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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:

maanantai 17. syyskuuta 2018

Custard Flux - Helium


Custard Flux is a new project by The Luck of Eden Hall psych/prog/pop guru Gregory Curvey. It's easier to let the man himself tell you how this happened: "This project was born out of a vision I had after acquiring a 100 year old Harmonium, and the ability to be able to set up in the park and play progressive psychedelic pop without any electricity. Newly located in Detroit, I've set out to find a group of like minded musicians, including a Double Bassist, Drummer, Keyboardist and Guitarist. It's taken some time, but the spark has been lit, and I'm pleased with the music. I hope you like it too." So the idea was to make psychedelic prog pop in an semi-acoustic way without electric instruments and the Harmonium definitely adds and extra baroque flavor to the music. This is still definitely not "classical music" in any way, although you can hear classical influences in some of the melody lines etc. The drum set and wonderful, rather complex compositions still make it sound more like modern stuff. There's also been some cheating so you can hear a few marvelous fuzz guitar solos in there... Just check the beautiful "Forevermore" for a taste of that.

All the 11 tracks on the main CD were written, performed and produced by Curvey himself. I love the way he can make rather complex melodies and rhythms seem and sound so natural, flowing and effortless. His soft vocals are perfect for the music and caress your soul. There's lots of excellent acoustic guitar work throughout the album. The magnificent, progressive instrumentals "The Shire of  Gingin" and "La Mort" are great example of this. Curvey is also an able drummer and has visited several of the recent Sendelica albums as a second drummer, for example. Other instrumentation includes at least piano and double bass, I'm not sure what else, but the overall sound is very lush and well-balanced. The acoustic nature of the music makes some tracks sound more like folk, especially the ones without actual drums. The fans of The Luck of Eden Hall will for sure also enjoy this project since you can hear the similarity with Custard Flux. The music is maybe not THAT psychedelic but songs like "Out of Phase" will still make your head spin a little. As usual, it's almost impossible to name any highlights since I just love all of Curvey's tunes. Warmly recommended! If you want to go all the way, there's also a limited deluxe edition in a beautiful hinged wooden box including a bonus CD with five more tasty tracks as well as a card set and 16-page booklet. Hopefully a double LP version will follow!

keskiviikko 12. syyskuuta 2018

Øresund Space Collective returns to Finland!

After seven long years, the Danish/Swedish improvisational space rock band Øresund Space Collective orbits to Finland again next month! I've been involved in getting them to the country every time so far so I'm really happy to be the dj at their Helsinki performance.

The space ship stops on their Sweden - Finland Tour Oct 2018 on Melody Box, Stockholm, (SE) on the 24th, Reviiri, Turku (FI) on the 26th, Kuudes Linja, Helsinki (FI) on the 27th and Vastavirta, Tampere (FI) on the 28th. They also have the Norwegian psychedelic space rock cadets Black Moon Circle on board for the whole trip and local bands will be added to each night.

Do not miss this rare opportunity to experience a totally improvised, psychedelic sonic trip by the space captains!

Get your flight tickets for the Helsinki show over here!

maanantai 10. syyskuuta 2018

Helsinki Psych Fest Vol.2 - Flower Power, Gloria, 21. - 22.9.2018

I'm really looking forward to this two-day festival taking place at the great Gloria venue (old movie theater) in the heart of Helsinki next week! I will be one of the dj's with Johan Ventus and Daddy Suburbanite and we all will be spinning some of the coolest psych nuggets from the late 60s and early 70s from seven inches. Dj Goldie Claws will also play a special, short late-night set.

The organizer(s) have really worked hard this time to present some of the best psych rock acts of the moment that could make it and suited the budget. The highlights for me will for sure be Our Solar System (SWE) whose LP's I really adore, Flowers Must Die (SWE) that I'm also a big fan of as well as Dead Vibrations (SWE) who I'm not that familiar with but who have released their debut album on the excellent Fuzz Club Records this year and of course Sir Robin & The Longbowmen (GER), who will just release their second album before the fest. I have not seen any of the above yet, so should be exciting...

The legendary cosmic synth wizard Esa Kotilainen (ex-Wigwam, Tasavallan Presidentti etc.) is always a pleasure to experience live and Deep Space Destructors from Oulu will send you on a trip to space. Brand-new experimental spoken-word/freak-out act U.F.O. -tutkimuksia will help with this. It will be cool to mellow out with the progressive, jazzy moods of Soft Power and and Astral Bazaar. The adventurous avant-garde experimentation of Sturle Dagsland (NOR) sounds interesting, and I'm sure Meteor Vortex and Skyjoggers will blow some minds with their stoner space rock.

There will also be visuals by the amazing VJ Jonne Pitkänen, movies, decos, side-atractions and Dr. Psykerö's after party club upstairs with suitable entertainment so, all in all, this festival will be a real trip for all the senses for sure! Get your tickets from or at the door.

Here is the Facebook event.

And here's a Spotify Playlist of the bands.

See you there!!!

The marvellous poster by Ekku Säily.

lauantai 8. syyskuuta 2018

Fuchsia - S/T 2LP + DVD

Fruits de Mer Records (crustacean 86)

For the first actual reissue album on Fruits de Mer Keith has really pushed the boundaries! Fuchsia's eponymous debut album is one of those legendary early 70s cult albums that dissappeared in the winds of time due to the group disbanding short after the release. Surely it was not the case of just another standard quality band splitting up since the innovative, original progressive folk rock that Tony Durant and his mates put out in 1971 still sounds fresh and magical today. There have been several reissues on CD and semi/un/official vinyl bootlegs as well, but this is the first time the album has been reissued officially on double vinyl with amazing, remastered quality. So,  the release also includes a bonus LP with demos etc. as well as a DVD where Tony tells about the album and what has happened since its release.

The actual album includes the seven original tunes sounding crystal clear and totally spellbounding. I really like the compositions that are rather complex but natural sounding at the same time. In addition to the usual band instrumentation we have strings that give a the music a bit classical touch at times. The music is not that psychedelic but has a strange, very pleasant and magical appeal. Tony's vocals are a bit part of the enjoyment for sure. One of my favourites is "Another Nail"  that rocks out a bit more and reminds me of S. F. Sorrow era Pretty Things a bit. Sometimes I hear echoes of Love and some U.K. acid folk acts, but overal Fuchsia pretty much sounds just like themselves. The longest track "The Nothing Song" is perhaps the most psychedelic and also one of the highlights for me. Wonderful!

The bonus disc has some special treats. The dark and mystical "Somnabulist" is a new recording (yes, Fuchsia has been active again during the recent years and even released a second album!) of a very old song and I really like it. "Rock and Books" is another old song newly recorded and has a more folky touch also including some accordion. Then we've got the original 15-minute long "Fuchsia" demo that got the band signed to Pagasus label in 1970. The sound is a bit inferior here of course, but still totally okay and this historical recording is a joy to experience. Next it's time for a couple of original demos ("The Band" and "Ragtime Brahms"). I especially love "The Band" that was re-recorded for the Me and My Kites with Tony Durant of Fuchsia single released on Fruits de Mer in 2013. Then there's an acoustic version of the Fuchsia II song "Fuchsia Song". The great Swedish band Me and My Kites perfom "The Band" next with Tony and I really like this version that somehow caresses my soul. The album is finished with another Fuchsia II demo "The Waves" that has a bit spooky, hypnotic mood. In addition to the two LP's and DVD fans will also get a marvellous 24-page A4 magazine and a fold-out poster all packed in a glorious gatefold sleeve including lots of notes by Tony himself. This must be the best reissue I've seen or heard this year! It's no wonder the album is already sold-out at Fruits de Mer HQ but check out the best stockists.

perjantai 7. syyskuuta 2018

Ufo Över Lappland - S/T

Sulatron Records (st1804)

Ufo Över Lappland is a new instrumental psychedelic space rock band from Northern Sweden and a most welcome newcomer to the Scandinavian scene for sure. They are not as heavy or powerful as their Southern space cousins Yuri Gagarin and maybe closer to some hypnotic trance rock outfits. The bass is still pretty heavy and Hawkwind-like! I've seen the band live once at Uleåborg Festival of Psychedelia, Oulu, and enjoyed their show although was not totally blown away. It somehow seemed they were not 100% into it, maybe they were a bit nervous or tired or both, or maybe it was just me.

Anyway, the band released their first tape in 2016 and this LP/CD seems to be pretty much identical to it. One new (?), a bit more progressive track "JaEDeJaE"has been added, and the long, cool spacey jam "Lemmy on the Beach" is only a bonus track on the CD version, just like on the first tape release. My favourite track is perhaps the opener "Keep On Keepin On Space Truckin" that keeps a steady, hypnotic krautrock-like beat going for over 12 minutes. The spacey, windy synth noises  and heavy bass remind me of Hawkwind, but the airy, delayed guitars are closer to modern kraut/psych rock. Towards the end the track gets a bit more intense which is great. "Podzal" is a bit more ethereal and dreamy track with some cool synthesizer work. "Nothing That Lives Has.... Such Eyes" has a bit eerie, otherwordly vibe and I can almost see the UFO's flying through the Northern Lights. Wonderful! The end gets pretty weird and experimental. Too bad that the LP version doesn't have room for the CD bonus track "Lemmy on the Beach" since it is rather intense stuff bringing to mind Hills etc. All in all a very promising debut, I have a feeling the next proper studio album will be a real killer! This album will be released in a couple of weeks so be prepared.

tiistai 4. syyskuuta 2018

Kungens Män - Fuzz på Svenska

Adansonia Records (AR 027)

Okay, this is the fourth 2LP by this great Swedish improvisational psych band on Adansonia Records in less than three years. I guess it means that they are loved by the label and record buying fans as well! The long, instrumental tracks of Kungens Män are slowly growers and you need to really pay attention to the mood and vibe to get deep into them. There is a certain respect and admiration for the psychedelic greats of the past, both from Sweden and abroad. Usually their music is rather laid-back, droney and dreamy. The saxophone enhance the jazzy atmosphere, but the band can also get pretty heavy, spaced-out and fuzzy at times. There are elements of space and krautrock in there as well as experimental music.

This limited double gatefold album (also available on CD) has seven new tracks ranging from little over five to over 19 minutes in length. The over 15-minute "Tesen" starts off the action in a slow, tranquil mode. "Starta Gruff" is a heavier mid-tempo rocker with some rather noisy and wild instrumentation. "Fuzz på Svenska" is again a longer piece and has lots of jazzy sax and fuzz guitar. The next number "Centrala Mellanplanet" is a somewhat bluesy drone rock piece that brings to mind Träd, Gräss och Stenar a bit. There is not that much going on but the atmosphere is great. The shortest track "Tung Pedagog" has a groovy drum beat, hypnotic bass, dreamy synth stuff and psychy guitar. "Tung Dialog" is another slow, long and mesmerizing jam that varies in intensity. This will get you to places beyond this world, amazing! The longest track "Ljupt Djud" finishes off the album growing slowly from peaceful ambient to powerful, little chaotic free-jazz freak-out. Very cool! Another killer album by this excellent band, just go and get it.

maanantai 3. syyskuuta 2018

Nathan Hall and the Sinister Locals - Tunguska Tydfil

The Hip Replacement (Hip Rep 020)

This is the second full-lenght album by Nathan Hall and the Sinister Locals whose EP I reviewed last year over here. I'm sure some of my readers remember Nathan from his main band The Soft Hearted Scientists who have released some excellent stuff on Fruits de Mer Records, for example. While The Soft Hearted Scientists have been on a sabbatical Nathan has made some more new music with the aid of some friends. The music is not really that different to his main band, though.

Here we have 16 short and simple songs with usully quite minimal arrangements and instrumentation. As with the Scientists, the main genious of the music is just that: how can something so simple and innocent sound so great and captivating? More is definitely not always more. The overal vibe is sort of melancholic and nostalgic, but in a tasty, interesting way. There are wonderful, emotional baroque pop psych numbers, more folky things and some weirder, experimental moments to be found. One of my favourites is the beautiful and melodic "Side By Side (Glowing Guide)" that is also the album's longest piece at 4:29. Another a bit longer piece is the weird, hypnotic and dark "Carnival of the Damned" that has cool Mellotron and spacey sound effects along with the vocals, percussion, piano, acoustic guitar etc. There are also some primitive electronic beat on the very 80s sounding "St Davids Bed And Breakfast Blackout Disaster" that brings to mind Nathan's FdM label mate Nick Nicely. For example "Song of a Sourpuss" is closer to late 60s / early 70s U.K acid folk. Marvellous. All in all, this is another amazing collection of little, shiny sonic diamonds that deserve to be heard by all psych and folk pop appreciating ears. The album is at the moment available on CD and digital, but a limited vinyl release is imminent as well.

sunnuntai 26. elokuuta 2018

La Iglesia Atómica - S/T

Clostridium Records (CR-CD 013)

La Iglesia Atómica is a heavy psych/stoner rock band from San Juan, Puerto Rico. I had never heard of them before I got this CD from Clostridium erlier this year, but they have played together 20 years ago so this is sort of their comeback album I guess and apparently first official CD release. It was first released in South America last year.

The band pretty much relies on heavy riffing, fuzzy and wild solo guitar work, groovy rhythm section, cool jams and stoned vocals like the first wave of stoner rock bands in the 90s. And I like it! A good example is the mid-tempo "Superhombres". There are also some faster tracks like the insturmental "Stoner's Ball. I bet these guys have heard their share or early Monster Magnet, Fu Manchu, Kyuss, Nabula etc. but they still have a touch of their own. This is limited edition of 300 copies and if heavy stoner psych rock is your thing I'd recommend you to get one before they're all gone! New stuff seems to be coming up soon shich is great. This band seriously rocks!

Astral Visions Mixloud Show #81 online now!

Another two-hour journey into sound with new tracks by Kikagaku Moyo / 幾何学模様, Lumerians, Altin Gün, Saturnia, Superfjord, Øresund Space Collective, Black Helium, Cracked Machine, Fanatism, Warp Transmission, Automatism, Vibravoid Official, The Myrrors, Octopus Syng (feat. Peter Daltrey) and Sendelica.

perjantai 24. elokuuta 2018

Kshettra - Five Mothers

Self-released (KSH001)

Kshettra is a Russian experimental ambient jazz bass and drums duo formed by Boris Ghas (bass, poem, samples) and Viktor Tikhonov (drums, Oxoma synth, sample). This CD released in early 2017 also includes guests Ramille Mulikov (sax, trumpet, trombone), Nikolai Samarin (synth, double bass, mandolin, sitar) and
Eugeniy Mikhalchenko (voice).Their debut album was released in 2013 by R.A.I.G. that some of my readers will know for great releases by Akhmed, The Re-Stoned, Seven That Spells, Vespero, Sendelica etc.

The album begins with a short, drone-like ambient piece "Conception" and then the jazzy, proggy bass and drums jamming begins with "Garura Lila" and continues on "Cikada". The basic tracks are rather minimally and elegantly spiced with other instruments from time to time, but the overal vibe is rather minimal and plain. There are some tribal/Oriental/World Music vibes on the journey, for example in "Godzhindra". "Walk Under the Moon" has some spoken word in Russian at the beginning and then we get some mystical, tranquil and dark soundscapes. This is perhaps the most psychedelic track on the CD and my favourite. "Umbra" is more rhythmical again and "Machanoya" another longer, more experimental and trippier number that I enjoy. The CD is finished with the weird one-minute ambient drone piece "Crossing". I can't say that this is exactly the kind of music that I normally listen to, but I just have to give these guys some credit for creativity and musicianship. Rather interesting stuff!

Spaceking - In the Court of the Spaceking

(No Name) 679

I recently received a big package of CD's from a Russian non-profit label that has no name or logo and only releases their stuff with catalogue numbers. Apparently the label was founded in late 2011 by Anton Kitaev, Ivan Bredolog & Oleg Dynya in Moscow. A label without a name might not be the easiest to promote but I'm of course always happy to receive new, interesting music to check out. Another obstacle might be that they don't release bands withing just one genre but on the other hand that can be seen as a plus side as well.

Anyway, this 7-track, 41-minute CD was released already in 2013 but against my principles of only sticking to recent releases I will still give it a short review. Now, Spaceking of course is a cool band name, although maybe not the most original. Looking at their Bandcamp site I can see that this seems to be their third release after a couple of EP's. They have also released one more album, The Piper at the Gates of Stone, in 2016 (download only, I guess). This five-piece from Saint Petersburg plays a heavy and experimental mix of metal, prog, stoner and sludge and I do enjoy them. The album is mostly instrumental which works well, but a track called "Rosemary" also has angry sounding vocals and "Judgment" some spoken word samples. There are also some grunge vibes I think, and I dig the groovy riffs and the sort of unexpected aspect of the band. The last track "Stardust" is the longest at 8:02 and has more synth-oriented parts that remind me of Pink Floyd which is never a bad thing in my Astral Charts. I bet this band might win more fans all over the world if they just were given a chance. So check them out!

Saturnia - The Seance Tapes

Elektrohasch Schallplatten (Elektrohasch 175)

 Saturnia from Portugal has been a one-man space/psych/prog rock/electronic band by multi-instrumentalist and singer Luis Simões. I've been following his magnificent work since the debut album The Glitter Odd released in 2001 and have been enjoying every bit of it. Live appearances with guest musisicians have been sadly very rare and I've been waiting for years to experience Saturnia's heady, mesmerising and trippy music on a gig. Now my chances seem to have enhanced since Luis has formed a three-man live band with a drummer and a keyboardist.

The Seance Tapes is a sort of rehearsal for the trio's live gigs as well as a best of Saturnia. It includes some of the best tracks from all the six Saturnia albums and they do sound amazing played live in the studio and mixed really well. There are 12 tracks in total and I just love all of them. Some of my favourites include the pounding "I Am Utopia", raga-like "The Real High" and the hypnotic "Mindarama", so I guess you could say I prefer the stuff released since 2007. Having said that, all the previous albums have their amazing moments and tracks. All in all, this is a marvellous, magical and very well produced album that just makes me drool for an oppurtunity to see the band live. Available on CD and soon also on 2LP!

Octopus Syng - Victorian Wonders

Mega Dodo

At the moment, Octopus Syng is one of the most well known psych rock / pop bands from the Finnish underground. Jaire Pätäri started it as a solo project at the end of the last millennium and I've been a follower since the first releases in 2000. When Jaire moved to Helsinki we became very good friends and I've also helped on the lyrics and done some backing vocals on a couple of tracks so my opinion can be a bit biased... But I just love Jaire's music!

On Victorian Wonders Jaire turns the controls of his time-machine even bit farther in history than on his previous album. During the recording sessions for Hollow Ghost / Rochelle Salt he was mostly obsessed with the early 20th century vibe (as well as avant-garde and yé-yé pop of the early 60s France) but now the main emotional influences came from the 19th century romanticism and mysticism. Musically the album still draws from 60s psychedelic pop, rock and folk music, of course.

As always, there are eleven tracks on the album (the master number in numerology) and the wonderful cover art is done by master Pätäri himself. Jaire recorded and mixed the album and plays quite a lot of the instruments but the album also features the whole Octopus Syng live band as well as some guests. The most famous of the guests definitely is 60s psych legend Peter Daltrey of Kaleidoscope who was exactly the right person to recite a poem by John Keats (Bright Star, 1819) on "19th Century Romanticism", true trippy magic... The production is better than ever before and the hard work has really paid off. The overall atmosphere of the album is rather soft and dreamy but also dark and weird. There are no really hard, fuzzy rockers, most of the songs are slow and peaceful. There is a certain, very pleasant feel of innocence and whimsy on the more pop-oriented, melodic masterpieces like "If You Were a Flower" and "Roundabout" and some of the songs are closer to acid folk ("Let It Rain/Let It Shine", "Spider Webs"). It's really hard for me to name any favorites since I really enjoy the album as a whole. The last track "These Precious Summer Nights" that has female vocals sort of sums it altogether, anyway. This is the best Octopus Syng album so far and if you like dreamy, emotional and melodic psych it's definitely for you. Jaire has promised the next album to rock out more, so I'm already really looking forward to hear that!

keskiviikko 1. elokuuta 2018

HOTlist July 2018

Okay, now it really has been HOT!!! I've been on holiday and out of the city / country, but this is what I have been listening while at Astral Zone HQ:

Automatism From the Lake
Lumerians ‎– Call Of The Void
Vibravoid ‎– Vibrations From The Cosmic Void
Sleep ‎– The Sciences
Cracked Machine ‎– I. Cosmonaut
Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. ‎– Electric Dream Ecstasy
Pyramidal ‎– Live From The 7th Psychedelic Network Festival 2014
Electric Moon ‎– Live In Kosmos
Free/Slope ‎– Abracadabra
Sun Dial ‎– Science Fiction


torstai 26. heinäkuuta 2018

Sendelica - Cromlech Chronicles III

Regal Crabomophone (winkle 32)

Welsh space rock masters Sendelica really seem to enjoy the atmosphere at Mwnci Studios in Western Wales since this is the fourth album they have recorded there. This time the just over one hour of new music is spread onto three 10" colour vinyl discs just for the fun of it! As always with these Cromlech sessions the core band (guitar, bass, drums, sax) is helped by guests (Gregory Curvey from The Luck of Eden Hall as the second drummer and Roger Morgan on keyboards). This time there is no singer involved.

The album starts off with the heavy space rocker "BS". Some Black Sabbath and Blue Öyster Cult influences in there, perhaps? Sounds great, anyway. "Slow Burner" is a long, slowly evolving piece that has great rocking, slower stuff as well as some more ambient ending. I really like the vibe of the track. "12 Shades Revisited" is of course a return to the theme of a track originally released on the band's 2007 album Entering the Rainbow Light. Very cool, blissful stuff with jazzy saxophone. "Teifi Marshes" is another rather peaceful track but this time in a more positive, sunny mood. The longest track on the album is the 14:40 "Star Flower Blossom" that builds up really slowly and gets more intense towards the end. Things come to an end with "Lost City of Cardiza" that has an experimental intro and then gets pretty heavy and pounding. Another killer piece of psychedelic space rock! What can I say, Sendelica has done it again and produced a well-balanced, interesting, amazing and highly addictive album with great musicianship and production values. The 3D cover art will for sure look good as well. Just go and get it!

Sky Saxon and The Vibravoid - A Psychedelic Testament

Clostridium Records (CRCD00)

"This album is more than music, this album is a religious experience and a trip into the psychedelic mind of Sky Sunlight Saxon". So true... Just sometime before his death the legendary The Seeds singer Sky Saxon visited Germany with his trusted guitar player Atomic and recorded some loose, jam-based tracks with Germany's number one acid rock act Vibravoid. Some of these recordings were originally released on the sold-out and and very collectable Poetry of Love LP in 2010. Now all the recordings are available for the first time on this superb 80-minute CD! There are four more tracks and "Look What the Bombs Have Done" is presented as a longer, unedited version. The tracks are also in totally different running order, so that "The Psychedelic Mind of Sky Saxon" that opened up Poetry of Love is now the last track, a true testament. Hurray!

The album starts off with the slow, beutiful and melancholic "A Kettle of Tea" where Sky pours out his soul with great, deep lyrics. Previously unreleased, acoustic and folky "You Can Let Love Start" is next and works out okay. The album's only cover track is "Born to Be Wild" and I like the dirty, chaotic acid rock version the band offers. It doesn't really matter if Sky is sometimes a bit late or early with his vocals... The almost 23-minute "Look What the Bombs Have Done" is the album's dark space rock jam and trippy as hell. "Sun King" is perhaps my favourite of the "new" songs and has beautiful Mellotron work on the intro. This one gets you to the spheres for sure. Another long unreleased track "Wipe Your Eyes" comes next and rocks a bit in the hypnotic space/krautrock style. Excellent! "I See Your Face" is already familiar to those lucky enough to have A Poetry of Love and what a great, psychedelic jam this is! The really weird and experimental "The Psychedelic Mind of Sky Saxon" is probably the most "out-there" track on the album and a great way to end the ceremonies. All in all, I must say that I'm really happy that this CD finally saw the light of day as it truely is a magnificent, psychedelic testament to one of the greatest minds in psych and garage rock.

torstai 12. heinäkuuta 2018

Automatism ‎- From The Lake

Tonzonen Records (TON 039)

Fans of Swedish improvisional, instrumental space/psych/krautrock band Kungen's Män will be delighted to know that two of the members are also playing in a band called Automatism. Mikael Tuominen plays the guitar and bass, Hans Hjelm the guitar, phin and synthesizer and the other members are Gustav Nygren (New Rose, ex-Borås Energi) on bass and guitar and Jonas Yrlid (Partikel) on drums. There are also three guest musicians on board on percussion, drums, drum machine and synthesizer. All the six tracks on this debut album were improvised in the studio and later some overdubs were added to a great effect.

I really like the mellow, blissful and somewhat jazzy mood most of the tracks have. They make you float in a pleasant, hazy dreamstate, even if the beat might be a bit faster like on the long, excellent opener "Standing Wave". The shortest track "October Swim" has some Dungen / The Amazing vibe. The over 12-minute "Propeller Propulsion" has a mekanik, hypnotic krautrock beat and brings to mind NEU! a bit which is never a bad thing in my books. Really great going, actually! Maybe my favourite on the LP. I do really enjoy all the other tracks as well, though. All in all, this an absolute must for all lovers of modern improvised space/kraut/psych rock music so make yourself a big favour and check the band out! Both the CD and LP editions are limited to just 500 copies.

tiistai 26. kesäkuuta 2018

Hotlist June

The weather in Helsinki hasn't been THAT hot lately, but the music on my turntable has:

Various Artists ‎– Goldfish, Fruits de Mer Records 10 Years on Vinyl 3LP + 7".
Wooden Shjips ‎– V.
Flowers Must Die ‎– Där Blommor Dör
Dark Buddha Rising ‎– II 12"
Moths & Locusts Cocaine Kangaroo​/​Peyote Coyote 7" + CD-R
Pharaoh Overlord ‎– Zero
Here Lies Man ‎– You Will Know Nothing
Cosmic Ground ‎– IV
Gnod ‎– Chapel Perilous
Ecstatic Vision ‎– Under The Influence 12" EP