Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Atom Heart Mutha...Albums of the Year 2016. Slow Season - Westing

Californian hard rockers Slow Season released their third album 'Westing' on Riding Easy Records in the summer of this year, having already released an impressive self titled debut in 2012 and the follow up 'Mountains' in 2014.  My expectations were high, even more so, having heard the first single Y'wanna; Westing certainly didn't disappoint, the riffs are heavy and the Zeppelin influenced grooves infectious. 

Like all great albums, Westing just gets better and better with every play.  I caught up with singer Daniel Story Rice to ask him how the bands year has been.

Hi Daniel, its a pleasure talking to you, how has 2016 been for the band?

Ups and downs.
The tour was fun, but tough.  I'm adopting an infant daughter and that's awesome, but challenging when it comes to touring. Westing is the best thing we've done yet, but it's been a slow starter.  We have some cool plans for 2017, in spite of that.

For me, Westing was an attention grabber from the first time I played it, and it felt like a natural progression from Mountains.  Did you write the songs fresh for the new album or do you keep unrecorded songs back for recordings?

Westing is kind of about the political and social climate, in general.  Some songs were completely new, some took pieces of music from even before Mountains and Frankenstein-ed them into new songs. We don't really hang onto material for too long.  If it's hot, we track it; if it's not, we tend to forget it.

Where did you record the album? What was the process like?

We recorded it at Cody's house again and one track in an empty industrial office space, but this time with our new MS16 tape machine.  We then mixed down to a half-track for a true, all-analog process. The good thing about home recording is that you don't have to rush it or fake a vibe - you can wait until the time and take are right.

You mention touring.  Will you carry on taking the record out on the road? Is it an opportunity to write and rehearse the next one?

We will be taking it out on the road some more this Winter and Spring.  I'd like to write some more, but our family obligations are tying that one down for the moment. We'll see - maybe we can pull a surprise or two off.  A live album would be rad, I think.

So what are your immediate plans for 2017; are there plans to tour outside of the States?

We hope to go overseas this Summer.  Hopefully our booking agent gets a good offer.  We don't wanna run up a bunch of debt either, so we'll take what makes the most sense.  We want this band to be sustainable.

Do you have a favourite album from this year and are there any bands to look out for in 2017?

Bowie's Blackstar is great.  Mondo Drag's Occultation of Light is tops as well.  I've mostly picked up older records and reissues this year.  I'm on a big Lester Young kick, at present; the Stonewall reissue is killer too.
Look out for OutsideInside (former Carousel), High Definitions (Columbus), Stuyedyed (NYC), Crypt Trip (TX), Cloud Catcher (they recorded their next record at our place).  There were a bunch that were cool to play with, but I don't remember all the names.

Thanks for catching up Daniel, good to hear from you.

Thanks dude, anytime!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Atom Heart Mutha...Albums of the Year 2016. Sula Bassana - Shipwrecked.

Read the Atom Heart Mutha Review of Shipwrecked HERE

Shipwrecked was the first record of this year that I loved from the very first time I heard it.  It's a Kosmische masterpiece made on vintage equipment that takes in Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk and cool cinematic soundscapes. Once in a while an album comes along that's so brilliant you want to share it immediately; this is one of them. Dave Schmidt is a member of Electric Moon, Zone Six, Krautzone, Interkosmos and the head of Sulatron Records. He also makes solo music under the name Sula Bassana.  I caught up with him recently to ask him how his year has been.

Hey Dave, great to hear from you! How was 2016?

Hi Jaf! Yes, it was a busy year, but not as busy as the previous years; I need to do less so I'm doing less gigs in the future; that's more time for nature and my studio! It was a bad year for the health of some loved friends and us as well (but for us thankfully not too bad).  Let's hope the next year will bring back more positive energy! However, there were absolutely great moments, great releases and great concerts!

For me, Shipwrecked was the first great album of 2016, was it an easy record to make?

Thank you! Yes, it was very easy! The ideas came quickly and it was fun to make the songs.  I totally enjoy producing electronic music with all the great old gear I collected over the years. And there will be more of this kind in the future. I've already finished a complete album with tracks I made basically on organs and portable keyboards, but also added synthesisers, drum machines; I've used guitar and bass in one of the songs, the album will be called Organ Accumulator.  This and a 7" single with two more songs of this kind will be released in early 2017 on Deep Distance records (UK) on wax. Also I recorded a side-long track in the Berlin School like elektronic direction. For another new album :-)

It sounds like you keep yourself busy! Do you write and record the Electronic music by yourself or do you use bandmates from Electric moon, or perhaps some of the bands on the record label?

Mainly I do everything by myself, but from time to time Lulu  joins on vocals, like on 'Disappear' (from the split LP with 3AM), or on 2 songs from my next psychedelic rock album.  For this album' I just need to record the vocals (on 2 tracks) and one complete song. :-)  In the past, I've made some albums together with Modulfix (Martin Schorn), they were mainly electronic music albums as well.

Where do your influences come from? Especially as you make very different types of music.

I am an open minded person, so I always get inspiration.  I let musical instruments influence me. Every Guitar or Synthesizer or whatever has it's own feeling and creates a different mood in me. Sometimes I wake up with a melody, sometimes I just let it flow... but the deepest inspiration, for sure, is life.  It takes me up and down and I need to make music to stand all the pressure.

How do you choose the artists that you sign to the label?

Oh, most of them are friends or our own bands/projects. But sometimes I get a really nice promo (in case of Giobia and Sherpa) or find a band somewhere that keeps my attention (Deep Space, Polska Radio One...). Or I just ask a band that I love, like I did with Sun Dial, and suddenly they are on Sulatron!

The live show recordings are incredible, particularly the last Planetarium one, it's hard to believe they're not studio recordings, how do you make the sound quality the recordings  so good?

Wow, thanks a lot! It was recorded on a very cheap 8-track recorder, just the main instruments. It's hard work to make it sound nice, hehehehe. But in this case it worked more or less. The new concert recording (from 2016) sounds awful, we can't do anything with it.

Are there any new upcoming bands you recommend looking out for in 2017?

Hmmm... I really can only recommend Sherpa from Italy! Their debut album "Tanzlinde" is out on CD on Sulatron already and the vinyl version comes out in very late December, it's a really good trip, Something that crawls into your body from the back, very slowly, but when it's got you, you can't stop listening to it! Hopefully I can see them live one day.
I'm very much into producing at the moment and I'm looking forward to releasing it all. There's also more Sun Dial stuff, they've already recorded a new album. I will be re-releasing all the QUAD albums (Gary Ramon's solo project), which I love totally; some of the most trippy stuff around!

Thanks for catching up Dave, Happy New Year!

Have a great 2017, Jaf, and thanks a lot for the Interview! I'm glad you like my electronic music adventures! :-) May peace be everywhere on this planet one day!

Sula Basanna Facebook

Sulatron Records

Sulatron Records Facebook

Monday, 28 November 2016

Atom Heart Mutha - 2016 Review...AHM's Favourite Albums of the Year.

As 2016 draws to a close its time to look back on some of the highlights of the year.
Over the coming weeks i'll be looking back at some of the Albums that shaped 2016 for Atom Heart Mutha.  First off is a List of my favourite albums and below You'll find playable versions of 20 of them !

Over the the next few weeks i'll be discussing 10 more and interviewing some of the bands that recorded them so please keep checking back.
Decembers RadioShow will feature some of my favourite tracks of the year as well as a few brand new songs off albums out in the new year; i'll also be looking back on some of my favourite reissues.

Enjoy the list and if you like what you hear, please support the bands and artists.

Asteroid - iii
Autumn of Pækward - Cern
Boobs of Doom - 08: Wow is Dead
Causa Sui - Return to Sky
The Cult of Dom Keller - Goodbye to the Light
Dreamtime - Strange Pleasures
Filthy Lucre - Mara
Ghost Box Orchestra- High Plaine
Glitter Wizard - Hollow Earth Tour
Hotel Wrecking City Traders - Phantamonium
Jakob Skøtt - All the Colours of the Dust
The Judge - The Judge
JuJu - JuJu
Kikagaku Moyo - House in the Tall Grass
Kungens Män - Stockholm Maraton
Mythic Sunship - Ouroboros
The Myrrors - Entranced Earth
No Man's Valley - Time Travel
Psychic Ills - Inner Journey Out
Psychic Lemon - Psychic Lemon
Salem's Bend - Salem's Bend
Sergeant Thunderhoof - Ride of the Hoof
Sons of the Void - Sons of the Void
Slow Season - Westing
The Spacelords - Liquid Sun
Sula Bassana - Shipwrecked
Svvamp - Svvamp
Telstar Sound Drone - Magical Solutions to Everyday Struggles
West, Space and Love - West Space and Love II
Zed - Trouble in Eden


Saturday, 26 November 2016

Album Review...Dreamtime - Strange Pleasures

Three years have passed since Brisbane's Dreamtime released their last album 'Sun'. For the development of their latest opus, Dreamtime went about creating an imaginary, dream-like sci-fantasy, that follows a spirit's journey from the human body through death: mystic rituals; the spirit world; a soul's liberation into the cosmos; multiple reincarnations, and out into astral journeys and alien encounters.

The Synthesiser driven 'Luminous Night' kicks off the proceedings through science fiction laden drones and seventies rock guitar freak-outs.  Amazingly, within the background, there are elements of eighties electronic, cinematic soundscapes, as well as sixties tinged pop- beat breaks.  Somehow, they all come together in a near perfect eleven minutes.

'Golden Alter' commences as a spiritual tribal chant complete with mystical vocals and evolves into a heavy duty trance, that seems to smash its way forward in to your mind, whilst remaining focused and engaging.  'Fire' is reminiscent of the band Goat in its fuzzy Guitar sounds and structures, but also vocally connected too; this is easily one of the records many highlights.

'The Sentient' is a stomping, cosmic freakout and continues onwards before ending in strange intergalactic sounds and blurbs.  The title track is an epic, trippy number that slowly grows in to a heavy psychedelic rock without letting go of the intensifying pace from within the grooves.
'Spectral Entropy is easily one of the best tracks you'll hear this year; a mammoth space age, Floydian acid soaked, rock masterpiece.  It draws you in from the first brain frazzling oscillations, to the moment the drums kick in and take you out into the beyond for ten fantastic minutes. Closing track 'Serpent Tongue' is another sonic assault on the mind; energetic and fierce, this album won't go out on a gentle note!

Strange Pleasures is by far the bands most accomplished piece of work to date; the arrangements are meticulously thought out and realised.  It's a pleasure indeed to hear a bands evolution in such a magnificent way. I was new to Dreamtime when I was fortunate to review the Reissue of 'Sun' via Cardinal Fuzz earlier this year and its really nice to be able to pass comment on their latest release.
This a record without space (ironically given its Sci-fi sound) every note and noise has its place and brings something different, this makes for a richer record, elevating it towards the stars.
Australia continues to produce some really fascinating artists; it'll be good to see Dreamtime gain more acclaim following this release and surely some UK shows too. Listen to the album on the player below and look out for the physical links via the Labels supporting them.
Highly Recommended.

Dreamtime on Facebook

Dreamtime Bandcamp

TYM Records (Aus)

Sky Lantern Records (U.S)

Cardinal Fuzz (Europe)

Strange Pleasures was recorded by Darek Mudge at The Shed Recording Studio over two days on a old automated analogue desk, the warm, vintage sound of the recordings perfectly captures the tripped out visions, mys cism, and spirituality of the music herein. Presented on all-black double vinyl housed in a gorgeous gatefold sleeve featuring original artwork by Indonesian ar st Riandy Karuniawan.

Album Review... E GONE - Advice to Hill Walkers

There have been some interesting reissues this year.  'Advice to Hill Walkers', the second album by Swedish E GONE is without a doubt one of them. Originally released on limited cassette only in 2015, ATHW finally gets a Deluxe remastered and repackaged upgrade by Deep Water and Sunrise Ocean Bender. The album features 2 new tracks and fold out poster artwork.

'Mark the Spot Where you Leave the Injured' sets the tone, within the electronic drones and whispers, as the track plays out and ends with a note that seems to never come up for air.  The Eastern flavours that are served up throughout the record become apparent on 'Your goal is to Know Everything and Say Nothing' and 'Follow Moonmilk Rivers'; rhythmic and trancelike instrumentations lead an Eastern psychedelic journey through a nomadic mind.

'Build your Camp out of Alpine Moss' is more in keeping with 70's horror movie scores; synths and trippy downbeats play out slowly, in a sinister manner. 'Dwell in Tents by Day, Hike at Random by Night' is very much like the sort of tripped out hip hop beats and tones favoured by DJ and Artist The Gaslamp Killer; in fact this is music that would not be out place on his records or mixes.  'You Don't Know it Yet But We Are Losing you' also follows a similar path.  Both are fantastic tracks.
'Bring Ice Axe and Rope' has a subtle urgency to it; the track is mysterious and Cinematic. 'Record the Humming of Melodious caves' has its roots set in Eastern folk music and the album closer 'Reach the Summit, Egg' seems to melt all that has gone before together into an epic, Eastern, folkedelic tapestry of spiritual enlightenment.

There's little doubt that this release has been treated as a labour of love for all involved. The CD packaging itself is well presented, but the remastering process has elevated the original sound from the cassette release, into something that feels much more lushly textured and deeper tonally.  It's great to see that this lost gem can be discovered by a wider audience. Psych-heads, lovers of cinematic electronica and adventurous listeners will find much to cherish within; this is an album totally worthy of reissue and absolutely deserved of a wider audience.  Seek this out and spread the word brothers and sisters!

E GONE Official Site

E GONE on Facebook

Buy Advice to Hill Walkers from Sunrise Ocean Bender HERE

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Album Review ... Wolf People - Ruins

Wolf People are time travellers.  Their tools are mythology, history, hauntology, big riffs, bigger beats and electricity.  They've just made a welcome return with ‘Ruins’ their third LP, which is out now on Jagjauawar.
The record opens with a bluesy, rock fog of 'Ninth Night; a beat led track that confidently struts its way on to the harder rocking 'Rhino Sagas'.
Those familiar with past releases, especially the fantastic 'Steeple', will  undoubtably realise just how much heavier the band have become. By the time the solo kicks in on 'Night Witch' your ears will already be bleeding!

Without giving up the pace, the album continues to progress its 70's rock influenced way on tracks such as 'Thistles' and 'Crumbling Dais' before the driving grooves of 'Not Me Sir' burst in.
'Belong' and 'Salt Mills' slow the pace as the album begins to close. The Final track 'Glass' has a very British Sixties beat feel to it, whilst still managing to sound like modern day rock.
"Ruins" marks a progression from previous releases; their sound remains distinctive but, seems heavier, comparatively, whilst remaining incredibly tight.

There’s something very English about their style, musically and within its production; something thats been described as Medieval.  It's rustic for sure, yet remaining in keeping with traditional psychedelic rock, whilst not exactly retro.  There have been comparisons to Jethro Tull, but these will be more in the line with the instrumentation (flutes!), and not necessarily the songs structures. Although, there are undeniably, elements of Ian Anderson in the vocals.

"Ruins" is a confident recording; its strengths lie within the hooks; the lyrics and in the vocals of Jack Sharp.  The band themselves are on good form and this is a weighty step in the right direction in terms of the bands evolution from 2013’s ‘Fain’. The flow within the tracks make the record work much better as whole, despite individually the songs standing up for themselves.  2016 is coming to a close and the quality of music being released seems to get better and better.
"Ruins" is an album that will reward the listener with every play. Also serving as a promise of greater music to come from the band; this is recommended. Play it loud; very, very, loud!

Official Website

Wolf People on Bandcamp

Wolf People Facebook


Album Review... Sherpa - Tanzlinde

Sulatron Records are bringing Neo Psychedelia from Italy via Sherpa and their debut album Tanzlinde. The inspiration for the music within is said to come from the mountains, Eastern cultures and Ancient songs as well as psychedelia and krautrock.
Tanzlinde (meaning Linden Tree) is a place, where apparently, under its leaves people can find time to connect with their deepest feelings: It's a metaphor for strength and fast growth and you can hear those themes within the songs themselves

The album begins with the slow burning and glistening 'Elven'; a euphonic trip, beautifully played out as a captivating opener to the album. 'Robert W' is hazy and dreamlike in its tone as the guitar rolls over layers of cymbals and synths and a beguiling vocal.
Elsewhere, there is intensity on the title track itself 'Tanzlinde' and 'Sherpa'. These wonderfully constructed songs encompass heightened elements of 70s Psychedelia and Eastern flavours, drawing you in as the songs build around your mind.
'Big Foot' is a wondrous, pastoral chant that breaks into a wondrous drum beat, whilst the song evolves on to the metaphysical 'Magnetic'.  'Of Coke and Steel' draws the album towards its end in a euphoric and atmospheric manner.

There's so much to enjoy here.  There are elements of folk, whilst fans of more contemporary acts, such as Tame Impala and Wolf People, will find plenty to satisfy . The songs are deeply heavy yet without fuzzed up riffs and ear bleeding guitar solos.
In terms of the songs themselves, they benefit from the eastern styles that the band have injected into the music.  There is certainly a spiritual feel, at times, which is very much in keeping with the albums meaning. You'll need to hear this album more than once to unlock its true wonder; this is a great record that compliments Sulatrons already diverse and unpredictable output.

Sulatron Records release the Green 180g vinyl on December 16th 2016 but the jewel case cd Edition is available now.

Sherpa on Facebook

Buy the Cd and Vinyl from Sulatron Records.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Listen to November's Atom Heart Mutha Show on Mixcloud anytime

November's Atom Heart Mutha RadioShow is now available to listen to anytime on the Mixcloud page or on the player below.
This show was originally broadcast as part of's Rockshow and again on American Radio Station Grip of Delusion . Many of the tracks this month were from brand new and soon to be released albums, if you like any of the music you hear please support the bands by buying from them, all bands will be tagged on the AHM Facebook page for this post.

This Months tracklist...

Telstar Sound Drone - Someone
Kungens Män - Second Third War Three
Whitenails- In My Blood
Arrowhead - Bone Mountain
Hair of the Dog - Don't Know My Name
Glitter Wizard - Scales
Jean-Claude Vannier - L'enfant au Royaume des Mouches
Wolf People - Not Me Sir
Goat - Goatfuzz
Mugstar - Axis Modulator
Chickn - Omens

The Atom Heart Mutha RadioShow will return in December.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Bandcamp Round-up...More Great Music to stream Right Now !

There's so much great music out there right now, its been a decent year for new bands and new finds.
Enjoy the following, they come direct from the bands bandcamp pages; click the players to listen or click the title to be taken to the bandcamp page.
As always, some of these albums will be available in physical formats, some have special editions that you can buy too.
If you enjoy any of the Albums or Ep's here, please support the artists and labels.

Nopes - Never Heard of It

Psych-Punk or Skate Punk, or something in between?
California's Nopes have put out a cracking album, hard edged and upbeat and infectious too, If you're quick you'll catch one of the beautiful splatter vinyls from Magnetic Eye records

The Well - Pagan Science

The coolest thing in Austin Texas right now, The well play doom with a really nice psych stoner touch, the riffs are Sabbathesque in magnitude, this records what reverb was invented for, out now on Riding Easy Records.

Whitenails - First Trip

First Trip is a brilliant ep released in October from Quebec's Whitenails, the band know their way around a heavy riff and there's no messing around over the 5 tracks. If this is the shape of things to come, i hope theres another release due soon.

Hornss - Telepath

Ripple Music are once again proving to be more a force of nature than a record label of late, this autumn has seen a spate of high quality rock releases including this fuzzed up stoner doom from San Fransisco, highly recommended.

Zac the Zombie - Zac the Zombie ep

Ahead of the highly anticipated full length in 2017, Zac the zombie have released this ep of excellent desert rock as a taster. Zac the Zombie is an instant hit and demands multiple plays, I'm incredibly excited to see what they do next.
Great stuff

Mantra Machine - Nitrogen

SpaceRock from Amsterdam, hell yeah! Originally released in 2014 this is a cosmic tip of the heaviest and highest calibre, compared to Causa Sui this an album thats as experimental as it is progressive and well worth seeking out if you missed it the first time around.

Cosmic Flanders - Cosmic Flanders

Australia has been an interesting place to find StonerRock this year, if you haven't checked out Mala by Filthy Lucre or Phantamonium by Hotel Wrecking City traders, you need to.
Cosmic Flanders self titled Ep takes in stoner grooves in a gloriously uplifting and melody laden manner, whilst maintaining its Psych and Spacerock credentials, highly recommended.

Sergeant Thunderhoof - Live on Earth

Ironic that Bath's Sergeant Thunderhoof called their  live release 'Live on Earth' as I'm sure they're not of this planet! Recorded at Moles in their hometown this Lp cements the band as one of the best Stoner Rock bands around right now. Both studio Lps are also essential listens, give this band some attention, they fucking deserve it.

Friday, 4 November 2016

The Next Atom Heart Mutha RadioShow goes out....

....on November 12th on at 9pm and again on Grip of Delusion Radio on Sunday 13th at 10amEST/4pmCET/3pmUK.

This month features a brain expanding dose of Heavy Psych Space Desert Rock; theres brand new tracks from Arrowhead, Hair of the Dog, Glitter Wizard, Kungens Män and Wolf People and much more besides.

You can hear the show live online as it happens by clicking HERE from 9pm UK time or by going to G.O.D. Radio HERE on the showtimes on Sunday.

Until then, click on the player below to Hear November 2015's Show, Enjoy !!


Early Mammal - The Great German
Serpentina Satellite- Fobos
Mondo Drag - Shifting Sands
The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol - LM
Pharaoh Overlord - Unseen Eye
Matushka- As Bartenders and Bouncers Dance
Sergeant Thunderhoof - When Time Stood Still
Witch - Seer