Archive for May 28, 2015

Polska Radio One – “Early Broadcasts” (Sulatron Records 2015, LP)

Polska Radio One are from the Ural city of Yekaterinburg in Russia and Early Broadcasts is the follow up to their debut – Cosmos Inside – which Trail Records released last year; though I should say this is the second “official” album because there are several free “other” downloads at the Polska Radio One Bandcamp site (link below).

Like Cosmos Inside before it, Early Broadcasts includes an intriguing variety of music. The album opens with the Eastern flavored, space efx’d, Psychedelic hypno rock ‘n’ rolling North Berry, with its cool combination of acid guitar and electric tampura (a sitar-like instrument), percolating electronics and pounding yet mesmerizing rhythmic throb. But there’s also an underlying Psychedelic Pop element in the catchy melodies and Russian language vocals (the band sing in both Russian and English). The hypnotic drift continues on Volga, which rocks hard but floats gently in head swaying fashion with its dual soloing liquid trip guitars and incessant throbbing drone. Time-Eternity and Heather and Wormwood both combine Indian raga and trippy lysergic flower power elements into mind-bending blends of Pop-Psych and cosmic exploration. The band go heavy rocking Space Raga meets Pop-Psych meets 70s Prog-Funk-Soul on New Space, which lays down an aggressively funky beat for a killer combination of jamming tampura and Psych guitars, freaked out electronics, funky soulful organ and windswept atmospheric effects. I like the sultry psychedelically soulful Shroomin’, which includes cool organ and swinging saxophone. Radio Motorik is a nifty combination of Neu! and 60s flower-power Pop-Psych. And Rhymes and Harmonies closes the set with more beautiful Eastern flavored trip Psych and seductively melodic cosmic Pop-Psych.

In summary, Early Broadcasts is just as powerful and well-crafted as Polska Radio One’s Cosmos Inside debut. Very impressive. Damn, there’s so much good music coming out of Russia these days. Highly recommended.

Note that this is an LP only release, limited to 500 copies and pressed on heavy orange vinyl.

For more information visit the Sulatron Records web site at:
There are lots of downloads at the Polska Radio One Bandcamp site:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Electric Moon – “Theory Of Mind” (Sulatron Records 2015, CD/2-LP)

I love the line from the promo sheet for German trio Electric Moon’s new album which says of the music – “It carries the listener in a pulsating and hypnotic manner to the place where the moon sprays it’s electric sparks: Into the endless cosmos of psychedelic music”. Hell freakin’ YEAH it does! I’m on a bit of a high with these musicians right now because I just got done reviewing the new Zone Six album, their first full new one in 11 years and two-thirds of Electric Moon (Sula and Lulu) are in that band too. So covering two Space-Psych monsters chock full of long killer jams in a row has got me feeling a bit giddy.

Recorded in February 2014 at the Kosmodrom in Heidelberg, Theory Of Mind consists of 4 side long jams ranging from 14-19 minutes each. The fun starts with Hypnotika, a pulsating and bubbling cauldron of gradually building cosmic rock that despite its edge-of-your-seat tension still manages to live up to its title. The guitar and synths wash over me in pulsating and droning waves, creating a powerhouse spaced out acid-fuzz vibe, as the rhythm section maintains a stoned, doomy groove. The title track is next and consists of the most loosely dripping liquid Psychedelia imaginable. Imagine Dali’s melting clocks against surreal landscape paintings as an extended Space-Psych jam and you’d get something like this. It’s nicely grooving and melodic too. But be on guard because when it explodes the corrosive acid-space waves and oscillating fireball effects will burn you to a cinder. The Picture starts right out of the chute as a sludgy, crushing Stoner-Doom dirge, and cruises increasingly deeper into space as it progresses to create music that is beautifully cosmic yet mercilessly brutal. Aerosoul is a relief after the exhausting assault of The Picture, starting off with some of the most lightly atmospheric music of the set. But there’s an intermittent bass punch that indicates the mood is about to change. And sure enough, once the acid guitar blasts kick in the intensity level starts to build while holding steady in spacey trance-drone mode.

The characteristic of Electric Moon’s music that I find most magical is their ability to push the limits of stoned, doomy Psychedelic intensity, yet somehow manage to be hypnotic, mesmerizing, trance-inducing, cranium massaging, and any other pick-your-cliché that you care to throw in the pot. But there’s also a Hawkwind Space Rock Blanga element to the music as well, with its relentlessly punishing rhythmic drive and blast into the stratosphere use of effects. Time we left this world today folks…

For more information visit the Sulatron Records web site at:
Visit the Electric Moon web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Zone Six – “Love Monster” (Sulatron Records 2015, CD)

Zone Six have made occasional live appearances over the years and some have been available on special releases, but Love Monster is the first new full album in 11 years. The lineup has changed dramatically since the band was founded 18 years ago but the spirit is intact. We’ve got founder Dave (Sula Bassana) Schmidt on drums, Martin Schorn (Modulfix) on synths, Komet Lulu on bass and Rainer Neef on guitar. These people are responsible for all kinds of great music – Sula and Lulu are in Electric Moon, Sula records as Sula, Rainer is in The Pancakes, and all four are in Krautzone. I knew this album would be worth the long wait even before I heard it and I wasn’t disappointed. We’ve got four tasty jams across 45+ minutes.

The 15 minute title track opens the set and is a slowly stoned and demonic Space Rock dirge carried along by threatening acid-fuzz guitar leads and a simmering stew of cosmic synths. It’s caustically intense, like some march of an impending alien apocalypse. The mood is more optimistic on The Insight, though no less intense. Zone Six create a trance-inducing rhythmic pulse that lays the foundation for soaring synth lines, spaced out electronic melodies, bubbling effects and more monster fuzz guitar leads. There’s a hypnotically droning sensation throughout, building up to an explosively volcanic finale. The appropriately titled Acidic continues down a similar path and includes some of the most screaming guitar leads of the set, which sound great amidst the space electronics and pounding drum and bass groove. And the 15 minute Cosmogyral wraps up the set, being another rocking combination of guitar and space-electronic fun. I like how the guitar leads alternate between densely molten lava acidic and Funky-Bluesy as eerily cosmic synth lines hover, sail and weave. The guitar is pure poison and it tastes GOOD.

In summary, 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. Let’s not wait another 11 years for the next one.

For more information visit the Sulatron Records web site at:
Visit the Zone Six web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Ice Yacht – “Pole Of Cold” (Fragment Factory 2015, Cassette)

UK based homemade music/cassette culture veteran Philip Sanderson’s Snatch Tapes label released the last of their Snatch DIY compilations in 1981. Snatch 3 included a track by Ice Yacht, who apparently had recorded a full length album though this never materialized back in the day. I’ll quote directly from the promo sheet for the new Pole Of Cold cassette because this is where things get interesting:

Rumour had it that Ice Yacht had embarked on an ill-fated trip to the North Pole attempting to retrace a journey made by the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen in 1888. This story was given credence when last year a research group uncovered a cassette tape in a vacuum-sealed case in the permafrost. The tape was marked simply Ice Yacht – Pole of Cold. After letting the tape thaw out it was then baked in an oven allowing the transfer of the recordings. Pole of Cold contains six tracks of analogue electronics seemingly mapping an arctic exploration to the coldest place on the planet though exactly when and where they were recorded is unknown.

Is that fun or what? Whether this is genuine mystery music or the latest by Philip Sanderson I couldn’t tell you, because even though Sanderson sent me the tape I chose not to spoil any intentional fun by asking for clarification. So let’s just dive into the music shall we?

The title track opens Side A with an intensely rhythmic rush of analogue electronics. There’s a spaced out symphonic feel, and with the arctic theme in mind the music is conjuring up images of being in a seriously perilous situation at the frozen pole. The outlook seems less dire with Racing The Arctic Shadow, which lays down a robotic yet cool grooving pace that propels us far more into alien than arctic territory. Snow Drifter returns to a more intense mood, sounding like some kind of March Of The Alien Eskimos Space-Industrial dirge that feels like a cross between The Residents and Chrome.

Side B kicks off with Summer With The Snow Bees (cool title). The music brings to mind a space harpsichord playing a pleasantly diddly melody which is augmented by eerie synths while trudging through a pebble strewn landscape. I like how it descends into off-kilter dissonance for the finale before moving into Vostock Station Hallucinations (even cooler title!). This features a hypnotic blend of tribal Jazz percussion, sweeping atmospherics, and hallucinatory melodies that seem to continuously flow and melt into one another. The tape closes with what might be the most wildly freaked out music of the set: Whiteout Women sets a frantically intense pace, as multiple blasts of swirling, bleeping and blaring electronic effects are hurled in and from every direction. But there is order amidst the chaos as the assault is clearly determined and even choreographed in its direction.

In summary, analogue electronics indeed! Fans of experimental/minimal/soundscape and all kinds of old time DIY electronica will really dig these sounds and effects. And musically there is a lot of enjoyable and intriguing variety. Cool stuff. But you better hurry because there are only 100 numbered copies of this “replica”.

For more information visit the Fragment Factory web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Ron Bracale – “Yin Over Yang” (self-released 2015, Download)

Cleveland, Ohio based flute and synth shaman Ron Bracale returns with 11 new instrumental “Bamboo Shakuhachi flute dancing with nature within synthesizer soundscapes” tracks intended to bring us peace and energize our inner essence of being.

As I described in my review of last year’s Entangled Spaces album, there is a New Age aspect to this music, but Bracale transcends the fluff that is often justifiably associated with the New Age tag by injecting interesting World Music, spaced out electronic and sound sample elements. Throughout Yin Over Yang, Bracale combines flute leads, darkly droning/phased/bubbling synth work and the sounds of nature to create a marriage of transcendent inspiration and freaky alien exploration. The marked contrast between the flute and nature vs. electronic elements are the principle theme throughout and what makes this music continually interesting and pleasant for me. Some of the effects would be just as much at home on a Hawkwind album. It’s like a Pied Piper medicine man leading the way as a gurgling miasma of space electronics and sitar-ish drones follow slavishly along. Cool stuff.

For more information visit Ron Bracale’s web site at:
Purchase Entangled Spaces and other Ron Bracale albums at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Ole Lukkoye – “Dyatly” (Trail Records 2015, CD/DL)

As band honcho Boris Bardash explains, Ole Lukkoye’s name comes from the hero of a fairy tale written by 19th century Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen. Ole Lukkoye used to bring the dreams for the children, as a Sandman of Morphey. In the last page of the tale he told the story about his elder brother, whose name is Death. So, “Ole Lukkoye” is a soft name of the group – “Death”. This explanation came in an interview I conducted with Bardash in the January 1999 issue of Aural Innovations, back when we were still a printed zine. So Ole Lukkoye have been around for a long time (I believe their first recordings date back to 1989). And Dyatly is a treat because it’s the first album of new music from these Russian Ethno-Psychedelic rockers in some years.

As usual the band utilize a combination of standard and ethnic instrumentation, including guitar, keyboards, bassoon, percussion, djembe, darabouka, jambi, ngoa and dav. Kommuna Ra opens the set with 14 minutes of Psychedelic groove rock, consisting of steady pounding rhythms, mesmerizing drones, ambient Jazz horns, freaky space electronics, seductive female Indian inspired chants and shamanic male vocals. Think tribal ceremony meets rave in a Middle Eastern bazaar in space. Dyatly (Woodpeckers) features 17+ more minutes of hypnotic spaced out grooves, with lightly wailing organ lines, ambient trip guitar fills, multi-layered atmospherics, effects, and a mind-bending yet rhythmically flowing sense of magic carpet ride soundscape grooves. I love the combination of Ethnic Pop, lysergic shaman ritual, Space-Jazz, and cosmic alien presence that pervades throughout, creating a hallucinatory sense of other-wordly inspiration. Bela Dama continues with 14 minutes of trippy spaced out Ethno-Psychedelic soundscape grooves and cosmic Raga Rock that you can simultaneously dance to and meditate on. It’s the Om chant for your bad soul searching self. The fun continues as Bela Dama segues seamlessly into the explosively intense 17 minute Just Wind. And Veni, Vidi, Vici is a short coda to what is essentially one continuous 70 minute journey. I hope we don’t have to wait years for another new set. This is magical music.

For more information visit the Trail Records web site at:
Visit the Ole Lukkoye web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Spurious Transients – “Planet Cantaloupe” (self-released 2015, CD-Single/7″-EP/DL)

Welsh multi-instrumentalist Gavin Lloyd Wilson follows up last year’s Portraits Of A Landscape album with a new 3 song EP to be released in July to coincide with Spurious Transients’ appearance at the 13th Dream Of Doctor Sardonicus Festival Of Psychedelia, hosted jointly by Fruits de Mer Records and Sendelica in Cardigan, Ceredigion, Wales on August 7th.

Planet Cantaloupe is a new song recorded by an expanded sextet Spurious Transients lineup of guitar, bass, electronics, drums, saxophone, sitar and tanpura. After a drifty Ambient-Psychedelic-Jazz intro the music breaks into a cool grooving Jazz jam that’s led by the horns, but we’ve also good freeform soloing guitars, an underlying sitar drone wave, a strange soundscape stream of static, free-wheeling percussion to augment the steady drumming, and a general Ambient-Psychedelic vibe. We’re also treated to Planet Cantaloupe (Reprise), which gives the song the ultra-spaced out electronic treatment. Gitarau Cosmig is an older unreleased song recorded during the Portraits Of A Landscape sessions by the duo of Wilson and Luke Boardman on drums. It’s a cool and strange combination of phased, droning, snaking electronics and lazy grooving acoustic based Psychedelia that sounds like it might be emanating from the mountains of Appalachia. Nice stuff and I sure hope Wilson is planning a new album with the Psych-Jazz lineup of the band.

Purchase the CD, vinyl or download at the Spurious Transients Bandcamp site:
Visit the Spurious Transients web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Book of Shadows – “The Seven Gates Of Dreaming” (Reverb Worship 2015, CD)

The latest from Austin, Texas based Book of Shadows is another of those small batch Reverb Worship label CDs that comes in a super limited edition of only 50 numbered copies. As usual we have a fluid lineup from one track to the next, with four improv tracks and two Aaron Bennack compositions.

The Dark Sea Of Awareness is a 17 minute improv with the core trio of Sharon Crutcher on vocals, Carlton Crutcher on keys, and Aaron Bennack on guitar, plus Ernestina Evelyn Forbis on vocals and Chris Cones on guitar and electronics. This is seriously dark and intense music, coming across like an Ambient-Industrial/Noise-Psych horror movie soundtrack. Sharon sounds like a morphing of Gilli Smyth and Jarboe while Ernestina provides haunting backing chants. Aaron and Chris’ guitars play off each other nicely, with each contributing to the macabre yet freaky narrative. Soundscapes create the atmosphere and electronic effects offset the mood with a hovering UFO presence, making for a contrasting horror/sci-fi vibe. A strong opener that’s simultaneously disturbing and beautiful.

Stopping The World is a shorter track written by Aaron and featuring just Aaron, Sharon and Carlton. The music is a sparse but effective combination of varied melodic guitar patterns and spaced out alien electronics, plus Sharon’s eerily mesmerizing vocals. The guitar, electronics and vocals taken individually are so different, and yet come together to create a cohesive and hauntingly beautiful whole. North Door is another Aaron penned track with the same trio plus Brett Humphrey on guitar and electronics, and consists of moody space atmospherics and electronic effects, noisy Psych guitars and Sharon’s vocals.

The Principles Of Stalking is a nearly 30 minute improv by the quartet of Sharon, Carlton, Brett Humphrey on guitar and electronics and Steve Marsh on guitar, electronics and vibrator. Once again Book of Shadows tread a strangely alluring middle ground between horror, sci-fi and Psychedelia on this noise-laden and often hair-raising exploration of sound, mood, and theatrical narrative sculpture. I really like the sections with densely noisy yet atmospheric Psych guitars and Sharon banshee howling amidst fluttering space electronics. Another of those strange but cool combinations of contrasting elements that Book of Shadows excel at bringing together. Glide Into Eternity is pure Space-Ambience and sound exploration and one of the shortest tracks I’ve ever heard from Book of Shadows. Finally, The Doors Of Not-Doing is a Sharon/Carlton/Aaron improv that’s quite different from the rest of the album. Part of it gets into Indian influenced orchestral territory, but there’s also tribal dance electronica and much more. These folks are always full of surprises.

For more information, visit the Reverb Worship web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

The Seventh Ring Of Saturn – “Ormythology” (Nusrat 2015, CD/LP)

My introduction to the music of Atlanta, Georgia based Psych rockers The Seventh Ring Of Saturn (TSROS) was through several excellent contributions to Fruits de Mer Records compilations, doing covers of The Grateful Dead, The Hollies, The Beatles, The Pretty Things, and more.

Ormythology consists of 8 songs and not quite 30 minutes in length. Two of the tunes are originals. Burning A Hole brings to mind a cross between 60s Pop-Psych and Porcupine Tree. It’s got chunky rocking but slightly jangly guitars, but also a ripping acidic quality and spacey electronic effects, AND the kind of melodic hook that makes the first listen sound like you’ve known the song all your life. Time To Fly is an equally strong, rough and tumble but fun Acid-Garage-Pop rocker.

The remainder of the set is an intriguing variety of a covers. TSROS do a Psych rocking, space efx’d rendition of Faces, which was a fuzzed out rocker by mid-60s band T.C. Atlantic. They’re faithful to the spirit of the original on Spaceman, originally recorded by early 70s Danish Hard-Psych Rock band Hurdy Gurdy.

TSROS go all Greko-Turkish on their bad selves for the remaining 4 songs. They inject a space-fuzzed garage feel into Teli Teli Teli, an instrumental version of the Greek trad./Pop song by composer Manos Loizos. I think Karli Daglar might be a traditional Turkish song but the great guitarist Erkin Koray recorded a version which may have been TSROS’s inspiration for their melodic guitar solo led instrumental with bubbling electronic effects. Ditto for Yedikule and Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayim. The latter has a killer ripping solo that gives the music a Black Sun Ensemble meets the Bevis Frond feel.

These guys do a great job with covers and keep bringing them on I say. But I’ll offer some feedback to the band and say that on the strength of the two Ted Selke penned songs I’d love to hear more originals. Really guys, those are good.

For more information visit The Seventh Ring Of Saturn web site at:
The CD is currently available at Amazon (CLICK HERE)
The LP is projected to be available early June and will be pressed on glow in the dark vinyl. Pre-orders are being taken by Shiny Beast in Holland (CLICK HERE).
Everyone else keep your eyes on the TSROS web site.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Chef Menteur – “III” (Sunrise Ocean Bender 2015, 3-CD/DL)

This is the first I’ve heard from New Orleans based Chef Menteur since 2007’s The Answer’s In Forgetting. Their latest is a 3-CD set that consists of three different albums: The most recent is Force Majeure, which was originally released by the band last year as a limited edition and now sold out cassette. We’ve also got a reissue of the 2012 released 2-LP East of the Sun & West of the Moon, plus North Tomorrow & South Of Yesterday, an unreleased set of songs recorded at the same sessions.

There’s a tremendous amount of variety across these three CDs and a lot to digest…

Force Majeure opens with the spacey, melodic, soundscape drifting Faeroe, which has a cinematic feel and lightly playful alien effects. The band then veer into left field with the funky yet psychedelically spacious, dance floor enabling Pyrymyd Scheme. I like the darkly moody and volcanic intensity of Death Wraith 2000. Surface Tension injects a Morricone soundtrack feel with acidic yet hauntingly ambient Space Rock and funky rolling grooves. The elusively complex arrangements detected on the previous tracks come to full fruition on my favorite track of the set, Immense Dimension, with its combination of Prog Rock intricacy, Space-Funk, mesmerizing drones and cosmic majesty.

The dozen tracks on East Of The Sun & West Of The Moon cover a lot of ground, starting with the anguished, emotive and totally trippy Psychedelic Narconaut. Il obstrue ma vue de Venus is deliriously surreal in its zig zag from a Stoner take on Pink Floyd’s One Of The Days to densely noisy windswept Rock, to lusciously gorgeous melodies. Terpsichore consists of sultry yet freaky Space-Jazz. Lozenge Club is a brief but funky and Dub-like spacey piece. The Forest upsets any sense of balance with its combination of acid drone waves of guitar and keys, punctuated by off-kilter electro rhythms and freaky Jazz and effects injections. The 11+ minute Oxen Of The Sun is like a Prog Rock take on acid-space Psychedelia and Space-Ambient exploration. The music ebbs and flows with a freeform feel, but at all times has a clear sense of goal oriented composition. Chef Menteur prove themselves to be masters of thematic development as they seamlessly shift gears, from minimal ambient waves, to high intensity Space-Prog, to caustic yet cool grooving Acid-Psych. The band does a complete 180 degree turn with the 19 minute Ganymede, a Space-Drone symphony that blends floating Space-Ambience, early minimal Klaus Schulze and Frippertronics. The Long Stand (Part 2) is all about melodic and rhythmic rocking Acid/Space-Drone splendor with a tasty surprise acoustic finale. The Eastern flavored Ordo Templi Orientis is simultaneously trippy and powerhouse acid-symphonic. I Belong To This Plateau starts off like Bluesy dreamy Pink Floyd in a train station setting, before being enveloped in a shroud of potently crushing and noisily harsh aggression that somehow manages to retain a sense of hypnotic drift. And Reach For The Lion is a killer heavy Acid-Psych rocker that’s tempered by spacey keyboard melodies.

North Of Tomorrow & South Of Yesterday consists of unreleased music from the same sessions as East Of The Sun & West Of The Moon. There’s some cool stuff though as a whole it’s not as consistently powerful as the other two albums. But there’s a lot happening here. We’ve got raga rockers, a weird lo-fi keys and rhythm machine bit, fun and freaky electronica and samples blends, a lulling banjo and bass stroll, and sound, noise and melody experiments. Among the highlights of the set are Farfisa Duo Raga, a strangely narcotic blend of intensely paralyzing drones, melodic keys and strumming acoustic guitar. The avant-Psychedelic The Mamluk Qalandars has a pleasantly mesmerizing, acidic dissonance. The Long Stand (Parts I & II) is a trippy, spaced out and totally stoned Indian inspired raga Psych rocker with a freeform magic carpet ride sensation, but then goes pure Space Rock for the last couple minutes. Phallus Marinarus features 12+ minutes of flowing fuzz waves, snake-like weaving space drones, and lightly melodic soundscape guitars, all led by a kind of phased, Motorik rhythmic pulse. And Sorry For The Delay is a beautifully melodic, dreamily streaming and cool grooving rocker with a tasty offset of layered guitars and Kraftwerk synth melody. Just trip along with this gem as it goes deeper and deeper into space.

Space Rock, Psychedelia, Prog, Jazz, electronica, meditative space excursions, soundtrack narratives… it’s all here. And Chef Menteur deftly juggle and blend it all. Recommended.

For more information visit the Sunrise Ocean Bender web site at:
Visit the Sunrise Ocean Bender Bandcamp site at:
Visit the Chef Menteur web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz