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perjantai 21. marraskuuta 2014

Lamp of the Universe / Trip Hill: Split

Clostridium Records (CR-013-CD)

This is the first CD release on the previously vinyl-only Clostridium Records from Germany and limited to 500, hand-numbered copies. I've been a big fan of New Zealand-based Lamp of the Universe since the very beginning. Craig Williamson's one-man psychedelic, Eastern-tinged hippie acid folk project has always been able to transport me into other dimensions and I'm always ready for some more tripping. For this split release he has donated one long (21:47), floating and cosmic piece called "Domain of the Buddha". The track was recorded already in 2006 but it doesn't matter since Craig's music is timeless and infinite. This is a highly meditative and hypnotic piece with acoustic and electric guitars, bass, light percussion, flute, mind-expanding space effects, drone and some astral chanting and most definitely does the trick. Just close your eyes and let the gentle waves of this celestial music touch your soul. Totally amazing!

I'm not that familiar with the home-made neo-psych act Trip Hill form Italy, but I do know that's it's also a solo project by Fabrizio Cecchi who has released some great, limited and sought-after LP's since the late 90s. He starts off with a short experimental "Intro", before "Bright Spring" gives us sweet 60s Elevators vibes. Fabrizio is helped by Andrea Papi on drums on this track. I like the fuzzy guitar solo towards the end, very nice! The instrumental "Raining Metallic Mushroom" begins with some weird organ, but then we get some hypnotic, folky acoustic stuff and later also some distorted lead guitar and drums. "I Need Someone" has more melody and song-structure and sounds pretty 60s again. A great song! "Driving Over the Rainbow" is a more atmospheric, beautiful song that gest more psychedelic with some backwards guitar and stuff. Cool! The CD ends with "Outro", an under-two-minute-long experimental lysergic soundscape. Wow... What a great split release with mind-melting cover art by Dale Simpson and vinyl freaks: don't worry, a limited vinyl edition is also on its way!

maanantai 17. marraskuuta 2014

Astral Visions #55 now online!

Just go here to download or stream:


[Track 1: 0:00-3:05] Hawklords - "Sonic Seven Kiss" (from Censored)
[Track 2: 3:05-7:54] Mechanik - "Remember a Day" (from V/A: A Momentary Lapse of Vinyl)
[Track 3: 7:54-15:17] Cranium Pie - "The One Not me Not I" (from The One Not me Not I CD single)
[Track 4: 15:17-25:05] Eternal Tapestry - "Trout Fishing on the Street of Eternity" (from Guru Overload)
[Track 5: 25:05-28:11] Chemistry Set - "See Emily Play" (from V/A: A Momentary Lapse of Vinyl)
[Track 6: 28:11-30:51] The Luck of Eden Hall - "Psychotropic Reaction" (from V/A: Postcards from the Deep)
[Track 7: 30:51-37:20] Monster Magnet - "End of Time (B-3)" (from Milking the Stars)
[Track 8: 37:20-40:29] The Loons - "Celestial Empire" (from V/A: Postcards from the Deep)
[Track 9: 40:29-46:27] Vespero - "Scream Thy Last Scream" (from V/A: A Momentary Lapse of Vinyl)
[Track 10: 46:27-49:52] Octopus Syng - "Flaming" (from V/A: A Momentary Lapse of Vinyl)
[Track 11: 49:52-1:05:01] The Cosmic Dead - "Drone Rivers (Edit)" (from Tunnel Channel Vol. 1: Guardian Alien & The Cosmic Dead)
[Track 12: 1:05:01-1:08:38] Astralasia - "Brainticket" (from V/A: Postcards from the Deep)
[Track 13: 1:08:38-1:15:29] Lumerians - "Hook for an Eye" (from Transmission from Telos Vol. III)
[Track 14: 1:15:29-1:22:11] My Brother the Wind - "Further Up the Mountain Trail (Live)" (from Live at Roadburn 2013)
[Track 15: 1:22:11-1:29:33] Orval Carlos Sibelius - "Archipel Celesta" (from Super Forma)
[Track 16: 1:29:33-1:37:28] Dead Sea Apes - "Regolith" (from High Evolutionary)
[Track 17: 1:37:28-1:44:07] The Myrrors - "Solar Collector" (from Solar Collector EP)
[Track 18: 1:44:07-1:47:53] Samoaya - "Kaiholan toukka" (from S/T)
[Track 19: 1:47:53-2:00:00] Oresund Space Collective - "Ziggurat of the Boards (Edit)" (from Music for Pogonologists)
[Track 20: 2:00:00-2:04:38] Camera - "To the Inside" (from Remember I Was Carbon Dioxide)
[Track 21: 2:04:38-2:08:04] Woodsman - "Obsidian" (from S/T)

Monster Magnet: Milking the Stars: A Re-Imagining of Last Patrol

Napalm Records (NPR 563) 

As the title suggests, Milking the Stars is some kind of a re-imagining of the previous studio album Last Patrol by the psychedelic stoner rock veterans Monster Magnet. Their main man Dave Wyndorf wanted to make a more psychedelic, sort of 60s styled alternative reality version of the album and I got to say that he's done a great job at it. This is not merely a lame remix that someone else might have ended up with. There are four new tracks, lots of different new recordings and arrangements to the old songs as well as two high-energy live tracks to close this excellent trip.

The new instrumental "Let the Circus Burn" starts off the album.  The basic riff might sound familiar, but the vibe with all the organ, spacey effects and mind-blowing guitar is pretty unique... I'm already loving this album! "Mindless Ones '68" is a new rendition of one of the best tracks on Last Patrol and I must say I prefer the new version. More organ and psych vibes in the mix again! "No Paradise for Me" is a more garage styled, creeping re-working of "Paradise" and works out great. One of the highlights for me is the fast and furious "End of Time (B-3)" that now has much more Hammond organ. A brand new track "Milking the Stars" is a slower and more atmospheric, great piece that gets heavier and pretty psychedelic and hypnotic later on. Wow! I didn't particularly dig "Hallelujah" on Last Patrol and "Hallelujah (Fuzz and Swamp)" is not that much more interesting I think. Some swamp blues vibe might still be needed on a MM album, I guess. "I Live Behind the Clouds (Roughed Up and Slightly Spaced)" sounds very good, though. A new track "Goliath Returns" is a massive, repetetive instrumental piece that only lasts for three-and-a-half minutes but does the trick. The chilled out "Stay Tuned (Even Sadder)" really is sadder than the original with all the Mellotron and spacey sounds sounding just wonderful. "The Duke (Full On Drums 'N Wah)" is of course a re-working of "The Duke (of Supernature)" but this time with full drum set and more wah guitar. Not that different in vibe, but very nice. The fierce live version of "Last Patrol" kicks ass in the MC5/The Stooges style and is also very psychedelic, and the Donovan cover "Three Kingfishers" (live as well) is a suitable ending for a great album that has a nice flow and lots of little details to get into.  It might be a good idea to re-imagine some of the other Monster Magnet albums as well like Power Trip! Just an idea...

keskiviikko 12. marraskuuta 2014

Hawklords: Censored

Hawklords (LORDS0914)

This is the third studio CD (unfortunately not out on vinyl like the previous ones) by the "new" Hawklords, a heavy, punky and psychedelic space rock band formed mostly by ex-Hawkwind/Hawklords members around six years ago. Before the studio albums they released a live DVD/2LP recorded at the Barney Bubbles Memorial Concert. At the moment the line-up is Harvey Bainbridge (synths, keyboards & FX), Dave Pearce (drums), Jerry Richards (guitars, bass on tracks 1 & 3 on this CD, synths, piano & vocals, Adrian Shaw (bass, synthesizer, dialogue FX & audio sculpture) and Ron Tree (vocals). The band considers themselves as some kind of continuation of the '78/'79 Hawklords, and yes, there are lots of similarities in the vibe, atmosphere and sound and even song structures and ideology. Harvey's spacey, soaring synth work is very important as well as the tight rhythm section of Dave and Adrian (as also in The Bevis Frond!) and heavy, talented guitar playing of Jerry. It's a really demanding job to step in the big boots of the late, great poet, visionary and lead singer Robert Calvert but Ron Tree is the best man for the job as far as I know.

The album starts off with the heavy rocking, rather repetitive and a bit punky "State of Emergency". The last two minutes are just spacey soundscapes. I'm already enjoying the ride! "Damned" is another great, heavy, straight-forward space rock track that kicks ass. Excellent! The beautiful "Forever" cools down the vibe a bit but still rocks out too. "Induction" is a dark, ambient narrative with psychedelic, almost scary effects and reminds me of the stuff Michael Moorcock did on Hawkwind's Warrior at the Edge of Time album. In fact, Mike is one of the contributors to this track so no wonder! "Sonic Seven Kiss" is one of the best songs on the album, very powerful stuff. Then it's time to chill out with the pretty and semi-acoustic wonder called "Starstruck". "It's What You Wanted" rocks a bit in the New Wave/Post Punk style, and "Soma" is a three minutes of hallucinogenic ambient soundscapes by the synth wizard himself, Harvey Bainbridge. The cool "Catwalk Chic" somehow brings to mind "Urban Guerilla" and works very well too. The mid-tempo "Upside Down Man" is bit more atmospheric again and also has some acoustic guitar in the mix. "The Well of Forever" brings at first to mind "Who's Gonna Win the War?" as well as Hawkwind's Church of Hawkwind album before it starts to rock out around the three-minute marker. Jerry's solo guitar work sounds like a homage to Huw Lloyd-Langton, superb. Then we still have one bonus track left, and "You What" is a rather strange, experimental thing... What a great album, it seems that the Hawklords are getting better all the time and according to the live reports and YouTube snippets they must be excellent live as well so buy their stuff and go and see them live if you can!

maanantai 10. marraskuuta 2014

Vincebus Eruptum #18

This great Italian heavy psych music magazine celebrates its 15th anniversary so congratulations to Davidew and crew! This time we have a little bit thinner mag (just 30 colour pages) due to the enclosed CD to manage the shipping costs, but that's okay. The CD in question is Essay on a Drunken Cloud by Italian heavy psych/stoner rock group Anuseye. They might not win the best band name competition, but this album that was previously available only on limited vinyl edition really deserves a wider audience. But let's get back to the CD later on!

So what do we have in the brand new mag? As usual, interviews with both more seasoned veterans of the scene and some not so familiar acts, lots of reviews and and an interview with a record label boss, this time Wolf from the great German record label World in Sound. I got to admit that this time most of the featured bands were at least relatively unknown to me, so lots of new stuff to read and learn. Prisma Circus is a new, young band from Barcelona, Spain playing bluesy hard rock and  so are Child from Melbourne, Australia. Druggy and wicked doom masters Electric Wizard don't really need any introductions at this point, but I got to say the interview with Jus Osborn is very interesting and also touches some fragile areas... Da Captain Trips is pretty cool Italian band dedicated to long instrumental jams that we all should check out more closely I think. If some of you are old enough to remember the Italian stoner/psych rock band That's All Folks! (check out their Psyche as One of the Fine Arts album!) that was active in 1990-2002, you might remember their guitarist/singer Claudio Colaianni who now has the band called Anuseye with Antonello Carrante (drums, percussion, Moog, keyboards) and Michele Valla (bass) and is also interviewed in this issue. That's All Folks! were also later connected to a band called Atomic Workers, worth investigating as well... Anyway, the enclosed Anuseye album really kicks ass including a good mix of fuzzy stoner and desert rock, psych rock and vintage hard rock all played with lots of emotion and balls. Great stuff! This is the first time I remember reading about a band called Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus but I bet I will be hearing about them in the future. The informative but to the point reviews include bands like L'Ira del Baccano, The Spacelords, 1000Mods, Fungus, Hot Lunch, Vibravoid, Fatso Jetson & Herba Mate, Electric Moon, Seven That Spells, Sendelica, John Garcia and even three from Finland: Harvest Bell, Deep Space Destructors and Octopus Syng which is nice! It's also very intriguing to read about the World in Sound label. The art is excellent as always so just do yourself a favor and order this issue with the great CD!


perjantai 7. marraskuuta 2014

Various Artists: Postcards from the Deep

Fruits de Mer Records (Crustacean 58)

Now this is something special... Keith from Fruits de Mer had a crazy idea to put together a box set of post card singles (the ones that were produced in Poland in the 60s and in some other places even now...) with today's bands covering raw freakbeat gems from the 60s. This proved to be a difficult task, so now we are getting ten one-sided flexi singles AND ten matching postcards instead! All art is by the very talented Mick Dillingham. Since the sound quality of the flexis still isn't perfect, the cool box set also includes a CD of all the ten tracks. But since were are talking about the strange and wonderful Fruits de Mer land here where anything can and will happen, some of the versions on the CD differ from the ones on the flexis... This is also the 2015 of FdM, it's just not called that. Confused yet? You should be.

Anyway, what we have here is ten marvelous, hard-hitting 60s freakbeat/garage psych/surf etc. tracks played by some of the best possible choices there are at the moment. The Luck of Eden Hall starts off the game with Count Five's "Psychotic Reaction" and I don't remember the band ever playing this raw, energetic and brutal sounding stuff. Get psyched up! The Loons do "Celestial Empire" by Dragonfly and this is excellent, authentic 60s garage psych stuff with rough fuzz guitars as well. The Crawlin' Hex is a new band by Earthling Society's Fred, and their rendition of "I'm A Living Sickness" (Calico Wall) is just as sinister and gloomy as you might expect from him. Superb! The instrumental "LSD" (The Pretty Things) sounds VERY 60s played by the The Thanes, what an excellent, lysergic job! Satori's "Time Machine" gets a treatment by The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies and we are rocking and rolling in outer space. The Past Tense perform a raw and phased version of "Soul Fiction" (The Hippies), and Schizo Fun Addict's version of The Sorrows song "Take a Heart" is pure early acid freakiness. Crystal Jacqueline brings us back to Earth a bit, but with a very nice touch with "You Just Gotta Know My Mind" (Dana Gillespie/Donovan). If you have ever wondered, what Brainticket's organ-driven mind-fuck "Brainticket" might sound played by Astralasia, you will now find out... Just be careful not to loose your mind on the journey. Finally, Icarus Peel gives us a groovy and hard-rocking version of "The Avengers' Theme" (Laurie Johnson) and I'm in fuzz psych heaven. Believe me, you need to get this box!



The Chemistry Set: Elapsed Moments 7"

Fruits de Mer Records (Winkle 18)

Elapsed Moments is a new 7" by British neo-psychedelic heroes The Chemistry Set who first started in the late 80s and became quite successful before quitting business for a long time. They have been making music again for a few years and released for example a few great 7" singles on FdM and one full-length CD before this. This time they give us two new originals and a nice cover version of "Love or Confusion" by Jimi Hendrix. The title track comes first and it is a very radio-friendly, melodic, emotional and inventive psych pop song with some 60s vibe but a rather modern, excellent production. I think this song has a lot of potential and I especially love the vocals, well done guys. "A Cure for the Inflicted Afflicted" is a bit  groovier and brings to mind The Stones a bit, but also bands like The Happy Mondays, but this hits you harder. Another winner. "Love or Confusion" gets a semi-acoustic treatment including tablas and sitar. This sounds very nice as well! All the 700 copies of the single also include the great cover art as a folded poster so why don't you order this beauty if you haven't already.

Superfjord / Earthling Society: Coltrane 7"

Fruits de Mer Records (Crustacean 59)

Okay, another great Finnish band makes its debut on Fruits de Mer... And I just might have had something to do with it! Superfjord is a new psychedelic band project by Jussi Ristikaarto (ex-Kevin) with a little help form other seasoned Finnish indie rock musicians. They released their superb debut album It Is Dark, But I Have This Jewel earlier this year, and you can read my review here.  I've also seen the band live two times so far and they have blown my mind to pieces. One of the best tracks on the CD is absolutely their version of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme", and when my old favourites Earthling Society released their spacey version of Alice Coltrane's "Journey in Satchidananda" on their latest, amazing album England Have My Bones (check out my review here.), it was a match made in heaven in the fevered brain of Fruits de Mer's Keith and I couldn't agree more.

Jussi made a new, hallucinogenic intro to "A Love Supreme", so this is not exactly the same version as on the album. Anyway, this version takes you to places that you haven't even dreamed of before. There's some killer psych guitar, hypnotic bass, cool percussion, soaring keyboards, lots of mind-expanding effects and also very suitable spoken word about freeing ourselves from the ordinal reality. It really works! Seven and a half minutes of pure magic. Also Fred from Earthling Society came up with a pretty different rendition to the one released on the album. This "Cosmic Joy Mix" really is even more psychedelic, spacey and esoteric and lasts over eight minutes. Very uplifting, very trippy and spiritual and I love it!

To take things even further into the cosmos, all of the 700 copies of this 33 rpm EP come with a free 70-minute CD including lots of other treats! They were not included in the promo package so I can't comment much but the short edit of Astralasia's remix of "A Love Supreme" that's available on YouTube sounds just celestial. There's also a live version of the same track, VHSHead remix of "Journey in Satchidananda" plus new recordings by both Superfjord and Earthling Society so you can be sure to get multiple times your money's worth when you order this thing! This MUST be one of the most important 7" releases this year.

This is an early version of the track: