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maanantai 28. lokakuuta 2019

The Fërtility Cült ‎– Kosmodysseia


Kosmodysseia is the new album by Finnish heavy progressive/psych rock band The Fërtility Cült. This Tampere-based band has progressed and grown a lot in a few years and now seem to be annual performers at Fruits de Mer Records's Crabstock Festival in Wales. In addition to the standard rock instrumentation and great vocals their sound is heavily saturated with Hammond organ, Rhodes piano and saxophones making them sound rather special at least in Finland at the moment. There's also some cello and violin on the album. The new album seems less doom metal and more progressive rock which is definitely a good thing this time but there are still some heavy, gloomy parts in there.

There are seven, mostly long tracks on the album. "Kosmodysseia Part I: The Planeswalker" starts in a very peaceful and moody style. Later on things get darker and heavier and I'm reminded of some of the other great, modern adventurous prog/psych bands like Astra, not bad at all! "Return To The Desert Planet" rocks faster at first before it starts to float in hazy space. Then we get some slow, doomy Black Sabbath going but the sax keeps things jazzy. "Star Siren's Song" is a great heavy prog tune sounding a bit like mixture of VdGG, Uriah Heep, Gentle Giant and Sabbath but with a personal touch of their own. Great! "Visions of Home" is a short, orchestrated song with strings and vocals, but on "Hunters of Galactic Daemons" the band returns to heavy, doomy prog rock vibes. I love the groovy, faster middle part that reminds me of Gong. The eight-minute "Kosmodysseia Part II: Timeless Ithaca" has a hypnotic, dark atmosphere that gets you in a trance. Some more light-hearted prog rocking follows. Cool soloing and jamming! The last track "The Queen Of Spacetime" is a rather spacey affair not unlike Oulu's Deep Space Destructors. All in all, this is absolutely the best release by The Fërtility Cült so far and comes warmly recommended.

Various Artists - From a Distant Shore - 4 Species on Display

Mega Dodo

This is a cool compilation of new Swedish music put together by one of our favourite Swedish psych folk acts Us & Them. I must admit to never have heard of the other three bands/artists that are Astor Wolfe, Internal Planet and Eve and the Last Waltz. But of course, I'm always looking for new sounds so this sounds like an interesting album right from the start!

Us & Them starts off the album with the nice, not very psychedelic folk piece Among Antiques. Always a pleasure! Astor Wolfe is next with the sort of British traditional folk song sounding "Emerald Green". Nice female vocals here as well. "Frame of Reality" by Internal Planet brings to mind some of the more peaceful tracks by Peter Hammill of Van der Graaf Generator. Eve and the Last Waltz performs a song called "Could Never Sleep" next. This one has also some dirtorted guitar and organ. A bit noisier affair. Us & Them take us back to the soft dreamland with the beautiful "In Between Time", just wonderful. Astor Wolfe returns with the peaceful and pretty folk ballad "Heart of Pebblestone Beach". Just acoustic guitar, harmonium and male vocals on this one. Internal Planet gives us some relaxed country rock with "Defining Moments". Eve and the Last Waltz sounds a bit like female Leonard Cohen on "Waltzing Crows Birds". Okay, time for the last round and this time in a bit different order. Astor Wolfe's "Liontine Looking Glass" is a beautiful, simple, British sounding folk song. Then comes the album's longest (7:08) track "The Intruder" by Internal Planet. It seems like a somekind of a ghost story and even has drum beat after the spooky intro. Again I get some VdGG vibes, not bad at all. Eve and the Last Waltz's "Reflections" is a bit more powerful than their previous numbers and also has drums and electric guitar. Us & Them end this fine compilation with their beutiful and uplifting "Roller Coaster". Great!

