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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 2013

Uwe (Rivertree)
Keishiro (DamoXt7942)

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 | 2945 ratings
WISH YOU WERE HERE
Pink Floyd
4.59 | 3111 ratings
DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
Pink Floyd
4.52 | 2613 ratings
ANIMALS
Pink Floyd
4.30 | 2194 ratings
MEDDLE
Pink Floyd
4.22 | 720 ratings
OCEAN
Eloy
4.10 | 465 ratings
WARRIOR ON THE EDGE OF TIME
Hawkwind
4.11 | 317 ratings
JURASSIC SHIFT
Ozric Tentacles
4.14 | 200 ratings
TOGETHER WE'RE STRANGER
No-Man
4.05 | 2149 ratings
THE WALL
Pink Floyd
4.11 | 220 ratings
LEGACY
Hypnos 69
4.10 | 252 ratings
RITUAL
Nemrud
4.05 | 402 ratings
A TAB IN THE OCEAN
Nektar
4.21 | 85 ratings
UGISIUNSI
Quantum Fantay
4.15 | 119 ratings
BY THE WATERS OF TOMORROW
Vespero
4.04 | 453 ratings
DAWN
Eloy
4.17 | 95 ratings
THE FUTURE KINGS OF ENGLAND
Future Kings Of England, The
4.04 | 382 ratings
THE OCTOPUS
Amplifier
4.23 | 67 ratings
TAKO
Tako
4.03 | 354 ratings
PLANETS
Eloy
4.02 | 452 ratings
SILENT CRIES AND MIGHTY ECHOES
Eloy
4.17 | 84 ratings
PARALLEL WORLD
Far East Family Band
4.03 | 236 ratings
EFFLORESCE
Oceansize
4.36 | 39 ratings
OBSOLETE
Hedayatt, Dashiell
4.02 | 230 ratings
EVERYONE INTO POSITION
Oceansize
4.05 | 155 ratings
I WASH MY SOUL IN THE STREAM OF INIFINITY
My Brother The Wind
4.10 | 103 ratings
KINGSTON WALL II
Kingston Wall
4.01 | 254 ratings
FRAMES
Oceansize
3.98 | 357 ratings
THE BLACK CHORD
Astra
4.01 | 221 ratings
ERPLAND
Ozric Tentacles
3.98 | 331 ratings
HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN GRILL
Hawkwind
4.02 | 149 ratings
DEAD AIR FOR RADIOS
Chroma Key
4.07 | 84 ratings
JOURNEY
Brown's Kingdom Come, Arthur
4.10 | 69 ratings
O 'A' E O 'Z'
Mutantes, Os
4.05 | 87 ratings
ESPECTRO
Violeta De Outono
4.20 | 43 ratings
U VRECI ZA SPAVANJE
Tako
4.06 | 72 ratings
SURPASSING ALL KINGS
Vespero
3.89 | 1452 ratings
THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN
Pink Floyd
4.15 | 49 ratings
BURNING OFF IMPURITIES
Grails
4.02 | 90 ratings
BRIDGES OF KUKURIKU
Quantum Fantay
4.11 | 53 ratings
IMPRESSIONABLE SOUNDS OF THE SUBSONIC
First Band From Outer Space
4.14 | 47 ratings
IGRA STAKLENIH PERLI
Igra Staklenih Perli
4.10 | 55 ratings
TRIP TO INNERSELF
Siddhartha
3.94 | 172 ratings
LEVITATION
Hawkwind
4.05 | 69 ratings
TRI-LOGY
Kingston Wall
3.94 | 168 ratings
(MANKIND) THE CRAFTY APE
Crippled Black Phoenix
4.16 | 40 ratings
THE GUITAR IS MIGHTIER THAN THE GUN
First Band From Outer Space
3.90 | 240 ratings
THE WEIRDING
Astra
4.02 | 72 ratings
