AURGANIC: Distant Echoes & Close Encounters

Aurganic is an experimental electronic/alternative studio project of two long-time friends Michael Kossov and Leo Pisaq. Originally high school classmates, they were members in a number of local punk rock bands until life and distance separated them for a number of years. They reconnected musically in 2010 finding a lot of common ground. This time it was electronica, art rock, and jazz that dominated the ideas. The reunited duo recorded instrumental sessions in New York and worked on their completion via internet resulting in a self-titled EP. Rooted in friendship, the project proved its longevity with four independent releases to date. Hailing from the Toronto/New York area, Aurganic’s sound revolves around experimental electronic elements blended with rock, post-rock, progressive rock and indie rock ingredients.

“Signs” has multi-layered vocal harmonies, intelligently placed electronics, and some crunchy guitar drives and starts off the album on a definite high. “Empires” has a Muse feel to it, but without sounding like a copycat with the electronics and guitars creating a great mix that makes the track stand out. “Invincible (In The Shadows)” has strong harmonies and continues the high quality of the previous songs. “Levitate” is a fantastic electro-pop song and is one of the best tracks on the album filled with great tracks. “Distant Echoes” has a slow melodic vibe that gives a nice change to the album, and also has great guitar playing. “Shaman” is a ballad with vocals electronically treated, acoustic guitar and very able drumming. The closer “Close Encounters” is an all-instrumental track that shows off the progressive leanings of the band and makes for a great ending to a fun album.

With various styles and textures, this album really gives the listener something to sink their teeth into and an exciting listen that makes you want to hit the play button again. Go out and give your ears a treat and pick this one up.

Also posted at:

PATRICK GRANT: A Sequence Of Waves (Twelve Stories And A Dream)

Patrick Grant is originally from Detroit, now living in New York City, he studied at the world-famous Juilliard School and worked with Billy Joel and Quincy Jones on an international project for the Millennium, and in his work with Robert Fripp (King Crimson, Brian Eno, and David Bowie) & The Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists. The musicians on the album include Patrick Grant on guitar, bass, viola, piano, keyboards and percussion; John Ferrari on drums, mallet instruments and percussion; Nick Didkovsky on guitar; Dan Cooper on 7-string electric bass; Lynn Bechtold on violin; and Dan Barrett on cello.

A thirteen track, all instrumental album that has many moods and feels, like a soundtrack to an exciting movie that you want to keep listening to. With some rock, classical and progressive, you have a mixed bag with more choices than going out to a buffet. “Lucid Intervals” opens the album with strings, chimes and hand drums and sets you off on a great start. “Driving Patterns” has great electric guitar playing, piano, peppy percussion, and a fun drum beat. “Seven Years At Sea” has a field recording of echoed and looped vocals from the Hoffpauir sisters (Elita, Mary, and Ella), which was recorded in Louisiana in 1934. I have only touched on a few tracks here, but really, you can’t go wrong when you hit play, just pick a track and it will thrill you and take you away on an exciting trip.

Grab a copy and visit somewhere else, a place you may not have any idea where or when it is, but you will definitely enjoy the trip. A collection of songs that will keep you coming back for more and listen to over and over again, and keep a smile on your face at the same time.

Also posted at:

ALIEN SEX FIEND: Fiendology – 1982-2017


Since their emergence in the early ’80s, Alien Sex Fiend have remained one of the most loved and longstanding pioneers of the Goth movement. Fusing themes of horror, humour, inner turmoil and outer space with an industrial and electronic sound years ahead of its time, the band scored countless indie chart hits, found success across Europe, America and Japan and won a dedicated, adoring fan base which exists to this day. The collection is composed of 3 CDs spanning their 35 year history, including five previously unreleased recordings, previously unreleased mixes of “Now I’m Feeling Zombified,” and “I Walk The Line.” There are two brand new tracks from their forthcoming album Possessed, plus artwork by Nik Fiend in the booklet telling the band’s story in pictures, as well as sleevenotes by Kris Needs and Youth.

With the big songs mixed in with album tracks and remixes, this collection gives fans and those curious a look at the band that is without comparison. The band has been in and out of fashion and still marches on to the sound of their own drum machine. Electric and bizarre, they continue to thrill and get people dancing to the mix of strange lyrics and the dance beats that they have been putting out with regularity. The new songs sound right at home, maybe a bit more modern, but fit in perfectly with the sound that they have molded over the years. The booklet has great stories and gives a terrific overview of the band and how they have moved through the years, giving the fans amazing music.

With all of the collections of the band out there, this has to be the one to get, great sound, a collection of obvious and less obvious tracks, and with some rarities added to the two new songs, you just can’t go wrong. Now go out and “Walk The Line” and get Zombified.



