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sunnuntai 29. marraskuuta 2020

Anton Barbeau - Manbird

 Gare du Nord Records (BH007)

Manbird is an amazing, massive new double CD by one of my favourite psychedelic indie rock/pop artists Anton Barbeau. As I've stated before, I've been a fan of Anton's since The Kind Of Missouri album released on Woronzow Records in 2002. I have missed a couple of releases since then but Anton seems to been remained active and productive all these years. He's originally from the States but has been living in Berlin for some years now with some occasional trips to the U.K. as well.

Manbird released in September is a 25-track "ambitious concept album about leaving the nest, traveling the world and finding home." So that's where the title comes from, if you were wondering... Personally, I love Anton's lyrics as well as his music since there is alsways a certain amount of humour in there even when he's talking about some serious issues. I think the stories here are rather autobiographic and the booklet includes lots of photos of Anton from and early age onwards.

Anyway, lets focus on the music now. As always, Anton knows how to build a catchy, melodic and clever pop song and we've got plenty of those here starting from the title track that starts the journey. The album was produced by Anton with some help from his friends and sounds excellent. There are lots of little mixing tricks to make the songs sound more interesting. There are also little bit more electronic elements on some songs like "Across the Drama Pond", some folky vibes and even one fast punk rock song "Featherweight". The instrumentation is varied as well as the moods and vibes. There are some beautiful acoustic ballads and more experimental pieces but most of it is still pretty easy to digest and listener friendly, even with all the clever little hooks and weird stuff in the middle. Many songs are pretty short, between one and three minutes in length, and even the longest one, the final, trippy piece "Space Force" is just over five minutes. It's just impossible for me to name any favourites from these 25 little nuggets since they all have a charm of their own. As often is the case, I'm probably most drawn to the most psychedelic moments, though (like "Underneath the Mushroom Tree" and "Auslanderbeak"). Living in Berlin must have taken its toll since there is even some krautrock influences on "Beak" and "Beak Part 2". Great! You can also tell that Anton has listened to The Beatles a lot and also some Bowie. He has a very unique, distinctive singing voice that I also really enjoy. All in all, I got to say that Manbird is one of the most enjoyable and entertaining albums I have heard this year. It's been a crappy year in general but at least there is stll some interesting music being produced and released to keep our spirits high!

www.antonbarbeau.com

 

sunnuntai 1. marraskuuta 2020

Astral Magic - Pathway to the Stars released on highly limited CD-R!

Message from Roger Linney:
 

SF 42
Astral Magic
Pathway To The Stars
50 Copies
 
Super excited to introduce you to Astral Magic. This is the new solo project from ex- Dark Sun bass player Santtu aka Mika Laakso.
 
This debut release presents the more cosmic/ambient/ electronic/ experimental (but no less spacey!) side of Astral Magic.
Recorded during lockdown The album features eleven spaced out tracks featuring guitar contributions from Vince Cory and Pete Bingham.
This cd comes in a individually numbered edition of 50 copies in white card sleeves with paste on artwork created by the artist himself.
You can check out and/or download the album here : https://darksun.bandcamp.com/album/pathway-to-the-stars
 
Cost as follows :
 
UK = £7.50
Europe = £10.50 GBP
USA & ROW = £12.00 GBP
Paypal to roger.linney@btinternet.com
PLEASE CONTACT ME BEFORE ORDERING.
 

 

Tsiolkovski - Molniya

 White Dwarf (WHD009)

Wow, it's cool how these great new bands and solo projects keep on popping up in your psych radar. Tsiolkovski, a one-man space/psych/doom project by Jean-Philippe Bidegain from France is definitely one of the most interesting ones in recent times. He plays electric guitars, bass, drums and synthesizers by himself on this instrumental debut album by the project. These six tracks were released on Bandcamp in February and the two limited vinyl editions should be out any day now, a bit late due to pressing plant problems as is usual these days.

The eight-minute opener "Voskhod" is a slow and majestic, heavy and spacey piece with a lot of emotion. I'm in love! The title track "Molniya" has a fast, motorik kraut/space rock beat with tons of echoed guitar and spacey synth effects floating around. Very hypnotic and psychedelic, getting even better! There's a crushingly heavy, slow doom riff at the end, phew... This somehow reminds me of heavy Finnish occult psychonauts Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising. "Terechkova" is heavy, spacey, slow and ritualistic/hypnotic stuff to bang your head to. There are some more experimental, very deep parts later on... Excellent! Then Jean-Philippe kicks in the dark, cosmic gear with "Mons Maenalus". This is not so heavy until the end, another killer track. "LMC X-3" is fast space/kraut rock and really rocks with that one same simple riff for 4+ minutes. Something Alan Davey might produce. The last piece has a nice psych/kraut rock groove reminding me of the early Cosmic Dead that I really enjoy. No hints of doom or metal on this one which is nice. I really dig this simple tune! All in all, this is a very recommended album if you enjoy psychedelic, heavy space/kraut rock and are not afraid to dive into the darker, doomy and more metallic universes every now and then. Psychedelic Doom From Outer Space!

 

https://www.facebook.com/tsiolkovskimusic/

 

perjantai 30. lokakuuta 2020

Urtidsdjur - S/T

Som Sverker Recordings

Urtidsdjur is a new quartet formed by young guys from Uppsala, Sweden, playing real, 70s styled retro rock. They say they are influenced by Bo Hansson, Dungen, Atomic Swing, Slowgold and Den Stora Vilan. They also recorded a Neil Young cover for the album but didn't get permission to release it, unfortunately... I can definitely hear more Neil than Dungen in their sound. Occasionally they go for a bit more progressive or psychedelic side but not that much though. The vocals are in Swedish like Dungen's. This is their first album and released soon as a very limited edition on vinyl with cool, hand-printed cover. Digital release will follow next year.

 

 The album recorded in a small chapel in the countryside has nine songs. The opener "Karta & kompass" is a nice, melodic 70s rock piece with strong Neil Young vibe. The acoustic guitar adds some folk rock vibes and there's also a cool sax solo. "Väntar på riktning" is a slow, long and moody piece that I also enjoy. "Vandringssång" has some 70s Swedish progressive folk/psych rock feel, not bad at all. The next, emotional piece "Klockor klämtar" has some The Doors vibes and a guest slide guitar player. "Luftslott" is like a standard 70s Neil Young rock song. Some cool guitar slicks! The beautiful "Människa" also has some (little out of tune...) piano and flute, one of my favourites. "Olyckskorp" is a slow, bluesy rock number with again some slide. "Hitta Hem" is a slow, dreamy song in 3/4, I guess this is where the Atomic Swing influence comes through. Slide in use again as well, nice. The album is finished with the pretty, moody and hazy instrumental "’Eḇen ha-‘ezer" that I really like. All in all, an excellent debut album by these young dudes and recommended for those you enjoy real, not too polished or auto-tuned rock music inspired by the early 70s vibes of Neil Young and others.

www.urtidsdjur.se


keskiviikko 28. lokakuuta 2020

Litmus - God Bomb 7"

 Litmus Music

 

Wow, the first 7" from the UK heavy space rock behemoth Litmus! I've been a big fan of the band since the debut album You Are Here released in 2004 (now how about putting that one on vinyl too?) and have also been lucky to see their energetic live performance a couple of times. They combine psychedelia, space rock, metal and punk in their music in away that only a few others can. The main trio of Martin, Simon and Marek is still intact now with an addition of a guy called James on keyboards. He's been playing with the band live since 2012 but this is the first official release for him. As the band's motto goes, they are always changing, always the same, and it fits very well on this single as well.

