Listen to Astral Visions Podcast

perjantai 26. joulukuuta 2014

Astral Visions Radio Show #56


Astral Visions Radio Show #56 (December 24, 2014)

Listen to or download here:
aural-innovations.com/radio/astral.html


Playlist

[Track 1: 0:00-2:40] Hawkwind - "Christmas Treat" (from Season's Greetings from Deep Space EP)
[Track 2: 2:40-7:11] Camera - "From the Outside" (from Remember I Was Carbon Dioxide)
[Track 3: 7:11-14:12] Gong - "The Eternal Wheel Spins" (from I See You)
[Track 4: 14:12-21:00] Mooch - "The Golden Rule" (from Mrs Silbury's Delicious Mushroom Flavoured Biscuits)
[Track 5: 21:00-26:40] Aqua Nebula Oscillator - "Up to the Sky" (from Spiritus Mundi)
[Track 6: 26:40-30:44] The Order of Israfel - "The Black Wings A Demon" (from Wisdom)
[Track 7: 30:44-36:26] The Linus Pauling Quartet - "C is For Cthulhu" (from C is For Cthulhu 7")
[Track 8: 36:26-42:46] The Sabbathian - "Nightshade Eternal" (from Ritual Rites EP)
[Track 9: 42:46-45:29] The Psychedelic Schafferson Jetplane - "Blessings from the Reptiles" (from S/T)
[Track 10: 45:29-52:24] Mugstar - "Breathing Mirror (Edit)" (from Mugstar / Cosmic Dead - Split 12")
[Track 11: 52:24-55:52] The Luck of Eden Hall - "The Little Drummer" (from Noel & Other Holiday Classics EP)
[Track 12: 55:52-1:16:30] The Cosmic Dead - "Fukahyoocastulah (Edit)" (from Mugstar / Cosmic Dead - Split 12")
[Track 13: 1:16:30-1:30:45] Sonny Simmons & Moksha Samnyasin - "Help Them Through This World" (from Nomadic)
[Track 14: 1:30:45-1:39:43] Tjutjuna - "Rise / Set" (from S/T)
[Track 15: 1:39:43-1:47:54] Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band - "Where You From Man" (from Black Power Flower)
[Track 16: 1:47:54-1:53:28] 3AM - "Speedway to Heaven" (from split LP with Sula Bassana)
[Track 17: 1:53:28-1:58:27] Paw Paw - "Black Lodge" (from Temporalis / Epiphysis)

torstai 25. joulukuuta 2014

Best of 2014!

Best 20 foreign albums this year:

Balduin: All in a Dream
Camera: Remember I was Carbon Dioxide
Chrome: Feel It Like a Scientist
Doug Tuttle: S/T
Electric Moon: Mind Explosion
Eternal Tapestry: Guru Overload
Goat: Commune
Gong: I See You
Kosmischer Läufer: Volume Two
Morgan Delt: S/T
Mugstar / The Cosmic Dead:  Split
Monster Magnet: Milking the Stars - A Re-imagining of Last Patrol
Papir: IIII
Polska Radio One: Cosmos Inside
Radar Men from the Moon: Strange Wave Galore
Temples: Sun Structures
Tor-Peders Kapell:  Brev Från Ederstorp
Verma: Sunrunner
White Manna: Come Down Safari
Woodsman: Woodsman


Best 10 Finnish albums this year:

Circle: 6000 km/h
Deep Space Destructors: III
E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr: Spiralo
Mr. Peter Hayden: Archdimension Now
Nightsatan: Nightsatan and the Troops of Doom
Octopus Syng: Reverberating Garden Number 7
Plain Ride: Skeleton Kites
Seremonia: Ihminen
Siinai: Supermarket
Superfjord: It Is Dark, But I have This Jewel


maanantai 22. joulukuuta 2014

Sula Bassana / 3AM: Disappear / Waves

Headspin Records (MEXS 006)


This is a limited split LP with Sula Bassana (aka Dave Schmidt) from Germany and 3AM, a solo project of Chino Burga from Peruvian psych rock band La Ira de Dios. 3AM has one LP out on Levitation Records but I have not heard that. Sula Bassana, I'm sure, is familiar to our readers! Sula has three tracks on his side (A), starting with the long (10:36) "Disappear". The track slowly builds up but stays in a pretty ambient, mellow state including soft electric guitar, fretless bass, Korg and Moog synthesizers, Mellotron etc. His beloved Komet Lulu also delivers some nice, dreamy and quiet vocals later on (as well as the cover art). A motorik drum beat is added after the seven-minute marker. Wonderful! At under half that long, "Grong" is a cool, rather dark and minimal instrumental. Then we still have the six-minute floating, droney and ambient "Smoof" that is perfect for dreaming and meditating with.

3AM starts off with "Speedway to Heaven" that brings to mind Suicide with its restless beat. Chino uses guitars, vocals, loops and drones on his side to a great effect I got to tell you that. I'm also reminded of Spacemen 3, for example. "Moonrise" has a steady beat going on and lots of psych guitar (fuzz, tremolo..) and Wooden Shjips / Moon Duo like monotonic vocals and psychy solo guitar work. Very repetitive and hypnotic stuff, and I like it! Also "Run Through the Jungle" has a steady, pounding drum beat loop and monotonic vocals but the guitar sound is more 60s psych on this one. Finally, we've got one long (10:24), droney instrumental piece called "Waves" that is made with just guitar I think. There were quite a lot of delays with this LP, and there is also a version with the LP labels being on wrong sides of the vinyl by mistake... A future rarity, perhaps? A very nice album, anyway.

www.sulabassana.de 

www.facebook.com/3amdrones 

 

Siinai: Supermarket

Splendour (SPL 026CD)


Siinai is a Finnish psychedelic/experimental/ambient/trance/electronic/drone/kraut rock band and Supermarket is their second album. They have also released one collaborative album with Moonface on Jetjaguwar. The band features musicians who used to play in the excellent Joensuu 1685. I saw the band's record release gig earlier this year and liked them a lot, and also got a CD copy of their new album to review. Sorry for the delay guys... I also saw them play with Moonface later on, another great night out for me.

