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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.

lauantai 24. kesäkuuta 2017

Vago Sagrado - S/T

Adansonia Records (AR 016)

Vago Sagrado is a Chilean psychedelic rock trio from Santiago. This is their debut album and first put out on tape in 2015 by ETCS Records. It was finally released on vinyl by Adansonia last month. I really enjoy the band's warm, fuzzy, heart-felt and free-form take on making psychedelic rock with the classic guitar-bass-drums combo. The seven songs herein are pretty simple but work out great.

The instrumental "La Alfombra Debajo del Océano" starts off and ends with some ocean sounds and is mostly dreamy, slow and hazy stuff but also rocks out faster in the middle. I'm somehow reminded of early La Ira de Dios stuff. "Take Back the North" has cool spoken word and beutiful instrumentation but gets louder and noisier later on. This is not excatly stoner rock but gets close. One of the best tracks is the hypnotic and spellbounding "Hermanos" that has vocals in Spanish. Very nice! "Sacred Bum" and "Circo" are another two great, dreamy, sunburned acid rock jams with spoken vocals. The next track is the instrumental "Reprise" that rocks faster almost in krautrock/post-punk vein and I'm enjoying the ride. The album is finished with the slow and heavy instrumental "Mojo". All in all, this is a great album with some excellent playing by a tight and inventive trio that can make the usual rock instrumentation and psych rock tricks sound inventive and fresh. Excellent vibes, check this out!

keskiviikko 21. kesäkuuta 2017

Dj Astro playlist @ Doomsday for Stoners, Lepakkomies, Helsinki, 16.6.2017

I had a great night, thanks everyone! This is (more or less..) what I played, check out my short videos of the bands below.

John McBain - First Earth Battalion
Grombira - Carpe Noctem
Capra Informis - Tunnels of Qliphoth
Black Sabbath - Laguna Sunrise
Blue Öyster Cult - Dominance and Submission
Motörhead - On Parole
Reverend Bizarre - The Goddess of Doom
Celtic Frost - Procreation (of the Wicked)
Cobra Family Picnic - Frost
Moon Duo - Sevens
Circle - Rakkautta Al Dente
The Obsessed - Sacred
Brant Bjork - Stackt
Masters of Destiny - The Blue Garden/Gettin' High
Gas Giant - Too Stoned
Monster Magnet - Dinosaur Vacuum
Pentagram - All Your Sins
Black Sabbath - Sweet Leaf
On Trial - Mountain
Fu Manchu - Hell on Wheels
Judas Priest - Sinner
Motörhead -Lost Johnny
Moths & Locusts - Our Dear Leader
Ecstatic Vision - Keep It Loose
Mana Mana - Mikä on sun taivas
Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love
Scorpions - Pictured Life
Judas Priest - Here Comes the Tears

maanantai 19. kesäkuuta 2017

Circle - Terminal

Southern Lord (LORD 235)

It has been two years since Finland's (or the world's) best band Circle released their previous studio album called Pharaoh Overlord. Of course, their parallel band Pharaoh Overlord put out an album called Circle at the same time. Confused yet? You definitely should. Anyway, live album 6000 km/h Part 2 and the Kummitus 7" were released last year to keep the addicted fans happy. Circle has been famous for the fact that anything can happen during their gigs and this also is true on their live and studio releases. You can never quite know what to expect. They might have done a punk album, a krautrock album, a metal album, a noise rock album, a glam rock album, an acoustic folk album, an experimental album or what ever. If you count all the side-projects as well, the possibilities of different musical styles is endless. At the moment I do feel that Terminal is one of their strongest moments.

The album starts off with the almost 13-minute "Rakkautta Al Dente". It begins with a heavy, hypnotic riff that makes you bang your head. At first, the screamed vocals sound like black metal for a while. After the two-minute-marker we get some cool Mika Rättö vocals and then the track gets more exploring and jamming. Towards the end the hypnotic basic riff returns to a great effect. Excellent! The pounding title track "Terminal" is like a mix of Hawkwind, Stooges and MC5, of course with a distinctive Pori twist.  You just got to love stuff like this! "Saxo" begins with a minute of simple harmony vocals and then starts to rock out sounding like a big boatful of intocicated vikings attacking and pillaging your home village. Very powerful stuff. "Imperiumi" is another heavy but a bit more progressive piece that sounds like classic Circle material: motorik, weird and melodic at the same time. The next track "Kill City" has a sort of 90s heavy psych rock vibe and I most certainly enjoy it a lot. The end is very peaceful and pretty for a nice contrast. "Sick Child" ends the album with English vocals by guitarist Janne Westerlund. This one will put you in trance, and in the end it gets more chaotic and noisy. What can I say: I just love this album. One if not THE best release this year.

keskiviikko 7. kesäkuuta 2017

Jesters of Destiny - The Sorrows That Refuse to Drown

Ektro Records / Full Contact Records (Ektro-134 / Krypt-111)

I've been a Jesters of Destiny fanboy since the 80's so you can guess how excited I got when the rumors of a "come-back" album started to make the rounds a few years ago. The debut LP Fun at the Funeral by this legendary "alternative metal" cult band was released in 1986 on Metal Blade's sub-label Dimension Records and a covers 12" In a Nostalgic Mood was put out the following year. I guess their weird but creative mix of metal, hard rock, psychedelic rock, glam, punk and pop was too much for the masses then and they were dropped from Metal Blade and soon disbanded. Finland's Ektro Records have been doing their share in keeping the flame alive re-releasing the debut album first on CD and then on LP as well as some Circle stuff featuring original Jesters members. It seems that almost by accident Bruce Duff and Ray Violet, the key members since the beginning, both were writing new stuff that started to sound like Jesters of Destiny and then thought about putting another album out after a 30-year gap. They recruited a few more musicians to help out and now the new wonderful album The Sorrows That Refuse to Drown is reality!

The album starts off with the metallic and edgy mid-tempo "Fire in the Six Foot Hole". It's strange how you can immediately tell it's the Jesters, although the sound is modern. A great opener! "The Flesh Parade" is a bit faster rocker with pleasant melodies, one of the key ingredients of the band. "Ladies of Runyon Canyon" also includes some violin and organ being a pretty interesting, short instrumental piece. "My Card, Sir" rocks out again like the debut also including a slower, heavy and almost doomy end part turning into chaos. "Chalk Outline" is another great Jesters of Destiny heavy rocker with catchy melodies including a weird, free-jazzy middle part. That figures.  One of my favourites is the pounding, fuzzy garage psych blast "The Misunderstood", superb! "'Til The Following Night" begins with something that sounds to be taken from a horror movie and then we get some booze-filled dirty rock'n'roll / garage punk. Wow. "Sunset Boulevard" gives you the creeps with its scary beginning and stays pretty weird and spooky. The second short instrumental "Peace, Blood And Charlie Cocaine" reminds me of Blue Öyster Cult which is never a bad thing. There's even a drum solo in there. Then the band returns to the start theme but with a different twist with "Another Fire Six Feet Deep". The album is finished off with the light and cheery "Happy Ending". What can I say, the Jesters of Destiny still rule!

sunnuntai 28. toukokuuta 2017

Sista Maj - Series of Nested Universes

Space Rock Productions (SRP037)

Okay, since it is the last days of May now it's about time I review this double CD by three excellent Stockholm based musicians. Sista Maj is formed by Andreas Axelsson (drums and percussion, also for example in Eye Make the Horizon and Lisa Ullén's Group), Mikael Tuominen (bass, baritone guitar, electic sitar, in Kungen's Män) and Jonathan Segel (electric guitar, violin, organ, synthesizers, bass, in Kungen's Män, Øresund Space Collective, Camper Van Beethoven,  etc.). The three-piece spent a studio week together in September 2015 to explore the possibilities of free improvisation and this session spawned the eight long pieces on this album.

The overal feel of this album is rather laid-back, dreamy and tranquil although also dark and at times harder and even oppressive. There are some experimental,  jazzy and electronic vibes in the mix as well, but most of the stuff could be described as psychedelic, droney space/krautrock jamming. Some of it reminds me of Kungen's Män but no wonder, since two of the guys are also in that band. The music is quite different to for example Øresund Space Collective, though, since this is not that spacey or psychedelic but still very good. Okay, the faster "It Never Ends" could almost be an Øresund Space Collective jam as well if you added tons of space sounds... Most of the time the tempo stays pretty slow but for example on the longest (25:40!) track "A Very Heavy Feather" they also speed up a bit and the going gets quite rocking and heavy as well. It's really hard for me to point out any favourites since all the tracks are so different and I like them all. Let's just sum this up by saying that this is a really good, BIG package of improvised progressive psych music that will go down well with those of you who enjoy adventurous, instrumental free-form music.

Ananda Mida - Anodnatius

Go Down Records (DISGGOD422)

Ananda Mida is a new stoner rock band from the North-East of Italy featuring some musicians the fans of the Go Down Records already are familiar with. This is their debut album following a 7" single and I got to say this sounds pretty awesome and also quite original. I like the interplay between the two guitarists as well as the drum section and the singer is also very good. As an extra bonus the album also has a cool organ/synth player but he's not playing that much. I enjoy the sound that is not really that overtly heavy but sort of 60s/70s styled reminding me of bands like Wishbone Ash or Blue Öyster Cult.

Most of the songs are closer to late 60s/early 70s classic/hard rock bands than the 90s stoner/desert rock bands that the Italians seem to often worship. This band even has a sense for melody and emotion, although they of course also know to rock out hard and jam. There is also a bit more experimental stuff like the instrumental "Passavas" and some more progressive songs like "Ors". For example "Askokin" comes closer to modern stoner rock and works out just fine too and the groovy "Heropas" could be an Brant Bjork out-take. The last track, the instrumental called "Occasion" is perhaps the most psychedelic piece on the album. Another cool rock band out of Italy, check them out!

Buddha Sentenza - Semaphora

World In Sound ‎(WIS 3031)

I reviewed the debut album by this German instrumental psychedelic stoner/prog/space rock band in 2013 and told that they are a mix in between Pink Floyd and Back Sabbath. This sort of still holds, but there are other elements in there as well. There is a strong 70s vibe although the sound is perfectly modern. I can hear echoes of bands like Eloy, Samsara Blues Experiment, Monkey 3, Colour Haze etc. just to name a few, but on their second album the band seems to have found their own thing as well. It's cool that the other guitarist also plays the violin and there's also lots of keyboards and synths.

"Jet" is the energetic and heavy kick-start of the album and this gets almost metal to my ears. Not that far away from bands like Amorphis but a bit spacier. Nice!  "Greek Ancestry" has some banjo or something in the beginning and then gets rather progressive in a folky way with some cool violin as well. It's still pretty heavy but also melodic. The ten-minute "Kréèn (Patagonian Lights)" has some weird spoken word samples at first and then it slowly starts to build up. This is a rather special track for sure. "Laika" is the shortest but perhaps also one of the most progressive tracks on the album and I can hear some theramin in there. "Blood Rust" is slow, darker and more hypnotic stuff with also some cool, spacey ambient stuff in the middle. Perhaps my favourite so far. The album is finished with the almost 11-minute "The End Is Coming... We'll Take It from Here" and this really is the album's grand masterpiece. Again, the going gets rather like metal at times, Opeth or Porcupine Tree come to mind. This is a very adventurous, atmospheric and varied prog metal track that has lots of different stuff and emotion in it. Amazing!

Pater Nembrot - Nusun

Go Down Records (DISGOD415)

Pater Nembrot is a psychedelic stoner rock band from Longiano, Italy. I'm not that familiar with them or their music, but they were formed in 2003 and this 2016 album is their third and they also have at least one EP out. The basic group is two guitarists one of which also sings, a bass player and a drummer, but the album also features Christian Peters from Samsara Blues Experiment on synth on one track as well as two other guests on piano and "space wind".

The album starts off quite surprisingly with a short, melancholic pianoa ballad "Lostman". Like many Italian "heavy psych" bands nowadays, also Pater Nembrot mixes in some grunge as well, and you can hear some early Soundgarden and Nirvana influences on the second track "Stictch". Not a bad thing, this time. "Architeuthis" is the longest track at 10:12 and it's also one of my favourites including some atmospheric space jamming as well. Cool! "Young Rite" is an instrumental mix of Soundgarden and desert rock, and the long and adventurous "El Duende" brings to mind Pearl Jam a bit. "Overwhelmed" rocks hard and heavy being also a bit progressive. "Uknap" is a short bass piece and "The Rich Kids of Teheran" a pretty long and varied stoner/grunge number. The album is finished with the acoustic "Dead Polygon" that offers some piece and tranquility after all the hard rocking and rolling. All in all, a pretty nice album, and although not exactly my kind of stuff I find myself liking this disc. Also available on vinyl!

Verde - Otto

Verdeaudio Oy (VERDE-015)

Verde is Mika Rintala's experimental electronic/ambient/avant garde/jazz/musique congrète project and I've reviewed some of his earlier CD-R/CD albums that he has been putting out since the late 90s. Mika is famous for his home-made electronic musical devices that make strange sounds. He has been collaborating with lots of Finnish left-field musicians like several ex and current Circle members (just check out Ektroverde for example) and this CD also features the 60s/70s counter culture hero Otto Donner (R.I.P.), Rauno Nieminen, Esa Santonen, Janne Tuomi, Tapani Varis, Jyrki Laiho and Seppo Istukaissaari.

This latest album dedicated to Otto Donner who passed away in 2013 includes 11 totally improvised tracks using what ever instruments were available. The music was recorded at Donner's place to an eight-track recorder and later mixed by Rintala. Otto mainly plays his Steinway grand piano adding also some vocals and horns. There are lots of acoustic, also archaic instruments which gives the album a wonderful, ancient folky edge although it's mostly electronic and experimental and piano is ofter taking the lead role. You can also hear some field recordings like sounds of the sea, birds etc. My favourites include the almost seven-minute, folky "Klyyvari" (nose in English), the jazzy and psychedelic, even longer "Hunsvotti", the short experimental electronic piece "Knaapi" and the atmospheric, trippy 15-minute "Luuvartti". This is a great homage to Otto and what he stood for but also a very interesting, creative as well as enjoyable album as a whole. Check it out!

Verde Otto from Mika Rintala on Vimeo.

Floorian ‎– At Your Surface

Drigh Records (SKP004)

I've been a fan of Floorian since their debut album What the Buzzing released in 2004 by The Committee to Keep Music Evil. This North American psych rock band sort of delivers space rock in it's laid-back, dreamy and atmospheric form in the vein of Spacemen 3 or Pink Floyd but they also rock out a bit and are not afraid to put some more distortion when needed. At Your Surface is their fourth full-length release following the 2012 CD Cosmosaic.

The album starts off with the organ-driven, lazy and dreamy "Ternion" that is probably the most Pink Floyd insired track on the album. Great! "From On High" is a groovy, excellent and heavier psych rock blast but also quite slow and melodic. The beautiful but also rather experimental and industrial sounding "Face" comes next and then it's time for the 9-minute, weird and heady psychedelic blues trip "Icaro". Druggy stuff... Fans of The Myrrors, The Black Angels etc. will enjoy "Spinning Time", what a great trippy track with some 13th Floor Elevators vibes. The album is finished with the 14-minute-plus mind journey "Agra Man" that really takes you out there. I love the addition of oud, sitar, tabla and Moog on this one. Some of the best psychedelic shoegaze space rocking I've heard in years! Check out this excellent band if you haven't already, you won't regret it.


Black Willows - Samsara

Self-released CD & LP

Black Willows from Switzerland gave us their debut offering Haze in 2013 and this new album Samsara was released in late 2016. The band continue in their dark, occult-inspired, psychedelic, hypnotic and heavy path and sound great. This Lausanne-based shamanic doom/sludge/stoner band sort of sound pretty original although you can influences from for example Sleep, Om, Bong, Lamp of the Universe, Arc of Ascent, Oranssi Pazuzu etc. The main emphasis usually is to get as hypnotic and heady as possible, so the heavyness comes second which is fine by me.

The bit shorter, introductory title track "Samsara" starts off the rituals slowly creating a dark, mystical atmosphere before the heavy, slow riffing and mantra styled vocals of "Sin" fill your head. This one has a very Sleep/Om like vibe and I love it. You are spellbound for eight minutes. The even longer "Rise" gets you even deeper into the dark trance and makes you see things that have been hidden from most of humanity for ages... Some cool, more energetic jamming/soloing on this one as well which is cool! Spiritual stoner rock journey for sure. "Mountain" is a bit shorter (only 5:36...) and groovier stoner/doom metal track that has some Electric Wizard/Cathedral vibes. On the 15-minute "Jewel in the Lotus" the band get very hypnotic and spiritual and I'm reminded of Lamp of the Universe and Arc of Ascent even though there are no Indian instruments in use here. Things get heavier in the Sleep vein after the six-minute-marker and you just can't avoid banging your head to the slow, heavy and doomy groove. Later on there is some more atmospheric stuff for a while... Great! The CD version also includes the 25-minute, repetative and melancholic "Morning Star" that sounds like more traditional doom metal to me with lyrics about -you guessed it- all occult metal fans's best friend Lucifer.

You can buy the CD and LP directly from the band's Bandcamp site and also the debut album seems to be available so check that out as well if you are into heavy, occult and psychedelic doom metal/stoner rock.

lauantai 27. toukokuuta 2017

Astral Visions #73 now online!

Listen here:

1 The Alpha Particle (from Accidental Sountracks: Vol. 1. The Alpha Particle) by John McBain
2 You Got It Or You Don't (from Raw Rock Fury) by Ecstatic Vision
3 Elysium (from Magnetic Anomaly) by Cobra Family Picnic
4 Peaches En Regalia (from Zappa split 7") by Superfjord
5 Carpe Noctem (from S/T) by Grombira
6 Behind All Evil Is A Black Hole (live, from Paradiso Is on Fire) by The Cult of Dom Keller
7 Just You (from 12" split) by ST 37
8 Biblical Prophecy (from Helios Rising) by Moths & Locusts
9 Tunnels of Qliphoth (from Tunnels of Qliphoth 7") by Capra Informis
10 Lost In Light (from Occult Architecture Vol. 2) by Moon Duo
11 People (from Just Say No to the Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fasist Industial Death Machine) by Gnod
12 Stranger Things (from Sacred) by The Obsessed
13 Organ Mantra (from Hasta la Victoria) by The Myrrors
14 Sycamore Trees (from 12" split) by Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
15 Love (from Await The Queen) by Crystal Jacqueline
16 North Star (from Oceania) by Astralasia

perjantai 26. toukokuuta 2017

Hot stuff in May!

I've been too busy to even put out a hotlist after January, so I'm doing a double list now with 20 entries. This is what I've been especially enjoying these few months:

Ecstatic Vision ‎– Raw Rock Fury
Chrome – Techromancy
Cobra Family Picnic ‎– Magnetic Anomaly 
The Obsessed ‎– Sacred
Flowers Must Die ‎– Kompost
Föllakzoid feat. J. Spaceman ‎– London Sessions 12"
The Cosmic Dead ‎– Psych Is Dead
The Janitors ‎– Horn Ur Marken
3rd Ear Experience ‎– Stones Of A Feather 
Zone Six ‎– Forever Hugo
Hills – Alive At Roadburn
Deep Space Destructors ‎– Psychedelogy
Moon Duo ‎– Occult Architecture Vol. 2
Grombira - S/T
Hawkwind ‎– Into The Woods
Crystal Jacqueline - Await the Queen
Giöbia ‎– What Have You Done / Silver Machine 7"
White Hills ‎– Stop Mute Defeat 
Sendelica - Lilacs Out of the Deadlands 
Jesters Of Destiny ‎– The Sorrows That Refuse To Drown 


Playlist @ Elmun Baari, Helsinki, 25.5.2017 (Boar, Kaleidobolt & Jupiter)

Wow, what a night, even though I was quite tired. Not that much time to spin records with three great bands on the bill, but here's what I managed to play:

Iron Butterfly -  In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
Vert:x - Drill
Spirit - Space Child
Black Sabbath - Wheels of Confusion
Giöbia - This World Was Being Watched Closely
Judas Priest - Breaking the Law
Pentagram - Day of Reckoning
Monster Magnet - Spine of God
Earthless - Acid Crusher
Vibravoid - Raga Baya
La Otracina - Mass Meteoric Mind
Ecstatic Vision - You Got It (Or You Don't)
Judas Priest - Living After Midnight
Chrome - Adminster The Treatment
Wooden Shjips - Contact
Gong - Flying Teapot (A Sacred Extension And Cosmic Overdub)
Loop - Mother Sky
Hawkwind - Lord of Light
Dead Skeletons - Dead Mantra
Brainticket - Black Sand

Thanks for everyone!

keskiviikko 24. toukokuuta 2017

Vert:x - From Now to Now

The Weird Beard

 Vert:x is a psychedelic, noisy, punky & hard-rocking space/krautrock band from Chester, U.K. I've had them on my radar for about ten years now since their space captain Neil has been sending me their great, privately pressed CD-R's for review ever since they started. The band's influences include for example NEU!, Hawkwind, Can, The Seeds, Chrome, Earthling Society and Spiral Navigators. They have lately also worked with Fruits de Mer Records on several compilations that are definitely worth checking out but From Now to Now that will be released in a couple of weeks on The Weird Beard label (limited to 250 copies only) is their first full-length vinyl album. About time, I'd say! Also worth getting is the superb four-way-split album Magnetic North released last year on Drone Rock Records.

From Now to Now includes just three instrumental tracks, but they are very long... The suitably named opener "Space Junk" really rocks out in a noisy Hawkwind/NEU!/AMT style. I love the motorik beat, harsh guitar, spacey electronics and wild sax, excellent! This is the shortest track on the LP at "mere" 7:47. On the 16-minute "Suns of Ra" things get more cosmic and you can hear the heady, out-of-this-world Earthling Society influences. No wonder, since Fred from E. S. also has been playing in Vert:x. This one will leave your mind totally spaced-out and levitating... Trippy! On the B-side we've got the 26-minute (!) "Planet Of The Mindstealers" And if you still had a mind after the A side it's totally gone now. I can hear some Chrome and Hawkwind influences again on this one. This is cosmic, hazy and acid punky space rock bliss! All the tracks have been previously released on the band's CD-R releases but it feels so good to have them now out on vinyl. I hope the band will do some more fresh recordings for a second LP release soon since this is just great, mind-blowing stuff!

perjantai 19. toukokuuta 2017

Hear ambient space music compiled by Dj Astro on Big Bang Legends cosmic tram ride!

Something special for Saturday... If you are in Helsinki, you can hop in to the Big Bang Legends tram, play the game and enjoy ambient space music compiled by Dj Astro!

You can also eat cosmic muffins and hear some live theremin...

torstai 18. toukokuuta 2017

Moonwagon - Devil's Labyrinth EP

Running Moose Productions / Presence Records (precd060)

Moonwagon is a progressive hard/psych/space rock band from Kokkola, Finland. The band has carried on as a trio after their synth player left before the third, a bit more jazz-rock-fusion styled album The Rule of Three (2015). All three members are multi-instrumentalists, so no problem in the studio. As influence they give out band names like Rush, Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath. To my ears they are never too progressive, totally out-there psychedelic or really that heavy, but a good, pleasant and listenable, melodic mix of all those elements.

On this brand-new, professionally made CD-R EP they offer five interesting, mostly instrumental tracks. "Devil's Labyrinth" starts off the disc combining Rush-like hard rocking with some folk rock elements. I like for example the bass solo stuff as well as the cool keyboards and sort of airy, fresh vibe the track has. Definitely for Rush fans out there. "Haunted Hallways" is another great mid-tempo prog/hard rocker with also some more adventurous parts and again excellent playing by the band. Some of the synths towards the end bring to mind Eloy. Excellent! "Alchemy" is a nice, semi-acoustic folk rock piece with percussion and "Dus Aster" a shorter syntheziser piece a bit in the Tangerine Dream vein. My favourite by far is the groovy and hard rocking space rock number "South of Bermuda" that I have also used in my Astral Visions podcast. This one has some similarities with Hidria Spacefolk and Hawkwind so you bet I like it a lot! The track also has some vocals which is cool. I also love the guitar work especially on this track, a total winner! I look forward to see how the trio handles all the instrumentation live and tomorrow will be a perfect opportunity to find out since Moonwagon plays together with the superb prog rock band Malady at Semifinal in Helsinki.

keskiviikko 17. toukokuuta 2017

Grombira - S/T

Tonzonen Records (TON026)

Okay Oriental space rock cadets: take out your flying carpets! Grombira is a new band playing a mix of Oriental ethnic/world music and psychedelic space rock and they sound just awesome! Although the three guys are actually from Bavaria, they do sound like they are from ancient Persia, India, Turkey or Northern Africa or someplace like that. With bass, drums, sitar, saz, oud, flute, percussion, synths and some vocals they deliver you the feel of walking through dry, sun-burned deserts to the oasis and exotic ancient marketplaces full of heady and mesmerising smells, snake-charmers and wonderous artefacts. Welcome to One Thousand and One Nights!

The album includes just six tracks, but most of them are quite long. The mysterious journey starts off with "Pürreé" that offers marvellous Arabian moods, melodies and rhythms. Right after the five-minute marker a faster, hypnotic rocking starts and things get pretty groovy before we also get some jazzy jamming. "Carpe Noctem" has a very cool ambient beginning taking you deep inside the Oriental night with all the stars shining in the night sky. This is a very hypnotic piece and even makes you want to dance in trance. Somehow brings to mind Psychomuzak. There are also some vocals in a weird language later on. One of the highlights! The shorter "Caravan" is a bit more minimal and pictures the wandering of the camels also including some field-recordings.

The B-side of this limited vinyl release begins with the melancholic and mesmerising "Goats in Space" that sounds a bit like Blaak Heat being the most Western sounding psych/stoner rock track on the album.  It also has vocals in English. Excellent! "Priest of the Horny Kong" is a cool mix of spacey trance rock and groovy Anatolian psych rock vibes and I really enjoy this one. The album is finished with the wonderful "Selma" that after it's dreamy beginning takes you into some strange, intoxicated party in a very exotic setting. This track has a somehow happy, uplifting vibe and leaves you feeling good and refreshed after all the travels across the deserts and mountains. This album is a must-have for all friends of Oriental psych rock!

keskiviikko 26. huhtikuuta 2017

The Fërtility Cült - A Forest of Kings

Macaroni Penquin Music (MPM003)

 A Forest of Kings is the third album by Finnish psych/prog/metal group The Fërtility Cült. I remember reviewing their first CD and maybe also some CD-R EP by them years ago. Their sound is a sort of weird mix of psychedelic rock, doom, stoner, metal, progressive and post-metal/rock. Their instrumentation also includes keyboards and jazzy saxophone so the soundscape really is pretty varied and vast. The vocals are clean and melodic and pretty good. I'm having problems trying to think bands that would sound like them so I guess that means originality (or I just have not heard their biggest influences...). Some of the most progressive parts do bring to mind early King Crimson a bit and the beautiful, atmospheric stuff (like "The City on the Edge of Forever") remind me of Porcupine Tree or some melodic, melancholic metal bands like Anathema, though.

The 47-minute CD includes five longs, adventurous tracks. My favourite is maybe the second song "The Path Is Clear" that I also have used in my Astral Visions Mixcloud Show. This one also has some cool solo guitar work and it has a nice groove and vibe and lots of different stuff. "God of Rain" is great too in all its slowly creeping heaviness and starts to rock like Iron Maiden later on. The last, melodic and powerful song "Cycles of Time" somehow brings to mind Amorphis. I like this band and their latest album and am looking forward to see them live tomorrow at Semifinal in Helsinki where they play with the amazing space rock band Sendelica from Wales. Be there!!!

torstai 20. huhtikuuta 2017

Astralasia - Oceania

Fruits de Mer Records (winkle 27)

 Astralasia has been one of my favourite ambient/electronic acts since separating their celestial body from their old mothership The Magic Mushroom Band in the beginning of the 90s. During the White Bird era around '98 their music went a bit too commercial for my taste, but luckily Swordfish with his fellow astral travellers have released some totally amazing stuff lately on labels like Tonefloat and Fruits de Mer. I really enjoyed the 2014 FdM 2LP Wind on Water that sold out quicly. Oceania is another 80-minute masterpiece of psychedelic, hypnotic, usually soothing soundscapes from the primeval sea that is the ancient place of birth for all of us and the life itself.

In addition to huge array of synthesizers, sequencers and who knows what kind of weird electronic wizardy the album also includes for example very nice electric guitar, sax and electric violin, if I'm not mistaken. In the early to mid 90s Astralasia became famous for their use of spoken world samples, and there's a litte bit of that included here as well. This is still instrumental, atmospheric electronic music for the most part. You can just put this album on, close your eyes and float along with the cosmos. In a sense time does not exist, there is only now where the past and the future are intervined. I really like that place. This album is perfect for those late chilled-out moments but also works on a lazy Sunday morning, for example. I won't go through the tracks this time, but some of the titles include "Tangerine Skies", "Astral Voyager", "Mushroom Heartbeat" and "Time & Tide Eternal", just to give you some kind of an idea. Do yourself a favour and get this album if you can still find it, since it's already sold-out on pre-orders on the label. There will also be a very special version limited to 200 copies that will include an exclusice 7" among other things...

Sendelica / Superfjord - Zappa 7"

Fruits de Mer Records (crustacean 78)

What a great invention: to put Superfjord and Sendelica to cover a couple of the most famous Frank Zappa tunes on a 7" single! Superfjord has risen rather quicly to one of the leading Finnish psychedelic rock bands and they have a steady and ecstatic fan base by now. "Peaches En Regalia" happens to be my favourite Zappa tune from my favourite Zappa LP Hot Rats, so I was quite naturally very keen on hearing what one of my favourite Finnish psych rock bands would make out of it. Now I can say that they did an excellent job! Their version is a bit more spacey, jazzy and psychedelic without loosing any of the original vibe and progressive, melodic grooviness. Just because they are Superfjord they have even put in a little bonus jam in the middle. These guys are superb musicians with limitless sense for style and mood so I'd even say I prefer this to the original right now.

Our old Welsh friends Sendelica (who are playing a few gigs in Finland again this month!) have choosen a bit different Zappa track: "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow"! This of course presents Zappa's humorous side and isn't really that special musically, but Sendelica makes it sound a lot heavier with two drummers and dropped tuning. There are also some psychedelic elements to make things more interesting, of course. The bluesy/jazzy vocals are by Babal singer Karen Langley. I like it! Better get this beauty fast before it's gone.

Unimother 27 ‎– Fiore Spietato

Pineal Gland ‎(PG 005)
 Fiore Spietato is the fifth CD by Italian psychedelic one-man-band Unimother 27. Like before, all instruments (bass, guitar, synthesizers) are played by Piero Ranalli, except drums are credited to a mysterious Mr. Fist. Probably a drum machine, I guess. Anyway, Pietro knows how to make spacey, rather heavy and mind-altering psych rock and as always you'll get a healthy dose of soaring acid guitar work-outs.

This new album includes five long, instrumental tracks starting off with the rather slow, dark and heavy "There Is No Trip for Cats". Well, at least they got their catnip... And this track surely gives a trip to humans. Great solo guitar work on this one. On "Hierophantes" Piero gets a bit more progressive with some early 70s vibes and experimentation. Very nice! "Something About the Clouds" is much more experimental and weird, and "The Wheels of Memory" is the true ten-minute psychedelic journey of the album. The disc is finished with the even longer (14:21) title track "Fiore Spietato" where, according to Pietro's own words, "nature gives us enjoyment of indescribable beauty and then supresses them with equal determination". Hm, okay. Nature seems to have her ways to make us psych-out as well. Again, lots of heavy lead guitar work, progressive elements, experimentation and pure weirdness all-around. If you like your music weird, heavy, psychedelic, progressive and sort of going in several directions at once this project is definitely for you. The best and easiest way to obtain a copy of this and the previous albums is directly from the man through Discogs.

Sherpa - Tanzlinde

Sulatron Records (st-1607-2)

 When you hear the word "sherpa" you are immediately reminded of high Tibetan mountains etc., but this new band is actually from Italy. Sherpa has been labelled as psychedelic, krautrock or space rock but I don't really agree. I would rather say they play an interesting mix of indie rock and pop with some Eastern, ethnic folk, progressive and psychedelic overtones. Some of the first tracks are pretty light and happy, but there are also deeper, darker and more meditative moments like the fourth, title track "Tanzlinde" and the following "Sherpa", one of the highlights. At times I also hear echoes from bands like Dead Can Dance. The male and female vocals, usually in English, are great and the instrumentation is varied enough.

The album includes ten relatively short songs so don't expect any long jams on this one. The longest track is the beautiful and melancholic "Loto" that sounds like a mix of The Cure and some ethnic folk rock band. My favourite still is "Bigfoot" that has a mysterious aura and brings to mind bands like Grails. The last two tracks also have some post-rock vibes. All in all, an interesting mix of styles, but I think I have to listen to it more to really get into it. The album was released already half a year ago, so sorry for the delay... Available both on CD and vinyl.

maanantai 17. huhtikuuta 2017

Playlist @ Lepakkomies, Helsinki, 15.4.2017

What a great night I had yesterday! It was the first time I saw Deep Space Destructors and Multishiva and both were amazing! Old friends Jupiter and Albinö Rhino never let me down either. The event was sold-out so people seem to know what's good.
Link to the Facebook event over here.

This is what I played as a dj:

Baby Woodrose - Open Doors
The Bevis Frond - Are We There Yet?
Psychic TV - Silver Sundown Machine
Black Lizard - All Her Time
Sun Dial - Exploding in Your Mind
Steve Hillage - Hurdy Gurdy Man
Black Mountain - Floorian Saucer Attack
Pentagram - Broken Vows
Black Sabbath - Planet Caravan
Camera - Sychron
The Cosmic Dead - Easter Faust
Monster Magnet - Pill Shovel
Ecstatic Vision - Don't Kill the Vibe
Christine 23 Onna - Top of the Spot
Wooden Shjips - Contact
Omia Opera - Space Bastard
Farflung - Lupine
Gong - Flying Teapot (A Sacred Rhythm Extension  and Cosmic Overdub)
Electric Moon - Trip Trip Trip
Hawkwind - Psychedelic Warlords
White Hills - A Trick of the Mind
Sendelica - Night Flights
Kikagu Moyo - In a Coil
Blown Out - Thousand Years in the Sunshine
The Janitors - Trojan Horse
Moonwagon - Devil's Labyrinth
Spirit - When I Touch You
Iron Butterfly -  In a Gadda da Vida
Black Sabbath - Snowblind

My short video clips:

perjantai 7. huhtikuuta 2017

Black Magic Six - Choose Death

Svart Records

 Black Magic Six is a trash/blues/garage/psychobilly/punk duo from Helsinki formed in 2006. Choose Death is their fifth outing and released today on Svart Records. I got to admit not having heard the duo's previous albums that much but their energetic live shows have been very entertaining. No wonder they seem to almost constantly play live in Germany and other parts of continental Europe. Live they are just guitar/vocals and drums duo but this new album also features some guests on solo guitar, banjo etc. which makes it sound fuller of course.

The groovy opener "Dance with Me Satan" gets closer to stoner rock because of the pretty heavy, fuzzy guitar riffs and I'm sure it makes you dance. "Shake Shake Shake" does the same to you but in a more traditional rock'n'roll / psychobilly / twist way. "Midnight" is a faster graveyard garage rock tune and "All Night Long" that also has some cool solo guitar work brings to mind Tom Waits or Tuomari Nurmio. The bit longer (3:47) "Red Cloud"  is a hazier and even a bit psychedelic song and one of the highlights for me. "Grease the Machine" rocks out like old 80's Finnish rock/rockabilly group Melrose and also has some backing vocals like of course some other tracks as well. On "Raw" the going gets pretty trashy and swampy and why the hell not. "Better Run Fast" has a nice caveman voodoo beat and also some sax if I'm not mistaken. "16 Tons of Misery" features Janne Westerlund from Pharaoh Overlord/Circle/Plainride and it rocks really well too. Janne of course has previously played with the drummer Japa in legendary 90s band Sweetheart. The singer/guitar player Taskinen is most known for his long career in seminal Finnish death metal/grindcore band Disgrace that also has turned into more punky/garage direction since the early days. The album is finished with the bit more melodic and atmospheric "Golden Jackal" that somehow reminds me of Roky and the Aliens. One of my favourites for sure and a great way to end this raw, energetic and pretty straight forward garage rock album. You can see the band live two times today: once for free at Levykauppa Äx on Fredrikinkatu at 17:00 and later at their official record release party at Lepakkomies. It's time to boogie like there's no tomorrow!

tiistai 4. huhtikuuta 2017

Soft Power - In a Brown Study

Huuru Osasto Records

This is the first album by Helsinki-Based progressive psych/folk/pop/rock band Soft Power. It was recorded and mixed during quite a long time and the band has evolved along the process so the album has flashes of different styles. Some might find this a problem but I think it's good to hear different sides of the band as long as all the stuff sounds this cool. The band compares themselves to bands like Pärson Sound, Fläsket Brinner, Wigwam, Bo Hanson, Ragnarök and Can and there are similarities alright.

The album starts off with the groovy, jazzy and laid-back instrumental "Aavaa # 1 / MF". Very nice! Then it's time for some weird forest folk with the experimental "Mitä on kätketty meiltä" that has psyched-out narration in Finnish. "Ääntä Wallista" is another jazzy, progressive instrumental with a sublime vibe and "Kulma Klubi" continues along the same path but in a more relaxed, very late 60's way. On the more boogie-like but still rather soft "Sisämetsä" the band sounds a bit like Janne Westerlund/Plain Ride or Death Hawks and I like this instrumental a lot. It could have used some vocals, though. "All in All" is a darker, bit heavier and longer hypnotic track that in more in the Velvet Underground vein. It also brings to mind some of the new dark shoegazer psych bands like The Myrrors. We also get some druggy, dreamy vocals on this one which is great. Maybe my favourite on the album! "Afterglow" sounds at first a bit like stoner rock with its heavy, fuzzy guitar riff. Later on the song gets more relaxed with vocals, percussion and I'm in psychedelic heaven. Okay, another highlight for sure. "Aavaa # 2" ends the trip with some beautiful, tranquil vibes also including some strings and wind instruments. All in all, a great, varied album that comes warmly recommended for all lovers of old school style psychedelic rock.

Astral Visions # 72 now online

Check it out over here:


1 Perfect Patterns (edit, from Amen 3) by Mikko Joensuu
2 In a Coil (from Stoner Garden) by Kikagaku Moyo
3 South of Bermuda (from Devil's Labyrinth EP) by Moonwagon
4 Spandau (from La Grande Bellezza) by Sounds of New Soma
5 A Love Supreme (from Live in Copenhagen) by Causa Sui
6 Staring at the Fainting Goats (from Lilacs Out of the Deadlands) by Sendelica
7 National Drone (from Alive at Roadburn) by Hills
8 Ternion (from At Your Surface by Floorian
9 Lahja (from Lahja) by Sakset
10 Stop Mute Defeat (from Stop Mute Defeat) by White Hills
11 Red Cloud (from Choose Death) by Black Magic Six
12 Fear of All (from Horn Ur Marken) by The Janitors
13 Does Love Die (from Rites of Passage) by Sabbath Assembly
14 Kokoti Dust (edit, from Dust) by Mt. Mountain
15 Afterglow (from In a Brown Study) by Soft Power
16 Farewell, Farewell (from Fading with the Dwindling Sun) by Us and Them
17 Gathering Light (from Invocation and Ritual Dance of My Demon Twin) by Julia's Haircut
18 Dark Path (from S/T) by Cozmic Corridors

perjantai 31. maaliskuuta 2017

Soft Power - S/T 7"


 Soft Power is a Helsinki-based psychedelic prog/jazz/folk/rock band who have been playing together about five years now. I've seen them live a few times and have enjoyed myself very much. I have not heard their limited tape from 2015, but this single released late last year is just wonderful. The A side "Sleeping City" is a heady, hypnotic and dreamy mid-tempo pop/rock song somewhere in between Velvet Underground, and Spacemen 3. The vocals are rather low in the mix but still audible, and the sitar played by Jaire Pätäri from Octopus Syng adds more trippy, Eastern vibes. Great song and very well produced as well!

The instrumental "Morning Mist" is rather different in style and brings to mind late 60s/early 70s Scandinavian jazzy progressive rock bands. It also includes electric piano and sax adding very nice, laid-back and sunny atmospheres. Cool! There are two different versions of this single, both highly limited. The marbled orange vinyl with hand-made textured cover is limited to just 50 copies and already sold-out, but you can still order the "standard" black vinyl edition (100 copies) from the band's Bandcamp site. Recommended!

sunnuntai 26. maaliskuuta 2017

Sendelica - Nite Flights 7"

Fruits de Mer Records (crustacean 76)

You never know what kind of stuff Sendelica will cover next... They've done at least Velvet Underground, Funkadelic, Donna Summer, David Bowie and Hawkwind before and now it was time for "Nite Flight" by The Walker Brothers!  The track is from their 1978 album with the same name and this was during their art rock / disco phase so don't expect any 60s stuff. Sendelica of course makes the track much more spacy and heavier and the female vocals work also splendidly. This is actually a really good, groovy space rock version! On the B-side there is another, extended version of the track: "Nite Flights (Astralasia's Tabla Mix)" and you know that things will get more psychedelic here... I'm really happy that Marc from Astralasia is working with Fruits de Mer these days and I always enjoy his mixes as well as his original music of course. This instrumental mix is excellent and complements the vocal version on side A. There are two different colours of this 7" on purple and clear purple vinyl and both versions include three postcards with alternative cover designs that were not used. Superb!

Us And Them ‎– Fading Within The Dwindling Sun 10"

Fruits de Mer Records (crustacean 75)

Okay, this beautiful 10" was released alredy in December but unfortunately I've been too busy to review it before. This excellent psych folk duo from Stockholm, Sweden have released two albums and eight singles & EP's but this is their first release in the very cool 10" vinyl format. Keith from Fruits de Mer got the lovely couple of Britt and Anders convinced that it would be a good idea for them to record five folk rock songs sung by his favourite singer Sandy Denny. Some of you might remember her from bands like Fotheringay, Fairport Convention or Strawbs and her career ended in 1978 when she died tragically at the age of 31. In addition to Britt's brilliant voice and the exquisite guitars, keyboards and electronics of Anders the recordings also include Tony Swettenham on Mellotron. Now, you already know the potential of this collaboration from the brilliant Summerisle EP from 2011 and they work together like magic this time as well. I got to say the end results do sound amazing!

The 10" starts with Denny's beautiful and melancholic "Winter Winds" originally recorded by Fotheringay in 1970 and I'm loving it. "Farewell, Farewell" is next and this very touching Fairport Convention song fits perfectly for Us and Them as well. Just wonderful. "Next Time Around" is a slow and somehow mysterious sounding song that was originally released on Denny's second solo album in 1971. Us and Them's spell-bounding version is almost two minutes longer than the original and really gets under your skin in a good way. On the B-side we first got the almost nine-minute version of the traditional "Banks of the Nile" and I really enjoy the fragile, emotional vibes on this one. Later on there are also some male vocals by Anders. Lots of Mellotron on this one! The 10" is finished with the two-minute folk piece "Take Away the Load" (recorded by Fairport Convention as "Sandy's Song") and it's a pretty, a bit more positive way to end this brilliant release. There are 700 copies of this beauty on orange vinyl and also 200 on white. Go and get yourself a copy!

lauantai 25. maaliskuuta 2017

Albinö Rhino - Upholder


 This excellent Finnish psychedelic stoner doom metal band continues on their second full-length exactly where they finished on their eponymous 2014 debut. The last song of their first album was "Uphold the Light Part 1" and the second album includes just two long tracks, "Uphold the Light Part 2" and "Uphold the Light Part 3". Using just guitar, bass, drums and a little bit of mantra-like vocals this trio creates a hypnotic, sometimes heavy, sometimes atmospheric groove that just takes you away and blows your mind. Looking at their green album covers you get the feeling that they are strongly influenced by the wild but beutiful Finnish nature and there is almost like a spiritual vibe in there as well.

The first, slow track is very repetative and hypnotic and mostly based on just one simple riff, but they make subtle progression and breathe life into it so that things keep interesting. Most of the track is instrumental, and at its heaviest it sounds a bit like Sleep but there is mush more in there as well. Great! Totally instrumental Part 3 is faster going and the addition of Dr. Space from Øresund Space Collective on spacey analogue synthesizers makes it sound almost like heavy space rock! Well I'm not complaining since this happens to be my favourite music genre if there ever was one. Dr. Space fits in perfectly and makes a whole lot difference making this a very pychedelic track. The motorik guitar/bass/drums stoner groove in itself is already very uplifting and makes you want to boogie. There is also a slower doom part with clear Black Sabbath vibes and I'm loving it. Towards the end they sound more like Kingston Wall which is great as well. Albinö Rhino is definitely one of the best bands in the Finnish psychedelic stoner/doom scene and also worth experiencing live. Try also to find a copy of their very limited edition split LP with Morbid Evils, it kicks ass.

Sendelica - Sleepwalker Fever Soundtrack / Lilacs Out of the Deadlands

Frg Records / Sunhair Records

Our Welsh psychedelic space rock friends Sendelica have been busy again. Late in 2016 they released a limited 2CD/DVD live set to celebrate their 10-year career and in February came out their first picture disc LP Sleepwalker Fever Soundtrack. The wonderful, atmospheric and dreamy music on this disc was produced in 2007 for Grant Wakefield's movie with the same name and released only as a special tin box edition limited to just 50 copies. The band was then only in its early stages but the soundtrack really sounds and looks amazing. "Return of the Maggot Brain" of course more or less is a psychedelized cover of the beautiful Funkadelic masterpiece that the band also later recorded for their first Fruits de Mer 7" in 2010. Just close your eyes and float away... "To Create Is Divine" is another amazing, floating ambient piece that somehow transports you into a hazy dreamland. Later we also get some dub vibes and mellow, jazzy saxophone to make the journey just perfect. Another ten minutes gone in a lovely dream state..."Mr. Floyd Walker" is divided into two parts for the vinyl release, and it's a strange, trippy drone collage of different sounds, spoken word and soft guitar. The second part also includes some electronic beat. "Possessor of Your Heart" is a rather experimental piece with electronics, synthesizers and sax. "Sun of Sunfazed" is a more melodic and "normal" track that they later did again in a shorter form for Spaceman Bubblegum CD as "Sunfazed". It has nice guitar, soft bass and soulful sax with relaxed programmed drums and ends the album in a great way. Get this limited (300 copies) edition soon if you want a copy! Also available as a test pressing (sold out) and box version limited to just 75 copies that also includes a t-shirt, DVD, poster and postcards. What an amazing set I tell you!

 Lilacs Out of the Deadlands is the band's brand-new 2LP that will be out on the 15th of April. The band descibes it as their yin/yang album, since it has two long, floating and ambient tracks on the first album and shorter, heavier, space rocking tracks on the other. Personally I love both of those Sendelica modes so this is a perfect combination for me! Both LP's also feature quest musicians as usually is the case with Sendelica. The chilled-out "yin" LP has tracks called "Occhiolism" and "Onism" and both last ove twenty minutes. I love the female voice on the very visionary, dreamy and wonderful "Occhiolism" and the equally drugged-out and hazy instrumental "Onism" has some very nice saxophone. Sounds like this one was totally improvized. The second album starts with the heavy and slowly pounding rocker called "Kenopsia". One of the band's heaviest tracks I guess! I just love Pete's guitar work as well as the sax. "Father Todd and His Official Faustian Bargaining Kit" rock faster and has s nice groove to it, I love it! "Not the Time for Salads" is the shortest track at 4:46 and another groovy and pretty heavy instrumental space rocker. The theremin adds spacey vibes in a cool way. "Staring at the Fainting Goats" is a rather energetic jam with doouble drummers that lasts for over ten minutes. The guys go pretty wild somewere along the way... The album is finished with another long and hard-rocking piece called "Dancing to Dante's Inferno" that reminds me of Hawkwind a bit. Never a bad thing in my books, of course! All in all, this is a marvellous, mostly instrumental album that's very psychedelic, half laid-back/half rocking and only the short, more song-structured tracks with proper vocals that the fans have heard on the couple of latest sudio albums are missing. There are three different, limited versions available and I recommend you to pre-order right away so that you won't miss out.

Please also note that the band will be on tour next month also playing three dates in Finland on 27.-29.4.! See you there...