Nik Turner

Life In Space

Purple Pyramid

Dec 15, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

Space noise, as is Nik Turner's wont, pervades every aspect of this record. And yet after a minute of such introductory interstellar vibrations, track one, Nik Turner's arrangement of Graham Turner and Steve "Smiley" Barnard's "End of the World," emerges as a ballad of such gorgeous English melodic melancholy that you can bet if Oasis had recorded it, the song would be a Top 10 single the world over. Never one for pessimism though, juxtaposed against this musical setting, Turner's deliverly is fearless and hopeful, with a soft joy in his voice. Knowing Turner's penchant for the harder rock we'll soon be getting with the rest of the record, "End of the World" is that most rare occasion in musica genuine, and lovely, surprise. Former Hawkwind cohort Paul Rudolph joins in for what is one of the songs of the year.

Next up, "Why Are You?" brings us to the juggernaut we more associate with Turner's sound as Nicky Garret's wah'd guitar thrashes forward and this time it's Simon House from Turner's old band who joins in the assault. "Secrets of the Galaxy" is a continuation of this procession, the tempo pulled back opens a more all-encompassing sound, jubilant and triumphant. This triptych culminates in the album closer, a 2017 update of Hawkwind classic "Master of the Universe," one of Turner's personal all-time favorites. Two minutes in and his horn sound warps and weaves, pouring forth sounds unrecognizable. Reworking your own classic material can be tricky but once this version is blasting through your speakers, its existence seems necessary, capturing the power of Turner's current live show. But there's a dreamy side to the album too. Nicky Garrett's "Back to Earth" has guitars and flutes swirling in hazy psychedelia. "Universal Mind" picks up this flow and plugs it in, the electric guitars and drums giving it lift and focus. Life In Space is a strong record showcasing some of Turner's best material and performed with a powerhouse of a band behind him. (www.nikturner.com)

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