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perjantai 27. helmikuuta 2015

Black Rainbows - Hawkdope

Heavy Psych Sounds Records (HPS022)

Black Rainbows is a heavy fuzz/stoner/psych/space rock band from Rome, Italy. I have previously reviewed a couple of their albums as well as the Holy Moon EP from 2013 and the four-way-split with Naam, White Hills and The Flying Eyes. It's all been good, solid and rocking stuff, but on the brand-new album Hawkdope the band has really done well. You can hear the influence of both late 60s / early 70s hard rock and psych bands like MC5, Hawkwind and Black Sabbath as well as the later stoner / desert rock bands (Kyuss, Monster Magnet, Nebula, Fu Manchu etc.), and I really like the mix. The album was recorded by the band leader/guitarist/singer Gabriele Fiori on his own Heavy Psych Sounds Studio in Rome, and he has written all the songs. He also plays some synths, tape echoes, Hammond and Rhodes, which gives the album some more colours and vibes. The killer rhythm section is formed by Dario Iocca and Alberto Croce.

The album starts off with the energetic and powerful Nebula / Fu Manchu styled "The Prophet" and there's also a video made out of this great song. Gabriele plays some hot solos and this song really rocks! The fast pounding "Wolf Eyes" sounds like MC5 but with more fuzz, very nice! There's also a bluesy, psychedelic slower part with some cool solo guitar and spoken samples at the end. The long (almost nine-minute) title track "Hawkdope" is more in the Monster Magnet style and rather epic, mid-tempo heavy stoner rock. Excellent! "No Fuel No Fun" is a straight-forward heavy stoner rock piece with some space noises going on in the background. Cool! "Hypnotize My Soul with Rock n' Roll" is perhaps more in the vein of 60's proto hard rock but with the heavy, crunching stoner rock fuzz sound. Again some psychy sounds in the mix as well. "Waiting for the Sun" is a short, more laid-back, bluesy interlude, and "Jesusjudge" rocks your brains out again with some very heavy riffing and beats. There's some organ on the chorus. Suitably named "Killer Killer Fuzz" reminds me of Black Sabbath, but also has some Monster Magnet vibes. The album finishes with the somewhat more atmospheric and moody "The Cosmic Picker", that only gets heavier in the middle but stays slow, hypnotic and melancholic till the end. This album sounds very good and there are no filler songs, so why don't you get it on limited vinyl or CD format, and be sure to catch them live near you on their tour if possible! The band will also play in Helsinki, Finland, for the first time at Galaktus Festival on April the 10th. Can't wait to see them!



torstai 26. helmikuuta 2015

Interview with Black Rainbows

Black Rainbows is a cool heavy psych band from Italy. They have a new album called Hawkdope coming out soon and you can preorder it already. The band is also preparing for an European tour including one show in Helsinki, so it was a good time to throw a few questions for their singer/guitarist Gabriele.

When did Black Rainbows originally start and has the line-up remained the same since the beginning?

Well we were born in 2006, initially as all the bands we liked to go in rehearsals to make some jams, some tunes to have fun but after we recorded our first album we were picked up by a French label called Longfellowdeeds Records. We released with them 2 CD's and 2 vinyl albums (when vinyl was not so trendy!), Twilight in the Desert in 2007 and Carmina Diabolo in 2009.

Than we started touring all around Europe, especially in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, The Netherlands, sharing the stage with bands like Airbourne, Nebula, Karma to Burn, Saviours, Jucifer, Farflung, Naam, Ancestors, Entrance Band, Fatso Jetson, Witchcraft, Dead Meadow, Black Mountain, Los Natas, White Hills, Micheal Davis from MC5.

We’ve played in 2008 at the “Stoned from the Underground Festival” in Germany, than I started to run my own label called “Heavy Psych Sounds Records” releasing many cool records for other well known bands. For Black Rainbows I released a split with space kings Farflung, the 3rd full length and very well acclaimed “Supermothafuzzalicious!!” in 2011 , that an EP called “Holy Moon” in 2013 and last spring an awesome 4 way split with Naam,White Hills, The Flying Eyes.

We've also been invited at the Desert Fest Berlin and London last year, and now we have a new album ready which is probably the best in the story of the band.

Line up changed once slowly in the years, Daniele went out when we started touring hard, and Alberto was the replacement for the tours, (on drums), so slowly he took his place cause Daniele started also having a full time job and family, and same happened with Marco that was replaced with Dario two years ago... By the ay, we are all friends and still continue to visit each other!

How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?

Our music is a fusion between Lysergic tunes, mixed with a wall-of-fuzz in you face! We have hard rock pieces, fast tempo, and slow psychedelic songs, sometimes more into stoner rock sometimes more melt-space-open-lysergic stuff.

Please let us know some of your favorite bands that have maybe influenced you.

I think our band is a good mixture of the vintage, heavy, fuzzy, psychedelic tunes of the 70’s like Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, MC5, Hawkwind with 90’s stoner rock as Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Nebula, Monster Magnet.

Personally I was 12 years old in ‘92 when Kyuss released “Blues for the Red Sun” and I got it immediately. I saw them live in Rome when I was 14!, “Superjudge” by Monster Magnet was one of my favourite records , I bought it on vinyl and I think I've listened to it like million times! Then I started to discover all the late 60’s – early 70’s rock with bands like Cactus, Captain Beyond, Can, Free, Steppenwolf and the other thousands of great rock bands of that age!

For this particular record I think the sound can remind a perfect mix among MONSTER MAGNET, FU MANCHU and HAWKWIND we absolutely have our sound, but you find songs more direct and aggressive, as you find some lysergic passages more quiet, and long fuzz suites like the title track Hawkdope!

We’ve also been influenced by Pink Floyd, Hendrix, Cream, Sabbath, Zeppelin, Mountain, Thin Lizzy, UFO, MC5, The Stooges, Blue Cheer, Brainticket, ZZ Top, Caravan, CACTUS, CAPTAIN BEYOND, GONG, KING CRIMSON, FREE, FACES and many many many more!

I really like your split LP with Farflung. How did that happen and what do you think of them?

We were supposed to make a tour with them in 2010, but that time we had to pass, one year later we had the chance to repeat this occasion and we jumped on tour with them... Some months before I asked if they wanted to make a picture of this upcoming tour together, so we made it!

We're big friends with each of them… Unfortunately they are not playing so much lately, but Mike the guitarist, former band is living in our Italy so we meet sometimes, we still keep in touch with all of them. Not that often but once every 2-3 months we write a line!

Do you listen to modern music? Three best albums released in 2014?

…What do you mean by modern? Recent?

Mount Carmel - Get Pure

Radio Moscow - Magical Dirt


A space cowboy has a day off and orders a drink called Black Rainbow on some dirty, illegal space station bar far from here. What are the ingredients of the drink and how is it served?

Kahlua-vodka-and some special tropical fruit in a big coloured glass!

Do you have any special memories from the road when touring?

Well we’re often on the road and you see many funny things… Our first time at the SFTU fest in 2008 was thrilling in front of 1000 people playing…and also last year in Desert Fest Berlin and London was very exciting!

Your new album Hawkdope is released soon. Can you tell us something about the album and what does the title mean?

Three years have passed since we released our last full length "Supermothafuzzalicious!!" in December 2011, since that moment we made one long EP "Holy Moon“ and one split with Naam, White Hills,The Flying Eyes, during these years.

But we also wrote a lot a lot of new material, I have hundreds of new songs, parts of songs, ideas, riffs, recorded since that time. We use to rehearse at the HeavyPsychSoundsRecords studio, so we also have the chance to record professionally all the sessions, so when we need to record a rough idea we can do it.

It takes at least 2-3 years to come out… We want to make a good 4th full length, and it took time to collect all the right material, in that time as I said we did prefer to release the EP and the split 'cause we wanted to make something special for the 4th chapter!

The record is about 45 minutes total running , for 9 brand new tracks, one is acoustic, and another, the last one a bit more psych-space.

I think "Hawkdope" is a perfect fusion of the sound of bands as Monster Magnet, Hawkwind and FuManchu, with Heavy Psych-Stoner passages, Lysergic moments, Hard Rock oriented with Psychedelic shades!!

I can honestly say that this album is very very good, it's definitely the best album we ever did until we start playing!

This is he track list:










Initially it was a song title, the third of the record. I was writing down the lyrics, and it was about a space visionary flight in the deep space, so I thought about flying, a flying animal that travel through space, planets and so on… I mixed the name of the Hawk, with a psychedelic dope travel, a lysergic trip into the unknown space.

All this also reminds me of the name of one great band we love: HAWKWIND.

So it became a game between these two words, that sounds good in my ears…Hopefully also in the ears of the audience as well!

Are you going to play any cover songs on your European/UK tour or do you stick to your own originals?

Yeah the main concert is composed of original songs...but we have a special song you can also find in our latest EP Holy Moon, a revisited cover of the mighty MC5's Black to Comm, we made it 15 minutes long…super psychedelic…so if our set has to be longer we use to play this song as a final!

Anything you would like to add?

We will start touring a lot, and seems many people want us to play around, and we will see how this 4th full length will go! Always looking for a bigger label and bigger booking to grow the band, we hope there will be some hype around this record because we really believe it is a good one, then we would like to play as many festivals as possible, festivals are very important at this moment!

Here all the tour dates:

06/03/2015 It Rome-Init Club "Release Party" w/Wedge

18/03/2015 IT Bologna-Freak Out
19/03/2015 CH Luzern-Bruch Bros
20/03/2015 DE Augsburg-Bluebox Skate Park
21/03/2015 NL Nijmegen-Plufest
22/03/2015 FR Paris-Glazart
23/03/2015 DE Siegen-Vortex
24/03/2015 DE Erfurt-Cafè Tiko
25/03/2015 DE Leipzig-Sto
26/03/2015 DE Berlin-Dustown Fest
27/03/2015 CH Olten-Coq D’or
28/03/2015 CH Winterthur-Gaswerk
29/03/2015 IT Milano-Magnolia

10/04/2015 FI Helsinki- Galactus Fest
11/04/2015 EE Tallin-Woodsock/Rockstar´s

28/04/2015 IT North Italy
29/04/2015 DE
30/04/2015 DE Nurnberg
01/05/2015 IT Bozen-Sudwerk
02/05/2015 AU Salzburg-Rockhouse
03/05/2015 CH St Gallen-Rumpeltum
04/05/2015 AU Innsbruck-PMK
05/05/2015 AU Feldkirch-Graf Hugo
06/05/2015 IT Zerobranco-Altroquando

04/06/2015 UK Bristol-Stag & Hounds
05/06/2015 UK Northampton-The Labour Club
06/06/2015 UK Oxford-The Wheatsheaf
07/06/2015 UK Basingstoke-The Sanctuary
08/06/2015 UK London-The MACBETH

01/08/2015 GR Drama-Fuzztastic Fest

More cool shows tba!

Thank you very much for the answers Gabriele and see you at the Helsinki show where I will be spinning records!  

Make sure you pre-order the limited edition vinyl album before it's too late since I can say that this new album is a bad motherfucker! Remember to catch the band live as well, they will blow your mind.

perjantai 20. helmikuuta 2015

Abbot: Holy Mountain / Black Book

Red Sky

This is the second 7" release by a Finnish doom/stoner/retro rock band Abbot. I have not heard their tape release, first single or the brand-new album recently released by Bloodrock Records in Italy, and only seen them play live once in Tallinn last year. Their live performance wasn't that good with a bit out-of tune vocals, somewhat lazy playing and mostly mediocre song material, but this single sounds pretty cool. Black Sabbath is an obvious influence, maybe some other 70s hard rock too. "Holy Mountain" is a slow/mid-tempo, heavy and sleazy doom boogie lasting for over five minutes. The vocals are okay on this one, although nothing exceptional. There's also some flute in there that gives a nice extra vibe. The end part with some attempt to guitar soloing is faster boogie. "Black Book" is faster heavy boogie stuff (think of Deep Purple without the organ for example) and only lasts for a little over two minutes. The vocals sound like Absoluuttinen Nollapiste trying to sing in English with a somewhat bad pronunciation which is not a very good thing. Musically, there seems to be something essential missing in this band that would make them special in some way, hopefully they have found it on their debut album. They already dress up like your average 70s/retro hard rock group from Sweden so the image is already there.

Earthbound Machine: Messengers of Deception

Ulterior Records

This one-sided 12" EP is the first vinyl release by Helsinki-based doom/stoner/grunge/metal band Earthbound Machine. All the three tracks are on one side and the other is etched with the somewhat unusual cover art. Cool. I have previously reviewed their Hungerland CD EP (2013) and I liked it. This vinyl EP was released last year and includes only previously unreleased tracks. "Broken" is a slow, heavy and doomy opener. The powerful, melodic singer is quite different to most of the modern doom metal bands sounding more like Soundgarden or if I really try to find something in similar in doom circles, maybe Solitude Aeturnus. Not bad, huh? The track is very powerful and gest a bit more energetic later on during the guitar solo. This is a great song with cool riffs and rhythms and will make you headbang during their live gig for sure. "Oblivious Mind" start off with a slow, doomy bass line by Jussi Myllykoski (also a member true doom metal heroes of Lord Vicar), and here the singer remains me of Pearl Jam or Alice in Chains but the music is much more brutal and heavier, of course. The vibe is very gloomy and dark, and there are some cool hooks and middle parts to keep you interested. The title track "Messengers of Deception" is also mostly slow, gloomy stuff, but starts to rock out a bit more at times. This is a great, heavy band and a cool EP, check them out!

torstai 19. helmikuuta 2015

Dj Astro's playlist, Semifinal, Helsinki, 18.2.2015

This is (about) what I played last night:

The Moles: We Are the Moles
July: I See
The Byrds: Eight Miles High
Pretty Things: S.F. Sorrow Is Born
Fifty Foot Hose: If Not This Time
Kippington Lodge: Lady on a Bicycle
Keith West: On a Saturday
Idle Race: Worn Red Carpet
Tomorrow: Straberry Fields Forever
Arzachel: Garden of Earthly Delights
Hawkwind: Lord of Light
Spirit: Fresh Garbage
The Zombies: Time of the Season
Jacco Gardner: Clear the Air
Afrodite's Child: The Four Horsemen
Brainticket: Places of Light
Juan Trip': Palmorama Scene
Master Musicians of Bukkake: Elogia de la Sombra
Amon Düül II: Wolf City
Superfjord: A Love Supreme
Moon Duo: Sleepwalker
Loop: Black Sun
Wooden Shjips: Contact
Vibravoid: The Politics of Ecstasy
Hawkwind: Motorway City
Pink Floyd: See Emily Play
Atomic Simao: Stoned & Spontaneous
Gong: Magic Mother Invocation/Master Builder

It was a cool night, here are a couple of videos from the gigs:

tiistai 17. helmikuuta 2015

Tähtiportti: S/T

Svart Records

Tähtiportti (Stargate in English) is a Helsinki-based electronic, experimental and psychedelic trance group featuring Sami Albert "Witchfinder" Hynninen (ex-Reverend Bizarre, Opium Warlords etc.) narrating strange, dark, occult/sci-fi texts in Finnish. The music is made by Ilari Larjasto aka Stiletti-Ana (also member of the synth band Jesse), the legendary Finnish musician and producer Mikko Viljakainen aka Vilunki 3000 (Barefoot Brothers, Larry and the Lefthanded, Op:l Bastards etc.), and  musician, columnist and radio personality Perttu Häkkinen aka Randy Barracuda (Imatran Voima, Itäväylä etc.). I think the project made its first appearance in 2009 on a Record Store X Christmas compilation CD, but their first eponymous 7" was released in 2013 and the second 7" III ja IV followed in 2014. Both singles were very limited editions on their own Iron Magnesium Records. Their sound is a very leftfield, sinister version of downbeat elektro, something that you can imagine being played at some forbidden, nihilistic, insane, hot, dirty and drug-filled underground  party in Berlin twenty years ago.

The album starts off with the rather short instrumental intro called "Kruunujen kruunu: Karjaportti / Himon portti". Spacey and interesting... "Tähtiportti I" is a sinister, gloomy and freezing elektro track that makes you see dark hallucinations. "Tähtiportti II" is a more ambient affair, but just as dark and cold with some cruel and forlorn stories by Sami. Then we get a very cool, spaced-out and hypnotic version of an old homo-erotic classic "Poikarakkaus" originally performed by Finnish philosopher Esa Saarinen in 1984. What a great idea and well done too! This just might be a hit, at least in some weird, occult alternative reality... "Olen oikeassa! Lihaportti / Joulunportti / Tiedonportti" is at first rather minimal elektro with danceable beat but grows on its way when some more synthesizer and sequencer layers are added. One of my favorites is also danceable "Tähtiportti III: Ikuinen talvi" that really gets the listener into a deep trance. Great and highly effective! "Tähtiportti IV: Lusiferin pylväs" is one of the weirdest tracks with a long, narrated list of Finnish bearers of the secret occult knowledge with a rather minimal backing beat and Slavic sounding, melodramatic melody. I love the alien/satanic sounding vocal effects on this one... This makes you believe that the Apocalypse is at hand. "Viimeinen tähtiportti" ends the album in very dark, melancholic and weird mode. I'm not sure how this album works for you if you don't understand any Finnish but I think you can still get the message... Very strange and deep stuff, I like it! You can pre-order the album now and make sure you also get the 7" singles before they totally disappear into other dimensions.

Get the vinyl version here...



Various Artists: Strange Fruit and Veg

Friends of the Fish (Promo 2)

Fruits de Mer Records from the UK has a very strict policy of releasing only vinyl for the public, but they do make exceptions with promotional CD's. That's a good thing, since otherwise a lot of good stuff that doesn't have room in their 7" and LP release schedule would remain totally unissued. Strange Fruit and Veg is one of those lovely, rare compilations that's only available as a freebie for those in the UK who are in the Fruits de Mer Club or  anyone else who orders the new Cranium Pie 2LP from the excellent Heyday Mailorder early. Okay, some copies also go to reviewers like me, but there's no other way to get a copy.

This is a massive, 75-min/18-track CD with some very cool psych sounds. Most of the songs are covers of 60s/70s psych numbers, but there are also a few original tunes. A couple of bands make their debut on Fruits de Mer, namely Trojan House and The Telephones. The disc starts off with Crystal Jacqueline's great version of "All Over the World" by Strange Fruit and ends with Syd Barrett's "Vegetable Man" rendered by The Mystery Crystals, so I guess that's how the compilation got its very suitable name. We have a really varied lot of of songs originally by for example Velvet Underground, Amon Düül II, Hawkwind, The Beatles, Bo Diddley, Jimi Hendrix, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and even Motörhead! Yeah, you read it right, Motörhead. Some of my favorites include the opener, ZX+'s version of the Stones track "She's a Rainbow", the AD II cover by Mauve la Biche feat. Cary Grace, Jay Tausig's "Ace of Spades" (Motörhead, of course...), Vert:x with Hawkwind's "Circles", Magic Mushroom Band's version of "King of the Rumbling Spires" (T. Rex), "Tomorrow Never Knows" by Rob Gould, "Take a Heart, Alt. Version" (The Sorrows) by Schizo Fun Addict and the Syd cover by The Mystery Crystals. Having said that, there really is no dull moment on this excellent disc! I'm sure Keith from Fruits de Mer had a lot of fun putting this psych monster together and so will the music lovers while listening to the disc! Another important reason to pre-order the amazing new Cranium Pie 2LP that I reviewed in January.

perjantai 13. helmikuuta 2015

Hot stuff at the moment!

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.: Have You Seen The Other Side Of The Sky? 2LP
Brainticket: Cottonwoodhill LP
 Dahga Bloom: No Curtains
Lamp of the Universe / Trip Hill: Split LP
Sonny Simmons & Moksha Samnyasin: Nomadic LP
Anthroprophh: UFO LP
The Lucid Dream: S/T LP
Mooch: Mrs Silbury's Delicious Mushroom Flavoured Biscuits LP
Mugstar & Damo Suzuki : Start from Zero LP
Bland Bladen: Vederkv LP

torstai 12. helmikuuta 2015

Callisto: Secret Youth

Svart Records (SVR347)

I have not heard the previous albums by this Finnish atmospheric post-metal band founded in 2004. The band has been quiet for a few years, but have now returned with a brand-new album and some live activity. Post-metal usually is not the genre for me, but I do enjoy this new Callisto album released a couple of weeks ago in Finland on 2LP, CD and digital download. The album has a melancholic, atmospheric, and also rather dark vibe, there are a lot of cool melodies, and I also like the beautiful, melodic vocals, although I don't care that much for the harsh screaming parts. Luckily there are not too much of those. Some not so heavy but sort of Gothic parts bring to mind even Depeche Mode which is actually not a bad thing. At their heaviest the band gets pretty close to even black metal, but no blast beat included though. The songs are adventurous and progressive enough, but not too complex of difficult to enjoy. There are ten tracks ranging in length from under two (the almost ambient instrumental "The Dead Layer" and ghostly ballad "Old Souls" ) to closer to eight minutes (the majestic "Ghostwritten"). It's hard for me to pick any favorites so let's just say that the whole album is pretty strong musically and very well produced. I bet this album will be one of the best metal albums released in Finland in 2015 and will bring new fans for Callisto from all over the world.

Bongzilla to tour Europe and Russia! Four gigs in Finland too...

Gure Hitzak proudly presents the comeback of the Stoner-Sludge legends BONGZILLA after a hiatus of several years.
BONGZILLA became a classic band in the Sludge/Doom/Stoner scene in the begining of the 2000s with albums like "Stash" or "Gateway".  In 2005 came out their last studio album "Amerijuanican" recorded with "Dixie" Dave Collins bass-player of WEEDEATER as a member. Later the band got into a hiatus till now, during this period some members has been active in other musical projects like AQUILONIAN, with Mike (vocalist/guitarrist) and Magma (Drummer).
Bongzilla returns, to the stages only for now, with the line-up of "Gateaway" album. Some gig in the U.S. and a bunch of selected gigs in Europe and Russia, including performance in festivals like Temples in Bristol, U.K. and Heavy Days in Doomtown in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Finnish sludge-doomers GANGRENED will be the support band in Finland, they will present their newest album "We Are Nothing".

This is the list of the gigs in Europe and Russia:
 Friday 1.5 - Saturday 2.5 - Heavy days in doomtown festival, Copenhagen, Denmark
Monday 4.5 - Blitz, Oslo, Norway
Tuesday 5.5 - venue tbc, Stockholm, Sweden
Wednesday 6.5 - Klubi, Turku, Finland + GANGRENED
Thursday 7.5 - Rentukka, Jyväskylä, Finland + GANGRENED
Friday 8.5 - Varjobaari, Tampere, Finland + GANGRENED
Saturday 9.5 - Lepakkomies, Helsinki, Finland + GANGRENED
Sunday 10.5 - Monaclub, Moscow, Russia

perjantai 6. helmikuuta 2015

Spiralism: Chakras

Inverse Records

Spiralism is a young Helsinki-based band playing hard, atmospheric, psychedelic and progressive rock and metal. Most of the time they are wondering somewhere in between post-metal and post-rock. The line-up includes two guitarist/singers (one of them also plays synthesizer), a drummer and a bass player. The vocals can be either soft and beautiful or harsh growling or something in between. This is their first album, and as such a pretty good one.

The album has seven tracks on it. "Drowning High" opens up the album with spacey ambient intro, melancholic, beautiful post-rock passages and heavier, almost sludge-like parts. This is a 12-minute track, so lots of room for variation. I like it! "Sofia" is just under five minute in length and heavy post-metal stuff with melodic vocals. "Weighting of the Heart" is another long one and has some more atmospheric post-rock parts as well as heavy parts with harsh vocals. This one has some cool riffs and also dark, psychedelic vibes and is perhaps the highlight of the album for me. "The Fool" is a very light, airy, enjoyable and laid-back instrumental that gives some time to breath. "Dust Devils" is maybe the most metallic track of the album, but there's also some relaxed synth parts and more progressive stuff. Prog metal, I suppose. There's also a great guitar solo at the end. "Gnosis" takes us into a more spiritual place. There are some pretty, soft vocals, but his track also has it's doom metal elements and some bluesy jamming. The album is finished with the beautiful and mellow "Passages of Nuit". It includes a long, hypnotic and kraut rock -styled middle-part and more metal stuff towards the end. This band also works live, so check them out!


Lumerians: Transmissions from Telos Vol. III

Cardinal Fuzz (CFUL027)

Lumerians is a mysterious band from the States. For me, they have been one of the highlights in the modern psych rock scene ever since I got a promo copy of their debut full-length Transmalinnia in 2011. They can be very groovy and cool, rock out or just float in space or experiment when needed, and I love all their releases. Their live gig at Roadburn Festival was also out of this world and totally blew me away... In 2012 the band released the Transmissions from Telos Vol. IV, that had four tracks and lasted just over 30 minutes, and this instrumental Vol. 3 was released late last year and it lasts just a little longer so I guess you could call these mini albums, although people usually consider them full albums.

"Murder Tubbs" starts off the disc with a rather slow, hypnotic groove and cool percussion and organ work. Guitar is mostly creating some background vibe with wah pedal, while synthesizers play melodies. Very nice, psychedelic and laid-back stuff! "Turiya" is a rather minimal, experimental track that has some ethnic overtones but quite difficult to pin down. Frankly, I don't enjoy this track that much. "Hook for an Eye" is again groovier stuff with lots of psychedelic elements and I like it a lot. The album is finished with the long (12:30) "Impossible Window / Caballero Futuro" that is also a rather slow, hypnotic track. The second part gets even slower and rather melancholic and atmospheric. This is a great release, but I somehow prefer what I consider their full-lenght releases: the before-mentioned Transmalinnia and the excellent The High Frontier (2013) since those albums also have faster, more space rocking and more structured songs with vocals while these instrumental Transmissions from Telos releases somehow seem a bit like more abstract out-takes although the material still is very strong and highly enjoyable. Anyway, do yourself a favor and check this great band out if you haven't already!

tiistai 3. helmikuuta 2015

The next Dj Astro gigs

6.2.2015 private party w/ Dj Jugh...
18.2.2015 @ Semifinal, live bands Octopus Syng & Soft Power
17.04.2015 @ Korjaamo live bands Superfjord & Siinai
9.5.2015 @ Bar Lepakkomies, live bands Bongzilla (US) & Gangred

Astral Visions Radio show #57 online!

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

Listen or download at:


Black Lizard - "Overkill" (from V/A: Homojoulu)
Ty Segall - "Circles" (from Mr Face EP)
Tjutjuna - "Songer Dance" (from Westerner)
Tähtiportti - "Tähtiportti III: Ikuinen talvi" (from forthcoming S/T album)
K-X-P - "She Time Travels in Every Direction Whenever She Wants" (from History of Techno)
Mooch - "Another Time, Another Place" (from Mrs Silbury's Delicious Mushroom Flavoured Biscuits)
Spiralism - "Weighing of the Heart" (from Chakras)
Dead Sea Apes - "Regolith" (from High Evolutionary)
My Brother The Wind - "Into the Cosmic Halo" (from Once There Was a Time When Time and Space Were One)
Sendelica - "Searohwit" (from Anima Mundi)
The Love Machine - "A Present to the Galaxy" (from A Present to the Galaxy)
Sounds of New Soma - "Mahatha Mavht Mittag" (from V/A: New Way of Krautrock Volume 1)
Aphodyl - "Pyramide of Slaves" (from V/A: New Way of Krautrock Volume 1)
Gong - "Shakti Yoni & Dingo Virgin" (from I See You)

Various Artists: New Way of Krautrock Volume 1

Tonzonen Records (TON-003)

Tonzonen is a new label from Germany specializing in psych, space, stoner, prog and kraut. Last year, they released debut albums by two bands on vinyl plus this compilation CD featuring tracks by modern German bands who, at least loosely, fit in the krautrock genre. I'm glad to have this album since there's some bands I had never even heard before, although I'm somewhat a follower in this scene.

The CD starts off with the 33-second-long, electronic, hypnotic and psychedelic "Underground Äxpärten Jingle" by Das Raumpiloten. Underground Äxpärten seems to be a loose psychedelic collective in Germany with a website and some parties, sounds like fun... Lover303's "Jezt Geht's Los" starts off with some electronic beats and female voice with tons of delay, but later in develops into a groovy and percussive deep space kraut rock jam also featuring electric guitar and lots of space effects. I was only familiar with this band from the Mani Neumeier's Birthday! CD where they are featured. I've been a fan of Electric Orange since the 90's though, so it's nice to notice that they are also featured on this CD with their mid-tempo track "Chorg", and I don't at least remember hearing this one before. Things get pretty interesting as the track developes... True modern masters of the krautrock world! Knall is the next band, and they offer a groovy and jamming track called "Weed Porn". Just guitar, bass and drums, but that's enough. Tonzonen will release an LP by them next month.Sounds of New Some is a new great ambient/space drone/psychedelia band that I really like. Here we get a track from their new digital EP "Mahatma Macht Mittag" and are being transported into another, strange universe. Great that this piece also has drums later on. I'm also familiar with the band called The Spacelords since they sent me some of their CD's for review a couple of years ago and I also bought their LP put out on Sulatron Records last year. "Prelude-Rhinoceros-Bison" is apparently taken from their live album , great stuff! Aphodyl is a band I had not heard about before, but fell in love with. They are included with the massive, almost half-an-hour space/kraut/psych jam called "Pyramide of Slave" and truly catch the essence of the original cosmic, free-spirited hippie krautrock ethos. Larman Clamor, another unknown act for me, ends the album with teh short but sweet "Tangerine Nightfall" that just has organ and acoustic guitar. Nice! Get this CD if you want to know what some of the modern krautrock bands sound like. And remember that there are a lot more bands to discover! 

maanantai 2. helmikuuta 2015

Love Machine: A Present to the Galaxy

Tonzonen Records (TON002)

This is the debut album by a young German band called Love Machine. They play a pleasant, often quite sunny and nice retro pop/rock/blues in the 60s/70s style reminding me of The Doors and the Westcoast, as well as Leonard Cohen. Even though two of the four songs are long, I wouldn't say this band is really that adventurous, experimental, cosmic or even very psychedelic. The singer has an interesting, deep and low sound but it seems to me he has not been singing that long yet. Not that he's bad at it, but the little lack of experience somehow shines though at times. Well, I guess the same goes for the whole band, but these are young guys so no wonder. They have some potential and ideas, anyway! Plus my wife wanted to know what band this was...

"Hermes Red Shoes" is the first track, and it's a laid-back, melancholic and bluesy one. It's pretty cool stuff, but I'm having some difficulties in maintaining my interest for over 11-minutes. "Flower" is the mellow, soft, summery and a bit jazzy pop song of the album. I wish they would have used real Fender Rhodes and Hammond Organ instead of the synthesizer sounds. Works okay as it is, though."The Vision How the Office Becomes a Hurricane" is a rather moody and soft track but not that spacial. Finally, the title track "A Present to the Galaxy" gets a bit more adventurous & jamming and it's 19 minutes in length. This one also has some saxophone which is great, as well as a more experimental, psychy middle part. I think the band still needs some more substance to their music (as well as for example guitar solos!) but this already is a pretty good start.

Sounds of New Soma: Beyond the Acid Dream

Tonzonen Records (TON001)

Sounds of New Soma is a new German duo playing spacey, psychedelic, experimental, droney and ambient music. With a band (and album!) name like that you can easily figure out where their main inspiration comes from. As the info sheet tells, "they formed Sound of New Soma in 2013 in order to materialize their tonal vision of a cosmic voyage in the aftermath of a psychedelic trip". This is their first official release, but you can also find some other stuff on their Bandcamp site. The duo of Alexander Djelassi (guitar, bass, synthesizer, effects) and Dirk Raupach (synthesizer, vocals, effects) is here augmented by saxophonist Andreas Lessenich which gives the otherwise rather electronic sounding album a sort of organic free jazz vibe.

There are four long, instrumental pieces on the album. "Zeitenraum" begins the journey in a very laid-back, floating and cosmic mode. There is no beat or any rhythm, just ambient soundscapes and sax. Nice. "Im Rausch des Alkaloids" also has some bird-song and narration in German, which works great. Towards the end, a deep, pulsating "heart" beat is added, and the very hallucinatory track grows a bit. On side B, "Traumfänger" has a bit more audible guitar and bass than the tracks on side A, but the similar, laid-back, cosmic and hazy vibe continues. "Nektar der Götter" even has something that could almost be called a guitar riff. The most cosmic old kraut rock gurus ride their long-haired heads, I suppose. I'm also reminded of the very ambient, laid-back space elements of Astralasia. This album is not for those who want their music to rock out, but if you are looking for a trippy, chilled-out, beautiful and atmospheric journey through your inner space this is the LP you need.