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maanantai 31. heinäkuuta 2017

Fuchsia - Song 2 x 7" EP

Fruits de Mer Records (crustacean 80)

I bet most of my readers are familiar with early 70's folk/prog/psych group Fuchsia who only released one cult album at the time in 1971. This wonderful double 7" EP in open gatefold cover celebrates 50 years of recordings by Fuchsia's Tony Durant. Tony is still active recording new albums and playing live and is coming to play at Fruits de Mer's 15th Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival in Wales this week!

The EP progresses in chronological order starting from 1967 when Tony did a demo with Louise. "Look at the Sun" is a hard-hitting psych/freakbeat tune with great melodies and does not sound that bad for a 50-year-old acetate. I like it! Then we get an early demo version of the Fuchsia song "The Band" that would later be recorded with the Swedish band Me and My Kites in 2013. Lovely! On the B side we'll get a long classic track from the Fuchsia album: "The Nothing Song" and this is a really unique, progressive masterpiece. Tony's comeback album Fuchsia – II From Psychedelia... ...To A Distant Place was released in 2013 and from that album there are two real treats: the beautiful "Piper at the Gates of Time" and the perky "Fuchsia Song", both in every way as good as the early struff also including folky/orchestrated strings like before. Also Tony's personal vocals sound exactly the same! The last side is saved for two brand-new tracks that will be on the third Fuchsia album released very soon. "Box of Destiny" is a melancholic up-beat pop song with a wonderful, nostalgic vibe and the three-minute "Just Another Song" a slow, a bit country-styled folk rock number. It's amazing how these brilliant tracks spanning the last fifty years work together so well! What a great release.

Barrows - Obsidion

Tonzonen Records (TON028)

I had never heard of Barrows from Los Angeles until this three-sided vinyl LP arrived from the Tonzonen HQ. I'm very happy to get to know them now as they have just released their third album since I'm really digging what they are doing. As their Bandcamp site tells us, the album "...depicts the experience of a man who is abducted from earth and brought to ​​​​"Obsidion", a place where dimension is indefinable and the boundaries of human consciousness cease to exist". I can easly get that image while listening to the band's psychedelic, hypnotic, atmospheric and instrumental adventures.

The album starts off with the strange, spacey and ambient intro called "Telekin" and suddenly the band jumps into motorik, hard-driving kraut/space rock mode for the marvellous "Entrada". Any fan of the genre will be immediately enchanted! The last two minutes are quiet, atmospheric soundscapes. One of my favourites already. The over ten-minute, slowly building title track "Obsidion" is maybe closer to post rock but has a weird, experimental edge. Nice! The B side is filled with the monstrous, sci-fidelic "Cacoon" that has a scarey intro and then gets into groovy, hypnotic psych rocking. This stuff reminds me of Lumerians, Giöbia, Vibravoid and a few others, just to give you an idea. After a very cinematic middle part the track starts to rock out very fast and we get some nice soloing as well. I guess the alien is out of its cacoon by now, phew! Amazing. On side C we've got the shorter ambient piece "Manna" and the longer, bautiful and melodic "Zenith" that sounds a bit like some of the more adventurous post-rock bands. The going gets pretty powerful at times and this is a very nice ending for a great, varied album. Go and get it!

torstai 27. heinäkuuta 2017

Hotlist July

These are the albums I've been ejoying the most this month:

Roger Waters ‎– Is This The Life We Really Want?
Circle ‎– Terminal
Lamp of the Universe / Kanoi ‎– Split
The Space Spectrum ‎– Drone Jams Vol II
Cosmic Trickers - Homo Fraktaliens
The Black Angels ‎– Death Song
Electric Orange ‎– Time Machine 1992-2017
Eloy ‎– Reincarnation On Stage
The Radiation Flowers ‎– Summer Loop
Hawkeyes / The Radiation Flowers ‎– S/T 


tiistai 18. heinäkuuta 2017

Cosmic Triggers - Homo Fractaliens

Adansonia Records (AR018)

Mother Russia keeps on giving birth to great psych bands, just check out Polska Radio One, Cosmic Letdown or Maatlander for example. Cosmic Triggers from Saint Petersburg is the latest addition to the ultra spacey, tripped-out and cosmic psych rock family and this is their first album. Homo Fractaliens has just seen a limited vinyl release on the superb Adansonia Records that has introduced people to stellar bands like Kungen's Män and Fungal Abyss.  Cosmic Triggers is formed by Anastasia Skabelkin (vocals & analog synth), Vladimir Skabelkin (guitar, ethnic, synth), Vladimir Kolbin (guitar), Russel Petrov (drums) and Tagir Khisamov (bass) and I have a feeling that these cosmonauts are going far and high.

The LP starts off with the laid-back, slow and droney "Introduction" where the band jams in relaxed mood while Anastasia gives brief cosmic messages.  After three-and-a-half minutes the title track rocks a bit more in a groovy, very cool style taking you deeper into space. Before the two-minute-marker the track turns into a reggae/dub styled jams that goes on for another five minutes tripping you out. "Undermind" is a nine-minute, hyper cosmic ambient piece that is perfect for the soundtrack of your favourite psychedelic trip. I love the ethnic/tribal, very spaced-out vibe on this one. Later on some percussion is added. I can imagine some ancient cave paintings being made my shamen with this music on... Wow! The mysterious "Syndicate" is more rock oriented stuff again and brings to mind the hazy, mescalin-fuelled soundscapes by Liquid Sound Company. This is very deep stuff and puts you in a trance! "Quant Um" is the only little faster number and comes closer to krautrock, Vibravoid or Hawkwind. My only complaint is that it is a bit short, but I guess you could say the length is just perfect at 4:20. The album is finished with a loose space jam called "Shutsuryoku" that keeps you lingering on in zero gravity for another six minutes. I got to say that Cosmic Triggers is one of the best and most interesting bands that I've encountered this year and I really advice you to receive their cosmic transmission. Amazing stuff!

lauantai 1. heinäkuuta 2017

Electric Moon - Stardust Rituals

Sulatron Records (ST 1703-2)

With Stardust Rituals Germany's Electric Moon must have created their best ever release so far. The trio of Sula Bassana (guitars, e-sitar, mellotron, organ, e-piano, effects), Komet Lulu (bass, bass synth, vocals, space echo, effects & Marcus (drums) give us all you might expect from an Electric Moon album and more. It seems like a bit more planned/written album than before, although there's still room for the heavy and mind-blowing space jams as well. I also like the fact that Lulu is singing on most of the tracks.

The eight-minute "Loop" starts off in a beutiful way with organ and soft guitar. Soon the rhythm section joins in and then Lulu's very spacey and cool vocals (think of Brainticket or something) are added to a great effect. Wonderful! After some laid-back lead guitar work the track gets more intense and hypnotic and really starts to rock in space. Wow! One of their best tracks for sure, I hope they also play this live. "Stardust (The Picture)" is a heavy, repetitive and hypnotic track that also has nice vocals from Lulu, this time not so manipulated. Some cool jamming, psychedelic space sounds and mind-blowing guitar soloing on this one. We are all stardust. We're made of the Sun. We're all made of stars. That's why we're one. That's the message for you all! Ten minutes goes past fine with just one simple riff when you are trippy as hell. "Astral Hitch Hike" is the only shorter track on the album at 4:44. This is a peaceful, emotional and touching piece with nice electric sitar to give it an Eastern icing. Mellotron adds its own dimension and this truelly is a blissful journey. The albums longest track is the almost 23-minute "(You Will) Live Forever Now" the begins in a very laid-back, sleepy manner but slowly grows into a full-blown heavy space rock mind fuck. Some sitar and quiet vocals in this one as well. Here the band gets rather metaphysical and spiritual even... The ending just blows my mind... Excellent!

The first blue marbled edition of the LP version is already sold out but the second pressing is available as well as the CD version. I must also add that the cover art on both the vinyl and CD editions is phenomenal and suits perfectly the mystical, majestetic mood of the amazing music. Maybe my favourite album in 2017 so far! I'm really looking forward to see Electric Moon live again later this month, and the first time in Finland! Welcome space cadets, we love you. Finnish freaks, make sure you make it to Tampere on 14.7. or Oulu on the following day, you won't be dissappointed.