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PSYCHEDELIC/SPACE ROCK

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Psychedelic/Space Rock definition

Psychedelic Progressive Rock

Progressive rock music has its roots in the mid 1960's psychedelic cultural phenomena. During that time the British Invasion and folk-rock bands began to expand the sonic possibilities of their music. These groups slowly started to abandon the concise verse-chorus-verse patterns of rock & roll, and moved towards fluid, free-form oriented song structures. Just as important was the incorporation of elements from Indian and Eastern music. Along them the principles of free-form jazz were included to the psychedelic sound, emphasising spontaneous emotions over calculated and estimated compositional constructions. Experimenting with new studio technology, electronically altering instruments and voices, was a part of this altered approach as well. Acid rock groups like THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE and CREAM stand as descriptive and popular examples of the path from psychedelic sunshine pop towards a more aggressive and distinct rock expression, in particular showcased in their improvised live performances.

The boundary dividing the "Experimental" and "Progressive" classification is a thin and at times contested one for this era. The pioneering psychedelic progressive rock bands to be found at www.progarchives.com will in most cases be found in the Proto-Prog section of the site. Amongst these pioneering outfits are acts like THE BEATLES, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE AND VANILLA FUDGE. Artists such as PINK FLOYD will not be found there though, as their career extended well beyond these first, formative years.

Psychedelic progressive rock music may contain the elements previously described in varying combinations, but the artistic perspective of progressive rock is another factor. Some psychedelic rock bands stuck to the mid 1960's beat rock style in purist form, not partaking in the experimental development of the impressionistic possibilities of psychedelic rock music others spearheaded. The evolution of the psychedelic depth within a progressive context could be seen for instance in the 1960's recordings of ARCADIUM and BABY GRANDMOTHERS. One good example of early 70's Continental European progressive psychedelic rock is the album by AHORA MAZDA, and from Britain JADE WARRIOR's early efforts fuse psychedelic rock and ethnic music. Current artists exploring the vintage 60's/70's style and sound are acts like THE SPACIOUS MINDS and ACID MOTHER'S TEMPLE.

The entire Western pop culture scene was influenced by the psychedelic culture to some extent, including other prog genres such as Prog Folk. In Germany, artists influenced by the British psychedelic movement formed their own genre called KRAUTROCK. The pioneering early 70's bands in this genre represent the progressive acid rock sound of Germany, experimenting with long instrumental improvisations, emphasizing the use of psychedelic effects and weird electronic sounds. Some examples are artists like AMON DÜÜL, ASH RA TEMPEL, CAN, GÄA, NECRONOMICON and YATHA SIDHRA. The PROGRESSIVE ELECTRONIC style emerged from Krautrock. Some of the most influential artists of this genre, such as TANGERINE DREAM and KLAUS SCHULZE, explored a distinct psychedelic musical style at first, which was influential for the development of the "space rock" sound:


Progressive Space Rock

The late 1960's psychedelic rock scene also spawned the birth of the space rock genre. The pioneering acts of this genre assimilated krautrock elements like repetitive hypnotic beats and electronic/ambient soundscapes as they moved away from the common musical and compositional approach. The synthesizer with its bubbling tones and spacey patterns, provoking a gliding flow, is a typical instrument of this genre. Guitars are by preference played with glissando technique and delay/echo effects are heavily used, and elements originating from reggae/dub are fairly common. Several bands combine their live performances with trippy lightshows using random fractals. Albums in this genre will often include at least one long meandering jam based on a main theme, where loops and wavelike fluctuations provides slight variations to this structural foundation.

Stories, images, song titles and album names referring to cosmic themes are fairly common features of the genre. HAWKWIND's live album "Space Ritual" is said to be the ultimate space rock album due to the collaboration with sci-fi author Michael Moorcock. His lyrics are performed by a narrator and underlaid with synth elements. PINK FLOYD can be regarded as pioneers of spacey music during the band's early phase, as exemplified by certain tracks from "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" or the stirring live performance of "Careful With That Axe Eugene" from "Ummagumma". GROBSCHNITT provides another fine example of classic space rock with their epic effort "Solar Music". Other bands explored the space rock sound for a limited time period only. GONG released groundbreaking albums in the genre at the start of their career, while British hard rock band UFO released the extraordinary album "Flying - One Hour Space Rock" as their sole contribution to the genre in 1971.

A space rock scene can be found in most countries sporting artists producing music with a western-oriented or influenced sound. Swedish bands are known for a brisk exchange of musicians among each other. The "Strange Daze" festivals from 1997-2000 showcased the American space rock scene. Japan is an inexhaustible reservoir of artists exploring both psychedelic progressivce rock and progressive space rock. Representative examples of the style are bands such as ORESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE with their focus on long grooving improvisations, QUARKSPACE and OZRIC TENTACLES with their stronger emphasis on electronic elements and VESPERO and HIDRIA SPACEFOLK with their inclusion of ethnic-originating musical components. Other groups like ESCAPADE and THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS represent an avantgarde approach to the genre, whereas SUBARACHNOID SPACE and KINSKI are examples of artists that provide transitions to the post rock genre.


The boundaries of Psychedelic Progressive Rock connected with Stoner Rock and Acid Folk

The 1960's and 70's were a time of liberation, a time of rebellion against rigid rules and strict moral boundaries. In those "freedom of expression" days, an artist would typically herald their liberal attitudes as a mind-expanding trip on stage together with the audience in two ways. One was to realize audio/visually the visual and auditory hallucination as it was, and another was to play their repertoire spiritually and improvisationally under the trip. As for the latter approach, they devoted themselves solely to slow-to-mid tempo playing with low-tuned guitars in a heavy and expansive manner for playing steadily under this twilight condition. In the same time period, this approach to the musical trip was also taken on by some artists especially in the hard rock and heavy metal scene. This new style, drenched in heavy and downer psychedelia, was called "Stoner Rock". The name originates from the expression "stoned", referring to people in altered states of mind while under the influence of psychedelic substances. The Stoner Rock genre was universalized "as a strict musical style only" by the Industrial Grunge Rock genre that gained worldwide popularity in the early 1990s. The common denominator of all the artists mentioned is the representation of their personal cultural and political backgrounds, whilst playing slow-paced depressive songs with heavy guitars and echoic rumbling drums as the dominating features. Most of current outfits claiming to be the so-called Psychedelic Heavy Progressive Rock ones should be much influenced by the traditional Stoner or Grunge Rock as well as the early Psychedelic Progressive Rock. They can be considered as a borderline case between Psychedelic Progressive, Heavy Progressive, and Progressive Metal.

"Acid Folk" can be mentioned as another musical style with hallucinogenic approach. Psych Folk or Psychedelic Folk are other names for this genre, and is vaguely defined as a rock subgenre due to the mixture of folk rock and psychedelic rock. This is a style lacking in strict definitions, and it is contested whether or not the term was actually used at what is deemed the dawn of the genre. It's an undeniable fact that the Acid Folk scene gained some popularity by the efforts of artists in "The Folk Revivalism", but it's important to remember that there were two distinctly different approaches taken by those who helped shape the genre in the mid 1960's. Some folk singers approached a psychedelic rock structure as was popular at that time, while some psychedelic rock outfits tried to absorb and incorporate techniques and elements from folk rock. Both have great importance in the development of Acid Folk, and this may be the reason that strict definitions of the genre cannot be given. In view of the history, it's no exaggeration to claim that TYRANNOSAURUS REX, SYD BARRETT or THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND in UK rock scene seasoned the "traditional" Acid Folk with a more progressive spice. They, as eccentric or heretical rock outfits, accepted and incorporated Middle-Eastern and Oriental elements or instruments, and the result was the foundation for the current progressive Acid Folk movement. And in the Eastern parts of the world, different acid streams was provided by artists such as TAJ MAHAL TRAVELLERS or MAGICAL POWER MAKO who exerted a great influence on younger progressive bands. Their amazing achievements resides in the twilight zone between the Prog Folk and Psychedelic Prog subgenres.


A path that never ends

In addition of the styles described, psychedelic elements can be found in many other genres of progressive rock. The psychedelic cultural explosion had an immense influence on the western popular culture, and traces of it can still be heard also outside of progressive rock circles. The collective techno rave parties carry on the legacy of the audiovisual attack from the PINK FLOYD concerts in 1968, to cite one example. As the psychedelic movement was a large cultural phenomenon, it is difficult (and maybe unnecessary) to fence it to a clear category. Psychedelic progressive rock has been developing towards several different directions over time, and the task of classifying them as distinct genres and sub-genres is an ever ongoing process, often loaded with strong opinions. The psychedelic rock artists which are not considered as progressive in style are not listed in the databse of www.Progarchives.com. This in order to maintain the site's scope to be a progressive rock reference.

The aim of this description is to be a tool of reference for potential and existing fans of the genre, and we hope that this will aid those who read it to a better understanding of the genre as well as to enjoy and discuss the subject at hand both in the forums of the Progarchives website as well as in other places online and offline both.


Psychedelic Rock / Space Rock team April 2010

Space rock definition by Rivertree
The boundaries of psychedelic progressive rock chapter by DamoXt7942
Other text by Eetu Pellonpää
with kind guidance and support by Windhawk



The responsibility for the psych/space, indo/raga, krautrock and prog electronic subgenres is taken by the PSIKE team,
currently consisting of
- Sheavy
- Meltdowner
- siLLy puPPy
- Rivertree



Psychedelic/Space Rock Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Psychedelic/Space Rock | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.62 | 3779 ratings
WISH YOU WERE HERE
Pink Floyd
4.60 | 3979 ratings
DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
Pink Floyd
4.52 | 3387 ratings
ANIMALS
Pink Floyd
4.30 | 2870 ratings
MEDDLE
Pink Floyd
4.22 | 971 ratings
OCEAN
Eloy
4.17 | 295 ratings
LEGACY
Hypnos 69
4.08 | 2718 ratings
THE WALL
Pink Floyd
4.10 | 603 ratings
WARRIOR ON THE EDGE OF TIME
Hawkwind
4.10 | 367 ratings
RITUAL
Nemrud
4.10 | 403 ratings
JURASSIC SHIFT
Ozric Tentacles
4.32 | 67 ratings
OBSOLETE
Hedayat, Dashiell
4.15 | 153 ratings
KINGSTON WALL II
Kingston Wall
4.06 | 524 ratings
A TAB IN THE OCEAN
Nektar
4.14 | 159 ratings
BY THE WATERS OF TOMORROW
Vespero
4.05 | 567 ratings
DAWN
Eloy
4.08 | 250 ratings
TOGETHER WE'RE STRANGER
No-Man
4.15 | 106 ratings
TAKO
Tako
4.14 | 115 ratings
PARALLEL WORLD
Far East Family Band
4.05 | 279 ratings
EVERYONE INTO POSITION
Oceansize
4.02 | 584 ratings
SILENT CRIES AND MIGHTY ECHOES
Eloy

Psychedelic/Space Rock overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Psychedelic/Space Rock experts team

OMEGA 6 - NEM TUDOM A NEVED [AKA: TűZVIHAR/STORMY FIRE]
Omega
PSYCHO ERECTUS
Polytoxicomane Philharmonie
A GIFT FOR YOUR DREAMS
Will-O-The-Wisp
THE BLACK TOMATO
Øresund Space Collective

Latest Psychedelic/Space Rock Music Reviews


 Waves by JADE WARRIOR album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.59 | 85 ratings

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Waves
Jade Warrior Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by WFV

5 stars I'm guessing everyone on this site has had many of those aha musical moments where you discover something new and it results in that glowing enlightened feeling like you are holding the most precious gem in front of your own eyes. The discovery of Jade Warrior has put my musical fandom on a different, brand new plane - ambient music. Meditative, relaxing, soothing, some call it New Age. I feel a great deal of this kind of music started with Jade Warrior's previous masterpiece Floating World and the vision crystallizes with Waves. In my prog collection, this really only rivals Celeste in terms of sheer beauty. A five star masterwork from the most unsung of unsung prog acts from the golden age. Original Jade Warrior champion Steve Winwood contributes memorable organ and piano solos, adding to the layers of interest.
 Make Up by FLOWER TRAVELLIN' BAND album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.91 | 24 ratings

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Make Up
Flower Travellin' Band Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by GruvanDahlman
Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Here's a mixed bag of greens. That I can tell you. When reading about the conception of the album you understand why. Apparently Flower Travellin' Band was obligated to produce a double album. Well, that's nothing strange about that. Many a band have done that. The only problem, as it were, was the lack of material. The band seemed emptied and the well had gone dry. But by some sort of stubborn perseverance they pulled the best bits out of the bag and threw them onto vinyl. The only problem now was that it wasn't enough to fill four sides of vinyl, so they added some live tracks aswell, and voila, "Make up" was born.

The strange thing about this album is the disjointed feeling one gets when listening to it at first. It seems all over the place. After a few listens you still feel disjointed but it doesn't really matter. It becomes a part of the charm and instead of feeling puzzled you feel envigorated and at peace with this album, so forcibly created. The inclusion of organ works brilliantly. Prior to this album no keyboards were present but here they add to the mix and are really effectful. The opener" All the days" is live, as are quite a few tracks. A demented riff, augmented organ and fuzz bass leads you into screams and oriental style of singing. This is a great track, binding together elements of "Satori" and a gentler. less harsh version of the band without compromising with heaviness and roughness.

The title track is a favorite of mine. Opening with an amazing organ, sounding just the way I want it to sound. A great driving bass and guitar comes in, complementing the organ. "Make up" has such a great drive and pulse. Wonderful guitar solo and the organ solo is to die for in it's simplistic glory. Amazing track! Very much in the hard rock vein.

"Make up" (which is a live track) segues seamlessly into "Look at my window". A gentle track at first with a lovely organ and emotional drumming. The track then takes off and becomes a harder sounding piece. The whole thing is built up in sections and works very well indeed. ALso a great track.

"Slowly but surely" is another killer track. Here they play around with light and shadow, heavy and gentle and it is very accomplished. Great heavy guitar riff and warm organ leads into groovy hard rocking progressive. I love this track. One of the real winners on this album.

"Shadows of lost days" is the ballad of the album and is a very heavy one at that. Wonderfully passionate vocals. A favorite of mine for years.

"Broken strings" is a hommage to all the strings broken by the guitaris throughout the years. Over 7 minutes in length it builds from gentle piano into a many layered comtemplative ballad. Beautiful and relaxing. Just lean back and close your eyes.

Then there's the magnum opus on the album, "Hiroshima", captured live. Originally from the previous album "Made in Japan" this is a real monster. Oriental sounding bass riff leads into the mayhem of warfare by atomic weapons. Painful and catastrophic in appearance it is a true experience to hear in a live setting. There is a lenghty drum solo in here and though I'm not all that partial to drum solos I must admit that it is a magnificent piece of percussive performance. The bass solo is deafening and devestating in it's assault. Terrific listen!

The only track that is totally out of the place and should have been discarded for whatever else is "Blue suede shoes". Great song but not here and not in the lame version presented here. I wish the bass player could have fooled around with effect pedals or the drummer could have yelled into his bass drum while the guitarist broke his strings. Anything would have been better than "Blue suede shoes". It really breaks the magic a bit.

It all comes to an end with "After the concert". A gentle piece of contemplative peace and stillness. Great way to end it all.

"Make up" is not as "difficult" as "Satori". It is slightly more polished and the japanese elements are there but evened out. What you get is really a (sort of) masterpiece of orientally flavored hard rock with lots of progressive attitude. It's a wonderful album in many ways and I really like it. Endearing, at times brilliant, always great and full of stuff to discover. If you want to explore Flower Travellin' band this would be a good place to start, as an introduction, unless you think you've got the stomach to approach "Satori".

 Visions Of... by ØRESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.78 | 30 ratings

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Visions Of...
Øresund Space Collective Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by WFV

3 stars Another OSC album, not much has changed since the last one. As a middle aged male from the US I'd categorize this music as jam band if you held my feet to the fire, but in the grand musical scheme this is progressive rock all the way. No new ground is tread of course but fans of the spacejam guitarsynth sound should be very pleased. The highlight for me is Above the Corner which uses the bass riff from Billy Cobham's Stratus to venture into a sixteen minute plus jam. Sometimes OSC loses me with their thirty and forty minute jams but I can digest up to twenty minutes or so. Honestly I think the reason I like this group so much is they embody the Zappa attitude that his music was one continuously flowing piece. Very well performed and worth seeking out.
 Intro / Outro by MOTHS & LOCUSTS album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.91 | 2 ratings

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Intro / Outro
Moths & Locusts Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by raigor

5 stars Released on cds and vinyl in October 2017 by NoiseAgonyMayhem Records, "Intro/Outro" is the third full-length studio album by the Canadian experimental/psychedelic rock band MOTHS & LOCUSTS. The band's discography also includes: "The Astronomical Significance Of" EP (2011), "Escape From Sector C" EP (2012), the first full-length "Mission Collapse In The Twin Sun Megaverse" (2013), split 7" with The New Colors (2013), split 7" with Public Animal (2015), the second full-length "Helios Rising" (2016), "Cocaine Kangaroo ​/​ Peyote Coyote" 7" (2018) and "The Sinewave Sessions" EP (2018). MOTHS & LOCUSTS are also featured as an accompanying band on Damo Suzuki's "Seven Potatoes: Live In Nanaimo" (2014). "Intro/Outro" is the shortest LP recording in the MOTHS & LOCUSTS' discography, but arguably this is their most cohesive and intricate effort to date (a note for collectors: unlike other band's releases this is real CD in a gatefold, not pro-duplicated CD-R). The music can be described as mostly instrumental Neo-Psychedelia in a broad range of influences ? from Experimental Rock, Noise Rock, and Post-Prog Rock to motoric Space and Kraut Rock. The audio content is strongly texturized with various psyche-effects, drones, noises, ambiances, narrative samplings, and mysterious voicing, while compositional developments are shoegazingly slow and trippy, arrangements occasionally featuring Mellotron and Flute are dense and nuanced, rhythm patterns are repetitively hypnotic, resilient, and flat. Sporadic vocals (if any) are strongly distorted ? more or less clean lyrical singing is featured only once, in a short psi- ballad "Roadside". It's a matter of taste of course, but in my personal view MOTHS & LOCUSTS in their instrumental (or to be more correct semi-instrumental) incarnation sound just fantastic, even more meaningful and evocative than when they sing lyrically like on previous albums. I would say MOTHS & LOCUSTS are definitely among the most inventive and creative modern neo-psychedelic acts nowadays. And, as frequently happens, they are strongly underrated band with huge potential. So, I highly recommend their "Intro/Outro" album for those who appreciate eclectic, variable, polymorphic, and provocatively deviant Rock. P.S. The members of the band are also involved with lots of other local experimental bands/projects like Carlito Verde, Custom Trip, The Cymatics Research Institute, The Daytonas, Death Militia, Early Man, Fantastic Four, Faux Hotel, Fences Of Fairview, The Happys, Northland Lumber, The Sheds, Sing Along With Tonto, Substack, etc.
 Cosmic Crossroads by MISTY MOUNTAIN FOUNDATION album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Cosmic Crossroads
Misty Mountain Foundation Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars This is finally the second album by the Finnish four-piece that plays psychedelic heavy prog much in the spirit of the early seventies. The eponymous, self-budgeted debut was released in 2013 only on a vinyl format. Sadly I'm still the only one who has reviewed it here.... The follow-up was several years in the making. The gatefold (I would have preferred something else, such as lyrics, on the inner sleeve than a close-up of the musicians) of the vinyl contains also the album on a CD, with no printing on its paper container. I'm sure the band didn't save its effort and it must have cost a lot of money to release the album this way. Even if the reception remains modest, you guys should feel proud of what you've done. I feel a bit sorry to rate this one lower than its predecessor, which contained notable highlights -- the longer and more progressive tracks -- and therefor in my opinion showed greater 'growth potential' in the songwriting than what is heard here after the long wait.

The opener 'EXP II' is four minutes of sonic, atonal experimentalism. Ambient meets Krautrock. One can recognize the howling of the seldom heard theremin from the ghostly soundscape. 'Brave New World' is a typical MMF song: the vintage heavy prog sound is dynamic and exciting, the biggest thank you going undisputedly to Esa Rantanen's colourful use of Hammond organ, synths and Mellotron. Now, I'm not sure if it's just the certain stuffiness of Kari Mitikka's vocals, or is the recording of them rather poor. This very same thing bothered me already with the debut. The third track 'Rare Wind' is half shorter and also more boring as a composition. The mighty Hammond à la Deep Purple or Uriah Heep is clearly the best feature in it. The downhill carries on to the hard rock song 'Blessed and Possessed' and a totally unnecessary, demo-like reprise of 'Rare Wind'.

The second side of the vinyl contains two long tracks. 'Starchild' gets the honour of being the highlight, which practically isn't a huge achievement at this point. The instrumental intro allows the listener to concentrate on the delicate sounds of Mellotron and other instruments, while the soon arriving vocals represent the rootsier rock approach on this track too. The slower part later on adds the progressive dynamics effectively. 'EXP I' (12:57) returns to the Krautrockish ambience of the opener. The early era of TANGERINE DREAM serves as a reference, but the piece can be hailed as a well-done and deeply inspired excercise on the spacey and psychedelic Kosmische Muzik, instead of being mere mockery.

I think it's respectable to see a band stretching their heavy rock based expression so boldly into the instrumental experimentalism, whether it is something to please the keen listener of the rock side. So, maybe this feature is exactly where the band took time to mature during the last few years. As a whole however, the album feels a little short of strong song material, since three of the five tracks with vocals are rather average.

 Amplifier by AMPLIFIER album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.69 | 155 ratings

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Amplifier
Amplifier Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars One fact is clear about Amplifier... I think they are a love it or hate it band!

From the noisy, alternative and stoner atmosphere to truly space-rock moments, Amplifier are not the typical prog rock band. So, if you are seeking for some conventional progressions and instrumental flourishes, you are in the wrong direction.

The album opens with the incredible Motorhead, a blast of a track with powerful guitar, serious vocals and tons of ambiences disguised as a simplistic song. Wow! And surprisingly Airborne is even better with its sampled guitars and powerful bass lines. Is a song which grows and grows to an intense and catchy ending. At first listening it's a shock, but after a few plays you will not able to take this music out of your mind. The riff after minute 06:00 is pure magic!

Panzer does not give truce with even more power which takes the album close to stoner metal. And that's not a problem to me, because after progressive rock stoner is my favorite genre. What a blast! Old Movies has a beautiful beginning with hypnotic guitars, followed by the mellow voice of Belamir. The voice of this man is maybe not spectacular, but he sings in a deep, mellow tone which makes the music of Amplifier very nice to be heard despite the amount of noise that they sometimes make. And Old Movies is a good example. I love the guitars about 02:30!

Post Acid Youth has a strong bass at the beginning and a marvelous vocal melody, followed by another amount of hypnotic guitars and spacey ambients, with some strong distortion here on there. Definitely, it's nothing like Amplifier in the scene of music. Take it or leave it! At 03:35, we can hear a crazy rhythm with cool guitar effects followed by convoluted guitar riffs and space rock keyboards. And don't ask me how, it magically works!

Neon is bit more conventional, with guitar riffs which maybe could bring some post-grunge bands to mind. But this feeling soon disappears when a cool bass is introduced making the track sound like something new again. In this little details is where Amplifier really shines, and if you are not a thorough listener you can easily pass over them. On/Off starts again in a mellow semi-acoustic way which could bring even bands like Pearl Jam to mind and this time the song keeps this way, contributing to a very welcomed alternative variety to the album, till the song grows again around the minute 4 returning the omnipresent distortion, powerful drums and a curious falsetto from Belamir.

The Consultancy starts with a curious and piercing riff, which transform itself in the verses in a great rhythm for one of the most punk and direct songs of the album, with even some pop elements towards the end! It's also one of the shortest. And after that comes One Great Summer, my personal favorite of this album together with UFO's which is an hymn to positivism, self-confidence and the power of will. Just a perfect song for bad moments with a very well-crafted instrumental interlude!

And finally, UFO's closes this great album with a pure space-rock song with a truly beautiful guitar work and an incredible psychedelic ending with an astonishing instrumental passage which lead to one of the most intense vocal sections of the album at minute 06:00. Marvelous!

Conclusion: Amplifier is one hell of an album. Intense, extremely well written and with a bunch of really incredible songs. If you are into this kind of alternative-stoner-space-psychedelic rock you must hear this band!

They are one of the most underrated and criminally ignored bands of the last decade, and in their first and excellent album they managed to sound mature, consolidated and truly innovative.

Best tracks: Motorhead, Airborne, Panzer, One Great Summer, UFO's.

My rating: ****1/2, rounded down to four stars.

 Ángel Ontalva & Vespero: Carta Marina by VESPERO album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.56 | 10 ratings

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Ángel Ontalva & Vespero: Carta Marina
Vespero Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars 'Carta Marina' is a collaboration of multi-talented artist Angel ONTALVA from Spain and Russian band VESPERO. Hopefully not the last, I would like to add straightaway. 2017 they came in touch in Astrakhan, the band's homebase, due to an exhibition of his paintings there. They also managed to play together for about a week. Soon after that Ontalva started to compose pieces of music, the Vespero members had to take care of the arrangements furthermore. That's it, here we go! The main inspiration for the process came from the eponymous map first published in 1539, which shows the nordic Scandinavian countries, this decorated with strange creatures and a bunch of other interesting details.

Thus I would have expected just an image of this map as the front cover. But, due to copyright restrictions, finally the used painting went to be another one, contributed by Ontalva. Now obviously, music-wise the project is trying to accomplish a symbiosis of an avantgarde respectively fusion oriented guitarist and some experimental space prog rockers. Well, no problem at all! This 60 minute affair is fundamented by an extraordinary chemistry regarding those musicians. Eclectic from the result, equipped with complex structure. Therefore the music is extra difficult to describe with words. You definitely must hear this, let it have a lasting effect please.

Very special, we have two guitarists in place, immediately to recognize when starting with the album's title track. Ontalva and Kuzovlev both are stylistically differing for sure, nevertheless complementing in excellent manner throughout. And Vitaly Borodin's violin comes on top. The title song evolves like ebb and flow featuring jazzy fast-paced parts in between, a real challenge for rhythm brothers Arkady and Ivan Fedotov. Insula Magnetica then marks an appealing meandering space tune, where keyboarder Alexey Klabukov is carefully juggling with quirky and twittering synths.

Extra applause for the inspired atmosphere on Sledges Crossing The Gulf Of Bothnia, a wonderful mandolin is serving some proper ethno feeling. Could be designated as a soundtrack for a movie showing people underway along the coast on the widespread frozen ice in wintertime. I would prefer it in the native way anyhow, via reindeer-driven sledge. But the band ultimately gains pace up into a somewhat wild and nervous groove, so even the modern snowmobile could be an alternative for one or two. Constantly stunning, 'Carta Marina' is an album strongly recommended! I'm sure all involved musicians will have extended their musical horizon during the recording process. 4.5 stars so far.

 Ángel Ontalva & Vespero: Carta Marina by VESPERO album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.56 | 10 ratings

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Ángel Ontalva & Vespero: Carta Marina
Vespero Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by GruvanDahlman
Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

5 stars What excites me most about progressive rock is when a band or artist takes inspiration from the past or from litterature. I would love if someone, somewhere could bring Richard III and the battle of Bosworth to life through the medium of keyboard heavy prog. But to be sure, that is not the point of this review, airing my personal hopes and dreams. Let me retrace my steps a bit.

Being a history buff and a sucker for historic maps i can't help but being blown away by this album. I have heard of Vespero but cannot say I have listened to them. That is not to say that there hasn't been an interest to do so from my part, au contraire. But when this album landed in my phone I could not resist it. I felt as though I were a child in a candy store. Here is an album that takes it's inspiration from the old Carta Marina, essentially the oldest reasonably correct depicted map of northern Europe. Nigh on 500 years it was created by the famous cartographer (among other activities) swede Olaus Magnus. It is a beautiful map and one of my all time favorites. Thus it is safe to say that my expectations were quite high. Could this be pulled off or would it sink to the bottom of the Baltic ocean like stone dropped from a lepers hand. (I don't know what that has to do with anything, leper or not the stone is the key.)

The opening "Carta Marina" must be the perfect music to accompany you on a time travel back to the 16th century. The extremely atmosperic intro with soaring guitar and sweeping keyboards is simply marvelous. I'm going now, right back to the study of Olaus Magnus. That is the feeling I get. Halfway in the music really takes off and dense complex instrumentation takes me through the whole of the Carta Marina, as if I was flying across it. There I see the creatures of the sea, the monstrosities that dwells in the deep and the waves that transports my ship to the mysteries of old Iceland. If that is not musical brilliance, to transport me to being a part of the map I do not know what is.

And it goes on in this fashion the album through. "Sea orm" is amazing. On the map you can see the sea snake attacking a ship, pulling it down with him. The music is dramatic and the keyboards really do catch the horror of it all. "Giant lobster between the Orkneys and the Hebrides" is equally mindblowing, as is "Insula magnetica". The mysterious music finds me at the stern of my ship, watching that giant lobster go down into the darkness and unfathomable sea.

And now, for something more playful and mundane activities. "Sledges crossing the gulf of Botnia" is a wonderful track. So beautiful with the playful mandolin. The sledges, drawn by reindeers, snow in my face, laughter and creaking ice. The winter sun of the north. The speed of the sleighride, snow falling on my face. I am there, in that sledge. And now we're racing, the violin and keyboards blurrs my vision. All I care about is the ride itself. One of my favorite pieces.

"Horrenda charybdis near Lofoten" is a dramatic track with horror and beauty all intertwined. I love the rounded notes of the distorted guitar but the violin is breathtaking. The ending "Ziphius" is the most hard and heavy of the tracks. And chaotic, yet there's order. The ziphius being a whale, reaching up to seven metres in length, this track sees me watching from the distance how the creature heads for the surface of the ocean before slowly descending. Majestic track and a perfect way to end a journey through the times and space of the Carta Marina.

I have spent the past few hours really listening to this album. Going back. Going forth. Listened again. Closing my eyes and really allow myself to be overwhelmed by what I hear. This is overwhelming music. Mindblowing music. Brilliant music. When concept and music marries in this way there is really nothing that soothes my soul in the same way. This is a truly breathtaking album, a breathtaking journey and a breathtaking listen. I love it. I really do. I find no faults. Splendid instrumentation and execution. And if I feel this way after just a few hours, how much more will I find after weeks of listening? I dare say more. I can't rate it higher than five stars but that is the only thinkable rating for me. Thank you, Vespero and Angel Ontalvo.

 California Brainstorm by HAWKWIND album cover Live, 1992
3.28 | 27 ratings

BUY
California Brainstorm
Hawkwind Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars California Brainstorm is a natural complement to the Palace Springs live album - Palace Springs having been recorded shortly before the production of Space Bandits, whilst California Brainstorm was recorded on the tour for that album, and with the track list not having that many overlaps. Indeed, the two go so well together that on the recent Atomhenge 2CD rerelease of Palace Springs the California Brainstorm set is provided on the bonus disc. Overall, this period of Hawkwind found them taking a turn for extended cosmic jams and progressive electronic soundscapes, perhaps as a deliberate recalibration after the mid-1980s saw them taking an increasingly hard rock-oriented direction.
 The Friday Rock Show Sessions Live at Reading '86 by HAWKWIND album cover Live, 1992
2.98 | 21 ratings

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The Friday Rock Show Sessions Live at Reading '86
Hawkwind Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Hawkwind's eye-catching Chronicle of the Black Sword tour had, if not springing them to the levels of success they'd had back in the 1970s, at least got them enough momentum to snag a spot on 1986's Reading Festival. Playing up to the rock-oriented crowd and the high-energy feel of the festival, they essentially do an even more hard-rocking take on a mix of 1980s and 1970s material, and welcome Lemmy back onboard for a guest spot on Silver Machine. The end result is not the most subtle of Hawkwind releases, not least because (aside from the instrumental Pulsing Cavern) they give a hard rock spin to more or less all the material, including stuff like Utopia which was never originally cast in that mode, but what it lacks in variety it makes up for in energy.

That said, what is credited as merely Dream Worker is in fact a medley of Brainstorm, Dream Worker and Dust of Time, which offers a more progressive sonic exploration at just the right time in the running order. The final song - the aforementioned take on Silver Machine with Lemmy guesting - is by contrast gloriously slipshod and shambolic, the reunion clearly being a spur-of-the-moment gesture of friendship and goodwill that didn't admit much opportunity for careful rehearsal but, much like Lemmy's then-current work with Motorhead, hooks you more on its gusto than its technical brilliance.

