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Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom

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Nukli biography
Founded in London, UK circa 1983 (initially as "Psi Nukli") - Disbanded circa 1993 - Reformed in 2003

NUKLI were a festival band in the style of OZRIC TENTACLES but were vastly overlooked as they never released any album until after their break-up. They sprang out of a space-punk outfit formed in the early 80's by an eccentric London guitarist, a psychedelic visionary known as "PSi Steve". Like many of their peers, they became known mainly by word of mouth and through casettes they sold at gigs. At various festivals, they performed long improvised electronic psychedelic music that incorporated many influences ranging from space rock to raggae, drawing on the sense of freedom and creativity that made the festival scene so vibrant and refreshing. They went through several personnel changes, kicked around a lot, even supported OZRIC TENTACLES at the Rock Garden in 1989. By the early 90's, however, the English Criminal Justice Bill had all but destroyed free festivals, leaving bands like NUKLI no place to rehearse or record. When their keyboard player had his entire equipment robbed twice, he decided to quit and emigrated to Canada; the band thus simply called it a day.

Their sole album consists of archival material retrieved from 8-track tapes. After much coming and going between the UK and Canada for the keyboard player's input, the tapes were remastered by Delirium Records and a CD released under the title "The Time Factory" in 1997. The album consists of mind-melting funkadelic space prog with influences from HAWKWIND, GONG, Steve HILLAGE and early PORCUPINE TREE, with lots of trippy effects, sound gimmicks and good jamming. Take away HAWKWIND's heavy-metal overtones, add some FLOYDian influences, a little less Middle-Eastern flavour than OZRIC's plus a vocalist, and you'll get an idea of what NUKLI sound like. The production, gimmicks and vocals are not all perfect but the album is definitely worth checking out if you're into the festival/jam band scene.


: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

See also: HERE

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NUKLI discography

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NUKLI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Psychelektra Trip Projekta
4.00 | 2 ratings
Side Effects
4.00 | 2 ratings
Number Nine
5.00 | 1 ratings
At Last !
4.00 | 1 ratings
Book Of Changes
5.00 | 1 ratings
Mushroom Bungalow Musick
3.96 | 6 ratings
The Time Factory
3.95 | 2 ratings
There Is Another Way

NUKLI Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Return of the Festival Band

NUKLI Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

NUKLI Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NUKLI Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

NUKLI Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 There Is Another Way by NUKLI album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.95 | 2 ratings

There Is Another Way
Nukli Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars It's been 22 years since Nukli released their previous album 'The Time Factory', and during that time, this Psychedelic/Space Rock band has been trying to perfect another album. But, the songs were plagued by problems and things were not turning out satisfactorily, so the band kept releasing live albums. In 2012, backing tracks were added to the new material, but final production never took place and the project was pushed aside. Finally, in 2018, Peter Out, the drummer for the band, pushed the project forward, and now the band has released a new album containing music that has been 22 years in the making.

Nukli has been around since the early 80's and has released 8 albums to date. In May of 2019, 'There is Another Way' was released and it is the album I have been talking about that has taken so long to finish. Where most of their previous albums contained a lot of live material, since the banning of free festivals by the English Criminal Justice Bill, the band had lost their main avenue of rehearsng and recording, which is one reason why this new album had been pushed aside so many times. 'There Is Another Way' consists of 11 tracks and almost 80 minutes of music. The tracks range from around 4 minutes to 11 minutes long. The line up consists of Kevin Hegan on guitars, keyboards and vocals; Mark Huxley on bass (who also did the cover art); and Peter Out on drums, percussion, production and mixing. So, is the album worth the wait?

For lovers of psychedelic/space rock, this is a sublime album with some nice laid back jams and also heavy blasts of improvised guitar against a back drop of spacey effects and trance inducing rhythm sections. There is also a basic structure to the songs, usually incorporating short and simple lyrics and guitar riffs. This pretty much describes the first track 'Live Life Love' which nears the 10 minute mark. The music pretty much has that hazy sound that evokes the sound of bands from the psychedelic movement of the 70s, the music and recordings even sounding like they came from that era. There is a similarity to the 'Hawkwind' sound, for sure, as is the case with the track 'Free Festival', but it also has a more focused guitar improvisation that really generates a rocking feel that keeps things from meandering around aimlessly.

Many of the tracks start with field recordings and various radio-style noises. This is the thing that ties the album all together. But the songs themselves do tend to be a little more inconsistent. Where you had a more focused sound in 'Free Festival', the album follows this with a much looser and free flowing track called 'Kraanisch'. This track feels like it could just fall apart at any time. The softer sound lends itself to a nice variety in the sound, but the foundation of this track is a bit weak and doesn't match the improvisational sections very well. 'Sometimes' on the other hand, does have a more solid feel to the base line, and even though the vocals are not really great, the instrumental sections are better and it all makes for a nice groove. The band isn't afraid to go for a more structured sound as they do with the track 'Mind Over Matter' and yet still keep things within the general feel of the genre by taking time to have a rousing guitar solo in the latter half of the track.

