· UNIVERSAL HIPPIES - ASTRAL VISIONS (GYR182) ·

::T R A C K S::

01. ZENITH RISING
02. EMPIRE MIND
03. TRILOGY OF DREAMS
04. ETERNAL WISDOM
05. MONOLITHIC
06. BEYOND THE SKY
07. TEMPLE OF HUMANITY
08. LUNAR GODDESS
09. STARCHILD GALAXY
10. TRANSCENDING REALITY


FORMAT: Audio CD / 4 PANEL WALLET
GYR182 - $13.99

Mega-awesome third studio disc from this amazing instrumental heavy guitar rock power trio from Greece featuring 10 songs of outstanding, dynamic, blues-based, cosmic stoner guitar music that shines with endless depth, scope and creativity. Flowing through time & spectral space that glows with hypnotic ancient mystery, the Universal Hippies set the controls for the heart of the sun and have produced a stellar work of art. Prepare to fly high far beyond the sky with "Astral Visions".

Universal Hippies is the brainchild and musical vision of Stavros Papadopoulos, a talented, prolific guitarist/producer of world-class proportions who has created an awesome original style & vibe of impressive instrumental guitar music artistry. Welcome to the third chapter from the musical book of Universal Hippies called "Astral Visions." An incredible, deep, mind-altering, epic six string musical journey that transcends reality, defies linear gravity and defines true guitar rock excellence.


MP3 Sample Clips

01. ZENITH RISING
02. EMPIRE MIND
03. TRILOGY OF DREAMS
04. ETERNAL WISDOM
05. MONOLITHIC
06. BEYOND THE SKY
07. TEMPLE OF HUMANITY
08. LUNAR GODDESS
09. STARCHILD GALAXY
10. TRANSCENDING REALITY

· VIDEO ·

 

UNIVERSAL HIPPIES - BEYOND THE SKY

 

 

· reviews ·

Greek guitar god and musical chameleon Stavros Papadopoulos strikes once again with “Astral Visions”, part three of his ongoing instrumental exploration of the retrosounds of futurepast with Universal Hippies, which is just ONE of his many musical permutations. Stavros suffers from a very rare and most delightful disease which I’ll refer to as MMPD (Multiple Musical Personality Disorder). He possesses the unworldly ability to channel separate parts of his musical personality into the service of whatever stylistic permutation strikes his fancy (Revolution Highway, Super Vintage, Freerock Saints & Hard Driver). His output in any ONE of these bands is a full career for lesser mortals; collectively, the breadth and depth of his discography is encyclopedic, the work of a superhuman…and like ALL of his other releases, this one serves up a kaliedescopic collection of killer compositions.

The opener, “Zenith Rising”, sets the tone of this foray into the future-retro world of Stavros’s’ “Astral Visions”: an uptempo slash & burn progressive slice of heavy guitar alchemy that rises and falls like a cosmic tide. “Empire Mind” & “Trilogy Of Dreams” both boast a pulsing, middle eastern-twinged melodic foundation which is laced with with psychotronic mood shifts and loads of twisting heavy grooviness that are works of true compositional artistry. “Eternal Wisdom” starts with a smooth halftime feel that unexpectedly explodes into an incendiary classic epic retrojamfest of astral proportions, coming full circle to complete the journey in a smooth transition back to the beginning again. “Monolithic” begins with an oddly placed but nevertheless harmonically rich intro that serves as a delightful sonic apperitif to cleanse the aural pallette for the driving and precise heavy scalar workout that follows.

“Beyond The Sky” and “Temple Of Humanity” are straight ahead, blue note-accented synchopated amalgams of rhythmic joy, cohesively weaving inside, outside, sideways and down. “Lunar Goddess” is a real standout and my favorite track here…Stavros goes into a wide-ranging melodic arc, from wah-inflected rip to restrained beauty, drifting and driving through a muscular and masterfully constructed composition that shifts gears, moods and tempo changes with ease, punctuated with dramatic and powerful hits cascading all over the damn place. Classic. To wind the proceedings down, “Starchild Galaxy” lands as a wonderful and sensitive acoustic interlude, dripping with sophistication and depth that provides the perfectly-paced transition into the closer, “Transcending Reality”, a spacey, stoner/shoegazer groove that morphs into a smoothed-out crankedfest.

Throughout, Stavros bobs and weaves his magic through these tracks, creating tones the gods would envy and purveying dynamic bell curve shifts from understated elegance to bombastic shred…and doing it all without clashing his mental gears. This is something only someone with MMPD is capable of doing.

“Astral Visions” is a retro instrumental masterpiece, a worthy addition to the legacy of the “Universal Hippies” brand and yet another inspired collection of musical art by the great and powerful Stavros Papadopoulos.

Jimmy Ryan / Guitar Rock Appreciation Society (October 2018)
 


I’ll say it outright: I will listen to whatever STAVROS PAPADOPOULOS puts on disk. This man is a modern-day guitar genius who has to be heard to be believed. On his latest ‘Universal Hippies’ CD, which is part of a series, he goes off the charts once again, engaging ‘Astral Visions’ of another order altogether. For this one, his mind has obviously landed in another dimension, one that engenders a prior epoch of world history, when gods were gods and demons were demons. Papadopoulos conjures a little of both in this offering. Along these lines, his writing always has an element of the majestic, to the point of divinity, as well as the killer raunch of the demoniac, capable of making the devil blush. Well written and masterfully conceived, he gathers the cream of the crop in terms of his rhythm section, as always, to accommodate and to share his musical vision, and with them he takes listeners on a journey to both heaven and hell. When you emerge, you’ll be a diehard fan of driving guitar music — and of Papadopoulos himself, who is clearly to today’s guitar music what Satriani was several decades back. A must have for guitar enthusiasts.

Steven J. Rosen / Author + Journalist (September 2019)
 




 


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