Dave Brock's space rock roundup is mind-expanding and spectacularly unhinged

Wild experimentation is the norm on This Was Your Future: Space Rock And Other Psychedelics (1978-1998), curated by Hawkwind spacelord Dave Brock

Dave Brock Presents This Was Your Future: Space Rock And Other Psychedelics (1978-1998) cover art
(Image: © Cherry Red Records)

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Wizened space cadets of a certain age will doubtless have hazy memories of the stridently psychedelic free festival scene that erupted in Hawkwind’s illustrious wake at the end of the 70s. 

Diverse, anarchic and almost certainly under the influence of illegal drugs, it was a scene that casually evaded the mainstream radar, while producing a great deal of joyously out-there and obtuse music along the way. 

Compiled in collaboration with Dave Brock himself, This Was Your Future hurls most of the movement’s key players into the mix, across three discs of wildly colourful experimental rock and electronica. The vast majority of it has aged exceptionally well, perhaps due to the timeless nature of Hawkwind’s repetitive, mind-expanding blueprint, but also because many of these bands were spectacularly unhinged. 

Veterans of this defiantly eccentric sonic world will doubtless recall Ozric Tentacles, Poisoned Electrick Head, Sun Dial and Omnia Opera, all of whom are represented via immersive deep cuts. 

But this nostalgic splurge is rather more notable for the inclusion of obscure, pot-addled gems like Boris And His Bolshi Balalaika’s wonky acid-prog odyssey Toadstool Soup, Kava Kava’s dreamy but skewed Poke, and Sons Of Salina’s epic and oddly moving pomp-psych joint Gamoto Manopano

With plenty of Hawkwind-adjacent content on offer – Sonic Assassins, Hawklords, Psychedelic Warriors et al – and one balls-out, noisy reminder that the much-maligned Dumpy’s Rusty Nuts were actually pretty great, these three hours amount to a fascinating snapshot in time and a glowing advertisement for cultural non-conformity.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.