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Ozric Tentacles - Tantric Obstacles CD (album) cover

TANTRIC OBSTACLES

Ozric Tentacles

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

2.92 | 59 ratings

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Proghead
Prog Reviewer
4 stars It's hard to believe what a different world OZRIC TENTACLES was back in 1985. Flutist John Egan was not even in the band yet. Future members, such as drummer Rad were barely in their teens at that time (and Rad replacement, Schoo aka Stuart Fisher was around 10 years old then). A future member of Jamiroquai by the name of Nick Van Gelder (Tig) was the drummer. They had two keyboardists, one being Joie Hinton (who stayed with the band until 1994), and Tom Brookes (who left not too long after this album, only to reappear as a guest on "Erpland"), and guitarist Ed Wynne's brother Roly was the bassist. Also the band was basically in their infancy and released their second cassette, "Tantric Obstacles" in 1985, the same year as "Erpsongs". Quite an accompilshment, since each cassette at that time equaled to a double LP's worth of material. This isn't some cassette released on some label, this was a band doing all by themselves, bought a batch of 90 minute blank tapes, get someone by the name of Blim to do the cover artwork, and photocopy all this stuff. Apparently there was some more fancy artwork for the cassette that never made it to the Dovetail CD reissue (or the more recent CD reissue on Snapper/Recall that also packaged "Erpsongs"). During this time, the band totally forgot to write down song titles, so the song titles you know from these early cassette releases came through the Dovetail reissue (that were sold either as part of the "Vitamin Enhanced" box set or separately, or the songs that were lucky to make it prior on their 1991 compilation "Afterswish").

The music is a notch above "Erpsongs". For one thing, the band seemed to be able to correct their mistakes. Still they're a bit inexperienced with the mixing, so often the drums end up too loud and the bass is a bit buried. The music has improved as well. Songs such as "Shards of Ice", "Sniffing Dog", "Atmosphear", "Ullular Gate" and "Trees of Eternity" prove. Plenty of VCS-3 like synth bubbles and tons of great analog synth sounds (which is a bit odd given this was the ever digitized year known as 1985 where everyone else was toying with Yamaha DX-7s and similar stuff), plus Ed's tradmark wild guitar. You'll notice a mostly lack of an ethnic sound, just one excursion in to reggae with "Sorry Style", but you won't find any Asian or Middle Eastern styles here (probably because John was not present).

Though stuffed with great material, this is basically a historical item and might not be the best place to start for newcomers, but it's still very worthwhile.

Proghead | 4/5 |

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