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tiistai 31. maaliskuuta 2020

Vibravoid - The Decomposition of Noise

Stoned Karma Records

 Celebrating its 30th birthday in 2020 Vibravoid is Germany's, (if not the whole universe's?) number one psychedelic rock band at the moment. A new album by them is always a really exciting thing for me. The musical highlight of the year! With The Decomposition of Noise our good Doktor Koch has made it again: a perfect package of 60s inspired, melodic psych pop, mind-blowing freak-outs, interstellar space rock jams, hypnotic krautrock journeys and insane lysergic experimentation all in one! It sounds to me that Vibravoid finally realized that you don't have to master everything on the red all the time since this album seems to have much more room to breath which is great.

The new album starts off with the great tittle track "The Decomposition of Noise". It's a compact, catchy, four-minute psych rock hit with all the right ingredients that make Vibravoid so invincible. It is love at the first listen! This screams for a single release as well I think. Speaking of singles, many of us have already heard the next track "World of Pain", another killer hit song with a little more groove and pop sensibility. Superb stuff and always in my 7" DJ bag! "It Happened Tomorrow" is a beautiful, ethereal and melancholic song that I also really like. "Eardrum" has a cool 60s vibe and groove with spacey effects, very nice! "Plastic Covered Tangerines" is a darker, droney and hypnotic piece that makes you brain freeze. There always needs to be at least one long trippy piece on a Vibravoid album and this time it's the almost 20-minute "The Essence of Noise". I love the female voice samples in German etc. This is so hypnotic and mesmerizing that I'm not sure on what planet I am anymore! Gets you ultra high for sure. The actual album is finished with just over one minute of "The Decomposition of Noise Reprise". I am in awe! probably the best album Vibravoid ever released. The CD version also includes the radio edit of "World of Pain", a VERY cool and superb-sounding 20-minute live version of the band's early classic "Ballspeaker" recorded in Chania, Crete as well as a long, weird and experimental instrumental called " Im Zeichen Des Zwilling". All essential stuff! The limited LP version of the album comes with a surprise live LP as a bonus... The Decomposition of Noise should be out on the 6th of May and every self-respecting psych head should definitely get it.

torstai 19. maaliskuuta 2020

Hawkfan 54

In January 2020 Brian Tawn published the 54th issue of his wonderful Hawkfan zine. This of course is a must-have for all the hardcore Hawkwind fans. This issue is dedicated to the loveable and very talanted Harvey Bainbridge (Ark, Sonic Assassins, Hawkwind, Hawklords, solo etc.).

It must be stated that Brian's focus on this new issue is a bit off the actual Mothership Hawkwind, probably due to reasons that the core of the fanbase already knows. But good enough excuse is that Brian just didn't go to any of the 50th anniversary gigs last year. Anyway, there are live reports of several HW off-shoots that are still very interesting to the HW fans.

Mr. Dibs has been busy after leaving Hawkwind. He plays in Evil Blizzard, for example, and Brian tells about his experiences at Onboard the Craft festival where the band played in September. Sounds like fun and entertaining! The main part of the zine is filled with a nine-page report of the Hawklords tour. It's great that the true spirit of Hawkwind is kept alive by some great chaps and musicians. I really need to see this band live! Luckily there is a live album on the way.

To finish off, there's a rather long Damnation Alley section where Alan goes through all the recent Hawkwind and related releases. Wonderful! Personally I would recommend the Alan Davey's Psychedelic Warlords albums and espacially the Hawkestrel album. Some bootlegs in there as well. All in all, if you are a true fan you of course need this so get in contact with Brian.

Join the Hawkfan Facebook group over here.

keskiviikko 18. maaliskuuta 2020

The Lost Stoned Pandas - Tune In... Turn On... Get Panda'd

Regal Crabomophone (winkle 39)

Wow, this is something rather special... The Lost Stoned Pandas is a project that was first discussed about during the recordings of the Sendelica/The Orb/Secret Knowledge 12" Windmill (read my review over here). Sendelica's Pete and Secret Knowledge's Kris asked aboard a few friends (including Astralasia's Marc Swordfish) and band colleagues to insure that a full-on psychedelic experience will be transmitted to the listener. And it sure is! We already got a little taster of things to come with the very rare one-sided Panda 1 - Pandamonium 12" lathe-cut last year, but it had only one same track and in different mix.

