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tiistai 18. heinäkuuta 2017

Cosmic Triggers - Homo Fractaliens

Adansonia Records (AR018)

Mother Russia keeps on giving birth to great psych bands, just check out Polska Radio One, Cosmic Letdown or Maatlander for example. Cosmic Triggers from Saint Petersburg is the latest addition to the ultra spacey, tripped-out and cosmic psych rock family and this is their first album. Homo Fractaliens has just seen a limited vinyl release on the superb Adansonia Records that has introduced people to stellar bands like Kungen's Män and Fungal Abyss.  Cosmic Triggers is formed by Anastasia Skabelkin (vocals & analog synth), Vladimir Skabelkin (guitar, ethnic, synth), Vladimir Kolbin (guitar), Russel Petrov (drums) and Tagir Khisamov (bass) and I have a feeling that these cosmonauts are going far and high.

The LP starts off with the laid-back, slow and droney "Introduction" where the band jams in relaxed mood while Anastasia gives brief cosmic messages.  After three-and-a-half minutes the title track rocks a bit more in a groovy, very cool style taking you deeper into space. Before the two-minute-marker the track turns into a reggae/dub styled jams that goes on for another five minutes tripping you out. "Undermind" is a nine-minute, hyper cosmic ambient piece that is perfect for the soundtrack of your favourite psychedelic trip. I love the ethnic/tribal, very spaced-out vibe on this one. Later on some percussion is added. I can imagine some ancient cave paintings being made my shamen with this music on... Wow! The mysterious "Syndicate" is more rock oriented stuff again and brings to mind the hazy, mescalin-fuelled soundscapes by Liquid Sound Company. This is very deep stuff and puts you in a trance! "Quant Um" is the only little faster number and comes closer to krautrock, Vibravoid or Hawkwind. My only complaint is that it is a bit short, but I guess you could say the length is just perfect at 4:20. The album is finished with a loose space jam called "Shutsuryoku" that keeps you lingering on in zero gravity for another six minutes. I got to say that Cosmic Triggers is one of the best and most interesting bands that I've encountered this year and I really advice you to receive their cosmic transmission. Amazing stuff!

lauantai 1. heinäkuuta 2017

Electric Moon - Stardust Rituals

Sulatron Records (ST 1703-2)

With Stardust Rituals Germany's Electric Moon must have created their best ever release so far. The trio of Sula Bassana (guitars, e-sitar, mellotron, organ, e-piano, effects), Komet Lulu (bass, bass synth, vocals, space echo, effects & Marcus (drums) give us all you might expect from an Electric Moon album and more. It seems like a bit more planned/written album than before, although there's still room for the heavy and mind-blowing space jams as well. I also like the fact that Lulu is singing on most of the tracks.

The eight-minute "Loop" starts off in a beutiful way with organ and soft guitar. Soon the rhythm section joins in and then Lulu's very spacey and cool vocals (think of Brainticket or something) are added to a great effect. Wonderful! After some laid-back lead guitar work the track gets more intense and hypnotic and really starts to rock in space. Wow! One of their best tracks for sure, I hope they also play this live. "Stardust (The Picture)" is a heavy, repetitive and hypnotic track that also has nice vocals from Lulu, this time not so manipulated. Some cool jamming, psychedelic space sounds and mind-blowing guitar soloing on this one. We are all stardust. We're made of the Sun. We're all made of stars. That's why we're one. That's the message for you all! Ten minutes goes past fine with just one simple riff when you are trippy as hell. "Astral Hitch Hike" is the only shorter track on the album at 4:44. This is a peaceful, emotional and touching piece with nice electric sitar to give it an Eastern icing. Mellotron adds its own dimension and this truelly is a blissful journey. The albums longest track is the almost 23-minute "(You Will) Live Forever Now" the begins in a very laid-back, sleepy manner but slowly grows into a full-blown heavy space rock mind fuck. Some sitar and quiet vocals in this one as well. Here the band gets rather metaphysical and spiritual even... The ending just blows my mind... Excellent!

