Listen to the latest Astral Visions Mixcloud Show!

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...

torstai 9. huhtikuuta 2020

Saint Gallus Convention Tapes - Files Vol. 01

Wonderlamp Records (DigOil-08)

Saint Gallus Convention Tapes is a fresh band from Dortmund, Germany. This quartet with a lovely female singer mixes together (traditional) blues with psychedelic rock like no-one else I've heard before.

There are some good old standards like "Smokestack Lightnin'" but I actually prefer their originals like the first digital single "Draught". The guitarist also plays some steel guitar, blues harp and sings. His singing sounds pretty authentic and bluesy for example on the otherwise pretty ethereal sounding  "White Tears". I'm not a big blues fan myself so the more basic blues pieces are not that interesting to me but when the band gets more psychedelic I enjoy them a lot. The album is finished with a 14-minute version of "Bringing It On Home" with lots of jamming, of course! The album will be released next month on vinyl and CD. 


Blabbermouth ‎– Hörspiel

Dirter Promotions (DPROMCD145)

Blabbermouth is a new band from Lu Edmonds (PIL, Mekons, Damned) and Mark Roberts (Godfathers, Massive Attack). They released one limited 7" for 2018 Records Store Day and this debut album was released in late 2019 on vinyl, CD, cassette and digital format. I had no idea of this band before I recently received this CD as a promo. Lu and Mark both of course have had very respectful careers in innovative and experimental music so far so you can be sure this is also pretty interesting...

It's sort of difficult for me to label the music of Blabbermouth very precisely. Let's just say that it is often electronic, experimental, ambient, industrial post-punk/rock/folk with lots of sound collages, World Music & jazz vibes etc. Many songs have weird sounding robot narration in different languages and the overall feel is sort of out of this world and psychedelic as well. I won't go through all the tracks this time, but I like most of them. This in an interesting and adventurous journey into sound for sure. The lyrics seem to be rather deep and philosophical, although I don't understand most of the languages used. The drums are often very groovy and the ethnic string instruments give the synthesized soundscapes some natural feel as well. There are several guests featured too like Tuvan guitarist and throat singer Albert Kuvezin, Canadian folk singer Brenna MacCrimmon, Scottish jazz fusion drummer and percussionist Ken Hyder, English guitarist Justin Adams, English jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, pianist and composer  Tim Hodgkinson etc. If you like experimental, odd, original, challenging and heady music with lots of different ingredients you should definitely try this out.

sunnuntai 5. huhtikuuta 2020

Davi Rodriguez de Lima - Fantasma

Sulatron Records (st 2002)

This is a limited (300 copies), vinyl-only release of the first solo album by Davi Rodriguez de Lima. Davi is a musician and recording engineer from Brasil, but he has been living in Germany for years now. Before moving to Europe he has played in bands like Ecos Falsos and The Orange Disaster. Here he sings and plays all the instruments himself apart from the trumpet. I haven't previously heard of him so let's get into it...

There are eight tracks on the album, all in between 3:36 and 5:41 in length. The overal vibe is pretty surreal, noisy and psychedelic and most of the music rocks. There are some blues, garage, alternative, punk rock, experimental, you name it. The opener "Fantasma" starts off with some whispering and field recordings. Then we get some noisy, hypnotic guitar, programmed, sampled drums and vocals. The bass is played with a Moog Synthesizer on the whole album. "Tamed" is closer to stoner rock or heavy psych I guess, groovy stuff with some cool solo guitar work as well. I like it! Then some more field recordings to kick off the fierce and aggressive "Off Track". I'm reminded of The Heads, early Monster Magnet, Fu Manchu and the like. "Eternal Children" is a slower, more shoegazer-influenced, heady track. "Grey Times" starts off with field recordings again and when the music begins an image of a stoner rock version of Lenny Kravitz comes to mind. The trumpet is used in a pretty wild manner. "Neblina Rose" is a more relaxed song sounding a bit like Syd Barrett's solo stuff. It gets rather bluesy later on. One of my favourites is "Banalized" that rocks out in the early Sun Dial style. There is an experimental section in the middle. The album is finished with the more peaceful "Filho", a very nice ending to an interesting album. It took me several rounds to really get into this album but when it hits its rather good indeed. Check it out!

tiistai 31. maaliskuuta 2020

Vibravoid - The Decomposition of Noise

Stoned Karma Records

 Celebrating its 30th birthday in 2020 Vibravoid is Germany's, (if not the whole universe's?) number one psychedelic rock band at the moment. A new album by them is always a really exciting thing for me. The musical highlight of the year! With The Decomposition of Noise our good Doktor Koch has made it again: a perfect package of 60s inspired, melodic psych pop, mind-blowing freak-outs, interstellar space rock jams, hypnotic krautrock journeys and insane lysergic experimentation all in one! It sounds to me that Vibravoid finally realized that you don't have to master everything on the red all the time since this album seems to have much more room to breath which is great.

The new album starts off with the great tittle track "The Decomposition of Noise". It's a compact, catchy, four-minute psych rock hit with all the right ingredients that make Vibravoid so invincible. It is love at the first listen! This screams for a single release as well I think. Speaking of singles, many of us have already heard the next track "World of Pain", another killer hit song with a little more groove and pop sensibility. Superb stuff and always in my 7" DJ bag! "It Happened Tomorrow" is a beautiful, ethereal and melancholic song that I also really like. "Eardrum" has a cool 60s vibe and groove with spacey effects, very nice! "Plastic Covered Tangerines" is a darker, droney and hypnotic piece that makes you brain freeze. There always needs to be at least one long trippy piece on a Vibravoid album and this time it's the almost 20-minute "The Essence of Noise". I love the female voice samples in German etc. This is so hypnotic and mesmerizing that I'm not sure on what planet I am anymore! Gets you ultra high for sure. The actual album is finished with just over one minute of "The Decomposition of Noise Reprise". I am in awe! probably the best album Vibravoid ever released. The CD version also includes the radio edit of "World of Pain", a VERY cool and superb-sounding 20-minute live version of the band's early classic "Ballspeaker" recorded in Chania, Crete as well as a long, weird and experimental instrumental called " Im Zeichen Des Zwilling". All essential stuff! The limited LP version of the album comes with a surprise live LP as a bonus... The Decomposition of Noise should be out on the 6th of May and every self-respecting psych head should definitely get it.

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