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PSYCHEDELIC/SPACE ROCK

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 www.progarchives.com 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 DÜÜL, ASH RA TEMPEL, CAN, GÄA, 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 www.Progarchives.com. 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 Pellonpää
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


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Psychedelic/Space Rock | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.62 | 3582 ratings
WISH YOU WERE HERE
Pink Floyd
4.60 | 3771 ratings
DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
Pink Floyd
4.52 | 3190 ratings
ANIMALS
Pink Floyd
4.30 | 2703 ratings
MEDDLE
Pink Floyd
4.21 | 888 ratings
OCEAN
Eloy
4.16 | 273 ratings
LEGACY
Hypnos 69
4.69 | 32 ratings
OTRA DIMENSIÓN
Ekos
4.40 | 60 ratings
OBSOLETE
Hedayatt, Dashiell
4.10 | 562 ratings
WARRIOR ON THE EDGE OF TIME
Hawkwind
4.13 | 344 ratings
RITUAL
Nemrud
4.12 | 381 ratings
JURASSIC SHIFT
Ozric Tentacles
4.07 | 2582 ratings
THE WALL
Pink Floyd
4.12 | 232 ratings
TOGETHER WE'RE STRANGER
No-Man
4.16 | 149 ratings
BY THE WATERS OF TOMORROW
Vespero
4.16 | 137 ratings
KINGSTON WALL II
Kingston Wall
4.06 | 490 ratings
A TAB IN THE OCEAN
Nektar
4.03 | 520 ratings
DAWN
Eloy
4.02 | 540 ratings
SILENT CRIES AND MIGHTY ECHOES
Eloy
4.05 | 267 ratings
EVERYONE INTO POSITION
Oceansize
4.16 | 98 ratings
TAKO
Tako

Psychedelic/Space Rock overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Psychedelic/Space Rock experts team

THE SUITE
Analogy
HORIZONTE DE SUCESOS
Bëiruth
GAMMAPOLISZ (Ω IX)
Omega
GAMELAN INTO THE MINK SUPERNATURAL
Psychic Paramount, The

Latest Psychedelic/Space Rock Music Reviews


 Otra Dimensión by EKOS album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.69 | 32 ratings

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Otra Dimensión
Ekos Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by ricardootero

5 stars I´ve been a fan for more than 50 years, I still remember the first time i had the chance to hear The Beatles back in 1965, surprisingly, this open my ears and consciousness. to different styles of music, starting with groups like Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Gentle Giant, Family, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Black Sabbath, The Flock, Ultimate Spinach, etc., a perfect mix of Progressive, Metal, Symphonic, Prog Related , Eclectic, Psychedelic/Space Rock, etc., a broad styles of fantastic bands and styles.

Taking me by surprise, I got hold of the new Ekos, album, my! what a refreshing surprise. Recording full of dramatical changes, great guitar riffs in the vein of Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, pastoral keyboard passages, amazing vocals, great peaceful atmospheric moments, perfectly balanced. The more you hear it, the more it grows on you. Probably the best recording in years of a Mexican band,

 Devil's Labyrinth by MOONWAGON album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2017
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Devil's Labyrinth
Moonwagon Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars Finnish space rock band Moonwagon are still going strong. The third album The Rule of Three (2015) was the first one by the trio line-up (after the departure of synth wizard Ami Hassinen) and marked slightly rockier sound. This new five-track EP misses about ten minutes to be counted as a proper album, but it's a worthy release nevertheless. The title track starts in a very ballsy way with heavy drumming and roaring guitars & bass. Despite the evil title, it's rather uplifting guitar-oriented hard rocker with gorgeous synth passages. There are also a little bit of vocals, shouting one sentence a few time in the background. An unnecessary and very Hawkwind-like feature.

