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Secret Saucer biography
SECRET SAUCER is an idea to bring like minded musicians together to play improvised space rock in a studio setting. The band is build up by members of several US psych/space groups like QUARKSPACE, STAR NATION and SUN MACHINE. Steve Taylor and Steve Hayes had already toured with Nik Turner and Daevid Allen. The project produced two regular albums and one EP up to now. They are consisting of relatively short songs but you can also consider them as one epic which should be perceived from the first to the last minute.

SECRET SAUCER started in 2001 with recordings for the first album - got together for one weekend in Ohio exactly - and jammed. Everyone picked up whatever instrument he felt like playing at the time. Even though it sounds like well thought-out song compositions the music is purely improvised coupled with some slight krautrock leanings. 4 songs were released as an EP first and the essence of the 12 hours lasting recordings was finally used for the first full album 'Element 115' which saw the light of day in 2005 released by the Dead Earnest record label. Two years later in 2007 the next production 'Second Sighting' followed taken from summer 2006 sessions. Another fine instrumental album full of cool spacey sounds.

SECRET SAUCER surely appeals to fans who prefer the psychedelic phase of Porcupine Tree or like to listen to bands with hypnotic moves like Hawkwind, Gong, Man, Oresund Space Collective and Ozric Tentacles.

- Paul Williams (synths, drums)
- Greg Kozlowski (guitar, bass)
- Jay Swanson (pinao, synths)
- Steve Taylor (guitar, bass, drums)
- Steve Hayes (synths, bass)
- Thomas Marianetti (drums, synths)
- Billy Spear (bass)
- Dan Schnell (acoustic & electric guitar)
- Dave Hess (synths, gliss)
- Ted Boburka (drums, synths)

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SECRET SAUCER discography

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

3.88 | 15 ratings
Element 115
2.83 | 9 ratings
Second Sighting
3.21 | 9 ratings
Tri-Angle Waves
4.35 | 11 ratings
Four On The Floor
4.00 | 5 ratings
Phase Five
4.00 | 5 ratings
The Reset

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

SECRET SAUCER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

5.00 | 2 ratings

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

4.67 | 3 ratings
Secret Saucer


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Second Sighting by SECRET SAUCER album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.83 | 9 ratings

Second Sighting
Secret Saucer Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by wiz_d_kidd

2 stars This album is considered "space" rock, and I like spacey music. For me, this kind of music makes me think of dreamy wanderings among the stars in vast, wide-open interstellar space. But this album, at times, seems more like dodging rocks in a dense asteroid belt. I mean, it is dense. Musically dense. At times there are bass, drums, three guitars, and three keyboard/synth players all playing at the same time, and all apparently mixed to the same 0 dB level. It's kind of like listening to three Oresund Space Collective tracks at the same time. Rarely do I get a passage where one instrument comes forward with a clear expression, while the others drop back in a supporting role. It makes for a thick, impenetrable wall of sound. And if you like structure to your music (verse, chorus, coda, etc), you won't find it here. It's mostly comprised of unstructured grooves, exemplified by tracks that fade into an already established movement, or fade out because there is no defined end. For space rock, I'm okay with that. I'm saying this only to give the potential listener a sense of their compositional style.

But it's not all a dense wall of cluttered music. Tracks 3, 6, 9 and 11 provide room for different musicians to draw you in, and allow you to focus a bit on their personal elaborations. These tracks provide space, both spectrally and temporally, to give a respite from the dense clutter. The work of Greg Kozlowski on sitar (track 9) and EBow'ed guitar (track 11) are highlights of the album, for me.

Judicial application of mixing would go a long way to solving the density issues. That, or simply bench a few musicians on each track to alleviate the aural clutter. Fortunately, there were several bright spots that I enjoyed. Two stars, for collectors/fans only.

