Space rock is a style of music with a large following among fans of prog rock − just like me by the way. Formerly I've bought many albums of Hawkwind, the godfathers of space rock. This band inspired many other, most British bands to make the same kind of music on which you could smoke a big spliff and float away into the wide open space. Blim was such a band that recorded psychedelic and progressive space rock in the early nineties. Some of the band members could later be found in the heavy psychedelic space rock band Omnia Opera that recorded albums such as Omnia Opera (1993) and Red Shift (1997, see review). Others played in the Yes tribute band Fragile and their spin-off Aquaplanage.
In those days Blim was led by guitarist Andy Read and drummer Neil Spragg. They recruited several musicians on bass, keyboards and saxophone who accompanied them on stage. As far as I know Blim never recorded CDs; they only sold two cassettes during live performances: Zero (1992) and No Frills (1993). Now these two tapes have been released on a double CD. They have been carefully remastered and complemented with some bonus tracks. They called it Zero / No Frills after the original titles of the cassettes. The music on both discs is mainly instrumental and especially Zero is strongly influenced by Hawkwind, Steve Hillage, Gong, Here & Now and Ozric Tentacles.
No Frills either has these influences but it contains more prog rock elements, so it's obvious that I enjoyed the second disc better than the first one. However, Zero also contains some fine moments that reminded me of Twelfth Night. Especially the rhythmic guitar parts seem to be influenced by this band, while the prog rock elements on No Frills above all refer to a band like King Crimson, although it seemed as if acts as Primus and Frank Zappa inspired these musicians as well. However, the main ingredient on both discs is space rock in the vein of the aforementioned bands. Obviously both discs leave a lot of room for experiment and improvisation, which in general isn't the cup of tea of many prog heads.
This reissue of the twentieth anniversary edition of Zero and No Frills is only recommended to those who enjoy the music made by the above-mentioned space rock acts. They will surely enjoy this re-release as much as I did!
*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?