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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Tim Blake

Crystal Machine

Review by Gary Hill

While Tim Blake is best known for his work with Gong and Hawkwind, don't expect that type of music here. This reissue features music that is (for the most part) closer to things like Synergy and Tangerine Dream. All of the tracks on the album proper save one are instrumentals. Of the three bonus tracks, one has vocals. However you label this music, though, it's brilliant set of electronic synthesis. If you are a big fan of that type of music, you have to own this.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 3 at
Track by Track Review

Space keyboards open this in style. The cut grows with layer of sound stacking and dancing around one another. This is quite lush and very pretty. There is a definite enchanting quality to it.

Metro / Logic
There is much more of a rhythmic, almost tribal vibe here. Spacey keyboard sounds enter. The cut gets very rubbery and nearly funky as it moves forward. There is almost a jazz vibe to it in some ways. I dig the bass sounds on this thing.
Last Ride of the Boogie Child (Seasalter Free Festival 1976)
Cool waves of keyboard textures take us on this great ride. There are some almost jazz meets space rock vocals on this. The cut gets some cool energies built into it. This is a fun cut.
Synthese Intemporel (Le Palace Theatre Paris, 18/02/1977)
More killer keyboard sounds open this and move it forward in dramatic style. This is a fifteen and a half minute instrumental that feels a bit like a cross between Synergy and the electronic side of Hawkwind with some Tangerine Dream thrown in for extra points.
Crystal Presence
This comes in very machine-like and rather freaky. It's a bit noisy, but also melodic. This feels like something out of a science fiction film.
Bonus Tracks


This is very different. There is a bit of europop vibe here. That's mixed with things not that far removed from Hawkwind. It's one of only a couple pieces here with vocals. This is fun. I love the middle-Eastern elements to this cut.

Synthese Intemporel I
This keyboard instrumental isn't long, but it is solid. It has a good energy and great synth sounds. The waves of sonic structure really make this gel.
Synthese Intemporel II
I love the energized keyboard textures on this. It has a real rhythmic element to it. The tune is fast paced and especially effective.
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