 Four On The Floor by SECRET SAUCER album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.35 | 11 ratings

Four On The Floor
Secret Saucer Psychedelic/Space Rock


5 stars SECRET SAUCER ? Four On The Floor CD Instrumental space-psych-prog USA band's fourth album and it finds them losing none of the spark and invention that has characterised three remarkably consistent previous albums. Things essentially kick off with the 6 minute "Time Spent Out Of Mind" where the driving bounce of the rhythm section is topped with an unending river of synhts and rhythm guitar, while guest lead guitarist Nick Riff, unleashes a series of searing heat guitar leads as the main band power ahead, the mix of space-rock and melody infused with a decidedly Middle Eastern flavour ensuring that they the huge sound is both accessible and enjoyable for all its depths and strengths, the whole thing constantly changing yet never losing any of its cohesion. "Lunar Pull", just short of 8 minutes long, is an absolute gem of a track, this time performed at more of a mid-paced slant, but losing none of its might or magic. In fact, the track just stretches out on wave after wave of melodies and musical excursions from the synths and guitars, all solidly held together by the muscular rhythm section. In the playing is a passion that's truly heartfelt, and even the odd hint of phased vocal as an extra musical dimension, only serves to make it more akin to a huge-sounding psychedelic mix of Mike Oldfield and restrained Hawkwind. Around the 4 minute mark, the lead guitar breaks out a bit more, then a different guitar lead comes in and the two stride forward over the rolling rhythms, the lack of any indication in the sleevenotes as to who plays what and when, meaning that you never actually know who's doing what on any one track, but rest assured that it doesn't matter anyway, as the tracks are just so phenomenal. This one just sails into the sunset on a huge multi-layered bed of sounds as those guitars fly and spiral upwards, the synths are like choirs, the rhythms are mighty and it's all simply quite breathtaking. Again just short of 8 minutes, "Daedal" is a tad more down-to-earth, this time the mid-paced rhythm section adding more electronic rhythms to the beats, while the synths in the foreground shimmer, soar and solo, as the guitars weave in and out and the track rolls on like a musical journey through a hot desert as you see the heat shimmering in the blue skies, while the drive continues, the track eventually taking on more fuel and turning up the power as guitar riffing joins the space synths and lead synths, the piece lifting off like a rocket on flames of burning guitars and pounding beats, as close to instrumental psych heaven as it gets for the final three minutes. After this, sensibly they tone things down a bit with a slice of spacey delicacy called "Awaken" where acoustic guitars join the bubbling synths and deep bass, with jangling electric guitars in there too and tabla-like percussion in the distance, all a bit like the spacier parts of the first Hawkwind album, only more stretched out and melodic. "The Dark Rift" at around 2 and a half minutes long, is what its name suggests as a deep and bleak multi-textured space synths excursion spirals out on cyclical waves of synth cascades set to a backdrop of cosmic orchestral synths and synth-percussive rattles and crashes, eventually fading into its own black hole only to segue right in to the 6 minute "Celestial Spigot" and here the band prove that they can produce something that, for its genre, is capable of mixing space-rock and jazz-rock without compromising on melody or the all-important human touch, so that, even with a guest sax lead from Greg Klucher, the space synths are still there, and once again, the feel of a jazzier restrained '72-era Pink Floyd/Hawkwind is apparent, only on this occasion, more emphasis on melody, and less rock, more jazz. The 9 and a half minute title track is a more laid-back, but no less multi- layred piece where the synths and organ-like textures underpin and drive shimmering guitars as the drums shuffle forward and deep bass hums and throbs, the feel like a more rock band answer to something like early Wavestar in its feel and melodic execution a sublime compositions continues to move slowly on, changing shape and texture subtly, but always cohesive and never any less than engaging. Towards the end a John Dyson-esque guitar lead flies in from nowhere and it's bite adds the icing to an already substantial and enjoyable cake. At three and a half minutes, "Aegean Bridge" is almost an attempt to produce something commercial sounding and you'd imagine that had it been produced in the seventies alongside something like Can's "I Want More" or Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein", it could have easily been a hit, albeit not quite having the necessary hook for you to have swirling around your head after it's gone, although that central guitar riff is not far off. "Notch" is two minutes of dark, "out there" space music that serves both as a full stop to the band's original work on the album so far, and a precursor to what is to follow ? and that is a near 12 minute cover of Pink Floyd's "Saucerful Of Secrets", as brave a move as it gets when it comes to covers. Whilst staying true to the structure of the track, what they do is make it their own by applying a wholly different sounding sea of layers of organ, synths, guitars, bass and drums to the piece so that the result is this completely different yet fiercely familiar answer to one of the great seventies space-rock compositions, remaining true to the feel, structure and outer/inner space appeal of the original but the added injection of synths and searing guitars, turning it into something that's even mightier than the original track, the fact that it works on all levels, a testament to a band doing something like this with a burning passion in their hearts for the band that originally played and composed it.
 Tri-Angle Waves by SECRET SAUCER album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.21 | 9 ratings

Tri-Angle Waves
Secret Saucer Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

3 stars The SECRET SAUCER is on the way again - there's no mistaking. Spheric synthesizer waves suitable for a sci-fi movie are controlling the first song of their new album 'Tri-Angle Waves'. This studio project is consisting of members from several US space rock acts who meet from time to time. Usually it takes about two years for the next session. They jam together just for fun to record songs for a new album during a weekend or so - seemingly not being pressurised by nothing and no one.

Now this might be the reason for a special relaxation which you will find when listening to the tracks. A Sublime Metaphor is a good example appearing laid-back trippy with accentuated piano and drum playing - obviously Quarkspace tinged I would say. The melancholic wailing guitar gets under the skin really. This sounds flawless and reflects their mutual sense.

The same for the sixteen minute lasting Protoplasmic Accelerator - provided with more pressure basically. Again soaring guitars are playing a dominant role but a powerful bass comes to the fore too as well as playful organ here and there - well done really! Light Years Away - faded out by the way - and Mind Mechanics are played with much tension where the latter is reaching the albums culminating point when coming to the end.

They do it the easy way - it all nicely flows and meanders - six tracks where two of them are totally synthesizer dominated. You immediately can feel the cumulative competence which shows them far away from aimless noodling. 'Tri-Angle Waves' is charming in any case - a recommendable space rock album - 3.5 stars.

 Element 115 by SECRET SAUCER album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.88 | 15 ratings

Element 115
Secret Saucer Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars It happens not very often that I discover an album which is exciting without finding something lacking or getting any doubts - 'Element 115' is one of them produced during jam sessions in 2001 with no pre-defined structures. You will immediately notice that SECRET SAUCER is a studio project consisting of several prolific space rockers. They are deriving from different US bands like STAR NATION, SUN MACHINE and QUARKSPACE (probably the bestknown). So a lot of know-how and competence is given and the musicians are convincing with much safety and joy of playing.

The ambient start with a bass/synth cooperation is soon followed by Sword Of Conneault, one of the finest songs they ever worked out. A top-notch rocking grooving jam with a repetitive hypnotic mood which really blows me away! Space rock is not a genre with very complex songs generally but they have the necessary intuition to make it suspenseful and worthwile. Greg Kozlowski's and Steve Taylor's dual guitar work is really striking. The floating Solar Winds is made up of a droning echoed guitar appearance and shows Taylor on the drums surprisingly. And that's significant by the way - barely one of the musician is playing only a single instrument. Another more mellow spacey song is Desert Of Existence.

The electric piano is brought into play when listening to STS-107 and Astral Progeny. This serves a slight jazzy contrast in the vein of Quarkspace. Atom Smasher is framed by swirling synths and decorated with diverse guitar moments - crashing but also floydy. Some songs are more in the Hawkwind vein, for example The Traveller with a chilled out note or others unchecked rocking grooving like AMBQSM and Beyond Time. The next album's masterpiece Duul might be designed as a reference to the Amon Düül 2 Yeti improvisations. It's the track name first but predominantly to recognize when listening to the bass lines. And here - as with most of the other songs - the psychedelic dual guitar work is to point out - this time with a melancholic touch - wonderful!

An album on a high standard headed by two masterpieces. Probably SECRET SAUCER is derived from 'A saucerful of secrets' and yes - they show some light references to the early PF phase. But this is not a clone though. 'Element 115' is proving this with a unique workout which contains a chilling component similar to Quarkspace - a worthwile investigation for space rock fans.

Thanks to rivertree for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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