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lauantai 28. elokuuta 2021

Kev Ellis and the Space Cadets - The Silent Band

 Self-released / The Electric Salac Co.

Kev is a singer, harmonica player and psych/space rock veteran from Portsmouth, UK. Some of you might remember him from the great psych/space/blues rock band Dr. Brown who were active from late 80s to early 00s. They also did an album together with Nick Salomon (The Bevis Frond) as Dr. Frond. Kev has been active on the UK psych/space festival scene ever since with various bands. He's also part of the Spirits Burning collective and we did the title track of their Alien Injection album together. I have previously reviewed his 2014 solo album Space Cadet as well as the excellent Dubbal album The Return of the Lonesome Traveller last year. The Silent Band was recorded, mixed and mastered by Kev himself last year during the lockdown, since there was no way of playing live gigs with a band.

All the instruments are played by Kevin who of course also does the vocals. The only exception is the long (18:51), hypnotic opener Tortoise, where Steve Plummer plays lots of vary tasty and cool wah guitar. The rest of the nine tracks are a lot shorter, ranging from 1:27 to 6:31 in length. The music is a cool mix of electronica, dub and space rock and I enjoy the album a lot.  Kev has a great, soulful voice that is a pleasure to listen to. His harmonica gives some of the tracks a more bluesy vibe too. There are also some more relaxed moments ("Far Sawney Part 1 & 2") and a beautiful space ballad "To the Stars" in the middle. My favourite probably is the mysterious "Messages in the Sky", but I do like all the tracks. All in all, this is very cool album that sounds great for a self-made home production. The album is also available as a limited edition CD you can onlyi get through Kev's Bandcamp site. I'm also thrilled to announce that Kev and Dr. Brown guitarist Stefan Olesinski will be taking part in my Astral Magic project contributing vocals and guitar for the electronic space rock album The Third Eye! Can't wait...


maanantai 23. elokuuta 2021

New Astral Magic albums released!

Things have been very quiet here, sorry for that. I just use all my free time writing and recording new music and trying to find labels to release it... A few new reviews should be done soon, though.

Anyway, I've been too busy to even mention the latest Astral Magic albums, so here they are.


Ode to the Stars was put together fast for the previous Bandcamp Friday. It's one of those more experimental, trippy ambient albums only featuring myself. I like it a lot! No physical version is planned at the moment, but let's see.




Shadows over Jupiter is an album I'm really proud of! It's the first fruit from my collaboration with the very talented multi-instrumentalist and producer Jay Tausig from Northern California. We've been in contact over the years but only started to collaborate a couple of months ago and it's been great! I have also contributed to some of his tracks. Jay plays drums, guitar, sax and flute and even sings a little bit of backing vocals on the title track. He also did the mastering job.

This is a really interesting album as a whole. Most of the tracks were originally recorded already last year but Jay added his magic to a great effect. "Cult of the Dead" and "The Gateway Experience" are brand-new. We've got some psych/space rock as well as more shoegaze oriented stuff. Fred Laird (ex-Earthling Society, Taras Bulba) is also playing some cool drone guitar on the long and hypnotic "Heaven on Earth".

I'm really looking forward to a limited tape release on Weird Beard, should be available soon! I also wish for an LP release, let's see...

I'm also really happy that Fruits de Mer decided to release Astral Magic's "Stars Above" (feat. Gregory Curvey on guitar) from their Birds of a Feather compilation CD as a limited lathe cut 7" split with my good friends Doctors of Space! There are only 80 copies available and all gone in advance, I'm afraid.

 As it always is with Astral Magic, that is not even half of it... I also have a new electronic album with Jonathan Segel ready called A Trip to Alpha Centauri. It was supposed to be released on tape in Misophonia but the label sadly closed and the release was deleted. It might see the light of day on one other label, fingers crossed! If not, I'll release it myself at least on Bandcamp. There are also 5/6 other albums I'm working on, more info soon...