171. master of the universe

“Speaking of Hawkwind, I realize it’s difficult for those who haven’t been there to grasp, but the difference between their sci-fi epics and everybody else’s, is that theirs are real (note the present tense). They aren’t fantasies. They’re honest tellings of events from the edge of time itself, where even now mystical warriors stand at the very brink of the vortex, the void, the abyss … and they hold true, they redeem us all. By which I mean Space Ritual may have been recorded live in 1972, decades from where I’m currently sitting, but I’m here to tell you that distance is all illusory, a side effect of the weirder than weird mechanics that make so-called reality at least begin to make sense to our puny mortal minds. Which I realize must be confusing as hell to try to comprehend. So don’t. Just listen to the album, and if you’ve only got time for one track, make that Master Of The Universe, because it’s solid sonic proof of everything I’ve just stated. It’s truth itself. And it rocks like a mother****er!” (Philip Random)

351. space is deep

“I missed Hawkwind completely in the 1970s which is when they were truly happening. In fact, I never even heard of them until at least the end of the decade, and then it was mostly dismissive stuff from various critics: spaced out slop for morons who were too stoned for Rush, or words to that effect. The critics were wrong, of course. What Hawkwind had going, at least in those early days, was a nigh on transcendent application of science-fiction concepts to psychedelic methods. Seriously. Put on the headphones and crank this stuff up. It will take you places beyond the known universe and you won’t even need drugs. Because the musicians have done them for you. Lots of them. With 1972 a sort of ground zero in that regard. Doremi Fasol Latido was the fresh album of the moment, but the real magic was happening live via the Space Ritual and points well beyond within.” (Philip Random)

Hawkwind-1973-live

450. Pioneers over C

“I probably use the word harrowing too much. But if Pioneers over C isn’t harrowing, and epically so, then what the hell is?  It’s about space travel apparently, the horrors inherent in messing with the space time continuum, astronauts who go too far, too fast, achieve absolute relativity, become creatures of limitless imagination but total non-physicality, ghosts in a word. This being the darker, harder, fiercer live take from 1978’s Vital, Van der Graaf Generator having truncated their name to merely Van der Graaf to mark the departure of founding member Hugh Banton. But the big voice remains, Peter Hammill (aka The Jesus of Angst) rending the very fabric of reality as he’s oft been known to do.” (Philip Random)

VanDerGraaf-1978-live