Saturday, 24 October 2015

ELECTRIC MOON – THEORY OF MIND (Sulatron Records 2xLP, CD). ZONE SIX – LOVE MONSTER (Sulatron Records CD/Deep Distance LP). SULA BASSANA – LIVE AT ROADBURN FESTIVAL 2014 (Sulatron Records LP, CD). SEVEN THAT SPELLS – SUPERAUTOBAHN (Sulatron Records LP). KRAUTZONE – SPIRITUAL RETREAT (Sulatron Records LP).

Down in the psychedelic basement we have been seriously digging the recent releases from the excellent Sulatron Records from Germany. Formed by psychedelic shaman Sula Bassana, the label has been putting out fantastic Psychedelic/Krautrock records on a regular basis for a decade………we have five releases here for you which we think you will really like if epic Space Rock and slow burning cosmic jams are your thing. All of these records are out now and available from the SulatronRecords online store.

Take a huge dose of Psychedelia, blend it with some acid colours and get as high as you can – this is the state of mind, Electric Moon create with their sound. Having previously released several live recordings on Sulutron, Electric Moon (Komet Lulu on bass, Sula Bassana on guitar/synth and Marcus Schnitzler on drums) are essentially a totally cosmic jam band that are more at home playing live than in the studio. Recorded at the Kosmodrom in Heidelberg, Theory Of Mind is made up of four very long searing Acid Rock space jams all clocking in around the 15 minute mark (taking up a whole side each on the vinyl release)………Playing live is the bands raison d'être and are at their best when feeding off the energy produced by a room full of people, creating a unique experience where there is a symbiotic experience shared between audience and band. This is the psychedelic experience bar none.

The chemistry between the band members is more than obvious as they embark for just over an hour long cosmic adventure, the music ebbs and flows through loosely structured jams with the band instinctively sparking off each other. Gradually building from a ripple of synth and guitar sounds as if receiving a transmission from a distant star, ‘Hypnotika’ eventually hits its groove with bass and drums providing solid ground for waves of guitar to incessantly crash against…….this is epic Space Rock with Electric Moon continually pushing ever further into the unknown guided by the almost telepathic link between the band members. The second track, ‘Theory of Mind’, is another cosmic slow burner, unhurriedly working towards a full on mind melting, wah-wah pedal abusing Acid Rock freakout…….this is psychedelic music for the body and the mind. The trancelike ‘The Picture’ is underpinned by Lulu’s snarling fuzz bass while Sula Bassana blasts out scuzzy, heavy psyche riffs over an epic stoner groove……….definitely one for the smokers as Electric Moon cook up a psychedelic stew that has all the ingredients from classic Sabbathesque early 70s “head” music with a fair bit of Psilocybin thrown in for good measure. Closing with the swirling ‘Aerosoul’ again Electric Moon trip out towards the stars, travelling ever closer towards the sun on a fuzzed out psychedelic space odyssey before burning up in a hail of glorious noise, sending out shards of brilliant colour in one final freakout. Theory Of Mind is a total trip and a must listen for all you space cadets out there. Available from the Sulatron on line store, Theory Of Minds is available as both double disc vinyl and CD.

Zone Six pre-date Electric Moon by quite a few years but have been slow to release a studio album for a very long time, mainly because of all of the members are involved with other bands plus they are self-confessed “lazy bastards”. After a break of 11 years, Zone Six return with Love Monster, a sprawling mix of Space Rock, Acid Rock and Neo-Krautrock instrumentals that has been well worth the wait. In the Sulatron universe there is a lot of switching between bands and for this album the line-up of Zone Six is made up of two thirds of Electric Moon (Komet Lulu on bass and Sula Bassana switching to drums) plus guitarist Rainer Neeff and Martin Schorn aka Modulfix plays Synths (coincidently all four musicians are also part of deep space jammers Krautzone…..but more about them later). There are many similarities between Electric Moon and Zone Six as they both play mind melting Acid Rock however the very groovy and psychedelic Zone Six are far wilder and far out than Electric Moon and Love Monster is a colossal freakout album.

Opening with the title track, Zone Six get their groove on right from the first moment…….guitars and synths spiral to infinity while the bass and drums lock tight………it’s the exactitude of Neu! mixed with the acid sprawl of Guru Guru. The rest of the album has a much looser feel, more in line with the early 70s German Acid Rock bands such as the aforementioned Guru Guru than the precision engineered groove of Can and Neu!, both ‘The Insight’ and ‘Acidic’ are smoking hot Space Rock numbers that slowly build out amongst the stars before bursting into flame during re-entry, blazing across the sky before crashing back to Earth. The final track ‘Cosmogyrai’ is a massive fuzzed out Space Rock jam that ends in a tangle of guitar and synth noise after spending the previous 10 minutes tearing off the top off your skull and flipping your brain upside down. Love Monster really does need to be played very loud and you really need to be very stoned……you know it makes sense.

Love Monster is available on CD and you can get hold of a copy from the Sulatron online shop. There was a limited vinyl release (500 copies) on the UK label Deep Distance Records which has now sold out, however if you check online sites like Discogs you may be able to find a reasonably priced copy.

Sulatron head honcho and multi-instrumentalist Sula Bassana (known to his mother as Dave Schmidt) very rarely plays live under his moniker…….he is no doubt far too busy running a very groovy record label, recording fantastic solo albums as well as being a member of Electric Moon, Zone Six and Krautzone……..however he played a one off show at the 2014 Roadburn Festival which was recorded and almost the complete performance is now is available on CD and Vinyl. For this gig an excellent band was put together featuring Electric Moon/Zone Six alumni…… in addition to Sula Bassana’s raging Acid Rock guitar and sweeping synthesizer/mellotron washes the band included guitarist Rainer Neeff from Zone Six with the whole thing being powered by the massive bass and drum section of Komet Lulu and Marcus Schnitzler from Electric Moon (we hope you are taking notes here as there will be a quiz later about the various line-ups of bands in the Sulatron family).

Live At Roadburn Festival 2014 is closer to Space Rock than a psychedelic experience with Sula Bassana and his band channelling the interstellar heavyweights Hawkwind and early Floyd, as well as the lysergic heaviosity of classic Stoner Rock. The fuzzed up ‘Rainstorm’ kicks off a wild ride of improvised Acid Rock freakouts, howling guitar-battles full of fuzz, tremolo and wah-wah that push the VU meters well into the red and passages of lush, swirling synthesizer and mellotron……….part a mind melting epic Space Rock adventure, part Prog/Psych inventiveness. The only track to feature on previous Sula Bassana albums is the title track from Dark Days, now stretched double the length of the studio version into a Prog/Psych monster of a track. Switching effortlessly between full on Psychedelic Rock jamming to lavish, symphonic mellotron parts ‘Dark Days’ is truly an epic track and a completely brilliant piece of modern psychedelia……….Sula Bassana really ought to play shows under his own moniker more often. This album is a must listen for anyone who digs the more modern bands that have taken classic Hawkwind as a key influence…….the ones that come to mind readily are White Manna, Gnod and Farflung. Available now, Sula Bassana Live At Roadburn Festival 2014 comes in limited edition (777 copies) marbled vinyl or as a CD.

Hailing from Croatia, Seven That Spells have existed in various forms since 2003 with guitarist Niko Potocnjak being the only constant member during that time. Seven That Spells thing is a barrage of noise that distils the very essence of the repetitive nature of Krautrock into a sonic assault………very loud, very heavy, extended instrumental face melters that beat the shit out of the perceived modern expression of Kraut and then come back for seconds. Originally recorded in 2007 but not released until 2012, Sulatron Records have re-released  Superautobahn as a vinyl only version limited to 500 copies and it’s a must listen for lovers of extreme Psych Rock.

There is nothing subtle about this record; it’s the aural equivalent of being attacked by a dangerous dog that has no intention whatsoever of slackening the grip of its steely jaws. Each “song” is built on one solitary riff which underpins a screaming, improvised guitar wig-out which is part trancelike revelation, part GBH. Sure it’s repetitive, but that’s the point……Seven That Spells aim to create a psychedelic state with cyclic drum patterns and heavy riffing mixed with totally outthere guitar freakouts. It’s definitely an album that will split opinion but its well worth giving it a listen……and remember…….PLAY LOUD!!!

The vinyl version is available from the Sulatron online shop, however you can purchase the digital download from the Seven That Spells Bandcamp page at https://seventhatspells.bandcamp.com/album/superautobahn.

And finally boys and girls………we have a Kosmische space ritual that is Krautzone’s Spiritual Retreat, two 20 minute tracks over two sides of vinyl of totally improvised, atmospheric Krautrock/Kosmische jams. Previously posted on the Krautzone Soundcloud site under the title Psychotic Krautzone and now available as a limited edition vinyl run of 777 copies. Again this is the Sulutron family coming together in yet another configuration (Sula Bassana (Electric Moon, Zone Six) on synths/organ, Komet Lulu (Electric Moon, Zone Six) providing trance inducing Shamanistic drumming,  Modulfix (Zone Six) on Synths, Rainer Neeff (Zone Six) plays guitar and Onkel Kaktus is the bass player). If you like the more experimental side of early Pink Floyd (tracks like ‘A Saucerful Of Secrets’ and ‘Careful With That Axe Eugene’) you will dig this record………….Good People, Krautzone invite you to Turn On, Tune In and Trip Out with them.....it would be rude to decline.

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