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GRAB A TRIPPED OUT CD! Steve Hillage: "L" (CD, 43:57); 1976 Virgin Records LTD CVIP 185 After a stint with Gong as their trippy, hippy, New-Agey, guitar guru of cosmically and extremely raga-esque trance rock and improv heaven, Steve Hillage went solo. He branched out to carry his own version of the Gong gospel of personal freedom via his special blend of cosmic brotherhood/ eastern religion/ new age/ pyramids/ ley lines/ crystals and some ferociously jazz fusion and progressive rock guitar blended with space rock synths. Hillage reinterprets some well-known tunes by other artists like Donovan and George Harrison here as well as penning some of his more memorable sonic treats. His awesome riffing and speedy solos on his Fender Strat rival those of Hendrix and Frank Marino but go further compositionally via exotic scales from other cultures. Add in Todd Rundgren's engineering and production genius, his Utopians guesting and several others like Don Cherry on brass and Tibetan trumpet alongwith a 15th-century Hurdy Gurdy and you have a wild romp into eclectic rock. The 12 minute long "Lunar Musick Suite" is the pinnacle moment of the release and "Om Nama Shivaya" comes in a close second for Hillage's most blissed-out, trance rock. Both Gong and Steve Hillage's solo career have served to bring us such superb musical echoes and legends such as veteran space rockers, the Ozric Tentacles. ~ John W. Patterson, EER-MUSIC.com Personnel: Hillage, Steve/Synthesizer, Guitar, Vocals, Voices, Guitar (Synthesizer), Arp, Shenai Rundgren, Todd/Producer, Engineer Cherry, Don/Trumpet, Horn, Tambourine, Voices, Bells Powell, Roger/Synthesizer, Piano, Moog Synthesizer Sulton, Kasim/Bass Karush, Larry/Percussion, Tabla Blocker, Joe/Drums Giraudy, Miquette/Keyboards, Vocals, Vocals (bckgr), Voices, Vibe Master Holbrook, John/Engineer Malkine, Sonja/Keyboards Wilcox, John/Drums Karushi, Larry/tabla Malkine, Sonja/15th-century Hurdy Gurdy Tracks: 1. Hurdy Gurdy Man~6:33~Donovan 2. Hurdy Gurdy Glissando~9:00~Giraudy/Hillage 3. Electrick Gypsies~6:26~Hillage 4. Om Nama Shivaya~3:33~Nariula 5. Lunar Musick Suite~11:57~Giraudy/Hillage 6. It's All Too Much~6:28~George Harrison Listen to samples & Buy CDs/DVDs here
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Steve Hillage: Aura (LP); 1980 US only JEM 22095-2 This was a USA-only compilation release featuring the best tracks from Green, the studio tracks from Live Herald, and Open. This is a collection of lengthy, predominately instrumental pieces featuring the blazingly psychedelic, post-Gong, and fascinating guitar work of Steve Hillage and crew. Hillage and Giraudy do have limited lyrics and vocal effects herein but the thrust is one of a continuous flow of Hillage's space rocking and raga riffs with excellent synthesizer work augmenting the tripped out soundscapes he creates. In speaking with Steve Hillage via e-mail about this release he didn't foresee it being released in CD format. That is too bad, as it is a wonderfully well-paced coverage of Hillage's most memorable Stratocaster excursions. ~ John W. Patterson, EER-MUSIC.com Personnel: Hillage, Steve/guitar, vocals Giraudy, Miquette/voice Tracks: 1. Getting Better (Lennon/McCartney) - 2:59 2. Palm Trees (Love Guitar) (Giraudy/Hillage) - 5:20 3. Unidentified (Flying Being) (Giraudy/Hillage/Robertson) - 4:30 4. U.F.O. Over Paris (Blocker/Byhum/Giraudy/Hillage/Robertson) - 3:10 5. Activation Meditation (Giraudy/Hillage) - 1:03 6. The Glorious Om Riff (C.O.I.T./Hillage) - 7:47 7. Talking to the Sun (Giraudy/Hillage) - 5:59 8. 1988 Activator (Hillage) - 2:29 9. New Age Synthesis (Unzipping the Zype) (Anderson/Giraudy/Hillage/McKenzie) - 8:52 10. Healing Feeling (Giraudy/Hillage) - 6:05 Listen to samples & Buy CDs/DVDs here
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