Having delivered the lion’s share of the ethereal jazz meanderings that informed his 2015 album Space Fusion Odyssey, for Life In Space septuagenarian saxophonist and flautist Nik Turner has dialled back into his Hawkwind heritage for a more rocky and choppier excursion. Indeed the most obvious comparator would be Warrior On The Edge Of Time, specifically (although Turner might not thank you for saying so) Dave Brock’s compositions on it.
Life In Space’s intriguing opener End Of The World successfully marries the acoustic melancholia of Hawkwind’s The Demented Man with Oasis-style 60s pop: drenched in reverb and with the obligatory cosmic swirl. Fellow Hawkwind alumnus Simon House’s violin on Why Are You? further reinforces the nostalgia effect, whereas Back To Earth (uplifting whimsy) and Approaching The Unknown (filmic grandeur) explore impressive musical territories previously not ventured in to by the mothership.
There’s a faint air of resignation throughout, interspersed with a Utopianism which is tempting to interpret as a bulwark against ageing. Who knows? Whether anyone needs another reimagining of Master Of The Universe at the album’s close is a point less moot.