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sunnuntai 14. huhtikuuta 2019

Astralasia - A Different Kettle of Fish

Strange Fish (strange fish fifteen)

Okay, something a bit different has once again been cooking at the Fruits de Mer fishing camp! Astralasia main man Marc Swordfish has been collaborating with Keith for a few years already for some special remixes for 7" bonus CD's and exclusive members only compilation CD's. There have also been two amazing Astralasia 2LP's Wind on Water (2014) and Oceania (2017) that Keith has released. This 2LP set includes some of the remixes and re-imagings of cover songs and originals that were originally recorded for Fruits de Mer by Sendelica, The Chemistry Set and Superfjord as well as some things especially reworked for this release. For a long-time Astralasia fan like me this really makes me drool!

The A side begins with "Johnny's Little Brainticket (lounge mix)" that is based on tracks from the Fruits de Mer 2014 Annual and Postcards from the Deep flexi disc box-set. The lysergic Brainticket vibe has been taken to the 21st century with a groovy electronic beat, I love it! This flows seamlessly into the beautiful ambient piece "Sargasso Sea" edited from the Astralasia live LP Tales From The People Who Are Astralasia (one of the very few Astralasia LP's I'm missing...). That one turns into an alternative mix of "Love or Confusion" that appeared on the special edition of The Chemistry Set's Endless More and More LP. Sitar, lots of acoustic guitar and other stuff on top of hypnotic beat, just wonderful... Also some vocals on this one. On side B, "Deep Magic, A Love Supreme" originally appeared on the Coltrane 7" (by Superfjord and Earthling Society) bonus disc but it's great to have this on vinyl as well! Super groovy and hallucinogenic, would do the trick at a trance party. This trip turns into "Fountains of Ambience" that has only appeared on The Chemistry Set Fountains of Neptune members club free CD. Trippy-trippy...

On side C we first have "Johnny's Little Brainticket in Dub", again based on the tracks from the Postcards from the Deep box-set. "Shamanic Waterfall" appeared on the Coltrane bonus CD and it's a highly enjoyable, psychedelic and relaxing journey to inner space. On side D "The Sorcerer's Apprentice's ambience mix" has been previously heard on the bonus CD of The Fruits de Mer Records Guide to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 7" and it's a magical ambient piece. Then follows an instrumental mix of "The Desert", a vocal mix of which can be heard on Astralasia's "Wind on Water" 2LP. Very nice chilled-out soundscapes! The album is finished with the amazing "Timothy Leary Forever (Legend of  Mind remix)" from the bonus CD of The Chemistry Set's Firefly 7". Leary's message is clear and powerful here! The original track is one of the best songs The Moody Blues ever made, The Chemistry Set's cover is one of the highlights of the whole FdM catalogue and I just love Astralasia so it's easy to figure out how I feel about it. All in all, A Different Kettle of Fish is an amazing double LP of some of the best Astralasia works I've ever heard and a perfect opportunity to hear some of the stuff for the very first time and at least for the first time on mighty vinyl. This is a must-have for a FdM fan who also likes modern but still totally mind-expanding production. Mind-blowing!

Various Artists - The 16th Dream of Dr. Sardonicus - Live

Regal Crabomophone (winkle 36)

This is a cool various artists double LP set recorded live last year at the annual Fruits de Mer Records gathering at Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. Having been a FdM fan since the very beginning, I have always wanted to go there, but the distance and timing has so far made it impossible. It's wonderful to get to taste the atmosphere there at least a bit through this sonic kaleidoscope.

First we get a couple of tracks of great minimal folk music by Eflin Bow. I Am Voyager performs the melancholic "Songbird" and things are still kept pretty simple and plain. Stay from Barcelona usually rocks out, but the first track by them "Old Man" is rather laid-back and "Rock'n'Roll Woman" a more pop oriented affair, but at least we now hear a full band with drums and all. On side two Consterdine offers a spacier instrumental electronic piece with "A Spell for Leonard", nice. Another Sendelica related act The Fellowship Of Hallucinatory Voyagers take us on a beutiful ambient mind journey with "Moonlight Moorings". I am not familiar with The Alain Pire Experience apart from a couple of previous FdM compilation appearances, but their indie psych/pop/rock song "Drifting South" with a long solo section sounds pretty excellent.

