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Baker's Dozen

Prophets Of Time: Nik Turner's Favourite Records
Sean Kitching , March 23rd, 2016 10:03

The space rock luminary and former member of Hawkwind, Sphynx and Inner City Unit guides Sean Kitching through 13 instructive and inspirational jazz, rock and soul records that have shaped him and his music

Born in August 1940, saxophonist, flautist, vocalist and composer Nik Turner was a founding member and ostentatious stage presence in space rock pioneers Hawkwind during their 1969-76 heyday. He has also toured and recorded with his bands Sphynx, Inner City Unit, Nik Turner's Fantastic All Stars and Space Ritual. In 2013, Turner released the most critically acclaimed album of his solo career, Space Gypsy, and his latest, Space Fusion Odyssey, recasts him as a member of an Interplanetary Arkestra alongside a dream line-up of legendary guest musicians.

With his Baker's Dozen, Turner outlined 13 of the albums that constitute the "stepping stones" of his musical career, but first he had some words to say about his current and forthcoming projects, including some typically cosmic conjecture concerning the origins of human life on Earth.

"My record company have come up with this approach that I like," says Turner. "They said I ought to make a jazz fusion album – here are some backing tracks with Billy Cobham playing, you can record saxophone and flute over them, whatever you want. There are also tracks by Chris Poland's band. He used to be the guitarist in Megadeth and he's got a band now called OHM that plays jazz fusion. I saw Chris when I was over in LA for Lemmy's funeral and when I got home I was sent some of the recordings I had done at his studio and I thought, if I'm playing on an album with Billy Cobham, I want to be able to feel that I'm playing music that I'm impressed by. So I got hold of the original backing tracks and went into a studio near where I live and rerecorded all the instrumental parts I had done. I mean, I still wasn't completely satisfied with what I did, but I'm a Virgo – a perfectionist! John Weinzierl from Amon Düül II is on there too. The album was produced by a guy called Jürgen Engler of the band Die Krupps, so he got some of his friends in from Germany, like John, to overdub some tracks. It also has Steve Hillage on it, John Etheridge from Soft Machine, Robby Krieger from The Doors, Gilli Smyth from Gong doing space whisper. I'm also working on an album with Helios Creed about the origins of humanity and the Anunnaki and the planet Nibiru. How the Annunaki are supposed to have seeded humanity upon the Earth in order for humanity to serve them in the goldmines, which is what they were interested in having from the Earth. I think the Toltecs and the Olmecs and the Nephilim were all giants, from that planet that's behind Pluto that's supposed to be the twelfth planet of the solar system."

Space Fusion Odyssey is out now on Purple Pyramid. Nik Turner's New Space Ritual play The Shed in Leicester on Saturday, March 26; for full details and tickets, head here. Click on the image below to begin scrolling through Nik's choices, which run in no particular order

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