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Khan - Space Shanty CD (album) cover

SPACE SHANTY

Khan

 

Canterbury Scene

4.28 | 773 ratings

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ALotOfBottle
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Khan was a short-lived project formed by Steve Hillage, who had just completed his studies and was now ready to participate in musical projects. After a few line-up changes, he teamed up with a bassist Nick Greenwood, previously of Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, a drummer Eric Preachy, and his old friend, the keyboardist Dave Stewart, whose band Egg had just disbanded the same year. The quartet's only album, Space Shanty, was released in June 1972.

What really sets Space Shanty apart from most Canterbury scene works is the emphasis put on songwriting. In result, what we get are organized jazzy ballads with phenomenal improvisational parts. The musicians draw some of the most beautiful and moving soundscapes in the sub-genre. There is something really soporiphic about Space Shanty. Usually, it would not be a compliment, but in this case, the factor gives it a really unique flavor. It's not heavy on one's thoughts, without sacrificing the sophisticated factor. The band often finds itself in scenarios including odd time signatures. Improvisation does not play a crucial role and solo instrumental parts are only one of the elements contributing to Khan's distinctive musical extract.

Steve Hillage's soft, pastel guitar passages combined with Dave Stewart's lush, smooth keyboards are what mainly contributes to the effect of the album. Hillage is also capable of some phenomenal rock solos, which remind me a bit of Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash. His singing is gentle, light, and almost angel-like in places. Dave Stewart's playing is as always close to perfection. Not only does he proficiently draw affecting ambient-like textures, but he is also capable of great rhythm play and rapid solo parts. The rhythm section of Nick Greenwood and Eric Preachy lays down some great grooves and keeps up with Khan's dynamic and lively style.

All in all, Khan's only release is one of the most emotion-filled progressive rock albums. What would Khan have been able to do if they continued as a band? We can only imagine. Space Shanty is a truly unique masterpiece and is a must-listen for every progressive rock fan. Five stars!

ALotOfBottle | 5/5 |

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