Re-issued on CD for the first time in the UK, this is the soundtrack album to accompany the 1984 film The NeverEnding Story. An atmospheric electronic soundtrack with tracks composed by leading German jazz composer Klaus Doldinger and electronic disco maestro Giorgio Moroder. This release also includes all the officially released remixes of the title track as sung by Limahl (ex-Kajagoogoo) and the extended version of Giorgio Moroder’s “Ivory Tower” that originally appeared as the b-side on Limahl’s “The NeverEnding Story” single. This single was, itself, an international smash hit reaching No.4 in the UK and Irish Charts, No.2 in Germany, Austria and Italy and No.1 in Sweden and Norway. This limited edition black vinyl effect CD release is packaged in a miniature cardboard LP style sleeve with an exclusive six page colour insert.

I will be honest here…I have never seen this film, mostly because as a teenage boy, this really wasn’t geared to me, but I do love the title song. I remember seeing the video for the title song on one of the video shows that came on after school and being excited that there was a new song out by Limahl. I had no idea what the movie was about and didn’t care…….new Limahl! I went out and got the 12″ single and played the hell out of it, and the b-side of “Ivory Tower” by Giorgio Moroder. I took a job as a DJ at this club and the bartender that was my friend hated the title song, so I had to play it every once in a while on my retro ’80s night . I even went out and found the French version of the song to drive him even more crazy. Well, at long last I now own the soundtrack and of course I love the many versions of title done by Limahl, but the other instrumental songs by both Moroder and Doldinger are really good as well. Full of emotion and highs and lows, the soundtrack takes you on a grand journey that almost makes me want to see the film…almost. The different sounds of the two composers actually work together fairly well, with Moroder being electronic and Doldinger doing more of an orchestral mix. The songs all sound crisp and bright, giving the listener a chance to dig into the richness of the soundtrack and the moods.

With a great booklet, the replica album and the fantastic remastering, this is a soundtrack that I will actually listen to over and over again. I will be putting on the Limahl title song and reminisce about my friend and laugh at the insults he used to hurl at me for playing it. I wish I could play all of the mixes for him, his head would explode.

WESTWARD: The Empire of Deception


This band from Salt Lake City was quickly crowned by fans as playing “Cowboy Space Rock.” This is because Westward’s original songs are flavored with a mixture of western trail music combined with futuristic motifs and underlying tones that scream modern and progressive rock.

The album has a fresh sound that grabs the listener right from the start with synth stabs, soaring vocals, and tight playing that make your feet move and make you want to dance. The album includes 10 tracks which feature two singles; “The Last Stand” which has been released as their official lyric single for this album, and the official music video “Force and Matter.” Both songs are just massive and are perfectly chosen as singles from this album with the high energy and expert playing, they give the listener an idea of where this album is going. They are similar in sound to Muse and Radiohead, but manage to keep their own identity and run with it. The songs are not pretentious like some from those mentioned bands, these are concise and full of emotion and are so damn catchy that you can’t get the out of your head. “Machines” is one of my favorite songs on the album with the sky-high vocals, and the sound of new wave bands from the ‘80s, but still fresh enough to sound modern at the same time.

This album was a definite surprise to me, as I had not heard of this band before, but what an impression they made on me. I recommend this album and really hope that people will buy it and go see them live if they get the chance…I don’t want this much talent to fade away, they need you and will give us great things in the future, as well as this awesome album right now with your help.

Also posted on:

GROUPOEM: Dirt Church


The band began as Mr.Science in 1983 before transforming into Groupoem in 1986. The band first released a six song 12″ EP before embarking on a North American tour in 1987. They later returned to the studio where they recorded 10 songs in the summer of 1987 that are being released now for the first time, along with some new songs. The band then went on hiatus for 25 years and has now regrouped with all the original members that ironically, all four members of the band separately had migrated from Toronto to the Vancouver, BC area. The first nine tracks on this album represent the newest music, while tracks ten through eighteen are from 1987, and are a mix of punk rock and alternative.

If you are a fan of talking/singing, kind of how Lou Reed did it, this is for you. “Slimfast” is the kickoff track of this album, and one of their newer songs and has that vocal style mixed with some angular playing that really gives the song a nice edge to it. The vocals also give me a Stan Ridgway vibe with the shaky sound to them. The band has a great vibe going on with sharp guitar playing, and terrific drumming and the vocals that kind of are a step out of sync, but yet match up perfectly with the music. All of the new songs have a great sound and are exceptional, and then we get to the old ones…wow! The band sounds so different, you know, youth and different experiences can make a difference over time, but I wish that I had heard this band back in high school, I would have loved them, and I do now! The band just blows through these old songs at a breakneck pace and you really feel the power and enthusiasm that is present on these songs. One rager after another that will get your heart rate going and get your tired old ass up out of your chair and slamming in the front room.

I am so glad to hear their new songs and how they have moved on, but kept the great songs that they showed on the older tunes, but damn, they could really tear it up back then. A great collection of songs that shows a progression and a promise for more in the future from this talented group. Welcome back boys!

Also posted at:

A mini documentary of the band’s reformation at YouTube: