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torstai 29. marraskuuta 2018

Octopus Syng - Victorian Wonders listening party in Helsinki on 30.11.2018!

Welcome all to 5th Street Bar in Helsinki tomorrow! Finland's premier psych rock/folk band Octopus Syng releases their new album Victorian Wonders on limited vinyl and CD pressings and you can hear the whole album during the night. Dj Astro and Dj Valentin KOCMOC will also play all kinds of psychedelic/psychotropic vinyl treats for the whole night.

You can of course also buy the album directly from the main man Jaire at the event! 15€ in cash.

From 19:00 until late, free entry!

Facebook event.

keskiviikko 21. marraskuuta 2018

Violet Nox - Twin Flame EP

Sleep Fuse (SF 13)

This CD-R EP is already the 13th release on Reverb Worship's electronic only sister label Sleep Fuse. Violet Nox is a band from Boston, MA. They play experimental, electronic no-wave/post-punk/psych music. They have been making music for at least a couple of years now. This mini CD-R includes two new tracks plus one remix.

The first track "Swan Pond" is an over 7-minute slow, druggy, and mesmerizing piece. It has different kinds of cool guitar sounds and later on also soft vocals over a minimal electronic beat. Nice! "AxA" is even longer at almost eight minutes and also faster. It sort of sounds like a modern version of Suicide with female vocals and a bit noisy guitar. Also some krautrock vibe in there I guess. Things get rather wild and weird along the way... This is actually pretty psychedelic stuff! The bonus track "Lamb on the Moon (Remix by Miss Geo)" is a shorter, cleaner, dancable electronica track and quite different in style and vibe. Not bad, but not exactly my kind of music. There are only 30 numbered copies of this EP so hurry up if you want one! Try

Domboshawa ‎– Beyond Vibrations

Drone Rock Records (DRR020)

Named after a hill with ancient rock art in Zimbabwe, Domboshawa is a solo project by Swedish multi-instrumentalist Anders Broström.  This is the third physical album by this project if you count the limited debut cassette Dark Lights that I unfortunately don't have. There are also several digital only releases on the Domboshawa Bandcamp site. I fell in love with last year's Mind Electrix LP also on Drone Rock, and this new one is even better.

Anders makes psychedelic, experimental and instrumental space/stoner rock, that varies from heavy, hypnotic rock jams to more ambient,  beautiful, dreamy and floating soundscapes. I think at least most of it is first improvised and then of course overdubbed. On this album he uses at least electric guitars with an (un)healthy amount of effect pedals, bass, drums, synthesizers and organ on his sonic wizardry. There are seven long tracks on the album. "Explorer" is mind-melting heavy stoner/space rock jam with spacey sound effects and a lighter, weird and spaced-out middle part. If you like continuous, fuzzy acid solo guitar work you'll enjoy this for sure! On "Azores" the jamming and guitar soloing continues but now with a more The Bevis Frond like backing also including organ. Very cool! With "Blå Lotus" Anders gives us an opportunity to close our eyes, dream and fly to a distant, magical place. "Safe Flight" is heavier, hypnotic stoner stuff again. The longest track on the album is "Yellow Dots" at almost 19 minutes. It starts off slowly and minimally and stays very experimental and weird. Very trippy stuff on this one! The dreamy and heady "Röd October" is similar in vibe and doesn't really start to rock out at any point. Nice! The album is finished with "Krystal Händs" and it's another ultra-trippy, slow mind-exploder that is pretty ambient and experimental at first but gets heavier and more coherent and intense towards the end. All in all, this is an amazing, psychedelic experience as a whole and keeps the listener surprisingly well intoxicated and interested for the long journey into the center of the mind.

This is the first double vinyl release on the amazing Drone Rock Records and on bright orange and bright pink coloured LP's that suit the beautiful, psychedelic open gatefold cover art perfectly. Beyond Vibrations is limited to just 250 copies so act fast if you fancy a copy! Warmly recommended for all psychonauts. There are still some copies available directly from the label.

maanantai 19. marraskuuta 2018

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #83 now online!

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #83 now online for your aural pleasure! Find new heady tracks by Mt. Mountain, Athereal, Jacco Gardner​, Vespero​, Astral Son, Spirits Burning​ & Michael Moorcock, The Oscillation​, Domboshawa, Mythic Sunship​, Vintage Cucumber​, Gösta Berlings Saga, Electric Orange & The Fellowship of Hallucinatory Voyagers​.


# / Track / Artist

1 Catherdral (from Golden Rise) by Mt. Mountain
2 Todd (from V/A - Sideshows By The Seashore) by Athereal
3 Levania (from Somnium) by Jacco Gardner
4 Moon -Trovants (from Hollow Moon) by Vespero
5 Matrix of Creation (from Wonderful Beyond) by Astral Son
6 To Steal A Space Traveller (from An Alien Heat) by Spirits Burning & Michael Moorcock
7 Descent (from Live at Beursschourwburg, Brussels Jan 2014) by The Oscillation
8 Explorer (from Beyond Vibrations) by Domboshawa
9 Backyard Ritual (from Another Shape of Psychedelic Music) by Mythic Sunship
10 Verrat im Palast (from Arabische Nächte II) by Vintage Cucumber
11 Square 5 (from Ex Et) by Gösta Berlings Saga
12 Hydrog (from Unterwassen Vol. 2) by Electric Orange
13 Dark Star (Book of the Dead Mix) (from Tenderness Avalanche) byThe Fellowship of Hallucinatory Voyagers

sunnuntai 18. marraskuuta 2018

Astral Son - Wonderful Beyond

Sulatron Records / Headspin Records (st 1809 / MEXS019)

Wonderful Beyond is the latest, fourth solo album as Astral Son by psychedelic musician and painter Leonardo from Groningen, The Nerherlands. I have really enjoyed his previous albums that have all been released on limited vinyl by Headspin and this one is no exception. This is the third one to also get a CD release on the marvelous Sulatron Records and the CD version includes also one bonus track "Quiet Love". The production values are now higher than before, not that the earlier output had sounded bad by any means. You can still sense a certain home-made, pleasant vibe on this album. As before, the album includes everything from acid folk to psychedelic space rock, experimental electronics and Eastern-tinged ragas.

"She" is a slow and heavy psyche/krautrock track somewhere in between Amon Düül II and Sun Dial. What a great, trippy and spacey tune! The hypnotic "Matrix of Creation" is closer to Steve Hillage or Gong and another winner. "Time and Space" is an acoustic, peaceful piece including also bird-song. "Your Mind" again brings to mind Hillage/Gong in a good way. On "Moving Slowly" we get to take it easy. "The Universe" is a more experimental, mantra-like track with cool narration and backwards guitar. "Cheap Magic Spells" is the longest track on the album at almost seven minutes. This melodic song sort of sounds like a mix of early The Bevis Frond and Ethereal Counterbalance, very nice. "Nothing New" is a bluesy track and "The Well" again brings to mind Ethereal Counterbalance a bit. Great psychy solo guitar work on this one! "Journey" is a hypnotic, heady instrumental and "Morning Dew" a mystical, weird piece that ends the vinyl version in a hazy manner. The CD bonus track "Quiet Love" is a pretty space ballad. This is absolutely another killer album by Astral Son, maybe the best yet!

Electric Orange ‎– Unterwasser Vol.2

Adansonia Records ‎(ar030)

Right after the Vol. 1 I reviewed a couple of weeks ago here comes the second volume of this electronic live gig by Electric Orange in duo format. The long gig was originally released on very limited double CD-R in 2002 and this is the first vinyl outing. This limited 2LP includes six long tracks in 80 minutes. Dirk Jan Müller is playing synthesizer, organ and tape and Dirk Bittner electric guitar, synthesizer, drum machine, vocoder and voice.

Vol. 2 starts off with the massive, 19-minute-long, hypnotic, mystical and trance-inducing "Ortat". It has cool, sort of tribal beat and makes you want to dance. Very nice! On the side two we first have the  more ambient and highly psychedelic "Span" that tingles just the right spots in your back brain. "Lake" has some cool electronic beat again as well as vocals and mesmerizing sequencers as well as some more experimental stuff. "Hydrok" is a seventeen-minute krautrock masterpiece that is probaböy my favourite on the album! Think of Neu! and Tangerine Dream mixed together with some modern electro influences thrown in. Trippy! "Quiet Party" is a slower, more ambient jam again, and "MK" finishes the album in cosmic, celestial atmospheres. Another excellent Electric Orange release, what else can I say! Available on limited red/black marbled and red splattered editions from the Adansonia website.

perjantai 9. marraskuuta 2018

Jack Ellister - Telegraph Hill

You Are The Cosmos (YARC44LP)

Telegraph Hill is the third album by leftfield psychedelic folk rock artist Jack Ellister. He's originally from Poland and I've been following his career since his Yordan Orchestra days in Holland nine years ago. As a solo artist Jack Ellister has been releasing stuff on Fruits de Mer since 2012. Telegraph Hill was first put out in May for the Fruits de Mer 10 year anniversity show as a hand-numbered CD-R in a tin box limited to 100 copies. On the 27th of this month it will be also released on vinyl and digital download on You Are The Cosmos.

What we have here are nine original compositions by Jack, so no 60s covers this time. All these simple little tracks have a warm, home-made vibe and apart from drums and percussion on a few tracks all instruments are played by Mr. Ellister himself. The mostly acoustic album is only 28 minutes long and was originally intended as an EP. "Roots" is a short but sweet folk ballad with just acoustic guitar and vocals. "High Above Our Heads" has more instrumentation like drums, bass and electric guitar and has a more psychedelic feel. "Maureen Feeding the Horses" is a short instrumental, and "Fill Another Glass" an acoustic, Irish styled folk piece also including some violin. "Mind Maneuvers" has a bit of a jazzy vibe and grows along the way getting more experimental and also including some weird effects. The title track opens the B-side and it's a great, short and simple folk piece, like the beautiful "Reminder". "Icon Chambers" is a cool, relaxed but trippy instrumental with cool synthesizers. The last, instumental track "Condors" is the longest at 7:23 and it's a deep, hypnotic and psychedelic journey with acoustic guitar, didgeridoo, percussion and nice synth melodies and also some lead guitar towards the end. Very nice! Fans of Jack Ellister will be happy with this release, although it might end a bit too fast. But you can always put it on again!

tiistai 6. marraskuuta 2018

The Spacious Mind - The Drifter

Trail Records (020)

I was really looking forward to play Jönköping Space & Rock Festival in Sweden in 1997 with my band Dark Sun. Okay, there were legendary Welsh rockers Man who were very cool to hang with,  my idol Nik Turner who we had already met and played with the previous year at Hamburg Hawkfan meeting and lots of great space rock bands like Darxtrar... But then there was The Spacious Mind! They had already released five albums by the time and were absolutely one of my favourite bands, they still are. Somehow these psychonauts from the middle of Northern Sweden had came up with a totally unique psychedelic rock style that really amazed me. Their music has a strange, dreamy quality and you were immediately transported into totally different space and time. Sure, they had their West-Coast/psych/space/kraut/acid/rock and folk influences, but they also had something out of this world. It was nice to meet these quiet, a bit shy and spaced-out guys (and also help them look for their van keys all over the festival site after the festival...). Their gig (feat. Nik Turner, like most of the other bands there as well!) was pure magic. We kept in touch and I was also introduced to their other myriad projects and bands as years went by. Of course we also invited them to play in Helsinki with Dark Sun, Circle and others in 2002 which is story of its own.

Anyway, during the recent years there has not been that much TSM activity. Gentle Path Highway was released on CD on their own Goddamn I'm A Countryman Records in 2007, and then I thought that was it. I was pleasantly surprised when Greazy Green And Stoney Lonesomes Vol.1, an excellent new album, was released in 2014 on Kommun 2. If you don't count Sleepy Eyes And Butterflies 2LP, their first vinyl outing including two side-long tracks from the first CD with three new ones and put out in 1995 by Gates of Dawn in the U.S., there were no TSM compilations available. This is where Trail Records came to picture wanting to make one. The Drifter is a 62-minute CD comprising of six tracks from various sources. All of them have been previously released, but you'd have to be one of the lucky 50 true fans like myself to own the limited live CD-R two of the tunes are lifted.

