NUKLI — The Time Factory
Review by proghead0
4 stars Totally ignored British prog rock band that surfaced in the 1980s free-festival scene, the same scene that spawned the OZRIC TENTACLES. Like the OZRICS, NUKLI released a series of privately issued cassettes in the 1980s, and it was only in 1997 that any of their material ever made it on CD with "The Time Factory", released on Delerium Records, same label PORCUPINE TREE used to be on. OZRIC TENTACLES and PORCUPINE TREE are now widely known by many, NUKLI basically slipped through the cracks. The band apparently had lineup changes (they were even known to have OZRIC members like Roly Wynne and "Generator" John as guests - not to be confused with the other John, John Egan the flute player) but on "The Time Factory", the lineup was guitarist/vocalist Kev Hegan, bassist Mark Huxley, keyboardist Eric Pavlyak, and drummer Colin Wareham.
The music on this CD tends to be rather lengthy, with two 17 minute cuts, a couple of nine minute cuts, and one short three minute experimental piece. How to describe their music? Well I hear some elements of traditional symphonic prog, with some Steve HILLAGE, HAWKWIND, and OZRICS (but unlike the OZRICS, there are vocals, and Kev Hegan sounds surprisingly like Dave Brock, especially on "Inner Days"). For some weird reason, the band loved including snippets of movies and television programs in their music, don't ask me, because I think they overuse that. Ocassionally you hear some Middle Eastern influences (something common with the OZRICS).
"Book of Changes" starts off quasi-HAWKWIND, but there are some almost PINK FLOYD-like passages as well. "Inner Days" sounds a whole lot like HAWKWIND but without the heavy metal guitar licks. You can almost swear Dave Brock was singing this song, but as mentioned, it was Kev Hegan. Somewhere you hear excerpts from movies and television programs, including what sounds like something from the 1950s where a kid was saying "Last night, we were listening to space music" and his mother said, "Space music?" and you even hear a clip from Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke where Tommy Chong says, "Oh Wow Man" (because of the dog [&*!#] joint he was given, if I'm not mistakened). "Spiral Dance" is a guitar-dominated piece that most resembles Hillage, while "The Inner Spectrum" is a short experimental piece that leads in to the final cut, "Pscychelektra Trip Sequence". There are a couple passages that feature some rather '80s sounding synthesizers I can live without, but for the most part, the synths you hear are VCS-3-like synth bubbles. Aside from the overuse of movie and television program snippets (although I did like the inclusion of Cheech and Chong and the "Space Music" stuff), this is truly a wonderful and hidden gem of prog rock, and if you can find the CD, get it.
My rating: 4 1/2 stars proghead0
are, in my opinion, the great lost psych band of all time. They're certainly a lot better than any Western band around nowadays. They really deserve to be more famous-I would never have even heard of them were it not that my friend's dad is Majick Mark Huxley. Their first album, Number 9, is certainly worth a listen although it relies a bit too much on samples and is probably too tripped-out for most people.
Their second album, At Last, is more of a conventional rock album, but it suffers from very poor 80's production values. The vocals all get a bit smothered and the whole thing just sounds a bit muddy, although there are also some good tracks on it.
Fortunately, their third album, Book Of Changes, was much better produced and is an absolute classic. It combines full review