TUDO FOI FEITO PELO SOL
Mutantes, Os
3.95 | 123 ratings
CURIOUS CORN
Ozric Tentacles
4.22 | 32 ratings
FANTASTIC FREAK SHOW CARNIVAL
KingBathmat
3.88 | 352 ratings
REMEMBER THE FUTURE
Nektar
3.95 | 110 ratings
THE HIDDEN STEP
Ozric Tentacles
4.13 | 41 ratings
LIQUID
35007
3.85 | 1588 ratings
ATOM HEART MOTHER
Pink Floyd
4.20 | 33 ratings
MASTER
Teeth Of The Sea
4.11 | 43 ratings
THE BLACK TOMATO
Řresund Space Collective
4.36 | 22 ratings
THE RESURRECTIONISTS
Crippled Black Phoenix
4.16 | 36 ratings
MANTRIC MUSE
Mantric Muse
3.98 | 80 ratings
SUBKRAUT: U-BOATS WILLKOMMEN HIER
Vespero
3.87 | 286 ratings
TIME TO TURN
Eloy
3.97 | 85 ratings
SYMBIOSIS
Hidria Spacefolk
3.91 | 155 ratings
ARBORESCENCE
Ozric Tentacles
4.03 | 56 ratings
WITHOUT INTRODUCTION
Polyphony
4.02 | 56 ratings
TIME ROBBER
Omega
3.88 | 162 ratings
STRANGEITUDE
Ozric Tentacles
4.70 | 12 ratings
ŘRESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE
Řresund Space Collective
3.90 | 116 ratings
RETURNING JESUS
No-Man
4.76 | 11 ratings
PSYCHO ERECTUS
Polytoxicomane Philharmonie
3.86 | 184 ratings
ECHO STREET
Amplifier
3.94 | 72 ratings
LONG DISTANCE TRIP
Samsara Blues Experiment
4.03 | 44 ratings
AHORA MAZDA
Ahora Mazda
4.07 | 37 ratings
THE MARIA DIMENSION
Legendary Pink Dots
3.90 | 91 ratings
SOL29
NoSound
3.87 | 119 ratings
LIGHTDARK
NoSound
3.99 | 49 ratings
PORTABLE MADNESS
Sensations' Fix
4.08 | 34 ratings
AQUELARRE
Aquelarre
4.14 | 28 ratings
2009
Korai Öröm
4.02 | 42 ratings
INTERGALACTIC ART CAFE
StereoKimono
4.14 | 27 ratings
BLUE CATHEDRAL
Comets on Fire
4.06 | 34 ratings
DROGA
Vespero
3.96 | 51 ratings
THE VIEWING POINT
Future Kings Of England, The
4.06 | 33 ratings
SUMMER SESSIONS VOL. 1
Causa Sui
3.92 | 65 ratings
200 YEARS AFTER THE LAST WAR
Omega
3.84 | 137 ratings
DEEP POLITICS
Grails
3.98 | 44 ratings
NEM TUDOM A NEVED (Ω VI)
Omega
3.84 | 126 ratings
WATERFALL CITIES
Ozric Tentacles
3.93 | 51 ratings
GAMMAPOLISZ (Ω IX)
Omega
3.87 | 75 ratings
FRAMTIDEN AR ETT SVAVANDE SKEPP, FORANKRAT I FORNTIDEN
Algarnas Tradgard
3.94 | 49 ratings
THE FATE OF OLD MOTHER ORVIS
Future Kings Of England, The
3.83 | 113 ratings
FLOWERMOUTH
No-Man
4.02 | 32 ratings
FORCE MAJEURE
Solar Project
3.91 | 54 ratings
MUTANTES
Mutantes, Os
3.79 | 223 ratings
OCEAN 2: THE ANSWER
Eloy
3.98 | 37 ratings
A MATANÇA DO PORCO
Som Imaginário
3.95 | 43 ratings
DELAYED
Algarnas Tradgard
4.22 | 18 ratings
NIGHT RAIDER
Crippled Black Phoenix
3.82 | 107 ratings
JOURNEY OF THE SHAMAN
Nemrud
3.87 | 66 ratings
TERRAGAIA
Quantum Fantay
3.92 | 47 ratings
THE HALL OF FLOATERS IN THE SKY
Omega
3.90 | 51 ratings
OS MUTANTES
Mutantes, Os

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

THE XENON CODEX
Hawkwind
PERPETUAL MOTION
Grace, Cary
SATORI
Flower Travellin' Band
CSILLAGOK ÚTJÁN (Ω VIII)
Omega

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Latest Psychedelic/Space Rock Music Reviews


 Puzzle by MANDRAKE MEMORIAL, THE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.49 | 10 ratings

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Puzzle
The Mandrake Memorial Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Musicislove

4 stars I discovered this album completely by accident. I heard their version of "Something in the Air" by Thunderclap Newman and fell in love with it, and THEN I downloaded the entire album. This album sneaks up on you. It may not be immediate gratification. It was while listening one day with the music in the background, that the melody and words of "Tadpole" caused me to listen closer. The orchestration and production is second to none, but one must be relaxed while listening, not even focusing on the music in order to truly enjoy it, that is when the mystery reveals itself. It is not active listening, but passive, that is when the magic comes out. My only question was "How come I didn't know about them sooner?" This album is one that needs to be listened in it's entirety from beginning to end. A remarkable work equal to other well known artists at the same time. What makes it so great is that they are relatively unknown. I didn't learn about them until I was in my 40's. It is an album that be included in any Progressive rock archive, right next to King Crimson, Caravan, and Amon Duul II.
 10 To The Power Of 9 by LEGENDARY PINK DOTS album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.33 | 2 ratings

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10 To The Power Of 9
Legendary Pink Dots Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

4 stars Core members Edward Ka-Spel und Phil Knight are representing the LEGENDARY PINK DOTS first and foremost. They are from the United Kingdom, originally constituted the band, or project if you will, over there - however meanwhile having settled down in the Netherlands. Their musical legacy, since the early 1980's up to now, is comprised of a huge amount of albums, which in general deliver experimental, avantgarde oriented psychedelic/space/kraut stuff. Now it was about time, '10 To The Power Of 9' - released on Italian label Rustblade Records - is my first attempt to review one of their recordings.

This album appears in three incarnations so to say. There's a standard compact disc and vinyl release given with differing tracks, and additionally a CD deluxe version which includes another second disc. Who might expect rock music as such should be on the watch here, as the tracks are featuring more dark ambient and trancendental soundscapes all the way through. Well, what is required to get in touch? An open-minded approach as it is not easy getting access to. The tracks definitely need time and concentration, you should be in a good mood also, preferably have your headphones at hand ...

... and then the PINK DOTS - who are truly legendary in the meanwhile - will send you on a gripping trip which is spiritual, weird, beautiful ... eh, different at all events. Synths, minimalistic halting beats, guitars and Kaspels characteristic voice, that is needed to produce such a cinematic exploration when it comes to the ingredients. Just in order to name some extraordinary examples, the short new wave infected Your Humble Servant is nested by two amazing spacey trips named Primordial Soup and Freak Flag featuring synth loops, soaring guitars managed by Erik Drost. This is effectively designed overall, here and there reminds me of David Sylvian.

While taking more than 17 minutes the broadly conceived The Elevator is finally closing this new LPD chapter. When listening to this I felt like being on sight and insight, relaxed without having fear at all, buried in a capsule spinning around traversing outer space with ease, offering a fantastic view on spiral galaxies aso, plus extraterrestrial voices repectively sounds coming from the aether. Wow, they obviously know how to give us space cadets a treat. So here we have an album with easy-going chill though not simple-minded approach at all, assuming a lot of experience to make it in this successful way.

 Dead Air for Radios by CHROMA KEY album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.02 | 149 ratings

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Dead Air for Radios
Chroma Key Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by TCat

3 stars This is prog-lite. Space rock...mmmm there might be some resemblance in a few places that can't really be considered ambient, but in actuality it is more like prog related music with very few prog elements. Not that it's a bad album, it's mostly quite enjoyable, but there isn't much on here that is very challenging. I don't mind Kevin Moore's voice, in fact I find it very recognizable and must say that I enjoy it more in his work with O.S.I. The fact that this album is drenched with piano and keyboards is also a great thing and probably the reason I enjoy it more than anything.

Most songs are upbeat with straightforward rhythm and meters. There is a little experimentation on "Mouse" and "Camera 4", but the music doesn't develop much or lead to anything very interesting. But there is a lot of enjoyment to be had in the music if it is taken as a prog-lite album. As much as I would like to find some challenge to the music, it doesn't really happen.. So, in short, I find the album enjoyable but not progressive enough to be interesting. Good, but not essential.

 Élö Omega Kisstadion '79 by OMEGA album cover Live, 1979
4.34 | 20 ratings

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Élö Omega Kisstadion '79
Omega Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Lear'sFool

5 stars In my humble opinion, this is simply the greatest live album of all time. How could this unseat the great prog live collections, and the non-prog greats such as "Stupidity", "Land Speed Record", "Frampton Comes Alive!", the Allman's "At Fillmore East", even "At Folsom Prison"? The main secret, much like that of Cash's great live record, is the audience. Turns out the best live LPs have the best audiences. Here, thousands of Magyar fans of the great Omega turned out to the Kisstadion in Budapest to hear their favourite band live and loud, and for most of the concert they sang along! Only Freddie Mercury could better drum up a stadium than Omega. And Omega, on top of that, just play smashingly. They take their wonderful studio material and ramp up the skill and wonder to the levels of Yes, Genesis, and ELP when they played live. The whole opening sequence just inundates the Kisstadion and modern listeners in some of the very best of prog, magical stuff that swallows one whole into a fantastic musical world. This stands as one of the greatest guitar statements. Just excellent, just wonderful, get the original Magyar nyelv version and prepare to listen to the lost sibling to "Yessongs", "Seconds Out", and "Solar Music Live".
 Days In The Trees by NO-MAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1991
4.06 | 9 ratings

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Days In The Trees
No-Man Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by TCat

4 stars This is a single of the song "Days in the Trees", but they are all remixes of the beautiful minimalistic song. There are 4 tracks here, all named after famous composers, but it is the same song, but with plenty of variation to keep things very interesting. I suppose the goal here was to do remixes that were inspired by the composers they are named after. It's a great concept. And it works pretty well. Mahler's style is apparent in the last few minutes of the track during the instrumental part and it is very nice. The percussion track is looped and sort of trip-hop sounding but the rest of the instruments are nicely complex. Tim Bowness' voice is nice and soft as usual and glides and soars over the top of Steven Wilson's programmed beats. The second track is Ives, and it is definitely styled after the composer it is names for. All instrumental and instantly apparent that the violin is playing it's hook at the beginning in Ives style. No percussion here, but there is also a nice piano playing along with the violin and it sounds very pre-contemporary classical like it is supposed to sound. Bartok is also instrumental, but it has a percussion loop that is different from the Mahler version. Guitar joins in later with some strong bass. It is actually quite straightforward totally unlike Bartok would be. Really the only thing reminiscent of Bartok is the synth in the background that keep coming in that sounds like the synth in the first part of Porcupine Tree's "The Sky Moves Sideways". Not much like Bartok, but still nice. Reich is the last version and the least like the original. Tim's vocals are replaced by a soft sounding female spoken word voice. In fact, the spoken word is a sound bite from the TV show "Twin Peaks". Underneath the voice is a keyboard playing an arpeggio chord with some other ambient music. Somewhat similar to Reich's music in that it is very relaxing and hypnotic.

On the Japanese version of this single, there are two more tracks, but they are placed as tracks 2 and 3. Track 2 is Bach, which is a short simple instrumental, so I guess it's based on Bach's simpler works like the short works in "The Well-Tempered Clavier". The 3rd track is named after Arthur Askey, whose work I am not familiar with. The track itself is quite similar to the Mahler track with a different percussive loop and Tim's vocals. I don't know how to compare it to the composer's style though.

A very nice single and one of the best concepts I have ever heard of for a single. The tracks are unique enough to stay interesting as you play through it. This is one of the best singles I've heard, but then No-Man has produced some great singles and albums. This is definitely 4 star material and remains progressive because of the concept and the stylized versions of the songs to mirror the composers styles. 4 stars.

 The Endless River by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.60 | 260 ratings

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The Endless River
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by FunkyM

3 stars I have to admit that the announcement by David Gilmour and Nick Mason (the last two remaining Pink Floyd members) that a new Pink Floyd album would be released and that it would consist of leftover material recorded with keyboardist Richard Wright (who passed away in 2008) had me somewhat worried.

The last Pink Floyd studio album was The Division Bell, released over 20 years ago in 1994. Now they were trying to make a new release by adding newly recorded bits with outtakes from 20 years ago, trying to include Wright posthumously and there would be no involvement from founding member Roger Water, who was the band's chief creative force during its 1970s heyday.

Personally, I liked The Division Bell (which I realize is not a view shared by all fans of the Floyd) and felt it was an excellent album to cap off the band. For me, many signs coming from this new album pointed to "no good could come of this."

So how did the album turn out? About as well as one could reasonably expect, I suppose.

The Endless River consists of all instrumental tracks, save "Louder Than Words", which features vocals by Gilmour. The result is an album that sounds like post-Waters Floyd or a Gilmour solo album trying to harken back to the days before The Wall - all with a 21st century sheen given to the production.

Whether this appeals to you or not depends whether you like fifty minutes of ethereal-sounding guitar and keyboard exploration. There is no irony in one of the tracks being called "On Noodle Street, they are explicitly telling you what to expect.

I will say that I found the first couple tracks meander a bit too much to hold my interest. I had a similar problem with the two previous post-Waters Floyd albums. However, the energy does seem to pick up a bit in the middle section.

I do like a few of the nostalgic touches, such as the Stephen Hawking vocals on "Talkin' Hawkin'" and the bells from "High Hopes" ringing just before this album's final track, "Louder Than Words". Gilmour's vocals still sound pristine, by the way. The man has a golden throat.

"Louder Than Words", being the only track with vocals is almost a standout by default, but I truly do think that it is one of the best and most memorable tracks on the album. A lot of than it probably down to Gilmour's vocals and the ladies on backing vocals, but it is a catchy number with a great guitar lead.

Overall, The Endless River is not so much a final Pink Floyd album as it is a nostalgic collection of previously recorded material spruced up for release in 2014. However, it is by no means bad. Given that we're more than likely never going to have another Pink Floyd studio album ever again and this is likely the closest we'll ever get, I'll happily take it.

Highlights: "Sum", "Allons-y (1)", "Talkin' Hawkin'", "Surfacing", "Louder Than Words"

 Ra by ELOY album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.80 | 159 ratings

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Ra
Eloy Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Eloy's 1988 album `Ra' saw the band essentially whittled down to just vocalist and guitarist Frank Bornemann and keyboard player Michael Gerlach, but with the aid of a few guest musicians to fill out the sound. The music presented here was still often in the song-driven direction the band had been on since `Colours' back in 1980, so that meant streamlined, guitar/synth driven rock often with verse-chorus structures, but there is still plenty of worth to discover here. Despite a loud arena rock sound throughout much of it, the album is still coated in those defining shimmering synths and Bornemann's heroic guitar soling, but the killing factor for many listeners may be the overuse of crashing programmed drums. This time around there are also plenty of quasi-spiritual lyrical pleadings and cosmic proclamations, but the band's keen melodic skills and skilled playing are all still evident.

Nine minute opener `Voyager of the Future Race' instantly sets the sci-fi template of so many Eloy albums past. After a serene ambient intro, the piece comes screaming to life with wailing guitars, thick synths and the most bombastic and loud programmed drums imaginable that could only come off an 80's album! The track crashes down on you with repetitive hard-rock riffs, an introspective middle and victorious guitar solo, and check out loopy lyrics such as "Life and death are now just a status, look around - you'll see a celestial glow..." - Oh Frankie, give me more! `Sensations' is not the most complex of arrangements, instead it's a gutsy rocker driven by more of those aggressive pounding drums, a forceful vocal from Frank and a very catchy chorus. `Dream' is a big dramatic symphonic piece with ethereal space-whisper female voices and a dreamy, almost uplifting chorus lifting over floating synths. It's also full of rambling New Age contemplations such as "Peace and love reunite in everlasting burning light, you feel your aura expanding, bathing in virginal joy, just like a flower in bloom...". I love the innocence of it!

There's plenty of driving power throughout the second side's `Invasion of a Megaforce', a more up-tempo and surprisingly positive piece. Moments of symphonic bluster and urgency run alongside a subtle yet infectious Yes-like quality to the chorus vocal harmonies with murmuring slinking bass, and Frank get's to briefly let rip with a tortured bluesy guitar solo. The gentle power-ballad `Rainbow' may just be one of the sweetest and more heart- felt tunes Eloy ever delivered, with a classy dream-like chorus that's not unlike those softer moments that showed up on most Alan Parsons Project albums. I love the naivety of such lines as "Find your peace of mind, leave all cares behind...and your dreams will come to life." With words like "You can't control the whirlpools in your mind, you try to find a value in yourself, but the way is too long. But your spirit's fighting back under the storm...", `Hero' is seemingly an ode to crashing and burning but rising again. There's a gentle melancholy to the plodding drama, but Frank offers a final stirring and sympathetic guitar solo.

Eloy may have released endless stronger albums, but this one has always been a personal favourite of mine. It still has many of the trademarks I associate this wonderful German band with, especially Frank Bornemann's charmingly accented delivery and the deep-space synth atmospherics. The programmed drums have always made this album a very divisive one amongst Eloy fans, but I feel it gives the music a suitably robotic quality, perfectly appropriate for their science fiction sound. The cover is also beautiful, full of fantastical sci-fi imagery. It's certainly superior to their next album `Destination', which would replace their usual sound with hard guitar driven AOR. But chances are, especially if you enjoyed the previous albums `Metromania' and `Performance', you'll still find plenty here to enjoy.

Three stars, but rounded up to four for my own selfish love for this great little unloved album!

 Tako by TAKO album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.23 | 67 ratings

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Tako
Tako Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This album has followed me around for several years. It was probably the first, or one of them at any rate, album from Eastern Europe that I discovered. It wasn't until a few years later that I came to grips with it and fell in love with the music. This is actually a very good album of spacey progressive rock with not so small adose of jazz. Almost entirely instrumental it has, however, vocals imbedded in a few tracks. The main focus is on the instumentation. Since I feel a certain resistance towards purely instrumental music (God knows why) I feel that there is just enough vocal parts to keep me happy.

Tako originated from the former Jugoslavia. Today they would be categorized as Serbian. That means that the vocals are sung in their native tongue. To me that is a great plus, though I understand practically nothing of what they are singing. I think it holds little significance, even though I love to understand a good lyric. If I had the urge I could make the content out by way of google and what not but I haven't come to that as yet. The vocals are decent enough and brings yet another level to the music.

The opening track, "Probudi se", is a very spacey thing indeed. I hear elements of Eloy and Solaris but it is hard to say who did it first. Solaris was not yet in their existence, as far as I know, and Eloy wasn't quite there yet but still they are relevant as to give a hint of the music on this album. "Sinteza" is a very jazzy, fusion-like track and fantastic. Really energetic. I hear echoes of Jazz Q in their rockier moments. Great stuff. The bluesy harmonica adds to the music too.

"Utapanje..." is a spacey piece, again, but with a very complex riff played by electric piano, guitar and drums. Very good track and there is a section of vocals aswell. The song "Lena" is instrumental and the flute makes it very Solaris-y. Dreamy, beautiful and engaging. "Minijatura" is a lovely, flute driven thing reminding of early Jethro Tull. (It is amazing, I sometimes think, how certain bands stands as blueprint for certain genres or musical directions. Like Jethro Tull and flute in a bluesy, folky, hard rock and prog setting.)

The epic "Druga strana mene" is really the centerpiece of the album. Spacey, diverse and with several parts combined it is a majestic piece of music. I think it is absolutely magnificent. The greatest thing about it is that it never gets boring. All through it's 16 minutes I feel committed and engaged, submerged in the music.

Terrific!

Takos first album really is one of the greatest albums from behind the Wall and shows just how talented and visionary some of the bands actually were. Despite the regimes and their censorship they managed to create not only great music but also and foremost some of the most enthralling albums of prog. I think this album is an essential listening experience, just as with Modry Efekt and SBB and other greats. The instrumentation, vision and execution on this album is top notch.

This is easily four stars.

 Dark Side Of The Moon by PINK FLOYD album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.59 | 3111 ratings

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Dark Side Of The Moon
Pink Floyd Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by TCat

5 stars I wasn't going to review this album because it's already been done so many times and there really isn't anything I can add that you don't already know. This is a perfect album. It's not the only perfect album out there and it's not Pink Floyd's only perfect album either. But it is perfect in it's beauty, emotion, and it's total existence. It's true that not everyone loves it, but there is no such thing as an album that everyone loves and that's the beauty of us as individuals. I love the album as a whole, but I have realized also that the individual songs do not work as well alone, this album is a complete work and it is how I prefer to listen to it. Playing individual tracks off this album cheapens the songs, this is an album in it's truest sense and the way album rock was meant to be played and listened to. It just works best all together.

So, even though I would consider this one of the best albums ever (out of many by the way), none of these songs are among the best songs ever to me because they don't work for me when played alone, that distinction belongs to songs like "Starless" by King Crimson which can be played alone and still be amazing. But the beauty here is in the entire work, meaning the entire album, just like the beauty in "Pictures at an Exhibition" (the classical version by Mussorgski, not Emerson Lake and Palmer) is in the entirety of it's performance more than the individual works.

By the way, this is an essential prog masterpiece no matter what you think of it. 5 very bright stars.

 Mars Red Sky by MARS RED SKY album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.05 | 13 ratings

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Mars Red Sky
Mars Red Sky Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Lear'sFool

5 stars A crushingly masterful piece of melodic doom metal, done through the lens of prog. Doom metal isn't normally the preserve for complex time signatures due to its slow speed, but this not quite so heavy take on the genre manages to work proggy complexity into the style wonderfully. Mars Red Sky each play their respective instruments excellently, managing to make a lighter take on doom, and make it experimental and make it good. "Strong Reflection" grabs you, and the other tracks are each in their own ways a treat. "Way To Rome is probably the best track amongst this embarrassment of musical riches. It simply is a wonderful gateway into doom that is also particularly unique and well done. Doomers and prog metal fans will both find plenty to love on this spectacular record, in a rare moment of crossover to boot.
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35007 Netherlands
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