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tiistai 30. kesäkuuta 2020

Sarkh - Kaskade

Worst Bassist Records

Okay, some more new instrumental German post-rock on Worst Bassist Records. This time it comes spiced with black metal/drone/stoner influences. Sarkh is a trio from Westerfald, Germany who have a black metal background that still shows. They easily shift from beautiful soundscapes into brutal, heavy blasting within a track. Just guitar, bass and drums but the production is very professional and they have used a good deal of effects to make a rather full and varied sound.

The opener "Ackerland" starts off as a cool, cold drone and then we'll get some dark, heavy riffing. This will go down with the post-metal fans for sure. "Wildis" has clean, pretty stuff as well as heavy riffs with double kick drum blasting. Very tight playing. "Muttererde" is peaceful for the two first two-and-a-half-minutes and then gets heavy. It grows into blast beat by the end... "Saat" has a very cool clean guitar riff at first. Again, at times the going gets intense and heavy, I like this tune. "Derpholz" is mostly heavier going but has a nice soft spot in the middle. On "Morast" & the great "Kaskade" slow and easy & heavy & intense stuff varies again. The album is finished with the shorter "Irrlicht" that is the only track NOT to have heavy, metal influenced stuff at all. I sort of wish there would have bene more tracks like this, but it feels good to get some fresh breath at last. These guys are great musicians and the production is top-notch but this is not really an album I would play that often since it's maybe a bit too intense for an old hippie like me. I do like some of the vibes though!

LDMR ‎– Silva

Worst Bassist Records ‎(WBR LP 003)

Okay, I'm trying to little by little do all the reviews I have forgotten this Spring/Summer... So here we go! LDMR is an instrumental German post-rock band and Silva is their second album. The fact that they are on Electric Moon's Lulu's Worst Bassist Records means that they must be pretty good. Lulu apparently has a soft spot for post-rock in addition to psych/space rock and why the hell not. LDMR do have a bit punky attitude to their music so it's not always your avarage emotional post-rock thing.

The long "Sequoia" starts off the album and I like it. Just guitars, bass and drums, sometimes rather heavy, sometimes beautiful and touching. "Euphyllia" is next and the first three minutes are more tranquil altogether but then the track grows and sort of explodes. The last minute is very quiet and peaceful. Then we have the rather interesting "Salix" that has some more progressive stuff at times. It's the shortest piece at just under six minutes. "Fraxinus" starts off slowly and grows later on like is so common in this style. It stays rather slow though. "Fagus" is the album's long piece starting with some sound of rain and thunder. Very atmospheric stuff. Then things get more agressive and louder, the punk roots showing a bit. Some more peaceful passages in the middle, just like you would have expected. This is not exacty my favourite kind of music (meaning: not really psychedelic) but I still like this album. Check it out if you are into instrumental post-rock with a bit rawer touch!

maanantai 22. kesäkuuta 2020

Permanent Clear Light - Cosmic Comics

Sulatron Records (st 2005)

Wow, I've been waiting for this album for almost seven years now! Finland's prime progressive psych pop/rockers Permanent Clear Light released their excellent debut album in 2013 (vinyl came later in 2015) and I've been in love ever since. Of course Higher than the Sun, their first single on Fruits de Mer, already started the affair a year before. There were times when it looked like the follow-up LP would never see the light of day but Maurice n'est pas la 7" in 2018 gave me some more hope and now we are finally here. Markku, Arto and Matti have done a great job and the album is just perfect if you ask me.

"This Quiet Smiling Man" starts off the album in a mellow, slow style with lush instrumentation and amazing melodies. 60s psychedelia oozes through like in most of the band's output and I like it just like that. Lots of studio wizardry included, as well. The Fruits de Mer collectors have already heard this track in 2017 on the The Fifteenth Dream Of Dr Sardonicus compilation CD-R as well as on the 2018 single. The sunny and wonderful "Corneville Skyline" is next and I'm really enjoying the vibe on this beautiful Summer evening.  "Peasants and Peons" reminds me of The Zombies, Love and other marvellous 60s psych pop artists, just magnificent. Next, we get the full 9-minute version of "Maurice n'est pas la" and it's a real trip... This track is pretty different with some 80s disco (?) vibe, maybe influenced by nick nicely or somebody? Very cool and suitably weird, anyway! The more folk oriented "Iris Murray" has been previously released on the limited The 14th Dream Of Dr. Sardonicus - Day Onecompilation CD-R but I think I'm missing that one. A bit more melancholic, minimal but totally amazing song, anyway! "One in Five" is more up-beat pop/rock piece about depression if I remember correctly. This was the first track on the 2018 7" and a really good one as well. "Salmiac" has a bit jazzy mood, sort what of The Soft Machine might have created I guess. "Until The End Of Time" is a tranquil, soulful piece with some church organ, vocals and treated guitar, very mellow and spiritual. The album is finished with "The Rip" and it's a rather experimental psych pop piece that again brings to mind the wonderful nick nicely with plenty of studio gimmicks. Very trippy ending to one of the best albums in 2020! Both the CD and the coloured vinyl are limited to just 500 copies so make sure you'll get one in time. The album will be officially out on July the 3rd. Warmly recommended!

