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tiistai 6. heinäkuuta 2021

Schroedinger's Cat - World of Lovecraft

 Planet Yraal Records

Phew... This is a massive compilation album including all the five H. P. Lovecraft themed albums that Schroedinger's Cat has released and worked on during the recent years. Schroedinger's Cat is a psychedelic and spacey project lead by the mysterious Lord Iain Hawk who I think is originally from Germany but has also been living in the UK being part of the space rock scene there. Some of the other musicians on these albums are from the UK like guitarist Vince Cory (who is also part of the Astral Magic family). The albums that this digital only release includes are The Unknown Kadath, The Strange High House in the Mist, The Colour Out of Space, The Nameless City and Dagon. All the albums are completely instrumental, so the Lovecraft them is only in the titles and dreamy, sometimes dark vibes.

The music sure is dreamy and vision-inducing. Seriously, you can really get lost in the maravllous, imaginative world of Schroedinger's Cat. There are a LOT of synthesizeres and keyboards, guitars, bass, sitar, drums and percussion in use as well as tons of spacey effects and some flute. All the music is very atmospheric, beautiful and tranquil, perfect to put on headphones and relax to. Most of the tracks are long and spacey jams with some experimental elements. Some of it also rocks out a bit, but the main emphasis still is on dreamy, peaceful stuff. The overal vibe is very hallucinatory and trippy, anyway. I think the sound is pretty original and unique, but I am sometimes reminded by some other ethereal psychonauts like The Spacious Mind. There are 26 tracks in total so no chance to go through them all here, but if you have a few hours to spend and float in mysterious space I recommend that you put this on, lay down and close your eyes and let it go. It will be a most rewarding experience!

maanantai 5. heinäkuuta 2021

Sendelica - And Man Created God

 Regal Crabomophone (winkle 44)


And Man Created God is the first studio album by Welsh psychedelic space rockers Sendelica since 2019's Cromlech Chronicles IV: The Door Into Summer. The covid time has made things hard for all the bands with no gigs or usual studio activities, but luckily high quality home recording is easy and relatively cheap these day. The only down side here is the lack of live drummer: all the drum tracks are now programmed and I know some people don't like that very much. Personally, I don't really mind this time since the electronic drums are well produced and suite the music.

This is a double vinyl album that lasts almost 80 minutes and has nine songs ranging in length from over four to over 11 minutes. The overal sound is a bit more electronic and hypnotic than before, I think, but you still get loads of guitar and sax solos over spacey atmospheres and groovey bass lines. The stuff is totally instrumental apart from track eight "Seren Golawr" that has the magnificent Elfin Bow on vocals to a great effect. Religious beliefs are a main theme that has inspired the making of this album, the idea that maybe the development of mankind made Man to create God in his own image. Deep stuff, and so is the music! The sound is superb as usual, and there is enough variation from hard rocking to ambient soundscapes to keep you interested for the whole journey. Personally I love the long, repetative jams and there are plenty of those of course. The double LP is wrapped in die-cut cover which is something new for the Fruits de Mer/Regal Crabomophone label and already sold-out at the label, even though the release date is August 13th. I certainly will need to find a copy somewhere since this really is too good to miss!

Early pre-orders of this album come with a free compilation CD Birds of a Feather that also inlcludes a previously unreleased track by my solo project Astral Magic among other treats so try to get that too! It's not available elsewhere...

Astral Magic - The Mists of Orion released on Summer Solstice!


Listen and buy digital or limited CD of my new solo album The Mists of Orion! Only available from Bandcamp and Discogs, at the moment.


Spirits Burning - Evolution Ritual

 Noh Poetry Records (NPR020)

Spirits Burning, as I'm sure most of you know, is an international music community project organized by Don Falcone from Northern California. The list of participants during the years is enormous including several members and ex-members from bands like Hawkwind, Gong, BÖC, Van Der Graaf Generator, Tangerine Dream, Dark Sun (!), you name it. There is no specific style but you can expect anything like acoustic folk, progressive rock, space rock, electronic music, ambient, experimental and anything in between or above. I've been a follower and in contact with Don since the debut album New Worls by Design released in 1999 so it's been a long and adventurous journey.  I have missed a couple of the 16 albums but have always enjoyed the music. There are also two compilations to start with, if you happen to be a newbie. Spirits Burning & Daevid Allen also released one 7" in 2017. Only two of the CD albums have been released on vinyl too: the more space rock focused Alien Injection (that I also have the honour of playing on...) and last year's The Hollow Lands that was inspired by Michael Moorcock's books, an album that I really enjoyed.

Evolution Ritual was released on CD on Don's own Noh Poetry label yesterday. It's again a little different stylistically being mostly acoustic and instrumental. It has a very earthly vibe in contrast to some of the rather electronic stuff released previously. This time the crew included Don with Hawkwind family members Alan Davey, Paul Hayles, Michael Moorcock, Mick Slattery, & Bridget Wishart, Steeleye Span family members Jessie May Smart & Peter Knight, Van Der Graaf Generator family members David Jackson & Graham Smith, Albert Bouchard (Blue Öyster Cult), David Cross (King Crimson), Andy Dalby (Arthur Brown’s Kingdom Come), Monty Oxymoron (The Damned), Ursula Pank (Third Ear Band), Robert Rich, Jonathan Segel (Camper Van Beethoven), Theo Travis (Soft Machine), Cyrille Verdeaux (Clearlight), Darryl Way (Curved Air), Harry Williamson, Hoshiko Yamane (Tangerine Dream), Steve York (Dr. John), & more.

There are 17 tracks in 65 minutes. The mystical title track opens up the album and takes the listener on a deep journey. Also the follow-up "Caves" has a very mysterious vibe. The jazzy "The Laws of Umber" has a bit more energy and groove, sounds like an acoustic version of 70s Gong, to be exact. Later on, "Alternating Universe" has a similar vibe. Then we get some relaxed atmospheres with "Abandoned Habitat" and "The Dream Find" is a piano piece with some pretty violin etc. The rest of the album flows by in mostly mellow moods with different influences and inspirations of various kinds of acoustic and folk music. There's  a little bit of avant-garde in there too for good measure. This is definitely, yet again, a unique Spirits Burning release. Those only into psychedelic space rock or progressive rock might not like it at first but I recommend you to still give it a chance since this is marvellous, imaginative music with great melodies and musicianship and the production is top-notch.


keskiviikko 9. kesäkuuta 2021

Various Artists - Head Rush 3LP + CD

Fruits de Mer Records / Strange Fish (strange fish twenty-two) 


Fruits de Mer continues their very popular Head series this time with mostly tracks by modern artists that are highly inspired by the motorik style of early 70s Krautrock of NEU!, Kraftwerk, Harmonia and Can. And what a marvellous, massive package of goodies this is! We are already familiar with talented artists and bands like Jay Tausig, The Lost Stoned Pandas, Moon Goose and The Legendary Flower Punk, but this tribute 3LP + CD features lots of Fruits de Mer debutants, which is always interesting. Many spaceheads of course already knew acts like Tara's Bulba, Sonic Trip Project, Culto al Qondor, Psychic Lemon etc. since they present the cream of the present underground psych scene. Anyway, I learned a few new names and I'm sure you will too!

Many of the tracks are pretty faithful to the early 70s kraut ethos but some also have a bit more modern take on the motorik what comes to sound and instrumentation. I think that is a good thing to have some variation. It's also nice to have a good balance of instrumentals and songs with (at least some kind of) vocals. There are 22 tracks in total, seven on the bonus CD. All others are original takes on the krautrock tradition but the CD is finished with a 30-minute live version of Harmonia's "Watussi". I won't even try to pick out any favourites since Keith has done such a great job choosing the tunes here that there are definitely no fillers included, just pure killers! I'm sure this amazing various artists album will be spinning a lot at appreciating homes around the world this summer, let's hope the last 100 or so copies missing in transit will soon also be found!

Dark Bottle ‎– Krautbilly Freakout

 Hulina Records (hulina-022)

Krautbilly Freakout is the latest album by Tampere based punk-folk/psych-country and doombilly band Dark Bottle. You might remember my review of their debut Five Euro Pizza picture LP looking just like a pizza I reviewed five years ago. The band has (luckily) gone into a bit more psychedelic and darker, harder direction. This CD album includes just four long tracks and our old friend Scott "Dr. Space" Heller plays modular synths on two of them.

The slow, moody and dark Irish traditional "Molly Malone" starts off the album in an almost doomy atmospheres. Heavy stuff with a droney ending! Then it's time for an original sung in German. "Die Bibliothek von Babel" is a nice folk song and Scott's windy synths add a cool spacey layer. I really like the vocals on this one. The track was originally recorded by Don's old experimental post-folk duo The Fractal Cauliflowers. "The Sun only Shines when I Leave" rocks out more and has funny lyrics based on truth about Don's work trips. Cool guitar solo! "Make Finland Rake Again" is the fastest song and and makes you want to have a beer or ten and boogie along. Spacey synth makes it a bit like space rock which is cool! Definitely the most psychedelic track here and my favourite. All in all, this is a nice and cool little album worth checking out if you want to hear something a bit different.


lauantai 5. kesäkuuta 2021

And Then You Die - Electric Uterus

 Skithund Records


Hailing from Vaasa, Finland, noisy and dirty industrial band And Then You Die celebrates its 30 year birthday with a new album called Electric Uterus. The album includes seven cold, nihilistic, harsh and dark new tracks that will make your soul turn black.

The short "Dodesmarsch" starts off the album with screaming sirens and gloomy vibe. "Fuck Your Sacrifice" is perhaps my favourite song. It has droney synths, pounding industrial drums and hypnotic guitar patterns as well as ice-cold vocals. Great! "Postum" is boogieing in the bit minimal,  harsh industrial style. "On the Rim" has some treated spoken word at the beginning and then a groovy beat starts. I'm somehow reminded of Sweatheart, a bit of Americana vibe but all done in an experimental, noise rock style. Next is the more electronic and bit dreamy "Shit That Floats". I like the way the track grows towards the end. Without the distorted vocals this might be Depeche Mode or something, a cool song. "Right Now" is a dark and experimental soundscape that later turns into groovy, pounding alternative/industrial rocking. The album is finished with the weird and sad "Stairway to Disappointment". At the moment the album is only available on streaming and download services but there are plans to also put out a limited CD edition, so watch out for that!