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Space Art -  Trip In The Center Head  CD (album) cover


Space Art


Progressive Electronic

3.72 | 15 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The abbreviated career of Space Art reached its apogee on the band's second album, released at the high-water mark of analog synth-rock in 1977. And it holds together remarkably well after more than three decades, thanks in part to an unbeatable combination of vintage synthesizers, aggressive drumming, and strictly instrumental arrangements.

The trademark image of the hazmat suit on the LP cover, reflecting what looks like a Maxfield Parrish landscape in its visor, aptly illustrates the opposing poles of the Space Art aesthetic: splashy and romantic, but more down-to-earth than the band's name would suggest. The music here is more deliberate than its looser, self-titled predecessor (released earlier the same year), sounding at times not unlike backing tracks for songs before any vocals were added. But the material is stronger, and played with more confidence, to a point approaching proto-1980s arena-rock bombast, in cuts like "Odyssey" and "Hollywood Flanger". Every track is a model in musical euphony, but all of them are mere warm-ups to the epic album closer "Psychosomatique", which ebbs and flows over eleven tense minutes toward a perfectly timed, Panavision climax of considerable sonic drama.

With a little more exposure the Space Art duo could have made a bigger commercial splash, instead of being quietly absorbed into the touring band of Jean Michel Jarre. The superstar synthesist was an obvious kindred spirit and role model, and the first two Space Art efforts actually compare favorably to Jarre's career zenith "Oxygene" and "Equinox" albums. Today, Space Art is remembered (if at all) as a cult favorite of synth-rock connoisseurs with long memories. They were a late addition to the ProgArchive database, and are likewise long overdue for a belated re-evaluation.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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