So we have two new songs here, presumably taken from the forthcoming new album. Both are just 3:30 in length so perfect for the single format. Litmus are not exactly known for short tracks, so there's a change here for sure... When you put the A side on, you instantly recognize the band, though. Driving beat and bass, crushingly heavy guitar riff and those repeated, powerful vocal lines together with cool mellotron, it's got to be Litmus! "God Bomb" is a winner and a perfect, simple but very effective single track for the band. The faster, punky B side "Post Sonic Age" rocks like hell! The catchy chorus elevates the track to another level, a future live favourite for sure. They even find time for a guitar solo. The production is super tight even based on this pre-release MP3 so I just can't wait to get the final (slightly delayed) black marbled vinyl on my turntable! This single is released on the band's own Litmus Music label so get it directly from the band's website. You know you want it!

litmusmusic.neocities.org/Litmus_Website/Litmus_Website.html

 

maanantai 26. lokakuuta 2020

Taras Bulba - Soul Weaver

Riot Season (REPOSELP096)

Taras Bulba is a new project by Earthling Society leader Fred Laird and drummer John Blacow. I got to be honest and say that I wasn't that thrilled about their first, more experimental album One that came out last year. The Three Gates Dub tape/CD-R was way more psychedelic and interesting but, well, dub. I liked it though! But when I first heard this new one called Soul Weaver I was instantly in love. Due to the virus lockdown Fred and John couldn't organize drum recording sessions so this album ended up more or less as Fred's solo album using some old rhythm tracks and new constructed ones. The music is stylistically quite different than before, sort of guitar driven, dreamy shoegaze psychedelia. Some of it even reminds me of Earthling Society that I've been a big fan of since the debut album! The lyrics were inspired by the writings of Dion Fortune, particularly her novel "The Sea Priestess".

 

The album starts off with the hypnotic, fuzzy mid-tempo "Fishcat Mother", just wonderful! Fans of The Brian Jonestown Massacre will dig this for sure. "The Moon On The Tides" has some folk music elements but also walls of effected electric guitar noise. A bit shorter "Goatfoot on Owl Hill" has a very weird, dark folky/tribal atmosphere... Cool! Then we are treated with the nine-minute mind journey called "Tethered on The Wheel". It starts off with some beautiful classical guitar and dreamy vocals. I just love the vibe! Some noisy electric guitar is added occasionally to a great effect. The instrumental "Sun and Steel" begins with rather minimal sound effects and is a sort of experimental, psychedelic sound collage type of affair. The album's longest piece is the 14-minute "Catch a Falling Star" where Fred really takes us to another plane with his dreamy, hazy and hallucinogenic soundscapes and melancholic melodies. The track grows towards the end in a great way! A true modern psych rock masterpiece, I'd say. Starting and ending with some water sounds the beautiful and peaceful "The Blistering Of Summer Heat" ends the album in a very psychedelic manner... First it's mostly acoustic but more intense elements are added in the middle... Phew! I must add that the amazing album cover art suits the atmosphere perfectly just like the turquoise clear vinyl.  All in all, Soul Weaver is definitely one of the best psychedelic albums I have heard this year and will leave the listener in a dreamy, other-worldly state for a while just like good psych should in my opinion. It's all about escapism and other dimensions, baby. This will be a future classic in its genre.

www.facebook.com/EarthlingSociety

 

lauantai 24. lokakuuta 2020

Jonathan Segel - Outside Inside

 Self-released

Jonathan Segel is an American multi-instrumentalist now living in Sweden. He's been active in various music scenes since the mid 80's when he started in Camper Van Beethoven, one of the main bands he's been a member of. He's done music for films and dance, electronic music, experimental, field recordings, avant-garde, improvisation, folk music, rock music, psychedelic music, you name it. Lately he's been part of the ever-changing line up of Øresund Space Collective and that's how I got to know him. Jonathan of course has a vast collection of albums released during several decades and his first solo album came out already in 1988. Outside Inside is his latest outing and was finalised during the covid-19 lockdown period, although he had been working on the tracks for two years. You can read his detailed story about the album over here.

