Hawkwind’s new box set/collection Spacehawks is a mix of new and old music re-recorded or remixed. It is a musical picture of where Hawkwind as a band is currently. The tunes appearing as they do for the most part in their current live show.
Taken as a work unto itself, Spacehawks is interesting in that the concept of the tunes bounce back and forth between positive and negative sentiments, heavier and lighter beats while always maintaining a broad and dense sonic spectrum. True to the core of the Hawkwind catalog, all the music gives you a sense of space tripping in dystopian future. What is also true and unique to Hawkwind is their ability to deliver a modern heavy electronic rock sound while still retaining a certain amount of style and phrasing from the early days of the psychedelic rock genre.
In my opinion a better name for this album would be Sonic Attack, as the overall level of compression and limiting has reduced the dynamic spectrum to zero. Every sound is as absolutely as loud as possible at every moment of this record. Though the music is excellent the overall sound of the album does at times feel like Assault & Battery on the ear drums.
Other than the mixing style, I found this to be a very enjoyable disc. Fresh perspectives on older material may introduce Hawkwind to a more youthful audience. For the Hawkwind faithful this collection does contain some new material to add to the overall catalog. The one thing that really puzzles me is opening the collection of a remix of Seasons, which was already the opening on the previous album Onward.
Overall, Spacehawks is a great introduction to Hawkwind for an audience raised on trance dance music. It’s also a great pull to older fans of Hawkwind who might not be listening to dance trance music.