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Various Artists

Dave Brock Presents This Was Your Future

Review by Gary Hill

This three CD set is pretty amazing stuff. It was compiled by Dave Brock, and as such you have to figure that it's packed full of space rock. There are Hawkwind songs here along with songs by Hawkwind spin-off projects and then other bands like Ozric Tentacles and Magic Mushroom Band. Everything here works really well, but I think that had the last few instrumental tracks been interspersed among the vocal tracks a bit more, it might flow a little better. That's just a quibble, though. This is spread across three CDs and comes in a deluxe cardboard clamshell, and it features an informative booklet to complete it. Let the space music wash over you and take you away.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Disc One:
                    
Hawkwind - PXR5

This has great space science fiction lyrics. There are several twists and turns musically and this is has an unusual and very cool space rock sound to it. It's not trademark Hawkwind (then again, what is?), but it is easily recognizable as coming from that band. This is a great song and a great way to start the set in style.

Omnia Opera - Space Bastard
Frantic and driving, this is punky. It has plenty of space rock in the mix. It's a real powerhouse that sounds a good amount like Hawkwind. This is a lot of fun. There are even some metallic angles to this at times. I love the scorching hot guitar solo. The closing movement of this thing is like a metal version of the most intense and driving Hawkwind ever.
Poisoned Electrick Head - Astral Tjunc
Electronic and rather trippy, this is a different variety of space rock. There are definitely more Hawkwind-like things going on. I'm not completely sold on the vocals on this tune, though. There are some strange twists and turns built into this.
Spaceship Eyes - Satori
Here we get a more electronic piece. This instrumental is a nice change from the intensity of the first few songs. It's still very much space music, but of the more experimental variety. This act features Don Falcone of Spirits Burning fame.
Ozric Tentacles - Velmwend
This climbs upward very quickly with driving space rock jamming. There are middle Eastern elements and a lot more at play here. This instrumental is classy space rock of the higher order.
Magic Mushroom Band - Pictures in My Mind
Closer to pure psychedelic rock, this has some great hooks. Sure, it still has space rock in the mix, too. It's driving and fun.
Kryptästhesie - An Evening Following a Cuttle-Fish
Energetic and driving hard-edged space rock is on the menu here. This is another track that feels a lot like Hawkwind.
Dave Brock - Green Finned Demon
Electronic space rock, this is both stripped back and lush. That's quite the contrast. This is a great tune and a fine version.
Boris and His Bolshie Balalaika - Toadstool Soup
Bouncy and fun space rock jamming, this rocks. Mid-track it drops to a keyboard and vocal section with middle-Eastern sounds merging with space music. It gradually builds out to more driving sounds from there.
The Lloyd-Langton Group- Candle Burning
Starting with drumming, this explodes out into hard rocking space rock from there. We get Huw Lloyd-Langton's trademark guitar work, and you really can't go wrong with that.
Underground Zero - Aimless Flight
I love the energized and dramatic space rock of this killer tune. The piece really rocks. It's stylish space rock of the highest order and one of my favorites on this first disc.
Treatment - Damage
A hard rocking jam, this is a powerhouse tune that has a real DEVO edge to it. It turns more toward driving Hawkwind-like jamming further down the musical road.
Moom - The Higher Sun
There a Kraftwerk meets space rock angle to this piece. It's another killer track on a disc full of great music. This is one of the more "different" songs here, though.
Disc Two:
                           
Dr Hasbeen - Spirit of Brock

Keyboards bring this into being. The cut work out from there to driving space rock with some hints of punk. The lyrics are definitely about Hawkwind.

Sun Dial - Outer Limits to Yr Brain
Space music is provided by textural keys as this starts. Guitar rises upward bringing driving guitar sound. This is another powerhouse space rocker.
Michael Moorcock's Deep Fix - Dodgem Dude
More driving hard rock is on the menu here. I dig the mix between garage rock, psychedelia and space rock. This is both classy and effective.
Pressurehed - Red Delta (Live)
There is almost a techno edge to this. It's decidedly space rock oriented and has a driving punk energy. This is another screamer.
Robert Calvert - Lord of the Hornets
Bouncy and rather punky in a pretty standard Robert Calvert way. This is very Hawkwind-like in that Calvert vein. It feels like something that would have fit on one of his albums, even though it was released only as a single.
Hawklords - The Age of the Micro Man
This is a track from the period where Hawkwind was using the name Hawklords. Here's what I said in my original review of it: "This cut really does seem to do a good job or tying everything together and wrapping it with a great bow. It has a great space rock sound."
Dr Brown - Dreamscape
Hard rocking space music with a punky edge is on the menu here. This is another effective tune.
Kava Kava - Poke
This is such an unusual and cool track. It's on the mellower side. It has some real freeform jazz textures along with trippy space rock. It's such a classy cut. It also among the most "different" things here. There is a real art music concept here, and it's tastefully weird.
The Tryp - The Lizard Sheds Its Skin
Speaking of weird, this is strange sonic freakout. There are odd sound-effects in the backdrop as strange almost guttural vocals are delivered. Unusual as it is, it's also compelling.
Sonic Assassins - Golden Void
An alternate lineup version (Dave Brock and Robert Calvert) of a Hawkwind classic, this has always been one of my favorite Hawkwind tunes, and I love this take on it. It's faithful, but also fresh and different.
Dead Flowers - Altered State Circus
This is a killer space rock instrumental jam. It has so much style and charm.
Mandragora - Rainbow Warrior
Fierce, hard rocking space music is on the menu here. This is driving and rather punky. It's also very cool.
Outskirts of Infinity - Laughter Castle
This makes me think of what you might get if you merged Jimi Hendrix with Hawkwind. It's another screaming hot, driving rocker with a lot of space rock in it. It's one of the more varied pieces here. It's also one of my favorites on this second disc.
St 37 - Ghosts of Tempera Nymphs
This is a more directly Hawkwind like driving space rocker. It's packed with class and style.
Sons of Selina - Gamoto Manopano
There is a chorale vocal section at the beginning of this. The track works out from there with keyboards at first before more rocking stuff emerges to take it forward. As it gets really going this has some powerful sounds, and the vocals seem to be non-lyrical.
Disc Three:
                           
Dumpy's Rusty Nuts - Hawkwind

Weird synthesizer sounds and a synthetic spoken voice start this cut. The track drives out into screaming hot space rocking sounds from there. As you might guess from the title, this sounds a lot like Hawkwind. It's of the driving hard rock side of that equation. The lyrics, of course, are all about Hawkwind. They ever throw a little section of "Adjust Me" into the middle of this thing.

Dave Brock and the Agents of Chaos - Hades Deep
As you might guess, this sounds a lot like Hawkwind. It's spacey goodness with a driving, rocking sound. It gets into mellower, keyboard-driven space zones further down the road.
Crow - Led Zep
The vocals bring some hints of punk rock. The music is driving space rock. This is another classy tune.
Nukli - Inner Days
I love fast-paced echoey space rock on this. Some of the vocals are sung, while others are spoken. The track is a cool rocking number with some definite psychedelia in the mix.
Ethereal Counterbalance - At the Oasis
There are some middle-Eastern elements at play at times on this. The song is hard rocking and suitably space oriented.
Nick Riff - Tribal Elders
I love the psychedelic edge to this. It has an almost psychedelic Beatles side to it. It's driving and still space rock oriented. It's one of the more "different" tunes here. It really rocks with style, too.
Tim Blake - Passage Sur la Cité (Des Révélations)
Here is what I said when I reviewed this on the album from which it comes, "Combining the Crystal Machine textures with something more like Hawkwind, this is energetic electronic space music. This instrumental is pretty amazing stuff, really." The Crystal Machine reference is talking about Blake's Crystal Machine album that included keyboard music that seems tied to things like Vangelis and Kraftwerk.
Psychedelic Warriors - in Search of Shangrila
Coming in electronic and building outward from there, This stays instrumental and trippy. This group was a stripped back three-piece Hawkwind spinoff led by Dave Brock.
Tangle Edge - Yatantah Pt. 1
Another instrumental tune, this features driving bass and some scorching hot guitar work. That said, its space rock jamming. Also, you can't ignore the drumming on this thing.
Here and Now - 23 Skidoo (Live)
This is another scorching space rock instrumental jam. It's not a huge change from a lot of the music here, but it works well.
F/I - The Circle Is the Square
Another powerhouse instrumental rocker, this is tasty space rock. I think maybe it would have worked better in a different position, though. Too many instrumentals in a row seem to become a little samey.
Praise Space Electric - Cybergenetic Experiment X
There are some strange instrumental elements here. This is one of the weirder pieces on the disc.
 
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