Archive for January 6, 2015

Blunderpussy – “Just Like Regular Chickens” (Microwave Made 2014, CDR/DL)

Blunderpussy is a new solo project from Earthling Society ship commander Fred Laird. Fred makes quite clear that this is nothing like Earthling Society when he describes it as “a 40 minute aural collage in the vein of the Faust Tapes and Metal Machine Music.” This is an interesting combination of analogies. The Faust Tapes, the 1973 album by the German band Faust, is a cut-up collage of strange music, oddball songs, random voices, noises, and sounds. I’ve always liked the album for its accessibly abstract montage of ideas. Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music, on the other hand, is something I’ve been ambivalent about, being a double album, free-wheeling noise-fest that I’ve found “interesting” at best. Not that Reed wasn’t doing anything that hadn’t been explored by numerous notables among the avant-garde. It just wasn’t what the public or his record company were (understandably) expecting, and I find it a difficult listen.

Blunderpussy, it turns out, is more like the Faust Tapes in that it’s a collage work of ideas that can be abstract but multi-layered and continually in transition. In fact, the cover art implies as much with its cut-up style and back cover that looks like a 1980s homemade music cassette culture tape. There are two tracks in the almost 20 minute range – Just Like Regular Chickens Parts 1 & 2 – though each have multiple sub-sections with nifty titles like Theme from Thunderpussy, Rosy Crucifixion, Psilocybinaut, Roger the Pornographer, and more.

The album starts off with dense noise waves that eschew sheer white noise in favor of sound molding and has a harsh spacey vibe. And from there Laird piles on the thematic twists and turns. I like the combination of industrial factory sounds and traditional space electronics which segues into a nosily ethereal and freakily distorted Psych song. Fred sings a “normal” tune accompanied by a plodding rhythm section and freakout guitar amidst a boisterous haze of increasingly coarse lysergic mayhem, ultimately pelting the listener with noise blasts and a parade of miscellaneous sound samples. A lulling piano melody plays accompanied by frantic, grating, and eventually spacey howls. And throughout we experience minimal, industrial, yet rhythmic noise patterns, accompanied by electronic constructions that create an “almost” musical sensation. And for the finale Laird rewards the listener who has made it this far with a bit of normality in the form of a nicely trippy Eastern influenced Psychedelic and spaced out exploratory jam.

In summary, Laird doesn’t just string his ideas together willy nilly, but, rather, it all flows quite seamlessly, holding my attention throughout and revealing new tidbits with subsequent listeners. At times I was reminded of the Throbbing Gristle slogan, “industrial music for industrial people”, though Laird is treading territory that is just as much Faust at their most avant-garde, Burroughs/Gysin cut-up, The Residents styled zany, and general sound montage and surreally Psychedelic experimental. C’mon Earthling Society fans… take the plunge.

To stream, download and purchase the Blunderpussy CDR, visit the Earthling Society Bandcamp site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Atomic Simao – Review and Interview

Back in January of last year, I first made contact with founder/drummer Jora (aka George) Valchuk of the Ukrainian band Atomic Simao, and he eventually agreed to participate in an interview by e-mail to go along with a review of their digital-only 2013 releases Nodo and Sphyro. At the time, political pressure on the Moscow-leaning Yanukovych administration was just beginning to turn into street protests in their home city of Kiev. Soon, however, those protests turned into violent confrontation and eventually Russian troop invasions, and then a real hot war broke out. So we’ve had to wait some time for things to settle down a bit before getting this piece put to digital paper, but it’s just as well, as the Greek label Cosmic Eye ( has just now released their first album Nodo in a limited-edition run of 350 copies (200 in colored vinyl, the rest black).

Both albums to date were recorded at Driben Indie Records in Kharkiv, in the eastern part of Ukraine. Time and travel limitations meant that these albums were actually made with a revised lineup, including guest appearances from the Kharkiv-based Janovsky band featuring Givotnoe; Artyom Janovsky and Ray Listratenko on guitar, and Vova ‘Givotnoe’ Sytnik on keyboards and pads. The current lineup, now based solidly in the Ukraine capital, is as follows:

Jora Valchuk – drums
Dima Dudko – sax
Nikita Gavrilenko – bass
Jenya Sophiychuk – guitar
Andrey Volkoff – keys, pads, samples
Andrey “Bart” Dvoryashin – percussion, Korg Kaoss pad, vocal samples

with Sophiychuk returning to handle guitar duties after being an original member some years ago, and Dudko and Dvoryashin being newer members on saxophone and percussion/samples, respectively, adding new musical voices to yield the current larger ensemble.

So with the vinyl reissue, I can now take a fresh look at Nodo as a “new” release, even with an older lineup. OK, I’m still working from the digital files, because I don’t have a vinyl copy in front of me. Sadly, my turntable is not even hooked up to anything at the moment (I need a new mat for it anyhow). I can at least tell you that the vinyl album includes only five of the six tracks included in the digital version, leaving off the superlong Asteroid Masterpeace (clocking in at 17 1/2 minutes) by necessity. But then if my information (via is correct, the vinyl Nodo includes slightly longer edits of four of the other tracks, roughly an extra minute each, making it a 44-minute album. And then it’s still possible to get the missing track in digital form with ease via the Bandcamp site, here:

Nodo opens on arguably its highest note with Voodoo Chillum, an 11-minute freaky feast for the ears. The similarity of this title with that of a certain famous old Jimi Hendrix tune is not coincidental, as roughly three minutes in, we first start to hear the famous Voodoo Chile riff gently inserted in the left channel, though slowed down considerably. Meanwhile, awesome freak-out style guitar histrionics are going on in the right channel, meaning that this is not a true cover of the song, only an instrumental jam borrowing that one signature riff. Some quieter passages highlighted by heavier fuzzed-out bass guitar are interspersed later in the epic track. Stoned & Spontaneous is moved up in track order to fill out the rest of Side A with a similar length. Starting out as a mid-tempo jamming piece with echoey guitar in left channel, it picks up briefly in mid-tune with more urgency. It features a steady rhythm-backing throughout, and hosts a cool mix of psychy sounds; a swirling mass of sonic buzzes, bleeps and blares.

Do What You Do is a slowish, grungier, more chaotic, piece overlaying chugging riffs in the left channel with really nice Hendrixy soloing in right channel and more wild synth f/X. Beauty Does Not Belong To Anything starts out as more downtempo, textural stuff, and then gradually picks up pace, offering up a mix of jangle guitar and psychy fuzz guitar. The 8-minute (plus) Dancing Emptiness wraps up the vinyl reissue version, a mix of groovy rhythms, noises, sporadic guitar noodly bits, etc. It has an unfinished jam feel, more sound collage than true song, perhaps even qualifies as musique concrete. For me, Atomic Simao was a purely serendipitous find on Bandcamp via an ordinary keyword search on a certain combination of terms (such as “space,” “psych” or “krautrock”), as I often do to discover new bands. It doesn’t often lead to a major discovery, but every once in a while, a real gem comes out of nowhere to surprise me. Atomic Simao is such a band.

While the impressive debut Nodo comes across like a 45-rpm Acid Mothers Temple record accidentally played at 33 rpm (i.e., same freak-out style, less frantic pace), the sophomore recording Sphyro is (dare I say it?) more polished and groove-oriented. I won’t include a full review here for the sake of brevity, but with a total of 15 tracks, there are many more ideas presented here in shorter form. A few new voices have been added, including Dima Dudko on saxophone and a couple of tracks with some limited vocal parts of the chant style, but no actual lyrical lines. Both Korai Orom and the Ozrics (when John Egan “fronted” the band) have had similar vocalizations over otherwise-instrumental tracks, so then Sphyro tends in this direction and a bit away from the Hendrix/AMT-ethic of Nodo. Usually, I prefer the latter hypno-groove rock to psych freak-out stuff, but I think Nodo is actually the better album by a small margin. That said, the two long jams (“13″ and “I Know Cause You Know”) are really growing on me, and are actually more polished and impressive musical works. Fans of Korai Orom and the San Francisco jazz-krautrock jam band Mushroom would dig this stuff for sure. Though you really needn’t take my word for it… you can head over to Bandcamp ( anytime, and check them out for yourself. Jora tells me that Sphyro is slated for release soon on CD, and perhaps vinyl thereafter, so look out for that.

Back in May of 2014, Atomic Simao travelled to the Russian capital to participate in the Moscow Psych Fest with other noteworthy regional acts such as Vespero and Polska Radio One. A compilation album of tracks was organized to promote the event, and Atomic Simao contributed two songs, one a previously unreleased recording entitled Awakening, which you can also hear at their Bandcamp site. Jora tells me an additional track called Sleepy Meadows was recorded at the same time and is awaiting future release.

The band is currently planning their third studio release and doing concerts here and there. While we wait for that, you can (and should) hear one of their concerts (Live at GogolBARdello) at their SoundCloud page, here:

OK, without further ado, here is my E-nterview with Jora Valchuk (drums), Dima Dudko (sax), and Ray Listratenko (guitar) of Atomic Simao (Kiev, Ukraine). Of course, Ray is not currently playing with the band, but was a major player on the Nodo and Sphyro recordings and they may collaborate more in the future when circumstances allow. And he and Dima were kind enough to add their voices to my virtual conversation with founder/drummer Jora to help round out this interview portion.

Aural Innovations (AI): Atomic Simao is an interesting name. What does it mean? Simao looks Portuguese to me, in fact there’s a well-known soccer player with that name. Coincidence?

Jora Valchuk (JV): Partially coincidence. Simao is really the surname of a Portuguese football player. I’m not really a fan of his talent. He’s just a good player who once upon a time even played for FC Barcelona, but regardless of that I just love his surname, that’s all :) So the name is just two words that sound nice together.

AI: How did the band start? Did you all come from other bands?

JV: I was dreaming about starting a band while I was playing as a percussionist in a band called “DoZa”. I was looking for musicians to play experimental music without any borders. It wasn’t as easy as I thought. There were a lot of jams in the garage with different people without any idea of what it’s gonna be in the end. But one day we had a gig in Kharkiv and some of our members couldn’t come and so we spontaneously asked Artyom to play with us on guitar. He was playing at that concert with his band Janovsky featuring Givotnoe. And he agreed to play. After that gig we found a lot of common musical things between us and we decided to collaborate with each other in spite of living in two different cities (Kharkiv and Kiev). So the first Atomic Simao line-up was: Artyom – guitar; Jora -drums; Vova – electronica; Andrey – guitar loop.

Ray Listratenko (RL): We all came from different bands. As for me I was playing in rock group called The Wind. We played acoustic ballads and new-age themes. That then transformed into electric psychedelic rock. Now I am deeply involved in loop technology. Discovering more space in hidden melodies.

Dima Dudko (DD): As for me, I was at the first Atomic Simao gig as a listener. And later after a rehearsal with the band called DoZa (who I played with then), I dropped by another concert by Simao. There we jammed and I was invited.

AI: Did you have similar musical background, or more diversity? What other styles were involved? Did you have formal music training in school, or are you all self-taught?

DD: Some styles and bands we like are in common. We played a lot together with Jora and Bart before Simao. There were some common bands we played in. Later, the sax brought some jazzy notes into stoned Nodo-style Simao music :) That was after Nodo. I think we can call ourselves self-taught.

JV: We all have very different musical backgrounds. As for me I am self-taught drummer and was raised and influenced on break-beat and acid-jazz music. I think everyone brings a unique part of himself into our sound. Maybe this is a recipe!

RL: When I was a kid, my parents took me to a musical school to study accordion. I remember I was crying, begging them to stop torturing me :)

AI: To my ears, it seems like many of your songs must have started out as freeform jamming. Is that accurate, or are your songs more composed than that?

JV: Our first two albums we’re totally free-jamming music. But now we’re in process to release new material with new members. Third album will be more structured. A lot of drive-y funky space music with trippy saxophone sauce! :) It will be more organized and very diverse in comparison with our first albums.

DD: Even if some of them are actually composed beforehand, such a composing process is still a kind of jam-like type.

AI: Do you record “live” all at once in the studio, or through overdubbing to a rhythm track?

JV: It comes spontaneously. Totally improvised stuff. I can compare it with the “catch a wave” feeling, when everybody feels each other without a glance. But yes, we make overdubs when it’s necessary, for example, some band members re-recorded almost all their parts when we all came back to Kiev after the Kharkiv trip to record at Driben Indie Records.

DD: I like the approach of combining these two methods. That’s about us [in a nutshell].

RL: To record “live” all at once takes a special state of mind amongst all of the bandmates. You are not able to explain to everybody how he might sound or what to play next. The truth is you have it or you don’t have it. Personally I felt such an inspiration for only the second time in my whole life thanks to all the people who took part there. I think it’s pure magic.

AI: Between your two guitarists on Nodo, Artyom and Ray, it seems like you have a nice mixture of textural stylings and/or circular guitar licks combined with freak-out echo-guitar soloing a la Hendrix or Acid Mothers Temple. Have they been playing together for a long time, and how has their “chemistry” as a unit evolved?

JV: Artyom and Ray played before together and they also have a psychedelic/ambient/space-rock project called ‘RayJa Expedition.’ I think they perfectly complementary each other. You can find it in VK [the “Russian Facebook”] at

RL: Artyom is the most comfortable guitar player I ever played with! You can improvise with him almost on the go and it all transforms into a beautiful melody.

AI: Now you’ve added saxophone to the mix, with the addition of Dima, so there’s even a new lead instrument involved. How does everyone now combine their various riffs and solos without “stepping over” one another, so to speak? How does everyone communicate their intentions to each other when playing either in studio, or on stage, and how do you and the bassists adjust to what they’re doing?

DD: Usually I try to solve this problem due to my habit of listening to the soloists in the band while I’m on the stage/rehearsal/studio. If there’s a place for me at the moment I play. Let’s say that instruments in the band are voices, then sometimes I get a chance to take part in some kind of a dialogue (Q&A for example) or play the same phrase/melody with the guitarist for example, even when it’s getting really loud and messy and it seems that there’s no place for an additional instrument. But sometimes it’s possible to get carried away and to forget about others :) It happens. The two guitars plus sax period was tough :) But there were more possibilities and variety. Sphyro is a good example.

RL: When you play such kind of music you can always feel when there is time to step in and when it is time to support somebody who struggles while soloing :)

JV: The main thing is to listen to each other and then you’ll have a chance that it’s gonna be music, not sonic-gibberish. I think that the saxophone added a lot to our music. Now we have a sound very similar to sex between psychedelic and jazz music!

AI: I hear you will soon re-release your first album on vinyl in Greece [now available!]. Is the recent trend back towards vinyl amongst underground bands also present in the Ukraine as it is elsewhere?

DD: I think so, yes. Because a couple of underground bands I know in Ukraine are also getting vinyls released lately.

JV: I can remember The Crawls. They released their album with Nasoni Records on vinyl. But it’s not a trend for the Ukrainian scene. It’s more like a pleasant surprise.

AI: How did you end up recording your albums at the studio in Kharkiv?

DD: It began with our Kharkiv fellows and I guess the reason was that this studio was a kind of popular place to record. In addition, some very popular Ukrainian performers were their clients. Then the place itself is interesting and cozy :) Interiors, animals, etc.

AI: Have you been able to put together traveling tours outside of Kiev, or are you mainly focused on doing individual shows and festivals here and there around the capital?

JV: We had a lot of gigs in Kiev and played shows in Kharkiv, Lviv, Rivne, Ternopil, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Sumy. Also took part at Moscow Psych Festival in Russia, and had a gig in the famous St. Petersburg club ‘Griboedoff.’ And had two shows in Gomel, Belarus. Now we have plans to arrange our first European tour.

AI: How is the climate right now in Ukraine for underground (specifically psychedelic) music of this nature?

JV: I’ve discovered some good bands for last two years. Such as The Curse of Wendigo, Somali Yacht Club, Dreadnought, In Submarine, RayJa Expedition. A lot of talented people here in Ukraine we haven’t heard yet, but we will!

DD: I think even psychedelic-like bands can be found in most of the large and medium cities here. Especially ones where different styles of music can be combined and associated with psychedelia. And overall, underground music I’m sure is widespread in every place throughout Ukraine :)

AI: When we first made contact, the political situation in Ukraine just involved street protests there in Kiev. Since then, of course, it turned into a real “hot” war for control in the east. How has this turmoil affected your daily lives, and what impact has it had on continuing the band? Has there actually been anything good come of the whole tragic situation?

DD: Thank God we are all alive and got the opportunity to go on with our music. Some of our current and former bandmates were rooting for the protests and some were against that. And some of us even managed not to quarrel about that and maintain normal relations between us. We were meeting different people in the eastern cities when we were on tour in the spring there. There were different points of view, but everywhere we met a community that was good to us and enjoyed our music. Even in Moscow in the end of spring we were met with hospitality at our gig. People wanted to hear us there for a long time. We met our fans, friends and relatives there. We wished peace to everybody from the stage. Those were good moments.

AI: Sun In Everyone is a track on your newest album, Sphyro, and you [Jora] sometimes use the pseudonym Sun Everyone for yourself (as you are credited on the Nodo album liner notes). Is this a concept that is important for your views on life, or anything spiritually?

JV: No it’s not :) The dudes decided to name a song similar to my ‘vk’ account nickname. The truth is that these words belong to Socrates: “Sun is in everyone. Just let it shine.”

DD: That track is one of my favourites. We thought the name was very appropriate and fitting :) A warm track and sunny sound plus a bit of philosophy.

AI: Where do you see the band heading in the near future? Have you thought of adding actual vocals, with written lyrics to some songs, or will you stay primarily instrumental?

DD: The sound of the third album will be different. A couple of other members added and yes, a tiny bit of vocal phrases.

JV: We added vocal partially to our third album, which we’re hoping to release in March-April, 2015!

AI: Do you have hopes of making the band truly a financial success, or are you in it mainly for the artistic expression and creative outlet?

JV: Of course it would be nice! But it’s not the main thing for me. We love the way we exist, the way we create our music, the way we joke about our music. These things really make me happy ! :)

DD: Financial success is actually not the goal, but who knows :)

Stream and download Atomic Simao’s albums at:

The vinyl edition of Nodo is available at the Atomic Simao Bandcamp site and through Cosmic Eye Records at:

Review and interview by Keith Henderson

Aural Innovations Staff Picks for Best of 2014

Happy New Year!!!

Jerry Kranitz (in NO particular order)

Ax Genrich & Band – In A World Of Dinosaurs
The Guru Guru, Krautrock pioneering guitar master is still at large and still the master. For me, this was THE guitar album of 2014.

Chrome – Feel It Like A Scientist
Helios Creed is back with a new Chrome lineup! It Rocks, it’s awesome, I want a U.S. tour!!

Oresund Space Collective – Damo Suzuki moder OSC / Music for Pogonologists
I’ve got two of their releases from the past year in my Best of list. OSC continue to go in at least a little different direction with each new performance. For all improvised, instrumental Space Rock, these guys are among the best on the contemporary scene.

The Timelords – Convergence
Kick ass Hawkwind inspired Space Rock. Nuff said…

Xoo – Tales From A Red Planet
Xoo do a great job of blending Hawkwind styled Space Rock with Progressive Rock influences and good old rock ‘n’ roll with catchy melodies. And it’s a CONCEPT album about a colonized Mars in the year 2073.

Polska Radio One – Cosmos Inside
Outstanding and varied set of music from this Russian band who are Psychedelic but can be completely spaced out, and they liberally apply 60s influences without in any way being retro.

Omenopus – The Archives
This concept album is an epic in every sense of the word, continually shifting between music, song, spoken word sections, and loads of effects, making for a genuine sci-fi space rock tale. Hawkwind meets Goth-Metal and more!

Electric Moon – Mind Explosion / Electric Moon – Innside Outside
Another band that I had to include two of their 2014 releases in my Best of list. For long freeform magic carpet ride Space-Psych jams, these guys are the masters.

Census of Hallucinations – The Nine / Imagine John Lennon
And ANOTHER band that I included both their 2014 releases. Piloted by musicians that have been at it for over 40 years, Census of Hallucinations have been evolving their unique brand of Space/Psych/Prog since their debut in 2000.

Tor-Peders – Brev Fran Ederstorp
This Swedish band recorded what for me is as glorious a retro experience as any early 70s Prog-Psych junkie could hope for. Space Rock, Prog-Psych/Krautrock explorations, twin guitar and organ, Surf-Psych… I love it.

Astralasia – Wind On Water
Astralasia are really indulging their inner Space/Kraut rockers on this outing. Not the Trance/Dub/Techno you might expect.

The Diaphanoids – LSME
This Italian duo play a craftily constructed and absolutely brain frying blend of Trance, Acid-Psych, 70s Krautrock and Space Rock.

EYE – Second Sight
Absolutely freakin’ MONSTROUS early 70s inspired Space/Psych/Prog/Hard Rock from this Columbus, Ohio band. This is THE retro experience of the year!

Spirits Burning & Bridget Wishart – Make Believe It Real
Don Falcone’s on-going multiple collaboration Spirits Burning project never disappoints and is always fun for the roster of contributors. Bridget Wishart is a regular but this is the third outing in which she is co-credited. A killer cauldron of Space/Psych/Prog.

Earthling Society – England Have My Bones
For their tenth anniversary release, Earthling Society continue to draw inspiration from the pioneering German Krautrock bands, 60s Psychedelia, Jazz, the blanga of Hawkwind, and more, without ever sounding retro and, yes, still sounding like Earthling Society. These guys are keeping Space Rock interesting, stimulating and fresh.

Civilian Zen – Tell Lie Vision
The best from these guys yet. Influences run the gamut from Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree circa Sky Moves Sideways, Space Prog, Space Blues, and more.

Spaceseed – The Fraternal Order Of
The Georgia based good ‘ol boys of Space Rock pull a stunner with this set of heavy driving Hawkwind inspired Space Rock, Space Metal, Punk Industrial Rock n Roll, Space Folk, and a stellar cast of guests including Bridget Wishart, Cyndee Lee Rule, Alisa Coral, Steve Hayes, and Astro Al.

3rd Ear Experience – Incredible Good Fortune
Killer instrumental Space Rock that’s like Hawkwind, The Spacious Mind and Ozric Tentacles all rolled into one and given a solid 70s Hard Rock backbone and a healthy dose of Prog Rock.

ST 37 – I’m Not Good
These Space-Psych-Punk veterans from Austin are still going strong and still cranking out killer albums. A smoker from start to finish.

Mooch – Mrs Silbury’s Delicious Mushroom Flavoured Biscuits
Mrs Silbury features Mooch at their space rocking best, as ship commander Steve Palmer employs a monster cast, including Bridget Wishart, Gary “Moonboot” Masters, Cyndee Lee Rule, Jez Creek, and Alex Pym.

Christian Mumford

2014 saw many great albums released by new and old artists, echoes of future past as we journey into 2015…. so here is my Top 20 so far… gotta say the biggest disappointment was Mayhem’s “Esoteric Warfare” CD… yucky old whispering Attilla and his industrial sounding cohorts do not match the old band with Dead or Maniac on vocals… so forget all that krap and krank up the spacerock… in no particular order:

Pink Floyd – The Endless River
Mainly being a Syd era fan up to about Meddle and DSOTM era, aside from all the people decrying Guilmore as jerking off all over, i found it rather accessible and laid back, melodic, being culled from demo material 20 years ago, it harkens to the early 70s for me… likey (with reservations!!!).

Krankschaft – Three
Steve Pond carries the ICU/Calvert band on with robotic corporate intergalactic warfare and EMI era Hawkwind sound. Its a great album to get in galactic fist fights with as a kranky and rusty old droid warrior, the CD is a lavish affair with lots of goodies.

IQ – The Road Of Bones
Better neo prog than most bands of this style still around, i am traditionally more Fish era Marillion and Twelfth Night fandom as regards the genre, IQ being abit “pretty” back in the 80s for me. But the new album is pretty damn great.

The Legendary Pink Dots – 10 To The Power Of 9
Dots return with a very strong effort, the epic krautrock industrial noise affair this album is, with some great lyrical content unheard since the 90s era to me, anyway. Buy or die!

Edward Ka-Spel – The Victoria Dimension
Steampunk darkwave dystopia about mining towns and dark towers harkens back to 80s LPDs era like “Asylum” and “The Tower” and Edward’s “China Doll” albums. Very strange and Barrettesque lo key beatnik ramblings with a nod to darker times.

Edward Ka-Spel & Philippe Petit – Planet Earth, Are You Recieving Us!?
Very sleek synth thrashing in the analogue galaxies of deep space and beyond, Edward delivering some exotic space poetry and whatnot in the best Tangerine Dream and Hawkwind skool of space rock, lovely effort.

Gong – I See You
Allen’s latest and final Gong album brims with rebellion and hippie protest anarcho philosophy for the modern age – buy and say good bye to this band of merry Pothead Pixies!

Monster Magnet – Milking The Stars
A sort of re boot / re mix of “Last Patrol” from last year i really enjoyed with its nod to 60s garage rock and Stooges and Hawkwind as usual.

Orange Goblin – Back From The Abyss
New era of new galaxies – these drinking trippers deserve a mention for a solid yet slightly obscure album!

Fu Manchu – Gigantoid
Scott Hill and his crew of stoners map out new territory of Foo Fightin inhalations and hallucinations – not their best but still pretty decent.

Pendragon – Men Who Climb Mountains
This band has been pretty good in the new millenium, especially 2005’s “Believe” struck a chord in me. This latest CD is more neo prog goodness with deeper going lyrics than most of their ilk.

ST 37 – I’m Not Good
This Texas band of space rawk noisemakers have been around forever it seems, and this Cleo label effort seems to be their strongest in a looong time. Plus I had some artwork in the CD booklet so root for that as well!

Peter Hammill – …all that might have been…
I got the 3CD box just upon its release and it is prime Hammill for all VdGG liking souls still starving for ethereal art music and the sounds of a shrill screaming vocalist from England’s finer schools of prog.

Oresund Space Collective – OSC moder Damo Suzuki
3-LP set with the danish improv space rockers and Can’s Damo Suzuki. Its urban krautrock and pretty damn edgy, makes the jazz interest in me either succumb to metal or punk side of things. All improvised goodness!

Hawklords – Censored
The merry band of ex-Hawks just get better and better and the 3rd effort is the best yet. Ron Tree shines, Jerry Richards and Harvey Bainbridge being other shiny Hawks!

Steve Rothery – The Ghosts Of Pripryat
With guests like Steven Wilson and Steve Hackett, the Marillion guitarist weaves some work unheard since his days in Marillion ca. “Misplaced Childhood”. It is a likeable guitar album overall.

Secret Saucer – Nachvollziehens
A remix and live album of sorts, the spacerock supergroup have another go at the older reportoire with renewed energy, including Steve Bemand (TOSH, Timelords, Hawkwind)’s stellar guitarwork!

The Legendary Pink Dots – Chemical Playschool 16+18
A lavish double CD-R chock full of psychedelic dots, overall file under “mystical shit”. And Edward traverses aural experiments in a low key dreampop fashion.

Marillion – Live At The Forum 11/12/14
A nice double christmas treat recorded in London 11. December, its a wondrous mix of new and old Marillion for the holidays. The best of the past few years Racket releases.

Dr. Hasbeen – Infinite Paradox
More Hawkwind inspired spacerock from this crew. Know what to expect! Comes in a great digipack its a lovely litte album, though nothing groundbreaking.

Seeing Hawkwind TWICE in Norway, in Drammen in January and Oslo in September. I met Tim Blake in Drammen, outside, and that was the best of the two shows. JOY!

Musical discoveries for me in 2014
Vibravoid, Shiny Gnomes, Napalm Death, & King Diamond / Mercyful Fate

Jeff Fitzgerald

3rd Ear Experience – Incredible Good Fortune

Annot Rhul – Leviathan

E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr – Spiralo

Juke – The Chimera’s Tale

La Piramide di Sangue – Sette

Lumerians – Transmissions from Telos Vol. III

Margin – Psychedelic Teatime

Plank – Aphidelity

Polska Radio One – Cosmos Inside

Radar Men from the Moon – Strange Wave Galore

The Green Tambourine Band -Let Yourself Be – Aum

Secret Saucer – Nachvollziehens

Solar Project – Aquarmada

Spacebandits – Anti Matters

The Diaphanoids – LSME

The Grand Astoria – La Belle Epoque

The Lay Llamas – Ostro

The Main Sequence – The Main Sequence

Wax Fang – The Astronaut

White Manna – Come Down Safari

Keith Henderson

Out of 114 (!) candidates I heard this year in the space-/psych-/stoner-/kraut-/post-rock realm, my Top 30 (original, full-length) releases of 2014 are as follows:

1. 3rd Ear Experience (US) – Incredible Good Fortune

2. Space Invaders (Germany) & Nik Turner (UK) – Sonic Noise Opera

3. Camera (Germany) – Remember I Was Carbon Dioxide

4. The Spacelords (Germany) – Synapse

5. Sleepin Pillow (Greece) – The World Is Over…

6. Barrows (US) – Red Giant

7. Eye (US) – Live At Relay (B-side new material), plus Second Sight (end 2013)

8. Yuri Gagarin (Sweden) – Yuri Gagarin

9. ST 37 (US) – I’m Not Good

10. Gong (Australia) – I See You

11. Deep Space Destructors (Finland) – III

12. sleepmakeswaves (Australia) – Love Of Cartography

13. Polska Radio One (Russia) – Kholodnoe Solntse (Cold Sun), plus Volga & Severnaya Yagoda singles

14. Annot Rhül (Norway) – Leviathan

15. Papir (Denmark) – IIII

16. Eloy (Germany) – Reincarnation On Stage (Live)

17. La Hell Gang (Chile) – Thru’ Me Again

18. White Manna (US) – Live Frequencies

19. Black Moon Circle (formerly Perandg) (Norway) – Andromeda

20. My Brother The Wind (Sweden) – Once There Was A Time When Time And Space Were One

21. Oresund Space Collective (Denmark) – Music For Pogonologists

22. Vespero (Russia) – Cello Liventures

23. This Is Nowhere (Greece) – Turn On, Tune Down, Drop D

24. Ziguri (Germany) – Kölsch/Schickert/Erdenreich

25. Cobracalia (US) – Cobracalia

26. Spiralmaze (Greece) – Back To The Center

27. Radar Men From The Moon (Netherlands) – Strange Wave Galore

28. Keepers Brew (UK) – Astrolabe

29. Fever Dog (US) – Second Wind

30. La Piramide di Sangue (Italy) – Sette

Archival Reissue Of The Year
Cave (US) – Release (collection of singles & rarities from ’08-’12)

Unreleased Recordings Of The Year
Thunderbolt Pagoda (ex-Skye Klad/Salamander) (US) – potential third album material (click on various purple squares from May-October 2014)

Album Cover Of The Year
Virgen Sideral (Peru) – Virgen Sideral

Recent Return From Long Hiatus
SIANspheric (Canada)

Tribute Album Of The Year
V/A – A Momentary Lapse Of Vinyl (Fruits de Mer 2xCD, to Syd Barrett & Pink Floyd)

Special note of those bands releasing worthy albums in 2013 that I did not hear until 2014, including Deep Space (selected material reissued nicely in 2014 by Sulatron), the aforementioned Eye’s second studio, Black Rainbows, Causa Sui, Fairuz Derin Bulut, Anjo Gabriel, Föllakzoid, New Keepers Of The Water Towers, the first Polska Radio One, etc.