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Hawkwind - X In Search Of Space CD (album) cover

X IN SEARCH OF SPACE

Hawkwind

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.61 | 343 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
5 stars HAWKWIND's second album IN SEARCH OF SPACE should more appropriately be titled "In Search Of Stability" for it has one of the most chaotic revolving door episodes in rock history! This is all about the bassist. After the debut album John Harrison hit the road and was then replaced briefly by Thomas Crimble who was barely around long enough to warm up for band practice and then was replaced by Dave Anderson from Amon Düül II who stuck around long enough to help record this album and then HE took off to be replaced by the legendary Lemmy of future Motorhead fame. If that isn't space rock taken to the extreme i don't know what is! I'm dizzy and spaced out just learning all the info about the makings of this album :P

"You Shouldn't Do That" begins with hypnotic repetitive guitar riffs as the electronic pitches whizz up and down the musical scale in seemingly erratic ways and sound like rogue quantum particles oscillating into infinity and back again. This is the longest track on the album and continues where the eponymous debut left off only the hard rock guitar rhythms have become fiercer and more energetic while the space trippin' has taken a complete journey around the solar system. The electronic audio generator effects are in full play and the syncopated elements of the instrumentation which includes various styles of drumming, sax and synthesizers all wend and wind around a steady rhythmic path and a concentration of 2-chord simplicity of the guitar and bass.

Tracks like "You Know You're Only Dreaming", "We Took The Wrong Step Years Ago" and "Children Of The Sun" have more of an early Pink Floyd feel to them as there is a mellower acoustic feel that includes more interactive types of instrumentation bringing the spacier aspects even further into the limelight. The guitar riffs are slightly more varied and joined in by flute as well. The instruments also have more license to weave a tapestry of sound around a kernel of rhythm rather than obsequiously adhering to a traditional rock aesthetic but always keeping that harder edged rock energy in motion. The guitars and bass are always electrically charged keeping the energy levels of all musicians on board high and this album usually feels like the energy vibrational patterns are truly going to accelerate into infinity to a state of anti-gravity where time and space merge into one. Like way cool! My kinda space rock and this was all the way back in 1971! Whereas Pink Floyd were creating mellow surreal soundscapes, HAWKWIND were pioneering the hyperdrive branch of psychedelia. I also love the drums as there is ample cymbal action as well.

Personally i think HAWKWIND were at their best for their sound on their first three albums which are probably their least progressive in terms of songwriting but at their peak in pure hypnotic Krautrock-style trippiness turned up to 11. While the repetitive guitar riffs that often revolve around two chords trading off for minutes at a time can be a turn off if that were the main focus of the listener, what makes this standout for me are all the improvisational skills that surround these never changing chord tradeoffs. Between the unprecedented electronic hopped-up signal generator effects, the crazy use of saxophone, flute and the liberal use of slightly off-timed syncopation between the instruments for me creates an ecstatic monospastic mind trip that makes me feel like i'm in a space portal traveling a million miles per second without going anywhere. The occasional vocals punctuate the trip and connect to an earthly reality but overall i find this to be one of the most successful space travels that incorporate harder edged guitar rock EVER! I've been trying to talk myself out of giving this a five star rating but every time i listen to this one just sends me to Saturn and makes me want to make hoola hoops out of its rings.

The most complex music ever? Of course not, but this album really takes the listener to unexpected places while keeping the melodic aspects as an underlying subterfuge. Hypnotic and energetic space rock of the highest degree. I guess enjoying this as much as i do is putting myself in a certain state of mind. One that divorces itself from all expectations and melting into the hypnotic and monotonous grooves and letting the periphery sensations become the driving force. I can totally hear how this early HAWKWIND music became the influence for countless modern trance and psybient bands as well as earning the respect of the more guitar oriented punk and grunge musical worlds as well. For me this is simply psychedelic munificence that incorporates space rock ideas of the time and steers them into hyperdrive to Alpha Centauri. Spastic space rock pleases me immensely!

siLLy puPPy | 5/5 |

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