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A Progressive Rock Sub-genre

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Psychedelic/Space Rock definition

Psychedelic Progressive Rock

Progressive rock music has its roots in the mid 1960's psychedelic cultural phenomena. During that time the British Invasion and folk-rock bands began to expand the sonic possibilities of their music. These groups slowly started to abandon the concise verse-chorus-verse patterns of rock & roll, and moved towards fluid, free-form oriented song structures. Just as important was the incorporation of elements from Indian and Eastern music. Along them the principles of free-form jazz were included to the psychedelic sound, emphasising spontaneous emotions over calculated and estimated compositional constructions. Experimenting with new studio technology, electronically altering instruments and voices, was a part of this altered approach as well. Acid rock groups like THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE and CREAM stand as descriptive and popular examples of the path from psychedelic sunshine pop towards a more aggressive and distinct rock expression, in particular showcased in their improvised live performances.

The boundary dividing the "Experimental" and "Progressive" classification is a thin and at times contested one for this era. The pioneering psychedelic progressive rock bands to be found at will in most cases be found in the Proto-Prog section of the site. Amongst these pioneering outfits are acts like THE BEATLES, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE AND VANILLA FUDGE. Artists such as PINK FLOYD will not be found there though, as their career extended well beyond these first, formative years.

Psychedelic progressive rock music may contain the elements previously described in varying combinations, but the artistic perspective of progressive rock is another factor. Some psychedelic rock bands stuck to the mid 1960's beat rock style in purist form, not partaking in the experimental development of the impressionistic possibilities of psychedelic rock music others spearheaded. The evolution of the psychedelic depth within a progressive context could be seen for instance in the 1960's recordings of ARCADIUM and BABY GRANDMOTHERS. One good example of early 70's Continental European progressive psychedelic rock is the album by AHORA MAZDA, and from Britain JADE WARRIOR's early efforts fuse psychedelic rock and ethnic music. Current artists exploring the vintage 60's/70's style and sound are acts like THE SPACIOUS MINDS and ACID MOTHER'S TEMPLE.

The entire Western pop culture scene was influenced by the psychedelic culture to some extent, including other prog genres such as Prog Folk. In Germany, artists influenced by the British psychedelic movement formed their own genre called KRAUTROCK. The pioneering early 70's bands in this genre represent the progressive acid rock sound of Germany, experimenting with long instrumental improvisations, emphasizing the use of psychedelic effects and weird electronic sounds. Some examples are artists like AMON D��L, ASH RA TEMPEL, CAN, G�A, NECRONOMICON and YATHA SIDHRA. The PROGRESSIVE ELECTRONIC style emerged from Krautrock. Some of the most influential artists of this genre, such as TANGERINE DREAM and KLAUS SCHULZE, explored a distinct psychedelic musical style at first, which was influential for the development of the "space rock" sound:

Progressive Space Rock

The late 1960's psychedelic rock scene also spawned the birth of the space rock genre. The pioneering acts of this genre assimilated krautrock elements like repetitive hypnotic beats and electronic/ambient soundscapes as they moved away from the common musical and compositional approach. The synthesizer with its bubbling tones and spacey patterns, provoking a gliding flow, is a typical instrument of this genre. Guitars are by preference played with glissando technique and delay/echo effects are heavily used, and elements originating from reggae/dub are fairly common. Several bands combine their live performances with trippy lightshows using random fractals. Albums in this genre will often include at least one long meandering jam based on a main theme, where loops and wavelike fluctuations provides slight variations to this structural foundation.

Stories, images, song titles and album names referring to cosmic themes are fairly common features of the genre. HAWKWIND's live album "Space Ritual" is said to be the ultimate space rock album due to the collaboration with sci-fi author Michael Moorcock. His lyrics are performed by a narrator and underlaid with synth elements. PINK FLOYD can be regarded as pioneers of spacey music during the band's early phase, as exemplified by certain tracks from "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" or the stirring live performance of "Careful With That Axe Eugene" from "Ummagumma". GROBSCHNITT provides another fine example of classic space rock with their epic effort "Solar Music". Other bands explored the space rock sound for a limited time period only. GONG released groundbreaking albums in the genre at the start of their career, while British hard rock band UFO released the extraordinary album "Flying - One Hour Space Rock" as their sole contribution to the genre in 1971.

