Robert Calvert – The Last Starfighter
(Cleopatra Records – 2021)
The second and late frontman of Hawkwind has 19 of his solo songs remixed by a variety of different DJ Extraordinaires out there from all over.
I must admit that outside of Hawkwind or Hawklords, I do not own any of Robert Calvert's solo output so I cannot make comparisons to the original releases unfortunately. It's more experimental, synth and new wave pop like than his previous band fronting material and at times rather what the you know what and enjoyable at others. A lot of the songs place my minds a lot towards artists like Gary Numan/Tubeway Army, Kraftwerk, Time Machine or some of the more avant guard 80's Bowie.
Songs that really got my attention here were the opening 'Over The Moon' (A Flock Of Seagulls Remix); 'Lord Of The Hornets' (Xiu Xiu Remix) that's very Hawkwind due its spaceyness and heavy rock tones; 'Hidden Persuasion' (Xeno And Oaklander Remix) that is like New Order and Pet Shop Boys pop with its quikey computer sounds, drum machine and synth sounds or the echoing spacey atmospheric 'Thanks To The Scientists' (Sixth June Remix) that reminds me of Yazoo gone darker with male vocals.
Later on there is the 'Work Song' (The KVB Remix) that is like Ron Mael in dark mode going Kraut on us; the sinister robotic mechanical craziness of 'Over The Moon' (Xiu Xiu Remix) with some high pitch wave machine sounds; the dancing and toe tapping 'Working Down A Diamond Mine' (Crying Vessel Remix) that will have you moving to whether you like it or not & closer 'Flight 105' (European Ghost Remix) with its enchanting and mysterious riff and overall vibe.
A nice introduction to the man's own stuf in a revolutionised revamped way.
By Glenn Milligan