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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Floydhead

The Floydian Propulsion Project

Review by Gary Hill

Pink Floyd fans will surely be the most obvious audience for this, but they will probably be the hardest to sell on it, too. Take a lot of Pink Floyd music and a whole host of fans of the band and put it all together to create an electronica disc. That’s what you’ve got here. While Floyd sounds pervade the album, there is only a little music here that would really make you think it could fit onto a Pink Floyd set. That said, this is entertaining and quite tasty no matter how you slice or portray it. Floyd fans with a heart of adventure should pick this up. Fans of electronica will find an even simpler learning curve.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Heartbeat, Pigmeat (UFO Technicolour Dream) Mix
A blipping sound like some kind of heart monitor opens it. Then some percussion joins. A flute goes over the top. Some organ is heard. Spoken soundbites are added. This is a dense and weird bit of spacey psychedelia that keeps shifting and changes with a lot of spoken words at its heart. Further down the road it works to electronic, techno meets hip hop. There is a lot of scratching along with some bits of hip hop vocals. It moves to more of a beat poetry version of the earlier section after that. There is a hint of Jimi Hendrix right at the end.
Hey You (Girls of the Rare Breed) Mix

There is some definite electronic, techno weirdness on this, but there’s also enough of the original track to make it recognizable. This is a pretty intriguing interpretation of the music.

Any Colour You Like (As Long as it's Black) Mix

There are some more sounds that should be familiar to Floyd fans on this one, although it definitely gets run through the mixing machine into something a bit more like Kraftwerk.

Is There Anybody Out There? (Panoramic Paralysis) Mix

While based much more on keyboards and other electronic elements, the guitar basis still persists here. The track certainly takes this in a different direction, but there is enough of the character of the original to keep it interesting. I’d compare a lot of this to Tangerine Dream.

Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1 (Ste-V's GB) Mix

This rocks out a bit more than some of the other stuff, but the electronica still dominates. It goes out into more standard Floyd-like territory later.

Terminal Frost (Beatbox Rocker) Mix

Based on one of the more rocking Floyd number, this has a lot of the guitar texture of that, but twisted into a pretty purely techno sound. It gets some hip hop bits later.

One of My Days

This is a short bit of sound loops from TV shows, etc. My favorites are the bits from “Star Trek” and “The Simpsons.” We do get a bit of actual Floyd at the end.

A New Machine (Empty Space : Welcome to the New Machine) Mix

We get a lot of the original on this, but drawn into different directions. There is also some “Echoes” built into this device. Moving out into a more rocking techno journey later it takes on other bits of Floyd here and there – from different eras. This is my favorite number on show here for sure.

Pigs on the Wing (Pigs in Space) Mix

Starting with a sound bite from the intro to “Pigs in Space,” this moves to the acoustic guitar section of the original, which holds it for a time. It is worked out into a pretty techno ballad type motif from there. It really retains a lot of the spirit of the original while moving it in new directions that aren’t that far removed from the heart and soul of Pink Floyd. It really becomes quite a complex and involved progressive rock number. It’s another highlight of the set. It’s one of the few tracks that has the whole original vocal segment.

Drooling and Raving

I hear parts of several Pink Floyd tracks here, including “Several Species…,” “Careful with That Axe” and “Dogs.” It’s seriously weird and noisy at the onset, but as “Dogs” begins to take over a bit it turns into something stronger. It is taken through several other changes and variants before drawing to a close.

Signs of Life (All Aboard the Astoria / Sea of Chaos) Mix

The man in the boat is here. So are a lot of the keyboard elements. Added to the mix is an electronic percussion track. A number of other Floyd tracks get woven into this tapestry before they finish.

Two Suns in the Sunset (Electropsychedeliatric Blitzkrieg) Mix

This combines a lot of sounds, some Floydian, some less so, in an intriguing cut. Bits of tabla and Indian sounds join later and segue into the next cut.

If (The Tablamatic Theory) Mix

Percussion, traditional Indian sounds and other elements mix on this piece. It’s got some of the more prominent vocal sections, too.

The Pink Anderson Gangsta Blues

Here’s a short little blues number.

Keep Talking (Mind of God) Mix

Starting with the Stephen Hawkwing vocal recitation, this shifts out into a very Kraftwerk-like jam. As it carries on it gets quite powerful and a number of different sounds and elements enter.

Several Species of Small Fury Animals Gathered Together in a Cav

This is spacey and far more electronic than I expected given the source material. It’s suitably spacey and contains hints of other Floyd numbers in the mix.

Have a Cigar (Close, but no Cigar) Mix

We get some healthy doses of the original, but they are changed almost to the point of non-recognition. It’s a cool piece of music, nonetheless and one that’s arguably closer to the sounds of Pink Floyd than a lot of the rest. It twists out into some exceedingly strange, and a little creepy, territory late.

Obscured by Clouds (Moon, American, Floyd) Mix

Cool spacey keyboards swirl around. We get sound bites, including some HAL from “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Some pure Floyd is pulled into this as it carries on and it’s one of the more effective pieces on show here.

Let There Be More (Lite) Mix

This is short, weird and dramatic. It turns to a rocking little groove – way down in the mix – late.

Publius Enigma
Less than a minute in length, this is just a short bit of weirdness to end the disc.
 
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