Listen to Astral Visions Podcast

tiistai 24. syyskuuta 2013

My next dj gigs

I will be spinning some psychy, spacey discs again at the following events in Helsinki:

Ufomammut (ITA) & Talbot (EST), 10.10.2013 @ Kuudes Aisti.
www.facebook.com/events/178696715643516/

Supermassive Festival (Circle etc.) 18. - 19.10.2013 @ Äänivalli.
supermassive.fi

Should be fun!!!

maanantai 23. syyskuuta 2013

Super Distortion: Sun Power

Pointy Bird Records
Super Distortion is mostly a solo project by Pete Bradley from the Isle of White in the UK. His influences include for example Tame Impala, Neil Young, The Beatles, Syd Barrett, Hawkwind, The Fall and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and you can hear all that in his folk/prog/pop/rock. I have reviewed his stuff before, and this time he sent me a promo CD single of a three-track web download that’s available from his Bandcamp site for just one pound. That’s cheap! “Sun Power” is the “A-side” on this single, and this is the heaviest track with some very fuzzy distorted guitars and heavy organ. This mid-tempo rocker has a nice, Led Zeppelin-like groove and great vocals as well. I like the music and the message too! The two-minute “Smiles” is a sunny, whimsical, simple, mostly acoustic folk song, and the last track “Let Go to the Cool Radiation” a bit more rocking, groovy song that sounds a bit like The Verve of Lenny Kravitz or something. They might play this on your local radio channel, no doubt about that, since this is a pretty cool, catchy song with some pop melodies but dirty, fuzzy guitar sound. Very nice!
 
 

Toner Low: III

Roadkill Recordz (RKR 23)
For some strange reason I have not heard the previous albums (I & II) by this ultra-heavy, psychedelic, down-tuned doom/stoner rock band from the Netherlands, but their latest offering really kills. The cool cover is all covered with marihuana leaves and has all the text printed in the in a very nice way so that you don’t immediately see it at all. There’s also an obi strip and a sticker to boost. The double vinyl version looks even more amazing...
 
There are four long tracks on the album, starting from “Phase Six” and ending in “Phase Nine”. Not sure what happened to the previous phases or if they ever even existed. The tracks on the previous album II were labeled “One”, “Two”, “Five” and “Three”, so maybe there is some kind of a continuum in here. The first track is faster (well, in doom terms), grinding and crushing heaviness somewhere along the lines of Sleep, High on Fire. Conan, Bongripper, Electric Wizard, Ufomammut, Phased etc. The sound is extremely heavy but not at all muddy as it sometimes is the case with this kind of bands. What an amazing, mind-blowing and numbing trip with harsh vocals! “Phase Seven” is very slow, gloomy and heavy stuff for five minutes, then there’s a lighter, more peaceful moment but next we’re in the middle of these crushingly heavy killer riffs again, and some insane, warped sound effects are added. Weird, scary shit… Luckily the next phase starts off as a peaceful organ drone and slowly builds up like many meditative Om songs. It gets heavier along the way, but stays hypnotic and repetitive. “Phase Nine” is the longest clocking in at 17:47. It’s almost instrumental (apart from some church choir styled voices in the background at one point) and I feel totally numb after listening to it. This is slow, heavy and crushing stuff until the five last minutes, when the track starts to fade out slowly and there’s only some quiet piano left. If you listen to this album at high volume, your mind will start to melt. One of the recent land-mark albums in this genre, for sure.
 
 

torstai 19. syyskuuta 2013

Fungus Liver: S/T

Mikrofoni (006)
Fungus Liver is a wild, hard, dark, punky and energetic rock band from Tampere, Finland, and this is their second album. There’s some Motörhead, Hellacopters, AC/DC, MC5 and the Stooges in their sound and the music that now also incorporates some stoner/psych/doom influences seriously kicks ass. The guys have some strange and scary hobbies like cutting of their toes and eating them and shooting with shotguns. There are nine tracks on the LP and some of them are a bit longer: the stoner rock influenced “Black Hand Hails” (7:16), heavy Southern boogie “Sodom Mansion” (6:18) and the last, most psychedelic track “Ayr Dreams” (10:40) that I really enjoy. Some of the shorter songs are pretty straight forward fast, hard rocking punk, but I’m glad that they also have these groovy stoner rock vibes at times. This is quite impressive, actually. The singer has a harsh rock’n’roll voice reminiscent of Lemmy, and it works very well in this kind of music. The album is available on vinyl and as a download.
 
 

King County Queens: Ladies & Gentlemen, Your

Green Monkey Records (GM 1018)
King Country Queens is a new band formed by four music veterans from Seattle. One of the Scott’s (there are three of those in the band) also plays with their label mates The Green Pajamas and used to play in Chemistry Set like another Scott, the thirds Scott plays in Half Light. Their rather radio-friendly music is a nice combination of psychedelia, power pop, showgaze & garage rock. They say their influences are The Church, Television, Buzzcocks, Charlatans UK, The Jam, The Standells, Black Sabbath and The Who. The first track “Words I Can See” immediately reminded me of the great psych pop of the late UK band The Magic Mushroom Band, so not bad at all! “Krautrock!” is not exactly kraut rock, but a very nice song anyway (just check the video below). “Kids on the Farm” evokes same kind of feelings than Neil Young, and so do some other tracks as well. “Kelp Whip” is melodic indie rock/pop. There are 12 tracks in total, and they’re all rather short. The longest track is the final, atmospheric and melancholic “A Tide of String” at 5:10. The psychedelic elements are quite subtle so you can listen to this album without blowing your mind. Good or bad, you decide. The guitar work sometimes sounds a bit like The Bevis Frond or Dinosaur Jr., which is definitely a good thing. Nice melodies and good songs, but nothing spectacular here I think. You can download the album for free unless you want to buy the CD, 100 first copies are autographed.
 

keskiviikko 18. syyskuuta 2013

Albinö Rhino: Return of the Goddess

Bad Road (BR #06)
There seems to be a whole wave of new Finnish stoner, sludge & doom bands going on, and Albinö Rhino is one of the most promising ones. They play a heavy, slow, hypnotic and psychedelic kind of stoner rock/metal that has elements of both Om and Sleep but also lots more. The vocals are also rather varied from melodic and narrative to shrieking and even some growling when needed. This CD is their first official release and includes four tracks in 34 minutes, so I guess you could call it a mini album or a pretty long EP. The first track “Master Kush” tells us right away about one of the biggest influences and has great riffs and Om-like mantra vocals. I like the way they combine heavy, distorted guitars with lighter guitars with delay and reverb. They also use some spacey effects to enhance the mind-blowing quality of their music which is great. You just can’t help banging your head to this great track that lasts for over 11 minutes! The doomier, slower “Return of the Goddess” gets closer to Reverend Bizarre, who have had a massive impact on Finnish doom scene. Excellent! Then we have a song called “Mazar!” that uses narrative vocals and has a sleepy, druggy feel. Just close your eyes and slip into the vortex… Towards the end you might wake up when the going gets more intense in the High on Fire style. The last track “Nothern Lights” (another hint towards their great love) is a nice, mid-tempo stoner rocker in the spirit of Black Sabbath and also has some Slavic sounding, melancholic guitar melodies. The sound quality is a bit muddy but I suppose that’s what they wanted. The music and playing is excellent and this band also blows you mind live so check them out!
 
 

Jahrtal: Reprisen und Instrumentalstvecke

Merlin’s Nose Records (MN 1005)
This is a CD-R release of a very limited tape that was originally released on Sloow Tapes in 2009. I have not previously heard about Jahrtal but it’s mostly a solo project by Ewald Spiss from Germany. He has released underground music since 1999, it seems. The music is very fragile, beautiful, timeless and acoustic psych/neo/minstrel/acid folk with a strong nature vibe. There are 18 tracks (some bonus tracks) in 54 minutes, so most of the pieces are quite short, but they flow into each other forming a very enjoyable, soothing whole. The main instrument is guitar, but there are more stringed instruments like (perhaps) mandolin, banjo, zither, sitar, violin and some organ, harmonium and effects, bird-sing etc. There are lots of nice, tender melodies but also plenty of heady drone. I enjoy this album very much, and I’m sure so will you if you like stuff like In Gowan Ring. This music will take you to the middle of a forest and recharge your inner energy. We do need that from time to time.
 
 

tiistai 17. syyskuuta 2013

The Lone Crows: S/T

World in Sound (WIS-3018)
The Lone Crows is a new band from the USA releasing their debut album on German label World in Sound like for example Flying Eyes have done before them. I guess there is no interest in the USA to release 60s/70s styled heavy blues rock with some psych influences, but in Germany this style still seems to be popular enough. Well okay, The Lone Crows first released their debut in the US last year, but anyway. Personally, I don’t find this band that interesting but they still do a pretty good job at what they do. There are four young guys in the line-up, Julian, Andy, Tim and Joe. The album has a rather spontaneous, fresh feel and some of the stuff has been improvised in the studio and I do like that. Some of the songs are pretty standard heavy blues, some have a groovier edge and there’s even some Santana (“Heard You Call”) or Hendrix (“The Ghost”) vibes in there. The first song “Lone Crow” rocks out a bit in the stoner rock vein. Tim recorded the album as his final project in Minneapolis Community and Technical College Sound Arts Labs and did a pretty swell job. This is definitely nothing you haven’t heard before for many decades now, but on the other hand I feel it’s pretty cool that young guys want to play this kind of music in this time and age.
 
  

Buddha Sentenza: South Western Lower Valley Rock

World in Sound (WIS-3017)
Well this is a surprising album. At first the band seems like an average, instrumental, progressive heavy stoner rock band that also uses some keyboards, but as the album progresses they get more psychedelic and interesting. Not that they were all bad at the beginning either… Buddha Sentenza from Germany have prior to this full-length CD/LP released one, limited edition CD in 2009. I have not heard this Mode0909 release, and it’s now sold-out. The band has been inspired by both Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd, and they have heavy rocking riffs as well as floating, outer-space elements in their music.
 
