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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

├śresund Space Collective


Review by Gary Hill

These guys never disappoint. They always deliver effective instrumental space rock. This album fulfills that promise and more. They even include an intriguing wrinkle this time around. The CD packaging will allow you to go on an interactive adventure via an app for your smart phone. I really can't comment on that part of things, but I can tell you the music is a cool trip in itself. Then again, what else did you expect, really?

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Track by Track Review
Open the Door and Ride
Keyboards rise up to bring this into being. Other elements join as it works outward in a cool jam that has a positive psychedelic vibe to it. At over 21 minutes, this opener is the longest piece on the disc. I really dig the bass work as it makes its way forward. This is perhaps more pure electronic prog here than it is space rock, but there are spacey elements at play. This continues to shift and evolve as it works forward. While it gets more space elements as it does, that prog over space rock thing remains for a while. The spacey textures eventually take more of the command as this makes its way forward. The bass still remains prominent through a lot of this ride, and there is some killer psychedelia floating over the top of a lot of this. There is a cool mellow bass-driven jam around the eight-minute mark. It manages to rise back upward from there. The psychedelia takes command as this makes its way out from there. There is some Grateful Dead meets Hawkwind jamming after the twelve-minute mark. There are some real classic jam band things that emerge as the cut continues. This piece continues to shift and change. I dig the keyboard over rhythm section jam that enters late in the piece.
Tropical Flavour of the Month
This seems to come right out of the previous number. There are almost hints of country or Americana music in the mellow jam here. I equate it to some of the countrified mellow things Pink Floyd occasionally did. In fact, this song feels a lot like that. It's a shorter, trippy, spacey kind of jam that's very cool.
Take a Trip
More of a rocking groove with violin jamming over the top brings this thing into being. There are definitely fusion elements built into this thing. More traditionally space rock emerges as this develops. At about 17-and-a-half minutes of music, this is another extensive piece. They take into more decidedly rocking and purely prog zones as they keep things going. In fact, I'd peg this as one for more traditional progressive rock, versus space rock, fans. There is some smoking hot guitar soloing further down the road, and this thing is purely on fire at times. The movement after the 11-minute mark creates a variant on that same mainstream prog theme. It eventually makes its way back to more pure space rock jamming, but it's still so fierce and powerful that it really soars. It eventually makes its way to an extended crescendo that gives way to a bass line that leads into the next number.
Pixie Dust
The bass from the last tune starts this. Keyboards and other elements come over the top creating a killer retro rocking jam. As this evolves some cool violin and space rock textures create a lot of the musical interest here. They keep this thing going through transformations before it's done. It's another killer space rock jam.
Down the Tube
Sounds that seem back-tracked open this. The cut works out from there in a strange, but cool arrangement. The cut gets into driving, electronically laced sounds. It makes me think of Hawkwind (particularly Electric Teepee era) to a large degree. The keyboard sounds on this thing get really intense. It eventually drops to just keys and bass. Then the bass drops out leaving just the keys. That element seems to segue things into the next number.
Sequencing of the Human Brain
Keyboards bring this into being, and the cut begins to grow outward from there with style. The keyboards are a big part of the driving factor of this number, but the guitar plays a real role, too. This segues into the next number.
New Tropical Flavour
There is a weird, twisted Island meets psychedelia vibe to this short (less than two-and-a-half minutes) piece.
Smooth Future
Rising up gradually from the previous tune, this has a mellower movement at the start. It works to more of a jam band meets space rock kind of groove as it makes its way forward. This gets into some driving space rock as it builds outward. It's not unexpected, but it's also quite entertaining and satisfying. It does have more mainstream prog elements at play at times, to a large degree via the violin. The cut eventually drops to mellower stuff to take it out in style.
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