybe the best yet!

Electric Orange ‎– Unterwasser Vol.2

Adansonia Records ‎(ar030)

Right after the Vol. 1 I reviewed a couple of weeks ago here comes the second volume of this electronic live gig by Electric Orange in duo format. The long gig was originally released on very limited double CD-R in 2002 and this is the first vinyl outing. This limited 2LP includes six long tracks in 80 minutes. Dirk Jan Müller is playing synthesizer, organ and tape and Dirk Bittner electric guitar, synthesizer, drum machine, vocoder and voice.

Vol. 2 starts off with the massive, 19-minute-long, hypnotic, mystical and trance-inducing "Ortat". It has cool, sort of tribal beat and makes you want to dance. Very nice! On the side two we first have the  more ambient and highly psychedelic "Span" that tingles just the right spots in your back brain. "Lake" has some cool electronic beat again as well as vocals and mesmerizing sequencers as well as some more experimental stuff. "Hydrok" is a seventeen-minute krautrock masterpiece that is probaböy my favourite on the album! Think of Neu! and Tangerine Dream mixed together with some modern electro influences thrown in. Trippy! "Quiet Party" is a slower, more ambient jam again, and "MK" finishes the album in cosmic, celestial atmospheres. Another excellent Electric Orange release, what else can I say! Available on limited red/black marbled and red splattered editions from the Adansonia website.

perjantai 9. marraskuuta 2018

Jack Ellister - Telegraph Hill

You Are The Cosmos (YARC44LP)

Telegraph Hill is the third album by leftfield psychedelic folk rock artist Jack Ellister. He's originally from Poland and I've been following his career since his Yordan Orchestra days in Holland nine years ago. As a solo artist Jack Ellister has been releasing stuff on Fruits de Mer since 2012. Telegraph Hill was first put out in May for the Fruits de Mer 10 year anniversity show as a hand-numbered CD-R in a tin box limited to 100 copies. On the 27th of this month it will be also released on vinyl and digital download on You Are The Cosmos.

What we have here are nine original compositions by Jack, so no 60s covers this time. All these simple little tracks have a warm, home-made vibe and apart from drums and percussion on a few tracks all instruments are played by Mr. Ellister himself. The mostly acoustic album is only 28 minutes long and was originally intended as an EP. "Roots" is a short but sweet folk ballad with just acoustic guitar and vocals. "High Above Our Heads" has more instrumentation like drums, bass and electric guitar and has a more psychedelic feel. "Maureen Feeding the Horses" is a short instrumental, and "Fill Another Glass" an acoustic, Irish styled folk piece also including some violin. "Mind Maneuvers" has a bit of a jazzy vibe and grows along the way getting more experimental and also including some weird effects. The title track opens the B-side and it's a great, short and simple folk piece, like the beautiful "Reminder". "Icon Chambers" is a cool, relaxed but trippy instrumental with cool synthesizers. The last, instumental track "Condors" is the longest at 7:23 and it's a deep, hypnotic and psychedelic journey with acoustic guitar, didgeridoo, percussion and nice synth melodies and also some lead guitar towards the end. Very nice! Fans of Jack Ellister will be happy with this release, although it might end a bit too fast. But you can always put it on again!

tiistai 6. marraskuuta 2018

The Spacious Mind - The Drifter

Trail Records (020)

I was really looking forward to play Jönköping Space & Rock Festival in Sweden in 1997 with my band Dark Sun. Okay, there were legendary Welsh rockers Man who were very cool to hang with,  my idol Nik Turner who we had already met and played with the previous year at Hamburg Hawkfan meeting and lots of great space rock bands like Darxtrar... But then there was The Spacious Mind! They had already released five albums by the time and were absolutely one of my favourite bands, they still are. Somehow these psychonauts from the middle of Northern Sweden had came up with a totally unique psychedelic rock style that really amazed me. Their music has a strange, dreamy quality and you were immediately transported into totally different space and time. Sure, they had their West-Coast/psych/space/kraut/acid/rock and folk influences, but they also had something out of this world. It was nice to meet these quiet, a bit shy and spaced-out guys (and also help them look for their van keys all over the festival site after the festival...). Their gig (feat. Nik Turner, like most of the other bands there as well!) was pure magic. We kept in touch and I was also introduced to their other myriad projects and bands as years went by. Of course we also invited them to play in Helsinki with Dark Sun, Circle and others in 2002 which is story of its own.

