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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

West Space & Love

Vol. II

Review by Gary Hill

This is a cool album. It’s essentially instrumental, but one song does have some spoken things. This group is three people going under the monikers that make up the group name. They are joined by three other musicians. This is space music, but it’s pretty wide ranging within that heading. There are things that call to mind artists like Hawkwind, Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream. Other things though work into world music and other territory. It’s quite a ride.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 4 at

Track by Track Review
Floyd's Dream

Trippy electronics with a bit of drone vibe start this. After a time other elements join and it starts to resemble very space Pink Floyd with some Tangerine Dream in the mix. This works forward through a lot of great space rock shifts and changes. Nothing changes quickly, but it really builds and works into different directions. There are definite hints of Hawkwind at times here, but the Floyd and TD things probably dominate really. A harder edged jam around the five minute mark (and another about four minutes later) in particular reminds me of Hawkwind. The space that takes it out also feels a lot like Hawkwind.

Khan Paan
The opening sections here have a lot of world music in the mix. Those first moments are fairly mellow and folk oriented. As it builds out from there it gets more intense and involved. The world music still dominates, though. As it approaches the half way mark, this piece is considerably shorter than the opener was, it gets more rock in the mix. That said, the world music is still prominent. There is almost a space rock meets Camper Van Beethoven vibe to this in some ways. It turns mellower around the three minute mark, but gets more intense again after a time. Overall this piece is more organic than the opener was.
Weird electronic stuff with a bit of classic groove starts this. It almost feels like video game music. While the keyboard sounds here are very retro, giving that video game element, the melodies almost resemble classical music. At less than three and a half minutes in length, it’s the shortest piece so far.
Pig in Space
This is really weird space music. It does feel like some kind of animal drifting around in space. It’s a bit too weird for my tastes, but does have its charms. There is some busy drumming along with the animal simulation sounds. It’s very freeform. At only two and a half minutes in length, it’s also the shortest thing here.
Oscillation in D Minor

At almost eleven minutes in length, only the opener is longer than this one. Space elements and sitar combine to create a trippy space psychedelic excursion at the start. It gets more sparse and space as it continues, making me think of some of the more open music of early Pink Floyd a bit. It eventually works out to more rocking music as it continues. There are hints of world music built into this along with jazz and other things. By the time it nears the ten minute mark it’s really become a powerhouse space jam with a bit of a dervish built into it.

Anybody Out There
Suitably space sounds with a real searching kind of element start this in a very mellow way. This works to some cool space music, still mellow, but more developed than the opener. There are some vocals here, but they are more like soundbites of someone literally trying to find out if there is “anybody out there.” This is a fairly mellow (and almost spooky at times) piece of music.
Time Compression
Nearly half of this piece is a cool keyboard solo that is very retro in nature. It works out to some great prog jamming from there. It has a bit of a psychedelic edge to it. It really does work out into some satisfying music. In many ways that section is the most mainstream thing here.
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