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Farflung - So Many Minds, So Little Time CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.13 | 4 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The album's whimsical title carries a hint of fatalism, like something Victor Frankenstein might have ruefully muttered after a tough day at the lab. But what exactly is it trying to say? That there aren't enough hours in a day to annihilate our brains with shock doses of guitar reverb and echo effects?

The Space Rockers of Farflung had only been around a few years before releasing their first compilation: a generous collection of unreleased studio tracks and album samples, plus one live performance. Two decades later the band hasn't attained anything near the same galactic fame as their primary role models in HAWKWIND, despite having toured with Nik Turner, and collaborated with kindred spirits like Damo Suzuki, Helios Creed, and Lydia Lunch.

You can add each of those names to an itemized short-list of musical influences: not only Hawkwind, but also the Krautrock legends of CAN, the art-punk anarchists of Chrome, and the noisy No Wave subculture of inner Manhattan (transplanted here to a sunnier solar system called Los Angeles). But Farflung always had its own unique, deep-space aesthetic, rooted in hard rhythms, heavy guitars, and infrared cosmic vibrations, all on ample display throughout the eight selections in this set.

The album opens with their early trademark anthem "Landing On Cydonia": a fourteen-plus minute Floydian space walk with some killer riffing at its climax. Compare that to the later "Icarus/Daedalus", another long, one-chord kosmische jam, eventually falling into a black hole of pure ambiance before its sudden, explosive finish. Like the song's mythological namesake when he flew too close to the sun, prolonged exposure to this sucker at high volume can be fatal.

A surprising but effective cover of the title track from the Can album "Future Days" acknowledges another stylistic link. The choice of song was unexpected from this quartet of SoCal, sci-fi headbangers, revealing levels of nuance and subtlety rarely heard in the Farflung universe. No such refinement was necessary for the live "Mother Orbis", a companion of sorts to the tribal Krautrock stomp of Can's "Mother Sky" (Orbis is Latin for World...Mother Earth, in other words). The song ends the album in quintessential Farflung fashion, with an unstoppable Space Age groove, lifted wholesale from the 1970s but looking forward toward a dystopian future.

My conservative three-star rating is only a reflection of the album's piecemeal structure, where B-sides rub shoulders with alternate mixes, and so forth. But it may in fact be the best introduction yet to the alien charms of this extraterrestrial group.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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