Listen to the latest Astral Visions Mixcloud Show!

torstai 11. heinäkuuta 2019

Pseudo Sun - Ozone Mantra


Swedish hard/space rock band Pseudo Sun is finally back in orbit! I had not heard anything from the band since the 2006 demo and I know Captain Juba (bass, vocals, synths etc., ex-Darxtar) has been busy with his other bands so I feared that was it. I've been a fan of this hard rocking trio since the 1997 debut album Future Memoirs, played with them in 1998 with my band Dark Sun, organized a gig for them in Helsinki and actually I'm also playing synths on their very limited live LP Live Ghosts along with Dr. Space /Scott Heller from Øresund Space Collective so the relationship is pretty close I would say... I still try to stay objective here!

I'm glad thet the original live lineup of Juba, Mats Jassa Singh (guitars) and Erca Lindesvärd (drums) is still intact. These guys have known each other for decades and play together really tightly. Ozone Mantra was recorded at Balans Studio and The Mental Institute and was engineered by Ulf Vestlund and Juba. The sound is now better than ever and even the vocals work really well this time. Well done guys! The 65-minute CD includes eight new tracks.  Like before, some of the tracks include long, spacey jam parts. Especially the 12-minute "Don't Repair Me" has an extended jam ending with tons of spacey Korg synth. Another example of extended jamming is the final piece "Lunar Phantasy". Most of the songs are heavy space rock blasts that really rock out but for example on the instrumental "Heliosheath" the band goes into mystical, dreamy soundscapes in the style of "Set the Controls..." by Pink Floyd. The organ is a nice extra touch here, great. "City of Dreams" is a nice, beautiful space ballad with some mandolin as well. It's hard to name one favourite track since I really like all of them but maybe the stand-out pieces are that and the Motörhead-styled (Lemmy is a big influence for Juba) "The New Breed". Mats is playing some amazing solo guitar all over and Erca and Juba play together so tight. All in all, this is absolutely the best release by Pseudo Sun and my only complaint is that this is not available on vinyl. It would make a great double album with a couple of extra tracks... Maybe on Space Rock Productions?

You might have some difficulties obtaining a copy of this heavy space rock masterpiece so your best bet at the moment is contacting the band by email: or through their Facebook page. Recommended!

keskiviikko 3. heinäkuuta 2019

Hotlist June

Hot summer discs last month (TOP 10) have been:

ØSC Meets BMC ‎– Freak Out In The Fjord
Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek ‎– Kar Yağar
White Manna ‎– Ape On Sunday
Hawkeyes ‎‎– Last Light Of Future Failure
Plastic Crimewave Syndicate ‎– Massacre Of The Celestials
Electric Moon / Terminal Cheesecake ‎– In Search Of Highs Volume Three
The Mushroom Project II - Keepers Of Castle Mound
Jacco Gardner ‎– Fading Cosmos 12”
Electric Moon ‎– Hugodelia
Twink - Think Pink IV: Return to Deep Space 


tiistai 25. kesäkuuta 2019

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #88 online

Please enjoy the psychedelic sounds of my latest Mixcloud show with tracks by Alber Jupiter, Japanese Television, Twink, Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek, London Underground, Soft Hearted Scientists, Jack Ellister, Hawkeyes, Pseudo Sun, White Manna, Unimother 27, Plastic Crimewave Syndicate, Cosmic Fall, The Insektlife Cycle, Terminal Cheesecake, Electric Moon and Sendelica.

tiistai 18. kesäkuuta 2019

The Insektlife Cycle - Temple of the Soul


This is a brand new release by the instrumental psych rock quartet called The Insektlife Cycle from the Philippines. I first heard about them in 2015 when one of their tracks was used for Fruits de Mer's rare festival-only split single that I reviewed in here. Temple of the Soul includes four long jams edited from a two-and-a-half-hour improvisation session recorded live using a 4-track cassette recorder at the Sound Carpentry Studio in Pateros, Metro Manila, Philippines and sounds rather wonderful.

The almost ten-minute, mid-tempo "Unmentioned Motions" starts the album with a bit pop-like vibe in 3/4 time signature. The tempo speeds up later on as the band is on fire and gets wilder. "Sonic Sermons" is an over 14-minute jam that has a slower, bluesy touch. This is a bit weirder, noisy piece but like the opener based on just two chords. My favourite is the next, title piece "Temple of the Soul" where one of the guitar players has switched to organ giving the track a bit more atmospheric vibe. There is a psychedelic freak-out section in the middle AND at the end, though... Wow, great! "Manilament" is the most gentle and melodic track but still not totally soft or anything. It does get more energetic, faster and wilder later on... Another killer jam! There is apparently a very limited edition lathe-cut LP of this release as well but I think it deserves a proper vinyl album release for sure. Check it out!

maanantai 10. kesäkuuta 2019

Cosmic Fall - Lackland (digital single)

Digital Single

Okay, what we have here is a one-track digital single by Berlin-based heavy psych/stoner rockers Cosmic Fall. I have previously reviewed the power trio's latest album In Search of Outer Space (2018) as well as their drummer's a bit more 60s styled solo album. Both great albums feature just the basic bass/drums/guitar set up as does this new single that will be released to the public on Thursday.

