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Nik Turner - 'Space Gypsy' http://ns2.rocktopiarecords.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/73/2a/a2/nik-turner-space-gypsy-22-1393363761.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 25, 2014    
 
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It's hard to resist the old gag, but 'Space Gypsy' is probably the best album Hawkwind never recorded.

Here is the latest solo album from former Hawkwind stalwart and founder member Nik Turner. He may not always have seen eye-to-eye with Dave Brock, but 'Space Gypsy' provides ample demonstration, should it be needed, of Turner's invaluable contribution to the classic Hawkwind sound.

'Space Gypsy' is an album that does exactly what you'd expect it to do. It's a bit folky here, a bit punky there – but essentially what you get from start to finish is 100% proof psychedelic space rock with lashes of characteristic Turner sax and flute.

On this occasion, the old psychedelic wanderer is joined on the edge of town by Nicky Garratt and Jason Willer of UK Subs fame (guitar and drums respectively), Jürgen Engler of Die Krupps (guitar, moog synths and mellotron) and Jeff Piccinini from punk icons Chelsea (bass). All contribute to the songwriting. Former Hawkwind bandmate Simon House (violin), Gong guitar great Steve Hillage and Chris Leitz (mellotron) also guest.

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Alright, it does drone on a bit at times (the trippy 'Coming Of The Maya' is a case in point), but elsewhere there are some great swirling, uplifting grooves, including 'Time Crypt', for which, incidentally, Turner has filmed a new video. Opening track and lead single 'Fallen Angel STS-51-L' has been described by Turner as "the epitome of epiphanic, orgasmic, cathartic embodiment of my space dreams." Make of that what you will. For me, it's a touch 'Paranoid' (in a good way).
"So welcome to those aliens from space/Valkuries from the rainbow/Not just a pretty face," sings Turner on 'Joker's Song'. If anyone has met them and lived to tell the tale, then it's probably him, and his career long commitment to the cause (whatever that is) is admirable.

Most Hawkwind fans and completists will, I imagine, be delighted with this offering. Even the album artwork echoes that of 'Space Ritual'. It's hard to resist the old gag – you know, that 'Space Gypsy' is the best album Hawkwind never recorded. It probably is though.

Michael Anthony

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