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Album Review

As any clothes horse will tell you, wait long enough and eventually everything comes back into fashion. Hawkwind arguably the progenitor of space rock, helped launched the genre at the dawn of the '70s, seeing it flower, then wither, over the ensuing decades. Now half-a-dozen of the group's early members have reunited under the moniker Space Ritual, a tag originally coined for Hawkwind's eyebrow raising 1972 tour. It's the perfect name for a group that still represents all that space rock has/had to offer, and one which refuses to be tied to a time and space now long gone. Otherworld is their debut album, and a set as extravagant as the initial Space Ritual shows themselves. "The Return" opens the set as one might expect in a kaleidoscope of otherworldly sounds and effects, until "Otherworld" shimmers forth among twittering birds. A pastoral melody breezes in from the faraway fields of Canterbury, until suddenly a gust of guitar and hip-hop beats sweep in and blow the past away. Across this five-minute track, SR interweave the modern and the classic, rap and rock, folk and soul, twining them together with a compulsive beat and a strong melody that passes from axe to sax to keyboards to flute and back again. It's the first of many revelations within this remarkable set. "Ritual of the Ravaged Earth" is just as inspired, providing the missing links between early electronica, synth-pop, and the New Romantics, a dance filled delight that sounds like it's heading straight for the pop chart. That number's driven by the drum-machine type beats fashionable in the '80s, "ASDF" is fired by Terry Ollis' tribal beats, which could equally support Adam & the Ants, Gary Glitter, or the Last Poets. Every musician brings something to this showcase, with some songs built around specific instruments — most notably "Atomik"'s 12-string guitar, "Droid Love"'s sax, "Arrival in Utopia"'s keyboards, "Notes from a Cold Planet" flute and synth, and "Bubbles" electric guitar.

Incidentally, "Utopia" and "Planet" are among a quartet whose lyrics were penned by sci-fi author and old Hawkwind collaborator Michael Moorcock, and include a revived, guitar fired "Black Corridor." But even when SR turn back the clock, their music sounds amazingly fresh, for fashion has finally caught back up with the band. Gen Next'er rockers will envy the power and glory of "Bubbles"'s exhilarating blend of R&B, classic rock, and prog rock, while pop revivalists would gladly commit any "Time Crime" to own that song's infectious melody and Nik Turner's sensational '60s sax solos. "I'm still walking backwards, here I come again," Turner triumphantly exclaims on the set closing "Walking Backwards," a retooled, remodeled, rejuvenated "Silver Machine" for the modern age. And that's exactly what the band effortlessly do across the set, musically walk into the future as they explore their own past across 15 stunning tracks, that sound phenomenal, thanks to bandmember Dave Anderson's superb production. Moving forward in time even while looking back, Otherworld is a masterpiece, one that will enthrall generations of fans past, present and future, from rockers to electro-geeks, popsters to headbangers alike.

Customer Reviews

Pretty nice prog album, Hawkwind is still better though

This is acually a pretty good cd. For those of you who dont know, Space Ritual is a band formed in 2000 by Nik Turner (vocalist, saxaphone player, and flute player for a very old and one of my favorite prog rock bands Hawkwind). As good as this is, nothing beats the old hawkwind albums with lemmy and Dave Brock, and at one point one of my favorite drummers Ginger Baker of Cream by Nik's side. I would recommend first checking out hawkwind albums such as In Search Of Space, their self titled deput album: Hawkwind, and their great live album Space Ritual (which this band is named after). Then if you like all that, youll probly like this album.

neato burrito

nice i like ASDF



Otherworld, Space Ritual
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: Nov 19, 2007

Customer Ratings

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