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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!

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.

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!

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



keskiviikko 29. heinäkuuta 2020

Culto Al Qondor ‎– Tannhauser Tor

Worst Bassist Records ‎(WORST_LP4)

This is the third LP by Peruvian space/psych/drone rock band Culto Al Qondor, The guys in the band have also been known to make music in such great units as La Ira de Dios, 3AM and Serpentina Satelite. I love all of those! The two previous C. A. Q. albums have been more rock oriented while this new one is pure psychedelic, blizzed out drone. It was recorded live with a cellphone at Drone Bar in July 2019 and includes just guitars, bass, drones & effects, no drums. Don't be scared about the recording method, since the sound quality is still great. A full-blown rock gig might have been too loud to record with a phone but here the sound does not get distorted or anything. Actually, the vibe is just perfect for this kind of experimental, droney sound exploration!

There are only one track on each side, "Part 1" and "Part 2", apparently one long instrumental jam was just edited to two pieces for this limited vinyl issue. The music is very hypnotic and dreamy, not too noisy or heavy to close your eyes and enjoy the ride inside the cosmos. This is not ROCK in the strict sense but very spacey and psychedelic. This is a very tranquil, pleasant journey and I really enjoy it. All the music seems to be improvised on the spot but works really well. The LP is released on transparent green vinyl and limited to 500 copies. There are also 10 test pressings, I've got number 1! Warmly recommended for lovers of spacey drone music.

tiistai 21. heinäkuuta 2020

Sula Bassana - CV Sessions

Digital download

Here's another great psychedelic musician that has used the time off gigging to make some cool new music at home... I bet all my readers are familiar with Sula Bassana (Dave) from Germany. He's been around for decades and always comes up with some exciting stuff in what ever project he partakes in. The CV Sessions name has a clever double meaning: of course it refers to COVID-19 epidemic but also to voltage controlled analogue synth gear that he has used making this album. There is also some  guitars, bass, keyboards and what ever but the main emphasis is on small analogue synths and drum machines.

The nine-minute "A Nice Constellation of the Planets" starts off the album being one of my favourites. Very hypnotic and deep stuff, makes your head feel dizzy and kaleidoscopic! "wtf?" is lighter but still psychedelic and pretty weird. "Wollschweber" has some cool electic guitar and keyboards as well and it's a beautiful, slow and melancholic piece. Wonderful! The next, dark piece "What is Reality?" has heavy guitar and and a sort of depressive vibe. "Ruins of Civilisation" is also a bit of a downer but a good one... Reminds me of some of the Electric Moon stuff, sort of groovy beat and nice electonics. Some excellent electric guitar work on this one as well! Then we get some acoustic guitar on "Foggy Forest", some Pink Floyd vibe on this one. Very nice! "Tick Attacks!" is weird electronica again but also has some bass etc. The rather ambient and pretty "Little Birdy" ends the album in tranquile moods. Superb! All in all, this is great release although a bit depressive as a whole but who can blame him if you see where this world is going to. Music is our best, safest and most enjoyable escape so let's use that!

Doctors of Space - Covid Sessions

Digital download

Doctors of Space is a new project featuring Dr Space from Øresund Space Collective/Black Moon Circle on synths and Dr Martin Weaver (ex-Wicked Lady/Dark) on bass and guitars. Both also do some drum programming. They have released one very limited 7" before. They have been very productive during the COVID-19 lockdown since they have produced three digital releases in this time. This is the first of the trio put out on April the 23th. All the music is improvised, experimental and very spacey and psychedelic although pretty minimal and simple.

Covid Sessions includes six long tracks. The very hypnotic "Apollo Groove" starts the journey into inner space. Just one synth track and a couple of guitar tracks is all that is needed, as far as I can say. Very nice and ambient! "Hold My Beer" is a cool, bluesy space boogie with programmed drums, bass, excellent acoustic guitar work and spacey synths. As you might have guessed, "From the Depths of the Universe" is more cosmic stuff again... Some beat, killer lead guitar, modular madness and that's about it I guess. "Viral Usurper" is the longest track at over 12 minutes. It is the most atmospheric and closer no normal music, even with some Pink Floyd vibes I would say. Sort of dark vibe, though. The last piece "Afro Ghost Ritual 47" is the most rhythic one actually pretty groovy, but still weird and experimental. I like this one a lot! My download also inlcuded one more track called "Funkee Caca" but I don't see that on their Bandcamp site now. Extra track maybe? A bit different for sure... Check this out!

sunnuntai 5. heinäkuuta 2020

Dean Allen Foyd vs Sherpa – Psychedelic Battles - Volume Six

VE Recordings (VELP029)

This is the sixth volume of the split album series Psychedelic Battles on Italian VE Recordings label. Previously we have had some ear candy by bands like The Luck of Eden Hall, Sendelica and The Spacelords, among others. Unfortunately the latest one with A.M.T. and Lee Van Cleef had some quality issues and some copies had bumps on the end of the A.M.T. side. Luckily VE now uses different vinyl plant with better quality so no problems!

It's been six years since we heard anything from Sweden's retro psych rockers Dean Allen Foyd so it was about time get some new music by them. I really liked the 60s inspired debut and Road to Atlas 12" as well, but never somehow got the previous release, the Sunshine Song 7" released in 2014. The four songs here are pretty similar in style to their older stuff so if you liked that you will enjoy these as well. First we get two shorter, pop oriented songs and then the band stretch out some more on the longer ones. I especially like "The Shining" that has a cool  60s (13th Floor Elevators even) psych vibe and long, progressive jam section. "My Bloody Walls" is a rather minimal acoustic song that doesn't not do that much for me.

On the B-side of this limited sky blue vinyl we've got two long tracks by Sherpa. This is a rather new band who have two albums out on the excellent Sulatron Records. You can read my review of the debut over here. So occult Italian psych music is the name of the game. "Look To La Luna" is beautiful, tranquil and dreamy piece that gets heavy in the middle. Very impressive! "Moon's Biology Portrait" is rather minimal and experimental stuff with a strong occult vibe. Not bad but not that interesting either. You need to be 100% focused for this I guess. All in all, a very good album by these two great bands, I can't say which one won the battle this time!

keskiviikko 1. heinäkuuta 2020

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #94 now online!

Astral Visions #94 now online at Mixloud! Check out the cool sounds of Astral Magic, Black Rainbows, Anthroprophh, Vibravoid, Sei Still, Electric Moon, LDMR, Sarkh, Hexvessel, Circulus, Tuhosieni, Juice Oh Yeah, Kayleth, Slift, Doctors of Space, Acid Mothers Temple featuring Geoff Leigh, Theodor Bastard, The Lounge Bar Orchestra, Curious Collector, Sula Bassana, Autotelia and Aural Hallucinations.

tiistai 30. kesäkuuta 2020

Sarkh - Kaskade

Worst Bassist Records

Okay, some more new instrumental German post-rock on Worst Bassist Records. This time it comes spiced with black metal/drone/stoner influences. Sarkh is a trio from Westerfald, Germany who have a black metal background that still shows. They easily shift from beautiful soundscapes into brutal, heavy blasting within a track. Just guitar, bass and drums but the production is very professional and they have used a good deal of effects to make a rather full and varied sound.

The opener "Ackerland" starts off as a cool, cold drone and then we'll get some dark, heavy riffing. This will go down with the post-metal fans for sure. "Wildis" has clean, pretty stuff as well as heavy riffs with double kick drum blasting. Very tight playing. "Muttererde" is peaceful for the two first two-and-a-half-minutes and then gets heavy. It grows into blast beat by the end... "Saat" has a very cool clean guitar riff at first. Again, at times the going gets intense and heavy, I like this tune. "Derpholz" is mostly heavier going but has a nice soft spot in the middle. On "Morast" & the great "Kaskade" slow and easy & heavy & intense stuff varies again. The album is finished with the shorter "Irrlicht" that is the only track NOT to have heavy, metal influenced stuff at all. I sort of wish there would have bene more tracks like this, but it feels good to get some fresh breath at last. These guys are great musicians and the production is top-notch but this is not really an album I would play that often since it's maybe a bit too intense for an old hippie like me. I do like some of the vibes though!

LDMR ‎– Silva

Worst Bassist Records ‎(WBR LP 003)

Okay, I'm trying to little by little do all the reviews I have forgotten this Spring/Summer... So here we go! LDMR is an instrumental German post-rock band and Silva is their second album. The fact that they are on Electric Moon's Lulu's Worst Bassist Records means that they must be pretty good. Lulu apparently has a soft spot for post-rock in addition to psych/space rock and why the hell not. LDMR do have a bit punky attitude to their music so it's not always your avarage emotional post-rock thing.

The long "Sequoia" starts off the album and I like it. Just guitars, bass and drums, sometimes rather heavy, sometimes beautiful and touching. "Euphyllia" is next and the first three minutes are more tranquil altogether but then the track grows and sort of explodes. The last minute is very quiet and peaceful. Then we have the rather interesting "Salix" that has some more progressive stuff at times. It's the shortest piece at just under six minutes. "Fraxinus" starts off slowly and grows later on like is so common in this style. It stays rather slow though. "Fagus" is the album's long piece starting with some sound of rain and thunder. Very atmospheric stuff. Then things get more agressive and louder, the punk roots showing a bit. Some more peaceful passages in the middle, just like you would have expected. This is not exacty my favourite kind of music (meaning: not really psychedelic) but I still like this album. Check it out if you are into instrumental post-rock with a bit rawer touch!

maanantai 22. kesäkuuta 2020

Permanent Clear Light - Cosmic Comics

Sulatron Records (st 2005)

Wow, I've been waiting for this album for almost seven years now! Finland's prime progressive psych pop/rockers Permanent Clear Light released their excellent debut album in 2013 (vinyl came later in 2015) and I've been in love ever since. Of course Higher than the Sun, their first single on Fruits de Mer, already started the affair a year before. There were times when it looked like the follow-up LP would never see the light of day but Maurice n'est pas la 7" in 2018 gave me some more hope and now we are finally here. Markku, Arto and Matti have done a great job and the album is just perfect if you ask me.

"This Quiet Smiling Man" starts off the album in a mellow, slow style with lush instrumentation and amazing melodies. 60s psychedelia oozes through like in most of the band's output and I like it just like that. Lots of studio wizardry included, as well. The Fruits de Mer collectors have already heard this track in 2017 on the The Fifteenth Dream Of Dr Sardonicus compilation CD-R as well as on the 2018 single. The sunny and wonderful "Corneville Skyline" is next and I'm really enjoying the vibe on this beautiful Summer evening.  "Peasants and Peons" reminds me of The Zombies, Love and other marvellous 60s psych pop artists, just magnificent. Next, we get the full 9-minute version of "Maurice n'est pas la" and it's a real trip... This track is pretty different with some 80s disco (?) vibe, maybe influenced by nick nicely or somebody? Very cool and suitably weird, anyway! The more folk oriented "Iris Murray" has been previously released on the limited The 14th Dream Of Dr. Sardonicus - Day Onecompilation CD-R but I think I'm missing that one. A bit more melancholic, minimal but totally amazing song, anyway! "One in Five" is more up-beat pop/rock piece about depression if I remember correctly. This was the first track on the 2018 7" and a really good one as well. "Salmiac" has a bit jazzy mood, sort what of The Soft Machine might have created I guess. "Until The End Of Time" is a tranquil, soulful piece with some church organ, vocals and treated guitar, very mellow and spiritual. The album is finished with "The Rip" and it's a rather experimental psych pop piece that again brings to mind the wonderful nick nicely with plenty of studio gimmicks. Very trippy ending to one of the best albums in 2020! Both the CD and the coloured vinyl are limited to just 500 copies so make sure you'll get one in time. The album will be officially out on July the 3rd. Warmly recommended!

torstai 18. kesäkuuta 2020

Electric Moon ‎– You Can See The Sound Of... Extended Version

Sulatron Records (st2004)

You Can See The Sound Of... was the first and so far only 10" release by our German psych-head friends the Electric Moon. It was released in 2013 in a limited edition of 500 copies and only sold at gigs making it one of the hardest E. M. releases to get. The original EP included three great tracks and now they have added three more from the same sessions to make it a full album! These three tracks have not appeared anywhere before and all the tracks are now put out on CD for the first time.

The original EP can be found on side A of the LP version. First we've got the excellent, hypnotic and hard rocking "The Inner Part". I think this is one of their best tracks at the "under ten minutes" gategory and proper space rock! The even shorter (4:20...) "Your Own Truth" is a rather special Electic Moon SONG since it also has some lovely vocals by the bass player Lulu. Also the rhythm is a bit unusual for the band. Wonderful and very psychedelic! "No Escape From Now" is the long space jam of the original 10" and definitely gets you "out there"... Wow! Also this one has some voice by Lulu adding the mind-blowing effect of the track. Unfortunately due to hard drive crash (when do hippies learn to make multiple copies of their important files?) the rest of the tracks from these sessions only have survived as raw mixes, so the sound is a little more modest but still very good. "Windhovers" is a slower, melancholic track that I really like. It rocks more towards the end! "The Great Exploration of Nothing" has some cool synth and organ by Dave and an amazing, sort of dark vibe. Excellent!  "Mushroom Cloud no.4" is again a longer, over 11-minute space exploration starting off in a very tranquil way. I'm really happy to hear these previously unreleased tracks that really make this LP/CD worth buying even if you (like me) have the original 10" already. I love this band!

sunnuntai 14. kesäkuuta 2020

Dr Space - Dr Space's Alien Planet Trip Vol 4 - Space with Bass

Space Rock Productions ‎(SRP065CD)

This is the latest solo album by Scott Heller aka Dr Space. I'm sure we all know Scott from his various bands and projects like Øresund Space Collective. At least so far the fourth volume in Dr Space's Alien Trip series in only available on limited CD. The six tracks WOULD fit on a double vinyl, though... Like the sub-tittle suggests, Scott is this time teamed up with a bass player, Hasse Horrigmoe, a forming member of Norwegian psychedelic/progressive rock band Tangle Edge. This album does not included progressive or even any other kind of rock, though. It's pure experimental, abstract ambient, Berlin School sort of thing.

"Vermis Ex-Deus Primero" is a minimal, very spacey track that gets you in a special state of mind for sure... Cool experimental bass sound. "Bemushroomed" has bit more melody, although at random. Weird stuff from outer space... "3rd Eye into the 4th Dimension" continues the trip in similar manner. "Rolling Quark Secretion" has some more space bass again, as well as lots of different synthesizer soundscapes. "BlackCloud" is more sequencer based and sort of more focused but still very weird. "Bass Karma" has some more melody, maybe accidental but still. I like it! "Lament for the Wicked" even sort of has a bass riff, although manipulated and odd as hell. This is more rhythm based, hypnotic stuff. Phew, what a weird album! If you are looking for a really special, strange and spacey trip with sounds this might be it.

Hexvessel - Kindred

Svart Records (SVART226)

Okay, I've been so busy making music of my own that this album is already sold-out by the time I get to review it... Well, here we go anyway, I'm sure reprints are on their way pretty soon! A new album by Finnish occult forest psych folk/rock masters is always a big happening in my world. Last year's Old Tree was definitely one of the best releases in 2019 and now it's time for Kindred. The band have returned to Svart Records after a few years flirt with foreign labels and it seems to me they are back home now. The new album is perhaps a little less psychedelic than some of the previous ones but no less atmospheric, brilliant, touching or esoteric.

The seven-minute "Billion Year Old Being" starts off the album with its creepy, melancholic ancient vibe. Amazing and rather dark and heavy as well! There are some prog rock elements in there too for good measure. "Demian" is next, pretty weird and intense stuff. "Fire of The Mind" is more folk oriented and very beautiful and the slow and hazy "Bog Bodies" has a Twin Peaks like vibe. "Sic Luceat Lux" is a short, strange experimental forest folk instrumental. "Phaedra" is a dark and creepy, slow piece that gets under you skin and inside your soul, phew. After the sunnier, little  acoustic piece "Family" comes the emotional, sort of main song "Kindred Moon" and I totally love it. There's even some piano in it. "Magical & Damned" is another one of my favourites, very touching indeed. The album is finished with the brilliantly pretty "Joy of Sacrifice", mostly in acoustic mode again. I don't know exactly where the band gets these otherwordly moods from but it sure must be a special place... This is anothet masterpiece, what else can I say. Get is as soon as possible.

maanantai 8. kesäkuuta 2020

Neon Heart - S/T


Neon Heart from Stockholm, Sweden, are a band rather hard to label into one genre. Or two genres, for that matter. They are a quartet formed by Magnus Nordén - drums, Johnny Karlsson Kern – bass, vocals, Björn Wallgren - guitar, Petter Kärnekull - electronic viola and Daniel Borgegård Älgå - saxophone. Their music is mostly based on improvisation I guess, and it is definitely sort of experimental and psychedelic. It is rock with bass, drums and guitar, but the use of sax and electronic viola add lots of jazzy elements as well. I listened to their digital EP's this Spring and they were part of my great soundtrack to a lockdown. Now they also have their debut full-length out featuring a couple of older tracks and totally new material.

The album kicks off with the almost ten-minute slow instrumental "Hashima". The sound quality is excellent and the vibe pretty hazy and druggy. Sort of dark trip hop done in an experimental rock way with jazz vibes. "Det händer ingenting" also has vocals in Swedish and it's a rather weird piece on improvisation that starts to rock out more later on. I'm reminded of some of the industrial/post-punk bands of the late 70s/early 80s I think. "Dagarna försvann" is even stranger stuff in similar vein. The two older tracks from 2018 are next. "Till dig ännu en gång" is a bit groovier piece with a cool swing, maybe my favourite. There are some psychedelic parts later on...  "Tupolev in the Air" is nice instrumental jam with more changes and lots of stuff going on. Interesting! "Dagar försinner" is the shortest piece at 3:19 and it again has that cool, trip hop like jazzy vibe. Very nice! The first pressing of the vinyl version is limited to just 100 copies so if you got interested please act fast!

Centre el Muusa - S/T

Sulatron Records

Centre el Muusa is new Estonian instrumental psych/krautrock band with lots of different influences (jazz too) and their debut album is now out on Sulatron Records on CD and soon on vinyl too. The quartet was formed in 2015 as Centre Electronique Muusa which was later shortened. I don't think I've heard of these guys before but at least some of them seem to be very prolific in music in other bands and projects as well. The whole album has a sort of lo-fi esthetic going on but in pleasant, positive way and the musicianship is top-notch.

There are six tracks on the album. The groovy opener is called "Turkeyfish" and it has a cool surf/garage psych vibe to it. Almost ten minutes are suddenly gone in a hypnotic haze, lovely! Amazing electric piano playing in this one and later on as well. "Glitter Bo" is a mellow, smokey and more atmospheric piece that I also really enjoy. Things get heavier later on, though... On "Ain't Got Enough Mojo" the group gets spacier and more psychedelic and I love it... The whole track is based on one hypnotic riff. "Burning Lawa" is a slow but noisy blues number. The eight-minute "Mia" is a peaceful, atmospheric track based on repetition and different elements added one after the other on top of the basic background. Great! "Szolnok" ends the album in a sort of rocking Sundial way although the sound is very different. It also gets a little more progressive. The album sounds a bit like it was recorded in a small, moldy cellar with two mics into a four-track recorder but I've grown to appreciate the authentic feel it  gives you. Check it out!

keskiviikko 3. kesäkuuta 2020

Hayvanlar Alemi - Psychedelia in Times of Turbulence

Subsound Records (SSR069)

Hayvanlar Alemi is an instrumental psychedelic rock band formed in 1999 in Ankara, Turkey. I have never heard any of their earlier output, but apparently they have also done some more ethnic, folk oriented music. Psychedelia in Times of Turbulence recorded in Italy in 2017, however, presents them in their heavier, stoner, doom oriented mode. Having said that, this is not still exactly metal or even you standard heavy stoner rock which is a good thing in my opinion. You can hear the old Anatolian influences even in their rock form and I like that a lot.

There are seven tracks on the album ranging from under three to almost nine minutes in length. On these recordings the band is a basic trio of Özüm İtez: guitar, Hazar Mutgan: bass and Işık Sarıhan: drums and percussion, but there are also some overdubs. The music is mostly rather slow and atmospheric, but there are also faster songs. All the music is very melodic and interesting, this band really has a rather unique style and vibe. It's not overtly psychedelic or trippy in a mind-blowing way, but it slowly creeps into your conciousness and does its things that are very pleasant. One of mt favourites, "Thundercloud Museum" is a good example of this, very cool, a bit mysterious stuff. "Kaos Sembolü Güneş ve Bahar" is musc heavier and closer to stoner or doom metal even, I have to admit that. All in all, this is very enjoyable album that keeps you interested in all its twists and turns. Available on limited vinyl and CD as well as the digital download of course. Check it out!

maanantai 25. toukokuuta 2020

Vesa Partti - Ambientwerk I: Aallokko


This is a brand-new digital ambient release by Helsinki-based musician Vesa Partti that you might remember from bands like Tuliterä and Sadkarma. Vesa also recently played an online live stream gig with his solo material and I really enjoyed it. Anyway, what we've got here are three long, instrumental and electronic tracks with synthesizers all written, performed and produced by Vesa at his home studio and the results are mind-blowing. The music I guess is somewhere in between dark ambient, kosmische and minimal repetitive techno. The overall sound is modern in my ears at least. Okay, anything after 1995 is. The titles are all in German so that might give you hint of the influences.

The long opener "Pflanzenrettung" is a slow, deep and floating ambient piece that also has a little bit of moody guitar in the mix later on. The beats on this one are pretty minimal. Wonderful soundscapes and emotional, ethereal vibes all over! The second (more energetic) track was replaced after the initial release, so I'm hearing "Abgebrochen" for the first time right now. Dark, hazy beginning, and the track then slowly evolves and grows. Dreamy and minimal, again. The massive pad sounds are high in the mix. After eight minutes we'll get some more bass and drums but the track stays slow and repetitive all the way. Nice! The longest piece is the 27-minute "Meeresbriese" and it is the deepest and most effective of the lot. This is  more like modern concrete music I think? No programmed drums. Very cinematic and emotional, all happening in slow motion in a trance-like state. I would love to hear this as a soundtrack to some beautiful, artsy dark black and white movie. The massive wall of synthesized ambient sound keeps you in its hold long after the music has finally faded out into the darkness. Amazing! Get this and name your price.

keskiviikko 20. toukokuuta 2020

Green Seagull - Cloud Cover

Mega Dodo

Cloud Cover is the second album by London's neo-psych/mod group Green Seagull. It's a limited edition of 300 copies on 180 g orange vinyl and will be released at the end of July. Green Seagull definitely have an affection for the late 60s baroque psych pop/mod scene and bands like The Left Banke, The Association, The Kinks, The Beatles etc. Their music is full of great melodies and harmonies and a joy to the ears and mind. They are not overtly psychedelic or mind-expanding, but really know how to write great, catchy and pleasant songs. Most of all, they have sense of melody and exquisite harmony vocals.

Most of the 12, rather short tracks on the album are fast, happy and energetic, but there are also a couple of more mellow songs and ballads like "This Wheel". I love the sound on the album as it sounds like it was recorded in 1967 with modern equipment. It sounds fresh, interesting, well but not over produced. We get some cool organ and piano spicing up the guitar, bass drums and male/female vocalists. My favourite tracks are perhaps the opener "Aerosol" that I also used in my latest Astral Visions Mixcloud shoe and the last, progressive and fuzzy "Belladonna". There are several treasures also in between, don't worry! Check this album out before it's sold out. Sorry I can't seem to be able to locate any sample songs right now.

lauantai 9. toukokuuta 2020

Tuhosieni - Kiinni Sinuun

Piki Records (PIKI 003)

One year ago I was blown away with a new band I saw live during a private First of May celebrations in Helsinki. This band was Tuhosieni and they luckily had a brand-new 8" lathe cut single I could take home with. I especially enjoyed the hard-rocking Hawkwind-like A side "Suolaulu" that you could also hear in one of my Mixcloud shows last year. I also saw the band live again later on and now with another guitar player Lauri. Some of my more progressively oriented listeners might remember him from the prog band Uzwa. Cool! With two guitar players the sound of Tuhosieni has become fuller and more complex.

Now the band is just about to release their debut full-lenght that I was able to get a couple of weeks before the official release date. I was sort of expecting to hear "Suolaulu" and some other older songs here as well but apparently the band decided to use just new recordings with the two-guitar line up, which is quite understandable. Apart from "Tunturi" these tunes were all originally written a few years ago anyway. There would have been room for a couple of more songs since the six tracks included only last a bit over 30 minutes in total. All the songs are band compositions with lyrcs by the guitar player/vocalist Toni Haapanen. The other members are bassist Tero Lehto and drummer Markku Koskinen. The album that was recorded, mixed and mastered by Toni sounds really great and professional and the cover art by Lauri is also amazing. The music of Tuhosieni is some kind of mix of progressive rock, psych, folk and hard rock. The vocals in Finnish sometime remind of classic Suomi-Rock, for example the main line of the great opener "Liekkirinta" sounds a bit like "Kulkurin iltakalja" by Hassisen Kone. Nothing wrong with that, it's more like part of the charm of Tuhosieni. The band plays really well together and I like the overal vibe of the album. The atmopshere changes from emotional and beutiful to heavy, dark and oppressive, sometimes within one song. My favourites are the opener "Liekkirinta" and "Vihreä kajo", but all songs are very good. There are also some sound effects and probably synthesizer sounds to make things more varied and exciting. Kiinni sinuun is an excellent debut album and warmly recommended for all fans of progressive, melodic and psychedelic rock music.

torstai 7. toukokuuta 2020

Øresund Space Collective - Sonic Rock Solstice 2019

Self-Released (?)

This latest offering from our psychedelic jam master friends Øresund Space Collective is a great live performance from last year's legendary Sonic Rock Solstice festival. The first time for ØSC to play in the UK! This fest, like Kozfest for example, seems to be some sort of modern day version of the freaky festivals of the 80's (Stonehenge etc.). I wish I could go there one day! This time the band is formed by Vince Cory - guitar, Vemund - guitar, Jiri - bass, Mogens- synths, Dr Space - synths and Tim - drums. The band seems to have been in high spirits and this sounds like one of their best gigs I've ever heard!

Unlike usually, the band kicks off into energetic space rocking almost right from the start with the 15-minute "SRS Solstice Jam". Vince's guitar gives the music some new vibes I think. Powerful stuff. "Jam for Gavin" reminds me a bit of the Ozrics ans goes on for over half-an-hour... Another excellent, high-energy jam! I can see the crowd getting wild and dancing their asses off... After the band introductions they go into funky, jazzy jam called "Jazz it up Boyzz". A bit different stuff this time. "Solstice Jammers Pt1" continues the bit jazzy atmosphere for a while. Sax would have been perfect addition! This one has some beautiful synth solos by Mogens. Later on the track starts to rock out more, very cool! The last improvisation called "Solstice Jammers Pt2" is a rather groovy jam rock affair with also some blues and boogie and a nice ending for a great festival gig.

This release is part of the ØSC subscription series but I think it will later on also be available to the whole public on CD. By the way, I think it would fit to a 2LP as well... Wink-wink!

Aural Hallucinations - Alucinações Auditivas


Aural Hallucinations is a new experimental, psychedelic, ambient duo project by Dr. Space (Øresund Space Collective, Doctors of Space, Black Moon Circle etc.) on synths and Matthew Couto (Kind, Ex-Elder etc.) on drums, bass, guitars, vocals and yes, even some more synths! There are also some field-recordings by Luis Antero to make things even more disorienting... Alucinações Auditivas is the duo's first release and put out as a very limited vinyl (150 copies), CD, tape and digital release.

The overall vibe of the album really is rather hallucinatory. Sometimes it seems that the guys are playing at least two songs simultaneously, just listen to "Fly Free Furry Friend" for example, the guitar and sequencer are from different universes. The synthesizer-only ambient tracks are more to my liking, "Formigas" and "Hills White, House Blue" for example. I really miss that Moog Opus 3 sound that Matthew delivers throughout the album, one of the corner stones in several Dark Sun tracks as well. One of the HIGHlights for sure is the deep and effective "Brainstimulator". "Spore Cloud Dispersion" has a bit more space ROCK feel to it due to the drums, I like this as well. Really trippy stuff! "Don't take the Granite Acid " (got to love those tittles!) has a more electronic, dark vibe. "Surreal InhiVisions" has some acoustic guitar again that gives it a folky feel but things soon get weird and cacophonic a bit in the Acid Mothers Temple way. This is a weird but wonderful mix of improvised experimental soundscapes that might not be for everyone but spaceheads should definitely check this out.

lauantai 2. toukokuuta 2020

Soft Power ‎– Brink of Extinction


Brink of Extinction is the second album by Helsinki based Soft Power. I reviewed their 2017 debut album In a Brown Study and liked it a lot. As I told back then, it was maybe even a bit too varied stylistically including also folk and some heavier, harsher stuff. Now the band has focused 100% on the light, happy, progressive and groovy late 60s/early 70s styled jazz rock vibes that were already present on the debut. The music is now also almost completely instrumental apart from some spoken word poetry on the title track and wordless humming on one track. The addition of Fender Rhodes and saxophone players enhance the jazz elements.

The album starts with a short piano intro "Awakening" by the multi-instrumentalist Mikael Jurmu who on this album also plays drums and flute as well as delivers the poetry on "Brink of Extinction". The long (10:37) title track starts of with a very nice, warm, jazzy groove that brings to mind The Amazing and Dungen as well as of course the originators of this kind of cool fusion rock. There are some great progressive parts and then the track cools down for the impressive poetry part. After that the pleasant groove continues. "Orange Red Yellow" is a slower, moody piece and when you close your eyes it feels like it's '69 again. "The Water Room" is a bit more energetic and progressive, maybe some Wigwam vibes in here? We also get some wordless humming going along the guitar melodies, nice! "New Beginning" on side B starts off with piano and this is an another lovely, rather soft jazz rock piece with some atmospheric Rhodes and field recordings at the end. "Window of Opportunity" is the longest track on the album at 13:33. Soft Machine fans will love it and I can also smell some Zappa I think! Great musicianship by all and it really is an amazing track. The album is finished with a short wind instrument outro "Final Blow" by Jurmu, all the other compositions are group efforts. What can I say, this albums sounds fantastic and I really enjoy the jazzy moods. The 200 g pressing limited to 550 copies is also of great quality and in a thick, heavy US styled cover also including a nice insert with some ideology about the album, English translation of the poem and personel info as well as a band photo by Tekla Vály on the other side. A really great package!

perjantai 1. toukokuuta 2020

Hotlist March-April

Phew, it's been strange these few months... Lot's of time to listen to music at home, though. Some of the LP's I've ordered haven't shown up, but these are the hottest ones lately:

The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol ‎– Berserkir Volume One
Ozzy Osbourne ‎– Ordinary Man
The Mushroom Project - Keepers of Castle Mound Vol III
Soft Power ‎– Brink Of Extinction
Rymdstyrelsen ‎– Lunar Mountains
Cotton Casino ‎– The Reflection
Vibravoid ‎– Out Of Tune In Rosenheim
Cosmic Ground ‎– 5
Øresund Space Collective ‎– Experiments In The Subconscious
Sula Bassana ‎– The Box


perjantai 24. huhtikuuta 2020

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #93 online

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #93 online now! Make your isolation period a bit more enjoyable with these mind-altering sounds...