The fifteen-minute "The Drifter" that starts off the disc was originally the A side of their sole 10" release Reality D Blipcrotch in 2002. I just love this track! The first half is hypnotic, instrumental stuff that speeds up and gets more intense until the beautiful, dreamy and slow end part with soft vocals begins after the spacey middle. The extensive use of ebow and organ are perhaps the most characteristic sides of this band. The long instrumental "Euphoria, Euphoria" is another favourite of mine from The Spacious Mind catalogue: it rocks in its completely own universe but you can still totally fly along. Wonderful! "The Players In The Band" (the B-side of Reality D Blipcrotch) is a pleasant example of a softer, more folky but still totally spaced-out side of TSM. "Floatin' Down The River Whistlin' On A Tune" is taken from the Various Artists CD Copenhagen Space Rock Festival 2002 (other artists are Dark Sun, Darxtar, Gas Giant, Mantric Muse and Pseudo Sun). This festival sadly never happaned, but I'm glad that the CD still exists. This track is a slow instrumental jam that has some pretty weird, experimental and trippy stuff going on... Some people have been complaining that the CD also includes a live version of "The Drifter". I personally don's have any problem with that, since this is a pretty different, faster version and after all, that's the title of the compilation. These guys always left quite a lot room to improvisation, so none of the tracks were played the same way twice. This version misses the slow ending with vocals. The CD is finished with another live cut "Spirit Roots" that has never been released as a studio version. For some reason, on this release the 20-minute track was edited for a 10-minute version, but it works great as it is.

It was a hard, if not even totally impossible, task to try to put the essence of this rather prolific band with some very long tracks into just one CD. What this band really needs is a CD box set as well as all their CD-only albums reissued on vinyl! Having said that, I do think that Trail Records did a great job combining some of their best tunes on this CD and making them available to the public again. I'm sure there is a whole new generation of spaceheads who have not yet experienced the mind-expanding qualities of this amazing band, and now is their chance. Enjoy the euphoria!

maanantai 5. marraskuuta 2018

Kris Gietkowski - Symmetric Communication

Fruits de Mer Records (strange fish fourteen)

Kris Gietkowski was first found by Fruits de Mer's Keith when he accidentally bumped into Kris's versions of tracks by the first Egg album on YouTube. Keith fell in love with them and of course just had to release them on vinyl resulting in the first album by Kris called Songs From The First Album By Egg. This wonderful looking slab of vinyl was soon sold-out and a reissue in different coulours was in order. Keith also released a massive 3CD-set Three of a Kind with the Egg album, tracks from the first album by Atomic Rooster and tracks from the first album by The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, all three discs also including bonus material. Phew! By this time it was obvious, that this Polish guy was very talented as well as obsessed with early progressive rock and Canterbury scene.

Symmetric Communication is the second LP release by Kris Gietkowski and the first to also include his own music. I'm glad it does since his closer to 20-minute composition "F/X)" on side A is just as good as the original masterpieces that he has been covering. Using just keyboards, bass and programmed drums and modern technology Kris can create a wonderful, fresh and innovative musical palette. Some might think the sound is a bit too clean or clear compared to the hazy prog pieces of the late 60s/early 70s , but I like it a lot. This is not really that psychedelic, but it's weird and experimental enough. The whole track is a wonderful, adventurous journey and you wonät get bored on the way. On side B we have two covers. "A Visit to Newport Hospital" originates from the Egg's second album The Polite Forfe and Kris gives us a truthful but fresh version. I really enjoy this wonderful, jazzy tune! The Baking Research Station's version that Fruits de Mer released in 2012 was pretty much different... It's a very rare occasion that they release two cover versions of same track, by the way! "Divided by Zero" ends the vinyl version and it sounds like another marvellous instrumental early Egg cover, but it's actually a composition of his own! He has somehow perfectly sucked in the early 70s Canterbury/prog vibe and has a way of reinventing it, nice. The promo CD-R and pretty split colour LP end here but there is one more track on the official CD version (also rare for Fruits de Mer!) so I just think I need to get my hands on that one as well. Great stuff!

lauantai 3. marraskuuta 2018

Úzgin Űver - Patak

The Lollipoppe Shoppe ‎(LSCD 018)

Úzgin Űver is group from Hungary who have been making and releasing their brand of psychedelic electronic/ambient/word music for over two decades now. This is the first time I have heard them, though. This CD version of their latest album has been brought to us by the German label The Lollipop Shop, always eager to introduce exotic and Eastern artists to the West. Just do yourself a favour and check out bands like Korai Öröm, Ole Lukkøye and Nu & Apa Neagră if you haven't already. World Music really can be mind-expanding and adventurous.

Like Ole Lukkøye for example, Úzgin Űver uses modern technology along with rock instruments and a variety of ethnic acoustic instruments to create wonderful, heady soundscapes. Their music is a magical witch's brew of now and the past and it's very easy to get lured into their hypnotic, spellbounding universe. The album starts off with the 16-minute title track that has amazing atmosphere. The going gets more intense along the way and you get sucked deeper into the mysterious void. Amazing! "Gázló" is a groovy, shorter track and "Shirat HaYam" has excellent female vocals on top of the psychedelic, mesmerizing music. Great rhythms. "Sodrás" is perhaps the most danceable of the tracks, very nice. The swirling "Örvény" has mantra-like male vocals, a steady beat and cool ethnic instruments and somehow creates ancient vibes and visions of a tribal cathering, dance and feast. Bring forth the holy soma, please. The melancholic "Nádas" finishes off the album in a bit more progressive and melodic way. Great stuff! Also available on vinyl on Hungarian Mana Mana Records.

Fanatism - The Future Past

Drone Rock Records (DRR018)

Like Automatism (check out my review) Fanatism is another new Swedish psych band related to Kungens Män. Compared to Automatism Fanatism is probably less jam-based and their tracks have vocals in Swedish and English. Both have psych/space/krautrock vibes but in a bit different way. Automatism is improvisational, more mellow and and sort of jazzy while Fanatism has a darker, harder hitting rock edge and clear compositions.

This album saw the light of day as a limited vinyl edition on the excellent Drone Rock Records, who have brought us some amazing delights by bands like The Space Spectrum, Psychic Lemon, GNOB, Domboshawa and Culto l Qondor, all on limited vinyl of course. The Future Past has four tracks on each side and I just love them all. Most of the music is performed with guitars, bass, drums, percussion and vocals, but there is also freaky/jazzy sax on three of them. Some of the album like the sort of post-punky "Upon the Gross" rocks out pretty hard and I like it. There are also more melodic, beutiful moments including acoustic guitar like the almost instrumental, melancholic "Tiden Rinner". "Nackögon" borrows its bass line from "Love Supreme". My favourites maybe still are the mystical opener "När Man Allting Sett" that brings to mind some of the 90s UK psych bands, the hypnotic, a bit Goat or Flowers Must Die styled "Shiv-Li-Yeah", the psych-rocking "One Of Us Can Not Be Me" and the trancey title track that ends the great album. One of the best psych rock albums this year so be sure not to miss it! Also available on CD on the band's Bandcamp site.

torstai 1. marraskuuta 2018

Electric Orange - Unterwasser Vol. 1

Adansonia Records (ar029)

This is a limited 2LP version of the first half of an improvised 2CD-R set Unterwasser - Live 2002 that the band released on their own in 2002. The Vol. 1 in the tittle suggests that the rest of this recording from Bad Sulza, 6.4.2002, shall see the day on light on another 2LP release. I'm glad that Adansonia Records is now releasing at least some of the stuff that the band self-released on CD-R in the early 00s since the original pressings were highly limited (under 100 copies each) and I didn't get any of them at the time. Plus it's SO much cooler to have this stuff on vinyl anyway!

On this great sounding release the German electronic kraut/psych heads take us on a rather minimal and ambient journey. The line-up this time was just the "Double D": Dirk Jan Müller on synthesizer, organ and tape and Dirk Bittner on electric guitar, synthesizer, drum machine, vocoder and voice. So the performance is quite different to some of the other live albums like Live at Roadburn 2012 that featured a full band. On the other hand, the use of pre-recorded tapes and drum machine still gives it a fuller sound at times. Apart from some hand-clapping there is no clear evidence that this is a live recording. The going is very hypnotic and electronic and the use of voice and vocoder in the background adds more psychedelic vibes. The band has released quite a lot of different stuff along the years and this is one of their most ambient/Berlin School releases for sure and great for meditation or relaxing. There is still some beat and melody in there to keep things interesting, but this is not their groovy party album. There are six tracks on the album and I find them all very enjoyable and magical. Check this out!