Saturday, February 8, 2020

Musical Adventures of Dr Space 2020


In all the years of having this music blog, I have never actually written an article about myself and all my musical projects. I have so many things happening at the moment that I really wanted to get some of this off my chest and out of the bag.  I am so grateful to all the wonderful musicians that I get to interact with and play music with. Since I retired from being a diabetes researcher, I have been super busy making music, playing live concerts, releasing music, etc..   I never ever imagined this. The picture to the right shows all the releases I was involved with in 2019.


Anyway, yesterday, Feb 7th, 2020, ØSC (Øresund Space Collective) released our 34th release, Experiments in the Subconsious. The reviews (not many) have been fantastic and the pre-orders, the most we have ever received via bandcamp. I am so grateful. Fantastic artwork by Dennis W Fleet. What a vision!!!  


Sadly, ØSC will not play that many concerts this year as we lost too much money last year and it is too difficult to get a decent fee to cover the expenses (much less make a little money).  It really sucks as I think the band we have now for live shows is so incredible and creative and we create magic every night…

Anyway, we will play:

Spaceboat VII, Hamburg, DE May 22-23rd (Tickets on sale now at the link below)
Cressando Festival, France Aug 22nd  (Our first time ever in France!)
Høstsabbat, Oslo, NO Oct 2nd (not played in Oslo since 2007!)

At the moment, that could be all the gigs this year unless we get some better offers. We would love to play more gigs in May around the Spaceboat but nothing has materialized yet.

Black Moon Circle- We had an incredible year last year playing all over Europe and Scandinavia and releasing the incredible 5CD Studio Jams Vol 1-3 Box set as well as the Freak out in the Fjord 3LP/2CD set with ØSC. It has been a few years since the Psychedelic Space Lord, our last studio record (which was really a jam!) but we have lots of great songs (The Ghost, Monster Serpent, Spaced Out People, etc..). The plan is to record the new record this year. There will not be many gigs before the fall. We also need a new drummer!
The studio Jams Vol 4-5 will also come out this year.
https://blackmooncircle.bandcamp.com/
Doctors of Space, my new project here in Portugal, is a duo with Martin Weaver (Dark, Wicked Lady). We played 3 gigs last year and had a great time. We just released our first 7” record in December, Ghouls ‘n’ Shit. See the video below.

We have just completed our full length record and hope to have this out in May-June. We have a track featured on the Metal Hammer Portugal CD compilation out in March!  We have 2 gigs already confirmed for this year. We hope to play a lot more in Portugal if we can.

Toca da Raposa, Meruge PT March 14th
Unifant Festival, Travancinha, PT Aug 1st


Alien Planet Trip Vol 4- Space with Bass.  Vol 3 came out last year in May and Vol 4 was born this last summer and only recently completed. All the other previous volumes featured different guitar players but these tracks I had recorded just would not work with guitar (I thought) so we tried bass and it was incredible!! Hasse Horrigmoe (Tangle Edge, ØSC), recorded some incredible bass over some of my synthesizer improvisations. Later, additional synth was added on many tracks. These tracks have been meticulously mixed making this one incredible musical journey of just synthesizers and bass guitar (with lots of effects at times).  7 tracks in just over 80mins.  I am very proud of this unique record.  I don’t think I have ever heard a record quite like this one.


DR SPACE
In October, 2019, I finished reading this great book called The Long Trip by Paul Devereux.  IT inspired me to take 2 days and record 5 pieces of music. They are all linked together via some Native American Indian chanting and form about a 40min musical journey with changes in mood and flow. I really enjoyed recording and mixing this.  At the moment the record is called Dr Space- Nykawana. I have would like to find a label to release it, that could give it more exposure than Space Rock Productions (my label with Sabine from Sapphire Records). Great cover by David Graham. What do you think???



In December 2019, Matt Couto (ex-Elder Drummer) contacted me about if we could make some music together. Matt and I have been friends for a number of years and always hung out whenever Elder came to town. He and Elder visited my house last year when Elder were in Portugal.  I said YES.. Well, we have now created 10 tracks under the name Aural Hallucinations.
We have one track you can preview on bandcamp. Our approach has been to trade equal number of tracks and we each overdub whatever we want over the top and I mix the material.  We are finishing up the record now. Matt is making the artwork. The plan is for us to release this ourselves in limited numbers on vinyl, tape and CD. Keep an eye and ear out.. We will slowly add some more tracks to the page. 

Other releases this year, I hope will be the following:

ØSC- Sonic Rock Solstice 2019 CD (initially for bandcamp only subscribers but later some copies will be available for sale)

ØSC- Sleeping with the Sunworm 2LP (one of the last of our older releases not yet on vinyl. IT will have one unreleased full album side track!)

Alien Planet Trip Vol 5 (one side is finished but still waiting on the other guitar player to send his tracks!)

ØSC- another studio album (November)

Special thanks to my musical inspirations- Doug Walker (RIP), Sula Bassana (Dave Schmidt), Klaus Schultze, Magnus Hannibal, Stefan Krey, Jonathan Segel, Hasse Horrigmoe and many many more..


Saturday, February 1, 2020

Siena Root- The Secret of our Time (Made in Germany MIG02212)


Stockholm based Roots Rock band, Siena Root is back with their 6th studio album.  The new album features 5 guests, friends and old band members. This time the lead vocals are shared between Zubaida Solid and Swedish blues star Lisa Lystam (Lisa Lystam Family Band). Some of the guests featured are Stefan Koglek (Colour Haze) and KG West aka KG Westman, previous core member of Siena Root. An old friend of the band, Stian Grimstad (who will also be on the tour with them) plays sitar, Lisa Isaksson adds some flute and Johan Borgström also plays guitar.  On some of the songs both singers are featured and on others, only one sings. The album starts opens up with Final Stand, which features some really powerful vocals (mixed pretty loud and in your face as well!) but a great rocking number after a spacey lead in. The middle section also features a really interesting spaced out interlude followed by the return of the main riff and chorus. Siren Song features that Deep Purple like organ on this slow footstomper which has a nice organ guitar battle tradeoff in the middle. Organic Intelligence is a great song and I love the video (see below).
Mender features some great vocals (all the tracks do, really) but I like the slide guitar and drive on this track. Real classic 70s rock and one of my fave tracks on the record. In your Head is a bit more heavy with a nice wah guitar to start before the  vibe changes and the organ takes over. A bit of a jam to start this track which is cool. Nice harmony instrumentation on the mid section of this song and a bit longer organ solo than on most tracks.

Side B, the band stretch the songs out a bit more and start off with When a Fool wears a Crown. This one will get the audience going live with the great intro organ and powerful drums. It also has a very catchy sing along!  Daughter of the Mountain slows things down with a nice blues vibe. Have no Fear lets Sam and Love start things off as the slide guitar slowly joins and the groove takes off. The vocal is complimented with some nice guitar or organ in between as the smooth groove flows. This jam fades out slowly over 30 seconds to end this great song. Imaginary Borders is the last and longest track on the album and starts with flute and organ. This track has long instrumental section. They could jam this one out live for sure. That is it!!

Not sure what is up with the cover artwork?? I have to say I really don’t like it at all and can’t see how this fits with the vibe of the record or band?? Bizzare…. But the music is great!



Kosmos- Ajan Peili (Kosmos 005)


This is the 5th album (The Mirror of Time) from the Finnish band Kosmos. I have been a big fan of all their work and was so grateful to receive the new album  (Kiitos Olli!) in the mail to review. I am pretty sure it is the same crew as the last album and once again if features a set of magical tunes.  The title track starts things off with a long fade in of a repeated keyboard line before that suddenly drops out and the acoustic guitar and mellotron takes the lead.  Beautiful music.  Päivi has a magical voice that suits this music so well. The mellotron parts are fantastic on this song. Very interesting lyrics as well. Eilinen (Yesterday) is a happy uptempo track with some drums, bass, guitar and violin. Lapsen Uni (Always Close) is a more melancholy with the organ and some traditional Finnish instruments being mixed in as well (Ksylofon, taalmala). Aina Lähellä (Towards the Sky) is a floating track with the focus on the voice. Floating and happy. Kohti Taivasta finishes side A and features the shrutibox, some congas and a really nice drony start and then the acoustic guitar brings in the happiness of spring!

Side A starts with Salainen Oppi (The Secret Doctrine).  It starts with voice and piano and later features a saxophone solo, the first on this record.  The mellotron really changes the mood with the voices and airy floating feeling.  Jatkuvuus (Continuity) is a dark mysterious track, a bit like GONG, with a guy named Juha doing some spoken word.  Minä Olen (I Am) is a long nearly 12 min track and the one I have played the most. I really love this track. It is very dynamic, with a slow beautiful beginning but becomes the most heavy track the band has ever recorded.  IT also features a spoken word by Juha and some great lyrics.

The album features very nice artwork and as is normal with this band you get an insert with the lyrics in both Finnish and English as all the songs are sung in Finnish, the bands native tongue. 


Ricardo D’ Orlando- Warhead (Chloroform Records 2020)


Ricardo was the main guitar player in the NYC based space rock group, Alien Planetscapes in the 90s and 2000s. This is another solo release that he has made available to the world. It is just a burned CD-R with some artwork and features 10 tracks of guitar (not a lot), synthesizer and short wave radio. Klang Klang is a sort of droning short intro track that leads into Eternal Sky. This 5 min track features a dark soundtrack with some drone, growls, deep resonance and mystery. 2mins in, the guitar solo breaks the dark tranquillity.  Starburst is sort of like a video game shoot out that develops in some repeated loops. Minot Blues is some of the most freaky blues you have ever heard. The VC3 or is it the AKS Synthi (?) gets a good work out on this one. I was waiting for a guitar solo but the guitar plays only a small part if at all until the end. Bode features the shortwave radio mixed into some really spacey synth layers. Over 10mins this one. Silo is the longest track though at over 18 minutes. This is a very slow and spacey track that oscillates, vibrates, and moans. The intensity starts to rise around 13mins like you are entering into a dark interstellar cave.  Trippy.. Monstro has this synth that sounds like a talking monster. My dog did not like this one. Had his ear perked up…  The title track, Warhead is another very short track, just over a minute with a bit more shortwave radio mixed in. Starlight is the last track and features an organ and my wife said took her to the fairground. Nice… Enjoy….  You can buy copies directly from Ricardo. It is produced in 50 numbered copies. 

porcupinejones (at) yahoo.com