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Chromium Hawk Machine - Annunaki CD (album) cover


Chromium Hawk Machine


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.02 | 3 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Of all the key members of the space rock legend HAWKWIND, sax/flute player Nik Turner has the most prolific career. Probably also the most spaced-out, what comes to his music. His solo debut Xitintoday came out in 1978, and between 1993 and 1997 he released a new album each year. As a Finn I might also mention that he has played with the Finnish space rock band Dark Sun. I'm not an acquainted listener of either Hawkwind or Nik Turner. To get more precise and analytical review of this double CD by his latest project (it's a trio with Helios Creed on guitars, bass and vocals, and Jay Tausig on drums, synths and bass) it would take someone who knows his / their output much better than me. And a little more enthusiasm towards psychedelic space rock would surely help too.

106 minutes of music, divided in eight tracks (the longest one being 32 and minutes!). The 15-minute opener 'Cosmic Explosion' has no fancy overtures or prologues, it jumps directly into heavy-rhythm stoner rock. The manic drumming is rather monotonous, except that in the midway there's a brief slow interlude. Bass, guitar and saxophone are being played as if the goal would be making as much noise as possible. On top of that havoc, the vocals on the first half are first electronically manipulated, then sounding like a teethless man with a bad hangover (when not sounding quite a lot like Robert Wyatt, actually). The next track 'Time and Terraforming' has, at first, more electronic approach, with a section of manipulated manic vocals. The instrumental latter half goes on and on. The tension is high-wired, even hostile. You already guessed it: I'm not a fan of this music. There are promising moments in which Turner's sax or flute plays recognizable melodies, and the atmosphere has some strange freak-out magic. However, to me that sensation is always soon killed by the frenziness and heaviness, and each long track feels too long for its own good, giving way to feelings of dead-boring monotony.

The lyrics (by Helios Creed) are printed in the folded leaflet. They are a mess of mythology, symbolism and the vibrating universe. The final track of CD One is surprisingly relatively slow and serene. Now the vocals of Nik Turner sound VERY much like Robert Wyatt (with bad teeth, though). This track has a nice melancholic, spacey atmosphere.

The hour-long CD Two has no big surprises. All in all, this is easily the most psychedelic album I've listened to for a long time. I'd recommend it only to Nik Turner's fans and to those space rock listeners who have no problem digesting the heavy stoner flavour. Please note that my low rating is of course very subjective (more objectively calculated it could be three, as this music is 100% dedicatedly what it is). But nevertheless, I think that perhaps 106 minutes is simply too much...

Matti | 2/5 |


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