Listen to the latest Astral Visions Mixcloud Show!

tiistai 31. maaliskuuta 2015

Sendelica: Anima Mundi

 Frg Records (FRG LP/CD 022)

This is the brand-new Sendelica studio album, the first one since Kalidoscopic Kat in 2013, if you don't count the compilation and live albums in between. The very enjoyable, instrumental and psychedelic album features the following personnel: Pete Bingham: guitars, electronics, Colin Consterdine: synths, rhythms, atmospheres and sonic spells, Glenda Pescado: bass, Lee Relfe: sax, Jack Jackson:drums,  Lord Sealand: Theremin, Virginia Tate: flute and keyboards on "Searowhit" and Gregory Curvey: extra guitar on "The Pillar of Delhi". The band just seems to get better and better with age, if you ask me...

There are eight new tracks on the CD-R and seven on the limited LP (available in different variations). "The Craeft Worker" starts off the party in a rather laid-back, jazzy-electro mode. "Master Benjamin Warned Young Albert Not to Step on The Uninsulated Air" is the longest track on the album at 12:19 and also my favourite rocking out in the hypnotic kraut rock vein like Can also including lots of spacey sound effects, a bit heavier guitar, nice sax etc. Very cool! "The Pillar of Delhi" begins in an ambient mood and stays slow, tranquil and soothing. Just beautiful! "Azoic" is another peaceful, atmospheric track, although it grows after a couple of minutes. On "Baalbek Stones" the band gets heavier and more rocking and I really enjoy that. It also has a groovy, electronic background and jazzy sax to make things more interesting. "'The Breyr', 'The Tabogion', And 'The Cabthion'" is by far the heaviest track, so the spacey, psychotropic and ambient "Searohwit" soothes your soul in blissful way after that. I really like the Nik Turner-like flute on this one! The CD-R (limited to just 200 copies) and digital download also feature a bit weird, rather minimal and experimental but still pretty track called "The Hedge Witch". There's also a DVD version available including all the tracks with video footage. I love this band! 

Please help US psychonauts ST 37 to finace their tour with the mighty AMT!

Please buy great stuff from ST 37 to help them finance their tour with Acid Mothers Temple:

tiistai 24. maaliskuuta 2015

Sula Bassana: Live at Roadburn Festival 2014

Sulatron Records (st1502 / st1502-2)

One of the highlights for me at Roadburn Festival in 2014 was without a doubt the first ever live set by Sula Bassana. Dave Schmidt has been a musical hero for me since his early bands like Liquid Visions and Zone Six. I have followed his career in psychedelic space/kraut/trance rock music very carefully buying every release that he puts out with his various bands like Electric Moon and Krautzone. His solo albums have also been so brilliant, that I was really looking forward to this gig. Sula performed playing guitars, synthesizer, Mellotron and effects along with his partner Komet Lulu on bass and effects, Marcus Schnitzler on drums and Rainer Neef on guitar & effects. The atmosphere had really built up and the band was in hyper-energetic and psychotic mode and jammed and freaked out. What a great concert! What we have here is almost the whole show on LP and CD.

"Rainstorm" starts off the album with 13 minutes of hypnotic, psychedelic instrumental mayhem that gets rather intense at times. "D-Light" cools things down a bit with some nice, floating space atmospheres. It starts to rock in a heavier way but stays slow and spacey until it gets faster towards the end and blows your mind! The longest track is "Dark Days", the title track from the latest Sula Bassana album lasting here for 18 minutes. It happens to be me favourite track on the album so I remember being totally enthusiastic when I recognized the first riff! I still get the same feel listening to this now, and when the Mellotron hits the cold shivers go through my spine, splendid! This is a dark, psychedelic and mysterious masterpiece for sure. The album is finished with almost six minutes of "Alienfuzz" which begins in a blissful, ethereal manner but soon turns into heavy space fuzz orgy! Great way to end this album. The CD is already available and the limited marbled vinyl will be ready soon so be sure to buy a copy before it's gone!