torstai 18. kesäkuuta 2020

Electric Moon ‎– You Can See The Sound Of... Extended Version

Sulatron Records (st2004)

You Can See The Sound Of... was the first and so far only 10" release by our German psych-head friends the Electric Moon. It was released in 2013 in a limited edition of 500 copies and only sold at gigs making it one of the hardest E. M. releases to get. The original EP included three great tracks and now they have added three more from the same sessions to make it a full album! These three tracks have not appeared anywhere before and all the tracks are now put out on CD for the first time.

The original EP can be found on side A of the LP version. First we've got the excellent, hypnotic and hard rocking "The Inner Part". I think this is one of their best tracks at the "under ten minutes" gategory and proper space rock! The even shorter (4:20...) "Your Own Truth" is a rather special Electic Moon SONG since it also has some lovely vocals by the bass player Lulu. Also the rhythm is a bit unusual for the band. Wonderful and very psychedelic! "No Escape From Now" is the long space jam of the original 10" and definitely gets you "out there"... Wow! Also this one has some voice by Lulu adding the mind-blowing effect of the track. Unfortunately due to hard drive crash (when do hippies learn to make multiple copies of their important files?) the rest of the tracks from these sessions only have survived as raw mixes, so the sound is a little more modest but still very good. "Windhovers" is a slower, melancholic track that I really like. It rocks more towards the end! "The Great Exploration of Nothing" has some cool synth and organ by Dave and an amazing, sort of dark vibe. Excellent!  "Mushroom Cloud no.4" is again a longer, over 11-minute space exploration starting off in a very tranquil way. I'm really happy to hear these previously unreleased tracks that really make this LP/CD worth buying even if you (like me) have the original 10" already. I love this band!

sunnuntai 14. kesäkuuta 2020

Dr Space - Dr Space's Alien Planet Trip Vol 4 - Space with Bass

Space Rock Productions ‎(SRP065CD)

This is the latest solo album by Scott Heller aka Dr Space. I'm sure we all know Scott from his various bands and projects like Øresund Space Collective. At least so far the fourth volume in Dr Space's Alien Trip series in only available on limited CD. The six tracks WOULD fit on a double vinyl, though... Like the sub-tittle suggests, Scott is this time teamed up with a bass player, Hasse Horrigmoe, a forming member of Norwegian psychedelic/progressive rock band Tangle Edge. This album does not included progressive or even any other kind of rock, though. It's pure experimental, abstract ambient, Berlin School sort of thing.

"Vermis Ex-Deus Primero" is a minimal, very spacey track that gets you in a special state of mind for sure... Cool experimental bass sound. "Bemushroomed" has bit more melody, although at random. Weird stuff from outer space... "3rd Eye into the 4th Dimension" continues the trip in similar manner. "Rolling Quark Secretion" has some more space bass again, as well as lots of different synthesizer soundscapes. "BlackCloud" is more sequencer based and sort of more focused but still very weird. "Bass Karma" has some more melody, maybe accidental but still. I like it! "Lament for the Wicked" even sort of has a bass riff, although manipulated and odd as hell. This is more rhythm based, hypnotic stuff. Phew, what a weird album! If you are looking for a really special, strange and spacey trip with sounds this might be it.

Hexvessel - Kindred

Svart Records (SVART226)

Okay, I've been so busy making music of my own that this album is already sold-out by the time I get to review it... Well, here we go anyway, I'm sure reprints are on their way pretty soon! A new album by Finnish occult forest psych folk/rock masters is always a big happening in my world. Last year's Old Tree was definitely one of the best releases in 2019 and now it's time for Kindred. The band have returned to Svart Records after a few years flirt with foreign labels and it seems to me they are back home now. The new album is perhaps a little less psychedelic than some of the previous ones but no less atmospheric, brilliant, touching or esoteric.

The seven-minute "Billion Year Old Being" starts off the album with its creepy, melancholic ancient vibe. Amazing and rather dark and heavy as well! There are some prog rock elements in there too for good measure. "Demian" is next, pretty weird and intense stuff. "Fire of The Mind" is more folk oriented and very beautiful and the slow and hazy "Bog Bodies" has a Twin Peaks like vibe. "Sic Luceat Lux" is a short, strange experimental forest folk instrumental. "Phaedra" is a dark and creepy, slow piece that gets under you skin and inside your soul, phew. After the sunnier, little  acoustic piece "Family" comes the emotional, sort of main song "Kindred Moon" and I totally love it. There's even some piano in it. "Magical & Damned" is another one of my favourites, very touching indeed. The album is finished with the brilliantly pretty "Joy of Sacrifice", mostly in acoustic mode again. I don't know exactly where the band gets these otherwordly moods from but it sure must be a special place... This is anothet masterpiece, what else can I say. Get is as soon as possible.

