Kolmas Korva recommends: Albinö Rhino, Black Helium, GÅS

Hi all,
I collected some great psychedelic treasures I’ve enjoyed lately. Quite a lot, actually – I think this is a great bunch. Hope you do too.
Stay safe & healthy. //Mertsi

Article image: Black Helium

Black Helium – UM (Riot Season Records)

The London-based psychedelic power trio is back with a bang. Compared to their previous two records Primitive Fuck (2018) and The Wholly Other (2020), Black Helium has gone more outer-space, more motorik, and even more robust. UM is a great record, highlighted by tracks such as the hypnotic Another Heaven and delightfully trippy Summer of Hair. Black Helium’s music keeps on giving, and by all accounts the trio seems like nice people as well.

GÅS – Vol.1. (Rocket Recordings)

I’ve been following GÅS, a psychedelic rock band from Gothenburg that, just like their compatriots GOAT, operates under anonymity, since their impressive self titled single in 2020. Their debut LP Vol.1. follows the single’s recipe in fuzzy, Black Sabbath-influenced heavy psych, but spices is up with folk-like flutes, percussions and elements of blues rock.
With two over 13-minute tracks the band shows it masters longer kraut-influenced jams with confidence, further strengthening the trippy club of great Swedish outfits like Centrum, Lamagaia, Hills and Agusa.

My favorite song is the hypnotic finishing track 25öre, whose wonderfully menacing rhythm repeats over and over again until you realize there’s actually nothing menacing, it just gets a bit dark in space.

Albinö Rhino – Return to the Core (Space Rock Productions)

The heavy atmospheric downtuned psychedelia of Albinö Rhino has never sounded more intriguing than in their new opus, Return to the Core. The Helsinki-based trio’s previous EP nodded towards Black Sabbath, but this one pays the biggest respects to Pink Floyd. The album consists of one 35-minute song (on Spotify it’s also split to 9 tracks), and travels fluently from Kingston Wall influenced jams to heavier riffs. Good stuff.

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Cool music videos with a psych touch for relaxation

To keep some balance of all rattling garagepsychs, here’s collection of gentle psych videos that I have been enjoying lately. Styles differ from exotica and ambient to psych-pop and soft rock.

Main image is a frame from Reverse Death’s video.

Reverse Death – Teapot

Gentle electric piano and soft drums carry this nocturnal mist spiced with viola and properly echoed vocals. Seattle-based band published an album Stretching to Infinity in December that is definitely worth to listen. Teapot together with Sweet Flower Moon are the most accessible songs on the album among otherwise rather ambient material.

Bobbie Lovesong – Inner Sea

Written, performed and recorded solely by American Bobbie Lovesong aka Madelyn Strutz during covid lockdown in 2020. Very addictive melody and sounds right from the first hearing.

The Sweet Enoughs – Cerberus

The slowed-down beauty of crashing waves combined with synthetic, rhythmic, dreamy tropical music. In May 2020 released album Marshmallow is an interesting piece of lounge/exotica music.

Mac DeMarco – Five Easy Hot Dogs

Slacker star published his sixth album in January. The record was born in a trip (literally): songs are named by the places where they were created on the road. No vocals at all, which makes this good background soft rock.

Best psychedelic music of 2022

Hi all, it’s time to wrap up the year with some of our music picks of 2022. Thanks to all our readers and subscribers, have a great new year! //Mertsi & Leo
Article Photo Credit: Pooneh Ghana

Mertsi’s picks

The Black Angels – Wilderness of Mirrors

With yet another fantastic album, the legendary Texan group The Black Angels cement their place among the very best of neo-psychedelic bands. In Wilderness of Mirrors, their riffs are rough and lyrics sharp as ever. This is a well-balanced album with a number of powerful psych tracks.

Abraxas – Monte Carlo

Abraxas is a new project by former Los Bitchos member Carolina Faruolo and Danny Lee Blackwell of Night Beats. 
Monte Carlo is the duo’s enchanting debut, with influences of smoky latin rhytms, R&B, and dub. As Blackwell puts it: “Planet Abraxas is a world filled with jungles, mist-covered rivers, panthers lurking in the night, desolate shopping malls, Neolithic citadels and sand-worn walls.” I can’t wait to spin these songs on next year’s dj gigs.

[By the way, Blackwell was a gift that kept on giving this year; I could have easily added Night Beats’ wonderful Levitation Session to this list as well.]

La Femme: Levitation Sessions

In their Levitation live session, Parisian psych institution La Femme unleash a discography spanning set dripping in LSD and casual chic, transmitted from a smoky room in Normandy, France. The band chats a tad too much to my taste inbetween some tracks, but neverthless they absolutely nail the session with some mesmerising tunes and sparkling outfits. Try, for instance, the exotic-sounding ”Sphynx” or the wonderfully trippy ”Je Plane”.

Wild Rocket – Formless Abyss

Speaking of trippy, the Irish Wild Rocket takes you somewhere on the outskirts of cosmos. Formless Abyss, a swirling 41-minute repetitive groove consisting of three tracks, can be recommended for friends of Oranssi Pazuzu, Dark Buddha Rising, Circle, 10 000 Russos, or Lumerians.

And finally, some music video singles of the highest quality: improvised dance fiesta from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, some seriously fuzzy stuff from Goat, and some oceanic, super-smooth scenery by Baby Cool.

Leo’s picks

Kikagaku Moyo – Kumoyo Island

The Japanese psych rock band decided that past year will be their last. It’s a shame, but it can also be a blessing if their creativity is waning. The last album contains one of the bangers of the year, Dancing Blue, but as a whole it has not reached its predecessors Masana Temples (2018) and House in the Tall Grass (2016). But definitely enjoyable LP and worth checking out. The album also surprised with the amount of ambient soundscapes. It will be interesting to see what the band members come up with next. One thing to follow is label Guru Guru Brain founded by members Go and Tomo. They have released interesting stuff from bands like Dhidalah, Minami Deutsch and Mong Tong.

A live performance from their last show.

Tombstoned – Dangers Of The Fading High

As much a pick-up from last year as an expectation for this year. Finnish doom/stoner band Tombstoned released a new song after a long time on Weedian’s Finland compilation. The riff from the beginning is just so damn quivering. Hopefully more stuff coming soon.

Mildlife Live from South Channel Island

The pandemic eased this year and the gigs started to roll again. One band that was familiar before, but took things to a new level live, was Australian Mildlife. They are a sovereign live performer of psychedelic, danceable jazz-funk without any major gimmicks. The band has also toured with King Gizzard. This year Mildlife released a live album recorded on fort island instead of new studio material.

Kari Kosmos – Mielen aika (kirja)

Kiinnostava suomenkielinen kirja, joka on saattanut mennä monilta ohi. Vuonna 2021 syöpään kuolleen Kari Kosmoksen postuumisti julkaistu Mielen aika: psykedeelisen kulttuurin historia ja visio kertoo tajunnan laajentamisesta ja ihmisistä sen takana. Huom: Emme ole itsekään vielä päässeet kirjaa lukemaan, joten tämä suositus perustuu siihen, miltä kirja vaikuttaa. Lisää kirjasta Ylen jutussa. (A book recommendation, only in Finnish!)

Angelo Badalamenti (1937—2022)

This year, at least Hawkwind legend Nic Turner and kraut pioneer Manuel Göttsching have moved on to other frequencies. One of those who also touched me was Angelo Badalamenti, composer of David Lynch’s dreamy soundtracks. Here’s a video in his memory that always cheers the mood.

To enjoy psychedelic treats as fresh as they come, do subscribe to our four Spotify Playlists.

Inventions for Electric Guitar (R.I.P. Manuel Göttsching)

Ash Ra Tempel, one of the pioneers of krautrock or kosmische musik, had broken up and the band’s guitarist was looking for a new direction. Manuel Göttsching, inspired by Terry Riley’s looping minimalism, turned on his tape recorder and began to play.

The result was an incredibly rich-sounding solo album, Inventions For Electric Guitar — given that the album was recorded in 1974 and every note on it comes from an electric guitar.

The lack of instruments probably inspired him to be creative and experiment in interesting ways. The album makes use of a wah pedal and a steel bar familiar from guitar slides. The focus is on echo and repetition.

The album consists of two long riff-based songs, punctuated by surprising guitar solos. The cosmic pulsating tracks are guaranteed to sink in with fans of Chilean Föllakzoid.

In between these long songs, at the end of the A-side, an ambient gem of an album, perfect as a soundtrack to a snowfall. It’s hard to believe the soundscape of this song was created without synthesizers.

”During which one guy with a guitar does what Tangerine Dream needed three guys and a bulkhead of electronic gizmos to do”, as one listener commented on Rate Your Music.

After listening to the album, you should continue by watching this interview with Göttsching at the Red Bull Music Academy. He talks at length about his career and music. He explains and demonstrates how Inventions for Electric Guitar emerge at 41:20.

R.I.P. Manuel Göttsching (1952—2022)

Kolmas korva DJ’s at Helsinki Psych Fest 2022 (see setlist here)

We had the pleasure to play a back-to-back vinyl DJ set including 60s, kraut, prog and neo-psych, at Helsinki Psych Fest 2022. Here’s what we played (in alphabetical order):

Leo’s picks:

The Blues Project – Flute Thing
Circus – Monday Monday
Electric Wizard – Mountains of Mars
Föllakzoid – Rio
Goat – Let It Bleed
Jethro Tull – Cross-Eyed Mary
John Mayall – The Super-Natural
K-X-P – 18 Hours (Of Love)
The Keith Tippett Group – Black Horse
Kikagaku Mayo – Dancing Blue
Kikagaku Mayo – Gatherings
Lamagaia – Lamagaius
Neu – Neuschnee
Pekka Laine – The Silent Star
Percewood’s Onagram feat. Michels – I’ve Got Woman
Santana – Jungle Strut
The Soul Investigators – Baby! It’s Delicious
Spirit – Gramophone Man
Tasavallan Presidentti – Wutu-Banale
Ten Years After – She Lies in the Morning
Ten Years After – Two Time Mama
Tross – On Board
Uusi Fantasia – (Tosi) happamat kallot
The Yardbirds – Heart Full of Soul
The Yardbirds – Smokestack Lightning

Mertsi’s picks:
The Black Angels – History Of The Future
The Black Angels – Without A Trace
The Black Angels – La Pared (Govt. Wall Blues)
Black Lizard – Window In Time
Circle – Points
Fleetwood Mac – Black Magic Woman
Goat – Let It Burn
The Holydrug Couple – Concorde
Holy Wave – Schmetterling
Holy Wave – She Put A Seed In My Ear
Holy Wave – Star Stamp
Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit
Jim Sullivan – U.F.O.
Lumerians – C-Rock
Mikronid – Sügis
Moon Duo – Circles
Moon Duo – Sleepwalker
Nazz – Open My Eyes
Nazz – Wildwood Blues
Night Beats featuring Robert Levon Been – That’s All You Got
Procol Harum – Cerdes (outside the gates of)
Pääkallo – Kuoleman taikaa
The Shadows – Scotch On The Socks
Soft Power – Sleeping City
Titanic – Sultana
The Vacant Lots – Departure

Many thanks to Daisy and other organisers of the fest, it was a blast!
If you want us to play at your event, please contact us via e-mail kolmaskorva @gmail.com.