So, what do we have here? The album has 17 pieces, but only two actual "songs" that have vocals. First of them is the great indie rock opener "All Signs Point to You See" that also features a female singer, Kelly Atkins. The music style and overal vibe varies quite a lot so there are some totally electronic pieces, some more rock/guitar oriented, violin tracks, weird experimental soundscapes (he likes to make sounds with rocks!) and combinations of all of these. The sound quality and production is superb all the way, so you can say this sounds very professional, although mostly pretty eclectic and out of the mainstream for sure. And that's just the way I like it! Some of the stuff is rather far away from easy-listening as well, but it's all still very enjoyable but maybe too experimental for some. Psych-heads will find some interesting passages to get spaced-out to as well. One of my favourites is the over eight-minute "Blow Up My Crocodile" that has nice acoustic guitar as well as field-recordings etc. I also really like the other "song" "Rider or the Train" that has cool fuzzy electric guitar, acoustic guitar and beautiful vocals by Jonathan and Kelly. I wish there would have been more songs like this! All in all, this a very interesting, creative and multi-layered album with lots of stuff to get into so check it out! While you're at it, also try out Jonathan's very nice Here Comes Sunhine single and his recent jqm collaboration Transatlantic Space Connection,very cool stuff as well!

www.jonathansegel.com

torstai 15. lokakuuta 2020

Sounds of New Soma - Birne / Maya 10" EP

Tonzonen Records (TON091)

This is a brand-new 10" by our favourite modern electronic ambient Krautrockers Sounds of New Soma. This duo presents maybe their best track so far with the ultra hypnotic and groovy "Birne". After the mesmerising beats and mind-altering sounds fade out you find yourself in a pleasant dream-state and you can't say if you just spent ten minutes in our reality or thousand aeons on the Elysian Fields. Just wow, a true psychedelic master-piece!

Things get more elelctronic on the flip side. "Maya" is another new ten-minute-plus piece and again a winner. This is bit more minimal but spacey and psychedelic as hell. Think of early Astralasia with modern sound and you'll get close. I really like this one as well, trance guaranteed! ! There are only 300 copies of this beautiful orange/red vinyl EP so get it fast since we're talking about a future collectable here.

www.facebook.com/SoundsOfNewSoma

tiistai 13. lokakuuta 2020

Duncan Harris – On Track: Hawkwind – Every Album, Every Song

Sonicbond Publishing

 

I bet it's not a big surprice to anyone that I'm a huge Hawkwind fan, have been for the last 30 years. As the inventors of space rock and one of the main players in psychedelia as a whole their importance from the late 60s onwards has been massive to the undrground culture and music in general. They have been influencing whole generations of musicnauts from different scenes like punk rock and techno. And they are still rocking!

There are lots of books written by Hawkwind and I have read most of them. This one is another volume in the On Track series, and why not. Maybe there is not much one can add to the Hawkwind saga already put on paper but there are always new ways to present the story. There are also always people who start their journey into space right here with this particular book. So I think the publishing of this book was a good idea, even though it might not give much new data to long-time Hawkwind fanatics like myself.

Duncan Harris goes through most of the studio albums of the band as well as (only) three live albums. He has also included Robert Calvert's first solo album since it more or less features all of Hawkwind as well as the studio album recorded as Hawklords. It is understandable that he could not include ALL the possible semi-official, unofficial, released under a new name etc. releases since there are hundreds of those! The core albums do just fine.  He has divided the story into nine chapters: Dawn of the Hawks, Day of the Hawks (1971-1975), Charisma and quarks (1976-1979), Measles and Heavy Metal (1980-1982), Night of the Hawks (1983-1991), Oldie Rock, or, how Iron Maiden saved Hawkwind (1992-1998), War of the Hawks (1999-2006) and Hawkwind Ascendant (2007-). The story starts from the first gig as Hawkwind Zoo and debut album recorded with Dick Taylor of The Pretty Things and ends with the 2019 album All Abroad the Skylark. I like the way Harris defines every track in a few sentences capturing the essense of them. I might not always agree with him on all aspects, though, but most of the time I do. Occasionally, he has included out-takes/ bonus tracks on later CD editions. Also lyrics, album cover consepts, personnel changes and a lot of other historical issues are dealt with, when suitable. Every band book has to have some pictures and we get some tasty live ones in the middle where also the album covers are pictured.

All in all, I think that Ducan Harris has done a great job here and surely knows what he is writing about. I'm sure all fans will enjoy reading this book and it would also be a great place to start your Hawkwind journey. Warmly recommended!

www.sonicbondpublishing.co.uk/


perjantai 2. lokakuuta 2020

Astral Magic - Pathway to the Stars now available!

 Listen and buy the album!

torstai 1. lokakuuta 2020

Astral Magic - Pathway to the Stars to be released tomorrow!

Hello! As some of you know, during the COVID-19 lock-down I decided to use my time creatively and started to write and record music again after a long hiatus. This project was named Astral Magic according to a song I wrote for my old band Dark Sun. I bought some synths and recording gear and have so far made about 80 tracks of spacey, psychedelic music. Some of it rocks, some of it is more ambient, electronic and experimental in nature. Since I'm only learning music production my good friend Scott Heller (Øresund Space Collective etc.) offered to give a hand on mixing and mastering. Scott also invited his friend Martin Weaver (ex-Dark/Wicked Lady!) to help out on guitar, since I still don't own an electric guitar, which was fantastic! Martin ended up playing guitar on most of the tracks and we already finished a space rock album called Visions of Infinity to be released on Space Rock Productions in February 2021.

But, since I tend to be pretty productive and fast when I get into something, I also made a more electronic/cosmic/ambient/experimental album while waiting anxiously for the Visions of Infinity to be released! This album is called Pathway to the Stars. The eleven tracks chosen for this release were recorded in between March and September. This time I mixed the stuff by myself but Scott again offered to help and mastered the whole thing which made a huge difference. On this album I was helped by Peter Dingham (Sendelica etc.) and Vince Cory (Sonic Trip Project etc.) on guitar and you will be hearing more contributions from both in future Astral Magic releases as well. I intended to do a very limited CD-R or tape release but I just had to buy a new computer and better music programs so I have no money for that at the moment. So, for now at least, it will only be a digital release on Dark Sun Bandcamp site. If you have a label and would like to release it in physical form please get in touch! 

The album will be online tomorrow, please check it out!

Here's the opener, "Hyper Realities":

maanantai 28. syyskuuta 2020

The Soft Hearted Scientists - The Continuing Escapades of The Soft Hearted Scientists

 Regal Crabomophone (winkle 42)

The Welsh psychedelicists The Soft Hearted Scientists are one of the best  I've become to know through Fruits de Mer label and I am forever grateful for that. Their What Ever Happened To The Soft Hearted Scientists 2LP + 7" compilation put out in 2013 opened a lot of doors in my mind. I realised that simple, whimsical, melodic pop/folk songs could be very psychedelic and mind-expanding, even if they were not done by Syd Barrett... I have been following the band ever since as well as Nathan Hall And The Sinister Locals, another project by the singer. 

Some of the band's early CDs have been luckily reissued on vinyl lately which has been cool, but the latest albums are still only out on CD. Now it's finally possible to hear also some of the greatests tracks from The Slow Cyclone (2014) and Golden Omens (2016) from a big, nice vinyl disc! There are 19 songs on the first two LP's all together. In addition to a bit older tracks (alsa a couple from
2013's False Lights, for example, a well as the long "Westward Leading" from 20011's Wondermoon, check out the video) the first double LP is finished with the extended version of their 2019 single "Please Read Me". Wonderful!

