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tiistai 30. maaliskuuta 2021

The Chemistry Set - Point Me A Dream 7"

 Hypnotic Bridge Records ‎– (HYP-026)

Wow, what a great single by the veteran UK psych pop rockers The Chemistry Set! As usual, I'm a bit late with my review since the 7" was already released a month ago on the American label Hypnotic Bridge Records. I've just been busy and these digital files have the tendency to disapper in the mystical depths of my computer. I'm actually listening to this the first time right now but I'm instantly in love! No wonder, since The Chemistry Set really know how to capture the listener with their psychedelic, melodic and brilliantly produced sounds.

So, what exactly do we have here? "Paint Me A Dream" is a very powerful, melodic and rather energetic psych rock song perfect for a single release. You can hear the band's 60s and 80s inspirations on it but it sounds mostly just like The Chemistry Set. Harmony vocals, Eastern vibes, killer fuzz leads, it has lots of goodies packed in just under four minutes. Perfect! Another winner is the cover choise on the flip side: "The Witch" originally by the early 70s UK acid folk wizard Mark Fry! Not only such a great track as it is, The Set have totally made it their own with a cool intro and freaky end jam, amazing! I could have listened to this much, mush longer than just over five minutes... So what else can I say, another superb single by this great band that I'm a big fan of. People ouside of the US might have difficulties getting a physical copy, I just ordered the last one from Sound Effect Records in Greece, but it is definitely worth hunting down. Well, at least you can get the digital download that comes with a couple of very cool remixes by Astralasian's Swordfish!


lauantai 27. maaliskuuta 2021

Violet Nox - Whispering Galaxy

 Infinity Vine Records (IVR 05)

Violet Nox is a modern electronic/experimental/ambient/no-wave/psych band from Boston, MA.They have released several EP's before and you can check my reviews here and here. They also happened to be my label mates on Reverb Worship/Sleep FUSE! As always, the minimal, highly manipulated/treated music is very etheral and atmospheric and gets you in a zone. The vocals don't often really sound very human at all which fits in the style of course.

This time Violet Nox offers us four new tracks: "Shapesifter", "Haumea", "Wolf Visitor" and "Selena".  They all have just minimal beat, on "Selena" the female vocals are more clearly audible and sound really beutiful. In addition to digital release, The EP was also put out on CD for those of us (like me...) who still prefer a physical copy. Definitely worth checking out if you enjoy dreamy, experimental and droney electronica with treated guitar and vocals! The EP is released on Infinity Records, Boston, USA, and will be distributed by Aumega Records, Germany after the April 9th release.


Ambassador Hazy ‎– Glacial Erratics


Ambassador Hazy is a new solo project by Sterling DeWeese from Cold Springs, NY. Some of you might already know the guy from his previous involvement in groups Heavy Hands, Dirty Rainbow, Terrapin Gun, Madison Electric and Black Fantastic. Glacial Erratics was recorded to tape in his basement and has a lovely, warm, home-made vibe all over it. You cold say it sounds a bit on the lo-fi side but in a positive way if you know what I mean!

The album has 14 short songs ranging in length from 1:36 to 3:56. Sterling plays guitars, bass, drums, some organ and sings lead and backing vocals by himself. He was also helped by a few friends on three of the tracks. This is not overtly psychedelic but defnitely has a psychy undertone going on all the time. Some of the songs remind me of The Bevis Frond or Neil Young, for example, and there are also some folk rock and country music elements included. Most of the songs have some cool heavy fuzz guitar though and there is a strong garage rock vibe present. Tracks like "Lucky Clover" also brings to mind The Green Pyjamas so there is also some catchy pop melodies hidden in there somewhere. "Never Too Late" and "Outside my Front Door" have a bit of 60's psych rock touch and a few others as well. Once I got used to the bit primitive sound of the album I started to like it a lot. This is sort of loner psych stuff for the 2020's, I guess. Very Nice! The album was already released last summer and I bet most of the 100 copies are already gone but with any luck you might still be able to score a copy.

perjantai 26. maaliskuuta 2021

Euphemia Rise - Farewell to Greatness


Euphemia Rise is an experimental alternative music by songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Wim Lankriet from Belgium. Some of you might remember Wim from his previous projects Magdalena Solis and Syrenomelia that I have also reviewed. Mr. Lankriet is also a visual artist with a long expertice in music videos and his music also has a rather cinematic, atmospheric vibe.

This self-released digital single includes two very well produced songs. Farewell to Greatness is an original inspired by memories of Wim's  teenage years and student life. It's a short (2:51) but bitter-sweet song with a dark and melancholic vibe. I like it a lot! The second track is a cool and fresh take on Pink Floyd's psychedelic folk masterpiece "Cirrus Minor"! I have heard it covered before but this must be the most intimate and haunting version so far. Superb and sublime! I hope Wim can put out a whole album with this new project of his since this sounds really great. You can download the EP free from Bandcamp. Check it out!

torstai 25. maaliskuuta 2021

Dr. Space - Lost in the Space Time Continuum

 Space Rock Productions (SPR070CD)

Like many other musicians, Scott Heller aka Dr. Space has been active making home-recordings during the pandemic when he has not been able to gig with his band Øresund Space Collective or other groups he's involved in. Lost in the Space Time Continuum is already his third solo album within one year and there have also been releases by Doctors of Space (with Martin Weaver) and the Dr Space's Cosmic Alliances: Volume One - Deep Space Day Trip compilation released to raise money for his new studio in Portugal.

Lost in the Space Time Continuum is an abstract, experimental and ambient trip into the cosmos. There are seven tracks completely done with synthesizers. They are pretty simple and mostly recorded live with some overdubs but definitely get you "out there somewhere" whan you close your eyes and surrender yourself to the spacey atmosphere. Some of them are pretty droney but there are also some arpeggios and sequences to offer some melodic and rhythmic content. I know Scott has been listening to a lot of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schultze lately and it somehow resonates on this album. Personally I prefer the tracks with hypnotic sequences going on, it's always a pleasure. The music is totally instrumental apart from the last track "Shane's Aura" where Scott gives a narration. All in all, a very enjoyable, trippy and spacey album! I remember when Scott for the first time made sounds with a Moog synthesizer on Dark Sun's rehearsal space in 1999, the expression on his face definitely told me that he had found something special right then and there... Keep on spacing out, Dr. Space!

The CD is limited to just 100 copies and will be released on May the 6th. Presale started today at Sapphire Records! 

tiistai 23. maaliskuuta 2021

Release date for Astral Magic - Visions of Infinity!


My first official solo album Astral Magic - Visions of Infinity will be released on May the 6th! The presale starts on March the 25th on Dark Sun Bandcamp site and Sapphire Records site.

The album will be released on two limited edtions: 150 copies on digipak CD and  250 copies on marbled/coloured vinyl. Both will be hand-numbered, and the vinyl version also comes with a Bandcamp download code! Of course you can also buy a digital download from Bandcamp.

The nine songs on this release are some of the first I wrote and recorded one year ago when I started this solo project. My good, old friend Scott Heller offered to help on mixing and even got his guitarist friend, the legendary Martin Weaver (ex-Dark, ex-Wicked Lady etc.) to record some amazing guitar tracks for most of the songs! The next natural step of course was the decision to release this album on Scott's and Sabine's record label in Germany...
This heavy space rock album will be quite different to the more electronic stuff I've been putting out on Bandcamp but I continuously make various kinds of psychedelic music, so... You will see!
All Peace to You, Galactic Brothers and Sisters,
Dj Astro

Neon Heart - Temporaria


Neon Heart is an experimental, improvisational and psychedelic Krautrock group from Sweden. I have previously reviewed their first album over here. When we use the term Krautrock here it is a pretty loose description but some of the tracks do bring to mind Can a bit, not so much any other legendary Kraut acts. The saxophone also gives a lot of jazzy mood to the music. In addition to drums, bass and electric guitar there is also an electronic viola player to give more colour to the aural assaults.

Most of the stuff is pretty laid back or mid-tempo, but the last, hypnotic track "Slå dig ner" is faster with a sort of "motorik" beat. It is also my favourite Most of the music has weird vocals in Swedish which fits in the vibe perfectly. Neon Heart seem to have a style of their own and their sound is is pretty unique I think. I bet many people who enjoy improvised kraut/jazz/psych rock will find this album very interesting. There is a limited CD release by the band and the album will also soon be released on vinyl by the great Adansonia Records in Germany!