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Entries in Science Fiction music (3)


Hedersleben - Producing the Music of the Spheres - and the Chronos

Hedersleben's third release - The Fall of Chronopolis - is based on the novel of the same name by Barrington Baley.  Here's the description of Baley's work from Amazon:  

The mighty ships of the Third Time Fleet relentlessly patrolled the Chronotic Empire's thousand-year frontier, blotting out an error of history here or there before swooping back to challenge other time-travelling civilisations far into the future. 

Captain Mond Aton had been proud to serve in such a fleet. But now, falsely convicted of cowardice and dereliction of duty, he had been given the cruellest of sentences: to be sent unprotected into time as a lone messenger between the cruising timeships. After such an inconceivable experience in the endless voids there was only one option left to him. 

To be allowed to die.

Do I get any of that from listening to the music?  Not really.  Is that a bad thing?  Not at all. 

I'd never heard of this band before stumbling across them at Amazon.  It was one of the recommendations they offered while I was browsing around.  The title intrigued me.  The samples sold me.  I hadn't read the book either, so I've got that to look forward to as well.  

How to describe this piece?  Well, it's spacey, it's rhythmic, it's repetitive - it's great.  It has all the elements I love best about about Hawkwind (with the exception of Dave Brock).  In fact, dare I blaspheme, I enjoy The Fall of Chronopolis better than anything the Hawks have released in the last decade or so.  If you like spacerock, you should love this one.  

The band - whose names I must learn.I still don't know the band well enough to know their names, but they are a tight unit.  And the lady on vocals is exquisite - at a couple of points she put me in mind of Annie Haslam.  Check them out here:  An Empire on youtube.  Musically, it all works around the Chronopolis idea - it has passages that are grand and etheral and clockwork-like.  I've got to dive deeper into the lyrics next and read the book - which is available in ebook form.

So there you go.  If you like your rock spacey, if you like it sci-fi-y, or if you simply want to try something new, give Hedersleben a look and a listen.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.  I will definitely be checking out their previous releases and eagerly awaiting the next.

Going to give it five out of five stars.


Nerd Props to . . .

David Bowie



David Bowie has done much to bring SF & F to the masses.  I mean, who hasn’t heard Major Tom’s plight in Space Oddity at least once in their lifetime?   A lot of rockers dabble in SF&F, though, right?  But then Bowie went and did that album about an alien stranded on earth who becomes a rock star.  Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars landed upon unsuspecting masses, and what appeared to be just another glam rock album turned out to be a wonder-filled SF parable songs like Moonage Daydream and Suffragette City.  The album pretty much kickstarted Bowie into superstar status, and while he could have pretty much done anything he wanted to at that point, he did it again.  Sort of.  The follow up to Ziggy was Diamond Dogs, a kind of surreal, Orwellian nightmare that sported a mutated, half-man, half-dog,  Ziggy-like Bowie on the cover, and the songs range from the apocalyptic visions Diamond Dogs to the discoish sounds of 1984.  Even though he metamorphosed into the Thin White Duke shortly thereafter, we are forever grateful to him for these rock and SF masterpieces.


                                       So Nerd Props to you, David Bowie!  



Nerd Props to . . .

Slough Feg




To the Spinward Marches!The Stars Their Destination.Slough Feg (formerly known as The Lord Weird Slough Feg) take their name from a character in 2000 AD’s Slaine series.  The band resides in San Francisco and are currently signed to Metal Blade Records.  If you like your rock speculative fiction-based, this is your band.  Each album draws upon science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mythology –  even history on occasion.  Traveller (2003) is a concept piece based upon the classic rpg and features a character inspired by one frontman Michael Scalzi played as a teen.  The second track on Hardworlder (2007) is based upon Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination; a special Gully Foyle vinyl edition (Foyle being the main character in Bester’s book) was released with the cd.Their newest release, Digital Resistance, continues the trend with a stand-out track entitled Laser Enforcer.  The band’s twin lead guitar sound is a very nice blend of Thin Lizzy’s melodic hard rock and Iron Maiden’s driving riffs.  Check them out at www.sloughfeg.com.