A space rock scene can be found in most countries sporting artists producing music with a western-oriented or influenced sound. Swedish bands are known for a brisk exchange of musicians among each other. The "Strange Daze" festivals from 1997-2000 showcased the American space rock scene. Japan is an inexhaustible reservoir of artists exploring both psychedelic progressivce rock and progressive space rock. Representative examples of the style are bands such as ORESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE with their focus on long grooving improvisations, QUARKSPACE and OZRIC TENTACLES with their stronger emphasis on electronic elements and VESPERO and HIDRIA SPACEFOLK with their inclusion of ethnic-originating musical components. Other groups like ESCAPADE and THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS represent an avantgarde approach to the genre, whereas SUBARACHNOID SPACE and KINSKI are examples of artists that provide transitions to the post rock genre.

The boundaries of Psychedelic Progressive Rock connected with Stoner Rock and Acid Folk

The 1960's and 70's were a time of liberation, a time of rebellion against rigid rules and strict moral boundaries. In those "freedom of expression" days, an artist would typically herald their liberal attitudes as a mind-expanding trip on stage together with the audience in two ways. One was to realize audio/visually the visual and auditory hallucination as it was, and another was to play their repertoire spiritually and improvisationally under the trip. As for the latter approach, they devoted themselves solely to slow-to-mid tempo playing with low-tuned guitars in a heavy and expansive manner for playing steadily under this twilight condition. In the same time period, this approach to the musical trip was also taken on by some artists especially in the hard rock and heavy metal scene. This new style, drenched in heavy and downer psychedelia, was called "Stoner Rock". The name originates from the expression "stoned", referring to people in altered states of mind while under the influence of psychedelic substances. The Stoner Rock genre was universalized "as a strict musical style only" by the Industrial Grunge Rock genre that gained worldwide popularity in the early 1990s. The common denominator of all the artists mentioned is the representation of their personal cultural and political backgrounds, whilst playing slow-paced depressive songs with heavy guitars and echoic rumbling drums as the dominating features. Most of current outfits claiming to be the so-called Psychedelic Heavy Progressive Rock ones should be much influenced by the traditional Stoner or Grunge Rock as well as the early Psychedelic Progressive Rock. They can be considered as a borderline case between Psychedelic Progressive, Heavy Progressive, and Progressive Metal.

"Acid Folk" can be mentioned as another musical style with hallucinogenic approach. Psych Folk or Psychedelic Folk are other names for this genre, and is vaguely defined as a rock subgenre due to the mixture of folk rock and psychedelic rock. This is a style lacking in strict definitions, and it is contested whether or not the term was actually used at what is deemed the dawn of the genre. It's an undeniable fact that the Acid Folk scene gained some popularity by the efforts of artists in "The Folk Revivalism", but it's important to remember that there were two distinctly different approaches taken by those who helped shape the genre in the mid 1960's. Some folk singers approached a psychedelic rock structure as was popular at that time, while some psychedelic rock outfits tried to absorb and incorporate techniques and elements from folk rock. Both have great importance in the development of Acid Folk, and this may be the reason that strict definitions of the genre cannot be given. In view of the history, it's no exaggeration to claim that TYRANNOSAURUS REX, SYD BARRETT or THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND in UK rock scene seasoned the "traditional" Acid Folk with a more progressive spice. They, as eccentric or heretical rock outfits, accepted and incorporated Middle-Eastern and Oriental elements or instruments, and the result was the foundation for the current progressive Acid Folk movement. And in the Eastern parts of the world, different acid streams was provided by artists such as TAJ MAHAL TRAVELLERS or MAGICAL POWER MAKO who exerted a great influence on younger progressive bands. Their amazing achievements resides in the twilight zone between the Prog Folk and Psychedelic Prog subgenres.

