The Space Spectrum - The Red Eyed Queen. 2014 Cosmic Eye (Greece) LP
Another great find from our Greek friends Cosmic Eye, The Space Spectrum are amongst the new crop of instrumental German bands following in the footsteps of the 70's Kosmiche Kouriers. Like most modern bands, The Space Spectrum are more about the hypnotic experience of the overall psychedelic sound. Guitars and 70's era synthesizers provide the leads while the rhythm section keeps the steady - at times pounding - beat. This is not about jazzy improvisation, wild solos, and constant shifts in time. This is music that takes awhile to cook, turning ever so slowly over an intense fire underneath. Psychedelic to the extreme, but never unpleasant or atonal. Similar to Scotland's The Cosmic Dead, though less metronomic and more spacious. A very fine debut.
The album is housed in a thick single sleeve cover with an informational inner sleeve. Fantastic job as always from Cosmic Eye!
For my tastes, I would like to see the band explore more options within the context of a composition. While it makes for a great opening move, I feel the chosen style inhibits growth. Let's see where they go from here. I feel the band has enormous potential.
Worth noting, the band has 7 releases to date. I believe most of them are solo efforts from guitarist Nico Seel, before adding new (and much needed) members to his crew. Other than The Red Eyed Queen, all are only available via download, which we typically don't cover on UTR.
I would also like to paste in here our friend Spyros' comments about the album (who is a member of the Cosmic Eye team), because I found them very insightful (especially calling out the landmark year of 1989 - Ozric Tentacles, Tangle Edge, Djam Karet, etc...): "There are two major trends in space rock since 1989. First is that much of it has turned simpler and heavier, oriented towards pulsating stoner music. Second is that part of it has gotten trippier by expanding considerably the psychedelic /jam side of the genre since the 70s, though at root very little of it diverges that fundamentally from what Hawkwind/Gong/Ash Ra Tempel etc. were doing in the era.
SPACE SPECTRUM sit definitely in the second category. They are a relatively new band from Germany that had at their earlier stage a substantial output on Bandcamp as a one-man project behind guitarist Nico Seel. At their current stage, "The Red Eyed Queen" is their first album as a real 4-piece band and we are proud to be the label that releases this milestone to their career.
The record features SPACE SPECTRUM on a mammoth trip rock opus that spans both sides of the vinyl. By listening to the band channeling their awesome mind melting spaced out tones into a cohesive ensemble, one can’t deny the influence of the early 70s acid rock vibe. There are the obvious nods to the kraut gods, zoned in on the more jam aspects of cosmic kraut bliss and taking the music way out there into Ash Ra Temple-sque jamming blow out territory. Over a magic carpet of spacious keyboards and below the bass rumble of the spaceship, the guitar wanders in real outer cosmos, transporting us through the heavenly constellation. The result is a full-out attack on the trippier aspect of space rock, a bit brutal in his modern approach (under a creeping Cosmic Dead influence) but also very far-out, when moving to outer dimensions.
SPACE SPECTRUM took creatively the floating aspects of the 70s space rock formula and adopted it to rock styles that occurred in the 90s and onward. "The Red Eyed Queen" is a true cosmic winner and is not to be missed!"