Tune In... Turn On... Get Panda'd is a double vinyl album with three side-long tracks and three a bit shorter ones on side C. The recordings took place in Wales in July 2019 and Pete, Marc and Colin re-assembled and mixed all the stuff during the Autumn/Winter. The music is highly hallucinogenic, ambient, spacey and atmospheric with lots of weird samples, ethereal guitar, electronics, keyboards, bass, drums, violin, cello etc. It has a very dreamy effect making the listener transport into a strange, wonderful fairy land where magic is real and none of the real word problems have any signifigance. The first LP is very tranquil and peaceful, but on side C the band have bit bit more danceable, folky trance vibe. Astralasia, one of my favourite electronic acts ever, comes to mind. Side D sounds pretty experimental and far-out, a lot of remixing and manipulating on this one... Very mind-expanding stuff! Make sure you get a copy of this weird but marvellous album if you are not afraid of long, trippy jams and strange soundscapes. Also available on CD from the Sendelica Bandcamp site.

maanantai 16. maaliskuuta 2020

Dubbal - The Return of the Lonesome Traveller


Dubbal is a psychedelic space rock/dub band formed by ex-members of the 80s/90s UK psych/blues/space rock festie band Dr. Brown. The line-up is Kev Ellis -vocals, Andy Radburn - synths, Alan Shaw - bass, Nick May - lead guitar  and Grunty - rhythm guitar. You probably have heard them in other projects later on as well. There have been several low-key releases by Dubbal since 2015 but this is the first one that I have really checked out. I'm glad I did since this is really great stuff!

The opener "Out Or In" is spacey, atmospheric and psychedelic mid-tempo space rock with a long intro. This is really deep, hypnotic stuff and I am instantly in love. "Fly On In" is happier, reggae/dub inspired track. Reggae is not exactly my cup of herbal tea but suff like this works okay for me done by likes of Ozric Tentacles and Hawkwind and this also gets my blessing. Great for dancing, I bet. The ten-minute "Bring Me The Head Of ..... ......." is the albums highlight. This is high-energy heavy space rocking bringing to mind Hawkwind, The Ship of Fools and several others. Feel your mind expand more and more every second! The main riff is really driving and energetic, but there are also trippy ambient sections of course. Wow!!! I'm so glad some-one is still making music that sounds like this, my favourite kind of music for sure. The last track is the 15-plus-minute "The Return Of The Lonesome Traveller". This is a more adventurous and emotional journey into the space rock heaven. After a long, trippy and atmopsheric beginning the rocking starts and we fly though space in a very hallucinogenic setting. Superb! The album is released on CD and digital download but I think it also needs a vinyl issue. Somebody please do it!!! I also want to hear some more stuff by the band a.s.a.p. Get spaced out with Dubbal!

lauantai 14. maaliskuuta 2020

Astral Visions Mixcloud Show #92 now online!

Astral Visions #92 now online, stay home, stay safe & enjoy the music! Tracks by Helicon, Dubbal, Giöbia, The Spacelords, Domboshawa, Cary Grace, Sleeping Pandora, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Oulu Space Jam Collective, Kungens Män, The Lost Pandas & E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr.

tiistai 3. maaliskuuta 2020

Kungens Män ‎– Trappmusik

Adansonia Records (AR035)

Kungens Män from Sweden have been busy! After releasing two new studio albums last year on Riot Season they have just put out a marvellous DOUBLE vinyl album on Adansonia Records! Like the previous outing Hårt Som Ben Trappmusik was recorded at the legendary Silence Studio in the middle of the ancient, magical and vast forests of Värmland. As always, the instrumental music is totally improvised on the spot. With six musicians they have created a bit eerie, hypnotic but adventurous, experimental and psychedelic sonic universe. The mostly contemplative album is varied enough to keep the listener interested for the whole trip and especially the saxophone adds a pretty jazzy vibe to some of the pieces.

There are seven jams on the album, ranging from five to almost 18 minutes in length. "Fånge i universum" starts off the journey with at first tranquil, spiritual and jazzy jamming that grows on its way to the stars until cooling down in the end. Excellent! The sort of weird "Senvägen" utilises basic drum machine beat and puts you in a trance. "Tricksen för transen" comes handy at this point... This one gets a bit heavier on the guitars which is great. Later on the track has a rather tribal, mystical feel to it. With it's organ and melodic guitar work "Främmande i tillvaron" sounds a bit more traditionally Swedish reminding me of some of the slower, atmospheric tracks by Goat and some other, also older Swedish acts. Wonderful! "Vibbdirektivet" is 15 minutes of celestial, echoed and peaceful soundscapes, very blissful indeed. On the five-minute "Lastkajen" the band gets a bit more experimental again, some early krautrock vibes here perhaps? The album is finished with the massive title track "Trappmusik" where we get some more jazzy sax again. In the middle the track starts to rock out a little too but nothing gets too out of hand. All in all, I must say that Trappmusic is perhaps the best album by Kungens Män. It's good to hear them constantly mutating and experimenting without loosing their essence. Make sure you get this album if you are a fan of instrumental psych jams! There are only 500 copies (two different editions) of this on vinyl so good luck finding a copy.

Hotlist January-February

Okay, these are the 10 hottest pieces of new vinyl from the two first couple of months in 2020:

Meteor Vortex ‎– Spiraled Beyond The Reach
Zone Six ‎– Kozmik Koon
Cult Of Dom Keller ‎– Ascend!
Giöbia ‎– Plasmatic Idol
Helicon ‎– This Can Only Lead To Chaos
Automatism ‎– Into The Sea
Oulu Space Jam Collective ‎– Drug Rings Of Saturn
Domboshawa ‎– Fyra
Dhidalah ‎– Threshold
Kungens Män ‎– Trappmusik