Friday, 17 May 2013

40 YEARS AGO: HAWKWIND RELEASE ‘SPACE RITUAL’


HawkwindLike many other ’70s rock greats, British space-rock pioneers Hawkwind built their legacy on-stage, rather than in the recording studio. On May 11, 1973, the band released their defining masterpiece. ‘Space Ritual,’ their fourth overall LP and first live album, is a mind-numbing double-album behemoth that captures the Hawkwind experience in all its demented glory.
It’s called “space-rock” for a reason. Combining sci-fi lyrics, motorik pulses, and trippy sound effects, Hawkwind’s music is the perfect simulation of space flight — a turbulent rocket blast through alternate galaxies of riffage and noise. And ‘Space Ritual’ (recorded during a pair of performances in London and Liverpool) is their most explosive moment.
If there’s a lead instrument at all, it’s the distorted, brain-bullet bass guitar of Lemmy Kilmister. As a former rhythm guitarist, he brings a chordal, melodic presence to the band’s low-end, while the rest of the band (woodwind player Nik Turner, drummer Simon King, guitarist/vocalist Dave Brock, the twin synthesizers of Dik Mik and Del Dettmar) offers texture and turmoil.

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