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Sula Bassana - The Night CD (album) cover


Sula Bassana

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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4 stars The Night is the new album by Dave Schmidt, a German guy now living in Austria, and once again he has produced five tracks worth of totally amazing, psychedelic music. Dave plays all the instruments by himself, but Stefan Koglek from Colour Haze sings on the second part of the long title track.

The album is started in a great way with the totally instrumental, rather slow, melodic and atmospheric "In Space" that has very pleasant guitar work and lush keyboards plus little psych sounds. "Lost in Space" rocks more already and is a pretty tight and hypnotic space/kraut rock number that also includes some spacey, quiet vocals. Wow! The fifteen-and-a-half-minute long "The Night" is formed of four parts. At first there is some more experimental, weird soundscapes until the slow-paced and brilliant part with Stefan's beautiful vocals reminding of some 70's prog/psych/kraut rock acts begins. After a short brake starts off the bit faster, rather progressive and melodic part in time. How incredible moods! The last six minutes go by in a peaceful haze in the spirit of Pink Floyd, although Dave makes the track grow a bit in the post rock style at one point. Totally amazing stuff! "Meteorrit" begins slowly but soon it gets into repetitive kraut rocking. This reminds me a bit of 90's Circle. The album is finished with the over 16-minute long "Kosmokrator" that is a really cosmic but hypnotically rocking space rock piece. At times the going gets pretty heavy as well, but the last minutes are hallucinatory, very spacey ambient.

It's too early for me to say if The Night is the best Sula Bassana album yet, but it sure is excellent. It seems to me that Dave has progressed nicely especially in his guitar playing and the music is of course guaranteed psychedelia. This album is supposed to be coming out on vinyl as well, and it's worthwhile also to get the first Sula Bassana 7" that has just been released on Nasoni!

Report this review (#230879)
Posted Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
4 stars SULA BASSANA is on the way again in 2009 - this time with a vintage space rock styled album. Multi-instrumentalist Sula is a music aficionado as no other when simultanously collaborating with several bands/projects, organizing festivals in Austria as well as his own SULATRON record label and mail-order business. In spite of that he's even able to spare time enough to record complete albums on his own. This means 'The Night' was produced at his homestudio where he manages all the instruments by himself. Cover art (painting by Frank Leweke) and track titles are obviously referring to cosmic themes.

Here we have five playful songs mastered by Eroc (ex-Grobschnitt) - sounding relaxed and busy at once. This is trippy basically, except some rare heavy rocking elements. Probably this album is concipated as a time travel (didn't ask for clarification though) ... anyhow, the opener In Space appears in really retro clothes - mysterious - maybe even a little bit nightmarish. This is immediately reminding me of a sound track seemingly composed for a sci-fi series like the German 'Raumpatrouille Orion' for example which started in 1966. As for that the song even reflects a pop appeal in my humble opinion especially caused by this special beat and the synthesizer contributions.

Later then we are Lost In Space - this song might refer to the early 70s - krautrock tinged with hypnotic rhythm elements where Sula's keyboard work is very very attractive. With the epic title song the album gets going at the latest. Divided in four parts it undoubtely makes out a highlight of the production. Partially grooving but also trippy floating this song is ultimately dedicated to the psychedelic guitar! A wonderful melodic piece of work where you will detect the sole external contribution by Stefan Koglek from the band COLOURHAZE. He provides lyrics and vocals for the second part and this fits closely to the mellow mood.

Now hereafter we are up to enjoy contemporary space rock at its best I would say. Meteorritt - the song title shows a nice pun at first colloquially meaning 'ride on a meteorite'. A fine straightforward grooving ride indeed with many repetitve elements plus echoing and swirling guitars all over. Stylistically on nearly the same line Kosmokrator as the last (and longest) tune follows - much more diversified though containing also culminating heavy rocking impressions, some typical vocals - rather more sprechgesang and ambient gliding parts.

'The Night' is offered with a charming appeal but guarantees tension too - you can smell Sula's longtime experiences composing music. An excellent cosmic journey which will please krautrock as well as psych/space fans.

Report this review (#231551)
Posted Friday, August 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Nice example of new psychedelic prog (old one I see as mainstream genre in late 60's), because even I lack words of how good it is, I for sure know it is good. And as a psychedelic experience through drug influenced mind. Simple, but at the same moment intriguing melodies that you can be sure that will lift you up from your seat and like a magic carpet, they'll guide you through the magical land of 'delia.

4(+), of course, can sound quite repetitive after a while, especially when you're used to listen different kinds of music. But it's one man project, it's for sure advantage, as it means harmony. And of course beautiful cover.

Report this review (#247603)
Posted Sunday, November 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. This is the best SULA BASSANA album yet ! This is powerful, trippy, spacey and very far out. It's pretty cool too that this one man (Dave Schmidt) band released a recording with fellow Germans ELECTRIC ORANGE back in 2006. In fact in the liner notes Dave thanks ELECTRIC ORANGE along with ORESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE, THE MOVEMENTS and many more. This album was mastered by Eroc at The Ranch. I really like the cover art, as well as the other art work inside.

"In Space" has this dramatic intro before a beat kicks in followed by guitar. Sounds like mellotron too but the main thing is that this sounds amazing. "Lost In Space" begins with sounds that pulse and beat as these spoken words come in in the background. This is powerful stuff. Crank it up ! "The Night" is 15 1/2 minutes long and divided into 4 parts. A haunting intro before this heavy yet relaxed sound takes over around 1 1/2 minutes. Guitar before 4 1/2 minutes takes the lead. A second guitar comes in. Nice. A calm 9 1/2 minutes in as the sound changes. Strummed guitar is prominant as it builds. Just a gorgeous sound here.There's a Post-Rock vibe because of the guitar 12 1/2 minutes in. It then settles some 2 minutes later.

The guitar makes some noise early on "Meteorritt" with spacey sounds coming and going. It kicks in around 1 1/2 minutes with drums. The guitar sounds great here. It's lighting it up then it turns spacey late. "Kosmokrator" is the longest track at 16 1/2 minutes. The guitar and other sounds echo as a beat comes in. Outstanding. Vocals 3 minutes in as we get a very strong HAWKWIND flavour. The vocals are brief. It settles some after 5 minutes then kicks back in. We briefly get those vocals again a minute later. It's heavier 7 minutes in. This is too much ! I swear this is blowing my hair back right now. It settles after 11 minutes as it becomes dark and spacey (the night) to end it.

A must for you space cadets out there.

Report this review (#268381)
Posted Thursday, February 25, 2010 | Review Permalink

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