Listen to the latest Astral Visions Mixcloud Show!

torstai 19. maaliskuuta 2020

Hawkfan 54

In January 2020 Brian Tawn published the 54th issue of his wonderful Hawkfan zine. This of course is a must-have for all the hardcore Hawkwind fans. This issue is dedicated to the loveable and very talanted Harvey Bainbridge (Ark, Sonic Assassins, Hawkwind, Hawklords, solo etc.).

It must be stated that Brian's focus on this new issue is a bit off the actual Mothership Hawkwind, probably due to reasons that the core of the fanbase already knows. But good enough excuse is that Brian just didn't go to any of the 50th anniversary gigs last year. Anyway, there are live reports of several HW off-shoots that are still very interesting to the HW fans.

Mr. Dibs has been busy after leaving Hawkwind. He plays in Evil Blizzard, for example, and Brian tells about his experiences at Onboard the Craft festival where the band played in September. Sounds like fun and entertaining! The main part of the zine is filled with a nine-page report of the Hawklords tour. It's great that the true spirit of Hawkwind is kept alive by some great chaps and musicians. I really need to see this band live! Luckily there is a live album on the way.

To finish off, there's a rather long Damnation Alley section where Alan goes through all the recent Hawkwind and related releases. Wonderful! Personally I would recommend the Alan Davey's Psychedelic Warlords albums and espacially the Hawkestrel album. Some bootlegs in there as well. All in all, if you are a true fan you of course need this so get in contact with Brian.

Join the Hawkfan Facebook group over here.

keskiviikko 18. maaliskuuta 2020

The Lost Stoned Pandas - Tune In... Turn On... Get Panda'd

Regal Crabomophone (winkle 39)

Wow, this is something rather special... The Lost Stoned Pandas is a project that was first discussed about during the recordings of the Sendelica/The Orb/Secret Knowledge 12" Windmill (read my review over here). Sendelica's Pete and Secret Knowledge's Kris asked aboard a few friends (including Astralasia's Marc Swordfish) and band colleagues to insure that a full-on psychedelic experience will be transmitted to the listener. And it sure is! We already got a little taster of things to come with the very rare one-sided Panda 1 - Pandamonium 12" lathe-cut last year, but it had only one same track and in different mix.

Tune In... Turn On... Get Panda'd is a double vinyl album with three side-long tracks and three a bit shorter ones on side C. The recordings took place in Wales in July 2019 and Pete, Marc and Colin re-assembled and mixed all the stuff during the Autumn/Winter. The music is highly hallucinogenic, ambient, spacey and atmospheric with lots of weird samples, ethereal guitar, electronics, keyboards, bass, drums, violin, cello etc. It has a very dreamy effect making the listener transport into a strange, wonderful fairy land where magic is real and none of the real word problems have any signifigance. The first LP is very tranquil and peaceful, but on side C the band have bit bit more danceable, folky trance vibe. Astralasia, one of my favourite electronic acts ever, comes to mind. Side D sounds pretty experimental and far-out, a lot of remixing and manipulating on this one... Very mind-expanding stuff! Make sure you get a copy of this weird but marvellous album if you are not afraid of long, trippy jams and strange soundscapes. Also available on CD from the Sendelica Bandcamp site.

maanantai 16. maaliskuuta 2020

Dubbal - The Return of the Lonesome Traveller


Dubbal is a psychedelic space rock/dub band formed by ex-members of the 80s/90s UK psych/blues/space rock festie band Dr. Brown. The line-up is Kev Ellis -vocals, Andy Radburn - synths, Alan Shaw - bass, Nick May - lead guitar  and Grunty - rhythm guitar. You probably have heard them in other projects later on as well. There have been several low-key releases by Dubbal since 2015 but this is the first one that I have really checked out. I'm glad I did since this is really great stuff!

The opener "Out Or In" is spacey, atmospheric and psychedelic mid-tempo space rock with a long intro. This is really deep, hypnotic stuff and I am instantly in love. "Fly On In" is happier, reggae/dub inspired track. Reggae is not exactly my cup of herbal tea but suff like this works okay for me done by likes of Ozric Tentacles and Hawkwind and this also gets my blessing. Great for dancing, I bet. The ten-minute "Bring Me The Head Of ..... ......." is the albums highlight. This is high-energy heavy space rocking bringing to mind Hawkwind, The Ship of Fools and several others. Feel your mind expand more and more every second! The main riff is really driving and energetic, but there are also trippy ambient sections of course. Wow!!! I'm so glad some-one is still making music that sounds like this, my favourite kind of music for sure. The last track is the 15-plus-minute "The Return Of The Lonesome Traveller". This is a more adventurous and emotional journey into the space rock heaven. After a long, trippy and atmopsheric beginning the rocking starts and we fly though space in a very hallucinogenic setting. Superb! The album is released on CD and digital download but I think it also needs a vinyl issue. Somebody please do it!!! I also want to hear some more stuff by the band a.s.a.p. Get spaced out with Dubbal!

lauantai 14. maaliskuuta 2020

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #92 now online!

Astral Visions #92 now online, stay home, stay safe & enjoy the music! Tracks by Helicon, Dubbal, Giöbia, The Spacelords, Domboshawa, Cary Grace, Sleeping Pandora, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Oulu Space Jam Collective, Kungens Män, The Lost Pandas & E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr.

tiistai 3. maaliskuuta 2020

Kungens Män ‎– Trappmusik

Adansonia Records (AR035)

Kungens Män from Sweden have been busy! After releasing two new studio albums last year on Riot Season they have just put out a marvellous DOUBLE vinyl album on Adansonia Records! Like the previous outing Hårt Som Ben Trappmusik was recorded at the legendary Silence Studio in the middle of the ancient, magical and vast forests of Värmland. As always, the instrumental music is totally improvised on the spot. With six musicians they have created a bit eerie, hypnotic but adventurous, experimental and psychedelic sonic universe. The mostly contemplative album is varied enough to keep the listener interested for the whole trip and especially the saxophone adds a pretty jazzy vibe to some of the pieces.

There are seven jams on the album, ranging from five to almost 18 minutes in length. "Fånge i universum" starts off the journey with at first tranquil, spiritual and jazzy jamming that grows on its way to the stars until cooling down in the end. Excellent! The sort of weird "Senvägen" utilises basic drum machine beat and puts you in a trance. "Tricksen för transen" comes handy at this point... This one gets a bit heavier on the guitars which is great. Later on the track has a rather tribal, mystical feel to it. With it's organ and melodic guitar work "Främmande i tillvaron" sounds a bit more traditionally Swedish reminding me of some of the slower, atmospheric tracks by Goat and some other, also older Swedish acts. Wonderful! "Vibbdirektivet" is 15 minutes of celestial, echoed and peaceful soundscapes, very blissful indeed. On the five-minute "Lastkajen" the band gets a bit more experimental again, some early krautrock vibes here perhaps? The album is finished with the massive title track "Trappmusik" where we get some more jazzy sax again. In the middle the track starts to rock out a little too but nothing gets too out of hand. All in all, I must say that Trappmusic is perhaps the best album by Kungens Män. It's good to hear them constantly mutating and experimenting without loosing their essence. Make sure you get this album if you are a fan of instrumental psych jams! There are only 500 copies (two different editions) of this on vinyl so good luck finding a copy.

Hotlist January-February

Okay, these are the 10 hottest pieces of new vinyl from the two first couple of months in 2020:

Meteor Vortex ‎– Spiraled Beyond The Reach
Zone Six ‎– Kozmik Koon
Cult Of Dom Keller ‎– Ascend!
Giöbia ‎– Plasmatic Idol
Helicon ‎– This Can Only Lead To Chaos
Automatism ‎– Into The Sea
Oulu Space Jam Collective ‎– Drug Rings Of Saturn
Domboshawa ‎– Fyra
Dhidalah ‎– Threshold
Kungens Män ‎– Trappmusik


perjantai 28. helmikuuta 2020

Electric Moon ‎– Cellar Overdose

Worst Bassist Records ‎(WBR_LP/CD_000)

Okay, what we've got here is in fact the second reissue of an Electric Moon gig recorded 27.01.2012 at Darmstadt Kulturkeller, Germany. The gig was first released on a very limited CD-R (Cellar Space Live Overdose - Darmstadt)
in early 2012 and then as part of the 2LP Cellar Space Live Overdose together with two live tracks recorded at KulturKeller, Fulda a few months later. Since both of these releases are of course long-gone collectors items, it was time for a reissue to feed the hunger of the new fans. The band was not really that happy with the quality of the KulturKeller tracks, so only the Darmstadt stuff was reissued. A good choice, since this is the killer stuff.

There are no overdubs, so you get the 100% live experience. The vinyl version has the two longer tracks (same as on the 1st LP of Cellar Space Live Overdose): "The Soul Feeder" and "The Idle Glance", the CD also has the third jam from the original CD-R release called "Lost And Found Souls". This is a bit shorter: "only" 16 minutes! The sound quality is really good for a live recording like this. These jams are some of the most psyched-out by Electric Moon so if you missed the previous releases this is a must have for all the fans. Personally I think that even if you have the gig already on CD-R and 2LP this new version is worth getting for the superb new cover art alone! Both the CD and LP are limited to just 500 copies so I bet they will also sold out soon. Get it and get spaced-out as well!

keskiviikko 19. helmikuuta 2020

Lucifer Was ‎– Underground And Beyond

Sommor (SOMM055)

Lucifer Was is a progressive hard rock band from Oslo, Norway. They were first formed in 1970 and played together until 1975 without recording an album. They reformed in 1996, went into a studio and recorded Underground And Beyond in just 18 hours. The album included songs originally written in 1971-72 and was released on picture LP on the Swedish label Record Heaven. After that the band has released six more albums and is still going strong. Underground And Beyond was re-released late last year on the Spanish Sommor label, this time on standard black and limited clear vinyl (as well as on CD).

The band has been descibed as a proto-metal band and a mix in between Black Sabbath,  Jethro Tull and Atomic Rooster. I'd say these descibtions are pretty solid since some of the guitar riffs are rather heavy and the band has lots of flute and progressive influences. There are eleven songs in total and all are at least rather interesting. I prefer the heavy, Black Sabbath-like tracks (like "Teddy's Sorrow", "Out of the Blue" ets.) but the most of the more progressive oriented are great too. I like the fact that some of the album also brings to mind early Pentagram and there are some psychedelic touches in there as well. The playing and vocals are great and I also like the production. Get this now if you didn't do that on the first time!

Cary Grace ‎– Lady of Turquoise

Door 13 Music ‎(D130021)

Wow! Isn't this is a great double CD packed with sublime treats aplenty. I bet many of my readers remember the UK-based songwriter, producer, musician, singer and analogue synth maker Cary Grace from her many excellent cover versions on Fruits de Mer label's releases. She has been putting out psychedelic/progressive/space/art/folk rock music on (apparently her own) Door 13 Music since 2004 but I must admit I only had her latest 2016 CD album The Uffculme Variations that I really enjoyed.

