Whether with 90s dance titans The Grid, as Joe Strummer’s writing partner or Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve with Erol Alkan, Richard Norris has been an understated maverick dynamo on the British music scene for over 20 years, using the motivation of a lifelong fan to straddle a dizzy gamut of roles in disparate musical styles. The Time & Space Machine is his solo baby, reaping acclaim with 2010’s Set Phazer To Stun debut, now chasing it with the staggering progression of Taste The Lazer.
Designing the album as a full-blown night out, Norris charts a heady blend of widescreen aural mindblowing over metronomic motorik grooves. They’re tempered into song form by his incisive vocals, which inject a crucial emotional element to tracks such as the Pill Party In India single, cigar box guitar twanging over Wildcat Will’s human drum machine. Tracks such as Hiding In The Light and Black Rainbow tweak the senses with catharsis and melancholy, the string-driven Studio 23 recalling Primal Scream when they hit the lysergic hypnosis button. There are also cinematic space hymns, campfire singalongs, pastoral reflections and a classic reggae river song. The blissed-up disco of Out Of My Head is set to soundtrack this year’s Ibiza sunrise carry-ons, just as the band Norris is putting together can only slaughter this summer’s festivals.