© 2018 by Jeff Fitzgerald

October 3, 2019

Blue Lily Commission is the solo project of UK multi-instrumentalist Steve Palmer (who also headed up Mooch). And while the latter focused on psychedelia and space rock, this project combines electronic and ambient styles with world music (Palmer has an impressive array of some 90 or so exotic world instruments that he has learned to play). His latest effort, Shall We Go for a Walk? features one single 46-minute track which is actually a number of shorter related pieces connected by ambient sounds of birds, animals, rain and wind and the flowing water of a river.

Richly layered and evocative, all the parts have similar elements that connect them to the greater whole, seemingly mirroring the interconnectedness of na...

September 13, 2019

Stillness and Stars is the latest project from Canadian musician Erik Culp. In the past, Culp has been involved with the space rock band Mind of a Squid and the progressive duo Ambisonic, as well as releasing solo works under the name The Atomic Cosmonaut.

For this effort, Culp’s band consists of himself (guitar, synths, vocals), Scott Bucsis (bass) and Brandon Munro (drums) with added support from Ashton Swinnerton on violin and Alex Unger and Sandra Fox providing vocals. Stillness and Stars’ first album was largely an instrumental effort of symphonic progressive music as filtered through the lens of post rock experimentalism. Stillness and Stars 2 is an altogether different beast, a weird, kaleidoscopic album tha...

September 11, 2019

I first became familiar with the music of Italy’s Unimother 27 when their debut CD arrived in my mailbox back in late 2006. And while I say ‘they’, it is really mostly only one person, the multi-instrumentalist Piero Ranelli. On that first album, Ranalli explored musical territory that lay at the crossroads between psychedelic rock, Krautrock and experimental music. And through the years, over the course of now seven albums, he’s continued his explorations, often moving towards the more psychedelic rock-oriented corner of the musical triad, but always with a very adventurous streak. Ranalli has forged his own unique sound and now continues that with his latest album, Chrysalis.

Chrysalis reminded somewhat of that f...

August 23, 2019

Sherpa are a band from Italy who are not only versed in the wide range of styles that encompass psychedelic music but steeped in the traditions of mysticism, history and mythology as well. Tigris & Euphrates is their second release, following 2016’s excellent Tanzlinde.

Tanzlinde was comprised of largely shorter tracks, with complex textures and bright melodies. On Tigris & Euphrates, the band strips back their sound for a more minimalist, but nonetheless, equally compelling work with tones of light and darkness mingling with gentle noise balanced out by quieter moments. The band also stretches out a little more, with 4 of the 6 tracks over 7 minutes in length, allowing the pieces to evolve at a slower pace. It wor...

August 4, 2019

Just dropped today, a brand-new release from Sula Bassana…sort of! How It Began… (1983-1986) gives us a fascinating glimpse into the past, a time machine if you will, that takes us back to the very earliest days of Dave Schmidt’s musical explorations.

On these early recordings, he achieved a crude sort of multi-tracking with a tape deck and a cassette recorder, but he warns us before listening, that they were running in slightly different speeds, so there were issues with tuning, and of course, the ever present noise inherent to those tape recordings. But these don’t things detract at all from the undeniable charm of these pieces and the nascent creativity on display. Using organ, synths and drum machines with a fe...

August 3, 2019

It’s been a good time for fans of veteran Swedish psych rockers The Spacious Mind. Last year we got the excellent compilation The Drifter from Trail Records, and early this year we got the surprise release of a brand-new studio album The No. 4 Or 5 Gravy Band. Released in various vinyl editions and as a digital download from the Brazilian label Essence music, it’s a welcome return for a band whose last studio album came out five years ago.

The Spacious Mind always had this ability to take you on dazzling, cosmic voyages while at the same time keeping you grounded with a deep, organic vibe and The No. 4 Or 5 Gravy Band continues that tradition admirably. The whole album has a dry, dusty, rustling feel to it, as if t...

August 3, 2019

Son of Ohm is one of the projects from Dutch multi-instrumentalist Leonardo (another being Astral Son, whose album Wonderful Beyond was number one on last year’s Psychedelic Waves’ Top 30). Son of Ohm is primarily an electronic music project, exploring similar realms to Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, but also drawing on numerous other influences. Zeitgeist is the second of three releases from Son of Ohm so far this year and takes a somewhat different approach to the other albums. Here Son lets the guitar leap into the forefront, taking the music in a much more psychedelic direction but without sacrificing the aesthetics of the core Son of Ohm sound. He builds slow, powerful, pulsing sequences using the guitar...

April 9, 2019

The Ego Ritual came together, according to vocalist James Styring, when guitarist and old friend William James Ward appeared on Styring’s doorstep and said, “Let’s write some songs!” And so they did, and with Gaz Wilde joining them on drums, they recorded this, their splendid self-titled debut EP.

The EP consists of four songs of jangly, tripped out psychedelia, and one short outro piece. 60’s artists like Syd’s Pink Floyd and Tomorrow are certainly touchstones, but this is only where it begins, and what we have here is something more akin to latter day psych artists such as Robyn Hitchcock and Anton Barbeau (Styring’s vocals even remind me of Barbeau’s!), but The Ego Trip adds a certain punch not always apparent i...

February 21, 2019

I’ve had this song ‘Mr. Evil’ and its flipside ‘Egypt’ on my playlist all week. The brand-new single from Edmonton, Canada’s The Spanish Flies has this deliciously weird and almost paranoid vibe to it. But, intriguingly, the song is actually about escaping your own evil. Buoyed along by a slinky bass line and a mellow, but infectious groove, Mr. Evil is just the kind of song to warm up your chilly February and get you dancing. And be sure to check out the ‘flipside’ song ‘Egypt’, a languid and dreamy instrumental with a memorable melodic riff; the perfect complement to its A side song.

You can stream or download the single from The Spanish Flies' Bandcamp site at: https://thespanishflies.bandcamp.com/album/mr-...

Guitarist Tim Mungenast has been exploring psychedelic and avant-garde music in his own unique way for many years now. His unconventional guitar style is powerfully creative and he has delved into everything from eccentric song-based pop on his early albums to completely improvised psychedelic music both on his own and with his band Timworld to ambient and experimental jazz. In recent years Tim has become involved with the warped and crazy world of Astro Al, as both a guest player and a collaborator. This year marks the 20th anniversary of his debut album, Birth of Monsters. I had the recent pleasure of catching up with Tim via e-mail, and what follows is a very candid, funny and in-depth interview on hi...

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Jeff Fitzgerald

is a writer, musician and broadcaster. He formerly hosted the radio shows

Electronic Realizations on CKMS-FM and Prog World and  River Gibbs FM. He wrote for 15 years for the webzine Aural Innovations. He is also one half of the space prog duo The Star Diaries, one half of the electronic music duo Systems of Wonder, and is part of the Arcturus Strange collective.

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