A path that never ends

In addition of the styles described, psychedelic elements can be found in many other genres of progressive rock. The psychedelic cultural explosion had an immense influence on the western popular culture, and traces of it can still be heard also outside of progressive rock circles. The collective techno rave parties carry on the legacy of the audiovisual attack from the PINK FLOYD concerts in 1968, to cite one example. As the psychedelic movement was a large cultural phenomenon, it is difficult (and maybe unnecessary) to fence it to a clear category. Psychedelic progressive rock has been developing towards several different directions over time, and the task of classifying them as distinct genres and sub-genres is an ever ongoing process, often loaded with strong opinions. The psychedelic rock artists which are not considered as progressive in style are not listed in the databse of This in order to maintain the site's scope to be a progressive rock reference.

The aim of this description is to be a tool of reference for potential and existing fans of the genre, and we hope that this will aid those who read it to a better understanding of the genre as well as to enjoy and discuss the subject at hand both in the forums of the Progarchives website as well as in other places online and offline both.

Psychedelic Rock / Space Rock team April 2010

Space rock definition by Rivertree
The boundaries of psychedelic progressive rock chapter by DamoXt7942
Other text by Eetu Pellonp��
with kind guidance and support by Windhawk

The responsibility for the psych/space, indo/raga, krautrock and prog electronic subgenres is taken by the PSIKE team,
currently consisting of
- Sheavy
- Meltdowner
- siLLy puPPy
- Rivertree

Psychedelic/Space Rock Top Albums

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Latest Psychedelic/Space Rock Music Reviews

 Ounds by TRIP LAVA album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.83 | 6 ratings

Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Trip Lava is a psych/prog project headed by Joel Lee out of Minneapolis. Really I never heard of Trip Lava until now, and this was the third release, apparently the last one appearing in 2010. Everything you hear is from Joel, except for four track tracks by Ben Durrant where he uses real drums. This album bears some really weird titles, which as it turns out, is really Pig Latin-inspired (without the "ay" tagged on to everything), in this case the album title "Ounds" translating as "Sounds" (if this was Pig Latin, it would be "Oundsay"). It's full of similar titles like "Ouseh of Orsmirr" ("House of Mirrors"), "Osmicc Oldeng Ordsw of Onmeldag" ("Cosmic Golden Words of Meldagon"), "Oomsmushr" ("Mushrooms"), etc.

Anyways, this is some great space rock, with lots of guitar and spacy analog synths. It's clear that the tracks with real jazzy drumming came from Ben Durrant, but drum machines are frequently used on track he doesn't appear on. I really dig the synth sound as it really has that wonderful analog sound. I really have a difficult time comparing this to other acts. There's at times a Krautrock feel to the music, especially during the more "out there" parts. I never thought of Minneapolis to have much in a way of a space rock scene going on, but I'm glad at least Joel Lee/Trip Lava sure made a stab at it, and a wonderful one at it too.

 Allow Yourself by NOSOUND album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.95 | 11 ratings

Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by

2 stars What the entire album is? An epitome of boredom? Music for mentally tired people? Music for those who dislike music? What the tracks are? Sketches? Fragments? Outtakes? A sort of 'private parts and pieces' in the version of Nosound? No melody, no accomplished musical theme, no song, no instrumental piece. Irregularly interpreted minimalism?.. Ego Drip starts very promising, but the idea gets no development and ends up with nothing, like a road on the edge of ravine. Perhaps the only compositions deserving the status of instant album tracks are This Night and Weights, each of them really has its start, development and finish. Though just remember Lightdark... well, what's there to talk about. After I first listened to Allow Yourself, I purposely listened to Sol29 and Lightdark, just to compare and check my impressions. Yes both were as I remembered them, no mistake. Quite simple, 'anti-virtuoso', ethereal, melancholic, dreamy, lazy, flowing, lulling (like Allow Yourself). And full of life (unlike Allow Yourself). Warm, intelligent, emotional, heartfelt, soulful. So, after that, what's to be written about Giancarlo Erra in (for example) 25th century's Wikipedia? Supposedly something like 'Giancarlo Erra was an essential Italian composer from 21st century who wrote Sol29 [hyperlink] and Lightdark [hyperlink]'. Later studio releases are faintly worth to be mentioned after centuries or even decades. I'd say, Erra's way from Sol29 and Lightdark to Allow Yourself was a path from essential to insignificant. That path led through A Sense Of Loss (liquidly diluted Lightdark) and Scintilla (I suspect the band members were yawning constantly themselves while they recorded it...). OK thanks and deep respect to Nosound at least for their first two albums if no more of the same caliber follows. A listener like me would prefer Erra to stop making records just for the record, and re-start writing music which is worth to listen and enjoy, not to snore to it. But surely it's up to Erra what to do and what not to do.  Second Sighting by SECRET SAUCER album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.83 | 9 ratings

Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by

2 stars This album is considered "space" rock, and I like spacey music. For me, this kind of music makes me think of dreamy wanderings among the stars in vast, wide-open interstellar space. But this album, at times, seems more like dodging rocks in a dense asteroid belt. I mean, it is dense. Musically dense. At times there are bass, drums, three guitars, and three keyboard/synth players all playing at the same time, and all apparently mixed to the same 0 dB level. It's kind of like listening to three Oresund Space Collective tracks at the same time. Rarely do I get a passage where one instrument comes forward with a clear expression, while the others drop back in a supporting role. It makes for a thick, impenetrable wall of sound. And if you like structure to your music (verse, chorus, coda, etc), you won't find it here. It's mostly comprised of unstructured grooves, exemplified by tracks that fade into an already established movement, or fade out because there is no defined end. For space rock, I'm okay with that. I'm saying this only to give the potential listener a sense of their compositional style.

But it's not all a dense wall of cluttered music. Tracks 3, 6, 9 and 11 provide room for different musicians to draw you in, and allow you to focus a bit on their personal elaborations. These tracks provide space, both spectrally and temporally, to give a respite from the dense clutter. The work of Greg Kozlowski on sitar (track 9) and EBow'ed guitar (track 11) are highlights of the album, for me.

Judicial application of mixing would go a long way to solving the density issues. That, or simply bench a few musicians on each track to alleviate the aural clutter. Fortunately, there were several bright spots that I enjoyed. Two stars, for collectors/fans only.

 Allow Yourself by NOSOUND album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.95 | 11 ratings

Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The promotional word is that Giancarlo Erra and company have changed direction with this new collection of songs on the Allow Yourself album. I would concur, as I hear the band moving more into the territory of bands like ANATHEMA, RADIOHEAD, STEVEN WILSON, and even old SIGUR R�S. However, there remains something bare and spacious--that wonderful vulnerability despite the density of the atmospheric/electronic walls of sound--that they've had since the beginning. The songs are shorter, as they were on Scintilla, and the keyboard dominance is noticeable, but there is something very new and remarkable in the lead vocals which I think will entertain and even amaze listeners.

1. "Ego Drip" (2:32) opens like a Sigur R�s song before driving drum and bass tracks are faded in. When Giancarlo comes in with his repetitive single line it begins to sound like a trip hop song combined with something Steven Wilson or ANATHEMA would do. With the weave of several other one-line vocal tracks, it finishes feeling very much like something ANATHEMA has been doing over this last decade. (4.5/5)

2. "Shelter" (3:53) opens with a lone organ with spacious electronic drum track. After half a minute, Giancarlo joins in, singing in his new way, with long-held notes. I'm reminded a little of Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips. The tempo and tapestry changes a few times in the background--a few sections sounding almost like 1990s STEREOLAB, THE FLAMING LIPS, or LOBOTOMY BROTHERS. Great song. (9.25/10)

3. "Don't You Dare" (4:00) opens as a vibrant trip hop song--like something Graham Sutton or RADIOHEAD might do--before Giancarlo comes in to sing a more delicate THOM YORKE-like Radiohead vocal. For the first three minutes it reminds me of "Weird Fishes/Arpeggios," then the electronica soloing shifts it into a different RADIOHEAD or COLDPLAY realm. Excellent song! One of my three favorites. (9.5/10)

4. "My Drug" (3:22) shifting electric piano arpeggi over which Giancarlo sings with some lo-o-o-ng held notes. This sounds like an ANATHEMA song or even a little bit of J�nsy singing over the SIGUR R�S cacophony. Brilliant music! Kudos to Giancarlo for the vocal strength. (9/10)

5. "Miracle" (3:54) over a synth/keyboard sound palette comparable to THE FLAMING LIPS, Giancarlo alternates singing and soloing on his Fripp-like effected electric guitar. Drums join in for the last 45 seconds. The most "old" NoSound sounding song on the album. (8.5/10)

6. "This Night" (4:30) solo electric piano sets up the melody that Giancarlo sings. At 0:45 a vacillating synth joins before the strings for the echo-voiced chorus. In the third minute ANATHEMA-like military drums enter and slowly rise to the fore as piano bounces between two notes with each drum hit and strings perform their neoclassical quartet-like weave above and within the sound. (8.5/10)

7. "At Peace" (3:12) full rock instrumentation here cannot avoid my ANATHEMA comparisons due to Giancarlo's Danny Cavanaugh-like long held vowels with each word sung. Finishes with some gentle electric guitar plucking. (8/10)

8. "Growing In Me" (3:23) warbling horn-like synths woven within piano and other synths backs Giancarlo's delicate singing--until the chorus. With the chorus, Giancarlo trebles his vocal volume while Sigur R�s-like cymbols crash with some Steven Wilson "Perfect LIfe"-like electronic percussives. (8.5/10)

9. "Saviour" (2:45) electronic piano with delicate support from strings makes for a stunningly gorgeous sound over which Giancarlo performs his most subtle and nuanced vocal of the album. My favorite song on the album. (10/10)

10. "Weights" (5:04) delicately played guitars and keys slowly form the base of this pretty song. At 1:00 Giancarlo enters with a very breathy TIM BOWNESS-like voice. It's amazing how far he has come in his pronunciation of English since the days of Nol29 and LightDark. My first perfunctory listen through this album led me to search to find out who he had hired to sing the lead vocals because I was so amazed at both the clarity of the English pronunciation and at the new style of singing with long-held vowels. The sudden Post Rock-like build to crescendo in the final 90 seconds caught me by surprise but it works! Great song! (9/10)

11. "Defy" (2:06) another RADIOHEAD- or STEVEN WILSON-like ditty. A top three for me. (5/5)

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music and one of my favorite albums of 2018.

 Live in Berlin 2018 by �RESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE album cover Live, 2018
4.00 | 2 ratings

Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Fully improvised, no matter whether recording in the studio or performing live, the �resund Space Collective return with a double CD set `Live in Berlin 2018', actually their twenty-ninth release in just under fifteen years! Recorded on the last show of a nine concert tour that saw them performing in Berlin for the first time, guitar and keyboard-heavy spontaneous space-rock is their sound, and as expected from the group it's another delirious trip of the colourful and lengthy instrumental jams that they always excel at.

Opener `Improv to the Other Side' is the band at their most unhurried and joyous, a floating drift of slow-burn guitar dreaminess and flighty synth trills, reminding instantly of their previous `Out Into Space' live release from 2015 that saw the band at their most chilled, and it takes flight for an up-tempo sprint in the second half. The dusty violin that weaves in and out of `Sneaky Snake Jam' sounds like Embryo's `Steig Aus' making sweet love to the Ozric Tentacles, with permeating eastern moods infiltrating the lightest of near-reggae touches and swirling synth wisps between biting guitar wails and strident percussion stomps.

The instantly up-tempo groover `Henk's Jam-o-Rama' that kicks off the second disc straightaway picks up in fire with a flurry of relentless drumming urging the piece constantly forwards, a snarling chugging guitar grind rising over spiralling synth effects that captures a Hawkwind-like grunt (and dig Dr Space's manic electric piano run in the middle!) before a smouldering wail to simmer down on in the climax.

The tough `Freaks of Berlin' is overloaded with slithering, dirty and bluesy twin guitar and bass grooves, but best of all is the closer `Another Jam for Sabine'. This cracking jam begins as a laid-back eastern-flavoured meandering raga, all wisps of Theremin flitting about relentless percussion patterings, rising/falling synth winds and ragged violin cuts, eventually melting into a manic, thrashing and punishing surge of mantra-like guitar strangulations before the most mellow of come-downs.

You can't go wrong with any of the �SC releases, but `Live in Berlin 2018' particularly boasts a perfect balance of alternating tranquil and frenetic moods, frazzled heavy grooves and endlessly out-of-control drumming behind infectious synth-noodling! If unpredictable and vibrant psych/space jams are your thing, no one do them better than this crew.

Four stars...and don't delay in picking up one of the 500 CD copies - not many left!

 Ounds by TRIP LAVA album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.83 | 6 ratings

Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars They say you shouldn't judge an album by the cover, but in Joel Lee's latest creation, what you see is what you get. That is, a weird, whimsical and totally unpredictable journey.

Rewieving the album track by track is pointless because the album was clearly made to be listened in its entirety. I believe it's the album's biggest strength since the order of the songs, the passages and reprises are very well thought and turns what could be considered a collection of sounds and psychedelic improvisations into something more.

In many occasions I was reminded of Brainticket's "Cottonwoodhill" and "Tago Mago" from Can, with those funky tunes complemented with sound collages as well as avant-garde psychedelic sections and inventive mixing (I really love those rotating drums!).

Another thing I like about it is how it never gets too meandering: when you get too high in the atmosphere, there's a synth track, a distorted bass or a different section that pulls you back to the ground.

There's not much else to say, just experience it for yourself and enjoy the trip!

4 stars

 Road to Utopia by HAWKWIND album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.00 | 9 ratings

Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by

3 stars When hearing beforehand Hawkwind was going to release an acoustic album from old songs with string quintet, sax quinted and brass section, I wasn�t sure what to think. But now when listened this album few times to my big suprise it really works! This really isn�t typical "let�s make boring acoustic versions from old hits"-album. First: songs in this album are not the biggest Hawkwind-hits. Second: Mike Batt has really made a great work with the arrangements of these songs, he really just doesn�t add those strings and brass into original song arrangements, like in these cases too often is done.

When "Quark, Strangeness & Charm" starts the album, you don�t believe it Hawkwind-album if you don�t know it. This very cheerful version has texmex-style brass in it. In the version of "The Watcher" Hawkwind goes nearer of rhythm`n`blues boogie than ever, both Eric Clapton with his guitar and Dave Brock in his harp doing fine job. Also Mr. Dibs sings this Lemmy-song very great way. Next "We Took Wrong Step Years Ago" goes into country music direction with it�s very beautiful string arrangement. "Flying Doctor", "Psychic Power" & "The Age Of the Micro Man" is from 25 Years On-album that I haven�t yet listened, so I can�t compare them to original. Anyway first is again glad boogie with great strings behind it, second has again a little bit texmex-style brass and the last has strings creating very calm atmosphere. "Hymn To the Sun" is the only new piece here, it�s beautiful acoustic instrumental. The final track is really great version from "Down Through the Night" where are both strings and brass, also Brock & Mr. Dibs sings together.

I really would like to give this four stars just because it�s made so great and also it�s really positive atmosphere. Both times I have listened this it has made me into really good mood. But to be honest this isn�t essential album to proglisteners, so I give it three. This album is not recommended to those Hawkwind-fans, that are not ready to hear them in very different environment as usual. But this is highly recommend to all, who like the music with good feelings and also music with very natural sounds.

 Warrior On The Edge Of Time by HAWKWIND album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.10 | 609 ratings

Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Warrior on the Edge of Time" is an interesting album. It was made in the middle of Hawkwind's peak of consistently good albums, but it was also the end of Lemmy on bass and occasional vocals as he went on to form Motorhead. He felt that the band was becoming too strange and the band felt that he was wanting to be too much of a "motorcycle man" with his heavier style. Of course, Hawkwind was space rock at it's best and wasn't about to move away from that. So, this album sees the exit of Lemmy who was replaced by Paul Rudolph after the album was recorded.

The album is loosely based on a concept by Michael Moorcock, who the lyrics for 4 of the songs in this album. It is based on a character from his book "The Eternal Champion" and he provides additional vocals for "The Wizard Blew His Horn" and "Warriors". Dave Brock, the lead singer, would write 4 more songs, and the rest were written by other band members.

The album starts off wonderfully with 2 songs by Brock that continue to follow the familiar style of the band. The 2 songs are actually 2 parts, the first called "Assault and Battery" and the 2nd part is "The Golden Void". They flow into each other, as pretty much the entire album flows from one track to another. They are the typical space rock sound that the band was famous for with a lot of surprises and textural sounds.

Next, things change up a bit with a reading of Moorcock's lyrics on "The Wizard Blew His Horn". This one immediately weakens the album, even though the vocals are quite dramatic and expressive, they seem slightly corny now. The music behind the vocals is minimal and not very interesting. This is blessedly short as it flows into an excellent Krautrock style instrumental "Opa-Loka". This is based on the 4 / 4 meter known as the "motorick" rhythm named and made famous by Krautrock band "Neu!". The song itself is your typical krautrock tune with improvised atmospheric instrumentals based around only one chord throughout. It is well placed on the album and is a natural follow up for the previous track which ends up supporting it well. Lemmy hated this track and called it "rubbish". Brock actually ended up playing bass for the track.

"Demented Man" follows this with an acoustic based track that fits well as the end to this side of the album. This is a surprisingly beautiful track that features acoustic guitar, mellotron and Brock's vocals.

"Magnu" opens up the next side with the longest single track (not counting the 2 part, 2 track opening) at over 8 minutes. The lyrics are built off of the poem "Hymn of Apollo" by Percy Shelly. It is built off of a driving riff and Brock's vocals are processed creating an echo effect. Instrumental jamming starts at the halfway mark. Again, this is another signature Hawkwind space rock tune where layered synths, guitars, violin and sax provide the psychedelic texture.

"Standing at the Edge" features spoken vocals of more of Moorcock's lyrics from the band's sax and flautist Nik Turner. The vocals are again processed with delayed echoes. This is supported by minimal instrumentation and occasional percussion. Again, I feel the readings weaken the album just because they seem corny now.

"Spiral Galaxy 28948" is a heavier and darker instrumental credited to the band's violinist and keyboardist Simon House. This is an excellent space rock jam track with everyone providing texture, but it's too short. This flows into another of Moorcock's readings "Warriors" with the author providing dramatic, processed vocals backed up by percussion.

"Dying Seas" features Nik on vocals again, this time singing, but containing that weird echo again. The track is more interesting than his previous one and has some great synthesizer/sax work at the end. The shorter tracks on this side of the album, up to this point, actually work better as being related, or considered as subsections of a single composition. Maybe they were intended that way originally, because it seems to be the case, but afterall, it was intended to be a concept album

The previous track fades out completely before the last track on this side "Kings of Speed". This is a straight ahead rocker co- written by Brock and Moorcock. This sounds like, and was a single, but it's still a good closer for the original album. The CD edition has a bonus track after this which was the b-side to "Kings of Speed". It was written and sung by Lemmy and naturally called "Motorhead". It is a hard rocker of a song with a cool violin solo in the middle.

Overall, this is another great album by Hawkwind, which is somewhat weakened by the corny spoken word tracks, but it is still good enough to be considered an excellent addition to my music library. I still consider it one of their best, and usually just ignore the corny parts. Besides, back in the day, they didn't sound so bad, it's just that they didn't age so well.

 369 by HUMINOITA album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.14 | 3 ratings

Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Finnish band Huminoita plays instrumental psychedelic rock with some Post-Rock and jazzy ingredients. 369, officially released just few days ago, is their third album. I rated All Is Two (2015) with four stars (actually 3� rounded up) and this time rounding down seems more suitable, but I'm not suggesting 369 to be musically weaker. In fact my main complaints have nothing to do with the music itself: the CD could have just as well been wrapped in a simple cardboard sleeve without the plastic disc holder, since the inner side has no graphics at all. Why the band members are - again - unnamed? Hardly because one of them is also the leader of the record label (he's mentioned for recording & mixing). I'm not fond of a "less is more" attitude in the covers of albums. BTW, the tracks are numbered as A1, A2, ..., B1,... which is unappropriate on a CD, and there are accidentally two A3's.

No idea what the numeral album title is referring to. Most of the track titles are made-up words such as 'Maalismoon' (mixing Finnish and English around the third month) or 'Marsvolga'. The music is pleasant, slightly melancholic and introspective psychedelic space rock, more on the calm and dreamy side than on hard rocking edginess. All of the eight tracks are under 8 minutes. The previous album had a bit more variety on track lengths, and also on the arrangements. It featured some wordless singing on the background and more reeds; I spotted no human voice here, and only 'Sandmare' seems to have saxophone in a bigger role. Another reason why I personally prefer their second album is that it feels spacier, or Krautrock-ish if you like, compared to the more structured feel of 369. But this album is equally worth listening to if you enjoy melancholic, instrumental psychedelic rock.

 Pop-Liisa 8 by NIMBUS album cover Live, 2016
4.00 | 1 ratings

Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —

4 stars In the years 1972-74 the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) organized a radio-broadcast series of rock and jazz gigs in Liisankatu studio, Helsinki. The shows had an important role in the media landscape because the performing groups usually didn't have any other opportunities to reach larger audiences. For about three years Svart Records have been releasing these live performances on their Pop-Liisa and Jazz-Liisa series. Especially from the progressive rock's point of view the series is of high interest. Some of the short-lived line-ups -- often featuring notable musicians -- didn't even release albums at the time, while the sole studio albums of some other bands such as NIMBUS have become prog collector's items. These Pop/Jazz-Liisa vinyl releases have been paired on CD's, since the lengths are averagely around 38 minutes. Nimbus' gig from January 1974 shares the disc with KALEVALA, July 1973.

Psych/prog band Nimbus caught the attention of Love Records in 1972 and recorded three songs next year. However, the purposed single 'Ode to Eagle' / 'Heretic Fool' was never released. The only album Obus (1974) was sung in Finnish. It was released by the minor and far less prog-oriented Satsanga Records. It was around the time of making the album that Nimbus performed in the Liisankatu studio. The 36-minute set features six songs, the aforementioned songs in English, two album tracks ('Pessimistinen dialogi' and 'Myrskyjen v�lill�'), excellent instrumental 'Aamumaa' -- which strangely was left out of the brief original album, but is included on the CD release of Obus -- plus GREENSLADE-cover 'Feathered Friends'. All of their own material was composed by guitarist Harri Suilamo.

'Ode to Eagle' is a fine dark-toned song, not very complex one but distinctively belonging to the prog genre. 'Heretic Fool' has a faster tempo and a spicy electric guitar solo. The album tracks are good examples of the band's prog style that can be compared to the early WIGWAM, perhaps a bit also to TABULA RASA. Pekka Rautio's organ adds a nice warmth to the guitar-centred sound, and Pasi Saarelma's vocals function perfectly with the music. 'Feathered Friends' (from the Greenslade debut, 1973) is an interesting choice for a cover performance and they deal with it quite well. Luckily Saarelma doesn't try to imitate Dave Lawson's pretentious singing!

The sonic quality is good. The audience remains silent during the performances but applauds politely after each song. This is an excellent addition to a collection of vintage Finnish prog, especially as a CD when one gets also the Finnish-language gig of Kalevala. Arttu Lepp�nen's detailed liner notes are in English.

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