Andy Garibaldi's Hawkwind Reviews - Autumn 2005

Those who've bought titles from CD Services will be familiar with the newsletters accompanying the
exciting little packages that arrive in the post from Dundee...but not everyone is in the know about the
excellent service thus provided, nor the detailed reviews penned by Andy Garibaldi, space rock supremo
(it says here), who has been serving the community of Hawkwind fans for years on end.

Recently Andy has written a number of Hawkwind-related reviews that deserve wide exposure, and he has
given his permission for me to regurgitate those reviews here...thank you Andy!
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first thing you notice is the incredibly sharp and crystal-clear production, so good that even the trademark
thunder and space synth swoops sit alongside upfront vocals, with a searing guitar solo and driving rhythm
section to provide one of the best versions of this track I've heard to date.

After that we move into a Davey-composed instrumental that features predominantly keyboards in a
gorgeously expansive and, it has to be said, typical Hawkwind space music setting, with slow thunderous
drums and deep resonant bass down the bottom of the mix.  Layers of synth melodies float away on top,
and, of all things (I had to check the credits), the sudden appearance of a lead trumpet which, as the main
rhythm begins, sounds absolutely right in the context of the track as a whole, and the piece ends with one of
THE most beautiful space synth endings you'll hear on any electronic music album.

From there we dive headlong into the undoubtedly Bedouin-influenced 'Greenback Massacre' which
positively roars into life as the trademark Davey vocals do their bit over a rampaging, rhythmic backing and
surrounding space synths and swoops, the guitar staying more muted but still in evidence, and here the
production is set to be deliberately more 'lo-fi' in keeping with the whole spirit of the track.  Next is the
Brock-penned 'To Love A Machine' - this had me in mind of the track 'Dogs' from Pink Floyd's 'Animals' -
it's got that hollering approach to the vocals, and you could even juxtapose the two at a couple of points, but
here the backing ranges from the initial ballad-esque acoustic guitars, through roaring, on-fire ensemble
electricity to expansive arenas of synths, clattering electronic drums and delicate guitar set to angst-ridden
vocal. The whole thing then erupts once more and just takes off - stunning and possibly the best track on the
album!

The title track is a trademark 'Electric Teepee'-esque semi-instrumental; "semi-" in that it uses an intoned,
treated, echoed vocal above the surrounding keyboards, rumbling bass, clattering and cyclical electronic
drums and horizon- stretching space synths, but the effect is spot on, working a treat as it drives to its
destination with purpose & atmosphere.  'Digital Nation' is a Chadwick composition on which he sings lead
vocal for the first time on a Hawkwind album, revealing a voice that's not a million miles away from that of
Stone Premonitions label owner Tim Jones (so people, expect to get into Census Of Hallucinations now if
you like this!) while the track itself features the vocal right upfront and, in its own chunkily rhythmic, almost
jerky foundations, together with swirling electronics, distant searing guitar, brief bursts of sax, a flying flute
that leaps around the mix and all-encompassing synth surrounds that sparkle and shine - This track that
would not have sounded at all out of place on the better Census Of Hallucinations albums, but is of course,
better than even that description implies, thanks to the still-amazing production.

'Sunray' is simply a driving space-rocker with Arthur Brown on lead vocals, and it does exactly what it says
on the tin - "Rocks."  For only one minute long, 'Sighs' is remarkably full sounding and busy, almost too
good for a "link" track, but it segues right into the head-bending thunder that is 'Angela Android' with solid,
chunky almost techno-esque electronic drum rhythms. With this awesome swirling backdrop of nuclear
guitar and space synths & swoops, plus with Davey's bass on fire down below and sax adding the "olde"
element, the track becomes the closest thing to the seventies you'll hear on the album. That's not to deny the
dynamics and inventive arrangements that the track possesses, even daring to add old new waver Lene
Lovich's uniquely high-register vocal towards the end, something I seriously thought fitted like a glove, but
which I imagine some will hate with a passion. All in all, it's five minutes of huge-sounding fun!

Finally, the seven minute 'Letter To Robert', where a spoken word vocal is set to a chunky, tumbling, driving
electronic drum beat, swooping, soaring space synths, more keyboard textures, deep bass and a veritable sea
of electronics. Personally, I dislike spoken word tracks immensely and this is no exception -not the band's
fault, they may be doing it superbly- but not my thing in any way, shape or form. So, apart from that, you
simply can't argue with an album of this quality - there will be those who hearken back to the "old days' but,
after all the words, all the arguments, all the anticipation and years of wasted silence, you can honestly say
that this really has been worth the wait - bar one track, that is!!

Track List: Spirit Of The Age (6:43) / Out Here We Are (5:56) / Greenback Massacre (4:14) / To Love A
Machine (6:01) / Take Me To Your Leader (5:50) / Digital Nation (5:25) / Sunray (3:56) / Sighs (1:23) /
Angela Android (5:08) / Letter To Robert (6:08)
band on stage.  The main body of the box is black and on the front is the 'Doremi' cover with the shield,
group name and album title all in silver set against the black background, with silver writing and design on
the back.

So, what you need to do is find someone who wants to buy your old copy from you, so that you can then
upgrade to this really neat looking (and I say that coz it's true) box.  But, I think, there have only been a few
hundred of these boxes manufactured, and once these are gone, they'll call it a day.
Pink Floyd Encyclopaedia - Revised 3rd edition (Book /
CD - Stock # 835867) CDBK £17.99
Updated and expanded 3rd edition, now featuring
hundreds of new facts, but what makes this both special
and a complete pain to Hawkwind collectors is the fact
that the CD by Hawkwind that accompanies this book
has been expanded as well, and now lasts over fifteen
minutes.  The track list now contains: Hawkwind doing
Pink Floyd's 'Interstellar Overdrive', 'Saucerful Of
Secrets' & 'Hyperdrive-Reprise' - exclusive to this
release and unavailable elsewhere!

The CD starts with the '98 quartet of Chadwick-Tree-
Richards-Brock tearing through a rendition of Floyd's
'Interstellar Overdrive' that takes off in a blaze of glory
with searing guitars swirling all around the mix, space
synths swooping all over the place and the rhythm
section driving it all forward - as good a six minute
version that the Floyd would be pleased to see.  There
follows a kind of jam that echoes the rhythmic structure
and improvised mid-section of 'Interstellar', converting it
into a piece that sounds like a cross between
[Hawkwind's] own 'Opa-Loka' and Floyd's 'On The
Run', with some solid ethnic drumming from Chadwick

driving a swirling mass of synths, Mellotron and sizzling
guitars for over five magical minutes.
You can order:

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Presenting a new album by Hawkwind: Take Me To
Your Leader
(Stock # 290794) CD : £13.99 Flyer
Stock - 334035
So, here we are - the first all-new studio album since
'Distant Horizons'. This time it's a core trio of Brock-
Davey-Chadwick with guests including Simon House &
Arthur Brown on a couple of tracks apiece.  Any
good?  Have they gone all electronic?  Have they
embraced dance?  Is there any guitar on it - questions,
questions. The answer is quite simple - it's a rather
good, solid, consistent and cohesive Hawkwind album.  
The surprising thing is that, apart from the last track,
there's not a howler on the entire set - Even 'Distant
Horizons' had more waste-of-space tracks on it than
this.

So, what have we got?  Well, it opens with a new
remake of their classic "Spirit Of The
Age" and the
Hawkwind: Space Ritual Sundown (Limited Boxed Edition - Stock #
915579) CD £16.99
Something for Hawkwind collectors... Now this is where you have to be
sneaky or know someone who wants what you have - let me explain...

This is the fold-out card sleeve edition of the remastered 'Space Ritual V.2'
album that came out last year in the States, and it has now become the one
listed here.  Now, what the label have done is to put the CD package in a
solid CD-sized black & silver box -yeah, a BOX- and they have als
o
included in that box an exclusive fold-out colour poster of the 1973-era
HAWKWIND: Out And Intake (CD £14.99)
Last few copies of this album on the American Griffin label, and it's one of the most
mixed bag studio albums of the band's career to date, as a no less than 8-piece line-up
delivers a wide range of tracks, starting with chugging drums and percussion above
which Nik Turner's sax work roars, drones, squeals and soars. Then it's a song from
guitarist Lloyd-Langton that's what you'd call a “slow chugger" with lead work
predominantly from organ and space synths, the guitars riffing away mainly at the
bottom of the mix. What follows is a seriously eclectic bunch of tracks, ranging from the familiar
space-rock strains of tracks such as 'Ejection' and 'Assassins Of Allah', via the relatively wild instrumental
'Flight To Maputo' with Turner's honking sax leading the way over Amon Duuul-esque drums and spiraling
space synths, to the out and out space-rock attack of many of the other tracks. Overall, it's a bit patchy but
nothing that would put you off its heady charms.
HAWKWIND: Live Chronicles (Double CD £11.99)
In addition to the main event here that is the remastered live '85 CD, you also get a 66
minute bonus CD that represents the  only way you can currently hear tracks from
the, now-deleted, Castle label albums. As a result, you effectively get a free bonus
disc of great and clear-sounding tracks from albums such as 'Approved History',
'Live '79', 'Levitation', 'Xenon Codex', It's The Business Of the Future..., Space
Bandits & Palace Springs. Featuring tracks such as 'Magnu',, 'Q, S & C', 'Spirit Of
The Age' and more, this is a fantastic bonus disc. As to the main disc, across a 76
The final, and previously unavailable track is bedded on a train-like rhythm with spacey synths flying on top,
and an altogether more cosmic groove as the effects pan from speaker to speaker, this time with Tree's
chunky bass right upfront in the mix, but it's a decidedly more space-travel style track and just superb as the
synths spread over the landscape to majestic effect.

The book's fascinating - the CD's essential. Instrumental 1998 era Hawkwind that's quite stunning!
There is another new review by Andy Garibaldi on Music from the Hawkwind family tree, Part 17 - and
to read more of Andy's reviews and to check out some of the other music he's offering (and much of this
stuff is not otherwise easy to find, even in this age of the internet), check out the
Dead Earnest website and
be sure to find out about
Psytrax - Andy's latest project, providing the best way imaginable to investigate the
latest space rock releases without breaking the bank!

"The idea behind Psytrax is that the featured tracks are representative of the albums from which they are
taken, so that if you hear a piece of music on Psytrax, then you can buy the album with confidence. It's all
about helping the musicians to sell more albums as well as being a repeat-playable CD in its own right. It's
also a non-profit making venture on behalf of the people who put it together. It's an ultra-low priced way of
getting into some seriously excellent music. But not only that, Psytrax will be a quarterly release and contain
interviews as well as tracks exclusive to the issue concerned."

Andy also has a day job, providing hard-to-find psychedelia, space rock, krautrock, and a host of other
musical forms worldwide via mail order from Dundee, Scotland: the home of CD Services.  They have long
been recommended to all Hawkwind fans as a great source of the best music...
minute running time, you get a rip-roaring run-through of tracks from the 'Chronicle Of The Black Sword'
album, alongside a whole sea of familiar compositions such as 'Magnu', 'Master Of The Universe' and many
more. The band plays an absolute belter of a set that easily outstrips many of the subsequent live albums and
I have to say that, as live CD's go by this band, this one has to be in the top three, with fantastic playing,
quality of sound and sheer unbridled energy.  A superb live album and , in context, an equally essential
double CD