Purple Pyramid/Cleopatra [Release date 22.09.17]
Whilst many of his contemporaries are struggling – creatively – Nik Turner’s best work may still to be done. The one-time Hawkwind space cadet has been working consistently if quietly over the last couple of decades sometimes immersed in the more obscure free jazz but always passionately executed.
More recently he’s released ‘Space Fusion Odyssey’ which demonstrated in amongst the sax parpings and flute excursions there was always a good tune ready to reveal itself. Part of the trick is to surround yourself with fellow journeymen of a certain stellar standing. On the previous album, Steve Hillage and John Etheridge amongst others, on this latest offering Paul Rudolph and Simon House from Hawkwind days.
The Turner trade-marks are present and correct; a funky undertow and repetitive musical mantra (‘Why Are You?’) with mellotron-esque keys and spacey sax, whilst ‘Back To Earth’ features Turner’s vocal against an attractive acoustic ground and House’s violin melody.
‘Universal Mind’, ‘Approaching The Unknown’ and ‘As You Were’ continue the overall space rock vibe. Turner is touring in the States this autumn and we can only hope he brings his band to the UK sooner than later as we all want an excuse to wear great coat and patchouli oil.
‘Secrets Of The Galaxy’ is straight out of the Hawkwind songbook c.1972/3 and to keep us further in touch with former times there is even an authentic version of ‘Master Of The Universe’. Evocative and energising. ***1/2
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
Album review (Space Fusion Odyssey, 2015)
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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 11 July 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
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