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Steve Hillage - Fish Rising CD (album) cover


Steve Hillage


Canterbury Scene

4.12 | 452 ratings

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3 stars Emblimatic guitarist of the Canterbury scene.Steve Hillage was born in London in 1951 and begun his career with Uriel (aka Arzachel) in late-60's along with the core that would form Egg a couple of years later.His next chapter would be Khan next to bassist Nicholas Greenwood.After the ''Space Shanty'' album in 1972 musical disagreements forced Hillage to break the band at the fall of the year.Starting originally as a session member for Gong in 1973, he was soon upgraded to a full-time partnership and eventually became the band's leader in 1975, when both Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth quit.Around the same time Hillage recorded his first solo album ''Fish rising'' at the Manor Studios for the Virgin label, featuring the whole Gong line-up along with ex-Comus' and Henry Cow's Lindsay Cooper on bassoon.

Hillage's sound does not move far away from GONG's experiences and the album offers a slightly humurous Space/Psychedelic Progressive Rock with evidence on Hillage's alternating guitar lines and the dual keyboard textures of Miquette Giraudy and Dave Stewart.Three very long tracks are the album's highlights, consisting of fiery jamming parts, weird soundscapes with a psychedelic nature and synth-drenched spacey instrumentals.The Canterbury flavor is also very strong.Stewart's melancholic organ is almost flawless and jazzy interludes appear constantly along the listening, while Didier Malherbe's devastating sax work delivers a rich sound as a whole.Some instrumental parts are definitely overstretched with emphasis on the psychedelic side of Prog Rock, but after all this was what Hillage was born to do: Create spacey, atmospheric and edgy guitar soundscapes.Good electrified soloing combines with mid-tempo synthesizers and hypnotic drumming for a trademark sound of the British Canterbury scene.The more energetic and dense passages with the full-blown instrumental interactions shine through, although this specific style does not seem to be among Hillage's top priorities, with the music usually following a cosmic mood with shifting tempos.

Good album of well-played Psych/Space Rock, typical of the Hillage and Gong school.Sharp, nervous and psychedelic soundscapes, combining the power of keyboards with Steve's inventive guitar stylings.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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