The longest track on the album 'Nomadik Trybes' shifts to the mid-Eastern feel that is common to the genre, beginning with field recordings of chanting amidst crowd noises before the foundation starts and the main vocalists takes up the chanting/singing Arabic style. The improvised guitar even takes on the sitar sound and makes for some great variance on the sound of the album. The sound is very realistic, as if the musicians were knowledgeable about what they were doing and not just emulating the sound. The subdued percussion also gives the track a trance-like feel.

There is definitely something to be said about the way the overall sound of the album emulates the recorded sound of space rock as it was recorded in the 70s, that imperfect and somewhat fuzzy aspect that the best space rock of that decade had. It works for the most part here, and as I said before, it sometimes sounds very much like a Hawkwind album from that time period. But I find that there are sections that are more focused. There are also times when it works in the opposite manner, but this only happens a few times. The track 'Time Machine' goes for a jazzy vibe, complete with a flute, but this process doesn't work as well for this track, and it feels as if the track gathers steam and then almost falls to pieces. I think these tracks probably didn't get as much attention as most of the others, and it shows even more in their looser styles. 'Spiral Dance' is simply a guitar jam against a fast moving background, the perfect space rock vibe that even slows down in spots to evoke a more psychedelic and progressive feeling.

So, it's a good album, or at least collection of tracks that have been collected during their long break culled from live shows (as most of their music is) and then finally finished in the studio. Most of the tracks are great psychedelic and space rock gems done quite well, but there are a few weak tracks that take the overall album down a notch. Those that love space rock will love this album I believe and will love the retro sound of it. Others not familiar with the genre might have a harder time with it, but I find it enjoyable for the most part.

 The Time Factory by NUKLI album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.96 | 6 ratings

The Time Factory
Nukli Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Proghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Totally ignored British prog rock band that surfaced in the 1980s free-festival scene, the same scene that spawned the OZRIC TENTACLES. Like the OZRICS, NUKLI released a series of privately issued cassettes in the 1980s, and it was only in 1997 that any of their material ever made it on CD with "The Time Factory", released on Delerium Records, same label PORCUPINE TREE used to be on. OZRIC TENTACLES and PORCUPINE TREE are now widely known by many, NUKLI basically slipped through the cracks. The band apparently had lineup changes (they were even known to have OZRIC members like Roly Wynne and "Generator" John as guests - not to be confused with the other John, John Egan the flute player) but on "The Time Factory", the lineup was guitarist/vocalist Kev Hegan, bassist Mark Huxley, keyboardist Eric Pavlyak, and drummer Colin Wareham.

The music on this CD tends to be rather lengthy, with two 17 minute cuts, a couple of nine minute cuts, and one short three minute experimental piece. How to describe their music? Well I hear some elements of traditional symphonic prog, with some Steve HILLAGE, HAWKWIND, and OZRICS (but unlike the OZRICS, there are vocals, and Kev Hegan sounds surprisingly like Dave Brock, especially on "Inner Days"). For some weird reason, the band loved including snippets of movies and television programs in their music, don't ask me, because I think they overuse that. Ocassionally you hear some Middle Eastern influences (something common with the OZRICS).

"Book of Changes" starts off quasi-HAWKWIND, but there are some almost PINK FLOYD-like passages as well. "Inner Days" sounds a whole lot like HAWKWIND but without the heavy metal guitar licks. You can almost swear Dave Brock was singing this song, but as mentioned, it was Kev Hegan. Somewhere you hear excerpts from movies and television programs, including what sounds like something from the 1950s where a kid was saying "Last night, we were listening to space music" and his mother said, "Space music?" and you even hear a clip from Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke where Tommy Chong says, "Oh Wow Man" (because of the dog [&*!#] joint he was given, if I'm not mistakened). "Spiral Dance" is a guitar-dominated piece that most resembles Hillage, while "The Inner Spectrum" is a short experimental piece that leads in to the final cut, "Pscychelektra Trip Sequence". There are a couple passages that feature some rather '80s sounding synthesizers I can live without, but for the most part, the synths you hear are VCS-3-like synth bubbles. Aside from the overuse of movie and television program snippets (although I did like the inclusion of Cheech and Chong and the "Space Music" stuff), this is truly a wonderful and hidden gem of prog rock, and if you can find the CD, get it.

My rating: 4 1/2 stars

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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