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maanantai 25. toukokuuta 2020

Vesa Partti - Ambientwerk I: Aallokko


This is a brand-new digital ambient release by Helsinki-based musician Vesa Partti that you might remember from bands like Tuliterä and Sadkarma. Vesa also recently played an online live stream gig with his solo material and I really enjoyed it. Anyway, what we've got here are three long, instrumental and electronic tracks with synthesizers all written, performed and produced by Vesa at his home studio and the results are mind-blowing. The music I guess is somewhere in between dark ambient, kosmische and minimal repetitive techno. The overall sound is modern in my ears at least. Okay, anything after 1995 is. The titles are all in German so that might give you hint of the influences.

The long opener "Pflanzenrettung" is a slow, deep and floating ambient piece that also has a little bit of moody guitar in the mix later on. The beats on this one are pretty minimal. Wonderful soundscapes and emotional, ethereal vibes all over! The second (more energetic) track was replaced after the initial release, so I'm hearing "Abgebrochen" for the first time right now. Dark, hazy beginning, and the track then slowly evolves and grows. Dreamy and minimal, again. The massive pad sounds are high in the mix. After eight minutes we'll get some more bass and drums but the track stays slow and repetitive all the way. Nice! The longest piece is the 27-minute "Meeresbriese" and it is the deepest and most effective of the lot. This is  more like modern concrete music I think? No programmed drums. Very cinematic and emotional, all happening in slow motion in a trance-like state. I would love to hear this as a soundtrack to some beautiful, artsy dark black and white movie. The massive wall of synthesized ambient sound keeps you in its hold long after the music has finally faded out into the darkness. Amazing! Get this and name your price.

keskiviikko 20. toukokuuta 2020

Green Seagull - Cloud Cover

Mega Dodo

Cloud Cover is the second album by London's neo-psych/mod group Green Seagull. It's a limited edition of 300 copies on 180 g orange vinyl and will be released at the end of July. Green Seagull definitely have an affection for the late 60s baroque psych pop/mod scene and bands like The Left Banke, The Association, The Kinks, The Beatles etc. Their music is full of great melodies and harmonies and a joy to the ears and mind. They are not overtly psychedelic or mind-expanding, but really know how to write great, catchy and pleasant songs. Most of all, they have sense of melody and exquisite harmony vocals.

Most of the 12, rather short tracks on the album are fast, happy and energetic, but there are also a couple of more mellow songs and ballads like "This Wheel". I love the sound on the album as it sounds like it was recorded in 1967 with modern equipment. It sounds fresh, interesting, well but not over produced. We get some cool organ and piano spicing up the guitar, bass drums and male/female vocalists. My favourite tracks are perhaps the opener "Aerosol" that I also used in my latest Astral Visions Mixcloud shoe and the last, progressive and fuzzy "Belladonna". There are several treasures also in between, don't worry! Check this album out before it's sold out. Sorry I can't seem to be able to locate any sample songs right now.

lauantai 9. toukokuuta 2020

Tuhosieni - Kiinni Sinuun

Piki Records (PIKI 003)

One year ago I was blown away with a new band I saw live during a private First of May celebrations in Helsinki. This band was Tuhosieni and they luckily had a brand-new 8" lathe cut single I could take home with. I especially enjoyed the hard-rocking Hawkwind-like A side "Suolaulu" that you could also hear in one of my Mixcloud shows last year. I also saw the band live again later on and now with another guitar player Lauri. Some of my more progressively oriented listeners might remember him from the prog band Uzwa. Cool! With two guitar players the sound of Tuhosieni has become fuller and more complex.

Now the band is just about to release their debut full-lenght that I was able to get a couple of weeks before the official release date. I was sort of expecting to hear "Suolaulu" and some other older songs here as well but apparently the band decided to use just new recordings with the two-guitar line up, which is quite understandable. Apart from "Tunturi" these tunes were all originally written a few years ago anyway. There would have been room for a couple of more songs since the six tracks included only last a bit over 30 minutes in total. All the songs are band compositions with lyrcs by the guitar player/vocalist Toni Haapanen. The other members are bassist Tero Lehto and drummer Markku Koskinen. The album that was recorded, mixed and mastered by Toni sounds really great and professional and the cover art by Lauri is also amazing. The music of Tuhosieni is some kind of mix of progressive rock, psych, folk and hard rock. The vocals in Finnish sometime remind of classic Suomi-Rock, for example the main line of the great opener "Liekkirinta" sounds a bit like "Kulkurin iltakalja" by Hassisen Kone. Nothing wrong with that, it's more like part of the charm of Tuhosieni. The band plays really well together and I like the overal vibe of the album. The atmopshere changes from emotional and beutiful to heavy, dark and oppressive, sometimes within one song. My favourites are the opener "Liekkirinta" and "Vihreä kajo", but all songs are very good. There are also some sound effects and probably synthesizer sounds to make things more varied and exciting. Kiinni sinuun is an excellent debut album and warmly recommended for all fans of progressive, melodic and psychedelic rock music.

torstai 7. toukokuuta 2020

Øresund Space Collective - Sonic Rock Solstice 2019

Self-Released (?)

This latest offering from our psychedelic jam master friends Øresund Space Collective is a great live performance from last year's legendary Sonic Rock Solstice festival. The first time for ØSC to play in the UK! This fest, like Kozfest for example, seems to be some sort of modern day version of the freaky festivals of the 80's (Stonehenge etc.). I wish I could go there one day! This time the band is formed by Vince Cory - guitar, Vemund - guitar, Jiri - bass, Mogens- synths, Dr Space - synths and Tim - drums. The band seems to have been in high spirits and this sounds like one of their best gigs I've ever heard!

