8 Jun 2016
Sendelica - I'll Walk With The Stars For You / The Cromlech Chronicles
Reviewed by Nathan Ford
Welsh cosmonauts Sendelica are so bloody prolific that each time I get sent something of theirs to review, they've released something else by the time I've digested it enough to write about it. In the past that has prevented coverage in these pages, but I'm not gonna let it stop me this time, with two excellent new studio releases here to savour. You'd think that the fact that Sendelica can write, record and release albums quicker than I can listen to them would guarantee a certain lack of quality control but that is very much not the case here. Who knows where they find the time?
So first up today we'll look at Italian label VE Recordings release "I'll Walk With The Stars For You". The Sendelica chaps spend a lot of time investigating deep space instrumentally, but opener "Black Widow Man" bucks the trend a little, bringing in the legendary Twink on guest vocals on a propulsive, effects laden space rocker. If you tried to explain what Hawkwind sounds like to someone who has never heard them before, they'd probably imagine it sounding a lot like this, even though the description only matches on paper.
We're back in more familiar territory next with the lengthy space epic "Moscow Bunker Blues", one of the best examples of their space jams I've heard so far, with some stellar sax work.
Nik Turner turns up next to lend some flutey accompaniment to a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross" that sees the titular seabird relocated from its earthy climes to somewhere with solar winds. This then segues into "I Once Fed Peter Green's Pet Albatross", a more earthbound meditation that recaptures the mood of the original, had it been recorded during Miles Davis'"In a Silent Way" sessions. Thoroughly splendid. (Vinyl, CD or download available here).
Let's move on to "The Cromlech Chronicles" now, released as a vinyl LP by Fruits de Mer Records, and named after the megalithic monument near the studio it was recorded in (in Wales).
The title piece is a side-length slowburner, starting off with ominous, eerie keyboard washes that suggest the very far reaches of space. This sense of not-quite-emptiness is soon shattered by the arrival of some lovely, lyrical guitar work and before long we're in full flight with guitar versus saxophone in a closely contested fight.
The flip side is also a side long treatise, but made up of multiple parts which perhaps demonstrate Sendelica's versatility a little better than the title track. The contents here range from an aggressive take on Flower Travellin' Band's "Satori Part One" which accentuates the Sabbath style doom of the original, and some complex King Crimsonisms, with original material which verges on the angelic. You can download from the link below or grab one of the last few LPs here.
And if that's not enough for you, they've also recently released another great live album (some would say the perfect way to experience the band), and an adventurous cover of "Ziggy Stardust" as a 7" for Fruits de Mer (already sold out it would seem). You've got your work cut out for you keeping up with this lot, I tell you. Worth every second though.