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ěresund Space Collective - Different Creatures CD (album) cover

DIFFERENT CREATURES

ěresund Space Collective

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.91 | 46 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars Scott Heller (aka Dr Space) and his fellow musical friends that form the ěresund Space Collective have delivered two official works in 2015, both of them a mix of double/triple vinyl and multi-CD sets of fully improvisational space-rock. While the superb previous one `Out into Space' was sourced directly from three-set concert performances, `Different Creatures' was worked on in a studio and recorded live over a three day period, and it might have turned out to be the strongest ěSC release to date. Incorporating violin, sitar (in a very different manner to their ambient/raga work `West Space and Love' from 2012) and perhaps giving a heavier prominence to electronics and experimental psychedelia than before, this one has their most diverse range of sounds and a larger variety of moods, as well as even more dense and complex material that never loses the spontaneous sound that the band is known for.

Thoughtful violin whispers may glide through the twenty minute opener of the first disc `The Ride to Valhalla', but it quickly reveals a crash of unceasing and frantic up-tempo drumming and heavy guitar blasts. `Juggle the Juice' is a welcome twisted psychedelic mind-spasm interlude, and calming synth breezes float around drifting ethereal sitar strains, drowsy bass, careful pattering drums and slow-burn electric guitar in the 30 minute `Digestive Raga', another one of their most mellow and laid-back sublime moments that purrs along on toasty vibes. `The Man from Wales' is a sexy wasted guitar and gorgeous organ plod, and `Bon Voyage' is a swirling vortex of experimental electronic twitches and mud-thick distorted bass with maddening building drums.

The two extended pieces that take up the 65 minute second disc reach even impossibly greater heights. The twenty-minute `Raga for Jerry G' is one of the dreamiest, most placid, even sweetest and carefully reflective pieces ever committed to disc by any variation of the ěSC, a soothing haze of weeping sitar strings, careful violin strains, gently blowing synth winds, electric piano ​glistenings and even drowsy country-flavoured slide guitar ruminations. The ambitious 45 minute album closer `20 Steps Towards the Invisible Door' heads closer to deep space madness again, Tangerine Dream-like sequencers and loops taking on a creeping and darker machine menace, harsher electric guitar drones and a breathless rumble of rising drumming. Scratchy violin slivers dance around bubbling synths and teases of eastern flavours before exploding into unhinged electric guitar wailing like a storm, with a final effective come-down the perfect way to ease back to Earth.

The ěSC have always delivered strong albums, but that true greatness they'd always had within their reach has finally been fully realised here. If you're already familiar with the group and the sort of eclectic space music its mostly revolving door of musicians and guests can deliver, then you already know the talent on display and the colourful works they deliver with every release. But if you're looking for an introduction to the band presenting some of their best ever material, then this would also make for an ideal title to explore from them first.

`Different Creatures' is a defining release for the ěresund Space Collective, one of the most varied, special and exciting space-rock/psych releases of the year, and simply one of the best overall progressive-related releases of 2015.

Five stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 5/5 |

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