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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



The responsibility for the psych/space, indo/raga, krautrock and prog electronic subgenres is taken by the PSIKE team,
currently consisting of
- Sheavy
- Meltdowner
- siLLy puPPy
- 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 | 3915 ratings
WISH YOU WERE HERE
Pink Floyd
4.60 | 4107 ratings
DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
Pink Floyd
4.52 | 3509 ratings
ANIMALS
Pink Floyd
4.30 | 2976 ratings
MEDDLE
Pink Floyd
4.22 | 1016 ratings
OCEAN
Eloy
4.18 | 309 ratings
LEGACY
Hypnos 69
4.12 | 629 ratings
WARRIOR ON THE EDGE OF TIME
Hawkwind
4.09 | 2810 ratings
THE WALL
Pink Floyd
4.33 | 70 ratings
OBSOLETE
Hedayat, Dashiell
4.11 | 417 ratings
JURASSIC SHIFT
Ozric Tentacles
4.11 | 374 ratings
RITUAL
Nemrud
4.15 | 157 ratings
KINGSTON WALL II
Kingston Wall
4.07 | 557 ratings
A TAB IN THE OCEAN
Nektar
4.05 | 589 ratings
DAWN
Eloy
4.08 | 262 ratings
TOGETHER WE'RE STRANGER
No-Man
4.11 | 166 ratings
BY THE WATERS OF TOMORROW
Vespero
4.15 | 113 ratings
TAKO
Tako
4.25 | 61 ratings
MANTRIC MUSE
Mantric Muse
4.12 | 125 ratings
PARALLEL WORLD
Far East Family Band
4.03 | 605 ratings
SILENT CRIES AND MIGHTY ECHOES
Eloy

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

THESE THINGS TAKE TIME
Subarachnoid Space
THE XENON CODEX
Hawkwind
TAMBOURINE FREAK MACHINE
Dragontears
PERPETUAL MOTION
Grace, Cary

Latest Psychedelic/Space Rock Music Reviews


 Clouds by NOSOUND album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2007
3.57 | 13 ratings

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Clouds
NoSound Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Nosound is a psychedelic/space rock band from Italy. This EP, named "Clouds" is made up of 3 tracks that are meant to bridge the gap between their debut album and their 2nd album which moved them from an ambient sound to a fuller sound. The 3 tracks span a run time of 22 minutes. The songs were originally exclusive to this album, but one of those tracks, "Clouds", later became a bonus track for their 2nd album.

The first track, "Cold Afterall" starts with a field recording surrounded by a strumming acoustic guitar and a synth playing sustained chords. Vocals joins in and the track continues in a smooth and layered style. On the 2nd verse, the drums come in and continue in the moderately slow tempo. The track continues with it's palatial sound with harmonics added to the laid-back vocals later. After a build up in intensity, it mellows out again, and then explodes suddenly with an emotional dual guitar passage.

"Like the Elephant?" is an instrumental that starts immediately quite upbeat with an electronic tone flitting quickly along. Heavy guitars are brought in making this contrast quite a bit from the previous track. After a while, the heaviness falls back and there is a nice synth solo that sounds a bit brassy that gives a gaelic sound. The rhthym becomes more complex after this solo as heavy layered guitars continue to build intensity, and then drops off to a nice guitar solo which becomes even more intense after a while.

"Clouds" is a long and atmospheric track that utilizes sustained notes from synths and guitars to create a more ambient atmosphere more like on the bands first album. The track is quite special with no distinct melody, but with a more drone like quality from the long sustained notes. It is a relaxing track that suggests floating among the clouds. This track is now available as a bonus track on the "Lightdark" album.

These are 3 distinct tracks that almost sound like 3 different bands showing the different styles the band is capable of. The EP is quite short, but fans will be interested in it because of the exclusive tracks and it combines the styles in one short EP, The music is nice, but is only an introduction to the band. 3 stars.

 Schwester Mondreal by KARABA album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Schwester Mondreal
Karaba Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

— First review of this album —
4 stars This album is reminiscent of Embryo's DNA, in some way, I especially mean the vivid jazz fusion tinged explorations like Ozmose for example. And yes, somewhat obvious, KARABA is deriving from Munich too. Furthermore, when having a look at the line up in a more detailed manner, what definitely attracts attention is the involvement of Marja Burchard on the vibraphone. Daughter of Christian, the co-founder of Embryo. He sadly passed away early 2018, though she's holding up the earlier spirit, while turning away from their prior ethno world orientation. Back to the roots so to say. With both bands, also including some staff overlaps, for example percussionist Jakob Thun and Marcel (Maasl) Maier on the bass guitar.

So what makes it different to an Embryo album, one or two may ask? While assuming that the tracks are based on diverse studio jam sessions, Marja may not hold the artistical leadership here, I would insist. The impact of the other band musicians will lead into a more psychedelic and art rock direction, even showing some avantgarde approach. So this partly is also akin to the eclecticism of the Chickencage Experience, so much the more the predecessor Polytoxicomane Philharmonie. The split song Der G.A.U. delivers a funny gimmick in between with a monotonic advice to flip the vinyl album side. Truly an awesome production. This should not be missed by the open-minded prog community.

 There Is Another Way by NUKLI album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.95 | 2 ratings

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There Is Another Way
Nukli Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It's been 22 years since Nukli released their previous album 'The Time Factory', and during that time, this Psychedelic/Space Rock band has been trying to perfect another album. But, the songs were plagued by problems and things were not turning out satisfactorily, so the band kept releasing live albums. In 2012, backing tracks were added to the new material, but final production never took place and the project was pushed aside. Finally, in 2018, Peter Out, the drummer for the band, pushed the project forward, and now the band has released a new album containing music that has been 22 years in the making.

Nukli has been around since the early 80's and has released 8 albums to date. In May of 2019, 'There is Another Way' was released and it is the album I have been talking about that has taken so long to finish. Where most of their previous albums contained a lot of live material, since the banning of free festivals by the English Criminal Justice Bill, the band had lost their main avenue of rehearsng and recording, which is one reason why this new album had been pushed aside so many times. 'There Is Another Way' consists of 11 tracks and almost 80 minutes of music. The tracks range from around 4 minutes to 11 minutes long. The line up consists of Kevin Hegan on guitars, keyboards and vocals; Mark Huxley on bass (who also did the cover art); and Peter Out on drums, percussion, production and mixing. So, is the album worth the wait?

For lovers of psychedelic/space rock, this is a sublime album with some nice laid back jams and also heavy blasts of improvised guitar against a back drop of spacey effects and trance inducing rhythm sections. There is also a basic structure to the songs, usually incorporating short and simple lyrics and guitar riffs. This pretty much describes the first track 'Live Life Love' which nears the 10 minute mark. The music pretty much has that hazy sound that evokes the sound of bands from the psychedelic movement of the 70s, the music and recordings even sounding like they came from that era. There is a similarity to the 'Hawkwind' sound, for sure, as is the case with the track 'Free Festival', but it also has a more focused guitar improvisation that really generates a rocking feel that keeps things from meandering around aimlessly.

Many of the tracks start with field recordings and various radio-style noises. This is the thing that ties the album all together. But the songs themselves do tend to be a little more inconsistent. Where you had a more focused sound in 'Free Festival', the album follows this with a much looser and free flowing track called 'Kraanisch'. This track feels like it could just fall apart at any time. The softer sound lends itself to a nice variety in the sound, but the foundation of this track is a bit weak and doesn't match the improvisational sections very well. 'Sometimes' on the other hand, does have a more solid feel to the base line, and even though the vocals are not really great, the instrumental sections are better and it all makes for a nice groove. The band isn't afraid to go for a more structured sound as they do with the track 'Mind Over Matter' and yet still keep things within the general feel of the genre by taking time to have a rousing guitar solo in the latter half of the track.

The longest track on the album 'Nomadik Trybes' shifts to the mid-Eastern feel that is common to the genre, beginning with field recordings of chanting amidst crowd noises before the foundation starts and the main vocalists takes up the chanting/singing Arabic style. The improvised guitar even takes on the sitar sound and makes for some great variance on the sound of the album. The sound is very realistic, as if the musicians were knowledgeable about what they were doing and not just emulating the sound. The subdued percussion also gives the track a trance-like feel.

There is definitely something to be said about the way the overall sound of the album emulates the recorded sound of space rock as it was recorded in the 70s, that imperfect and somewhat fuzzy aspect that the best space rock of that decade had. It works for the most part here, and as I said before, it sometimes sounds very much like a Hawkwind album from that time period. But I find that there are sections that are more focused. There are also times when it works in the opposite manner, but this only happens a few times. The track 'Time Machine' goes for a jazzy vibe, complete with a flute, but this process doesn't work as well for this track, and it feels as if the track gathers steam and then almost falls to pieces. I think these tracks probably didn't get as much attention as most of the others, and it shows even more in their looser styles. 'Spiral Dance' is simply a guitar jam against a fast moving background, the perfect space rock vibe that even slows down in spots to evoke a more psychedelic and progressive feeling.

So, it's a good album, or at least collection of tracks that have been collected during their long break culled from live shows (as most of their music is) and then finally finished in the studio. Most of the tracks are great psychedelic and space rock gems done quite well, but there are a few weak tracks that take the overall album down a notch. Those that love space rock will love this album I believe and will love the retro sound of it. Others not familiar with the genre might have a harder time with it, but I find it enjoyable for the most part.

 VI by PAPIR album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.00 | 3 ratings

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VI
Papir Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In 2008, 'Papir' was considered a young group of psychedelic musicians. Now they are young plus 11 years, what ever that is. They come from Denmark and dabble occasionally into krautrock. The original line-up is Christoffer Brochmann Christensen n the drums; Nicklas Sorensen on guitars and keyboards; and Christian Becher Clausen on bass and keyboards. They have released 7 full length studio albums since 2010, the latest one being 'VI' released in May of 2019. The original lineup is still together with this album, which has 4 tracks and spans a total time of 39 minutes. This is quite short in comparison to their previous album 'V' which was a double album and ran for over an hour and a half. The intention was to keep this album more concise and focused without the long wanderings of the last album.

The tracks on this album are simply numbered. The first track, 'VI.I', is just over 10 minutes and it immediately establishes the rhythm section with a groovy, repeating bass line and a moderate, floating drum line with embellishments. The guitar comes in quickly and does some improvisation and structured passages with the bass tagging right along, note for note on the structured melodies, but allowing for the guitar to go off on it's own on the improvised sections. The echo on the guitar hangs around long enough to create a slight drone in the background. The drums move things forward and back dynamically and the other musicians follow suit taking their intensity cues from the percussion.

'VI.II' works in the same manner as the bass picks out a faster moving bass line and this time the drums play a more driving rhythm than the last track. This time, the guitars joins in giving a more frantic and intense sound. There are fuzzy chords in the background as the guitar wails out an improvised melody. There are a few times along the way that the guitar stops and allows all of the echoing reverb clear out, washing everything clean of the droning sound created by the echo, sort of like resetting itself before it attacks again. The drums add some variety to its style, not satisfied just to sit back and pound out the same pattern.

'VI.III' begins much more atmospheric with guitar effects echoing in an experimental feel before the floating bass and percussion come in to establish a moderate background. The bass line becomes more prominent as the track continues. The guitar has a more sustained feel to it as e track feels more spacey, free-floating and atmospheric overall. There is a percussive, tonal sound added to one of the guitar lines later and then the guitar becomes more improvised as the tune floats along, becoming slowly more intense as it continues as synths provide a lush drone.

The last track, 'VI.IV' is the longest at just over 11 minutes. The bass line is a bit more complex this time and the percussion is more clanky and disjointed creating a frantic feeling. The guitar begins with its improvisation. After a minute, the drums kick in with a heavy, consistant beat as the bass settles in to a repeated pattern and the guitar's improvisation becomes heavier and more intense alternating between improvisation and structured heavier passages. The bass is then allowed to have some fun for a while with a more complex pattern as the feel turns a bit looser. An interesting sounding drone comes in as the percussion gets heavier with wild drumming and crashing cymbals and then the guitar goes wild in a stoner rock vibe. The intensity calms a bit when the drone gets dropped and the drums steady out the rhythm. The guitar turns jangly and sounds more free-floating for a while. Soon, things morph into a more driving rhythm and the guitar intensifies again, things become more solid as before and brings the entire thing to a rocking conclusion.

Papir prides itself in not playing to the masses, but instead, providing music where listeners can get blessed out on psychedelic and space rock style jams that are not always satisfied to remain in one style for too long. Rhythm and tempo changes are smooth and almost unnoticeable unless you are listening closely. If you do bliss out, this album will slip by quickly without hardly any notice to the dynamics that are present. If you listen closely, however, you will notice changes throughout each track as the sound moves around dynamically almost like the tides of the ocean. Either way, the music works well and serves the purpose that it was made for. It makes sense to not over-indulge listeners on this style of music, thus it makes sense that this album was shorter than the previous one, thus making this more convenient to listen to. Anyway, this is high quality psychedelic/space rock that will appeal to those that love to let their minds float free along with the music.

 Pyramidal by PYRAMIDAL album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.83 | 26 ratings

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Pyramidal
Pyramidal Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Peter Angus

2 stars Pyramidal is a Spanish band that practices a certain psychedelia and minimalism not in the sense of Glass or Nyman, of course. His last work, with homonymous title, consists of six tracks of extensive duration, especially the last one that almost doubles any of the others. The production is not amater, but neither is it professional. This detail makes the sound in general uniform, with few incursions into more daring and creative mixes. This has a very monotonous sound throughout the album. As for the songs, they are practically instrumental, since the scarce presence of voices invites us to think that they are treated as one more color. The compositions, in their musical structure, are usually based on short harmonic loops that are repeated over and over again. Along every track, there are interventions without a clear relationship between them; they generate environments or fragments in an expressionist style. Perhaps what I like the least about this album, and its particular style, is the trip to nowhere. The tonal keys are only a few within a composition and the whole work, which makes you want to skip the tracks quickly from one to another to try to discover something new. As much as they insist, the longest composition features the same deficiencies. Anyway, I think this album can work better as environmental music to create a hypnotic sensation than in an active listening. On this album, all of this may be understandable, but on a future work the band will have to propose something else.
 Pyramidal by PYRAMIDAL album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.83 | 26 ratings

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Pyramidal
Pyramidal Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Stefan Lukas

2 stars I like to access progarchives to know what new values ​​are in the market in order to get new discs for my collection. When I read the list of tops of 2019, I found this Psychedelic and Space Rock band. In the very beginning, it seems promising. Also the reviews are good. However, as I listen to this album, my expectations are changing step by step. Pyramidal is a work made of 6 tracks. At first I like the proposal. His first song seems attractive, but over the time it is only a proposal with a King Crimson sound, but of a lower level. The saxophone has a classic sound (quite academic) away from the jazzy or rocky sound we are used to. In other words, 9 minutes of good intentions, but anchored in a harmonic structure that does not go anywhere. His second track begins in the same way as the previous one, that is, with a hypnotic use of musical elements, revolving around them on and on. "Unconscious Oscillations", the third title, features the same fault as the previous tracks. The last two songs delve into the same techniques, harmonies and timbre. All in all, the compositional formula is repeated again and again without offering anything new, which causes boredom and a deep exhaustion. On the other hand, production, even though it is self-produced, lacks very basic aspects such as the clarity of the planes, the clip of certain frequencies that produces quite a dark sound, and drums that sometimes remains of a rehearsal environment. If this band want to evolve, they must improve all these aspects.
 Pilgrimage by HANDWRIST album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Pilgrimage
Handwrist Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Hailing from Portugal, "Handwrist" is the musical project of multi-instrumentalist Rui Botelho Rodrigues. The music of this project is designated as Psychedelic/Space Rock however, there are a lot of jazz leanings in this music. Since 2012, the project has released 15 full length albums, which is quite impressive. The 15th album, released in May of 2019 is called "Pilgrimage", and consists of 3 tracks with a total run time of 38 minutes.

