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Khan - Space Shanty CD (album) cover

SPACE SHANTY

Khan

 

Canterbury Scene

4.28 | 447 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
3 stars Khan only released this album and is most notable for having a pre-Gong Steve Hillage and a post-Egg/Pre-Hatfield Dave Stewart on board. Generally, Space Sahnty is only slightly Canterbury sounding and more early 1970s hard rock sounding most of the time. Hillage and Stewart had of course already worked together in the band Arzachel previously. It's a good album but nothing special and is not representative of what the Canterbury Scene was.

I don't like some of the cliche bone-headed hard rock vocals in the title track. Generally a good rocker but nothing here truly original or memorable. I like when Hillage and Stewart do their call-and-response thing on guitar and organ, respectively. Around 3 minutes switches to a jazzier and harder rocking part. Gets even more jazzy but not so rocking until the guitar solo. Later on some guitar noodling with a bit of wordless vocals. Jazzy and classical at once before it goes back to the the call-and-response part again. Ends with a nice mix of guitar, organ and bass. Vocals join in and it goes back to the beginning vocal section.

"Stranded" is mostly a nice early '70s laid-back mellow rock song. Some nice piano playing from Stewart. Almost halfway gets more typically Canterbury sounding. I like Hillage's playing after 4 minutes, followed by some good acoustic guitar playing. Goes back to the main song. Some guitar and organ segues into... "Mixed Up Man Of The Mountains" which starts off as more early '70s rock. It mellows out later with some altered vocals. Hillage and bassist Nick Greenwood share vocal duties but I generally don't know who is who here. Later gets more jazzy with some guitar/organ interplay. I like the harmonized scat vocals after 4 minutes. Afterwards gets almost symphonic prog sounding before a riff takes the song back to hard rock territory. Goes back to the main song, getting more intense as it ends.

"Driving To Amsterdam" starts off very Canterbury sounding. After 1 1/2 minutes changes to a ballad with great wah-organ. Turns into more of a blues-rocker at times. Love the drumming and organ playing in the middle. The band jams out for awhile, eventually going back to ballad mode. Gets slightly funky near the end. "Stargazers" starts off sounding very much like later Hatfield & The North for the first 30 seconds. Then it changes to more typical early '70s rock. Goes almost Floyd style before 2 minutes. Then back to Hatfield style. Then the main song again. More Floyd style with an organ solo. Almost classical rock towards the end.

"Hollow Stone" is another ballad type song. Organ and guitar generally dominate. Some harmony vocals. Nice fuzz-organ solo. This song sounds like an influence on Judas Priest's ballads. Gets more rockin' yet still slow paced near the end. Finishes off in a cacaphonous way with tape speed altering. No single song stands out for me: I only enjoy parts of each song but not the whole thing. The most interesting and enjoyable aspects of the album are obviously Hillage and Stewart. I'm glad Khan never made another album, or else the world may have been robbed of albums like You and Rotter's Club. Good but not essential Canterbury. 3 stars.

zravkapt | 3/5 |

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