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perjantai 28. maaliskuuta 2014

Legendary acid-punks Chrome (USA) to play in Finland for the first time!

Chrome have been confirmed as the Saturday headliners of Fight the Night II - Nighmare City festival to be held at Ääniwalli in Helsinki on June 13-14. Nowadays led by the unique guitar player Helios Creed, the line-up also features for example Tommy Grenas (Farflung etc.) on synths. Chrome started in 1976 and are the forefathers of psychedelia for the punk era and also forerunners of industrial and experimental music and a huge influence on space/sci-fi rock. This will be a very special gig for sure so don't miss out!

Other bands at the festival include Goblin (ITA), The Psychedelic Warlords (UK) and Master (USA). The advance tickets can be bought online from Tiketti.

Roadburn Festival 2014: timetables and our DJ slots!

Oh yes, DJ's Astro & Jugh (Psychotropic Caravan, Slip Inside This Club etc., Finland) are returning to the amazing Roadburn Festival once again! What an honour to be part of this celebration of the riff. We will be spinning psychedelic/spacey/doomy/motorik/progressive etc. discs EVERY DAY from Thursday to Sunday (the traditional Afterburner) as follows:

Thursday: Stage01
Friday: Green Room
Saturday: Stage01
Sunday: Green Room

Please come and say hello if you feel like it! It might get quite crowded and sweaty at times, though...

Below you can see the timetables of all stages, our DJ areas are marked in purple. We just can't wait to experience Roadburn again, it's always a highlight of the year!!!

torstai 27. maaliskuuta 2014

The Cosmic Dead: Easterfaust

Sound of Cobra Records

The latest LP by these superb psychedelic space cadets from Scotland is this beautiful marbled piece of vinyl that includes just one 40-minute track divided in two parts. The Cosmic Dead has been one of my favourite modern psychedelic space rock bands since they sent me their first, self-titled album on CD-R in 2011. After that I have bought all the tape and vinyl releases they have put out and also seen the band live twice, first at Roadburn Festival and then at Liverpool Psych Fest. They have the ability to resurrect the Space Ritual era Hawkwind blanga but they can also do much more. This new album was recorded in Scotland in August 2013 and released in March 2014 by German(/Italian) label Sound of Cobra.

“Easterfaust Part I” starts off in a very mesmerizing, slow and dreamy manner. There is also some distant, effected human voice to be heard. This band really trusts on repetition, but they still make enough changes to sound interesting. After a very spacey, experimental ambient part the track starts to rock in space/kraut rock vein with full energy before the nine-minute marker. Think of early 70’s Hawkwind jams like “You Shouldn’t Do That”. Things will only get heavier, trippier and more spaced out… This will blow your mind to pieces! Part II continues the in-your-face space rocking and there’s also lots of analogue space sounds going all over the place. This is my favourite kind of music I’ll tell you, wild, hypnotic, psychedelic, a bit crazy and highly psychoactive. After rocking out for 16 minutes the track cools down into ethereal, blissful floating that goes on for a couple of more minutes before the final burst. Amazing! Just get this album and everything else this spacey bunch have put out, you won’t regret it. The vinyl is already sold-out at the source but you can still get a copy from some mail-order companies and the CD version on Paradigms Records is just out. The Cosmic Dead are also playing live around Europe quite a lot so go and see them too!

The Movements: Like Elephants 2

Crusher Records (CRCD024)

Okay, here we’ve got the second part to the Like Elephants 1 released last autumn by this great garage psych rock band from Gothenburg, Sweden. Both volumes were recorded around the same time and really complement each other. This band really has sense for good melodies and their music just gets more and more captivating. This is not the most psychedelic stuff you get to hear nowadays, but it’s really good, inventive, interesting and fresh music that touches your soul and that’s what matters the most.

“Six Feet Under” starts off the album in a melancholic and melodic way. This reminds me of TSOOL, a very nice track… “Stolen Love” is even better, and uses a melody line from “Paint in Black”. This one sticks into your mind in a nice way and makes the cold shivers go through your spine. Excellent! “Ice Cold” is a semi-acoustic ballad where the excellent singer is perhaps not at his best. “Give It to Me” is a powerfully pounding simple piece, and “Everybody Needs Something” one of the most potential hit songs reminding me of "Live for Today" performed by The Lords of the New Church in the 80’s (but originally by the 60’s garage group Grass Roots). This one was already released on a 7” with one song from Like Elephants 1. After ten seconds of silence we get the slow and nice “Redemption” that has some country elements like slide guitar. “Yesterday, Now & Forever” is a fast rocking garage pop song that makes you want to dance, and “Like Elephants 2” a darker, droney and psychedelic, meditative piece that I like a lot. The longest song on this album is the wonderful “Winter’s Calling” that has some of the best vibes of 60s psych pop and rock sounding a bit like The Byrds. Later on it locks into a hypnotic, fuzzy groove that melts your mind. This is a masterpiece! Then we only have left the slow and mellow, organ-driven “What Would Happen If I Tried” that ends the album in a very nice, sort of Spacemen 3-like manner. Well-done boys!

keskiviikko 19. maaliskuuta 2014

Crystal Jacqueline and The Honey Pot: S/T 2 x 7”

Fruits de Mer Records (Crustacean 47)

Crystal Jacqueline made her Fruits de Mer debut on a beautiful 7” last year, and now is time for a double 7” with The Honey Pot. Crystal and her partner Icarus Steel both also happen to play in The Honey Pot, so this is really not your standard split release with two wholly different bands, but the deal is more or less that they just thought what version of their band would be better for each song. The end result works splendidly, and that’s what matters anyway!

This double EP includes seven tracks one of them being an original. The rest are classic psych/prog rock masterpieces treated with enthusiasm, honor and skill. First we’ve got a very nice and mellow cover of Pink Floyd’s “Remember a Day” by Crystal Jacqueline. What a lovely song! The Icarus Steel original “It’s Raining” is a fast and short 60s styled psych rock number and does fine in this classy company. Great organ, wah guitar and male vocals on this one. “White Rabbit” must be one of the most covered 60s psych classics but I still always enjoy a new great version like this The Honey Pot one that has a twist of its own. I can’t say that I’m very well familiar with The Fleur de Lys but their song “Tick Tock” sounds pretty good played by The Honey Pot. There’s even a great, psychy organ/guitar solo part! “Egyptian Tomb” is another song that I don’t even remember hearing before since I unfortunately don’t have any albums by Might Baby. This is pretty nice, pleasant late 60s/early 70s melodic rock music. Curved Air was rather famous in the 70s for their sound influenced by prog, classical music and fusion. “Puppets” is a rather slow, beautifully orchestrated song but probably my least favourite on this EP. Still not bad at all! And now the best piece: “I Had Too Much To Dream” is one of the best 60s psych rock/pop anthems and I just love it! So does Crystal Jacqueline, apparently, since this version sounds just perfect. The great cover art is by Dale Simpson again. What a great double seven-incher, warmly recommended.

maanantai 17. maaliskuuta 2014

Schnauser: As Long as He Stays Perfectly Still

Fruits de Mer Records (Crustacean 46)

It’s a small miracle that there have been no Yes or Soft Machine covers on Fruits de Mer yet, but now it’s time to settle this at once. Schnauser is a psych/prog band from Bristol, UK, founded in 2005 by Alan Strawbridge formerly of The Lucky Bishops. They have four albums out, the two first being just digital releases at Bandcamp, but the last two are out on CD. Hey, I need copies! These guys really can play and sing and they are perfect to interpret both early Yes and Soft Machine. “Astral Traveller” was originally released on the 1970 Yes album Time and a Word and happens to be one of my favourite Yes tunes. It still has lots of the 60s psych feel to it, although being rather progressive but with those wonderful pop melodies. Schnauser stays quite true to the original still making the song their own. Excellent version! The Soft Machine track is “As Long as He Stays Perfectly Still” and things get jazzier until the very psychedelic freak-out part in the end. Wonderful stuff! I don’t think I need to say more just buy this 7” before it’s gone since this very promising and relatively new band certainly know what they are doing.

lauantai 15. maaliskuuta 2014

Astral Visions Radio: Crabstock on Ice - Fruits de Mer Records Festival of Psychedelia in Helsinki, May 3rd 2014 (show #50)

In celebration of our forthcoming festival on the 3rd of May: a full two-hour set by just acts playing at Crabstock on Ice!

