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PSYCHEDELIC/SPACE ROCK

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Psychedelic/Space Rock definition

Psychedelic Progressive Rock

Progressive rock music has its roots in the mid 1960's psychedelic cultural phenomena. During that time the British Invasion and folk-rock bands began to expand the sonic possibilities of their music. These groups slowly started to abandon the concise verse-chorus-verse patterns of rock & roll, and moved towards fluid, free-form oriented song structures. Just as important was the incorporation of elements from Indian and Eastern music. Along them the principles of free-form jazz were included to the psychedelic sound, emphasising spontaneous emotions over calculated and estimated compositional constructions. Experimenting with new studio technology, electronically altering instruments and voices, was a part of this altered approach as well. Acid rock groups like THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE and CREAM stand as descriptive and popular examples of the path from psychedelic sunshine pop towards a more aggressive and distinct rock expression, in particular showcased in their improvised live performances.

The boundary dividing the "Experimental" and "Progressive" classification is a thin and at times contested one for this era. The pioneering psychedelic progressive rock bands to be found at www.progarchives.com will in most cases be found in the Proto-Prog section of the site. Amongst these pioneering outfits are acts like THE BEATLES, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE AND VANILLA FUDGE. Artists such as PINK FLOYD will not be found there though, as their career extended well beyond these first, formative years.

Psychedelic progressive rock music may contain the elements previously described in varying combinations, but the artistic perspective of progressive rock is another factor. Some psychedelic rock bands stuck to the mid 1960's beat rock style in purist form, not partaking in the experimental development of the impressionistic possibilities of psychedelic rock music others spearheaded. The evolution of the psychedelic depth within a progressive context could be seen for instance in the 1960's recordings of ARCADIUM and BABY GRANDMOTHERS. One good example of early 70's Continental European progressive psychedelic rock is the album by AHORA MAZDA, and from Britain JADE WARRIOR's early efforts fuse psychedelic rock and ethnic music. Current artists exploring the vintage 60's/70's style and sound are acts like THE SPACIOUS MINDS and ACID MOTHER'S TEMPLE.

The entire Western pop culture scene was influenced by the psychedelic culture to some extent, including other prog genres such as Prog Folk. In Germany, artists influenced by the British psychedelic movement formed their own genre called KRAUTROCK. The pioneering early 70's bands in this genre represent the progressive acid rock sound of Germany, experimenting with long instrumental improvisations, emphasizing the use of psychedelic effects and weird electronic sounds. Some examples are artists like AMON DÜÜL, ASH RA TEMPEL, CAN, GÄA, NECRONOMICON and YATHA SIDHRA. The PROGRESSIVE ELECTRONIC style emerged from Krautrock. Some of the most influential artists of this genre, such as TANGERINE DREAM and KLAUS SCHULZE, explored a distinct psychedelic musical style at first, which was influential for the development of the "space rock" sound:


Progressive Space Rock

The late 1960's psychedelic rock scene also spawned the birth of the space rock genre. The pioneering acts of this genre assimilated krautrock elements like repetitive hypnotic beats and electronic/ambient soundscapes as they moved away from the common musical and compositional approach. The synthesizer with its bubbling tones and spacey patterns, provoking a gliding flow, is a typical instrument of this genre. Guitars are by preference played with glissando technique and delay/echo effects are heavily used, and elements originating from reggae/dub are fairly common. Several bands combine their live performances with trippy lightshows using random fractals. Albums in this genre will often include at least one long meandering jam based on a main theme, where loops and wavelike fluctuations provides slight variations to this structural foundation.

Stories, images, song titles and album names referring to cosmic themes are fairly common features of the genre. HAWKWIND's live album "Space Ritual" is said to be the ultimate space rock album due to the collaboration with sci-fi author Michael Moorcock. His lyrics are performed by a narrator and underlaid with synth elements. PINK FLOYD can be regarded as pioneers of spacey music during the band's early phase, as exemplified by certain tracks from "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" or the stirring live performance of "Careful With That Axe Eugene" from "Ummagumma". GROBSCHNITT provides another fine example of classic space rock with their epic effort "Solar Music". Other bands explored the space rock sound for a limited time period only. GONG released groundbreaking albums in the genre at the start of their career, while British hard rock band UFO released the extraordinary album "Flying - One Hour Space Rock" as their sole contribution to the genre in 1971.

A space rock scene can be found in most countries sporting artists producing music with a western-oriented or influenced sound. Swedish bands are known for a brisk exchange of musicians among each other. The "Strange Daze" festivals from 1997-2000 showcased the American space rock scene. Japan is an inexhaustible reservoir of artists exploring both psychedelic progressivce rock and progressive space rock. Representative examples of the style are bands such as ORESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE with their focus on long grooving improvisations, QUARKSPACE and OZRIC TENTACLES with their stronger emphasis on electronic elements and VESPERO and HIDRIA SPACEFOLK with their inclusion of ethnic-originating musical components. Other groups like ESCAPADE and THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS represent an avantgarde approach to the genre, whereas SUBARACHNOID SPACE and KINSKI are examples of artists that provide transitions to the post rock genre.