Reklamaatio valtiolle radioaaltojen häirinnästä Pudasjärven UFO-aallon aikaan (from Valitut palat EP)
Pictures of Matchstick Men (from V/A: A Band for All Seasons)
The Jeremy Band
Aerosol (from Cloud Cover)
Green Seagul
It Happened Tomorrow (from The Decomposition of Noise)
Persian Drug (from Dreamfeeder)
Ummon (from Ummon)
Ulta-violet Thing (from Yellow Spider)
Solar Flares (edit, from S/T)
We Are Normal (from V/A: A Band for All Seasons)
Mr. Armageddon and the Suicide Society
Bedazzled (from V/A: A Band for All Seasons)
Mesmercuria (from Parapsychedelia)
The Heartwood Institute and Panamint Manse
No Real Dub (from Three Gates Dub)
Taras Bulba
Child of the Sky (from V/A: A Band for All Seasons)
The Smell of Incense (from V/A: A Band for All Seasons)
The Gold Needles
I Feel Free (from V/A: A Band for All Seasons)
Bhopals Flowers
Aquarius (from V/A: A Band for All Seasons)
Jack Ellister
Refugee (from V/A: A Band for All Seasons)
Permanent Clear Light
Fly (from V/A: A Band for All Seasons)
Neblina Rosa (from Fantasma)
Davi Rodriguez de Lima
There Is Another Way (from There Is Another Way)
In Procession (from Omens)
Night Lands (from Night Lands)
Dead Sea Apes
Atomium (from Valitut palat EP)

tiistai 14. huhtikuuta 2020

Sleeping Pandora - Signs in the Sky


Sleeping Pandora is a solo project from guitarist/producer Mathias Rosmann. He has also played in a space/stoner rock band called Cosmic Fall. Mathias has released several digital/CD releases as Sleeping Pandora and I have included his tracks to a couple of my Astral Visions Mixcloud Shows before. Sleeping Pandora is beautiful, floating and spacey instrumental electronic music with great, melodic and emotional electric guitar work on top. Some of it is rather space/psych rock oriented but mostly I would describe it as electronic ambient post rock/electonica. It's all very well produced and you just get sucked into it.

The new album has six long tracks. The journey begins with the excellent "Raytracing". Lots of delay on the guitar... The electronic beat soon joins in to give a rather modern edge, sort of like some of the Ozrics stuff. I am floating in space, anyway! One of the best pieces on the album. "Mandarine" comes next and is cool chill-out music with a bit of dub vibe. "Floating High" is a more guitar oriented, peaceful and almost 17-minute trip into the night sky, just wonderful. The next piece "Tears" is another emotional, beautiful track. On "The Dome" we get some more spacier ambient stuff and the delay guitar brings to mind Steve Hillage or Manuel Göttsching‎. I love it! The album is finished with "Touching Moon" which again is an ambient, spacey electronic piece with a bit faster beat this time. This one gets more danceable too.Very nice! I really hope this stuff would also see a vinyl release, it sounds so great.

Nukli - There Is Another Way

Space Rock Productions (SRP064)

Nukli is one of those British prog/space/psych rock bands that I, like many other psych heads, got to know in the 90s through the excellent Delerium Records and Freak Emporium mail order. They started out in the 80s as Psi Nukli  but soon dropped the Psi part. After a few tape releases and an appearance on the Pick & Mix 2CD compilation their excellent The Time Factory album was released on Delerium in 1997, sadly only on CD. I didn't hear anything from them for years but the band must have activated again and started to play live. Two live CD's were put out by the band in 2013 and 2016, and last year they finally released a new studio album on CD! There Is Another Way was recorded at the legendary Foel Studio in Wales already in 2012 but mixed last year. Now it's time to finally have a Nukli album out on vinyl, since Space Rock Productions is releasing it with a bonus track "Foel Funk" on 2LP in May!

The music of Nukli is perhaps best described as a bit spacey and psychedelic, groovy progressive rock. So the emphasis is on the prog side for sure. The basic trio of bass, drums and guitar is enhanced by vocals, keyboards and synths by the guitar player. Even on the album, for example on the instrumental "Kraanich", when there is more keyboard oriented parts there is no guitar, so the overall sound is rather airy and not too full of stuff and too over-dubbed. You can clearly hear what everybody is playing because of this. The guys are all great musicians and their songs are adventurous and interesting but not too hard to follow or understand. There are some jazzy and funky elements, Gong/Canterbury vibes, free festival/space rock scene stuff, ethnic, acoustic parts, you name it. They have also used some spoken samples. The band often gets most psychedelic during the excellent guitar solos. For example the title track is very trippy as  a whole, though! All in all, this is a very enjoyable experience and it feels so good to hear some new studio stuff by these old progressive space cadets again! The vinyl is limited to just 300 copies so be fast...