Lady of Turquoise is a massive, 92-minute double CD in an individually numbered mini-LP style gatefold sleeve, with obi strip and clear protective cover. The package also includes two hand-trimmed and finished lyrics booklets, one for each CD. The promo version that I have is a bit different (oh, all those tiny silvery stars...) but has all the music in it, praise the gods. The beautiful and mystical, Egyptian inspired cover picture gives a good hint of what is to come... In addition to Cary (vocals, synthesizers, acoustic & electric guitar, organ, sampling, sequencing, electronics and sound effects) the album features Steffe Sharpstrings (Here & Now, ex-Planet Gong etc, electric guitar), Victoria Reyes (organ, piano and backing vocals), Graham Clark (electric guitr, electric violin), Steve Everitt (string arrangement, electric guitar), Ian West (saxophone), Andy Bole (bouzouki, louto), Andy Budge (bass guitar) and David Paybe (drums). Quite a varied, large cast then, I'd say.

There are 13 tracks together on the two CD's. Most of them are rather laid-back and emotional, pure magic.There are also a few groovier ones for good measure. The album starts off with the spacey, hazy and lazy instrumental "Khepera at the Dawn". "Letterbox" is a folk rock oriented song with some cool, heavy fuzz solo guitar and psych effects. Nice! "Without a Trace" is a bautiful, slow and romantic piece with piano and perfect harmony vocals. This reminds me of Kate Bush a bit. "Into Dust" is like a female equivalent of Nick Saloman / The Bevis Frond and I really like this one. "Afterglow" is another killer track with a darker edge this time. The spoken word works really great just like the superb electric guitar and spacey synths. Excellent! "Film Noir" is again more romantic, peaceful and pretty stuff. The first disc is finished with the over 12-minute "Costume Jewellery". Violin and acoustic guitar give this song a sort of ancient, acid folky touch at the beginning. Later on the track grows and gets really trippy, just wait...

The pretty and tranquil "Moonflowers (Fade to Black)" is first on the second disc. The vibe is similar to some of the Crystal Jacqueline songs, very nice. "Sacrifice" has a bit groovier beat going on and some great musicianship all over. If you remember the UK underground band Census of Hallucinations you get the picture. "Memory" is a beaufiful, melancholic ballad and the rocking "Castle of Dreams" the third longest track on the album at 11:20. This could almost be an unreleased Magic Mushroom Band track! Things get more ethereal towards the end. Then it's time for a shorter, experimental ambient synthesizer piece "The Land of Two Fields". The title track "Lady of Turquoise" is saved for the last and it is without a question one of the best songs. A bit more up-beat, trancey, mesmerising and danceable, I'm sure this goes down well live too. Some of the synth work brings to mind Hawkwind circa 76 which is always good in my books. The psychedelic hypnosis goes on for almost 12 minutes and I enjoy the whole ride. An excellent ending to a great, lengthy album that does not get boring for a second. Now all we need is a double vinyl version!

The Spacelords ‎– Space Flowers

Tonzonen Records (TON 071)

For ten years the German psychedelic space rock trio The Spacelords have been working on their way up the ranks in heavy, spacey and mind-altering instrumental rock music. Space Flowers is their ninth album if you count the split LP with Dhvani and I'm happy to say I've got them all. The band is getting more and more attention with every new record and like the previous LP's this new one (1000 copies on clear yellow or green vinyl) was sold-out from the label on pre-order alone. No worries, though: a repressing is already on the works!

Like before, the three tracks on the album are loooooong! First, the 13:30 long title track blows your minds with hypnotic, mid-tempo space rock blasting. This track also includes some Moog and Hammond by Didi Holzner which sounds great! In the middle things get rather heavy too. Wonderful! "Frau Kuhnkes Kosmos" is a bit faster and more in-your-face stuff, pretty energetic. What really gives me cosmic, aural pleasure is the last, over 24-minute-long track "Cosmic Trip". It's divided into three parts and really takes the listener "somewhere out there"... There's lots of emotion, power, strange inner/outer space vibes, some Oriental influnces, excellent playing & cool experimentation, you name it. Just Wow! The Spacelords have done it again, Space Flowers is already a strong candidate for the top 10 psych rock album list for 2020.

torstai 13. helmikuuta 2020

Obiter - The Deluge EP


I'm happy that there is a healthy, bushy undergrowth of stoner/doom metal bands in Finland. Some of them are more 70s hard rock oriented, some total sludge, some really out there and some worship Sabbath. Orbiter from Helsinki mostly fits the last description with their heavy, riff-based and rather traditional style of heavy, doomy rock, although they also have a psychedelic twist and the great new female vocalist makes them stand out. I have previously reviewed their split 7" with Roadog and now it's time for a four-track 12" EP.

The Deluge includes four new songs. "Bone to Earth" is a slow, heavy and doomy track that reminds me of Electric Wizard a bit, although the sound is not so muddy and drugged-out. Some Candlemass vibes in there as well. Great riffs and vocals on this one! "Astral Racer" is a shorter, faster and almost instrumental stoner rocker and a bit more progressive too. On "Orchids" the band takes a groovy, bluesy 70s/Sabbathy hard rock touch that they also can master pretty well. "In Echoes" is a return to the slow doom metal universe and there is also some more experimental, atmospheric and spacey stuff in there to make things more interesting. Nice! In summary, this is a great little EP that has enough variation, great songs, playing, singing and production and I also love the cover art. The 12" is limited to just 200 copies so be fast if you want one!

keskiviikko 12. helmikuuta 2020

Vibravoid - Out of Tune in Rosenheim: Triptamine EP Vol 6

Stoned Karma Records

Vibravoid has it's beginning in the hazy days of 1990 and celebrate their 30th anniversary with many very interesting releases. This new limited edition 2LP was recorded during the band's Psychedelic Christmas Experience Tour last December. Without the band even knowing the gig in Rosenheim was recorded from the soundboard and after a lot of careful mixing is finally out next month. There were some problems like missing a few mics on the drums but all in all this album sounds awesome and will fill the sonic and psychedelic needs of all Vibravoid fans.

The A side includes four shorter psych hits: "Colour Your Mind", the new single "World of Pain" and two masterpieces from the debut album, "Just 13" and "Lovely Lady Deb O'Nair". The trio of guitarist/singer, drummer and organist works great as always. I love the way Vibravoid can do a full, whole piece of art in just four minutes or expand it into 20 or even 40 minutes and still keep things fresh and interesting. Next it's time for the long & trippy live favourite "Ballspeaker" that fills the whole side B. My mind is blown to pieces! It's always a bit different with tons of freaky improvisation and I just love it. Then we've got two a bit shorter songs again. "Playing with Beuys" from 2008's The Politics Of Ecstasy has always been one of my favourite Vibravoid songs and it sounds excellent here as well. The midtempo 2014 single track "Rheinflow" is nice to hear in the set. The dreamy and trippy "Your Mind Is At Ease" fills up the last 12 minutes of side C with psychedelic bliss. One of the most played Vibravoid cover song must be "Mother Sky" by the legendary krautrockers Can. I have heard several other cover versions as well but Vibravoid's is always the best! In the middle of this gigantic 18-minute piece we can also hear the "Sky Saxon Mantra" to make things even more psyched-out... Wow! Out of Tune in Rosenheim definitely is one of the best live releases of Vibravoid so a must-have for all the fans.

sunnuntai 2. helmikuuta 2020

Charivari - Descent

Worst Bassist Records (WBR LP 001 / WBR CD 001)

Worst Bassist Records is a " Motorik-Post-Rock-Space-Punk-Drone-Love-Acid Underground Label" by Electric Moon's lovely bass player Komet Lulu. The name of the label comes from a nasty YouTube comment on Lulu's bass playing skills... It's great that something great can grow from bad manners and rudeness! The first release on the label (WBR LP 000 / CD 000) was an Electric Moon reissue but more on that later. I don't know how Lulu found out about the dreamy post/indie/psych/noise rock shoegazers Charivari from Bath UK, since this album is their first. I'm still happy she did, since I like this band.

