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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Tim Blake


Review by Gary Hill

According to the liner notes, this album was recorded live. I don't hear any audience, though, so I think that means more than anything else that it was recorded without over-dubs or things of that nature. Tim Blake is probably best known for his work in both Gong and Hawkwind, but this reissue shows that he has produced some cool music on his own. It's keyboard oriented music. Some of it is instrumental, while some has vocals. The sound is not far removed from things like Synergy, but there are also space rock and psychedelic edges to this. All in all, it's quite an effective set, really.
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Track by Track Review
A Magick Circle
White noise styled sound effects brings this into being. Other elements with a special effects bias emerge to move it forward. Eventually trippy keyboard sounds take over. It feels to me a bit like something from Synergy or Tangerine Dream. This instrumental covers a lot of musical territory and gets quite intense before its done.
Keyboards create the opening elements here, feeling a bit more "song-like" as it starts. There is a bit of a world music thing here. The vocals are almost whispered at first. They get more traditionally sung later. The cut moves in some cool ways, creating an intriguing sonic tapestry.
The Strange Secret of Ohm-Gliding
I dig the cool trippy keyboards that open this. The cut grows from there with a dramatic, insistent energy. There are some cool space rock styled sounds that emerge amongst the layers of keyboards. There are no vocals until around the six minute mark. Even then, they are spoken. Some of the vocals later are sung. This is a cool cut that has a lot of range and some great grooves. At over twelve minutes in length, it's also the epic of the set.
A Return to Clouds
The kind of keyboard based sounds one expects by this point open the cut. It grows outward from there with some intriguing space rock jamming. This instrumental is rather fun.
Waiting for Nati
Coming in with an energy and a bit of that Synergy vibe, this is another cool cut. The vocals here lean on the high range. This is more of a rocking tune in a lot of ways. It's a bit more straightforward than some of the rest, too.
A Dream
Chiming keys that make me think of tuned percussion start this. As it works forward it makes me think of "Tubular Bells" just a bit. This instrumental is very much trippy space prog electronica.
More Magick
The keyboard sounds on the first part of this are in the mellower spectrum. There are some pretty active percussive elements, though. The number gets more vibrant and energized as it carries forward. This piece sits somewhere between electronic music, space rock and fusion.
With You
The closing number has those high pitched vocals again. It's a bit more of a pop rocker. It's bouncy and rather fun. Personally, I think this is the weakest cut of the set. It might have served the album better some place in the middle.
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