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Hawkwind - Doremi Fasol Latido CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.75 | 349 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars As one of the very first space rock bands to emerge in the late 60s, HAWKWIND had been experiencing a slow but steady rise in popularity with the band's 1971's "In Search of Space" hitting #18 on the UK album charts and introducing the galactic cosmic rocker's sound to an ever expanding audience but the band founded by guitarist / vocalist Dave Brock didn't really find its true happy space until the exit of the rhythm section duality of bassist Dave Anderson and drummer Terry Ollis who were replaced by future Motorhead madman Ian Kilmister aka Lemmy and percussionist Simon King formerly of Opal Butterfly. While Lemmy believed he was signing on as the new guitarist, he learned at the last minute that it was the role of bassist that was open and like a pro he learned how to play bass on the fly but without giving up any of his guitar god bravado.

DOREMI FASOL LATIDO, a cute little title derived from the musical scale song displayed the strongest era of HAWKWIND's 70s run with a noticeably heavier sound than the previous albums no doubt due to Lemmy's ferocious string attack as well as King's rock sensibilities. The album focuses more on heavy chugging riffs leaving Del Dittmer's whirling sputtering synthesizer tricks to take a back seat but they are hardly relegated to second tier status and instead create the needed contrast to expand HAWKWIND's sound into an even larger inter-dimensional grasp taking them one notch closer to true lords of the space rock throne. While the entire band complained that the production was crap since it was recorded in a barn, the truth is that the less than perfect final product adds a distinct charm that allows the treble parts to soar high and the bass chugs to ferociously mimic the guitar parts that Lemmy erroneously assumed he would be handling. The remastered versions have performed miracles.

The change of characters was a great move as DOREMI FASOL LATIDO hits all the right notes in perfect proportions. While the opening "Brainstorm" displays a new harder rocking version of the space rock launched like a missile with the self-titled debut album, it immediately casts a hypnotic spell with Lemmy's bombastic bass groove augmented by Brock's sizzling guitar antics. After establishing firm control the track sputters off into true space rock turf. This was saxist / flautist Nik Turner's first stab at songwriting and cranks out an excellent space rock groove that allows his breath blowing skills to display mind-blowing freakery during the track's major freakout toward the middle. The following track allows a time-out from the frenetic pace set by the opener. "Space Is Deep" which mined lyrics from Michael Moorcok's poem "Black Corrider" finds a dual acoustic guitar performance by Brock and Lemmy with extensive layers of electronic wizardry and introduces the hard song / soft song pattern of the album's forty minute run.

After the tiny piano intro of "One Change," the "Lord of Light" breaks into a sputtering mess of sounds which chaotically coalesce until one of the most melodic and energetic tracks burst into heavy metal mode with some of Lemmy's most badass bass playing along with Brock's power chords bantering with the usual space swirls of electronic whizzing around like solar storms colliding with planetary magnetic shields. "Down Through The Night" provides another softer respite from the orotundity but doesn't simply copy and past "Space Is Deep" but rather creates a frenetic angular mix of an acoustic guitar strumathon with space whispering flute sounds echoing from the heaven's above. The heavily fortified electronic winds emulate a hurricane with some of the most echoey vocals on the entire album. Once again these tracks find the perfect way to cede into a new reality without losing the overall mood setting of what preceded.

"Time We Left This World Today" is yet another completely different methodology with heavy bluesy guitar riffs and call and response vocals from the various members. While the electronic sound effects are present they are subdued in the backdrop. The guitars sound slightly out of tune adding a touch of avant-garde dissonance which allows the track to develop into more bizarre progressive movements that despite a steady power stomp through the track finds the instrumental interplay becoming more experimental and free form. The syncopated beats and the vocals fall into a psychedelic haze of a repetitive groove with subtle changes that evolve into new variations. The final track "The Watcher" has been called the very first Motorhead song and was Lemmy's first contribution as songwriter to the HAWKWIND project. Despite performed only on an acoustic guitar with a fuzzed out bass, this psychedelic track that narrates the destruction of the Earth from human greed from the vantage point of space, has Lemmy's style stamped all over it and would actually reappear on the first Motorhead album many years later.

HAWKWIND were on the top of their game after DOREMI FASOL LATIDO hit the scene. With the non-album single "Silver Machine" hitting the top 40 and the tour proving successful, the popularity of the material on this album would be the main musical ingredients for the band's lauded 1973 live album "Space Ritual" which featured every track from DOREMI with the sole exception of the Lemmy penned closer "The Watcher." It's hard to say which album i prefer from HAWKWIND's earliest gems but this one has long been a top contender with its stellar songwriting that took on the task of melding hard rock with psychedelia along with soft acoustic guitar driven anthems that made Bowie's "Space Oddity" sound like Simon & Garfunkel in comparison. Lemmy's bombastic rock energy was exactly what HAWKWIND was missing in their earliest years and would drive them through the best period of their career until a restless Lemmy found that the heavier metal music was his true calling.

4.5 rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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