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perjantai 28. helmikuuta 2020

Electric Moon ‎– Cellar Overdose

Worst Bassist Records ‎(WBR_LP/CD_000)

Okay, what we've got here is in fact the second reissue of an Electric Moon gig recorded 27.01.2012 at Darmstadt Kulturkeller, Germany. The gig was first released on a very limited CD-R (Cellar Space Live Overdose - Darmstadt)
in early 2012 and then as part of the 2LP Cellar Space Live Overdose together with two live tracks recorded at KulturKeller, Fulda a few months later. Since both of these releases are of course long-gone collectors items, it was time for a reissue to feed the hunger of the new fans. The band was not really that happy with the quality of the KulturKeller tracks, so only the Darmstadt stuff was reissued. A good choice, since this is the killer stuff.

There are no overdubs, so you get the 100% live experience. The vinyl version has the two longer tracks (same as on the 1st LP of Cellar Space Live Overdose): "The Soul Feeder" and "The Idle Glance", the CD also has the third jam from the original CD-R release called "Lost And Found Souls". This is a bit shorter: "only" 16 minutes! The sound quality is really good for a live recording like this. These jams are some of the most psyched-out by Electric Moon so if you missed the previous releases this is a must have for all the fans. Personally I think that even if you have the gig already on CD-R and 2LP this new version is worth getting for the superb new cover art alone! Both the CD and LP are limited to just 500 copies so I bet they will also sold out soon. Get it and get spaced-out as well!

keskiviikko 19. helmikuuta 2020

Lucifer Was ‎– Underground And Beyond

Sommor (SOMM055)

Lucifer Was is a progressive hard rock band from Oslo, Norway. They were first formed in 1970 and played together until 1975 without recording an album. They reformed in 1996, went into a studio and recorded Underground And Beyond in just 18 hours. The album included songs originally written in 1971-72 and was released on picture LP on the Swedish label Record Heaven. After that the band has released six more albums and is still going strong. Underground And Beyond was re-released late last year on the Spanish Sommor label, this time on standard black and limited clear vinyl (as well as on CD).

The band has been descibed as a proto-metal band and a mix in between Black Sabbath,  Jethro Tull and Atomic Rooster. I'd say these descibtions are pretty solid since some of the guitar riffs are rather heavy and the band has lots of flute and progressive influences. There are eleven songs in total and all are at least rather interesting. I prefer the heavy, Black Sabbath-like tracks (like "Teddy's Sorrow", "Out of the Blue" ets.) but the most of the more progressive oriented are great too. I like the fact that some of the album also brings to mind early Pentagram and there are some psychedelic touches in there as well. The playing and vocals are great and I also like the production. Get this now if you didn't do that on the first time!

Cary Grace ‎– Lady of Turquoise

Door 13 Music ‎(D130021)

Wow! Isn't this is a great double CD packed with sublime treats aplenty. I bet many of my readers remember the UK-based songwriter, producer, musician, singer and analogue synth maker Cary Grace from her many excellent cover versions on Fruits de Mer label's releases. She has been putting out psychedelic/progressive/space/art/folk rock music on (apparently her own) Door 13 Music since 2004 but I must admit I only had her latest 2016 CD album The Uffculme Variations that I really enjoyed.

Lady of Turquoise is a massive, 92-minute double CD in an individually numbered mini-LP style gatefold sleeve, with obi strip and clear protective cover. The package also includes two hand-trimmed and finished lyrics booklets, one for each CD. The promo version that I have is a bit different (oh, all those tiny silvery stars...) but has all the music in it, praise the gods. The beautiful and mystical, Egyptian inspired cover picture gives a good hint of what is to come... In addition to Cary (vocals, synthesizers, acoustic & electric guitar, organ, sampling, sequencing, electronics and sound effects) the album features Steffe Sharpstrings (Here & Now, ex-Planet Gong etc, electric guitar), Victoria Reyes (organ, piano and backing vocals), Graham Clark (electric guitr, electric violin), Steve Everitt (string arrangement, electric guitar), Ian West (saxophone), Andy Bole (bouzouki, louto), Andy Budge (bass guitar) and David Paybe (drums). Quite a varied, large cast then, I'd say.

