First of all we should apologise for being a little late to the party with this one. Another release ripe for headphonic delight, incoming on the esteemed Fruits de Mer imprint an absolute mind mushrooming head trip from Astralasia. Pressed on coloured double vinyl replete with additional 7 inch and blotter paper no doubt aping the LSD saturated sheets of the late 60’s, ‘Oceania’ might well be best described a trip aboard a kind of cerebral carpet drifting deep into the subconscious exploring your inner head space for this mammoth sonic statement cuts across the realms of ambience, kosmiche and transcendentalism like a hot knife through butter.

‘Alooland’ starts the journey, a demurring dream drift of swirling dissipates and dissolving textures, a cosmic jungle if you would so wish replete with bird song and a teaming of dub draped woozy wildlife. The decidedly beardy ‘ghosts inbetween’ changes the mood ever so slightly, positioned on a more solid terra-firma, this funky murmur tone comes wiggily shrouded in a trippy kosmiche jazz shelling pressed upon a mellowing motorik grooving while the title track closes the curtain on side one with some nifty Floydian spiked Tangerine Dream mind expansion. ‘tangerine skies’ opens matters on side 2, is that Rickie Lee Jones at the beginning, sure sounds her which is just as well as this ‘un takes its cue initially from the Orb’s ‘little fluffy clouds’ and then just drifts off radar into Ozric Tentacle magic lands, one we suggest best accompanied by the rolling of a fat ‘un and just letting yourself go. Sprayed in beguiled Balearic afterglows ‘kaleidoscopic’ arrives hazily adorned in misty romance dinked in tropicalic delirium which we must admit had us for the best part arguing with ourselves what it reminded us of more – Vini Reilly or Discordia. It’s left to the sides best moment to run out matters towards the end groove, ‘north star’ very much setting its dials for bliss state and into the bargain colouring in the invisible dots that exist between Embryo and Sendelica.

With a title like ‘astral voyager’ there was never going to be any doubt or fear that this was going to fry your headspace with wiring salutations crusted in harsh gouging, a pulsing peace pipe very much recalling those lengthy workouts by Paris Angels albeit as though retooled by a youthful Echoboy and cut with the same kind of mind morphing mosaics that used to occasion themselves out of the much-missed Delirium sound house in the mid 90’s. something of the John Barry ghosts through the twinkle toned noir lounge smouldering of ‘Ishdan’ with its feint daubing of the mystique snaking through its hypno-grooved shimmer toning. All said though it’s the 22 minute colossus ‘time and tide eternal’ which occupies the entirety of side 4 that provides ‘Oceania’ with its formidable centre piece for what is a humungous meditative out of body astral ride sailing on cosmic ocean drifts populated by floaty ripples of dream dazed arabesque mirages, hallucinogenic hazes and lulling at peace with everything flotillas of bliss kissed out there-ness. Classy. For the seriously bonged out among you the label are at present cobbling together one of their legendary special edition sets of the album that features posters, white labels, special coloured wax variations, a live vinyl set and all manner of hush hush secret goodies all no doubt forced with some difficulty into a humungous box like creation.  

astralasia oceania

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