I was fortunate enough to see Hidira Spacefolk at the latest Burg Herzberg fest in Germany. So with great anticipation I waited for their newest full-length Astronautica.
For me, this was a very cheerful moment receiving this album, already being a massive Hidria Spacefolk fan, and the first few seconds of ”Ad astra” made me even more happy to receive this, some nice dynamics and build up with the solo by and then kicking in with full on space rock in the vein of Ozric Tentacles, Bland Bladen and Mantric Muse. There are plenty of tripped-out sounds, changes in direction, stabs, slow and fast sections, and generally a very well put together mish mash of instrumental heavy space rock all executed to perfection, with killers weeping guitar solos, booming basslines, powerful drumming and intricate organ/synth/piano/vibraphone playing, but basically and essentially very groovy. Moreover, the other songs are highly unique, particularly from one another, lending a feeling of constant motion to the album. “Badding” is a wonderful hallucinatory trip that rides along on jazzy piano/organ thrills, spine-chilling guitarsolos and pounding percussion. “Cycloop” and “Endymion” are excellent space excursions worth taking, featuring droning and warbling, wailing guitars, fantastic vibraphone and the like, but with a very strong rock rhythm section giving it more drive than your average space-rock band.
I hope this Finnish sextet doesn't wait another 5 years before releasing another one. Contender for top 5 of 2012.