The first blue marbled edition of the LP version is already sold out but the second pressing is available as well as the CD version. I must also add that the cover art on both the vinyl and CD editions is phenomenal and suits perfectly the mystical, majestetic mood of the amazing music. Maybe my favourite album in 2017 so far! I'm really looking forward to see Electric Moon live again later this month, and the first time in Finland! Welcome space cadets, we love you. Finnish freaks, make sure you make it to Tampere on 14.7. or Oulu on the following day, you won't be dissappointed.

torstai 29. kesäkuuta 2017

Lamp of the Universe / Kanoi - Split LP

Clostridium Records (CR029)

Germany's Clostridium Records keep on pushing great psychedelic sounds for the cosmically oriented masses. Well, quite small masses in fact since all their high quality releases are strictly limited editions. Lamp of the Universe has been one my favourite trippy, spacey and spiritual psych folk acts since the beginning and I'm always excited about Craig Williamson's new musical adventures. This guy from New Zealand has the ability to transport the listener into a mystical, metaphysical plane with his beautiful, hypnotic and mind-blowing music. Kanoi is a pretty new one-man-band from Austria whose progress into the heart of the psychedelia I've been following for some time now and I've got to say he has now definitely found the way.

This time LOTU offers us four a bit shorter (relatively speaking...) tracks, two of them being just little instrumental meditations. All four tracks were performed in a drug entranced search for the god YHWY and I feel the god was found or at least glimpses were seen. The two-minute "In the Beginning" starts the spiritual journey in a smooth, Eastern-tinged way. Slowly we are taken further with the mystical, dreamy and peaceful "The Cosmic Body Track". Amazing! After that the creator of the cosmos, "Father" is slowly introduced to us mere mortals. This track is a bit heavier with more fuzzy electric guitar and drums but still very dreamy and trippy and extremely cosmic. Human voice is only used as an instrument. Very cool! The short and meditative "Space Chant" that ends side A is pure magic.

The Kanoi side has two long tracks. "I'm Gone (I'm Gone)" starts with acoustic guitar, nice, groovy beat, heavenly keyboards and beutiful vocals with tons of reverb. Soon we also get some acidic lead guitar work and there's plenty of that to come. Kanoi has never sounded this good, I'm loving this! The track just gets more psychedelic with the next section that includes spacey synth sounds, backwards guitar etc... Wow! Towards the end the acoustic mood returns but in much more tranquil way and things get really dreamy and chilled out. "Mountains of the Sun" is a laid-back and very beautiful psych rock/pop track that I also love. Towards the end it starts to rock out some more with cool solo guitar work. Don't get too high while listening or you might not find your way back. Excellent work by Benjamin Kantschieder!

In summary, this is a totally mind-blowing split album by two superb mind explorers and I highly recommend trying to score the hand-numbered die-hard edition on green/yellow/white vinyl with insert and puzzle as it really looks and sounds amazing with the excellent artwork and sleeve design by Dale Simpson. Check out my photo below.

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  • 1 Terminal (from Terminal) by Circle
  • 2 Folder (from Folder) by Lød
  • 3 The Beyond Beyond from Beyond (from Atomic Oblivion) by Steel Mammoth
  • 4 Rational Woman (from Maneuvers) by Sasquatch
  • 5 12 Shades Revisited (from Live in Berlin 2017) by Sendelica
  • 6 Love Is All (from Strange Roads) by Sidewalk Society
  • 7 Piper at the Gates of Time (from Song 2x7") by Fuchsia
  • 8 Zeta (from Phillip The Egg) by Magic Bus
  • 9 Secretion of the Wafer (from Heaven Is in Your Mind 7") by Anton Barbeau
  • 10 Astral Hitch Hike (from Stardust Rituals) by Electric Moon
  • 11 Cosmic Highway (from Drone Jams Vol. II) by The Space Spectrum
  • 12 The Multicellular Structures Into The Space Drift (from Maat Lander / OSC split) by Maat Lander
  • 13 Fluff (from Würzburg Cairo 2015) by Electric Orange
  • 14 Hermanos (from S/T) by Vago Sagrado
  • 15 Benediction Moon (from Realms of Metaphysical) by Arc of Ascent
  • 16 Ambur (from Nektyr) by Demen
  • 17 Ending (from The Ape Regards His Tail) by Sula Bassana

tiistai 27. kesäkuuta 2017

Sendelica - Live in Berlin

FRG Records

The Welsh psychedelic space rock masters just keep on putting out great stuff (around 30 releases in 10 years!). I'm glad that they do, since I now can confirm that they are one of my favourite bands. This is a limited (200 copies) CD only release that will be out next month. Live in Berlin captures the band's final gig on their recent European Spring Tour and having seen them in Finland again I can say that the band really is on fire with the new drummer Joe Caswell who gives new energy levels to their live performances. The rest of the live band still is Pete Bingham (guitar), Glenda Pescado (bass) and Lee Relfe (sax). My only complaint is that, probably due to economical reasons, they don't have synth players or singers on their European tours and that treat is reserved for the U.K audiences only. But hey, these four guys are enough to make an unforgetful evening of great live music, I assure you!

