Archive for June 28, 2014

Electric Moon – “Innside Outside” (The Great Pop Supplement 2014, GPS 114, LP)

Hot on the heels of their fantastic Mind Explosion 2-LP set, Electric Moon are back with Innside Outside, a single LP sporting two side long Space Rock epics. Innside opens in early 70s German Space Rock mode, with haunting cosmic keys plus bubbling, bleeping, pulsating electronics, and tension laden drumming that anchors the extended introductory buildup. Near the 5 minute mark the guitar and drums join in and the band fall into a stoned droning Psychedelic dirge that feels like a march of the Teutonic aliens, rolling toward an interstellar battlefield. The music quickly builds to the point where it feels like a punishing Stoner-Space-Psych assault. This is not feel good music. This is high intensity, noisy, droning, metallic, seriously threatening Space Rock, bringing to mind the Blanga of Hawkwind circa In Search Of Space erupting like Krakatoa and spewing rivers of cosmic lava. If that was Innside, which implies safety and comfort, then what will Outside be like? Well sure enough, the theme continues, though perhaps more as high octane, rip roaring Psychedelic Space Rock than a roll over you like a tank battlefield assault. I was at work the first time I listened to this and was so wound up when it was over I had to leave my desk and go outside for a short walk. Absolutely freakin’ monstrous. This trio is a force of cosmic nature.

Vinyl junkies should note that the LP is pressed on multi-color vinyl and is housed in an inside-out cardboard cover. Limited to 500 copies.

For more information about the LP visit The Great Pop Supplement web site at:
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Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Seven That Spells – “The Death And Resurrection Of Krautrock: IO” (Sulatron Records 2014, CD/LP/Download)

In 2011, Croatian monster Psych rockers Seven That Spells released the first in a planned trilogy of The Death And Resurrection Of Krautrock albums. That was titled AUM. Now they’ve unleasehed the second in the series: The Death And Resurrection Of Krautrock: IO. The band are the trio of Niko Niko Potocnjak on guitar, Jeremy White on bass, and Niloa Babic on drums, with assistance from Albin Julius on synths, Hammond and kazoo, and Nikola Uroševic’ on throat singing.

The first of the 5 tracks is In II, which consists of high energy Prog infused Hard Rock with a cosmic edge provided by the supplemental alien electronics. We’re also got two extended workouts. The 18 minute IO starts off with trippy, passionate chanting vocals and Eastern styled Psych guitar with an early Amon Düül II flavor. The band jam along in this mode for several minutes before falling into a quietly floating meditative interlude. Niko’s guitar plays slowly bubbling licks against a shamanic atmospheric aura, before launching into a heavy rocking Eastern flavored jam that’s like Black Sun Ensemble on steroids. The band rock hard and Niko blasts off with some killer solos. Overall a nicely ass kicking blend of Eastern Psych influences, early Amon Düül II flavor, Acid Mother’s Temple, and intricately played Hard Rock. The 14 minute Burning Blood has a similar blend of influences and includes some monstrous Prog-Psych jams with whirling dervish levels of intensity and cool rocking guitar and solos. One is quite different, being a 2 minute combination of romantic solo piano and noise-drones. And Out II sounds like it would have fit neatly on one of the first few Amon Düül II albums. These guys never disappoint and can always be counted on for a killer set of heavy Psych rock.

For more information about the CD and LP editions visit the Sulatron Records web site at:
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Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Azure Carter & Alan Sondheim – “Avatar Women” (Public Eyesore 2014, PE123, CD)

Though new to me, Alan Sondheim has been around for a long time. His 1967 Riverboat album is notable for its inclusion on the Nurse With Wound list, and he recorded albums for the ESP-Disk label. The list of instruments he is credited with on this album is what first caught my attention. In addition to electric guitar and violin he also plays dan moi, suroz, sarangi, oud, cura cumnbus, electric saz, viola, cura saz, and pipa. His partner, Azure Carter, is a singer/songwriter whose lyrics on the album are, to quote the promo sheet, “related to and/or inspired by Second Life, an online virtual world.” Along with Christopher Diasparra on tenor and baritone saxophones and Edward Schneider on alto sax we have the dozen songs that make up Avatar Women.

