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sunnuntai 29. marraskuuta 2020

Anton Barbeau - Manbird

 Gare du Nord Records (BH007)

Manbird is an amazing, massive new double CD by one of my favourite psychedelic indie rock/pop artists Anton Barbeau. As I've stated before, I've been a fan of Anton's since The Kind Of Missouri album released on Woronzow Records in 2002. I have missed a couple of releases since then but Anton seems to been remained active and productive all these years. He's originally from the States but has been living in Berlin for some years now with some occasional trips to the U.K. as well.

Manbird released in September is a 25-track "ambitious concept album about leaving the nest, traveling the world and finding home." So that's where the title comes from, if you were wondering... Personally, I love Anton's lyrics as well as his music since there is alsways a certain amount of humour in there even when he's talking about some serious issues. I think the stories here are rather autobiographic and the booklet includes lots of photos of Anton from and early age onwards.

Anyway, lets focus on the music now. As always, Anton knows how to build a catchy, melodic and clever pop song and we've got plenty of those here starting from the title track that starts the journey. The album was produced by Anton with some help from his friends and sounds excellent. There are lots of little mixing tricks to make the songs sound more interesting. There are also little bit more electronic elements on some songs like "Across the Drama Pond", some folky vibes and even one fast punk rock song "Featherweight". The instrumentation is varied as well as the moods and vibes. There are some beautiful acoustic ballads and more experimental pieces but most of it is still pretty easy to digest and listener friendly, even with all the clever little hooks and weird stuff in the middle. Many songs are pretty short, between one and three minutes in length, and even the longest one, the final, trippy piece "Space Force" is just over five minutes. It's just impossible for me to name any favourites from these 25 little nuggets since they all have a charm of their own. As often is the case, I'm probably most drawn to the most psychedelic moments, though (like "Underneath the Mushroom Tree" and "Auslanderbeak"). Living in Berlin must have taken its toll since there is even some krautrock influences on "Beak" and "Beak Part 2". Great! You can also tell that Anton has listened to The Beatles a lot and also some Bowie. He has a very unique, distinctive singing voice that I also really enjoy. All in all, I got to say that Manbird is one of the most enjoyable and entertaining albums I have heard this year. It's been a crappy year in general but at least there is stll some interesting music being produced and released to keep our spirits high!


sunnuntai 1. marraskuuta 2020

Astral Magic - Pathway to the Stars released on highly limited CD-R!

Message from Roger Linney:

SF 42
Astral Magic
Pathway To The Stars
50 Copies
Super excited to introduce you to Astral Magic. This is the new solo project from ex- Dark Sun bass player Santtu aka Mika Laakso.
This debut release presents the more cosmic/ambient/ electronic/ experimental (but no less spacey!) side of Astral Magic.
Recorded during lockdown The album features eleven spaced out tracks featuring guitar contributions from Vince Cory and Pete Bingham.
This cd comes in a individually numbered edition of 50 copies in white card sleeves with paste on artwork created by the artist himself.
You can check out and/or download the album here :
Cost as follows :
UK = £7.50
Europe = £10.50 GBP
USA & ROW = £12.00 GBP
Paypal to


Tsiolkovski - Molniya

 White Dwarf (WHD009)

Wow, it's cool how these great new bands and solo projects keep on popping up in your psych radar. Tsiolkovski, a one-man space/psych/doom project by Jean-Philippe Bidegain from France is definitely one of the most interesting ones in recent times. He plays electric guitars, bass, drums and synthesizers by himself on this instrumental debut album by the project. These six tracks were released on Bandcamp in February and the two limited vinyl editions should be out any day now, a bit late due to pressing plant problems as is usual these days.

The eight-minute opener "Voskhod" is a slow and majestic, heavy and spacey piece with a lot of emotion. I'm in love! The title track "Molniya" has a fast, motorik kraut/space rock beat with tons of echoed guitar and spacey synth effects floating around. Very hypnotic and psychedelic, getting even better! There's a crushingly heavy, slow doom riff at the end, phew... This somehow reminds me of heavy Finnish occult psychonauts Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising. "Terechkova" is heavy, spacey, slow and ritualistic/hypnotic stuff to bang your head to. There are some more experimental, very deep parts later on... Excellent! Then Jean-Philippe kicks in the dark, cosmic gear with "Mons Maenalus". This is not so heavy until the end, another killer track. "LMC X-3" is fast space/kraut rock and really rocks with that one same simple riff for 4+ minutes. Something Alan Davey might produce. The last piece has a nice psych/kraut rock groove reminding me of the early Cosmic Dead that I really enjoy. No hints of doom or metal on this one which is nice. I really dig this simple tune! All in all, this is a very recommended album if you enjoy psychedelic, heavy space/kraut rock and are not afraid to dive into the darker, doomy and more metallic universes every now and then. Psychedelic Doom From Outer Space!