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Hawkwind - Distant Horizons CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.26 | 60 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Here we have another 1990's album for the fans of more trance oriented sound of this group. Title track "Distant Horizons" opens the album with techno-oriented electronic bass/drum sounds, which were not fitting to my personal tastes at all. There's also some samplings included making this sound that modern style even more dominant. Some nice cosmic ambient tones and good guitars delivered more pleasant listening moments for me here though. "Phetamine Street" moves to more analogue rock sounds with manual drumming and crunchy bass guitar sounds, the composition itself not being very interesting though. "Waimea Canyon Drive" starts like a bad sounding Def Leppard song from the 1980's. There's not much happening in the canyon, though the more tamer spacey moment after the middle part was quite decent to experience.

Then "Alchemy" is a very good track on this record, having oriental sounding guitar with fine rhythms and sound clips, really one of the best ones here along with later appearing "Kauai", that one being a pleasant synth sea for deep diving. I liked these as there were no programmed drum loops included, but just nice ambient floating to calm your troubled mind. The fifth track "Clouded Vision" is also a tame tune with some sound effects coloring up the aural canvas.

"Reptoid Vision" is then a streetwise punk rocker number which escapes to open sound realms later. This is a decent number, especially the ambient scene is great, but somehow not very special. "Population Overload" sounds little like late 1970's/1980's Tangerine Dream songs with fuzzy electric guitar solos included. "Wheels" has then again programmed drums with crunchy bass, and there's a poem in the middle with soundscapes. Ok song, having later a guitar solo sounding again quite like 1980's hard-rock solos. "Taxi for Max" is a good soft tune with low frequency bass over programmed drums, this could work in some chill out rooms of a techno parties. Then, a real surprise, the CD jacket text indicates that there is 11th track "Love in Space" (a pretty ballad with a denser middle part), but it was not found at all from the record I bought! I got my copy from internet auction, so it's possible that my version was a pirate or failed print. As a product it seems very well crafted, as the inner sleeves and other details are fine, but I can't be sure, I'll have to investigate this further with record dealers knowing this band. The song missing from my disc was also in the live album of same name released one year before this album, and that the true highlight of 1990's Hawkwind career I think. Sadly this and the previous studio album "Alien 4" really lack that power and magic which that live performance captured, so I suggest to forget these and focus to better albums of this unbalanced but fascinating band.

Eetu Pellonpaa | 2/5 |


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