First when this release was announced I thought without a doubt that it would be an LP release. Then it seemed to be only released on digital format at Mega Dodo Bandcamp site. I was surpriced to receive a physical copy (a CD-R in a jewel case with no extra information apart from the track details) with my recent order, so at least that exists as well. But let's hope From a Distant Shore will also see an LP issue soon enough! This is great music for those Autumnal twilight moments.

sunnuntai 27. lokakuuta 2019

Crystal Jacqueline - A Prayer for the Birds

Mega Dodo (DODOLP035)

This is the fifth studio solo album that Crystal Jacqueline has released with his partner, song-writer, producer, guitarist etc. Icarus Peel. Then there are also the singles, the albums done with their full band The Honey Pot and various split releases with the two... And of course the rare live album! Together with some marvellous quest musicians they once again make magical, spellbounding and wonderful soundscapes that take you deep inside a dream. This time there are also some pretty hard rocking tunes included later on. Folk music lovers have no need to worry though, there are also soft, high-lifting and just amazingly beautiful acid/psych folk tracks in there like before.

The album starts off with the pretty, acoustic folk piece "The Edge Of My Garden". "White Horse Hill" continues in mostly acoustic mood, just superb. We also get some very nice percussion and solo guitar later on. "Dorsetshire Days" has a beutiful vibe and the new female background singers etc. make a difference as well. The melancholic and soft "100 Years Ago" has some great melodies. One of my favourites is the dreamy and magical "First Light". "Arise The Sun" is a darker, more rock oriented number that brings to mind some of the 60s psych rock legends, wow! "Mercy Row" is again a softer, hazy and hypnotic number, the title track a great, pagan inspired acid folk piece but then it's time to rock out. "Turn The Tide" reminds me of The Magic Mushroom band and some others I just can't get out of mind right now. There's some heavier, mind-blowing stuff later on... Loving it! Okay, time to chill out a moment again with "Moth" and then the finishing number "Bird Song" blissfully takes us on a journey. It is both a beautiful and rocking ride I tell you! An excellent way to finish the totally amazing album! There are only 300 copies pressed on vinyl and the 150 first to order also get an art print signed by Crystal Jacqueline so hurry up!

torstai 24. lokakuuta 2019

Dj Astro to spin vinyl @ Tasavallan Presidentti 50-years Celebration Concert in Helsinki

I am honored and highly excited to be spinning some classic prog/psych/rock singles from 1966 to 1973 at Tasavallan Presidentti 50-years Celebration Concert in Helsinki on the 2nd of December!

Tasavallan Presidentti is one of the absolute best progressive rock bands from the hazy past of Finland and their albums have made a huge impact of the prog scene in general. Also playing is Vesa Aaltonen Proge Band which should be interesting.

Svart Records is releasing for the first time Live In Lambertland double album as well and two Tasavallan Presidentti studio album reissues that you can buy at the concert!

Facebook event is:

Get your tickets from Tiketti!

lauantai 19. lokakuuta 2019

Freedom Fuel - Dance!

Secret Entertainment (SCR103)

Dance! is the second album by Finnish rock band Freedom Fuel. The debut album Happy People was released in 2016 on Uhka-Tuotanto. They are from Helsinki and I just call them rock band because it's hard to pigeonhole them into any strict category. Freedom Fuel has elements of 90's Finnish/foreign pop/rock/grunge bands like Sub Urban Tribe, Don Huonot or Porno for Pyros including some great melodies. Both of the albums are produced by Jukka Puurula, ex-Don Huonot, who also sings backing vocals on this one so no wonder... On the other hand, they often have a rather hard rocking sound and for example the fast "Planet Away" is stoner rock in the vein of Queens of the Stone Age.

The psych heads also get their moments, although they are rare. The opener "Dancing" has a spacey middle part and some cool jamming in the 70s style, great! You can hear some 70s hard and prog rock influences every now and then (Led Zeppelin, Rush, Black Sabbath, even Yes for example), but the great production is still rather modern sounding. Another bit special track is "Suspension of Disbelief", dark and experimental with no drums or guitar. The use of effects on the CD especially on bass is innovative and really mekas a difference. There are also some synthesizer, accordion and piano to widen the aural spectrum. The album is finished with the pretty piano ballad "Catch Phrase for Believers" to give the album even more variation and depth. Maybe Freedom Fuel could be descibed as a hybrid of mainstream pop/rock and a little more adventurous, experimental stuff. They do know how to write interesting songs, have ear for nice melodies and play really well, that's for sure. If I listened to mainstream radio this is what I would like to hear. Check them out!

perjantai 18. lokakuuta 2019

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #90 now online!

New Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #90 now online at:


1 Moon Duo - Eye 2 Eye (from Stars Are The Light)
2 Orsak:Oslo - Tipping Point (rom S/T)
3 Silver Cloud Express - Postcards from Outer Space (from Postcards from Outer Space EP)
4 The Past Tense - Dream of My Mind (from Time Stands Still EP)
5 Schizo Fun Addict - Dedicated to the One I Love (from V/A - Sunny Spells EP)
6 Abronia - Half Hail (from The Whole Of Each Eye)
7 Crystal Jacqueline and The Honey Pot - Dreams (from I Talk to the Wind EP)
8 Cosmic Juice - Moon Pillow (from V/A - Deep Sea Exploration)
9 The Legendary Flower Punk - Prince Mojito (from Wabi Wu)
10 Zone Six - Kozmik Koon (from Kozmik Koon)
11 The Re-Stoned - Smoke Sea (from 10π)
12 Night Stalker - Cursed (from Great Hallucinations)
13 Alunah - Velvet (from Violet Hour)
14 The Cosmic Dead - Ursa Major (from Scottish Space Race)
15 Anunnaki - Procession (from Immanentize The Eschaton, edit)
16 Ax and Sunhair - Spaceship Memory (from V/A - Deep Sea Exploration)

tiistai 15. lokakuuta 2019

The Past Tense - Time Stands Still 7" EP Across the Pond...and Back Again CD

Fruits de Mer Records (crustacean 91 /91CD)

I don't have any albums or singles by The Past Sense but they have been included on several of the Fruits de Mer compilations since 2011's Keep of the Grass. In any case, they're a mod/garage/psych/rock/pop band from Surrey, South East UK and have released several albums on CD. I'm not generally THAT keen on the original mod stuff (prefer the more psychedelic phase that followed...) but here we have fourteen  60s cover songs recorded by the band in a rather raw, a bit more psychedelic mode than usual and it works. The 7" EP has four tracks and the CD ten. The most famous song must be "7 and 7 Is" by Love, most of the rest is pretty obscure stuff I think. I do recognize/remember some of the original artists like The Syn, Rupert's People and The Attack, though.

I'm not going to go through all the tracks here, but let's say that the song list is well balanced between a bit different tracks (some more straight garage, some more mod, some more psych etc.). All songs are played with guitar, bass, drums and organs and have cool vocals. Some of the high-lights include "Dream of My Mind" (originally by Rupert's People), "Grounded" (originally by The Syn) and "More Than Me" (originally by Wild Flowers). In fact, all the covers work really well and are definitely cool songs. I would love to own the original singles for djing... But I bet most of them cost a fortune now. It's nice to have a full album's worth of this stuff even if only four of them are on vinyl. This release is a must have for all mod/garage/psych fanatics out there! Sorry I don't seem to be able to find an internet link for this band. With a name like that I do get Past Life Regression therapists and the like, though... Might be interesting!

Various Artists - Sunny Spells 7" EP

Fruits de Mer Records (crustacean 93)

The second item in the next bunch of FdM releases is this 7" EP filled with four tracks from a CD set planned for next year. There will be massive 3CD extended version of the 2018 3LP compilation The Three Seasons (songs from 1966-68) and these songs are a taster of the previously unreleased stuff. Well, let's see what happens in real life, you never know with Fruits de Mer... Anyway let's get briefly into these four tracks here.

First, Chad and Jeremy perfom a new version of  "Rest in Peace" from their 67' psych folk LP Of Cabbages and Kings. I had never heard from them before so yet another interesting and blissful lesson learned at the Fruits de Mer Psych Academy. This new version is a bit more stipped down and folky, I'm only sorry there is no sitar anymore. I bet most of us have heard the pleasant "Dedicated to the One I Love" (by The Mamas and The Papas) and the Schizo Fun Addict version with Ilona V on vocals sounds very nostalgic and wonderful as well as pretty trippy. New to the Fruits de Mer catalogue, Hanford Flyover performs "Just Another Day" (by the relatively unknown 60s band Neon Pearls) and this is another great tune with gorgeous female vocals. What comes to beautiful female vocals, next we have Sweden's pride Us and Them with a marvellous version of Neil Young's "What Did You Do to My My Life?". Absolutely spellbounding! Another magnificent 7 EP on Fruits de Mer, just get it.

Crystal Jacqueline and The Honey Pot - I Talk To The Wind 2 x 7"

Fruits de Mer Records (crustacean 92)

Crystal Jacqueline is without a doubt one of my favourite female singers from the U.K. at the moment and together with guitarist/arranger etc. Icarus Peel they can do some psychedelic sonic miracles. This time they have interpreted five classic 60s/early 70s tracks for a cool double seven-inch release.

The excellent double EP starts off with a soul-tingling version of Traffic's "Mr. Fantasy". I'm in heaven already during the intro! This one has very cool, authentic 60s vibe but with modern sound quality, not easy to achieve. The Mellotron etc. of course helps! Amazing stuff, anyway. Things are going to get even better with the beautiful "I Talk to the Wind" originally released on the debut King Crimson album in 1969! Ah the flutes, the vocals, again the Mellotron and everything else... Just breath-taking! A few years ago, I was happy to score a cheap single called "Zabadak" by a 60s bunch named Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich. The A-side was okay pop psych that I remembered hearing before but the main issue here was the trippy, hypnotic, Eastern-tingled B-side "Sun Goes Down". This was a winner for sure! It's good to hear a bit darker, fuzzier song here as well. Rare Bird's "Sympathy" has been covered many times but not recently, I think. Great, melancholic song and a superb version too. The double EP is finished with an eight-minute "Dreams" by Tonton Macoute and I don't think I've ever heard this song before. It's a good choise to have one song with also some male lead vocals to give the EP some more variation. This version is twice as long as the original... Wonderful!

tiistai 8. lokakuuta 2019

Dj Astro spins vinyl at Blowup Vol. 5!

Alright, it's that time of the year again! Blowup Festival Volume 5 will happen this week from Thursday to Saturday at Korjaamo, Helsinki. You can still buy some single day tickets over here but it's very close to being sold-out.

I'm honored to be djing there again, this time at the smaller Attic (Vintti) stage upstairs. It is a cool place and I've been telling Esa to include that into his festival and it finally happens! The Attic will only be in use on Friday (Dj Astro & DJ Jugh reunion! It will be like the old times at Roadburn/Psychotropic Caravan/Slip Inside This Club) and Saturday (Dj Astro with Dj Valentin Kocmoc). It should be fun! Please check us out in between the bands and have a blast.

Here are the timetables:

And don't forget the pre-festival club with the mighty Ufomammut tonight at On the Rocks!

tiistai 1. lokakuuta 2019

Dj Astro to Helsinki Psych Fest Vol. 3!

At last minute's notice Dj Astro has been asked to the rescue to dj at Helsinki Psych Fest Vol. 3 this Friday 4.10.2019! There will be no vinyl players so it will be a CD-only night, unfortunately.

This time the HPF will take place at two stages of a new venue Tiivistämö along with another venue nearby called Magito. In addition to live bands like Hidria Spacefolk and Meteor Vortex, there will also be other cool activities like movies and theatre... Check it out!