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Ozric Tentacles - Afterswish  CD (album) cover

AFTERSWISH

Ozric Tentacles

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.57 | 30 ratings

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Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The prolific space rockers of Ozric Tentacles have enjoyed a remarkably consistent (maybe too consistent) musical career since their humble underground origins in the mid-1980s. From the beginning the band has stuck to what certainly turned out to be a durable formula, extending the psychedelic legacy of HAWKWIND and STEVE HILLAGE with a kick of adrenalin strong enough to punch a hole in your headphones (and straight through the center of your head).

A generous cross-section of those early recordings is compiled here on a two-disc CD sampler drawn from the band's home-made and self-distributed cassette tapes, made between 1985 and 1989. The music here predates the world-wide Prog Rock revival of the next decade, but anyone with even the smallest exposure to the Ozrics will know what to expect: dynamic instrumental jams in a Middle or Far Eastern mode, alternating with blissful techno-trance interludes and echo-heavy dub workouts.

The production may lack the digital polish of their later studio albums, but the energy and invention (and esoteric humor: check out some of the nonsensical track titles) is already well developed. Without a doubt, this was (and still is) a group of motivated hippies: combining all the cosmetic earmarks of a counterculture aesthetic (eye-popping mandala artwork; colorful thrift-shop wardrobe) with a dedication to musical expression out of step with the strictly mercantile fashions of popular culture in the 1980s.

The original cassettes have since been re-issued in digital form, as both a six-pack box set and on separate discs (with two full cassettes on each CD). But honestly, this twin-disc compilation works just as well, and maybe better, than the unexpurgated tapes, summing up the formative era of the Ozrics in one concise and comprehensive package.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |

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