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tiistai 17. joulukuuta 2019

Lastryko - Tętno Pulsu


Lastryko is an improvisational, instrumental kraut/space rock band from Gdynia, Poland. Apparently Lastryko is their second album and it was released in March this year so I'm a bit late with this review (once again...). The band is formed by Wojciech Lacki (bass), Jacek Rezner (drums), Artur Bieszke (guitar) and Maciej Szkudlarek (synthesizers).

The album has six tracks and lasts for around 45 minutes. The hypnotic opener "Jeden" sounds a bit like early Föllakzoid, dreamy & trancey."Dwa" rocks out a bit more with a steady drum beat and a bit louder guitar stuff. The next track "Trzy" is more ambient in nature, atmospheric stuff. "Cztery" has a synthesizer arpeggio going on and a cool more electronic krautrock vibe, I like it a lot. "Pięć" is an airy, rather minimal jam and the last track "Sześć" a longer (8:07), psychedelic excursion bringing to mind some of the lighter, instrumental passages of Circle or Pharaoh Overlord. All in all, a very pleasant album full of cool jams, but I somehow have a feeling that they could have evolved at least some of them a bit more with overdubs or something. Check it out!

Top albums of 2019

Once again, I decided to do separate lists for foreign and Finnish albums. Here we go (in alphabetical order)!

Top 20 foreign albums:
3rd Ear Experience With Dr. Space ‎– Ear To Space
Acid Rooster ‎– S/T
Altın Gün ‎– Gece
Centrum För Meditation 
Derya Yıldırım & Grup Şimşek ‎– Kar Yağar 
Dreamtime Tidal Mind
Ecstatic Vision ‎– For The Masses
Gong ‎– The Universe Also Collapses
Hawkestrel The Future Is Us
Hawkwind ‎– All Aboard The Skylark
Kungens Män ‎– Hårt Som Ben
Magic Shoppe ‎– Circles 
Moon Duo ‎– Stars Are The Light 
Orsak:Oslo ‎– S/T 
Psychic Lemon ‎– Freak Mammal
The Spacelords ‎– On Stage 
Twink Think Pink IV: Return to Deep Space
Uffe Lorenzen ‎– Triprapport
Weltraum NYX 
White Manna ‎– Ape On Sunday 


Top 10 Finnish albums:
Earthbound Machine Destined for the Grave
The Fërtility Cült Kosmodysseia
Hexvessel – All Tree
Jupiter – Iosomnia
Kosmos ‎– Ajan Peili
K-X-P – IV
Oranssi Pazuzu ‎– Live At Roadburn
Pharaoh Overlord 5
Tähtiportti ‎– Abiristeily 
Waste Of Space Orchestra ‎– Syntheosis

perjantai 13. joulukuuta 2019

Silver Cloud Express - Postcards From Outer Space EP


Silver Cloud Express is an "inter-galactic rock" band from the Sonoran desert, Tucson, Arizona. The trio is formed by Jamie Laboz (vocals, guitar, keys and sonic wizardry), Cristina Williams (vocals and bass) and Daniel Thomas (drums). Postcards From Outer Space is their second EP following Colors released last year. Both EP's are available at the band's Bandcamp site as a digital download but you can also buy the new one on CD.

I have already used the excellent tittle track "Postcards From Outer Space" on my latest Astral Visions Mixcloud show so my readers have probably heard that by now. If not, check it out now at least! I love the relaxed, spacey atmosphere of the rather melodic but psychedelic track. Excellent work! "Here & Now" is a bit more pop oriented and not so spaced-out but I love it too. The EP is finished with alternative/indie rock/dream pop song "Silver Lining" that isn't too bad either although a bit closer to main-stream. I could easily imagine this stuff been played on radio, it has a certain mass appeal to it. I hope the band will release a full-length soon since they certainly have a lot of potential. Personally I wish they would concentrate on the more spacey/heady material but I'm sure I will like it anyway.

Syrenomelia - A Rose Shattered

Human Hox (HHX001)

Some of you might remember Wim Lankriet's project Magdalena Solis from my old Psychotropic Zone reviews. This Belgian artist has now evolved into Syrenomelia. The music is maybe a bit less spacey, psychedelic and dark now but still very melancholic and atmospheric.

A Rose Shattered is the debut single by Syrenomelia and available as a limited CD-R and digital download through Bandcamp. I guess you can say that it is mix of Gothic rock, alternative rock and melodic metal, although not being overtly heavy. The title track begins in a very emotional, gloomy way. The string sounds and vocals (about a toxic relationship between a mother and her daughter) fit in perfectly and the track soon gets more powerful and intense. Cool! "Like the World Outside" has a ghostly vibe with its, at first whispered, vocals and dark keyboards etc. This reminds me of some of the 90s Gothic rock bands, not bad at all. In the middle the track sounds almost like funeral doom metal, so I guess this IS as dark as Magdalena Solis after all... The track has a very gloomy, menacing feel to it, like something very bad is about to happen. If you like dark, melancholic, eerie and atmospheric music you should definitely check out Syrenomelia.

keskiviikko 11. joulukuuta 2019

The Legendary Flower Punk - Wabi Wu

Tonzonen Records

The Legendary Flower Punk from St. Petersburg, Russia is sort of hard to pin down. They are not overtly psychedelic or spacey, not main-stream, not pure jazz, funk or trance but maybe still all those things and a lot more. They can play in a very progressive style and know how to jam and rock out. Some of the stuff is also rather experimental but still really not that hard to digest. We know the guitarist Kamille also from his main band The Grand Astoria who are, at least at times,  a bit heavier than TLFP. Other main members are Mike Lopakov (bass) and Nick Kunavin (drums) and Wabi Wu also features a large cast of guest musicians from the Russian music scene (sax, electronics, flute, synths etc). Fans of Ozric Tentacles will be delighted to know that Ed Wynne plays a great guitar solo on "Hexagram"!

To me the band are at their best in the danceable up-beat tracks like "Prince Mojito" and "Hexagram" that bring to mind bands like Maserati and, espacially the last mentioned, also The Ozrics. The track "Aki Kaurismäki" has gained some momentum in the Finnish press since it's sort of homage to the famous Finnish film director and also includes some samples from his movie "Hamlet liikemaailmassa". It is also a pretty nice track, I must add! Some of the tracks are pretty close to jazz/rock fusion stuff with saxophone and overall jazzy motives and moods, but "Trance Fusion På Ryska" also has some, dare I say, disco elements. Somehow the band makes all these different influences work together. I'm sure there's a lot of stuff to discover for repeated listening times and you won't get bored fast with this album. It has a fresh, inspired and varied vibe to it and the sound quality is super crisp and clear. Well done guys! So far the album is only available on Bandcamp as a digital download but an LP release will follow early next year on the marvellous Tonzonen Records.

Zone Six - Kozmik Koon

Sulatron Records (st1905/st1905-2)

Wow, a new studio album by German impro-spacerockers Zone Six! I've been a fan since the original debut album in 1998 so I'm very excited... The line-up is now Rainer Neeff: guitar, fx (The Pancakes, ex Embryo), Komet Lulu: bass, fx, voice (Electric Moon, Krautzone) and good old Sula Bassana: drums, synths, organ, mellotron, e-piano and a-guitar (Electric Moon, Interkosmos, Krautzone, ex Liquid Visions etc.) and together this trio makes wonders.

The trippy first track "Maschinenseele" is some of the best hypnotic psych rock I've heard this year. After the spacey, tranquil beginning the track grows and pulsates in your mind like a good, heavy and colourful trip! The use of acoustic guitar and wordless human voice gives it more texture and mellotron adds a celestial bonus level. I love this! "Kozmik Koon" is another long killer tune but this time a bit faster and groovier stuff. Makes you want to party in space! Thinks get slower and weirder later on... Then it's time for a couple of shorter, experimental tracks. "Raum" sounds like early Pink Floyd and The Spacious Mind making rough love under heavy medication while "Still" is a sort of 60s oriented, beautiful and dreamy piece. "Song for Richie" is the album's longest track at almost 14 minutes and it's a real mind-journey. The spoken-word stuff fits in perfectly. A very cool, spacey and trippy jam oozing lysergic energy and psychedelic vibes indeed. In summary, Kozmik Koon is another improvised masterpiece by Zone Six and I'm sure all lovers of cosmic, hypnotic, instrumental space rock will like it a lot. Available on vinyl and CD, just go an get it!

maanantai 9. joulukuuta 2019

Pavallion / Automatism ‎– Purple Ground / Sonar 10”

Tonzonen Records (TON062)

Here’s a cool new split 10” release on the excellent Tonzonen Records. Pavallion’s ”Purple Ground” is softly pulsating psychedelic post rock with some more intense elements. I like the vocals on this one and the overall vibe is just great. This is truly a pleasant listening experience from Germany.

Sweden's Atomatism on the flip side offer us a very enjoyable, rather relaxed jam called ”Sonar”. The mood is rather sleepy and dreamy but there is also a certain krautrock like beat in there. This very nice, atmospheric instrumental is a superb pairing to the Pavallion side and together they from a nice little 10” split. There are only 300 hand-numbered copies of this one so once again: please hurry up!

torstai 5. joulukuuta 2019

Sounds of New Soma - Nachdenken über Rolf​-​Ulrich Kaiser

Tonzonen Records ()

SONS keep up their rather hectic release schedule of great, experimental, psychedelic, mostly electronic kosmische ambient krautrock. The cover art of course is a remake of the classic krautrock compilation Sci Fi Party that was released on the the legendary Kosmische Musik label in 1974. Famous German writer and  producer Rolf​-​Ulrich Kaiser was the mastermind behind this and many other projects, hence the title of this release that is apparently very influenced by the original electronic Kraut scene.

This time we've got mostly shorter tracks and there are nine of them. The overall vibe of this album is very relaxed and spacey and also rather quiet and minimal. This is perfect music to put on your headphones, lay down, close your eyes and start dreaming. This is very meditative, instrumental music and the synthesizers and sequencers of Dirk and Alex are at points augmented by jazzy saxophone, guitar, drums etc. by guest musicians. There is also some narration in German on a couple of tracks. The very nice "Luftikus" is closer to the folkier side of of the Krautrock element. The titles like "Kaiser's Kaffee" and "Komische Kuriere" emphasize the effect of the "good old lysergic times" on the band's music. The longest track is "Kinder der Geburtstagspresse" that also has a drum beat. The last, beautiful and dreamy track "Verschollen" is a nice tribute to all the original musicians and inner space astronauts that we have already lost in time and also has some wordless singing. All in all, Nachdenken über Rolf​-​Ulrich Kaiser is a great tribute and homage to the kosmische music of the past as well as a very successful update on the genre. Warmly recommended!