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sunnuntai 26. elokuuta 2018

La Iglesia Atómica - S/T

Clostridium Records (CR-CD 013)

La Iglesia Atómica is a heavy psych/stoner rock band from San Juan, Puerto Rico. I had never heard of them before I got this CD from Clostridium erlier this year, but they have played together 20 years ago so this is sort of their comeback album I guess and apparently first official CD release. It was first released in South America last year.

The band pretty much relies on heavy riffing, fuzzy and wild solo guitar work, groovy rhythm section, cool jams and stoned vocals like the first wave of stoner rock bands in the 90s. And I like it! A good example is the mid-tempo "Superhombres". There are also some faster tracks like the insturmental "Stoner's Ball. I bet these guys have heard their share or early Monster Magnet, Fu Manchu, Kyuss, Nabula etc. but they still have a touch of their own. This is limited edition of 300 copies and if heavy stoner psych rock is your thing I'd recommend you to get one before they're all gone! New stuff seems to be coming up soon shich is great. This band seriously rocks!

Astral Visions Mixloud Show #81 online now!

Another two-hour journey into sound with new tracks by Kikagaku Moyo / 幾何学模様, Lumerians, Altin Gün, Saturnia, Superfjord, Øresund Space Collective, Black Helium, Cracked Machine, Fanatism, Warp Transmission, Automatism, Vibravoid Official, The Myrrors, Octopus Syng (feat. Peter Daltrey) and Sendelica.

perjantai 24. elokuuta 2018

Kshettra - Five Mothers

Self-released (KSH001)

Kshettra is a Russian experimental ambient jazz bass and drums duo formed by Boris Ghas (bass, poem, samples) and Viktor Tikhonov (drums, Oxoma synth, sample). This CD released in early 2017 also includes guests Ramille Mulikov (sax, trumpet, trombone), Nikolai Samarin (synth, double bass, mandolin, sitar) and
Eugeniy Mikhalchenko (voice).Their debut album was released in 2013 by R.A.I.G. that some of my readers will know for great releases by Akhmed, The Re-Stoned, Seven That Spells, Vespero, Sendelica etc.

The album begins with a short, drone-like ambient piece "Conception" and then the jazzy, proggy bass and drums jamming begins with "Garura Lila" and continues on "Cikada". The basic tracks are rather minimally and elegantly spiced with other instruments from time to time, but the overal vibe is rather minimal and plain. There are some tribal/Oriental/World Music vibes on the journey, for example in "Godzhindra". "Walk Under the Moon" has some spoken word in Russian at the beginning and then we get some mystical, tranquil and dark soundscapes. This is perhaps the most psychedelic track on the CD and my favourite. "Umbra" is more rhythmical again and "Machanoya" another longer, more experimental and trippier number that I enjoy. The CD is finished with the weird one-minute ambient drone piece "Crossing". I can't say that this is exactly the kind of music that I normally listen to, but I just have to give these guys some credit for creativity and musicianship. Rather interesting stuff!

Spaceking - In the Court of the Spaceking

(No Name) 679

I recently received a big package of CD's from a Russian non-profit label that has no name or logo and only releases their stuff with catalogue numbers. Apparently the label was founded in late 2011 by Anton Kitaev, Ivan Bredolog & Oleg Dynya in Moscow. A label without a name might not be the easiest to promote but I'm of course always happy to receive new, interesting music to check out. Another obstacle might be that they don't release bands withing just one genre but on the other hand that can be seen as a plus side as well.

Anyway, this 7-track, 41-minute CD was released already in 2013 but against my principles of only sticking to recent releases I will still give it a short review. Now, Spaceking of course is a cool band name, although maybe not the most original. Looking at their Bandcamp site I can see that this seems to be their third release after a couple of EP's. They have also released one more album, The Piper at the Gates of Stone, in 2016 (download only, I guess). This five-piece from Saint Petersburg plays a heavy and experimental mix of metal, prog, stoner and sludge and I do enjoy them. The album is mostly instrumental which works well, but a track called "Rosemary" also has angry sounding vocals and "Judgment" some spoken word samples. There are also some grunge vibes I think, and I dig the groovy riffs and the sort of unexpected aspect of the band. The last track "Stardust" is the longest at 8:02 and has more synth-oriented parts that remind me of Pink Floyd which is never a bad thing in my Astral Charts. I bet this band might win more fans all over the world if they just were given a chance. So check them out!

Saturnia - The Seance Tapes

Elektrohasch Schallplatten (Elektrohasch 175)

 Saturnia from Portugal has been a one-man space/psych/prog rock/electronic band by multi-instrumentalist and singer Luis Simões. I've been following his magnificent work since the debut album The Glitter Odd released in 2001 and have been enjoying every bit of it. Live appearances with guest musisicians have been sadly very rare and I've been waiting for years to experience Saturnia's heady, mesmerising and trippy music on a gig. Now my chances seem to have enhanced since Luis has formed a three-man live band with a drummer and a keyboardist.

The Seance Tapes is a sort of rehearsal for the trio's live gigs as well as a best of Saturnia. It includes some of the best tracks from all the six Saturnia albums and they do sound amazing played live in the studio and mixed really well. There are 12 tracks in total and I just love all of them. Some of my favourites include the pounding "I Am Utopia", raga-like "The Real High" and the hypnotic "Mindarama", so I guess you could say I prefer the stuff released since 2007. Having said that, all the previous albums have their amazing moments and tracks. All in all, this is a marvellous, magical and very well produced album that just makes me drool for an oppurtunity to see the band live. Available on CD and soon also on 2LP!

Octopus Syng - Victorian Wonders

Mega Dodo

At the moment, Octopus Syng is one of the most well known psych rock / pop bands from the Finnish underground. Jaire Pätäri started it as a solo project at the end of the last millennium and I've been a follower since the first releases in 2000. When Jaire moved to Helsinki we became very good friends and I've also helped on the lyrics and done some backing vocals on a couple of tracks so my opinion can be a bit biased... But I just love Jaire's music!

On Victorian Wonders Jaire turns the controls of his time-machine even bit farther in history than on his previous album. During the recording sessions for Hollow Ghost / Rochelle Salt he was mostly obsessed with the early 20th century vibe (as well as avant-garde and yé-yé pop of the early 60s France) but now the main emotional influences came from the 19th century romanticism and mysticism. Musically the album still draws from 60s psychedelic pop, rock and folk music, of course.

As always, there are eleven tracks on the album (the master number in numerology) and the wonderful cover art is done by master Pätäri himself. Jaire recorded and mixed the album and plays quite a lot of the instruments but the album also features the whole Octopus Syng live band as well as some guests. The most famous of the guests definitely is 60s psych legend Peter Daltrey of Kaleidoscope who was exactly the right person to recite a poem by John Keats (Bright Star, 1819) on "19th Century Romanticism", true trippy magic... The production is better than ever before and the hard work has really paid off. The overall atmosphere of the album is rather soft and dreamy but also dark and weird. There are no really hard, fuzzy rockers, most of the songs are slow and peaceful. There is a certain, very pleasant feel of innocence and whimsy on the more pop-oriented, melodic masterpieces like "If You Were a Flower" and "Roundabout" and some of the songs are closer to acid folk ("Let It Rain/Let It Shine", "Spider Webs"). It's really hard for me to name any favorites since I really enjoy the album as a whole. The last track "These Precious Summer Nights" that has female vocals sort of sums it altogether, anyway. This is the best Octopus Syng album so far and if you like dreamy, emotional and melodic psych it's definitely for you. Jaire has promised the next album to rock out more, so I'm already really looking forward to hear that!

keskiviikko 1. elokuuta 2018

HOTlist July 2018

Okay, now it really has been HOT!!! I've been on holiday and out of the city / country, but this is what I have been listening while at Astral Zone HQ:

Automatism From the Lake
Lumerians ‎– Call Of The Void
Vibravoid ‎– Vibrations From The Cosmic Void
Sleep ‎– The Sciences
Cracked Machine ‎– I. Cosmonaut
Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. ‎– Electric Dream Ecstasy
Pyramidal ‎– Live From The 7th Psychedelic Network Festival 2014
Electric Moon ‎– Live In Kosmos
Free/Slope ‎– Abracadabra
Sun Dial ‎– Science Fiction