The 49-minute CD version has seven songs, the LP one less. "When Leviathan Dreams" starts off slowly and peacefully and then we are in a hazy, reverberating, dreamy shoegazer heaven. It brings back some 90s indie Brit rock/pop memories in a positive way. Great! "Lotus Eater" is a bit more intense and heavier, a very effective track sounding a bit like Reflecter era Sun Dial. Wow! Next we get the faster, sort of post-punky "Aphotic". "Down by the River" is a slow, pretty ballad, and "Descent" an ambient, experimental instrumental. "Alexandria" is an emotional song that even brings to mind The Cure. The album is finished with the 11-minute "Scavengers of the Wind" that changes from atmospheric floating to heavy, noisy fuzz rocking. Pretty intense stuff but still enjoyable and not totally out of control. In summary, Descent is a very promising debut album and I bet Charivari will appeal to a lot of people into various genres. The album will come out at the end of the month and can be preordered from the label's web site.

PH ‎– Osiris Hayden

Svart Records (SVART215)

Okay, sorry Kivelä & co., I'm a bit late with this review. Finland's PH (formely known as Mr. Peter Hayden) dropped their sixth album in November last year. I have followed their career since the debut Faster Than Speed (Or Violating The Special Relativity) put out in 2010 and what a ride it has been. On Osiris Hayden they have replaced the live drums with programmed ones which gives the music a more electronic, industrial feel. You could still (mostly) call the music psychedelic rock, I guess. The sound is massive and overwhelming and rather polished and well produced. The overal vibe is very apocalyptic, gloomy and doomy as always, so no happy dance tracks included.

The album includes nice tracks that are mixed as a continuous, dark journey. There are some more ambient, atmospheric moments but the band can still get very heavy and oppressive. I think I can hear some post metal influences but that is not really my kind of thing so I'm not sure. Definitely lots of industrial/experimental/darkwave/occult or even black metal vibes in there. I think you must be in a certain state of mind to truly understand what this band is about, but when you empty your mind and let their dark, hypnotic music fill your soul you will be thrilled with apocalyptic ecstasy and trance. The album is out on CD, digital and purple vinyl limited to 500 copies, get it if you dare.

lauantai 1. helmikuuta 2020

E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr ‎– Non Plus Ultra

Svart Records (SVART210)

Prepare for take-off into the Cosmos! Turku-based space cadets E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr have just released their third studio album, Non Plus Ultra. They also have two live albums under their Van Allen belt, one from the legendary Roadburn Festival. Also in orbit are a couple of ultra limited tape releases and a split LP with their krautrock co-pilots Hisko Detria.

As always, the space ship Lux Ohr takes us on a wonderous journey all over the known and unknown universe with the aid of synthesizers, keyboards, electronics, sequencers, drum machines and the cosmic electronic/acoustic guitar work of Kimi Kärki (ex-Reverend Bizarre, Lord Vicar, Orne). Non Plus Ultra is released as a double LP limited to 500 copies and it has two tracks on each side. There is also a very limited promo CD edition and you can buy the digital version from the band's Bandcamp site or stream at Spotify etc. All the tracks are marked here as edits, so I guess the original recordings were longer but were cut down to get as much different compositions and variation as possible to fit into 80 minutes. That doesn't of course mean that the pieces are short, they all are in the 5:42 to 12:35 range.

The first two pieces "Die Suche Nach Dem Horizont" and "Bahnhof 77" are wonderful, sequencer-driven, spacey, kosmische Berlin School trips in the vein of early 70s Klaus Schulze or Tangerine Dream. You know what to expect but will for sure enjoy the ride! On "Der Ewige Wanderer" the band successfully tries out something different since acoustic guitar is playing an important role. This is closer to Popol Vuh or the like, very nice, tranquil and psychedelic. There's also some percussion later on to enhance the Popol Vuh vibe. Superb! Also "Aus Dem Kollaps Geboren" is a bit different E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr track starting in very pleasant, peaceful mode but then getting into a sort of dark, hypnotic groove. Amazing! "Hypnogenesis III" starts off slowly and later turns into a TD styled sequencer flight. Nice E-bow guitar by Kimi! "Traumraum" stays rather minimal and quiet all the way through. It is also the shortest piece on the album. "Der Doppelgänger" is another rather peaceful, beautiful, ambient electronic piece to get lost in. The album is finished with the 12-minute "Die Vergangene Zukunft" that gets you deep into space for sure. Excellent work! This album has been in the works for several years and you can really feel the amount of effort and creativity the band has invested in it. A true trippy master piece of modern cosmic ambient electronica!

