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Various Artists

The Rift - Dark Side of the Moon (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Review by Gary Hill

This new soundtrack album features some killer music. It leans on the space rock, trippy side of the equation. It definitely lands under prog rock for that reason. There are some big names here like Rick Wakeman, Nektar and John Wetton. All in all, this is a solid set of music. I have reviewed a number of these songs previously on other albums. For the sake of consistency I've copied or modified those track reviews for use here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Omega - Don't Keep on Me Waitin'
This comes in tentative and a bit mysteriously. It feels like Vanilla Fudge in some ways as it gradually builds up from extremely mellow territory. It bursts into more rocking prog territory, feeling a bit like a cross between ELP and early Pink Floyd.
John Wetton - Us and Them
The new version of the classic Pink Floyd cut works really well. It's plays within the same basic musical landscape of the original, but perhaps turns it just a bit more jazz-oriented. I dig this one quite a bit. It's not a big change, but it is a fresh take. Other musicians on this track include Dweezil Zappa and Tony Kaye.
Colin Moulding & Robby Krieger - Brain Damage
There is almost a playful feeling to this rendition of the classic Pink Floyd song in some ways. On the one hand, it's fairly faithful. At the same time it brings some new flavors to the mix. This also included Geoff Downes and Billy Sherwood.
The Anix - Mask
Keyboards start this in pretty waves of sound. It works out to a techno electronic kind of number from there. There are some great melodies here, along with a killer driving beat.
Echolust - 1799

Some feedback leads out. As it grows from there the music is dense and fuzz-laden, but also melodic. It drops for the vocals and we're into sort of a space rock meets Radiohead kind of vibe. There is definitely an 80s vibe here.

Nik Turner - Paranormal
Coming in trippy and ominous, this is crazy stuff. It builds out gradually in a typical space rock fashion. Once this instrumental turns into seriously rocking stuff, it's in full on old school Hawkwind style. This feels a bit like some lost jam from the Space Ritual era. There is a weird, demonic, type voice chanting strange stuff at the end.
Leæther Strip - Serenade for the Dead
Keyboards start this and build in dark and trippy ways. This instrumental is electronic and classy. It's part classical music, part space rock and all cool.
Nektar - Astronaut's Nightmare
This has a build up at the start that’s quite psychedelic. That ends and then proto-prog with psychedelia all over it creates a mellow atmospheric vibe. Distorted vocals are heard in the background early. From there, though, it gets real sung vocals and this continues forward with a sound that’s at once recognizable as Nektar, but also quite laden with psychedelic trappings. The cut shifts and changes from there. It’s an ever changing tapestry of somewhat raw psychedelic progressive rock. Then it drops down to a very mellow section to continue. More changes and alterations ensue from there, and I particularly like a riff driven segment that comes in further down the road. This thing really does have a lot of split second switches, though.
Le Seul Élément - C. Abyssal

Space music turned classical starts this. As the cut grows in a rather ambient way, it's very menacing and dark. There is definitely an ominous, unsettling vibe here. This piece might be strange, but it's also quite powerful.

Brainticket - Nebula

Coming in mellow, electronic and trippy, this works outward from there. It never really rises up very far, instead remaining fairly atmospheric and definitely strange.

Rick Wakeman - Dynamics of Delirium

With some exceptional piano work, this is a dramatic prog rock excursion. Fusion is a valid reference point on this instrumental, too. That said, there is a drop back to an almost classical section, too.

Chrome - Into the Eyes of the Zombie King
Percussive industrial space music is the general concept here.
Guru Freakout! - Notre Dame (Mothership) (Edit)
This is an edit of a song from Guru Freakout!'s Mothership album. The original piece is over half an hour long, so this is just one portion of it. They've pulled it down to a five minute section here. It's a cool jam band meets space rock kind of movement. It's definitely trippy stuff.
Guru Guru Groove Band - Ufolove
Trippy percussive sounds that are echoey open this. While this has its charms, it seems to stretch on too long for my tastes.
A Flock Of Seagulls - I Ran (So Far Away)

I find it hard to believe that there is anyone out there who hasn't heard this song. That said, there have been some trippy space rock elements added to the mix here on the extended introduction. While a lot of music from that time feels really dated today, I think this holds up pretty well. It's a great to ground the set and take it out with a familiar and rocking number.

 
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