The boundaries of Psychedelic Progressive Rock connected with Stoner Rock and Acid Folk

The 1960's and 70's were a time of liberation, a time of rebellion against rigid rules and strict moral boundaries. In those "freedom of expression" days, an artist would typically herald their liberal attitudes as a mind-expanding trip on stage together with the audience in two ways. One was to realize audio/visually the visual and auditory hallucination as it was, and another was to play their repertoire spiritually and improvisationally under the trip. As for the latter approach, they devoted themselves solely to slow-to-mid tempo playing with low-tuned guitars in a heavy and expansive manner for playing steadily under this twilight condition. In the same time period, this approach to the musical trip was also taken on by some artists especially in the hard rock and heavy metal scene. This new style, drenched in heavy and downer psychedelia, was called "Stoner Rock". The name originates from the expression "stoned", referring to people in altered states of mind while under the influence of psychedelic substances. The Stoner Rock genre was universalized "as a strict musical style only" by the Industrial Grunge Rock genre that gained worldwide popularity in the early 1990s. The common denominator of all the artists mentioned is the representation of their personal cultural and political backgrounds, whilst playing slow-paced depressive songs with heavy guitars and echoic rumbling drums as the dominating features. Most of current outfits claiming to be the so-called Psychedelic Heavy Progressive Rock ones should be much influenced by the traditional Stoner or Grunge Rock as well as the early Psychedelic Progressive Rock. They can be considered as a borderline case between Psychedelic Progressive, Heavy Progressive, and Progressive Metal.

"Acid Folk" can be mentioned as another musical style with hallucinogenic approach. Psych Folk or Psychedelic Folk are other names for this genre, and is vaguely defined as a rock subgenre due to the mixture of folk rock and psychedelic rock. This is a style lacking in strict definitions, and it is contested whether or not the term was actually used at what is deemed the dawn of the genre. It's an undeniable fact that the Acid Folk scene gained some popularity by the efforts of artists in "The Folk Revivalism", but it's important to remember that there were two distinctly different approaches taken by those who helped shape the genre in the mid 1960's. Some folk singers approached a psychedelic rock structure as was popular at that time, while some psychedelic rock outfits tried to absorb and incorporate techniques and elements from folk rock. Both have great importance in the development of Acid Folk, and this may be the reason that strict definitions of the genre cannot be given. In view of the history, it's no exaggeration to claim that TYRANNOSAURUS REX, SYD BARRETT or THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND in UK rock scene seasoned the "traditional" Acid Folk with a more progressive spice. They, as eccentric or heretical rock outfits, accepted and incorporated Middle-Eastern and Oriental elements or instruments, and the result was the foundation for the current progressive Acid Folk movement. And in the Eastern parts of the world, different acid streams was provided by artists such as TAJ MAHAL TRAVELLERS or MAGICAL POWER MAKO who exerted a great influence on younger progressive bands. Their amazing achievements resides in the twilight zone between the Prog Folk and Psychedelic Prog subgenres.


A path that never ends

In addition of the styles described, psychedelic elements can be found in many other genres of progressive rock. The psychedelic cultural explosion had an immense influence on the western popular culture, and traces of it can still be heard also outside of progressive rock circles. The collective techno rave parties carry on the legacy of the audiovisual attack from the PINK FLOYD concerts in 1968, to cite one example. As the psychedelic movement was a large cultural phenomenon, it is difficult (and maybe unnecessary) to fence it to a clear category. Psychedelic progressive rock has been developing towards several different directions over time, and the task of classifying them as distinct genres and sub-genres is an ever ongoing process, often loaded with strong opinions. The psychedelic rock artists which are not considered as progressive in style are not listed in the databse of www.Progarchives.com. This in order to maintain the site's scope to be a progressive rock reference.

The aim of this description is to be a tool of reference for potential and existing fans of the genre, and we hope that this will aid those who read it to a better understanding of the genre as well as to enjoy and discuss the subject at hand both in the forums of the Progarchives website as well as in other places online and offline both.


Psychedelic Rock / Space Rock team April 2010

Space rock definition by Rivertree
The boundaries of psychedelic progressive rock chapter by DamoXt7942
Other text by Eetu Pellonpää
with kind guidance and support by Windhawk


Current Psychedelic/Space Rock Team Members
as at December 2014

Uwe (Rivertree)

Psychedelic/Space Rock Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Psychedelic/Space Rock | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.62 | 3400 ratings
WISH YOU WERE HERE
Pink Floyd
4.60 | 3584 ratings
DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
Pink Floyd
4.52 | 3030 ratings
ANIMALS
Pink Floyd
4.31 | 2553 ratings
MEDDLE
Pink Floyd
4.21 | 840 ratings
OCEAN
Eloy
4.11 | 535 ratings
WARRIOR ON THE EDGE OF TIME
Hawkwind
4.13 | 305 ratings
RITUAL
Nemrud
4.12 | 362 ratings
JURASSIC SHIFT
Ozric Tentacles
4.06 | 2449 ratings
THE WALL
Pink Floyd
4.19 | 136 ratings
BY THE WATERS OF TOMORROW
Vespero
4.13 | 220 ratings
TOGETHER WE'RE STRANGER
No-Man
4.10 | 255 ratings
LEGACY
Hypnos 69
4.06 | 451 ratings
A TAB IN THE OCEAN
Nektar
4.16 | 122 ratings
KINGSTON WALL II
Kingston Wall
4.06 | 255 ratings
EVERYONE INTO POSITION
Oceansize
4.15 | 113 ratings
THE FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND
Future Kings Of England, The
4.33 | 50 ratings
OBSOLETE
Hedayatt, Dashiell
4.19 | 88 ratings
TAKO
Tako
4.02 | 493 ratings
DAWN
Eloy
4.03 | 416 ratings
THE OCTOPUS
Amplifier

Psychedelic/Space Rock overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Psychedelic/Space Rock experts team

BABY GRANDMOTHERS
Baby Grandmothers
CSILLAGOK ÚTJÁN (Ω VIII)
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Ultimate Spinach
LORD SPACE DEVIL
Cosmic Trip Machine

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Latest Psychedelic/Space Rock Music Reviews


 P.X.R. 5 by HAWKWIND album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.74 | 99 ratings

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P.X.R. 5
Hawkwind Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 2.5 stars

After "Quark, Strangeness And Charm", HAWKWIND recorded PXR5 in 1978, but disbanded due to internal disagreements. The members then went on side projects. After the release of "25 Years On" and the departure of Robert Calvert, Dave Brock reformed the band with new members and finally released the album in 1979. Thus, the line-up of "PXR5" is nearly the same as on "Quark, Strangeness And Charm".