Anyway, during the recent years there has not been that much TSM activity. Gentle Path Highway was released on CD on their own Goddamn I'm A Countryman Records in 2007, and then I thought that was it. I was pleasantly surprised when Greazy Green And Stoney Lonesomes Vol.1, an excellent new album, was released in 2014 on Kommun 2. If you don't count Sleepy Eyes And Butterflies 2LP, their first vinyl outing including two side-long tracks from the first CD with three new ones and put out in 1995 by Gates of Dawn in the U.S., there were no TSM compilations available. This is where Trail Records came to picture wanting to make one. The Drifter is a 62-minute CD comprising of six tracks from various sources. All of them have been previously released, but you'd have to be one of the lucky 50 true fans like myself to own the limited live CD-R two of the tunes are lifted.

The fifteen-minute "The Drifter" that starts off the disc was originally the A side of their sole 10" release Reality D Blipcrotch in 2002. I just love this track! The first half is hypnotic, instrumental stuff that speeds up and gets more intense until the beautiful, dreamy and slow end part with soft vocals begins after the spacey middle. The extensive use of ebow and organ are perhaps the most characteristic sides of this band. The long instrumental "Euphoria, Euphoria" is another favourite of mine from The Spacious Mind catalogue: it rocks in its completely own universe but you can still totally fly along. Wonderful! "The Players In The Band" (the B-side of Reality D Blipcrotch) is a pleasant example of a softer, more folky but still totally spaced-out side of TSM. "Floatin' Down The River Whistlin' On A Tune" is taken from the Various Artists CD Copenhagen Space Rock Festival 2002 (other artists are Dark Sun, Darxtar, Gas Giant, Mantric Muse and Pseudo Sun). This festival sadly never happaned, but I'm glad that the CD still exists. This track is a slow instrumental jam that has some pretty weird, experimental and trippy stuff going on... Some people have been complaining that the CD also includes a live version of "The Drifter". I personally don's have any problem with that, since this is a pretty different, faster version and after all, that's the title of the compilation. These guys always left quite a lot room to improvisation, so none of the tracks were played the same way twice. This version misses the slow ending with vocals. The CD is finished with another live cut "Spirit Roots" that has never been released as a studio version. For some reason, on this release the 20-minute track was edited for a 10-minute version, but it works great as it is.

It was a hard, if not even totally impossible, task to try to put the essence of this rather prolific band with some very long tracks into just one CD. What this band really needs is a CD box set as well as all their CD-only albums reissued on vinyl! Having said that, I do think that Trail Records did a great job combining some of their best tunes on this CD and making them available to the public again. I'm sure there is a whole new generation of spaceheads who have not yet experienced the mind-expanding qualities of this amazing band, and now is their chance. Enjoy the euphoria!

maanantai 5. marraskuuta 2018

Kris Gietkowski - Symmetric Communication

Fruits de Mer Records (strange fish fourteen)

Kris Gietkowski was first found by Fruits de Mer's Keith when he accidentally bumped into Kris's versions of tracks by the first Egg album on YouTube. Keith fell in love with them and of course just had to release them on vinyl resulting in the first album by Kris called Songs From The First Album By Egg. This wonderful looking slab of vinyl was soon sold-out and a reissue in different coulours was in order. Keith also released a massive 3CD-set Three of a Kind with the Egg album, tracks from the first album by Atomic Rooster and tracks from the first album by The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, all three discs also including bonus material. Phew! By this time it was obvious, that this Polish guy was very talented as well as obsessed with early progressive rock and Canterbury scene.

Symmetric Communication is the second LP release by Kris Gietkowski and the first to also include his own music. I'm glad it does since his closer to 20-minute composition "F/X)" on side A is just as good as the original masterpieces that he has been covering. Using just keyboards, bass and programmed drums and modern technology Kris can create a wonderful, fresh and innovative musical palette. Some might think the sound is a bit too clean or clear compared to the hazy prog pieces of the late 60s/early 70s , but I like it a lot. This is not really that psychedelic, but it's weird and experimental enough. The whole track is a wonderful, adventurous journey and you wonät get bored on the way. On side B we have two covers. "A Visit to Newport Hospital" originates from the Egg's second album The Polite Forfe and Kris gives us a truthful but fresh version. I really enjoy this wonderful, jazzy tune! The Baking Research Station's version that Fruits de Mer released in 2012 was pretty much different... It's a very rare occasion that they release two cover versions of same track, by the way! "Divided by Zero" ends the vinyl version and it sounds like another marvellous instrumental early Egg cover, but it's actually a composition of his own! He has somehow perfectly sucked in the early 70s Canterbury/prog vibe and has a way of reinventing it, nice. The promo CD-R and pretty split colour LP end here but there is one more track on the official CD version (also rare for Fruits de Mer!) so I just think I need to get my hands on that one as well. Great stuff!

lauantai 3. marraskuuta 2018

Úzgin Űver - Patak

The Lollipoppe Shoppe ‎(LSCD 018)

Úzgin Űver is group from Hungary who have been making and releasing their brand of psychedelic electronic/ambient/word music for over two decades now. This is the first time I have heard them, though. This CD version of their latest album has been brought to us by the German label The Lollipop Shop, always eager to introduce exotic and Eastern artists to the West. Just do yourself a favour and check out bands like Korai Öröm, Ole Lukkøye and Nu & Apa Neagră if you haven't already. World Music really can be mind-expanding and adventurous.

Like Ole Lukkøye for example, Úzgin Űver uses modern technology along with rock instruments and a variety of ethnic acoustic instruments to create wonderful, heady soundscapes. Their music is a magical witch's brew of now and the past and it's very easy to get lured into their hypnotic, spellbounding universe. The album starts off with the 16-minute title track that has amazing atmosphere. The going gets more intense along the way and you get sucked deeper into the mysterious void. Amazing! "Gázló" is a groovy, shorter track and "Shirat HaYam" has excellent female vocals on top of the psychedelic, mesmerizing music. Great rhythms. "Sodrás" is perhaps the most danceable of the tracks, very nice. The swirling "Örvény" has mantra-like male vocals, a steady beat and cool ethnic instruments and somehow creates ancient vibes and visions of a tribal cathering, dance and feast. Bring forth the holy soma, please. The melancholic "Nádas" finishes off the album in a bit more progressive and melodic way. Great stuff! Also available on vinyl on Hungarian Mana Mana Records.

Fanatism - The Future Past

Drone Rock Records (DRR018)

Like Automatism (check out my review) Fanatism is another new Swedish psych band related to Kungens Män. Compared to Automatism Fanatism is probably less jam-based and their tracks have vocals in Swedish and English. Both have psych/space/krautrock vibes but in a bit different way. Automatism is improvisational, more mellow and and sort of jazzy while Fanatism has a darker, harder hitting rock edge and clear compositions.

This album saw the light of day as a limited vinyl edition on the excellent Drone Rock Records, who have brought us some amazing delights by bands like The Space Spectrum, Psychic Lemon, GNOB, Domboshawa and Culto l Qondor, all on limited vinyl of course. The Future Past has four tracks on each side and I just love them all. Most of the music is performed with guitars, bass, drums, percussion and vocals, but there is also freaky/jazzy sax on three of them. Some of the album like the sort of post-punky "Upon the Gross" rocks out pretty hard and I like it. There are also more melodic, beutiful moments including acoustic guitar like the almost instrumental, melancholic "Tiden Rinner". "Nackögon" borrows its bass line from "Love Supreme". My favourites maybe still are the mystical opener "När Man Allting Sett" that brings to mind some of the 90s UK psych bands, the hypnotic, a bit Goat or Flowers Must Die styled "Shiv-Li-Yeah", the psych-rocking "One Of Us Can Not Be Me" and the trancey title track that ends the great album. One of the best psych rock albums this year so be sure not to miss it! Also available on CD on the band's Bandcamp site.

torstai 1. marraskuuta 2018

Electric Orange - Unterwasser Vol. 1

Adansonia Records (ar029)

This is a limited 2LP version of the first half of an improvised 2CD-R set Unterwasser - Live 2002 that the band released on their own in 2002. The Vol. 1 in the tittle suggests that the rest of this recording from Bad Sulza, 6.4.2002, shall see the day on light on another 2LP release. I'm glad that Adansonia Records is now releasing at least some of the stuff that the band self-released on CD-R in the early 00s since the original pressings were highly limited (under 100 copies each) and I didn't get any of them at the time. Plus it's SO much cooler to have this stuff on vinyl anyway!

