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Khan - Space Shanty CD (album) cover

SPACE SHANTY

Khan

 

Canterbury Scene

4.29 | 438 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

stefro
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Owner of a pretty impressive ouevre, British guitarist Steve Hillage has really worked his way up over the last forty-or-so years. From obscure psych-group member to mid-level guitar star and modern dance 'n' trance innovator, it seems there is very little Hillage hasn't done, his colourful career taking in stints with his own formative outfits Arzachel and Khan, a lengthier spell with Anglo-French prog-psych purveyors Gong, a highly- successful solo spell and a surprise sonic reboot as 1990's trance pioneers System 7. Most will remember him for his time either with Gong or for his series of excellent solo records from the mid-seventies, albums such as 'You', 'Fish Rising' and 'L', though thanks to the ever-growing reissue market, many are now discovering his early work with Khan. A blink-and-you'll-miss-em' Canterbury-styled outfit who recorded just the one record during 1972, Khan featured Hillage, Nick Greenwood(bass), Eric Peachy(drums) and Canterbury- scene stalwart Dave Stewart(keyboards). Their sole album, 'Space Shanty', was recently remastered for the first time by the excellent Esoteric Recordings imprint, and it has since become a firm favourite amongst the progressive rock crowd, sailing into the esteemed ProgArchives.com top 100 albums list. And rightly so. A scintillating mixture of Gong-style psychedelia and Caravan-edged Canterbury prog, 'Space Shanty' is a wonderful album filled a plethora of swirling instrumental moments and topped off with a collection of top-notch technical displays. Very different from the raw and rough-edged psychedelic sound of Hillage's previous outfit Arzachel, this is a much cleaner-sounding album that also features a highly-symphonic edge. The mixture of differing progressive elements allows the musicians to really stretch out on pieces such as the electric nine- minute psychedelic marathon 'Driving To Amsterdam' and the lysergic flavoured 'Mixed Up Man Of The Mountains'. As a result, you have a genuine Hillage career highlight that should more than please his legion of fans, whilst also appealing to lovers of all things Canterbury-styled. However, although the album's excellence is of course down to the group, the real heroes here are the guys at Esoteric who cleaned-up this superb album for it's 21st century retooling. Why it failed during it's own time is a genuine mystery; second time round its proving a real hit. Great stuff.
stefro | 4/5 |

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