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Review: Various Artists – Intergalactic Moonloonies Invade Mushroom Hill Vol. 1 (released June 1, 20

Full Disclosure: I was personally involved in this project, having contributed a track to Vol. 6. However, up until release, I had heard only a few of the tracks that appear on these compilations.

So, there we have it. Intergalactic Moonloonies Invade Mushroom Hill was a project organized by Dave Pearson of computerchemist as a benefit to raise money for the Aquarian Moons internet radio show, done by Paul Higgins, aka The Electric Gypsy. Paul has enthusiastically supported the psych/space/electronic music community for years, buying much of the music himself to play on his radio show. So, this project was designed as both a thank you from many of the musicians he has supported, and a benefit to help him to keep buying music so the radio show can continue. Originally, there was supposed to be just one volume, but so many artists wanted to contribute, that it quickly expanded to six volumes of roughly 70 minutes of music to each one.

Volume 1 kicks off with a track from Peter Lindahl of the band In the Labyrinth. Calling Mushroom Hill (Hallå hallå) is a rallying cry of rhythmic madness, spacey choirs and soaring psychedelic guitar that sets the tone nicely for what’s to come. Next up, UK group Band of Rain offer the 13-minute atmospheric track Shiva Said that shifts effortlessly from mysterious and haunting to mellow and relaxing and back again. Electronic Dutch artist Eagle (aka Arend Westra) checks in with The Night the Moon Fell, some laid back music built around liquid sequences reminiscent of 80’s Tangerine Dream but with a modern chill out vibe as well. And Dave Pearson as computerchemist gives us the wonderfully intense La Fungo Arpeggiato, an exhilarating ride with live drums, pulsing sequences and searing guitar work.

Things start to get weirder as Vol. 1 progresses, with Poets Lost in Space contributing a track called Nature Sounds, featuring deep space ambiance combined with a strange and chilling voiceover. Steve Palmer’s Blue Lily Commission offers up Kalimba Limber, an ethereal piece of deep and dreamy electronics along with the kalimba of the title (an instrument of African origin featuring plucked metal prongs on a flat wooden board). Churn Milk Joan stops by with a brief, but curious little number called Clamtrance Gatma Bron, with certainly some of the strangest vocals I’ve ever heard. And finally, we come to German band Schroedinger’s Cat and the epic 24-minute long Dreampath, a languid, hallucinatory trip of lysergic space rock featuring both traditional rock instruments along with synths and sitar.

This is a great start to the collection and leaves one excited for what’s to come. Four of the volumes have already been released with the final two coming in September and October. I’ll be reviewing all of them here so stay tuned!

The Aquarian Moons Radio Show can be heard here:

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