Reissue CDs Weekly: Hawkwind, Dual Form, The Children’s Hour, Buddy Guy | New music reviews, news & interviews
Reissue CDs Weekly: Hawkwind, Dual Form, The Children’s Hour, Buddy Guy
Budget issue of freak landmark, musical explorers gather, Josephine Foster obscurity rescued and odd flashes from blues legend
Although it was released 40 years ago, Space Ritual sounds contemporary. Hawkwind’s repetition, simplicity and single-minded focus effectively created trance-inducing mantras. Now, they cast a shadow over Six Organs of Admittance, Om and other voyagers into inner space. Space Ritual was a statement of intent and there’s no excuse not to get this reissue should your life lack one of British art-rock’s supreme achievements.
In its original form, Space Ritual was a double album with a spectacular fold-out sleeve designed by the late Barney Bubbles. It was recorded live – it doesn’t sound it – at two shows in late 1972. Last time out, in 2007, it was reissued as a remastered 2CD package with three bonus tracks and the content from the original album also included on an enhanced audio DVD. Marketed as a “Collector’s Edition”, the packaging mirrored the album and there was a booklet with liner notes by the band's Nik Turner. This new budget version (sloppily) still sports that banner, the 2007 tracklist and remaster, but loses the booklet, the DVD and the swank packaging. It comes in a standard jewel box and sells for £6.99.
Viewpoints on Hawkwind are probably fostered according to when the initial exposure occurred. They were massively popular and fluked a hit single in 1972 with the Lemmy-sung “Silver Machine” (not included on Space Ritual, but check out James Last’s amazing, soul-inflected overhaul at the bottom of the next page) and largely drew a hairy, greatcoat-clad freak audience – one of whom, tellingly, was John Lydon. "Silver Machine" had been recorded live, so it was logical that a live album followed. Sonically, at this point Hawkwind were close cousins to the Roxy Music of “Ladytron” and, like them, drew from a finely-tuned musical toolbox. “Upside Down” – a title later co-opted by The Jesus and Mary Chain – borrows from Pink Floyd’s “Vegetable Man” (which the JAMC covered). A German-derived motorik drive underpins the whole of Space Ritual – guitarist Dave Brock had written liner notes for the British issue of Neu!’s first album. Hawkwind represented the British wing of Krautrock as much as Roxy’s Eno. Whatever the interpretation and however it is reissued, this is a landmark, and an essential album.
Various Artists: Stones Throw and Leaving Records Present Dual Form
Psych-nauts of a more recent vintage are showcased on the splendid Dual Form, a joint release from the hip LA imprints Stones Throw and Leaving Records. Leaving’s first foray into conventional formats – until this point all their releases have been cassette only – Dual Form comes as a either a CD, a double album or a double cassette. The contributors have all appeared before on Leaving and, broadly, these exclusive, often J Dilla influenced, cuts draw from the same exploratory, hallucinogenic well as Oneotrix Point Forever and Ariel Pink. Julia Holter is the big draw. Run Dmt’s “Bardo States Dream Walker Version” lays it on pretty thick – their punning name references the drug DMT and "states of Bardo" are achieved while tripping. Trance Farmers’ slurred “Purple Hay” would be just the ticket for David Lynch if he fancied making a swinging psychedelic film and needed a nightmare soundtrack for the comedown.
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