colours and sounds present:

Praise Space Electric

 

Press Reviews

* Rock 'n' Reel July 1994.
* Crohinga Well May 1994.
* Audion December 1994.
* Ptolemaic Terrascope Spring 1994.
* I/E September 1994.
* Aberdeen FIN March 1994.
* The Davey Magazine September 1994.
* Holding Together June 1994.
* Buzz Factory June 1994.

Rock 'n' Reel

Sometimes alter-ego of Bristol's masters of magical mystery musical mayhem The Moonflowers, PSE and assorted entourage gleefully take a trip through the highlights and most intriguing parts of the last few decades musical history grabbing chunks here and armfuls there. On getting back to base its all reassembled with an added injection of their own space juice flavoured imagination. There's even a version of Richie Havens "Freedom" given a groovy new vibe which fits perfectly the blissed out arrangements from an admittedly pretty accomplished group of rhythm 'n' groove obsessed hashheads. (Sean McGhee)
Crohinga Well

PSE emerged out of Bristol's finest, The Moonflowers, at first as a free jamming hobby-club. Things got a bit more serious when their musical intention became real and their sound evolved from an improvising space rock ensemble to more recognisable, structured forms like funk, folk, reggae and jazz. Their first eponymous album (1991) on the Pop God Record label gives a good profile of their apparently anarchist blending of contemporary musical styles. It's an excellent LP and the band have got quite an underground following through it.
Their line-up became stable around 1993: Jesse Vernon (guitar, vocals), Sam Burns (bass), Dieter Hartwig (keyboards) and Toby Pascoe (drums). A mini LP called "Cosmic Funky Explosion" was released (on Pop God records again) that showed the group in a very funky mood, as the title suggests. Praise Space Electric then went into the famous Foel Studios in Wales in July '93, to record their second full-length album. With the addition of a second drummer, Errol Flynn and various guest musicians, the band managed to further expand the scope of their (already very varied) sound. The LP starts off with a clam, jazzy, keyboards- dominated instrumental ("Doc's Groove") but then plunges into "Sinnerman" and "Rhythm Rhythm", two journey's through sixties / seventies psych music, fusing the souls and spirits of Santana, Jimi Hendrix and Funkadelic together into one boiling, multi-coloured mass.
But there's more: "Diggin' at The Did In" is a dark, instrumental, Weather Report-like jazz rock, while "Freedom" is... yes! a cover of the historical Woodstock classic by Richie Havens, given the Santana/Temptations treatment. "Waves of Joy" is stoned, gently floating West Coast folk with harmonising vocals and very subtle guitar play. This is the last track on the LP, but if you buy the CD you get about seven minutes more: "Waves of Joy" then floats into "Dream Your Wobbles Away", which is a very psychedelic ambient sound and lots of keyboards. "Cybergenetic Experiment X", the second bonus track, is a weird instrumental, reminiscent of "And the Gods Made Love" off Hendrix's "Electric Ladyland".
"2 Leaving Demons" is not a very easy release to encompass completely after only one or two spins: too many influences and musical directions push their way into your ears, each demanding your unbiased attention and approval. Some people will find this confusing; personally, I think it's refreshing to hear such a wide-angled fusion of alternative and commercial styles. Check this one out, the band deserves it!
Audion

This was the first time I'd ever heard of PSE or their music. The CD has eleven tracks, some with a bluesy instrumental feel about them, and the only real comparison I have is of an inventive Ozric Tentacles. I certainly liked this CD and I guess anyone who likes psychedelic music would find "2 Leaving Demons" to their taste, and they would probably go down well on the festival circuit. i would like to see PSE live. They certainly deserve a wider audience. There's ten people contributing to PSE; the musicianship is very good and the use of female backing vocals gives some tracks a world music feel, in particular "300,000 Million Years" shows they are willing to try various musical directions. The album has elements of jazz, blues, world music and psychedelia. There are quite a few bands which fall into the Hawkwind/Ozrics trap, and its great if you can't afford to see those two bands, but PSE do it with much more originality. See them live, buy the CD, or both, you wont be disappointed. (Nigel A. Parr)
Ptolemaic Terrascope

The PSE album - their second - has been actually pressed (rather than merely sold) by Delerium. This Bristol based band of hippy punksters have delivered a balanced LP which shows off various facets of their style rather than merely launching into and staying with the type of stoned electronic groove punctuated by the odd reggae anthem which so many modern festival bands seem to think go to make a 'psychedelic' record. "2 Leaving Demons" is a principally instrumental album with one or two numbers having definite leanings towards the strobe-like effect created by bubbly percussion and overplayed bleeps, but also featuring an organ(ic) opening number entitled "Docs Groove", shades of Edgar Broughton in "Rhythm Rhythm" and a distinctive cover of Richie Havens "Freedom" in which the chicks chorus drives the beat along at an accelerated rate of knots. And isn't that a Leslie guitar sound on the closing "Waves of Joy". Bless 'em all. (E.G. McMuffin).
I/E

Swirling festoons of organs and electronic keyboards, massed vocals, fuzzy guitars and firm, downtown basslines create a pronounced sense of swing on this feisty debut. Diggin' At The Dig In and Singing The Same Song conjures up images of Funkadelic and a late '70s Miles Davis / Herbie Hancock vibe, wrapped tight in space fatigues; dollops of soul-drenched choirs croon above incessant beats amid waves of Bernie Worell-like synthetics. It's a deceptive and odd mixture, but the band possess enough smarts and sass to pull it off, rather expertly, too. Dig it.
Aberdeen FIN

WOW!! Phenomenal music to blow your mind totally away! 2 Leaving Demons is by far the most insteresting and diverse selection of music I have laid my ears on for quite a while! Priase Space Electric are an extremely original band from Bristol, with an exceptional variety of influences, which few bands manage to have these days! Sixties west coast sound with seventies funk. There are distorted acid guitar freakouts, highly energetic jazz-funk fusions, wild free form acid rock, ethereal psychedelia, haunting soul vocals, tribal rhythms, amazing space rock improvisations, electronic sound imagery... It's all in there! A live review of the band in Melody Maker decribed the vocalist as "a white boy from Bristol who plays like Jimi Hendrix and sings like Marvin Gaye", 2 Leaving Demons is a guaranteed mind blower! Highly recommended!!
The Davey Magazine

Praise Space Electric's new album is a fairly classic blend of '60s psychedelia with cosmic influences of funky, experiment and a deep mix of casual and spectavular intellectual dins, all swirling around PSE's creative and unstoppable juices to great effects. Thrill as they search effortlessly from song to song you can twig how straight-laced guitar, keyboards and effects work in perfect harmony. PSE have an endearing penchant for bizarre, acid-influenced, slightly crazed tales of ordinary kaleidoscopical visions. The best example is the song that kicks off the album featuring Doc Underhill on Hammond Organ. More experienced PSE followers will take Rhythm Rhythm in their stride, a more fragmented and dissected side of the band's genius that has to be heard to be believed. Both Diggin' At The Dig In and Freedom justify all priase that have been heaped on their shoulders. 300,000 Million Years a 3'19" song is of earlier Crimson-like memory; it soars at its highest level, the sort of silver drug for the senses that allows you to enter into another dimension. Songs like Cybergenetic Experiment X and Pebbles are a mixture of lysergic and delirious instrumental experiments.
Holding Together

With one LP, one EP and a cassette already under their collective belt, Bristol's PSE have established a burgeoning reputation as purveyors of a funky hybrid which is rich in both jazzy and psychedelic influences. This tasteful and unquestionably groovy record can only add to that reputation.

Led by the gifted Jesse/David Vernon, the band also features the taut bass of Sam Burns and the extemporising keyboard of Dieter Hartwig - plus two disciplined drummers (Toby Pascoe and Errol Flynn) and three female vocalsts (Elisa Carrahar, Caroline Jarret and Lia Leenderty). But it's the guitar, voice and creativity of Vernon which directs operations, and he demonstrates subtle leadership skills throughout the album.

Doc's Groove sets the wheel in motion with a controlled piece straight from a smoky jazz club. Thankfully we're spared the smoke, but Doc Underhill's Hammond organ is atmospheric enough - supported by some understated guitar. Sinnerman is more intense; after a fairly laid-back vocal section, the track develops with an extended instrumental passage which is jagged and sparky. A vocal reprise leads it home after 7 minutes' worth. The excellent Singing The Same Song opens with three women providing a wordless refrain before Vernon comes in and introduces a succession of lovely jazzy flurries. Diggin At The Dig In, described on Delerium's blurb as 'dancefunk' had me fearing for the worst, but turns out to be an attractively syncopated piece more reminiscent of the Rascals circa Peaceful World than any modernistic horrors. Mind you, I'm steering clear of the remixes on the 12" single, just in case!

Ritchie Havens' Freedom gets a pleasing run through and the album closes with two gentle excursions which bob on the cool ripples of guitar and jeyboard. 300,000 Million Years also features some complementary bass from Burns (whose work throughout is intelligent), whilst Waves Of Joy has the most psychedelic influence - and some convincing West Coast vocals to boot.

The CD version of the album contains three extra tracks, two of which should be fine, but one of which is described as an "acid rock jam with a techno track". You have been warned. Bill Parry
Buzz Factory

This is going to echo around the caverns of my head for the whole of the summer. It has got it's name etched into my bong and it's vibe painted on my walls.
If you take a psychedelic meander through the dreams of a jazz funk musician as he is suffering delusions of being an acid guitarist in a space rock band, then you might pick up the backbone of Praise Space Electric. There is no optimum time of day for this stroll through my mind, I forget time and it's constraints and become fluid like the music, moving ceaselessly yet smoothly, seeping into life itself and then reality knocks at the door and I press the repeat button on the CD player.

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