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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Nik Turner

Space Fusion Odyssey

Review by Gary Hill

I was not expecting this set. It’s an instrumental album. Yes, it has elements of the kind of Hawkwind like space rock one expects from Nik Turner. However, this lands closer to fusion in so many ways. It’s very much like what you might get if you mixed Hawkwind with Mahavishnu Orchestra. It’s quite effective. It’s also a contender for my best of 2015 list for certain.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Adjust the Future

Cool keyboards dance around as this starts. Space rock meets fusion while a funky bass line lays down the groove. This whole jam gets really amazing as it continues. It’s soaring, exploratory fusion. The jamming just doesn’t let up on this smoking instrumental. The slower jam later is part classic rock, part space and all tasty. There is an echoey spoken voice at the end.

Hypernova
Coming in more like dramatic and powerful space rock, this is every bit as strong as the opener was. This instrumental gets some shifts and changes. It works toward more fusion like territory later. It also has some pretty inspired jamming, but the groove seems to be the most important factor here.
Spiritual Machines
There is a definite 1960s psychedelic rock vibe here. I love the flute on this thing. The whole piece grooves with a real space rock sound. It’s like a cross between Hawkwind and early War.
Pulsar
Weird backwards tracked sounds and other things circle around one another as a female voice is heard. The voice disappears, but the weird music remains. Then the voice returns, and they launch out from there in a high energy fusion jam with some killer space over the top. The guitar soloing on this is pure fusion and very tasty. That’s not to discount anything else, though. All the jamming is top notch fusion instrumental work.
An Elliptical Galaxy
Pure space music leads off here. That holds it for a time before a driving fusion element joins. The two sounds merge in a jam that’s like Mahavishnu Orchestra married Hawkwind. At times the rock is more prominent, while at other points it’s more pure fusion.
A Beautiful Vision in Science Forgotten
The space still exists here, but this thing is very much a fusion jam. This has some of the most inspired jamming of the whole disc in some ways. It does have a rock edge to it for sure.
CD Bonus Tracks
    
We Came In Peace

There are some ethereal female vocals on this thing. There are some spoken male ones, too. At times this is very atmospheric. At other points it’s driving, hard rocking and rather fusion-like. At points it’s both at the same time. It definitely gets into some seriously Hawkwind like territory later in the piece. Some more spoken male vocals show up later as the cut works through some harder rocking, rather ominous, jamming.

Interstellar Clouds
This is a killer rocking groove with both fusion and space music in the mix. It’s a lot of fun. The jamming really intensifies as this space fusion conglomerate works its way through.
Spiritual Machines Chapter 2
Another killer slab of fusion space rock, this has some spoken vocals. It’s also has some pretty crazed shifts and changes and some amazing jamming.
Random Acts (Revisited) with The Fusion Syndicate
This is nearly pure fusion. It’s also a great piece of music. Sure there is some space here, but less than on the rest of the disc.
 
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