Here's the Facebook event!


Us & Them with Frobisher Neck – “Gently Johnny” (from Summerisle –EP of Songs from the Wicker Man)
Octopus Syng - "Highways" (from Birds of Morning Are Never Late)
Sendelica – “Venus in Furs” (from The Pavillion of Magic and the Trials of the Seven Surviving Elohim)
Jack Ellister - "Song for Wilde" (from Dawn Dream Club 7” EP)
The Legendary Flower Punk - "My Tribe" (from S/T)
Us & Them - "All the Pretty Little Horses/Julia Dream" (from S/T 7“ EP)
Octopus Syng - "Clown of Sunrise" (from forthcoming compilation album Fallow Park's Music)
Sendelica – “Zhyly Byly” (from The Pavillion of Magic and the Trials of the Seven Surviving Elohim)
Us & Them - "Oblivion" (from Walk Light 7“ EP)
Jack Ellister – “Dear Prudence” (from V/A: The White EP)
Octopus Syng - "Midsummer Night's Scene" (from V/A: Keep Off the Grass)
Sendelica w/ Nik Turner – “Urban Guerilla” (from V/A: Roqueting Through Space)
The Legendary Flower Punk - "Kotlovan" (from S/T)
Us & Them - "Do I Know You" (from By the Time It Gets Dark 7” EP)
Jack Ellister – “Within You, Without You” (from Dawn Dream Club 7” EP)
Octopus Syng - "All Tomorrows Parties (Live)" (unreleased)
Sendelica - "It Happened One Sunday Afternoon in Wales" (from The Kaleidoscopic Kat And Its Autoscopic Ego)
The Legendary Flower Punk - "Shivering Stars" (from S/T)
Octopus Syng - "Varanasi Rock n Roll All Night Long" (from Beyond the Karmadelic Coldness, There's the Lovedelic Warmth)
Sendelica - "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Buddha (Live)" (from V/A: Live in London 7” EP)
Us & Them - "Butterfly" (from V/A: Re-Evolution - FdM Sings The Hollies)
Jack Ellister – “Old South (Live)” (from V/A: Live in London 7” EP)
The Legendary Flower Punk - "Heart of Darkness (Edit)" (from S/T)
Octopus Syng - "Festivals of Twilight" (from Birds of Morning Are Never Late)
Jack Ellister - "Flaming" (from Dawn Dream Club 7” EP)
The Legendary Flower Punk - "Celestial (Raw Mix)" (unreleased)
Us & Them - "By the Time It Gets Dark" (from By the Time It Gets Dark 7” EP)

Listen or download...

Here's the updated poster with Jack Ellister (The Nerherlands) added to the line-up...

perjantai 14. maaliskuuta 2014

Schitzo Fun Addict: Theme from ‘Suspiria’

Fruits de Mer Records (Crustacean 48)

