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ASTRAL MAGIC- EXPERIENCES IN HYPERSPACE and VORTEX OF ETERNAL LIGHT (2023)

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

First of all, thanks to Santtu Leakso for getting in touch and kindly providing BANDCAMP codes for some of his albums. Given that not many artists and labels send out CDs for physical review these days this was a nice gesture.


So, what have we got here? Early on, “Experiences in Hyperspace” has broad hints of where the music is going: I’d say 80s HAWKWIND with heavily reverberated vocals and songs about ‘Lights in the Sky’ and ‘All is One’, the latter is embellished by Jonathan Segel’s violin and Jaire Patari’s sitar added to Santtu’s vocals, bass, guitar, synths and beats. This band is more psychedelic than Hawkwind were, and I would direct you towards the bass-driven ‘Golden Towers’ and the impressive ‘The Valiant’ if you wish to sample the music.


On “Vortex of Eternal Light” the title track has some MIKE OLDFIELD-ish guitar and nice synth work, and I was also reminded of STEVE HILLAGE, especially his SYSTEM 7 project. Both albums have some spoken words to break up the music and Shane Beck’s ‘poetry’ on ‘Mesmerised’ is most effective. The real triumphs on this album are ‘Where Men Became Gods’ , with a familiar theme that I can’t quite place; ‘Beyond the Horizon’ with a chorus worthy of the great MOODY BLUES and ‘The Inner Sanctum of Consciousness’ with its shimmering violin.


The whole discography of this prolific project, all 46 releases, can be bought at 85% off – that’s just 1 euro each. It’s tightly structured music encompassing various styles and heavily synthesised – the lack of a real drummer to propel the more riff based music on is a bit of a drawback, but Santtu and co get round this pretty well with some judicious programming; also, I felt expanding some of the best numbers with some more improvised passages might have made some trippy and highly enjoyable music even better. Still, it is going down very well on Bandcamp and I can see why!

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