Various Artists - This Was Your Future Space Rock & Other Psychede [Cherry Red - 2022]
Here we have a compilation curated by Hawkwind’s Dave Brock. It’s a three-disc/ forty track CD set. which focuses on space rock and psychedelic music from between the late 70s and late 90s. It’s fair to say a lot of the material here has a rather Hawkwind-like sound, and a few of the tracks feature Brock and others connected with the group- though they are a few surprises along the way.
The three-CD set is presented in a light-yellow flip side box, this features ink stamper like psychedelic shapes/ pictures. Each of the three-disc comes in it's own card slip sleeve- with the set topped off with a twenty-eight-page inlay booklet, which features a write-up about the collection by Ian Abrahams. And small write-ups for all of tracks, and pictures/ cover art. It’s another Cherry Red release- so as you’d expect a classy and pro presentation.
Disc number one features thirteen tracks. We go from bounding blues-rock at points almost metallic guitar riffing meets cascading spacy synth spirals of Omnia Opera’s “Space Bastard”. There is the eerier and rising atmospherics of Dave Brook’s “Green Finned Demon”- with its blend of moody organ climb, tick-tock rhythms, rolling synth horn brood, and baying ‘n’ wailing tone scaping. We have the eastern bazaar tripped jingling ‘n’ jangling rock of Boris And His Bolshie Balalaika’s “Toadstool Soup”, which later drops into tread mystical desert synth orchestration and building if waving guitar scaping. And towards the end of the disc the gunning almost gone gothic space rock meets ghoulish jaunting keys of Treatments “Damage “.
On disc two we find fifteen more tracks. We go from darker-hued and primal space rock slog of Pressurehed ‘s “Red Delta(Live)”- with snare bashing rhythm, hovering synth & guitar presence, and at points fairly death rock like singing. There’s the skittering electronics, moody guitar tone pick, snapping beats, and wailing male vocals of Kava Kava “Poke”. Or the wonderful odd “The Lizard Sheds It’s Skin” by The Tryp- which starts off with creepy sci-fi liquid-like sounds, before dropping into a blend of blunt churning bass, odd guitar pickings, and weird bubbling ‘n’ growling vocals- this stands to me as one of the collection highlights.
Lastly, on disc number three, we have another twelve tracks. There is the brighter, racing, blues rock tipped gallop of Nukli’s “Inner Days”. We have the simmering -yet- bass bounding 70’s electronica of Tim Blake’s “Passage Sur La Cite (Des Revelations)”. Or the slugging ‘n’ dirty mid 80’s space rock of F/I’s “The Circle Is the Square” with baying overload synth sweeps, crashing drum work, and roughly churning guitar work.
In finishing, I say to get the most out of This Was Your Future- you’ll need to at least enjoy Hawkwind, and their take on space rock. Because yes there are a few departures from that template here, but it largely has a very Hawkwind-like focus, which is fine…but just be ready/ aware of this before purchasing.Roger Batty