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SPACE HYMNS

Ramases

Prog Folk


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Ramases Space Hymns album cover
2.87 | 30 ratings | 10 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Life Child [6:39/6:25]
2. Oh Mister [3:01/3:10]
3. And The Whole World [3:48/3:44]
4. Quasar One [6:45/6:40]
5. You're The Only One Joe [2:20/2:25]
6. Earth-People [5:28/4:45]
7. Molecular Delusions [4:02/4:05]
8. Balloon [4:31/4:28]
9. Dying Swan Year 2000 [0:46/0:42]
10. Jesus Come Back [4:01/5:03]
11. Journey To The Inside [6:06/6:21]

Bonus track on CD PL 522
12. Long long time (5:16)
13. Now Mona Lisa (2:58)
14. Only the loneliest feeling (2:42)
15. Saler Man (5:04)
16. Children of the green Earth (3:29)
17. Glass top Coffin (4:03)

Bonus tracks on CD REPUK 1030:
12. Balloon (Alternative Mix, 1971 UK Single A side) (4:29) listed as 'Ballon' on CD cover
13. Muddy Water (1971 UK Single B side) (3:47)
14. Jesus Come Back (1972 UK Single A side) (4:02)
15. Hello Mister (1972 UK Single B Side) (3:02) aka Oh Mister

TIMING TIME:
* Timing first set from the CD (48:27)
* The second one is from my Lps (46:48)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

LP line-up:
- Ramases and his wife (Sel) / wrote and sing all songs and lyrics
- Eric Stewart / lead guitar & Moog synthesizer
- Lol Creme / lead guitar & Moog synthetizer
- Kevin Godley / drums & flutes
- Graham Gouldman / guitar & bass guitar
- Martin Raphael / sitar

CD line-up track 12 to 17:
- Ramases & Sel / acoustic guitar
- Jo Romero / acoustic & electric guitars, tablas
- Pete Kingsman / electric & string bass
- Roger Harisson / drums, tune percussion
- Barry Kirsch / piano, syntheziser
- Bon Bertels / saxophone
- Colin Thurston / electric bass (12)
- Key, Sue & Sonny, The Eddy Lester Chorale / backing vocals
- Members of the Royal Philharmonic & London Symphony Orchestra / orchestra

Releases information

LP Vertigo 6360 046 (1971) UK
LP Vertigo 63 60 046 (1972) Spain (titled 'Himnos Del Espacio')
LP Vertigo RJ-7315 (1977) Japan
LP Vertigo 9199 134 (1980) Holland
CD Repertoire RR 4108-WP (1990) Germany
CD Progressive Line PL-522 (2001) Australia *
CD Repertoire REPUK-1030 (2004) Germany *

* - both contain bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to ClemofNazareth for the last updates
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Complete DiscographyComplete Discography
Storm Vox Records 2014
Audio CD$27.34
$39.55 (used)
Space HymnsSpace Hymns
Extra tracks · Import
Repertoire 2004
Audio CD$8.95
$19.37 (used)
Glass Top CoffinGlass Top Coffin
Import
Esoteric 2010
Audio CD$10.71
$26.82 (used)
Street Sweep EPStreet Sweep EP
Netweight
Vinyl$16.89 (used)
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RAMASES Space Hymns ratings distribution


2.87
(30 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
13%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
30%
Good, but non-essential (37%)
37%
Collectors/fans only (17%)
17%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

RAMASES Space Hymns reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars Ramases was a weird character, married to his Selket wife, that was substantially older than most rock acts of the very early 70's, being in his early 30's, but they'd been busy trying with two previous unsuccessful singles that also appeared on label compilations,. But since then, they had dropped from the radar until the Vertigo label signed both him and his equally strange wife Selket. The ended up writing and recording their first Lp in a studio owned by four young musicians that would one day (mid-70's) become the pop icons of 10CC. So the future geniuses helped out the weird couple and produced a fairly strange but endearing hippy album that was graced with one of Roger Dean's most astonishing artworks ever, as the gatefold sleeve unfolded in six to display this church tower transformed into a rocket. It was released under the Swirl Vertigo label in mid-71. As the texts on the inner sleeve indicates, we're dealing with some heavily idealistic songs that link up in a general spacey peace & love spiritual mumbo-jumbo concept.

Emerging out cosmic noises, the fantastic Life Child has first an acoustic guitar strumming then joined by a thrilling electric guitar, soon leading the song proper into a great catchy pop/rock tune that the 10CC gang would've loved to write it themselves. Equally brilliant pop is the Oh Mister (it will be used as a B-side of a single), but the album has also a hippy-folk heart as shown by the almost sing-along Whole World, but it's a tiny bit embarrassing. Another thrilling but weird one is the catchy but quirky Quasar One track, which was originally one of their early two singles misheard and mistyped from Crazy One, with these amazing almost vocodized vocals. Maybe a tad overlong, but excellent stuff anyway. A bit more nerve-wracking is the thankfully-short You're The Only One, especially the intro and outro.

The flipside opens on the spacey Earth-People, where the couple plays their mostly-unaccompanied folk ditty, certainly not devoid of charms. Ramases picks up a sitar and sings a semi-grotesque Indian-sounding Molecular Delusions, which tends to overstay its welcome. Thankfully the superbly catchy Balloon is another one of those pop tunes that the 10CC members would've loved to write, especially the fantastic "Don't burst your bubble, or you're in trouble" chorus line. Outstanding stuff, and mega-prog as well and it was issued as a single. The other single had that Jesus Come Back track, which is one of those almost-ridiculous hippy religious chants, but it is well in line with the hippy-folk of the times and the melody is nice enough to forgive that flaw. Closing on the completely psychedelic and spacey Journey On The Inside, almost a journey in Krautrock's electronica ala early Kraftwerk or Kluster. Excellent stuff, but I wouldn't have chosen it to close the album and ending it with a pataphysical consideration.

Bonus tracks included two singles that accompanied the album, although only soul-ish sing-along Muddy Water is unheard on the Lp, So it's not like they're bringing much added value to the original album, even if it's a gas to relisten to Balloon and Mister once more, even if different mixes. No doubt that the four future 10CC geniuses learned a great deal about songwriting when participating in the prog-folk pop album, but no doubt that they brought a lot to Ramases as well, and that Space Hymns wouldn't be so great if they'd not taken part of it. Definitely worth the discovery, despite its hippy folk esoteric mumbo-jumbo.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#34923) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 02, 2005

Review by hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Though being a rather strange and original album I don't think "Space Hymn" is really an essential one unless for fans of spiritually influenced 60's hippie music. In fact reading the liner notes alone is telling you already where you are. The main flawing of it are first the lyrics which are mainly done in the vein of tantric chants by repeating the same lines over and over again and secondly the rather poor compositional qualities apart of few exceptions. It reminds a bit to a programmatic CD of a sect in order to brainwash people. The two front people Ramases and Sel were in real life Martin Raphael, a salesman for central heatings and his wife believing he was a reincarnation of an Egyptian pharao.

Okay let's come to the music song by song. The opener "Life Child" is most probably the best one of all the tracks. Songwriting and musicianship are here definitively on their height of the whole album.

"Hey Mister" shows an extreme contrast to the first one with repeated lyrics as mentioned above and some nice background percusssions. Probably a quite nice one to sing when sitting around a camp fire (possibly combined with sharing some "herbs").

"And The Whole World" is very much reminiscent to Joan Baez. Another nice one for "camp fire evenings".

In "Quaser One" there are some synths introduced for the first time. Soft acoustic guitar and percussions create a very relaxed hypnotic atmosphere. One of the nicer ones alltogether although being not too much exciting.

In "You're The Only One Joe" the infinitively repeated song line becomes really annoying after a while, it's the classic "brainwashing" type of chant. I read somewhere that the line might come from the movie "Midnight Cowboy" with Dustin Hoffman. I don't remember this one so I fail to confirm this.

"Earth People", first track on side two continues the spiritual voyage with Ramases trying to find a way "to speak to the earth people". Vocals are actually rather nice here combined with soft acoustic guitar and some spacy synths.

In "Molecular Delusions" we listen to kind of tantric chants, done more in a muezzin kind of way combined with typical indian raga music. The sitar here is obviously played by "Thy Majesty Divine Ramases" himself. The track is in fact rather monotonous at least in my ears which don't like very much indian music.

"Balloon" is a nice song in the vein of 60's hippy music with the involvement of the whole band playing together.

"Swan Year 2000 " is a very short a cappella one sung by Sel.

"Jesus Come Back" is telling with its title already everything what it is about. A very simple acoustic christian song, again very much 60's alike. Quite boring unless one is a very religious fellow.

Last track "Journey To The Inside" is somehow musically different from the rest with chantings of Ramases accompanied by a loop played in reverse mode. At the end of it HE is explaining his spiritual theories to the audience.

As a conclusion "Space Hymns" is a more or less nice psyche folk album, but in contrast to my fellow reviewer at least for my taste I'd not call it an essential one and only interesting for the ones who are deeply into 60's spiritual psyche pop or for fans of the band 10CC whose members were playing on this record. Sorry I'm not able to rate it higher than 2 stars. BTW my review is based on a copy of the 11-track vinyl version.

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#34924) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, May 30, 2005

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "...the rocket ship shape of churches probably dates back to Moses' visit to speak to God on mountain and what he saw there ..."

Ramases' debut is certainly an interesting record, at least for the names of the musicians involved: the whole band's members of 10cc and the wife of Ramases herself, Sel, on singing. Progressive folk is not a completely suitable word to define this music which appears to me a good folk-rock with strong spirituals themes as in "Jesus", acoustic guitar leading the way and with only a sparse use of other acoustic instruments as flute. The unespected and pleasant sound of moog synthesizer gives a more deep and proggy atmosphere. Sitar on "Molecular Delusions" gives it an oriental feel helped also by arabian- like recitative vocals.

The album alternates mainstream rock or folk-rock tracks as the strong opener "Life Child" (good electric guitar) and more experimental tunes as the the ethereal (and "trippy") closer "Journey to the Inside", obviously influenced by the hippy movement of the sixties.

All in all a good discovery for me and an interesting opened window to this obscure english artist. The Repuk 1030 remastrered cd features also four bonus tracks that add no original stuff, despite of the folky "Muddy Water".

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Posted Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Review by Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Here we have one of the quintessential 'Hippie' albums from the early 70's - where a man and his wife have made a profound discovery by way of Egyptian divinity, and composed a bunch of interesting songs, some of them almost preachy, but musically speaking, it has its share of Space-Prog and Folk-Prog. The band Ramases and his wife Sel have assembled here are future 10CC members Eric Stewart (Guitars/Moog synth), Lol Creame (Guitars/Moog synth), Kevin Godley (Drums and Flutes) and Graham Gouldman (Guitar/Bass) along with a Martin Raphael playing Sitar. 'Life Child' opens the album in fine form ; great melody, clanky Rickenbacker Bass and Ramases' voice is quite enjoyable. Some abrasive Lead-Guitaring cuts through the mix at one point and the song then features a dark, spacey interlude with thick Moog sounds and tri-tones, then returns to the initial melody and ends. On the opposite end of the scale, 'Hey Mister' is a simple, acoustic tune with some excellent samba-sounding Percussion work. 'And The Whole World' features a lovely, 'twee' melody that's probably been done before, but its gentle arrangement, soft singing and good use of Vibes makes it addictive. 'Quasar One' is a track that is 'recorded alive', but doesn't state when or where. Again acoustically oriented, with some Moog, soft Drums and Bass and a rather 'nasally' lead vocal. During the mid-section, the tune tends to get a little bogged-down with repetitive chanting over a simple riff. 'You're The Only One' has an annoying lyric, but the actual vocal arrangements are superb and very progressive, contrapuntal if I'm not mistaken. Nice to hear some Electric-Piano in this song as well. Flipside we are greeted with 'Earth People', very strange intro of Harmonium (?) and backward effects, giving way to a beautiful acoustic tune that sounds really 'deep' and 'out there'. I love it !! 'Molecular Delusions' is built around mantric-like chant with Sitar and Middle- Eastern influenced vocals. It can be quite mesmerising. 'Balloon' is a rather straight-forward song, but catchy and pleasant. 'Dying Swan Year 2000' is a brief, unaccompanied vocal by Ramases. 'Jesus' returns to an almost singer/songwriter approach with a tasteful melody and quite uplifting vocals. 'Journey to the Inside' is almost a Krautrock sounding experiment relying heavily on the Moog synthesiser and a bizarre Drum pattern. This is an album I've enjoyed over the years and worthy of 4 stars. Be sure to look out for the LP version in a fantastic, fold-out cover, curiously, by Roger Dean.

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Send comments to Tom Ozric (BETA) | Report this review (#163778) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Review by ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars “We are most probably existing on a molecule inside the material of, perhaps, a living thing in the next size up.”

Sound familiar? Just about everyone has had this cosmic phylogeny conversation at some point, either as the person doing the positing, or while listening to some other stoner marveling in the wonder of his ‘discovery’ of the uncanny parallels between infinite space and molecular biology. It ranks right up there with the one about your perception of the color blue versus mine. Pubescent contemplation of the highest order, for sure.

But in this case the words are written in the liner notes of ‘Space Hymns’, one of the more unusual acid- folk-meets-philosophy albums of the late sixties/early seventies, and spawned from one of the more unusual characters around then.

Barrington Frost (aka Martin Raphael, aka Ramases) was a fascinating and clearly disturbed individual who had a chance visit from the spirit of the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses (presumably Ramesses the Great, the one upon whom ten plagues were visited before freeing the Jews under Moses to begin their Biblical exodus). Apparently Frost became convinced he was in fact the reincarnation of Ramesses, and his calling was to spread the truth about the true nature of the universe and mankind’s place in it, so he proceeded to rename himself Ramases (and his wife Selket) and get about the business of spreading his message through music. After two false starts with some forgotten singles, the great Ramases found himself in the company of a group of young musicians who were running Strawberry Studios in England and managed to put together this album which featured not only some tasty psych and folk- inspired tunes, but also was graced with one of the early and most spectacular covers Roger Dean would ever produce. You just can’t make up stories like this one.

Or can you? Other than the fact Ramases and his spacey wife missed the acid rock age by several years, there are a few other seeming inconsistencies to this story. First, those studio musicians who engineered and played backing on his album were none other than the entire original lineup of the seventies art-rock darlings 10cc. This in itself raises some questions, as Eric Stewart, Lol Creme, Kevin Godley and especially Graham Gouldman had already been making a very good living as anonymous ‘ghost’ musicians for a whole slew of largely fictitious bands under contract to ‘Super K Productions’ pop entrepreneurs Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz. Among the band names the quartet recorded as were Amazon Trust, the New Wave Band, Ohio Express (not the 70’s bubble-gum band of the same name), Crazy Elephant, Hotlegs, Doctor Father, the Yellow Boom Boom Room, Frabjoy & Runcible Spoon, Fighter Squadron, Silver Fleet and Festival. Kasenetz and Katz were raking in plenty of dough with Gouldman penning stock pop tunes and the rest of the band recording them.

According to Gouldman the ‘Space Hymns’ project was largely the brainchild of Ramases and his wife, with the rest of the players just sitting around on the floor strumming acoustic guitars and reveling in the mystical experience of it all. But in listening to this album one has to question whether the young but very astute pre-10cc fab four had considerably more influence on the content then they may have claimed.

Another oddity is how such a minor and twice-failed musician could have not only landed Roger Dean to do the artwork, but also managed to get the label to spring for an expensive and over-the-top triple foldout cover. And to get them to distribute it not only in the UK but also Spain (with translated liner notes) and in Japan. Pretty neat trick for a relative unknown. The only thing that could have made the story less plausible (or more so, depending on your version of reality) would have been if David Bowie were somehow connected to the project. I wonder…..

Regardless of whether this should be viewed as another pre-10cc studio release or the prophetic wisdom of a reincarnated ancient deity is a matter for the cloud that encompasses everything else we’ll never know. As for the music though, I have to admit this is a pretty awesome album that, although quite uneven and uniformly dated-sounding, is still a moving experience to listen to even today. One has to wonder if the crazy guy’s second and final album will ever make it to CD.

The opening “Life Child” is not only the tightest and most accessible song on the album, it’s also the strongest argument for Godley, Crème, Stewart and Gouldman having much more of a hand in the production than any of them admit. While the slow, ethereal opening is reminiscent of “Space Oddity”, the thing picks up quickly and morphs into a catchy combination of strumming acoustic rhythm guitar, over-amped bass and psych electric guitar behind what is supposed to be Ramases himself on vocals (sounds an awful lot like Eric Stewart to me though). Around the middle this gives way to a lengthy pure psych blast of electric guitar before circling back around to the opening arrangement. Very tight, well-constructed and easily a strong single had it been released either a couple years earlier or later and been given proper promotion. The lyrics tell a disjointed tale of a disregarded deity destroyed by those he came to save: “came down to Earth to comfort me… so that my spirit could be free… we left you hanging on a hill… why won’t we ever do your will”. Sound familiar? Perhaps, but even with the spiritual leaning I don’t get the impression this was intended to be a Christian message; after all, the guy who wrote it named himself after one of the Bible’s most nefarious nemeses. I have to say that if the entire album had the same sense of purpose as this track though, I might consider it a masterpiece. But alas, such is not the case.

“Oh Mister” is more in the vein of the sixties proto-versions of many future hard rockers like Manfred Mann, the Rolling Stones and the Kinks. The instrumentation is simpler, the lyrics almost nauseatingly repetitive (“Oh mister, hello – hello – hello”, etc.), and the tempo quite tepid. The extensive percussion makes things a bit more interesting, but not a whole lot.

Ramases launches into a full-fledged Donovan-like folk anthem on “And the Whole World” with fellow divine-being Selket providing not-quite harmonizing vocal accompaniment. The story here is almost identical to the late sixties Bee Gees tune “I Started a Joke”, but in this case apparently from the point of view of that unnamed space alien cum deity the album seems to be dedicated to.

“Quasar One” was also released as a single, but was mistakenly titled “Crazy One” on that disk. This is completely steeped in space psych with whining, other-wordly vocals and flat synthesized strings along with a choppy acoustic guitar riff. I’d compare the experience of hearing this one with a clear mind to peeking through 3d-glasses at something not designed in 3d. Oddly interesting, but not exactly the audience the artist was going for. This one was meant for smoke-filled eyes.

The fifth track on the album is either an absolutely brilliant work of art, or one of the most insipid pieces of music ever recorded. Whichever, once you’ve heard it the song will never leave your consciousness. Ever. Seriously, I’m warning you. Spoiler alert. “You’re the only one Joe, the only one”. “the only one Joe, the only one”. “the only one Joe, the only one”. Damn-it, stop!

The lyrics (that’s all of them above, repeated thirty times or so whilst the music varies itself slightly from iteration to iteration) come from a line uttered by Jennifer Salt to her boyfriend and soon-to-be male prostitute Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy. You gotta’ wonder about a guy who could turn one line from a movie into an entire song.

“Earth-People”, like “Quasar One” is a whacked-out acid folk number with weird lines from an alien trying to get his message through to clueless and apathetic mankind. Kind of a very early version of Polyphonic Spree before they discovered paramilitary-style uniforms and radio.

Ramases credits himself as Martin Raphael playing sitar on “Molecular Delusions”, which as near as I can tell is a dirge-like psychedelic trance probably performed in the studio nude and late at night after a particularly tasty round of tea and brownies. The only thing I wonder about is who spits a disgusted curse (“f**k!”) out of the left speaker about a minute into the song. I guess that wasn’t caught in post- production.