Instrumentally the music is stripped down, with Sondheim playing solo instruments, and switching among the various pieces in his stringed arsenal. He’s a gifted musician, the songs typically consisting of frantic yet incredibly passionate soloing. When the horns join in they are usually restrained and never dominate their stringed ally. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the horns to be the pastoral counter to Sondheim’s frenzied playing. Carter’s vocals are a mixture of singing and poetic narrative, which contrasts but nicely melds with the music to create a uniquely intriguing combination.

Stylistically the music is a witch’s cauldron, the whole being a kind of Avant-Ethnic/Traditional/Shamanic/Jazz blend. Representative tracks include Buried, on which Sondheim’s stringed instrument has a trippy Middle Eastern bazaar feel, playing a slightly dissonant and dronish yet pleasantly hypnotic melody, which sounds very nice combined with Carter’s vocals. Sondheim plays a frantic melody on Dark Robe, again with a Middle Eastern flavor, though there is a strong avant free-improv element. And when the horns join in it gives the music a strangely ethereal jazz quality. On Surely the music has elements of some traditional, perhaps Celtic pub style, yet it’s also got that Eastern vibe, shaken and stirred within a shamanic free-improv jazz context. Later in the piece Sondheim’s playing takes off like a maddened experimental Bluegrass musician, joined by slowly jazz soloing sax. I love the Eastern mystic meets banjo pickin’ hillbilly style on World, accompanied by wailing jazz horns. Making Boys is similar though Sondheim’s playing becomes frenzied, tempered only by the vocals and subdued horns. Avatar Man With Dream Women and Buried II are a little different, with Sondheim playing what sounds like an electronically enhanced jaw harp, again making for an interesting contrast with Carter’s vocals.

In summary, Avatar Women might have succeeded even if it were Sondheim alone. His playing had me transfixed throughout. But combined with the vocals and horns we’ve got one of the most compelling blends of styles I’ve heard this year. Aural Innovations readers with experimental tastes will appreciate the (I’m sure unintended) Psychedelic elements.

For more information visit the Public Eyesore web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Barrows – “Red Giant” (self-released, 2014)

Barrows is a 4-piece unit from Los Angeles that does atmospheric, heavy instrumental rock. None of the tags on their Bandcamp page mention spacerock when describing their latest album, which is their second release, but truth be told, that’s exactly what the music on Red Giant is. This is “rip your mind apart and fling you to the ends of the universe and beyond” SPACEROCK!

Red Giant is a concept album following the life of a star, from birth, to a cataclysmic black hole ending, with even a glimpse beyond that. Starting out with deep space whooshes and interstellar atmospheres, Nebula, the opening track builds slowly, through spaced out melodic guitars and weird ambiences to its psychedelic metal riffing finale. And that’s just the start of the album! Through each of the album’s five tracks, Nebula, Red Giant, Black Hole, Worm Hole and Beyond, the guitar riffing is endlessly inventive. Circular melodies spiral around and around the driving rhythm section. The drumming in particular is amazing. Crisp and clear, full of energy, complex rhythms that aren’t just a backdrop for the guitarists to solo over, but an integral part of the music as a whole. Once the pace picks up on that first track, it rarely settles down. Along the way, a barrage of effects lends the music a cosmic edge. You can close your eyes and almost feel your own descent into the collapsing star, sucked into the maddening vortex of the worm hole only to be expelled unceremoniously into another universe. It’s brilliant and scary and exhilarating all at once! You finally get to catch your breath as you slip into the final track, Beyond. This is that other universe I spoke of, and it’s a dreamy and beautiful psychedelic universe indeed! At almost 11 minutes in length, it’s the longest track on the album, and pushes the cosmic vibe over the edge into, well, the beyond.

Barrows have created an amazing journey here, one to take again and again. I just can’t seem to get tired of listening to this album. Like the black hole of the third track, it pulls you along, inexorably, over the sonic event horizon, into the dark heart of the space/time continuum. Let it blow your mind, you won’t regret it!

For more info, visit: and

Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald

Juke – “Chimera’s Tale” (self-released, 2014)

Juke’s debut release, the album length “EP” Atom Experiment found the band from France exploring a number of different influences. As good as it was it did feel a bit unfocused. The same cannot be said of their second album, Chimera’s Tale. The band has definitely found its sound on their latest album. Exploding with cosmic expanses, liquid psychedelia and pastoral soundscapes, Chimera’s Tale is a mind bending sonic voyage for both the ears and the mind.

Comparisons, of course, could be made to everything from Ash Ra Tempel to Pink Floyd, but the reality is, what Juke has done is taken all those influences they explored on their first release and synthesized them into their own unique sound for their latest album. Opening up with the proggy Schizarium Odyssey (Part I) the band shifts effortlessly from Inventions for Electric Guitar style sequences to thundering rock to passages of melodic piano and rich vocal harmonies to explosive free explorations of noise. If that sounds completely random, it’s not, Juke pulls it all together brilliantly. The following track, the 21 1/2 minute Neptuna, is one of the highlights of the album. It opens up with mellow, fluidly melodic, psychedelia before diving into the depths of the vast ocean or launching into outer space; maybe both! It’s an epic slow build that reaches a frantic, wildly psychedelic climax. On the Edge dips back into prog rock waters again, with a slower paced, piano driven number which nonetheless features some soaring guitar playing. Mr. Mend starts off like a cross between Careful With That Axe, Eugene and Set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun, but with some haunting flute whispers in there to set it apart, and ultimately, some creepy voiceovers that echo around in the mix. Cool stuff. A brief ambient interlude simply titled ? is followed by the wistful and pastoral Sunset Smile. Acoustic guitars, spacey slide guitar and more gorgeous vocal harmonies are what this one is all about. Finally, Schizarium Odyssey (Part II) picks up right where Part I left off, nicely bookending the album with proggy psychedelia and ripping spacerock. There is a bonus track; a greatly expanded version of ?, over 10 minutes of cosmic ambience to leave the listener lost in deep space.

For those, like myself, who love the sounds of early Pink Floyd, post Barrett, pre-Dark Side of the Moon era, this album is a must-have. And yet, Juke are not merely aping Floyd. Their style of playing their instruments is different from Gilmour and Wright, giving this music a completely different vibe, but certainly recognizable as being influenced by that sound. Juke carve out their own niche and create some seriously spaced out cosmic rock on Chimera’s Tale. One of the best albums of the year so far. Highly recommended!

For more info, visit the group’s Bandcamp page at:
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Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald

Spirits Burning & Bridget Wishart – “Make Believe It Real” (Gonzo Multimedia 2014, HST205CD, 2-CD)

Make Believe It Real is the 12th Spirits Burning album and the third to be credited to Spirits Burning and Bridget Wishart. Of course multiple participants are the spirit of Spirits Burning and Make Believe It Real includes 35 musicians in a variety of configurations. In addition to Bridget and ship commander Don Falcone we have members of the extended Hawkwind family – Dave Anderson, Harvey Bainbridge, Steve Bemand, Richard Chadwick, Alan Davey, Paul Hayles, Simon House, and Dan Thompson. Daevid Allen is present as usual, plus Twink, Keith the Bass (Here and Now), Jay Tausig, John Pack (Spaceseed), and more. This is also the first 2-CD Spirits Burning album. Disc 1 features 11 new compositions and disc 2 consists of remixes and songs that were previously only available on compilations.

Disc 1 opens strong with Make Believe (It Acoustic), a Folk-Prog song that is at times tribal, traditional, and Medieval. Cyber Spice has some tasty atmospheric gliss guitar that I assumed was Daevid but is in fact Nigel Mazlyn Jones. The guitar sounds great alongside the contrasting Trance dance beats. Be Careful What You Wish alternates between spacey dreamy song and heavy rave beats. And it all occurs at once too. I love hearing the mellow flute, synths and spoken word narrative alongside the pounding rhythms. Spirits Burning albums can always be counted on for bringing together wildly different elements in exciting ways. Skyline Signal is a spacey, slightly whimsical, oddly rhythmic song that reminds me a bit of King Crimson’s The Talking Drum. Embers consists of darkly intense, electro-dreamy and sometimes ethnic infused tribal Prog. I like the driving percussion ensemble accompanied by winding, searing guitar licks. We’ve got some killer Space Rock songs too, often veering deep into Hawkwind territory. Revenant and Demonkind feature Hawk styled Space Rock with chunky guitars and synths blazin’. And with Bridget on vocals it’s back to Palace Springs! I like the Space-Prog of Eternal Energy. Spacerocknroll is precisely that. And Journey Past The Stars is an easy paced song with a deep space lyrical theme. Wrapping up disc 1 is the 14 minute Reflections, which is unlike anything I recall having heard from Spirits Burning before. Piano, acoustic guitar and percussion are the primary instruments. And with Bridget’s vocal style the whole thing sounds like a blend of stage production, Folk-Prog, Canterbury and Kurt Weill. Very interesting piece and very difficult to adequately describe.

Disc 2 has six songs, some of which are my favorites of the set. Always (Spirited Away) consists of Space-Prog and rock ‘n’ roll, which is sometimes heavy and sometimes atmospheric, with deep space synths and violin leads. Very cool. No One Cries In Space is a beautiful spacey, funky ambient-jazz instrumental. Iceflow (Icetalk Mix) starts off similar, being a dreamily lulling ambient-jazz song. But then halfway through, darkness descends as it evolves into quietly intense tribal Space-Prog. Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk is a cover of the old Pink Floyd tune, which Spirits Burning contributed to the More Animals At The Gates Of Reason Floyd tribute. Make Believe It Real is a Dub and tribal infused Space-Prog tune. And Chain Of Thought is a stylistic cauldron that closes this outstanding set. It kicks off with Space-Prog that spans from Metal edged high intensity to rhythmic rocking. Then around the halfway mark there’s a quiet transitional bit before launching into a symphonic space rocker that’s variously heavy driving Goth metallic and floating trippy space. Definitely one of my favorites with lots of thematic twists and turns.

I’ve been following Spirits Burning since day 1, and though typically insistent on marveling at the catalog of releases as a body of work, I have to say that Make Believe It Real is a highlight.

For more information visit the Spirits Burning web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Red Planet Orchestra – “States of Space” (Path Of Action Productions 2014, POA 83CD)

Red Planet Orchestra is the UK based duo of Vincent Rees and Peter Smith, and States of Space is their fourth album in the past year. The set consists of 5 tracks, two of them busting the 30 minute mark, for a full 95 minutes of music. I recall the early 70s albums with the lengthy epics like Tangerine Dream’s Zeit and Klaus Schulze’s Irrlicht, where the 20 or so minute limitation of an LP side clearly was a hindrance. States of Space demonstrates how the CD and digital worlds do seem to be ideal for allowing this kind of music to take off and explore without interruption.

