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torstai 31. heinäkuuta 2014

And Then You Die: Sore

Skithund Records

And Then You Die is a mysterious, dark industrial/Gothic/electronic/shoegazer/etc. project from Finland. They jam in Vasa a few times a year and then produce these stoned, hypnotic and droney improvisations into psychedelic, distorted, gloomy, desolate, post-apocalyptic soundscapes that can almost be called songs. It seems that lately they have mainly released stuff in digital download format, but there are also something out on CD and vinyl. Sore is their latest offering and features seven powerful tracks.
"Für Immer" is not a Neu! cover, but a dark, low-pitched ambient soundscape with distorted bass and guitar with lots of effects. On "Blank Note" the band also uses electronic beats and this is a very hypnotic, spell-bounding track with very Gothic and somehow tribal vibe. I like it! "Far Gone" is a perfect title for the spacey track that combines slow electronic dub beats with almost surf-like, atmospheric guitar and some almost whispered vocals in the distance. You can also tense some melody and electro pop sensibilities on this one. Brings to mind some of the stuff my Massive Attack. "2224" is the shortest track at 3:32 and is a nice,  improvisational jam with little a sinister vibe. The longest piece on the release is "As Bright as a Falling Star" that is very distorted and dark and only starts to move in the middle when the heavy, repetative bass and guitar pattern begins. This is highly hypnotic for sure. "One Two" is melancholic but not as dirtorted or warped us most of the other tracks. Closer to Gothic rock, I guess. The danceable electronic beat joins in at some point and changes the mood a bit and we also get some other variation to the background. "Jesus Does Not Love You" starts off with some hallucinatory sounds, and then we've got industrial post-punk beat and heavy distorted sounds with some really manipulated, whispered vocals in the background. Dark and psychedelic but also a bit groovy stuff! This strange, dark goody is available on Spotify and iTunes.

perjantai 25. heinäkuuta 2014

Earthling Society: England Have My Bones

Riot Season (REPOSELP040)

Hailing from the misty islands of Albion (Fleetwood, North West England to be exact), Earthling Society have been recording albums in their secret private studio for ten years now. This very psychedelic and spiritual group has been inspired by mythology, sci-fi, space rock, psychedelia, kraut rock and cosmic folk as well as mushrooms, speed and beer and you can definitely hear all that in their music. I've been a fan since the beginning, and the band has never let me down. Their latest creation is the totally out-of-this-world album England Have My Bones, their first one on Riot Season, and probably their best yet.

The LP has just four tracks, but three of them are really long. "Aiwass" begins peacefully with some drone and soft guitar growing gradually. This almost instrumental track gets a bit more intense before the four-minute-marker but stays quite hypnotic and meditative.  The end is more experimental and noisy. Very trippy and spacey stuff! "Tortuga" is a very nice, atmospheric and mysterious mid-tempo piece that gets you in trance before you know it. This one also has proper vocals, although heavily effected and a bit buried in the mix. Your mind will be blown later on... I love this song! The B side starts off with "Journey into Satchidananda" and its an Alice Coltrane cover of the most cosmic degree. And this one is over fifteen minutes long... Fred plays some killer solo guitar and things get really spacey and inspired. Phew! The last, shorter track "England Have My Bones" is at first rather chaotic and experimental but cools down into soft, floating, semi-acoustic psychedelia. What an excellent album to escape your dull everyday life with! Earthling Society will take you to places where you have never visited before.

torstai 24. heinäkuuta 2014

Solar Halos: S/T

Devouter Records (DEVOUT010)

Solar Halos is a new heavy stoner/desert/doom/psych trio from Chape Hill, North Carolina, and this album released in January on vinyl, CD and digital is their official debut after releasing Demos in 2012. The band members have previously played in Horseback, Curtains of Night, Fin Fang Foom and Caltrop. The singer/guitarist is female which brings in some nice vibes I think, since I really like her strong voice.

"The Vast White Plains" starts off the album in the Kyuss/Colour Haze vein with some Sleep overtunes and I'm already hooked. "Frost" is a bit doomier and slower track and on "Migration" they get a bit more atmospheric still being rather heavy and hypnotic. On the slow "Wilderness" you can really feel the vast empty space of desert while "Resonance" takes us on a more varied, epic journey. The last, long song "Tunnels" is a bit bluesy but also more progressive number that sort of brings to mind The Obsessed. In summary, this is a cool, heavy and atmospheric album and I'm sure that most doomy stoner/desert rock fans will enjoy it.


Vision Fortune: Night Jukes

Cardinal Fuzz (CFUL018)

This is a 2013 vinyl reissue of tape EP that was originally released in 2012, so I'm a bit late but what the heck. This is what tends to happen to promo downloads I receive, they get lots for a while. Anyway, Visions Fortune is a London-based experimental post-punk/psych duo and I sort of like their vibe. I haven't head about them before, but they have released some limited edition stuff since 2011. Night Jukes includes five tracks of repetative, hypnotic and psychotic rocking. The instrumental "Heavy Saddles" starts off things with a very post-punk/Faust like rhythms and soon we also get some droney keyboards. "Natural Faze" is also rather hypnotic stuff but also has mantra-like vocals to make things more interesting. The dark and mesmerising "Drag" is one of the best tracks and somehow reminds me of Dead Skeletons a bit. I like it a lot! "In My Fathers House There Are Mansions" is closer to garage rock and surf and I love the weird, psychedelic vibe this track has. "Black Ocean Glow" is a more tranquil and hazy but experimental song with vocals in the background. I think I can sense some Captain Beefheart in this, or Circle in their weird forest blues mode. This one also has some saxophone. Not bad at all! I think I'll have to check out what else these guys have released since this all sounds pretty interesting.

tiistai 22. heinäkuuta 2014

Craig Padilla: Sonar

Regal Crabomophone (strange fish six)

Craig Padilla is an internationally known electronic music artist from the US whose music I first encountered last year on the first disc on the Strange Fish series that he shared with Sendelica. The guy has been writing, recording, releasing and performing cosmic, electronic ambient for twenty years, though. This double vinyl includes seven of his unreleased instrumental tracks from 1996 onwards. He has picked the tracks that best go with the 70s kosmische vibe and done a great job.

First we’ve got the short intro “In Search of Stranger Fish” and then “Velvet Moon” also includes some chilled-out electric guitar in the middle of the sequencers and synthesizers. This is very nice and relaxing like Astralasia’s most laid-back pieces. “Cosmic Dawn” is the longest track on the first disc at 14:30 and very Tangerine Dream/Klaus Schulze inspired. Spacey and psychedelic stuff. “Challenge Deep” pulsates through your brain like a trans-dimensional space ship, and “Behind the Lightning” starts off in a very tranquil and floating mode but gets more intense later on having also some electronic beat. LP two has just two long tracks: The title track “Sonar” (composed and performed with Skip Murphy) and the sort of New Age styled “Awaken to a Dream” and they are both epic journeys through mind and soul leaving your spirit renewed and freshened. This is a very welcome album to all lovers of cosmic, electronic ambient music.

Tor-Peders: Brev från Ederstop

Regal Crabomophone (Winkle 16)

Tor-Peders was a short-lived Swedish instrumental beat/psych/prog/garage/surf rock outfit that released just one single in their lifetime and played some shows. The excellent guitar player Jonas Redmo was tragically run over by a car and killed in August 2011, and that was the end of the story. Until now, when the band’s DIY rehearsal recordings from spring 2011 are released on an LP + 7” package by Fruits de Mer’s sister label Regal Crabomophone. And I’m glad these recordings finally see the light of day since this is absolutely great stuff in the late 60s/early 70s spirit! The drummer Johan Svedmyr also plays in Me and My Kites, the bass is played by Tobias Rech and organ, pianet and synthesizer by K.G. Westman (Siena Root, OSC etc.).

The album starts off with “Aye Makami”, a very nice, organ-heavy surf/prog/psych number. I really like it! The George Martin classic (covered also for example by Van der Graaf Generator) “Theme One” (or “Tema Ett” in Swedish, as they put it) follows and I’m even more excited. This is a very powerful and spirited interpretation of this great track. “Småfaglars Värn” begins with drums and experimental psych sounds and then the whole band join the jam. Sort of reminds me of the ancient Swedish psych folk bands with a jazzy feel! “Islossning I C-moll” is a rather up-beat and groovy number with some great solos. Think of the first two 60s Deep Purple albums and you are close. “Incident vid “Domsted” is the longest track at 10:55 and starts off slowly and peacefully with a sort of spooky atmosphere. After a long build-up the track really begins but it stays slow and tranquil although getting heavier. Great! Another long piece “Sinnet Rinner” ends the side two of the LP in melancholic and bluesy moods. The 7” includes two more tracks. “Signed TP” is of course the band’s own, slower instrumental take on Love’s “Signed D.C.” and “L’espirit d’escaliere” a melancholic, bluesy piece with some Swedish folk influences on the melodies I think. This one has previously been released on a very limited CD-R promo single on Fruits de Mer. All in all, this is a very soulful, warm, fuzz-filled, classy and interesting release that comes in a cool textured cover so just get it before it’s gone. A future classic from the past!

torstai 17. heinäkuuta 2014

Harvest Bell: Wheel of Foretaste EP

BloodRock Records (BRRCD016)

Harvest Bell is a cool stoner/doom/hippie rock band from Turku, Finland. They have been around for many years, but this is only their second EP. We can expect the debut full-lenght soon, which is great. This band has something more to offer that your average stoner/doom/70s hard rock band. In addition to all the usual heavy Black Sabbath riffs they have a great singer and sense for melody and atmosphere. This EP includes three new tracks and they are all winners if you ask me. The limited 7" version only has the two first songs and the cover is in different colour. "Salutation" is the first track and it's at first quite traditional, slow/mid-tempo doom metal with great, clean and melodic vocals. Just when you start to thing that something else should happen, they speed up and start to rock out more. Now I'm reminded of Witchfinder General which is great! There's also a bit of psychedelic touch in there. "Afterglow" is a melancholic, atmospheric piece that also has acoustic guitar and some keyboards. The track gest heavier towards the end. This one has an excellent mood, I really like it. A shorter rocker is added to the CD version: "Too Hard a Habit" is a more straight-forward 70's hard rock track that really kicks ass. Think of Blue Cheer or something like that. All in all, this is a very promising EP and I'm definitely looking forward to the full-lenght.

sunnuntai 13. heinäkuuta 2014

Astral Visions Radio show #53 online now!

Astral Visions Radio Show - Music from Psychotropic Zone, is hosted by DJ Astro


Daevid Allen - "Radio Gnome Concert Intro Loop" (from The Death Of Rock)

Dark Sun - "The Right Stuff" (from Visions of Infinity - The Early Demos)
Brujas del Sol - "Satanic Surf Girls Love to Dance" (from Moonliner)
Sky Picnic - "June Sunshine" (from June Sunshine 7")
Temples - "Shelter Song (Leftside Wobble Rocks the Discoteque Remix" (from Shelter Song Remix EP)
And Then You Die - "Blank Note" (from SORE)
Telstar Sound Drone - "Feel It" (from Feel It/Someone 10")
Tame Impala - "Apocalypse Dreams (Live)" (from Live Versions)
Octopus Syng - "Candlelight" (from forthcoming compilation Fallow Park's Music)
Icarus Peel - "Aunty Powders Her Nose" (from Barnburner split 10")
Tir Na Nog - "I Have Known Love" (from I Have Known Love 7" EP)
Os Noctambulos - "Wild" (from the forthcoming album Corsica Gardens)
Window Blinds - "Elephant's Graveyard" (from Harm EP)
Deep Space - "Work" (from Through the Haze)
Desert Lord - "Forlorn Caravan" (from To The Unknown)
Radio Moscow - "Death of A Queen" (from Magical Dirt)
Hot Lunch - "Period Incorrect" (from House of Whispers EP)
Void Generator - "Hidden Orbit" (from Supersound)
Electric Moon - "The Picture (Live)" (from Mind Explosion)
Mordecai Smyth - "Drifted Along" (from Barnburner split 10")
The Spacelords - "Sitarguitar" (from Synapse)
The Scrapes - "Barzakh" (from The Songs of Baron Samedi EP)

Here's the stream / download link:

lauantai 12. heinäkuuta 2014

Mantar: Death by Burning

Svart Records (SVR261)

Mantar is a German metal duo formed a couple of years ago. They don’t have bass, just guitar, drums and screamed, almost black metal styled vocals. This is their debut album and pretty heavy, harsh and brutal stuff but still groovy and with complex and interesting enough riffs and arrangements. Some of the stuff sounds like late 80s progressive thrash metal like Coroner, some like punk/metal cross over bands, some like Bathory, some Voi Vod and who knows what else. Well, I haven’t really followed the (extreme) metal scene since 1990 so maybe other people do know… This is definitely not something that I would totally go nuts about, but the music still kicks ass and keeps me interested. They use a good combination of fast, mid-tempo and slow parts so it’s not just one thing going on and on. ”The Stoning” is a bit closer to stoner rock except for the vocals. The last track ”March of the Crows” is rather epic and doomy and since it also does not have any vocals it is probably the highlight for me. Massive sound with just two guys!

Tír na nÓg: I Have Known Love

Fruits de Mer (Crustacean 49)

Tír na nÓg is an Irish prog folk band formed in Dublin in 1969 by Leo O'Kelly Sonny Condell. They made three albums in the early 70s and toured with bands like Fairport Convantion, Steeleye Span, Jethro Tull and Procol Harum. The duo went separate ways in 1974 but played again occasional shows in 1985, and since 2010 they have been more active again. Apart from a couple of compilations this EP is their first release since 1973 and the guys are in great form!

The four-track 7” EP starts off with the Silver Apples cover “I Have Known Love” originally released in 1969. This is of course totally different in style, but the track is very suitable for a minimal (vocals, acoustic guitar, fiddle, mbira) folk version and sounds just brilliant. I just love Leo’s lead vocals on this. The three other tracks are all originals. “You In Yellow” is a bit mystical, atmospheric track sung Sonny who also still has a great voice. “The Angelus” sounds like it was written in the early 70s and also has some tabla to give a little Eastern flavor. A real nice psych folk piece! “I Pick up the Birds” ends the EP and things get just a bit heavier since this one also has electric guitar. For you collectors out there: the promo CD-R also has a sunny, sort of jazzy bonus track “Andria”…

Astralasia: Wind on Water

Regal Crabomophone (Winkle 17)

Astralasia first started as an offshoot of 80s and early 90s free festival/space/psych/prog rock outfit The Magic Mushroom Band, who just happen to be one of my all-time favourites. I really liked their early albums that were psychedelic, partly electronic ambient and trance music but by 1998’s White Bird album I was not really that interested anymore since the main guy Swordfish chose a much more commercial house/dub/club/trance approach. Then nothing apart from a couple of compilations happened in the Astralasia camp until in 2006 when a new double CD Away with the Fairies was released. I have not heard that one, but I bought the next couple of albums that were released on limited vinyl on Tonefloat. Swordfish seemed to be back on track and I was excited. The news that Fruits de Mer sister label Regal Crabomophone was going to release a new album by Astralasia totally caught me by surprise, since this was not the kind of band that you would think they would be interested in. But listening to Wind on Water it all makes complete sense! There’s none of that house music crap left, this is just psychedelic, hypnotic, floating, ambient and yes, even kraut rock oriented mind music and I love it.

”Rangoon” starts off the LP with tranquil sequencers and synths. Very up-lifting and atmospheric. The title track ”Wind on Water” is one of the highlights and also includes some cool guitar. After more peaceful beginning the track gets into motorik kraut groove that goes on for many minutes and I’m in psychedelic heaven. Things cool down at the end and we even get some acoustic guitar. Wow! ”Cresta Run” is a more ambient/dub in nature but very celestial and wonderful and I’m reminded of solo stuff by Hawkwind keyboardist/violinist Simon House. This track was already recorded in 2006, says the promo sheet. ”The Innosence” is abit more experimental at first and then gets close to the hypnotic early 90’s stuff. We get some acoustic guitar, sounds of waves and even manipulated vocals in the end which is nice. Trippy stuff! After the four tracks on the LP there’s also a 7” to go! ”The Desert” (also recorded in 2006) has piano, windy swooshes, keyboards, violin, harmonica and narration. The dub beat joins in after a couple of minutes and we also get some tasty electric guitar and acoustic stuff. Not bad at all! The last track ”Continuim” opens up slowly and softly and then starts to rock in the 70s Pink Floyd style. A very cool piece! I don’t have the actual finished product yet, but the pictures of the very special hand-printed optical art PVC sleeve look totally amazing, so get this limited (700 copies) LP + 7” package before it’s gone! The best Astralasia album since What Ever Happened to Utopia? twenty years ago.

keskiviikko 9. heinäkuuta 2014

The Shine Brothers: Hello Griefbirds!

Cardinal Fuzz (CFUL020)

This is the debut album by US psychedelic garage rock band The Shine Brothers that first saw the light of day last year as an limited tape release in the US. The UK edition on vinyl (200 copies on red, 300 on black) and CD was a bit late and released in January 2014 on the magnificent Cardinal Fuzz. Like most of the stuff they put out (well, maybe I should say ALL!) this is a killer album. The songs are usually pretty short (three-minute-something), but there are also three even shorter ones (the energetic opener ”Climp the Ladder”, the fast and furious ”Cago Palo” and easier ”Only Time Will Tell”) and one eight-minute, slow psych monster (”When Wendy Burns”). The songs are all rather 60s inspired, I can hear echoes of several US psych garage bands like The 13th Floor Elevators, The Seeds etc., but there are also for example some Stones vibes on a couple of songs and much more.

The Shine Brothers have a some what trashier and rawer attitude to interpret the 60s garage rock than for example The Black Angels or some other hip bands at the moment and their sound is not overtly polished although the album still sounds good and very real. They use some harmony vocals that work out great and sometimes remind me of The Byrds or even The Beatles. I also like the organ sound and other instruments. My favourite tracks are the up-beat, melodic and even pop-like ”Creation”, a little The Doors-like ”Innocent Girl”, the funny, cheery and groovy ”Drug Dogs” and the highly lysergic ”When Windy Burns”, but I actually like most of the songs very much. Check it out!