Schitzo Fun Addict from the US was the first band to ever release music on Fruits de Mer back in 2008, and their single limited to just 300 copies including covers of “Them One” (Van der Graaf Generator) and “Ogden's Nut Gone Flake” (The Small Faces) is now really collectible. After six years it’s time for another amazing 7”! This time they are focused on movie soundtracks with a twist. On the side A we’ve got a totally marvelous, psychedelic and scary version of “Theme from ‘Suspiria’”. This track originally written and recorded by Italian prog band Goblin for the classic 70s horror movie by Dario Argento, is one of my favourite soundtrack pieces ever. It has such an eerie vibe, and Schitzo Fun Addict have added some spacey, mind-blowing analogue synth swooshes to expand the experience, and their version is rather different in other ways too, but still of course includes the spooky but whimsical melody. Great! On the flipside, there is a more positive sounding song called “In the Long Run” that is well familiar among the fans of Russ Meyer since it originally appeared in his 1970 exploitation movie Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Wonderful, sunny sounds of the ages gone by! I love the female vocals of this band. There’s again a psychedelic twist included but only in a subtle manner. The single will also include an insert and a DVD of a film by the Schitzo Fun Addict’s main man Jet Wintzer so you really get your money’s worth of goods here!

Census of Hallucinations: Coming of the Unicorn

Stone Premonitions (SPCD074)

The space/psych/prog/ambient band Census of Hallucination released the album Coming of the Unicorn in November 2013 and this might just be their most cosmic and psychedelic CD since their debut album in 2000! The band has put out several compilations and also re-done some of their old stuff, but this is almost 100% brand-new stuff with a nicely flowing full-album vibe.

The psychedelic and experimental “Something That Affects All People” starts off the album, and then the band goes into pleasant, dub-like mood with “Only Time Will Tell”. The twin-vocals of Tim and Terri~B work very well and there is also some floating solo guitar. “As Within So Without” has a quite electronic, sort of weird vibe, and the next piece “Put the Head On” is a more rocking, mysterious, rather heavy and trippy instrumental that I really enjoy. On the title track the sequencers and synths are playing an important role, but we also get some amazing solo guitar. I’m glad that John Simms (Clear Blue Sky) is also playing guitar and guitar synthesizer on this album! “Stars” is yet another reworking of “My God, It's Full of Stars”, but this is a very different, spacey and rocking version that has more guitar than before and is perhaps the best version there is! The Gong vibes shine through on “Miracle” and that’s totally okay. “Electroid” is a short sound experiment, and then it’s time to trip out with the trance-inducing instrumental “Crystal Spheres of Light” that is perhaps my favourite on the CD. “UFO Over Penrith” is a short, nice ambient piece and “Love You True” a pretty, cosmic ballad. “Existential Vertigo” is another short instrumental interlude and the album is finished with “As Within So Without (Slight Return)” to make sure we don’t end up feeling too normal after the album experience… UFO abduction, anyone? This is an excellent album and I’m so glad the band is definitely going into more spacey and mind-expanding direction. Great!

keskiviikko 12. maaliskuuta 2014

Baby Woodrose: Kicking Ass and Taking Names

Bad Afro Records (AFROCD047 / AFROLP047)

Baby Woodrose from Copenhagen has been one of my favourite psych/garage rock bands since their debut album Baby Blows Your Mind in 2001. Even before that album made by Lorenzo Woodrose by himself I was a big fan of his previous band On Trial, where he played drums. So, being a hard core fan, I of course have all the Baby Woodrose singles and split releases, but I was still very happy with the idea of releasing a compilation of rare single tracks, since they are all very good and you don’t usually listen to 7” singles that much, do you? Kicking Ass and Taking Names is a perfectly crafted compilation of those beautiful gems that have sort of been lost in the dust. The oldest tracks were recorded at the first studio session of the original full band line-up with Fuzz Daddy and Moody Guru, who are featured also on most of the other tracks. Some of the singles are now very hard to find and collectable, so this is a wonderful opportunity for newer fans to get hold of these tracks.

