Nick Riff - Photon Shift

(CD 2009; 56:07; RIFFDISC 003)

The tracks:
  1- Edge Of Time
  2- Glowing Bowl
  3- Symbiont
  4- Photon Shift
  5- Already Gone
  6- Mindflow
  7- Halls Of Amenti

Nick Riff Website        samples       
Freak Element -
Songs From Another Dimension

(CD 2009; 30:49; Cosmic Eye Music)

The tracks:
  1- As We Dream
  2- Penny For Your Thoughts
  3- Over The Moon
  4- Shine
  5- Open Mind

Nick Riff - his real name? - is a veteran of the Cleveland music scene of the eighties and the nineties. He disappeared for a long time from the podia. Now, he returns with the full-length Photon Shift -album and the mini-disc Songs From Another Dimension with Freak Element, a duo consisting of Nick Riff and Peter Platten. On Photon Shift, a concept album dealing with the technological obsessions of our time, Riff plays all the instruments, although I think I heard a drum machine somewhere.

Without doubt Hawkwind is the role model for our space friend, because Photon Shift sounds alternatively like this famous of all space rock bands - listen to the third track Symbiont - or as a solo album of a Hawkwind-member. Somehow the music especially reminds me of a mixture of Hawkwind’s bass player Alan Davey and keyboard player Harvey Bainbridge. Nice long songs with a lot of guitar work which is surprisingly not so much riffing, gliding and soaring. Sometimes the music tends to get a bit boring as there aren’t enough ideas to warrant the length of the songs, but at the same time Photon Shift tends to get stronger when played more often. Nick Riff doesn’t belong to the premier league of musicians, but nevertheless his music is entertaining. This is unfortunately not the case with Freak Element. They make a mainly acoustic version of ethereal space folk and this is not particularly exciting, especially after hearing Photon Shift.

** André de Waal (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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