Brock; Dave: Looking For Love In The Lost Land Of Dreams
Think of Dave Brock and obviously you think of Hawkwind, however over the many, many years this particular Hawk Lord has served up mind bending musings from a musically bended mind, he has also provided numerous offerings from either a solo or extracurricular collaborative viewpoint. Looking For Love In The Lost Land Of Dreams lands in the former category, with Brock handling all of the instruments on this lengthy piece barring keyboards on one of the sixteen tracks and percussion on a further four. Other than that, LFLITLLOD is pure Brock from start to finish. The other aspect that has also had an impact on Brock's non-HW material is his patience in waiting for his muse to strike, resulting in this being an album with five years of time and effort spent on it. In itself that can sometimes be a good thing, as quality control should be high, while on the downside, cohesion can sometimes suffer. Oddly however in this case, if anything the results here suffer slightly in the opposite direction, with this album flowing quite organically from song to song, often with no discernible join, although there are a few moments where the dreaminess and natural approach verge on aimless.
If you've followed any of Brock's work before you will know roughly what to expect here, with floating themes sliding into synthy spaciness, while the general mood is unrushed, easy going, yet intricate. For the large part it makes for an experience to give in to, allowing yourself to simply be swept up by ever changing moods, textures and rhythms, while always feeling like the ride is controlled and assured enough to place you safely back where you began. Yes the incessant use of electro-beats can be a bit wearing but the mix of ethnic rhythms and a slow, steady jazzy feel often negate these issues skilfully, with the ability to draw the ear through sparse, but intense lyrics keeping you on your toes. Every now and again Brock decides to throw out the kind of curveball you'd expect from him, with the likes of "The Chief" suddenly turning up the aggression, distortion and volume while xylophones dance madly in the background, leaving the less intense vibe of much of this album to actually hit harder through these sparingly used changes of focus. For the most part "It's Never Too Late", which floats on a maraca shake, soaring lead guitar line and gentle but insistent vocals, "Who Do You Think You Are?" where bleeping bloops and ambient noise set an astral theme for synths and guitars to slowly build upon, or the strangely East meets West of "Menace To Society", where sampled spoken word sections jostle eerily against harmonica and washes of keyboards, are most likely to cunningly persuade you to partake in their joys rather than demand your attention. However from Brock, this is pretty much what you'd hope for anyway.
Nobody else makes music like Dave Brock and thank goodness that there are still musicians like him, refusing to conform and with the belief to stay true to their ideals with such focus. Non believers are as unlikely to be moved by Looking For Love In The Lost Land Of Dreams, as they have any of Brock's previous band, collaborative, or solo work. Champions of his cause will call it a masterpiece. Those in the middle will find much to amaze and amuse and plenty to confuse, and for that we should all be very thankful.
1. World Of Ferment
2. A Lover's Whim
3. That Day In December
4. Higher Plane
5. Lazy Days
6. Who Do You Think You Are?
7. Sunrise Drive
8. We Took The Wrong Step
9. The Chief
10. It's Never Too Late
13. The Kiss
15. Menace To Society
Added: June 1st 2013
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Dave Brock Online
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