Album shoutout: Astral Magic – Magical Kingdom (2022)

Astral Magic is a project from our friend and fellow Finnish psych enthusiast Santtu / DJ Astro. He has published quite a bit of psych/space rock/prog music, and according to the man himself, the new album Magical Kingdom (published soon by Tonzonen Records) may just be his best yet.
So if you’re into that kind of spacey prog-psych (there’s a reason you’ve found your way here, though), do check out the music video and singles!
Also, you can check Santtu’s great blog here.
//Mertsi

Astral Magic – Magical Kingdom (Tonzonen Records)
Limited edition of 500 copies on yellow/white splatter vinyl

https://darksun.bandcamp.com/album/magical-kingdom

Here’s what Santtu himself said about making of the album:
Magical Kingdom is the 20th album of Astral Magic if you also count the compilations. And there are also a few EP’s in addition to that. All this is just little over two years! This album can be considered as the first psychedelic, spacey PROG rock album of Astral Magic.

As always, music just materializes out of thin air without much consideration and I later choose which tracks fit together and form an album. Some of the songs date back to the early phase in Spring/Summer 2020, some were finished at the end of 2021. As always, I lay down the foundations at my home studio, and suitable guests from all over the world are invited to record their tracks later. This time we have guest musicians from US (Jay Tausig: drums, guitar, saxophone, flute, Gregory Curvey: guitar, Anton Barbeau: guitar), UK (Peter Bingham: guitar) and Finland (Markku Helin: guitar, Perttu Lindberg: drums).
After I put everything together and mixed the album, krautrock legend Eroc was chosen to be the mastering engineer. A Finnish psychedelic painter Vesa Peltonen kindly offered one of his paintings for cover art.

The whole idea behind this album, or how it happened to come into existence, is to be able to escape one’s everyday life into a mystical, magical kingdom in your mind. That’s a place where everything is possible, a whole different dimension to humanity. There are also some words of wisdom and even warning, songs about spiritual growth and ecological awakening. We are all one and we cannot survive without each other and our wonderful nature that gives us life and everything we need. We should all live in peace and love and respect each other and our Universe. It is all intertwined into an album called Magical Kingdom.
Check it out, live it up!”

Music video picks: Kikagaku Moyo, Crows, Ashinoa & Mildlife

Main image is a screenshot taken from Kikagaku Moyo’s Cardboard Pile video, directed by Katsushika Shusshin.

Kikagaku Moyo – Kumoyo Island

A Japanese group’s possibly the last album ever ”Kumoyo Island” will be released in May. Two songs with crazy illustrated music videos are out already. Especially the immediately catchy ”Cardboard Pile” raises expectations high for the upcoming LP.

Crows – Garden of England

London-based Crows published their second album and the single ”Garden of England” is a fiery piece of Brexit / Covid era psych-post-punk.

Ashinoa – Koalibi

The French Ashinoa, similarly signed and published by Fuzz Club, is one of Mertsi’s early year favourites. Do check out their album ”L’Orée”, it’s fruity.

Mildlife – Live from South Channel Island

A year ago, Australian Mildlife recorded session in a small artificial island South Channel Fort. Now this whole session, live versions of pre-released material, is on Youtube, as well as on vinyl. Mildlife sound is somewhat combination of jazz-funk, disco and psychedelia. A tip for the busy ones: in 15:45, a bit slower song ”Im Blau” with exciting rhythm and bass.

KOLMAS KORVA playlists: Spring 2022 updates

Hi all,
we don’t blog as frequently as before, but our Spotify Playlists (and our Instagram page – go check that out if you haven’t already) are constantly evolving. Here’s a recap of all the bands we’ve added to the lists since my last update blog – what a great bunch of artists, that lot!
Peace and love, Mertsi

FRESH PSYCHEDELIA (100 picks of new interesting psych):
Loop, Mild High Club, Naxatras, Sei Still, Tess Parks, Hypnotic Floor, Ashinoa, Vibravoid, io audio recordings, Elephant Stone, Wovenhand, Pambikallio, Japanese Television, Crows, Rancho Relaxo, Al Lover.


PSYCHEDELIC TIME TRAVEL (old psych classics):
Link Wray, The Seeds.



COSMIC CREATIVE (for enhancing your focus):
Ashinoa, Pharaoh Overlord, dreamweapon.


LATE NIGHT RITUALS
(psychedelia for dim-light atmosphere):
Sky Cries Mary, OM, Pharaoh Overlod.



Psychedelic picks of 2021

Hi all,
this time we won’t list ”best” psychedelic albums or singles – instead, here’s a hand-picked collection of fine and interesting music recommendations without any grades or positions.
Hope you enjoy these mind-expanding beauties as we have done – and, let’s hope for a good and better year 2022.
//Mertsi & Leo

Great psychedelic music in 2021

Acid Dad – Take It From the Dead
There’s a feelgood factor to Acid Dad’s music. Their music videos are a shamelessly great burst of tongue-in-cheek psych clichés with your retro colors and over-the-top green screen effects, and their invigorating psychedelic rock sounds good and fresh.

Acid Rooster – Irrlichter
You simply can’t have too many bands named ”Acid [Something]”, can you? Irrlichter by the Leipzig trio Acid Rooster is an instrumental four-song psych platter full of cosmische delicacies.

Jane Weaver – Flock
It’s once again a groovy, stylish, energetic and glittery psychedelic pop album by the lovely Jane Weaver.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Butterfly 3000
What would my lists be without good old King Gizz? But seriously, they just keep finding new colors and new influences, to produce (quite literally) tons of exiting music. While I personally wasn’t the most fanatic fan of their K.G. (2020) and L.W (2021) duology, I found Butterfly 3000 very organic, adventurous and catchy. It’s filled with synth programming and MIDI sequences (just listen to 2.02 Killer Year and tell me those synths don’t give you goosebumps), differing from most of their previous work, and they have one again put effort and creativity in the album’s vinyl pressing and distribution.

Mt. Mountain – Centre
One more band that has featured in our lists more than once, the Australian group Mt. Mountain crafted yet another smoothly hypnotic, aesthetically powerful psychedelic album in Centre. I love Mt. Mountain’s style, listening to them is like lying on a velvet blanket under a tree and watching leaves dance in the sky.

Hilary Woods – Feral Hymns
Genre-wise, Feral Hymns by Hilary Woods probably slots more to an ambient/drone departement, but let’s not let dull genre limitations play any role here. Feral Hymns is a powerful album that builds an atmosphere of something dark and primal like nothing I’ve heard in a while. As the artist herself puts it: ”A collection of hymns set at dusk. Speckled memory, dust, earth, grit, ritual and chant – purged in the shadows.”

Mdou Moctar – Afrique Victime
If you’re into Tuaregi blues sounds like Tinariwen, you’ll surely enjoy this flowing, balanced and rich-in-sound new album by the Niger-based Mdou Moctar. It has a lovely beat to it and the Tuaregi instruments form a perfect alliance with psychedelic guitar sounds.


Naxatras – Journey to Narahmon
If you’re into space rock with trippy neo-psychedelic influences, Greece’s own Naxatras is worth checking out. Their new album ”IV” is out on February and the banger psych-prog-spacerock single Journey to Narahmon implies it’s going to be a powerful one.

OSees – Chem Farmer / Nite Expo (LEVITATION sessions)
I haven’t listened to that much of Oh Sees (or any of its aliases), but this piece from Levitation Live Sessions is just so packed with punk rock / psychedelic garage energy, so masterfully mixed that I can’t get enough of it. Those two drum sets, phew.

Bonus pick: Frekvenssi
Cross-country skiing under warm Spring sun with headphones playing well-hosted radio show about experimental music. What could be a better combination? Frekvenssi, launched in 2021 on Finnish National Broadcast Yle, explores ”experimental” in music from different genres. Frekvenssi also covers live music events, and one episode was dedicated to Le Guess Who? 2021 festival in the Netherlands. Listening to it raised a great deal of enthusiasm to be there and cycle back-and-forth different festival venues with endless amount of cool gigs.

Frekvenssi on Yle Areena (Hosted in Finnish, but playlist included in show description.)

Main picture: Mdou Moctar

KOLMAS KORVA playlists: Autumn updates

Many gems have been added to our diverse playlists FRESH PSYCHEDELIA, COSMIC CREATIVE, LATE NIGHT RITUALS, and PSYCHEDELIC TIME TRAVEL since the last update post from Spring. Hope you all enjoy them!
//Leo

FRESH PSYCHEDELIA: 10 000 Russos, Acid Rooster, The Cosmic Dead, Electric Eye, Giobia, The Gluts, Kami Mate, A Place To Bury Strangers, Smote, Shannon & The Clams, The Third Sound, Upupayāma, Vanishing Twin, Veik, Warm Graves & many more.

PSYCHEDELIC TIME TRAVEL: Arzachel, Jurriaan Andriessen, The Blues Project, Roger Bunn, Sam Gopal, Fleetwood Mac, Hunger, Leaf Hound.

COSMIC CREATIVE: Acid Rooster, Camedor, Nonn, Nova Express, Tecwaa, TRAAMS, Stiletti-Ana.

LATE NIGHT RITUALS: Acid Rooster, The Holy Family, Nova Express, Upupayāma.