Please note that the band is performing their record release concert tonight at Tuorna Planetarium in Kaarina. Should be entertaining...

perjantai 31. tammikuuta 2020

Violet Nox - Future Fast EP

Sleep Fuse (SF33)

Violet Nox is an experimental electronics/synths/guitar/vocals ambient/no-wave act from Boston. I have reviewed their Twin Flame EP that was also released on Reverb Worship's electronic only sister label Sleep Fuse last year. Future Fast is rather similar in style but maybe a bit more minimal and weird.

There are four new tracks. The eight-minute "Cosmic Bits" starts up slowly and quietly. I like the cold, bit twisted and spacey vibe and when the beat joins in the track gets sort of going. "Moonshine" is slower and has more vocals. "Super Fan" is pretty experimental ambient stuff and gets rather hallucinogenic as well. "Bell Song" is another electronic ambient excursion to the alternate dimensions. Get a copy of the very limited (50 copies) CD-R from

Lasten Hautausmaa ‎– IV

Svart Records (SVART219CD)

Lasten Hautausmaa (Children's Cemetary) is a cool Finnish pop/rock band that has been gaining quite a lot of attention during the recent years. Their fourth album was released a week ago and I got to say I like it although it's really not my cup of tea musically. This means they are not psychedelic, spacey or heavy. The band was formed in 2013 in Kouvola and the first album was released in 2015 on Svart. They also have a couple of singles and an EP so I guess you could call them pretty prolific.

This is actually the first time I have really listened to the band's music apart from some video tracks etc. I had a feeling they have a great sense for melody and atmosphere, but IV finally proves it. You can hear echoes of some of the best Finnish pop/rock music since at least the 60's, mostly on the melancholic side of course. Also the lyrical themes are usually pretty gloomy but somehow beautiful as well. There's a lot of hit potential on several tracks, if not all. The female/male vocals work really well and the instrumentation is varied enough but still pretty normal. Some of the songs, especially "Punainen ja valkoinen" are like a bit updated Leevi and the Leavings hits and there's nothing wrong with that. There are also a few dreamy ballads of course. My favourite is the rather different, up-beat, rocking and hypnotic "Kaarlo Sarkia 29" that could be an early Death Hawks song. Cool to hear some fuzz guitar in there as well. All in all a nice, pleasant and rather interesting album with great melodies, good songs, excellent musicianship and production. Good, honest old-school pop/rock music with respect for the old Finnish masters.

The band is on tour right now and you can see them tonight at Tavastia in Helsinki!

tiistai 28. tammikuuta 2020

Dj Astro's next gigs

Hello there earthlings & aliens alike!

It's been a spacey New Year so far. These are the first two dj gigs for me this Spring and I must say I'm very excited:

UFOP & Ääniwalli present: Maan Tomu, Meteor Vortex, Missikisat and Deep Space Destructors, 06.03.2020 @ Ääniwalli, Helsinki

Facebook event:

Buy Tickets!

Desert HEL 2020: Lucifer (SWE), The Re-Stoned (RUS), Lonely Kamel (NOR), Kaleidobolt, Craneium, Jupiter etc., 24.-25.04.2020 @ On the Rocks, Helsinki

Facebook event:

perjantai 24. tammikuuta 2020

Automatism ‎– Into The Sea

Tonzonen Records (TON 077)

Into the Sea is the second full-length album by Swedish instrumental kraut/psych rock group Automatism. They have also released one split 10" with Pavallion last year, another great move by Tonzonen. You can also hear these musicians in other groovy bands like Kungens Män, New Rose, Partikel and Fanatism. Their music is largely based on improvisation but they seem to play same tracks at least twice. This is based on the fact that the new album features two re-recorded themes from the debut, the more NEU! tracks oriented "Propeller Propulsion" and "Standing Wave". They are pretty different now, though.

What makes these tracks and the whole session (recorded in Svartsjölandet Studio) feel different is the use of upright bass giving a more jazzy vibe. This is very appropriate since the album features a cool version of the Alice Coltrane classic "Journey In Satchidananda"! Oh joy. In addition, you can fiend a new track, the pretty celestial and tranquil "Sparkler", another winner I might add. So we've got just four numbers but they are long, creative and adventurous so you'll really get your money's worth. All in all, this is highly pleasurable, mind-altering and somehow positive and uplifting experience and warmly recommended. The line-up is Hans Hjelm: guitar, synthesizer, percussion, Gustav Nygren: guitar, Mikael Tuominen: bass, guitar, percussion and Jonas Yrlid: drums. Jakob Sjöholm is also guesting on guitar on the Coltrane cover. This is again a very limited edition of just 300 copies so get it fast or you will miss out!

sunnuntai 19. tammikuuta 2020

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #91 now online!

Check out my first Astral Visions Mixcloud Show of the decade with mind-blowing tracks by Electric Orange, Inkal, The Janitors, Magic Shoppe, Dreamtime, Kirkbinsinek, The Underground Parties, The Cult of Dom Keller, Automatism, Yuum, Doctors of Space, AMT, Vibravoid, ØSC and Violet Nox!

lauantai 18. tammikuuta 2020

Kosmos ‎– Ajan peili

Self-released (Kosmos 005)

Kosmos is a progressive, occasionally Eastern-tingled psych folk/rock group from Turku, Finland. This is their fifth album since the 2005 debut Tarinoita voimasta. I've been a fan since the beginning and reviewed all the previous albums as well, I think. The main band was at the time of recording Päivi Kylmänen: vocals, Kimmo Lähteenmäki: drums, conga-drums, organ, mellotron, Kari Vainionpää: guitar, bass, Olli Valtonen: shrutibox, taalmal and Ismo Virta: guitar, mellotron, organ, synthesizer and drums. In addition, these musicians are also featured: Juha Kulmala: reading, Arto Kuronen: bass, Sini Palokangas: violin, saxophone, xylophone, Kari Riihimäki: electric guitar. That's quite a cast and combination of different instruments and talents and that's also exactly how this album sounds like.

The title track  "Ajan peili" ("The Mirror of Time") is a wonderful, atmospheric, lush and pretty song with nice female vocals, guitars, mellotron, violin etc. As always the ethereal, esoteric vocals are in Finnish but also translated into English on the insert which is cool. Great tune, anyway! "Eilinen" (”Yesterday”) is a more cheerful progressive folk rock number like the bit more acoustic "Kohti taivasta" (”Towards the Sky”). "Aina lähellä" ("Always Close") is a soft, mellow folk piece with ksylofon. "Salainen oppi" ("The Secret Doctrine") is another rather minimal, tranquil piece with some cool mellotron, sax and Pekka Streng vibes.  It is dedicated to Madame Blavatsky... "Jatkuvuus" (”Continuity”) includes meditative narration and is a psychedelic, sort of darker, almost oppressive number and the last track "Minä olen" (”I Am”)  gets closer to progressive space rock á la Gong or something. Very cool, I'm loving especially the end of the album again! You can buy the limited, hand-numbered vinyl edition of 300 copies or professionally printed CD-R and in my opinion you really should. On of the best ten albums released in Finland last year!