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NIK TURNER

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom


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Nik Turner picture
Nik Turner biography
The free-spirited Nik Turner was an established member of the late 60s London underground scene and a founder member of space-rock pioneers HAWKWIND, contributing a unique saxophone and flute style, and an increasingly inventive stage presence. On leaving Hawkwind, Nik embarked on a varied and busy career involving a number of projects, some of which overlapped with the space-rock style of Hawkwind while others veered off in a totally different direction. Through most of the 1980s he led the eclectic punk band INNER CITY UNIT, joined Twink of the Pink Fairies in a band called PINKWIND, rejoined Hawkwind for a further spell, and relocated to a Welsh new-age commune from where he led a big swing band called THE NIK TURNER ALL-STARS.

In the 1990s, Nik moved to USA where he immersed himself in an alternative-progressive scene, working with 'industrial' influenced artists including HELIOS CREED and PRESSUREHED. On re-establishing contact with former HAWKWIND members Del Dettmar and Simon House, he would form SPACE RITUAL specifically to play traditional Hawkwind covers and new music in that style, as well as recording as the spacey ANUBIAN NIGHTS. Into the 2000s, SPACE RITUAL remains as an occasional performing band with a fluid line-up of former Hawkwind members and associates, including the late Robert Calvert. He continues to guest for a number of artists such as jazz/funk band GALAKTIKOSs and American space-rockers SPACESEED.

Nik's 'solo' career has remained within the space-psych genre. His first post-Hawkwind project was a collaboration with Gong stalwarts Steve Hillage and Tim Blake [amongst others] under the pseudonym NIK TURNER'S SPHINX which in 1978 released a single album - 'Xitintoday' - of atmospheric psychedelia based on flute recordings from inside Egypt's Great Pyramid. He would revisit this style in 1993 with a re-worked version called 'Sphinx', while also returning to his Hawkwind roots with 1994's 'Prophets Of Time' and the live set 'Space Ritual 1994' that would provide the impetus for the establishment of the Space Ritual band.

Nik's contribution to classic line-ups of Hawkwind's pioneering years, and his continued work steeped in psychedelia and space-rock, makes him a core player in the space-psych genre and an essential addition to Prog Archives.

Joolz

Discography:

1978 Nik Turner's Sphinx: Xitintoday (studio)
1993 Sphynx (studio)
1994 Prophets of Time (studio)
1995 Sp...
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Nik Turner official website

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Life in SpaceLife in Space
Purple Pyramid 2017
Audio CD$9.99
$6.98 (used)
Space Fusion Odyssey featuring Billy Cobham, Robby Krieger, Steve Hillage, John Etheridge, & John WeinzierlSpace Fusion Odyssey featuring Billy Cobham, Robby Krieger, Steve Hillage, John Etheridge, & John Weinzierl
Purple Pyramid 2015
Audio CD$9.24
$8.09 (used)
Kubanna KickassoKubanna Kickasso
Import
Ozit Records UK 2003
Audio CD$17.44
$13.99 (used)
Space GypsySpace Gypsy
Cleopatra 2013
Audio CD$9.49
$8.00 (used)
Past Or FuturePast Or Future
Cleopatra 1996
Audio CD$25.88 (used)
SphynxSphynx
Import
Cleopatra 1993
Audio CD$24.50 (used)
Space RitualSpace Ritual
Cleopatra 1995
Audio CD$99.95
$39.98 (used)
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NIK TURNER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

4.01 | 29 ratings
Nik Turner's Sphynx: Xitintoday
1978
3.00 | 5 ratings
Sphynx
1993
3.04 | 6 ratings
Prophets Of Time
1994
3.87 | 23 ratings
Space Gypsy
2013
3.86 | 34 ratings
Space Fusion Odyssey
2015
4.03 | 10 ratings
Life In Space
2017

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

3.50 | 6 ratings
Space Ritual 1994 Live
1995
3.33 | 3 ratings
Past Or Future?
1996
2.17 | 3 ratings
Live At Deeply Vale Free Festival 1978
2000

NIK TURNER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

4.00 | 2 ratings
Sonic Attack 2001
1996

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

NIK TURNER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Life In Space by TURNER, NIK album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.03 | 10 ratings

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Life In Space
Nik Turner Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. Nik Turner's debut was my first experience with his music other than of course his work with HAWKWIND. The debut was called "Xitintoday" from 1978 and it was a unique recording in that Nik recorded much of it in a pyramid over in Egypt. It's a really good album too and there's such a cool story to that one. Since then I can't say he's done much in the way of quality music until he met Nicky Garratt from HEDERSLEBEN. Soon Nik is playing on their debut released in 2013 and Nicky and most of HEDERSLEBEN are playing with Nik on his 2013 comeback album called "Space Gypsy". What a great partnership this has been as Nik has released three album with Nicky and they are all incredible easily surpassing what HAWKWIND has been doing of late.

This 2017 release called "Life In Space" features pretty much the same lineup as that 2013 album and like I said pick any of the three they are all so good. The middle album "Space Fusion Odyssey" is the best in my opinion with a ton of guests helping out plus that Jazz/ Fusion style really makes that album for me. So besides the HEDERSLEBEN members on here we get Paul Rudolph playing guitar on one track. He played guitar on HAWKWIND's "Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music" record from 1976. Simon House another HAWKWIND alumni is here on violin while Jurgen Engler is back formerly of AMON GURU, COSMIC COURIERS and DIE KRUPPS. Chris Lietz on keys also played with Jurgen in DIE KRUPPS.

"End Of The World" opens with the guitar echoing away over and over before the drums stampede the soundscape and the guitar starts ripping it up. A calm takes over before a minute with various sounds coming and going in that psychedelic haze. Soon piano comes out of that mist along with a beat, guitar and processed vocals. Spacey synths too as it settles in with vocals. Man this reminds me of Dream Pop with those vocals. Check them out before 2 1/2 minutes. Flute before 4 minutes. Love the sound here, such a feel good song. It starts to fade out late with flute and spacey sounds ending it.

"Why Are You?" opens with spacey synths before some aggressive guitar kicks in followed by mellotron, drums and bass as the vocals join in. This becomes a great driving track in the HAWKWIND mode. Vocals stop before 2 minutes then the guitar rips off a grinding solo over top. Nice. More mellotron before 3 1/2 minutes. What a great rocking track. Sax follows then more mellotron before 4 1/2 minutes then the vocals return.

"Back To Earth" opens with spacey sounds as strummed guitar, flute and percussion arrive. This is exotic and beautiful. The tempo picks up just before a minute and laid back vocals join in sounding distant. Violin before 3 minutes during an instrumental section. Vocals are back 3 1/2 minutes in then the violin returns late.

"Secrets Of The Galaxy" opens with spacey sounds that build and recede over and over until this great sounding bass kicks in followed by guitar, drums and synths. Vocals join in around a minute pretty much speaking the lyrics. Catchy stuff. The groove stops after 3 minutes as it turns experimental with sax, spoken words, atmosphere and more.

"Universal Mind" opens with flute and keyboards before the guitar and drums kick in creating this heavy and smokey groove in a spacey atmosphere. Vocals join in too almost speaking the lyrics. After 2 1/2 minutes the music calms down as the focus becomes on what Nik is saying. It kicks back in almost a minute later then flute ends it.

"Approaching The Unknown" opens with the birds singing in a spacey atmosphere with droning organ I believe. Flute then takes over before 2 minutes but there's still lots of atmosphere here. The guitar starts to rise out of this after 3 minutes. Flute is back after 4 minutes. This is an intense track but then we are approaching the unknown right? So good! The drums start to help out then it seems to wind down before 6 minutes to the end.