maanantai 8. kesäkuuta 2020

Neon Heart - S/T


Neon Heart from Stockholm, Sweden, are a band rather hard to label into one genre. Or two genres, for that matter. They are a quartet formed by Magnus Nordén - drums, Johnny Karlsson Kern – bass, vocals, Björn Wallgren - guitar, Petter Kärnekull - electronic viola and Daniel Borgegård Älgå - saxophone. Their music is mostly based on improvisation I guess, and it is definitely sort of experimental and psychedelic. It is rock with bass, drums and guitar, but the use of sax and electronic viola add lots of jazzy elements as well. I listened to their digital EP's this Spring and they were part of my great soundtrack to a lockdown. Now they also have their debut full-length out featuring a couple of older tracks and totally new material.

The album kicks off with the almost ten-minute slow instrumental "Hashima". The sound quality is excellent and the vibe pretty hazy and druggy. Sort of dark trip hop done in an experimental rock way with jazz vibes. "Det händer ingenting" also has vocals in Swedish and it's a rather weird piece on improvisation that starts to rock out more later on. I'm reminded of some of the industrial/post-punk bands of the late 70s/early 80s I think. "Dagarna försvann" is even stranger stuff in similar vein. The two older tracks from 2018 are next. "Till dig ännu en gång" is a bit groovier piece with a cool swing, maybe my favourite. There are some psychedelic parts later on...  "Tupolev in the Air" is nice instrumental jam with more changes and lots of stuff going on. Interesting! "Dagar försinner" is the shortest piece at 3:19 and it again has that cool, trip hop like jazzy vibe. Very nice! The first pressing of the vinyl version is limited to just 100 copies so if you got interested please act fast!

Centre el Muusa - S/T

Sulatron Records

Centre el Muusa is new Estonian instrumental psych/krautrock band with lots of different influences (jazz too) and their debut album is now out on Sulatron Records on CD and soon on vinyl too. The quartet was formed in 2015 as Centre Electronique Muusa which was later shortened. I don't think I've heard of these guys before but at least some of them seem to be very prolific in music in other bands and projects as well. The whole album has a sort of lo-fi esthetic going on but in pleasant, positive way and the musicianship is top-notch.

There are six tracks on the album. The groovy opener is called "Turkeyfish" and it has a cool surf/garage psych vibe to it. Almost ten minutes are suddenly gone in a hypnotic haze, lovely! Amazing electric piano playing in this one and later on as well. "Glitter Bo" is a mellow, smokey and more atmospheric piece that I also really enjoy. Things get heavier later on, though... On "Ain't Got Enough Mojo" the group gets spacier and more psychedelic and I love it... The whole track is based on one hypnotic riff. "Burning Lawa" is a slow but noisy blues number. The eight-minute "Mia" is a peaceful, atmospheric track based on repetition and different elements added one after the other on top of the basic background. Great! "Szolnok" ends the album in a sort of rocking Sundial way although the sound is very different. It also gets a little more progressive. The album sounds a bit like it was recorded in a small, moldy cellar with two mics into a four-track recorder but I've grown to appreciate the authentic feel it  gives you. Check it out!

keskiviikko 3. kesäkuuta 2020

Hayvanlar Alemi - Psychedelia in Times of Turbulence

Subsound Records (SSR069)

Hayvanlar Alemi is an instrumental psychedelic rock band formed in 1999 in Ankara, Turkey. I have never heard any of their earlier output, but apparently they have also done some more ethnic, folk oriented music. Psychedelia in Times of Turbulence recorded in Italy in 2017, however, presents them in their heavier, stoner, doom oriented mode. Having said that, this is not still exactly metal or even you standard heavy stoner rock which is a good thing in my opinion. You can hear the old Anatolian influences even in their rock form and I like that a lot.

There are seven tracks on the album ranging from under three to almost nine minutes in length. On these recordings the band is a basic trio of Özüm İtez: guitar, Hazar Mutgan: bass and Işık Sarıhan: drums and percussion, but there are also some overdubs. The music is mostly rather slow and atmospheric, but there are also faster songs. All the music is very melodic and interesting, this band really has a rather unique style and vibe. It's not overtly psychedelic or trippy in a mind-blowing way, but it slowly creeps into your conciousness and does its things that are very pleasant. One of mt favourites, "Thundercloud Museum" is a good example of this, very cool, a bit mysterious stuff. "Kaos Sembolü Güneş ve Bahar" is musc heavier and closer to stoner or doom metal even, I have to admit that. All in all, this is very enjoyable album that keeps you interested in all its twists and turns. Available on limited vinyl and CD as well as the digital download of course. Check it out!