Thursday, October 27, 2022

Colour Haze- Sacred (Elektrohasch Records EH013)

CH are back with their first new studio album since 2019.  A lot has changed with the band since the last one. They no longer record in their own studio but are back recording with long time collaborator,  Willi Dammeier, in Hamburg. This album was recorded live in the studio and mixed in  the bands Studio by Stefan.  Anyway, it is a shorter 40min Lp with 7 tracks, 5 with vocals and 2 instrumentals.  The instrumental, Turquoise starts things off.  It does not take but a few seconds and that guitar tone and standard colour haze guitar riff appears!  A good opener. Goldmine has a really rough guitar tone and a riff rocker with a great message. 

Idealogigi is my favorite track on the album.. There is something that is just so special about it and the way the keyboards really work for me and the more free nature and a bit proggy. Avatar starts with some spacey synth sounds before the bass kicks in and off we go. It then kicks into what has become a sort of Colour Haze guitar riff sound but it is played with a different groove. The keyboard solo really stands out on this track. The same but different, eh??? 1.5 degrees is a short instrumental track with acoustic guitar and a dark mood. . And wait for the huge surprise at about 5mins wow!! That will catch you unexpected.. This is an utterly unique track in the Colour Haze catalog. See the Fools, with it´s potent lyrics is classic Colour Haze guitar riff but more melodic and the floating synths of Jan, mixed well into the album sound, create a new feel.  In all you Are, closes this album.. The best one for me since She Said..

What is new though is the way that keyboard player, Jan Faszbender is incorporate much more into the bands sound than ever before. This is a great step forward for the band.  This is also the first album with new bass player, Mario Oberpucher as a full time member (he did sound and played occasional sitar with the band).  Mario maintains that Philip sound (plays thru his old gear) very well, so no radical changes in the bass sound or style really. Some of Stefan´s best lyrics yet as well. Very relevant to the world we live in today. If you are a fan of the band, you will for sure dig this record. A nice progression for the band and fans, without changing their core sound too much. 

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Stay- I can Hear the Grass Grow 7” (Winkle 48, Fruits de mer Records)

The Spanish retro band are back with one cover (by the Move) and one original track from their latest record (but with a new mix).  My wife immediately recognized the song when I put it on and said, “The Move”, so the band have not too radically changed the song. A very cool version of a great classic song. The B-side, Ger Going from the bands latest record, Old Sounds of Modern Music, is a foot stomping T-Rex, Sweet sort of inspired rock and roll number. You get really hooked on this track after a bit.. Nice stuff… 

Sendelica- One Man´s Man (is another Man´s Monkey) (Winkle 47, Fruits de mer Records)

Sendelica are back with release number 744 or something like that…  This is a band that has endless time and creative energy and keeps pumping out the quality music.  The core band is the same on this release but Rhiannon Jones plays Viola on Side A and Santtu Laakso (Astral Magic) plays synths on side A and D.  The album starts off with some church bells (The Dawn of Man-Homo Habilis and Homo Rudolfensis) and some spacey sounds and sequenced synths before the bass and guitar parts kick in and a bit of saxophone. Drums (programmed) have a lot of reverb on them. After about 7mins the vibe starts to mutate (as the humanoids also change).  At 9mins the heavy bass returns as the sax continues to be the main lead instrument.  Another major change occurs at 12-14 mins then it launches into a repetitive space rock mode with some synths from Santtu, similar to old HW style and stuff I might play myself!   Side 2 the vibe is quite different but mysterious as we enter into Homo Erectus and the Denisovans!! The drums are quite intense at the start of this track as the guitar and sax much more ethereal.  At 7mins the track drops down to nearly silence with just a bit of guitar before the synths start to evolve into something totally different. The guitar part is quite eerie but others melodic. Side 3 starts with a mellow synth drone and saxophone. The track stays pretty much in outer space until 14mins when an uptempo drum beat kicks in but this does not last long before the track fades into nothingness at 17 and half mins.  Side 4 also has a relaxed vibe to it to start with some nice floating synths and sax but the track slowly gets more intense with the drums and bass building up the energy. It stays pretty spaced out and very dreamy at the end. If you are a fan of the band, you will dig this one as well… 

Monday, October 17, 2022

Farflung-Like Drones in Honey (Sulatron Records)

It has not been that long since the last Farflung record, which is usually good for the world.  There was a great interview last year with the guys on Psychedelic Baby, I think where they talked about how they make records now. Anyway, this is quite a different sound and record, I thought after hearing it a few times… Acid Drain starts things off it a sort of laid back fashion with a spoken word sample and mellow vibe. The effected vocals let you know it is Farflung though! It does build up into a bit of a rocker. Earthmen Look has a lot of spacey stuff going on in the background before what you could call a typical Farflung guitar line kicks in for a bit but they they go a bit into a 80s goth like sound to return to their normal sound.  King Fright is a trippy piece to start and then the bass line kicks in and it gets intense once the vocal appears. Dark and scary!  Tiny Cities has a very cool bass line and mellow vibe but enough weirdness to make it cool…Dludgebmasterpoede has a really nice synth-guitar sequence to start things off but after a few minutes he yells, “Ok” and then we go into a sort of militant rock groove. Wow.. that catches you off guard. This is the most intense track on the album. Baile an Doire brings back what I would call classic Farflung sound. A bit Nik Turner inspiration on this one.  It has a long spacey ending as well. One of the highlight tracks for sure. Touch of the Lemmings Kiss is a strange short one that leads into A year in Japan.  Some lightly spoken words over a bass line and lots of strange sounds is all you get on this one to close the album.. Enjoy and read this interview to get a deeper insight into the record.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Sula Bassana- Nostalgia (Sulatron Records)

Not sure what number this is for Sula solo records but there have been a lot! What a great and prolific musician. On this album, as with most of his solo albums he plays all the instruments mixes and does everything except the mastering.  The tracks were recorded between 2013-2018 and he added stuff over the last few years, including vocals!! The album features 5 tracks starting off with Its Real Life, very cool and laid back but then evolves into a space rocker. We will make It, follows with a of mellotron and melodies as it slowly builds up and continues this happy theme. Side B features 3 tracks of which, Nostaligia starts things off with a Saturnia inspired track (at least to start), including the laid back, low mixed vocal. Very hard to really hear what he says though without really working hard to hear it. Wurmlock, Powerful stuff and again a barely audible vocal.  Mellowtraum closes the album with the best track (hypnotic and heavy), along with the first one. Lovely artwork and another really nice album of music to relax to. Not heavy psych stuff like Electric Moon, at all…. 

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Time Dwellers- Novum Aurora (Argonauta Records REX2211)

This is a new Swedish band lead by multi-instrumentalist, Kristofer Sternquist, who plays all the instruments except the lead guitar (Martin Fairbanks) and drums (Henrik Bergman), both from the band the Graviators.   The CD features 7 long tracks of very nice prog inspired music.  The opening Rising (in 3 parts) is really epic prog rock with some very cool playing and melodies and complexity.  One of my friends said they were reminded of early Genesis at times hearing this album.. At least we´re having Fun changes the mood totally with a light acoustic piece. Seasons Change starts with a repeated synth bass line as the other instruments slowly build up and take over.  You get a bit of Sensational Alex Harvey band feel, like Faith Healer… Cool build on this track and nice vocals and great wah guitar solo. I feel the drums are really buried in the mix and all you really hear is the cymbals most of the time.. What´s about to Happen, starts with some moody keyboards and wah guitar before the rest of the band joins in on this longer proggy piece. The vocal is very relaxed and there are lots of nice melodic threads and solos. Sound of the Apocalypse starts with a darkish mood and a heavy distorted bass but then when the guitar kicks in, it is not as dark and quite symphonic, almost. You are the Sun brings a more relaxed mood back but then it really builds up in a really cool way.. One of my fave tracks in the end with a great guitar solo. Tabular Balls the last and closing track borrows nicely from an old Iron Maiden track. Good way to close this musical adventure. Super cool artwork on this one by Simone at STRX art.  Good job guys. 

Jimi Hendrix- Every Album, Every Song by Emma Stott (Sonic Bond Publishing)

I have read and reviewed a lot of these Every Album, Every Song books by this point and really like them a lot.  I think what is most unique about this one is the depth in which the author goes into the lyrics. There is a lot of speculation of course as you can't ask Jimi what he was thinking or meant but she does a great job digging into this..  

Emma starts off with going through the 3 singles that were released prior to Are you Experienced and then goes into depth about the UK version and US, as they had different album artwork and different songs.  It is crazy to think that only 3 studio albums and one live album were actually released while Jimi was alive and most of the music that is exists was all released after his death!  So that means there are only 3 studio albums to dissect and so some times Emma can spend more than a page describing one song.  After the 4 albums (Are you, Axis, EL, Band of Gypsies), she describes the year 2000 Experience box set, which is an interesting choice. She ones goes thru the tracks that are not found on other compilations. After that First Rays of the new Rising Sun, which was the album that Jimi was trying to finish at the time of his death and later put together by Eddie Kramer and released in 1997. South Saturn Delta (1997), Valleys of Neptune (2010), People, Hell and Angels (2013), and finally Both Sides of the Skies (2018) are all described in detail. There is a small end section about compilations and live released.

Overall a very enjoyable book with some interesting and though provoking insight into the lyrics. Check it out…