Monday, 30 January 2017

Three Great Projects You Can Check Out Right Now...

As 2017 progresses there's a huge amount of new releases around right now as well as really interesting albums well worth seeking out; some of those records will be reviewed soon on the Blog, I'll also be playing tracks from them in upcoming shows.
I'd like to draw your attention to some cool and interesting projects, most have just been released and are very worthy of your attention,
Ive included links and some information wherever possible as well as playable tracks and streams.  As always, if you like what you hear please show some love and purchase the music in whatever format suits and have a look at the artists and labels webpages and social media.

Atom Heart Mutha Facebook
Atom Heart Mutha Twitter
Listen to AHM on Mixcloud.

Life Education - Acid Owl

Acid Owl is a side-project of Kösmonaut due for release on limited edition cassette from Grabbing Clouds Records & Tapes out of the SF Bay Area, Released as two editions, the first 20 are hand-crafted and 80 are professionally duplicated on chrome. Described as  Circle-esque repetitive trances, conjured up by occasional Amon Duul II-esque Kraut gout flare-ups and relentless Reichel delayed guitar wave-gasms to massage your auditory holes.
The album itself is a magical trip, blending hypnotic electronica and beats with psychedelic soundscapes. Fans of cosmic exploration within the brain will find plenty to love here, there are  wonderful loops and drones from the ethereal 'Cosmic Claw' to the more intense 'PTSD'
Check out the video to 'Rainbow Terminus' Below and click the bandcamp player to hear more, you can preorder now and buy the whole thing on February 3rd.

Life Education on Bandcamp
Kösmonaut/Life Education on Facebook

Expo Seventy - America Here & Now Sessions

Expo Seventy return on Essence Music with the mastermind Justin Wright bringing together a rare line-up featuring two drummers. The four-piece only lived during a short period of time and the thunderous experiments achieved by these unique sonic hypnotists are fully presented here.
America Here & Now Sessions was recorded during the three-week art experience started in Kansas City featuring paintings, sculptures, poetry, plays, films and music from local and national artists called “America: Now And Here – A cross-country traveling dialogue about America through the arts”. Local musician Ashley Miller spearheaded a recording project that featured a handful of local acts to record some music that would be later edited together and released as an album.
The project lost funding, but Expo Seventy was able to record as part of the art experiment.
The album itself comprises of two long tracks 'First Movement' and 'Second Movement'.

'First Movement has a really nice hypnotic feel as it starts, somewhere between droning experimentation and borderline Spacerock; the beats slowly evolve and intertwine over cosmic sounds, theres something very early seventies Floyd going on too.
As it moves towards its conclusion the guitars have more fuzz tones and track subtly intensifies. 'Second Movement' is much more of a synth led piece that gently pulses it way forward, as it hits the halfway point it begins to introduce heavy mesmerising beats and crashes symbols and becomes something far more intense, its completely engaging and easy to get lost into it as evolves.

Expo Seventy Bandcamp
Expo Seventy Facebook
Essence Music Website

There are multiple versions available:
LP: Limited to 160 copies on BLACK vinyl (housed on RED packaging) and 140 copies on GOLD vinyl (housed on BROWN packaging). Stunning and sturdy hand-screenprinted die-cut packaging, including a fold-out poster/innersleeve and insert. 180g high-quality wax displaying visuals by Erik A. Hamline, aka Steady Co. CD: Sturdy tip-on mini-LP gatefold packaging displaying utterly different artwork from the vinyl edition. Design courtesy of Justin Wright himself. Includes an OBI strip and a bonus track. Limited to 200 copies. SPECIAL EDITION: Strictly limited art edition of 119 hand-numbered copies, which comes with: 1) The vinyl edition on an exclusive colour variant - WHITE wax (housed on BLUE pack); 2) A large hand-drawn/silkscreened fold-out poster; 3) The CD edition; 4) An exclusive bonus disc called “Beyond From Where We Started From”, with recent trio-mode Expo Seventy free jams of the highest order. Everything housed on a beautiful hand-stitched/silkscreened cloth bag.

Kosmischer Läufer - The Secret Cosmic Music Of The East German Olympic Program 1972 - 1983

Finally, I'd like to mention Kosmischer Läufer's 3 Volume Project 'Secret Cosmic Music of the East German Olympic Program 72-83'. I hadn't heard of this before but came across it recently; it's fair to so I was completely blown away by it.
For the first time since it was recorded in East Berlin over 30 years ago the music of Martin Zeichnete can finally be heard. A disciple of the Kosmische Muzik of the likes of Kraftwerk, Can and Neu! he heard drifting across the Wall from the West, Martin's idea of using the motorik, hypnotic beat of krautrock in the training of athletes was taken and exploited by the DDR's state run Olympic Committee.
Unable to obtain a licence to play his own music Martin embarked on what he called a decade long 'invisible career' with East Germany's athletic elite his only audience. Mixing electronics with live instruments Martin produced an incredible range of work including music for warmups, running, 'ambient' music to be played in gyms and pieces for artistic gymnastics. The committee called this program State Plan 14.84L, Martin and his fellow musicians called it 'Projekt Kosmischer Läufer' (Cosmic Runner).

The albums have a wonderfully warm Spaced out feel to them, beautifully recorded as trippy synth symphonies the recording follow an athletes  journey as they build-up/warm-up and back down again.  Originally released in June 2013 they have been reissued again on 180g coloured vinyl and are highly collectable.

Kosmiscer Läufer Facebook
Kosmischer Läufer Bandcamp

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Album Review...Church of the Cosmic Skull - Is Satan Real?

Are they a cult?  Are they a Church? Is Satan real?  Does everybody in Nottingham dress like this? Well, who knows...
I discovered Church of the Cosmic Skull whilst browsing label kozmik Artifactz's website and I'll admit, it was the cover art that caught my attention.  Further investigations online, and a comparison or two, to Black Mountain later, was all it took to make me want to explore further.

Album opener 'Mountain Heart' is an uplifting slab of heavy rock, driven by majestic organs and guitars.  It is rooted very much in the vein of classic 1970's hard rock; it's clever use of Bill Fisher's lead vocal, harmonising with the band as a choir, elevate the track over many contemporary rock bands that are around right know.  'Black Slug' follows in style, but its riffs are heavier and darker.
Elsewhere, there's the reflective 'Answers in Your Soul' a stripped down acoustic number and the epic, bluesy, 9 minute long 'Evil in Your Eye' to offer up a variety in approaches; the later having a wondrous and soulful Hammond Organ break that would've given the late Jon Lord a run for his money.  Title track 'Is Satan Real?' has a great groove to it, as does the excellent stop/start heaviness of 'Watch it Grow'.  All in all, the tracks add up to an addictive listen that's had me going back for more from the first time I heard it.

Whether, or not, you consider the bands image, or claims to be a church a gimmick, doesn't matter, in fact, you'll be doing yourself a disservice by letting that influence you.  Make no mistake, Is Satan Real? is a great record; the Black Mountain comparisons are justifiable, especially in terms of the vocals sound and harmonising style, it has much in common with 'In The Future' and their 2005 Self titled debut.  In addition, the choral vocals soar above, triumphantly fitting with that vintage 70's psychedelic rock sound.  The songs are expertly crafted and credit should be given to those involved in the recording and mixing of the album, for capturing an authentic old school rock sound, yet doing something that sounds contemporary and cool.  Church of the Cosmic Skull have put thought and effort into their sound, you really should check it out; this is a band I'll be very happy to catch live, as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

Church of the Cosmic Skull Official Site

Church of the Cosmic Skull Bandcamp

Church of the Cosmic Skull Facebook

Kozmik Artifactz

Album Review... Zement - Zement:Werk

If you follow the blog, you may have seen the recent review of the incredible 'Siebenunddreißigachtundvierzig' by Weites Luftmeer, in which I mentioned that I'd heard the album late last year, after I'd already published my favourite records of 2016 list.  I also said, at the end of the review, that there was some quite brilliant and interesting music coming out of Germany at the moment.  Well, to back up that statement comes Zement; a German duo this time from Würzburg.

The album artwork by Fabian Götz appears to promise something grey or colourless which couldn't be further from truth.  Contained inside are 5 tracks of Motorik beat driven patterns with warm synths and fantastic guitar work, leading the way, almost hypnotically, through each track. 'Ton' opens the record and wastes no time in getting straight to point; a driving beat over a waving synth and a striking guitar lick as the song builds and expands. All 5 tracks are around 10 minutes in length and never overstay their welcome.  Subsequent tracks Kalkstein, Eisenerz, Sand, and Gips all follow the same themes, in terms of length and build; the instruments remain the same too, but that's not to say there's a lack of variety.  Each song stands alone as different and individual, with noticeable enveloping depth.

Zement: Werk hits the mark on the first listen and it gets better and better with every play.  Zement deserve to be heard widely, and fans of Krautrock/Kosmische will find themselves engrossed by what's on offer here. The album was recorded as it was played live, in one room, by Marcus from The Spacelords and mastered, unsurprisingly, by Eroc, which makes this record a great companion piece to last years excellent 'Shipwrecked' by Sula Bassana.  Fans of New! and Föllakzoid will also find plenty to love here too.

Seek out Zement, they are absolutely worth your time.

Zement Facebook

Zement Bandcamp

Sunhair Music

Thursday, 19 January 2017

BandCamp Roundup

2017 is already shaping up to be an excellent year for music, there are quite a few releases due over the next few weeks and plenty of reviews of new records on the Atom Heart Mutha blog to come.

Bandcamp continues to be a goldmine of albums well worth checking out, here are a few I've come across recently that i think you'll really dig.
Lots of these are brand new/recent releases and are available to download now, click the title links to take you to the bandcamp pages, in many cases there will be physical releases for purchase too.

As always if you like what you hear please support the bands by buying their music and showing your support by following them on social Media. There are more new reviews to come on AHM so please keep coming back, you can also find me on Mixcloud, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you'd like to be considered to be played on the show or have an Lp reviewed, contact me via email.
Enjoy !!

Chocolat - Rencontrer Looloo

Holy Serpent - Temples

Comet Control - Centre of the Maze

The Grape and the Grain - Holy Rollin'

Uniform - Wake in Fright

The Forbidden Dimension - Every Twisted Tree Watches As You Pass

Pink Pussycats From Hell - Hell-P

Orango - The Mules of Nana

Exploding Eyes - Exploding Eyes

Vinnum Sabbathi - Gravity Works

Elbrus - Elbrus

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Listen to January's Atom Heart Mutha RadioShow Anytime on Mixcloud

Januarys Atom Heart Mutha RadioShow is now available to listen to anytime on Mixcloud. You can go to the AHM Mixcloud page HERE or listen on the embedded player below.
This months show went out on the RockShow on January 14th and again for American Radio Station Grip of Delusion on the 15th.
This month features a ton of brand new releases from the likes of White Light Cemetery, Evil Triplet and Atomic Simao and theres plenty of Psych Stoner and Spacerock to discover.
As always if you like what you hear please support the bands and labels by buying their music, there are direct tags on the Facebook Page, check it out.

Track List:

Krobak- No Pressure, Choice is Yours
Church of the Cosmic Skull - Watch it Grow
Evil Triplet - Get a Job
White Light Cemetery- Quit Work, Make Music
Plainride - Salt River
Secret Saucer - Roaming Shores
Atomic Simao - I'm Your Eyes Here
Brothers Mothers - Flying Over
Jardin de la Croix - Reversion
Cosmic Triggers - Sindicate

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Album Review... Weites Luftmeer -Siebenunddreißigachtundvierzig

Every now and again, a happy coincidence presents itself.  In a  Twitter conversation late last year, It was suggested that i'd really like Munich's Weites Luftmeer and i needed to check them out.  Not much longer afterwards, and unexpectedly, Tonzonen Records gave me an opportunity to hear the latest release from the band 'Siebenunddreißigachtundvierzig'; and I'm happy to say, It's fantastic.

Opening track 'Isosceles' plays as shimmering, psychedelic rock; the drumbeat and spangly guitars lead the way through a contemporary shoegaze sound to its noisy conclusion.  Following its gentile start 'Buoyancy' is much more distorted and fuzzed-up in its tones. The track builds by adding drones and percussive beats.
As the music hits the five minute mark, it bursts into something more urgent and weighty, creating an incredible wall of sound. 'Trail of Thoughts' begins with ambient soundscapes in its first half, but is soon awash with trippy beats and gorgeous textures of synth and guitar.  The albums closer is much heavier; 'Oxykotin' growls with every reverb drenched note.  The track is a heavy psych rock freakout that keeps on smashing forward with its mammoth groove; its final moments fade out and leave you wanting for more.

All four tracks add up to an engaging, and often uplifting listen, each song is constructed expertly and thoughtfully.  These compositions work well individually, but work far better as one piece, in fact, Siebenunddreißigachtundvierzig is another perfect example of being music elevated as an experience through decent headphones.

Tonzonen records are continuing to go from strength to strength with their roster, and in fact its an interesting time right now For Psychedelic Rock/Spacerock largely in part to German bands and labels.  Tonzonen are about to release new records by Knall, The Spacelords and Sounds of New Soma. I'm really excited to hear all of them.

Weites Luftmeer have delivered something unexpected.  I'm pleased that I've made their acquaintance now, as I start looking for through their back catalogue. Had I have caught this on release, it would have, most definitely, made my albums of the year list.
Essential listening.

Weites Luftmeer Bandcamp

Weites Luftmeer Facebook

Tonzonen Records

Tonzonen Records Facebook

Album Review...Sista Maj - Series of Nested Universes

The Trio 'Sista Maj' (Swedish for the last day of May, ever) are an interesting prospect; made up of Jonathan Segal of Camper Van Beetoven, drummer Andreas Axelssson (experimental jazz artist Lisa Ullén's band) and Mikael Tuominen of the brilliant Kungens Män.
The last day of May 2015 happened to be the first time that these three musicians played together.  Record Label Space Rock Productions explain "they had played in other constellations before, but this started a new group: Sista Maj".

Their debut album "Series of Nested Universes" was recorded in Stockholm after they met again to record in October 2015

Disc 1 begins with the ambient and jazz infused 'Penny Spies', acting as an intro to the album, over its 6 and a half minutes leading to 'Secret Cave Secret Rat' a psychedelic mantra building over guitar and drones. 'A Very Happy Feather' is a colossal 25 minutes long.  It begins its ascent with improvised space rock jamming, before it evolves into a full-on krautrock workout; its motorik drumming is almost hypnotic.

Disc 2 commences with the title track 'Series of Nested Universes',  another ambient piece built over drones and a steady beat; its tone is cinematic and there are tinges of Eastern Psychedelic violin  hidden within synthetic soundscape.  'Like a Diamond in this Guy' follows as slow psych jam over a considered beat and galactic guitar, but has a dark intensity.  'It Never Ends' is fast paced, urgent and strange; it's also infectiously groove driven and, easily, my favourite track on the album.  The record closes over 15 minutes of improvised, atmospheric psychedelia and jazz with 'Bones of Steel'.  It's mellow tones enriched, once again, by the eastern styles of the violin and guitars, otherworldly and beautiful.

Series of Nested Universes is a massive album to absorb over its two discs.  Whilst its inception and indeed the recording process is born of improvisation and jamming sessions; strangely its content doesn't feel particularly loose.  Given the bands pedigree, it's no surprise that stylistically, it takes in jazzed-up space rock and psychedelia.  However, it doesn't follow conventional rules; each track is its own being and, as a listener, you'll benefit from repeated plays of the album.

Space Rock Productions are releasing the 2CD set limited to 500 pressed, making this a collectable piece. Find it whilst you still can!

Sista Maj Bandcamp

Space Rock Productions Website

Space Rock Productions Facebook

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Album Review...White Light Cemetery - Careful What You Wish For

Southern Rockers White Light Cemetery have been around since 2008.  Influenced by classic rock masters  Led Zeppelin, Lynrd Sknyrd and Deep Purple, along with the heavy attitude of Pantera and Crowbar (who the band toured with in 2013 on their Crushing The South Tour) the Louisiana four piece definitely know how to bring the noise.

This year sees the band put out their first record for Ripple Music; a label that over the past 5 years has developed into the home of some the most incredible contemporary, heavy rock acts around.  From the second the brooding bassline of 'Misery Loves Company' rumbles in, right up to that crunching mammoth opening riff, you know White Light Cemetery have found themselves right at home amongst the likes of Wo Fat, Zed and Devil to Pay.
The rousing 'Sky River' has the feel of old school hard rock, rooted somewhere between Bad Company and Sonic Temple era The Cult, but with a modern sound injected in.  Looking Out (For Number One) again feels like it's towering above the world; the bass work and riff, once more, creating that giant sound that resonates through the LP.  'On a Dime' has bluesy vintage flare and is one of the albums many highlights, as is follow on track 'Quit Work, Make Music'; a stoner fuelled Gem.
Elsewhere, on the LP, is the deep groove of 'Better Days' and the Audioslave-like 'Waiting'; all leading up to album closer 'Bullet to Erase'; a return to the old style rock sound.  A really confident and fitting way to end the album.

Over the course of the 8 tracks, White Light Cemetery expertly demonstrate that southern rock doesn't have to sound like Skynrd; there's not a lot here that alerts you to the fact they're a southern rock band like the acclaimed Drive By Truckers per say.  What you do get, in buckets though, is the heavy sound of a band at the top of their game.  Every riff is massive; every bassline struts confidently and every beat smashes.  This a huge leap forward since their 2013 debut.

Ripple Music deserve credit for their output of late. 2016 was a killer year for them and Careful What you Wish for is a helluva way to kick off 2017.  White Light Cemetery have released the first great rock record of the year and only tease at what a formidable force they surely must be when witnessed live.

Highly Recommended.

White Light Cemetery Facebook

Ripple Music

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

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

...January 14th at 9pm as part of the RockShow and again on Sunday 15th for Grip Of Delusion Radio at 10amEST/4pmCET/3pmUK.

The show features brand new tracks from new and recent releases, there'll be more details nearer the time of Broadcast on the AHM Facebook page.

Until then enjoy a playback on the Mixcloud player below of January 2015s show...
Track list:

Psychic Lemon - TiCkToC
Out Of the Earth - Mother Nature
Greenleaf - Equators
The Holy Cosmos - Cult of Skulls
Seven That Spells - The Pyramid
Wooden Shjips - We Ask You to Ride
Föllakzoid - IV, III, II. I
Nik Turner - Adjust the Future
Mothership - Still Raining, Still Dreaming

Monday, 2 January 2017

Hear Transmissions From the Psychedelic Basement Prog Special Now!!

Transmissions from the Psychedelic Basement is a series of joint mixes from Atom Heart Mutha and Their good friends from Thee Psychedelicatessen.
Originally conceived as a crossover over of Psychedelia and Psychedelic Rock these mixes offer very different styles that come together to create one brilliant and addictive mix of music both old and new.
This Prog Special started as an idea from Thee Psychedelicatessen as something that you wouldn't normally associate from all concerned. What you are about to hear is a spectacular mix of the best tracks from the scene, they were a lot of fun to put together, we hope you enjoy them as much as we do !

If you like what you hear please support the artists by buying their music, you can find Atom Heart Mutha and Thee Psychedelicatessen on Facebook and Twitter.

Atom Heart Mutha

Atom Heart Mutha Track List:

Vangelis - Spiral 
Acqua Fragile - Three Hands Man 
Billy Green - Gravediggers 
Gentle Giant - A Cry For Everyone 
Caravan - Winter Wine 
Rick Wakeman - The Lost Cycle 
England - All Alone/Three Piece Suite 
Yezda Urfa - 3, Almost 4, 6 Yea 
Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Karn Evil 9: First Impression Pts 1 & 2 
Procol Harum - Shine on Brightly

Thee Psychedelicatessen

Thee Psychedelicatessen Track List:

Colosseum - The Valentyne Suite 
If - I'm Reaching Out On All Sides 
Blodwyn Pig - Sing Me A Song So Well 
Quintessence - Giants 
Family - Love Is A Sleeper 
bIG GRunt - 11 Mustachioed Daughters 
Kevin Ayres - The Confessions Of Dr Dream Part 1 - 4 
Argent - Hold Your Head Up 
Alan Parsons Project - The Raven 
Aphrodite's Child - The Four Horsemen 
Genesis - Twilight Alehouse 
Van Der Graff Generator - Theme 1 
Yes - No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed 
The Nice - America