Skinbat Scramble – “Work Experience Sessions Parts 1-3″ (The Alien Piers Organization 2016, 3 x CD)

Skinbat Scamble date back to the 1980s and have done a great job of documenting their history on earlier compilations. The band continues to this day, albeit in multiple updated configurations, and the just released 3-CD Work Experience Sessions consists of music recorded between 2008-2015.

The band’s mainstay from the early days is Mark Eason, who has raised a talented brood of musicians that play and contribute vocals. The Work Experience Sessions title comes from son Piers’ (drummer) 2009 “Work Experience” assignment at school. Piers and another drummer classmate were going to spend a week as assistant engineers in Mark’s studio and when the scheduled band cancelled, recordings that formed the basis of the some of this set’s tracks ensued. Fun, huh?

There is a tremendous amount of variety across these three CDs, with myriad styles and influences coming together in imaginatively off the beaten path and exciting ways. I’ve had such fun immersing myself in all this music that I can’t resist giving the full tour.

In addition to the Eason family of musicians there is an array of others who pop up throughout the set, perhaps the most prominent of which is featured on the opening Part 1 track. Before Eights is a beautifully pastoral acoustic instrumental with lusciously melodic and tastefully ripping electric guitar leads by Malcolm Lenny. Lenny is renowned for his Joe Meek produced 60s bands The Packabeats and Hi-Fi’s, The Traitors being The Packabeats big hit (check it out HERE on YouTube).

Dux follows and goes in a different direction, being a catchy rocker with a funky edge, ethereal Pop vocals by Imogen Eason and colorful alien synth action that adds a far out freaky factor to the song. Forest of Flutes seems to pick up where Dux left off, while veering into a variety of seamlessly integrated realms. We’ve got instrumental Prog-Pop, though it’s also got a free-wheeling West Coast Psychedelic jam feel, as well as having a cosmic edge that weaves in and out of space. I like the quirky Space-Pop with a Beefheartian edge on Whippoorwill Walt 2. Fox Parallel 13 features densely spacey drone rock with an Indian Folk rock feel from Carl Gent’s twangy sitar and electronic effects that gently but noisily buzz about. Dandelion’s Tails has a funky edge that recalls Talking Heads, though Skinbat Scamble are much looser and get into spacey psychedelic territory. You can dance to this sucker or just close your eyes and head bop drift along with it. Imogen becomes the trippy torch singer on the Italian language Quando Vivavano, which comes across like a psychedelic Post-Punk take on a traditional Italian party song. Buffalo Beach is like a blend of the previous two songs, being spacey and freaky funky, but with avant-experimental effects and has a punked out traditional ethnic feel. But then about two-thirds of the way through there’s an abrupt dramatic shift into a kind Anthony Phillips meets John Fahey acoustic finale. Veeeery cool and strange indeed. Closing out Part 1 is the 10+ minute The Drunken Frenchman, which is a spacey, jazzy, ambient excursion that brings together soundscapes, drones, melodic strumming and steady paced jazz drumming, with the last few minutes being a quietly meditative Kosmiche floater.

That’s a hell of a start but the Part 2 CD gets into even freakier spaced out territory. We open with the 10+ minute Basil Meets Wendy, a steadily propulsive rocker with a throbbing rhythmic drive that serves as the foundation for Andrew Wakeford’s exploratory Psych/Noise/Freakout guitar leads. I love how the assertively repetitive rhythm section seems to egg the guitar on to slash, burn, grind, space out, trip out, and make all manner of good fun sounds. Blobraphone is like opening a music box but along with the little ballerina spinning slowly to the lullaby melody a haunting space-ambient acid guitar rumble of effects comes pouring out. Blackwall Bridge is a brief rhythmic space-ambient rocker that leads into the valium paced, cool grooving The Fridge Has Gone, with its dual contrasting guitars: one being smoothly sultry and cosmically melodic, while the other trips around splashing colorful effects, creating an overall mood that is lysergically peaceful with a jazzy Hawkwind Space Ritual vibe. The upbeat space-jazz-ambient rocking The Hat-Check Girl follows, packing a swirling array of effects into a tightly rocking pulse. The deep space theme continues with Marphine, which features a cool combination of pleasantly melodic acoustic drift and caustically tension-laden space-acid-efx exploration. This contrast of moods goes in an interesting direction on the all too brief Niblung Jumper, which lays freak flag flying wigged out mayhem over a jaunty stroll in the park beat. The Parable Of The Tiny Dragon shocks with its dramatic shift from the previous Part 2 instrumental tracks, being a funky, punky and quirkily tense rocker with vocals. And yet, it’s not so different, as the manic guitar takes on a space-ambient quality. Wardour Salad is similar, sounding like a Punk infused James Blood Ulmer meets Captain Beefheart with intense spoken word vocals. Glitter and Flake and Pragblob are both short pieces that explore Punk-Funk with spaced out effects themes. And wrapping up Part 2 is the nearly 12 minute Stereo Jack. The fun begins with a freeform glom of electronic noodling, which doesn’t let up when the band launch into a whimsical but rhythmically tight rocking groove, which gets increasingly intense as it progresses. Wow, this is a real head spinner, being equal parts quirky Post-Punk, avant-Prog and Psychedelic, peppered throughout by a banquet of sound and effects embellishments.

Had enough? No? Me neither… The 16 minute Part 3 opener, Dead Rabbit Universe, is like a less delirious and more streamlined take on Stereo Jack. It’s got a kinetic but smoothly flowing groove, being Prog punky and laced with an aura of ambience that gets pretty spaced out, making for a tasty Space-Punk-Prog epic that maintains a nice balance between composed structure and freeform jamming. Viennese Vibes is an impressively cool blend of ambient Jazz, cosmic Psychedelia, trippy effects, a dash of Grateful Dead, and spectral spoken word by Imogen. Love this one. The Odd Off-License features more of Skinbat Scramble’s wild and wooly Post-Punk-Prog art damaged Rock. Escape From My Mind is similar, with spoken word narrative by Tom Pether and, later, some cool contrasting ambient-Jazz. The appropriately titled Glam-Rock Drums lays down a chunky rocking 70s inspired groove, but there ain’t nuthin’ retro about the ocean of noisy space-waves that prominently and repetitively pulsate throughout this minimal lock groove rocker. Cultivating Clouds serves up more of the Scramble’s Post-Punk-Prog with a heavy duty Funk injection and killer vocals by Wolf, who veers between a rap-like rant and passionately anguished singing. Wolf’s intensely emotive vocals also grace Rolo Day-Z, which showcases a cool and strange mixture of grunge and zig-zagging instrumental and rhythmic gymnastics that bring to mind Discipline era King Crimson gone Post-Punk, though Carl Gent’s slowly plucking sitar adds a decidedly trippy dimension. Then about two-thirds of the way through we shift thematic gears as the music takes on a darkly avant-Psychedelic moodiness that gradually winds down into silence for the finale. I really dig the high powered funky rhythmic drive on Statue of Limitations, with its grungy/spacey Hard Rock/Psychedelic vibe and more spoken word, this time by Eloise. Beautiful soaring spaced out guitar licks and soundscape waves later in the piece. Marmalade Arch goes even deeper into space, being a threatening and explosive yet cool grooving Space-Doom-Funk dirge. And, finally, the cosmically whistling Whistler In The Rye has a Beefheart feel, though, characteristically, Skinbat Scamble throw a hodgepodge of inspiration into the stylistic pot.

In summary… WOW, there is a LOT happening across this sprawling 3-part set. If my descriptions sound all over the place, well… that’s the magic of Skinbat Scramble. Mark Eason has been sharing Skinbat Scramble compilations with me for years, as well as his numerous other projects, and these folks have an impressive flair for bringing together multiple contrasting elements and making it all fit in intriguing and exciting ways. And that’s the challenge and fun of writing about it. Punk, Funk, Prog, Rock, Psychedelia, Space Rock, Avant-Experimental… it’s all here and usually happening at once, while ultimately being accessible to all. Recommended.

For more information on Skinbat Scramble and other (all in various ways related) Alien Piers Organization bands visit and

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Various Artists – “Drones4Daevid” (Real Music Club Recordings 2015, 2-CD/DL)

Quoting from the back of the CD: “The Drones4Daevid gig was organized by the Real Music Club as a benefit gig for Daevid Allen, to help with his medical recuperation costs after he had been treated for cancer. Very sadly, a week before the gig, Daevid announced that the cancer had returned and that he was going to decline further treatment, and bow out with dignity. The gig became a celebration of Daevid’s life and works, and a big thank you to Daevid with fans and performers travelling far and wide to be at this gig”.

Drones4Daevid took place on February 8, 2015 and of course we lost Daevid the following month. We’ve got an array of performers, much of it with collective lineups, performing Daevid’s compositions and other music.

The seven musician Invisible Opera Company Of Tibet open the festivities with the Space-Pop rocking Mysteries, which has killer melodic hooks and a ripping tripped out guitar solo. The Opera Company returns again with the Space-Prog rocker Circle Around, which is powerfully Gong spirited and includes some nifty hypnotic segments. The Opera Company later go into full blown Gong mode for a rousing version of the classic You Can’t Kill Me. It’s a monster performance and extra kudos to Jackie Juno for channeling Gilli on this one. Equally potent is the heavy rocking Reign Of The Dragon.

Monty Oxymoron and Friends weigh in with a deep space, mystically throb grooving take on Daevid’s Non God Will Not Go On Or The Wrong Way To Be Right. They also crank out a very cool soulfully Psychedelic rendition of Soft Machine’s We Did It Again. And Monty steps up to the mic for a couple of solo spoken word poems.