But that of course wasn't all this package features. Now a sort of FdM trusted man and house remix guy Swordfish (Astralasia) has conjured up two albums full of his vision of what the music of The Soft Hearted Scientists could be in an instrumental, innovative remix form! "Astral Adventure 1, 2, 3 and 4" are all one-side long-sound collages that really expose the greatness of this music in another light. No ambient/techno beats were added this time, though, just some sound effects in between the pieces when needed. A very welcome bonus for this great compilation, I must say! I'm really digging this one as a whole.

www.softheartedscientists.com/


Various Artists - Head in the Clouds

Fruits de Mer Records (stange fish eighteen)

Head in the Clouds continues the marvellous krautrock tribute series of Fruits de Mer Records. This time we'll get a massive 2LP/2CD set with almost four hours' worth of cosmic sounds inspired by Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel, Popol Vuh and the German electronic music scene of the early 70s! The amazing 24 tracks are originals apart from the more up-tempo Ashra cover by the excellent Maat Lander. Most of the tracks are previously unreleased, at least in physical form, so you really get your money's worth of goodies here.

We don't have time to go through all the tracks (no overlapping on LP/CD) right now but here is the list:


LP1 side 1
1 Jah Buddha - Direction Berlin (12:53)
2 Craig Padilla and Marvin Allen - Aquatic (7:44)

LP1 side 2
1 Trace Imprint - Flow and Connect (10:26)
2 Maat Lander - Ocean Of Tenderness (originally by Ashra, 4:15)
3 Saturn's Ambush - Van Allen Belt (6:19)

LP2 side 1
1 Jack Ellister - Der Schiffer (2:33)
2 Anton Barbeau - 'Berlin School Of Doubt' (6:38)
3 exedra - Exoplanet Transit (5:58)
4 MAC of BIOnighT - Scars (6:45)

LP2 side 2
1 Under Golden Canopy - Under Golden Canopy (10.33)
2 Son of Ohm - Pixies (11:49)

CD1
1 Craig Padilla and Marvin Allen - Weathering The Storm
2 Brendan Pollard - Sequenzerzeit (10:02)
3 Jay Tausig - Triangulum (20.42)
4 Mac of BIOnighT - Manmade Horrors (6.55)
5 The Lost Stoned Pandas - Track One (Metal Mickey mix) (4:42)
6 Jah Buddha - Wall Of Blissando (11:25)
7 Vibravoid - Im Zentrum Des Kosmos Ist Ein Auge Das Alles Sieht (10:35)

CD2
1 Trace Imprint - ...As We Walked Under Water (4:17)
2 Sula Bassana - Shushie's Reise (21.29)
3 Craig Padilla - Galaxia (10:42)
4 Helicon Wave - For Edgar (8:35)
5 Blue Lily Commission - Half Asleep At The Blue Gates Of Evening (19:14)
6 Black Tempest - The Sun Rises, The Sun Sets, The Moon Shines (8:18) 

So, a lot of superb acts already known from the Fruits de Mer circles but also some newcomers, at least for me. Most of the music is electronic/synthesizer oriented but there is also quite a lot of guitar etc. in there. Apart from a few spoken word passages all of it is instrumental. I just love each and every tune and I feel this mind-expanding compilation will also be a great inspiration for the more electronic/ambient side of my own psychedelic space/kraut project Astral Magic. Once again I found out by some new bands and artists I didn't know about before (check out Trace Imprint and Jah Buddha for example) as well as got to hear new stuff by my favourites like Vibravoid, Sula Bassana and Maat Lander so I am in electronic kraut heaven! For the vinyl purists it might feel a bit odd that a label founded to release only limited edition vinyl releases is now also putting out CDs but a 5LP box would have been too pricey for a lot of people, that's true. I like the production and flow of how the album has been put together and love this kind of music so I'm sure this marvellous release will be in my 2020 top 10 list. Warmly recommended!

www.fruitsdemerrecords.com/clouds.html

 

lauantai 26. syyskuuta 2020

Golden Lampreys - I Had My Fun If I Don’t Get Well No More

 Future Lunch (FL-016)

Golden Lampreys was an "electric acid blues hoodoo from the northern delta", meaning a band from Pori, Finland. This is their second (and sadly last...) release following the debut 12" Just Because You Did It Doesn't Mean You're Guilty" a couple of years ago. You can check my review here for some background info. The four songs on this limited (75 copies only!) tape release are the last recordings the band ever put together so there is even more sadness and despair in the air somehow.

The opener, "Sail on, Little Girl" is perhaps the closest one to have some appeal to Astral Zone Blog readers. I think I can hear some Spacemen 3 in there and the hypnotic, heavy guitar riff evokes some primal early Circle vibes in me. Although this is the fastest track on the tape it's still rather slow and dark. I actually like this a lot! "Louie, Louie" is not the popular song you maybe thought it was but a slow, rather minimal dark wave / Gothic styled and very depressive track. "Boogie" might not be what is usually meant with the expression either... But it still has something in common with the original boogie and blues, that melancholic "my baby left me" vibe but transformed into this millenia and in a more lysergic, electronic mode. Things get very mesmerising by the end, I like the synths on this one. Cool! "Spellbound Heart" ends the EP with some dark vocals that bring to mind Johnny Cash at times. I again enjoy the synths as well. All in all this is an enjoyable, although utterly depressing little tape that works very well as a funeral release to this odd, short-lived project.

www.facebook.com/goldenlampreys/

 

tiistai 22. syyskuuta 2020

Desert Lord - Symbols

 Under a Serpent Sun (USSR-004)

This is the second full-length release by Finnish stoner doom metal band Desert Lord. It follows the great 2014 CD To the Unknown (check out my review over here) and is released on vinyl. They also have one limited 7" put out in 2011. Like before, vocals on some of the tracks are harsher and on some cleaner which gives a nice balance. Personally I get bored if all the vocals are the same in this kind of music. The sound is a bit home-grown somehow but just fine for the Desert Lord vibe I think. You can't except small bands like this to go to expensive top studios, do you?

Like on the debut, the band kicks things off with an energetic opener. I really like the lyrics of the tittle track "Symbols", hear them out... A killer song! "Damage Dealt" is a slower, bluesy, moody and more desert rock oriented, long tune, not bad at all. Then is time for something heavier when "The Arsonist" blows your speakers! Some serious screaming on this one. "Sinner's Playground" is a doomy, dark piece with some faster parts and a groovy, cool middle jam part. I know I haven't said it yet but I really like the guitar solos on this album and the playing is top-notch all the way. Then some more emotional stuff with "The Funeral", I'm reminded of Sweden's Goatess (who the Desert Lord guys have shared the stage with). Nice, melodic vocals on this one. The guitar solo here brings to mind the legendary Mark "The Shark" Shelton (R.I.P.) from Manilla Road, so... One of my favorite tracks! The beginning of "Keys to the Peace" reminds me of "Come Together" by The Beatles... Then things get heavier, of course! And rather intense and noisy, towards the end. "Close the Curtains" is a little acoustic piece to round things up nicely. All in all, this is killer stoner doom album that has a suitably varied set of songs and vibes. The cover art is cool as well! The album will be released on the 25th. Try it out!

www.facebook.com/desertlorddoom

sunnuntai 20. syyskuuta 2020

Automatism - Immersion

 Tonzonen Records (TON088)

The Swedish group Automatism have just released their latest album Immersion and I've got to say it's really great, instrumental, jazzy, krauty, proggy psych rock once again! They seldom go over the top in psychedelic experiments so their music might be quite easy to digest for some more mainsteam listeners as well. Lots of great melodies don't hurt either! Still, this is definitely not your normal radio-friendly pop music, that's for sure. The music has a very hypnotic, soothing effect and the tracks are pretty long, around eight minutes on this album.

The first piece "Heatstroke #2" has great twin guitar melodies and a synth solo making it pretty progressive rock sounding. A bit faster krautrock number "Falcon Machine" is perhaps the most psychedelic piece on the album and one of my favourites as well. Get lost to the hypnotic web of sound! "Monochrome Torpedo" is a slow, dreamy track that fills your head with hazy moods, very nice. "New Box" has a bit oriental, mystical vibe that I like. "Smoke Room" is a very slow and sort of bluesy piece. I like especially the atmospheric ending. The album is finished with the sunny mid-tempo "Last Train" that has some jazzy vibes in there as well with electric piano, Mellotron and stuff. Wonderful! This is another killer album by this stellar band so my warmest recommendations! There are 300 copies on vinyl and it is also available on CD.

www.facebook.com/automatismband/

perjantai 11. syyskuuta 2020

Sounds Of New Soma ‎– Live At Studio Helmtown

Tonzonen Records (TON085)

I guess you can say that the appearance of this limited (just 200 copies on a very cool blue with black dust vinyl!) LP is one of the GOOD things the COVID-19 has brought us. Since live gigs were banned this German psychedelic, experimental kraut/ambient unit did a live stream gig in a studio for YouTube. The first part of this gig (around 35 min) was already released digitally on the band's Bandcamp site in April and now the rest of it (44 plus min) is out on vinyl. If you (like myself...) are sad that the whole gig was not released on 2LP you can always try to locate a copy of a tape release that have them both! This is even rarer with just 100 copies though.

Anyway, let's focus on this actual release/gig for a while. The line-up was this time just the core duo of Alex Djelassi and Dirk Raupach so no live drums for example. This LP includes one, massive cosmic ambient jam edited for the two LP sides as "First Mushroom" and "Second Mushroom". The sound quality is superb and I love the vibe these guys cancreate with just electric guitar, synthesizers, sequencers, keybords and drum machines! You will be transported to a mysterious, colourful and weird plane of existence once again. The first ten or so minutes are just peaceful, atmospheric floating until the drum machine kicks in. I get some Tangerine Dream vibes along the way but the music is still very original and highly entertaining and interesting. You really get carried away with it and just can't stop listening... Very addictive! There is another totally ambient phase again before the rather modern sounding beat gets added on the B-side. I like the organ sounding drone. Towards the end they go through some weird, very hypnotic sonic scenery... Phew! What can I say, another killer album by the superb SONS, get it while you can!

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keskiviikko 2. syyskuuta 2020

Hotlist May - August 2020

Phew, how time flies... When you are making music, that is. I have now made over 50 tracks since the middle of March so not any time or interest for reviews, Mixcloud shows or even Hotlists... But I try to get back to all these little by little. Here's some of the hottest stuff that has been spinning at Astral Zone HQ during those short moments I have not been making more Astral Magic music:

Tuhosieni - Kiinni sinuun

Sei Still - S/T

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. Feat: Geoff Leigh ‎– Chosen Star Child's Confession

Slift ‎– UMMON

Ashinoa ‎– Sinie Sinie

Vibravoid ‎– The Decomposition Of Noise

Yuri Gagarin ‎– The Outskirts Of Reality

Mara Balls ‎– Ratina Live '18

Custard Flux ‎– Echo

Vibravoid ‎– Psychedelic Blueprints Volume 2 (Alternative Versions, Mixes And Masters 1994-2019)

Eat Lights Become Lights ‎– Live

The Lost Stoned Pandas ‎– Tune In, Turn On, Get Panda'd

Vert:x ‎– HED

Autotelia ‎– I 

Spiral Galaxy ‎– S/T

Vespero ‎– The Four Zoas

Permanent Clear Light ‎– Cosmic Comics

Dr Space's Alien Planet Trip ‎– Vol.4 Space With Bass

Centre El Muusa ‎– S/T

Schizo Fun Addict ‎– The Last Wave