There are 14 tracks on the CD, but half of them are just short intros before every actual track entitled “Alpha”, “Beta” etc. The vinyl version only names the actual tracks. The heavier, psychedelic stoner rock styled tracks are the slowly building “Time Wave Zero”, “Arrested Development”, “Spanish Revenge (Hieronimo Is Mad Again)” that also has some more atmospheric parts and “Tzameti”. You will enjoy these pieces if you dig bands like Monkey 3, Colour Haze, Causa Sui, Karma to Burn etc. “The Monkey Stealing the Peaches” is also more up-beat and progressive, but not that heavy and even has some jazzy edge. Okay, maybe not that special but still quite nice. What really makes this album dear and special to me are the rest of the tracks, though. “Debris Moon” is a rather quiet, peaceful, spacy and ultra-hypnotic trip that takes you to other worlds for almost nine minutes. Excellent! My second favourite is the last number that is suitably called “Psychonaut”. Like “Depris Moon”, it’s quiet, peaceful and dreamy and also includes some violin, percussion and nice, spacey effects. I hope they will do more stuff like this in the future!
 

Paradise 9: Take Me to the Future

P9Recordings (P9CD009)
The self-labelled space-core / psychedelic / space-rock /post-punk / ambient band Paradise 9 have been around for several years now and they have also released a few CD EP’s on their own, but this is their first full-length album. One reviewer described their sound as Hawkwind meets Joe Strummer and he pretty much hit the nail there. Although some of the songs sound more like The Stranglers of something. Especially the vocals sound rather punky most of the time, but the music is rather spacey and psychedelic. I’m reminded of Nik Turner’s old band Inner City Unit or the 90’s space-core band Omnia Opera who have recently reformed. Paradise 9 are equally able to write punky, energetic and rocking songs with social or political messages (“Digital Signs”, “Nothing for Tomorrow”, “State of the Nation”, “Is This the Time”) and beautiful, melodic space ballads (like the amazing “Crystalized Moments”, that’s one of my favourites, the instrumental “Ocean Rise” and the optimistic, wonderful and semi-acoustic “Distant Dreams”). They also play around with dub and reggae (“Kosmonaut”, the Gong-like “Times like These”).
 
One of the highlights is the long, hypnotic jam track “Point of View” that sounds like something that Hawkwind might have done in 1976-1978. I really like the space synth sounds that are all over the album. The lead singer/guitarist Gregg McKella also plays some very nice clarinet which adds a lot to some of the tracks. The guest musicians include the late, great Judge Trev who apparently helped the band a lot before he sadly passed away a few years ago as well as Trev’s old ICU band mate Nik Turner (ex-Hawkwind), who plays sax and flute on the last, 12:27-long song called “Take Me to the Future” that’s pure psychedelic space rock bliss after its ambient beginning. Amazing! I really advice you to buy this album and also check this band out live, preferably at some great U.K. festival during the summer season…
 
 

maanantai 16. syyskuuta 2013

Vespero: Droga

R.A.I.G. Records (R079)
On their previous album Subkraut: U-Boats Willkommen Hier this Russian instrumental progressive psych rock band clearly went into the hypnotic kraut/space rock direction, but this new album Droga sees them embrace the more progressive/avant-garde/experimental style again. I like everything they’ve done so far, so no problem really… For as long as they stay highly psychedelic, of course. This is their fourth studio album and they have also released a few live albums and a split album with Zone Six and a split single with Temple Music.

The CD comes in a cardboard silkscreen folder and includes nine tracks. The long opener “Steppe” starts off in a very mystical, laid-back style but starts to move around the four-minute-marker getting quite busy and progressive. The spacey synthesizer sounds still give it a psychedelic/space rock vibe. “Maui” is a bit lighter, more atmospheric and melodic track with Mellotron, cello and stuff but it’s also rather fast. It reminds me of some of the U.K. progsters, old and new. “Red Pitfalls” is mellower, very enjoyable stuff with its effected guitar work, spacey synth sounds, groovy rhythm and Mellotron. It gets more intense later on and then rather jazzy… “Oboo” utilizes sequencers and Ashra styled delay guitar and flute and has a floating mood quite similar to the Ozrics. Very nice! “Thymus” is more organ-based and progressive, and has lots of different moods and changes just like the next track “Halo” that also sees the band space rocking more intensively. The ending is more like King Crimson. “Marine” has at first some nice percussion work and atmospheric sounds like seagull voices but gets more intense later on with groovy rhythms and some killer solo guitar work. “Frozen Lilies (Melt in Heaven)” is a wonderful, synthesizer-oriented progressive track, and the title track “Droga” finishes off things in a laid-back, very psychedelic manner also including some saxophone adding a jazzy vibe to it. Another excellent album by this great Russian band!

www.facebook.com/Vesperomusic



torstai 12. syyskuuta 2013

Glowpeople: Things…

Specky Records (SPKY00025)
Glowpeople is a new loose instrumental collective from the U.K. that started in the Summer of 2010 and appeared on the U.K. festival scene in 2012 playing for example at Kozfest, Onboard the Craft and Unorthodox Paradox. Due to the musicians’ wide array of musical backgrounds their music is quiet hard to label. It seems to be at least mostly improvised, rather psychedelic, progressive, groovy and adventurous. Especially the trumpet player gives the band a quite jazzy feel and I really like that. One of the guys is playing guitar & effects, one keyboards, bleeps & loops, one drums & percussion and the last one bass. And they’re all very good! Some of the tracks like the dub-styled second track (either called “Metaphorical” or “Resound in H Flat”, it’s impossible to say for sure since the titles are written in such a circular manner…) definitely sounds like the early Ozric Tentacles dub jams. There’s some Gong in there as well for sure. They also have some spoken samples in some tracks which makes them more interesting. Some of the stuff could be called space rock, but it all has a nice jazzy vibe. One of the best tracks in my opinion is the second to last (“With You Without”) that has a sort of darker mood and lots of psychedelic space sounds. Also the last track “The Saddest Flower in the Vase” is really good and mind-expanding and I used it in one of my Astral Visions Radio Shows. There are seven nice tracks in 45 minutes making this a very enjoyable CD.
 

Spirits Burning & Clearlight: Healthy Music in Large Doses

Gonzo Multomedia (HST117CD)
The multi-national music project Spirits Burning led by American multi-instrumentalist Don Falcone keeps on releasing great CD’s. This time Don has also managed to get a couple of members of the legendary French prog-jazz rock group to join the fun, which perhaps gives this album a more jazzy feel than usual. The crew features 41 musicians in total (Daevid Allen, as always, members of Universal Totem Orchestra, several ex-Hawkwind members, Andy Anderson, Pete Pavli, Jay Tausig…), so the influences must be really widespread.
 
The 73-minute-long CD has 13 tracks on it. The music varies in between electronic (like the opener “Tresures at the Dawn of the Century”), jazzy prog rock (“Raised on Coal & Oil”, “Infinity City”, “Hand Signals & Daily Horoscopes” etc.), atmospheric floating (“Healing Power of Magnets”, “Travelling Sideways”, “The Kingdom of Music”, “Italian Lake”), more experimental soundscapes (“”The Road to Shave Ice”) and laid-back reggae (“Bring It Down”). Only two of the tracks have vocals: the fourth track “Infinite City” is sung in French by Cyrille Verdeaux (the end of the track sounds very much like 70’s Gong!) and the final piece “Bring It Down” and this makes those pieces to stand out a bit, but there are probably just as good instrumentals in there. The album includes a lot of great synth, keyboard and organ, quite a lot of horns and soaring, psychedelic guitar work which makes it very pleasurable and entertaining. Not that much psychedelic ingredients and no space rocking this time, but definitely a recommended release in any case.
 
 
 


Nummiranta & Takahahmot: S/T

Freakroots Records / Keittolevyt (FRRCD01)
Nummiranta & Takahahmot is an underground band from Porvoo, Finland. The band has been formed around the former solo performer Antti Nummiranta (guitar, vocals) who lives in Helsinki. The lineup features the legendary bass player and sound engineer Antti Hytti, who has played for example in the original lineup of Piirpauke and with Edward Vesala and Otto Donner. The drummer Janne Rouvinen used to play in a great psych rock band Mellow Yellow and he has also done electronic trance music (and accidentally used to be one of my best friends in childhood!), but I don’t know the other members Arto Nyblom (violin, backing vocals), Timo Palmgren (percussion, backing vocals, march drum). They play a bit folk oriented, mostly acoustic music that also has hints of jazz and world music, for example. “Lätkää räpylään” has a reggae beat, and “Oonkohän mä kyttä” is straight-forward semi-acoustic rock’n’roll, and some of the songs are pure traditional Finnish humppa (polka) music. Some of the stuff also sounds like children’s music (“Lumiukko”, “Jag Gillar My Fillar”). The lyrics in Finnish are rather hilarious… I’m sure the guys had a lot of fan recording and mixing this album. I’m sometimes reminded of the acoustic Tuomari Nurmio stuff. The best song is probably the summery, 70’s styled song “Hippihäät” (“Hippie Wedding” in English) that also has some flute. The last, march song “Joskus pitää katsoa peiliin” could very well be written by M.A. Numminen. This is quite an interesting package but I really doubt I will listen to this that often.

