Psychedelic Space Rock is Taking Over in 2016

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Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Psychedelic space rock is having a moment in 2016. If you’re not familiar with the genre, it’s a mix of spacey, otherworldly sounds with a healthy dose of psychedelia. Think Pink Floyd meets Hawkwind.


Psychedelic space rock is a genre of rock music that generally features lengthy songs, improvised performances, and an emphasis on sonic experimentation. The style emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s and was spearheaded by groups such as Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, and Grateful Dead.

In recent years, the genre has seen something of a resurgence, with new bands like Subtle Degree, Holy Dolphins, and Paprika Pony leading the charge. If you’re looking for something truly out-of-this-world, then psychedelic space rock is definitely worth checking out.

What is Psychedelic Space Rock?

Psychedelic space rock is a type of rock music that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This genre of music combines elements of psychedelic rock, space rock, and progressive rock. Psychedelic space rock typically has a heavy, distorted sound and is often experimental in nature. The lyrics usually deal with themes of space travel, outer space, and aliens.

Psychedelic space rock bands include Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, and Spacemen 3.

The History of Psychedelic Space Rock

Psychedelic space rock is a subgenre of psychedelic rock that developed in the 1970s. It was characterized by a combination of electronic and acoustic instrumentation, and is often associated with the krautrock, jam band, and progressive rock genres.

The term “psychedelic space rock” was first used by music critic Lester Bangs in 1974, when he wrote that the new wave band Hawkwind “may be the definitive distilled essence of what we now know as Psychedelic Space Rock”. Although largely unknown in the United States, Psychedelic Space Rock developed a cult following in Europe and Japan.

In the 1990s and 2000s, the genre experienced a revival, with bands such as The Mars Volta and Electric Wizard gaining critical acclaim. The Mars Volta’s 2006 album Amputechture was voted the best album of the year by Kerrang! magazine, while Electric Wizard’s 2010 album Black Masses was named one of the Top 50 Albums of 2010 by Terrorizer magazine.

The Rise of Psychedelic Space Rock in 2016

Psychedelic space rock is having a moment in 2016, with a number of new artists emerging on the scene and making waves with their blend of ethereal soundscapes and driving grooves. These artists are keeping the spirit of classic space rock alive while also expanding its sonic boundaries, creating music that is both timeless and innovative. Here are just a few of the psychedelic space rock bands that you should be keeping an eye on in 2016:

1) Moon Duo: This Oregon-based band has been at the forefront of the psychedelic space rock scene for several years now, and their 2016 album “Occult Architecture Vol. 1” is one of the most anticipated releases of the year. With its mix of krautrock rhythms, hypnotic guitars, and ethereal vocals, Moon Duo’s music is both trance-inducing and transportive.

2) Kikagaku Moyo: Another band that hails from Oregon, Kikagaku Moyo’s sound is a bit more laid-back than Moon Duo’s, but no less mesmerizing. Their 2016 album “House in the Tall Grass” is a perfect example of their ability to create beautiful soundscapes that simultaneously soothe and stimulate the mind.

3) Elephant Stone: This Montreal-based band has been steadily gaining momentum over the past few years, and their 2016 album “The Glass Box” is likely to propel them even further into the spotlight. With its gorgeous melodies and hazy atmosphere, Elephant Stone’s music is quintessential psychedelic space rock.

4) White Hills: New York City-based White Hills have been making waves with their unique brand of psych rock for over a decade now, and they show no signs of slowing down any time soon. Their latest album “Walk Into The World” is another stunner, filled with driving rhythms and searing guitars that will leave you feeling both exhilarated and exhausted.

5) Dead Meadow: Washington D.C.-based Dead Meadow have been perfecting their own brand of psychedelic stoner rock for nearly two decades now, and they’re still going strong. Their 2016 album “Three Kings” find them exploring new territory with some longer jammy tracks that showcase their incredible musicianship.

The Future of Psychedelic Space Rock

Psychedelic space rock is a genre of music that is gradually gaining popularity in the underground music scene. While there are many different subgenres of space rock, psychedelic space rock is distinguished by its incorporation of psychedelic and mind-altering elements into the music. This can take the form of distorted and effects-laden guitars, hypnotic rhythms, and otherworldly soundscapes.

Psychedelic space rock is often associated with the “krautrock” movement of the 1970s, which was led by German bands such as Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. However, the genre has seen a resurgence in recent years with the rise of bands like TheBrian Jonestown Massacre, Dead Meadow, and The Cosmic Dead.

These bands are helping to lead the charge in what is shaping up to be a very exciting year for psychedelic space rock. 2016 has already seen the release of some excellent albums in the genre, and there are sure to be many more to come. So if you’re looking for something new and mind-expanding to listen to, be sure to check out some psychedelic space rock!

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