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tiistai 27. huhtikuuta 2021

Saturnia - Stranded in the Green

 Sulatron Records (st 2102)

It's definitely no secret that I've been a big fan of Saturnia for the last 20 years. I think I have reviewed all the albums as well. I've also been in contact with Luis Simões since the beginning although we have never met in person. It was close once when I was visiting Portugal a few years ago and only later heard that he was recording a new album close by... Oh well, maybe one day. Our relationship got deeper when he recorded sitar, tabla, gong, tambourine and tampura for my instrumental Astral Magic track "Shining Ice" (his title, by the way) released on the brand-new CD The Chosen Ones. He made the track so much better... Anyway, Saturnia is definitely one of the best psychedelic acts I know and Stranded in the Green is the latest, eighth album by the multi-instrumentalist Simões and his first one on the great Sulatron Records.


Stranded in the Green, released on vinyl and CD, has seven new tracks.  The early albums also included elements of electronic music, but this is not the case anymore. The opener "Pan Arrives" is a a short occult intro into the hypnotic, groovy psych rock masterpiece "Keep It Long". Sitar and soft, cool vocals are some of the trademarks of Luis and that's what you get here as well. I really like the rhythms, synths effects and backwards guitar solo too, of course. Excellent! "Fibonacci Numbers" is a bit more chilled out, affair with some early 70s Pink Floyd vibe. "Smoking in the Sun" is even slower, very dreamy and wonderful piece that is simple but very effective and trippy. "When I'm High" starts off with some beautiful piano and the mellotron, nice vocals, psych effects and everything else makes it a really great song. "Supernatural" is the longest piece on the album at almost 14 minutes. It starts off as a pieceful folk song with acoustic guitar, bird-song and atmospheric vocals etc. Amazing! The song has three different parts all very mesmerising and up-lifting. I love the synths and keyboards on this one as well. After the eight-minute-marker the track speeds up and I'm getting some early 70s prog rock vibes, wonderful. This must be one of the best Saturnia tracks ever, it is just perfect! The album is finished with "Butterfly Collector" that sounds like a lost track from Obscured by the Clouds sessions (but maybe better...). What a magical way to end this marvellous album! It is only April but I can safely say that Stranded in the Green will be one of the best albums of 2021.


maanantai 26. huhtikuuta 2021

Doctors of Space - Covid Sessions



Covid Sessions is the second album by the duo Doctors of Space from Portugal. The duo is formed by Astral Magic collaborators Martin Weaver (guitars, bass, beats, ex-Dark & Wicked Lady) and Scott Heller (synthesizers, Øresund Space Collective etc.). They released this album already on Bandcamp last year and here's my review, but now it is also available on limited CD (100 copies only!) with extra tracks and new, better artwork!

I recommend you to buy the CD if you like improvised, psychedelic and spacey freak-outs. Be sure to also check out the recent Roadburn Redux show the band did and just added to their Bandcamp site since it rocks!


tiistai 13. huhtikuuta 2021

Aural Hallucinations - Hearing What You Want to See



Hearing What You Want to See is the second album by Portuguese space project Aural Hallucinations. The project features Matt (ex-Elder) on multiple instruments (Synths, guitar, drums, bass, vocals) and Dr Space (Øresund Space Collective, Black Moon Circle, Doctors of Space) on synthesizer and mixing with Luís Antero contributing some field recordings . You can check out my review of their debut album over here. This is a very trippy, spaced-out ambient affair and soon released on very limited (100 copies only) CD. 

Scott aka Dr Space has done some cool narration at the beginning to add a story to the very experimental, weird soundscapes. This is very cool! I wish they would be some at the end as well. For Bandcamp the individual pieces of this 78-minute, continuous journey have been divided for four long tracks, parts 1 - 4. There is also a little bit of beat in there somewhere, but mostly we float in ambient space for the whole journey. I hope this album will also see a 2LP treatment one of these days, it sounds great.

keskiviikko 7. huhtikuuta 2021


Astral Magic - The Chosen Ones pre-sale started on Bandcamp! The album will be released on May the 7th on strictly limited edition CD of JUST 100 copies. The cost of the 80 min CD is 10€ + postage. You can of course purchase a digital download as well for only 7€.
This album features several best tracks from the previous digital-only releases (all remastered and edited, some remixed) and loads of great new tracks. Mostly on the electronic side, but there is also good old space rock, krautrock, mystical ethnic vibes etc.
The guests on this album are Jonathan Segel, Luis Simões, Fred Laird, Kimi Kärki and Pete Bingham...
You can already stream four of the new tracks and a few old ones and download them upon purchase!
There is also a link to pre-save the album on Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music: