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Hidden Moon

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Album Review

Quarkspace approaches space rock in a way that is all its own. A lot more laid-back than Alien Planetscapes or Ozric Tentacles, Quarkspace's music is supportive, leaving listeners to travel at their own paces, rather than pushing them in the backs with a hallucinatory and insistent beat. With Quarkspace, space rock flirts with psychedelia and even a sort of new age at times. The Hidden Moon, a two-CD set, is the band's second complete studio effort (as opposed to the Spacefolds series that presents works in progress), released three years after the band's eponymous debut. There is less electronic percussion on this album than on previous efforts like Spacefolds 5 or Live Orion, and also fewer vocals, which is a good thing. Chet Santia's voice, although getting better with time, remains peculiar, and it can indispose an otherwise benevolent listener. With its 150 minutes, The Hidden Moon has a lot to offer, but the second CD is stronger than the first. There are a few longish tracks on disc one, songs that don't live up to expectations ("Somebody Else's Dream" sounds like it'll never end), but most tracks on disc two are must-haves. "The Circle" recalls Pink Floyd's "Fearless"; "Park Rangers" introduces some electronic elements to the Quarkspace sound (something hinted at on Spacefolds 5 but better integrated here). The magnum opus of this set is found in "Where Galaxies Collide," an 18-minute epic that stands as a hybrid of space rock and prog rock. This is not an extended jam. Changes are numerous, the atmosphere is torrid, the trip is perfect. This track has the word classic written all over it. If Quarkspace's music doesn't have the dancing pulse of Ozric Tentacles, it also doesn't have the repetitiveness of the latter. The Hidden Moon established the band as one of the leading space rock outfits of the late '90s. As a bonus, the gatefold package is covered with colorful paintings by David Gulotta. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

First a psychedelic collective in the 1980s, Quarkspace grew up to become one of America's best space rock outfits from the 1990s. The group's albums have all been released on drummer Paul Williams' Eternity's Jest label and can be split into two categories: the "real" albums and the Spacefolds series. The latter chronicles the group's evolution by quickly releasing improvisations played at rehearsals. Quarkspace stemmed...
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Hidden Moon, Quarkspace
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