With a duo lineup of piano and violin, Mark Robson brings a tear to the eye with his lovely cover of Daevid’s Garden Song. Mark is a VERY impressive vocalist. He gets plenty of room to stretch out on the 14 minute Blame The Rich, which starts off as a song and then becomes a poster child for this set’s Drones4Daevid title with an OM chant charged violin, didge, gliss guitar and piano excursion which is variously hypnotic, Space-Prog-Jazz exploratory and at one point has a traditional Celtic vibe, which is especially cool with the didge droning along. Absolutely freakin’ fantastic!

Shankara Andy Bole on guitar, bazouki, gliss guitar and ebow serves up 23 minutes of Eastern/Indian inflected space/drone/gliss exploration. Andy is later joined by Elliet Mackrell, whose violin graced Mark Robson’s songs, for what briefly sounds like the Fiddler On The Roof soundtrack performed for a group of yogis and snake charmers before spinning off into an intense combination of Psychedelic and concert hall jamming swirl. We’re treated to another lengthy workout by The Glissando Guitar Orchestra which features the lineup of Brian Abbott, Andy Bole, Dani Speakman (Timelords, Psychik Atters), Kev Hagan (Nukli), Mark Huxley (Nukli), Bob Hedger, and Gregg McKella (Paradise 9), and conducted by Jackie Juno. Wow, Glissando + Orchestra = 20 minutes of mind-bending, whirly, swirly, droney stoney space exploration. And, finally, the festivities close with a heartfelt poem-tribute to Daevid by Arthur Brown.

In summary, this is one hell of a set, with lots of variety and fantastic musicianship and spirited performances from all. HIGHLY recommended.

The 2-CD set is available in an edition of only 200. Order the CD or stream and purchase the download at:
NOTE that all proceeds will go to the Daevid Allen Foundation Trust.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Arnold Mathes – “40 Years” (self-released 2015, CD)

Veteran musician Arnold Mathes celebrates 40 years of creating electronic music with his 66th album and the succinct title 40 years.

Mathes makes clear that we’re in electronic Space Rock territory right out of the chute with a world-of-tomorrow voice announcement that leads into a combination of Berlin school electronica, freaky Space-Rave and Hawkwind styled moments of synth domination. But there’s lots of variety as this is followed by the 10 minute Atmospherea, the first half of which is a deep space effects and atmospherics exploration with a sound sculpture experimental edge, which eventually morphs into a gorgeously celestial and rhythmic drift among the stars. Voyager is another lengthy piece that’s a cool grooving Neu!-ish dittie with a freakily efx’d edge, though it too shifts gears later into pure sound experimental electronica that is simultaneously fun frenzied and intense. This is followed by some shorter tracks that feature darkly symphonic sci-fi soundtracks, syncopated Space Rock, bouncy cosmic melodies and more. Other highlights include Mathes’ two track The Shadow Out Of Time, an electronic orchestral Space-Prog soundtrack inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s story of the same name. And Ground To Air is like Vangelis at his most spaced out. A cool collection of deep space electronica and Space-Prog soundtracks for yet to be filmed sci-fi flicks.

For more information email Arnold Mathes at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Sendelica – “I’ll Walk With The Stars For You” (VE Records 2016, LP/DL)

The latest from Sendelica consists of 5 tracks with a varying lineup around the core of Pete Bingham (guitar) and Glenda Pescado (bass), including some fun guests and different sounds for the band.

The set opens on a heavy Space/Blues/Hard Rock note with Black Widow Man, with crunchy guitar and rhythm section, potent Hammond from Roger Morgan and electronics and Theremin embellishment from Lord Sealand. I listened to the album a couple times before checking the credits and was pleasantly surprised to see that the singer is none other than Twink! Twink sings on the closing song too, the dreamily drifting Dance, Stars Dance, which includes luscious accompaniment from Lee Relfe’s seductively melodic sax and Pete’s trippy soundscape strumming.

Sendelica go totally psyched out jamming Space Rock ‘n’ Roll on the 11 minute Moscow Bunker Blues. You could close your eyes and trip out or leap on to the dance floor with this sucker. The saxophone cranks out jazzy jamming leads while the bass plays a supporting lead role and the guitar keeps it all in space.

We’ve also got an enchanting guitar led siren call cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross with supporting flute from Nik Turner. And the guys must have really had early Mac on their minds because rounding out the set is the nearly 16 minute spacey, ambient, jazzy I Once Fed Peter Green’s Pet Albatross, which takes the spirit of Albatross into space for an extended meditative yet cool grooving and jamming excursion. An excellent set with a great combination of heavy and mellow music.