'Haunted Hallways' has a vibrating organ in the foreground. Roughly midway there's a delicious proggier section featuring glockenspiel, and towards the end psychedelic synth work finishes the trippy effectiveness of the composition. 'Alchemy' features bouzouki and ukulele to make it a very fresh and original. I've always appreciated the way Moonwagon combines spaceyness and more down-to-earth elements totally sovereignly. The briefest track 'Dus Aster' is a pure synth piece reminiscent of VANGELIS and JARRE, a delightful step aside from the rock orientation.

It changes seamlessly into the 8-minute 'South of Bermuda' that offers more of the hard-boiled space rock (some angry voice again...) that would get boring if there wasn't also pretty cool synth parts. As this track takes almost one third of the total length, and it misses the freshness of other tracks, my rating remains three stars. I hope Moonwagon won't steer their style more towards the vocal-added, beat-heavy Hawkwind territory and thus decrease their originality.

 Otra Dimensión by EKOS album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.69 | 32 ratings

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Otra Dimensión
Ekos Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by belatarr

5 stars I've been a fan since their first album, Luz Interna, when I listened to this masterpiece I wasn't disappointed. Ekos takes us on a journey full of different landscapes. From the initial Merkaba, where we dance among swirls of synthesizer and ambient sounds to the final piano piece that closes the album on a classical note.

This is what progressive rock is about. We have virtuoso moog solos, heavy riffs to satisfy any metal listener, tight drumming and pulsating bass lines. The prowess they display on their live shows is recreated here, demonstrating that each band member is in complete dominion of their instruments.

Jesus voice is soothing, and he sings with a tinge of melancholy that makes us feel that through each song one comes closer to that Otra Dimensi'n (Other dimension) where one finds oneself reflected upon a mirror of the soul.

There are many climatic moments in this album, like in the songs Espejo (Mirror) and Orillas del tiempo pt.2 (Time shores pt2) where one can't stop and think that we're listening to the great masterpieces of the 70's played in our modern times.

Rarely have I seen a band sound so original yet maintain the spirit of the 70's, and create such a diverse album and still feel so coherent and polished in the process.

Hats off to this amazing band. One cannot think of their feature releases and feel a sense of excitement and wonder. Highly, highly recommended.

 Otra Dimensión by EKOS album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.69 | 32 ratings

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Otra Dimensión
Ekos Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars For those who are not familiar, Ekos are a Mexican prog rock band that started as a Pink Floyd tribute-band, but to our senses' luck, decided to create their original material at the end of the last decade, so then 2012 saw the "birth" of their debut album, a magnificent record in which the floydian reminiscences are evident, but their own sound started to be built up. It was 2015 when a new drummer joined the band, the talented Carlos Clériga, and since then they had worked really hard giving shows and creating new music.

All that effort has been rewarded with the recent release of "Otra Dimensión", their new album and one of my favorite 2017 releases so far, so it was worth the wait because Ekos took their time in order to give us a conceptual album, a masterpiece that I am happy to review right now, so I hope to light on some of my readers' interest and why not, persuade them to get a copy of it. What we will find here is an 11-track record with a total time of 47 in which we can appreciate spacey atmospheres, floydian nuances, some metal passages and also Wilson-like moments that all together flow perfectly, giving us (or me, at least) a wonderful listening experience that is amazingly complemented by its spiritual concept that talks about that other dimension.

It all starts with "Merkaba", an atmospheric introduction that takes us to space, one can feel embraced by that cosmic sound and get ready to begin the journey. "Gravedad" is a beautiful song in which we can finally appreciate the talent of the four members, first the drums open the gates, then a Gilmour-ish guitar appear, keys produce infinite textures and the bass always giving great lines. This song is instrumental but its sound is very emotional, beautiful, I repeat. What I love of this album is that it perfectly flows, you might find it difficult to perceive when one song finishes and the next one starts, at least this might happen to you with your first listen. I mentioned this because it did happen to me, and then I suddenly realized that I was already listening to "Avatar Pt. 1", another amazing song that has a soft and delicate sound, and the first one to feature vocals. Jesús Torres (guitar) is the main voice of Ekos, but also Ana Camelo (keys) helps with backing vocals, I would like to mention that they have improved their singing, they might not be true singers but I believe they have done a great job here.

The last seconds of "Avatar Pt. 1" show more energy and it opens the doors to "Sublimatio", an instrumental track that starts with an evident Wilsonian passage (he is one of their influences) and that brings moments of great energy with some chaotic keyboards and a masterful bass work by Víctor Juárez. This is a song I like a lot because it really transports me to another dimension. When the intensity decreases and a piano starts, we are already listening to "Astralis" in which lyrics return. In spite of that calmed introduction, this song is as intense as the previous one, with some chaotic passages produced mainly by keyboards and perfectly complemented by strings and drums. I repeat, I love how this album flows, so when vocals appear again a brand new song is being played, "Avatar Pt. 2", a short combo of spacey and relaxing atmospheres. With this song the first part of the album finishes and we can notice that because there is a short moment of silence after 25 minutes of non-stop music.

The second part starts with the mighty "Orillas del tiempo Pt. 1" which I praise as my clear favorite song of this album. It has again an atmospheric background accompanied by repetitive vocals but then at minute 2 we can feel lucky to witness a truly superb guitar solo, Jesus Torres is a giant, he really makes us feel his guitar and we can easily notice his passion for this instrument. Wow, what a song! This song leads to "Invocation", here Ana provides the main vocals while Jesús helps with the backing ones. The lyrics here talk about the supernatural, which is very interesting because if you understand them, the concept will actually embrace you. After 3 minutes there is a great instrumental passage that provides slow and fast, fast and slow moments where the four musicians show their connection, they are friends and bandmates, and that can be noticed with the good work. "Espejo" is another relaxing track, one can take a deep breath and feel the music's charm while the lyrics tell you about time and eternity. The last part is a bit heavier, they also love some prog metal bands and we can also notice those influences in some of the album's passages.

"Orillas del Tiempo Pt. 2" is a melancholic track that warn us about the journey's end, we can really feel it is coming to an end, you won't let me lie when you listen to it. Its last moments are much heavier and we can see how hard the drums sound so the band together make a wonderful solid combo. The album finishes with "Otra Dimensión", which happens to be the shortest track and the one that says goodbye, a piano-oriented track that keeps the door open to moments of introspection and search for answers. A beautiful album by Ekos, please give it a listen, you won't regret.

Enjoy it!

 Live & Rare: Onward Flies The Bird by HAWKWIND album cover Live, 1997
2.16 | 14 ratings

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Live & Rare: Onward Flies The Bird
Hawkwind Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Some interesting live recordings and novelties

Composed mainly of extracts from late 70's HAWKWIND concerts, judging from the track-list ("Angels Of Death" being the only 80's track but certainly in gestation before), "Onward Flies The Bird" is overall a pleasant compilation. This disc contains a few live rarities and unfamiliar interpretations, not present on the famous releases "Space Ritual", "Live '79" or "Live Chronicles". For these reasons, and despite poor sound quality, they may interest both the fan and the newcomer.

Let's talk about the novelties first: two tracks unreleased in studio version. The trippy "Hash Cake '77" is a cool mystical and gloomy jam. Well worth the listen! In contrast, the bizarre atmospheric futuristic "Douglas in The Jungle" is rather average.

Nonetheless, the highlights are undoubtedly the particular live renditions of "Motorhead", "Angels of Death", "Magnu" and "Masters of The Universe", also included on the 1991 "Masters of the Universe" Castle edition compilation. Recorded at Barnstable Queens Hall 23rd December 1977 during the Hawklords / Sonic Assassins tour, "Angels of Death" may have been the first draft version of the track later featured on the "Sonic Attack" album. "Magnu" has rarely been so ferocious and heavy, the oriental sonorities being replaced by raging guitars. Mindblowing! An essential listen for every space metal lover! The origin of the versions of "Masters Of The Universe" and "Motorhead" are unsure, maybe also circa 1977, maybe during the same tour. Nonetheless, they're also harder and faster than their original studio versions and includes additional sci-fi effects. Very very nice.

Although not matching the quality of the HAWKWIND's well-known live releases, the other performances are quite enjoyable. With Dave Brock on vocals, "Urban Guerilla" is very energetic, and "You Shouldn't Do That" simply rocks!

There are some misses though. "Silver Machine" and "Who's Gonna Win The War" both have poor sound recording, while the flute is too present on "Space Is Deep", too lengthy. "Spirit of The Age" concludes the record but has been appended a ramshackle dissonant electronic opening.

If you're not too demanding on sound quality, there are no reason not to give a listen to "Onward Flies The Bird". The rare "Hash Cake '77", the uncommon metallic versions of "Magnu", "Motorhead", "Masters Of The Universe" and the draft version of "Angels of Death" will interest fans, while the disc might also serve well as a first flight for the newcomers. A nice little live compilation.

 Vision And Ageless Light by EYE album cover Studio Album, 2016
4.03 | 13 ratings

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Vision And Ageless Light
Eye Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars EYE keeps getting better and better. Brandon Smith and Lisa Bella Donna (formerly Adam Smith) received two new members with guitarist Jon Finley and bassist Michael Sliclen. Visions and Ageless Light really shows a giant leap from previous albums. Adam Smith has made a similar transformation like Walter/Wendy Carlos into Lisa Bella Donna, and it seems the transformation improved her in one great way: her keyboard playing has improved quite a lot and a lot more impressive. Rather than just a Mellotron here or there, a standard synth solo here and there, she really does more with her keyboard setup, more synth effects, more overall creative use of the synths. Not a keyboard made after 1980 used (the Prophet 10 is the newest keyboard in her arsenal). New members really gave the band that something that propelled them forward in a great way. "Book of the Dead" clearly shows that Bella Donna was having some tron problems, as if something was interfering with the flow of the tron tapes, so it sounds all glitchy. I'm sure that was unintentional, but she must have loved that effect so much she kept it, and so do I. It's an instrumental piece, where the tron passage gives away to a short Tangerine Dream like electronic passage. You'd think they're heading the progressive electronic direction, but not at all. The band the goes the guitar/keyboard dominated psych/prog route. Some really nice vocals. What I really like is the emotion the band really discovered since that sure helped benefit big time. I am particularly found of the acoustic "Dweller of the Twilight World". These harmonies are to die for, not to mention the stunning synth solos. It's as if Bella Donna avoided any synth sounds that didn't exist prior to 1976. "As Sure as the Sun" starts off as a stunning acoustic piece, sounding a bit like a spaced out Crosby, Stills & Nash (or Porcupine Tree's "Lips of Ashes" from In Absentia, which too sounds like a spaced out CSN) but then as a 27 minute piece, they start rocking out, there's some King Crimson like Mellotron moments, and heavier rock influences, plus some spacy synths. What's great about this album is the Laser's Edge took notice and released it, meaning they're no longer confined mainly to the Columbus, Ohio region for recognition, they now have the whole prog community for recognition for anyone interested in them (but be aware, I live near Eugene, Oregon, and I knew of EYE before they ever signed with The Laser's Edge). Four and half star rating this is, it really blew me away!
 Otra Dimensión by EKOS album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.69 | 32 ratings

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Otra Dimensión
Ekos Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by SpiralAim

5 stars Went to see this band present their new album Otra Dimension, this weekend to the packed Legendary concert dive Alicia in Mexico City, where they presented their awesome album complete and unabridged. I have been a prog fan ever since I was 13 and I have heard and seen many different bands in my lifetime, but this evening felt special, one of those convergences where stars and planets align to create the perfect moment, captured in time or as the tile suggest another dimension. It was a dreamy like experience where the music was not much heard or even experienced, but more revealed, to be edged in the seat of the psyche. From listening to the album I knew this was a concept album comprised of just one song that spreads into sections where themes reprise and passages sound like a symphony that grows and becomes familiar. From the beautiful opening of Merkaba that has some of the most beautiful lines to the elegiac and meditative piano of the last song Otra Dimension, this is a labor of love, daring but very restrained at the same time, no excess just a flawless coherent and cohesive masterpiece. After the initial invitation to a trance Gravedad let´s you fall gradually into a state of wonder, maybe childhood, maybe love, every not pointing to create a estate of being of reflection: The band´s musical virtuosity put in service to the music, not a self serving vehicle for each member but a community of artists creating a piece like Invocación, where the nodule or central drama of the piece reaches it´s apex, like all great Art, Otra Dimension takes us to the full spectrum of human emotions, and as that moment is reached it start to move to the cathartic moment of - Orillas del Tiempo pt II - which is an instant classic that you wish to hear over and over again. Ekos are masters of creating armonicé tension and melodic release, they play this card often and Avatar pt II is a great example of how much can you take this recourse, even their name titles show alliteration as well as in the music itself, it just show how much care went into the album. The mixing is crisp and polished and the tone that the Guitars and Synths get is stellar, how many groups pour everything into music, nowadays few, as the world grows cynical and good music more elusive it´s very comforting to know that their are bands that still honor the spirit of rock music and respect it with reverence to all that have come before but with a new passion to carry the torch of good and relevant prog rock. I urge you , please check out this band and find a way to get this album, do it now!!!!!
 Palace Springs by HAWKWIND album cover Live, 1991
3.65 | 52 ratings

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Palace Springs
Hawkwind Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Cool studio/live Hawkwind

3.5 stars

Recorded in 1989 before "Space Bandits", "Palace Springs" is a studio/live album composed of 2 exclusive studio songs and 6 live recordings. This pleasant release marks a novelty, the arrival of a female singer in HAWKWIND, Bridgett Wishart, as well as the return of violinist Simon House.

The two studio compositions are easily on the level of "Space Bandits". To be honest I personally would have like these included on the 1990 opus instead of some other titles.... "Back In The Box" is an efficient space rocking opener, whose mesmerizing violin creates a mystical ambiance in the vein of "Magnu". Longest track of the record, "Treadmill" is a nice powerful song, in pure tradition of 80's HAWKWIND.

The live recordings cover different periods of the band. "Void Of Golden Light" ("The Golden Void") has been added trippy sound effects, whereas "Lives Of Great Men" ("Assault & Battery") possesses cool dreamy variations. "Time We Left" ("This World Today") is my least favorite title from "Doremi Fasol Latido", while "Heads" is the only representative of Englishes' last album, "The Xenon Codex". However, what will be an Hawks concert without ambient interludes with spoken words? "Acid Test" is actually the atmospheric "Dream Worker" - from the uneven "Choose Your Masques" - mixed with the electronic loop of "Damnation Alley". Quite a curious choice... This transition track offers some cool moments but is rather too long until "Damnation Alley" finally starts.

"Palace Springs" is not the first HAWKWIND live album to acquire (those being "Space Ritual" and "Live Chronicles") but remains still enjoyable, as well as a curiosity for its 2 exclusive studio tracks with a female singer. One of the good live release from the Hawks, worth the listen.

 Behold And See by ULTIMATE SPINACH album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.84 | 25 ratings

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Behold And See
Ultimate Spinach Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Progfan97402

3 stars There are many albums and bands that are ignored that are very good. The reason is many reasons: the press and the general audience doesn't understand what they're doing, the label doesn't have the budget to promote their artists or sometimes have it distributed where it's widely and easily available. Ultimate Spinach suffered due to press hype. Seems Alan Lorber wanted to promote Boston as the next "new thing", the East Coast Haight-Ashbury. MGM labelmates Beacon Street Union and Orpheus suffered the same fate. Indirectly another Boston band called The Listening also suffered a similar fate, but they weren't on MGM, they were on Vanguard. Apparently Alan Lorber's ego was so big he pressured his bands to play a certain way to capture that psychedelic sound that he wanted (members of Ultimate Spinach complained that Lorber wanted them to sound more like a San Francisco band, probably Jefferson Airplane because they too had a female vocalist). Behold & See was Ultimate Spinach's second album, released later in 1968. Listening to this, you can see why that Bosstown hype blew up in its face. The album is actually quite good, although it has some questionable moments. It's the kind of album you know right away rock critics will not like. To my ears, the music on this album screams "middle class", especially the vocal delivery, and the church choir like singing on "Suite: Genesis of Beauty". I guess that "middle class" vibe this group gives off rubbed the critics the wrong way (they prefer rock music to have a more blue-collar attitude, more like Bruce Springsteen, but even many hard rock and metal acts were blue collar, and weren't liked by the critics). The great news is I can't compare them to any specific band. They have a female vocalist but you can't compare them to Jefferson Airplane. "Gilded Lamp of the Cosmos" and "Visions of your Reality" are more or less straight psych, may not appeal to the progheads, but they sure get much more adventurous on "Jazz Thing", which has a real nice jazzy thing going on (hence the song title). "Suite: Genesis of Beauty" is a strange suite with church choir like singing and more psychy passages, and a nice organ passage. "Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse" is pretty questionable with the use of cheesy harmonica. To be honest, when it comes for the "Boston scene", The Listening was better, but they weren't on MGM (as mentioned before), so didn't suffer directly from the press hype, but the hype didn't help anyways.

Now I see what this "Boston sound" that MGM was trying to push. There really wasn't anything to distinguish the scene from any countless psych albums across the country at the time. This album is a bit uneven, but for the most part still quite good. I'd rate it a three and a half.

 Sista Valsen by FLOWERS MUST DIE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2016
4.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Sista Valsen
Flowers Must Die Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

— First review of this album —
4 stars Worldwide Sweden may be known for the murdered politician Olof Palme at best, probably. Though while focussing on music, this country is famous for sure when it comes to psychedelic and space rock at its best. And of course this also features FLOWERS MUST DIE, currently having a horse in the race, besides Kungens Män, Agusa, My Brother The Wind, Goat, Hills ... and many many more. It is said the band name was adapted from Ash Ra Tempel's eponymous song once. While possessing a bittersweet name anyhow, they are offering a pleasant surprise here with this EP in 2016. When considering the total length, other bands would offer this as a full-fledged vinyl production. They don't care about that though.

Musically, just for a proper orientation, the crew offers a mesmerizing atmosphere on this occasion, while, let's say, picking up some craziness of Finnish outfit Circle, also adding the easygoingness of Drahk Von Trip for example, and this is paired with the hypnotic skills Master Musicians Of Bukkake are known for. A quite appealing blend, isn't it? The line up, usually consisting of five male members, comes enlarged due to vocalist/violinist Lisa Ekelund, who joined the collective for the jams. And that would lead into an ongoing collaboration then. It looks that way, at least she's contributing to the bands brand new studio album 'Kompost' as well.

Okay, here we go, four songs are given and the title track is coming directly, carried by a tribal groove and indo/raga vibe. This is mysteriously looping stuff, Lisa is acting with some mourning vocal outings, and right towards the end finally, the flute is successfull in pouring forward. Taskig Stämning Annars appears to be my favourite so far, trippy, laid back, garnered with some otherwordly oriented recitative. Close to a dub styled tune they are serving a lush and compact mood here, which is quite unique. The other two songs are worked out in a similiar vain, be it the more propulsive and motoric Kruta or the smart and super relaxed Varför. I'm able to listen to this over and over again without getting tired or being bored.

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