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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


maanantai 25. kesäkuuta 2018

Cosmic Ground - IV

Adansonia Records (ar025)

Electric Orange's Dirk Jan Müller keeps himself busy with his Berlin-school styled kosmische electronic/ambient solo project Cosmic Ground. This 2LP is the project's fourth studio full-length release and includes seven new instrumental, atmospheric and mostly rather minimal tracks. There are also a few EP's and a double live album. As always, you can hear echoes of the old electronic kosmische masters like Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, but Cosmic Ground still have its own taste and the amazing sound is rather modern. For example the opener "Possessed" brings to mind some of the experimental ambient acts of today rather than the electronic krautrock legends of the past.

This time, I will not go through all the long tracks here. I tend to prefer the ones with hypnotic, tingling sequencers like "Stained", "Greasy" and "Progeny". You really need to listen to this amazing album on good headphones in vertical position with your eyes closed and mind opened for the best results. Just let these wonderful sounds float through your consciousness and take you through strange spaces. I bet you can't find much better cosmic electronic music out there these days. There is a CD as well as two different 2LP versions with the hand-numbered white/green version being the more limited at just 110 copies. Go for it!

torstai 21. kesäkuuta 2018

Pelagos - Revolve

Svart Records

Pelagos is a new Finnish indie rock band formed by Teemu Elo, Petri Hagner and Janne Peltomäki who all were members of the Pori-based cult band Circle in the 90s. Their music is rather different to what Circle has ever done, though. Only the hypnotic elements are similar, but the vibe is much lighter, more atmospheric, electronic and pop-like. Most of the tracks are also rather melancholic. This is their first album following a few digital releases and a compilation cassette.

The album starts off with the very tranquil and beautiful "Code" that has celestial synths, pretty picked guitar and vocoder styled vocals. You get the feeling of flying above a vast ocean on the wings of a seagull. For the last two minutes we also get hypnotic bass and beat as well as some more tasty guitar. Wonderful! "River (Proxima Centauri)" has some late Spacemen 3 / Depeche Mode vibe and but more melody as well. This just might get you dancing. "Island of Pelicans" is one of the most Circle-like tracks but lighter and more mainstream in its sonic structure. Very nice! The instrumental "Aphrodite’s Shore" reminds me of Depeche Mode again a bit and the more acoustic "Invisible" sounds closer to some of Teemu Elo's previous bands like Alien Heat and Puhuvat Eläimet. The vocals are very manipulated and computerized, though. "Sea of Tranquility" is a very emotional, melancholic slow track. The shortest piece on the album is the beautiful and soft "Muted Stars" at 4:27. The last, very atmospheric track "Embryo" is the longest at 7:41 and you can sense some Spacemen 3 vibe in there again. Palagos definitely offers some of the best hypnotic, melancholic modern pop music there is and Revolve is a very enjoyable album that should appeal to fans of several different music styles.

keskiviikko 20. kesäkuuta 2018

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #80 now online

ArtistTrack NameStart Time

lauantai 9. kesäkuuta 2018

Pharaoh Overlord - Zero

Hydra Head Records / Full Contact Records (hh666-225 / KRYPT-122)

"Muscülar avant äcid röck from the ever-topical Circle camp" indeed. As always, the Pharaoh Overlords buys have something new in their sleeve. This time it's the growling vocals of Antti Boman from death metal band Demilich. The music still is hypnotic, psychedelic and powerful krautrock, though. Faust's Hans Joachim Irmler has worked with the band before but is definitely worth mentioning as well.

The album starts off with the cover of Spacemen 3's marvellous and rebellious "Revolution". Die-hard Pharaoh Overlords fans have already heard the band's live version of this track on Horn, a live album recorded at Torvi, Lahti in 2010, but this new studio version is pretty different. And highly effective, I must add! Antti's guttural vocals and added keyboards also give it a whole new vibe. "Maailmanlopun Ateriana" is a cool track with hypnotic krautrock stuff and heavier, more in-your-face parts, it gets you in a heady trance. Then it's time to get more experimental with the slower but no less trippy "Meanwhile". "Lalibela Cannot Spell Zero" is the longest track on the album at nine minutes and it's an up-beat, Circle-like motoric juggernaut that shows no mercy. Your brains will melt during this one! It's good to have a few moments to breath with "Satavuotiaiden Salaisuus", but the atmosphere is rather wicked and twisted. The album is finished with another mind-blowing fast hard rocker "I Drove All Night by My Solar Stomp" that is one of the highlights for me. Lot's of stuff happening on this one on top of the steady basic riff. All in all, another magnificent and hyper-strong album by Pharaoh Overlord. This is absolutely one of their best releases, if not THE best, so go and get it!

maanantai 28. toukokuuta 2018

Sun Dial - Science Fiction, A Compendium of Space Soundtracks

Sulatron Records (st 1802/-2)

Sun Dial, one of the most important and influential post-psychedelia bands from the U.K., has been among my favourites since the early 90s. Their debut album Other Way Out released in 1990 is a real corner stone in the history of psychedelic rock combining 60s psych with 90s style and the band have continued to pour out mind-blowing stuff ever since. New albums have been a few years apart during the new Millennia, but you can always count on Sun Dial to deliver the goods. Mind Control released in 2012 was a true masterpiece of hypnotic space/kraut/psych rock and on the latest album Made in the Machine (2016) the band had developed a more electronic but just as great and hallucinogenic brew of psychedelic sounds and beats. On Science Fiction the band have put together their Sci-fi / space oriented soundtrack music from the last 20 years and the end result is amazing. I knew that Gary Ramon & co. had done some film and television soundtrack work but I had never heard any of it, at least not knowingly. Here we finally have 12 previously unreleased tracks of atmospheric, instrumental and rather electronic but still rock oriented music of that stuff!

"Hangar 13" operates as a launch-pad to the space journey. A slow, droney, repetitive and spacey haze fills your mind. I love those Mellotron sounds. "White Stone" is a bit groovier piece and "Mind Machine" is a rather electronic juggernaut. "Saturn Return" has some early 70s krautrock as well as space disco vibes, cool. On "Space Travel" the journey into stars continues in a very nice way. "Alien X" is a beautiful space ballad and "Rise of the Robots" is a pure electronic piece. "Airlock" is closer to traditional psychedelia with sitar and percussion but still very spacey as well. "Aftershock" is another killer electronic rock number that also has some Air vibe I think. "Ghost Ship" is a bit darker and brings to mind Depeche Mode in a way. "Infra Red" is a groovy, funky and spaced-out piece and the album is finished with the more ambient, magnificent and gorgeous  "Starwatchers" that could almost be a Hawkwind out-take from Church of Hawkwind. Amazing! The LP version is limited to 750 copies and the CD limited to 500 also has the long version (15:29) of "Hangar 13" as a bonus track. All Sun Dial fans naturally NEED this album and everyone into spacey, psychedelic soundtrack music should also try it out. Marvellous!

Uleåborg Festival Of Psychedelia 13.-14.7.2018

Okay, this must be THE festival for all psych lovers in Finland this summer! Uleåborg Festival Of Psychedelia will be organized for the fourth time in Oulu, Finland, on July the 13th and 14th. The festival has now published the timetables and there really are some amazing bands on the bill!

This is the facebook event of the festival:

And here is their website for tickets & info:

Hotlist May!

Okay, the weather has been REALLY hot in Helsinki this month and so has the music.

Mythic Sunship ‎– Upheaval
Nicklas Sørensen ‎– Solo 2
Vive La Void ‎– S/T
Us and Them ‎– On Shipless Ocean
Minami Deutsch ‎– With Dim Light
Bong ‎– Thought and Existence
Øresund Space Collective ‎– Chatoyant Breath
Dr. Space's Alien Planet Trip Vol. 2 - Gloomy Horizon
Our Solar System ‎– Origins
Verstärker – Aktivität


lauantai 26. toukokuuta 2018

Sirkus - The Noise of Time

Nasoni Records (NASONI 195)

Sirkus is a bluesy indie rock band with hints of psychedelia from Germany. The Noise of Time is their second album following the debut album Dream Factory released in 2015 by the band themselves. This new, 40-minute album was released by Nasoni Records on vinyl and CD and includes 10 rather short songs. The band is formed by six musicians and there are also five guest musicians so the sound spectrum is rather full and varied but still guitar dominated.

