Hedersleben are a psychedelic Krautrock/space rock act from Oakland, California, featuring UK Subs member Nicky Garratt on guitar, Kephera Moon on keyboards/vocals, Bryce Shelton on bass, Ariana Wagaman on vocals, violin, and keyboards, and Jason Willer on drums, with Kyrsten Bean appearing on this album (keyboards/guitar/vocal) in place of Wagaman. Upgoer is the bands debut album from 2013, and you can instantly tell that they have mastered the art of both the British & German Krautrock/prog/space rock scene. Recording & touring with the likes of ex-Hawkwind member Nik Turner as well as Brainticket certainly has helped in that aspect. Most of the tracks here are long, meditative pieces, as dreamy keyboard washes permeate airy arrangements that don't often have a lot going on, but the brooding atmosphere and rich soundcapes provide for an often times intoxicating listening experience. You'll be reminded of vintage Tangerine Dream on both parts of the spacey title track as well as "Der Donnervogel (dreamstate)", while "End of Love (dreamstate)" offers up some of the more intriguing synth patterns on the album, squarely in the prog/jazz-fusion realm, with a brief flute solo courtesy of Nik Turner. Vocals are sparse, and more in the spoken word or whispered format, just drifting atop the tranquil arrangements. It's a shame that Garratt isn't given much to do here, his guitar more dedicated to textures and lilting chord or melody lines than anything daring. In a way it kind of represents the entire album; Upgoer just seems to float along, never really breaking into anything that grabs you nor turning up the tempo a bit. It's all fine and relaxing space rock, but let's hope they kick things up a notch on the follow-up.
Upgoer (part 1) 11:16
Der Donnervogel (dreamstate) 05:39
Dark Nebula 04:04
Upgoer (part 2) 10:04
End of Love (dreamstate) 09:49