Archive for October 31, 2014

Various Artists – “Postcards From The Deep” (Fruits de Mer Records 2014, 10 x 7″ flexidisc)

Fruits de Mer Records sure come up with fun ideas. Postcards From The Deep is a box set with ten square flexidiscs… that’s right, FLEXIDISCS… each with a cover song by ten contemporary artists, and each including a square 7″ postcard. The theme was originally going to be Freakbeat, but ended up all over the Psychedelic thematic map. Here’s the rundown…

The Luck Of Eden Hall do a rip roaring rendition of the Count Five’s Psychotic Reaction, with gnarly psych guitar and freaked out electronic effects. The Thanes retain the Garage-Psych tone of The Pretty Things’ LSD but add a number of twists, from trippy Indian ragas to Bluesy harmonica. Brainticket’s trio of early 70s albums are favorites of mine, often being lumped into the Krautrock label even though the leader was Dutch Belgian. Astralasia take their namesake song Brainticket and add a funky rolling groove, soulful rocking organ leads, monster guitar solos, and lots of spaced out craziness that nicely ups the ante on the original. Icarus Peel takes The Avengers’ Theme and turns it into a high intensity Psychedelic guitar monster showcase. It’s a real Hendrix on steroids rockin’ SMOKER!

Making this set even more fun is several obscure songs by bands I’ve never heard of (I got quickly acquainted by visiting the Psychedelic research scientist’s archive – YouTube). Dragonfly were a Dutch band who released one EP in 1968. The Loons take their song Celestial Empire and add a chunky rockin’ kick to it, along with ultra cool rapid-fire wah’d guitar and ripping licks, plus intense alien oscillations. The Calico Wall were a Minneapolis band who released the Garage-Psych song I’m A Living Sickness as a single in 1967. The Crawlin’ Hex, which is Fred Laird from Earthling Society’s new band, take the core riff of the song and give it a dark, cavernous, feel, and get pretty wild and spooky with the vocals and effects. Satori were a Texan band who released Time Machine b/w 1000 Micrograms Of Love as a single in the late 60s. The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies take on Time Machine and turn it into a steroidal, spaced out Surf-Punk Psych rocker. The Hippies were a South African band whose funky, soulfully Psych rocking instrumental Soul Fiction was released in 1968. The Past Tense are largely faithful to the original, but inject a space age vibe and a slightly robotic twist to the rhythmic pulse. The Sorrows’ Take A Heart is a 1965 song that sounds like it could have been the Yardbirds with a different singer. Schizo Fun Addict blast the song into space, blending a dirty garage vibe with swirling cosmic effects and mucho alien freakiness. You Just Gotta Know My Mind was written by Donovan for Dana Gillespie, whose 1967 recording of the song was classic 60s Pop. Crystal Jacqueline quickens the pace and really Psychs it up with killer dual trip guitars. She has done some of the best cover songs I’ve heard in the past couple years.

The set will be available late November and is limited to 700 copies. Each box set comes with a CD that compiles all ten songs, though apparently some of the bands submitted slightly different versions for the CD, which is even more fun, right? If interested you better hurry because Fruits de Mer releases sell out QUICK!

For more information visit the Fruits de Mer Records web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Various Artists – “Coltrane” (Fruits de Mer Records 2014, 7″ vinyl)

John and Alice Coltrane covers may seem to be a bit off the wall for Fruits de Mer, but the two entries on this single only reinforce how the label keeps coming up with great ideas that work.

Superfjord are a Finnish band who are new to me. The promo sheet explains that they recorded a cover of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme for their It Is Dark But I Have This Jewel album, and it’s presented here with a new intro. This is really cool. Superfjord funnel the jazz legend through a Woodstock meets Krautrock filter by creating a late 60s west coast Psychedelic vibe á la Airplane/Dead, but adding deep space atmospherics and a repetitive chant that brings to mind a Faust song I can’t recall the title of. It’s an intriguing blend and a cosmic interpretation of this jazz classic.

Earthling Society included a 15 minute cover of Alice Coltrane’s Journey In Satchindananda on their latest album, England Have My Bones, and for this single they offer up an 8 minute “Cosmic Joy Mix” of the song. The band open their homage with the same sitar-like drone as the original, maintaining the same slow melodic riff, pace and jazzy feel as Coltrane, but taking it into trademark Earthling Society heavy Psychedelic Space Rock territory. The bass and drums continually recall the original, but the guitar and alien effects are busting out in space, culminating in a cosmically acidic, surrealistically swirling finale.

Note that those who purchase the single also get bonus CD with 70 minutes of music. The CD wasn’t included with the promo so I’ll quote from the Fruits de Mer web site describing its contents – “A remix of Superfjord’s track by Astralasia, a live version by Superfjord, a remix of Earthling Society’s track by Skam label’s VHSHead, two new recordings by Superfjord and Astralasia that are inspired by John Coltrane’s music, and an epic new song by Earthling Society that isn’t – maybe it’s not such a little bonus after all”.

The single will be available late November and is limited to 700 copies. As usual this is vinyl ONLY, no CDs or downloads (other than the bonus CD). If interested you better hurry because Fruits de Mer releases sell out QUICK!

For more information visit the Fruits de Mer Records web site at:

The Chemistry Set – “Elapsed Memories” (Fruits de Mer Records 2014, 7″ vinyl)

The Chemistry Set have been at it a long time, having emerged as part of the late 80s UK neo-Psych scene. The band enjoyed regular airplay by John Peel and have played shows with the likes of Hawkwind and Robyn Hitchcock. Hot on the heels of their covers of Love’s A House Is Not A Motel and Live And Let Live for the recent Fruits de Mer 7 and 7 is box set, the band are back with a three song single of their own consisting of two originals and one cover.

Elapsed Memories is a bouncy toe tapper with an infectious melody, solid vocals, and a Psych infused, Power-Pop rockin’ feel. I love the orchestral, Middle-Eastern tinged finale. A Cure For The Inflicted Afflicted is a heavier rocker which manages to get down ‘n dirty without forsaking the melodic hooks that make the first listen sound like you’ve known the song for years. Dig that blazing Bluesy ending!

Rounding out the set is a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s Love Or Confusion. Regular readers will know I’m a sucker for bands whose idea of a cover is taking the spirit of the original and putting their own spin on the song, and that’s precisely what The Chemistry Set do. We’re whisked off to a mountain ashram for a deliriously trippy, snake charming spiritual ride, with sitar and grooving tablas, while all along retaining that soulful Bluesy Hendrix vibe. Very nice.

The single will be available late November and is limited to 700 copies. As usual this is vinyl ONLY, no CDs or downloads. If interested you better hurry because Fruits de Mer releases sell out QUICK!

For more information visit the Fruits de Mer Records web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Electric Moon – “Lunatics & Lunatics Revenge” (Sulatron Records 2014, 2-CD/2-LP)

To say that German space explorers Electric Moon have been prolific would be an understatement, having released a steady stream of LPs, CDs and live CDRs since their inception in 2010. Their debut album was originally released as two separate vinyl LPs on Nasoni Records in 2010 and 2011, and now Sulatron Records has reissued the two in double CD and LP editions, with the LP being limited to 500 copies.

The Lunatics set consists of two lengthy jams sandwiching one shorter song. Brain Eaters features 19 minutes of mind-melting spaced out freeform Psychedelic jamming, with fuzzed and wah’d trip guitar soloing in acid drenched space as the drums flail and the bass lays down a head throbbing groove. Songs are uncharacteristic for Electric Moon, but Hotel Hell is a dreamy Psychedelic tune with a dark Gothic flavor, colored by eerie organ and Komet Lulu doing her best Renate Knaup on vocals. Wrapping up the Lunatics set is the 23 minute Moon Love. It starts off slow and cosmically dreamy with a Careful With That Axe, Eugene vibe. We’ve got a sauntering rhythmic pulse, soundscape and quietly rumbling guitar licks, and ghostly space whispers from Lulu. Then around the 10 minute mark the pace picks up as the guitar cranks out dirty stoned chords, the rhythm section gets more intense, and the space whispers get downright menacing. When the explosion comes we’re rockin’ hard. I love the combination of searing acid-space guitar, cool looped sounding solos and deluge of effects, as it blazes along with the crashing drums and grooving bass. Monstrous!

Lunatics Revenge opens with Gefahrliche Planetengirls, which lays down a stoned dance groove and 60s organ that conjures up images of sleek, tiger adorned hippie chicks hip shakin’ in the Beat Club. But this is no mere retro sound. Between the wildly soloing guitar, organ and overall dark but grooving atmosphere it’s an interesting combination of 60s Psychedelia and contemporary Stoner-Psych with a dash of Ozric Tentacles thrown in for good measure. Lunatic is a cool grooving freeform spaced out Psychedelic excursion with lots of emotional twists and turns as the pace and intensity level rises and falls. At nearly 18 minutes, D-Tune is the lengthiest track of the Lunatics Revenge set. Right out of the chute the band lay down a steamrolling Sabbath-in-space Stoner vibe, with killer guitar that burns a corrosive trail as it peels skin off flesh and paint off the walls. The potency of the music gradually climbs to Psychedelically feverish heights, and I love how Lulu’s efx’d chants magnify the sense of delirium. Stunning! Finally, the appropriately titled The Landing is a short trippy number that closes the set.

If you missed these albums the first time around (the Nasoni vinyl is sold out) then here’s your chance to get both gems as a twofer.

To order the vinyl LP visit the Sulatron Records web site at:
Visit the Electric Moon web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Yuri Gagarin – self-titled (2014 Remix) (Sulatron Records 2014, LP/Download)

Swedish space rockers Yuri Gagarin released their self-titled debut last year and a vinyl edition put out by a local label quickly sold out. Dissatisfied with the mix, the band had the music cleaned up and reissued on their Bandcamp site, and now Sulatron records has made a new LP edition available on 180 gram clear/blue marbled vinyl limited to 500 copies.

Regarding the new mix, I can tell you that it is much crisper. The instruments stand out better individually compared to the relative muddiness of the original. Having said that, I’ll let my comments from the previous review speak for me:

First Orbit is a blistering stoner-metal space rocker with Blanga-like repetitive riffage and basic but catchy melodies. The sonic assault guitars blaze away while the space synths soar, rising and falling, bubbling and splashing as they weave their cosmic arc. An instrumental version of Litmus without the Prog elements would be a good analogy. Sonic Invasion 2910 continues down a similar path, in this case bringing to mind a more metallic version of Farflung. Za Kosmosom lays down a steadily stoned space-metal foundation over which the guitar leads the way in hypnotic om chant fashion, which sounds great along with the wah’d liquid psychedelic leads. As hard and heavy as this tune is, the music has a mesmerizing quality, being simultaneously punishing and trance-inducing. Finally, The Big Rip is the most rock ‘n’ rolling track of the set, being a Hawkwind in a heavy metal wrapper, intergalactic battle for a free universe space rock anthem.

The album may be under 40 minutes long, but Yuri Gagarin have pulled out the big guns, with a set that will leave you stunned, shaken, and begging for more. For fans of Litmus, Farflung, First Band From Outer Space, and Stone Oak Cosmonaut. Vinyl junkies – check out the cover art.

To order the vinyl LP visit the Sulatron Records web site at:
Stream and download at the Yuri Gagarin Bandcamp site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Sula Bassana / 3AM split LP (Headspin Records 2014, LP)

Sula Bassana is Dave Schmidt, who is also in Electric Moon, Krautzone, and a zillion other bands in addition to running the Sulatron Records label. For his side of this split LP we’ve got three tracks, one at 10+ minutes and two shorter tunes. Disappear is the longer piece, which lays down a Kraftwerk vibe with one of the synths, but another that creates whooshing soundscapes, and also adds space guitar licks to the mix. I like the blend of bouncy melodic and trippy Psychedelic elements. Dave adds brief pastoral vocals just past the halfway mark and at this point the pace starts to pick up and becomes more rockin’ liquid Psychedelic, while retaining the underlying Kraftwerk feel. Grong features a mixture of Casio beats, simple organ melody, and guitar that is both atmospheric and intensely, Psychedelically strained. Like Disappear, it’s an interesting blend of the electronic and Psychedelic realms. Finally, Smoof consists of hauntingly orchestral, cinematic Psychedelia with a Spaghetti Western meets atmospheric drones vibe.

3AM is a guitar, loops, drones and vocals solo project from Chino Burga, who is guitarist in the great Peruvian Space/Psych/Stoner band La Ira de Dios. Speedway to Heaven features a frantically and assertively rockin’ beat that leads the way for an ensemble of noise-Psych crashing guitars. The beats aren’t as frantic but are head throbbing insistent on Moonrise, as they provide the oddly robotic rhythmic pulse for this otherwise raw Psych rocker, with blazing guitars that recall La Ira de Dios. Run Through The Jungle is a sinister, dirty Psych rocking cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival hit. Wrapping up 3AM’s set is the 10+ minute Waves, which is the most minimal/drone oriented of Chino’s four tracks, consisting of a gradually evolving stroll of repetitive phased guitar and atmospheric noise/Psych swells.

Note that the LP is limited to 500 copies – 300 black vinyl and 200 transparent green, clear & black mixed vinyl.

For more information visit the Headspin Records web site at:
Visit the Sula Bassana web site at:
Visit 3AM on Facebook at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Krautzone / Lamp Of The Universe split LP (Headspin Records 2014, LP)

Krautzone are a collective of German musicians from various space/psych bands who get together for improvisational jamming. Members include Sula Bassana (Electric Moon, Zone Six) on synths, Komet Lulu (Electric Moon, Zone Six) on drums, Modulfix (Zone Six, The Spacelords) on synths, Rainer Neeff (The Pancakes, Zone Six) on guitar, and Onkel on bass. Their debut album – Kosmische Rituale – came out last year and they now follow that up with two 11 minute Superkraut I & II tracks that comprise the A side of this split LP. Superkraut I is like one big extended buildup, with thunderous drumming laying the foundation for swirling, droning organ, stinging fuzz guitar licks and jamming stoned guitar, and bubbling synth effects. A freeform spaced out Stoner-Psych jam that feels like it’s working toward an explosion. I thought Superkraut II might be that explosion but instead it starts fresh, being a hauntingly trippy whirlpool of steady percussion, synth lines that are both hypnotic and disturbingly phased, eerie soundscapes, atmospheric guitar licks, spaced out slide guitar, and alien electronics. The opening track was a cool jam but this one has much more going on emotionally and in terms of thematic development.

Lamp Of The Universe is the solo project of New Zealand based musician Craig Williamson, who has also been in the heavy rock bands Datura and Arc Of Ascent. Craig’s entry is the 22 minute Doors of Perception, which is described as “a journey through the psychedelic landscape in 3 parts”. It starts off like a cross between early Tangerine Dream and the intro to Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, but it’s far freakier, featuring intense minimal soundscapes, a spacey, mesmerizing melody, and a shower of electronic effects. Near the 8 minute mark the music transitions to a more traditional Lamp Of The Universe style, consisting of a dreamily shamanic Psychedelic concoction of acoustic guitar, sitar, pied piper synth melodies, and Craig’s lulling vocals. After a while the mood gets increasingly intense, with slow but ominous drumming and threatening acid guitar. And here it remains, marching moodily yet beautifully across a cosmic panorama toward the finale.

An excellent pairing of bands for this split LP. Note that the album is limited to 300 black vinyl and 200 silver/black marbled vinyl.

For more information visit the Headspin Records web site at:
Visit the Krautzone web site at:
Visit the Lamp Of The Universe Bandcamp site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

My Education / Theta Naught Sound Mass – “Sound Mass II: Spiritual Docking” (Cleopatra Records 2014, CD/Download)

I’ve long been familiar with Austin, Texas based My Education (who include ST 37 member Scott Telles). Theta Naught are a Salt Lake City based band who are new to me, though I see that they have collaborated with My Education on a previous album. Sound Mass II: Spiritual Docking is their new album and includes quite an array of instruments, including guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, viola, cello, vibraphone, pedal steel guitar, trumpet, and tapes.

The first three tracks play like parts of one larger piece, consisting of orchestral Drone-Psych-Prog. Viola handles the initial simple, repetitive, yet catchy main melody. The guitar shimmers, bubbles and wails in space and the pedal steel injects a trippy element of its own. The music gets increasingly intense as each track progresses, taking on a densely majestic feel, and sounding like a spaced out orchestrated Krautrock-Prog cross between The Spacious Mind, Pink Floyd and old Shadowfax. I love how each instrument seems to occupy its own singular world, while coming together for a cohesive full band sound. The drumming is thunderous, elevating the musical drama to Magma-like proportions. bAmF starts off less melodramatic and even a bit dreamy, with guitar that reminds me even more of The Spacious Mind. But when it explodes it’s like an acid-orchestral teeter totter balance between deep space Psychedelia and cinematic stateliness. Sammy’s Sounds, Saturday Night is considerably mellower, though no less majestic, with hypnotically dreamy pedal steel and viola, and along with the groove it brings to mind a Space-Psych take on the instrumental segment of Layla (yeah, THAT Layla!). As the title suggests, Dingerland cranks out a Neu!-ish Motorik vibe, though with a high intensity, spaced out Psychedelic kick and a monster rockin’ finale. Finally, End Masse is a heavy rocker that reminds me of a cross between mid-late 90s Circle and Korai Orom, with its powerhouse drumming and percussion that sometimes takes on a Latin feel. Overall this is a smokin’ set that blends Space Rock, Psychedelia and Prog Rock into something both familiar and different.

The CD is available through Amazon and the download through iTunes.
Visit the My Education web site at:
Visit the Theta Naught web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

ST 37 – “I’m Not Good” (Cleopatra Records 2014, CD/Download)

The latest from Austin, Texas based veterans ST 37 features a dirty dozen of their trademark Space-Punk-Psych Rock and art damaged weirdness. The band come roaring out of the starting gate with the stoned Space-Punk and searing Psychedelia of Down On Us. Doppelganger is like Hawkwind’s Space Ritual done up ST 37 style, with its combination of bubbling and oscillating UFO effects, mind-bending guitar licks, acoustic guitar and densely stoned volcanic undercurrent. Dirty Little Homewrecker is a deep space Psych jam with freaked out electronics and fun voice samples. In Crowd is a cover of the Billy Page song that was made famous by both Dobie Gray and Ramsey Lewis. ST 37 take the spirit of the original and give it a swinging Space-Punk kick. Odd Ass Silence is a short freakout interlude before Girl Like you, a Psychedelic Space-Soul song with raw punky rhythms, caustic guitar melody, and bubbling cauldron effects, like some kind of cosmic acid trip R&B infused Punk tune. At 10 minutes this is the longest track of the set and includes a cool freaky sound experimental Space-Punk-Industrial segment. Baxty consists of stoned metallic Space-Punk with a killer guitar combination of Helios Creed devastation and Flamenco/Middle Eastern crossbred snake guitar. The viola is a nice touch too. Eroica Horn got me wondering if Chrome’s Alien Soundtracks had included a cover of the Beatles’ Revolution 9, it might sound something like this mind-fucked brain scrambler. Magnetic Amphibian Hydrated Gills is a twisted blend of drugged dissonance, Psychedelic Mariachi, Acid-Metal sludge, Amon Duul II Yeti styled freakouts, and saxophone led Free-Jazz-Punk corrosion. Feeding Friendzy features trippin’ on the old prairie Country-Psych and majestically stoned Dream-Pop. The Pit Out Back is a good time Space-Punk Rock ‘N’ Roller. And Doppelganger’s Doppelganger is a brief banjo shit-kickin’ and sound experimental finale.

ST 37 have been crankin’ since 1987 and it warms my heart to see a band that’s been around this long match and even better their best material. I’m Not Good is a smoker from start to finish. I hope the Cleopatra Records association helps get them some much deserved exposure.

The CD is available through Amazon and the download through iTunes.
Visit the ST 37 web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Brain Pyramid – “Chasma Hideout” (Acid Cosmonaut Records 2014, CD/Download)

Brain Pyramid are the French trio of Gaston Lainé on guitar and vocals, Baptiste Gautier-Lorenzo on drums, and Ronan Grall on bass. The band formed in 2012 with a shared passion for classic heavy rockers like Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer, but also contemporary stoner rockers like Kyuss, Nebula, Earthless and Orange Goblin. Chasma Hideout is their first full length album.

Brain Pyramid synthesize their influences into a tightly wound Hard Psych Rock whole, but (like Earthless) can get far more spaced out than any of their predecessors. The opening song, Living In The Outer Space, consists of Hendrix via Kingston Wall Hard Psych that blasts off into space. Lazy is a similarly Hendrix inspired tune with a blazing jam finale and monster guitar solo. Landing On The Pyramid is nicely stoned and acidically spaced out. Lucifer is a little different, being a hauntingly stoned slab of Sabbath with synths Space-Doom. I love how the music alternates between wading through sludge with alien insects swarming around, before launching full tilt into a classic Sabbath rocking jam with the aliens hot on their heels. Twin Headed Giant is a high energy blend of spaced out funky swinging Psych and steamroller Rock. This is another one that reminds me of Kinston Wall. Into The Lightspeed features foot stompin’, balls to the walls blazing heavy Space-Psych-Rock. The organ is a nice touch too. The 11 minute title track closes the set and is pure space journey. It lays down a steady throbbing mind-melt vibe, with liquid Psych guitar, soundscape leads, sitar-ish drones, and leads that recall Ax Genrich stretching out on the early Guru Guru albums. As a whole it’s like an advert for steadily grooving, atmospheric, intergalactic Stoner-Space travel.

Damn, these guys rock hard and are tight as a knot with mercury bursting levels of energy. And the cosmic edge is a treat too. 70s Hard Psych Rock fans will pop-eyed drool over Lainé’s guitar work, which shine’s all the brighter against the solidly anchored rhythm section of Grall and Gautier-Lorenzo.

To stream, download and order the CD, visit the Acid Cosmonaut Records Bandcamp site at:
Visit the Acid Cosmonaut Records web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz