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keskiviikko 28. elokuuta 2019

Hotlist July-August

Okay, here's the hottest stuff (top 10) from July and August:

Uffe Lorenzen ‎– Triprapport (finally received the LP!)
Minami Deutsch ‎– Can't Get There 12” picture EP
Junzo Suzuki And Snakes Dont Belong In Alaska ‎– The Ascended Master Teachings of
Vibravoid ‎– Timemazine Woman optic art 7”
Vibravoid ‎– World Of Pain 7"
Soft Hearted Scientists ‎– Please Read Me 7”
Sendelica ‎– Cromlech Chronicles IV: The Door Into Summer
Weltraum ‎– NYX
Svenska Psykvänner ‎– The Hägersten Sessions
Here Lies Man ‎– No Ground To Walk Upon


tiistai 27. elokuuta 2019

Weltraum - NYX

Tonzonen Records (TON 063)

This is the latest release by German impro/psych/space/kraut/experimental band Weltraum. The band celebrates their 20th birthday in this year. NYX is a double LP/CD live album recorded with a big lineup (featuring members of Knall, Space Invaders and Lava 303). It's also their best release so far with amazing, mind-expanding vibes and crystal clear sound! The LP is limited to 500 copies (300 on orange, 200 on black vinyl). The album was released last Friday and the vinyl version is almost sold-out already!

The first LP is filled with two 20-minute space jams: "Zychedelics" and "Spiral3". The first one is hypnotic, groovy and spacey stuff that really kicks in inside your head like its title suggests. I'm in instrumental psych heaven right away! Lots of spacey guitar, modular synths, bass and drums  included. "Spiral3" starts off in a rather ambient way and slowly grows with some percussion etc. It has a sort of jungle feel to it and begins to rock out heavier and really expand your mind later on... Wow! Side C has a couple of ten-minute-jams. "The Sea" begins with some ocean sounds and after the three-minute-marker it goes into a hypnotic, bit post-rock styled groove that then slowly cools down. "Drones" is perhaps the most krautrock styled piece but also very spaced-out and psychedelic. "(3908)" is pretty ambient and experimental at first, but later on it gets more intense and strange. The track I like the least but it is still very good! The four-minute "Styx" ends the album with peaceful, droney sounds. I got to say this album really makes me want to see this band live now since they are for sure up there with the best bands in improvised, instrumental and psychedelic space rock. Get this album right now so you won't miss out!

maanantai 12. elokuuta 2019

Red & The Hogweeds - Sweet Stuff EP

Self-released (RATHCD03)

This is a limited edition CD-R EP/mini album by a quartet from St Dogmaels in Pembrokeshire, Wales. In their original six songs they freely mix punk, post-punk, pop, reaggae, rock, disco and blues. This is apparently their third release and was recorded at the legendary Foel Studio (Hawkwind, Gong, Van Der Graaf Generator, Porcupine Tree, Ozric Tantacles etc.).

Especially the first track "Sonic Tonic" where they try to remember the halcyon daze of the 70s and 80s free festival scene where drugs were great and aplenty sounds pretty much like Here and Now. The spacey synth sounds are very nice to my ears and it's a good solid, almost space rock song with a nice chorus. "Backstreet Kid" is more punky rock number sort of bringing to mind Robert Calvert. Just guitar, bass, drums and vocals on this one, unfortunately. "Grind Our Bones" is a bit reggae inspired pop song that I don't particularly enjoy. On "A Message from Aliens" the vibe gets stranger and it also has some psychedelic effects etc. Sort of whacky, spacey reggae number, a bit like some of the Gong stuff. Cool, Theremin always works for me! "Sweet Violet" is a fast rock'n'roll blast and pretty okay at it, harmonica and all. "Bubble Car" is somekind of humour rock, maybe Nik Turner might have done it with Inner City Unit. Nothing special in my mind, though. All in all, this a varied, maybe even too so, EP that has its moments for spaceheads. It still might be better to see this band live at your local pub than at a psychedelic free festival, for example. I still like their spacier, more psychedelic vibe and it's obvious that the band had lots of fun recording this.

sunnuntai 11. elokuuta 2019

Sendelica/Secret Knowledge/The Orb - Windmill 12"

 Strange Fish ‎(Seventeen)

Okay, so here is the first 12" released by Fruits de Mer Records or its sister labels. It's also the first 12" by Sendelica, if you don't count the limited to 10 (ten!) lathe cut EP Disco Daze put out last year. Of course this is not a"pure" Sendelica release since there are four mixes of one single track and in addition to two mixes by Sendelica's Consterdine we've also got two mixes by The Orb! Is Fruits de Mer going electronic, ambient or even house or techno you might ask? Well, not exactly, thank The Great Sea Creature, but they seem to be widening the horizon a bit. The Secret Knowledge connection here is that the track is a tribute to Helen Donlon, the wife of their writer Kris Need who died in 2018. Singer Wonder Schneider, who sang with Secret Knowledge 25 years earlier gave the track its title and poured her heart into it as well.

"Windmill" is one of those ambient, atmospheric slow and beautiful Sendelica tracks with jazzy female vocals and sax. I love the emotions it gives, it's a sort of praise to life, love and peace I guess. First, we get a Consterdine's Floyd Mix of the track and it indeed brings to mind Pink Floyd a lot. Not the early, but TDSOTM era and after that, which is still cool. Then Chocolate Orb Dubbed Mix is rather different and proves that Alex Paterson is still the master of ambient house. This version is ultra dreamy and hazy, I like it a lot. The vocals are replaced by some spoken word by the late Helen Donlon to a great affect. Consterdine's Original Mix sounds the most like Sendelica which of course it is... Simply beautiful and tranquil, an excellent job. Finally, Chocolate Orb Chilled Mix that also has parts of Helen's speech at a psychedelic drug conference drifts in aether like nothing you have ever heard. Trippy, uplifting and dreamy! There seem to be three different editions of this 12" beauty and at least the black version comes with a bonus CD Making of Windmill that I really would like to hear as well. Recommended!

keskiviikko 7. elokuuta 2019

Jack Ellister - When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease / Supernaut 7"

Fruits de Mer Records (crustacean 90)

Jack Ellister has gone on a long, adventurous journey since he left his original homeland Poland. He made some success in The Netherlands with his psychedelic rock band Yordan Orchestra ten years ago and that's when I first heard of him. I'm been following the man's career ever since and was lucky enough to include his solo live set in our Finnish version of The Fruits the Mer Records festival, Crabstock on Ice, in 2014, after a couple of 7" singles on the label. Since then he has relocated to the U.K. and released three full-lenght vinyl albums that are just great. He was recently voted as the Fruits de Mer Recors' favourite solo artist which is a great achievement!

Sadly I missed the ridiculously limited (just 30 copies!) "Magic Potion" 8" lathe-cut in 2017 but I made sure to order this new 7". I can't say that I'm that familiar with Roy Harper (I know I should...), but the A side cover from his HQ album track "When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease" sounds really nice performed by our dear Jack. It's a beautiful, moody piano ballad that suits Jack's voice very well. Now, I got to say I was a bit surpriced about the choise for B side: "Supernaut" by Black Sabbath! Sabbath just happens to be one of my personal favourites, and definitely the best heavy metal band in the world. Jack is not exactly known for his fondness of metal, but he proves here that he can be heavy as well. The song has more keyboards now and sounds a bit different, but the basic guitar riff is there with interesting drum patters. The vocals are done in a quite special way as well. As a die-hard Sabbath fan I must say that I approve and enjoy Jack's version! A brave move.

Soft Hearted Scientists - Please Read Me / Moths Mistook Us for the Moon 7"

Regal Crabomophone ‎(Winkle 38)

I have a soft spot for The Soft Hearted Scientists. It took a little time for me to really get into them. Their music is not usually really that overtly psychedelic and the songs are pretty simple, repetitive, catchy, even whimsical. After listening to their Fruits de Mer 2LP compilation What Ever Happened To The Soft Hearted Scientists (2013) for several times I finally fell in love with their vibe. The arrangements that first seemed simple and easy really opened up in my mind and I realized just how great, unique and effective this band was. I've been a fan ever since so it was really nice to hear the news of this new single after a few years hiatus!

On the A side we've got a perfect cover of The Bee Gees' "Please Read Me", originally released on their first album in 1967. This new version is luckily over one minute longer than the original since I could listen to this all day long... Just wonderful, full of harmony, warmth and vibe. Their original on the flip side, "Moths Mistook Us for the Moon", is a bit more melancholic, but beautiful, magical and laid-back journey into British (okay maybe Welsh) fairy tale world. I can hear some Pink Floyd etc. in there, sure, but it still has a definitive, very original Soft Hearted Scientists feel to it. This single really makes me want a full new album by the band... Fingers crossed!