Farflung: 9 Pin Body
Liquid Sound Company: Inside The Acid Temple
Judge Trev: God and Man
Dipsomaniacs: The Tremolo of Her Mind...The Strings of Her Soul
Nick Benson: The New Scene of Nick Bensen
Magyar Posse: We Will Carry You Over The Mountains
Sun Dial: Out of Space, Out of Time / Wild Bug 7"
Sun Dial: Free Sitar / Klunk 7"
Liquid Visions: Hypnotized
Pseudo Sun: Atomic Dogs Don't Bark
Groop: Kosmic Sound / Voodoo Sitar 7"
The Lucky Bishops: Grimstone
Korai Öröm: Sound And Vision 2002
Lamp of The Universe: Echo In Light
Saturnia: The Glitter Odd
Various Artists: The International League Of Telepathic Explorers
Nick Bensen: No Resistance
Holy River Family: Earthquake Country
The Shepherds Bush Enjoyment: Stereoactivity
The Bevis Frond: What Did For The Dinosaurs
Adrian Shaw: Look Out
Baby Woodrose: Blows Your Mind
9 Pin Body. Recordings 98-2002
Brainticket Recors (BTR-011)
Psychedelic space rock band Farflung has released their fifth CD.
They are well known among all the friends of the genre. The same guys have
also played in Pressuhed, and in Nik Turner's Space Ritual tour band. Also,
the ambient act Anubian Lights is linked to the same guys. Guitarist/vocalist
Tommy Grenas has recently co-operated with Lydia Lunch. Some of them have
played in Damo Suzuki's (ex-Can) live band, as well. Very productive bunch, I see.
9 Pin Body continues the same, heavy, deranged, experimental, punky space rock,
that the guys have been playing for years. The tracks are recorded in years
1998-2002, so it's very clear, that their style hasn't changed during that time.
And it's a very good thing too, since this is exactly what we need from Farflung!
Heavy guitars, effected hypnotic vocals, analogue synth sounds, a lot of delay
and sci-fi themes. A bit similar bands are for example Chrome and Helios Creed,
with whom these guys have worked with, and Lithium X-mas from Texas, but
Farflung still is a very unique band. There are also some kraut-influences
on the album ("Prototype of A Traveller"), ambient soundscapes ("The Nation"),
and even a somewhat pop song "Silver Farm". This one reminds me of the legendary
English space pop band called Magic Mushroom Band. The more experimental style is
represented by "A Thousand Cuts". One of the best tracks is "Fun with Your New Head",
that sounds a bit like Amon Düül II.
It's great to get the first album by the boys since belief Module in '98.
The band does not let their fans down with this solid and heavy album,
but even surpass them selves. This is guaranteed American space rock played
with heavy hand and spiced with suitable amounts of stimulants.
A must-have for those into heavy psychedelia!
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Virgin/Dolores (7243 813077 / DOL 110)
Dungen is Sweden's new retro rock find. This is only their second album,
but the boys are already on big Swedish Virgin record company. That's nice,
'cause this surely beats a lot of Swedish pop acts. The main figure of the
band is young and good-looking Gustav Ejstes, who has written all the songs,
sings, and plays guitar, organs and flute. At times the music is rather sugary,
but there are some really great songs on the album, as well. The title track
"Stadsvandringar" tries apparently to be some kind of a hit with its a bit
annoying chorus. "Solen stiger upp Del 1 & 2" starts in a Beckish way,
in the end part we get some prog with Jethro Tull styled flute. Nice!
The somewhat funky "Stock och sten" is the best stuff on the album
in my opinion. The chorus really is excellent. A good one is also the
instrumental "Sol och regn", including some nice violin and flute.
Maybe some kind of airy folk prog. The best part still is the heavier
end riff, which fades out all too soon. One of the outstanding tracks
is also "Vem vaktar lejonen?", and this one is Deep Purple
styled heavy rock. There is very nice chorus on this one too,
and at times it's really wild. The last, beautiful acid folk track
"Krona" is also one of my favourites.
The album arises some mixed feelings in me. To my shame
I have to admit, that I've always had some problems in digesting
music with lyrics in Swedish. Apparently, there were a lot of
bands like this that combined rock, prog, folk and even psych
in Sweden in the 70's, but I don't know them. I've never really
liked political, Swedish lyrics. Dungen's lyrics are sometimes
a bit naïve, but usually in an acceptable, true way.
Musically speaking, the album sounds at times very good,
but some times I feel the urge to skip into the next song.
I must say, that the more I listen to it, the more I like it.
I hope that this goes to the charts, so the big masses would
also get the change to hear some psychedelic music. And why not,
since for example The Soundtrack Of Our Lives have been successful.
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LIQUID SOUND COMPANY
Inside The Acid Temple
Brainticket Records (BTR12)
Six years' wait has finally been rewarded!
The previous LSC album Exploring The Psychedelic was already a promising
debut on the way into the tunnels of the mind, but on their second album
the band fulfils all the ancient prophesies. The acid-rich pilgrimages
in the deserts of Texas have really paid off! Inside The Acid Temple
is just what it promises to be. This is a marvellous package all
the way starting from the covers by Malleus. The manager of the
band writes on the leaflet about psychedelic music and substances
and their relation to each other and spiritual experiences in
a very enlightening way...
The fast opening track "Cubehead" explodes your head. A very good
song full of fuzz guitars, effects, sitar and trippy lyrics.
Wild stuff! Then we are to discover that "The League for
Spiritual Discovery Lives". An excellent, versatile instrumental,
where we can also hear some moog noise! This is what I was
missing on the first album, and there could be some more of
that on this one as well. Luckily the new bass player is
David Fergason, ex-Vas Deferens Organazation, and he also
plays the moog. "Preparation for the Psychedelic Eucharist"
prepares us softly for a bit different kind of Eucharist
bringing along a bit "Set The Controls..."-like mood. Eyes
closed your mind fills with interesting pictures... The title
track is again a faster, psych rock classic. Sitar is included
from the beginning, as well as the heavy guitars. There are also
some weird samples, which are very suitable for the atmosphere,
and some narration in Spanish apparently by the wife of the
guitarist/vocalist John Perez (who is also know from the doom
band Solitude Aeturnus). In the end the tempo slows down in a
nice way. One of the best tracks on the album, without doubt.
"The Art of Ecstasy" is some of the most progressive stuff on
the CD; it could be by some Mexican mescaline prog band from
the 70's. The next track "Free!" is an instrumental as well,
but a lot more peaceful than its predecessor. It's a very
minimalistic, dreamlike floating, that occasionally grows a bit.
"The Gospel According to Robot A. Hull" is a short, 60's styled
garage pop song, and a very good one. Amazing guitar solo and
tremolo works well. The last track, over nine minutes long
"Unfolding" is, yet again a peaceful, plain instrumental
with some nice guitars.
At first I longed for some more stuff to some of the songs,
but maybe it's only a richness, that they work with less.
Considering, that the album is supposed to be listened in
a completely altered state of consciousness, I really can't
say what else waits to be discovered here... Extremely
recommendable purchase for everyone into self-exploration
and fine psychedelic music! Nasoni also released the album
in Germany on limited vinyl. The CD is distributed in
Europe by Swamp Room Records.
[ back to top ]
God and Man
Real festival Music (REALCD 005)
Trevor Thoms alias Judge Trev
was made known to the big audience in the early 80's as guitarist
of the acid punk group Inner City Unit. The band's front man was our old
friend Nik Turner (ex-Hawkwind).
They released a bunch of albums of very potential, deranged punk
psych until their demise sometime in '86. Later on, Trev had at
least a thrash metal band Atomgods, who released two records but
not really got anywhere. In the late 90's he got ICU back together
with a different line up, and they released one more album
"Now You Know The Score". Lately, the guy has been a frequent
quest at the annual Hamburg Hawkfan festival, and as active as
he's been able to at the British festival scene.
Now Judge Trev reveals his softer side to us with his new CD.
God and Man is an acoustic folk solo album by the fellow.
He plays guitars, bass and sings himself, percussions and
didgeridoo are played by old ICU member Dino Ferrari,
trumpet by Rich Welsh from Nik Turner's Fantastic Allstars.
From the Hawkwind camp we've got Nik Turner (saxophone and flute),
Harvey Bainbridge (synthesiser) and on one track, Ron Tree (bass).
In addition, Dr. Syntaks, who ever he mght be, plays saz.
The first track "Beside The Seaside" is a nice folk piece with pretty melodies.
The lyrics are about taking acid in the old days.. Maybe best stuff on the album.
Harvey gets to show off in the next, rather slow song "Tremblin' Hand".
I really would've liked to hear a LOT more of his synth work.. Most of the
tracks work well mainly on behalf of Trev's beautiful vocals and acoustic guitar,
Rich and Dino seem to be the quests who play the most. Nik plays sax at least on
"Lonely Traveller", and flute on "Battle", that is based on Trev's father's
wartime memories and sounds like a traditional folk song. "The Personality-The Mind"
is the least folk styled song, but rather easy one, as well. Not bad at all.
All the songs are written by Trev himself, and some of them date back to his youth.
This really is the lightest stuff I've ever heard by him. He calls this a
doom/space/folk album, but the emphasis actually is on the last one,
'cause this really is peaceful, deep folk rock. The man plays some great guitar,
and it's also nice to notice that he really can sing. This is some kind of
hippy music, but not really that psychedelic. This 10-track album was released
by Trev's own label (www.realfestivalmusic.co.uk),
and there are other releases out by the label too, mostly live and
compilation stuff and re-releases, and now also some videos. Worth checking out,
especially if you're a Hawkwind or ICU fan!
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The Tremolo of Her Mind...The Strings of Her Soul
Free City Media (FRCD004)
Norway's Dipsomaniacs have released four albums of melodic,
fine psychedelic rock/pop prior to this one. Their latest offering differs
a lot from their earlier albums, because it's almost all, instrumental,
experimental jam. The whole point of the album was to jam at a studio
and see what happens.
There are five tracks on this record, shortest of which is only about
three minutes, the longest being over 20 minutes in length.
A peaceful instrumental "Miles Away" starts the album. Organ,
drums, bass and a howling lap steel guitar create a magical
atmosphere, and a trumpet adds a refreshing extra. I don't think it's
wholly based on improvisation, but it's a pretty free-flowing peace, anyway.
Next there are some The Byrds and The Grateful Dead -like space country
moods in a song called "Before Painting Your Murals". This is the only
track on the album with vocals. It's pretty okay, even though I really
am not a huge friend of country music.
The fifteen minutes long "Dipso Raga#1 (For George)" starts the real
freeform jam. As the title suggests, it's a raga-like, oriental piece,
that begins slowly and acoustic. It gets more and more intense; drums
join in at five minutes. Trumpet is really good with this one as well,
mainly doing the lead parts. This is an excellent proof that Dipsomaniacs
can jam, as well! Sounds rather Indian, even though there are no
traditional Indian instruments involved. There are some studio tricks
and different soundscapes used, and the track brings a pretty psychedelic
feeling into the head of the listener. The track goes faster towards
the end, but maintains its acoustic nature.
"Hear Me, Take Me" is again a peaceful, acoustic track, very
beautiful and nice. The pump organ and the percussions create
an interesting atmosphere. Then we get to the main opus of
the album, "In Syd's Garden", that was the starting point for
the whole album. According to the title, it's a Pink Floyd
influenced, total freak out jam, that oozes psychedelia! Wow!
Especially the first Pink Floyd album must have been an
inspiration for this one. There is even a short part of
the riff from "Interstellar Overdriven" somewhere in the
jam... In twenty minutes, a lot of stuff happens, as you
might have guessed. At times, the band gets really wild.
Holm's electric guitar work really shines for the first
time on this album. There is no trumpet anymore, so it's
a basic guitar, drums, bass and farsifa organ jam. Cosmic,
intergalactic playing, and I mean it! The album is worth
getting for this monster opus alone. This is also available
as limited vinyl with hand painted covers
[ back to top ]
The New Scene of Nick Bensen
Free City Authorized Bootleg #3
This is a compilation CD-R by Free City Media boss Nick Bensen including
new demos, remixes and tracks from a couple of various artists albums.
The opener "Never Coming Down" is an alternative mix of a track from The
International League of Telepathic League compilation, and this version
really sounds very good, as well. The other highlights of the album
besides the opener are the following two tracks, that were made for
the Gew Gaw mag compilation #3: the soft "No Resistance" (single mix)
and the Bevis Frond -like "Flying Into The Sun", that haven't been
released before. It's nice to hear a bit heavier material by Nick
as well, although he might be at his best with peaceful, floating
pieces. It's a nice, psychedelic rock song with a wild ending.
The only complaint, again, is the use of drum machine.
In addition, there are a couple of acoustic demos for a forthcoming
album "Humbult Blues" and "Rocks & Ghost Towns". The latter, tender,
almost ten minutes long composition succeeds in sounding a bit like
Neil Young, and is the better one of these two. I'm looking forward
to hear, what the final versions will be like! There's also a new mix
of a No Resistance out-take "Distance Memory #1", that is a short
piano track. If you are a Nick Benson fan, you must of course get
this album as well, but otherwise I'd recommend to start with his
latest solo album Psychedelic Juggernaut.
[ back to top ]
We Will Carry You Over The Mountains
Magyar Posse was based in 2000 in Pori, and
they have now released their first album. Pori seems to be some kind of a centre of
creativity, there's just so mush original, quality music pouring out of the city.
This CD, recorded as early as Autumn 2001, surely is a fine example.
The group plays a sort of beautiful and melancholic, floating, hypnotic
and mostly slow instrumental music. It would be very suitable
for movies, and for example Ennio Morricone comes to mind quite often.
Godspeed You Black Emperor! evokes similar feelings, but in a more chaotic way.
Magyar Posse might be labelled as a post rock band, but they are a lot more, as well.
At times they deliver psychedelic, ecstatic experiences, at times they
regress into kraut rock monotony. The extremely beautiful and usually sad
melodies play an important part on the album. Some of the tracks are rather
progressive, as well.
"Sleepwalker" opens the album in a moody, peaceful and sad way. "Witchcraft" continues
in a similar path, it sounds like a soundtrack to a horror movie.
It could be by the Swedish Morte Macabre. It grows towards the end,
and also has some human humming voice in it. One of the standout tracks
is "Singlesparks Are Spectral Fires", including some really nice guitar melodies.
A bit trip hop/jungle styled rhythm starts off, and it gives nice extra
energy to the song. Next there's a bit more boring hypno rhythm that grows,
then slows down, then grows again. Pretty intense guitar work.
The next song is a peaceful one, for a change.
"Enemy Within" is one of the highlights, the fastest track on the album,
and includes some funny synth sounds. Somehow reminds me of Circle.
"The Endless Cycle of Violence" starts off in a very oppressive way,
but after five minutes a spaceship takes off the ground.
The last track "Lufthan" is definitely kraut rock influenced.
Neu! could have recorded this track at some point. A nice tune,
that brings hope and variation to this otherwise rather heavy album.
This is a very good album, and it looks like it will only get better with time.
The boys are even skilled musicians, so this truly is a great musical enjoyment.
Here are the musicians, if some body is wondering: Olli Joukio, Jari Lähteinen,
Pasi Salmi, Harri Sippola, and guesting on the album are Laura Sorvala (voice)
ja Sami Sänpäkkilä (musical saw). Nowadays they also have another guitar/bass
player Mikko Rintala, so there are enough people for live gigs. The suitable
artwork was made by Herra Ylppö. The next album will be released
late 2002/early 2003, although this album just came out.
More info can be found from the Vendura web site at www.verdurarecords.com.
[ back to top ]
Out of Space, Out of Time / Wild Bug
(Ace of Discs, 001)
Free Sitar / Klunk
I was really glad to hear that Sun Dial,
one of my favourite groups, is back together.
We haven't heard much from them since their live album Live Drug released in '96.
Only a couple of treats have found their way into my greedy ears from different
compilation albums. The main man Gary Ramon has been busy with various projects,
his record company Acme and his studio.
Out of Space, Out of Time/Wild Bug is released by Ace of Discs
and is a return to the early Sun Dial. At least the first Pink Floyd album comes to mind,
but this is definitely not plagiarism. The first track is originally by Ramon's
teenage band The Lord. There is certain innocence and freshness of youth audible in it.
Very nice psychedelia in the 60's spirit! The single sounds a lot more like their
first psych/prog masterpiece Other Way Out than their later output, and I'm glad it does.
The other track "Wild Bug" is an instrumental, and a very good one it is, too.
The old prog fans might be interested to know, that Peter Dunton from T2 plays
on the single. This is available on 7" vinyl and CD single.
The English Sun Dial fans have the opportunity to see the band live on the 5th of
December in London supported by Quad and Hypnosis (both have released albums on Acme),
and these lucky ones will also receive a free 7" called Free Sitar/Klunk!
I really would like to be on this gig, that is the first one by the band for years.. Well,
I was able to get a test pressing of that single for a review, which comforts a bit.
The line-up is now totally different apart from Gary, and there will be members of
Groop and Current 93 on stage.
This is clearly a very free-form release, and totally instrumental stuff.
As the title says, "Free Sitar" is a cosmic, oriental sitar freak out, possibly
part of a longer jam. "Klunk", based on one riff only, is closer to kraut rock
with its pounding rhythm, not bad at all. The sound reminds me a bit of the
Groop single, and apparently most of the musicians and the studio might be the same,
so no wonder.. This is an amazing 7" as well, but the only way to get it is
to go to England for the gig. This is what I recommend to everyone who possibly can!
There's more info at the Ace of Discs home page mentioned above.
The Sun Dial home page at www.sundial.org.uk is under construction, but you can find
information for example from the latest issue of Aural Innovations
(www.aural-innovations.com) in form of a detailed Gary Ramon interview. Absolutely
worth checking out! It would be nice to get the band to Finland for a gig, as well.
[ back to top ]
Sysyphus Records (sysy cd 4206.ug)
Sysyphus is the record company of Pink Floyd oriented Eclipsed magazine.
They have released a couple of Floyd tributes featuring Liquid Visions among others.
Hypnotized is the third album by the German band, and very good one it is, too.
They play psychedelic rock very much in the 60's style, they've got some garage,
acid rock, Hendrix, pop and now also a pinch of Hawkwind and stoner rock.
Liquid Visions are also famous for their numerous side projects (Sula Bassana,
Zone Six, Weltraumstaunen and Growing Seeds), all worth checking out.
The first track "State of Mind" explodes your head already. You can see the colours
in the middle part with electric sitar, at the latest. An excellent,
beautiful and energetic tune, with lyrics about the altered states of consciousness..
This is the best stuff on the album, absolutely hit material.
"Waste" is a bit groovier piece with nice garage organ. It's some kind of
speech for the defence of being a hippie, and a pretty okay song.
"Butterflight" is the most Hendrix-styled track. The oriental influences kick
in the middle part, and it gets even wilder. Kingston Wall fans will love this!
The track mutates into a space rock finale, pretty heavy trip. The only a bit
dull song in my opinion is "Be Lie've", but even that gets better along the way.
The over 10-minutes-long "Morning Rain" is bluesy, pretty and fine song,
that really takes off into the air. Excellent guitar playing raises the
feeling to the ceiling, really great! At times this reminds me of Pink Floyd.
The last, gigantic track "Paralyzed" is, as the title says, rather paralysing,
but in a nice way. After the peaceful bubbling in the beginning starts a slow,
hypnotic beat and vocals with psych effects. Then after a few minutes they
introduce the stoner distortion, and we'll get a dose of some heavy riffs.
Monster Magnet comes to mind, and why not. I like this track a lot in
all its totality. After over 15 minutes you feel like you've been hit
in the head with a heavy object. A stunning end to a marvellous album!
The band has progressed a lot since their debut, which in itself was
a good example of the fact, that people can make decent 60's-styled
psych rock even nowadays. It's a pity that Hypnotized is only
available on CD, but the fancy digipack with lyrics is a very
good chaser for the excellent album. Get it!
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Atomic Dogs Don't Bark
The Swedish Pseudo Sun is a new band of Juba Nurmenniemi,
who used to play bass with space rockers DarXtar. The band has been together
for some years now, and they released their first CD (Future Memoirs) in '97.
Atomic Dogs... was supposed to be out a couple of years ago, but Juba couldn't
find a suitable record company, and decided, that it wasn't good enough.
Some tracks were re-recorded, some were left out, some added, and they
finally found a permanent keyboard player. This new version of the album
does sound a lot better, so it was worth the wait.
The following gentlemen play on the CD: Juba: bass, vocals, mellotron,
synths, acoustic guitar, backwards guitar, Mats Jassa Singh: electric guitar,
Erca Lindesvärd: drums and Jens Lindesvärd: keyboards. The tracks are "Mutiny",
"Shapeshifter", "If I Only Had Time", "Under Water World" and "Atmosphere".
When the first Pseudo Sun was more or less a combination of Hawkwind and
hard rock/metal, they now have added prog to the formula, which has made
their band a lot more interesting. The tracks have long jam and solo parts,
often including the best stuff. There are only five songs, but the album is
still long enough. I think the new songs are a much better than the old ones.
The verses and choruses are usually still rather heavy, but the melodies are
better, and the tracks are better constructed. There are still elements of
space rock, for example some occasional analog synth noises. Mellotron and
an increase in the use of keyboards add a lot more colour to the music.
Juba beats his Rickenbacker in a very nice style, and the guitar solos of
Mats sometimes reach the sky, although they are a bit too low in the mix.
Erca is also and excellent drummer, so this is really is a competent group.
Best tracks are maybe "Shapeshifter" and "If I Only had Time", and the
new keyboard player Jens can show his skills in these two. On the other hand,
the ending number "Atmosphere" is some kind of a classic...
Mats left the band at sometime during the recordings, but have promised,
luckily for us, to come along for their Helsinki gig at Psychotropic Zone.
Praise the Lord! The cheapest way to buy this record is through their
web site at: www.warp9.to/pseudosun
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All Lead To Destruction
Preesens are a bunch of young guys from Vantaa,
Finland playing somewhat psychedelic rock. They have released a few CD-R's before this one,
but I haven't heard anything else by them. It's a bit hard to describe their music, and
I really don't have a clue of their influences. There is no info on the covers,
but there are 6 tracks totalling about 30 minutes.
The first tracks sounds a bit like early Circle with heavy guitars playing hypnotic rhythms.
There are mantra-like vocals and some samples as well. Rather nice song, actually.
The next two songs are more melodic, melancholic pop pieces. The second track has some
tremolo guitar, the third one some screaming guitars. Not bad, but nothing special.
The fourth track opens slowly with wailing vocals and some tender keyboards,
reminding me a bit of Spaceman 3. Then the drums, bass and clean guitar join
the music with some string sounds and effects. Very sad and beautiful song,
especially the quiet end part that sounds like the Spiritualized. The vocals,
that are a bit out-of-tune, are the only negative point.
The fifth track opens very gently, as well, before launching into full might with distorted
rhythm guitars. I kind of like this one. The last track is probably the best, though.
It's a slow one, and the atmosphere builds up nicely, a bit in the same style as
Godspeed You Black Emperor! and the other members of the Montreal community do.
This also could almost be a King Black Acid song! Shoe-gazer stuff.
All in all, a very potential band, that might go very far, I hope. The sound is
a bit demo-like, but okay. I've heard they are great live, so please come and
check them out at our club on the 19th of October!
[ back to top ]
(Ektro Records / ektro-019)
Circle from Pori, Finland,
continues to release records with high work moral.
Earlier this year there was a live CD, and now some new studio candy.
Sunrise is an exceptional album for the band in a couple of ways.
It contains, apart from the usual kraut-hypno, also heavy metal and
even folk rock! The opener, NWOBHM-styled blast "Vauhtikuningas"
(Speed king in English) is killer stuff. It reminds me of Judas Priest at their heaviest.
Rättö's voice is well suitable for Rob Halford-like screaming.
The whole track is based on one guitar riff (apparently nicked from Ten Nugent),
like is so common for the band. In the end, there are a few minutes of high-flying
guitar solos. A superb opening, and this also works very well live.
Then we relax with "Satulinnut" (Magic Birds). It's similar to the first
Kuusumun Profeetta CD in Finnish, I wonder was written by Mr. Rättö?
It's a nice, acoustic, magical track with prophetic vocals.
Next we're back in the heavy, gloomy world forced by the juggernaut
called "Hautain takaa" (From Beyond The Graves). Very metallic touch again,
and I'm not complaining. Acoustic guitars make reappearance on
"Vaanen valtiatar" (Mistress of Vaane), and the lyrics are given in a
narrative way. Great track that proves that acoustic guitar can well
be used in a Neu-like repetition.
Ruthless wall of distortion starts from the beginning of the next track.
"Kylän suurin miekka" (The Greatest Sword in The Village) gives contrast
to the lighter number before it, but sure as hell doesn't give any mercy.
Wow, how heavy this is! "Rautakotka" (Iron Eagle) is more traditional Circling,
guaranteed quality stuff. The violin brings strange, ethereal extra.
"Paholaisratsastaja" (Devil Rider) belongs also to the familiar kraut department.
As an interesting (?) detail I could mention, that there's conversation/talk
mixed to the track just so quiet that you just can't find out what they say.
Rather psychedelic effect that will drive you mad, if you try to listen to
it... There are also other subliminal noises used cleverly on the CD, for
example there are some micro bits screaming on a few tracks. After four
and a half minutes something weird happens, and maybe the best part of
the whole album starts. Possibly the Circle guru Jussi Lehtisalo got bored
with the song, and started insane manipulation!? What ever the case,
the last minutes of the track are serious ear candy. The last, over
15 minutes long track "Lokki" (Seagull) continues regression with the
lack of chords. There's only one basic note that creates a magnificent ambience,
until they speed up in the end with modulation. This ending to one of
the best Circle album (or THE best?) empties your head.
And even better is that he next album, made at Faust's studio,
will be out this autumn.
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Kosmic Sound/Voodoo Sitar
Ace Of Discs (ace. 000)
This is the second single by the British Groop.
They were previously known as Chemical, and released one excellent vinyl LP on Acme Records.
There is a slight difference compared to the Chemical times.
These two 3 and a half minute long psyche tracks are more
energetic and groovier stuff. "Kosmic Sound" is a hypnotic and monotonic blast
with female vocals and nice buzzing sounds. "Voodoo Sitar" has a lot of percussions
and sitar, and is a bit slower gem. This is very good stuff to blow your mind!
I hope that there will be a whole album coming out soon, I'm really looking forward to it.
The main man of Groop, Moonus, also plays in Sun Dial, who have regrouped after
years of absence. In addition, Gary Ramon from Sun Dial plays sitar and keyboards
on this 7", so this really is a must-have for all the Sun Dial collectors...
Ace Of Discs is a label specialized only in releasing high quality, ultra thick
vinyl singles, 1000 copies of each. This is their first release, and the next
one will be brand new material from Sun Dial! Too bad, that the singles come
only in plain sleeves, but there are some copies with autographs, at least of the first two.
The price of this great 7" is only 4 pounds inc. postage & packing worldwide!
Get it by email from: email@example.com.
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THE LUCKY BISHOPS
(Woronzow WOO 52)
This is the kind of music you'll get,
when you combine Beatlesque pop/60's
British psych with old Yes/harmonic prog and energetic rock.
The Lucky Bishops from England have continued their own path
very succesfully with their second album. The band is:
Alan Strawbridge: bass, vocals, guitar and piano,
Luke Adams: drums, vocals and percussions, Tom Hughes: organ,
piano, vocals, guitar, accordion, bass and Rick Murphy: guitar and vocals.
So each of them sings, and they do it very well! The vocal melodies
and harmonies are extremely great. There's nothing wrong with their playing, either.
Grimstone, the name of the CD comes from a Dorset village, where they lived until recently,
when their old, mouldy stone cottage collapsed. In their hide-away they were totally out of
what was going on in the world and what were the new musical trends, which is great!
That's the reason why their music has stayed so pure and original.
All the songs are versatile, and there's not a dull moment on the album.
It's hard to choose any favourites: each song seems to be better than the other,
but I think I prefer the faster songs (You Come Alive, Doppleganger and so on).
The overall feeling on the album is pretty positive and sunny, so it's actually
quite strange that I like it so much. I usually go more for the dark and heavy
stuff... Oh well, maybe I'm becoming an old softy? There are some more melancholic
tracks on the record, as well (Rock Stars, In Everything I Saw, I Hate This Down),
but nothing very heavy.
The tracks are rather short, about 2 to 5 minutes long. There's plenty of
time for the Bishops to preach their message effectively, though.
The album could have been a bit longer, but you can always listen to it again
(and again, and again...). The hidden poetry track in the end is really hilarious...
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Sound And Vision 2002
Burnt Hippie Recordings (BHR007)
This is the seventh release of the Danish Burnt Hippie Recordings.
Korai Öröm is a Hungarian band playing groovy, mostly instrumental
Ozric-influenced rock. I've missed all their previous releases (shame on me!),
so I really can't compare this to the old stuff.
The band is famous of not naming any of their songs, and this release in no exception.
There are six lengthy tracks on this vinyl issue of the album, which was released on CD
containing some CD-ROM material late last year as Sound and Vision 2001.
First of all, I must say that I always thought that this band was much more psychedelic.
Maybe it was, but not anymore. What we got here is six very good songs, played by the 8
members of the band with three guests. The music is very danceable, and I'm sure the
audience must have fun at their concerts. The Ozric feeling is quite strong at places,
but Korai Öröm is much more organic, lighter, and straighter.
The first track starts with acoustic guitar and some whistling before they launch into
fast, nice and organic instrumental beat with percussions and groovy bass. This is one
of the best tracks on the album, including some memorable melodies. The second track is
a bit slower with delay guitar and spacey synths. There are some trumpet and vocal samples
in the middle, and in the end it goes very funky. The third track sounds like the Ozrics
(a bit like "Sploosh") with its reggae guitar and vocals. It also includes the heaviest
guitar riff on the album. Not bad at all! The melody in the end sounds like a Hungarian
Side two opens with some strange noises, then the beat starts, and soon we'll hear soft
wah wah guitar, bass and floating keyboards. Some acoustic string instruments are added
to the mix to create a some-what funny (in a positive way!) feeling. Some nice percussions
are added, as well. The next track is the slowest. The sequencer reminds me of some of the
more peaceful Ozric tunes. Very beautiful and floating track. The last one starts like
a traditional gypsy song, and the feeling stays for the whole song, although
a more "rock" elements are introduced as well. There's some jews harp, and possibly
some traditional Hungarian instruments, as well. A nice, ethnic ending to the album.
If you don't already know more about the band than I do, please check their
web site at www.korai.hu
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LAMB OF THE UNIVERSE
Echo In Light
Lamp of The Universe is a cosmic hippy acid folk/psychedelic one-man project
of Craig Williamson (known also from the heavy/stoner rock band Datura).
This fellow plays all the instruments also on this second release by .L.O.T.U.
This album has gained a lot of good response from the psychedelic underground,
and I can clearly see why. There's a lot of emotion and even transcendental message
of love in the home-recorded songs of Mr. Williamson.
You might get the picture of what's going on just looking at the track titles.
The acoustic "Freedom to Godliness" starts the album with its celestial, tranquil way.
Really beautiful vocals on this one. "Resonance" continues on the same line, but this
time we also get to hear some sitar. There's a bit rockier edge to the next one,
"Our Celestial Flow" with drums, electric guitars and organs. Rather 60's oriented,
groovy track. "Love" is a beautiful and mellow song, where acoustic guitar, tender
percussions and flute-like keyboards play an important role. "Pyramids of Sun" is
also a very beautiful and cosmic with its acoustic rhythm guitar and vocals.
There's some nice sitar at the end, as well. The last track "Dream Sequence"
is almost 17 minutes of ultra floating instrumental head jam. Lots of keyboards,
effects, cymbals, guitar solos, percussions and so on. Here we can almost reach
the spiritual dimensions! It's an excellent ending for the album.
The album sounds a lot like it was recorded in the early 70's. There are some
similarities with the cosmic German bands and British folk bands of that era.
There's a lot of echo all around the album. This is very suitable stuff for
meditation or tripping. Sitar and tablas give a nice Indian flavour. Echo In
Light is very pleasant, psychedelic and interesting music that I can recommend
to anyone into self-exploration and good music. Order it from www.cranium.co.nz.
The first Lamp of The Universe album The Cosmic Union is coming out on vinyl
(500 copies) on the German Moonhead Records during the autumn... Hopefully also
Echo in Light, at some point.
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The Glitter Odd
Saturnia from Portugal are multi-instrumentalists Luis Simões and
Francisco Rebelo. The duo combines 60's psych and 70's prog to modern ambient and dance beats
in an interesting way. Many songs remind me of Pink Floyd, but as a whole
the band sounds quite a lot like the German band Electric Orange, whose
musical concept is a very similar to Saturnia's.
The guys are obviously vinyl freaks, as the CD sounds like a vinyl with
its beginning and ending clicks and surface noise in the middle of the tracks.
The CD in itself looks like a miniature vinyl, and there's a picture of a
turntable on the inner tray of the CD. Fun! Other option would, of course,
have been to simply release it on vinyl... Pretty cool idea, anyway.
The Glitter Odd includes a lot of different instruments like guitars, organs,
synths, piano, theramin, sitar, tabla, bass, machine rhythms, gongs and vocals,
that rather low in the mix. The opener "Chrysalis" is the most up-tempo track on
the album and has some sitar, tabla, vocals, groovy organs and weird effects.
One of my favourites. Will have to play this at our club for sure.
This one maximises the Electric Orange feel. "Bliss" is slower,
hypnotic and pretty instrumental. "A Trick of Light" with only
some singing of the birds, theramin and effects is a nice interlude.
"Azimuth/Menadel" is a track divided in two parts the first part being
a bit oppressive (like The Wall), while the mood is freed in the end with
the sound of water, beautiful flute sound and Tangerine Dream -styled synth pattern.
"Organo" is a organ-lead instrumental with hip hop/drum & bass comp,sitar and theramin.
A bit dull, in my opinion. The moody "Borealis", which starts and ends with morse code,
includes some airy guitars. The peaceful dance beat reminds me of the British ambient
band Astralasia, with whom Saturnia also shares the font of their logo. A fine track.
The last one, the title track, is a psychedelic, Klaus Shultze-like sound collage.
With this one you can surely get "out there somewhere"... Includes some very odd
synthetic sounds and is one of the highlights of the album.
You can order the album from www.cranium.co.nz,
and you can also listen to some samples there. This is an interesting band that is really worth checking out.
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THE INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE OF TELEPATHIC EXPLORERS
Free City Media (FRCD003)
This compilation CD is a benefit for Free City Media's online
magazine and record label. All the artists have contributed their tracks for the good cause.
This is mostly psychedelic retro pop, but you can also find a few heavier
acid rock pieces as well. There are 17 songs by 16 bands all together,
two by Lucky Bishops. We've got veterans like Bevis Frond, Adrian Shaw and Motorpsycho,
but also fresh, new acts (Aquarium Poppers, The Sand Pebbles).
The overall feeling of the CD is very 60's. All the tracks are new,
rare or unreleased.
The bands are placed in alphabetical order, so the first to come is Aquarium Poppers.
I've never heard about them before, but they play pretty decent Beatles pop.
Then there's Nick Bensen with his beautiful and psychedelic track "Never Coming Down",
which is absolutely one of his best, and also one of the highlights on this album.
Then it's time to unleash Bevis Frond with demo-sounding blast "Being You".
Oh, those twin solos by Mr. Saloman! Acid rock at its best. After the master,
there comes another English band including one guy from the Lucky Bishops:
Bitter Little Cider Apples. Interesting stuff. Then we're back to the
States with thebrotheregg, not just as odd track as the rest of their stuff.
Horns, violins and flutes give this little pretty composition a nice bonus.
Next we are entertained by the Norwegian Dipsomaniacs, whose melancholic
"How To Fall" keeps on playing in your head after the first listening!
One of the best on the CD, and absolutely a band everybody should check out.
Dunlavy presents a peaceful and slow "The Guest", that grows in the end,
then we are introduced to the wacky world of Lucky Bishops, who are on Woronzow.
"Silent Car" is a cheerful, catchy pop song with good harmony vocals,
"Animal Kingdom" an organ-dominated, funny 60's instrumental. Nice!
Then we're off to the tunnels of the mind with one of the Germany's
leading neo psychedelic bands Mandra Gora Lightshow Society.
This is serious brain food, the boys clearly have been
sufficiently expanding their minds... And they sure don't
skimp on the delay on the vocals. Then back to the lighter
pop with the Minders, and this continues with Motorpsycho.
The band really has changed a lot since their first album. Good vocals.
"Magic Lantern" by the Photon Band with their 60's style
reminds me of the Kings. Polar Arc gives us a peaceful pop
track with interesting end part. Then the pride of Australia,
the Sand Pebbles sing their high-pitched, middle tempo "My Sensation".
I have to investigate more. Next there's an even better remix of
Adrian Shaw's excellent track "Symbiosis", one of the best tracks on the CD.
This fine compilation ends very efficiently with "Everything is Everything"
mantra by 33 Tiger Infinity.
If you're interested in old school psychedelic pop, this album is a must have.
I've got reason enough to buy it on behold of the unreleased, over
six minutes long rockers by Bevis Frond and Mandra Gora Lightshow Society!
A fantastic compilation in deed.
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Free City Media (FRCD002)
Nick Bensen from San Francisco continues
on the same line set up by his first solo CD Psychedelic Juggernaut.
He plays all the instruments on this album, as well.
There's certain progress compared to the predecessor. The album is more complete
as a whole, although there are still elements from Beatlesque psychedelic pop,
heavier Bevis Frond acid rock, electronic music and even prog. And the songs
are simply better. A lot of the songs are really good, and the home studio-style
recording sounds successful this time. A little minus are the programmed drums,
but even they work well enough this time.
"On The Fractal Landscape", a short synth opener creates nice moods in the beginning.
The next track "Rockery Lighter" is one of the highlights, and also a single track.
Other songs worth mentioning are the soft, airy and beautiful title track, an
instrumental "Unrealized Voyage To Hammerfest" (Nick is of Norwegian ancestry)
with its symphonic elements and a bit 70's Spirit-sounding acoustic "Pine City"
Nick's vocals are very pleasant to hear, and his guitar solos have a lot of
strength and feeling fron time to time. It would be very interesting to hear,
what he could do with a band. Real drums could surely give his music more kicks.
There are also three bonus tracks on this version of the CD. They are not useless,
since the Bevis-influenced "Frobisher Awakening" works fine and the over 9 minute
psychedelic guitar jam "Icebound Wilderness" could well be from an early 90's
There's three MP3's from this CD at www.freecitymedia.com, and you can also
order the album from there. Worth checking out.
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HOLY RIVER FAMILY BAND
(The Wild Places, WILD 010)
Earthquake Country is the third CD by Swedish Holy River Family,
if you don't count one unofficial CD-R. The band known for its
The Spacious Mind connection continues it's cosmic acid folk/psych
journey with style. There have been more vocals with every album,
and now there's some on all the tracks. The new album is clearly
more song-oriented, and there are fewer long, pointless jams than before.
The band is Jens Unosson: keyboards, vocals and textures, Arne Jonasson: guitar,
vocals and then some and Mathias Barder: percussions, vocals & beyond.
There are actual drums only on a couple of tracks, These are the very
Grateful Dead influenced "Good Morning Friend" and "Love These Walls",
which could be Fifty Foot Hose without the weird electronics or why not
even Jefferson Airplane with male vocals. The other ten tracks are more
or less peaceful, beautiful, organic folk pieces. Common for them are mystic vocals,
acoustic guitars, organs, electric piano, percussions and endless electric guitar soloing.
There are other instruments as well from wind instruments to rain stick.
The latest album by the HRFB is a bit plainer than its predecessor,
which had more synths. Now they have left more space for the listener.
The songs are shorter that before (there were only four tracks on the first CD,
for example) and more purposeful, really composed. There is still some
room for jamming, which is good. All in all, this is an excellent album
while waiting for the solo from Jens Unosson! Oh yeah, the linear notes
are by Tom Rapp from Pearls Before Swine...
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THE SHEPHERDS BUSH ENJOYMENT
This Swedish duo released their first self-financed full-length album at
New Years Eve 2001/2002. You can notice progressive and psychedelic
influences in their music. The first track, "The Time Bandits"
reminds me of DarXtar with its pounding rock and Hammonds.
At times I hear some The Soundtrack Of Our Lives.
The Shepherds Bush Enjoyment is more progressive than their fellow countrymen,
though. Some of the songs have a lot of interesting, different parts.
This is still retro rock.
Other clear influences are The Doors (listen to "Abstract Destract"!)
Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Deep Purple, Gentle Giant (especially the vocal parts)
etc. The beginning of "Gamblers Award" even sounds very much like Finnish Circle!
"Lake Acid" is a nice acoustic folk instrumental: only the sitar is missing...
As a total Philip K. Dick freak I just have to mention the heavy
"Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?" as well. There are a couple of
covers as bonus tracks. The more interesting of these is an acoustic
version of Motörhead's "Ace Of Spades"... And they even stole a part of Yes as an intro!?
Stereoactivity is a very interesting album, and it has been spinning
in my CD player quite a lot. The songs are diverse, playing is good,
and you won't get bored very soon. There are a lot of slower, heavier parts,
lighter prog bits and everything in between. There are rather long tracks on this album,
the longest being 16.05. If I really try to figure out some improvements,
I think that sometimes they might concentrate a bit more on arranging
the songs to make them more solid. The guitar, synth and flute solos
might also be more intensive.
I think they could use another singer (female?), and maybe a
couple of other new members as well. I'm really looking forward
for their next release that should be out during the summer.
More info and MP3's can be found at:
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THE BEVIS FROND
What Did For The Dinosaurs
(Woronzow Woo 50)
The Bevis Frond has been one of my favourite bands for ten years now.
"What did..." is the 16th album they have made, and one of the best.
There's not that much psychedelic stuff on the latest albums than in the early releases,
which is too bad. The sound is now very good, and there are a lot of pearls within these 18 songs.
There's only one dull rock number ("Yo-De-Lo") that I might have left out of this 77 minute CD.
The Bevis Frond was originally a one-man band of Nick Saloman.
Now the line-up has settled as: Nick Saloman: vocals, guitar, organ,
keyboards, Adrian Shaw (ex-Arthur Brown, Hawkwind, Atomic Rooster, Magic Muscle):
bass, acoustic guitar and Andy Ward (ex-Camel): drums. Guitar heroes Bari Watts
(Outskirts of Infinity) and Paul Simmons (Alchemysts) guest on the album as well
and so does Debbie "Nick's daughter" Saloman on vocals.
There are also some horn players on it.
The album is a combination of fast, punky, heavy pop rock numbers,
psychedelic blues, pretty acoustic ballads and screaming guitars,
as is very characteristic to the Frond. You can only admire how
Saloman somehow is able to pour out the spirit into all his songs.
I'm totally in love with his guitar playing and singing.
This music seems to have a lot to say to a lot of people.
It's genuine, pure and touching. Even the lyrics are honest,
personal and down to earth.
So, "What Did..." is guaranteed Frond quality from the beginning to the end.
It's hard to name any particular songs over the others,
but let's try... The title track with many different parts
that is the opener is one of the best Bevis tracks ever,
great tune in deed! I could also mention some of the faster songs:
"The Wrong Side", "Breath Out" with its manic chorus and the superb,
melancholic pop song "Candles". On the ballad department my
favourite is "Down To Earth". Some of the lengthy instrumental psychedelic jamming,
that there used to be a lot more, can be heard on the last,
epic track "Dustbins In The Rain". That is also the longest
track on the album with a lot of different parts and one that I like the most.
The only bad thing about this record is, that it's not released on vinyl. Sob!
Most of the songs are rather simple, but they've got nice hooks
and melodies to make them addictive. There have been some progress
compared to the older albums: this one sounds more produced,
which I think is a good thing. The guitar sounds is maybe a bit lighter,
and the most screaming guitars are rather rare. As whole,
this is very good package that every self-respecting Bevis fan must get.
It's also an excellent opportunity to get into the band the very first time.
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(Woronzow Records WOO 51)
"Look Out" is the fourth solo CD by psychedelia veteran Adrian Shaw.
He plays now in The Bevis Frond, but has in the past been involved with Hawkwind among
others. I think that his latest album is the best so far. Despite the fact that
it's been made at his home studio, the sound is flawless.
This time even the programmed drums are all right.
All the songs are written by Ade, and he plays all the instruments,
as well. There are also guitar solos by, surprise surprise, Bari Watts,
Nick Saloman from The Frond, old High Tide guy Tony Hill and Ade's son Aaron Shaw.
Good picks! Other ex-Hawk Simon House is also mentioned in the promo letter,
but not on the covers.
Compared to The Bevis Frond, this is more peaceful, slower and partly more psychedelic.
There are also more synths. Shaw is not only a superb bassist, but also very able guitarist,
keyboard player and singer. There's nothing wrong with his song writing either.
"Look Out" is good psychedelic rock spiked with weird samples and studio wizardy.
Ade's previous solo album "Headcleaner" was excellent, but this time he really has surpassed himself.
The odd rhythm of "Few Are Called" reminds me of Gentle Giant, so you could say
that there are also some prog influences. "Rhododendron Mile" is close to country music!
Most of the tracks are peaceful and beautiful, rather 70's styled. Some of the best
ones are pounding rocker "I Don't Think So", gentle and sad "On Father's Day"
(great solos by Bari Watts), brilliant acoustic number "Childhood's End"
and the before mentioned "Few Are Called". I don't know if Ade's getting old,
but the lyrics are quite nostalgic, as you can suspect from the titles alone
("Oh, To Be Young Again", Remembrance of Things Past"). What ever the case,
you can sense great wisdom, maturity and life experience from this album.
This really is worth checking out!
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Blows Your Mind
(Pan Records / 788)
The guys from the Danish band On Trial ( www.ontrial.suite.dk ) are very prolific makers
of good psychedelic music. They have given birth to many interesting project and solo albums ( Pandemonica,
Spids Nogenhat... ). None of the records has let me down, and neither does this one.
"Blows Your Mind" is a solo album by the drummer of On Trial, and he plays and sings everything on it.
He's quite a multitalented fellow, that's for sure. Are all of the On Trial members so talented?!
Here he performs under the pseudonym Lorenzo Woodrose... The album sounds a lot like it was recorded in the 60's,
which works like hell. So it's 60's psychedelic rock. There are faster, cheerful garage rockers
("Baby Blows Your Mind", "Right to Get High") but also beautiful, melodic and melancholic
tracks full of emotion ("Caught in A Whirl", "Spinning Wheels of Fire", "Mind and Soul"...).
They both have their moments. The guitar sounds are at times nicely sleazy, often you feel the need to jump up,
dance and party. There are also experiences of floating in deep bongwaters.
Some of the songs remind me of some pleasant 60's pop hits, and yeah, I think I can even hear some steel
guitar influences! Rather versatile, groovy old-school stuff. The CD covers are made by the mighty Malleus
( www.malleusdelic.com ), and really a sight to gaze upon...
The lyrics are about smoking dope, sex, rock 'n 'roll, but also about even MORE deep issues.
The music is reminiscent of many old bands, but let's just say that the guy have been exposed to a lot of
the same stuff that Dave from Monster Magnet. I think that Baby Woodrose can be labelled as a stoner rock band,
but not one of the heaviest.
This is an excellent CD, one of the best that I've encountered for a while.
Summa summarum: psychedelic boogie for the third eye! Dig it baby!
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