As you might have guessed from the title. the Reading appearance was recorded by the BBC for Radio 1's Friday Rock Show, this release being part of a series by Raw Fruit Records licensed from the BBC of Friday Rock Show sessions by various bands (hence the hilariously inappropriate cover art - all the Raw Fruit Friday Rock Sessions releases got a similar treatment). The upshot of this is that the sound quality on this is pretty decent - on a part with Live Chronicles and perhaps a notch above it. I'd say Live Chronicles remains the definitive live concert experience of mid-1980s Hawkwind, but for those moments when the full pretentious spectacle of it would be too much this Reading appearance fits nicely.

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Psychedelic/Space Rock bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
ÄLGARNAS TRÄDGÅRD Sweden
3 LEAFS United States
35007 Netherlands
3RD EAR EXPERIENCE Multi-National
THE 4 LEVELS OF EXISTENCE Greece
ABUNAI! United States
ACID FLORIANI Russia
ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE Japan
AD'ABSURDUM Switzerland
ADDICTHEAD Switzerland
AGAMEMNON Switzerland
AGUSA Sweden
AHKMED Australia
AHORA MAZDA Netherlands
AKASHA Norway
ALAMEDA 5 Poland
ALASEHIR United States
ALEX DELIVERY United States
ALHAMBRA Italy
ALICE France
ALIEN PLANETSCAPES United States
ALIENTAR United States
ALITHIA Australia
ALMUADEM Portugal
ALPHA NORD Germany
ALPHA OMEGA Australia
ALRUNE ROD Denmark
AME SON France
AMONULLUNOMA Ireland
THE AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS United Kingdom
AMPACITY Poland
AMPLIFIER United Kingdom
ANALOGY Italy
ANDROMEDA SPACE RITUAL Poland
ANGEL'IN HEAVY SYRUP Japan
ANNOT RHÜL Norway
ANONIMA SOUND LTD. Italy
ANTA United Kingdom
ANTLERS United States
DADDY ANTOGNA Y LOS DE HELIO Argentina
ANUBIAN LIGHTS United States
APHODYL Germany
APPALACHIAN TRANSLATOR United States
APRYL FOOL Japan
APTEKA Poland
AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR France
AQUANAUT Australia
AQUASERGE France
AQUELARRE Argentina
ARCADIUM United Kingdom
ARCHITECTURAL METAPHOR United States
ARILYN Germany
ARZACHEL United Kingdom
ASSEMBLE HEAD IN SUNBURST SOUND United States
ASTRA United States
ASTRAL SON Netherlands
ASTRALIA Italy
ASTRODOME Portugal
ATAVISM OF TWILIGHT United States
ATAVISMO Spain
ATAXIA United States
ATHENE NOCTUA Italy
ATLETA Spain
ATOMIC SIMAO Ukraine
AURORIS United Kingdom
AVARUUSKORPRAALI PAHA HIRVI Finland
AXE United Kingdom
AYAHUASCA DARK TRIP Multi-National
AYERMANIANA Argentina
BABILS Belgium
BABY GRANDMOTHERS Sweden
BACHDENKEL United Kingdom
BACKSTREET ROMEOS Germany
BAIKAL United States
BAND OF RAIN United Kingdom
BARDO POND United States
BARN OWL United States
BARRETT ELMORE Sweden
BARROWS United States
MASAKI BATOH Japan
BËIRUTH Spain
BEYOND-O-MATIC United States
BIG RED PANDA Portugal
BLACK BOMBAIM Portugal
BLACK LIGHT SECRET United Kingdom
THE BLACK NOODLE PROJECT France
BLACK SCIENCE United States
BLAND BLADEN Sweden
BLIM United Kingdom
BLONDE ON BLONDE United Kingdom
BLUE PHANTOM Italy
BOAT BURNING United States
BOSQUES Argentina
CHRISTIAN BOULÉ France
BRAINSTORM Australia
BREMEN Sweden
DAVE BROCK United Kingdom
BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE United Kingdom
BROWN SPIRITS Australia
ARTHUR BROWN'S KINGDOM COME United Kingdom
BUHO ERMITANO Peru
BURNT NOODLE United States
ROBERT CALVERT South Africa
CAMEL United Kingdom
CANTERBURY GLASS United Kingdom
CAPITAL SENTIMENTAL Netherlands
CARLTON MELTON United States
THE CARPET KNIGHTS Sweden
CARRÉ.LADICH.MARCHAL Multi-National
CATHARSIS France
CATS ON THE ROOF Ukraine
CAULDRON Sweden
CAUSA SUI Denmark
CAVE United States
CENTRIC JONES United States
LES CHAMPIGNONS Canada
CHARLIE & ESDOR Sweden
CHICKENCAGE EXPERIENCE Germany
CHILLIWACK Canada
CHIMERA United Kingdom
CHROMA KEY United States
CHROMIUM HAWK MACHINE United States
CIOLKOWSKA Russia
CIRCLE Finland
CIRCUS 2000 Italy
COBALT BLUE Brazil
COBRA FAMILY PICNIC United States
COCK C'NELL Japan
COLD SUN United States
COLORSTAR Hungary
COLSTER Italy
COMA STEREO Slovenia
COMETS ON FIRE United States
LA COMPAGNIA DIGITALE Italy
O CORVO MUDO Portugal
COSARARA Italy
LAS COSAS Argentina
THE COSMIC DEAD United Kingdom
COSMIC FALL Germany
COSMIC TRIGGERS Russia
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COSMONAUTTRANSFER United Kingdom
COSMOS FACTORY Japan
CRANIUM PIE United Kingdom
CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX United Kingdom
CRONOMAD Mexico
CROW United Kingdom
CRUMBLING GHOST United Kingdom
CUCUMBER FARMER Finland
CUZO Spain
D SOUND Hungary
D'ARCANA United States
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DARK SUN Finland
DARXTAR Sweden
DASPUTNIK Finland
DATETENRYU Japan
ALAN DAVEY United Kingdom
DAY OF PHOENIX Denmark
DAY SHIFT United Kingdom
DE CRONOPIOS Argentina
DEAD MEADOW United States
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DEAF SCENE United States
DEEP SPACE DESTRUCTORS Finland
DEIGEN Japan
DHVANI Italy
EL DIABLO Mexico
DOMO Spain
THE DOPPELGÄNGERS United States
DOWNLOUDERS Italy
DR HASBEEN United Kingdom
DR. TOTEM Mexico
DRAGONTEARS Denmark
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DRAHK VON TRIP Sweden
DREAM MACHINE United Kingdom
DRUNKEN GUNMEN Australia
DUNGEN Sweden
DUNST Germany
THE EARLIES Multi-National
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EATING.SEATS Italy
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EDEN ROSE France
EDGAR'S HAIR Netherlands
EGO ON THE ROCKS Germany
THE EGOCENTRICS Romania
EGYPTIAN KINGS Portugal
EIDETIC SEEING United States
EKOS Mexico
EKTROVERDE Finland
ELECTRIC EYE Norway
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ELEVATOR Canada
BRIAN ELLIS United States
ELMER GANTRY'S VELVET OPERA United Kingdom
ELOY Germany
AN EMERALD CITY Multi-National
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ESCAPADE United States
ETER-K Peru
ETERNAL TAPESTRY United States
ETHIVA Spain
EVEL GAZEBOW United Kingdom
EYE United States
F/I United States
THE FACEDANCERS United States
FAIRUZ DERIN BULUT Turkey
FALSOS CONEJOS Argentina
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FAR EAST FAMILY BAND Japan
FAR OUT Japan
FARFLUNG United States
MICK FARREN United Kingdom
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FIRECLAN United States
FIRST BAND FROM OUTER SPACE Sweden
FISH EYE LENS United States
FJODOR Croatia
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FLOORIAN United States
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FROM GROTTO Finland
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GREYLEVEL Canada
GROUP 1850 Netherlands
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HANADENSHA Japan
HANDLINGNOISE Finland
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HASH JAR TEMPO Multi-National
HAUNTED LEATHER United States
HAWKWIND United Kingdom
A HEADFULL OF MONSTERS United Kingdom
THE HEADS United Kingdom
HEAVY WATER EXPERIMENTS United States
DASHIELL HEDAYAT France
HELLBENDER United States
HEPTAGRAM Bulgaria
HERBCRAFT United States
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HIDRIA SPACEFOLK Finland
HIGH DEPENDENCY UNIT New Zealand
HILLS Sweden
HIMMELLEGEME Norway
HISKO DETRIA Finland
HOLLOW MIRRORS United States
HOLY RIVER FAMILY BAND Sweden
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HUMANOID Canada
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HYPNOS 69 Belgium
I.E.M. United Kingdom
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ID United States
IGRA STAKLENIH PERLI Yugoslavia
IKIHEVONEN Finland
DJORDJE ILIJIN Yugoslavia
IMANISSIMO Indonesia
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INCANDESCENT SKY United States
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INSIDER Italy
INSTANT FLIGHT Multi-National
INTERKOSMOS Austria
INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER Sweden
THE INVISIBLE BAND! United Kingdom
INVISIBLE OPERA COMPANY OF TIBET (BRAZIL) Brazil
ION QUEST United States
LA IRA DE DIOS Peru
IT'S NOT NIGHT: IT'S SPACE United States
IVORY Germany
IXTHULUH Austria
J. A. CAESAR Japan
JACKO WACKO Peru
JACKS Japan
ANDY JACKSON United Kingdom
JADE France
JADE WARRIOR United Kingdom
THE JELLY JAM United States
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JUKE France
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ROSE KEMP United Kingdom
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KILL FOR TOTAL PEACE France
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KING SUFFY GENERATOR Italy
KINGBATHMAT United Kingdom
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KOSMOS Canada
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SELIM LEMOUCHI AND HIS ENEMIES Netherlands
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LENINGRAD BLUES MACHINE Japan
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LIQUID ORBIT Germany
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LOOP United Kingdom
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MAN United Kingdom
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MARS EVERYWHERE United States
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MARY NEWSLETTER Italy
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MASTER MUSICIANS OF BUKKAKE United States
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MERKABAH Poland
MESS Estonia
MESSAGE Germany
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MIJA United States
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MIND! Spain
MISTY MOUNTAIN FOUNDATION Finland
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MOOCH United Kingdom
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THE MOOR Sweden
MOTHER DUST Germany
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THE MOVEMENTS Sweden
MR QUIMBY'S BEARD United Kingdom
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OS MUTANTES Brazil
MY BROTHER THE WIND Sweden
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MYRIAD Australia
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ONE SWITCH TO COLLISION Multi-National
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TIDAL FLOOD Greece
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ÜMIT! Germany
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UNIMOTHER 27 Italy
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WHERE THE MOON CAME FROM United States
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YAWNING SONS Multi-National
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WILL Z. Belgium
ZEMLJA BROJ 9 Serbia
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