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Khan - Space Shanty (2004) Retail CD
Khan are a very early example of the Canterbury School of progressive rock, best known through bands such as Caravan, Hatfield and the North and National Health. Led by guitarist Steve Hillage who would later join Gong and enjoy a successful solo career, this was his first important group. So it is surprising that his songwriting skills are so matured and developed. Also, his trademark soaring, ecstatic guitar style is also much in evidence here. The combination of that and guest keyboardist Dave Stewart's fuzzy, distorted organ is something really special to behold. The pair would team up againmore… on Hillage's first solo album "Fish Rising", some of the material of which was destined for a potential second Khan album. "Space Shanty" is full of complex time signatures, highly melodic songwriting and wonderful playing. This is English psychedelic progressive rock at its very best. Inventive, wistful, remarkably fresh sounding without being indulgent or pretentious. Definitely of it's time, but there is still much to admire and enjoy here. It's clear to see why Hillage became such a star, within Gong and through his late 70's solo albums like "L", "Motivation Radio" and "Green". He is such an individual guitarist and the positivity generated through his singing, lyrics and music is charmingly disarming and so easily draws you in. Half of the tracks are over 7 minutes in length, giving ample room for the band to fully explore and develop musical ideas within the framework of each song. There is something about Dave Stewart when he lets rip on one of his thick, fuzzy organ solos that always makes me smile. He was without doubt one of the best keyboard players of that time. Special mention must be given about one of the bonus tracks, "Break the Chain" which is an excellent unreleased recording from earlier incarnation of the band. This has a wonderful, gorgeous chorus and is a truly great find. Only ever available before as an expensive Japanese import, this is such a welcome release and another top notch remastering job from the Eclectic Records team with great sound and detailed informative notes in the accompanying booklet rounding off this lovingly restored album. "Space Shanty" has been released together with the first two albums from Dave Stewart's Egg, which are also highly recommended. With all those and the just released Hatfield and the North archive CD, "Hatwise Choice", this has meant a bumper crop of excellent stuff for not only aficionados of the Canterbury Sound, but for anyone seriously interested in some of the best examples of quirky English progressive rock from the golden age.
|3||Mixed Up Man Of The Mountains|
|4||Driving To Amsterdam|
|7||Break The Chains|
|8||Mixed Up Man Of The Mountains - Khan (4)|
- Khan - Space Shanty (2004) Retail CD
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- 19/11/14 by ssvril
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