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Hedersleben

Orbit

Review by Gary Hill

This act occupies an intriguing territory between space rock, folk prog and symphonic prog. At times it's a bit too freeform for my tastes, and I'm not crazy about all of the vocals. All that said, though, this is a diverse and dynamic album that works well and does a great job of continuing Hedersleben's musical traditions.

 

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Judas Star

Suitably spacey sounds bring this into being. It's trippy electronic stuff. Some other musical elements threaten to join, but are more tentative at first. As it hits around the one minute mark, it powers out to a killer jam that's part psychedelic rock and party Meddle era Pink Floyd. It drives forward from there. This gets into more potent progressive rock territory as instruments solo over the top. It even leans a bit toward fusion. It drops way down around the two and a half minute mark. Then vocals enter, a bit distant and distorted. I'm again reminded of early Pink Floyd, but mixed with Gong and more pure progressive rock. It works into harder rocking territory, definitely showing off more of that Pink Floyd thing.

Walk Above the Clouds

This cut comes in with an insistent, but more melodic symphonic prog sound. It drops back to the mellower after the introduction, but it works out to more of a rocking thing. There are multiple vocal sections, and the cut makes me think of Gong in a lot of ways.

Distant Sun

This seems to come out of the previous number. It has a tentative, spacey element as it moves forward, gradually rising upward. Vocals come in as slow, mellow music serves as the backdrop with noisy elements dancing over the top. It turns to a melodic instrumental break after a while, but then powers back out to the earlier section with the noisy elements taking more control. This is freaky stuff, but somehow melodic at the same time.

History of Light

Now, this is a rocker. It's more pure prog rock and has some fusion in the mix. It makes me think of Hawkwind in some ways. It's less strange than some of the rest, but it's definitely not mainstream. I dig the driving bass work on this, and the organ adds a lot to the mix, too. It's one of my favorites here and has some cool shifts and changes. I particularly like the jam later in the track. It's a real powerhouse.

Apogee

Strange swirling keyboard elements create a definite space texture on this thing. It's almost a minute and a half before anything else is heard. At first, it's just a guitar, but then the rest of the band join in a full on space rock jam. This is classy stuff. It's an instrumental.

Hedersleben (Dreamstate)

Mellower and rather intricate space rock styled sounds open this cut. It grows only gradually before the vocals dance over the top in a dreamy kind of way. We're taken through some intriguing changes, but it never alters drastically.

Rarefied Air

Much more of a mainstream prog sounding piece, this is melodic and quite cool. It has some intriguing non-lyrical vocals over the top of it. There is also some cool synthesizer soloing. Lyrical vocals are heard later in the track.

Be There

Much more of a driving hard rocker, there is a lot of psychedelia built into this smoking hot tune. This is one of the more mainstream tunes here, but it still has a decidedly left-of-center edge to it.

Perigree

The sounds of birds wrap over acoustic guitar work. This is a mellower instrumental that has a lot of folk prog built into it. It's intricate and pretty and a nice way to end the set.

 
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