There are 13 tracks together on the two CD's. Most of them are rather laid-back and emotional, pure magic.There are also a few groovier ones for good measure. The album starts off with the spacey, hazy and lazy instrumental "Khepera at the Dawn". "Letterbox" is a folk rock oriented song with some cool, heavy fuzz solo guitar and psych effects. Nice! "Without a Trace" is a bautiful, slow and romantic piece with piano and perfect harmony vocals. This reminds me of Kate Bush a bit. "Into Dust" is like a female equivalent of Nick Saloman / The Bevis Frond and I really like this one. "Afterglow" is another killer track with a darker edge this time. The spoken word works really great just like the superb electric guitar and spacey synths. Excellent! "Film Noir" is again more romantic, peaceful and pretty stuff. The first disc is finished with the over 12-minute "Costume Jewellery". Violin and acoustic guitar give this song a sort of ancient, acid folky touch at the beginning. Later on the track grows and gets really trippy, just wait...

The pretty and tranquil "Moonflowers (Fade to Black)" is first on the second disc. The vibe is similar to some of the Crystal Jacqueline songs, very nice. "Sacrifice" has a bit groovier beat going on and some great musicianship all over. If you remember the UK underground band Census of Hallucinations you get the picture. "Memory" is a beaufiful, melancholic ballad and the rocking "Castle of Dreams" the third longest track on the album at 11:20. This could almost be an unreleased Magic Mushroom Band track! Things get more ethereal towards the end. Then it's time for a shorter, experimental ambient synthesizer piece "The Land of Two Fields". The title track "Lady of Turquoise" is saved for the last and it is without a question one of the best songs. A bit more up-beat, trancey, mesmerising and danceable, I'm sure this goes down well live too. Some of the synth work brings to mind Hawkwind circa 76 which is always good in my books. The psychedelic hypnosis goes on for almost 12 minutes and I enjoy the whole ride. An excellent ending to a great, lengthy album that does not get boring for a second. Now all we need is a double vinyl version!

The Spacelords ‎– Space Flowers

Tonzonen Records (TON 071)

For ten years the German psychedelic space rock trio The Spacelords have been working on their way up the ranks in heavy, spacey and mind-altering instrumental rock music. Space Flowers is their ninth album if you count the split LP with Dhvani and I'm happy to say I've got them all. The band is getting more and more attention with every new record and like the previous LP's this new one (1000 copies on clear yellow or green vinyl) was sold-out from the label on pre-order alone. No worries, though: a repressing is already on the works!

Like before, the three tracks on the album are loooooong! First, the 13:30 long title track blows your minds with hypnotic, mid-tempo space rock blasting. This track also includes some Moog and Hammond by Didi Holzner which sounds great! In the middle things get rather heavy too. Wonderful! "Frau Kuhnkes Kosmos" is a bit faster and more in-your-face stuff, pretty energetic. What really gives me cosmic, aural pleasure is the last, over 24-minute-long track "Cosmic Trip". It's divided into three parts and really takes the listener "somewhere out there"... There's lots of emotion, power, strange inner/outer space vibes, some Oriental influnces, excellent playing & cool experimentation, you name it. Just Wow! The Spacelords have done it again, Space Flowers is already a strong candidate for the top 10 psych rock album list for 2020.

torstai 13. helmikuuta 2020

Obiter - The Deluge EP


I'm happy that there is a healthy, bushy undergrowth of stoner/doom metal bands in Finland. Some of them are more 70s hard rock oriented, some total sludge, some really out there and some worship Sabbath. Orbiter from Helsinki mostly fits the last description with their heavy, riff-based and rather traditional style of heavy, doomy rock, although they also have a psychedelic twist and the great new female vocalist makes them stand out. I have previously reviewed their split 7" with Roadog and now it's time for a four-track 12" EP.

The Deluge includes four new songs. "Bone to Earth" is a slow, heavy and doomy track that reminds me of Electric Wizard a bit, although the sound is not so muddy and drugged-out. Some Candlemass vibes in there as well. Great riffs and vocals on this one! "Astral Racer" is a shorter, faster and almost instrumental stoner rocker and a bit more progressive too. On "Orchids" the band takes a groovy, bluesy 70s/Sabbathy hard rock touch that they also can master pretty well. "In Echoes" is a return to the slow doom metal universe and there is also some more experimental, atmospheric and spacey stuff in there to make things more interesting. Nice! In summary, this is a great little EP that has enough variation, great songs, playing, singing and production and I also love the cover art. The 12" is limited to just 200 copies so be fast if you want one!

keskiviikko 12. helmikuuta 2020

Vibravoid - Out of Tune in Rosenheim: Triptamine EP Vol 6

Stoned Karma Records

Vibravoid has it's beginning in the hazy days of 1990 and celebrate their 30th anniversary with many very interesting releases. This new limited edition 2LP was recorded during the band's Psychedelic Christmas Experience Tour last December. Without the band even knowing the gig in Rosenheim was recorded from the soundboard and after a lot of careful mixing is finally out next month. There were some problems like missing a few mics on the drums but all in all this album sounds awesome and will fill the sonic and psychedelic needs of all Vibravoid fans.

The A side includes four shorter psych hits: "Colour Your Mind", the new single "World of Pain" and two masterpieces from the debut album, "Just 13" and "Lovely Lady Deb O'Nair". The trio of guitarist/singer, drummer and organist works great as always. I love the way Vibravoid can do a full, whole piece of art in just four minutes or expand it into 20 or even 40 minutes and still keep things fresh and interesting. Next it's time for the long & trippy live favourite "Ballspeaker" that fills the whole side B. My mind is blown to pieces! It's always a bit different with tons of freaky improvisation and I just love it. Then we've got two a bit shorter songs again. "Playing with Beuys" from 2008's The Politics Of Ecstasy has always been one of my favourite Vibravoid songs and it sounds excellent here as well. The midtempo 2014 single track "Rheinflow" is nice to hear in the set. The dreamy and trippy "Your Mind Is At Ease" fills up the last 12 minutes of side C with psychedelic bliss. One of the most played Vibravoid cover song must be "Mother Sky" by the legendary krautrockers Can. I have heard several other cover versions as well but Vibravoid's is always the best! In the middle of this gigantic 18-minute piece we can also hear the "Sky Saxon Mantra" to make things even more psyched-out... Wow! Out of Tune in Rosenheim definitely is one of the best live releases of Vibravoid so a must-have for all the fans.

sunnuntai 2. helmikuuta 2020

Charivari - Descent

Worst Bassist Records (WBR LP 001 / WBR CD 001)

Worst Bassist Records is a " Motorik-Post-Rock-Space-Punk-Drone-Love-Acid Underground Label" by Electric Moon's lovely bass player Komet Lulu. The name of the label comes from a nasty YouTube comment on Lulu's bass playing skills... It's great that something great can grow from bad manners and rudeness! The first release on the label (WBR LP 000 / CD 000) was an Electric Moon reissue but more on that later. I don't know how Lulu found out about the dreamy post/indie/psych/noise rock shoegazers Charivari from Bath UK, since this album is their first. I'm still happy she did, since I like this band.

The 49-minute CD version has seven songs, the LP one less. "When Leviathan Dreams" starts off slowly and peacefully and then we are in a hazy, reverberating, dreamy shoegazer heaven. It brings back some 90s indie Brit rock/pop memories in a positive way. Great! "Lotus Eater" is a bit more intense and heavier, a very effective track sounding a bit like Reflecter era Sun Dial. Wow! Next we get the faster, sort of post-punky "Aphotic". "Down by the River" is a slow, pretty ballad, and "Descent" an ambient, experimental instrumental. "Alexandria" is an emotional song that even brings to mind The Cure. The album is finished with the 11-minute "Scavengers of the Wind" that changes from atmospheric floating to heavy, noisy fuzz rocking. Pretty intense stuff but still enjoyable and not totally out of control. In summary, Descent is a very promising debut album and I bet Charivari will appeal to a lot of people into various genres. The album will come out at the end of the month and can be preordered from the label's web site.

PH ‎– Osiris Hayden

Svart Records (SVART215)

Okay, sorry Kivelä & co., I'm a bit late with this review. Finland's PH (formely known as Mr. Peter Hayden) dropped their sixth album in November last year. I have followed their career since the debut Faster Than Speed (Or Violating The Special Relativity) put out in 2010 and what a ride it has been. On Osiris Hayden they have replaced the live drums with programmed ones which gives the music a more electronic, industrial feel. You could still (mostly) call the music psychedelic rock, I guess. The sound is massive and overwhelming and rather polished and well produced. The overal vibe is very apocalyptic, gloomy and doomy as always, so no happy dance tracks included.

The album includes nice tracks that are mixed as a continuous, dark journey. There are some more ambient, atmospheric moments but the band can still get very heavy and oppressive. I think I can hear some post metal influences but that is not really my kind of thing so I'm not sure. Definitely lots of industrial/experimental/darkwave/occult or even black metal vibes in there. I think you must be in a certain state of mind to truly understand what this band is about, but when you empty your mind and let their dark, hypnotic music fill your soul you will be thrilled with apocalyptic ecstasy and trance. The album is out on CD, digital and purple vinyl limited to 500 copies, get it if you dare.

lauantai 1. helmikuuta 2020

E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr ‎– Non Plus Ultra

Svart Records (SVART210)

Prepare for take-off into the Cosmos! Turku-based space cadets E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr have just released their third studio album, Non Plus Ultra. They also have two live albums under their Van Allen belt, one from the legendary Roadburn Festival. Also in orbit are a couple of ultra limited tape releases and a split LP with their krautrock co-pilots Hisko Detria.

As always, the space ship Lux Ohr takes us on a wonderous journey all over the known and unknown universe with the aid of synthesizers, keyboards, electronics, sequencers, drum machines and the cosmic electronic/acoustic guitar work of Kimi Kärki (ex-Reverend Bizarre, Lord Vicar, Orne). Non Plus Ultra is released as a double LP limited to 500 copies and it has two tracks on each side. There is also a very limited promo CD edition and you can buy the digital version from the band's Bandcamp site or stream at Spotify etc. All the tracks are marked here as edits, so I guess the original recordings were longer but were cut down to get as much different compositions and variation as possible to fit into 80 minutes. That doesn't of course mean that the pieces are short, they all are in the 5:42 to 12:35 range.

The first two pieces "Die Suche Nach Dem Horizont" and "Bahnhof 77" are wonderful, sequencer-driven, spacey, kosmische Berlin School trips in the vein of early 70s Klaus Schulze or Tangerine Dream. You know what to expect but will for sure enjoy the ride! On "Der Ewige Wanderer" the band successfully tries out something different since acoustic guitar is playing an important role. This is closer to Popol Vuh or the like, very nice, tranquil and psychedelic. There's also some percussion later on to enhance the Popol Vuh vibe. Superb! Also "Aus Dem Kollaps Geboren" is a bit different E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr track starting in very pleasant, peaceful mode but then getting into a sort of dark, hypnotic groove. Amazing! "Hypnogenesis III" starts off slowly and later turns into a TD styled sequencer flight. Nice E-bow guitar by Kimi! "Traumraum" stays rather minimal and quiet all the way through. It is also the shortest piece on the album. "Der Doppelgänger" is another rather peaceful, beautiful, ambient electronic piece to get lost in. The album is finished with the 12-minute "Die Vergangene Zukunft" that gets you deep into space for sure. Excellent work! This album has been in the works for several years and you can really feel the amount of effort and creativity the band has invested in it. A true trippy master piece of modern cosmic ambient electronica!

Please note that the band is performing their record release concert tonight at Tuorna Planetarium in Kaarina. Should be entertaining...