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Dave Brock - Strange Trips & Pipe Dreams CD (album) cover


Dave Brock


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.83 | 6 ratings

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4 stars 'Strange Trips & Pipe Dreams' is made up by relatively short songs but full of repetitive textures though. HAWKWIND core member Dave Brock plays all the instruments by himself. Synthesizer and guitars are caring for the dominant spacey vibe. A bunch of samples is used with the result of some really weird contributions. Furthermore you will detect typical narrations, instead of vocals which are only sparingly used and a surprising rhythm/drum work. This may have the reason that Dave Brock is not a drummer by nature but I think he's rather referring to krautrock bands like the early Kraftwerk or Can by intent.

This is immediately confirmed by the opener Hearing Aid Test provided with a simple tribal rhythm which sounds electronically made. Dave Brock's spacey guitar is appearing soon backed by some decent organ impressions. Weird samples are announcing the transition to the next song initiated by a repetitive narration explaining the White Zone - excellent flow with ambient synth patterns and a guitar solo on top of it. Space is a really nice melodic but also experimental one - maybe one can say with ballad character combining acoustic/electric guitars and crazy synth additions - this time even showing vocals.

A melancholic loop is dominating Pipe Dream coming from the synthesizer only - simple but amazing anyhow - followed by the short Self which initiates a way out direction now. A jazzy piano surprises on Somethings Going On and an industrial repetitive texture coupled with digeridoo impressions! This is reflecting the transition to the weird Bosnia - the album's core track I would say. Dave Brock is obviously pointing to current problems according human relationship here - the horrable development on the Balkans.

An innocent folksy start with acoustic guitar - but then a dark mooded organ appears, military marching drums, gun fire, crazy laughs, exploding bombs and narrations - arranged in a way which leaves you impressed, no question. Parasites Are Here On Earth is moving on in a somewhat attacking mood, nearly aggressive as for the guitars for example. The drums have a hypnotic krautrocked fundament. Who is meant exactly with the title? That would be interesting to know or everyone is asked to choose his own enemy!? No vocals except a narration repeating the song title for some times.

'Strange Trips & Pipe Dreams' seems to be a well thought out album title because of the proportion of crazy elements and the reflection of an ugly situation around the world - the quarrel in Bosnia taking place in the mid 1990s. 'It's never too late' - and it's also confronting us with some dreams and hope. Dave Brock can convince even when he acts separated from his HAWKWIND origin. As for the concept and the presentation with a really unique result this one is deserving four stars in the whole.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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