Aquinas and Blind Vision are both symphonies in space that are brimming with passion. The electronic string section leads the way, tailed by heavenly space-waves and rushing gusts of intense cosmic wind. I really do feel like I’m in some kind of floating symphony hall. Blind Vision is an epic stretch out track, with cosmic strings accompanied by a drone that could be interpreted as the horn section. It pulsates lightly between left and right channels, causing a not unpleasant throbbing effect (which is jacked directly into my brain under the headphones). Passions are riding high as the music soars, slowly rising and falling and tugging at the heart strings all the way. This would be perfect music for a movie scene where an astronaut on a space-walk is cut off from his ship, and the camera focuses on him (or her!) as he slowly drifts away. You can see my imagination is off and running. Ever and States of Space are pastoral ambient-soundscape excursions. We Breathe Together is the other half hour journey, being a meditative, gradually developing, floating space electronic trek. There’s no beginning, middle or end. No grand theme. Just put on the headphones and let the music do its magic. You’ll float away on your journey and feel the waves wash over you and the drones massage your cranium. All you have to do is enjoy the drifting, droning, ambient bliss. Nice..

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Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

The Re-Stoned – “Totems” (R.A.I.G. 2014, R083, CD/Download)

Russian Stoner-Psych trio The Re-Stoned are back with their latest album, Totems. The band are the trio of Ilya Lipkin on guitars, bass, mandola, shaman drum, and jew’s harp, Alexander Romanov on bass, and Vladimir Muchnov on drums.

Fire Bear and Shaman are both stoned metallic rockers with tasty Psych guitar leads and some spacey effects. Things really start to get interesting with Hypnosis, which injects a more overt Space Rock edge to the music, but also includes a cool variety of guitar sounds and effects, from liquid Psychedelic, to soundscape, Stoner Metal, and Lipkin rips off some killer searing leads. I like the combination of heaviness and atmospherics. Chakras opens with a trippy Eastern vibe, developing a slowly building meditative yet tension building intro, featuring winding ambient Psych guitar, Bluesy trip guitar, ethnic percussion, and spaced out electronics. A few minutes in the band transition to a funky rocking groove, with wah’d guitar leads and embellished by asteroid attack effects. One of my favorite tracks of the set. Old Times is a tasty slab of 70s inspired Hard Rock and includes guest guitar solo by Kent Stump of Wo Fat. Melting Stones is a short acoustic driven tune that’s like a Desert Rock Psychedelic take on a Spaghetti Western soundtrack. The Barbarian Hymn is another highlight and the perfect title for this Sabbath sludgy rocker with slowly ripping solos that conjures up images of a Conan led army of towering, barrel chested, sword wielding warriors. About halfway through this 10+ minute march the band veer into a stoned Space Rock dirge, with angst ridden Psych leads and a steady hypnotic acid-drone, before returning to the opening theme which rumbles along like a tank to the finale. Sleepwalker is a short bit of Psychedelic Blues with passionate, melodic guitar. And Violet Harmonics closes the set with pure atmospheric exploration. The music is anchored by a repetitive, doomy, unsettling ambient throb, with grooving pagan percussion providing the rhythmic pulse, varied freaky alien effects and soundscapes, plus wandering guitar.

I look forward to new Re-Stoned albums as these guys continue to demonstrate that with each new effort they just keep getting better and more interesting, extending themselves beyond the standard Stoner-Psych template. Vocals are typically required with this kind of music but The Re-Stoned make it work as an all instrumental combo with lots of intriguing variety. Check it out.

For more information visit the R.A.I.G. web site at:
Stream and download at:
The album will also be released on vinyl by Headspin Records with different artwork and a slightly different track listing. CLICK HERE for availability.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

The Diaphanoids – “LSME” (from Tirk Recordings 2014, CD/LP/Download)

The Diaphanoids are the Italian duo of Andrea Bellentani and Simon Maccari, who play a craftily constructed and absolutely brain frying blend of Trance, Acid-Psych, 70s Krautrock and Space Rock, and they throw in the kitchen sink for good measure.

The album comes roaring out of the lysergic starting gate with the appropriately titled 55th Dimension Nervous Meltown, a symphonic Space-Kraut electronica groove-fest freakout, with electro dance beats that lay the foundation for tripped out guitar and effects. How Can I Distinguish Sky From Earth If They Keep On Changing Their Place has similar beats, but with wailing and screeching violins/strings that give the music an intense Eastern freakout feel, plus a bubbling cauldron of effects. LSME recalls mid-90s Circle’s brand of atmospheric grooving Krautrock, but heavier on the electronica and with an Acid-Psych
infusion and more fun use of multiple effects.

You Can’t Shine If You Don’t Burn eases the pace a bit, alternating between dreamy cinematic melodic drift and Psychedelic cacophony and effects. Track 4, with a title nearly as long as this entire review, is a dreamy, droning atmospheric piece that is simultaneously floating and intense, with space-orchestral soundscapes, sitar(ish) drones and mind-bending Psych guitar.

Then we’ve got The Blackest Sun, which sets the melody from The Beatles’ Within You Without You to a drugged dance beat, wailing Psych guitar, freakout violin, frenzied oscillations, drifting soundscapes and a banquet of effects. Our Own Private Elsewhere is like the Space-Funk soundtrack to an alien detective flick. And These Nights Wear Three Heads Five Arms And Ten Legs is a frenzied Acid-Space-Metal head trip that closes the set.

Wow, what a ride. The entire set is only about 40 minutes but you will feel more than satisfied and nicely disoriented. Recommended.

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Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Philip Sanderson – “Back Projection” (Snatch Tapes 2014, Download)

Philip Sanderson is a veteran of the UK homemade music/cassette culture underground, his Snatch Tapes label having formed in the heady DIY days of the late 70s. My last run in with Sanderson was his 2012 released Hollow Gravity LP, brought to the world by the Puer Gravy label, run by those creative wild men Eric and Matt of Vas Deferens Organization (VDO).

Back Projection is a 9 track set of 3 instrumentals and 6 songs, apparently the first songs Sanderson has recorded in a long time. As Sanderson explains, “The tracks all started as free-form analogue synthesizer & sequencer improvisations using a long delay to build up polymorphous patterns. With the addition of vocals and some judicious editing these tracks morphed into songs.”

Among the instrumentals is Industral Shadows, which is like VDO or the Residents playing to the rhythmic riff of Pink Floyd’s One Of These Days. Lost In A Brut Smog is an alien symphonic piece, with avant-concert piano accompanied by whizzing and whirring effects and surrounded by a heavenly cosmic aura. Wind Up goes deep into early 70s Kosmiche, but with an experimental twist, in a way not unlike VDOs Saturation and Zyzzybalubah albums did. I love the planetarium image inducing atmospherics and effects combined with merrily rhythmic pulsations, bleeps and tones.

The songs kick off with Down A Denny Lane, a delightfully odd and dark, yet slightly whimsical song, like Paul Roland with Goblin as his backing band. It’s got a ghostly feel, and a touch of early 70s German Kosmiche, yet there’s also a melange of cool and strange electronics creating off-kilter rhythms and effects. Back Projection is like a twisted cross between Peter Hammill and Anthony Phillips as the song tiddles along at a jagged but gently rolling pace. Kite (we thought it would be OK but the wind changed) is a hauntingly lulling Psychedelic song with a Pagan-Folk feel, yet includes spaced out atmospherics and is peppered with a plodding electronic melody that sounds interesting alongside the plucking medieval stringed instrument. Two songs that approach a gnarled brand of Pop are Ghost Of Substance and Manchmall. The former is a nifty bit of spacey electro Prog-Pop, and Manchmall is a merrily whimsical and melodic Space-Pop tune. Finally, Wonder Where You Wander is a vocal number, but covers much of the territory that the instrumentals have, being a darkly haunting yet cosmically uplifting song.

In summary, this is a fun set, the magic of the music being the variety of creatively strange elements that Sanderson incorporates throughout. Sanderson has a flair for a good melodic song, and these tunes are both catchy and cosmically eccentric.

To stream and download Back Projection and other Philip Sanderson releases you can visit:
Visit the Philip Sanderson web site at:
Visit the Snatch Tapes web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz