If you're a die hard fan of the pioneering psychedelic sounds of British band Hawkwind then perhaps you may find yourself approaching this disc of remixes from an outfit known as Astralasia, with a certain degree of trepidation. Astralasia is a collective of musicians that was originally started as a side project by members of Magic Mushroom Band in 1990. With their unique blend of Ambient, House and Trance infused beats and sounds it seems only natural that this skilled outfit should assume the task of taking a handful of Hawkwind tracks, and twist and tweak them into something entirely different which is exactly what they do here.
The original spirit of Hawkwind is never far away either and can be felt throughout the course of this disc, which is partly due to the presence of a couple of former members who appear on a few tracks. The psychedelic dub combination on "A Cluster Of Waves" which was recorded at a soundcheck/ rehearsal at Hawkfest 2002 is the perfect vehicle for Simon House's fantastic violin work as well as Tim Blake's contribution on synthesizer. Elsewhere the late Robert Calvert even manages to contribute as his vocals are lifted from a performance in 1977 and interjected into the mix. Although I'm not a huge fan of this style of music, I have to admit Astralasia have crafted some pretty impressive sounding beats here. I personally would have prefered for them to explore a more ambient / dub direction rather than focusing primarily on songs in the 120+ BPM range, but that's just my personal preference. The four versions of "Spirit Of The Age" is also a bit much although the band does change each one up fairly well.
All in all Astralasia have done a very commendable job with this material and if you're interested in hearing how they're able to interpret and modernize some of these Hawkwind tracks, then like myself, you might be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.
1) Spirit Of The Age: Original 12" remix - 1993
2) Uncle Sam's On Mars : Original Martian conquest 12" mix - 1994
3) Assassins (of Allah) : Original majick carpet mix - 1993
4) Spirit Of The Age: Flesh to Fantasy mix - 1993
5) I'm Uncle Sam: Unreleased tribal mix
6) Uncle Sam's On Mars: Recorded live at Hawkfest 2002
7) A Cluster of Waves: Unreleased recording - 2002
8) Spirit Of The Age: Cyber- trance mix - 1993
9) Spirit Of The Age: Original radio mix - 1993