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QUARKSPACE

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United States


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Quarkspace biography
QUARKSPACE - originally called QUARK! - was formed 1984 in Dayton, Ohio. Jay Swanson (keyboards) and his college classmates Kevin Wherry (bass) and Darren Gough (guitar) decided to work on cover material first - planning to play on parties and at local bars. Singer-songwriter Chet Santia later joined along with Paul Williams (drums) and they apparently also developed a preference for space jams more and more.

Williams and Santia both left in early 1986 to concentrate on school. The other members continued for about a year with another singer and a couple of drummers before the band went dormant for a period. 1991 they reorganized and renamed to QUARKSPACE because of potential lawsuits. Singer/guitarist Dave Wexler worked with the band for some time and the first eponymous album was released in 1996 presenting 14 short songs blending spacey ambient sounds with mainstream pop elements.

Starting to produce the 'Spacefolds' series - primarily on cassette tape and later ported on CD-R - the band's emphasis changed to long spacey improvisations during the next years. They participated at several festivals alongside of Hawkwind, Alien Planetscapes and many others. Their second CD 'Live Orion' was recorded 1997 at the first Orion Spacerock Festival in Baltimore/USA and received some good reviews. With the double album 'The Hidden Moon' from 1999 the band could attract attention for the first time and Stan Lyon (bass, guitar) became a permament member furthermore. The next release named 'Drop' was produced in 2001 with a lot of guest musicians and can be downloaded for free from the band's website. And then in 2004 their regular album 'Node In Peril' was released - based on a science fiction story by wellknown comic artist Matt Howarth.

QUARKSPACE's rocking component is not very distinctive. The music is primarily ambient spacey though, chilled-out and deep in space at once alternating with some slight popular elements. All in all the band delivers a sophisticated ambitious work. The complete discography is released by the drummer's label 'Eternity's Jest Records'. The band seems to have retired from giving live performances but perpetuates to work on new studio output.


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Buy QUARKSPACE Music


Spacefolds 10Spacefolds 10
Eternity's Jest Records, Inc 2010
Audio CD$9.98
Node in PerilNode in Peril
CD Baby 2004
Audio CD$10.00
$5.95 (used)
The Hidden MoonThe Hidden Moon
Eternity`s Jest Records, Inc. 2011
Audio CD$15.99
$29.97 (used)
Spacefolds 5Spacefolds 5
Eternity's Jest Records, Inc. 2004
Audio CD$28.07
$14.99 (used)
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QUARKSPACE discography


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

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Quarkspace
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Spacefolds 1
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Spacefolds 2
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Spacefolds 3
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Spacefolds 4
1998
2.00 | 1 ratings
The Hidden Moon
1999
3.00 | 1 ratings
Spacefolds 5
1999
3.00 | 1 ratings
Spacefolds 6
2000
3.00 | 3 ratings
Drop
2001
3.20 | 3 ratings
Spacefolds 7
2001
3.00 | 1 ratings
Node In Peril
2004
2.00 | 2 ratings
Spacefolds 8
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Spacefolds 9
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
Spacefolds 10
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Spacefolds 11
2011

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

4.00 | 1 ratings
Live Orion
1998
3.00 | 1 ratings
Worcester 07/06/2000
2009

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

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

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

QUARKSPACE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Spacefolds 7 by QUARKSPACE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.20 | 3 ratings

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Spacefolds 7
Quarkspace Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

2 stars Here we have twelve songs of improvised instrumental progressive jazz space rock. It isn't as bad as it may seem, and there is some very good musicianship but there are a few times when they seem to lose the thread a little. Even with a song with a great title such as "Jay The Prog Boy", it is an album that I can't gain a lot of interest from and so consequently would only ever make it to background for my ears, although others may feel differently. Visit the web site for more information at www.quarkspace.com

Originally appeared in Feedback #64, Oct 01

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 Spacefolds 6 by QUARKSPACE album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Spacefolds 6
Quarkspace Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars This is the latest album from the American space rockers who originally started life as Quark! back in 1984. After some line-up changes and some dormant periods the first album wasn't released until 1996, and this one follows on form 'Spacefolds 5' and 'The Hidden Moon' which both featured in the Global Progressive Rock Network's Top 100 CDs of 1999 (the only other band to do that was Djam Karet).

This is an album of improvised space rock. That it manages to succeed has to be down to the relationship they have with each other, built up over a number of years. The music moves and twists, similar at times to Hawkwind, with possibly a few touches of VDGG here and there as well. Nice to see one of the tracks called Guy Evans, presumably as a nod to VDGG's drummer. The songs vary in length from four minutes to over thirteen, and some parts are very dark indeed. They have played with Hawkwind, as well as at all four Strange Daze Festivals, and this space rock experience is one to share.

Originally appeared in Feedback #61, Feb 01

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 Drop by QUARKSPACE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Drop
Quarkspace Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

3 stars QUARKSPACE's third regular album released in 2001 shows a rather puzzling collection of electronical non-prog impressions and excellent cosmic excursions. Chet Santia's vocals are very present here and the lyrics have a lot of statements to offer - certainly valid, but controversial in the same way - in any case somewhat unusual if intended as a space prog production.

Newtons Dream and Starbridge Freaks 3 for example define the typical melancholic dreamy QUARKSPACE prog sound as no other. Decorated with anti-militaristic spoken word contributions, provided by Thom The World Poet Woodruff Blanket Hill evolves to the album's highlight - guitars, piano, organ and synths are swirling around with much inspiration. The final instrumental part is wonderfully percussion driven - unfortunately faded out ... oh, what a shame ...

'Drop' sets the focus on electronical space music somehow, partially lingering on popular fields - let's say similar to The Orb here and there. The fantastic closing epic song alone is worth it to check this album out though, and turns the balance to assign three stars in the end. However - a quite irritating one as for my conclusion - probably regarded as uneven by the band in the aftermath and the reason why they give it away for free. So if you are a QUARKSPACE starter, and want to listen to pure space prog, please take into account that this album is not the band's most typical one. However, if you concentrate on the aforementioned songs you'll have a wonderful experience.

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 Drop by QUARKSPACE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Drop
Quarkspace Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars This album has millions of downloads, but not a review in ProgArchives. Yes, that's a bit strange. After all, this is a free download.

Drop is also a difficult album to really understand. I have to declare that I am not that much into Psychedelic/Space Rock at all. 800+ reviews and this is probably only my tenth review in this genre. I am just doing this review to get this album some more attention and more reviews.

The music here is a mix of piano based slightly innocent naive pop/rock songs and spaced out collages. This album is like a spaced out version of Pink Floyd's first three albums. The songs are actually bordering to being really great. The space rock collages is something I am not that really into though. But there is no denying that there is something fascinating about Drop and I reserve my rights to upgrade this review on a later date when I have given it some more time. At this very moment, this is a good album in my books and a highly recommended free download.

3 stars

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 Worcester 07/06/2000 by QUARKSPACE album cover Live, 2009
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Worcester 07/06/2000
Quarkspace Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

— First review of this album —
3 stars It must be an extraordinary occasion to experience QUARKSPACE live on the stage - recently really rare unfortunately. So this recordings are from 2000 - taken in Worcester when they were crossing New England on tour together with 'Architectural Metaphor'. The show was legaly recorded by somebody - but it took several years until the band was accidentally remembered about that. Now they finally decided to offer this performance via their homepage in 2009 - a good call! As you can expect from this prolific musicians the songs are presented playfully. They don't own a vast rocking component, this all has more of a spacey chilling atmosphere therefore.

Obviously the band members are in a good mood and the audience is rather delighted. The audio quality lacks for the start but improves a bit over the course. Subsequently it was even a surprise for them that Blanket Hill is already presented here - nearly one year before the track could reach for a place on the next studio album 'Drop'. QUARKSPACE open very relaxed - the instruments are nicely swirling around each other - where the second half is dominated by a special groove caused by an electronical percussion drive. Synthy patterns and piano are constantly alternating, and reaching the end they nearly turn to a jazzy colour.

Dancing Swan is from their debut and one of the band's live standards - this time transforming into space. And this will be proved for the last five minutes with a gliding flow accompanied by sentimental guitar impressions. Next songs are taken from the 'Hidden Moon' double CD. Compared to the other tunes The Circle appears in a more popular outfit with vocals, similar to the late Pink Floyd output. Then it all turns into another inspired improvisation - seemingly being unique, especially worked out for this evening in Worcester. Again it's this unique QUARKSPACE atmosphere which strikes - charming, so friendly, well-disposed - you never won't expect something nasty from these guys.

A band which uses the term 'space' for the name and several song titles should present a spacey flavour - and they are successful with that, especially regarding the second part of the last song when they are intensively looking for the spaceman. Certainly an interesting snapshot, especially for those who count themselves as die-hard fans of the band. Missing a better audio quality I still prefer 'Live Orion' though which was recorded in 1997. Anyway - the band is worth it to have some attention. You can download this songs for free from the homepage to get a proper impression.

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 Spacefolds 7 by QUARKSPACE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.20 | 3 ratings

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Spacefolds 7
Quarkspace Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Discographia

4 stars Black Shining Star is air, a clear calm and beautiful, technical but very affordable. The Translight Limited, is still more air, with a guitar very progressive. The other titles are homogeneous and constant. I think the influences of the group are stifled, and certainly it is not easy to name names, Tangerine Dream comes to mind, or Richard Pinhas, but there is a side Jazz Rock also saw the technicality of the music. Il faut aimer keyboards anyway many on this cake, since they are present everywhere. The sound of the bass is particularly pleasant, very well done. There was still something strange about this album, the impression of improvisation, but improvisation worked and reworked, I think they work as well. Chippertronic, Vol. 1, takes big risk, and for me is a wolf damage. 1 title missed on 12, shortly. Great !

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 Spacefolds 8 by QUARKSPACE album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.00 | 2 ratings

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Spacefolds 8
Quarkspace Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

2 stars It took a long time - six years - to produce a new sample. The Spacefolds series must be something like a playground for the band members I assume. At least for this example it sounds like designed for having fun at the weekend during several sessions with no pre-defined song structures/compositions - some experiments included and not knowing what results finally. Despite the fact they are making music which is not accessible for a huge audience regularly this is still more special and interesting only for die-hard band and space rock genre fans.

They once more define the emphasis on an ambient chilling mood with a lot of synthesizer soundscapes in the background. Good and mediocre recordings are alternating - totally instrumental again. Compared to the regular album releases some songs sound near to aimless noodling to me. The first two tracks starting with My Starship Has Mudflaps are provided with a nice piano work which serves a slight jazzy touch and a curious drum playing sounding like reduced on cymbals - probably with an electronic origin. But the flow of the songs is not very inspiring though.

Shifting Dervish on the other hand has a great meandering behaviour and a melancholic basis. Chet Santia's bass is present here excellently - dominant in the same way as on the other tunes. The two Far Gathering parts are ambivalent whereas the shorter nicely floating second part appeals better to me. The grooving Flight of the Architect also belongs to the convincing range of the songs - more in the vein of Oresund Space Collective provided with an electrical potential headed by a distorted echoed guitar style.

Who is newly interested to explore the band's cosmic music should not start here by all means. Don't want to be misunderstood - 'Spacefolds 8' is not a bad one - only a more decent QUARKSPACE output. Better efforts are waiting for you for sure - ' the previous flawless 'Spacefolds 7' for example or the regular studio albums - 2.5 stars.

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 Spacefolds 7 by QUARKSPACE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.20 | 3 ratings

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Spacefolds 7
Quarkspace Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

4 stars QUARKSPACE is a relatively homogeneous band since they reorganized in 1991. The line-up was constant mainly. And they didn't change their style noticeably over the years which is dominated by spacey sounds with a high proportion of ambient chilling elements. But nevertheless one personal change had occured compared to the previous 'Spacefolds 6' release. Dave Wexler left the band and was substituted by former guest guitarist Stan Lyon. Don't know what influences he had strictly speaking but they 'have the hang of it' here and I promise to give my best for picturing that. First - the musicians/instruments are restraining themselves - everything is acting flawless, compact.

Nothing sounds uninspired, even when you're listening from the first to the last minute continuously (after I began to enjoy I did it!). More vintage keyboards like piano are present all over. Chet Santia's cheerful bass lines are leading through all the songs with great safety. Other guitars are not so dominant here played with Fripp leanings sometimes which really suits. The musical QUARKSPACE fundament is significant but this time more rocking components and accessible melodic parts are available. It all starts with the wonderful Black Star Shining - a spacey flow, underlayed with nice piano and accentuated decent guitar contributions later gliding into a cosmic finale. Oh, I won't believe it if this was played totally improvised without pre-defined conditions.

And basically this continues 'til the last song - sometimes with the emphasis on ambient sometimes on more drum provided rocking parts. Jay, the Prog Boy is a way too short example which ends after three minutes - but not the album fortunately. On Red Star Pulsin the guitar is sending out strange signs into the universe hoping for an answer. And this is immediately followed by the grooving Fujita which stylistically gets out of line a little bit - in a positive sense whilst longing for more diversity. No need to mention every further song - but wait - don't know what 'Chippertronics' means - probably this is a pun derived from 'Frippertronics' which I'm not aquainted with so far. It must be the somewhat unusual electronic percussion. The guitar style is truely following Robert Fripp by all means. And the appendix 'Vol. 1' raises my hopes for more.

Not knowing the previous Spacefolds versions yet I have to say this is a really impressing album. Despite some leanings to other wellknown space bands like HAWKWIND and OZRIC TENTACLES they offer a quite unique sound. As for a relation I also want to mention ORESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE - but they didn't exist in 2001. Compared to the six years later following 'Spacefolds 8' this is a completely rounded effort. Fans of spacey ambient music should pay attention and visit their website to order this.

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 Spacefolds 8 by QUARKSPACE album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.00 | 2 ratings

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Spacefolds 8
Quarkspace Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Spacefolds 8 from veteran US band Quarkspace is a release of a kind that most people will either love or hate, and many will probably end up in the latter group.

Instrumental improvisational space jam rock is the name of the game, a type of music not know to run rampant on the Billboard charts. In this case we're talking jams of the less accessible kind too, with mostly slow evolvement, heavy on the disharmonic layers and with a high degree of psychedelia. Interesting enough the piano is a dominant instrument on the first two jams, adding at times blues flavoured and at other times jazz and classical tinges to the soundscape, but for the rest of the album synths tend to dominate quite a bit. A solid bass line is the foundation for most tracks, and melodic guitar licks or heavily distorted drawn out guitar sounds spice the soundscape - and take over in some instances.

This is a release for fans of the band and fans of the genre; in particular I'd think that those enjoying altered states of mind will find these jams intriguing.

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 Live Orion by QUARKSPACE album cover Live, 1998
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Live Orion
Quarkspace Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

— First review of this album —
4 stars To experience this band live must be something very special (and I'm afraid I will never get the chance). Unfortunately they missed the stage for a longer time now but this album, recorded 1997 at the Orion Spacerock Festival in Baltimore/USA, couldn't capture their fantastic live appearance better.

A diversified performance where they are showing their complete range of qualities and talent and are acting with several guitarists. It seems this gig was also dedicated to some wellknown US-Jam-Bands - for example starting with the first instrumental song Close To The Whipping Post which is really close to this ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND song but of course presented in a more spaced-out QUARKSPACE version.

Some songs are captured from their first regular album - as for example Air - mysterious, percussion driven, with an impressing bass contribution and Chet Santia's ethereal whispering vocals. Or In My Lost Mind which has significant GREATFUL DEAD leanings. The relaxed and mellow Siren Space shines with gentle sparkling piano and a heartbreaking melancholic guitar work. Dead Raven Space after that comes up as a short spacey jam par excellence. Quarkital and my highlight Faerienot Space - originally from 'Spacefolds 1' - are sounding like UMPHREY'S MCGEE and GREATFUL DEAD are working together provided with a special psychedelic floydy flavour.

Dancing Swan is the opening song from their debut - once again a convincing cooperation of intensive percussion, freak-out vocals and guitar plus keyboard twirling around all the way. Whitehawk Space in opposite of their several Blackhawk songs is another impressing improvisation which leaves no doubt that QUARKSPACE is playing in the premier league of this genre.

A groundbreaking example of ambient psychedelic spacey music - near to a masterpiece I have to state finally after listening for several rounds - 4.5 stars really!

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Thanks to rivertree for the artist addition.

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