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ST37- Over And Over And Over Again (2021 Pariah Child Records)

Ten people in a band, ten people tripping balls, ten people tripping balls in a band, through your speakers, from all angles, in technicolor stereo sound.

Holy cow.

How?! How have I been ignoring these TEN (or six? sometimes five…) people that have been jamming for over THIRTY years already in this outrageous all out psychedelic freakshow style is beyond me. I am embarrassed to admit it, really. Especially since this is music that SCREAMS to be heard.

Over And Over Again was recorded live during this pandemic on one of the very scarce moments that the band was allowed out, and they fully grasped that opportunity to dive balls deep into freaking space and far, far beyond. I think it is good that they recorded it because the people in the audience are probably still tripping on the after-tremors as we speak and unable to utter anything else than blissful gibberish….

WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE?! I hear you cry, well, it obviously sounds a bit “live” and raw, but through all the murk and feedback we hear a throbbing beast of a band channeling their inner Butthole Surfers through Hawkwind amplifiers while The Cosmic Dead look down from their astral planes and oversee that it is good. Frantic vocals, frantic feedback, frantic antics, all is very loud and very, very tripped out psycho-delic.

Also it tastes like more, which their is in abundance, both in hindsight (hello 30 year career!) and in the future, as their new full length Ballardesque is ready and waiting to be released some day soon too. It’s almost too much. And that of course, is also highly fitting for ST37.

Interview with Scott Heller (Øresund Space Collective, Doctors Of Space, Black Moon Circle, Spacerock Productions, and many more)

Scott Heller

After having had a wonderful chat with Dave Schmidt aka Sula Bassana, I felt there might be more iconic people in the psychedelic scene that would be willing to chat to Weirdo Shrine. Lo and behold; I got into contact with Scott Heller, who was more than willing to open up about his life, and most of all about his musical accomplishments over the years. It has been quite a trip! From becoming a successful scientist at Harvard to orbiting around the planets with his many space rock outfits, when Dr Space starts something he makes sure it is worth his while. So buckle up, it’s going to be a long journey into psychedelic space…

Hi Scott, how have you been the past Corona period? What has the effect been on you and your art?

It has been quite good in many ways but I miss the social contact a lot. Not getting to see my daughter, my friends, my band mates, etc..  I have an amazing place where I live so I can focus on working on our lands (lots of trees, garden, grass to manage), take more walks with my dogs, spend more time with my lovely wife, Sue. 

Artistically, it has been only great. I painted 110 album covers for the first Øresund Space Collective bandcamp subscriber vinyls, got a new synth and a mellotron micro and Doctors of Space, we have really grown musically, as we were able to play and jam once a month most of the time. I have also recorded a lot of solo material and used this on new volumes of Dr Space’s Alien Planet Trip and new collaborations as well. 

On stage with Øresund Space Collective

Can you tell me bit of your history as a person? Where do you come from, what is your professional background, etc, as much as you like to share to our readers 🙂

I was born in southern California and spent most of my youth in Valencia. I was an avid skateboarder and also tennis player and really into rock music. I played guitar for 2 years but then tennis took over my life.  In 1979, we moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico and I would finish out high school there and go to college in the south of NM, Las Cruces from 1981-1988. During that time I completed my bachelors degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and Psychology.  In 1984 I managed a local Albuquerque band with my friend Rob Romero called Max Trixxie. That was my first intro into the music business. The band only lasted 6 months though. Also in 1984 I started a metal fanzine called Metal Madness with Rob as well. This lasted until 1988. In December 1987 I got my masters degree in Biology (Animal Physiology). In 1988, I got married and I moved to California to start my PhD at UC Berkeley, I would spend the next 5.5 years learning, teaching, and obtaining my degree in Endocrinology (the study of hormones).  I also saw a lot of concerts as it was easy to win tickets on the college radio.  I met a lot of very interesting people as well all into music.  After I got my PhD, I was looking to work in Europe but by luck, I met the leading researcher in my field of study at a conference and asked him if he had room in his lab and wrote him and he offered me a position so I was off to Harvard (Boston, MA) for the next 3.5 years of my life. After that I was recruited for a job at the Hagedorn Research Institute in Gentofte, Denmark, where I worked for 14 years before they dissolved the institute and half the scientists left for the University and the other half entered Novo Nordisk. I worked for Novo for 4 more years and then retired from science to move to Portugal and focus on music.  

When did you start being a musician? Can you tell me a little about your developments as an artist from the early days until now?

After stopping playing guitar (my biggest regret in my life!), I did not play music again until 1999, when I used to go to most of the Danish band, Mantric Muse´s rehearsals. Their band leader, Magnus, we were already good friends and hung out and listened to a lot of music through our mutual love of Ozric Tentacles!  He played the guitar and synthesizers in this band so one day he said I should play the OSCar while the band jammed and I started to do that and learn a bit about synthesizers and after a few months decided i need to buy one.  My first synthesizer was the Nord Lead 2. It was way to sophisticated for me but I could straight away make a lot of cool sounds with the presets so I went for that. Mantric Muse´s music was far too complex for me to every be the synth player (not even today!) but we had a lot of fun and this got me into it.  Not long after that I was hanging out and managing the guys in Gas Giant and that was the first band that I really played with adding some spacey wind and bubbles and strange sounds on some of the songs to give it a more psychedelic space rock feel.  That lasted until from 2001 to 2004. After I stopped playing with them, I stared organizing the jam sessions with Mantric Muse (DK) and Bland Bladen (Malmo, SE) members and this lead to the formation of the Øresund Space Collective

Live in Norway

Do you have a philosophy for creating good music? When are you happy with the result? What are the ground rules for making it a success in your view?

My main philosophy for my solo music is to just go for it and try to create something I have never done before and if I listen to it and like it then cool.. Connect up the synths in a different way, use different presets and tweak them and see what works and does not work. Maybe add some strange effects… I want the track to affect you emotionally in some way, be it good or bad, but at least make you take notice.  This is not always successful of course. If not then it just stays in the archive to be revisited later, perhaps or not. If I am having fun, then that is really the most important part. I don’t want it to feel like work…  As far as creating good music in the band setting (ØSC, Black Moon Circle), I just want to feel like I contributing, paying attention, being active in the process and try my best to listen and give the best performance that I can on that day.  I am always very active in the parts after things are recorded, giving feedback on mixes, etc.. 

Can you tell me about a couple of highlights from your career so far?

In my personal life, obtaining my PhD, which was really hard work and getting to work with amazing scientists over the 30 years of my science career, training the Phd and Masters students and publishing papers in good journals that had an impact on the field. This was great.. I am very proud of being able to accomplish this..

As far as music, well, playing the High Times Cannabis Cup with Gas Giant in 2002 was just a surreal and incredible experience… We had so many incredible concert experience. The concert in Leipzig was one of the best we ever played and something I will never forget the way the entire audience and band were just so into and the roar from those 50 people was mind blowing.  I had never felt anything like that in my life..  Gas Giant crowds (outside Denmark) were always so intensely into the spaced out jams we had.  It was an incredible band to play with. Stefan was a mind blowing guitar player (still is!) and never played the same thing any night and he had the awesome backline of Thomas and Tommy.. Jesper was also an incredible front man and what a voice until he would lose it after a few gigs…  The Gas Giant- Colour Haze 5 show tour in Oct 2002 was also totally amazing as we each traded who played first each night and we would change our set every night and this was getting Colour Haze to do the same so they played almost all their songs from the 2-4th records on this tour and Stefan (CH) would jam on an encore or lots of fun stuff.. Great times and cool shows…

When ØSC headlined the Freak Stage at Burg Herzberg Festival, I had never played for so many people. It was people as far as I could see in the dark.. I guess 1000 or more.  We played 3.5 hrs!! Just an awesome experience.   This year when ØSC played the Fuzz Fest in Esbjerg, Denmark, it was our first concert in 1.5 years and it was also incredible to get up on a big stage again and play for people. The lights were so cool and the vibe and even though it was only 100 people sitting down (due to Covid regulations), we played intensely and people loved it.. We have a great video of this show with multitrack audio as well…  There are many more of course.  Recently, we played in this huge church in Oslo and that was unlike any place I had ever played and the audience was so in to it. A really great experience.. 

Black Moon Circle

What is your idea of the psych/stoner scene? How has it developed over time in your view?

I was lucky to be playing with Gas Giant in the mid period of this scene when there were so many cool bands playing and developing and due to Ralph Rjeily (RIP), he managed On Trial and did sound and worked in the studio with Gas Giant, but on the side he worked as a concert promoter. He was bringing a lot of the cool bands to Copenhagen (Nebula, Spirit Caravan, 7zuma7, WE, Motorpsycho, etc..)  I was also writing reviews for Aural Innovations (US), Lowcut (DK), Bad Acid (UK), etc.. so I got a lot of stoner psych stuff to review and knew almost all the bands on the scene.  It was great times for sure. 

In Copenhagen, we had an amazing underground club called Dragens Hule (Dragons Cave) that put on a lot of the psych and stoner bands as well and this was a very intimate place on the outskirts of Copenhagen out past Christiania.  We saw and played many great shows there.  The first 2 times Graveyard played in Denmark were there, Brutus, Orange Sunshine, Asteroid, Siena Root (their first 3 shows in DK), Hidria Spacefolk, La Ira de Dios, Bland Bladen, Seid, Black Moon Circle, many many bands..

As for the scene today, I think it is still pretty active with a lot of cool festivals but I think musically it is very challenging for any of these bands to create music that grabbed you the same way as 20 years ago. It is not easy today to do something new. It has all been done. I have to say I was really blown away by the Lowrider album though, after 20 years they came back and still had that core sound in some way but made an incredible album, even better than their debut!! 

What are your influences? Which artists inspired you to explore the psychedelic realm?

My influences are extremely broad as I like a lot of different kinds of music, just not pop music.  For synthesizers, my greatest influence and inspiration is my old friend Doug Walker (RIP). He had an amazing group of inspired people around him and made a lot of music under the name Alien Planetscapes. Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, and Black Sabbath are my fave bands from the 70s.  Tangerine Dream of course since I got into synthesizers and Klaus Schulze.  Very adventurous people and players…  I love 70s Miles Davis, Fela Kuti, Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule, Widespread Panic… 

Psychedelic inspiration just comes from being in touch with the music scene as I am an avid collector and have been reviewing music in this scene for the last 25 years. I am also friends with a lot of people from the scene through my connections with my bands and reviewing music as well.. All these people inspire me to want to keep exploring music and sounds that can alter your consciousness in some way… 

Doctors Of Space at Roadburn Redux

Which contemporary artists do you feel related to these days and why?

Sula Bassana (Dave Schmidt).. We have known   each other since the late 90s and always got on very well and it is hard not to have immense admiration for Dave.  Wow..   He is way more talented than me but we have a lot of similar parallels, with having a record label, doing solo music as well as playing in lots of groups and also bands that do a lot of improvisation.  His band Zone Six was the first band doing totally improvised music on the scene.  I dig Craig Williamson¨s stuff from New Zealand with his groups, Datura, Arc of Ascent, and Lamp of the Universe. I would love to meet him one day…  Jonathan Segel, is also some one I am in awe of and feel so lucky and honoured to have played a lot of concerts and recorded many albums with him. A super talent in the world and he has created tons of great and interesting music.  Uffe or Lorenzo or Guf (as his close friends in Denmark call him) from On Trial, Baby Woodrose, Dragontears, Spids Nøgenhat, Lydsyn, etc… is amazing and inspiring and such a nice person. I used to hang out with the On Trial guys and go and record all the shows, visit them in the studio, and they were always so cool and nice to me. I have a huge respect for Guf and the guys.  All these guys inspire you to just follow your artists heart and make the music you are passionate about. I could mention others as well. Dave W and Ego from White Hills are also very inspiring to me. They are following their musical heart and not doing what people want. They built up a huge following in Europe doing 2 big tours every year playing heavy psych space rock but they are doing something completely different now. They have really evolved. I know they have lost some of that core audience but artistically they are progressing and a lot of artists are not.  I respect that. It has been such an honour for me that they allowed me to jam with them 3x. I hope we will make some music again one day at my studio that I am building. 

You are super prolific, with many bands and many albums 🙂 Can you tell me your secret?

I don’t think there is any real secret really beyond making the right connections and a lot of hard work. I am always busy doing stuff. I can’t just sit around. My whole family are like this. Also, I just try to be a nice person, treat everyone kindly, be there for you if you need me, and I think this makes it easy for people to approach me for collaborations, mixing, mastering. Also, if there are bands I really like and want to work with, I am not afraid of being rejected and just ask. Maybe they want to make music with me or not.  Life is too short and I am on the downhill side now, so every  day is one step closer to not being on this planet anymore as you approach your 60s…

Do you consider yourself more European or American? Which continent do you prefer and why?

There are only two things in life you can´t change and that is who your parents are and where you were born. These are out of your control. I can´t shed my American roots but I also have strong roots to Europe. Two of my grandparents were not even born in the USA (one Spanish, the other Hungarian).  I for sure prefer Europe. I left the USA 24 years ago and I don´t regret it at all. I feel much more comfortable over here. I don´t understand the culture and the politics is just awful in the USA. The people have no say at all.  Very sad..

Can you tell me about your endeavors with your record label? When did you start and how has it been so far?

The first record label I was involved with was Burnt Hippie Recordings, which was started in 1999 with Henrik (On Trial), Lars Lundholm (Black Tornado Studio owner), Ralph Rjeily and myself. We each put 5000kr in. We only made 7 records as we ran into some financial issues as Ralph thought we could get away without registered some of the records with NCB and it all came back to bankrupt us!  You can check Discogs but we released Dark Sun (Finland), Gas Giant, WE, On Trial, Korai Orom and a compilation CD. 

My next and still current record label is Space Rock Productions. This was founded and created by Nicklas HIll (The Univerzals, ØSC).  He had released the first Univerzals CD on this label he had created and I asked if I could be a part of it and we could release ØSC stuff through this label as well and he agreed so I poured like 20,000kr in so we could release Dead man in Space, Live at Roadburn, etc… but it turned out that Nick was a terrible business man and the accountant who we were working with said that Nicks part of the company was not making and only losing money and he would recommend we split the company and Nick had to go.  Anyway, I ran it on my own for a while but then Sabine (my business partner in Hamburg) bought into half the company and now we do everything together and this has been very successful as have had nearly 80 releases in the 11 years since the first one in 2010. It has mainly been ØSC but also other bands primarily from Scandinavia (On Trial, Gas Giant, Deep Space Destructors, Dark Sun, Tangle Edge, Organik, Mantric Muse, Black Moon Circle, Tuliteria, 3rd Ear Experience, Sista Maj, etc… ).. 

What can you tell me about your experiences producing? What are the highlights?

Well, I have not really done any real producing yet!!!  It is my dream and now that I will have my own studio, it will be possible. I quess you could say I have acted like a producer to pull together all the musicians for the ØSC studio sessions, suggested styles of music we should try to play and been involved in creating the actual albums from all the sessions and mixing some of them as well.  The highlights would be getting another album completed and seeing the fans really enjoying it. 

Tell me more about the studio you are building!

In Copenhagen I had my own mixing studio in my apartment but it was very small. I have been on some music studio forums for some years (John Sayer, Soundman 2020- Studio Design Forum) and reading books like Ron Garvals- Home Recording Studio, Everest and Pohlmann- Handbook of Acoustics and now Recording Studio Design by Philip Newell, so I have been really into it on a theoretical level and decided I would like to have my own studio. It is a bit late in life to start this but I really needed to do this so when my wife and began looking for houses in Portugal, we needed to have a private place where we could build a studio. It took us 4 years to find the right house and location where we could get permission to convert or build a studio.  It has been a crazy and frustrating adventure to finally have the building next to our house.  Too long to describe here but lets just say we will have a world class 3 room studio finished in 3 months (March 2021).  Built by world class studio builder Joules Newell (his father worked with Gong, Hawkwind, Mike Oldfield, Steve Hillage, and many many more people) and wrote that book above and built studios in the UK.  Joules knows what he is doing. Anyway the studio will be a control room built specifically to provide the ideal acoustic environment for mixing (also 5.1 audio) and mastering. As much money as making the building itself is going into making the control room, so you have a room as good as Abbey Road or other high end studios. The live room is about 35m2 with a high ceiling and amazing acoustics.  We have a great view into the river valley and a very peaceful place (no sound of cars, neighbours or other noise pollution). It will be an inspiring place for people to record and get creative. I am looking so much forward to inviting bands down and recording, mixing and mastering services will also be offered. I hope once I learn how to do 5.1 surround sound mixing (like the master Steven Wilson!!), we can offer this service as I can image a lot of bands in the psych space rock scene might like to have a 5.1 dvd audio release. IT is the perfect media for psych as you can really make it psychedelic and immersive.. We will see.. 

What are your future plans? What can we expect from Dr Space and his bands/label?

Less touring and live gigs and more studio work. A lot of releases and collaborations are planned for 2022 though including these:

2022 ØSC- Sleeping with the Sunworm 2LP (Space Rock Productions SRP072)

2022 ØSC- Zion is Flying LP (OSCLS-009) bandcamp subscribers 100 copies)

2022 Dr Space’s Alien Planet Trip Vol 6- Space with Bass II (OSC2022-LS011)

2022 Cosmic Cassiopeia- Music for Late Night Listeners (Self Released)

2022 Albinö Rhino- Return to the Core (Space Rock Productions SRP076))
2022 ØSC- Oily Echo of the Soul 2LP/CD (SRP075CD)

2022 The Dark Side of the Cult- A Tribute to BOC 2CD (Black Widow)- Doctors of Space

2022 Dr Space- Muzik to loze yr Mynd Inn (SRP074)

2022 Perhaps-????- recorded some stuff for these guys
2022 Black Moon Circle- Snake Oil Voodoo Launch (???)

2022 ØSC- Live at Roadburn 2010 CD/DVD (Space Rock Productions)

2022 Doctors of Space-Mind Surgery 2LP (Guressen) 

2022 ØSC-Picks from Space Vol 1-12 Box Set (SRP0XX)

2022 ØSC- Dresden 2019 CD (OSC2021-LS007)

Who knows what else. The material for another Dr Space solo album has been completed and Doctors of Space, we have some great material from the last few jam sessions that I would like to make another release of as well.  And ØSC, West Space and Love will for sure be recording in the studio this year..  Thanks for letting me chat…

Ivan The Tolerable- The Long Year (2021 Stolen Body Records)

What defines good music? When exactly is it good? Can there even be a completely objective answer? To me music is good when I hear it, like it, and feel like it has been there all my life. It has not been tampered with by humans, in stead it has been conjured out of star dust and made listenable to our human ears. But had already been there long before we heard it. I feel this way about The Long Year by Ivan The Tolerable And His Elastic Band.

Strangely enough I don’t feel the need to pigeonhole this sound they are playing. I wouldn’t very well be able if I wanted to, but I don’t, so that’s fine. I do want to talk about this poet they talked into reciting her amazing and mindbogglingly profound poetry onto their tunes and make this record so, so, so good.

Her name is Karen Schoemer, and she is a miracle of language. Her spoken word poems hit me so hard, I wish she had it written down somewhere so I could post it here, I’d buy her poetry bundles! But alas. I love her “sunset” analogy in Indigo Blue the most. It is a story about the sunset being a drunk, sad middle aged man stumbling through his life partying, neglecting his wife, and being obnoxious. I am probably describing it wrong, the best thing you can do is just clicking on that Bandcamp link I posted underneath the artwork and listen for yourself.

It is art. And it is music. It is good art music, or music art. I bet people will categorize it and put into a box, but that is irrelevant to me. What matter is that it is here, and that it is gloriously good to me.

I hope it’ll find your heart and ears too.

Ivan The Tolerable

Short but sweet review Megapost: Weedpecker, Eldovar, Kosmodome, Octopus Ride, Orsak Oslo, Daily Thompson, Electric Moon and Talea Jacta, Vespero, Lubianka, Temple Fang

Weirdo Shrine’s updated Spotify playlist

This year has been insane on so many levels it’s not even funny anymore. One of the few lights in the darkness however has been the steady flow of good music coming at us from all those musicians trapped in lockdown with little better to do than jam and record new tunes. It’s been such a tsunami of cool releases that being just a loner doing a blog, while also trying to be in a band, holding on to a job and being a husband and father it became absolutely impossible to write about everything I liked that was thrown at me through my blog inbox, or that even about those artists I actively looked up and intended to write about. So here’s an article trying to make up for that lack of time and giving these artists some credit where it is due. Don’t forget them in your yearlists!

Weedpecker- IV: The Stream Of Forgotten Thought (2021, Stickman Records)

The new Weedpecker album is one of the most highly anticipated pieces of music to come out this year in the Weirdo Shrine headquarters. I have to say though; album opener No Heartbeat Collective caught me off guard! It starts of thundering out of my speakers reminding more off Mastodon than Pink Floyd. Fortunately for the love of all that’s proggy, spacey, and mellow the rest of the album leans much more in that direction. A huge role is laid out for mellotron melodies and romantic reverb drenched guitars. It is an album to get lost in and I am in no way done with it yet nor is it with me.

Get it at

Eldovar- A Story Of Darkness & Light (2021 Robotor Records)

Elder (USA/Germany) and Kadavar (Germany) meeting each other, jamming, and recording a bunch of songs together, do you need any more information? Of course not, you go and buy that shit, it’s awesome by default. With a sound that dives deep into both bands’ softer, proggier side there is space to explore for Pink Floyd fans to Elder’s The Gold & Silver Sessions and Kadavar’s own Isolation Tapes.

Get it at:

Kosmodome- Kosmodome (2021, Karisma Records)

Kosmodome from Norway brings some more of that scrumptious Norwegian vintage prog rock to the table for fans of Spidergawd and Motorpsycho. The music is very guitar oriented, catchy, yet intricate enough to keep the alternative music listener tied to the edge of their seat. Before you’ll know it you are humming these riffs while driving your car through wavy green forests…

Get it at:

Octopus Ride- II (2021, Sound Effect Records)

Octopus Ride from Sweden released their second record in November. Their sound distinguishes itself from many other bands by being hypnotic and repetitive in a krautrock way on the one hand, and dark and danceable in a post punk way on the other. This is trip music for non-hippies. After the brilliant Den Der Hale, this is the second impressive release by Greek label Sound Effect Records. Better take notice!

Get it at:

Orsak:Oslo- Skimmer/Vermod (2021, Kapitan Platte records)

Orsak:Oslo is a Norwegian/Swedish combo playing some amazing dark instrumental psychedelic post rock. On this new album they have combined two of their latest EPs Skimmer and Vemod. Skimmer shows the more jamm-y improv side of the band, while Vemod was recorded during the lockdown with the members living in different countries. The result is surprising and reassuring: no matter the crisis, good music and creativity will prevail.

Get it at:

Daily Thompson- God Of Spinoza (2021, Noisolution Records)

Heads up people, because my buddies in Daily Thompson have a new record out! The Dortmund three piece have been crafting their stoner-y grunge for a while now, and on God Of Spinoza they sound better than ever before. With a sound that is firmly rooted in 90s guitar driven flanel shirted heavy rock, the band dares to expand their horizon and wander into space territories as well as more melodic waters (Cantaloupe Melon for instance has a really cool oldschool Smashing Pumpkins vibe). Though I do feel bassist Mercedes should sing more parts (her voice always completely opens up the songs to different moods), God Of Spinoza shows a Daily Thompson that feels very comfortable in their own skin and knows exactly what they want. Check out this hard working band live if you can, because they always deliver.

Get it at:

Electric Moon meets Talea Jacta-Sabotar (2021, Sulatron Records)

Somewhere in 2019 Electric Moon found themselves joined on stage by Portugese improvisational space duo Talea Jacta (with 10.000 Russos member) at the Sabotage Club in Lisbon. The result is a very cool and varied jam session ranging from atmospheric dark soundscapes to heavy kraut rock fire. It is Electric Moon and then some.

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Vespero-Songo (2021, Tonzonen Records)

Vespero from Russia have returned to Tonzonen Records with their -if I’m correct- fourth full length album of meditative dream music. Songo is so tranquil and serene it borders new age music, and its folk-inspired chants wouldn’t have been out of place on the Vikings soundtrack. The heavy use of oscillation, reverb and electric guitars does bring it back to the realm of space and krautrock though, as if the band travels through ancient history in a futuristic time machine. A unique and recommendable experience!

Get it at:

Lubianka- Radio India (2021, Tonzonen Records)

Enigmatic psychedelic rockers Lubianka from Barcelona present themselves as a cinematic orchestra on Radio India, with each track representing different landscapes and emotions, in which the repetitive delay-driven guitar parts are backed by female chanting or spoken word. At times there are magnanimous eruptions of saxophone lead free jazzism, or stretched out hazy keyboard parts. It is mood music. And it is a record I haven’t fully wrapped my head around yet, which takes time, space, and the right vibes. Just like most good things in life I guess.

Get it at:

Temple Fang- Fang Temple (2021, Right On Mountain records)

Amsterdam psychedelic jam rockers Temple Fang live and breathe DIY. This record and the previous one (Live At Merleyn) are self-produced live recordings of the band jamming and give a perfect slice of the band’s reality at this time. They have the stubborness and experience to prefer playing live and letting the songs develop as they appear. I have a deep respect for this approach to letting your music happen to you, especially when it turns out so goddamn well. If they would have told me Fang Temple was recorded during an orchestrated studio session I would have believed it as well! It is fitting in these uncertain times that they release it too, because they would have rather just played live. In stead we now have this album on wax, which once again is a ray of light in the overwhelming darkness. I guess we should just hold on to that, and the thought that at this moment they are actually working on a proper studio album as well…!

Get it at:

Interview: Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt (Sulatron Records, Electric Moon, Zone Six, and many more…)

Dave Schmidt

Where to begin introducing Dave Schmidt aka Sula Bassana? The German musician has been a household name in the psychedelic music scene for ages it seems, playing festivals and releasing records with his (ex-) bands Liquid Visions, Electric Moon, Zone Six, and many more. Not to mention running his own label, and releasing important albums by bands like Giobia, Saturnia, and Sun Dial. There is a ton of experience and interesting stories to explore here, so let’s dig in, because Dave is willing to share!

Can you tell me how you have managed as a musician and a label owner during the corona crisis so far? In what way(s) has it affected your ways?

For me as a single person in a single house in the countryside it made no big difference in life. Only the sales got really low because everyone was in fear and stopped buying unnecessary stuff. But after a while it slowly got a bit better. And I’m happy I received some help (money) from the government one time, which helped me to survive.
Also I am burnt out and need some rest and much less gigs. So it came at the right time for me. And I moved into a new house (new, hahahaha, 200 years old and a total mess) where I had (and still have) to renovate a lot. And we played a few gigs anyway, which was nice.

Can you tell me a little bit of where and how you live and how you usually go about your day?

I live in a small farmers village near the beautiful Kellerwald (wood area) in northern part of Hesse (a county in the middle of Germany). I work around 6-12 hours a day for the label/shop/promo… and sometimes (very seldom at the moment) I make some music or do long walks in the woods.

Sula at work

You have been around in the psych/stoner/kraut scene in Europe for quite some time, what is or was the best time for this scene would you think and why? Can you share some memories?

Uh, in 35 years on stage there are a lot of stories. Don’t know which ones to pick out. I always had some great times and some bad ones. The best time for this scene is always, hahahaha. It always was a small scene (I mean the psychedelic/acid/kraut scene, not the stoner/doom/metal scene, this one is MUCH bigger!) with just a few bands and possibilities. I started in the 80s with electronic music and we had some nice highlights as playing in 2 Berlin Planetariums (at Insulaner and Zeiss Großplanetarium), making small cassette tape issues as our releases, and contributed some tracks to CD samplers and a vinyl sampler (in 1987). Later, in the 90s, with Liquid Visions we played some sixties style psychedelic with some pretty spaced out psych rock jams, with full liquid light shows and blacklight performance. Maybe it was 20 years too late or too early, not many people might remember this band, but we released 5 vinyl albums and played around 10 years! Mostly in Berlin, but also in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Czech Republic and Switzerland. So, there were plenty of funny stories.

In 1997 I founded the free form impro spacekraut band Zone Six, which is still active and will have its 25th anniversary next year. 2 vinyl-albums to celebrate it are already in the pressing plant. We jammed with some guests over the years: Nik Turner, Huw Lloyd Langton (both Hawkwind), and Ax Genrich (early Guru Guru)!
Later (in 1998) I was drummer in Growing Seeds, a band who travelled to Portugal in several camping vehicles to record an album. That was a fantastic and strange trip, with recording sessions at spectacular places. Best was a (I guess) 100 meters high cliff, were the shore was loudly breaking below and we were jamming on top of the rocks. Sadly we never released these recordings, except just a 7“ ep.
I also have played some gigs in a acid rock trio with Ax Genrich and Mani Neumeier (Guru Guru) and had some more projects.

Growing Seeds

When I moved to Austria for a few years I played in a indie rock band called Alice Dog and founded Interkosmos with Pablo Carneval (later Zone Six and Electric Moon) and Sergio Ceballos (Mohama Saz, ex Rip KC, Melange) for some serious spaced out music. We played gigs in Austria and Spain and made one album. After 2 years we split because Sergio went back to Spain and I moved back to Germany. But we are back after a 12 years hiatus, had 2 gigs this year and started new recordings!

In 2009 we founded Electric Moon with Pablo and Komet Lulu. Our first gig was at the legendary Duna Jam in Italy and we released a huge amount of albums. This is the most known band I’m a member of I would say. We played (almost) all over Europe and had a fantastic residency week and festival in Tunisia in 2019!
We also did some albums with a project that lived only for 3 days or so, called Krautzone. This is real krautrock!
Sorry for telling my history in very short words here. Just to show you it is hard to pick out some special moments. There are so many… 🙂

Electric Moon and Talea Jacta

About Electric Moon: can you tell me a bit more about how you got to know Lulu and Pablo and how you managed to stay creative and prolific for such a long time? And are you only in a band together or are you also friends outside of music would you say?

When I moved to Austria in 2006 I met Pablo (Bernhard Fasching) at concerts of his band The Blowing Lewinsky and we became friends. Actually he is one of my closest friends! He started playing drums in Interkosmos and later I met Lulu and she moved into the cold house in the woods where I lived and we became a couple for several years. When Lulu wanted to start a band we did some recordings as a duo (I played the drums in the very first recordings and overdubbed Guitar and Organ then. You find the tracks on Lunatics & Lunatics Revenge). But this way was a bit frustrating so we invited Pablo to join us and the first recording became Moon Love. So it worked very well from the beginning. When Lulu and I moved back to Germany Pablo left and we had some years of changing drummers, but in 2017 he joined us again and is still the drummer. Last year we invited Joe Muff to play Guitar in Electric Moon, so we have been 4 members since a while.

Growing Seeds

Could you elaborate a bit more about Growing Seeds? It sounds like a really awesome and important event in your musical journey! Also the pictures are great; real Pink Floyd-y :))) Can you tell me what influence those jams had on your later career?

Oh, that was a story… We played some gigs together with my band Liquid Visions, and also with Zone Six, around 1997/98 and all 3 bands were booked for the Burg Herzberg Festival in 1998. So a few days before the festival I went down to Bayreuth (where they lived) to have some nice days with them (we instantly became good friends when we met at the first concert with our bands). First evening we jammed a bit and I played the drums. Next day we found a note from the Growing Seeds drummer, that he moved to Nürnberg and left the band. Bang! 3 days before a nice festival gig! So they looked at me and asked if I could replace him. I never played drums in a band and didn’t know all their live tracks, so we rehearsed hard for 3 days and already made a new song in those days too and then played the concert. It was big fun and so I became their drummer. I hitchhiked from Berlin to the gigs we had, only equipped with my pair of sticks (really only one pair! Hahahaha). That was so much fun that I decided to move to Bayreuth in late summer 1998. I quickly bought a 1968 Trixon Drumset and some hardware in Berlin and then moved to Bayreuth. Suddenly the idea was born to go to Portugal to record an album somewhere in nature. We borrowed some camping mobiles, stored our equipment in the vehicles and went down south in October 1998. It was a super intense trip with tons of stories. Enough for a nice little book. We recorded 12 tapes on my kassette 8-track in several spots in Portugal, but never released these monumental jams. Only a 3 track 7“ EP that runs on 33 on one side and on 45 on the other side (incl. 2 tracks from the coast) was released (Pleitegeier Records). In early 1999 we split up due to private reasons and I moved back to Berlin. The first pair of sticks was still in use! 😀

Growing Seeds, playing in a meadow in Portugal

I’m still in touch with these people. Andi and I did another Weltraumstaunen album some later. Silke (Ellipopelli) and I started Südstern 44 together when she moved to Berlin, but after a CD and CD-R I left Berlin. In 2006 we did the Sula Bassana and the Nasoni Pop Art Experimental Band Vol. 1 album for Nasoni Records, which will be re-issued in 2022.
The Keyboarder Vuzz T. (Sebastian Züger), plus Hale Prob (Holger Probst), a friend of him, and me started the Space Shuttle Pilots project with several recordings, one concert but no official release, except a cool video which is hard to find on youtube.
Growing Seeds and all the experiences with these people made of course a deep impact into my soul. Silke and Vuzz T. are still very close friends of mine.

Can you tell me what it has been like starting up and maintaining your own music label? Would you recommend it to anyone? Why or why not?

After a long time without a proper job it was the only way to survive for me. I worked hard to get into the business and still do. But I’m so happy I did it. For me it was the right way after being a musician for more than 20 years. I started in a time when not many labels in the psychedelic rock direction were active, which is completely different to today. Which makes it even harder to survive. So, I can not really recommend it. It brings not much money and is tons of work. But I run my label for over 15 years now and have a strong base in the meantime. And I release and promote my own music too, which makes it easier for me to do nothing else than this job. 

Are there stories to tell about certain artists on your label and how you met them? Saturnia or Giobia for instance? How did you get to know them? And how do you rather get to know new artists? I bet you get a lot of demo admissions…

In most cases I prefer to release music of people I know personally.
Sometimes music I found somewhere and went in touch with the band then. But this is mostly only for an album, not many real friendships happen this way.
Or just asking bands even though I think they will never reply, like Sun Dial. But they did and now we are friends and I can release a lot of their wonderful music.
Giobia just sent me a demo which I liked. So I asked for more and got the chance to take my favourite tracks for the first release I did with them. After the second release things got weird, so we ended our relationship.
Saturnia is a band/project I have really liked for almost two decades. I sold a lot of Luis’ stuff via my shop, which was released so far by Elektrohasch. Elektrohasch is one of the few labels I work directly with. But Stefan stopped releasing non-Colour Haze-acts, so he was interested in handing Saturnia over to Sulatron, which was a fast decision for me to make! I really love this album I released!

Luis Simoes of Saturnia

Which or what influences have made you into the musician you are today? Can you recall the moment you knew you just had to “go for it”?

Oh, there were several. It all started in the 70s when I fell in love with synthesizer sounds. So for me it was clear that I will do electronic music when I get the opportunity. So with the years some gear was collected and I started playing concerts in several electronic duos, trios and solo. But when I saw Hawkwind playing for the first time (early 90s) I was so fascinated by Alan Davey’s sound that I decided to quit electronic music and start playing bass. And since then I love to play every instrument I get between my fingers. 🙂

Dave’s first band Liquid Visions

What do you think about the European “scene” today, is there one? Do you feel there is a lot of support for our music these days? Was it better before, and how?

As I told already there is no real scene for my kind of music. Only a few bands get the chance to play at bigger festivals or tour more than a weekend. Except Electric Moon, which has some doomy moments which makes it more popular, and we play a lot of festis. And I’m thankful there are some really open minded festivals around, such as Yellowstock (Belgium), Roadburn (Netherlands) or Kozfest (UK), where you can see really far out  bands from all countries. But most of the nice small and cozy festivals are not existing anymore, which is very sad.

The psychedelic music scene has of course always had associations with drug use, or at least being inspired by the use of certain psychedelics. In what way have you experienced drugs as an inspiration for your art?

Oh, acid was a big changer in my music back in the 90s. It had a deep impact and changed my own music and taste in a great way. But I don’t recommend any drug use. Everyone must decide for her/himself.

Can you tell me about your latest works? Which records should be one everyone’s mind right now and why?

My very new Sula Bassana CD (2-LP will be out in summer next year on Pancromatic Records) is called Loop Station Drones and contains tracks I did in spontaneous sessions all alone, plus loopstations, effect pedals, a drumcomputer and a bunch of Instruments, in 3 evenings. These are almost live played tracks with only a little post production and sound relaxed and trancy.

Also freshly out is the album Sabotar (CD and LP, marbled 180 gr. wax, lim. to 500!) by Electric Moon together with Portugal’s psychedelic trance duo Talea Jacta. The music was created live as one band with all members from both bands and is completely improvised live on stage of the legendary Sabotage Club in Lisbon during the concert in 2019. This is a really tripped out cosmic krautrock of the experimental kind.

And I just finished a new solo album with more band orientated songs, with Drums, Bass, Guitars and everything. I started recording in 2013 but didn’t find the time and energy to finish earlier. But it will definitely be released next year!
Ah, and around April next year will be the release of a 15 years old album, I made with a bunch of friends back then, called Sula Bassana and the Nasoni Pop Art Experimental Band (Vol.1) and came out originally in 2006 on Nasoni Records Berlin, to celebrate Nasoni’s 10 years anniversary. And now, 15 years later (sadly the LP is delayed to 2022, argh!) it is the 25 years Nasoni anniversary album. It will come with a new artwork, 2 patches, and on 180 gr. colour vinyl, limited to 500 copies.

And next year we have 25th anniversary of my band Zone Six! To celebrate it I already have 2 albums in the pressing plant, a 10“ EP with 2 songs from our second recording session (1997) and the vinyl re-issue of the debut album (recorded 1997 and only released on cassette tape) which was out in 1998 on CD only and with overdubbed vocals by a friend from Australia (Jodi Barry). In 2017 I released this album in the original instrumental version on vinyl (as 20 years anniversary LP) and it sold out fast. So there will be a re-issue of that LP with slightly changed cover and with 2-colour vinyl!

Can you tell me when a record becomes a Sula Bassana record and when Zone Six or Electric Moon? What is the deciding factor creatively? And how do you separate all your musical endeavors?

That’s easy, because it always depends on the people I play with. Electric Moon is a band with members, so it is Electric Moon. And so with Interkosmos and Krautzone. In Zone Six people change from time to time. And everything I do alone will become a Sula Bassana release.

What are the plans with Electric Moon recording-wise? And how about live? Will there be any more future Planetarium sessions for instance?

We just returned from a intense concert at the Desertfest in Gent (Belgium). And we will have another concert at November 26 at the Vortex Surfer Club in Siegen (Germany). Sarkh, the band run by Electric Moon’s new second guitar wizard Joe Muff, will play that night also.
We all for sure hope that we will play at Planetarium Bochum again. But as far as I know there is nothing fixed so far.
I guess we finished 2 new tracks for a 4-band split double LP which will be out on Komet Lulu’s label Worst Bassist Records next year. You will find one LP side by Kungens Män, ElonMusk and Kanaan, next to us.
And we recorded more and will go on recording for a new album.

Growing Seeds in Portugal

What should the Weirdo Shrine readers do directly after this interview?

Whatever they want 🙂
Stay healthy, peaceful and psychedelic. Listen to good music, enjoy nature and animals, be nice to others, laugh, love and spread good vibes! 🙂

Thanks for the long interview!!!
Love and peace

Fotocredits: Kilian Schloemp

Jack Ellister- Lichtpyramide 2 Q&A (2021 Tonzonen Records)

Jack Ellister is a UK based musician who started out creating heavy early Pink Floyd inspired psych rock, but has turned to more experimental and contemplative audio explorations on his recent album Lichtpyramide (2020, Tonzonen Records). Now he is back with a second part of those kosmische kraut explorations, also released on German krautrock cult label Tonzonen.

What we hear here is some high quality synthesizer based experimentalism, ranging from the early German kraut wizards to Kraftwerk to even some more modern Radiohead-type beat mongering. It is altogether a rather introvert affair, forward moving, but quietly, like an astronaut slowly finding its way in zero gravity. It made me curious about the man behind these sounds. Luckily I found him willing to talk to Weirdo Shrine!

Jack Ellister

How have you been? How has life been as a musician in lockdown and afterwards?
Thanks, I’m fine. Life is good. I think my situation wasn’t very different than that of other musicians in Western Europe. Spending time at home, trying to do something useful. I’m glad we’re moving back to normal. Yesterday I went to a packed concert. I’m glad this is possible now, although at first it felt a little bit awkward to be sweating among people again.

Can you tell me your story? You are London-based, but you are from somewhere else, right? How did you end up making music in the UK?
I started making this type of music in the Netherlands. The conservatory in Arnhem has an amazing collection of classical percussion instruments in the cellar. Few people ever go there. Once discovered, I found it really inspiring. I would often be there to try the various, often home-made, instruments and record weird sounds. For shows with the psychedelic band that I had at that time I used to borrow metallophones, tubular bell sets and other sonic excitements from the classical department until they decided that it had to stop. They needed those instruments for their own students they said. I kept borrowing gongs for the performances and I bought myself a tubular bells set from a local orchestra. A pity I couldn’t take it to London when we moved here in 2014. It’s still standing in the woods near Apeldoorn in a shed that belongs to my mother-in-law.

In what way has your personal background played a role in the way your music sounds today?
Having lived in different countries for several years and knowing each culture a bit can help in becoming more open minded in general. Also there was a Denazifizierungsprogramm in Germany after WW2. In the 70s and 80s you had socially aware, slightly leftist children’s programs on TV that had a high educational value. I wouldn’t say TV promoted socialism as such, the establishment there was just as conservative as other countries in the West, but it definitely had those bits where other countries and cultures were portrayed from a non-imperialistic, equal point of view. In public libraries in Stuttgart I would find films by Werner Herzog, which led to listening to Popol Vuh and other kosmische music. The concept of a cosmic music would indicate an absence of national identification. I think it’s okay if people are proud of their origins, as long as it’s not for establishing a hierarchy. At the same time it’s easy to see how uniform mass culture often is. It’s important to at least try and offer an alternative.

Where did you pick up your fascination with psychedelic music? Who or what has been your greatest influence in that respect?
I was eight years old and borrowed the blue Beatles compilation album (1967-1970) on cassette from the local library. Discovering mid era Beatles as a young kid just defines your taste for a huge part. Next thing was Piper At The Gates Of Dawn when I was 9. An uncle bought me the cassette in Poland and Astronomy Domine blew my mind. Other 60s/70s bands followed but the craving for good acid rock clearly dominated.

Your earlier work was much more band-based and guitar oriented, how did it transform to its current form and will your sound ever return to more song based guitar structures with singing vocals?
It started as experiments. And because they lend themselves to unpressured free-wheeling they tend to be more fun to do. Combined with shifting listening habits it felt like the right thing to explore. Still feels that way, but I’ve noticed I try to find combinations nowadays that might work as an arrangement. Like parts in a song. Ideally when I complete the circle and be back to writing melodic songs, I’ll have an extended sound palette and a unique sonic signature to draw on.

Can you tell why you have moved your music from Fruits De Mer records to Tonzonen in Germany?
It’s not moved. I continue to work with both labels. Because the first Lichtpyramide album had a lot of German lyrics, I felt it would be a good idea to reach a German speaking audience.

Can you tell about your collaboration with Dave Schmidt aka Sula Bassana? How did that come about?
I incidentally met Dave when he was playing a secret show with Electric Moon in a small London venue, prior to a their main gig the next day in a way bigger place. For the first half hour of chatting we didn’t know who the other was. Of course at some point we realized. It was funny. We knew each others music so obviously we stayed in touch.
I like collaborations in general.  So during lockdown I showed Dave some of my new material, and asked whether he wanted to contribute any sounds. He chose the ones he felt that would make most sense to add something.

Do you listen to contemporary music these days? Anything to recommend? What are you mostly listening to anyways when you are not making music?

I listen to Beethoven symphonies on repeat lately, but apart from that I like Prince Rama’s Shadow Temple and Architecture Of Utopia albums a lot. London based bands Soccer 96, Vanishing Twin and Snapped Ankles just released great albums. Russian duo Simple Symmetry have made a very interesting album recently, that I’m very impressed by, and I like their leftfield techno productions too. Gerald Donald’s Der Zyklus EPs are great. Klaus Schultze made some fantastic music, I especially like his Clara Mondschein album.

What are your future plans immediate and long term?
Immediate is actually releasing Lichtpyramide II and starting to play shows.
I’ll soon start compiling the third Lichtpyramide record and will see if I can get it a bit of song structure here and there to provide potential pattern recognition for the workoholics among our little grey cells.

What should our readers do immediately after this interview?
Same as me: The laundry and then go to see a live show.

Kaouenn- Mirages (2021 Atypeek Music/Beautiful Losers/BloodySound Fucktory/Ph37 Soundlab)

I wish I could say I was a strong minded individual who could not be bribed by delicious vinyl to do write ups. I am really not though. Besides, when you give me vinyl and also make incredibly cool experimental trip music like Kaouenn did I would love to shout your name from the rooftops, it’s why the Weirdo Shrine was raised god damn it!!!

So about this LP. With Mirages this French single person entity Kaouenn has seriously stepped on something powerful while experimenting with ancient Eastern tribal rhythms, a beatbox and his guitars. Musically the album meanders from subtle Pink Floyd-y reverbisms to heavy danceable blues beats reminiscent of My Baby. Jazz definitely plays a role here too, with horns (or horn-like synths?) and smooth technical noodlings. Everything is balanced out with perfectly skillful musicianship and executed with a unique and mind-blowing flair and style. And it seems a good record to smoke herb too, but that’s purely an assumption on my part of course.

Mirages is an album you can easily visualize played out live at a beach in Southern Italy; people gather around this masked multi instrumentalist, toke up, dance a little dance, float up in space, and just experience some really good vibes. The reverb naturally meshes up with the soft rumbling of the waves, and at the grand finale the artist disappears with flash and a bang…was it all a mirage?

Oslo Tapes- Ør (2021 Pelagic Records)

Space is the place indeed! The new album by Italian neo-krautrockers Oslo Tapes ignites in all the right colors with opener Space Is The Place, setting the tone and atmosphere for the rest of the record. This is an album for heads, reverb addicts, and krautrock chewers with their third eye widely open to weird experiences.

Your mind needs to open itself like a window in spring, because Oslo Tapes don’t walk any easy roads. Nor do they settle for a certain comfortability in their sound, as each song sounds completely different. For instance, Zenith and Kosmic Feels are more electronic-based haze tracks, while Bodø Dakar starts of with a Queens Of The Stone Age riff, only to completely electro-fy it later. Sometimes they do a ritualistic New Order dance, at their poppiest they’d even border 80s wave like Cocteau Twins. At other times they edge towards goth via Nine Inch Nails or even the harsh psych noise of a band like Gnod. And not a Norwegian in sight! It’s outrageous.

As an album experience, Ør really feels like a dream in which your mind wanders from room to room. In each room there’s a different weird experience, from the surreal weightlessness of Exotic Dreams to the electronic gothwave stomp of Obsession Is The Mother Of All. However, in all its haziness one thing is crystal clear: Oslo Tapes provides an electronic palette of sounds and will never settle for boredom. Ør is an electrifying album that serves a much needed breath of fresh air in a scene based on old values. It comes highly recommended.

Track premiere: Telephone Exchange – ~ (2021 Up In Her Room Records)

~ from the upcoming album on Up In Her Room Records

All the way from Mexico City, the enigmatic musical entity Telephone Exchange brings us a new sign of life that eventually lead to their new album Telegrafos de Mexico on Up In Her Room Records later this year.

So who are they? Well, that remains a bit shady, and their official bio states: “Telephone exchange is a giant processor of all human practice” so I guess we should just listen to the sounds…which are quite hazy and enigmatic as well! From their first instrumental song “~” we can conclude that they mix shoegaze, postpunk and krautrock with cinematic black and white images, so I what’s not to love? Dive in deep people and stay on the look out for that album.

Review V.A.- Head Rush (2021 Fruits De Mer Records)

Ok, normally for a compilation on krautrock like this, I’d introduce you to the genre a little bit, give you some historical context. We will get to that, but let me just show you the tracklist of this juicy box first, because oh man! It’s a doozy…

1. Giacomo & Carolina – Sunrise, Part 7 (5:05)
2. Silver Vials – Follow The Sun (6:05)
3. Das Blaue Palais – Zeitfeld (Dusseldorf Motorik Mix) (8:11)
4. The Love Explosion – Anarchy! (3:58)
5. David Oakes – The Sahara (2020 Remix) (5:04)
6. Sonic Trip Project – Getaway (11:10)

1. Moon Goose – Shiny Man (5:41)
2. Oslo Tapes – Obsession Is The Mother Of All (5:54)
3. Jay Tausig – Ecstatic Engines (8:42)
4. Son Of Ohm – Telefunken Baby (12:52)
5. Alber Jupiter – Martine A La Plage (7:15)

1. The Lost Stoned Pandas – Motorik Wah Nine (10:16)
2. Motor!k – Tyrants (10:28)
3. Culto Al Qondor – Ei (12:19)
4. Psychic Lemon – Jam 7 (7:01)

bonus CD:
1. Taras Bulba – Vuh Part 1 (3:56)
2. Vince Cory – 69 Wheeler (7:53)
3. Psychic Lemon – Jam 5 (8:26)
4. Audio Cologne Project – Grobmotorik (6:51)
5. Taras Bulba – Vuh Part 2 (5:15)
6. Icarus Peel – Der Wald (14:14)
7. The Legendary Flower Punk – Watussi Live (30:25)

Ok so krautrock, or “Kosmische Musik”, originates from 60s/70s era Western Germany. From there it developed not so much as a genre, but as a state of mind. Bands like Amon Düül, Can, Neu!, Kraftwerk, and Guru Guru all had completely different means to achieve the same goal: a higher state. A head rush of sorts if you will, achieved by hypnotic, sermonic beats and chants, although a lot of this type of music is actually devoid of any human vocals. The music could vary on a wide range from experimental progrock to dense electronic beat music. On this Fruits De Mer records compilation twenty-one contemporary psychedelic bands remind us that luckily the movement is far from dead.

Personally I prefer guitar based krautrock to its electronic counterpart, although there are some crossbreeds on here that are definitely worth your while as well. I won’t go over everything, but I will feature a couple of my personal highlights:

First of all my fellow Dutchman Leonardo Soundweaver needs a mention with his mesmerizing Son Of Ohm. The song Telefunken Baby! isn’t stingy on the reverb which is just the way I like my kraut, check it out here:

Another real banger are the Belgians of the aptly named Motor!k. They bring a flawless example of that quintessential kraut characteristic: the motorik beat. On Tyrants we are served ten minutes of it, sprinkled with subtle keyboards and plenty of delay pedal doodling:

Another real gem can be found on the added bonus CD, that closes with a real treat by Russian weirdo psych band The Legendary Flowerpunk. Their 30+ minute version of the song Watussi is half an hour of pure instrumental bliss. It’s such a pity that covid ruined their European tour or I would definitely have checked this out in its true form by now:

Other cool recommendations without online previews are Taras Bulba (with a “reworking” of Popul Vuh’s Vuh in two parts), the always awesome Psychic Lemon with another one of their numbered jams (5), and Oslo Tapes with a preview track from their adventurous new album ør, out on Pelagic Records in June (and of course featured on this blog). But as you can see from the tracklist above, there is plenty more to enjoy for kraut heads here. Get a copy if you’re lucky, because I think I just saw that all the pre-orders had already gone.