Hipgnosis is a space rock band from Poland founded in Krakow in 2004. According to their website their name is a composition of different words, meanings and references. Previously the musicians in the band collaborated with many groups from Krakow. In 2005 they released their debut album Sky Is The Limit followed by an EP in 2006 called Singiel and the live album Still Ummadelling in 2007. This record contains the additional studio recording Wherever The Angels Fall including the Pink Floyd cover of Careful With That Axe, Eugene. However, they had changed the title into Take Care Of Your Axe Eugene. In 2011, they recorded their second and latest studio album Relusion.
It's kind of strange that Relusion reached our mailbox only in 2012, but I liked it that much that a review is still appropriate. This CD could be regarded to be a concept album containing a coherent view on religions and the spiritual life of a man. Relusion was mainly inspired by the book The God Delusion written by Richard Dawkins. Let me first introduce you to the band members of Hipgnosis who have all rather strange nicknames: SeQ (drums, electronics and some keyboards), KuL (female vocals), PiTu (bass guitar, backing vocals), ThUg (keyboards), Ijon (keyboards) and Prince Olo (guitars). A special guest musician is guitarist Marcin Kruczek (Nemezis), who played on Relusion and Large Hadron Collider.
The first three tracks Cold, Cult Of Cargo and Dr. What are mainly dominated by keyboards in the vein of bands like Quantum Fantay and Ozric Tentacles. The only difference is that Hipgnosis has singers in the band which makes their music more colourful. However, KuL doesn't belong to the best female singers I've heard lately, but it will do for this album and I don't get negative feelings while listening to her voice. A strong feature on the first three compositions is the groove; on the fourth track The Garden, the music tends towards the music of Pink Floyd. This track also includes a fantastic synthesizer solo and a great guitar solo can be enjoyed on the title track that even has a stronger tendency to Pink Floyd's musical style. It seems as if David Gilmour is playing the guitar here.
The final piece of the album is also the longest. Large Hadron Collider sounds quite similar to a track performed by Tangerine Dream, but occasionally Pink Floyd influences pop up once again. Certain parts can even be compared to the music of Hawkwind. All in all this blend of different influences makes sure that there's enough to enjoy on this long track. I would like to add a few words about the artwork, because it's just stunning. The futuristic pictures made by Tomasz Setowski can be described as a combination of the modern art by Ed Unitsky and the classic painters Pieter Bruegel and Jeroen Bosch.
Relusion is an album that most certainly will be enjoyed by devotees of fine space rock music. This album by Hipgnosis is also recommended to people who are into the music of bands like Tangerine Dream and Pink Floyd.
*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013