The almost instrumental album includes eight tracks. First we get the three minute "En-trance", that is more or less a cool, ambient synthesizer intro. On "Shopping Trance" the band introduces the Manuel Göttsching like hypnotic delay guitars and drums, electronics and floating synth sounds. Lovely! Just check out the video... "Aeiouyäö" also has some faint vocals repeating the vocals over and over again. This very pleasant, atmospheric and airy track also has some more melody. The lengthy "Jonotus" ("Queuing" in  English) is an celestial, heady ambient drone, and "Prisma" (a market chain in Finland, notice a theme here?) is pretty ambient in nature too but has bit more stuff going on. "Smiling Cashier" gets a little more intense including a hypnotic beat and cool piano and keyboards etc. The ending is just droney chill-out, though. The shorter "Vasikka" has those delay guitars again and percussive drums as well as lots of keyboards and synths. Very nice! The album is finished with the slow and mellow "Exit" as we get out of the strange but pleasant, trans-dimensional shopping center world of Siinai. If you like psychedelic ambient acts like Astralasia and the kraut rock of Tangerine Dream, Ashra and Neu! you will possibly enjoy this album. One of the best releases by Finnish bands this year!

siinai.tumblr.com


 

 

perjantai 19. joulukuuta 2014

Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk Band: Black Power Flower

 Napalm Records (NPR 569) 


I have to say that I've never been a die-hard Kyuss fan even though I like the seminal desert/stoner rock band and also most of the band projects and releases of all the ex-Kyuss members. For this new 2LP/CD/digital release ex-Kyuss drummer Brant Bjork has recruited a really killer backing band and the album rocks in a heavy, groovy, smokey and even a bit funky way. This is definitely the best Brant Bjork solo album that I've heard, and proves that the man still can write great tunes, sing and rock out with his guitar.

The first track "Controllers Destroyed" starts of slow and heavy like a homage to Black Sabbath. Soon we get faster stoner rock pounding and I'm excited already. The chorus is great too. I'm reminded of Fu Manchu a bit, and no wonder. What a great opener! I really like the dirty fuzz guitar sounds on this album. "We Don't Serve Their Kind" has a groovy beat and rocks out too. "Stokely Up Now" and "Buddha Time (Everything Fine) get closer to early 70s US hard rock I think, but are still cool, heavy songs. The main verse "Soldier of Love" somehow brings to mind Thin Lizzy, but "Boogie Woogie on Your Brain" is great stoner/desert rock again. "Ain't No Runnin'" is the shortest track on the album at under three-minute in length and has some pretty cool, inventive hooks and riffs. "That's a Fact Jack" is the funkiest track on the album and not bad at all. Then we get some mellower blues on "Hustler's Blues", but the track starts to rock out hard in the end with some great solo guitar. Phew! The last track "Where You From Man" is the longest at 8:12 and also the most psychedelic so obviously my favorite... It has a heavy boogie beat, spacey psych effects on the vocals and some nice jamming. A really good, mind-expanding ending for a great album! Warmly recommended for lovers of hot Palm Beach desert rock.

www.facebook.com/pages/Brant-Bjork

The Sabbathian: Ritual Rites EP

Svart Records (SVR196)


The Sabbathian is a new epic doom metal band in the vein of classic Candlemass and Nemesis. The band features multi-instrumentalist Chad Davis from US occult heavy metal band Hour of 13 and a great Norwegian female singer Anette Gulbrandsen. This 12" EP is their first release and includes three tracks that all are in between six and seven minutes in length. "Ancient's Curse" starts off the EP sounding  like 80s Candlemass, very heavy and doomy indeed. Anette's vocals make the song stand out reminding me a bit of The Devil's Blood. There's also some great solo guitar work in there, nice! "Ritual Rites" continues along the same, doomy, heavy and slow/mid-tempo path and has some great riffs and excellent, powerful vocals.The last track "Nightshade Eternal" doesn't bring anything new to the table either, but is another very cool, heavy doom metal track in the Candlemass vein with great riffs and vocals and fluent metal solo guitar. After four minutes the track gets faster, though, and offers some great true heavy metal headbanging opportunities. Excellent! I'm looking forward to a full-length release.

www.facebook.com/thesabbathianband


torstai 18. joulukuuta 2014

Mooch: Mrs Silbury's Delicious Mushroom Flavoured Biscuits

Cosmic Eye Records (EYE012)


This is the 25th release in 22 years by UK based band Mooch led by Steve Palmer. Steve's style has changed in between ambient, electronic, 60s psych pop, space rock, progressive, folk etc. but this new album, the first to be released on vinyl, is definitely (and luckily, if you ask me!) more on the space rock side, although not heavy space ROCK as we know it. The album features some great quests (Gary Moonboot, ex-Magic Mushroom Band etc., Alex Pym, Dream Machine, Bridget Wishart, ex-Hawkwind etc. and the space rock violinist Cyndee Lee Rule).

The almost instrumental album starts off with the rather progressive, very nice "T Minus None" that has some superb solo guitar work and spacey synthesizers. This somehow reminds me of the early Ozrics stuff. My only small complaint is the use of programmed drums once again. "The Golden Rule" has more Tangerine Dream vibes with the cool, hypnotic sequencers and soaring keyboards, and later on the Simon House styled violin really brings the track to life. Excellent! "Mellifluo" has a cool, laid-back, almost jazzy mood and spacey sound effects. Also "Clouded" is very mellow stuff with just some cosmic synthesizers. The very psychedelic and floating "The Great Retsina Jam" is one of the highlights and again features lots of great synth work as well as some acoustic instruments, for example. "Pstrings" starts off with a short piece of cool vocoder stuff and a groovy beat, and soon we'll also get some very nice, elegant solo guitar work by Alex Pym and of course spacey synthesizers and sequencers. The album is finished with "Another T A P", that has an electronic, pulsating beat and also very nice, mellow vocals by Bridget. I think I can hear some of Steve's ethnic instrument collection in the background, but synths and keyboards are in the front. This is a very nice ending for a great LP, now can I have some more of those biscuits, please?

soundcloud.com/moochspacey


keskiviikko 17. joulukuuta 2014

Hakfan # 41


It always saves my day when the postman brings me the latest issue of the Hawkwind fan magazine Hawkfan. Issue 41 comes with a quite different cover where you are supposed to find the surnames/second names of 43 musicnauts and 1 fanzine publisher from the letter grid. Cool! This time Brian Tawn concentrates on the 50th birthday celebrations of Hawkwind frontman Mr. Dibs, Hawkwind's Bedford Corn Exchange concert on 30th September 2014 and an eleven-page Damnation Alley, where he this time goes through the recent vinyl reissues. Oh joy! As always, the mag is a true labor of love and written in a very warm, intimate and lovely style. There are 24 pages, some cools pics, all in black and white as always. Those who are familiar with Hawkfan know what they will get and if you are a fan of Hawkwind you definitely should check this out. Price, including postage, £1.80 within the UK, £2.80 the rest of Europe and £3.50 elsewhere, by Paypal to briantawn@aol.com.




torstai 11. joulukuuta 2014

Krautzone / Lamp of the Universe: Superkraut / The Doors of Perception

Headspin (MEXS005)


This is an interesting split LP for sure: it features the German underground super group Krautzone and New Zealand's lone astral traveler Lamp of the Universe! Krautzone gives us two eleven-minute space/kraut jam excursions entitled "Superkraut I" and "Superkraut II" recorded on New Year's Eve 2013. This smells strongly of late 60s / early 70s Kraut pioneers like Amon Düül I & II with its shamanistic percussion work, repetive bass, psychedelic fuzz guitar, droney organ and spacey electronics and I love it. Both tracks are instrumental and totally improvised and take you on a one-way ticket to space. The second one is more laid-back, cosmic and airy. Very nice!

On the Lamp of the Universe side there's only one long (22:14) track called "The Doors of Perception". I think we all know where the title is from... And this trippy psych masterpiece really can open those doors, even without mind-altering substances. It starts off pretty quietly and in ambient way with some spacey synthesizers reminding me of Tangerine Dream or Schulze. Before the eight-minute marker we get some folky, fragile acoustic guitar and bass and the dreamy, mantra-like phased vocals join in as well. Gentle melodies and sitar enhance the otherworldly vibe. As usual, the effect of the music is highly meditative and uplifting. Later on the track moves into Pink Floyd in Pompeii vibes with slow drums and electric lead guitar added. The bubbling space effects give extra boost too. Just wonderful! The track gets more intense and heavier towards the end, what a great build-up. All in all, a must have for all psych heads and definitely one of the best split releases this year.

www.facebook.com/Krautzone

lampoftheuniverse.bandcamp.com




Yuri Gagarin: S/T

Sulatron Records (st1405)


Yuri Gagarin, named after the famous Russian cosmonaut, is a great new heavy space/psych rock band from Gothenburg, Sweden. This debut album was originally released last year on a local label. The sound quality wasn't the best possible, so Sulatron released this remixed, much better sounding version this autumn. People really seem to dig this band since the vinyl version is already sold out! Well, I can't blame them since this is killer album. It's still available on CD, though.

The album includes just four, instrumental tracks but they are long... "First Orbit" starts off suitably with some space transmissions in Russian. The actual track begins after a while and we get some heavy guitar, hypnotic, repetative mid-tempo rhythm and space effects. This is like a mix of Loop, Farflung, Hawkwind, Monster Magnet and White Hills, I'd say and very good indeed. "Sonic Invasion 2910" is a bit faster and rocks out even more. With some Tommy Grenas vocals this would sound very much like Farflung, but the track is so trippy, heavy and groovy and includes enough of nice solo guitar so things keep interesting even without the vocals and with more or less just one simple riff. This will for sure make you bang your head! "Za Kosmosom" is a slower, but just as heavy piece that reminds me of some of the slower, meditative and not too freaky tracks by Acid Mothers Temple. It has a bit mystical atmosphere and I like it a lot too. I'm also reminded of The Spacious Mind, another excellent space/psych rock band from Sweden. The last track "The Big Rip" is the longest at 10:47 and is superb, fuzzy and phased heavy space rocking from the beginning until very close to the end before the track evaporates into cosmic space sounds. This is perhaps the most Hawkwind-like piece on the the album, but there are also some stoner rock influences in there I think. I really like the solo guitar work, once again. I hope this superb band will release more stuff soon since I just can't get enough of music like this nowadays. Be sure to check them out!

yurigagarinswe.bandcamp.com


tiistai 9. joulukuuta 2014

The Legendary Flower Punk / Drory: The Time, The Place

Flower Punk (FPR 006)


This CD/download release is a collaboration of two Russian experimental duos: The Legendary Flower Punk and Dvory. These friends got together for a studio jam session on 21st of September 2014 at Boiler Records studio (St.Petersburg), and the end result is one, over 60-minute-long improvised track including two guitars, trumpet, keyboards, noises & percussion. The whole piece is very minimal and ambient in nature, and you really have to focus to truly notice all the little nuances and variations that are going on. The trumpet is playing quite an important role at times playing little melodies or giving a more freak-out free jazz vibe. The guitars keep a steady but light riff going on in the beginning, but later on the track almost evaporates into the ether. You really have to listen carefully but when you do, this is actually a very enjoyable and psychedelic experience. It's better to turn up the volume, dim the lights and relax, and just let the these weird soundscapes take you away from your normal reality. Try it, it's worth it! You can download this for free but please support the artists if you can.

www.facebook.com/thelegendaryflowerpunk 


The Grand Astoria / Montenegro: S/T

Flower Punk / Sick-o-delic Records (690 / SR003)


This is a second split release by this rather active Russian progressive, heavy and a little bit psychedelic fuzz rock/metal band The Grand Astoria. First came the split with the excellent US Christmas a couple of years ago, and now they have teamed up with Montenegro from Argentina. Both bands deliver one long track for this CD.

The Grand Astoria's "The Body Limit" was recorded in Tallinn, Estonia in February this year. It starts off with some tranquil, gentle guitar and bird-song, and grows slowly when some slow drums, quiet female singing, bass and lead guitar gets added. The mood remains the same although the track gets more intense until around the 12-minute-marker when it turns into pure metal and Kamille, the guitarist/singer starts to sing. Then we get weird, some more psychedelic instrumental passages with delayed guitar. The next vocal part reminds me a bit of some of the progressive metal bands like Queensrÿche, so if you're into that kind of stuff you'll like it. Then the track gets faster for a while, but then we get some more atmospheric stuff and the almost 30-minute track ends in a beautiful, mellow way. This is a rather massive, varied track, that's all I can say. Phew!

I got to admit that I've not previously heard about the band Montenegro from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The label Sick-o-Delic Records is also from Buenos Aires, and through their web site I was able to find some information, and what little I could understand the band was formed in 2009 and has released one full-length on the the label before this split. It's good to see that there is at least some kind of psych/stoner underground in Buenos Aires at the moment. The 18:40-long track "El Matadero" starts off with slow, fuzzy blues jamming, and in three minutes we get some laid-back vocals in Spanish. I like the chilled-out mood of this song, and the psych guitar work is pretty good as well. Before the ten-minute-marker the boys start to rock out in heavy stoner rock manner, and then some more progressive, experimental stuff follows. There's a weird, acoustic, almost classical part with some spoken word (the speech of Juan Manuel de Rosas on his rise to power at Buenos Aires government, 8th December 1829). I'm not sure how well that fits in, but then we get some fast and heavy blasting until the end. I'd like to know what this song is about, but at least matadero means a slaughterhouse and I guess the track is based on an important short story with the same name written by Esteban Echeverría in 1839 but not published before 1871 (according to Wikipedia). A pretty cool track, anyway.

thegrandastoria.bandcamp.com

montenegrorock.bandcamp.com





perjantai 5. joulukuuta 2014

Sun Zoom Spark: Left for Dead

SlowBurn Records


This album started already in 2001 when John Galuska (ex-Cesare's Dog) asked Sun Zoom Spark guitarist/vocalist Eric Johnson to help create music for a larger concept idea called Left for Dead. Galuska wrote poems around the subject of death and renewal as well as recorded hours of abstract sound collage for the project. The members of Sun Zoom Spark then one night recorded a full hour of psychedelic improvisation but then the project was shelved for 13 years. This spring Johnson revisited the recordings doing editing and overdubbing the material since he found it was too good to really left for dead... And the end result is pretty stunning!

There are 12 tracks on this CD featuring three shorter, minimal and experimental tracks ("Transmissions I, II & III") and also a couple of over ten-minute-long pieces, a prototype of "Jewel of the Seven Stars" that was later recorded for a Black Sun Ensemble album and the great, closer to 17-minute progressive and varied title track of the album. Three of the other tracks are in between eight and nine minutes in length, as well. Most of the stuff in pretty slow and atmospheric and some of it has Pink Floyd vibes, the mellow eight-minute jam "Left for Life" in particular. There are lots of psychedelic sound effects and synthesizers, which is always a good thing if you ask me... "Masterpiece by Midnight" is a little more upbeat and groovier. "Volcano" is sort of heavy blues, I guess, but also rocks out. The album is finished with the airy and nice "Return to Swim". This is a very nice album that works best on headphones in nocturnal chill-out sessions with your eyes closed and mind open.

 www.slowburnrecords.net

 You can listen to the second track "Round Again" over here:

http://www.slowburnrecords.net/featured-track-2013-2014.

Cobracalia: S/T

Slowburn Records (SBR060)


After Jesus Acedo, the legendary guitarist and leader of Tucson, Arizona based psych rock band Black Sun Ensemble, died in 2013 the band didn't want to just stop playing but couldn't carry on as BSE either. So they changed their name into Cobracalia after a track on the first BSE album, and continued honoring the music and visions of Acedo in their own, fresh way. I'm glad they did, since this is a marvelous album.

First we get the Eastern tingled, rhythmical "Dandyloin" that sounds pretty much like the latter day BSE with its percussion and odd melodies and solo guitar work. Nice! "Fistful of Flowers" also includes vocals and even a chorus but the mystical vibe is quite similar to the opener. I love the violin on this one. "Arabic Satori" is at first a bit more laid-back, but gets intense and heavy in the middle sounding sort of like King Crimson. "Mandala" is a groovy and percussive track reminding some of the old BSE stuff and I like it a lot. The shortest piece is "Wrong Again" at 2:32 and it has weird, whispered vocals and an almost jazzy mood with some sax. The atmospheric and melancholic "Queen of the Night" is one of the best pieces in my opinion. The going gets wilder towards the end... "Total Internal Reflection" is a mellow keyboard-driven thing, and electronic/acoustic percussion are added later on as well as some electric guitar etc. "Egyptian Magician" is one of the highlights and has a magical, ethnic vibe with all the oud, percussion etc. but there's also some heavy guitar. "Simpatico" has a slow, dub-like beat and some electronic effects. "Lotus" has a more acoustic vibe and sounds just wonderful and refreshing. "Tijuana Mama" is a beautiful, soulful and mellow piece, and the longest track on the album called "Gas Giant" is a majestic, melancholic and beautiful tribute to Jesus Acedo bringing to mind "The Golden Void" by Hawkwind. Amazing ending for a great album! Be sure to check out this CD.






tiistai 2. joulukuuta 2014

Hotlist = Top 10!

This is the hot stuff right now at the Zone:

Monster Magnet: Milking the Stars - A Re-imagining of Last Patrol 2LP
Vibravoid: Mindbenders 2LP
Vibravoid: Rheinflow 7" EP
Polska Radio One: Cosmos Inside LP + 7"
Electric Orange: Volume 10
Gravmaskin: Volym 1
Linus Pauling Quartet: C Is for Cthulhu 7"
Mugstar / The Cosmic Dead:  Split LP
Circle: 6000 km/h LP
Krautzone / Lamp of the Universe: Superkraut / Doors of Perception LP









maanantai 1. joulukuuta 2014

The Green Pajamas: Happy Halloween!

Green Monkey Records (GM 1026)


This 77-minute CD includes the second, VERY limited (just 10 copies...) The Green Pajamas tape Happy Halloween! from 1984 released on CD for the first time. In addition to the eight tracks from that release there are 13 other tracks that the boys recorded on tape recorder in the basement rehearsal place around the same time thirty years ago. The three first songs have been previously released ("Thinking Only of You (Lust Don't Last)" & "All I Want to Do" on Goar EP #8 and "In the Sky" on Lee Jackson in Space compilation), but the ten other tracks are previously unreleased. Some of the songs have been later re-written/re-recorded and released on other albums, but these are the first versions and definitely capture the original spirit of this excellent psych pop/folk band from Seattle. The band uses vocals, electric and 12-string guitars, bass, drums, primitive percussion, Casio keyboards, cello and clavichord and the music already has that distinctive vibe and sound that makes The Green Pajamas so special. You can sometimes hear clear 60s influences (from the likes of The Beatles or The Byrds), but they already had something unique going on and I really enjoy listening to this CD. All the stuff is coming from cassette tapes from Jeff Kelly's drawer and had some problems in the first place, so just don't expect spectacular sound quality, although Tom Dyer from The Green Monkey has done a great mastering job.

Especially the Happy Halloween! songs (tracks 4-11 on the CD) present the darker side of The Green Pajamas (apart from "Dancing in the Jailhouse", perhaps), but there are also some happier moments in there, for example "Thinking Only of You (Lust Don't Last)". Most of the songs are relatively short, but there are a couple of longer ones as well, like the last actual track "This Winter's Night" recorded just before Christmas in 1984 with some friends joining in on chorus. After that there's still an unlisted surprise "cover track"... In summary, Happy Helloween! CD is a very welcome opportunity to hear all these wonderful songs from years ago and a must-have for any self-respecting Green Pajamas fan.

thegreenpajamas.net










perjantai 21. marraskuuta 2014

Lamp of the Universe / Trip Hill: Split

Clostridium Records (CR-013-CD)













This is the first CD release on the previously vinyl-only Clostridium Records from Germany and limited to 500, hand-numbered copies. I've been a big fan of New Zealand-based Lamp of the Universe since the very beginning. Craig Williamson's one-man psychedelic, Eastern-tinged hippie acid folk project has always been able to transport me into other dimensions and I'm always ready for some more tripping. For this split release he has donated one long (21:47), floating and cosmic piece called "Domain of the Buddha". The track was recorded already in 2006 but it doesn't matter since Craig's music is timeless and infinite. This is a highly meditative and hypnotic piece with acoustic and electric guitars, bass, light percussion, flute, mind-expanding space effects, drone and some astral chanting and most definitely does the trick. Just close your eyes and let the gentle waves of this celestial music touch your soul. Totally amazing!

I'm not that familiar with the home-made neo-psych act Trip Hill form Italy, but I do know that's it's also a solo project by Fabrizio Cecchi who has released some great, limited and sought-after LP's since the late 90s. He starts off with a short experimental "Intro", before "Bright Spring" gives us sweet 60s Elevators vibes. Fabrizio is helped by Andrea Papi on drums on this track. I like the fuzzy guitar solo towards the end, very nice! The instrumental "Raining Metallic Mushroom" begins with some weird organ, but then we get some hypnotic, folky acoustic stuff and later also some distorted lead guitar and drums. "I Need Someone" has more melody and song-structure and sounds pretty 60s again. A great song! "Driving Over the Rainbow" is a more atmospheric, beautiful song that gest more psychedelic with some backwards guitar and stuff. Cool! The CD ends with "Outro", an under-two-minute-long experimental lysergic soundscape. Wow... What a great split release with mind-melting cover art by Dale Simpson and vinyl freaks: don't worry, a limited vinyl edition is also on its way!

lampoftheuniverse.bandcamp.com

myspace.com/triphill


maanantai 17. marraskuuta 2014

Astral Visions #55 now online!

Just go here to download or stream:

http://aural-innovations.com/radio/astral.html

Playlist

[Track 1: 0:00-3:05] Hawklords - "Sonic Seven Kiss" (from Censored)
[Track 2: 3:05-7:54] Mechanik - "Remember a Day" (from V/A: A Momentary Lapse of Vinyl)
[Track 3: 7:54-15:17] Cranium Pie - "The One Not me Not I" (from The One Not me Not I CD single)
[Track 4: 15:17-25:05] Eternal Tapestry - "Trout Fishing on the Street of Eternity" (from Guru Overload)
[Track 5: 25:05-28:11] Chemistry Set - "See Emily Play" (from V/A: A Momentary Lapse of Vinyl)
[Track 6: 28:11-30:51] The Luck of Eden Hall - "Psychotropic Reaction" (from V/A: Postcards from the Deep)
[Track 7: 30:51-37:20] Monster Magnet - "End of Time (B-3)" (from Milking the Stars)
[Track 8: 37:20-40:29] The Loons - "Celestial Empire" (from V/A: Postcards from the Deep)
[Track 9: 40:29-46:27] Vespero - "Scream Thy Last Scream" (from V/A: A Momentary Lapse of Vinyl)
[Track 10: 46:27-49:52] Octopus Syng - "Flaming" (from V/A: A Momentary Lapse of Vinyl)
[Track 11: 49:52-1:05:01] The Cosmic Dead - "Drone Rivers (Edit)" (from Tunnel Channel Vol. 1: Guardian Alien & The Cosmic Dead)
[Track 12: 1:05:01-1:08:38] Astralasia - "Brainticket" (from V/A: Postcards from the Deep)
[Track 13: 1:08:38-1:15:29] Lumerians - "Hook for an Eye" (from Transmission from Telos Vol. III)
[Track 14: 1:15:29-1:22:11] My Brother the Wind - "Further Up the Mountain Trail (Live)" (from Live at Roadburn 2013)
[Track 15: 1:22:11-1:29:33] Orval Carlos Sibelius - "Archipel Celesta" (from Super Forma)
[Track 16: 1:29:33-1:37:28] Dead Sea Apes - "Regolith" (from High Evolutionary)
[Track 17: 1:37:28-1:44:07] The Myrrors - "Solar Collector" (from Solar Collector EP)
[Track 18: 1:44:07-1:47:53] Samoaya - "Kaiholan toukka" (from S/T)
[Track 19: 1:47:53-2:00:00] Oresund Space Collective - "Ziggurat of the Boards (Edit)" (from Music for Pogonologists)
[Track 20: 2:00:00-2:04:38] Camera - "To the Inside" (from Remember I Was Carbon Dioxide)
[Track 21: 2:04:38-2:08:04] Woodsman - "Obsidian" (from S/T)

Monster Magnet: Milking the Stars: A Re-Imagining of Last Patrol

Napalm Records (NPR 563) 













As the title suggests, Milking the Stars is some kind of a re-imagining of the previous studio album Last Patrol by the psychedelic stoner rock veterans Monster Magnet. Their main man Dave Wyndorf wanted to make a more psychedelic, sort of 60s styled alternative reality version of the album and I got to say that he's done a great job at it. This is not merely a lame remix that someone else might have ended up with. There are four new tracks, lots of different new recordings and arrangements to the old songs as well as two high-energy live tracks to close this excellent trip.

The new instrumental "Let the Circus Burn" starts off the album.  The basic riff might sound familiar, but the vibe with all the organ, spacey effects and mind-blowing guitar is pretty unique... I'm already loving this album! "Mindless Ones '68" is a new rendition of one of the best tracks on Last Patrol and I must say I prefer the new version. More organ and psych vibes in the mix again! "No Paradise for Me" is a more garage styled, creeping re-working of "Paradise" and works out great. One of the highlights for me is the fast and furious "End of Time (B-3)" that now has much more Hammond organ. A brand new track "Milking the Stars" is a slower and more atmospheric, great piece that gets heavier and pretty psychedelic and hypnotic later on. Wow! I didn't particularly dig "Hallelujah" on Last Patrol and "Hallelujah (Fuzz and Swamp)" is not that much more interesting I think. Some swamp blues vibe might still be needed on a MM album, I guess. "I Live Behind the Clouds (Roughed Up and Slightly Spaced)" sounds very good, though. A new track "Goliath Returns" is a massive, repetetive instrumental piece that only lasts for three-and-a-half minutes but does the trick. The chilled out "Stay Tuned (Even Sadder)" really is sadder than the original with all the Mellotron and spacey sounds sounding just wonderful. "The Duke (Full On Drums 'N Wah)" is of course a re-working of "The Duke (of Supernature)" but this time with full drum set and more wah guitar. Not that different in vibe, but very nice. The fierce live version of "Last Patrol" kicks ass in the MC5/The Stooges style and is also very psychedelic, and the Donovan cover "Three Kingfishers" (live as well) is a suitable ending for a great album that has a nice flow and lots of little details to get into.  It might be a good idea to re-imagine some of the other Monster Magnet albums as well like Power Trip! Just an idea...

www.zodiaclung.com



keskiviikko 12. marraskuuta 2014

Hawklords: Censored

Hawklords (LORDS0914)


This is the third studio CD (unfortunately not out on vinyl like the previous ones) by the "new" Hawklords, a heavy, punky and psychedelic space rock band formed mostly by ex-Hawkwind/Hawklords members around six years ago. Before the studio albums they released a live DVD/2LP recorded at the Barney Bubbles Memorial Concert. At the moment the line-up is Harvey Bainbridge (synths, keyboards & FX), Dave Pearce (drums), Jerry Richards (guitars, bass on tracks 1 & 3 on this CD, synths, piano & vocals, Adrian Shaw (bass, synthesizer, dialogue FX & audio sculpture) and Ron Tree (vocals). The band considers themselves as some kind of continuation of the '78/'79 Hawklords, and yes, there are lots of similarities in the vibe, atmosphere and sound and even song structures and ideology. Harvey's spacey, soaring synth work is very important as well as the tight rhythm section of Dave and Adrian (as also in The Bevis Frond!) and heavy, talented guitar playing of Jerry. It's a really demanding job to step in the big boots of the late, great poet, visionary and lead singer Robert Calvert but Ron Tree is the best man for the job as far as I know.


The album starts off with the heavy rocking, rather repetitive and a bit punky "State of Emergency". The last two minutes are just spacey soundscapes. I'm already enjoying the ride! "Damned" is another great, heavy, straight-forward space rock track that kicks ass. Excellent! The beautiful "Forever" cools down the vibe a bit but still rocks out too. "Induction" is a dark, ambient narrative with psychedelic, almost scary effects and reminds me of the stuff Michael Moorcock did on Hawkwind's Warrior at the Edge of Time album. In fact, Mike is one of the contributors to this track so no wonder! "Sonic Seven Kiss" is one of the best songs on the album, very powerful stuff. Then it's time to chill out with the pretty and semi-acoustic wonder called "Starstruck". "It's What You Wanted" rocks a bit in the New Wave/Post Punk style, and "Soma" is a three minutes of hallucinogenic ambient soundscapes by the synth wizard himself, Harvey Bainbridge. The cool "Catwalk Chic" somehow brings to mind "Urban Guerilla" and works very well too. The mid-tempo "Upside Down Man" is bit more atmospheric again and also has some acoustic guitar in the mix. "The Well of Forever" brings at first to mind "Who's Gonna Win the War?" as well as Hawkwind's Church of Hawkwind album before it starts to rock out around the three-minute marker. Jerry's solo guitar work sounds like a homage to Huw Lloyd-Langton, superb. Then we still have one bonus track left, and "You What" is a rather strange, experimental thing... What a great album, it seems that the Hawklords are getting better all the time and according to the live reports and YouTube snippets they must be excellent live as well so buy their stuff and go and see them live if you can!

www.hawklords.com

maanantai 10. marraskuuta 2014

Vincebus Eruptum #18



This great Italian heavy psych music magazine celebrates its 15th anniversary so congratulations to Davidew and crew! This time we have a little bit thinner mag (just 30 colour pages) due to the enclosed CD to manage the shipping costs, but that's okay. The CD in question is Essay on a Drunken Cloud by Italian heavy psych/stoner rock group Anuseye. They might not win the best band name competition, but this album that was previously available only on limited vinyl edition really deserves a wider audience. But let's get back to the CD later on!

So what do we have in the brand new mag? As usual, interviews with both more seasoned veterans of the scene and some not so familiar acts, lots of reviews and and an interview with a record label boss, this time Wolf from the great German record label World in Sound. I got to admit that this time most of the featured bands were at least relatively unknown to me, so lots of new stuff to read and learn. Prisma Circus is a new, young band from Barcelona, Spain playing bluesy hard rock and  so are Child from Melbourne, Australia. Druggy and wicked doom masters Electric Wizard don't really need any introductions at this point, but I got to say the interview with Jus Osborn is very interesting and also touches some fragile areas... Da Captain Trips is pretty cool Italian band dedicated to long instrumental jams that we all should check out more closely I think. If some of you are old enough to remember the Italian stoner/psych rock band That's All Folks! (check out their Psyche as One of the Fine Arts album!) that was active in 1990-2002, you might remember their guitarist/singer Claudio Colaianni who now has the band called Anuseye with Antonello Carrante (drums, percussion, Moog, keyboards) and Michele Valla (bass) and is also interviewed in this issue. That's All Folks! were also later connected to a band called Atomic Workers, worth investigating as well... Anyway, the enclosed Anuseye album really kicks ass including a good mix of fuzzy stoner and desert rock, psych rock and vintage hard rock all played with lots of emotion and balls. Great stuff! This is the first time I remember reading about a band called Jeremy Irons and the Ratgang Malibus but I bet I will be hearing about them in the future. The informative but to the point reviews include bands like L'Ira del Baccano, The Spacelords, 1000Mods, Fungus, Hot Lunch, Vibravoid, Fatso Jetson & Herba Mate, Electric Moon, Seven That Spells, Sendelica, John Garcia and even three from Finland: Harvest Bell, Deep Space Destructors and Octopus Syng which is nice! It's also very intriguing to read about the World in Sound label. The art is excellent as always so just do yourself a favor and order this issue with the great CD!

www.vincebuseruptum.it
 

 

perjantai 7. marraskuuta 2014

Various Artists: Postcards from the Deep

Fruits de Mer Records (Crustacean 58)


Now this is something special... Keith from Fruits de Mer had a crazy idea to put together a box set of post card singles (the ones that were produced in Poland in the 60s and in some other places even now...) with today's bands covering raw freakbeat gems from the 60s. This proved to be a difficult task, so now we are getting ten one-sided flexi singles AND ten matching postcards instead! All art is by the very talented Mick Dillingham. Since the sound quality of the flexis still isn't perfect, the cool box set also includes a CD of all the ten tracks. But since were are talking about the strange and wonderful Fruits de Mer land here where anything can and will happen, some of the versions on the CD differ from the ones on the flexis... This is also the 2015 of FdM, it's just not called that. Confused yet? You should be.

Anyway, what we have here is ten marvelous, hard-hitting 60s freakbeat/garage psych/surf etc. tracks played by some of the best possible choices there are at the moment. The Luck of Eden Hall starts off the game with Count Five's "Psychotic Reaction" and I don't remember the band ever playing this raw, energetic and brutal sounding stuff. Get psyched up! The Loons do "Celestial Empire" by Dragonfly and this is excellent, authentic 60s garage psych stuff with rough fuzz guitars as well. The Crawlin' Hex is a new band by Earthling Society's Fred, and their rendition of "I'm A Living Sickness" (Calico Wall) is just as sinister and gloomy as you might expect from him. Superb! The instrumental "LSD" (The Pretty Things) sounds VERY 60s played by the The Thanes, what an excellent, lysergic job! Satori's "Time Machine" gets a treatment by The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies and we are rocking and rolling in outer space. The Past Tense perform a raw and phased version of "Soul Fiction" (The Hippies), and Schizo Fun Addict's version of The Sorrows song "Take a Heart" is pure early acid freakiness. Crystal Jacqueline brings us back to Earth a bit, but with a very nice touch with "You Just Gotta Know My Mind" (Dana Gillespie/Donovan). If you have ever wondered, what Brainticket's organ-driven mind-fuck "Brainticket" might sound played by Astralasia, you will now find out... Just be careful not to loose your mind on the journey. Finally, Icarus Peel gives us a groovy and hard-rocking version of "The Avengers' Theme" (Laurie Johnson) and I'm in fuzz psych heaven. Believe me, you need to get this box!

www.fruitsdemerrecords.com




 

 

The Chemistry Set: Elapsed Moments 7"

Fruits de Mer Records (Winkle 18)


Elapsed Moments is a new 7" by British neo-psychedelic heroes The Chemistry Set who first started in the late 80s and became quite successful before quitting business for a long time. They have been making music again for a few years and released for example a few great 7" singles on FdM and one full-length CD before this. This time they give us two new originals and a nice cover version of "Love or Confusion" by Jimi Hendrix. The title track comes first and it is a very radio-friendly, melodic, emotional and inventive psych pop song with some 60s vibe but a rather modern, excellent production. I think this song has a lot of potential and I especially love the vocals, well done guys. "A Cure for the Inflicted Afflicted" is a bit  groovier and brings to mind The Stones a bit, but also bands like The Happy Mondays, but this hits you harder. Another winner. "Love or Confusion" gets a semi-acoustic treatment including tablas and sitar. This sounds very nice as well! All the 700 copies of the single also include the great cover art as a folded poster so why don't you order this beauty if you haven't already.

thechemistryset.bandcamp.com


Superfjord / Earthling Society: Coltrane 7"

Fruits de Mer Records (Crustacean 59)


Okay, another great Finnish band makes its debut on Fruits de Mer... And I just might have had something to do with it! Superfjord is a new psychedelic band project by Jussi Ristikaarto (ex-Kevin) with a little help form other seasoned Finnish indie rock musicians. They released their superb debut album It Is Dark, But I Have This Jewel earlier this year, and you can read my review here.  I've also seen the band live two times so far and they have blown my mind to pieces. One of the best tracks on the CD is absolutely their version of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme", and when my old favourites Earthling Society released their spacey version of Alice Coltrane's "Journey in Satchidananda" on their latest, amazing album England Have My Bones (check out my review here.), it was a match made in heaven in the fevered brain of Fruits de Mer's Keith and I couldn't agree more.

Jussi made a new, hallucinogenic intro to "A Love Supreme", so this is not exactly the same version as on the album. Anyway, this version takes you to places that you haven't even dreamed of before. There's some killer psych guitar, hypnotic bass, cool percussion, soaring keyboards, lots of mind-expanding effects and also very suitable spoken word about freeing ourselves from the ordinal reality. It really works! Seven and a half minutes of pure magic. Also Fred from Earthling Society came up with a pretty different rendition to the one released on the album. This "Cosmic Joy Mix" really is even more psychedelic, spacey and esoteric and lasts over eight minutes. Very uplifting, very trippy and spiritual and I love it!

To take things even further into the cosmos, all of the 700 copies of this 33 rpm EP come with a free 70-minute CD including lots of other treats! They were not included in the promo package so I can't comment much but the short edit of Astralasia's remix of "A Love Supreme" that's available on YouTube sounds just celestial. There's also a live version of the same track, VHSHead remix of "Journey in Satchidananda" plus new recordings by both Superfjord and Earthling Society so you can be sure to get multiple times your money's worth when you order this thing! This MUST be one of the most important 7" releases this year.

superfjord.tumblr.com

www.earthlingsociety.co.uk
 


This is an early version of the track:
 

torstai 30. lokakuuta 2014

Hotlist

This is the hot stuff right now:

The Heads: Everybody Knows We Got Nowhere Box Set
Eternal Tapestry: Guru Overload LP (test pressing...)
Kingston Wall: We Cannot Move 7"
The Cosmic Dead / Guardian Alien: Tunnel Channel Volume One LP
Sky Picnic: Her Dawn Wardrobe LP
Anthroprophh: Outside the Circle LP
Pharaoh Overlord: Överhörn CS
nick nicely: Space of a Second LP
Salem's Pot: Ego Trip 7"
Dark Fog: DFIII... Thousands LP
 



The Clamps: Deadly Kick for a Fat Fucker

Go Down Records (RIFFGOD 083)



The Clamps is a new Italian trio playing heavy high-energy rock'n'roll in the vein of Motörhead, The Hellacopters, Fu Manchu etc. This is their first release and really kicks ass. The CD includes twelve straight-forward tracks of pure adrenaline-fueled rock music with great riffs, raw vocals and tight beats. There's nothing that hasn't been done before, but the band really doesn't play around and just delivers their aggressive testosterone goods in the in-your-face manner that's very convincing. Track titles like "Bones", "Let's Go to Destroy", "Loser", "She's the Devil", "All Together to Hell" and "Never Cross My Way" might give you an idea of what they are all about. I got to say that this is not exactly my kind of music (not at all psychedelic, mind-expanding or spacey), but I'm sure that a lot of people will enjoy this very much. The album is produced very well and the playing is tight and fluent, so if you are a fan of raw and hard rock music you might want to check them out.





 





keskiviikko 29. lokakuuta 2014

Paul Roland: Professor Moriarty's Jukebox

Sireena Records (SIR 2112)



The master of psychedelic Gothic/horror rock and baroque pop and folk is back! After the release of a brand-new studio CD's Bates Motel (2012) and Hexen (2013)  it was now time for a compilation CD. But this is not your ordinary collection of old classics: Professor Moriarty's Jukebox compiles together ten recent, unreleased high-quality radio session tracks with nine alternate versions, outtakes, remixes and rarities making this a very interesting package indeed.

So the CD starts off with ten re-workings of Mr. Roland's classic songs from the 80s onwards. He had put together a new live band in 2012 and decided to record these songs in a studio for radio use since they sounded quite different and I must say that these are excellent versions with a full line-up including for example violin to give you some extra chills down your spine and also some folk vibes. My personal favourites are the opener "Re-Animator", the beautiful melancholic ballad "Captain Nemo", the rocking "Tortured by the Daughter of Fu Manchu" and the haunting "Nosferatu" that I think is one Paul's best songs ever. "The Crimes of Dr Cream" works out very well too and "I Was a Teenage Zombie" from the Bates Motel has lots of power and energetic, wild guitar solos! Great stuff. You can hear that Paul's getting a bit older, but it doesn't matter since he definitely still can deliver the vocals and has matured well.

The last nine tracks on the CD originate from various sources and times. Most must be relatively recent, but at least "Death of a Clown", a folk rock outtake from the Sarabande sessions,  dates from the 90s. "Meadow of the Sea" (unreleased re-recording from 2007) rocks out the most. Unreleased versions of "Fairies" and "Eight Little Whores", unreleased acoustic versions of "I'm Not Like Everybody Else", "Kali" and "Bates Motel" as well as remixed version of "I Dared the Devil" present Paul in his psych folk mode. The album is finished with the rather minimal cover version of Joy Division's "Day of the Lords" that was originally released last year on a Joy Division tribute album called Shadowplay. Paul makes the song sound like one of his own, so he does a good job I think. All in all, this is a pretty interesting and enjoyable collection of songs, please check it out. And while you're at it, also have look at Paul's many fascinating books on the occult, paranormal etc.

www.paulroland.de

Spiralmaze: Back to the Center

Self-released


Spiralmaze is a quartet from Chania, Greece, playing instrumental, trance/techno oriented instrumental, psychedelic and progressive space rock in the vein of Ozric Tentacles. Their latest album could almost be a lost Ozrics album from ten years ago or something. I'm saying this as a compliment, since the production, musicianship and vibe are all of high standard! There are a lot of programming included, but the band still uses real guitars, bass and drums as well, so there is a strong organic rock element in there too.

The album begins with the high-energy electro-rocker "Multiverse" and it's almost impossible not to dance. There's enough variation and very psychedelic soundscapes as well! "Hwang Ho" is a tad more soothing with its nice delay guitars, soaring sequencers and mellower parts, but also rather fast and rhythmical. I like it a lot! "Remipede" is heavier and more intense and also rather progressive and includes some samples too. Reminds me of Hidria Spacefolk a bit, and also has excellent solo guitar, like many other tracks too. "Myriad Small Creatures" is again like from the Ozrics song-book, but now it's time for psychedelic dub. And why not, since Spiralmaze can handle that as well. Samples are used to add some ethnic flavor. "The Longest Day (Part I)" is a four-minute spacey and ambient synthesizer piece, and during the long and excellent "The Longest Day (Part II)" the band goes into very danceable territories. Amazing worlds appear in front of your closed eyelids! The CD closes with the at first sort of tribal sounding, percussive title track "Back to the Center" that starts to rock out after 90 seconds. Great and tight going! This reminds me of the Finnish band Taipuva Luotisuora who also have ingested their share of the Ozric Tentacles. The beautiful end part sounds more like Porcupine Tree, though, but not bad at all. I realize I've been comparing Spiralmaze to a lot of other bands so let's also give them some credit for inventive, nice, original compositions and excellent musicianship and style. Check them out!

spiralmaze.bandcamp.com