Not ofter do bands start their gigs with a 20-minute track but Sendelica effortlessly pulls that off with their 2016 masterpiece "Cromlech Suite", entitled here "Chronicles Chronicles" like the album. Amazing! The semi-Pink Floyd cover "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Buddha" is next and we are pulled into a mysterious, psychedelic and sort of Oriental world. I love Lee's sax especially on this one! A new track that they come up with at rehealsals is called "Lost City of Cardiza" and it takes of where the last track ended. A shortened version of "Not the Time for Salads" from the new 2LP Lilacs Out of the Deadlands comes next and it takes us to the "Baalbek Stones" that works out excellently live. Then it's time for a extended, 20-minute space rock monster "Dancing to Dante's Inferno" that reeks of Hawkwindian space dust. Lots of cool jamming on this one! "Shades Revisited" opens up in calm and beautiful way but gets pretty progressive and busy later on. What a great way to end a live CD! The sound quality is crystal clear so the only thing I'm missing here is a vinyl edition. Get this CD before it's gone!

The Janitors - Horn Ur Marken

Cardinal Fuzz (CF666)

Horn Ur Marken is the third album by Swedish dark psych / post-punk /alternative rock band The Janitors. It is their statemant againts religious misdoings,  capitalist selfishness, racist idiocrasy and fascism. I'm still kicking myself for not buying the previous Cardinal Fuzz release, the 2LP Drone Head since it seems to be impossible to find in any reasonable price. Luckily I've got their previous release, the excellent 2014 12" EP Evil Doings of an Evil Kind that I also reviewed. In my review I compared The Janitors to Cult of Dom Keller, Dead Skeletons, Sonic Jesus, The Underground Youth & The Spacemen 3 and this still sort of holds.

There are seven tracks on the album. It starts off with the hypnotic, heavy, gloomy and excellent mid-tempo "Trojan Horse", one of my favourites. The slow title track comes next and it's a dark, mesmerizing trip that goes on for nine and a half minutes. "Neon Times" is a bit more energetic and percussive blast that offers no mercy or hope for the human kind. On the fuzz-filled "Blizzard" the band starts to rock out more and gets wild, but the overal vibe still is dark and hopeless. Not that it gets any lighter at any point... The droney "In the Wood" brings to mind early Specemen 3 and "Fear of All" has strong post-punk/Gothic overtunes. The album is finished with the peaceful and hazy but alarming instrumental "Alarmatica". I really enjoy this album although it certainly does not make you feel "good" in a normal way because of its dark, unsettling message and vibe but musically it gives you great satisfaction. Horn Ur Marken is out on two different vinyl editions, CD and cassette, go and get it!

sunnuntai 25. kesäkuuta 2017

Expo Seventy - America Here & Now Sessisons

Essence Music (ESSWAX02-S)

Expo '70 is a very prolific experimental drone/abstract/psych rock outfit who have released around 50 albums since their interception in 2003. The improvised music of this free-form band led by Justin Wright can be rather electronic or more rock oriented like this album. America Here & Now Sessisons were recorded in summer 2012 and was intended for a collective album with another band but this never materialized. Essence Music from Brazil released the recordings last December on limited vinyl and CD. The CD has a whole different art work by Justin himself as well as an eight-minute bonus track that didn't fit on the vinyl version. This release includes a short-lived line-up with two drummer (David Williams, Mike Vera), Justin Wright on guitar and synthesizer and Aaron Osborne on bass.

"First Movement" builds up slowly into a full-blown, slow psych rock jam that goes on and developes for over 20 minutes. This is rather heavy and mind-blowing stuff and I really enjoy the hypnotic, cosmic vibes! The even longer "Second Movement" is more droney while Justin plays the synth. The two percussionists still get a cool, tribal groove together at some point, and later the track speeds up and gets more intense only to chill out again in the end. The CD bonus track "Third Movement" is more minimal in nature and not really essential, although still very nice. I really think I should check out more of Expo '70's stuff since this blows your mind. There are still some copies left of this CD limited to just 200 as well as a couple of the rare black vinyl edition at the band's Bandcamp site.