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Freedom's Children - Astra CD (album) cover


Freedom's Children


Heavy Prog

3.25 | 37 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars After the superior Demon Fuzz probably the pick of the very few South African purveyors of progressive/psychedelic music from the genre's glorious heyday, Freedom's Children did, despite their relative obscurity, make a bit of a splash when they emerged with this debut album in 1970, somehow snaring themselves a profile-raising albeit brief tour of Europe immediately after recording their debut. Entitled 'Astra', said debut is a rough-and-ready affair, featuring a grainy sound quality, lots of fuzzy guitars and some suitably impenetrable sci-fi themed lyrics, though unfortunately it's pretty short on memorable melodies. The group themselves enjoyed fairly legendary status in their homeland, though their sound owes precious little to their African heritage(all six members are white) and there's not a lot to distinguish them from any number of British-or-American groups of the era. Truth be told, 'Astra' is a pretty mundane creation - basically what we have here is a psychedelic rock album with tinges of folk melodies, shimmering organ tones and scuzzy vocals kicked through with a slightly evil bent - though repeated listens do show a more refined touch than initial listens may have you believe. No single tracks stands out, and conversely no single track proves a stinker, though the mystical 'Gentle Beasts Parts 1 & 2' does exude a nice line in complex, almost jazz- tinged avant-garde noodling. If space-rock is indeed your thing you may well feel the need to investigate, especially considering the exotic nature of the album's creation, though don't expect any great shakes. A straight down-the-line, perfunctory slab of psychedelic rock then, but one that at least features a bit of novelty value for your buck if nothing else. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
stefro | 2/5 |


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