When It Comes to Mind-Blowing, Hawkwind are Really into It

Sounds – 17 October 1970

HAWKWIND MAY not be the worlds most affluent group, or the worlds most successful group, but they are certainly one of the most mind-blowing.

Their single release in no way reflects the kinds of sounds they are into, and the album only serves to scratch the surface. The fact is that their engineer, Dikmik, uses apparatus which emits strange electronic sound waves.

And recently the band noticed that the waves being produced by the audio generator was having a profound effect on audiences, not to mention themselves.

Dikmik has fitted a ring modulator to his audio generator, which produces arcs of sound  in three different frequencies. But Dikmik can change the pitch of these drones and the top register sound gradually spirals higher and higher until it reaches a piercing, screeching pitch.

Says the group’s guitarist Dave Brock: “The sounds send out a force field and things really came to a head at the Isle Of Wight.”

“We were playing a heavy riff for about four hours with strobe lighting going on and off, and it freaked me out so badly I just had to get away. I gave my guitar to the nearest person, something I would never do normally and just walked up to the top of the hill, but I still couldn’t get rid if this thing in my head.”

Dave Brock realises the potential danger and is endeavouring to learn more about forces so that he can be sure of the effects Hawkwind’s excursions into the unknown will have.

He described recent scenes at Norwich and Nottingham where people were being physically sick, tearing their hair out or just totally transfixed by the sound.

“Can you imagine 400 people together and the force field being given off by each – it really could be unbelievable. You can force people to go into trances and tell them what to do; it’s mass hypnotism and you’re really setting yourself up as God.”

“Not only that, but I can see into the future; really and (I presume a typeset error in the original, Dave)

“The sound waves we’re sending out is really affecting equilibrium. We saw out ex guitarist Mick Slattery the other day, and he could see that we’d all gone a bit mad, All of us blow our minds completely.”

“Dikmik’s hustling for a Moog, and some quite incredible things could happen when we get that – it could stretch peoples minds. the sound waves we produce are ruining us, and some of the sounds we produce are beyond registering on the meter.”

Dikmik’s ring modulator is connected to the audio generator and it goes through a Selmar 100 watt stereo amp and two small selmar cabinets which aren’t half big enough.

Lead guitarist Huw Lloyd Langton and rhythm guitarist Dave Brock both use 100 watt Hiwatt stacks.

Nick Turner on sax and flute uses a Selmar 100 watt speaker cabinet and whatever amp he can get his hands on….usually a Vox bass amp, a Marshall 50 or a Hiwatt 100. New bassist Thomas Crimble uses a 100 watt Marshall amp and the remaining member of the band is drummer Terry Ollis. Dave Brock also uses a Dynachord echo unit on his set up.

Says Dave Brock: “The Floyd and Velvet Underground were on a similar sort of thing, but then they changed. I think someone’s got to see it through, but I’ve got to find out more about what can happen first.”

“I’m sure good can come out of it.”

“For we’re like a magnet with the power to repel or attract. I think we can all sense the forces and realise that this is a new jewel of communication.” 

Jerry Gilbert

A Plastic Fragment Hawkwind Press Cutting