Monday, October 19, 2020

Ozo- Pluto (Drone Rock Records DRR039)

Mike Vest (Bong, Blown Out, Melting Hand, Dodge Meteor, Lush Worker, HaiKai No Ku, Drunk In Hell, Bong, Oblivion Reptilian) is one of the most busy guys on the psych scene.  A lot of his music is just super intense and I can’t say I have heard all of it except for BONG.. I am a big fan of BONG.  Anyway, this is the 3rd album by Ozo in less than a year.  The band features: Karl D’Silva – Alto Sax, Graham Thompson – Drums and Mike Vest – Bass, Guitars and Electric Saz.  So what kind of sound do these guys make?? The opening number has a heavy bass line that sort of leads the way while the sax is playing super intense stuff but mercifully it is mixed into the soundscape and not way too loud.  A bit later a wild guitar kicks in to add to the madness…..  Now, you have the idea.  Thee are some more wild and also moody tracks and while the bio describes this as jazz space rock.. I am not so sure I would call it space rock  as such. It is spaced and they can rock for sure but this is pretty hard to listen to for most people but I am sure they will find a fan base to sell the 300 copies..    Music for mad minds in fucked up places seeking shelter from the asteroids!!

Måneskjold- De Højest Træer 7” (Self Released)

The Danish Space rock band, Måneskjold (Moon Shield) are back with a new 7” set up to promote their 2nd full length record, due out in December on Kommun 2 records.  Side A is a track. I believe is on the record (   ), while the B-side is a live in the studio track, not on the LP.  De Højeste Træer (The Highest Tree) was recorded at the famous Sweet Silence studio and they worked with Flemming Rasmussen (Metallica, Mercyful Fate, etc..)… The track, really caught me off guard as it does not sound anything like the band and is certainly not space rock! The band still sings in Danish but this is a pretty straight rock and roll song quite melodic, might even get played on Danish radio! Nice guitar mid section.  Flip the record over and this is a bit more raw and psyched out with a track called Fjernsyn (TV).  IT starts with a strange synth (played by Kriller, who also mixed this track) before the band zip off into a strange jam of sorts with noodly guitars and that strange buzzing synth phasing in and out, keeping you a bit off balance. They later mix in a sample in English over the top of a long section while they keep jamming.  It will be interesting to see what the new album is like, more polished and straight or more freaked out like the B-side?? I have no idea..

Bismut- Retrocausality (Lay Bare Recording LBR031)

  • The Dutch band, Bismut are back with the 2nd full length excursion.  This album is more jammed out with each side just one long track. IT was all recorded in Feb 2020.  I had become friends with these guys when we did some gigs together in Oct 2019 with Black Moon Circle. I played on the last song with them at a couple of shows. It was cool..  It was good to hear some new material back then.  Anyway, the opening track has a bit of doom to it but also a metallic guitar sound. They riff and flow and groove and go.  You just get sucked in over time.  The mid section there are a lot of spaced out guitar effects pedals going wild but the groove and intensity is maintained. The track ends in a very doomy fashion.   The next track Non, starts off really fast with some really intense bass and drums and a killer guitar riff. 

Flip the record over and side B starts with a shorter number that starts slowly and quickens into a rapid rocker. Predvidanie has a mean riff but comes down after 1-2 minutes into a slower pace and more moody. This track has a guitar solo which has so far been rare on this record. It was short and after some effects it is back into the heavy riffing style that makes Bismut! What a killer groove that develops at the end of this track. I can just see the audience banging away!!  Side 3 is one long track called Varasaga. IT starts slowly with just bass and drums and a bit of a mysterious feel to the mood.  This slowly builds up a longer lead guitar section matched with some intense bass lines, while Peter keeps the drums steady.  The riff switches to almost a thrash metal like riff but it ends in a heavy doomy way.  Side 4 features two tracks staring with Vergangenheit. This one is a mind blower with the most intense psyched out sounds of the record and also riffing. Wow….  This is like instrumental SLAYER!!!!  The closing track is a space out with wild sounds and noises..  If you like instrumental heavy metal, you will find it hard to find a better band playing it. Wow..

Lush Worker- Cruise-Uplift-Hb!C MKII (Cruel Nature Records)

This is another Mike Vest project that I have never heard.  The first release under this name was in 2015. This release is a compilation of tracks. Cruise is a 28min track that is primarily droned out spaced out guitar that sort of reverberates, like some of what he plays in Bong at times but with no drums or bass. There is a deep bass or maybe it comes from the guitar that you can feel at times.  Uplift is next and features 5 tracks ranging from 4 to 10mins in length. The sound level and production is a bit different from Cruise and this music is a bit more multi-layered. MK II is again 2 long excursions 20 and 29 mins in length. I have to say, I liked some of this more than Ozo, which is very intense. There is a really cool spacey vibe to this music.  Pretty cool….  Released on a cassette on 50 copies.  Also digital, I guess.. 

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Yoshiwara Issue 2 (2020)

The Yoshiwara Collective is a group of folks from Belfast that put out this magazine (100 pages- black and white and colour) as well as release music via Pariah Child, arranges shows and other activities.  It has been a tough time the last few years so this issue has been delayed and delayed and while there are some current interviews, the vast majority of the magazine is interviews between 2016-2018 including some really great bands. I learned quite a lot as they ask really unique and deep questions to the artists.  The featured artists are: Deep Space Destructors, Space Debris, Primitive Knot, First Contact, Weltraum, Carlton Melton, Letters from Utrecht, Roslyn Steer, Zhrine, First Contact, Øresund Space Collective and two label articles with Sloow Tapes and Cryo Chamber.  300 printed copies. 

You can pick up a copy at:

Oulu Space Jam Collective- Harvest Sage (Adansonia Records AR037)

I love this group. They are sort of a kindred spirit to my own band, Øresund Space Collective and certainly an inspiration for these guys.  Anyway, these guys from the North of Finland have been blazing their own psychedelic space rock path for some years now. This is only their 2nd vinyl release but there are more than 30 other digital releases on their bandcamp site.  The original session from 2017 was 150mins long but the band have chosen just two of the pieces to present here. It is 2 long pieces split over 4 album sides.  It is pretty laid back and organ heavy spaced out music, with only side 4 really rocking a bit more and with some sitar thrown in the mix. I enjoyed this trip very much and it was perfect music to start the day, each day for a few days. Awesome… if you like floating, evolving spaced out music, this is hard to beat.


Pink Floyd in the 70s by George Purvis