At 73, Nik Turner still can turn in a marvelous piece of musical genius. No stranger to space rock, a loved musical style of the ’60s, and early ’70s, he fully understands what it takes to create a jazz-infused rock set. And no wonder.
Nik Turner spent years as a strong part of Hawkwind, the celebrated space rock pioneers. Utilizing Turner’s ability to play saxophones and flutes, they injected his, at-times cacophonous, at-times achingly beautiful styles, into their harder-edged rock to produce a unique, and intriguing sound that was often a hallmark of the band.
Turner also engaged in solo projects, this release being one of them. Decades ago, he implemented his talents into Sphynx, getting help from all quarters including the legendary Steve Hillage (who lends himself on “Anti-Matter” from this new album). As recently as the new millennium, Turner started Space Ritual, a collection of past Hawkwind members essentially making Space Ritual a side-project AND a Turner solo effort at the same time. They played a collection of Hawkwind classics mixing in original compositions.
On this new issue by Nik Turner, an album called Space Gypsy, there resides a fantastic collection of collaborative original compositions, each song brilliant in its own right. Collectively, the album stands as a bright spot for purveyors of progressive space rock. Even the cover hails back to some of the great artwork that have adorned past space rock album classics.
Amazingly, the songs here flow from one to the other very well, which makes an excellent argument for good sequencing. This band works beautifully together to set the stage that you’ll find yourself a part of, time and again, while you listen to Space Gypsy.
The whole of Space Gypsy is filled with Moog synths, Mellotron, electric guitars, Turner’s flute and sax, and superb drumming and bass guitar work. There’s even some haunting violin. Turner’s still able vocals ties it all together to help create what is possibly the standout progressive album of the year.
If you love Progressive music, especially the sub-genre of Space Rock, you would be remiss to ignore Space Gypsy. This album proves that excellence in music doesn’t have to end or be compromised. Nik Turner is a musical genius.
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Label: Purple Pyramid Records
Availability: CD, LP