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perjantai 8. huhtikuuta 2016

Sendelica - I'll Walk the Stars for You / Live at Immerhin / The Cromlech Chronicles

VE Recordings / Sunhair / Fruits de Mer

The Welsh psychedelic space rock band Sendelica (one of my favourite bands at the moment!) really have been prolific lately while celebrating their 10th anniversary. They now have three new albums coming up during just a few months and I will now go briefly through them all.

 I'll Walk the Stars for You is a new studio album released on the Italian label VE Recordings. These guys also publish the excellent Vincebus Eruptum heavy psych mag that I always review at the Zone. This is an exquisite release with some really special guest musicians like the legendary Twink and space lord Nik Turner! The album starts off with "Black Widow Man" with Twink on vocals. This is a surprisingly short track for Sendelica (4:23) and perfectly catches the essence of heavy, trippy space rocking. Wonderful! The basic tracks for a space jam called "Moscow Bunker Blues" were recorded in Moscow some time ago with Vasily Bartov (Re-Stoned) on drums, and the band has made some cool overdubs in their own Afterhours Studio in Wales adding some organ, jazzy sax and spacey guitar layers. Wow, a very nice 11-minute trip! "Albatross" is a pretty, bluesy instrumental with Nik Turner adding some flute. We all can fly if we just close our eyes and relax! The longest track on the album is "I Once Fed Peter Green's Albatross" at 15:39. Parts of this were again recorded in Moscow, but lots of keyboards, sound effects, theremin & sax have been added. This is a beautiful, atmospheric and ambient track that really floats magnificently somewhere up there and you are invited to join the flight. The album ends with the beautiful, spacey ballad "Dance Stars Dance" and Twink shows that he still can offer some excellent vocals. Very emotional and touching. 250 copies on black vinyl and 250 on spacey blue with poster. Also out on limited CD on Sendelica's own FRG Records. Marvellous stuff!

 Live at Immerhin is the band's latest live album and was recorded in Wurzburg, Germany last year. The sound quality is excellent, and the band in full swing. Due to time limitations the highly limited vinyl (175 on black, 175 on splatter vinyl) version only includes five of the tracks on the CD (limited to 300 copies) and digital release, but if you buy the vinyl you get to download the whole set. They start out with their old classic, slow space rock jam "Spaceman Bubblegum" and are already on fire. The heavy "Standing on the Edge" is one of their shortest tracks and not featured on the LP. Another old song "Manhole of the Universe" sounds fresh here and includes some ripping solo guitar by Pete and cool jamming by all. "Set the Controls for the Buddha" last for "only" for about seven minutes this time, but the listeners are transported into some strange, magical world in that time. Based on Pink Floyd's "Set the Controls...", of course. My mind is blown. Some faster space rocking as well as more introspective ambience is offered with "Master Benjamin Warned Young Albert Not to Step on the Un-insulated Air". Sadly not on the vinyl version. "Baalbek Stones" originally from 2015's Anima Mundi album rocks pretty hard as well. The old, dreamy and hazy space ballad "Siren" ends the set magnificently. What a great set, although pretty much the same as on their Live from the 7th Psychedelic Network Festival 2014 2LP. The guys still never play a certain track exactly the same way twice, so things keep interesting.

The Cromlech Chronicles presents some new studio recordings by the band recorded mostly live with just some minimal overdubs just before the 13th Dream Festival last year. The title of the album comes form the ancient megalithic monument dating back over 3000 years that was close to the studio in Wales. It will also be pictured inside the open gatefold cover, and the already sold-out box version comes with a Cromlech DVD, Cromlech print etc. Pete's rather obsessed with prehistoric stone monuments, you know... Anyway, let's get to the music. This instrumental LP that will be released next month begins with a long jam "The Chromlech Suite Parts I to IV" that takes the whole A side of the vinyl version. This is a dreamy, spacey and atmospheric jam that somehow manages to bring some of the ancient mysteries back to our modern age. The band starts to rock out more in the middle of the 23-minute piece and I'm loving it. "Satori (Part I)" is a loose cover version of a Flower Travellin' Band track form 1971 and works very well. "Vellichor" is one of those beautiful, melodic and emotional pieces that Sendelica are so great with. Very nice! Roger Morgan plays some piano on this one. Then we only have one more track left, but it's the ten-minute psychedelic space-time continuum "Zenosyne" that has lots of excellent electronic violin by spacial guest Cyndee Lee Rule. Wow! Another killer album by Sendelica, pre-order while you still can. Also available on limited CD edition.

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