Sunday, May 30, 2010

While the 1980 Flash Gordon may be the greatest pulp-influenced piece of science fiction
to ever POP(!) on a screen (Star Wars is great and all, but give me Flash Gordon's hyper-active vortex of a take on Alex Raymond's all-out adventure stories any day), also blasting out (in this author's opinion) the greatest soundtrack EVER ("Flash!!! AAAAHHH-AAAAHHH! Saviour of the the Universe!" (with Phantom of the Paradise as a close soundtrack second), when I think of long lost Epic mags found on the bottom of piles on the floor of used bookstores, there's one band (just a bit beyond Zolar X) who stands out above all.

From their space-folk beginnings through the amazing launching pad to worlds beyond of the Lemmy Years all into the shimmering robot-Orwell-cold-war-new-wave-steel-walls-of-synth of the late 70's stuff (Quark Strangeness and Charm, 25 Years On, PXR 5....) and into the olden-day Future of the Eighties, the label Atomhenge has been LOVINGLY re-issuing long lost Hawkwind treasures while braving black-hole horizons to pack them with stunning bonus tracks and liner-notes.

I'd be far from the first person to say that Hawkwind hooks me right in and takes my imagination to places past this solar system, but I gotta tell ya from the bottom of my heart, near so many stories began by Asimov and into the upside-down worlds maybe inspired by Agent of Chaos (whether a hundred or so other writers know it or not) to Megacities and Cursed Earths, where late at night Rod Serling serves snacks and the fight for heart and humanity sits at the edge of The Quiet Earth and all inbetween and above-with the silver sheen perfection of a reflection off of Gort, Hawkwind is pure Sciene-Fiction listening perfection, with guts and brains and wildness and most of all finding that singularity between harrowing massive expansiveness and lighting-in-a-bottle-of-a-moment SPARK. (Now if only some label would re-issue the first Inner City Unit album!)

Space-helmets off to Atomhenge for their incredible dedication to the back-catalogue of mid-period Hawkwind!!!