Listen to the latest Astral Visions Mixcloud Show!

perjantai 31. tammikuuta 2020

Violet Nox - Future Fast EP

Sleep Fuse (SF33)

Violet Nox is an experimental electronics/synths/guitar/vocals ambient/no-wave act from Boston. I have reviewed their Twin Flame EP that was also released on Reverb Worship's electronic only sister label Sleep Fuse last year. Future Fast is rather similar in style but maybe a bit more minimal and weird.

There are four new tracks. The eight-minute "Cosmic Bits" starts up slowly and quietly. I like the cold, bit twisted and spacey vibe and when the beat joins in the track gets sort of going. "Moonshine" is slower and has more vocals. "Super Fan" is pretty experimental ambient stuff and gets rather hallucinogenic as well. "Bell Song" is another electronic ambient excursion to the alternate dimensions. Get a copy of the very limited (50 copies) CD-R from

Lasten Hautausmaa ‎– IV

Svart Records (SVART219CD)

Lasten Hautausmaa (Children's Cemetary) is a cool Finnish pop/rock band that has been gaining quite a lot of attention during the recent years. Their fourth album was released a week ago and I got to say I like it although it's really not my cup of tea musically. This means they are not psychedelic, spacey or heavy. The band was formed in 2013 in Kouvola and the first album was released in 2015 on Svart. They also have a couple of singles and an EP so I guess you could call them pretty prolific.

This is actually the first time I have really listened to the band's music apart from some video tracks etc. I had a feeling they have a great sense for melody and atmosphere, but IV finally proves it. You can hear echoes of some of the best Finnish pop/rock music since at least the 60's, mostly on the melancholic side of course. Also the lyrical themes are usually pretty gloomy but somehow beautiful as well. There's a lot of hit potential on several tracks, if not all. The female/male vocals work really well and the instrumentation is varied enough but still pretty normal. Some of the songs, especially "Punainen ja valkoinen" are like a bit updated Leevi and the Leavings hits and there's nothing wrong with that. There are also a few dreamy ballads of course. My favourite is the rather different, up-beat, rocking and hypnotic "Kaarlo Sarkia 29" that could be an early Death Hawks song. Cool to hear some fuzz guitar in there as well. All in all a nice, pleasant and rather interesting album with great melodies, good songs, excellent musicianship and production. Good, honest old-school pop/rock music with respect for the old Finnish masters.

The band is on tour right now and you can see them tonight at Tavastia in Helsinki!

tiistai 28. tammikuuta 2020

Dj Astro's next gigs

Hello there earthlings & aliens alike!

It's been a spacey New Year so far. These are the first two dj gigs for me this Spring and I must say I'm very excited:

UFOP & Ääniwalli present: Maan Tomu, Meteor Vortex, Missikisat and Deep Space Destructors, 06.03.2020 @ Ääniwalli, Helsinki

Facebook event:

Buy Tickets!

Desert HEL 2020: Lucifer (SWE), The Re-Stoned (RUS), Lonely Kamel (NOR), Kaleidobolt, Craneium, Jupiter etc., 24.-25.04.2020 @ On the Rocks, Helsinki

Facebook event:

perjantai 24. tammikuuta 2020

Automatism ‎– Into The Sea

Tonzonen Records (TON 077)

Into the Sea is the second full-length album by Swedish instrumental kraut/psych rock group Automatism. They have also released one split 10" with Pavallion last year, another great move by Tonzonen. You can also hear these musicians in other groovy bands like Kungens Män, New Rose, Partikel and Fanatism. Their music is largely based on improvisation but they seem to play same tracks at least twice. This is based on the fact that the new album features two re-recorded themes from the debut, the more NEU! tracks oriented "Propeller Propulsion" and "Standing Wave". They are pretty different now, though.

What makes these tracks and the whole session (recorded in Svartsjölandet Studio) feel different is the use of upright bass giving a more jazzy vibe. This is very appropriate since the album features a cool version of the Alice Coltrane classic "Journey In Satchidananda"! Oh joy. In addition, you can fiend a new track, the pretty celestial and tranquil "Sparkler", another winner I might add. So we've got just four numbers but they are long, creative and adventurous so you'll really get your money's worth. All in all, this is highly pleasurable, mind-altering and somehow positive and uplifting experience and warmly recommended. The line-up is Hans Hjelm: guitar, synthesizer, percussion, Gustav Nygren: guitar, Mikael Tuominen: bass, guitar, percussion and Jonas Yrlid: drums. Jakob Sjöholm is also guesting on guitar on the Coltrane cover. This is again a very limited edition of just 300 copies so get it fast or you will miss out!

sunnuntai 19. tammikuuta 2020

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #91 now online!

Check out my first Astral Visions Mixcloud Show of the decade with mind-blowing tracks by Electric Orange, Inkal, The Janitors, Magic Shoppe, Dreamtime, Kirkbinsinek, The Underground Parties, The Cult of Dom Keller, Automatism, Yuum, Doctors of Space, AMT, Vibravoid, ØSC and Violet Nox!

lauantai 18. tammikuuta 2020

Kosmos ‎– Ajan peili

Self-released (Kosmos 005)

Kosmos is a progressive, occasionally Eastern-tingled psych folk/rock group from Turku, Finland. This is their fifth album since the 2005 debut Tarinoita voimasta. I've been a fan since the beginning and reviewed all the previous albums as well, I think. The main band was at the time of recording Päivi Kylmänen: vocals, Kimmo Lähteenmäki: drums, conga-drums, organ, mellotron, Kari Vainionpää: guitar, bass, Olli Valtonen: shrutibox, taalmal and Ismo Virta: guitar, mellotron, organ, synthesizer and drums. In addition, these musicians are also featured: Juha Kulmala: reading, Arto Kuronen: bass, Sini Palokangas: violin, saxophone, xylophone, Kari Riihimäki: electric guitar. That's quite a cast and combination of different instruments and talents and that's also exactly how this album sounds like.

The title track  "Ajan peili" ("The Mirror of Time") is a wonderful, atmospheric, lush and pretty song with nice female vocals, guitars, mellotron, violin etc. As always the ethereal, esoteric vocals are in Finnish but also translated into English on the insert which is cool. Great tune, anyway! "Eilinen" (”Yesterday”) is a more cheerful progressive folk rock number like the bit more acoustic "Kohti taivasta" (”Towards the Sky”). "Aina lähellä" ("Always Close") is a soft, mellow folk piece with ksylofon. "Salainen oppi" ("The Secret Doctrine") is another rather minimal, tranquil piece with some cool mellotron, sax and Pekka Streng vibes.  It is dedicated to Madame Blavatsky... "Jatkuvuus" (”Continuity”) includes meditative narration and is a psychedelic, sort of darker, almost oppressive number and the last track "Minä olen" (”I Am”)  gets closer to progressive space rock á la Gong or something. Very cool, I'm loving especially the end of the album again! You can buy the limited, hand-numbered vinyl edition of 300 copies or professionally printed CD-R and in my opinion you really should. On of the best ten albums released in Finland last year!