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Ozric Tentacles - Waterfall Cities  CD (album) cover

WATERFALL CITIES

Ozric Tentacles

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.85 | 122 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars The Cosmic Wonder of the Ozrics.

Ozric Tentacles are trippy psych instrumental wizards that dominate the acid fuelled 90s musical landscape with some of the most outlandish compositions. This release, their 13th studio album continues to explore and experiment with a diversity of musical styles founded in Eastern mystical flavours and techno rave heartbeat rhythms. The time signatures are off the map driven by mindbending bass and speed percussion. The band consist of Ed Wynne a legend on guitars, synths, and tendril manipulations; Seaweed on synths, whoopz, fizzles; Zia Geelani on bass, snapiness; John Egan on flutes, twirlings; and Rad on drum poundings.

A highlight of the album is the jumpy 'Coily' with blitzkrieg explosions of flute and mesmirising percussive shapes. It bounces all over the place leading to the flute solo and Oriental guitar hyper picking. The techno synths pounce in later and are joined by spacey guitar phrases.

'Xingu' opens with a phased fuzz guitar that blazes brightly and then a percussive figure locks in with swirls of keyboard and an Eastern theme. The sax sound that chimes in later is a dreamscape of ambience.

'Waterfall City' is a lengthy piece featuring pulsating synths that hook into an unusual pattern and are followed up with guitar embellishments. Droplets of synth fall on the palette of sequenced synths and then a transcendent lead guitar breaks through. This is more bordering on extreme electro rave dance music with a heavy serrated edge. The lead work is astonishing, almost improvised and the sound breaks into a dreamier ambience with those lightning fast drums keeping time.

'Ch'ai?' has an Arabic flavour with sounds of harp and odd instrumentation made on a synth. Agreeable tech bass and drums come in later and a higher pitch on the main theme. The lead break is killer and some of the best work from Ed Wynne.

'Spiralmind' is a spaced out piece with synth swells, chunky funkadelic bass and sporadic percussion. Beginning as melodic trance music, this literally spirals wildly out of control, with drum outbursts, lashings of guitar picking and a dollop of melting synth for good measure. The silver threads of ambience are overshadowed by un-restrained lead guitar squeals and pipes of pan synth. It is absorbing and tight musical dexterity, and must rate highly in the catalogue of the Ozric's extensive oeuvre.

'Sultana Detrii' is a symphonic piece drenched with synths and a steady beat. The feel is akin to Reggae but more relaxed with a ton of flute and the sounds of nature. The reverberation of guitar is effective and the spacious synths that flow lucidly. This is one of the beautiful passages of music on this release. 'Aura Borealis' has an odd time signature with soft drums glazed over with celestial synths and ribbons of spacey effects generating an interstellar atmosphere. If I were to watch an Aura Borealis this music should fit perfectly. It is uplifting and filled with cosmic wonder.

The album is a prime example of the psychedelic power and spaced up experimentalism of Ozric Tentacles. It would be followed up by at least 6 more albums and of course the underground following would continue and grow. The band are definitely one of the more accomplished in terms of instrumental modern psychedelica and mesmirising space rock.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |

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