Another single from album was “Balloon”, also supposedly mis-titled on the 33rpm disk as “Ballroom”. I’m fairly sure it is Crème singing on this one, and again this sounds more like a 1966 tune than one from 1971. Would have made for a decent Klaatu track on ‘Sir Army Suit’ or ‘3:47 E.S.T.’.

One of the more poignant tracks on the album is the acoustic hippy spiritual “Jesus”, which if one can dispense with 21st century jadedness is a pretty endearing song: “Jesus come back, so we’ll have no fear; come back Jesus and we’ll have no tears…”. Not much musically but another one like “You're the Only One” that will stick in your head long after the album stops playing.

The full weight of Eric Stewart and Lol Crème’s savvy with Moogs comes through on the final track from the original vinyl, “Journey to the Inside”. Ziggy Stardust-like creepy vocals, rocket launchpad synth riffs and wild reverberating sound effects make this another space-rock trip-out like “Space Oddity” or the cool part of “Frankenstein”. And just so you don’t miss out completely on the studio banter ala cosmic mysteries, the group includes a minute or so of rambling dialog about comparing distances between atomic particles and space galaxies. Yeah, good idea.

The CD reissue includes a more acoustic version of “Balloon” with prominent piano, as well as identical cuts of “Jesus” and “Oh Mister” with different titles. There’s also a tune called “Muddy Water” that sonically reminds me a whole lot of the first few Spirit albums. This is another folk number with rambling lyric chants that appear to have something to do with being spiritually cleansed in muddy water. Flashbacks all around….

This is one of those albums that hardcore prog music aficionados come across every so often and cherish even though they aren’t classics or particularly innovative or even all that great. What this album has though is stories, and character, and a messy uniqueness that you won’t ever find on a shiny and sterile shelf at your local megastore. This is the stuff you have to look for in obscure catalogs and on dubious foreign websites. Or even better, find stuck between a Rainbow Rising CD with cracked jewel case, and a K-Tel Rolling Stones compilation in some out-of-the-way, dingy and smelly used record store on the seedy side of town. Hopefully you’ll find yours there. Four stars and recommended to anyone who collects this stuff because it refuses to conform to any molds whatsoever. Rest in peace Ramases.

peace

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Send comments to ClemofNazareth (BETA) | Report this review (#170402) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 09, 2008

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars One of those one-off albums that could only have been brewed-up in the heady musical atmosphere of the sixties, RAMASES(really a jobbing electrician from Sheffield) somehow managed to coalless most of the line-up of future eclecto-pop merchants 10cc(them of DREADLOCK HOLIDAY fame) into producing the wonderfully-titled and utterly bonkers SPACE HYMNS. Accompanied by Ramases' wife, the mystically-monikered 'Sen', SPACE HYMNS is, unfortunately, a fairly risible mixture of early prog, folk, psychedelic pop and bizarre spiritual meanderings. The words 'pretentious' and 'indulgent' spring to mind all too readily when attempting to encapsulate in a few media-friendly soundbites just how SPACE HYMNS comes across, but, happily, it's not all junk. In fact, opener 'Life Child' is a barnstormingly psychedelic, all-out freak-folk rocker featuring incredibly tight interplay between the soon-to-be popular backing band, and as the zen-like cod philosophy of the later cuts has yet to kick in, Ramases lyrics - something about a strange, space-age child - actually compliment the piece nicely. It's a shame, because the creators seemed to have decided to include this as their one-and-only proper rock-song, and the talent, invention and hunger of the musicians really shines right through all the murky babblings and cryptically-constructed passages. However, 'Life Child' asides, the rest of the album is a big disappointment. No-one seems to have told Ramases(or his wife Sen) to include actual tunes, and the remainder of the album is split between sub- donovan folk-vignettes and feeble psychedelic rock, complete with silly voices and stupid wordplay. Only 'Oh Mister', a kind of afro-inspired bongo-ditty, is worth perservering thru, and even that becomes slightly repetive towards it's chanting, pseudo-hippie end. 'Life Child', novelty-value and the stunning early Roger Dean sleeve aside, 'Space Hymns' is an album seriously lacking in focus. One wonders what a proper producer could have made of it.

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Posted Saturday, June 28, 2008

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
1 stars Space Hymns are a very repetitive type of hymn, almost like a mantra. Space Hymns are a very repetitive type of hymn, almost like a mantra. Space Hymns are a very repetitive type of hymn, almost like a mantra. Space Hymns are. Oh, I'm sorry, I fell into a kind of bored trance from listening to this album. This Ramases guy really repeats himself a lot. Most of the lyrics consist of one line being sung over and over and over and over, almost like a mantra. It is almost never offensive, only very boring. And, did I mention, repetitive?

The instruments involved are mainly acoustic guitars. But occasional drums, sitar and discrete Moog and flutes can be heard. The vocals are both male and female, and repetitive to extremes. Repetitive to extremes. Repetitive to extremes.

Ramases must be character hard to have any social interaction with, unless you have a lot of spare time and don't get bored easily. Maybe he lives by the philosophy that repetition is the mother of all knowledge? Well, despite all the repetition, I don't really remember anything about the music. And I most certainly did not learn anything from it! All the songs sound quite similar, so if you have heard one of them, you have heard them all basically.

I guess Ramases was on something when he created his Space Hymns, and I guess that the listener will have to be on the same thing in order to enjoy them.

Do yourself a favour and don't bother with these Space Hymns. Sorry Ramases!

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Posted Saturday, January 10, 2009

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album has quite acoustic-oriented sound, starting with a guitar, percussion and flute leading to an amplified mellow psych rock grooving. The religious flavored spiritual folk elements resemble little The Incredible String Band's sound and style, some rarer heavier phases then maybe Uriah Heep with dense layers of cosmic synths, and the accessible compositions are done in the way of The Beatles. Fusion of British psych folk rock tones united with ethnic themes resemble the sound of early Jade Warrior records also. Some moments have nice atmospheres, few songs are then quite simple fun-having mostly. In addition of some more impressionistic moody tracks, there are also some quite straightforward songs on the album. For me especially folky "And The Whole World" was a pleasant moment for me as a pretty hippie anthem, "Earth People" had also nice sound ambiences with nice melodies, and mystical moods of "Molecular Delusion" were pleasant. A nice record, which somehow associates with Absolute Elsewhere's album, not so much musically, but both being supernatural & cosmic themed progressive rock curiosities.

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Posted Friday, August 13, 2010

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
2 stars This album was recorded by Ramases and Selket, a British couple who claimed to have been visited by dead Egyptians, and took their names (go figure). What helped them immensely was their back up band, the original members of 10CC, who had just recently had some airplay from the album they had recorded as "Hotlegs".

The sound, to me, is a blend of late 60's psychedelia, like Jefferson Airplane, and the trippy space rock of Daevid Allen's Gong. And while the music is fair, especially where the 10CC sound manages to get through, the proto new age and possible acid induced naive lyrics tend to make this effort mostly tedious. In fact, the insipid Come Back Jesus is simply painful to listen to.

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Posted Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Rameses - Space Hymns (1971)

Together with Alphataurus this vinyl reprint has perhaps the most inpressive artwork in my collection. When folded out you get to see a spaceship that was part of a big church in a romantic scene. But what's the music about?

Psychedelic folk songs with some space-influences and many repetive vocal parts, sometimes a bit like chanting. The first and the last track have some progressive rock leanings. The lyrics are actually the weak point, though some lines are catchy like the slightly freakish "What to say to the Earth people?". I actually like the concept of finding some catchy psychedelic/folky phrase and giving it some time to settle in. I like it when atmospheres aren't ruined by needless interventions, like so often happens in progressive rock music. Some people mention the weaker tracks, but I myself only dislike the second track 'Hello Mister' which is a bit too simple and repetitive. Other songs like the often critisized like 'Balloon' and 'Jesus Come Back' I really liked, the latter reminds me a bit of Pearls Before Swine. The recording and soundeffects are really good.

Conclusion. Well let's be honest, how many psychedelic folk records with space rock influences are there? Just give it try! It's not hard to digest. Three stars, add a star if you like to listen to rare music.

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#1255625) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, August 22, 2014

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