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- Space Aura by Sun Ra & His Band From Outer Space
8/10 Mike Staff review, 16 May 2014Closing up my review marathon for this week is this delightful 10" from late, great jazz magician Sun Ra. It's totally enjoyable stuff, classic Ra if you will. These seem to be live recordings but were it not for the presence of applause between tracks I would not have guessed that because they're beautifully recorded. On side A you get a piano intro and then the main attraction 'Space Aura', light bluesy jazz with a cheekily discordant harmonised sax lick leading into some crazy honking over a fast-paced walking bass which gets a moment to itself before Ra's piano brings everyone back in. There's even some so-Sun-Ra-it-hurts 'Space is the Place' style group vocals leading from the intro into this track. On the other side you get some more thoughtful and spiritual vibes on a couple of slower-moving pieces but these are still densely arranged and weird, as you'd expect. 'Song of the Sparer' has some peculiar winding buzzy analogue synth tones alongside piano and plucked bass, while 'Exotic Forest' has bubbling percussion that sounds like a rickety cart going along a dirt track while some plaintive reedy melodies wiggle about in the near distance. This is an excellent 10", not very long but everything here is vintage Sun Ra.
8/10 Aaron Customer review, 12th August 2014
The world of Sun Ra is a dense sonic landscape, kind of like listening to Jamaican music, once you 'get it' it become a rewarding sonic obsession. This 10", whilst short, still delivers over 15 minutes of prime 'transitional' period Ra work - by transitional, I mean that period where his more loungey, almost exotica jazz gave way to the weirder, more intense free-jazz with strange electronics period, best heralded in via the 'Concert for Comet Kahoutek' piece and Mr. Ra's Moog infused explorations of the late 60s through to the 80s..
For vinyl, it sounds fantastic, at almost 'audiophile' level, how they did this, who knows? The only gripe I have is that it's simply a 10", as a SunRa freak I demand at least 40+ minutes of unadulterated Ra goodness!! Either way, the sonics on this deliver I JUST NEED MORE!!
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