On this great sounding release the German electronic kraut/psych heads take us on a rather minimal and ambient journey. The line-up this time was just the "Double D": Dirk Jan Müller on synthesizer, organ and tape and Dirk Bittner on electric guitar, synthesizer, drum machine, vocoder and voice. So the performance is quite different to some of the other live albums like Live at Roadburn 2012 that featured a full band. On the other hand, the use of pre-recorded tapes and drum machine still gives it a fuller sound at times. Apart from some hand-clapping there is no clear evidence that this is a live recording. The going is very hypnotic and electronic and the use of voice and vocoder in the background adds more psychedelic vibes. The band has released quite a lot of different stuff along the years and this is one of their most ambient/Berlin School releases for sure and great for meditation or relaxing. There is still some beat and melody in there to keep things interesting, but this is not their groovy party album. There are six tracks on the album and I find them all very enjoyable and magical. Check this out!

keskiviikko 31. lokakuuta 2018

Fuzzifer / Veil of Isis - S/T split 12"

Rusto-Osiris / Kiarama Records (PTAH1701 / KRM001)

Okay, this time I might be later with my review than for sometime since this split 12" EP was already released in April 2017... But I did receive it a bit late as well and totally accidentally (or was it predestined?!). Anyway, Fuzzifer is a Helsinki-based experimental and psychedelic occult/doom/noise/black metal outfit with four bass players that I've been aware of for years but not really got into or properly checked out even. They have released one limited live tape called Square Wave Godhead, Soap Bubbles And Goat Head before this split EP. Veil of Isis is even more obscure and I can't really find much info on them. Very mysterious indeed...

"Lepus Infernalis" by Fuzzifer on side A is slow, doomy, harsh and crushingly heavy track with tons of ultra distorted bass, drums and weird, experimental analogue synth sounds. The "vocals" are growled in the black metal style and also very manipulated. At times the piece cools down for a bit and you can hear more melodies, but mostly it's just simple doom metal styled riffing and ear-splitting noise for over eleven minutes. I have not heard anything else quite like this and I got to say its pretty scary and impressive! The Veil of Isis track has a slow, quieter beginning but don't let that fool you. This one also turns into experimental noise feast even though the slow drum beat stays in the background. In the end it's all peaceful again.

The digital download also includes five joint jams featuring both bands as Fuzzy Veil of Isifer and these are actually rather enjoyable! "The Outsourced Executive Agents of the Black Arts" in particular is very tasty, although chaotic and noisy psych jam. "Starship Satan" is a darker affair and very heavy as well. This will fry your brains! The hilariously named "Sniffing Glue From Various Orifices at the Tar Pits of Sodom" continues along the same (left hand) path. "Flying Pillows of Seething Hatred" is an almost 15-minute, gloomy chaos-monger getting totally noisy by the end and "ICH LIKE IKE" very noisy black metal stuff. Phew! This music is definitely for the faint-hearted but if you are looking for extreme experimental dark noise doom, look no further. You can experience Fuzzifer live on the 14th ot November at Semifinal, Helsinki.

tiistai 30. lokakuuta 2018

Hotlist October 2018

Okay, it's that time of the month again so here we go:

UFO Över Lappland - S/T
Magic Shoppe - In Parallel 
Earthling Society - MO - The Demon
Vespero ‎- Hollow Moon
Kikagaku Moyo ‎- Masana Temples
Adam Stone & Dead Sea Apes ‎- Warheads
Black Tempest ‎- Psyberspace
Saturnia - The Seance Tapes
Farflung ‎- This Capsule
Octopus Syng ‎- Victorian Wonders 


Pavallion ‎- Stratospheria

Tonzonen Records (TON046)

Pavallion is a new progressive, slightly psychedelic modern post-rock band formed by four young guys from Krefeld, Germany. They released their debut album 2048 by themselves last year on vinyl (!). This is their second album (also on limited vinyl, yellow 150 / green 350 copies) and continues on the atmospheric, melancholic style already present in 2017. The tracks and production is better now, I must add. Using just guitars, bass, drums and great, soft, melodic and emotional vocals the band creates very nice, dreamy and cinematic musical states the listener can easily be hooked on.

Stratospheria  has just three tracks. The opener "Waves" is a beautiful, tranquil piece that caresses your soul with emotion and brilliance. Things get a bit heavier later on and I'm actually reminded of some of the stuff that Riverside does. I'd say Pavallion is definitely closer to modern progressive rock than space/kraut/psych/stoner rock with their pretty melodies and emotional vibes. And nothing wrong with that, I enjoy this album very much! Just don't expect mind-melting psychedelia here. What a great opener, anyway. The very slow "Monolith" is a much darker piece and the shortest track on the album at 5:10. It only has low toned narration and no vocals and a pretty spooky vibe, phew! On the B-side we've got the over 24-minute title track "Stratospheria" and it's a real progressive post-rock masterpiece. Starting off very slowly and peacefully the track lures you into a dreamy slumber and when the beautiful vocals join in you are in awe. This works perfectly with headphones and your eyes closed. Wonderful journey! Around the 16-minute marker there is some hypnotic, heavier guitar stuff and then some more progressive, more intense parts that I enjoy very much. Towards the end they return to the beautiful stratospheres of the beginning, very nice. This is a must-have for all lovers of great, emotional progressive post-rock!

perjantai 26. lokakuuta 2018

Vespero - Hollow Moon

Tonzonen Records (TON042)

Vespero from Astrakhan is one of Russian's best bands ever. I've been a follower since I received their 2007 album Rito from R.A.I.G in 2007 and they have never let me down. Except that we still haven't been able to get them to play in Finland, but that's another story... The band has been pretty active and productive all their career putting out around one release a year since 2004. Their adventurous instrumental music has elements of prog/post/space/psych and krautrock, electronic and ambient music and lately even more jazz and also classical influences, so you never know where they are going and you won't get bored on the journey. Only some of their numerous albums have been released on vinyl which is a shame. For vinyl enthusiasts I would recommend their 2012 krautrock masterpiece Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hierand their first Tonzonen LP, the trance-inducing Shum-Shir (2017).

On Hollow Moon the band takes us on a fantastic trip to the moon. The album theme is inspired by a story The Man in the Moone by an early English sci-fi writer, historian and bishop Francis Godwin (1562–1633). This voyage of utopian discovery is a perfect back-bone to Vespero's wonderful music. "Watching The Moon Rise" is a spacey, ambient intro. "Flight of the Lieutenant" is a fast and progressive piece that takes us to the moon. The violin and saxophone enhance the jazzy mood, but there's a lot of happening on this one. "Sublunarian" is a bit more laid-back and reminds me of some of the mid-seventies Jean-Luc Ponty albums. Definitely strong jazz-fusion vibes here, but with a modern touch and sound. "Moon-Trovants" is a cool progressive space rock track and one of my favorites. I really like this one! On "Mare Ingenii" the band cools down for three minutes and "Feast of Selenites" is an eleven-minute psychedelic, jazzy space trip that makes you feel dizzy in the head. Wow! "Watershed Point" offers two minutes of tranquil ambience and on "Tardigrada's Milk" the band goes into symphonic post-rock territories with some world/folk music vibes stacked in towards the end. All in a progressive way, of course. One of the highlights is "Space Clipper`s Wreckage", a progressive and psychy track with cool lead guitar/violin work, weird rhythms and spacey synthesizers. The playing skills of these guys are just amazing. The album is finished with the symphonic outro "Watching the Earth Rise" and you are in awe by now for sure. What a wondrous journey this has been! Make yourself a favor and check out this magnificent album released today. Available on limited vinyl and CD.

tiistai 23. lokakuuta 2018

Circle of the Sun - Jams of Inner Perception


Okay, what we have here is a solo album by the drummer of heavy psych band Cosmic Fall from Berlin, Germany. Daniel Sax plays all the instruments (electric guitar, bass drums) by himself and offers six honest, heavy, instrumental stoner rock jams without any extra gimmicks. So you'll just get distorted fuzz guitar, bass and drums jamming on and on in a stoned, trippy manner which is great. Daniel can definitely also play the stringed instruments, although his solos might not reach the Earthless quality. He can put down some killer stoner psych acid fest stuff, don't get me wrong!

The tracks vary in length  from 3:11 of the final track"Desert Sun" to the album's almost ten-minute highlight "Liquid Sand". You can hear some old school heavy psych influences (Hendrix, MC5 and especially Blue Cheer) on some of the tracks as well as some Kyuss and desert rock in general. All in all, this is a very enjoyable album for all fans of heavy, groovy jamming. At the moment Jams of Inner Perception is only available on a limited CD and a digital download, but there are plans to also fill the vinyl freaks' need for brain-frying rock jams soon!

tiistai 9. lokakuuta 2018

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #82 now online

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #82 now online! 
Listen to mind-melting tracks by Octopus Syng​, TEKSTI-TV 666​, The Oscillation​, Dead Otter, The Holydrug Couple, UFO Over Lapland, Magic Bus, Kikagaku Moyo / 幾何学模様​, Mark McDowell, Custard Flux​, Astral Son, Moonweevil, Sir Robin & The Longbowmen​, Steakhouse, Superfjord​, Sherpa​, The Spacious Mind, Úzgin Űver, Jozef Van Wissem and Dead Sea Apes & Adam Stone and float away...

lauantai 6. lokakuuta 2018

Various Artists - The Three Seasons, The Spring, Summer and Autumn of Love

Fruits de Mer Records (crustacean 87)

The next release on the now legendary Fruits de Mer Records will be this massive, amazing 3LP collection of cool cover songs of psych rock classics from 1966 to 1968! Just wow, I'm really overwhelmed with all the juicy treats within. In addition to the familiar, highly talented Fruits de Mer artists like The Past Tense, Jack Ellister, Anton Barbeau, The Luck Of Eden Hall, The Honey Pot, Magic Bus, Sidewalk Society and Jay Tausig there are also several newcomers to the scene. Since its beginning ten years ago, Fruits de Mer has been a great quide to new psych acts for me, and I'm really glad that this time they bring forth marvellus bands and artists like LoveyDove, Campbell Stokes Sunshine Recorder, Rob Gould, The Locker Room Cowboys, The Gold Needles and then some.

Another reason that Fruits de Mer releases are so interesting and enjoyable is that in addition to the most-loved and well-known psych/prog/kraut/space/folk classics they also put out new renditions of rare nuggets of the first psychedelic era! So, in addition to The Rolling Stones, Love, The Attack, The Byrds, West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band etc. I heard for the first time about some acts that I really must investigate further. There's so much stuff from the 60s you just don't know about yet or have already forgotten, wonderful! There are 27 tracks altogether and they all sound awesome. Really, there are no fillers, only killers included. The 60s psych afficiendos will love the fact that three original artists of the era are also featured. The Electric Prunes perform a cover of Love's "7 and 7 Is", The Yardbirds are presented by a 2016 live version of their own "Think About It" and the album is finished with a 2010 live version of "Loneliest Person" by The Pretty Things. Excellent! There is enough variety in style and vision and some new versions are pretty different to the originals making the whole album an interesting journey. Closer to two hours are gone in a heady haze that is very entertaining and enjoyable. The triple album is a bit late due to manufacturing problems but should be available soon enough. Like usual, those who pre-order The Three Seasons along with the other imminent release (Kris Gietkowski's new LP) from the label (U.K.) or Heyday Mailorder (non-U.K.) in time will also receive a free bonus disc, this time a cool exclusive compilation CD Sideshows by The Seashore. Another reason to love Fruits de Mer!

perjantai 5. lokakuuta 2018

Sherpa - Tigris & Euphrates

Sulatron Records (st1805-2)

Tigris & Euphrates is the second album by Italian band Sherpa. Their debut album Tanzlinde was released two years ago also on Sulatron and you can find my review over here. Personally I don't find the band's music that psychedelic or mind-expanding, but they often have a very pleasant, emotional and beautiful vibe. This new album is even more atmospheric and tranquil than the first and is well-suited for dreamy Autumnal and Wintry moods.

The opener "Kim (((o)))" sets the mode for the album. It is still one of the most intense and powerful tracks on it, but still works best with your eyes closed. I really like the vocals and guitars and the hypnotic vibe when the track slowly builds up towards the end a bit like post-rock usually does. "Creatures From Ur" is a very slow, peaceful and soft piece that gently makes you float, and "Equiseto" continues in similar paths. Also "AbscentTo The Mother Language" on side B is beautiful, atmospheric and dreamy post-rock until it gets a bit heavier after the four-minute-marker. Apparently language and it's importance to the evolution of human kind is the main lyrical theme on the album. Rather interesting! The first half of "Overwhelmed (Def Version)" is a bit more experimental but also more mesmerizing and chilled-out than the rest of the album. The end part has more structure and beat and a nice, ethnic folk rock touch. The album is finished with the almost eight-minute "Descent Of Inanna To The Underworld" that is another slow, atmospheric masterpiece that also gets more intense and heavy. Maybe my favourite? This album is released on limited vinyl and CD so get it while you can!

sunnuntai 30. syyskuuta 2018

Hotlist September 2018

I was apparently too busy last month to even come up with a monthly Hotlist, but here's one for two months:

Warp Transmission ‎– The Process Ultra
Sleep ‎– Leagues Beneath 12"
Black Helium ‎– Primitive Fuck
Kungens Män ‎– Fuzz På Svenska
Mythic Sunship ‎– Another Shape of Psychedelic Music
Superfjord ‎– All Will Be Golden
The Oscillation Wasted Space
Dead Otter ‎– Bridge Of Weird
The Skull ‎– The Endless Road Turns Dark
Fuchsia ‎– S/T. Expanded 2LP reissue  


torstai 27. syyskuuta 2018

Grex - Electric Ghost Parade


I got the download of this strange album by obscure band from Oakland, California from Bruce Duff of Jesters of Destiny. Like it often happens, I first forgot to download it, and then just forgot it on my hard-drive (sorry Bruce, I still love you!). You might think that a band that Mr. Duff feels passionate about enough to promote to a small, unknown psych blog on the other side of the known universe might be pretty special, and you are right about that.

It's hard for me to describe or label the music that Grex makes. It is experimental and psychedelic, has elements of free jazz, noise pop and art rock and then some. The band is apparently just a duo of Karl Evangelista (gtr, voice, b, misc) and Rei Scampavia (keys, voice, misc) but on this lates offering they are aided by a skillful drummer Robert Lopez. There are also some other friends guesting on various instruments. They have six previous releases on their Bandcamp site, so they have been doing their weird music for some time now. They are also playing live gigs, I just noticed. Might be interesting! The melodic female/male vocals sort of make the music more accessible to "normal" human beings, but sometimes the sounds really seem to come from some other dimension of something. At times the going gets really freaky, wild and strange, but some of it is more like art rock or indie pop with just an odd twist. There are 13 tracks on Electric Ghost Parade most of which are rather short, but three of them are over the six-minute-marker. You can check four of the songs on the band's Bandcamp site and you can also find the album in Spotify. Check it out if you are into inventive, bold and out-of-the-norm stuff!

keskiviikko 26. syyskuuta 2018

Lime Eyelid - Week of Wonders


Now this is a weird one... It's been a while since I've received anything this experimental for review, and especially on LP. Lime Eyelid is a one-man kitchen band by Josh Schultz from San Francisco. Josh played everything (drums, e-bow, electric guitar, synth, tape, theremin) into a four-track tape recorder and mixed the whole thing all by himself giving him an relatively unlimited space to experiment and do what he felt like. The end result is rather psychedelic!

There are six tracks on the LP, most are just numbered, but the second track on side A is called "I Saw Waves". That's also the only one with real vocals the rest being more or less instrumentals. Having said that this is weird and experimental, I have to add that it's not unlistenable noise or anything like that but actually totally enjoyable and clearly music with some melody and also slow, hypnotic beat on some tracks. "I Saw Waves" and the following, long "3" actually have some Spacemen 3 vibe in them, but other than that, I'm not reminded of anything else directly. The home-grown, modest sound maybe makes this sound more experimental than it actually is. "4" is the longest piece and almost ambient drone with also some wordless chanting. "5" has a sort of creepy, dark vibe, great! If all this gets you excited good luck finding a copy of this private-press LP since it's limited to just 110 copies.

Øresund Space Collective - Live in Berlin

Space Rock Productions (SRP053)

Things might have slowed down a little bit in the ØSC camp since the main organizer and synth player Dr. Space relocated to warmer (and higher) climate. Luckily, the band is still active playing some shows and releasing new albums (I count over 50 releases altogether at Discogs!) for their dedicated and relatively large fan base all over the world. This release is a double CD package of a gig they played in Berlin, Germany on the 2nd of June this year. At the moment, there are no plans to release a vinyl version, but I wouldn't be surprised if one would appear at some point.

The Collective is this time comprised of Jiri (bass), Tim (hand drum), Vemund (guitar), Dr. Space (synths), Mogens (synthesizers) and Jonathan (violin, guitar, theremin). The sound quality is crystal clear and the playing is great. The album starts of with the 30-minute "Improv To The Other Side" and like usually, the band really opens the gig with a peaceful, quiet introduction. Later on the slow jamming reminds me of The Grateful Dead and by the 20-minute-marker they are turning their space rock gear on and the track really starts to rock out into deep space. This is where the band is at their best, if you ask me, since the slowly building , tranquil stuff can get a bit sleepy at times. The 16-minute "Sneaky Snake Jam" takes some time to begin and now Jonathan switches into violin for to add some different vibes that even bring to mind Mahavishnu Orchestra a bit. It's still not all jazzy, don't be afraid! Cool Eastern sounding melodies by Mogens and a groovy rhythm section with the ever-wooshing, windy space sounds of Dr. Space. Things get heavier and more intense on their way, I like it a lot! "Henk's Jam-o-Rama" has a fast, groovy and jazzy beat at first and before ten minutes have gone it has turned into a powerful, mind-frying space/psych rock orgy! I'm reminded of the Ozrics along the way. There's some killer acid solo guitar work towards the end! On "Freaks of Berlin" the band tries to get funky on their audience and do a pretty good job at it. The track does turn into a very fast, wild space rock thing later on, which is great! One of my fave jams on the disc, after all. "Another Jam for Sabine" finishes off the album in an Eastern-tingled haze including hand-drum and mystical melodies. This is a really trippy ending for a great gig that really deserved to be properly released! I'm so glad to be able to see the band in Finland again in next month when they play three gigs in Turku, Helsinki and Tampere.

