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sunnuntai 10. joulukuuta 2017

Sendelica - Cromlech Cronicles II

Strange Fish (strange fish 10)

Welsh psych heads Sendelica returned in summer 2016 to Mwnci studio beside the ancient burial cromlech in West Wales. One year before they came up with the magical Cromlech Chronicles album (check out my review) and this is a natural successor to that great album. Like usual, they invited some friends with them and the instrumentation is now even more varied than usual with lots of cello, saxophone, Tibetan singing bowls, shaman drums, sansula, ting sha, mbira etc. Although the album is almost instrumental, there is also female chanting in Sanskrit, for example! As you might have guessed, the overal atmosphere on the album is very ambient, laid-back and atmospheric, and there is actually NO hard space rocking at all. I can live with that, since the album has a sacred, ancient and mystical vibe that I really enjoy. If you liked the guitar player Pete's recent The Fellowship of Hallucinatory Voyagers project, you will also dig this for sure.

There are only two, side-long tracks on the album: "Ripples of the Megaliths" and "Even Though My Mouth Is Silent". Both are based on improvisation and flow somewhere in ether like some mystical tides from the past. The electronics enhance the spacey mood. It's all very soft, melancholic, sort of jazzy and ethereal and there is not much guitar to be heard. All in all, if you want to chill out and float in magical atmospheres, this album is for you.

The Pretty Things - The Same Sun 7" EP

Fruits de Mer Records (crustacean 83)

The Pretty Things are of course one of the most legendary survivors of the 60's UK r'n'b/beat/mod/freakbeat/psych scene and, as it happens, Fruits de Mer boss Keith's favourite band. The Pretties are still going strong and I must say that their performance at Roadburn Festival in 2013 was one of the best and most memorable that year. I will always remember when I wished Dick Taylor a great gig just when he was going up from the backstage area to stage and received a heartly smile and a very polite English thank you... What a great moment!

Anyway, what we have here is a four-track 7" EP. Things (!) start off with Keith's fave song from the new album The Sweet Pretty Things (Are In Bed Now, Of Course...). "The Same Sun" is a really nice, mid-tempo hard rocker that brings to mind their Parachute album a bit. I also love the vocals that really give some perspective to being a human being. It doesn't matter where you are on planet Earth, it's still the same Sun we all see, although it is seen through different eyes. Great vocals and solo guitar work as well! Yes Keith, you were right: this IS a single track for sure! The other studio track is the wonderful "Renaissance Fair" originally released by The Human Instinct in 1968. The original 7" is now very collectable and expensive and it's easy to understand why! I love The Pretty Things version too, of course. On the B-side we've got two raw and energetic live tracks somewhere from the late 60s: "She Says Good Morning" and "Alexander". I wish I could have seen the band back then but I wasn't even born yet! Great stuff.

torstai 7. joulukuuta 2017

Moths and Locusts - Intro / Outro

Cardinal Fuzz / Noiseagonymayhem Records (CF080 / NAM 032)

I found out about this great Canadian band last year when their second album Helios Rising was released. I was so convinced that I just had to get their debut album Mission Collapse in the Twin Sun Megaverse as well. That was another killer slab of vinyl! This band had something different going on, something of their own. Unlike so many other bands riding on the psych rock bandwagon Moths and Locusts did indeed sound original and different. There were also elements of indie rock and punk that I usually don't really care for that much, but this band made everything sound great. You can imagine that I was really looking forward to their third album Intro / Outro and oh buy how pleased I'm now that I've got it!

This album sees the band going deeper into the space/psych rock realm still keeping some of their great melodies and catchy songs. The music is now much more trippy, spacey and hallucinatory, which is just perfect for me. They have not lost any of their originality, but I am sometimes reminded of bands like Lumerians making hybrid babies with Chrome. There is a powerful, otherwordly experimental vibe on some of the tracks like "Hymn to Hathor". The album starts off with the hypnotic and mid-tempo "Acid Cloud (Part 1)" that gets more intense little by little. I like the use of wordless female vocals on this one and a couple of more. You can also hear some proggy flute on some tracks, for example. Some of my favourites are the heavy "Strange Space" and the krautrock / stoner hybrid "Acid Cloud (Part 2)" that also gets rather heavy and simply fucks up your brain. There are also some beautiful, celestial moments like the instrumental "Scream" and semi-acoustic "Roadside". But everything sounds at least a bit weird and twisted, believe me... "He Who Has the Most Strings" includes one of the dirtiest bass sounds I've heard for a while and the weird, experimental last track "Martian Sunrise" sounds exactly like its title suggets. This album might not be for everyone, but for me it's one of the best in 2017. Check it out if you dare!

tiistai 5. joulukuuta 2017

Electric Orange - EOXXV

Adansonia Records (ar021)

Electric Orange from Germany have been celebrating their 25th birthday in 2017 and this massive 3LP box set / 2CD full of previously unreleased studio material is the highlight of the year. I've been a big fanboy of their cosmic, psychedelic krautrock sounds since the beginning and I'm happy to say they have only gotten better and better along the years. The 3LP version has one long track on each side and the 2CD has one more track that is also available on the download of the vinyl version.

The album starts off with the 23-minute "Continuum" that gives us a flight to some spacey alternative universe through a warmhole. It's a very trippy, hypnotic mysterious ride that I enjoy very much! "Under the Nun" is a bit shorter at 16 minutes, and has a cool laid-back groove going on until things get pretty weird and experimental. There is some more grooving later on, though. The 2CD and download now continue with the ambient piece "Gnosis" where tons of sacred information is being transmitted directly into your brain. "Misophonia IV" is another rather atmospheric, laid-back number but also has a tribal beat later on. "Misophonia V" pretty much continues the journey and I'm somehow reminded of Pink Floyd's live show in Pompeii although the sound is more modern here of course. "Faint" builds up slowly and turns into a real mind-bender with groovy rhythms, cosmic synth layers and electronic sounds. It even rocks hard at the beginning! Wow. It's nice to have some more guitar in the mix for a change. The last track "Residuum" is very ambient and floating for the first eight minutes or so but slowly grows. What can I say, these guys really know how to transport the listener into some strange, far-away galaxies. Just take it easy, pay attention and surrender to the cosmic captains. One of the best albums this year for sure!

perjantai 24. marraskuuta 2017

Into the Sky - Before the Storm 7"

Kosmic Noise Records (KNR001)

Into the Sky is a new indie/kraut rock band from  from Münster, Germany and this 7" is their first release. This is not exactly what I consider to be krautrock but still very nice, atmospheric, modern sounding instrumental post-rock stuff with some hypnotic elements. On the A side "The Storm" rocks out in a mellow, mid-tempo manner. I'm reminded of some of the big post-rock bands like Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai or maybe Maserati. I really like the vibe of this tune! On the flip side we've got the slower. even more post-rock styled "Before" that has beautiful melodies and moods. Towards the end the track gets more intense and heavier, great! This is very promising debut release by Into the Sky, let's wait and see what they can do on a full-length where they will have more time to expand their sonic palette. The single is available as a limited to 50 clear and 100 white vinyl and standard black vinyl. Check it out! 


sunnuntai 19. marraskuuta 2017

Dj Astro's playlist @ Alakulttuuritalo, Helsinki, 18.11.2017 (Black Lizard, Tombstoned)

It was a long, wonderful night! This is pretty much what I played (I probably forgot a few tunes):

Fifty Foot Hose - Red the Sign Post
Kraftwerk - Autobahn
13th Floor Elevators - Slip Inside This House
Goat - Goat Fuzz
The Who - I Can See for Miles
Hawkwind - Motorhead
Dead Skeletons - Om Mani Peme Hung
Jimi Hendrix - Purple Haze
Uriah Heep - Easy Living
Kikagaku Moyo - Green Sugar
The Chemistry Set - Legend of a Mind
Saturnia - Most Beautiful
Aphrodite's Child - Magic Mirror
The Illusion - Did You See Her Eyes
Kula Shaker - Tattva
Minami Deutsch - Futsu Ni Ikirenai
Octopus Syng - Reverberating Garden No. 7
Jefferson Airplane - Somebody to Love
The Rolling Stones - Child of the Moon
Lumerians - Dogon Genesis
Polska Radio One - The Fractalized Sky
Kingston Wall - I Feel Love
Dungen - Panda
Temples - Colours to Life
Cream - Sunshine of Your Love
The Rolling Stones - Jumpin' Jack Flash
Superfjord - A Love Supreme
Aphrodite's Child - The Four Horsemen
Ultimate Spinach - Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse
Roky Erickson - Two Headed Dog
The Third Bardo - I'm Five Years Ahead of My Time
The Open Mind - Magic Potion
Wooden Shjips - I Hear Vibrations
Hawkwind - Hassan I Sabbah
Baby Woodrose - Right to Get High
The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows
Love - Andmoreagain
Porcupine Tree - Sentimental
Strange Flowers - Of Green and of Milk

perjantai 17. marraskuuta 2017

Dark Bottle - Five Euro Pizza, Dark Bottle / New York Wannabes - Split 7"

Independent Records ‎(IR43979)

Okay, this must be the funniest and also one of the weirdest vinyl albums I've ever received for a review... The LP cover is designed to look like a pizza box and the picture disc has pictures of both sides of a standard Finnish five euro pizza! Dark Bottle is a band from Tampere playing an eccentric mix of folk, rock, county, rockabilly, kraut, psych and even doom! Most of the seven songs are written by the lead singer, five-string banjo and resonator guitar player Donald Lupo and tell about the funny things you see and experience in Finland as a foreigner... You really have to be a Finn or at least have lived here for some time to fully understand the hilarious lyrics on tracks like "Ballad of the Five Euro Pizza", "Perusulkomaalainen Blues" & "Bad Brownie #14"... The music is mostly rather up-beat and would go down well live with some beer & whiskey (and maybe pizza...).
What's most interesting for me is that in addition to the funny, energetic folk rock the band  also has a deeper, melancholic and even psychedelic vibes. The first sign of this is the A side's seven minute closer "Nothing Ever Happens on the Highway" that gets rather heavy towards the end. Also the otherwise pretty country rock oriented "I Only Wanted a Home" has a psychy, heavy middle part. The highlight for me still is the eight-minute rendition of the traditional "Pretty Polly". It gets rather hypnotic, mind-expanding and rocking at some point bringing to mind Circle even! Very nice. It would be interesting to see these guys live one of these days.

  I also received a 7" split EP by Dark Bottle and German band New York Wannabes. It includes two songs by both at 33 1/3 rpm. Dark Bottle's "Road Dust" is a fast folk/punk/pop tune that makes your adrenaline levels rise. "Way Down the Old Plank Road" is an old traditional American folk song about (not) drinking (anymore) and it's another fast blast to get you buying another pint or two. The two-piece New Your Wannabes are a bit more trashy garage rock psycho blues group from Frankfurt. For this little split recording they offer two tracks: "Dear Father" and "Out in the Desert". Just guitar, drums and vocals with no fancy overdubs. Pure and simple, but not exactly my cup of tee. Not bad, though.