The previous album by the Handwrist project, called "Tribulation", was released only last month (April 2019) and, even though it is of a psychedelic and spacey nature, it leaned heavily on a nice jazz style that proved to be an interesting mix and made for a satisfying album. On "Pilgrimage", Rodrigues relies less on other musicians and plays everything except for the slide guitar on the first track "Tagus", which is played by guest Reggie Duncan.

"Tagus" is a 12 minute track that starts out uptempo with a synth melody line, but it soon slows down and introduces an atmospheric guitar which takes the track to a different place before building back up again. The synth takes the center stage again for a nice, playful passage, then the tempo slows to a moderate pace while the bass becomes the main guitding instrument while sustained notes from an organ support everything. The bass and organ duo continues on with the moderate rhtyhm for quite some time. After 7 minutes, the mood does a quick change and becomes brighter, more upbeat and progressive as the bass supports a keyboard chord progression and a fuzzy processed guitar. The jazz undertones are still there as they were in the previous album, but this track relies on some interesting solos. The slide guitar comes in creating a slightly unsettling atmosphere against a somewhat cheery backdrop, and then goes along until the track fades out.

"Mondaecus" has a more tropical feel to it that probably comes from Rodrigues' roots. A jazz progression starts and a heavy, fuzzy guitar takes this to a space rock style improvisation, but backed up by jazz chord progressions. Half way through this 8 minute track, there is a sudden change as the background becomes more laid back, the tempo slows a bit, and a wandering synth takes over. There is also a flute effect from the synth that ventures along for this meandering last half of the track which also eventually fades out.

"Durius" is a 18 minute track that has a bright uptempo feel, this time supported at first with only the bass and drums while various synth and processed instrumental textures improvise over it all. At the halfway point, this fades and is replaced by a more mysterious sound, a new background is established, and more jamming soon begins. The foundation changes a few more times after this which make it a bit more interesting in the latter half of the track.

This album is more of a study in space rock improvisation over jazz backdrops. It is more aimless than the album released last month, using it's 3 long tracks to explore improvised space jams. As in the last album, the foundations change from time to time making the long jams more variant, but they are definitely stretched out longer relying on the improvisation, so the music seems to wander around a lot more. While it is definitely a lot more space rock oriented, it seems to me that it is a bit choppy. It's not as well put together as last months album, but is nice for just putting on when you want to just float along with the music. My recommendation if you want to explore this artists music, is to listen to "Tribulation" and come back to this album later with the idea that the music here is quite a bit looser and based on jams. However, if you like improvised space jams, you might be more interested in this album, but I have heard better. 3 stars.

 Avtomat Proshlogo by CIOLKOWSKA album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.77 | 7 ratings

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Avtomat Proshlogo
Ciolkowska Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars You can hear that CIOLKOWSKA are deriving from the Russian Federation. What may surprise one or two anyhow - they have developed a rather eclectic approach in recent years. The stylistical fundament is obvious, the arrangements though are definitely sophisticated, more than what one normally would expect from a common psychedelic space rock band. Let's say ... due to a strict structure, diverse tempo changes, twists and turns, as well as unusual instruments and a sublime atmosphere. Just for your entertainment, okay? There is a trumpet aboard now too, but not solely Aleksey Gorshkov will add a proper jazzy touch to some songs. Just take the speedy My Iz Dzhaza for example, which shows the whole band off the beaten path.

The nine tracks are focussed on the instrumental scope, vocals are not always given. If so, then truely presented in many variants, partially also via sample, or in narrative form. Not to forget, somewhat spectacular of course is the presence of an electrified ukelele, played by Alesha Izlesa, and this since the band's very beginning. What ultimately serves an ethnic vibe, akin to Slovo Mira's balalaika. Furthermore, due to punchy drums and bass, the songs generate strength and power again and again. And then Yegor Svysokihgor shows the complete expression on his guitars, from soaring to acid, melancholic to heavy. Simply fabulous!

I will pick up another example here, more close to a jam, the inspired 108 shows some funny (freestyle?) vocals, in some way referencing Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin and others. Goal accomplished. Released digitally and on CD by addicted label noname666 'Avtomat Proshlogo' turns out to be a recommended purchase. Some may deprecate that two covers are taken for the song collection, they are adopted from other obscure Saint Petersburg based bands. Doesn't really matter, because I'm sure that most of us never ever will have listened to the originals beforehand.

 Hollow Moon by VESPERO album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.94 | 64 ratings

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Hollow Moon
Vespero Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Vespero are Ivan Fedotov drums, percussion, сachon, wave drum, Arkady Fedotov bass, synth, noises, Alexander Kuzovlev guitars, mandoline, Alexey Klabukov keys, synths, Vitaly Borodin violin, accordion, piano, synth with Pavel Alekseev tenor saxophone. The sound they generate is nothing short of inspired mayhem with textures of space rock floating throughout. The time sigs are chaotic, the musicianship is innovative and every track differs from the next in style and substance. There are flavours of King Crimson, Hawkwind and The Ozric Tentacles combined.

I am not going to pull out any specific track on Hollow Moon as the instrumental album as a whole has a transfixing power that just flows from track to track as a composition. I love the spaciness of the atmosphere and the way that various instruments chime in and out of the wall of sound. There are some outstanding passages of music that are sublime.

There are lead breaks to savour with wah wah pedal and effects, occasional keyboards and weird spacey effects. there are haunting piano motifs and an odd percussion meter played with astonishing, engaging effect. The drumming on this album are played with an incredible ferocity, on another level from your average drummer.

Hollow Moon is dominated by lead guitars with gorgeous saxophone and the violin thrown in for good measure. There are quirky time changes that would keep any respectable metronome swinging wildly.

The overall album is a spaced out psychedelic journey of innovation and unusual soundscapes. It certainly grows on the listener as the more I heard it the more I was entranced by the mesmerising music. An outstanding Psych Prog album keeping the Space Rock lamp burning.

 Great Escape by CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.91 | 94 ratings

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Great Escape
Crippled Black Phoenix Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars If there was ever a band who refused to conform to what anyone expects of them, then it must be Crippled Black Phoenix, who continue to be led by multi-instrumentalist Julian Graves (drummer for Iron Monkey and Electric Wizard among others. They have been described as stoner prog through freak folk to psychedelic doom, and then back to post rock via space rock. Despite the wide range of musical leanings within their albums, there are a unifying dark streak and sombre melancholy running through the songs. Their tenth studio album shows them embracing all these styles, and so much more, with the core trio of Daniel 'nghede (vocals, guitar), Justin Greaves (guitars, drums, bass, samples, musical saw, percussion, backing vocals, composer, arranger and co-producer) and Mark Furnevall (synths, Hammond, vocoder, backing vocals) being joined by various guests, of whom special mention should be made of Belinda Kordic whose ethereal vocals certainly add to the emotional and dramatic elements of the band.

Early Floyd is the obvious influence, particularly on the likes of 'Las Diabolicas', but the very first time I played this the name which kept popping into my head was Johnny Cash, and while this sounds absolutely nothing like him in any way, for some reason the analogy really works. Since their debut 'A Love of Shared Disasters' in 2007, Crippled Black Phoenix have continued to morph and change, and this is yet another exercise in changing perceptions about the band, and is deep mahogany in a world of cheap and throwaway plastic as the depth and emotion contained within are compelling.

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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
ACTION & TENSION & SPACE Norway
AD'ABSURDUM Switzerland
ADDICTHEAD Switzerland
AGAMEMNON Switzerland
AGUSA Sweden
AHKMED Australia
AHORA MAZDA Netherlands
AKASHA Norway
ALAMEDA 5 Poland
ALASEHIR United States
ALEX DELIVERY United States
ÄLGARNAS TRÄDGÅRD Sweden
ALHAMBRA Italy
ALICE France
ALIEN PLANETSCAPES United States
ALIENTAR United States
ALITHIA Australia
ALMUADEM Portugal
ALPHA NORD Germany
ALPHA OMEGA Australia
ALRUNE ROD Denmark
AME SON France
AMGALA TEMPLE Norway
AMONULLUNOMA Ireland
THE AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS United Kingdom
AMPACITY Poland
AMPLIFIER United Kingdom
ANALOGY Italy
ANDROMEDA SPACE RITUAL Poland
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
APHODYL Germany
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
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ATAVISM OF TWILIGHT United States
ATAVISMO Spain
ATAXIA United States
ATHENE NOCTUA Italy
ATLETA Spain
ATOMIC SIMAO Ukraine
ATON FIVE Russia
AURORIS United Kingdom
AUTOMATISM Sweden
AVARUUSKORPRAALI PAHA HIRVI Finland
AXE United Kingdom
AYAHUASCA DARK TRIP Multi-National
AYERMANIANA Argentina
BABILS Belgium
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BACHDENKEL United Kingdom
BACKSTREET ROMEOS Germany
BAIKAL United States
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THE BAND WHOSE NAME IS A SYMBOL Canada
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BARRETT ELMORE Sweden
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MASAKI BATOH Japan
BËIRUTH Spain
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BOSQUES Argentina
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DAVE BROCK United Kingdom
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BROWN SPIRITS Australia
ARTHUR BROWN'S KINGDOM COME United Kingdom
BUHO ERMITANO Peru
BUNNIES United States
BURNT NOODLE United States
ROBERT CALVERT South Africa
CAMEL United Kingdom
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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
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LES CHAMPIGNONS Canada
CHARLIE & ESDOR Sweden
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CHILLIWACK Canada
CHIMERA United Kingdom
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CIOLKOWSKA Russia
CIRCLE Finland
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COBALT BLUE Brazil
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COCK C'NELL Japan
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COLORSTAR Hungary
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THE CRAZY LEFT EXPERIENCE Portugal
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CUZO Spain
D SOUND Hungary
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DOMO Spain
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EDEN ROSE France
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EGO ON THE ROCKS Germany
THE EGOCENTRICS Romania
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EKOS Mexico
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ELEVATOR Canada
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ELOY Germany
AN EMERALD CITY Multi-National
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ETER-K Peru
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EYE United States
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MICK FARREN United Kingdom
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FIRST BAND FROM OUTER SPACE Sweden
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GHOST Japan
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GOAT Sweden
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GROUP 1850 Netherlands
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A HEADFULL OF MONSTERS United Kingdom
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DASHIELL HEDAYAT France
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HEPTAGRAM Bulgaria
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HIGH DEPENDENCY UNIT New Zealand
HILLS Sweden
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HOLY RIVER FAMILY BAND Sweden
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IMANISSIMO Indonesia
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THE INFINITE TRIP United Kingdom
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INSIDER Italy
INSTANT FLIGHT Multi-National
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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
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JACKS Japan
ANDY JACKSON United Kingdom
JADE France
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MESS Estonia
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TWILIGHT Germany
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WHERE THE MOON CAME FROM United States
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HIRO YANAGIDA Japan
YAWNING SONS Multi-National
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WILL Z. Belgium
ZEMLJA BROJ 9 Serbia
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