tiistai 18. syyskuuta 2018

Superfjord - All Will Be Golden

Svart Records

It's been four long years since I reviewed the debut album of then new Finnish psych sensation Superfjord. It Is Dark, But I Have This Jewel was an excellent release and found its way into the hearts of many serious psych rock lovers all over the world. Since then the band has been involved in a couple of split singles on the marvellous Fruits de Mer records, and the cover versions of Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" and Zappa's "Peaches En Regalia" were totally mind-blowing. They have not played that many gigs with several band members also being active in other projects etc., but I have been lucky enough to witness some great, almost spiritual live performances by them.

The band has lots of different infuences from various decades of psychedelic, experimental, jazzy, hypnotic and progressive pop & rock music. They have mixed all these different vibes, sounds and vibes into a fresh, interesting and inviting brew that sounds modern while bowing deep to the musical master-minds of the past. This exactly is their strenght, in addition to great compositions, clever arrangements and superb musicianship, of course! The use of percussion on several tracks brings to mind Santana (or Finnish groove gurus The Hypnomen), the delay guitar on the opener "Cut and Paste" was perhaps first introduced by Ash Ra Tempel's legendary Manuel Göttsching but later used by many fans of cosmic krautrock like Helsinki-based Siinai. In addition to the groove, vibe and texture the music also has some superb melodies. The vocals are mostly used more like a mantra somewhere in the background, they are difinitely not a lead instrument like guitar, synthesizer and saxophone. I really like the solos, by the way! There are also elements of modern electronic (trance) music that I sometimes dislike but Superfjord can handle that too with flying colours. Astralasia, Hidria Spacefolk and Kingston Wall's III came to mind in this respect.

The progressive flourishes remind me of Frank Zappa at times and the sax adds a pleasant, smokey and jazzy element. When the band really let go, they are on fire. Some of the little more relaxed parts will get any Pink Floyd fans to close their eyes and dream. There are no totally chilled-out, ambient tracks this time, though. "Parvati Valley" gives us also some Indian atmospheres without sitar, "Rainha da Floresta" takes us into a whole different trip inside a rainforest. This is absolutely one of the best and most inventive albums released in Finland this year, so be sure to check it out! The official release date is this Friday, September the 21st and the release party will be held at Kuudes Linja on October the 19th. See you there!

Flowers Must Die - Ejefjallajökull, new video world premier!

Astral Zone is honored to present you the world premier of a new video by Swedish psych/space/prog rock group FLOWERS MUST DIE - Ejefjallajökull

This is what the band has to say about the track and video:

“Ejefjallajökull” a name hard to spell, pronounce and to remember but for many people the actual Eyafjallajökull which is a volcano on Iceland is hard to forget. It erupted in 2010 and caused a lot of problem especially air travel all over the globe.
And it was around this period we started playing this song, so even if it´s on our latest album ‘Där Blommor Dör’ it was recorded many years ago. And a track we have included in our live set many times.
But still only a early version was included on a tape in 2012 and then later in a live version on “The Greatest Hits (Live)” tape from 2014.
This recording is probably between those releases and the structure was kept for years, and then we decided to add some instruments as the original take was a bit from our safe zone when Jonas played Xylophone, Rickard Saxophone and Lars only on Djembe through the track. So Sven added more drums, flute, Martin and Jonas some guitars. Rickard took care of the  mixing from home and added some Synth and Percussion and finally a violin on top from Lisa to complete the track.
A fun note, Lisa´s previous band was named after another Icelandic volcano - Katla and we named this track several years before even meeting her.

The band will perform for the very first time in Finland on Helsinki Psych Fest in Gloria this weekend, get your tickets from: