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ASTRAL MAGIC featuring BRIDGET WISHART – AD INFINITUM (2023)

This is a full review to follow my review of the promo.


‘Shine’ begins the album, a great vehicle for the voice of Bridget Wishart of HAWKWIND and SPIRITS BURNING fame, as the unmistakeable sound of space rock is expertly produced by Santtu Laakso’s synths and bass and guitarist Vince Cory.  ‘Future Doors’ has dense, extraterrestrial atmospheres invoked by the floating guitars and strident synth lines. Album closer ’Ad Infinitum’ is an epic, bookended by Bridget’s voice, but in between on its generous length some remarkable synth work and yearning PINK FLOYD-ish guitar features, which become more delicate and pastoral at its conclusion, sustained organ and quiet drums providing an efficacious undertow – quality stuff!


A CD version (limited to 100 copies) includes the recent single ‘Mind Eater’ / ‘Lurking in the Dark’ with members of Kultti-25 (Aki Kuosmanen on guitar and Tapio Lapistö on drums), the second of a 50 limited trilogy of lathe cut 7” singles in association with Black Floyd’s records. The A-side, with its memorable guitar riff and swishing synths, is a particular favourite within what I have heard of Santtu’s extensive catalogue thus far. The B-side, using a similar winning formula, also sticks in the mind: in total 11 additional minutes of prime space rock that’s also available as a download with two bonus tracks.


Those who look back fondly on Jerry Kranitz’s splendid Aural Innovations radio show will love this. I used to listen to DARK SUN on that show, and hadn’t realised that Santtu was a member. ‘Astral Magic’ was one of the tracks on their 1997 album “Feed Your Mind”. It’s still available on the ASTRAL MAGIC Bandcamp site on download and limited-edition double LP records.

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