Unlike usually, the band kicks off into energetic space rocking almost right from the start with the 15-minute "SRS Solstice Jam". Vince's guitar gives the music some new vibes I think. Powerful stuff. "Jam for Gavin" reminds me a bit of the Ozrics ans goes on for over half-an-hour... Another excellent, high-energy jam! I can see the crowd getting wild and dancing their asses off... After the band introductions they go into funky, jazzy jam called "Jazz it up Boyzz". A bit different stuff this time. "Solstice Jammers Pt1" continues the bit jazzy atmosphere for a while. Sax would have been perfect addition! This one has some beautiful synth solos by Mogens. Later on the track starts to rock out more, very cool! The last improvisation called "Solstice Jammers Pt2" is a rather groovy jam rock affair with also some blues and boogie and a nice ending for a great festival gig.

This release is part of the ØSC subscription series but I think it will later on also be available to the whole public on CD. By the way, I think it would fit to a 2LP as well... Wink-wink!

Aural Hallucinations - Alucinações Auditivas


Aural Hallucinations is a new experimental, psychedelic, ambient duo project by Dr. Space (Øresund Space Collective, Doctors of Space, Black Moon Circle etc.) on synths and Matthew Couto (Kind, Ex-Elder etc.) on drums, bass, guitars, vocals and yes, even some more synths! There are also some field-recordings by Luis Antero to make things even more disorienting... Alucinações Auditivas is the duo's first release and put out as a very limited vinyl (150 copies), CD, tape and digital release.

The overall vibe of the album really is rather hallucinatory. Sometimes it seems that the guys are playing at least two songs simultaneously, just listen to "Fly Free Furry Friend" for example, the guitar and sequencer are from different universes. The synthesizer-only ambient tracks are more to my liking, "Formigas" and "Hills White, House Blue" for example. I really miss that Moog Opus 3 sound that Matthew delivers throughout the album, one of the corner stones in several Dark Sun tracks as well. One of the HIGHlights for sure is the deep and effective "Brainstimulator". "Spore Cloud Dispersion" has a bit more space ROCK feel to it due to the drums, I like this as well. Really trippy stuff! "Don't take the Granite Acid " (got to love those tittles!) has a more electronic, dark vibe. "Surreal InhiVisions" has some acoustic guitar again that gives it a folky feel but things soon get weird and cacophonic a bit in the Acid Mothers Temple way. This is a weird but wonderful mix of improvised experimental soundscapes that might not be for everyone but spaceheads should definitely check this out.

lauantai 2. toukokuuta 2020

Soft Power ‎– Brink of Extinction


Brink of Extinction is the second album by Helsinki based Soft Power. I reviewed their 2017 debut album In a Brown Study and liked it a lot. As I told back then, it was maybe even a bit too varied stylistically including also folk and some heavier, harsher stuff. Now the band has focused 100% on the light, happy, progressive and groovy late 60s/early 70s styled jazz rock vibes that were already present on the debut. The music is now also almost completely instrumental apart from some spoken word poetry on the title track and wordless humming on one track. The addition of Fender Rhodes and saxophone players enhance the jazz elements.

The album starts with a short piano intro "Awakening" by the multi-instrumentalist Mikael Jurmu who on this album also plays drums and flute as well as delivers the poetry on "Brink of Extinction". The long (10:37) title track starts of with a very nice, warm, jazzy groove that brings to mind The Amazing and Dungen as well as of course the originators of this kind of cool fusion rock. There are some great progressive parts and then the track cools down for the impressive poetry part. After that the pleasant groove continues. "Orange Red Yellow" is a slower, moody piece and when you close your eyes it feels like it's '69 again. "The Water Room" is a bit more energetic and progressive, maybe some Wigwam vibes in here? We also get some wordless humming going along the guitar melodies, nice! "New Beginning" on side B starts off with piano and this is an another lovely, rather soft jazz rock piece with some atmospheric Rhodes and field recordings at the end. "Window of Opportunity" is the longest track on the album at 13:33. Soft Machine fans will love it and I can also smell some Zappa I think! Great musicianship by all and it really is an amazing track. The album is finished with a short wind instrument outro "Final Blow" by Jurmu, all the other compositions are group efforts. What can I say, this albums sounds fantastic and I really enjoy the jazzy moods. The 200 g pressing limited to 550 copies is also of great quality and in a thick, heavy US styled cover also including a nice insert with some ideology about the album, English translation of the poem and personel info as well as a band photo by Tekla Vály on the other side. A really great package!

perjantai 1. toukokuuta 2020

Hotlist March-April

Phew, it's been strange these few months... Lot's of time to listen to music at home, though. Some of the LP's I've ordered haven't shown up, but these are the hottest ones lately:

The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol ‎– Berserkir Volume One
Ozzy Osbourne ‎– Ordinary Man
The Mushroom Project - Keepers of Castle Mound Vol III
Soft Power ‎– Brink Of Extinction
Rymdstyrelsen ‎– Lunar Mountains
Cotton Casino ‎– The Reflection
Vibravoid ‎– Out Of Tune In Rosenheim
Cosmic Ground ‎– 5
Øresund Space Collective ‎– Experiments In The Subconscious
Sula Bassana ‎– The Box