Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Lothar and the Hand People - Space Hymn

Lothar and the Hand People
Space Hymn

Released 1969 on Capitol (now reissued on Evangeline)
Reviewed by venus willendorf, 28/01/2005ce

Lothar and the Hand People: Space Hymn (1969)

1.Yes, I Love You
2.Today Is Only Yesterday’s Tomorrow
3.Midnight Ranger
4.Sister Lonely
5.Wedding Night For Those Who Love
6.Heat Wave
7.Say, “I Do!”
8.What Grows On Your Head?
10.Space Hymn

This album’s great! It’s psychedelic, but in an eccentric grown-up kind of way, which doesn’t sound promising I’ll admit, but its politeness belies a certain sonic subversion. Imagine a bunch of cerebral junior west-coast music professors, circa 1968, hanging out with the kids on campus and deciding to get weird.

The albums modus operandi is the incredibly shrewd and subtle use of the Moog which glides surreptitiously throughout most of the tracks. In fact I can’t think of any other band around during this time that was able to weld such esoteric electronica to the standard live band format so convincingly. There's none of that 'hey look at me I've got a Moog and I'm gonna make lotsa craaazy sounds' (cue electronic farting from curious wired contraption the size of a small shed).

It reminds me of Notorious Byrd Brothers period experimentation somehow. They even have the latter’s subtle country rock vibe going down at times.
But Space Hymn, the final track, is classic space-rock exotica, with gorgeously warm and rich Moog burbles and gurgles providing the aural backdrop to a mediative and loony tale of space travel. Nice…

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