Hawkwind - The Machine Stops

Hawkwind The Machine Stops cover
Hawkwind
The Machine Stops
Cherry Red
2016
7.5
F’me g’vnor Hawkwind have been around, since before I was born and as it stands they might as well exist after I and you are gone…
 
With only Dave Brock serving as the sole “original” member and a wide array of colorful characters that have been associated with the band, either as players (Lemmy and a lot more) or in general performers ie Stacia… they have like countless records to their name, or as one or another variation “Hawklords and or Hawkestra” so, by any reckoning, they must be around 30 or more and that’s without taking into account all their live releases…
 
Often meddling in sci-fi inspired stuff, since their inception, the band here tackles the eponymous novella of E.M.Foster all the way back from early last century, which is considered as a bit of a classic and creates a concept album based on that story, where people are forced underground and fed and kept alive by a huge machine in what feels like some sort of semi-voluntary imprisonment. Vashti and her son Kuno are the two main characters, the former obedient and reliant to follow the rituals of daily routine, while the latter questioning and rebellious seeking a life on the surface after experiencing it briefly. In the meantime the machine, which was man-made, is made into a religious artifact and is deified, with all those who not accept it – being marginalized/ostracized. Things deteriorate to the point where the machine collapses, killing all the population it was meant to keep alive, including the protagonists (the civilization) leaving only a few remaining people on the surface to rebuild, society. It’s a cautionary tale about being too reliant on technology and losing touch with ourselves and our environment, effectively isolating ourselves.
 
The music and the whole experience, is suitably spacey and if I’d have to compare it with something, it feels a good deal like Hawklords. There are quite a few key moments following the spoken introduction ie, “King of the World”, “Synchronized Blue”, the single “Solitary Man” with many short interludes also working as passages between the various songs. The entire album flows quite effortlessly and makes it one of the best Hawkreleases in quite a while actuall… Welcome back dear spaceship/men…