Tim Blake is a British musician living in France since 1971. He was a member of Gong and of Hawkind (1979-1980, 2000 and 2007). He was also a pioneer of electronic music: he was among the first users of the EMS Synthy A and founded Crystal Machine, an innovative concept linking electronic music to spectacular laser shows. His main partner was Patrice Warenner, in charge with all the visual aspects of the shows. Bernard Szajner was also involved into the lasers programming.
Crystal Machine's concerts were avant-garde shows, providing the audience with a multisensorial experience, something like a trip through the outer space. As a matter of fact, when Tim Blake was playing live, he entered the stage on a skateboard, with incredible silver clothes... He looked as a Martian astronaut, although I did not meet any other Martian beside him... ;-)
In november 1977, Tim Blake released his first LP, Crystal Machine, with live recordings from his concerts.
Blake's New Jerusalem was his second LP, released in 1978. A 17 years old musician, Jean-Philipe Rykiel, played as a guest on this album: his incredible virtuosity and musical feeling adds a superb touch to Time Blake's music, especially with some fantastic minimoog solos. Jean-Philippe Rykiel, who is blind, had and still has a great musical career on his own.
Blake's New Jerusalem remains today (thirty years after his release !) a fantastic piece of electronic and space music. Tim Blake's universe was different from those of German pioneers such as Klaus Schulze, Kratfwerk or Tangerine Dream, although he used the same kind of analogic synthesizers, with EMS Synthies and Moog Modular System... The vintage synthies used on Blake's New Jerusalem provide it with a unique feeling and sonic colour.
Tim Blake's universe was very original too, and his music was a mixture of space rock and cosmic lyricism. I still love the mood of this recording, very "space out" and psychedelic, and Jean-Philippe Rykiel's solos add a great colour to the whole picture.
Tim Blake is still very active and released several albums since the seventies:
- Magic (1991)
- The Tide of the Century. Crystal Island (2000)
- Caldea Musique vol. 2
If you are lucky, you could perhaps attend one of his concerts in Europe, with Hawkwind or as a solo artist.
Link to mp3/320