Kev Ellis (Dr Brown, Bubbledubble, Sonic Arcana, Trev & Kev, Spirits Burning) is back with Volume 2 of Space Cadet, the first of which was released last year. Kev plays all instruments except for guest guitarist Grant Macnaughton on two tracks.
The first three tracks, which Kev calls Turkish Sunset, started life as ambient recordings Kev made in Turkey. Slowly Circle The Sun may only be 2 minutes long but it’s an ass kicking opener, combining Hawkwind styled Space Rock with trippy Psychedelic song and a bit of harmonica Blues injection. Turkish Sunset is next and at 11 minutes is far more of a stretch out tune. It kicks off with a spacey intro of bubbling synths, followed by a steadily building rhythmic pulse that develops into an Eastern flavored, hip swaying, Dub infused Space-Trance groove. I really dig the trancey, dancey, deep space hypnotic drift, punctuated by mesmerizing synth lines, gently swirling effects, and occasional shaman chant vocals. Together, Cosmic Dancers is one of my favorites of the set, being a really cool rocking blend of Space Rock, Folk-Psych and acidic Blues. Totally trippy lyrics too.
The remaining three tracks that comprise the Venice Evening portion of the album started as ambient recordings Kev made in Venice. Slowly Sliding Outside Your Mind starts off as a chill-out groove tune with Blues harmonica and lots of samples from the streets, before breaking into a full on Blues-Psych/Space rocker that recalls Kev’s Dr Brown days. It then returns to the opening theme as it segues seamlessly into Creatures Of An Altered State. I could feel the sense of strolling down the street as people chat and street musicians play, and all the while a pulsating electronic pattern weaves its path and soundscapes drift. But soon the harmonica starts to wail, the rhythm section kicks in and Kev breaks into his shaman vocals for more Eastern flavored, Trance steeped Psychedelia. Finally, To Stare From Your Eyes starts off in strumming acoustic guitar mode but quickly becomes an orchestral Folk-Psych song with fun sci-fi synth embellishments. Beautiful guitar solos too. For lyrics and vocal number this is a good pairing with Together, Cosmic Dancers.
Just like the Space Cadet that preceded it there’s lots of tasty variety on the album, bringing together all kinds of Space Rock and Psychedelic influences. Space Cadet Vol. 2 is available in CD and download editions, but if you want the CD you better hurry because there are only 100 of them.
For more information visit the Kev Ellis Bandcamp site at: http://kevellis.bandcamp.com
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz