What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?

Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Friday, 30 August 2013

A Case For Sonic Attack: Hawkwind's Space Ritual 40 Years On

Released in May 1973, Space Ritual is a unique piece of British music history. Across its 88 minutes, it delivers one of the most mind-bending, trance-inducing and flat-out immersive experiences available for your ears and brain. It’s one hell of a trip and certainly the finest heavy psychedelic album produced in this country. Yet for all its influence on generations of star-faring mantric music makers that have followed in its wake, it still remains an under-acknowledged record in the great rock canon.
Of course, this isn’t just an issue for Space Ritual, but also for Hawkwind as a band. Yes, everybody knows the name and they’re probably familiar with the wheezing space boogie of 'Silver Machine', but Hawkwind suffer in the popular and critical imagination by being pigeon-holed as sci-fi obsessed hippy throwbacks beloved by cheesecloth-wearing stoners in greatcoats. And while there’s certainly some truth in this perception, it obscures the fact that throughout the 1970s, Hawkwind were a musical and conceptual powerhouse with a series of releases that both parallels and rivals the revolutionary rock coming out of Germany during the same period.

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