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Friday, 13 May 2016

WEST SPACE AND LOVE – WEST SPACE AND LOVE Vol. ll (Space Rock Productions LP, CD).

Six years after the release of West Space and Love Vol.l, the three key members (the ØresundSpace Collective’s sonic shaman Dr Space and current and former members of the Swedish Heavy Prog band Siena Root, Love Forsberg and KG West) reunited in a studio to lay down some 70s krautrock influenced tracks for a brand new album. Whereas the previous collaboration was more of an acoustic, Indian music inspired album with five sitar based tracks that were totally improvised, Vol.ll is far more synthesizer based with WS&L conjuring up soundscapes that take inspiration from bands such as Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, Popol Vuh and Agitation Free. Another major difference is that this record is less of a collection of improvised pieces, having far more focus and a much stronger structure from more judicious self-editing than previously. It’s a fantastic listening experience as it twists and turns through the dimensions in sound, taking in early 70s Krautrock, Eastern flavoured Space Jazz, post-Psychedelic Pink Floyd, Indian music inspired improvisations and experimental percussion pieces………..we suggest you roll a few before this one hits the turntable.

Making it clear right from the outset where the influences lie with this record, the opening track is titled ‘Floyd’s Dream’ and like the title suggests it is a blend of classic Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream……………the sound of pulsing sequencers and spiralling synths from TD’s mid 70s heyday underpin Gilmour-esque guitar playing, setting the controls for a journey through a burning brain which pulls you straight into WS&L’s infinite universe. There is a change of mood for ‘Khan Paan’ which taps into the Indian vibes of the first album and with the addition of violin and santoor from Jonathan Segal and Moa Danielson on this track and ‘Øscillations In D minor’ really takes everything up to another level. ‘Khan Paan’ with its jazzy violin has a the feel of John McLaughlin’s Eastern musical explorations with Shakti and the Mahavishnu Orchestra (once they slowed down enough to take a breath) while ‘Øscillations In D minor’ sounds more improvised, gently ebbing and flowing before exploding into a squalling Space Rock breakdown. ‘2002’ is an exhilarating improvised percussion led track full of bubbling and squelching synths and ‘Pig In Space’ again features Love Forsberg’s drumming on a track that would not sound out of place on Chrome’s Alien Soundtracks. Flip the disc and as well as the aforementioned ‘Øscillations In D minor’ there are two more excellent Kraut inspired ethnic musical excursions with more than a passing nod to post Syd Pink Floyd. ‘Anybody Out There’ is a mix of subtly pulsing synths/ethnic percussion and swirling synthesizers which sees WS&L moving into Popol Vuh territory which glides seamlessly into the albums closing track ‘Time Compression’. ‘Time Compression’ is a track that FloydHeads will really dig as it blends Richard Wright’s swelling Hammond sound with Eastern flavours………it’s a postcard from Sufi mystics with Wish You Were Here writ large. West Space And Love Vol.ll is an absolutely stunning mix of the not so very Far East and the very Far Out, blending together the core elements of pioneering early 70s German electronic music and evocative Eastern influences mixed with a substantial amount post Syd acid burnout and pre Roger Waters megalomaniac dickhead Pink Floyd which flows beautifully from start to finish………fans of the more spacy Psych bands, 70s ProgHeads and children of the bong need to check this record. Shine on you crazy Potheads.

West Space And Love Vol.ll is due for release by Space Rock Productions sometime in July (check the Space Rock Productions website for more details and distribution info) and will be available in a variety of formats……………..there will be a limited run of 600 vinyl copies (120 clear, 180 white and 300 black) and 500 copies on CD. Dig it People, it’s a corker of a record.

THEE PSYCHEDELICATESSEN               

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