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Nik Turner - Space Fusion Odyssey CD (album) cover

SPACE FUSION ODYSSEY

Nik Turner

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.85 | 33 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This could be a long review as I feel like I need to talk about the multitude of special guests who are on here, a who's who of Jazz/ Fusion, Krautrock and Psychedelic music. First a big thankyou to Guldbamsen who mentioned this album in one of the threads on here. Nik Tuner of HAWKWIND fame is no stranger to jazzy music, and the fact he calls the band here the INTERGALACTIC ARKESTRA shows his affection and respect for SUN RA but he also mentions being a fan of Miles Davis and Charlie Parker among others.

The music is just as the album title suggests, a spacey Jazz/ Fusion style with plenty of twittering and blips from the moog provided by Jurgen Engler who was in the German band DIE KRUPPS but I also have him on a AMON GURU record I own. Chris Lietz is also from DIE KRUPPS and he is important here adding some gorgeous mellotron to the soundscapes again making this sound somewhat unique. Man Nik has a ton of friends though and is obviously highly regarded and respected by some of the best musicians on the planet. Back to the music, I have to say that this fits my tastes perfectly being very much into Jazz/ Fusion but also being a big fan of that Psychedelic style. Plus we get so many solos which I love to hear, especially the guitar solos but also Nik and his sax and flute solos. No there's no drum solos(haha) but when you have Billy Cobham playing on two tracks I wouldn't have complained. I'm not going to talk about the four bonus tracks other than to say that the last one "Random Acts" has Rick Wakeman and Jerry Goodman playing on it.

Another thing I learned through checking out all the musicians guesting on this album was that the young Krautrock band from Germany called HEDERSLEBEN are all here including Joel Vandroogenbroeck from BRAINTICKET. Why mention HEDERLEBEN and Joel? Because the latest BRAINTICKET album consists of Joel plus the band HEDERSLEBEN. Man so many connections here with the 2015 releases by Nik Turner, BRAINTICKET and HEDERSLEBEN. As for the guitarists we get Chris Poland from MEGADEATH, and while I'm not familiar with his playing with them I am familiar with his Jazz/ Fusion albums under the name OHM. Robertino Pagliari also from OHM plays bass along with Kai Eckhardt who has played with many Jazz great like John McLaughlin and Larry Coryell. Yes we have some gun slingers on here. Bobby Krieger from THE DOORS, John Weinzierl from AMON DUUL II, Steve Hillage from GONG etc. and John Etheridge from SOFT MACHINE. And speaking of GONG, Gilli Smyth is here doing her space whispers. An amazing mixture of talent on here from sub-genres such as Krautrock, Psychedelic/ Space Rock and Jazz/ Fusion.

It's about a 41 minute album which is perfect and we get six tracks. I can't get enough of the music and the only song that doesn't completely blow me away is the funky closer which is still really good. "Adjust The Future" opens with moog and it will continue throughout as drums, bass and guitar join in. Hillage and Poland share the guitar duties on this one. This sounds so good. The bass is really upfront and so well done, but man these guys are all amazing. Nik comes in with sax after 2 minutes as he will share lead with the guitars. Space whispers end it. "Hypernova" opens with space whispers as drums, sax, bass and atmosphere take over. The guitar replaces the sax 1 1/2 minutes in and I should mention that Poland and Krieger share the guitar here. Sax to the fore a minute later. I like the atmosphere on this one which I think is provided by the synths. Check out the dissonant sax 6 1/2 minutes in. So good! The guitar is back 7 minutes in followed by more sax to end it.

"Spiritual Machines" features Joel from BRAINTICKET offering up some sitar as well as Weinzierl on guitar. Two Krautrock legends right there. This is experimental to start, very psychedelic as the drums join in followed by a full sound. The flute is soloing over top, then the guitar starts to rip it up as they trade off. Check out the mellotron too, it's relentless. I really like the tone of the guitar here, especially before 4 minutes. "Pulsar" opens with space whispers and experimental sounds that sound like Joel's sitar before it kicks into gear with moog and the usual instruments. Cobham is on drums here while Etheridge offers up some tasty guitar. I like the flute too and hey we have some electric piano from Kephera Moon(BRAINTICKET, HEDERSLEBEN). Sax too as Nik switches back and forth from flute to sax. The guitar is very jazzy. This might be my favourite tune on here.

"An Elliptical Galaxy" has Poland and Hillage on guitar and while I said the last one might be my favourite, well I think it's this one. The mellotron just lifts this track a little above the rest in my opinion. And it's about 30 seconds in when the mellotron arrives, oh my! This actually sounds Swedish with the drums and flute helping out. A change though a minute in when the mellotron stops and it turns Jazzy. These two themes are repeated. Sax and guitar take turns leading. The guitar is lighting it up 6 minutes in. "A Beautiful Vision In Science" is the one that I like but not on the same par as the other five. This is funky which is kind of cool with Cobham on drums and Hillage on guitar. Lots of twittering moog to start as a funky groove kicks in. Catchy stuff with the flute playing over top. The guitar is here as well then it's the flute and bass standing out 2 minutes in as it settles some, lots of twittering as well. The guitar is back after 3 minutes.

Man this is a long way from Nik's "Xintology" album which I rate highly. I'm just a sucker for that Jazz/ Fusion style though, especially when it played so well. I hope Nik has more of this for us in the future.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |

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