Nonetheless, the music was already turning punk, while the metal and futuristic elements developed on the innovative 1977 opus were temporarily put aside. As a consequence, the style isn't really space rock and can be compared to "25 Years On"'s, but unfortunately without the the same composition quality.

The disc is in fact half-studio half-live: "Uncle Sam's On Mars", "Robot" and "High Rise" were recorded live during the 1977 tour in England, and then remixed and overdubbed in studio, whereas "Infinity" was based on a poem Robert Calvert recited for the 1973 Space Ritual Tour.

The opener "Death Trap" is just a basic punk track, repetitive and irritating. "Jack Of Shadows" is an enjoyable soft rock with some spacey keyboards. Then the band surprisingly goes back to stoner with the psychedelic "Uncle Sam's On Mars". This song has similitudes with "Brainstorm", however smoother and much less interesting. The first half finishes with the poem "Infinity", an average space folk ballad, with various sound effects.

The second half of the record is a little more inspired. "Life Form" is a short ambient electronic introduction for "Robot", the longest track. Inspired by Isaac Asimov's trilogy, its middle-eastern aggressive riff is in the style of "Magnu". Unfortunately it fails at being the highlight, as it does not feature many variations. On the contrary, "High Rise" is the best track of the disc. An aerial trippy piece, with spacey guitars. The title track is original, a kind of half-punk, half-robotic song, but a bit difficult to follow. Ironically, this composition is better than the title tracks from the Hawks' best albums from this period.

There is not much to save from this record, except "High Rise". The band is not as innovative as on "Quark, Strangeness And Charm" and not as audacious as on "25 Years On". Last official HAWKWIND studio release with Robert Calvert, "PXR5" marks the end of an era and is Brock and co.'s first genuine fault in their rich 70's discography.

But a new decade is just about to come...

 25 Years On (as Hawklords) by HAWKWIND album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.25 | 95 ratings

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25 Years On (as Hawklords)
Hawkwind Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Punkwind

Strange title, strange cover, strange band name, what about the music? Well, it's strange too but also... really good. After the recording of PXR5 in 1978, HAWKWIND disbanded due to internal disagreements, so the members went on side projects. Dave Brock and Robert Calvert recruited bassist Harvey Bainbridge, keyboardist Steve Swindells and drummer Martin Griffin to form HAWKWLORDS. This new band recorded this album and split one year later. As this disc is now considered as part of HAWKWIND's discography, "25 Years On" is technically the last studio release of Brock and co. featuring Robert Calvert.

The music enhances certain aspects of "Quark, Strangeness and Charm", especially punk and pre-new-wave influences. The sci-fi, electronic and heavy metal aspects are however put aside. The compositions become shorter and more concise. In fact, this record the punk-iest the space rockers ever recorded. But then... is this still HAWKWIND?

"Psi Power" is a clear demonstration of this evolution. A cool punchy punk opener. The very nice "Free Fall" has a calm melancholic spacey opening and ending and become more ferocious in the middle part. "Automoton" is just a short ramshackle robotic introduction for "25 Years", a basic pop punk song. Like in "Quark, Strangeness and Charm", this title track is a bit out of place and the weakest of the record. Robert Calvert's voice is a bit irritating and the chord progression resembles "Silver Machine"'s.

"Flying Doctor" is much more convincing and aggressive with its sharp riff and vocals. Then comes "The Only Ones", a more classic song in the vein of the space ballads from "Hall of the Mountain Grill", however more concise. "(Only) The Dead Dreams Of The Cold War Kid" is another highlight of the disc. This track can be described as a pre-new- wave version of an imaginary 60's psychedelic tune. The ender, "The Age Of The Micro Man", is an enjoyable soft space piano piece.

"25 Years On" is an unique and interesting mixture of punk, pre-new-wave and space rock. Singular in HAWKWIND's discography, the music is quite innovative and proves that the band was par in par with its time, exploring new directions while keeping their own touch. Although the tracks are less remarkable than on "Quark, Strangeness and Charm", the record is overall less uneven and more coherent.

If you want pure space, psychedelic or stoner rock, this album is not the one to go with. But if you're looking for unusual and original rock, pick this disc! Even punk fans may like it! For sure, this was a daring operation, but such audaciousness allowed Brock and co. to evolve, adapt and renew.

"25 Years On" is the best HAWKWIND album from the late 70's. It's just a pity the cover art is their worst...

 Quark, Strangeness And Charm by HAWKWIND album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.67 | 184 ratings

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Quark, Strangeness And Charm
Hawkwind Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Space, middle-eastness and punk

3.5 stars

After the experimental and messy previous opus, "Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music", this seventh studio album comes as a welcomed good surprise. More focused than its predecessor, "Quark, Strangeness And Charm" shows HAWKWIND in par with its time, as the music uses elements from recent musical developments from this period: electronics, punk and more direct heavy metal. Robert Calvert wrote all the lyrics and sounds more and more like David Bowie. Furthermore, Nik Turner has now left, which results in the disappearance of wind instruments in the band's soundscape. But then... is it still HAWKWIND?

Yes! Although not the stoner psychedelia from the early 70's anymore, this late 70's album is still space rock and pre-dates the synth metallic direction that Dave Brock and co. will definitely take in the 80's. More concise, the musical style is just evolving, naturally, and the Hawks ventures into unexplored spatial territories, again.

The opener "Spirit Of The Age" will become a classic of the band. Repetitive guitars, Morse code samples, a rhythm and an ambiance similar to NEU!, this song is a trippy rock. The musical change can be perceived from this very first track: less stoner, more focused and with cleaner sound. With its electronic introduction and punchy riffs, "Damnation Alley" is one of the best tracks of the record. It can be described as a "soft space punk", with interesting changes, for example a short reggae passage. "Fable Of A Failed Race" is a floating ballade with Calvert's aerial voice. Not extraordinary, but enjoyable though. The title track is the surprisingly the worst. Quite out of place and not very typical of HAWKWIND, this tune is just a poppy rock'n'roll, a bit irritating.

On the contrary, the middle-eastern "Hassan I Sabbah" is another highlight of the disc. In the style of "Magnu", however heavier and shorter, this mystical song with arabian lyrics is a middle-eastern space metal classic! With its fast synthesizer sequence, "The Forge Of Vulcan" seems to be an extracted from a TANGERINE DREAM album! The differences are the darker tone and the hammer sound effect, coherent with the track name. "The Days Of The Underground" is a pleasant pop-punk piece, despite Robert Calvert's theatrical voice. The record finishes with "The Iron Dream", a short synthesizer electro metal ender.

Although still slightly uneven, "Quark, Strangeness And Charm" is more convincing and coherent than "Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music". The songs "Spirit Of The Age", "Damnation Alley" and "Hassan I Sabbah" will often be played live at concerts. If the title track has been replaced, I may have rated this opus 4 stars.

This disc is a turning point for the band, as it displays glimpses of the future to come. Furthermore, despite the arrival of punk and the gestation of new-wave, the music is still in par with its time, proving that Brock and co. were still at the edge. HAWKWIND's most space metal album from the late 70's, and one of their bests from this period, with "25 Years On".

 These Things Take Time by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Live, 2000
4.47 | 7 ratings

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These Things Take Time
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This album do not take time to appreciate

Live or studio album, this does not really matter for an instrumental improvisational band such as SUBARACHNOID SPACE. Nor do the songs titles either, as their music is more about depicting a particular atmosphere. As you may have guessed, all featured tracks on "These Things Take Time" are improvisations different from those of the studio releases. Recorded live in Silicon Valley on KFJC radio in 1999, the performance is in fact a single continuous 45 minutes piece, cut in seven parts. Each part reflects a particular ambiance.

I don't think describing each "letter" of this record is worth, you just need to know that most things you're looking for in the modern dark psychedelia genre are here: gorgeous throbbing bass lines, distorted spacey guitars, rhythm changes, mystical passages, post-rock incursions and even a few gothic moments. The atmospheres are varied and the quality is rather constant. There are a few lengthy passages in the second half though, which is more ambient.

Anyway, "These Things Take Time" is a very good album from SUBARACHNOID SPACE and a good entry point to discover the band. Recommended to space rock, dark music or even post-rock lovers.

 Wish You Were Here by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.62 | 3400 ratings

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Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by TrannonG

3 stars WISH YOU WERE HERE IS NOT A MASTERPIECE.

Wish You Were Here followed up the divine Dark Side of The Moon, so it had huge shoes to fill, but the ratings and fanfare this album has really baffles me. I don't consider WYWH to be the greatest Floyd album and I sure don't consider it a "masterpiece" like DSOTM or even Animals. What WYWH does is take the Floyd into a new direction with influence from DSOTM, Meddle and even Atom Heart Mother, but it doesn't really progress on those efforts. If anything it seems to be a sort of rehashing of certain elements of Pink Floyd's canon. For most artists, WYWH would be their magnum opus, but for Pink Floyd it is, unfortunately, a mediocre offering.

Track by Track:

SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND I-V : After an extraneous build-up of synth and some Gilmour blues guitar soloing, the all-too-famous four note motif is struck and the song takes off. For some reason this excitement quickly plateaus when the singing begins and it becomes a bit of a standard track. It is very ambient, sleepy and somewhat dry-sounding. The guitar parts add a sort of liquid to keep it from becoming too desert-like. Powerful lyrics, intense build-up, flat singing and then followed up with the horns. Ugh. Once Floyd attached itself to the saxophone and soulful background singers it continued with this element (which sometimes works and sometimes does not work) for the remainder of its existence (even Waters' solo efforts seem to be dominated by female singers wailing about while he merely talks lyrics to repetitious minimalist background music). Substitute the sax for Dave's playing or Rick's soloing (as in Parts VI-IX) and you got a much better track.

WELCOME TO THE MACHINE : A lazier experimental song full of drones and sweeps that sound very mechanical (not that that is a bad thing, it is "The Machine," right? ). This track features some of Waters' anti-establishment, anti-greed lyrics (done much better on "Money" and "Pigs"). Although this is experimental, the Floyd experimented a lot better on other albums prior to WYWH, and there isn't much more to say here other than the feel of the song and Wright's keyboard savvy saves it from being a complete wash, but still this one falls short when compared to earlier experimental tracks and later keyboard/synth efforts by Wright (such as "Dogs" or "Sheep").

HAVE A CIGAR : What you have here is Pink Floyd's standard funk-blues track (ĺla "Childhood's End". "Time" and later "What Do You Want From Me?" and done much better with "Time" and "Pigs"). Although the legendary Roy Harper sings the lyrics, and the way the lyrics attach to the meter make it a very cool song - one of my favorites - it is still just a very mediocre Floyd song in comparison to a few of the aforementioned "funk-blues" tracks. Still, this track is one of the saviors of the album, for sure.

WISH YOU WERE HERE : Ah ? here we come to the old campfire sing-a-long favorite acoustic "Kumbaya" pop song that seems to be a karaoke favorite of all the drunks at a party, or the one song every amateur guitarist starts playing to get everyone to acknowledge he knows about Pink Floyd. Skip to the next track, please. To me, WYWH is not even their best acoustic song. It is boring, weak and way overrated - a hat-grabber for me.

SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND VI-IX : The best part of the entire album and by far the most interesting. This piece takes the lush soundscape of Part 1-5 and every positive thing about the first part and develops it even further. It is darker, seems to give us a vision of what is to come with "Sheep" and parts of "The Wall", but even features elements of funk and there is one part that sounds almost like The Doors joined in the fray and ends with, what seems to me to be, a nod to "Atom Heart Mother." This is one of Floyd's greatest efforts - classic Floyd and saves the album from being a bit of a clunker.

Overall:

This album has some divine moments, beautiful and haunting elements that evoke a cold nostalgia; it has stand-out tracks like "Shine On" (especially VI-IX) and "Have A Cigar," but the remainder of the album leaves much to be desired. Floyd often said that they were empty creatively after DSOTM and I think it shows here much more than most people would like to admit. 3/5

 Eight Bells by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.51 | 7 ratings

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Eight Bells
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Released in 2009, "Eight Bells" was SUBARACHNOID SPACE's last album before they disbanded two years later. The musical style hasn't changed since the last opuses, dark organic psych'n'roll studio improvisations, with some post-rock incursions, and a cleaner sound than usual. Composed of only five tracks for a total duration of 37 minutes, this final effort is one or their shortest, but also a bit unequal.

The heavy sinister "Lilith" is a very good opener with a pachydermic riff and cymbal crashes. It may remind PINK FLOYD's "Interstellar Overdrive", in agony. "Hunter Seeker" is a reference to the automatic murdering device in Frank Herbert's Dune. Longest track of the record and sometimes sounding post-rock, this ambient lethargic piece will make you wander in desolated lands. A bit lengthy and flat, but the finale is quite ferocious.

"Akathesia" can be described as a disturbed psychedelic metal piece. Nice. "Haruspex" is the latin word for "soothsayer". Consisting mainly in a single long guitar scream with Melynda Jackson's cries of despair, it does not feature many variations and therefore is the least interesting passage of the disc. On the contrary, the ender "Bird Signs" is much more rhythmic and structured. An efficient space rock with cool bass lines to enter the interstellar void.

"Eight Bells" has some weaker moments but should nonetheless please most SUBARACHNOID SPACE and obscure psychedelic rock fans. Prepare your ears for a trip into unknown inhospitable territories...

 Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music by HAWKWIND album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.27 | 136 ratings

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Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music
Hawkwind Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars First studio album featuring Robert Calvert as the lead singer, "Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music" marks the beginning of HAWKWIND's "punk" era, or Calvert-years, until 1979. Lemmy Kilmister has now left the band, the line-up has a bit changed and so do the music. Less stoner and spacey than usual, Brock and co. tries different styles here, like funk and pop. The result is quite heterogeneous and the quality, uneven. Robert Calvert wrote most lyrics and is present on every songs, except "Kadu Flyer" featuring Nik Turner on vocals.

The strange title and cover is in fact a reference to american science-fiction magazines from the 40's and the 50's: "Astounding Science Fiction" and "Amazing Stories", which may have influenced the band members during their youth.

The musical change can be heard from the first seconds. "Reefer Madness" is a catchy space pop opener, driven by guitar and piano. The best, but also the only truly remarkable song of this opus. The longest track of the record, "Steppenwolf", is rather average and flat. It however contains a nice middle-eastern pause in its middle part. "City Of Lagoons" is a kind of slow space keyboards funk. Not very typical of HAWKWIND, but pleasant.

To continue in the field of strange, the short "The Aubergine That Ate Rangoon" is a bizarre jazz piece driven by synthesizer and bass. One of the least interesting passage of the disc, too repetitive.The least spacey track, "Kerb Crawler", is some sort of energic hard rock'n'roll with a touch of saxophone. Nice but a bit out of place. Then comes "Kadu Flyer", an odd melting pot of keyboards, synthesizers, egyptian flute and even a sitar. With its unusual melody, this song tends to become a little boring. The cool ender "Chronoglide Skyway" consists mainly in a nice long trippy guitar solo.

Very different from their previous records, "Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music" is a strange and barely understandable mixture of various styles. The band wants to evolve and therefore is trying new directions. However, I'm not sure we can talk about a transitional album, as the next opuses will abandon the jazz/funk experiments and be more focused and spacey.

Not very astounding nor amazing, this disc is one of the most heterogeneous and bizarre HAWKWIND albums, as well as one of their weakest from the late 70's. Do not expect a cosmic trip to the stars aboard a galactic war spaceship here. But, although uneven and not as great as its predecessors, the overall result is nonetheless enjoyable.