 www.facebook.com/takahahmot



Aaeeii: See You in Seattle

Vinyl Manor Recordings (VM1962)
Despite that the fact that Aaeeii was formed as early as 1981 by Jeff Larson and Johnny Vinyl, both ex-members of the punk-pop band The Missing Link, See You in Seattle is their first album. I guess their musical tastes haven’t really changed in over 30 years, as this music could still be labeled as punk-pop or post-punk with some experimental psych vibes, and there’s also a humorous vibe to it. I’m often reminded of bands like The Buzzcocks, The Stranglers, Magazine, The Dead Boys etc., but Aaeei still seems to have a sound of their own. Most of the tracks could have been written in 1978, but the sound is more modern. The lyrics have a retro-futuristic theme, which is almost always fun and cool if you ask me. They tell us about the 1962 Seattle Word Fair, which had a very futuristic approach. Apparently Johnny Vinyl experienced this exciting fair at the tender age of three, and the effects have been ever-lasting. At least there is a track on the CD called “Johnny Vinyl Went to the World’s Fair When He Was 3”! Other track titles include “World of Tomorrow”, “Spece Needle USA”, “U.S. Science Pavillion” and “Monorail”. Although I must admit I like post-punk and punk-pop to some degree, this is not exactly my kind of music. But still, I like most of the songs and find this CD pretty entertaining. I like the fact that there are also some keyboards in the mix, and the songs are varied and interesting enough.
 
 

tiistai 10. syyskuuta 2013

Soundtrap: Words Mean Nothing

Self-released CD-R
Soundtrap is a trio from Greece playing very nice, psychedelic and instrumental progressive space rock in the vein of Ozric Tentacles and the like. Drums and some of the bass are programmed, which gives the music a rather electronic feel. There are two guitar players and one of them also plays synths. Kozmic Ken told the band to send me a copy of this album and he sure knows what I like… This really is very enjoyable, sometimes groovy and trancey, sometimes more laid-back and floating ambient stuff with very good production and sound quality! I wonder why no-one has released this officially on CD or vinyl yet.

The 60-minute album has eight tracks and the last one is a Jarre cover (the bonus track “Oxygene (Live at Utopia”). “The Most Human Way to Kill” opens up the album and is one of my favourites. This is very hypnotic, powerful and trance-inducing, danceable stuff that sounds like Hidria Spacefolk, Ozric Tentacles or Korai Oröm. It has some nice, mesmerizing melodies as well. The longest (10:15) number is “Deep Blue Waterbubbles” that has some Ashra styled delay guitar and sounds a bit like Maserati. Another excellent track! “Reunion Sat” has some heavier guitar work and rocks out just like “Greed on Wheels”, that is almost metal. “Framed Herrings” is a psychedelic dub track in the vein of the Ozrics. “68 (Part I)” is lighter, celestial and beautiful stuff, and “68 (Part II)” at first electronic jungle music until in turns into heavy, hypnotic space rock reminding me of Taipuva Luotisuora. Great! The Jarre cover also works out great, so in summary this is a very good, psychedelic and spacey album that deserves a wider release!


Carpet: Elysian Pleasures

Electrohasch Schallplatten (Electrohasch 163)
Well this is a refreshing Electrohasch release in the middle of all the Kyuss-influenced stoner / desert rock bands. There’s nothing really heavy here, just psychedelic, inventive, adventurous, melodic and atmospheric progressive pop-jazz-rock. Carpet was formed in 2009 as a solo project of Maximilian Stephan in Ausburg, Germany, and has since grown into a full-blown band. Maximilian plays guitars, MiniMoog, clarinet and Mellotron and sings, the other members are Jakob Mader (drums, percussion, vibraphone etc.), Sigmund Perner (Rhodes, grand piano, organ etc.), Hubert Steiner (electric bass), Andreas Unterreiner (trumpet and flugelhorn) and Jan Kiesewetter (saxophone). So the instrumentation is rather rich including lots of horns.
 
The album starts off with a quite light, melodic and pop-like title track “Elysian Pleasures” that reminds me of some of the more accessible works by Frank Zappa or the beautiful Camel songs. The heavier “Nearly Four” is pure early 70’s King Crimson. Things get airier again on the 7:28-long “Man Changing the Atoms”. This is nice, jazzy, atmospheric prog rock with some more intensive parts to keep things interesting and evolving. Great! “In Tides” is at first very restful, beautiful stuff until it grows and gets a bit heavier in the middle. The ending is very peaceful. “Serpentive” is perhaps the most 70’s sounding jazzy prog rock track on the album, and “Bird’s Nest” a rather minimal, mostly quiet and experimental instrumental. The longest track is the over 13-minute “For the Love of Bokeh” that has a lot of stuff happening and ends the album in a rather spectacular way. I’m sure most fans of progressive rock will like this album.
 
 
 

Sgt. Sunshine: III

Electrohasch Schallplatten (Electrohasch 160)
Sgt. Sunshine is a heavy stoner rock band from Malmö, Sweden, and this, as you might have guessed, is their third album. It has been five years since the previous album Black Hole, but the music has remained pretty much the same, meaning somewhat psychedelic and progressive stoner rock. The band leader, singer and guitarist Eduardo Fernandez has written most of the lyrics and music and he has also recorded and mixed the album and done the artwork. Good job! The other members are Christian Lundberg (drums) and Pär Hallgren (bass) and Michael Miño plays bass and percussion and does backing vocals on the more 70’s hard rock oriented track “When I Was a Dog”. I’ve never been a huge fan of this band, since this type of progressive stoner / desert rock isn’t exactly my kind of thing. Having said that, I do like some of the songs quite a lot and even if the band has lots of similarities with other modern stoner rock bands they still something characteristic about them. There’s enough variety in tempo and atmosphere to keep things interesting and the guys are good musicians too. The highlights for me are the pretty hypnotic and groovy, mid-tempo and heavy “Beneath the Song”, the atmospheric and jamming “In-Through-Mental” and the fuzzy, tight-rocking blast “Holy Mother” that also has an extended guitar solo. Have a couple of beers, light one up and check it out if you’re into bands like Kyuss, Colour Haze, Josiah, Sungrazer, The Machine etc.
 

Astral Visions Radio (show #44) online!

Astral Visions Radio Show - Music from Psychotropic Zone, is hosted by DJ Astro
Playlist:

Psicomagia - "El Congreso pt. 1" (from forthcoming S/T album)
White Hills - "Mist (Winter)" (from So You Are…So You'll Be)
BLIM - "Synchromesh" (from Zero / No Frills)
Christine 23 Onna - "Space Mondo Topless” (from Acid Eater)
Oresund Space Collective - "Carlos on the Moon" (from Organic Earthly Floatation)
Plankton Wat - "Empire Mines" (from Drifter's Temple)
Kandodo - "Swim into the Sun" (from K2o)
Master Musicians of Bukkake - "The Circular Ruins" (from Far West)
Vintage Cucumber - "Glühe Sanft” (from Jup’s Chillout Lounge Style)
Montibus Communitas – “Hanan Pacha” (from Hacia Aquellos Bosques de Inmensidad)
Vista Chino – “Planets 1 & 2” (from Peace)
Vision Fortune - "In My Father’s House There Are Mansions" (from Night Jukes)
Chrome - "Moog Piece" (from Half Machine from the Sun)
Spids Nogenhat - "Mere Lys" (from Kommer med Fred)

aural-innovations.com/radio/astral.html

maanantai 9. syyskuuta 2013

My next dj gig 10.10.2013 w/ Ufomammut (ITA)!

I will be spinning vinyl again at Kuudes Linja, Helsinki, on October the 10th to get you people spaced out enough to handle the mighty riff monsters Ufomammut. There will also be support band.

Get you tickets early:

www.tiketti.fi/Ufomammut-ITA-Kuudes-Linja-Helsinki-lippuja/21442

Vintage Cucumber: Tom Mit de Bon Style / Jup’s Chillout Lounge Style

Self-released digital albums


Vintage Cucumber is a psychedelic solo artist from Germany. Since 2009 he has made several digital only releases that are available at the “name your price” system at his Bandcamp site. His instrumental music is very trippy and experimental and he uses electronics, lots of effects and real instruments like bass and electric guitars. The sound quality has been getting better and better, but there’s still a certain DIY vibe in the music but that’s not a bad thing. He has been really productive this year, but let’s start with the album he already sent me last year on CD-R, Tom Mit de Bon Style. After the weird, short intro, “Captain Klötenpötter’s Reise” is a mind-expanding, hypnotic and experimental journey to nowhere. “Dicker Bienenflug” is a short, minimal piece, and on the next two numbers things get even weirder. “Herr Schiss, ich Steh Hier Los” also have some kraut beat, but only for a while, “Guten Morgen Computerwelt” is just faint electronic noises. “Farbstoff Gurkenmehl” and “Come On, Auf Zu Den Asiatischen Gärten” are both very ambient in nature, and things really start to happen only in the over 20-minute-long “The Hots Fette Sonne” that is my favourite. There’s some Pink Floyd, some early Tangerine Dream, some Amon Düül II and the like in there, you’ll love it! The going still stays pretty laid-back and dreamy, so if you need some harder rocking in your music, this is possibly not your fix. Then we still get one shorter, experimental tune called “Kuzduz”.

 On this year’s Jup’s Chillout Lounge Style Vintage Cucumber goes into even more ambient, peaceful style but the music is also more harmonic and pleasant with less freaky, noisy elements. So this is perfect for a chill-out session! “Guten Morgen” starts off things in a very tranquil and soothing manner and “Himmelstempel” also has some slow, programmed beat. The mood remains pretty much the same during the following tracks, and there’s also some forest folk vibes in there I would say. “Stille, Hörst Du Mich?” is a somehow magical, blissful and psychedelic piece that touches your soul. “Glühe Sanft” is a bit more rock oriented of the remaining tracks, and even has some spoken vocals. This another highlight for me with some drums as well. Wonderful, dreamy psych stuff that gets you floating! Check this out, donate if you want and download.
 
 
 

sunnuntai 8. syyskuuta 2013

Dj Astro's Playlist 5.9.2013 @ Kuudes Linja (Pagan Altar, Tombstoned)

Hellhammer: Horus/Aggressor
Reverend Bizarre: The Goddess of Doom
Dream Death: Back from the Dead
Angel Witch: Angel Witch
Blood Ceremony: Goodbye Gemini
Motörhead: Iron Fist
Mercyful Fate: Doomed by the Living Dead
Mercyful Fate: Devil Eyes
Candlemass: Solitude
Black Sabbath: Hole in the Sky
Black Sabbath: Children of the Sea
Judas Priest: Tyrant
Judas Priest: Run of the Mill
Witchfinder General: Friends of Hell
Cloven Hoof: Cloven Hoof
Iron Maiden: Invaders
Iron Maiden: Number of the Beast
Manowar: Heil to England
Manowar: Blood of My Enemies
Manilla Road: Astronomica
Saint Vitus: Dark World
Revelation: Lost Innocense
Seremonia: Ovi
Venom: Live Like an Angel, Die Like a Devil

perjantai 6. syyskuuta 2013

Vista Chino: Peace

Napalm Records (NPR 501 CD)
This must have been one of the most anticipated releases among the stoner / desert rock fans this year. Vista Chino from Palm Beach has ¾ of the Kyuss line-up in their ranks, and the band used to be called Kyuss Lives! before the ex-Kyuss guitarist Josh Homme dropped a lawsuit on his former band mates. With vocalist John Garcia, drummer Brant Bjork, bassist Nick Oliveri and the new guy Bruno Fevery on guitar the band is able to produce some dirty, fuzzy and groovy desert rock tunes that will please at least most of the Kyuss fans. There’s enough melody to keep things interesting and rhythms are inviting and infectious. “Dargona Dragona” was the first song off the album that was presented to the public through the internet, and this song truly rocks. Other highlights include another heavy rocker “Planets 1 & 2” where the bass is played by Bjork, bluesy and quite progressive “Dark and Lovely” and the bit more psychedelic and jamming, lengthy final track “Acidize… The Jamming Moose”. The spirit of Kyuss lives and prospers, and I’m glad it does. The 2LP and limited digipak CD also include two bonus tracks. Recommended!
 
 
 
 

Postures: S/T

Self-released CD
 Postures is a new Swedish, female-fronted progressive psych rock band who released their debut album earlier this year. The album will also be released on vinyl and CD later by World in Sound, the version that I’m reviewing is a self-release by the band. Postures have a rather dynamic, energetic and fresh sound that is hard to define. Although they have certainly been influenced by 70s prog rock groups like King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Rush etc., they also have some more modern indie rock touch in their rather complicated but rocking music. The singer Paulina Nyström also adds in some jazzy moods with her soulful voice, that somehow reminds me of Finnish singer Noora Tommila. Sometimes the music resembles of Porcupine Tree, and there are also some psychedelic effects in there to make things more interesting. The playing and production is top-notch. During the long instrumental tracks “Solipse” and “Quakes” the band also tries out some more experimental ground. One of the most atmospheric and beautiful songs is the fifth track “Falling into Place”. You should definitely check this band out if you want to hear some interesting, well-produced and fresh progressive music with great female vocals.
 
 

torstai 5. syyskuuta 2013

Jack Ellister: Dawn Dream Club

Fruits de Mer (Crustacean 40)
I was first introduced to Jack Ellister from the Netherlands though his previous progressive psych rock band Yordan Orchestra and last year he released his first solo single on Regal Crabomophone / Fruits de Mer. For this second single he has chosen three great psych pop songs from the 60s / early 70s. First, we get to hear his version of the mystical The Beatles song “Within You, Without You”. This is a bit faster and not as Eastern-tingled as the original, but a very nice version that sounds different but still has a similar laid-back, sleepy vibe. Well done Jack! There’s also a short, more psychedelic reprise of the same song. Then we get something more folky, when Jack does his version of the beautiful Mark Fry piece “Song for Wild”. This is very peaceful and tranquil, mostly acoustic stuff. He ends the 7” with a bit more rocking touch: a rendition of Syd Barrett’s “Flaming” sounds just superbly whimsical and mind-blowing at the same time as it should! A very nice Pink Floyd cover. Just get this 7”.
 
 
 
 
 

keskiviikko 4. syyskuuta 2013

Crystal Jacqueline: A Fairy Tale

Fruits de Mer (Crustacean 39)

This three-track 7” EP is the first Crystal Jacqueline release on Fruits de Mer and this lovely-voiced lady is skillfully assisted by another The Honey Pot band member Icarus Peel. First we’ve got the rather peaceful and small-scale cover of The Troggs song “Cousin Jane”. There’s some nice orchestration on this one. Things get much more interesting with the energetic, driving rendition of “A Fairy Tale” by Second Hand originally released in 1968. This is just marvelous 60’s freakbeat stuff! A nice guitar solo as well. Excellent! The third song is the dark, hunting The Rolling Stones B-side “Play with Fire” that I also enjoy very much. This is a very deep and emotional version that should please all psych and Stones fans. This 7” definitely makes me want to more stuff by Crystal Jacqueline. Check it out!
 

Me and My Kites with Tony Durant of Fuchsia: S/T

Regal Crabomophone (Winkle 12)

 
Me and My Kites from Sweden released their amazing debut album Like a Dream Back Then this spring on Dungen’s bass player’s Mattias Gustavsson’s ÅÄÖ label. It was instantly clear, that this hippie collective led by David Svedmyr was something special. Other members include Gustavsson, AnnaMy, Lisa Isakson (Lisa O Piu) and lots of other folks from the Swedish psych/folk circles, so you know you’re in for a treat. I was very happy to hear that Me and My Kites would also be released on Fruits de Mer / Regal Crabomophone, so here we go… The band was named after a song released on a rare 1971 album by British progressive folk rock band Fuchsia, so they must have been ecstatic about the possibility to not only release a Fuchsia song but also have the founder member Tony Durant to sing on it! In addition, the results are magnificent. “The Band” is a very nice, melodic and melancholic pop psych song with an excellent chorus. The B side “Isis’ Adventure” was already released on the Like a Dream Back Then album, but there it was split in two parts (the eighth track “Isis” and the final track “Isis in Heaven”), so it’s very nice to have the complete song in its full psychedelic glory. It has a very authentic early 70’s, sunny hippie feel to it, and some mind-bending effects and manipulation later on. Great! You can still get a copy of this very nice single and if you are a true collector you might want to track down a black copy limited to just 100 copies. Some copies also come with a small kite!


tiistai 3. syyskuuta 2013

Øresund Space Collective / Papir: Split 7”

Transubstans Records (TRANSV707)

Well this is a cool little seven-incher… Two Copenhagen-based improvisational psych rock bands ØSC and Papir released a split single on Swedish Transubstans Records in May. Okay, ØSC also has members from Sweden, to be precise. This is a limited edition of only 300 copies, 100 on black and 200 on blue vinyl. Both of these amazing bands offer previously unreleased candy on this single. Øresund Space Collective surprises us with a three-minute piece “Space Hoedown” since this is real country music although spiced with psychedelic space synth swooshes! This is very funny but also mind-expanding going… Papir, on the other hand, pretty much do what they usually do on the over five-minute-long, rather light track “Rotwein” that for some reason is mastered a bit lower than the flip-side. This is perhaps not Papir at their very best, but works very well anyway. You should get this single soon if you can still find a copy!

maanantai 2. syyskuuta 2013

White Sails: S/T

Regal Grabomophone (Winkle 11)


Okay, this time Fruits de Mer / Regal Grabomophone is giving us some Black Sabbath covers… Interesting! Before you are totally drooling for some ultra-heavy riffs and doomy vocals, let me point out that the Sabbath songs covered on this 7” by multinational new project called White Sails are acoustic, peaceful and instrumental. “Laguna Sunrise” from Vol. 4 surely isn’t one of Black Sabbath’s most well-known tracks, but I have always enjoyed it. Here Finnish brothers Ville and Jaakko Vilpponen and Leigh Gregory from San Francisco make a slightly extended, pretty and nice version that even has some drums, bass and slide guitar but not the strings of the original. Acoustic guitars are of course the main emphasis. It’s very nice, although nothing that psychedelic over here. Especially on “Fluff” (that originates form Sabbath Bloody Sabbath) the acoustic guitar work is excellent, and there’s also some keyboards and distant electric guitar, and the track grows in a nice way towards the end. I like this even more.
 
On the B side we’ve got two original tracks that are pretty much in the same vein, so mainly acoustic and laid-back. First there is “The Answer” written by Ville, and I like the melodies and slight Pink Floyd vibe on this one. Leigh’s “Death on a Pale Horse” is more folky and traditional in nature, but more orchestrated and very enjoyable as well. This might be one of the less psychedelic releases on Fruits de Mer / Regal Grabomophone, but it’s still nice stuff so get it while you can.


Stay: Mersey Beat


Regal Crabomophone (Winkle 10)

 
The Spanish psychedelic rock group Stay recently played at the Fruits de Mer All-Dayer at London’s Borderline and their brand-new 7” includes one original and three cover songs from the 60s. I’m happy to say that their own, groovy song “Mersey Dream” that starts off the EP is just as good as the old covers. Just think for example of Deep Purple’s “Hush” and you are pretty close to the excellent combination of organ, wah guitar, powerful bass, irresistible beat and superb vocals that “Mersey Dream” offers us. ”Guess I Was Dreaming” by The Fairytales is a perfect example of how amazing, melodic psych pop/rock songs they could write in the 60’s and Stay makes the song as their own with a very lysergic attitude. Then we get to hear some more familiar stuff, a version of ”I See the Rain” by The Beatles and also that one has a nice, psychedelic charge. Marmelade’s ”I See the Rain” is again a rarer treat and this version ends the EP in a nice way sounding a bit like The Bevis Frond, for example. This is a great single and it’s just been released so you can still get a copy if you hurry up!