"Goldmine of Truth" starts off the party with cool, gypsy music styled rhythms including percussion and rather heavy guitars. You can also hear some spacey effects in the background. The mellow and soulful "Leaving Ten Times" is one of my favourites. Pretty and melancholic stuff. "All Your Teachers" has a nice, summerly vibe. The singer has a rather unique, bit raspy sound. "Hotel Room" has an interesting, hypnotic thing going and "Cigarettes" is a slow, easy and bluesy piece. "Road Song" has some female voice and some cool lead guitar work. Another great, rather slow song. On "Last Year" there's more partying again, a bit Santana vibe I think. "Sea" sounds a bit like The Doors, not bad at all. The flute break is a nice bonus! "Mama" is again slow bluesy stuff. The longest track on the album is "Life Is Visiting" at 5:36. It begins with some minimal, experimental spacey sound effects and then the tranquil beat gets going. Sometime after the two-minute-marker the song grows and then we get some psychedelic lead guitar, cool! This might not be exactly my cup of (mushroom) tea, but I still enjoy it and if you like slightly psychedelic, bluesy alternative/indie rock you should try this out.

Verstärker ‎– Aktivität

Tonzonen Records (Ton043)

Verstärker is a motorik, instrumental neo-kraut/space rock trio from Kentucky, U.S.A. They use guitars, bass, amplifiers, synths, effects and drums to create a hypnotic, cosmic soundscape mostly inspired by early 70s German music. There are also hints of post-punk, no-wave and drone for a good measure. This debut album was originally released on tape and digital form on their own SpaceLab Records in 2015 and has now seen a limited vinyl treatment on Tonzonen Records.

The over 11-minute "Mit Glück" starts off the A-side with rather hectic motorik beat, heavy guitars and spacey sound effects. This sounds like a harsher, noisier and faster version of Neu!, I'm loving it! "Abstrakt/Konkret" has a bit more laid-back sonic quality but the steady kraut beat is still going on. Things do get noisier and wilder along the ten-minute ride, though... On side B there are three more abstract pieces. "Übertragung" is an experimental, ambient and synth-oriented drone number. "Etwas Anders" has a more electronic, mesmerizing vibe and a slow beat. This is the shortest track at 5:06. The album is finished with the long title track that has a post-punk styled bass line and drum beat with noisy, very abstract sounding manipulated guitar stuff. This is perhaps closer to Joy Division of something but still psychedelic and spacey and I like it. All in all, a very enjoyable album of experimental space/krautrock and post-punk, check it out! The LP is released on clear vinyl and limited to 500 copies.

perjantai 25. toukokuuta 2018

Melody Fields - S/T

Kommun 2 (KOMMUN2-45)

Melody Fields is a new Swedish psych rock band who released this debut album of theirs earlier this year. The magnificent, mystical opener "Morning Sun" was already released digitally last Autumn and I was immediately in love. This Gothenburg-based group was formed by Thomas Widholm, Ramo Spatalovic and David Henriksson in 2015. Nowadays they have five members. You can hear some Oriental vibes in their wonderful, harmonic, sort of 60s and 90s styled, guitar-dominated music.

After "Morning Sun" we get the sunny and airy "Liberty", another amazing, melodic piece. I really enjoy the full guitar sounds and harmony vocals of Melody Fields. "Run" is a bit heavier and brings to mind The Black Angels, Golden Void and Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound a bit, but there's an obvious The Byrds vibe there as well. "Rain Man" is a very nice, jangly psych pop piece with echoes of The Soundtrack of Our Lives in addition to the previously named bands. Cool! "Fire" is a dreamy pop psych piece that could be a Verve out-take from the 90s. Great guitar lines, once again. The organ is also great. The longest track on the album is the 10-minute tranquil and soulful "Trädgränsen" that ends the limited vinyl version in a great way. Later on it has some loud & wild guitar solo freak-outs. The CD (on Sound Effect Records) and digital version also has "Morning Sun Revisited" that's a sort of acoustic, even more mystical and Oriental version of the opener. Amazing! This album will be a perfect soundtrack to your Summer dreaming and fun, so go and get it!

maanantai 14. toukokuuta 2018

Desertfest Berlin, 4.-6.5.2018

It's been a while since I have been at bigger festivals abroad (DJ:ing at Roadburn 2014, to be exact), and even now this happened almost accidentally. Just one month before the festival I received a last-call email from Desertfest Berlin saying that they were closing their press accreditations soon. I filled in the form without thinking much, and was soon accredited. Okay, flights, hotel, some money and I was ready to go! I even had quite a lot of friends going, excellent. I had only heard good things about this festival before. This year the festival had moved to a new place: Arena on the other side of the river than the previous area. Arena is a huge, old buss terminal that can hold up to 9 500 people. All the bands were playing on two stages that were placed side by side. This meant that you could see all the bands without any overlaps. It also had a few disadvantages but I'll get back to that later.

This festival certainly focuses on heavy stoner/desert/fuzz/occult/hard rock & doom metal bands but there were also a few more psych or space rock bands on the lineup. Monster Magnet is an old fave of mine and since they were not going to play in Finland on this tour I was excited to see them. The band I was mostly looking forward to see was Swedish psychedelic space rock band Yuri Gagarin since I've really been enjoying their studio output and had not seen them live before. Most of the bands were at least somehow familiar to me but there were also some that I had never even heard of before.

It felt like Summer in Berlin for the whole four days I spent there. On Friday I met some friends at a park before the festival to get in the mood and this was to be the norm for the whole festival. The bands started rather early, so I sadly missed a few first ones every day. What I really feel sad about is missing Swedish female psych rock band MaidaVale on Saturday, since I really wanted to see them after just checking them out before the festival. Ordering a hamburger in town just before and not remembering the right starting time were my mistakes and I only made it there when they had just finished... Oh well, hopefully some other time.

I was most active on Friday arriving to see half of the second band Pretty Lightning. They were good and a bit different from the main emphasis of the festival (see my video below):

I of course really enjoyed all the rest of the bands and it was first time to see Nebula and Death Alley. Because of the huge size of the venue the sound got a bit muddy and echoed when you were at the back but getting closer to the bands helped a lot. Monolord were great as always, Monster Magnet played quite a lot of songs from the new album that I have not really got into so much yet but Dave was on fire anyway. I even had some stamina left to check out the cool dj who played until 3 in the morning. What a great night! I must also say that liked the outdoor area with bars, food-stalls, dj's, karaoke etc. Getting and paying with the "desert dollars" was pain in the ass for everybody, though.

After sadly missing MaidaVale on Saturday I watched most of the Horizon show before heading back to the sunny river bank outdoor area. Cool 70s styled hard rock band! King Buffalo was a very nice new find for me and I highly enjoyed Elder, Lucifer and Graveyard as well. Luckily I was still awake when Yuri Gagagarin played the last slot of Saturday after midnight. I was totally mind-blown and couldn't even shoot video anymore... We definitely need to get these guys to play in Finland!

On Sunday I was pretty wasted and tired although I still had a lot of fun... No videos were shot that day, but the highlights were Church of the Cosmic Skull (again, a rather different act than the rest), Jex Thoth, Eyehategod, Radio Moscow and the very energetic High on Fire.

All in all, Desertfest Berlin 2018 was an excellent festival and superb experience and I'm sure I will return!

Here's a few pics from the festival area that also of course featured merch stalls (cool posters, t-shirts, World of Sound & Burning World Records distros etc.) as well as a tattoo studio.

There was very little time for sightseeing this time but we did go to a few record stores and flee markets etc. The best second hand record store we popped in was Waxart on Gärtnerstr. 23. They had optic art walls and even a small bar in there! See the pics below.

Next a few pics taken at the parks & restaurants...

Just before going to the airport and back to Finland our Desertfest Berlin pioneers showed us around the old festival area where the first six or so editions took place. The next pics are from there, looking pretty groovy...

Thank you Berlin, Desertfest & the best of friends, I love you all!