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Nik Turner - Life In Space CD (album) cover

LIFE IN SPACE

Nik Turner

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.00 | 9 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars. Nik Turner's debut was my first experience with his music other than of course his work with HAWKWIND. The debut was called "Xitintoday" from 1978 and it was a unique recording in that Nik recorded much of it in a pyramid over in Egypt. It's a really good album too and there's such a cool story to that one. Since then I can't say he's done much in the way of quality music until he met Nicky Garratt from HEDERSLEBEN. Soon Nik is playing on their debut released in 2013 and Nicky and most of HEDERSLEBEN are playing with Nik on his 2013 comeback album called "Space Gypsy". What a great partnership this has been as Nik has released three album with Nicky and they are all incredible easily surpassing what HAWKWIND has been doing of late.

This 2017 release called "Life In Space" features pretty much the same lineup as that 2013 album and like I said pick any of the three they are all so good. The middle album "Space Fusion Odyssey" is the best in my opinion with a ton of guests helping out plus that Jazz/ Fusion style really makes that album for me. So besides the HEDERSLEBEN members on here we get Paul Rudolph playing guitar on one track. He played guitar on HAWKWIND's "Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music" record from 1976. Simon House another HAWKWIND alumni is here on violin while Jurgen Engler is back formerly of AMON GURU, COSMIC COURIERS and DIE KRUPPS. Chris Lietz on keys also played with Jurgen in DIE KRUPPS.

"End Of The World" opens with the guitar echoing away over and over before the drums stampede the soundscape and the guitar starts ripping it up. A calm takes over before a minute with various sounds coming and going in that psychedelic haze. Soon piano comes out of that mist along with a beat, guitar and processed vocals. Spacey synths too as it settles in with vocals. Man this reminds me of Dream Pop with those vocals. Check them out before 2 1/2 minutes. Flute before 4 minutes. Love the sound here, such a feel good song. It starts to fade out late with flute and spacey sounds ending it.

"Why Are You?" opens with spacey synths before some aggressive guitar kicks in followed by mellotron, drums and bass as the vocals join in. This becomes a great driving track in the HAWKWIND mode. Vocals stop before 2 minutes then the guitar rips off a grinding solo over top. Nice. More mellotron before 3 1/2 minutes. What a great rocking track. Sax follows then more mellotron before 4 1/2 minutes then the vocals return.

"Back To Earth" opens with spacey sounds as strummed guitar, flute and percussion arrive. This is exotic and beautiful. The tempo picks up just before a minute and laid back vocals join in sounding distant. Violin before 3 minutes during an instrumental section. Vocals are back 3 1/2 minutes in then the violin returns late.

"Secrets Of The Galaxy" opens with spacey sounds that build and recede over and over until this great sounding bass kicks in followed by guitar, drums and synths. Vocals join in around a minute pretty much speaking the lyrics. Catchy stuff. The groove stops after 3 minutes as it turns experimental with sax, spoken words, atmosphere and more.

"Universal Mind" opens with flute and keyboards before the guitar and drums kick in creating this heavy and smokey groove in a spacey atmosphere. Vocals join in too almost speaking the lyrics. After 2 1/2 minutes the music calms down as the focus becomes on what Nik is saying. It kicks back in almost a minute later then flute ends it.

"Approaching The Unknown" opens with the birds singing in a spacey atmosphere with droning organ I believe. Flute then takes over before 2 minutes but there's still lots of atmosphere here. The guitar starts to rise out of this after 3 minutes. Flute is back after 4 minutes. This is an intense track but then we are approaching the unknown right? So good! The drums start to help out then it seems to wind down before 6 minutes to the end.

"As You Were" features atmosphere but there's so much going on including whispers and various sounds. So cool. Some powerful breaks come and go in the BLACK SABBATH tradition surprisingly. This is haunting to say the least, like life is about to end. I guess we have met the unknown at this point. The tempo picks up some before 2 minutes. Sax just before 3 minutes as the tempo still seems to be slowly building. Kicking ass after 4 minutes with death metal-like vocals to end it. I know right?

"Master Of The Universe" is of course a HAWKWIND cover co-written originally by Nik Turner and Dave Brock. A faithful cover with manipulated sax over top at times. This was originally on "In Search Of Space" released in 1971.

An absolutely stunning album that falls just short of 5 stars for me but it will certainly be high on my 2017 end of the year list.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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