So the new track "Lackland" is a long (8:32), totally instrumental, heavy mid-tempo stoner rocker that at first brings to mind Loop a bit with it's simple, hypnotic riff. The guitar soon gets wild in the Earthless style and the groovy rhythm section offers the perfect background for lots of heavy solo freak-out. Cosmic Fall is freaky, spaced-out jam band, make no mistakes about that. They really let it go wild and furious here and that's the way I like it. I could listen to this kind of heavy, killer jamming for hours and the eight-and-a-half minutes just fly by letting you ask for more ear-candy. I guess this digital single means that they have a brand-new album coming up soon which is great. Can't wait for that! Check out this taster on their Bandcamp site on the 13th of June and blow your mind with some honest, well-played psychedelic stoner rock mayhem!

tiistai 4. kesäkuuta 2019

ØSC meets BMC - Freak Out in the Fjord

Space Rock Productions (SRP059)

Phew, this is a massive two-hour/2CD/3LP release of improvised, psychedelic space rock of the highest quality... Øresund Space Collective played in 2017 in Norway together with Dr Space's another, Norwegian band Black Moon Circle and the next day a studio jam session took place. It must have been an enormous task to set up three drum kits, two guitar set ups, two bass set ups and all the synths, keyboards and the violin that you can experience on this release! There are nine musicians on board altogether.

The album includes just four, VERY long jams. "Rendezvous in the Nebula" starts off slowly and builds up like jams often do. It has a very hypnotic, repetitive, uplifting and spacey mood until it gets slower and sort of bluesy before the 14-minute marker for another ten minutes or so.  Very nice! The next, jazzy jam is called "Afterglow in the Sea of Sirens" and has cool & groovy Fender Rhodes among other things. Some very inspired, amazing guitar playing on this one too! Things get heavier towards the end. The over 30-minute "Dinner With Gregg A and Jerry G" is, as you might have guessed, sort of inspired by The Grateful Dead and The Allman Brothers Band, so it's has that late 60s/ early 70s jam rock vibe. Of course the spacey synths add other layers as well as always... When things really get rolling I must hold on to my brain for not exploding it! Some pretty wild stuff in there. The longest jam is called "Freak Out in the Fjord" at 36 minutes. I love Jonathan's violin here as well as the groovy, sort of creeping rhythm section. This is probably the highlight for me with intense, heavy, a bit dark and mind-blowing vibes. Øyvin is playing some cool guitar as well. Proper heavy, psychedelic space rock, I would say! It must have been a challenge to mix together these big jam sessions but the end result is stunning. The last two jams have been cut in half for the 3LP (290 copies on coloured, 184 on black vinyl) version and some of the tracks on the 2CD (500 copies) version are a bit longer than on vinyl but it all works out very well. I love the amazing cover art too. Warmly recommended! If you happen to be in Stockholm tonight, go see ØSC and BMC in action at Melody Box!

Dr Space's Alien Planet Trip - Vol 3 Featuring Martin Weaver

Space Rock Productions (SRP060)

This is the third solo album by Dr. Space aka Scott Heller from Danish/Swedish/American etc. improvised psychedelic space rock group Øresund Space Collective. This time he has teamed up with Martin Weaver, a guitar player known for legendary bands Dark and Wicked Lady. As you maybe know, Scott is not a keyboard player but specialized in producing the most spacey, out-of-this-world windy-whooshy synth noises so don't expect wild keyboard solos or even much synth melodies. There are some arpeggios and sequences in there to help create a bit more solid structures to the very ambient , experimental and spaced-out pieces.

The synthesizers used were Nord Lead 2 virtual analog synthesizer, Korg Monotron, Custom Modular Synthesizer and OSCar. Martin has also programmed some percussion in Logic to give the music more form, like on the opener "Lost in ten Desert" and almost Goa trance-like "Encart Stnap" that ends the album and also has some spoken word at the beginning. My favourites still are the most cosmic, ambient and atmospheric pieces like the majestic "Veganporcotopia" and "Spacey Placey" that really take you to weird, wonderful places. It's very cool to have electric and acoustic guitar in there to make things more interesting, and the drum programming also works for the most part. Scott is the master of spacey analogue synths sounds and alien soundscapes. The production is top-notch and the album cover art perfect for the spacey moods within.  If you enjoyed Scott's two previous solo albums you will for sure love this one. This is very limited edition of just 102 copies on black and 216 on blue vinyl so if you want to get on this strange alien trip you'll have to act fast!