 A New and Exact Map by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.16 | 6 ratings

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A New and Exact Map
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A strange title for a strange album. "A New and Exact Map" features more synthesizers than SUBARACHNOID SPACE's previous records. The mood is still dark psychedelic rock, but not as oppressive and tortured as usual. The featured instrumental compositions are less improvised, more experimental and stretched. However the exact problem of this disc is its monotony...

"Prism" is a soft dissonant rock piece with a strange sound. An average opener, as it does not seem to go anywhere. Recorded live in Las Vegas, "Drink Me" is rather ambient, nothing really happens. "Indy Maru" displays extended organic synthesizer and organ textures, sometimes reminiscent of PINK FLOYD's "Obscured by Clouds" and"More" soundtracks. This track has good moments but not many variations and is a bit lengthy.

Then comes the intruder, as well as the only good track, of the record: "Fruity Drinks with Little Umbrellas". This surprising composition resemble more OZRIC TENTACLES than SUBARACHNOID SPACE. A cool space dub/rock, more melodic than the other tracks, however a little out of place. Featuring no real changes in 18 minutes, the calm "Melted" concludes the disc in a hazy atmosphere.

"A New and Exact Map" is maybe the most ambient album of SUBARACHNOID SPACE, but certainly one of their rare weak records. Not recommended to discover this talented and trippy band.

 Warrior on the Edge of Time by HAWKWIND album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.11 | 535 ratings

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Warrior on the Edge of Time
Hawkwind Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars On the edge of space rock

4.5 stars

Last studio album with Lemmy Kimister, "Warrior On The Edge Of Time" marks the end of HAWKWIND's "classic" space stoner era, considered by many as their best period. The music combines the soft melodic side of "Hall of the Mountain Grill" and the heavier side of "In Search of Space" and "Doremi Fasol Latido". Keyboardist Simon House incorporates sounds effects quite futuristic at this time.

"Warrior On The Edge Of Time" is in fact a concept album based on Michael Moorcock's Elric cycles. Thus, like in "Space Ritual", some tracks are only spoken sentences, this time enunciated by the writer himself, with an ambient background. These three passages are "The Wizard Blew His Horn", "Standing at the Edge" and "Warriors". This collaboration between HAWKWIND and Moorcock won't be the least one.

"Assault And Battery" and "The Golden Void" can be considered as a long single song. An immediate boarding for stars, this cosmic mini-epic suite is a pure space metal little gem! The two tracks will often be played live consecutively. "Opa-Loka" is a nice space instrumental that reminds NEU! by moments. The beautiful "The Demented Man" is a cool enchanting tune with acoustic guitars and synthesizers, in the style of songs from "Hall of the Mountain Grill". Magic! However, the highlight of the album is undoubtly "Magnu". This futuristic space metal ritual with middle-eastern sonorities and saxophone is simply great, and like "Master of the Universe", will become a concert favorite, played at a faster speed.

The second half of the record is a little less remarkable. "Spiral Galaxy 28948" is the best instrumental of the disc, with its whirling keyboards and guitars. "Dying Seas" is also a good futuristic dark space rock with sci-fi sound effects, whereas "Kings Of Speed" is just an average hard rock song. This ender is the weakest track of the record, as it is a bit repetitive and out of place. Composed by Lemmy, the original violin version of "Motorhead" is included as a bonus track. Gorgeous! There is quite a gap between this version and the eponymous track on MOT'RHEAD first opus.

It's a pity the three "spoken" passages tend to break the flow and the listening immersion, because (almost) all tracks are excellent. "Warrior On The Edge Of Time" is a lesser-known HAWKWIND studio album, but as good and essential as the three previous ones. Afterwards, the line-up will change, and the band's releases quality will be less regular...

 The Sleeping Sickness (with Walking Timebombs) by SUBARACHNOID SPACE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.95 | 3 ratings

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The Sleeping Sickness (with Walking Timebombs)
Subarachnoid Space Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Nightmarish psychedelia

Although released in 1999, "The Sleeping Sickness" was initially recorded in 1996 with guitarist Scott Ayers from band WALKING TIMEBOMBS. Therefore, the style is very close to SUBARACHNOID SPACE's debut album, "Delicate Membrane": somber psych'n'roll improvisations, however with better sound quality and inspiration. As you may have noticed, the tracks names are just variations of the album title.

After the short ambient "Introduction", the descent into darkness with "The sleeping sickness I". The atmosphere is even more tortuous with the whirlwinds of "The sickness sleeps". The ambient "Sick and sleeping" is like a black hole aspirating the listener. Its intensity increases until becoming chaotic and calm again. "No sleep for the sick" is an efficient heavy aggressive space rock, while the title track displays a deserted land, its big beat rhythm representing the bomber. "The sleeping sickness II" sounds like a monster being tortured. Uneven, but the trippy guitar sonorities sometimes resemble the middle part of PINK FLOYD's "One of These Days". "(Hmmm)" is in fact only 2 minutes long, as the first 20 minutes are empty, which was a common practice in 90's studio releases. Anyway, this short conclusion is rather anecdotal.

As its predecessor, "The Sleeping Sickness" is a long journey into unknown depths, in the search of a cursed creature. Very recommended to dark psychedelic rock fans, but not just before going to sleep...

Data cached

Psychedelic/Space Rock bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
3 LEAFS United States
35007 Netherlands
3RD EAR EXPERIENCE Multi-National
THE 4 LEVELS OF EXISTENCE Greece
ABUNAI! United States
ACID FLORIANI Russia
ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE Japan
AD'ABSURDUM Switzerland
AGAMEMNON Switzerland
AGUSA Sweden
AHKMED Australia
AHORA MAZDA Netherlands
AKASHA Norway
ALASEHIR United States
ALEX DELIVERY United States
ALGARNAS TRADGARD Sweden
ALHAMBRA Italy
ALICE France
ALIEN PLANETSCAPES United States
ALIENTAR United States
ALITHIA Australia
ALMUADEM Portugal
ALPES & CATHERINE RIBEIRO France
ALPHA OMEGA Australia
ALRUNE ROD Denmark
AME SON France
AMONULLUNOMA Ireland
THE AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS United Kingdom
AMPACITY Poland
AMPLIFIER United Kingdom
ANALOGY Italy
ANGEL'IN HEAVY SYRUP Japan
ANNOT RHÜL Norway
ANONIMA SOUND LTD. Italy
ANTA United Kingdom
ANTLERS United States
DADDY ANTOGNA Y LOS DE HELIO Argentina
ANUBIAN LIGHTS United States
APPALACHIAN TRANSLATOR United States
APRYL FOOL Japan
APTEKA Poland
AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR France
AQUANAUT Australia
AQUASERGE France
AQUELARRE Argentina
ARCADIUM United Kingdom
ARCHITECTURAL METAPHOR United States
ARILYN Germany
ARZACHEL United Kingdom
ASSEMBLE HEAD IN SUNBURST SOUND United States
ASTRA United States
ASTRAL SON Netherlands
ASTRALIA Italy
ATAVISM OF TWILIGHT United States
ATAVISMO Spain
ATAXIA United States
ATHENE NOCTUA Italy
ATLETA Spain
ATOMIC SIMAO Ukraine
AVARUUSKORPRAALI PAHA HIRVI Finland
AXE United Kingdom
AYAHUASCA DARK TRIP Multi-National
AYERMANIANA Argentina
BABILS Belgium
BABY GRANDMOTHERS Sweden
BACHDENKEL United Kingdom
BACKSTREET ROMEOS Germany
BAIKAL United States
BAND OF RAIN United Kingdom
BARDO POND United States
BARN OWL United States
BARRETT ELMORE Sweden
MASAKI BATOH Japan
BËIRUTH Spain
BEYOND-O-MATIC United States
BLACK BOMBAIM Portugal
BLACK LIGHT SECRET United Kingdom
THE BLACK NOODLE PROJECT France
BLACK SCIENCE United States
BLAND BLADEN Sweden
BLIM United Kingdom
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BLUE PHANTOM Italy
BOAT BURNING United States
BOSQUES Argentina
CHRISTIAN BOULÉ France
BRAINSTORM Australia
DAVE BROCK United Kingdom
BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE United Kingdom
ARTHUR BROWN'S KINGDOM COME United Kingdom
BUHO ERMITANO Peru
BURNT NOODLE United States
ROBERT CALVERT South Africa
CAMEL United Kingdom
CANTERBURY GLASS United Kingdom
CAPITAL SENTIMENTAL Netherlands
CARLTON MELTON United States
THE CARPET KNIGHTS Sweden
CARRÉ.LADICH.MARCHAL Multi-National
CATHARSIS France
CATS ON THE ROOF Ukraine
CAULDRON Sweden
CAUSA SUI Denmark
CAVE United States
CENTRIC JONES United States
LES CHAMPIGNONS Canada
CHARLIE & ESDOR Sweden
CHICKENCAGE EXPERIENCE Germany
CHILLIWACK Canada
CHIMERA United Kingdom
CHROMA KEY United States
CIOLKOWSKA Russia
CIRCLE Finland
CIRCUS 2000 Italy
COBALT BLUE Brazil
COCK C'NELL Japan
COLD SUN United States
COLORSTAR Hungary
COLSTER Italy
COMA STEREO Slovenia
COMETS ON FIRE United States
LA COMPAGNIA DIGITALE Italy
LAS COSAS Argentina
THE COSMIC DEAD United Kingdom
COSMIC TRIP MACHINE Belgium
COSMONAUTTRANSFER United Kingdom
COSMOS FACTORY Japan
CRANIUM PIE United Kingdom
CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX United Kingdom
CRONOMAD Mexico
CROW United Kingdom
CRUMBLING GHOST United Kingdom
CUCUMBER FARMER Finland
CUZO Spain
D SOUND Hungary
D'ARCANA United States
DARK BUDDHA RISING Finland
DARK SUN Finland
DARXTAR Sweden
DASPUTNIK Finland
DATETENRYU Japan
ALAN DAVEY United Kingdom
DAY OF PHOENIX Denmark
DAY SHIFT United Kingdom
DE CRONOPIOS Argentina
DEAD MEADOW United States
DEAF SCENE United States
DEEP SPACE DESTRUCTORS Finland
DEIGEN Japan
EL DIABLO Mexico
DOMO Spain
DR HASBEEN United Kingdom
DR. TOTEM Mexico
DRAGONTEARS Denmark
DRAGONWYCK United States
DRAHK VON TRIP Sweden
DREAM MACHINE United Kingdom
DRUNKEN GUNMEN Australia
DUNGEN Sweden
DUNST Germany
THE EARLIES Multi-National
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EASTERN SYNDROME Russia
EATING.SEATS Italy
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EDEN ROSE France
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EGYPTIAN KINGS Portugal
EIDETIC SEEING United States
EKOS Mexico
EKTROVERDE Finland
ELECTRIC EYE Norway
ELECTRIC MOON Germany
ELEVATOR Canada
BRIAN ELLIS United States
ELMER GANTRY'S VELVET OPERA United Kingdom
ELOY Germany
AN EMERALD CITY Multi-National
THE ENTRANCE BAND United States
EQUATIONS Portugal
ESCAPADE United States
ETER-K Peru
ETERNAL TAPESTRY United States
EVEL GAZEBOW United Kingdom
EYE United States
F/I United States
THE FACEDANCERS United States
FAIRUZ DERIN BULUT Turkey
FALSOS CONEJOS Argentina
FANTASY United States
FAR EAST FAMILY BAND Japan
FAR OUT Japan
FARFLUNG United States
MICK FARREN United Kingdom
FIFTY FOOT HOSE United States
FIRECLAN United States
FIRST BAND FROM OUTER SPACE Sweden
FISH EYE LENS United States
FJODOR Croatia
FLEUR DE LIS Denmark
FLOORIAN United States
THE FLOW Greece
FLOWER TRAVELLIN' BAND Japan
FLOWERS MUST DIE Sweden
FÖLLAKZOID Chile
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FOOD BRAIN Japan
FORCE MAJEURE Hungary
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FROLIC FROTH Mexico
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FUNGAL ABYSS United States
THE FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND United Kingdom
GALACTICKA Finland
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GALAXY Switzerland
THE GATE TO ALPHA CENTAURI United Kingdom
GDEVA Russia
GHOST Japan
THE GIANT HOGWEED ORCHESTRA Finland
GLOSSOLALIA Multi-National
GO-NEKO! Argentina
GOAT Sweden
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CARY GRACE United Kingdom
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GREEN MILK FROM THE PLANET ORANGE Japan
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GROUP 1850 Netherlands
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GUILD NAVIGATORS United States
HANADENSHA Japan
HANDLINGNOISE Finland
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HASH JAR TEMPO Multi-National
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HAWKWIND United Kingdom
A HEADFULL OF MONSTERS United Kingdom
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HEPTAGRAM Bulgaria
HERBCRAFT United States
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HIDRIA SPACEFOLK Finland
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HILLS Sweden
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HOUSE OF NOT Canada
HOWLIN' MAGIC United States
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HYPNOS 69 Belgium
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ID United States
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IKIHEVONEN Finland
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IMANISSIMO Indonesia
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INCANDESCENT SKY United States
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INSIDER Italy
INSTANT FLIGHT Multi-National
INTERKOSMOS Austria
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THE INVISIBLE BAND! United Kingdom
INVISIBLE OPERA COMPANY OF TIBET (BRAZIL) Brazil
ION QUEST United States
LA IRA DE DIOS Peru
IT'S NOT NIGHT: IT'S SPACE United States
IVORY Germany
IXTHULUH Austria
J. A. CAESAR Japan
JACKO WACKO Peru
JACKS Japan
ANDY JACKSON United Kingdom
JADE France
JADE WARRIOR United Kingdom
THE JELLY JAM United States
JESUS WITH ME United States
JOY HEIGHTS Japan
JUKE France
JUUDAS ISKARIOTIN SUUDELMA Finland
KAARNA Finland
KALUTALIKSUAK Russia
KANZEON Japan
KARABA Germany
KARMA CANON United States
KARMIC SOCIETY Germany
KARUNA KHYAL Japan
ROSE KEMP United Kingdom
PAUL KIDNEY EXPERIENCE Australia
KIKAGAKU MOYO Japan
KIKI PAU Finland
KILL FOR TOTAL PEACE France
KILLFLAVOUR Germany
KING SUFFY GENERATOR Italy
KINGBATHMAT United Kingdom
KINGSTON WALL Finland
KINSKI United States
KIRUNA Norway
KLAR Czech Republic
KNALL Germany
PASI KOIVU Finland
KORAI ÖRÖM Hungary
ERKIN KORAY Turkey
KOSMOS Canada
KOUSOKUYA Japan
KOZMIC MUFFIN Spain
KRAUTZONE Germany
KREL United Kingdom
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KUNI KAWACHI TO KARE NO TOMODACHI Japan
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LAGHONIA Peru
LANDING United States
LANDS END United States
LAVA Sweden
LAY LLAMAS Italy
LE MUR Germany
LEGENDARY PINK DOTS United Kingdom
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SELIM LEMOUCHI AND HIS ENEMIES Netherlands
LENIN Argentina
LENINGRAD BLUES MACHINE Japan
LES LEKIN Austria
LES RALLIZES DENUDES Japan
LIQUID SOUND COMPANY United States
LIQUID VISIONS Germany
LITMUS United Kingdom
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LOOP United Kingdom
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LUBIANKA Spain
LÜGER Spain
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THE MACHINE Netherlands
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MAN United Kingdom
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MESS Estonia
MESSAGE Germany
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MIJA United States
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MOLECULE France
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THE MOOR Sweden
MOTHER GONG United Kingdom
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THE MOVEMENTS Sweden
MR QUIMBY'S BEARD United Kingdom
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MUSHROOM United States
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OS MUTANTES Brazil
MY BROTHER THE WIND Sweden
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MYRIAD Australia
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NOPE United Kingdom
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ONE OF THESE DAYS & THEE HEAVY RANDOM TONE COLOUR LAB Spain
ONE SWITCH TO COLLISION Multi-National
ONEIDA United States
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ORANZADA Poland
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