Sendelica, the main organizers of the festival, have the side three for themselves. "BS", originally from last year's "Cromlech Chronicles III" is a superb heavy rocker and on the 14-minute "Maggot Brain" the band takes the Funkadelic classic to new hights once again. This track was also the band's debut on Fruits de Mer in 2010 and the 7" is now very collectable! One of my favourite bands. Then it's time for Finnish psychonauts The Fërtility Cült who I've also followed since the beginning. It's good that also they are now part of the FdM family. Their heavier sound is a welcome addition and "Cosmic Kaishakunin" from their debut album is a cool, slow, doomy and heavy rocker while the keyboards and sax add more jazzy, progressive vibes. The festival's special guest Nik Turner finishes off the 2LP with his New Space Ritual band. First we've got the closer to 10-minute Hawkwind classic "Steppenwolf". I love this song! "Walking Backwards" is a cool space rocker from Space Ritual's excellent Otherworld album and it works really well here as well.

All in all, this is a great historical document of a very special festival and I'm so glad that I got to get a little glimpse of what it might have been like to be there. The sound quality is excellent and the 2LP is a cool item to have for all Fruits de Mer followers with so much different but great music on it.

keskiviikko 10. huhtikuuta 2019

Pressor - Weird Things

Addicted Label/Bad Road Records/Voron Nest (723/BR#24/VNCD0009)

Pressor is a Russian stoner/sludge/doom metal band that have been around for at least seven years. They have been compared to bands like Conan (who they have also supported live) and I can understand why. This CD EP (28-min.) from 2018 is their latest release and here the band have charged their ultra heavy and groovy sonic world with spacey and psychedelic synthesizers to a great, mind-expanding effect.

There are four tracks on the EP. "Heavy States" starts off with bubbling, experimental synths until the crushingly heavy, slow riff arrives. This 5-minute instrumental works great as an introduction to the EP. "Weird Things" is a faster, bit hardcore oriented but also very heavy song with aggressive vocals. There are also slower doom passages in the middle for a good balance. "Tripping Deep" is the longest track at 9:45 and also maybe my favourite. Some ultra-cool riffs and windy synths on this one and no mercy is given for the weak! I like the fact that there is also some lead guitar work in there. Also the last piece "Hexadecimal Unified Insanity" is a real killer and on-your-face with lots of brutality and doom and more synth madness. I bet this band also slays live and according to their Facebook page they will be on European tour in April/May also including shows in Helsinki and Tampere so be sure to check them out!

tiistai 2. huhtikuuta 2019

Transnadežnost' - Monomyth

Addicted Label (728)

Transnadežnost' is a cool, (almost) instrumental stoner/psych rock band from St. Petersburg, Russia. Somehow they have stayed outside my radar until I received this CD a couple of weeks ago and immediately fell in love with the band. The band is formed by Aleksandr Yershov – guitar, Alesya Izlesa – guitar, glockenspiel, Nikolay Vladimirovich – bass and David Aaronson – drums, percussion. There are also a couple of guests on Monomyth: vocals, lyrics on "Huldra" – Egor Svysokihgor and trumpets on "Star Child" & "Day/Night" – Aleksey Gorshkov. I really like the band's dreamy, progressive and spacey style that has some resemblance to bands like Monkey 3, Papir or Causa Sui, but they don't actually sound exactly like anyone else. The band has some previous digital only releases but, as far as I know, this is their first physical output.

There are seven tracks on the CD. The bluesy and dreamy "Pacha Mama" starts off the journey at first in a rather tranquil manner. There are also some more intense, progressive stuff in there to make things more interesting. Very cool! Also "Ladoga" has a peaceful beginning but after some hypnotic stuff it starts to rock out in a sort of trancey way. Things cool down again towards the end. The pretty long (9:30) "Kailash" has lots of different stuff in it from fast kraut/stoner rocking and groovy mystical heavy psych to weird, experimental and almost ambient jamming with percussion. Amazing! The bit shorter "Star Child" is an atmospheric track with trumpet to give it a sort of post rock vibe. The spacey and dreamy  "Huldra" is one of my favorites and it's nice to have some vocals for a change. "Chewbacca" is the album's shortest track at 2:41 and very good and psychedelic as well. The album is finished with the beautiful and hypnotic "Day/Night" that is one of the highlights and also the longest track (12:15). The trumpet again gives some jazzy extra flavor to the trance-inducing vibes. Fans of bands like Maserati will enjoy this ride! In summary, Monomyth is an excellent, highly enjoyable album full of trippy, atmospheric and adventurous greatness and my only complaint is that this is not out on vinyl. You can buy the digipak CD from the band's Bandcamp site with free postage! Also check out the label's Bandcamp site.

maanantai 1. huhtikuuta 2019

Hotlist March 2019

Okay, these are the top ten slices of vinyl I've been spinning at the Zone in March:

Moths & Locusts ‎– Come Together Right Now (Remixes)
Sex Blender ‎– Hormonizer
The Spacious Mind ‎– The No. 4 or 5 Gravy Band
Minami Deutsch and Damo Suzuki ‎– Live At Roadburn Festival 10"
Kungens Män ‎– Chef
Sounds Of New Soma ‎– Zwischen / Durch
Jupiter – Iosomnia
Omnia Opera ‎– Nothing Is Ordinary
El Hombre Al Agua Oumuamua Parts 1 & 2 
Dream Machine – Temple Of Dreams 


lauantai 30. maaliskuuta 2019

Psychedelic Suns - Distant Light

Clostridium Records

Psychedelic Suns is a solo project by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Pauli Partanen from Finland. I had never heard of him until this CD collecting some of his best works from 2015 to 2018 was released late last year. Pauli has also produced the album by himself and doen a relatively great job at it, I might add. The sound still has that certain home-made vibe but I like it. The great album cover design is by Dale Simpson who of course was perfect for the job. You can find quite a lot of other stuff at Psychedelic Sun's Bandcamp page, but this seem sto be the first physical release.

The CD includes seven tracks and five bonus tracks not on the download version. The music varies quite a lot, but's it's all in the 60s/70s vein. There's acid folk,  groovy, danceable latin styled stuff that brings to mind Death Hawks or The Hypnomen or, indeed, Santana, experimental electronic weirdness, heavy space rock, early Pink Floyd styled trips, hypnotic and dark ethnic vibes, laid-back psych rock and everything in between. I won't go though all the tracks this time, but I do like them all. I hope that the next Psychedelic Suns release would be on vinyl since Pauli's mind-blowing, adventurous music really deserves it. This is great old-school loner psych for the new millenium, try it!

Sun Dial - Return Journey (reissue)

Sulatron Records (st1901)

Sun Dial is one of the greatest UK neo-psych rock bands and I've been a big fan since the early 90s. Their debut album Other Way Out released in 1990 on their leader's (guitarist/singer etc. Gary Ramon) own Tangerine label is absolutely one of the best psychedelia albums done after the 60s. Return Journey was recorded in 1991 with a recently recruited full band line-up with a similar, raw and heavy touch than the debut. But then the band decided to go in a bit more mainstream, certainly more produced shoegaze style with Overspill EP and Reflecter LP, and the recordings were shelved for a while.  Gary did release them in 1993 as a highly limited edition of just 500 copies on LP and CD. There have been a few CD reissues, but this is the first time this great album is being re-released on vinyl.

The LP has seven tracks. It starts up with a very cool cover of The Open Mind's  classic 7" track "Magic Potion", one of the best songs of the original psych era. Sun Dial made it a heavy guitar feast not unlike the early Spacemen 3 and I love it! "North Eastern" is a heavy instrumental rocker with plenty of room for Gary's wild guitar playing. Also released on a promo single and, as a more polished version, on the Overspill EP, "Fireball" is one of the highlights here. It certainly had even some hit potential being a very groovy and catchy piece of alternative acid rock. "Through You" has a bit more 60s vibe I think, another winner. "UV" is a shorter, dreamy acoustic instrumental and then it's time for the band's real mind-blower, the over 13-minute "Sun Stroke/Mind Train" that really gets the listener "out-there". This used to also be one of the live favourites and was re-recorded for Libertine. Think of a heavier version of "Interstellar Overdrive" by Syd's Pink Floyd and you are pretty close... Trippy-trippy! The album is finished with the beautiful, more tranquil and organ-driven "Slow Motion" that was resurrected for Libertine as well, just magical. Return Journey is one of my favourite Sun Dial releases and actually one of the best heavy psych rock releases by anyone anytime, so this LP reissue that comes with the original album art was definitely needed. Make sure you also check out their later stuff since it's all excellent!