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The Space Spectrum, Germany

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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!"

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The ongoing HiPo list

Read about this the purpose and idea of this thread at the bottom of this post. Feel free to opine on any of these albums as you wish.

New additions (moved forward with this post)
Cosmic Triggers (Russia)

Karakorum (Germany)

Kungens Män (Sweden) This band many releases already, and 5 are durable mediums. Looks like a group to check out at least one of.

Professor Tiptop (Norway)
Weserbergland (Norway)


Prior entries that have yet to be purchased or heard
Cherry Five (Italy) Reformation album, so won't consider this against the 1975 album.

Consorzio Acqua Potabile - Coraggio e Mistero (Italy) New album with Alvaro Fella (Jumbo!) on vocals. Considering this HiPo because of the Fella presence

Fatal Fusion (Norway)

Il Fauno di Marmo (Italy)

Hadal Sherpa (Finland)

Jordsjo (Norway) OK - just a quick update that Jordsjo will have a CD out in the fall. Yaay!

Merry Go Round (Italy)

Mythic Sunship (Denmark)

The Winstons (Italy)

Witchwood  (Italy)

Wucan (Germany)

Prior entries that have been hear…

Anglagard, Sweden

News: According to the band's website from October 8th: "The band has gone into songwriting mode after several concerts in North America (which happened to include full renditions of "Hybris"). In related news, Jonas, Johan and Erik have apparently started a side project with Thomas Johnson playing some sort of progressive jazz music. In terms of website news, the recent DVD releases have finally been added to the discography." Great - add a distraction there. These guys are hilarious. Probably by 2024 we can expect a new album then...

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Location: Stockholm

Overview: Probably the foremost contemporary post 1990 band to capture and recreate all that was great about the early 1970s original progressive rock movement.

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Omnia Opera, England

News: Omnia Opera are still kicking! They're actively looking for a new keyboard player, so it seems they're ready to get going again. They also have an offshoot band called 7Shades and they recently played with The Oroonies - yet another blast from the past. Both of these bands have old cassettes that are in dire need of reissue.

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Location: Kidderminster (SW of Birmingham)

Overview: Omnia Opera can best be described as a heavier and more in-yer-face variation of the classic UK festival space rock sound. More Hawkwind and less Gong that is to say. About the only band I can think of that rocks harder than Ozric Tentacles in this genre.

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Homunculus Res, Italy

News: It appears the new album from Homunculus Res will be coming in November, based on a comment back in August. So great news there. No title or cover as of yet, so I'll leave the second album up.

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Location: Palermo, Sicily

Overview: Homunculus Res is a tremendous new Canterbury styled band from Italy that have perfectly captured the spirit of another era. Brilliantly mixing melody and complexity, with a jazzy undertone.

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Secret Saucer, USA

News: Secret Saucer have just released their 7th album The Reset. It appears to be LP only at the current time (and released in Germany). I've lost track of Secret Saucer, as I haven't heard anything from them since Tri-Angle Waves in 2009.


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Location: The band usually just state that are from Ohio, but if I recall right they are from near Cleveland in the northeast part.

Overview: Secret Saucer could best be described as a space rock jam band. Similar to Oresund Space Collective and  others of its ilk.

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October Equus, Spain

News: There's talk of a new album, and in at least one post, it was discussed it might be without a rhythm section - a chamber type work. Nooo.... don't do it! Resist the temptation. :-) Permafrost, from 2013, remains the last album, and I never did get any notes down for it. I'm sure I will eventually.

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Location: Madrid

Overview: October Equus'first album was almost like a psychedelic Present (Belgium), a very interesting combination that I found highly appealing. With each subsequent release, October Equus ups the ante on complexity, while toning down the more jamming aspect of their sound.

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Nuova Era, Italy

News: Return to the Castle was released late last year, and has received mixed reviews. It would appear their controversial decision to move to English has divided the fan base.

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Location: Firenze/Florence

Overview: Probably more than any other band, Nuova Era can be credited with bringing back the classic early 70s Italian progressive rock sound... kicking and screaming into the 90s. The band has reformed in the 2010 decade, though strangely they've moved to English vocals, something that goes against the very core of the style. I haven't heard them yet, so can't say how successful the reformation has been.

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Quaterna Requiem, Brazil

News: Quaterna Réquiem are very active on the live front in their home country of Brazil. No word on a new album though.

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Location: Rio de Janeiro

Overview: Quaterna Réquiem were one of the first bands of the late 1980s/early 90s progressive rock renaissance to review the works of the Mediterranean bands such as Quella Vecchia Locanda and Gotic, rather than the standard English "Big 3" of Genesis, Yes, and ELP.

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Lumerians, USA

News: Lumerians are very active playing live and touring. There's talk of a new album, but nothing since Transmissions From Telos Vol III from 2014 (which came after IV...) - an album I haven't heard yet myself.
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Location: Oakland, California

Overview: Lumerians' rhythms are pure Krautrock motorik, straight from the Can and Neu! school. The dreamy vocals recall Barrett era Floyd, or perhaps more to the point, the early 90s neo psych of Sun Dial

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Astrakan, England

News: In 2016, Astrakan released their 3rd album Hidden Agenda. I haven't heard it to date. Otherwise not much to report here.

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Location: London

Overview: Astrakan are a fine band operating between Canterbury and jazzier forms of rock. Comets and Monsters adds an avant prog edge.

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