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tiistai 29. elokuuta 2017

Hotlist August

These are the top ten records I've been enjoying the most this month (apart from purchasing a lot 60s/70s psych 7"s lately) :

Kikagaku Moyo ‎– Stone Garden
Giöbia - Live Freak
Here Lies Man - S/T
Earthling Society ‎– Ascent To Godhead / Crooked Under Moonlight
Kungens Män ‎– Dag & Natt
Cosmic Ground ‎– Live
Cosmic Ground ‎– III
Kingston Wall - Live at Tavastia
Fuchsia ‎– Song double 7"
Anton Barbeau ‎– Heaven Is In Your Mind 7" 
      

sunnuntai 27. elokuuta 2017

Nazca Space Fox - S/T

Tonzonen Records (TON029/TON029CD)
 
Nazca Space Fox is a new German instrumental trio playing atmospheric post/stoner/psych rock. This brand-new LP/CD is apparently their first release and very well played, recorded and produced. In addition to electric guitar, bass and drums their sonic palette also includes occasional keyboards. There is a lot of dynamics and life in their music and the vibe also changes. I don't find their music highly psychedelic, spacey or mind-expanding, but there is that element in there as well. The band still trusts more on honest, good old power-trio playing than trippy tricks which is okay. Not every band has to be from another galaxy or something!
The album starts off with the almost 15-minute post-rock masterpiece "Weltraumorgel" that also has cool keyboard layers to add to the bit melancholic moods. Very nice and time just flies when you listen to this track! The shorter, groovy "The Monkey" is closer to stoner rock and has a happier vibe. "Orchid Coffee" is a beautiful piece that brings to mind some of the Colour Haze stuff. Getting pretty heavy and rocking towards the end... Great! "Isolator" is the second long track of the album and has a nice, emotional flow and groove with some heavier stuff in the middle. Nice! The shortest piece on the album is "Firebird" at 3:38 and it's a rather cool, melodic stoner rock number. The LP version (250 copies on blue and 250 on clear vinyl) ends with the long, adventurous and atmospheric "Mindwalk" that is definitely one of the best tracks. Beautiful, peaceful mode grows into a gorgeous guitar attacks and heavy boogie jamming. If you've got the CD version you can still enjoy the bonus track "5 Plus" that also works out really well somewhere in between heavy stoner and post-rock. This is a successful debut album in all aspects, check it out!


keskiviikko 23. elokuuta 2017

Killflavour - Forest Mirror

Barhill Records (BHR 001)

Killflavour is a German underground psych/post/alternative rock band formed in 1995. I have previously reviewed one of their three CD's but that was many, many years ago I think. Forest Mirror is their latest album after seven years of no releases and it is a great one. The album has a dark, experimental, hypnotic and hallucinatory vibe and the four tracks are very much based on improvisation. This is how they describe their music: "our music is free from rules, hierarchies, structures, constraints and full of spirit and ghosts". They use a lot of synthesizers, samples, organ, bass, guitar, drums, percussion etc. and the singer's output ranges in between whispers, animal noises and rather "very spaced-out Jim Morrison-like" vocals.

The opener "In, But Not of This World" builds up slowly creating an eerie, somehow animal, close to nature feeling. You get the sense of being deep in a magical forest or something. When the minimal, slow beat and psychedelic guitars begins, I'm reminded of Dead Can Dance. The track is instrumental apart from some ritualistic, shamanistic chanting. I'm spellbound for 11 minutes! "Shifting Paradigms" is the album's shortest track at 4:10. Here the singer channels Morrison from beyond the grave, another slow, hypnotic and dark piece. "Hiding Nature" continues the slow, mesmerising style with cool lyrics and sound effects along with a rather primitive beat. I love the synthesizers later on. For the drone rock fans, I guess. The B-side of the album is filled with the over 20-minute "Word as Shape" that has some spoken samples at the beginning. This is an atmospheric, more post-rock styled track that also has a bit more melody. The track gets heavier, more intense and sort of krautrock-like towards the end. A very nice instrumental (apart from a few quiet human voice lines now and then)!  I really like this album since it has some amazing moods and a pretty unique, psychedelic vibe. For lovers of dark, experimental and psychedelic music with lots of deep and weird vibes. The album is available on vinyl limited to 300 copies with a very cool open gatefold cover and you can also buy a digital download from their Bandcamp site.

www.killflavour.com

tiistai 22. elokuuta 2017

Da Captain Trips - Adventures in the Upsidedown

Phonosphera Records / VE Recordings (ph 11 / VELP017)

I reviewed the 2013 debut full-length album by this great Italian instrumental psychedelic space/prog rock band in early 2014 (check it out over here) and liked it a lot. In the mean time the band has re-released their first digital only EP on vinyl with bonus tracks, done an excellent split LP with the almighty Sendelica and also released a live album on the German Sunhair Music. Like all the above, this new album is a limited release and available on CD and LP with totally different artwork. The line-up features Cavitos: guitar, Peppo: bass, Tommy: drums and percussion and Bachis: synth & keyboards and bass on "Mother Earth". there are also a few guests like Lee Relfe the saxophone player of Sendelica which is great.

The album includes seven tracks. "The Calm and the Storm" starts off things in a laid-back, atmospheric manner creating a cool mood although it starts to rock/boogie out a bit after a couple of minutes. Nice opener! The galloping "Manta" has cool delay guitar work and keyboards and brings to mind bands like Monkey 3 without getting that heavy. Lots of guitar solos on this one. "Revelation" is slower and more mystical with a little bit of  Eastern vibe, lovely! I like the melodies and Lee's sax is spot-on too. "Dear Zahdia" begins as a melancholic ballad but turns into a rocking space rock orgy with space sounds, wow! "Trepasses Bay" is a beautiful, atmospheric track that comes close to some of the post-rock bands. "Peaceful Place" somehow brings to mind Colour Haze before it gets more electronic and hypnotic after the middle. The last track is the album's longest piece "Mother Earth" and it is peaceful, acoustic stuff before it starts to kick ass towards the end. All in all, this is great, honest album without too many overdubs but a lot of emotion and soul. Check it out!

www.facebook.com/dacaptaintrips


lauantai 19. elokuuta 2017

Kungens Män - Dag & Natt

Adansonia Records (AR019)

Kungens Män from Sweden have already stabilized their place in the hearts and minds of underground psych rock fans and this new studio double album will for sure make them even more loved. Their music might not appeal to you right away because their long jams just need time to get your full attention and understanding, but when you get it you will be in love. This time the tracks are a bit shorter (well, relatively speaking...) and over 3 minutes to almost 14 minutes in length. As the tittle  (Day and Night) suggests, the album takes the listener through one day and night starting from the lazy and still half sleepy "Morgonrodnad" in the morning and ending the circle with "Circeln Är Slut" at the end of the night.

The improvised and highly psychedelic music is still mostly instrumental, but we do get some occasional human voice as well. Some of the tracks like "Dag", "Samtidigt", "Aftonstjärnan" and "Vargtimmen" have a more energetic, krautrock-like beat, but usually the band stays rather chilled out and relaxed. The saxophone gives a nice, jazzy extra layer to the sonic palette, and the whole album has a very cool, dreamy atmosphere. The two guitar players are usually the ones that I tend to keep focused on, but that's just because the rhythm section plays like one seamless unit and the synths are mostly just to create nice, floating vibes. For example on the hazy "Natt" the saxophone player gets more attention. On "Månen Tur och Retur" the band gets heavier and more intense than usual and I like that too. They also show a bit groovier side on "Ett Tappad Perspektiv" that also has weird experimental edge and a wild solo guitar part. The shortest piece "Mara" is an odd experimental ambient piece with drum machine by the synth player. All in all, another masterpiece by this great band that you really should check out in peace if you haven't already. I can also confirm that Adansonia have yet again delivered a really cool package with extras for the 2LP version... Artwork is by the band's bass player like usual. Amazing!

www.facebook.com/bandetkungensman

perjantai 4. elokuuta 2017

Astral Visions Show #75 online @ Mixcloud!



Oh yeah baby, check out my groovy and spacey (etc...) show at:

www.mixcloud.com/AstralVisions/astral-visions-75/

Tracklist

  • 1 Quant Um (from Homo Fractaliens) by Cosmic Trickers
  • 2 Dancing In Flames (from Summer Loop) by Radiation Flowers
  • 3 Evil In The Tree (from Evil In The Tree 7") by The Oscillation
  • 4 7 or 7 or Not (from Tribute to Lemmy) by The Sonic Shamen
  • 5 Comanche Moon (from Death Song) by The Black Angels
  • 6 Entrada (from Obsidion) by Barrows
  • 7 Atom Heart MF (from HAwkeyes / Radiation Flowers split) by Hawkeyes
  • 8 Bone And Rock (from Time Machine 1992-2017) by Electric Orange
  • 9 Manta (from Adventures In The Upsidedown) by Da Captain Trips
  • 10 Aftonstjärnan (from Dag & Natt) by Kungens Män
  • 11 Hiding Nature? (from Forest Mirror) by Killflavour
  • 12 Armageddon Speed (from Atomic Oblivion) by Steel Mammoth
  • 13 Dripping (from Harbor) by Undone
  • 14 Dark Peace (from Forbidden Fruit) by The Striped Bananas
  • 15 Last Night of the Rarite (from S/T) by Hooffoot