The compilation kicks off with “Information Overlords”, the powerful B-side of “I’m Gonna Make You Mine” released in 2007. The even more rocking and energetic “Good Day to Die” originates from Let Yourself Go 7” released on Longfellow Deeds Records in 2008. This will make you move! “Coming Around Again” is a little more atmospheric A-side from 2008 that I really like. The B-side of that single is the very simple and direct “I Feel High” that has no drums. “Making My Time” is a nice, mid-tempo garage rocker with nice organ and was released on a Greek double A-side 7” in 2009. “Long Way Down” rocks harder and faster and reminds me of some of the On Trial songs. I almost missed the orange vinyl version of Countdown to Breakdown 7” that had this as a B-side. “Double Six” is definitely one of the rarest songs here since it’s from the first single released in 2001 and limited to just 300 copies. This is rather primitive sounding caveman garage rock and I like it! “Light Up Your Mind” is from the latest Baby Woodrose single and very catchy stuff. “Bubblegum” is the B-side and sounds very 60s like The Kinks or something. The under two-minute “Too Far Gone” from the Disconnected 7” comes next and then it’s time for the Raveonettes cover “Beat City” that, to my knowledge, has never been released before! This is the only cover song on the album and it sounds wonderful. “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” is perhaps the heaviest and tightest piece Baby Woodrose has ever recorded: this sounds like Monster Magnet, even the vocals! It is from the 2005 split single with The Dollhouse. “Live Wire” from the No Other Girl single in 2006 is pounding and straight-forward, and the compilation ends with the rare Baby Woodrose ballad “That’s How Strong My Love Is” from the first single. What an album! There are still a lot of single tracks that are not featured here so maybe we can expect a sequel at one point? I really hope so, since this band really kicks ass!


tiistai 11. maaliskuuta 2014

Vincebus Eruptum #16 & #17

Since I received the issue 16 very late and issue 17 very early, I’m now reviewing both issues of this great Italian heavy-psych music magazine at once. Both are still available. This very colourful and psychedelic looking magazine is written in English and always includes bands that I really like. Issue 16 has interviews with Colour Haze, Sula Bassana, Church of Misery, Telstar Sound Drone and Blood Ceremony, so quite different stuff is included! Stefan Koglek from German progressive stoner psych band Colour Haze tells us about his future plans, recording techniques, the importance of vinyl editions and his record label. Very interesting! Dave Schmidt aka Sula Bassana is one of my biggest musical heroes so I can never get enough info on him. We get to know some of his roots and music taste as well as more detailed stuff about Electric Moon, his main band right now with his partner Lulu and how to sustain a long career in music. The Japanese heavy stoner doom monsters Church of Misery are always entertaining with their mass murderer enthusiasm, and it’s nice to hear a bit from the founder bass player Tatsu’s background as well. Telstar Sound Drone is an excellent, rather new psych band from Denmark who released their debut full-length for Bad Afro last year. This is only the second interview with them I have read so it was very interesting. You might know a couple of these guys from the Baby Woodrose live line-up… The Canadian occult psych/doom band Blood Ceremony makes excellent music and the interview with their female singer Alia O’Brien is also most enlightening. Over one half of the magazine is dedicated to album reviews (including Sendelica, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Black Rainbows, Carlton Melton, Naam, Giobia etc.). A very enjoyable mag!

Issue 17 is just out and is, once again, just amazing. In this issue we get interviews with Sendelica, Wild Eyes S.F., The Lone Crows, The Oscillation, Alice Tambourine Lover, The Vintage Caravan and Nightslug. I had never even heard about the last two, so some new acquaintances this time! I’m very familiar with the Welch space/psych rock band Sendelica, though. So are Vincebus Ereptum, and they have also released some of their stuff on vinyl and I’m very grateful for that. Peter Bingham tells us about his previous bands, collaborations, relationship with Fruits de Mer Records and a lot more. I didn’t know all that! I’m not a big fan of Wild Eyes S.F. or The Lone Crows but both these interviews are still nice to read. The Oscillation from the UK, on the other hand, is one of my favourite bands right now and I was very lucky to see them live at the Liverpool Psych Fest last year. This psych-drone band will blow your mind! It was not a big surprise that their influences include Loop, Spacemen 3 and old krautrock, but there is a lot of interesting material in there. Italian band Alice Tambourine Lover (mistakenly written on the cover in plural form…) is a new band based on the ruins of an Italian heavy-psych band Alix, and their music is more blues-based. I still need to review their second album. I’ve got no idea how VE met with The Vintage Caravan, a retro rock band from Iceland! I think I’ll have to check them out. Not sure about Nightslug, who are described as “creepy, unsettling heaviness…based on profound Hardcore Punk background”. When the singer/guitarist is asked what caused them to be so bleak and oppressive, his answer was. “Nightslug is bleak and oppressive because life is, too. There are so many negative things surrounding us. Anger, violence, sorrow, death, despair and all the shit, it’s all real.” Doesn’t really sound like my kind of thing… The great album reviews include for example the new Void Generator album (I want a copy! Or did I get one already? I’m drowning in promos), The Movements, Spids Nøgenhat, The Grand Astoria, The Flying Eyes, Earthless, The Cosmic Dead, Vibravoid, Krautzone and Wolvespirit, and there is also a short mention about the Shindig! Magazine’s Interstellar Overdrive, their amazing issue dedicated to space rock. You can get these lovely mags with great cover art by Kabuto for only 3€ each. Most recommended!

maanantai 10. maaliskuuta 2014

Alan Davey's Psychedelic Warlords to Fight the Night II Festival in Helsinki!

All Hawkwind fans take note!!!

Psychedelic Warlords is a band from the UK led by Hawkwind's longest-running bass assassin Alan Davey. Last year the band celebrated the 40th year birthday of Hawkwind's legendary Space Ritual live album by playing the whole album live with as much authenticity as possible. I can personally say that their performance at Roadburn Festival was totally mind-blowing!

This year, it has been 40 years since the release of Robert Calvert's Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters and Hawkwind's Hall of the Mountain Grill LP's, and Psychedelic Warlords are touring these albums now. We have an unique opportunity to see the band live twice at Fight the Night II Festival at Ääniwalli, Helsinki. On Friday June 13th, the band will play Captain Lockheed with some surprises from the Hawkwind back catalogue. On Saturday, it's time for the Hall of the Mountain Grill set with again some other tracks added to the end.

You fan buy the 2-day tickets through Tiketti, early-bird price is 52,50. Other bands include:

Claudio Simonetti's Goblin (ITA)
Master (USA)
Mortuary Drape (ITA)
Antichrist (SWE)
Salem's Pot (SWE)
Tombstoned etc.

Facebook event is over here.

perjantai 7. maaliskuuta 2014

Papir: IIII

El Paraiso Records (EPR015LP)

Papir is an instrumental psychedelic/kraut/space rock trio from Copenhagen, Denmark, and I have been a fan since the self-titled debut released in 2010. They have also released one collaborative jam album with Germany’s Electric Moon and one split 7” with their space brothers Øresund Space Collective. I have really enjoyed all their releases, and this brand new album is no exception! They have the ability to create unbelievable atmospheres mainly with just guitar, drums and bass. The couple of latest albums sometimes have similar moods than some post-rock bands, but Papir is far more inventive and interesting than your average trend band and also goes into much more psychedelic areas that really touch your soul. They can also be rather heavy in the progressive stoner rock vein, which is great. And these guys are also excellent musicians! The vinyl version of this new album is limited to 1000 copies and includes three long, new studio tracks with excellent sound quality. There’s a download code included so you can also get the fourth, shorter bonus track (“IIII.IIII”) that didn’t fit on the vinyl.

There are two tracks on side A. “IIII.I” starts off in a pleasant, a bit jazzy style in 5/4 time signature and you can definitely tell what band this is. After some very nice jamming and soloing things get heavier and more intense and there’s also some organ in the mix. Then the track cools down into very mesmerizing and percussive waves of pleasure before the cerebral climax. “IIII.II” begins in a very tranquil mode with some flageolet-notes and it stays very peaceful and ambient for a long time growing very slowly like the best post-rock tracks. Before the four-minute-marker it starts to rock out in kraut rock mode and sounds really excellent! Then we are taken into outer space with some rather fast and energetic but still pleasant and not that heavy stuff that gets more floating and hypnotic in a while. Amazing! The over 20-minute “IIII.III” takes the whole B side of the vinyl and this is a real psychedelic trip with many different turns and moods. At times it’s very groovy and jamming with very fluent playing by the whole band! Their music sounds improvised but if it is then they must be telepaths since there really is no idling that often happens when bands are just jamming. These guys know 100% what they’re doing. This is absolutely the highlight of the album and will blow your mind. “IIII.IIII” is just a soft and relaxing five-minute flight including some organ to sooth your brains after the sonic onslaught of the previous number. Very nice! I really love this band and can’t wait to see them live at Roadburn Festival next month both on their own and together with one of my other musical heroes Electric Moon.

torstai 6. maaliskuuta 2014

Bronco Bullfrog: Time Waits for Norman

Regal Crabomophone (Winkle 15)

I’ve never before heard of Bronco Bullfrog from the UK, but this trio named after a 60s cult movie have been around from 1996 making wonderful, totally 60s sounding psych pop / freakbeat music. It’s like The Kings and Kaleidoscope (UK) were still active and movies made in black and white, the innocent 60s vibe is so authentic. First we get two originals that totally sound like they were written in ‘67-‘68. “Time Waits for Norman” is a melodic mid-tempo piece with some catchy harmony vocals and danceable beat. There’s also a little bit of phasing to give it a slightly psychy vibe, but this is still rather safe and sound pop stuff and not that freaky. The shorter “Rocking Horse Mender” is even sweeter and more naïve, but it’s such a lovely song that you will have hard time not to fall in love with it. I really liked the picked electric guitar on this one and the melodies are captivating. Then they do a nice cover version of a classic freakbeat song “Listen to the Sky” originally released on a single in 1967 by Sands. Why an earth have I never heard this track before? It should have been on one of the 60s psych compilations I have… Well, it’s a great track anyway, and has a little bit more edge. “Close your eyes and listen to the sky!”. That’s a great advice if you ask me. Go and get this little precious piece of coloured vinyl fast or suffer the insane Ebay prices of tomorrow.


keskiviikko 5. maaliskuuta 2014

Us and Them: By the Time It Gets Dark

Regal Crabomophone (Winkle 14)

Okay, here’s the latest release by this amazing psych folk duo from Stockholm, Sweden. For this limited 7” EP Britt and Anders have recorded two wonderful covers and one longer original for the B side. The EP starts off with a beautiful and sunny “By the Time It Gets Dark” originally by Sandy Denny. I have not heard the original (or any other songs by this favourite female singer of Fruits de Mer’s Keith) but I have a feeling I should… This is just amazing stuff that is perfect for lighting up a dark morning. You just can’t feel bad after hearing this song. I love Britts soft voice and the instrumentation is perfect including acoustic and electric guitar, strings and something that sounds like Mellotron and vibraphone. The Donovan song Jabberwocky is based on prose by Lewis Carroll and is closer to traditional folk music. Great stuff that takes us into a forgotten mystical age! What touches me the most is still the duo’s own song “Do I Know You”. This a bit longer composition at 6:38 and has a dark, melancholy but beautiful mood. After the three-minute-marker we also get some electronic beat and soundscapes that gives their folk a new dimension. Acid-folk/folktronica, as Keith calls it! I love this song. This 7” should be available soon so pre-order it before it’s gone like most of the releases on Fruits de Mer / Regal Crabomophone. Also, don’t miss the rare opportunity to see Us and Them alive with four other excellent acts on May the 3rd at our Crabstock on Ice – Fruits de Mer Festival of Psychedelia at Club Darkside in Helsinki!

tiistai 4. maaliskuuta 2014

My weekend in Manchester (Electric Jug Club on 28.2. & Temples on 1.3.14)

Last weekend was spent in Manchester. It was my first visit to this town and I had wonderful time. I saw some old friends who had managed to score me a ticket for the sold-out Temples show at Manchester Academy 2. I wanted to make a full weekend trip out of it, and noticed that there was a cool looking psych club night on Friday at Gulliver's, so I just bought a ticket for that too (only 5 pounds in advance).

