Endless Space

When is it better to listen to old hippies play space age prog-psyche? Tripping your balls off, encrusted in filth in a tent at Glastonbury or at home, sober with a notepad and a pen? Hint: if you thought it was the second option you need to get to Glastonbury pronto and engage in eejit behaviour. The artist in question goes by the moniker Vali Ohm and is the work of Danny Jackson, who once performed as part of neo-hippy rock types Joint Venture. They disbanded without making their mark and it took a decade or thereabouts for Danny to re-emerge for another crack at the music game. Vali Ohm is, therefore, the work of one man and his array of electronics aided by Hawkwind founder Nik Turner on the single and title track 3000 Light Years and a number of disembodied voices.

3000 Light Years takes in alien races (Jazz up the Spacerock), mind expansion (The Encounter) and as many squelches and squalls as Danny can wring out of his synths (um, everything here). The Vali Ohm tops off the usual mix of electronics and drums with some, yes you guessed it, sitar and classical Indian singing. So far, so Ozric Tentacles. There's a bit of light funk on Light Force which is fairly excruciating - like something off a long forgotten 70s sci-fi B movie but the collaboration with Nik Turner on 3000 Light Years is a little more interesting with the drums becoming more prominent and Jackson locates a hypnotic groove to operate in.

It's great that Danny has rediscovered his passion for music and has been able to construct the whole album using 21st Century technology but the resulting album is resolutely 20th Century. It's a bit like Rush without Neil Peart i.e. pretty laid back and smoked up with no sign of Ayn Rand's malign influence anywhere but also without the intrigue and balls-out rock. Vali Ohm, then, one for that tent in a muddy field surrounded by your new 'friends' perhaps.