maanantai 23. maaliskuuta 2015

V/A: Urealis Noise

Urealis-Tuotanto (UREA-002)

This is a cool and deranged compilation tape including one track each by four different Finnish rock bands. It's all pretty noisy and lo-fi, so there is a certain unifying factor in there. Atom Mouth Gimlies start off the A side with a live version of their track "Wig Pacer". I had never heard this lo-fi punk/garage rock band before, but they play fast, loud and hard for sure. Ride for Revenge is a black metal band, but their offering called "Soul Abortion" is (luckily) closer to primitive early black meal like Hellhammer than the modern version of the genre that I personally have no interest in. It more or less has just one slow riff with some occasional outbursts and since also this track is a live recording (from North Karelian Black Winds 2, Kontiolahti, Finland, 2nd of August 2014), the sound is pretty distorted and muddy. It doesn't really matter, though.

On side B things get more psychedelic and interesting for me... Räjäyttäjät and their leader Jukka Nousiainen has been a real underground rock hero here in Finland for a couple of years at least, and here Räjäyttäjät also features the insane impro vocals by Kalevi Helvetti, an infernal alter ego of Pertti Kurikka from punk band Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät! Their track "Painajais-Rock'n'Rollia & Huonoa Seuraa" also includes some spacey synth by Kalle Pajamaa on some weird and wild tape manipulation and delay. The end result is pretty far-out! Hazard Wings is a band influenced by Hawkwind, psychedelia and punk rock, and I really like their Interstellar Torment release form 2012. "Too Far" is an previously unreleased track that has a slow beat, majestic lead guitar work, screamed vocals and mind-blowing space sounds. The tape is worth having for this weird track alone, I think. I bet this is a very limited edition but the tape is still available for example form the Ektro web shop so hurry up.

Sonic Temple Assassins: An Lá na Beann

Äänipää Records(Äpäre-01)

Sonic Temple Assassins is and experimental psychedelic noise rock project of Jani Hellén from Tampere, Finland with some foreign collaborators. This limited edition tape that was released with several different coloured covers on recycled tapes was born when Jani visited Ireland in late 2013 for a short tour backed by Irish band The Jimmy Cake. One night in Dublin, Gavin Prior (the head of Deserted Village lable) organized an improvisation session with Jani and himself, and the basic tracks were recorded. Later Gavin added some tracks and his friend Ferguson also played some sax to give the music a more free jazzy vibe, while Jani rearranged and edited the material in Finland.

There are eight weird, instrumental tracks on the tape. Some of it is pretty jazzy, but there is also noise rock and even some Faust-styled hypnotic and industrial jamming as well as experimental ambient soundscapes. You never know what the Sonic Temple Assassins will offer but it's always strange and intriguing. If you need your music to have super high quality sound this is definitey not for you but if you are interested in some experimental sounds deep from the underground this might well be your thing. But first, you have to track down a copy, of course..

torstai 12. maaliskuuta 2015

Glowpeople: Happen...

Cosmic Primitive (CP45)

This is the second CD by UK jam-based instrumental psych/space/prog/funk rock band Glowpeople that I have heard and reviewed. They have been playing live at the UK festival scene for a few years now and there has been some clear progress in their music. I'm still often reminded of the Ozric Tentacles, but Glowpeople do have a jazzy, funky vibe of their own. The music is usually rather cheery and danceable and also has elements of dub, ambient, electro etc. Must go down well at cool psychedelic summer festivals like Kozfest!

The CD includes 10 tracks ranging in length from 3:45 to 7:37. The rather slow, mellow and dub styled "Gap the Mind" starts off the spacey celebration. The psychy synthesizer sounds and maybe the overall vibe bring to mind 90s psych band Tribe of Cro, anybody remember them? Later on we also get some spoken numbers which is sort of strange. On "Happen" the band gets more jazzy with some horn but also more hypnotic and sort of kraut rocky. Very cool! The US band Mushroom brings to mind. "Tie Dye Sky" is also pretty jazzy and the weird small voice samples and spacey synth swooshes make me think of Gong. Things get more intense later on with some tight space rocking and hot solo guitar work, excellent! "Gorilla Salad" is a weird track title but so is the track itself... Then it's time for a rather experimental and percussive "Trod" that stays relatively minimal and has some trumpet again. "Distlilled" remains me of some of the 80s jazz/rock fusion bands (but in a nice way!), and "Skworked" has a mysterious, magical mood that I really like. The shortest piece "Medusa" is the most electronic sounding of the tracks and I dig that too. "Touch It" is the ambient space track of the album and gets some tribal percussion added later on. Also the last track "Abstract" has a similar airy, ambient vibe with just repetitive percussion, synthesizer waves and trumpet. One of the strengths of this band is its looseness but it can also be a bit of a burden since sometimes you would like the tracks to lead you somewhere instead of just making you linger in the ether but that is fine with me too. Check them out!

torstai 5. maaliskuuta 2015

Spurious Transients: Portraits of a Landscape

Self-released (SPTRCD001)

Spurious Transients is a kraut rock oriented experimental/avant garde music project of multi-instrumentalist Gavin Lloyd Wilson from Wales. Most of the tracks on this CD have drum machine and there's a certain modern, electronic vibe on it. Gavin has been inspired by German acts like Neu!, Faust, Can, Cluster, Harmonia and Kraftwerk, and has also been playing bass for a while with his Welsh friends in space/psych rock band Sendelica. Portraits of a Landscape also feature some guests on drums, bass, keyboards, Cubase trickery and vocals.

The mostly instrumental has been divided in two parts. The first five tracks reflect the contemporary industrial landscape of Wales and the last four the ancient landscape of the nature. The very cool, kraut rock -styled "Modus Operandi" is my favorite of "The Industrial Operandi" section. The very industrial sounding, experimental and weird "industry/Catastophe" reminds me of Faust. You can hear the sounds of machines etc. and there are also lots of sampled spoken word. "Baglan Bay (Salakapakka Sound System Remix)" offers some cold, ambient industrial vibes.

The "In Harmony with Nature" part starts off with the beautiful and tranquil "Under the Same Stars" that has wonderful female vocals by Ghost Dust. I like the mystical, droney vibe of this song. "The Parrog" is very nice stuff too, although only lasts for two minutes. "Glacial Express Way" is the longest track on the album at 8:43, and has some psychedelic, dreamy guitar, a slow, distant beat and synthesizers. Very nice and psychedelic! "Poppit" ends the album in a airy, pretty and a bit folky style. I definitely prefer the "nature" section of the album but there are some really great moments in the industrial part as well, so please check this out!

Broken Mono: Bad Magnet


Broken Mono is a psychedelic one-man music machine of a guy named Mike Dmytruk. He's living in Peterborough, U.K. Bad Magnet is his third album under this monicker and he has played in bands before. This great album is available on CD-R and as a download, no vinyl I'm afraid.

We get ten relatively short tracks on the CD-R. The music has elements of garager rock, post-punk, guitar oriented indie rock, Velvet Underground, and psych rock. Dmytruk uses electric guitars, bass, (programmed) drums and some keyboards and sings in a sort of punky manner. One of my favorite tracks "You Burn Like a Sun" brings to mind the great Nick Riff, if that gives you some idea of what I'm talking about. This somehow also sounds a bit like the bed-room recordings of Nick Saloman (The Bevis Frond), although not just as good. The quite minimal and mellow "Soft Hammer" is a bit more electronic in nature. "Day By Day" has a cool 60s psych pop vibe, one of the highlights for sure. The last track "You're a Spaceman Now" has some experimental, weird edge and is pretty spaced-out. This is a rather varied, uneven album that some great songs and some okay songs, check it out.

tiistai 3. maaliskuuta 2015

Uhrijuhla: Jokainen on vapaa lintu

Svart Records

Finnish progressive pop/rock/psych band Uhrilehto will release their third album this Friday. They will also perform a free record release gig in their hometown Turku, and after that there are a couple of more gigs in Kotka and Helsinki. Everybody in Finland knows the main songwriter Kauko Röyhkä, who's been one of the icons of Finnish rock music since the early 80s as well as successful writer. In Uhrijuhla he's just one of the members though, playing guitar and singing on some songs. His partner Olga is the main singer like on their eponymous debut album. There have been some changes in the line-up, and Kimi Kärki (ex-Reverend Bizarre, Lord Vicar, Orme) is the new guitarist and Olli Kauniskangas and Kimmo Laine (from 500 kg lihaa) play bass, guitar and keyboards.

The album starts off with the short and minimal "Syksy" ("Autumn") that just has some quiet organ sound and wonderful, clear vocals by Olga. "Salaseura" ("A Secret Society") is a slow, a bit melancholic and mysterious sounding song with great vocals/lyrics. I love the bit heavy guitar tones on this song. Starting off with some bird-song, "Uhrilehto" is the first single track and a very nice piece with great variation on the soft, folk rock parts and the more rocking sections. Check out the cool video directed by Mr. Kärki. Nature seems to be a big influence on this band like the whole cosmos, the occult etc. On "Dyyneillä" the band gets heavier and Kauko does the vocals. This sounds like some of his solo stuff, not really my favorites on the album although not bad at all. I must give extra points for the occasionally slightly psychedelic vocal effects, and the mind-blowing guitars at the end. "Juokse poika juokse" is a softer pop song with a groovy chorus with some distorted guitar. Nice! Kauko sings again on "Pohjoinen" that tells about the life and problems of the Northern parts of Finland. This rocks out in a rather weird way. The most beautiful "Hiljaisuuden luostari" is one of the highlights and has some acoustic guitar, mellow keyboards and just wonderful vocals by Olga. The drums and bass join in after two minutes, as well as some more guitar, but the track stays slow and rather tranquil. This reminds me of Kimi's dark progressive occult rock band Orne that I really love. Must be written by him. "Puutarhassa" is another winner. The beat is like from "White Rabbit", and the song is arranged and mixed to perfection. Some great guitar on this one again and rather psychedelic vibes especially towards the end! The last, long track called "Verenpunainen" ("Blood-Red") has Kauko on vocals and I really like this dreamy but dark and heavy song. The overall sound is quite full and there's lots of different stuff to dig. Finally there's a short outro with Olga and organ to lighten up the rather dark and mind-blowing vibe of the song. Excellent! This magical album is definitely worth checking out, even if you don't understand the great lyrics.

maanantai 2. maaliskuuta 2015

The Janitors: Evil Doings of an Evil Kind 12" EP

Bad Afro Records (FRO1012)

The Janitors is a band from Sweden playing dark, heavy and hypnotic psych rock. They have released one album on Cardinal Fuzz and some mostly digital EP's etc., but I haven't heard that much before. This 12" was put out last autumn so I'm a bit late again, sorry folks... This four-tracker reminds me of recent bands like Cult of Dome Keller, Dead Skeletons, Sonic Jesus, The Underground Youth etc., so there's lots of echoes of post-punk and Gothic rock as well as shoegaze (at least Spacemen 3), noise rock and drone.

First we get a long, dark and hypnotic mid-tempo track called "Greed". I like the reverb-drenched guitar sounds of this band. Things get louder and noisier later on, but all they really need is one simple riff. The four-minute "Black Wheels" has more melody and song structure, and actually sounds a bit like (earlier) The Black Angels, so there's a certain garage psych vibe in there too. A Great song! "Here They Come" has a cool drum-beat and again a hypnotic, dark vibe with heavy, psychedelic guitars and bass. This might freak you out a bit, quite scary and powerful stuff... The last song "There Will Be Blood" is a bit faster and reminds me of Cult of Dom Keller. It has some great riffs, dark, monotonic Gothic/horror vocals and a bit punky vibe. Now I'm hitting myself for not buying the limited edition of their first LP since it's now way too expensive... What a great, powerful band!