Nik Turner: Space Gypsy (2013)
The streaming synth patterns, pulsating rock grooves and cosmological sine waves are mixed evenly with Turner's reverberating vocals. Amped by Nicky Garratt's crunch chords and fluent psycho guitar licks, the dark ambience of the mellotron performed by keyboardist Jurgen Engler complements the largely thrusting grooves and pieces that spin out of the ozone into a terminal void. At times, the leader's vocals spark imagery of a pagan god foretelling the fate of humanity.
Turner's lyricism spans interstellar topics such as eternity and cross-galactic fertilization; therefore, the phantasmagorical themes are neatly wrapped into a moveable feast of oscillating soundscapes. However, "Coming of the Maya" draws similes to Pink Floyd's 1968 space-rock tome "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun," where drummer Jason Willer's rumbling African toms patterns lay the foundation for a wavy dreamscape. Consequently, legendary British progressive rock guitarist Steve Hillage (Gong, System 7) imparts his signature style, shimmering with psychedelic speed licks and distortion-laced voicings amid Turner's steely sax lines on "Anti-Matter."
Generally speaking, not many rock artists or bands can jump back onto the bandwagon and make a noticeable impact, following decades of productive output, leading to creative burnout. But Space Gypsy defies the odds. Turner packs a wallop here, as he forges a crystalline production with artsy panache and memorably melodic choruses for an album that refutes all semblances of time and space.
Track Listing: Fallen Angels STS-51-L; Joker’s Song; Time Crypt; Galaxy Rise; Coming of the Maya; We Ride the Timewinds; Eternity; Anti-Matter; The Visitor; Something’s Not Right (Bonus Track).
Personnel: Jurgen Engler: guitar, Moog synths, mellotron; Jeff Piccinini: bass; Jason Willer: drums, percussion; Nik Turner: vocals, flute, saxophone; Nicky Garratt: guitar; Simon House: violin (3, 5); Steve Hillage: guitar (8); Chris Leitz: additional mellotron.
Record Label: Purple Pyramid
Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock