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torstai 6. joulukuuta 2018

Liquid Visions - Hypnotized

Sulatron Records (st 1807)

I have hazy but fond memories first meeting the Liquid Visions members twenty years ago at the Hamburg Hawkfan meeting. At the time these freaks from Berlin just had some home-made tapes to sell, best tracks from these were soon compiled for their first, self-titled album in 1998. I was immediately in love with their sound that was a great mix of 60's melodic garage psych, Hawkwind and 90's psych like Sun Dial and The Bevis Frond. They were also very nice guys and the half-naked, UV-painted dancer/theramin/organ player girl Katja Wolff especially left an enormous impact on the young man's fragile but already experienced mind! Later on I've been in touch mostly with their bass player Dave Schmidt (nowadays maybe better known as Sula Bassana...) and to a certain degree with the guitarist/organist/vocalist Kiryk Drewinski who is also a great graphic designer...).

Hypnotized was the band's third album and originally released only on CD in 2002. It was one of my favourite releases that year and I still love it! I was sad that the band only released one more album From the Cube in 2004 before disbanding. There was one posthumous album The Lost Recordings put out on Nasoni in 2006, though. Luckily the musicians all already had or started new bands and projects, and Astral Zone readers must be familiar at least with Dave's Sula Bassana solo project and his bands Zone Six (early versions of which also featured Liquid Visions quitarist Hans-Peter Ringholz) and Electric Moon.

Anyway, Dave finally decided to re-release Hypnotized and for the first time on vinyl. Hooray! Kiryk was willing to update his original cover art with whole new painting which I think is amazing and inspired by the album's third track "Butterflight". All the music is the same, although of course remastered for vinyl release. The album starts off with the fast and catchy "State of Mind" that people have often heard on my DJ gigs through the years. This song still make the cold shivers go though my spine everytime I hear it! It's both melodic and rocking, true psychedelic masterpiece. "Waste" is a mid-tempo, organ-heavy garage rocker that I also really like. A bit longer "Butterflight" has a groovy, rocking psych edge and makes you want to dance like crazy. Some amazing, freaky fuzz/wah guitar stuff and spacey effects on this one! I'm also very impressed with the rhythm section. The ending is pure heavy Hawkwind space rock blasting... The groovy "Be Lie've" is perhaps my least favourite track but still not bad at all. Just a bit too mainstream and happy for my taste, I guess. The ten-minute "Morning Rain" is the melancholic ballad of the album. It has some similarities with Jimi Hendrix and Outskirts of Infinity. It has very moody vibes, mellow vocals ad superb solo guitar work. The album is finished with the long and trippy "Paralyzed". It begings in a very experimental way but gets heavy and intense later on. This is closer to stoner rock I guess, and a great ending for an amazing album. If you have not heard this classic psych rock legend before do yourself a favour and check it out. Hypnotized is one of the most important releases in its genre, and it's feels so good to finally have it also on vinyl.

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