Thursday, June 27, 2024

Astral Magic 2024

My friend Santtu Laakso is on quite a run this year as he has been the last 3 years with a new full length album with different collaborations almost every month. If you are fan of Don Falcone´s Spirits Burning, this is a similar type project with different less famous musicians from psychedelic and space rock underground. Santtu is very good at promoting himself so I doubt there is a space rock or psychedelic rock fan in Europe that has not heard of this cool project. 

Shadows over Jupiter (Astral009.5)

This was originally release on a very limited cassette tape on Weird Beard before they closed down and now has been remixed, It features 12 tracks and a few epic ones like Heaven on Earth (featuring Earthling Society guitarist, Fred Laird) and the long 11 min bonus track, Slow Burn. There are actually 3 bonus tracks. This album features real drums and a lot of instrumentation by Jay Tausig, who most of you will know of. IT has been remixed and a new master has been done as well.

Cruising the Celestial Highways (Astral039)

This is another collaboration with Jay Tausig and Fred Laird as well as Pete Bingham (Guitar). This is a more space rocky adventure limited to 100 copies. 

Strange Sensation (Astral038)

This one has quite different artwork from the more space oriented psychedelic that Andy Wainright does for all the releases. This one features 10 tracks and features tracks from 2021 to 2024. Jaire (Octopus Syng) plays drums on the entire album and guitar on Haunted Mansion. That track also features Jasmin Angén on backing vocals. Paul Roland is featured on a different mix of the Mind Melt Machine, which came out last year as an EP and also soon a on lathe cut vinyl in only 50 copies! 

Astral Magic featuring Shane Beck- The Secret Paths: More Rarities (Astral041)

This was a CD-R made in only 40 copies featuring tracks that appeared on some of Shane´s solo album as well as new tracks that they had done together. If you are into spoken word, than this is a very cool one as the lyrical content is intense and makes you hear a the songs in a different way compared to the mostly instrumental music of Astral Magic. Santtu sings and sometimes others but the music is mostly still instrumental. 

The latest track is called Floating in Space as a preview of a full length CD coming out this summer and features our friend Vesa on guitars.  Check it out on bandcamp or you tube. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Us and Them- If the Summer Lingers (Withdrawn Records 008)

The Swedish duo are back with a new EP.  It features two songs, the first If the Summer Lingers reminds me of the best of the early 70s English folk, ala Sandy Denny.  Lovely sound and production.  The 2nd track, Tear Apart is simply fantastic and amazing. I really love the vibe of this song and it features some guest flute by Dag.  It has a such a cool and spacey vibe and I jsut get transported away every time I hear it. One of the bands best tracks ever!!   Check them out.. 

Monday, April 8, 2024


Ingen tilgængelig billedbeskrivelse.

Amazing Guitarist and more….

Wes was an old friend of mine. I first met him in Las Cruces New Mexico when I was going to University there. He had a local band called Exodus. We had a lot of the same music tastes. He was a real musician and dedicated guitar player. Eddie Van Halen was his hero.  As we continued with our studies, Wes, wanted more and headed out to Arizona and eventually Hollywood. In the mid 80s, where he was in a band called Dame. They did one professional demo, played the clubs, did some record label showcases but it never really happened for them.  

Dame Heart of Stone

At one point he had really been recognised on the scene and was in touch with the whole crowd of guitar heroes around Mike Varney.  He had an endorsement from Jackson guitars (I think he still owned 6 when he passed away).  The pink one on the wall in his house was his retired favorite! One of the bands he played with toured with Molly Hatchet and he said they had a flight case, just to hold their Jack Daniels of which they would drink 5-10 bottles a night!!  He also told me that he had filled in on a small tour for Mick Box (Uriah Heep) in the 80s, when Mick had damaged hand!.  Some people might remember that Mick Box had a house outside of Las Cruces with a guitar shaped swimming pool. This story I am not sure about as there are no pictures or write ups about this and I wrote some mails with a Uriah Heep historian and he was unaware of this..  Good story Wes….

Wes went on to do session stuff and make music for commercials. I think he said he did about 150 pieces of music. I asked if he had a list but he did not keep track of this stuff. He did eventually settled down to run some businesses, get married have two kids (boy and girl) but he always had a difficult relationship with women and was often massively taken advantage of and abused badly.  This left him very disappointed at times as he loved women and sex!!!  He had huge ups and downs in his life. 

If you knew Wes on Facebook, man, was he good at offending people. He had a raw sense of humor and often made me laugh a lot. A lot of people took his posts too serious but he was just writing that stuff to work people up and get a response out of them!! Wes was also really into food if you followed facebook and although he never cooked for me, it looked really good!!! He knew how to eat and drink well.. Loved his wine!!! 

He loved to tell me the stores of sitting at the Rainbow Bar and Grill with Eddie Van Halen and I think the proudest moments in his life was the 2 times he was invited back to the 5150 studios and got to jam and trade and talk licks with Eddie..  This was clearly the highlight of his life…  I wish there were recordings of this!!!!  Wolfgang???  

The last time I saw Wes in person was at the Scorpions Tesla gig in summer of July 26th, 2010. He was there with his then wife and daughter (I think). He talked for 15mins during the break between bands. Wes is in the white shirt in the pic I took of him at the show.  I spoke to him on the phone after that week but there was not time to meet. This was a really bad marriage breakup and he was really unhappy about it.  I recall him saying that one of parents really disliked him and poisoned his relationship with his wife and daughter with a lot of lies. 

I had sent Wes some music tracks that last few years asking him to add some guitar to my music but sadly, he could never find the inspiration.  I have a series of albums called Dr Space´s Alien Planet Trip, where I invite guitar and bass players I admire to add their touch to my synthesizer based tracks. I am sure Wes would have done something cool. Here is a little sample of some music he shared with me he had made in the last 5 years or so. 

LINK (soundcloud)- will upload soon..

The last couple years of his life I was in touch with him quite a lot as he really wanted to do this album of music and had even worked briefly with a drummer and bass player. I had offered him really cheap studio time in my studio in Portugal and if he could just get his demos together, we could make this album happen.  Around this time he has also started a relationship that made him very happy for a while but then it all went down hill.  I am quite sad that I never got to help him out.  He talked about letting me have one of his guitars as well, which I would treasure and would be amazing to have people play that in the studio as a tribute to him.   

Anyway, it was great knowing you Wes and we had some really great times together and I am so sad that your album was never made.. I am sure the world would have been impressed.  Peace brother….

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Minerall- Bügeln (Sulatron Records)

This is a new trio featured the guitarist form Speck, drummer from Kombyant Robotron and Sula Bassana, who needs no introduction on bass and synths.. The guys got together for some jams on a weekend in Spring 2023 at Buffbergen Studios in Hanove and bam, a new band and album is created!   Each jam is one album side long and it starts with the title track, which will remind you of that classic NEU vibe and groove as things get going and then it heads into that heavy guitar psych of Electric Moon,, Speck and others. My favorite track is the side B, Sachebene, which has such an incredible spacey vibe with long delay guitars. I really just got lost in this track.. Fantastic track…  In the end Dave, who wrote the promo sheet describes it the best, “the three musicians lose themselves in the spheres of space echo only to land again after 45 minutes”.  Check it out..

Astral Magic featuring Paul Roland-Mind Melt Machine

This is the first major release of 2024 for Astral Magic and something very different. First off Paul does most of the lead vocals. The opening and title track sets the feel for the rest of the album.  Spacey!  The main song riff is a synth line. Paul’s voice is a bit like Bob Calvert at times.  A sort of mysterious vibe percolates between the more happy main theme. Cool song. Beyond the Spectral Gate is very synth heavy with a simple drum. Lots of layers of atmospheric stuff going on. A nice floating instrumental track.  The Illustrated Man starts with a sound sample before the drums, guitar bass and synths take over and the song gets going. Nice opening guitar solo. Santtu also contributes some vocals as well. Another mysterious track. Samsara starts with a steady bass line and off we go on another instrumental space synth track. Nice lead synths. Mind Melt Machine (Blissed out Mix ) is a sort of reprise in a way. Some of the elements of the original opening version are more prominent on this one. A very cool EP. I enjoyed it a lot. Check it out..  CD is limited to 150 copies.

Monday, February 5, 2024


Wow.. Hard to believe it has been 8 years since I came to Berlin to see Pothead.  It was so great to see the guys and hear them play again. It was a really different set from last time and more on the heavy rock side but also some rare tracks..

We arrived about 20:35 and they were to start at 21. Got a beer, found a good place in front of Brad. Place was about 2/3 full but still some folks outside. I guess in the end it was 3/4 full. Tickets were pretty expensive, 42€. A lot for one 2hr show and no opening band. 

Anyway, the mood was great and it was a mix of the old gray guys like me and the younger folks and lots of women dancing!! Sound was perfect!! What a great and more heavy set.. I liked it a lot. The band said they felt the show was a good one as well.. 

They went thru a lot of their catalog but not songs from Rocket Boy or Chardeire or USA.  Last year they played a lot from USA.  Some rare ones like Fairground, All those memories and Mary Jane, were great to hear. I also was happy to hear Constantinople. 

After the show I hung out and talked with Jonathan, a young Pothead fan, who has been helping me out with some info about the band that I am trying to hunt down.  They let us in the backstage after about 30mins and it was so great to see Jeff!!  I had hung out with Brad the day before.  We stayed for about 2hrs and went in rounds talking with everyone. Got a picture of me and Brad, my daugher and Brad, Silvana and Brad..  Fun.. They are the nicest people…

Monday, January 8, 2024

Tidsgæst new Fundraiser

 A message from Sigurd::

Hi! I've started this campaign to fund the production and pressing of the third and last Tidsgæst doublealbum. A psych/prog/horror project that i started 10+ years ago.

I'm doing all instruments, vocals (in danish BTW), recording, mixing and mastering myself but the final steps must be done by people who have the equipment and skills. That's the big cost. Also, the funding will cover the shipment of the album so i hopefully end up with a break-even bottonline. 

If you find this album interesting you can help me finance the release. You will then get hold of a copy of a LP that will not be easily found outside of Scandinavia. I plan to press about 300 albums, depending of interest. All money goes directly to the release of this vinyl!

About Tidsgæst (Time's Guest or Guest in Time)

This whole project developed from some talks with a former bandmate. We where both interested in old danish folklore about gnomes, elfs, ghosts and haunted places, and we found it remarkable that the storys told by people way back resembled the way people of today describes psychedelic experiences. So we got the idea that we should re-tell these storys using psych as the musical language. I have been a psych/prog musician and fan since way back, and had started to play in this style again after a long time.

I then moved to Sweden which made the project a one-man-band effort. The songs developed more and more and found inspiration in other writings, like weird tales by the 1900's ghost story authors and the 50's-60's Sci-Fi books. First double album came out in 2013 and the sequel in 2017.

Moving around from place to place, jobs and kids slowed down the work on this album a lot, but now i can see the end of it all (no no, not that end). I'm in the mastering process right now, so the tracks are not ready for release for a couple of weeks, but you can listen to some tracks from the first two records in the Soundcloud widget, which are very much in style of the new album.

Hope you find interest in this limited work of a weird explorer, who would make an excellent mad scientist if i didn't had discovered the holy blessings of music first.

Cheers from Sigurd, Afd. O Records

The first records were cool and I will support this one for sure..   The link is below..

Here's link to the Kickstarter page: