Saturday, 21 October 2017

Prana Crafter "Ruptures of Planes” 2015 US Psych Folk Rock,Space Rock,Acid Folk


Prana Crafter  "Ruptures of Planes” 2015 US Psych Folk Rock,Space Rock,Acid Folk
full
https://pranacrafter.bandcamp.com/album/rupture-of-planes


Prana Crafter is William Sol and this, his second CD, is a bewitching mix of folky balladry and hazy psychedelia that is, frankly, beautiful (and that’s not a word I generally bandy around with regard to music). That it is released by Deep Water Acres is less of a surprise; a label that has brought us offerings by,amongst others, Evening Fires and United Bible Studies, both no strangers to transcendent musical beauty. 

‘Rupture Of Planes’ wrongfooted me at first; when lead off track 'Forest At First Light’ started I thought I had mistakenly loaded a Neil Young album. The track has the same languid majesty as Young - a gentle acoustic guitar accompanied by Sol’s plaintive yearnings (and more than a touch of Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum.) At the halfway mark some crystal sharp guitar joins, underpinned with some joyous fuzz, but not to the detriment of the atmosphere created by Sol. 'Diamond Cutter Of The Jagged Mountain’ starts with some gently plucked guitar, almost Spanish in feel, and soon warms up to become a fuzzy instrumental psychedelic number with some great reverb drenched guitar. Title track 'Rupture Of Planes’ successfully marries the styles of the preceeding tracks…ostensibly a singer/songwriter number brought alive by some more ace guitarwork. 'Moksha Of Melting Mind’ begins with some hard-as-you-like riffs and swells and grows into eastern tinged guitar workout. The manner in which the guitars swirl and swoop give the track a lysergic psych vibe. 'Tara, Do You Remember The Way’ sees Sol once again dip his toes into the Laurel Canyon troubadour territory…this could have been written and recorded in the late sixties/early seventies and would no doubt have made Sol a star. 'Treasure In A Ruin’ is another bucolic psych number…slow burning, precise and highly atmospheric, almost bordering on the ambient; a gorgeous drone providing the backdrop to some ringing guitar. 'Dharma Dripping Lotus’ follows in much the same vein - another meditative drone providing the accompaniment to some lovely acoustic guitar. 'Vessel’ takes us back once again with Sol channelling his inner Neil Young on another introspective ballad before the stabbing riffs and echo of 'Birth Of Blooming Thunder’ bring an atmosphere of foreboding, like just before a thunderstorm. 'Fog Has Lifted’ provides a folksy ballad interlude before the lilting instrumental 'Prana Crafters Abode’, another ambient guitar workout punctuated by stabs of fuzz and staccato riffs. 'Mudra Of The Mountain Throned’ brings the album to a close in a haze of psych guitar; the juxtaposition here of ringing electric guitar with acoustic guitar is an effective and neatly encapsulates the album as a whole. 

This is an incredibly intelligent album by an artist who does not feel the need to fit into a certain genre or style. The mix of singer/songwriter, west coast balladry with electrifying bursts of psych rock, all wrapped up in a rural mysticism is intoxicating and bewitching. 'Prana’ is the sanskrit for 'life force’ and that is reflected by the music - it is life-affirming and I certainly felt a better person having listened to it. 'Rupture Of Planes’ is available from Deep Water Acres…


Another parcel from the postie arrived at our psychedelic basement…….this time package of goodies from Deep Water Acres Records that included two superb records from Prana Crafter and United Bible Studies which have both completely blown us away. We have been a little late to the party (again) and were unable to included them in our “Weird Scenes Inside The Psychedelic Basement” round up……..however as they are relatively recent releases and still available to buy (the UBS album is now on its second pressing) we have decided to bring them to the attention of you good folk that, like us, were out in the car park stealing car aerials while the cool kids were gathered round the Dancette taking in these sweet sounds. 

Prana Crafter is the recording/performing pseudonym of Psych Folk guitarist William Sol, who hails from America’s great Pacific Northwest, and the recently released Rupture Of Planes is his second album of wonderfully twisted psychedelia and sweetly heartfelt balladry from deep in the woods of Washington. Incorporating both songs and instrumentals, recorded at home as well as in a professional studio, Rupture Of Planes mixes together beautiful, delicate songs that have been compared to the early 60s output from Elektra and Vanguard along with more experimental/improvised, shamanic guitar overload, lo-fi Psych Rock excursions. The five truly fabulous songs have more of a conventional structure and are studio recordings with dressed-up arrangements and live drums………… the excellent tracks ’Forest at First Light’, ‘Rupture of Planes’, ‘Fog Has Lifted’ and the standout ‘Tara, Do You Remember the Way?’ are all beautifully absorbing, predominantly acoustic, time-honoured singer/songwriter material, fragile but with a steely core and really fantastic tunes. The home recorded tunes are all instrumental cosmic jams from the deep forest with electric intensity sharing space with blissed-out serenity, third-eye visions with dirt underneath their fingernails. Prana Crafter mixes up drones, ambient explorations and full on, wild eyed Psych Rock guitar wig outs with ‘Diamond Cutter of the Jagged Mountain’, ‘Treasure in a Ruin’, ‘Dharma Dripping Lotus’ and ‘Prana Crafter’s Abode’ being possibly the best of some really outstanding tunes. ‘Prana’ is the sanskrit for “life force” and in keeping with the Eastern wisdom traditions referenced by the name, to the extent this album ruptures any planes it’s with the larger goal of embodying their differences on some higher level. This is a really beautiful record and would have made it into our best of 2015 if we were a bit quicker on the uptake

 From the superb Deep Water Acres label (also home to recent splendid albums from United Bible studies and Raising Holy Sparks ) comes the sophomore album from Prana Crafter, essentially Washington Woods guitarist William Sol. As with Prana’s impressive self-titled début this album is mostly entirely written and performed by the man himself, this time around aided by Chris Shealy on drums and with additional lyrics by Tara Sol. Recorded in the vast forestlands of his home, the album bleeds rustic charm and backwoods magic; Sol is a highly accomplished and deeply emotive artist who deserves a wide audience for his fusion of acoustic wonder and fearsome blasts of acid tinged psych guitar, 'Rupture Of Planes’ should surely be the album to afford this much deserved recognition. 

'Forest at First Light’ opens the album with delicate, finger picked acoustics, Sol’s plaintive and warm vocals entering to add a shimmer of Mercury Rev and early Neil Young to proceedings before the familiar fiery bursts of fuzz guitar enter and send the song skywards. It’s a heart stopping moment and encapsulates the sheer vibrancy and life that is inherent in Prana Crafter; this music breathes, bleeds and lives. Closing with Sol’s fragile voice repeating the refrain 'one can never really stay’ it is a hugely evocative opener to an equally atmospheric album. 'Diamond Cutter of the Jagged Mountains’ merges melancholy and solitary acoustic notes with swathes of burning, molten guitar that hovers crackling and twisting over the steady rhythm of the drums and the growing synth strings. Echo and feedback shimmer around massed waves of six string attack, recalling both Tenderness of Wolves era Six Organs Of Admittance and Arc/Weld period Neil Young. This is a guitar album, make no mistake. Next, title track 'Rupture of Planes’ is a reflective and highly melodic piece of classic psych that soaks up the darkest of Americana and adds the heartbreaking sheen that Prana Crafter effortlessly cloak their music in. Following this, 'Moksha of Melting Mind’ starts with waterfalls of cascading notes over which heavily distorted guitar and insistent bass drive ever forward into a swirling psychedelic dream, guitar lines spiralling and echoing through the woods, across the hills and into the forests. There is almost something ritualistic about Prana Crafter; something of a ceremony around their music as it builds into both fury and beauty. 

'Tara, Do You Remember the Way’ by contrast is a gorgeous reverb drenched, late night ballad. Both haunting and affecting, one can almost picture the vast star filled skies overhead; this music conjures pictures and landscapes. 'Treasure In A Ruin’ begins with carefully picked, chiming notes and an ominous, deep and distorted guitar melody; the veritable calm before the storm, something approaching in the air and the rustling of the trees. Keyboard and strings glisten and layer, building the sense of controlled tension and anticipation as the storm passes by with shudders of guitar and growing, unsettling drones. In amidst the fury and the tension however, as always with Sol’s music, there is an overarching beauty, just as there is in the nature he surrounds himself with when writing and recording his music. 'Dharma Dripping Lotus’ is a meditative and gentle flickering candlelight; acoustic guitar cascading and looping around melodic runs and a hazy, oscillating background of strings. The skies darken with synth notes and hugely exciting, corrosive bursts of guitar until the sun appears again with organ and a Floydian sense of warmth and reflection. 

'Vessel’ is a beautiful and heartrending slice of autumnal magic (Sol’s voice is a large part of this; the man can bring tears to your eyes with a simple line or sentence) whilst 'Birth Of Blooming Thunder’ evokes the sound of standing under a thundercloud as the sky and land crackles and vibrates around you, various guitars employed in seamlessly layering the growing hubris and storm. Next, 'Fog Has Lifted’ reassures, another late night gem of gentle, nostalgic and warm melancholy which is then followed by 'Prana Crafter’s Abode’, a seriously atmospheric, twinkling mood piece that drifts and flows carefully and deliberately towards a lovely, light of dawn ending. The album closes with 'Mudra Of The Mountain Throned’ which combines solemn and processionary guitar arpeggios and organ with huge flares of Earth style acid guitar in the most thrilling and, again, alive ending to an album that as a whole stands as a significant achievement; very few people are making music as ambitious, genuine and essential as this. 

Echoing from the forests of Washington this then is the sound of Prana Crafter; your life and record collection is all the poorer for not seeking this out. Take a walk into the trees and inhale the smell of the pines and the evergreens, surrender to the Rupture Of Planes. …..by Grey Malkin…

Prana Crafter is multi-instrumentalist William Sol, recording in the woods of Washington, and delivering a gentle acoustic smorgasbord that might remind you of sundry late sixties/early seventies troubadours, but hey – that’s a good thing. Or it would have been, if they’d opened their soundscapes as widely as Sol. 

The project’s name hints at an eastern influence, lyrically if not musically, but the eclecticism here draws deep from the landscape in which it was carved; gaps within notes like clearings between the trees, and the darkness always close to hand, echoing through the extended atmosphere that is the instrumental “Diamond Cutter Of The Jagged Mountain”; the loping foot-tappability of the title track; the soft caress of “Tara, Do You Remember The Way?”… if you want to play a really good trick on your snobbiest friends, slap an old Elektra or Vanguard label on the CD and make them guess who it is. Because that’s how great it is. 

But better yet, don’t tell them anything. For there are sounds in the forest that you’ve never heard before, and Rupture of Planes knows exactly what to do with them………………..

Walking a finely balanced path between two distinct musical styles, this gorgeous album manages to sound, at times, like the most haunting songs of Iron and Wine, song writing with intensity and spirituality, whilst in other moments produces waves of softly resonating psychedelia that shimmer like a heat haze deep within the soul. 
With a voice somewhere between Sam beam and Old Lost John, opening track “Forest at First Light” is an arresting ballad that leads you softly in, the song enhanced with washes of psychedelic guitar that sparkle around the melody, whilst on “diamond Cutter of the Jagged Mountain” a drifting organ combines with the mellow guitar to create a delightful swathe of lysergic noise that harkens back to those sixties West-Coast vibes. That vibe is also present and correct on the jangly sweetness of the title track, the beauty magnified again on the stunning “Tara, Do You Remember The Way” a song that stopped me in my tracks the first time I heard it, a truly gorgeous song that curls like wisps of smoke across the room. 
Featuring some heavenly guitar work and a very chilled atmosphere, “Dharma Dripping Lotus” could easily take you into another world reminding me of some of Daevid Allen’s more meditational moments, the atmosphere becoming more trippy on “Birth of Blooming Thunder”, the guitar focused and edgier. 
Basically the work of William Sol, this wonderful collection is for those moments of quiet contemplation, to be enjoyed by candle light and shared with those you love, the album seemingly summed up by the space laden guitar wanderings of “Prana Crafter’s abode” and the final track “Mudra of the Mountain Throned” a distorted hazy guitar creating a magic carpet on which to lay your head as you drift into the forest of your dreams. (Simon Lewis)…..

Who doesn’t like to be surprised? when it comes to new sounds surely everyone likes to be taken aback from time to time, i wasn’t familiar with William Sol or his music until recently but i had Rupture of planes recommended to me and as soon as i heard 'Diamond Cutter of the Jagged Mountain’, i knew it was music i’d enjoy. 

Prana Crafter is William Sol a musician from Washington with a talent for writing skilfully presented folk music that have a habit of suddenly becoming Psychedelic monsters. 'Forest at First Light’ starts of quietly, acoustically in the spirit of all great Troubadours, and then without warning comes crashing drums, and a blistering guitar solo before quieting down again as we’re told “One can never really stay”. 
Gentler and more reflective moments such as on 'Fog Has Lifted’ offer acoustic guitar stylings but allow Sol’s engaging voice to take over in ways that someone as skilled as Elliott Smith was able to do, or Bill Callaghan still can. 
Its certainly true to say that its the vocals on this Lp that often draw you in more than the music. 
There are influences from Pink Floyd on 'Treasure in a ruin’ and elsewhere there’s shades of Neil Young in the fantastic 'Vessel’. That said there are also plenty of heavier moments of distorted guitars to balance out the 12 songs on offer here. 
This is an album comfortable and confident in its own skin, what Prana Crafter/William Sol offer is well crafted music, thoughtful songwriting and some really rather enchanting Psychedelic Folk thats never afraid to evolve or feel like something different, its an album of surprises that rewards you with each listen, and yes, its not what may be described as HeavyPsych, but great music no matter what you enjoy deserves to be shared widely, and this certainly does……..

Tracklist

Forest at First Light 04:39
Diamond Cutter of the Jagged Mountain 04:12
Rupture of Planes 
Moksha of Melting Mind 
Tara, Do You Remember the Way? 04:34
Treasure in a Ruin 05:15
Dharma Dripping Lotus 
Vessel 05:58
Birth of Blooming Thunder 04:34
Prana Crafter’s Abode  
Fog Has Lifted  
Mudra of the Mountain Throned 03:44   

Flowers Must Die "Flowers Must Die" 2010 Sweden Psych Prog


Flowers Must Die  "Flowers Must Die"  2010 Sweden Psych Prog
full
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQaKyTFtjPM


 This impressionistic vintage psychedelic group shimmers it’s atavistic underground message from Linköping’s alleys, a city shadowed by ancient cathedral and vitalized by university and high technology industrial enterprises. The spontaneous sonic outbursts of Sven WALAN (gtr/kb), Jonas HÖGLUND (gtr/viol), Rickard DAUN (kb), Martin DAUN (bs) and Lars HOFFSTEN (dr), are captured with old school ways to limited edition tapes and vinyl LP’s. These elevating sonic adventures could be compared to the sonic idioms of groups MY BROTHER THE WIND and maybe more rustic incarnations of GÖSTA BERLINGS SAGA and THE SPACIOUS MIND, but the diversity and imagination utilized on the explorations within the frame of neo-classic psych music straits allow them their own identifiable sound, setting the group out of the conventional clone bands. This Swedish underground acid rock also certainly expand the impressionistic boundaries of musical expression from conventional sound structures to the heights of hallucinogenic progressive territories and reaching escape velocity for the planes of Space Rock and beyond. A very recommendable group for listening through turntable, cassette player, web pages or most ideally from a local concert venue…









Line-up / Musicians 
- Sven Walan / guitar, piano, synthesizer 
- Jonas Höglund / guitar 
- Rickard Daun / synthesizer 
- Martin Daun / bass 
- Lars Hoffsten / drums


Tracklist 
A1 För Liddle Towers 4:03 
A2 Dimman 14:21 
B Skuggan Av Omberg 18:45

Bland Bladen "I Grévens Tid" 2003 Sweden Psych Space Rock



Bland Bladen  "I Grévens Tid"  2003 Sweden Psych Space Rock …recommended..!

full

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPchZkF6B4E

If you know one band from the Swedish psych scene, it’s probably these guys. Dungen leans heavy toward the prog side of things, and isn’t afraid of easy jazz and AM radio pop. They even released an AM radio album under the name The Amazing. Amazing…….

Sweden is a country which is really rich on prog and especially psychedelic/space jam acts. Exchanging the musicians at pleasure looks like to be quite normal for some of them. Probably BLAND BLADEN can be titled as a forerunner of the Oresund Space Collective (OSC) which is most likely the bestknown of all. So it’s not quite astonishing that all the band members had collaborations with OSC in the past respectively Ola for example plays fender rhodes and synthesizer on the current masterpiece ‘Black Tomato’. 
This BRAND BLADEN debut from 2003 is consisting of four songs, totally instrumental, and yes, indeed, they can be considered to be in the vein of the OSC sound. Improvised jams with a happy flavour where you can feel their pleasure and fun making music first of all. 

