VARIOUS ARTISTS-SPACE BOX: 1970 AND BEYOND (SPACE, KRAUTROCK & ACID TRIPS) 3-CD SET (CLEOPATRA)
(t' be cornpone about it)...will wonders ever cease? Here for the past week or so I hadda rely on fulfilling my BLOG TO COMM doodies by closing my eyes 'n picking a Cee-Dee outta the box at random (and surprisingly enough, no John Cage was within reach!) and here it is Wednesday and not only do I have this beaut to write up for you anxious minions but a few more offerings have appeared in the ol' mailslot as well! Who knows, but perhaps even more items of value and worth may be appearing in the not-so-distant future for me to write up and enlighten you ignorant but lovable readers with! And here I was, just getting used to old favorites that just happened to get shoved under the rug in lieu of newer booty! Well, I gotta say that I sure do like my oldies, but it really is wunnerful to grace mine lobes with something a little different once in awhile!
And different this three-Cee-Dee compilation of various tracks ruminating under the "space rock" banner is, especially on this blog where such matters are usually not discussed w/o being accompanied by a parent or guardian. Now I know that space rock can be just as GENERIC a term as punk rock or heavy metal, and if the Tornadoes and Byrds could have qualified as space rock do they still have anything in common with Yes or Pink Floyd, but once you cut away at the flitzier meaning of the term the genre did come up with some interesting examples of down and dirty low-fidelity tunesmanship. And SPACE BOX is a sampler that covers at least the more interesting examples of the space rock movement (TRANSLATION: you don't have to worry about "Close to the Edge" taking up a good twennysome minutes outta any of these disques!), and even if you're more'n just a dabbler in the form you might find at least some use for this thing which can be obtained for less than the high-ticket retail price if you search it out hard enough.
Natcherally you can say that a "decent" portion of SPACE BOX sounds like some rich kid in his bedroom with too many electronic instruments and too much free time on his hands for that matter. That's always to be expected with these synthocomputer ravings, but there's still much here that'll snap your brain synapses like a cyborg in heat. Well, at least they snapped mine because such necessities as Hawkwind's "Valium 10" ('81 recapturing of SPACE RITUAL glories) and Chrome's "Third From the Sun" appear here amidst the krautrock familiarities and instant disposals, and since I missed out on 'em the first time 'round it's sure great to prove F. Scott Fitzgerald wrong and get a second act for once in my life!
True there's a good hunka material here that you'll probably have elsewhere in your collection and who wants to clutter up precious apartment space with dupes 'n all! Yeah you could say that, but like on NUGGETS these tracks sound good in the company of each other and even if you're about to snooze through some asteroid synthibleep you can bet something along the lines of Guru Guru will soon pop up to jar you our of your complacency. Think of it this way...SPACE BOX will save you tons of money because yuo won't have to search out each and every one of these platters just to hear one crucial track cutting down on the filler!
The real reason I got hold of SPACE BOX was so's I could hear this little numbuh by the New York City-based '80s/'90s space rock band Alien Planetscapes. As you might have known (from this blog and other places on the web and off) the group's leader, namely the late Doug Walker, was also involved with the mid-seventies Long Island-based space/krautrock-influenced act Master Radio Canaries whom I have been trying to get information (and recordings) on for nigh over three or so years, and if I can't get hold of the Canaries material any time soon I guess Alien Planetscapes will have to satisfy me until I do! As their various recordings available via their website would attest to, Alien Planetscapes were successful in their mission to bridge Ohr-period Tangerine Dream-styled kraut electronics with the avant garde loft jazz sound of the mid-seventies NYC scene, and naturally giving their sole track a listen-to only makes me want to hear even a substantial part of the group's 100-plus cassette tapeography, which I don't think even the most devout of space rock fans could stand to do even with every inch of tape at their disposal! If any of you have any Planetscape tapes they'd like to part with (ditto such Master Radio Canaries cassette offerings as THE IDI AMIN FACTOR and GUIDED MISSILES TO YOUR HEART) then let me know as soon as humanly possible...you know how to get in touch.
***While I'm on an space rock tangent I thought I'd also mention this CD-R burn I got from an English chap by the name of Rupert (not Murdoch or Holmes, nor even that fag bear that Paul McCartney seems to have the utmost fondness for) of an Amon Duul II release that even slipped past my radarscope! ETERNAL FLASHBACK is its name and it was originally released by Captain Trips in Japan sometime in the mid-nineties. According to Rupert, ETERNAL FLASHBACK was only available if you bought the traditional crapload of Captain Trips' wares back in the day, but then again I did some snooping and I guess Amazon UK is selling it so who knows? Having been described to me as consisting of rare '67-'71-era outtakes and having a PARADIESWARTS DUUL-ish "feel" to it, naturally my salivary glands began working overtime, but other than having a number of rough early versions of familiar tuneage from the early albums and some interesting psychedelic folk rock moments a good portion of ETERNAL FLASHBACK contains oft-heard LP tracks that fade in and out of each other, sometimes being played simultaneously which I guess ain't my idea of a space rock fun time whether I'm orbiting Jupiter or not. If this is someone's idea of doing an Amon Duul variation on THE FAUST TAPES I don't think they succeeded, but if this is someone's idea of a joke I think they deserve a good punch inna mouf! Still, the rarities are must-hears for any Amon Duul fan, though why the clip from the group's debut performance (which can be found in part on the web) was left off is reason to ponder.