For more information visit the Sendelica Bandcamp site at:
You can stream and purchase the LP or download here. Note that the LP is being pressed in an edition of 250 blue vinyl with poster and 250 black vinyl which will be available in March.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Spirits Burning – “Starhawk” (Gonzo Multimedia 2015, CD)

Don Falcone’s on-going “Gathering in Space” continues with a musical adaptation of Mack Maloney’s sci-fi novel Starhawk (I Googled it and it’s actually a series). We’ve got over 70 minutes of music and more than forty-five cosmic crew members on this Space-Prog adventure. As usual I won’t list them all but tell you that among the luminaries are the late great Daevid Allen, Dave Anderson, Alan Davey, Kev Ellis, Pete Pavli, Jerry Richards, Cyndee Lee Rule, Steffe Sharpstrings, Billy Sherwood, Jay Tausig, Nik Turner, Bridget Wishart, Cyrille Verdeaux, and Twink. AND the CD comes with an 8 page Starhawk based comic book with art by Steve Lines and Matt Woodward.

The set kicks off in full Space Rock ‘n’ Roll mode with Our Crash. Killer guitar solos from Billy Sherwood on this and I Have Two Names. There’s lots of variety across the 17 songs. I like the combination of Keith Christmas’ vocals and acoustic guitar and Cyrille Verdeaux’s piano backed by electro beats and spacey soundscapes on JigSawMan Flies A JigSawShip. Things get Eastern Psychedelic jazzy grooving on Let’s All Go Cloud Puffing. Stellar Kingdom has an orchestral Prog-Pop feel and whimsically exaggerated vocals from Judge Smith. Emma MacKenzie’s vocals are lovely on the beautifully ambient and electro rhythmic Xara’s Poem. Bridget’s trademark breathy vocals are a cosmically seductive narration on For Those Who Are Searching. Bridget also takes lead vocals on the heavy Blues rocking and Prog infused jamming Right On The Mark, which includes an always welcome violin solo from Cyndee Lee Rule.

Other spirited Space Rockers include the propulsive Live Forever, with dual vocals by Kev Ellis and Emma MacKenzie and guitar from Steffe Sharpstrings. My Life of Voices kicks ass with its ripping metallic edge, but also Kev Ellis’ distinctively emotive vocals, soulful keys and King Crimson-ish guitar fills. We Move You is both ripping rocker and Broadway Space-Prog show tune. I like the ultra-heavy Prog keys and spacey synth licks on Rolling Out. Angel Full of Pity starts off totally trippy Eastern Psychedelic before launching into a bouncy anthem rocker with potent vocals from Kev Ellis, who appeals to us fans of his old Dr Brown days with a little Bluesy harmonica wailing.

Lyrically this is a full blown sci-fi adventure and while I’ve not read the books I suspect this musical adaption would be exciting for Mack Maloney fans. For seasoned Spirits Burning fans, the adventure continues down ever expanding paths.

For more information visit the Spirits Burning web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Paradox One – “Reality?” (self-released 2015, 2-CD/DL)

Paradox One is Scottish Space-Prog musician Phil Jackson, who has also been a long time writer for Acid Dragon Progressive Rock magazine ( Back in the early Aural Innovations days I reviewed the Paradox One Reality Quake (2000) and Dimension Of Miracles (2002) albums, originally released on Rick Ray’s Neurosis Records label.

The first of this two CD set reissues Reality Quake plus Dimension Of Miracles, with the latter being truncated by about 20 minutes. It’s been years since I’ve heard these and avoided re-reading my original reviews, preferring to dive in with a fresh ear.

Jackson’s music is heavily sci-fi influenced. Childhood’s End is based on Arthur C. Clarke’s story. Urbmon 116 is inspired by Robert Silverberg’s The World Inside. Crompton’s Divide is based on Robert Sheckley’s book. Dimension Of Miracles is also heavily Sheckley inspired. In fact, Jackson reports that he’s working on a new Space Rock/Melodic Prog project with the group name to be Sheckley.

Though based primarily in keyboard driven Progressive Rock, Jackson, not surprisingly, supplements his sci-fi themes with plenty of cosmic influences. Flowing synth waves, Berlin School electronica, and freaky electronic effects meld with symphonic and orchestral elements to create a continually evolving narrative that brings the tales Jackson draws inspiration from to life. There are 26 tracks on the CD, though the thematic flow is seamless as scenes and chapters build at a steadily propulsive clip. I like how classic Prog stylings like ELP, full blown symphonics and Hammond heavy Rock are woven in with the spacier end of the spectrum like Hawkwind, Eloy and Tangerine Dream. But Jackson can also rock out and groove, like on the brief vocal portion of Liberty’s Dream part 4 where I felt drawn to what could have been a dance floor in front of an ELP concert stage. This interestingly leads into the Church organ Victorian era waltz of Kindescenen, and then on to the ominously mood bending and wildly electro freaky Surrealistic Dungeons of The Mind. But there’s also the cool grooving sense of Funk and Soul on Crompton’s Divide which leads into the stoned fuzzed Rock of Dan The Man. There is a LOT happening here and attentive listening will be rewarded with the audio equivalent of a sci-fi page turning epic.

The second CD compiles an EP version of Escalator To Mars, which was the third Paradox One album released by Neurosis, an EP version of the fourth album, Alternative Reality, plus tracks from later albums and even some unreleased goodies.

All of this music is new to me but it’s very much in the spirit of Reality Quake and Dimension Of Miracle and once again there’s lots of interesting variety and thematic development. We’ve got high intensity rumbling Space Rock, fun freaky alien Psychedelic loop and effects bits, darkly melodic Progressive Rock with wailing fuzz keys, floating yet rhythmic space electronica, a funky grooving soulful jam, 70’s styled Prog and Jazz infused Hard Rock, a cool spacey Jazz-Psych jam, a hip shakin’ Space-Rave, and more. Fun stuff!

For more information visit the Paradox One web site at:
Stream, download and purchase at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Soft Hearted Scientists – “Uncanny Tales From The Everyday Undergrowth” (Hip Replacement 2016, 2-CD, originally released 2005)

The debut album from Welsh Psych-Folk-Prog alchemists Soft Hearted Scientists started life as three EPs released in 2004 – Wendigo, Bethesda, and Midnight Mutinies, which were then collected the following year into the dozen songs that comprise Uncanny Tales From The Everyday Undergrowth. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this long out of print gem it has been reissued as a 2-CD set, with one being the original album and the second consisting of home recordings of the songs.

The album is a Psychedelically pastoral set of songs. We open with the song that has become one of my favorites in the entire Soft Hearted Scientists catalog – Mount Palomar. It’s acoustic driven, but with a full band backing, including rhythm section, organ and freaky electronics. And when the chorus kicks in it’s like an acoustic-orchestral explosion with a joyously uplifting feel that borders on the spiritual. Its part 60s Pop-Folk-Psych, with beautiful harmonies, dashes of Progressive Rock, and wee bits of playful experimentalism. This acoustic led, yet full band sound, utilizing various instruments and sounds characterizes much of the album. The melodies, instrumentation and arrangements will hook you on the first spin, but there’s so much going on that attentive listeners will be rewarded on multiple listens.

Along with the enchanting music, Nathan Hall’s lyrics are crucial to what Soft Hearted Scientists are about. Topics can range from bucolic, to thoughtful, to wildly surreal, and just pure fun. Diving Bell is a musing toe-tapper that includes a spoken word segment describing a dream, part of which is about Billy Ray Cyrus sitting in Satan’s waiting room and being forced to play Achy Breaky Heart surrounded by demons with flaming mullets. Demons appear again in the form of the Wendigo. I love the combination of guitar melody that sounds like a Morricone soundtrack, oddball warbling synths, and multi-part vocals. I like the strange but seductive ooh-wee-ooh synths and acoustic guitars on Brother Sister. The Yongy Bongy Bo is another highlight of the set, with its blend of Pagan-Folk and Celtic, and the lyrics based on a poem by Edward Lear. Isabella (Keep Riding The Road To The Sea) is another standout, sounding like a Folk-Prog take on a gypsy influenced show tune. But then halfway through the song the band shift gears and settle into that mixture of rhythmic toe tapping, traditional pub gathering and Pop-Folk-Psych that Soft Hearted Scientists are so adept at. Dig that banjo. And Midnight Mutinies is a stunning blend of Folk-Prog and spacey freakiness.

The home recordings CD is fun for seasoned fans to get a feel for how the songs evolved into their finished form. Mount Palomar allows one to imagine how it might sound if performed by the more stripped down version of the band that plays concerts. The home version of Wendigo is close to fully formed but doesn’t yet have lyrics. The mystical feel of The Yongy Bongy Bo is already present, though in lo-fi living room mode. And on we go. It was fun listening to the songs side by side.

Note that the set comes in two flavors: The “regular” set on the Hip Replacement label, which consists of the original album plus a second CD with home demos of the same songs. There is also a limited to 100 copies special edition which in addition to the 2-CD set comes with a signed copy of the Midnight Mutinies EP, signed A2 poster for Uncanny Tales, 2 postcards, plastic A4 wallet with Uncanny Tales sticker, and signed lyric sheet for Mount Palomar. AND the promo sheet notes that the next new Soft Hearted Scientists album is on the horizon, to be titled Golden Omens. Can’t wait!

For more information and to order either edition of the CD visit the Soft Hearted Scientists web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Lee Negin – “Dervish Dharma Dancing” single (Passing Phase Records 2015, Download)

Detroit raised and currently Tokyo residing electronic musician Lee Negin follows up his recent Frack Art, Let’s Dance single with another cool song AND accompanying video titled Dervish Dharma Dancing. And boy does this appropriately titled tune deliver on all three. After a brief bit of droning sitar swirl, chant and effects, a classic throbbing Trance-House beat kicks in and we’re off to the Psychedelic Rave races. I’m talking disco balls in space that shoot showers of paisley colored lights and stream melting and weaving layers of Eastern flavored meditative drone ooze that one can either dance the night away to and just close your eyes and groove with.

The song is available for download but to really appreciate it you have to see the video. Negin teamed up with Japanese video artist, “Aurora Wizard,” a.k.a., Sinarisama, who he plans to work with to create videos for his new album and a possible DVD, and maybe even play live concerts with. (Negin reports that he is writing a new album of Psychedelic electro-acoustic ‘dance’ music, scheduled for release early this year and Dervish Dharma Dancing is a single from the to be titled new album.) CLICK HERE to check out the video on YouTube. Focus your mind’s eye on the screen, marvel at the colors and multi-directional whirling patterns and prepare to be hypnotized. Beautiful!

For more information visit the Lee Negin web site at:
Visit the Passing Phase Records web site at:
Download Dervish Dharma Dancing and other Lee Negin albums and singles at CDBaby:
Lee Negin’s music is also available at iTunes and Amazon

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Glodblug – “Globule” (Stone Premonitions 2015, CD / ZyNgtapes 2015, Cassette)

Glodblug is a Census of Hallucinations side project that resulted when the band realized they had material left over from the sessions for their last two albums, Nothing Is As It Seems and The Nine. Glodblug are, as Tim Jones explains, “pure experimentation in order to try to create something new, focusing on atmospheres as a platform for John’s guitar improvisations. We used many of the textures and keyboard parts that John had played/created for the last couple of Census of Hallucinations albums and effectively turned them into new pieces”.

All guitars are by John Simms, Maxine Marten played all percussion, with input from Rob Kirtley and assistance from Mark Dunn on drum programming, and Tim and Rob played/created/programmed the keyboard parts. Oh, and if Glodblug sounds familiar to Census of Hallucinations fans I’ll remind you that The Glodblug was a character, and track title, on the 2004 Nine Lives album.

Globule consists of seven instrumental tracks sequentially titled Glob 1-7, but is for the most part one continuous journey that draws on multiple related influences, including Ambient/Soundscape, Kosmiche, floating meditative space electronica, cosmic sound and effects collage, plus bits of Trance-House, and overall could be the image inducing soundtrack to a lonely astronaut’s experience in space. The music is otherworldly and uplifting, though also deep space Psychedelically sound experimental without being in any way abstract. The use of looped and/or backward effects at times create a hallucinatory sensation, though it all occurs within the larger meditative flow of the music. I especially like the soar-to-the-heavens symphonic Space-Prog segments embellished with John’s impassioned Space-Blues leads. John is like a Dave Gilmour in the way that even the slowest leads and singular licks are soul stirring statements.

In summary, if you like the spacey/psychy/freaky instrumental side of Census of Hallucinations, especially as represented on the 2012 2-CD A Bundle Of Perceptions/A Parliament Of Modules set, you’re sure to enjoy Glodblug.

For more information visit the Stone Premonitions web site at:
Visit the Stone Premonitions web shop at:
Visit the ZyNgtapes web site at: ZyNgtapes:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Aural Innovations Staff Picks for Best of 2015

Happy New Year!!!

Jerry Kranitz (in NO particular order)

Cary Grace – Tygerland
My lists really are in no particular order, but I’m listing Cary first because she was my best new discovery of 2015 with her stunning variety of Space/Psych/Prog/Pop songs.

Oresund Space Collective – Out Into Space
A 3-CD set that documents a performance celebrating the 10th anniversary of the collective’s first live performance featuring members from all eras. Absolutely fantastic all improvised and all instrumental Space Rock.

Alan Davey – Sputnik Stan Vol. 1: A Fistful of Junk
Alan Davey’s latest is a cracking fun adventure with Sputnik Stan and his ship computer Mel Function as they whiz around space collecting junk. All well done and craftily mixed and stitched together to create a good time junk hero, Drive-In movie Space Rock adventure.

Magic Moments At Twilight Time – Flashbax Ω Ultimate
A kick ass Space Rock retrospective collection of MMATT music featuring all the different band line-ups with selections from their 1987-1992 cassette albums.

Crystal Jacqueline & The Honey Pot – Electronic Memory AND Crystal Jacqueline – Rainflower
I’ll take a liberty and count two albums as one. Crystal Jacqueline and her partner in crime Icarus Peel has been creating a bevy of beautifully composed, executed and produced Psych/Folk/Pop/Prog songs and killer covers of both classic and obscure tunes.

Cranium Pie – Mechanisms Part 2
A 2-LP set with single stretch out tracks on each sides that’s a tour de force of Prog-Psych-Kosmiche Rock that recalls 1969-73.

Jet Jaguar – Mysteries Of Antimatter (honorable mention to Free Space, Billion Year Spree and Retrofit! reissues)
When it comes to heavy duty punked out Space Rock that exists at the perfect point on the Hawkwind meets Chrome axis, Jet Jaguar are the masters.

Brainticket – Past Present & Future
Fifteen years after the last Brainticket album, founder and ship commander Joel Vandroogenbroeck teams up with the musicians in Hedersleben to create music that draws on the past but is heavily informed by many of years of experience since.

Zone Six – Love Monster
It took 11 years for a new full length Zone Six but it was worth the wait. Love Monster is a killer combination of stoned Space Rock and sinister Psychedelic jams. The freak flag is flying and displaying the skull and crossbones.

Lamp Of The Universe – The Inner Light Of Revelation
New Zealand based multi-instrumentalist Craig Williamson’s long running Lamp Of The Universe continues to spellbind with totally trippy, mind-bendingly lovely, psychedelically spaced out music.

Vespero – Fitful Slumber until 5A.M.
This Russian Space/Psych/Prog ensemble continues to evolve, and on this latest album serve up one of their most compositionally and instrumentally sophisticated and exciting sets to date.

Krankschaft – Three
Steve Pond and co. crank out a damn fine set that combines Hawkwind styled Space Rock, Space-Punk, 70s Hard Rock and bits of Prog and Glam. Call it what you want, this is an excellent all around ROCK album.

Space Mirrors – Stella Polaris
I can’t claim to be well versed in the contemporary Metal scene but I would be surprised if many bands are blending Progressive Metal and Space Rock the way Space Mirrors are. Russian musician and producer Alisa Coral never fails to create something exciting and well outside the box.

Beautify Junkyards – The Beast Shouted Love
This Portuguese band have created an enhanting album for a diverse audience – Folk-Psych, Wyrd-Folk, Prog, Space Rock, Krautrock and more.

Church of Hed – Electric Sepulcher
The solo project from Quarkspace founding member Paul Williams is a luscious instrumental journey that consists of quirky spaced out electronica, Space-Prog symphonics, sci-fi soundtrack and electro grooves.

Census of Hallucinations – Nothing Is As It Seems
The always adventurous yet accessible CoH produce another impossible to pigeonhole blend of Prog, Pop, Kosmiche, Jazz, Blues and Psychedelia.

Giöbia – Magnifier
This Italian band kills with their varied set of throbbing Space Rock, Stoner Space Rock, Kosmiche Prog and more.

Magic Bus – Transmission from Sogmore’s Garden
Dual guitars, bass, keyboards, flute, recorder, drums and vocals create a 1970s Canterbury and Folk inspired brand of Progressive Rock, with bits of Psychedelia and an Earth/Space lyrical focus.

Mooch – Sunshine
Mooch ship commander Steve Palmer continues to indulge his love of 60s Psychedelic Pop and in the process creates his best 60s song Mooch ablum yet. The album really lives up to the Sunshine title.

Us and Them – Summer Green and Autumn Brown
Us and Them create some of the most beautifully delicate and pastoral Folk based Psychedelia I’ve ever heard, but they can go deep into space as well.

Christian Mumford

This year saw alot of great albums. I would have to liked to include some Legendary Pink Dots and relations too, but all in all it seems to be stronger on the Metal and Psych fronts (though I would not say the Dots aren’t Psychedelic!). We said a sudden farewell to both Philthy and Lemmy, yet Hawkwind and relations are going strong: Brock, Davey, Nik, etc. The Drones For Daevid album is a very nice farewell to Gong man Daevid Allen in star studed Psychedelic company as well. In the spooks corner we have Jacco Gardner’s second haunt (which is far better than his debut) and Ghost (AKA Ghost B.C.) who are kind of a hype band but I liked their third effort a lot. Steven Wilson’s latest album is a winner and a stayer. Ditto the Øresund guys we all (don’t) know and (still) love. Church of Hed and Paul Williams create a sublime electronic rock album as well. Mournblade returned with a great re-recording of an old album, and old stalwarts like Iron Maiden left the dumb Prog noodling behind for a Metal style again. Here’s to a great 2016 folks…

TOP 25 of 2015!:

Motörhead – “Bad Magic”
Various artists – The Real Music Club – “Drones For Daevid”
Jacco Gardner – “Hypnophobia”
Secret Saucer – “Phase Five”
Jet Jaguar – “Mysteries Of Anti Matter”
Paul Roland – “Bitter And Twisted”
Ghost – “Meliora”
Alan Davey – “A Fistful Of Junk Vol. 1″
Nik Turner – “Space Fusion Odyssey”
Monster Magnet – “Cobras And Fire”
With The Dead – “With The Dead”
Christian Death – “The Root Of All Evilution”
Moonloonies – “Moonrockin”
Dave Brock – “Brockworld”
Steven Wilson – “Hand.Cannot.Erase”
Space Mirrors – “Stella Polaris”
Church of Hed – “Electric Sepulcher”
Øresund Space Collective – “Different Creatures”
Iron Maiden – “The Book Of Souls”
Mournblade – “Time’s Running Out 2015″
Eat Static – “Dead Planet / Human Upgrade”
Ozric Tentacles – “Technicians Of The Sacred”
Hawklords – R:evolution
Faith No More – Sol Invictus
Sendelica – Live From The 7th Psychedelic Network Festival

Jeff Fitzgerald (Top 25 of 2015)

25. Ecstatic Vision – Sonic Praise
24. Giobia – The Magnifier
23. The Lay Llamas – Space Jungle Mantra
22. Yuri Gagarin – At the Center of All Infinity
21. Cary Grace – Tygerland
20. Cranium Pie – Mechanisms Part 2
19. The Grand Astoria – The Mighty Few
18. Harnessing the Universe – s/t
17. Crystal Jacqueline – Rainflower
16. Wanderwolf – Wolfsongs
15. Maat Lander – The Birth of Maat’s Galaxy
14. Ozric Tentacles – Technicians of the Sacred
13. Sammal – Myrskyvaroitus
12. Nik Turner – Space Fusion Odyssey
11. The Butterscotch Cathedral – s/t
10. Ryley Walker – Primrose Green
9. Witchwood – Litanies From the Woods
8. Moon Rà – L2
7. Eternal Tapestry – Wild Strawberries
6. Brainticket – Past, Present and Future
5. Astral Son – Silver Moon
4. Mondo Drag – Mondo Drag
3. Steven Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase.
2. Mammatus – Sparkling Waters
1. Jess And The Ancient Ones – Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes

Keith Henderson

In a year in which we lost both Daevid Allen & the Great Lemmy Kilmister (just this week…ugh), it’s hard to imagine that music itself can continue. But the next generation is already here, check out some of this great new music! Out of about 100 candidates I heard this year in the space-/psych-/stoner-/kraut-/post-rock realm, my Top 30 (original, full-length) releases of 2015 are as follows:

1. Yuri Gagarin (Sweden) – At The Center Of All Infinity

2. Foellakzoid (Chile) – III

3. Lamp Of The Universe (NZ) – Inner Light Of Revelation

4. Black Space Riders (Germany) – Refugeeum

5. Parastatic (UK) – Recall Fade Return

6. Ciolkowska (Russia) – Pistolet Budushchego

7. Brainticket (Various) – Past, Present & Future

8. Hills (Sweden) – Frid

9. Kap Kap (Finland) – Flux Of Solace

10. Oresund Space Collective (Denmark/Sweden) – Out Into Space

11. Golden Void (US) – Berkana

12. Maat Lander (Russia) – The Birth Of Maat’s Galaxy

13. Pyramidal/Domo (Spain) – Jams From The Sun

14. White Manna (US) – Pan

15. Mammatus (US) – Sparkling Waters

16. The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol (Canada) – Masters Of The Molehill

17. Cambrian Explosion (US) – Joint (split LP with Foxy Lemon)

18. Vespero (Russia) – Fitful Slumber Until 5 AM

19. Farflung/Fatso Jetson (US) – Split LP

20. Sun And The Wolf (NZ/Germany) – Salutations

21. Naxatras (Greece) – Naxatras

22. Giobia (Italy) – Magnifier

23. Zone Six (Germany) – Love Monster

24. Cosmic Letdown (Russia) – Venera–2

25. Space Invaders (Germany) – Dreadnought

26. Mechanik (Spain) – Eadem Mutata Regurgo

27. Nik Turner (UK) – Space Fusion Odyssey

28. Astral Son (Netherlands) – Silver Moon

29. TAU (UK) – Wirakuta EP

30. Black Rainbows (Italy) – Hawkdope

Archival Reissue Of The Year:
Levitation (UK) – Meanwhile Gardens (’93/’15) – the album as it was originally intended, recorded before Terry Bickers left and was replaced by Steve Ludwin who then re-recorded the vocals and a version of the album was released in Australia. The transcendent “I Believe” finally sees the light of day on an official release.

Album Cover Of The Year:
Farflung/Fatso Jetson – Split LP

Recent Return From Long Hiatus:
Solaris (Hungary)
With the release of the Martian Chronicles II (late 2014) and live performances/releases since.

Special note of those bands releasing worthy albums in 2014 that I did not hear until 2015, including Mantra Machine, l’Ira del Baccano, Vera Lingua, ZOFFF, Kalamata, Les Lekin, Krankschaft, Holy Mount etc.