First pint before the Gulliver's

It was the first time that Electric Jug had their club night at Gulliver's in the very groovy part of the city called Northern Quarter. Previously they had partied a little bit further away from the city in a smaller venue. Gulliver's was a pub that had a rather small but very nice venue upstairs and was perfect for this kind of club night. I met some very friendly people at the pub before the club started and had a couple of ales with them. Also the Electric Jug organizers were very nice and helpful and I enjoyed chatting with them. The first band of the evening was The Black Delta Movement from Hull. I had just checked them out in the internet and didn't know much about them, but their quite psychedelic, powerful and intense garage psych/indie rock was very enjoyable most of the time. Some of the tracks rocked really hard but there were also more melodic moments. These young guys have several CD EP's out and their manager gave me the latest one to review.

Then it was time for a local band called The Underground Youth that I first became aware of due to the Fuzz Club Record's excellent compilation The Reverb Conspiracy Volume One (also including for example Dead Skeletons, Black Lizard, The Lucid Dream etc.). The Underground Youth's set was definitely inspired by The Velvet Underground as well as Brian Jonestown Massacre etc. and I think I could also hear some Joy Division in their somewhat dark and melancholic sound. They had a cool female drummer who was standing and only played a big tom and snare which was cool. The other guitar player who also sang had a very cool Vox guitar and groovy effect pedals that he used a lot. Another very enjoyable show!

After the bands the party continued until 2AM but I was too tired to stay that long. I still managed to hear many cool songs played by the djs like "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra. The only thing I missed that night was a psychedelic lightshow but the boys told me that they were working on that so maybe there will be some mind-blowing projections next time. Go and check out this monthly club if you happen to be in Manchester!

After wondering around town and going to some museums on Saturday (see photos below if interested) it was time to go to see Temples, one of my favourite bands right now. They managed to get quite a lot of attention with their singles last year, and the debut album released last month has been on top ten in the UK at least. I really like their 60s inspired psych rock/pop music that has great melodies, driving beats, lush instumentation and modern production values. There were two support acts that I was not familiar before, but I only managed to see the first one called Dark Bells. They were a nice psych/shoegazer/indie rock trio with a female singer-bassist and sounded surprisingly good. Too bad that I forgot my earplugs (and they didn't sell them anywhere at the venue) since the clear and very good vocals were mixed so loud that my ears were hurting a bit. So after a few songs it was time to go downstairs to the very cozy bar for a couple of pints. I missed the second support band Childhood altogether so I can't comment on them, sorry.
When the Temples gig was due to begin the venue was totally packed and it was really hard to get more refreshments from the bar at the back. They started with my favourite track "Colours to Life" and the whole place was mesmerized. I was a bit dissappointed that they had no psychedelic lights or video projections and just the standard rock show lights were used. The sound was crystal clear and not so loud as I had feared. They played almost every song on the album and at least "Ankh", the b-side of "Colours to Life" 10". There were some a little bit extended jams parts which was great, but the band had a pretty cool and distant way to perform, which might have made some people to think that they were bored or tired. Well, maybe they were, but the playing and singing was excellent, and they did move around a little bit. The other guitar player also played lots of keyboards which worked out really well most of the times. You could feel the psychedelic energies going through the audience, and lots of people were also dancing. It felt to me that the set was rather short and the encore was their latest single "Mesmerized" which was really mind-blowing! The best gig I've seen so far this year, well, the Psychic TV/PTV3 gig at Tavastia was probably as good. I'm really doing my best to see Temples again soon and so should you. There would have been a cool after party by Remake Remodel at The Ruby Lounge but I was just too tired.
Another video from the gig:
Here are some random pictures from Manchester. I liked the town since it was not too big but not too small and still had some old buildings left even though it was pretty much bombed down to the ground during the WW II. The War Museum was the most interestíng museum there: recommended. Piccadilly Records are of course legendary but there were other cool record stores and most of them in the Northern Quarter area.