"As You Were" features atmosphere but there's so much going on including whispers and various sounds. So cool. Some powerful breaks come and go in the BLACK SABBATH tradition surprisingly. This is haunting to say the least, like life is about to end. I guess we have met the unknown at this point. The tempo picks up some before 2 minutes. Sax just before 3 minutes as the tempo still seems to be slowly building. Kicking ass after 4 minutes with death metal-like vocals to end it. I know right?

"Master Of The Universe" is of course a HAWKWIND cover co-written originally by Nik Turner and Dave Brock. A faithful cover with manipulated sax over top at times. This was originally on "In Search Of Space" released in 1971.

An absolutely stunning album that falls just short of 5 stars for me but it will certainly be high on my 2017 end of the year list.

 Space Fusion Odyssey by TURNER, NIK album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.86 | 34 ratings

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Space Fusion Odyssey
Nik Turner Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Nik Turner - Space Fusion Odyssey (2015)

I really liked the Space Gypsy (2013) album because of it's Hawkwind style and catchy tunes. On the Space Fusion Odyssey album another brand of spacerock is played, more in the tradion of Fusion styled Gong. Nik Turner, the ex windinstrumentalist from Hawkwind, has invited an interesting list of musicans; Robby Krieger (The Doors), Steve Hilliage (Gong, solo), Gilly Smith (Gong) and Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra, solo).. that's impressive.

However, this album fails to amaze me. Whereas Space Gypsy had plenty of catchy moments and melodies, this album doesn't have many. The fusion chords and solo's give rise to some more interesting harmonics and bass guitar / drums extravaganza's, but I never feel attached to the music. Their are few vocals on the album and even fewer lyrics. The guitar leads and fusion solo's dissapoint me a bit, perhaps we have been spoiled by earlier records of Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return to Forever. Nik Turner himself is obviously not a very experienced jazz musician, for his solos fail to rise above the rock'n roll feel that often sounds a bit misplaced here. What is interesting is how he remained true to his original Hawkwind signature sound. Still the rhythms are quite well made and the interplay of rhythm instruments is often great! I very much doubt that this record could dissapoint spacerock listeners in general.

Conclusion. A brave attempt at re-creating the space fusion sound invented by Gong, but not an improvement. This album is mainly interesting for its list of great musicians and loose spacey atmospheres. Fusionlisteners will have better alternatives, so this is for spacerock listeners only I guess. Three stars.

 Space Gypsy by TURNER, NIK album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.87 | 23 ratings

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Space Gypsy
Nik Turner Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Nik Turner - Space Gypsy (2013)

The brilliance and clumsiness of Hawkwind is fascinating; giving us the blueprint for the spacerock genre in perhaps the most likable way whilst making a few good records and a collection of mediocre/poor studio and live recordings that is almost limitless. Former Hawkwind windplayer Nik Turner released his first album in '78 and has released two album the last five years.

'Space Gypsy' (now under review) and the more recent 'Space Fusion Odyssey' (2015). The sound and feel of this album is 100% Hawkwind. However, it's a collecton of relatively good songs that work great as a unity, something Hawkwind itself has almost never done. The thick guitar/bass/drums layer is completed by great spacey sounds, a diversity in wind-instruments and drowsy vocals. The appearance of Steve Hillage is a nice bonus, though honestly, I wouldn't know which guitarlines are his. The songs have what everything a classy spacerock should have. One or two catchy themes, spacey keyboard sounds, a distant feel, some folky parts and of course long spacey guitar freakouts.

Conclusion. If you'd like to listen to that great Hawkwind record they themselves didn't make the last fourty years, this is a great recommendation! This needs to be picked up by the space rock listeners. Four stars.

 Space Fusion Odyssey by TURNER, NIK album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.86 | 34 ratings

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Space Fusion Odyssey
Nik Turner Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This could be a long review as I feel like I need to talk about the multitude of special guests who are on here, a who's who of Jazz/ Fusion, Krautrock and Psychedelic music. First a big thankyou to Guldbamsen who mentioned this album in one of the threads on here. Nik Tuner of HAWKWIND fame is no stranger to jazzy music, and the fact he calls the band here the INTERGALACTIC ARKESTRA shows his affection and respect for SUN RA but he also mentions being a fan of Miles Davis and Charlie Parker among others.

The music is just as the album title suggests, a spacey Jazz/ Fusion style with plenty of twittering and blips from the moog provided by Jurgen Engler who was in the German band DIE KRUPPS but I also have him on a AMON GURU record I own. Chris Lietz is also from DIE KRUPPS and he is important here adding some gorgeous mellotron to the soundscapes again making this sound somewhat unique. Man Nik has a ton of friends though and is obviously highly regarded and respected by some of the best musicians on the planet. Back to the music, I have to say that this fits my tastes perfectly being very much into Jazz/ Fusion but also being a big fan of that Psychedelic style. Plus we get so many solos which I love to hear, especially the guitar solos but also Nik and his sax and flute solos. No there's no drum solos(haha) but when you have Billy Cobham playing on two tracks I wouldn't have complained. I'm not going to talk about the four bonus tracks other than to say that the last one "Random Acts" has Rick Wakeman and Jerry Goodman playing on it.

Another thing I learned through checking out all the musicians guesting on this album was that the young Krautrock band from Germany called HEDERSLEBEN are all here including Joel Vandroogenbroeck from BRAINTICKET. Why mention HEDERLEBEN and Joel? Because the latest BRAINTICKET album consists of Joel plus the band HEDERSLEBEN. Man so many connections here with the 2015 releases by Nik Turner, BRAINTICKET and HEDERSLEBEN. As for the guitarists we get Chris Poland from MEGADEATH, and while I'm not familiar with his playing with them I am familiar with his Jazz/ Fusion albums under the name OHM. Robertino Pagliari also from OHM plays bass along with Kai Eckhardt who has played with many Jazz great like John McLaughlin and Larry Coryell. Yes we have some gun slingers on here. Bobby Krieger from THE DOORS, John Weinzierl from AMON DUUL II, Steve Hillage from GONG etc. and John Etheridge from SOFT MACHINE. And speaking of GONG, Gilli Smyth is here doing her space whispers. An amazing mixture of talent on here from sub-genres such as Krautrock, Psychedelic/ Space Rock and Jazz/ Fusion.

It's about a 41 minute album which is perfect and we get six tracks. I can't get enough of the music and the only song that doesn't completely blow me away is the funky closer which is still really good. "Adjust The Future" opens with moog and it will continue throughout as drums, bass and guitar join in. Hillage and Poland share the guitar duties on this one. This sounds so good. The bass is really upfront and so well done, but man these guys are all amazing. Nik comes in with sax after 2 minutes as he will share lead with the guitars. Space whispers end it. "Hypernova" opens with space whispers as drums, sax, bass and atmosphere take over. The guitar replaces the sax 1 1/2 minutes in and I should mention that Poland and Krieger share the guitar here. Sax to the fore a minute later. I like the atmosphere on this one which I think is provided by the synths. Check out the dissonant sax 6 1/2 minutes in. So good! The guitar is back 7 minutes in followed by more sax to end it.

"Spiritual Machines" features Joel from BRAINTICKET offering up some sitar as well as Weinzierl on guitar. Two Krautrock legends right there. This is experimental to start, very psychedelic as the drums join in followed by a full sound. The flute is soloing over top, then the guitar starts to rip it up as they trade off. Check out the mellotron too, it's relentless. I really like the tone of the guitar here, especially before 4 minutes. "Pulsar" opens with space whispers and experimental sounds that sound like Joel's sitar before it kicks into gear with moog and the usual instruments. Cobham is on drums here while Etheridge offers up some tasty guitar. I like the flute too and hey we have some electric piano from Kephera Moon(BRAINTICKET, HEDERSLEBEN). Sax too as Nik switches back and forth from flute to sax. The guitar is very jazzy. This might be my favourite tune on here.

"An Elliptical Galaxy" has Poland and Hillage on guitar and while I said the last one might be my favourite, well I think it's this one. The mellotron just lifts this track a little above the rest in my opinion. And it's about 30 seconds in when the mellotron arrives, oh my! This actually sounds Swedish with the drums and flute helping out. A change though a minute in when the mellotron stops and it turns Jazzy. These two themes are repeated. Sax and guitar take turns leading. The guitar is lighting it up 6 minutes in. "A Beautiful Vision In Science" is the one that I like but not on the same par as the other five. This is funky which is kind of cool with Cobham on drums and Hillage on guitar. Lots of twittering moog to start as a funky groove kicks in. Catchy stuff with the flute playing over top. The guitar is here as well then it's the flute and bass standing out 2 minutes in as it settles some, lots of twittering as well. The guitar is back after 3 minutes.

Man this is a long way from Nik's "Xintology" album which I rate highly. I'm just a sucker for that Jazz/ Fusion style though, especially when it played so well. I hope Nik has more of this for us in the future.

 Nik Turner's Sphynx: Xitintoday by TURNER, NIK album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.01 | 29 ratings

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Nik Turner's Sphynx: Xitintoday
Nik Turner Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars By 1978 Hawkwind was flying high along a turbulent commercial jet-stream behind Robert Calvert and Charisma Records, but with the band's roster and even its name in uneasy flux (Hawkwind, Hawklords, take your pick). All of which made this offshoot project from erstwhile sax man and flautist Nik Turner entirely unexpected, and still mysterious a full generation later.

Turner's passion was Egyptology, a not-uncommon obsession in the 1970's (the young PETER HAMMILL also flirted with Nile River mythology, in the early VDGG song "Boat of Millions of Years"). But nobody captured its arcane essence better than this, and Turner's first album survives today as a near-masterpiece of Space Rock, albeit drawn from the abyss of Time, not Space, and hardly Rock 'n' Roll at all.

You can almost hear the dust of eons in the lonely echoes of his moody flute playing, and with good reason. While on holiday in Egypt, Turner was allowed access to the King's Chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza, where he recorded three hours of contemplative arabesques to an audience of Fourth Dynasty ghosts. Only later was an album assembled around his taped solos, but the final product is remarkably seamless, with an organic authenticity only a four thousand-year old recording studio can provide.

Even with a long guest roster the sound is almost minimalist, at times resembling an unmixed Hawkwind session stripped of all its other backing tracks. Something like rock music finally appears in the latter half of the album, with actual singing instead of the ritual, rhythmic chanting from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. At its best you might discern a likeness to classic GONG, thanks to contributions from Mike Howlett, Tim Blake, and guitarist Steve Hillage, who also produced the effort, no doubt with a kindred interest in Turner's antique mysticism.

If the Michael Moorcock declamations were your favorite part of Hawkwind's "Space Ritual", here's an ideal album for you. Don't expect to spin it often, but in the right mood and at the right time (perhaps when the star of Sothis appears in the east, and the fertile Nile begins to rise again) the effect can be magical.

 Space Gypsy by TURNER, NIK album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.87 | 23 ratings

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Space Gypsy
Nik Turner Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Staying true to the Hawkwind Space Vibe

Nik Turner's "Space Gypsy" delivers the type of music one has become accustomed to from the mighty Hawkwind. The spacey squiggle effects are there, the heavy duty chugging guitar repetitive riffs are there, the spacey lead guitar workouts are there, and the saxophone glazes over all beautifully. The only thing missing for me was of course Dave Brocks' high vocal technique, however the resonance of Turner is actually quite a mesmerising touch. I am not usually as taken by the work of Turner on vocals but he really nails it on "Space Gypsy". Naturally all is overshadowed by the soundscape of space rock especially the cranking guitars of Nicky Garratt from UK Subs. Jurgen Engler from Die Krupps is terrific on synths, Jeff Piccinini from Chelsea is on bass, Simon House from Hawkwind makes an appearance on keyboards, electric violin, and it is nice to hear from legendary Gong member Steve Hillage on electric guitar, vocals, synthesizers, as well as Jason Willer on drums. The sound is space rock at its finest with everything thrown in along with Nik Turner's glorious flute, and saxophone workouts. The sax on 'Joker's Song' is wonderful in particular.

It opens with the spaceship taking off after a countdown and then we are off into the stratosphere leaving planet earth to its own mercy. The sludge guitar and space electronics on opener 'Fallen Angel STS-51-L' has a distinct trademark Hawkwind sound as on 'Brainstorm', 'Born To Go', or even the penultimate 'Silver Machine'. The slow guitar crawl on 'Time Crypt' is fabulous and I loved Turner's melodic vocals. Surely this is one of his best solo efforts and then there is that blazing saxophone solo; an absolutely killer performance.

The songs all segue together in true Hawkwind style, and seamlessly we are lead gently by the hand of Turner's flute on 'Galaxy Rise'. It sounds like Hawkwind at their trippiest such as on "Warrior at the Edge of Time" or "In search of Space". This is a nice break away from the rockier songs, and is tempered by sensuous flute and acoustics.

'Coming Of The Maya' has a nice Hawkwind like title so one would expect it to be dripping with psychedelic juice. It opens with warbling flute and a melodic rhythmic vibe reminding me of Pink Floyd;s 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun'. The reverberated spoken vocals are other worldy and there is a swirling synth and swishing atmospherics that really lift this to another level; "the fifth dimension" Turner states. The spacey nuances are powerfully structured over the hypnotic keyboard and bassline. A barking mad flute solo drifts aimlessly over slices of violin and ethereal interplanetary atmospherics. The flute solo is towering; as good as you will hear.

We then launch straight into the psych prog of 'We Ride The Timewinds', with the Hawkwind trademark chug a chug guitar cranking boldly. The sax returns and it is an incredible embellishment. The droning vocals are estranged and there are tons of spacey effects making this a blazing triumph on the album. 'Eternity' opens with acoustics and interstellar effects, over the alienated echoing vocals "floating in eternity". More heavenly flute soloing follows improvised over the dreamy synth soaked soundscape.

'Anti-Matter' has a driving percussive rhythm and swirling wah wah guitar sounds, with mind altering spoken lyrics "interstellar, sexuality, growth, fantasy, to the energy". The pristine sax bellows along the wall of sound, generated by pounding bass and drums. 'The Visitor' is a highlight with acoustic vibrations and a fluttering flute augmentation along a steady cadence. Turner sings about "time and space, a ball of flame, save my world," and thus the theme of saving the planet from interstellar or a catastrophic apocalyptic end is cemented. The flute flutters around the acoustic phrase like a demented butterfly, and then the bass and drums kick into a strong tempo. Turner sings "visiting just passing through, I'm not from round here and nor are you, to come here from the city of angels, now I know we are the chosen few." The song then changes gears and builds into a squelching space effect and some grand guitar glissandos. It literally explodes at the end.

'Something's Not Right' is the bonus track, sounding like a ship out of time, opening with lots of sparkling twiddly beeps and flashes. The cranking distorted guitars lock in and everything rocks on 11. The lead break is raucous and this is actually one of the heaviest tracks, so a pretty decent bonus. The drums are thunderous and the repetitive frantic mantra "something's not right" works well as a quirky part of the soundscape.

Overall this is a trippy spacey album that delivers a trademark signature Hawkwind like sound with no real surprises. If there are any surprises, it is that Nik Turner can still hold his own and stays true to the Hawkwind vibe even all these years later. It is great to hear him launch into sensational sax and flute solos and his vocals are perfect for this music. "Space Gypsy" is a grand psychedelic album, a throwback to the grandiose counterculture psychedelic 70s, with some genuine highlights well worth seeking out by addicts of space rock.

 Nik Turner's Sphynx: Xitintoday by TURNER, NIK album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.01 | 29 ratings

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Nik Turner's Sphynx: Xitintoday
Nik Turner Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

2 stars One of the more popular solo efforts from the many former members of space-rock legends Hawkwind, saxophonist Nik Turner's 'Sphinx: Xintoday' saw the light of day just as his former band-mates were chucking in the chunky, proto-metal riffs and tripped-out madness in favour of a more measured, new wave approach, a change-of-style that would elongate the group's stuttering career deep into the 20th century - and beyond. Like many solo efforts from ex-progressive rock stalwarts, Turner was ably assisted on tape by many of his mates, with Gong members Steve Hillage(guitar), Miquette Giraudy(voices) and Mike Howlett(bass), Hawkwind alumni Tim Blake(synth) and ex-Hawkwind, Vinegar Joe and Chicken Shack drummer Allan Powell amongst the large cast of musicians to feature. Released in 1978, a couple of years into the late-seventies punk explosion, 'Sphinx: Xintoday' seemed very much to be a kind of neo-psychedelic concept piece about the ancient Egyptian pharoahs, with Turner himself said to have played some of the albums flute solo's inside the great pyramids at Giza. Whatever you believe, however, and despite the talented cast of musicians, this portentous album unfortunately fails to match the swirling, energetic and multi-coloured qualities of the best Hawkwind albums. Obviously, in creating his own opus, Turner was trying to distance himself from his former employers, at times, rather heavy-handed style, though in slowing down the music, adding ethnic flourishes and giving free reign to his imagination, the former Hawkwind saxophonist has only succeeded in creating a rather undistinguished and thoroughly unexciting concept album that wastes far too much time on lengthy, flute-drenched introductions, and then never, ever seems to get going. There is a nod in the direction of such Krautrock luminaries as Embyro, Agitation Free and Between, all of whom proved far more successful in their blending of Eastern, ethnic elements and Western rock sounds, though the cavernous production quality and ambling, overlong instrumental sections only detract from what could have been an interesting slice of late-seventies Egyptian-spiced psychedelic rock. Many of the tracks on 'Sphinx: Xintoday' segue carelessly into one another, giving the impression of one long, formless piece, though by the time the album is halfway through, those Hawkwind fans who have invested in this lacklustre album will be seriously craving for some proper rock action that is rarely, if at all, forthcoming. Those with a bit more patience may find the softly-spun melodies and flute-and-sax-dominated sections more to their liking, but truth be told, this is a strangely-unimaginative, flatly-conceived and ultimately, disappointing release, that obviously lacked a producer strong enough to curb Turner's more indulgent ideas. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011
 Nik Turner's Sphynx: Xitintoday by TURNER, NIK album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.01 | 29 ratings

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Nik Turner's Sphynx: Xitintoday
Nik Turner Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There is a very cool story behind the making of this album. The info i'm giving is from the liner notes. Nik had just left HAWKWIND and in 1976 he got the chance to fly to Cairo, Egypt to visit the Great Pyramid. He had been interested in Egyptology for some time. When he got there he climbed the pyramid alone all the way to the top where he played his flute looking at the distant streetlights far below. He rented a cheap room in the village below and the next day went inside the pyramid playing his flute in the different rooms and hallways. The sound was awesome so Nik decided he just had to record this somehow. He got hold of someone(by phone) with recording equipment who agreed to do it. By now Nik had been adopted by the local Bedouins of the village that ran the pyramids. The head of the village Shiek Mahmoud actually closed the Great Pyramid for 3 hours so he could record his improvised flute playing. Nik jumped up and down on the floor boards, and even got the Shiek to bang the sarcophagus with his stick and to even chant, recording it all. Throughout this recording Nik quotes from the "Book Of The Dead" or as he calls it the "Book Of Coming Forth By Day" or "Exit Into Day" which is where the title of the album came from. His voice is processed, echoed and tampered with in many ways for affect. There is an all-star cast on this album mostly former members of GONG and HAWKWIND. So you can't expect this to be normal can you ? Haha.

"The Awakening(Life On Venus)" opens with the sound of thunder booming many times before the warm flute melodies begin to fill the air, joined by spoken words. "The Pyramid Spell" opens with banging sounds from the Kings Chamber(thanks Shiek) as flute and tablas create a rhythm. Spoken words arrive. There is some bass and percussion in this one as well. "The Hall Of Double Truth" opens with knocks from the Kings Chamber before moog and flute arrive. Spoken words come in, as the sound of chinese bells come and go. "Anubis" opens with a dog barking in the before flute and percussion take over. Spoken words 1 1/2 minutes in. He's almost rapping 3 1/2 minutes in. The dog is back after 4 minutes. "Thoth" opens with the ticking of a clock as flute comes in. This has some different sounds on it like zither, congas and floating synths. The vocals again are spoken.The guitar to end it is great but unfortunately we just begin to hear it and it fades out.

"Horus" opens with some loud synth sounds. Even the flute sounds different on this one. Spoken words before 2 minutes with spacey sounds. This one is very experimental, but check out the excellent guitar to end it from Hillage. "Isis And Nephthys" is my second favourite track. It opens with harp as flute and drums join in to form a melody. Miquette Giraudy is doing the vocals. She suits the music well. By the way she was playing synths on the previous track "Horus". "Osiris" features more flute as drums arrive 1 1/2 minutes in with vocals to follow. We get some harp, vibraphone and guitar in this one. Very spacey ending. "God Rock(The Awakening)" is my favourite song on here. Flute to open. Percussion a minute in before drums arrive before 2 minutes. Vocals(singing) and sax 2 1/2 minutes in. This is quite catchy. Some scorching guitar melodies 4 1/2 minutes in.The background synths almost from the start are a nice touch. We get some chanting from the shiek(in the pyramid) that are joined by spoken words as the music has stopped. An ethnic Indian instrument is next to end the song.

I would descibe this record as an experimental concept album. It is very unique given the circumstances. I'm sure that this is Nik Turner's pride and joy and he should be very proud of this work.

 Live At Deeply Vale Free Festival 1978 by TURNER, NIK album cover Live, 2000
2.17 | 3 ratings

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Live At Deeply Vale Free Festival 1978
Nik Turner Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by burgersoft777

2 stars Essential only to those who were there, this set was not a patch on the 1977 one at stonehenge when Mike Howlett played. Some moments when Steffy makes it sparkle but this is not the best recording and it seems that it was a forgettable set in any case. Deeply Vale was prehaps the last of the great free festivals and is much missed. Nic never one of the greatest of sax players is appriciated more for the soup he provided and the joints than the music but a true hero of the free festival movement anyway. Buy something by inner city unit to hear Nic at his best or buy the original sphynx recording on charisma if you can find it.
 Nik Turner's Sphynx: Xitintoday by TURNER, NIK album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.01 | 29 ratings

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Nik Turner's Sphynx: Xitintoday
Nik Turner Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by burgersoft777

5 stars Wow this is one you have to hear believe me this is an important even landmark record. Nic Turner reveals his thelamic centre and draws a great performance from top acid progsters Steven Hillage and one Hi-tea Moonweed. Even the most sonic of camels Miket delivers the vocal of her career. To start with Nic recorded some of his wacked out and musically illiterate flute playing in the great pyramid. Then this band came together under a pyramid constructed in the studio designed for getting touch with the "gods" of Egypt. This is no Nancy boy posing like cradle of filth. Live Nic and his band preformed in bandages, this is weird occult prog at its most extreme. The vocals are pretty scary but in this age of demonic possessed vocalists this is far more positive. Nic Knows his pantheon pretty well and so all the trademarks are there for those who have an inkling as to what this is about. The music is great inspired even although at times the music from the great pyramid is a hindrance. Nic's Heart is fully displayed and impaled as the god forms take over and the entities manifest. Then as if by magick the set is over. What you have experience is a true one off , a ritual of high magick from the Alter of the Hawklords. .
Thanks to Joolz for the artist addition.

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