derbRelease number 49 (yes you did read that correctly) from Albin Julius under the (abbreviated for sanity sake) Der Blutharsch moniker. I am a recent inductee into this psychedelic musical cosmos having only joined when numbers 47 & 48 found their way to me; very enjoyable they were too. Apart from artwork of drumming robots which on seeing I almost jumped through the window Kentucky Fried Movie style there is very little information pertaining to this particular “session” available. It’s a case of filling in the gaps and describing what I am hearing more than anything as the three tracks in question do not even have actual names on the packaging or indeed the outfits Bandcamp page, where you are free to listen to them yourself. Just after I covered them last time around the band played Roadburn Festival no doubt exposing their brand of space-laden jamming to a suitably addled crowd. The recent material sounds good even on audience recorded footage found on the net so I was more than keen to dip into what I hope may well become a regular source of sounds dropping through my mailbox.

A jam is exactly what we get with the first number an ever expanding instrumental taking you from the edge of the universe into the beyond. Starting in a mellow fashion with slow intricate twanging bass and mesmerising guitar wafts it draws you in with a smoky haze as drums join and a slight ethnic / world music vibe charms like a snake caught in its heady tones. Taking me back in time this is a sound that twists back to Kraut Rock musos of old as it takes further form and tenaciously draws you in to its depths. Light one up, settle down and go with the flow (man) it’s an absorbing ride, livening up in a fluid fashion as it progresses. There’s an ominous doomed vibe on the second number as the guitars meander and the slow drumming beats in time. Suddenly vocals drop in from I am assuming Marthynna and are chanted like a spell is being delivered in a spoken fashion. It’s odd as it sounds to me like things are being versed in Greek and I get the same sort of shiver inducing feel from this as I did from recent Rotting Christ and there’s even a touch of Diamanda Galás about this. It all seems to have the desired effect as a portal is opened up and the drums enter a near blast beat ferocity with everything thrusting into the stratosphere in a hyper-kinetic drive. Stasis achieved after having been flung through a black hole we are left adrift once more as the track slowly ebbs out.

The 13 minute finale is left to contend with but is in no hurry to get anywhere fast as cymbals are lightly tapped in the distance and a strange pulsating electricity energises into a chugging refrain. This has a real beat and takes me into biker rock territory as engines rev in my head and greasy truckers party away fuelled on amphetamine through the night. As guitars jam away it’s impossible not to think of the likes of Huw Lloyd Langton and when female vocals eventually join in I can put things off no longer and absolutely have to mention Hawkwind as it sounds like this could be a left over cut from their Space Bandits album. Naturally I love it and it sounds better than the anything the aforementioned have delivered in some time.

I’m not sure how long the group have been exploring this form of music from their industrial and neofolk origins but the more I hear the more I like and long may they continue. As retro keyboards spiral around me from the speakers; ladies and gentlemen I am definitely floating in space!

(7.5/10 Pete Woods)