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Ozric Tentacles - The Bits Between the Bits CD (album) cover

THE BITS BETWEEN THE BITS

Ozric Tentacles

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.41 | 67 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars OZRIC TENTACLES reached the end of the line for the 80s run of their cassette-only / available-only-at-concert days albums by the time they released their last album of this period THE BITS BETWEEN THE BITS (or 'The Purple One'). The band's popularity had started to expand by the end of 1986 which led to more money to buy new equipment. Starting with 'There Is Nothing,' the band began to experiment with more reggae and rock in their sound as well as adding new samples and with the purchase of a then swanky 8-track tape machine, the OZRICS were able to expand their overdubbing and percussive overdrive that sets their sixth album THE BITS BETWEEN THE BITS in another league above what came before. This album is in reality the leftover tracks from the other five cassette releases that came before but because of the extra attention paid to the recording process and the heightened use of percussion and Hawkwind-esque swirling synth action, this one ranks as my favorite of the early years.

Perhaps the material on this one isn't necessarily stronger than what came before. THE BITS has the same hypnotic grooviness and approach of taking layers of synthesized effects and taking you to cloud nine, however the more sophisticated technological advance in production was exactly the ticket to bring OZRIC TENTACLE's sound to a more professional level which is what would get them signed to Dovetail Records where they would soon release their first 'official' album 'Pungeant Effulgent.' What sets this one apart is a more thoughtful use of bass grooves, synthesizer mood building atmospheres and an extremely spacey mixing job. In many cases the sounds sort of 'bleed' together creating an electro-acoustic version of a hallucination. The tracks likewise are more diverse in their approach with a much more varied set of dynamics including more tempo changes, a wider range of timbres with influences from India and other Asian cultures as well as a sense of changing the guitar use up more.

I seem to be in the minority for liking this purple one of the early 'colored ones' the best but THE BITS BETWEEN THE BITS is exactly the type of music i always pictured OZRIC TENTACLES of delivering before i actually heard them. While the previous cassette-only releases were good in creating hypnotic effects to lull the listener into a placid state of bliss, they often sounded cheesy and cheap in the production department which is why out of the earliest albums i find 'Live Ethereal Cereal' to be the best representation of their early days. THE BITS takes all of that frenetic energy found on the live release and marries it to the excellent production opportunities of the studio and elevates it to a totally new level, one where all the influences that led to this point happily perform a matrimonial ceremony and exchange vows which allows everything to mix and meld so smoothly. In addition, the use of samples and odd intros and breaks adds a lot more surprises than the earlier stuff.

Like all of the early cassette-only years, THE BITS BETWEEN THE BITS is most easily found as a part of the entire early years collection in box set form titled 'Vitamin Enhanced' which while released in 1994 has been totally remastered. Although i can't compare this remastered album to the original, i have to say that the one i have is one of my favorite OZRIC albums period because it retains a lot of the early spirit with an enthusiastic flair for newbie technological experimentation.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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