What can you really say about a band that has been highly original,
and has somehow managed to survive the music industry for twenty
I am a bit amazed that after all these years, Ozric Tentacles
is still crafting its very own unique sounding rock'n'jam music.
I must admit I've been out of the loop with this band for quite
some time, as the last release I remember hearing was 1993's Jurassic
Shift. I am just as impressed today by their originality and
ability to make good, solid, interesting rock. I am however, very
very surprised by the amount of synthesizer that has somehow managed
to find it's way into the Ozric sound. And perhaps a good bit
of that is the presence of virtuoso Steve Hillage on this
record. If you are at all familiar with Hillage's work, then you
know he's not one to be shy about trying any sound he can find.
I think it's rubbed off a bit on the Ozric fellows.
The songs don't so much move along, as they do dance along
to the beat of four-on-the-floor drum machines and loops. The
sound is heavy and highly danceable, bringing a new audience to
the Ozric fold. To think that one of the bands who've been known
as a cornerstone in the psychedelic/jam rock community have created
music that could actually be played in dance clubs. Kind of weird,
when you think about it. The sound has moved into much more of
what some would call prog-rock. You know, Electric Light Orchestra,
and that type of thing.
"Chewier" starts the album off in highly thudding fashion,
with its quirky and highly filtered synths and oddly placed cellular
phone ringtones. Or at least, that's what they sound like to my
ears. "Oakum" seems more like a track that would be
much more obvious on an Enigma record than an Ozric release.
Except of course for the cascading falls of guitar solos
And that would be what sets most of these songs apart from other
band's ambient trance/dance tracks. Guitar playing that is both
highly organic and somehow weaves in and out of all the other
action happening sonically. My favorite track is album closer
"Zoemetra", and not just because of the cool name. The
guitars and synths become one interweaving tangle of sound, which
cascades delightfully over much more organic drumming than otherwise
found on the record. The beats move back and forth from straightforward
rhythms, to convoluted polyrhythmic chaos, all the while creating
a backdrop for dynamic and interesting sounds that meander back
and forth, in and out of the song. It's trippy, man.
It may be a far step from their earlier tripped out, guitar
oriented, psychedelic meanderings, but this is still music to
sit in your living room and watch the colours and trails unreservedly
zipping out of the television set
and your friends' eye-sockets.
2. Spirals In Hyperspace
4. Toka Tola
8. Psychic Chasm
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