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Turner, Nik: The Final Frontier

You have to hand it to Nik Turner, a guy who is quickly approaching 80 but continues to release thrilling, jazzy space rock music that is arguably more compelling than his old mates in Hawkwind. The Final Frontier is his latest effort for Purple Pyramid/Cleopatra Records, and sees him continuing on with the formula that worked so well with this 2013 comeback album Space Gypsy and everything released since then. Basically, it's Hawkwind circa 1974 all over again, Turner surrounding himself with a stellar cast of musicians who help him recreate those wonderful spacey sounds as if they all crept out of a time capsule locked up during the Hall of the Mountain Grill sessions. For this album, the line-up is:


Nik Turner - vocals, sax, flute
Nicky Garratt - guitar
Paul Rudolph - guitar (4)
Jürgen Engler - Moog synth, guitar, bass, producer
Chris Lietz -keyboards, mixing
Kephera Moon - keyboards
Simon House - violin
Bryce Shelton - bass
Jason Willer - drums
Adam Hamilton - drums (2)

If you've been following his last few albums, you'll see some familiar names here, most notably Garratt, Engler, Willer, and Moon, who have been trekking around the globe with Turner for years, as well as ex-Hawkwind alumni House & Rudolph. "Out of Control" kicks things off in fine fashion, with boatloads of synthesizers providing the bedrock for Nik's heavily effects laden vocals and squonking sax, Garratt also delivering a sizzling guitar solo dripping with wah-wah. "Interstellar Aliens" is ripe with haunting Mellotron and Turner's lulling vocals, the synths bleeping in and out of the mix, while the heavy guitar riffs & huge waves of Mellotron of "Thunder Rider" just screams early Hawkwind, the leader also dropping in a noisy sax solo to top it all off. Love the slow simmer to the first of the two part title track, spoken word vocals floating over layers of spacey effects, the flute and synths cascading over each other quite nicely, giving way to "Back to the Ship", a heavier track featuring crunchy riffs, flute, and plenty of soaring violin courtesy of House. The band go for a neat Middle Eastern feel on "Calling the Egyptians", complete with tasty guitar soloing and more Mellotron, while part two of the title track combines free jazz with bubbling psychedelia...noisy yet delightful.

Nik Turner and Co. show they have plenty of life left in the space rock tank here with The Final Frontier. It's not always pretty, but that's quite alright in the end, as music from 'another dimension' is meant to be 'far out'.


Track Listing
1. Out Of Control (3:56)
2. Interstellar Aliens (5:12)
3. Thunder Rider (5:09)
4. The Final Frontier Part 1 (8:34)
5. Back To The Ship (6:36)
6. Calling The Egyptians (4:37)
7. Strange Loop (5:15)
8. The Final Frontier Part 2 (2:20)
9. PAD4 (3:29)

Added: June 30th 2019
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
Hits: 380
Language: english

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