Three Dune-Inspired Reissues Reviewed

Via Pitchfork.

Widely loved by sci-fi fans and counter culture types alike during its mid-’60s heyday and beyond, there’s one subculture with which Frank Herbert’s literary space-opera, Dune, really connected: dudes with synthesizers. And while these were not the only artists to find inspiration on the planet Arrakis, the story’s stark landscapes and drug-enhanced space travel pair well with the sprawling and alien music made by analog electronic instruments. During the ’70s, a number of established knob twiddlers released Dune-inspired albums, a few of which have recently been or are in the process of being reissued. Though they make use of similar instrumentation – keyboards and sequenced modular synthesizers – these records do not sound the same. Some commit fully to other-worldly tones, while others come off like weedy prog-rock jam sessions that were merely branded with a Fremen place-name. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that.