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Nik Turner - Nik Turner's Sphynx: Xitintoday CD (album) cover

NIK TURNER'S SPHYNX: XITINTODAY

Nik Turner

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.02 | 20 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars There is a very cool story behind the making of this album. The info i'm giving is from the liner notes. Nik had just left HAWKWIND and in 1976 he got the chance to fly to Cairo, Egypt to visit the Great Pyramid. He had been interested in Egyptology for some time. When he got there he climbed the pyramid alone all the way to the top where he played his flute looking at the distant streetlights far below. He rented a cheap room in the village below and the next day went inside the pyramid playing his flute in the different rooms and hallways. The sound was awesome so Nik decided he just had to record this somehow. He got hold of someone(by phone) with recording equipment who agreed to do it. By now Nik had been adopted by the local Bedouins of the village that ran the pyramids. The head of the village Shiek Mahmoud actually closed the Great Pyramid for 3 hours so he could record his improvised flute playing. Nik jumped up and down on the floor boards, and even got the Shiek to bang the sarcophagus with his stick and to even chant, recording it all. Throughout this recording Nik quotes from the "Book Of The Dead" or as he calls it the "Book Of Coming Forth By Day" or "Exit Into Day" which is where the title of the album came from. His voice is processed, echoed and tampered with in many ways for affect. There is an all-star cast on this album mostly former members of GONG and HAWKWIND. So you can't expect this to be normal can you ? Haha.

"The Awakening(Life On Venus)" opens with the sound of thunder booming many times before the warm flute melodies begin to fill the air, joined by spoken words. "The Pyramid Spell" opens with banging sounds from the Kings Chamber(thanks Shiek) as flute and tablas create a rhythm. Spoken words arrive. There is some bass and percussion in this one as well. "The Hall Of Double Truth" opens with knocks from the Kings Chamber before moog and flute arrive. Spoken words come in, as the sound of chinese bells come and go. "Anubis" opens with a dog barking in the before flute and percussion take over. Spoken words 1 1/2 minutes in. He's almost rapping 3 1/2 minutes in. The dog is back after 4 minutes. "Thoth" opens with the ticking of a clock as flute comes in. This has some different sounds on it like zither, congas and floating synths. The vocals again are spoken.The guitar to end it is great but unfortunately we just begin to hear it and it fades out.

"Horus" opens with some loud synth sounds. Even the flute sounds different on this one. Spoken words before 2 minutes with spacey sounds. This one is very experimental, but check out the excellent guitar to end it from Hillage. "Isis And Nephthys" is my second favourite track. It opens with harp as flute and drums join in to form a melody. Miquette Giraudy is doing the vocals. She suits the music well. By the way she was playing synths on the previous track "Horus". "Osiris" features more flute as drums arrive 1 1/2 minutes in with vocals to follow. We get some harp, vibraphone and guitar in this one. Very spacey ending. "God Rock(The Awakening)" is my favourite song on here. Flute to open. Percussion a minute in before drums arrive before 2 minutes. Vocals(singing) and sax 2 1/2 minutes in. This is quite catchy. Some scorching guitar melodies 4 1/2 minutes in.The background synths almost from the start are a nice touch. We get some chanting from the shiek(in the pyramid) that are joined by spoken words as the music has stopped. An ethnic Indian instrument is next to end the song.

I would descibe this record as an experimental concept album. It is very unique given the circumstances. I'm sure that this is Nik Turner's pride and joy and he should be very proud of this work.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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