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Psychedelic/Space Rock • Germany

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Scarlet Utopia biography
SCARLET UTOPIA is a spin-off group. Some members of Cologne psych rockers SILVERHEAT (Scarlet Rose on vocals and Jean d'Auberlaque on guitar, fx, synth) decided to make one step further - right into space. So the band was born as an amalgamation of musicians who prefer to spice up their indie rock roots with some sophisticated psychedelia. Besides the two they have Stephen James Tefkey on bass, an old friend of Scarlet and Jean ever since the eighties heyday. Stephen was member of LEMON INCEST, indie psych rockers which had also Jean on guitar in the old days. Drummer Peter 'the Saint' Sherman (THE 4 HORSEMEN) completes the group.

Around Mai/June 2009 SCARLET UTOPIA did some secret gigs in the neighbourhood, testing their new material live and later in July the debut album 'Adventures Under Black Light' was completed - forty years after the first landing on the moon - an issue featured on the key track 'Omega Space Walk'. The band's musical orientation is trippy, relaxed and sometimes heavy space music, mangled through the undeniable german roots of krautish early seventies music as well as classic british psychedelia.

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3.00 | 2 ratings
Adventures Under Blacklight
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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Adventures Under Blacklight by SCARLET UTOPIA album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.00 | 2 ratings

Adventures Under Blacklight
Scarlet Utopia Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

3 stars Nobody should claim that the German psych/space scene is lacking of new talents. SCARLET UTOPIA now have the debut 'Adventures Under Black Light' out - after some delay due to an accident of drummer Peter. This ensemble is a spin-off by musicians with indie rock roots hailing from the Cologne/Düsseldorf area. But this time space rock is the name of the game! The band members are credited with aliases, track titles and lyrics are genre typical. Only the cover art differs - futuristic yes, but minimalistic too, because showing some experiments with letters instead of usual sci-fi images.

The album holds four songs basically - all around 10 minutes long. The short Prüfung Der Lautsprecherpolung is not more than a funny gimmick though - delivering an introduction in German in order to justify your hi-fi system. The other tracks are straightforward space rocking more or less provided with a groovy fundament by bass and drums, slicing and riffing guitar plus a unique female singer. Black Sun holds a repetitive hypnotic fundament - reflecting the feelings of a person who had one trip too much. Scarlet Rose O'Silver's voice surprisingly reminds me of Brian Molko - really puzzling. And we have a soaring guitar again and again. This is suitable for rocking the crowd during their live performances I'm quite sure. Finally the longest track is closed by a weird krautrock tinged intermezzo.

Robotic voice samples are opening the next one NGC 1365 Spiral Galaxy - maybe you can call this tune a space blues. Song structure and lyrics are definetely animating for singing along. This is trippy and catchy. Well done - melodic and an excellent bass work is coming to the fore here as for my impression. This album was released forty years after the first landing on the moon - an issue featured on the track Omega Space Walk which is provided with a heavier rocking vibe. This song is sometimes interrupted when floating trippy parts are headed by voice samples. Last one Moonlight Society appears more garage/stoner rock coloured, with another catchy refrain but not that tricky in the whole compared to the predecessors.

'Adventures Under Black Light' is made up with excellent sound quality where Jean d'Auberlaque's varied guitar work impresses most. The album is made up with a vinyl length of fourty minutes ... when listening to the song 'Supernovae' on myspace I wonder why it has not found a place on the production. Never mind - this is a good and contemporary debut provided with a unique flavour. Don't know yet if anything will follow sooner or later - I would be pleased at least ... 3.5 stars.

Thanks to rivertree for the artist addition.

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