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This album is another odd little facet to Paul Chain’s dauntingly strange output: complete and unadulterated Hawkwind worship, stripped of their knack of writing discernable songs, and put solely into Space Ritual improvisational mode. This isn’t so much an album to sit back and analyse, but rather a test as to just how much you like Hawkwind. Me? I like Hawkwind rather a lot, so hearing Paul - with some unknown musicians helping out - give a rather sizable nod to Dave Brock and his ever-changing line-up of musicians is pretty cool for me to hear. Nothing life-changing, but put in the right mood (let’s say a dark room with a miniature light-show) this is very effective stuff.
This is really proper, jam-y Hawkwind inspired stuff; forget the space-pop and odd experiments of the late-70s, forget Huw Lloyd Langton’s elaborate guitar solos, and tell the “drum empire” to fuck off - this sounds just like our Psychedelic Warlords circa 1973 jamming out some very cool and dreamy stuff - based mostly around the beloved open E. Guitarist, Alex Vasini sounds like a mix between Iommi and Dave Brock, so, rather expectedly, it fits in with Paul Chain’s usual sound very well. Occasionally his soloing becomes a little erratic or messier compared to Paolo’s more accomplished style - but within its context it works wonderfully.
The vocals are largely indecipherable - the only thing I can really make out is the word “space”. So, again, think Space Ritual and you’re very much in the right ball park. If there’s one thing I can’t fault here it’s the band’s attention to detail; the guitars have that same warmth they did on the those original space rock albums, the synth sounds, too, are just right for the style - conveying all types of swirling madness as we take off on some astral journey into - you guessed it! - deep space.
If you’re into Hawkwind and Paul Chain, then Cosmic Wind really is a no brainer; two-parts of spiralling, wonderfully authentic. I found this for a reasonable price online, and certainly don’t regret it… how many other Hawkwind tribute albums are there, anyway? File under: Paul Chain - The Improviser.