The excellent title song I grévens tid appears as my highlight - a nice grooving song with jazzy rhodes piano plus a bluesy part with bubbling synths and sensitive guitar. På Grön Kvist is provided with an intense reggae/dub rhythm near to the sound of Hidria Spacefolk and the following 13 minute track I Afton Trans comes up with two main parts in a different mood, first uptempo busy, later floating and gliding. A heavy rhythm section dominates Dimland later changing to a trippy rocking part with some eastern oriental elements. 

'I Grévens Tid’ is an enjoyable album and excellent find for progheads who like Hidria Spacefolk or Ozric Tentacles as well as swedish bands jamming along anyway ….by Rivertree ……………

Very interesting debut by this Swedish outfit, re-released now in 2008. 
The music here takes it’s cue from the space rock of the 70’s, at least in sound and style. A big, fat bass line is the foundation in most segments on the four tunes here, with psychedelic guitar licks and spacey synths improvising on top, spacey synth sounds adding texture and a very 70’s electric piano adding melodic themes from time to time. Drums and percussion seems to be the pacesetters. 

Sound and style reminds slightly of bands like Hawkwind and Ozric Tentacles, and there’s some obvious similarities to Öresund Space Collective too; which isn’t a surprise as these two bands have some mutual members. 

Recommended for fans of improvisational sounding space jams, in particular those who fancy this style of music with a 70’s sound….. by Windhawk ……………

From Aural Innovations #40 (September 2008) The Swedish band, BlandBladen, who have existed since 2002, have finally released their CD-R only release from 2004, with some additional overdubs. The members of this band have all contributed to the Øresund Space Collective, but this is their roots sound. It is all instrumental progressive, folky space rock music. The 4 instrumental songs are all masterpieces with top notch playing from all the members. They have a great rhythm section to back up the skilled guitar and keyboard playing, which play amazing solos on all tracks. The CD is simply captivating and the songs great. If you are fans of progressive, psychedelic instrumental music with a truly unique character, you must hear this one. Top notch. The band have recorded the start of four new songs in 2008 but sadly have disbanded for what looks like good now. You never know though…………………

Blandbladen are a quartet from Malmö, Sweden who play an instrumental brand of Space Rock that blends Ozric Tentacles, jamming lysergic Psychedelia, Trance, and Progressive Rock. The band consists of Solen on Fender Rhodes & keyboards, Sabana on guitar & sounds, Kaufmann on drums & percussion, and Dave on bass & fishmouth. I Grevens Tid is their first album and includes three tracks in the 12-13 minute range and one at 6 minutes. 
The band originally self-released this on CDR in 2003, though I never heard any buzz about it so I’m guessing it got very little distribution. So BIG kudos to the folks at Transubstans for giving this gem a proper release. Here are my comments from the review I published in AI #24: 

The set opens with “I Grévens Tid”, laying down a cool psychedelic groove and the Rhodes gives the music a 70’s prog-jazz flavor, while blending in more modern Space Rock stylings á la Ozric Tentacles. But the band stretch out nicely, transitioning through several themes, including a trippy Blues psych segment peppered with liquid efx and hypnotic floating atmospherics. “På Grön Kvist” is a heavily Ozric influenced tune that builds the pace and intensity to smokin psych-rock levels. “I Afton Trans” and “Dimland” include some of the most high energy trip rocking moments of the set. The music consists of searing space rock with hints of Zappa amidst the Ozric styled space vibe and old time kosmiche prog and heavy rock feel. The rhythm section on “Dimland” is particularly heavy, pounding away furiously while shooting alien synths and wah’d guitars wrap themselves around your brain. Absolutely mind-bending and the way the music evolves and builds positive energy and intensity they could have easily gone on for 20 minutes or more and never lost my attention. So chock another one up for the Swedes dear readers. This is 100% totally spaced out rock and prog played by a band with pure psychedelic hearts. You are commanded to check these guys out NOW!….by Jerry Kranitz………………….

Line-up / Musicians 
- Kaufman / drums 
- Sebbe / guitar 
- Ola / synth, rhodes 
- Dave / bass, percussion

Songs / Tracks Listing 
1. I grévens tid (12:03) 
2. Pε grφn kvist (6:09) 
3. I afton trans (13:32) 
4. Dimland (13:48) 

Agusa "Hogtid" 2014 Sweden Psych Prog Space Rock


Agusa  "Hogtid" 2014 Sweden Psych Prog Space Rock …recommended…!

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2f39sp

full

and spotify…


“Love psychedelic guitar textures and vintage styled prog-rock organ freakouts? Of course you do. Well, do yourself a favor and be sure to check out this debut release from Sweden’s Agusa, titled Högtid, out soon from the folks at Transubstans Records. This is authentic sounding early ‘70s prog/psych/krautock inspired stuff…so much so that you’d swear it was recorded in 1971. The band lists their influences as Kebnekajse, Amon Düül II, and Colosseum , which you can totally hear, but they have also added their own spin on the vintage sounding modern prog sound. Featuring members of Sveriges Kommuner & Landsting, Kama Loka and Hoofoot, Agusa weave plenty of swirling organ, jagged guitar, and nimble rhythms throughout this stirring collection of songs. It’s all instrumental, so don’t be put off by the Swedish song titles, and it’s all glorious stuff…” - Sea of Tranquility……

If you enjoy Retro Prog with some psychedelic rock and Krautrock influences, this is an impressive output from this Swedish band. Mostly instrumental, the music is a display of swirling Hammond organ and ragged guitar riffs that takes you back to the 70’s. Despite the longish songs, the melodic themes are running throughout the experimental and spacey excursions with a nice flow. The organ and guitars interplay is what the emphasis is on the album, but on the song “Stigen Genom Skogen”, the drums gets their chance to build a momentum to follow the frenzy organ pace while the guitars take a first break before come back screaming at the end. If this album has some progressive rock structures, the guitars and organ soloing is definitely psychedelic. But everything fits so well that you don’t get lost in the music searching for a melody. There’s only 3 minutes of what seems like a bit of muddling passages at the beginning of the song “Östan om Sol, Västan om Måne”, and where you can start wondering if the band is losing focus, but it was intended to create a interlude of stranger atmosphere before getting back to the flow of the music. Recommended!…by rdtprog ……

Swedish band AGUSA was formed at the start of 2013, with bassist Tobias Pettersson and guitarist Mikael Ödesjö the founding members, with drummer Dag Strömkvist and keyboardist Jonas Berge joining the ranks soon after. “Högtid” is their debut album, and was released through Swedish label Transubstans Records at the start of 2014. 
What we’re dealing with here is an album made by a band with a strong affection for early 70’s psychedelic and progressive rock. Vintage and retro are words that define everything going on throughout this production, a case of true love and affection for a specific sound explored with warmth and care by musicians that know this type of music by heart. 

The opening three compositions all contain some elements directly inspired by and to some degree oriented towards a folk or world music sound. Which adds a certain emphasis to the psychedelic charms of the band. The folky touches are less distinct on the final two tracks on this 5 track production, although I do suspect those with a better knowledge than me on such matters might find clues of that kind also in these compositions. Fourth track Stigen Genom Skogen is the only piece here that feature vocals, sparingly applied at the start of the song, otherwise this is an instrumental production. 

Guitars and organ are the dominant instruments throughout, the former distinctly retro sounding and the latter, perhaps obviously, is the good, old Hammond used unless I’m much mistaken. The songs ebbs and flows between solo wandering by one or the other, frequently also combining them, with a varying degree of psychedelic tinged textures utilized. The most prominent example of this probably third track Östen om Sol, Västen om Måne, as this song revolves around an exotic sounding theme with a world music orientation. 

Otherwise I found that this album gave me strong associations towards the earliest albums by Eloy, perhaps Inside in particular, due to the manner in which the organ is applied. Which arguably will place Agusa in more of a Krautrock tradition than a psychedelic one. Some additional touches, like the use of more playful and subtly jazzoriented details, brings a band like Camel to mind. Concluding track Kärlek från Agusa is the main example of that, a brief and spirited creation that should bring a joy-filled smile to the face of most people fond of mid 70’s Camel. 

Retro-oriented band excursions aren’t difficult to come across these days, and many of them are indeed of high quality too. As far as I’m concerned Agusa are better and more accomplished than the greater majority of bands exploring a similar territory however. If this is due to the band exploring a sound that I personally treasure more than others may of course be the case, but the bands still strikes me as better and more accomplished than most others I have encountered. Be that as it may be, but if you have a strong affection for instrumental progressive rock with a psychedelic and subtle folk music tinge to it, explored within an early 70’s framework, this is a band and an album you should investigate. Those who enjoy early 70’s Eloy and similar sounding bands should be first in line, especially those amongst them that also have spent a fair share of time exploring Camel’s mid 70’s productions….. by Windhawk 


AGUSA is a new band out of Sweden playing mostly instrumental music and they do like to jam bringing to mind FLASKET BRINNER at times. There is a definite Krautrock flavour in a few places and like others have mentioned this is 70’s retro music all the way. 
“Uti Var Hage” sounds really good once it kicks in well before a minute as the organ floats in the background. A change before 2 minutes as we get vocal melodies, drums and organ leading the way. Check out the bass before 3 minutes then the guitar after 4 minutes which is such a feel-good section. It settles right down 5 minutes in but then it starts to rebuild and it sounds fantastic with some ripping guitar. Pulsating organ after 6 ½ minutes then we get another calm around 8 minutes in as the organ floats. It kicks back in after 9 ½ minutes. “Melodi Fran St Knut” is a bright and upbeat tune with organ and drums standing out. The guitar joins in around the 3 minute mark then back to that earlier sound after 4 minutes. A calm follows with guitar then it starts to build again. Love the guitar after 6 minutes. 

“Ostan Om Sol, Vastan Om Mane” opens with vocal melodies and atmosphere with picked guitar. This is very Krautrock-like. It kicks into a full sound after 4 minutes. The guitar starts to solo around 7 minutes as we also get some cool drum work. It all slows down with guitar 9 ½ minutes in before it starts to build once again. “Stigen Genom Skogen” opens with growly organ and determined drums that remind me of Krautrock. Vocals after 1 ½ minutes then the guitar proceeds to light it up before we get a change a minute later as the tempo picks up. Man the drumming is so good and the organ is really prominant. The guitar is back 5 minutes in and it’s just killing it. Back to the earlier soundscape before 6 minutes to end it. “Karlek Fran Agusa” is the short 3 minute closer that reminds me of CAMEL. 

This is a pretty cool organ driven project that should impress all you fans of seventies Prog out there…..by Mellotron Storm 


Εδώ και χρόνια η κατάσταση στα μουσικά πράγματα της Σκανδιναβίας μυρίζει μπαρούτι. Η σύγχρονη rock σκηνή στο βορειότερο κομμάτι της Ευρώπης γνωρίζει τη μεγαλύτερη ακμή στην ιστορία της, με τη Νορβηγία να προηγείται και τη Σουηδία να έπεται (από κοντά). Το κυριότερο χαρακτηριστικό στην όλη κατάσταση είναι ότι αυτή η άνθιση οφείλεται κατά κύριο λόγο στην underground σκηνή και τις εσωτερικές εκρήξεις εντός της, που έχουν ως αποτέλεσμα την εμφάνιση συγκροτημάτων και δίσκων που κερδίζουν την προσοχή του κοινού. Συγκεκριμένα στη Σουηδία, αυτός ο κοχλάζων αναβρασμός δημιουργικότητας μας έδωσε μπάντες που έκτοτε μας απασχολούν, είτε υπάρχουν μέχρι σήμερα είτε «πρόλαβαν» να διαλυθούν. Ενδεικτικά αναφέρω τα ντεμπούτα των: Paatos (2002), Beardfish (2003), Liquid Scarlet (2004), Moon Safari (2005), Gösta Berlings Saga (2006), Anima Morte (2007), My Brother The Wind (2010), Tonbruket (2010) και βέβαια των Kama Loka (2013). 

Φέτος αποδεικνύεται ότι στους Kama Loka θα είμαστε διπλά ευγνώμονες. Κι αυτό, γιατί ο Tobias Petterson (μπάσο) και ο Mikael Ödesjö (κιθάρα) δεν αρκέστηκαν στο καθόλα εντυπωσιακό, βουκολικό, πρωτόλειο prog-folk έργο των Kama Loka. Μετά την κυκλοφορία του άλμπουμ εγκατέλειψαν την μπάντα με στόχο τη δημιουργία ενός “early 70’s progressive rock project”. Έτσι, ένωσαν δυνάμεις με τους Dag Strömqvist (ντραμς) και Jonas Berge (πλήκτρα) και μεταφέρθηκαν μέσα στο δάσος για να δημιουργήσουν μουσική μαζί, σε μια περιοχή που ονομάζεται Agusa (στη ΝΑ Σουηδία, θέρετρο των κατοίκων του Malmö). Το καλοκαίρι του 2013, ένα μεγάλης διάρκειας jam σε μια ζεστή, ηλιόλουστη μέρα ήταν αρκετό για να σχηματιστεί η μπάντα, που πήρε το όνομά της από το μαγευτικό περιβάλλον της Agusa. Τον περασμένο χειμώνα ο Strömqvist αποφάσισε να αφήσει για λίγο την μπάντα για να ταξιδέψει στην Ινδία και στη θέση του ήρθε ο Tim Wallander. 

Συγκεντρώνοντας την προϋπηρεσία των μελών των Agusa, αξίζει να γίνει μία αναφορά στις underground μπάντες στις οποίες έχουν συμμετάσχει. Eκτός φυσικά των Kama Loka, ακούγοντας το λυρικό (αλλά και bluesy) heavy progressive rock των The Divine Baze Orchestra, το acid heavy psych των Sveriges Kommuner & Landsting, το Canterbury jazzy prog των Hoofoot και το 70s heavy blues rock των Μagic Jove, αντιλαμβάνεται κανείς ότι αυτό που συνέβη στο ντεμπούτο των Agusa δεν είναι καθόλου τυχαίο. Το “Högtid” είναι στο μεγαλύτερο κομμάτι του instrumental και μουσικά δεν έχει καμία σχέση με οτιδήποτε μετά το 1974. Το prog folk και το psych-prog αντίστοιχα των Σουηδών «πατέρων» Kebnekajse και Panta Rei βρίσκονται εδώ, μαζί με επιρροές από τον αφρό του progressive rock και Krautrock των 70s, με κυριότερες ίσως τους Focus και τους Amon Düül ΙΙ. Ο Ηλίας και ο Πάρης αναλύουν σε βάθος με μεγάλη χαρά….by….Δημήτρης Καλτσάς…


Finland and Sweden are well known for the beautiful pieces of work. And I found a Gem. A 4 piece band called AGUSA hailing from Sweden launched their first album called “Hogtid” in 2 April, 2014. Formed in 2014, these guys have done a brilliant job in their first piece of work. Not many can create a resurrection of 60s/70s Rock to the present since the present generation sounds really modern and you can make it out from their sound. 

Here, AGUSA have decided to give their utmost dedication. It can be heard from their music that dedication level is higher level. Not many bands have that kind of talent to create something worth to listen to. With musical influences like AMON DUUL II and similar to it, Hammond organ played with gentle flow by Jonas Berge, Tobias Pettersson’s bass, Mikael Odesjo’s guitar and Dag Stromkvist’s beautiful drumming with the rhythms, have decided to the listeners to give them a taste of bliss. Claiming to be Swedish Psychedelic Progressive Krautrock band have released their album called “Hogtid” which means festivity in Swedish. Well, the album sounds like a balance of bliss, happiness and it speaks neutral emotions and it speaks about well defined sentiments of human nature. I am not sure because your perception might differ from what they exactly speak out. 

Taking a look at the album artwork, It’s confusing. Because the album artwork had its foremost four corner where the moon has several holes in it with four directions symbolizing the ladder, one can see the earth on the right hand side of the corner, a spaceship and two butterflies. Interesting album artwork which can bring out load of perceptions. 

Talking about their album, in “Stigen genom skogen”, certain vocals can be heard in Swedish. The perfect song and also catchy song is their “karlek fan agusa”. With a pick of psychedelic and Progressive Rock combined, this band has the potential to go further and also have raised certain expectations and standards with their first album. As the meaning of “Hogtid” says festivity, “Hogtid” is a beautiful piece of melody consisting of 5 tracks with sheer bliss of 43 minutes. One cannot deny their sound nor will be able to put down the album on the table without giving a list. AGUSA is on their way to give you the best out of Psychedelic Progressive Rock!….by Shwetha Kamath 


Swedish band AGUSA was formed at the start of 2013, with bassist Tobias Pettersson and guitarist Mikael Ödesjö the founding members, with drummer Dag Strömkvist and keyboardist Jonas Berge joining the ranks soon after. “Högtid” is their debut album, and was released through Swedish label Transubstans Records at the start of 2014. 

What we’re dealing with here is an album made by a band with a strong affection for early 70’s psychedelic and progressive rock. Vintage and retro are words that define everything going on throughout this production, a case of true love and affection for a specific sound explored with warmth and care by musicians that know this type of music by heart. 

The opening three compositions all contain some elements directly inspired by and to some degree oriented towards a folk or world music sound. Which adds a certain emphasis to the psychedelic charms of the band. The folky touches are less distinct on the final two tracks on this 5 track production, although I do suspect those with a better knowledge than me on such matters might find clues of that kind also in these compositions. Fourth track Stigen Genom Skogen is the only piece here that feature vocals, sparingly applied at the start of the song, otherwise this is an instrumental production. 

Guitars and organ are the dominant instruments throughout, the former distinctly retro sounding and the latter, perhaps obviously, is the good, old Hammond used unless I’m much mistaken. The songs ebbs and flows between solo wandering by one or the other, frequently also combining them, with a varying degree of psychedelic tinged textures utilized. The most prominent example of this probably third track Östen om Sol, Västen om Måne, as this song revolves around an exotic sounding theme with a world music orientation. 

Otherwise I found that this album gave me strong associations towards the earliest albums by Eloy, perhaps Inside in particular, due to the manner in which the organ is applied. Which arguably will place Agusa in more of a Krautrock tradition than a psychedelic one. Some additional touches, like the use of more playful and subtly jazzoriented details, brings a band like Camel to mind. Concluding track Kärlek från Agusa is the main example of that, a brief and spirited creation that should bring a joy-filled smile to the face of most people fond of mid 70’s Camel. 

Retro-oriented band excursions aren’t difficult to come across these days, and many of them are indeed of high quality too. As far as I’m concerned Agusa are better and more accomplished than the greater majority of bands exploring a similar territory however. If this is due to the band exploring a sound that I personally treasure more than others may of course be the case, but the bands still strikes me as better and more accomplished than most others I have encountered. Be that as it may be, but if you have a strong affection for instrumental progressive rock with a psychedelic and subtle folk music tinge to it, explored within an early 70’s framework, this is a band and an album you should investigate. Those who enjoy early 70’s Eloy and similar sounding bands should be first in line, especially those amongst them that also have spent a fair share of time exploring Camel’s mid 70’s productions…..by….OLAV MARTIN BJØRNSEN…


Agusa is a new band emerging from Malmö, Sweden; and this first album literally floored me. The band’s line-up at the time they recorded Hogtid was: Tobias Pettersson (bass), Mikael Ödesjö (guitar), Dag Strömkvist (drums) and Jonas Berge (Hammond Organ). Their Facebook page indicates since the recording, they have a new drummer, Tim Wallander. Agusa’s music is most certainly what many would describe as Prog Rock, but there is no denying the psychedelic influences, with obvious leanings toward such diverse acts as Kebnekajse (Sweden), Amon Düül II (Germany) and Colosseum (UK), but at the same time presenting something unique. The album is almost entirely instrumental except for one track and will take you back to Sweden in about 1975! 

Hogtid features five compositions, a total of 44 minutes of music and strangely it has a distinct Scandinavian feel to it. I say strange because you wouldn’t expect to hear that in instrumental music, but there is a certain feel to the way the music is played and the instruments used. Keyboards listed show only the Hammond Organ which provides the band a very distinct flavor. The songs are mostly instrumental and mostly on the longish side; anywhere from seven to fourteen minutes in fact. Each song consists of a number of core melodic themes that are run through and then either dispensed with or returned to after some experimental, spacey, droning musical excursions. There are plenty of long rambling musical excursions where each member has the opportunity to display their craft. Nothing here is overly angular; in fact it’s all quite musically melodic. So while the structure and arrangements are drawn from the Prog world, much of the guitar and organ soloing tends to reflect the genre’s earlier psych origins. Together it fits very well. 

Some might call this Retro-Prog because of its late sixties vibe, others may call it Krautrock because of the spacey extended solos, but whatever label you want to put on it, it’s well-played and certainly interesting to listen to. Agusa have a good thing going here and prog fans would do well to check them out. The music on Hogtid is a nice blend of psychedelic influences and progressive rock that would make a great addition to your prog CD or vinyl collection (I liked the album so very much that I bought both, vinyl and CD). Authentic 70’s progressive tunes that lived through four decades can be heard on this amazing album!….ByJoel Barrios…


Agusa is a new band from Malmö, featuring members of Sveriges Kommuner & Landsting, Kama Loka and Hoofoot. The band is lead by Kommun2 record label owner Tobias Petterson. Tobias plays the bass and is joined by Jonas on organ and synthesizers, Mikael on guitar and Dag Strömkvist on drums (they have a great new drummer now). The album is almost entirely instrumental except for one track and will take you back to Sweden in about 1975! The album starts off with Uti vår Hage and some beautiful organ and guitar. It quickly builds a really nice melodic and dynamic theme of lush organ, dynamic drums and a cool groove. A low mixed vocal also comes and goes. Fantastic organ and guitar solos and the sort of Swedish folk theme comes and goes. Great track. Melodi från St. knut ends side B and has a similar style melody as the first track but Mikael plays a fantastic wah guitar solo on this track while the rest of the band maintains that great 70s prog feel and groove. Cool song. Flip the record over now and you will hear Östan om solen, västan om Måne.. It starts slow and spacey, with some vocals in the background as it all slowly builds up and the killer riff and groove finally kicks in and off we go! This could be my favourite track on the record.. Stioen genom Skogen brings back the forest organ Swedish music with another beautiful track! The vinyl version of this record has really fantastic artwork by Peter Wallgren, who has done many covers for artists from the label.. I really love this record and it has been fun to play live with the band as well. Peace…


Much like Finland’s Svart Records, Swedish label Transubstans has a knack for discovering new homegrown talent. Theirs are acts whose earthy homages to the prog, folk and psych crosswinds of the early 70s are impeccably and unselfconsciously rendered, to the point where ‘retro’ is no longer a useful term. As much as Mälmo’s Agusa cite Colosseum and krautrockers Amon Düül II as influences – and you can throw in references to pastoral forebears such as Landberk and Fläsket Brinner too – the spirit that pervades Högtid is one of unfettered if unhurried exploration. 

It’s tinged with nostalgia, but only in the sense that it’s fuelled by an open-ended yearning, finding a common spirit with contemporaries such as Finland’s equally organ-drenched Sammal and, on the dreamy carousel of Melodi Från St Knut, very English fayre such as Purson and Circulus. 

But these are only starting points for a journey that is very much Agusa’s own. Each of the five tracks here carries its own unique imprint, from Ut Vår Hage’s roaming, summery psychedelia through the Eastern scales of Östan Om Sol, Västan Om Måne to the rolling Hammond-impregnated pulse of Stigen Genom Skogen. 

Together, they all add up to a glorious whole whose co-ordinates are as accommodating as they are ephemeral……


Sitting on the fence is usually seen as a bad thing; however when it comes to music straddling the fence can actually be a good thing, all the more so when the musical fences you are straddling are psychedelic and progressive rock. Such is a case with the new Swedish band, Agusa. The band’s line-up at the time they recorded Hogtid was: Tobias Pettersson (bass), Mikael Ödesjö (guitar), Dag Strömkvist (drums) and Jonas Berge (Hammond Organ). Their Facebook page indicates since the recording, they have a new drummer, Tim Wallander. Agusa’s music is most certainly what many would describe as Prog Rock, but there is no denying the psychedelic influences. 

Hogtid features five compositions, a total of forty-four minutes of music and strangely it has a distinct Scandinavian feel to it. I say strange because you wouldn’t expect to hear that in instrumental music, but there is a certain feel to the way the music is played and the instruments used. Keyboards listed show only the Hammond Organ which provides the band a very distinct flavor. The fact that it’s panned repeatedly from left to right through much of “Melodi Fran St Knut” [7:54] displays their psychedelic sensibility. The songs are mostly instrumental and mostly on the longish side; anywhere from seven to fourteen minutes in fact. Each song consists of a number of core melodic themes that are run through and then either dispensed with or returned to after some experimental, spacey, droning musical excursions. There are plenty of long rambling musical excursions where each member has the opportunity to display their craft. Nothing here is overly angular; in fact it’s all quite musically melodic. So while the structure and arrangements are drawn from the Prog world, much of the guitar and organ soloing tends to reflect the genre’s earlier psych origins. Together it fits very well. 

Some might call this Retro-Prog because of its late sixties vibe, others may call it Krautrock because of the spacey extended solos, but whatever label you want to put on it, it’s well-played and certainly interesting to listen to. Agusa have a good thing going here and prog fans would do well to check them out. The music on Hogtid is a nice blend of psychedelic influences and progressive rock that would make a great addition to your prog CD collection…


Agusa is the name of a new band from Sweden, which does not have too much information. After all, one learns that among the four participating musicians are members of Sveriges Kommuner & Landsting, Kama Loka and Hooffoot. Ah yes. The debut of the quartet with the title Högtid appears at the beginning of April 2014 at Transsubstans Records. 

As a reference, the label of the label Kebnekajse, Amon Düül II and Colosseum. Now I am not aware of the former, but Amon Düül II? Colosseum? Ick weeß nüscht … Let’s just get to the facts. The quartet is limited to guitar, bass, drums and organ. Yes, just the good, old organ, no huge keyboard castles! Most of the songs are instrumental, except for subtle, textless voice inserts, only the penultimate title has a correct text, which is sung in Swedish. 

In the tight three-thirds of the week, the Swedes offer a retroprogressive rock, but their inspiration is not so much in the high phase of classic progressive rock, but rather in its early days, in the early 70s or even the late 60s. There are elements of Psychedelic and Krautrock. In the foreground are the cutting guitar of Mikael Ödesjö and the roaring organ of Jonas mountains, which both give the music powerful steam. In particular the organ makes for the perfect retro atmosphere, sometimes even a slightly bluesy element purely - perhaps therefore the comparison with Colosseum. In general, it is quite fast to the point, but now and then the music can also dissolve into a psychedelic sound. 

The music is genre-like, not overly complex, but - in addition to the wonderful retro feel - by variety, colorful arrangements and the open playfulness of the quartet. The reduction of the touch sounds on the organ prevents the music from being suffocated in fluffy keyboardsounds, which is the case with some representatives of the genre. Although Agusa will not necessarily be awarded a prize for musical innovation with this album, it still offers pretty retro music away from the usual retro stereotypes…..by…Jochen Rindfrey…


  What we have here is a little prog rock gem from (where else?) Sweden. An instrumental band by default, Agusa use subtle (if not generic) melodies and rhythms so as to introduce themselves and their listeners to their intimate and atmospheric jams… Which in contrast, have a genuinely spontaneous way of development through the course of time. Awesome hammond improvisations are mixed with rhythm electro-acoustic guitars playing spacey or classic prog rock themes in the rear, while the lead guitars give out the epic feeling classic rock is much renowned for……………………sputnik.. 


Line-up / Musicians 
- Tobias Pettersson / bass 
- Mikael Ödesjö / guitar 
- Dag Strömkvist / drums 
- Jonas Berge / organ


Tracklist 
A1 Uti Vår Hage 11:05 
A2 Melodi Från St Knut 7:54 
B1 Östan Om Sol, Västan Om Måne 14:03 
B3 Stigen Genom Skogen 7:55 

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