A grand journey into the unknown from ambient psychedelic prog band Astralasia. Taking you through found sound ambience to arpeggiated electronics and hazy saxophones and guitars. Bloody good headphones and solitary (preferably at night) required. It comes with a sheet of imitation acid… I think you get the vibe.
Double LP £19.99 winkle 27
2LP on Regal Crabomophone. Includes sheet of imitation blotter acid.
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- Oceania by Astralasia
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Well, what a treat. Billed as ‘ambient psychedelic prog’, Oceania is a DOUBLE LP from Astralasia, a lightly dubby offshoot from psych-rockers Magic Mushroom Band. The records are housed in a nice textured gatefold sleeve -- tactile! -- with a 7” square blotter sheet of imitation acid… yeah, like, well trippy.
The opening track, ‘Alooland’ sounds like the sleeve looks; Tangerine Dream-like synths wash over you like waves gently lapping at the shore, keys sparkling gently as early evening sun glinting off little tranquil pools formed in the sand. Field recordings of soft tropical birdsong add to the equatorial vibe. Bouncy rhodes chords cavort atop relentless arpeggiated synth and a rhythm building up from a tabla, on ‘Ghosts Inbetween’, as guitars come in to transport you to somewhere warm and influenced by liberal helpings of psychotropics. More arpeggiated synths and distorted, very overdriven guitar on the sweltering title track.
‘Tangerine Skies’ is reminiscent of The Orb’s ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ AND Manuel Gottsching’s ‘E2-E4’ (Sueno Latino’s version though maybe) and a hundred other ‘90s Balearic tunes with a breathy woman groaning ecstatically o’er the top of waves of synth and undulating drums. ‘Kaleidoscopic’ is... lovely, in fact: nice ambient dub with seductively watery sounds, electronics and guitar blended perfectly to get you in the mood for somewhere sunny. South of Sheffield perhaps. Probably worth avoiding the slightly cheesy sax (‘North Star’, ‘A Long Shore’)... If you’re averse to such things, that is.
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