Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Book by its Cover: Remastered Works of Steve Hillage

ed. note: This is the first in a series of reviews where the musical content of recently released or rereleased albums are critiqued by authors who have never listened to them. Musical content, therefore, will be judged completely on the album art and whatever biographical information the author deems relevant.

Steve Hillage is one unusual dude. As is abundantly clear from these album covers, Steve-o was a British prog rock guitarist. Later, like so many tech-friendly musicians he moved into producing, working on albums for Simple Minds, Robyn Hitchcock and later the Charlatans UK.

Then in the early '90's he heard Alex Paterson of the Orb playing one of his songs at a club -- they became friends and collaborators. Hillage ended up working with The Orb, founding electronic dance collective System 7 and working with a who's who of electronica, including Paul Oakenfold and Detroit techno faves, Carl Craig and Derrick May.

I have never, ever listened to the following albums -- remastered and rereleased this week by EMI and available in the US as imports.


Check that out, he's rocking that guitar so effing hard it's emitting it's own radiant light energy!

Or perhaps he's playing in front of an oncoming train. In either case, rating 4/5.

Motivation Radio

We can use this radio telescope to broadcast our prog to aliens in deep space. Then we can use the same radio telescope to pick up their interstellar rock. In theory, it sounds good, but we all saw Close Encounters and the alien songs were lamer than the demos on a Casio.
Rating 2/5

Fish Rising

This cover manages to out psychedelic fish Phish AND use the Enter the Dragon Chinese menu font. On paper that sounds good, but like Chinese food, ambient proto-electronica, prog guitar always leaves me hungry for something more substantial right after I consume it.
Rating 3/5


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