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Nik Turner - 2019 - "The Final Frontier"

(45:08; Cleopatra Records)


If ever a musician needs no introduction, then it has to be Nik Turner. For more than 50 years he has been a stalwart of the scene, and while he will always be best remembered for the classic years with Hawkwind he has been involved in other bands and has also helped multiple new artists over the years. Here he is back with his latest solo album, with assistance from Nicky Garratt of UK Subs and Hedersleben, Jurgen Engler of Die Krupps, and Jason Willer of UK Subs and Jello Biafra’s band as well as special guest appearances by Hawkwind alumni Simon House and Paul Rudolph. Given it is a Nik Turner (Hawkwind 1969-1976, 1982-1984) release, also taking into consideration the album title and artwork, plus the involvement of Simon House (1973-1978, 1989-1991; guest - 2000-2002) and Paul Rudolph (1975-1977) it perhaps isn’t too surprising what this album sounds like. There is no doubt that Nik’s sax and flute, along with vocals and songwriting (remember he was responsible for the mighty “Brainstorm”) were integral to Hawkwind’s glory years, and they rarely reached those heights again without him. So, it is no surprise that what we have here is an album which in many ways could have been released in the early Seventies, and if it had then it would have made a major splash. Given that guitarist Nicky Garrett was involved in a hard hitting punk/metal outfit for more than 20 years, one may expect him to have a much heavier influence on the final sound, but this is very much a Turner release and although the music is arranged so that it is very much a band, he is often the focal point. There may well be some important distorted guitar solos to be heard, but they are often in the background. “The Final Frontier: Part One”, with its spoken words, flute, swirling sounds and even acoustic guitar, could have been lifted straight from ‘Doremi Fasol Latido’, and the whole album is one which is a delight for anyone who has ever lost their hearing at a Hawkwind concert. Nik Turner shows no sign at all of slowing down, and for fans of psychedelic space rock we should all be very grateful indeed.

Progtector: August 2019

Related Links:

Nik Turner Cleopatra Records


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