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Ozric Tentacles - Strangeitude CD (album) cover


Ozric Tentacles

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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5 stars My favorite album from Ozric tentacles. Really, one of the best progressive rock`s album in the history of this musical tendence. Sploosh is a "flying" balade, The Live Throbbe an exceptional performance that transmit to us the sensation to stay over a Camel in the desert searching for a arabian woman dancer to kiss her. A masterpiece that without dubts keep in the ear of the fanatic´s Ozric tentacles career for a long, long time....
Report this review (#5445)
Posted Sunday, March 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the Ozrics definitive album and most fans will probably tell you its their best. Where as most of the Ozric's albums are the musical equivelant to LSD (and this is no exception, just listen to that panning effect, loud, at the end of the intro to the title track, it screws with your head (man)) Strangeitude is more focused and the riffs are less random sounding and more memorable. It ranges from mid paced organic dance music (Sploosh) goes through Dub, Ambient, Baroque and uptempo Metal raffage (The space between your ears) not unlike Iron Maiden, and because its such an eclectic melee it can only be described as progressive. Recommended to anyone looking for a cross between Steve Hillage, Hawkwind, Rush and a smattering of Tangerine Dream. I won't review the rest of their albums as they're all like this but with varying degrees of organic/syntheticness (if there is such a word).
Report this review (#5446)
Posted Monday, March 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is another one of my favorite recordings from the boys of the OZRIC world. Once again the OZRIC TENTACLES get into some pretty trippy psyched out jams, but this album too will leave you wanting more. I find "Strangitude" more controlled and less improvisiational than "Jurassic", but still works very effectively for me.
Report this review (#5447)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This record is a bit disappointing. OZRIC TENTACLES is progressive space rock in the style of Steve HILLAGE. This record has couples of almost bad songs: "Sploosh" is just repetitive drums with a minimalist sequenced beat and some irritating keyboards sounds. The 7th song is "Live Throbbe", which is a bit annoying due to its slow and dull beat with not very big elaboration of the composition.

Many songs are slow to get interesting parts: on "Weirditude", it takes an eternity for the bass to enter; on "Strangeitude", after the too long arab debut, there is a bass synth very repetitive for a too long time; Fortunately, the very progressive "White Rhino Tea" is outstanding and is one of the best OT track. "Saucers" is really good too. Rest is listenable. Tracks 5 and 6 are quite good standard OT tracks.

Report this review (#5448)
Posted Monday, April 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars To me, I think this is one of the more "down-to-earth" sounding OZRIC albums, in that I mean it's not quite as spacy as say, "Jurassic Shift", "Become the Other" or even "Spirals in Hyperspace". Instead of sounding like a clone of "Erpland", "Strangeitude" finds the band exploring more techno styles, likely due to the fact Joei and Merv had just then recently formed EAT STATIC. Here you get a re-recording of "White Rhino Tea" (originally off "Sliding Gliding Worlds"), here you get real drums, and some different arrangements, but overall still recognizable. Then you have "Sploosh!" showing the band doing more techno experiments that they never done before. The title track features some bizarre choppy electronic effects that do a strange number to my ears if I was to listen to it under headphones. Then they head in to techno-land. Unfortunately, to me, I don't feel "Strangeitude" lives up to the greatness of "Erpland", but this being OZRICS, I have never heard a bad OZRIC album. Worth having but I always felt "Erpland", "Jurassic Shift" and "Arborescence" were better efforts.
Report this review (#5451)
Posted Thursday, May 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars While not as brilliant as its predecessor "Erpland", "Strangeitude" is yet another highlight in the Ozrics' prolific career: its well accomplished combination of synth-driven electronic magic, psychedelic art rock and ethnic multi-colours makes this album - together with "Pungent Effulgent", "Erpland" and "Jurassic Shift" - a perfect presentation of Ozric Tentacles' musical ideology at the top of its creativity and excitement. 'White Rhino tea' and 'Sploosh!' are utterly OT-ish jam oriented numbers, if only with a tighter attitude than ever before, an increased tightness exhibited in the guitar riffs, the synth layers, and a more aggressive rhythm section. Things get a bit more sophisticated with the Arabic-like fusionesque 'Saucers', one of the finest and most articulated tracks in the whole OT repertoire. The title track is really strange, or more accurately speaking, weird and disturbing in its intro part: after that, the electronic spacey jam thing resurfaces while some of the initial weirdness is maintained via the sounds of what seem to be radio voices and machines operating. 'Bizarre Bazaar' returns to the realms of Arabic ambiences, with an added touch of latin jazz, always keeping that electronic spacey foundation working as a recurrent basis that the harmonic layers are supposed to expand upon and the rhythm section is supposed to reinforce. This is the catchiest track in the album, but some more catchiness is to be found soon in 'Space between Your Ears': this one starts as a techno- reggae number, comprising hypnotic sound tricks and eerie lines on guitar and woodwind, until a harsher section begins and creates the most incendiary jam in the whole album. An energetic live rendition of the exotic 'Throbbe', a habitual classic in OT setlists, closes down the album. Generally speaking, this is a "business as usual" album, yet it would be unfair to revile it or even not to give it a good rating, since the repertoire is high-quality and exciting: my rating for "Strangeitude" is somewhere in between 3 and 3 1/2 stars.
Report this review (#5453)
Posted Thursday, November 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Ozrics had a difficult task in following up two stunning studio albums in a row with Strangeitude, but they pulled it off. Like predecessors Pungent Effulgent and Erpland, the recording contains some of their strongest material to date. Maybe it was the influence of the successfully-achieved Live Underslunky in-concert recording, which also dates from this period, but Ed Wynne and Joie Egan on guitars and keyboards showed a real willingness to stretch out on the original Strangeitude's seven tracks. Opener White Rhino Tea sees an old favourite revisited, from its hypnotic sequencer opening to some devastating instrumental battling from Joie and Ed. Rhythm section Roly and Merv are well on top of their game here, providing a strong, bubbling undercurrent like Chris Squire and Alan White at their best. Heavily techno-influenced Sploosh, used to advertise BMW cars on UK television, follows, and with the magnificently prog title track and two Asian-sounding tunes, Saucers and Bizarre Bazaar, next in line, there simply isn't any easing-off of quality which had blighted the band's previous efforts. The other-worldly Space Between Your Ears and a trancey live version of Erpland's The Throbbe round things off, with an extra live jam on the CD issue. Overall, a magnificent, varied LP which belies the oft-claimed platitude that the Ozrics have made a career out of reopeating the same album about 20 times ... (whaddya mean, career!)
Report this review (#5454)
Posted Friday, November 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is a treat, opening up with 'White Rhino Tea' it hits you hard and fast. The album doesnt skip a beat and is great to zone out to. Surprisingly diverse (great synth and flute passages, the likes of which you wont hear much of anywhere else) Makes easy background music so anyone can enjoy it. More serious listeners might become bored after 'Bizarre Bazaar', but the live tracks are easily the highlight of the album. Live preformances is what 'The Ozric Tentacles' are all about. New comers, fans, heck everyone, this is a pleasant addition to any collection and is appropriate for guests while still managing to be upbeat and enticing to us prog fans.
Report this review (#5456)
Posted Monday, March 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My journey to explore Ozric Tentacles' music started when I listened to the band's The Hidden Step album. For me, Ozric Tentacles has been consistent with their music direction as their music was composed mostly instrumental (without lyrics, some of their tunes are with vocals even though not that many), usually using the same tagline rhythm section that flows repeatedly (with some variations, of course) enriched with soloist and / or sound effects throughout the song musical passages. The other characteristic is on the flow of moods where usually the song starts mellow and moves up in crescendo and sometimes faster tempo and it returns back to its original tempo. This Strangeitude album shares similar characteristic with other albums. Even though most of Ozric's albums are similar, each has its own uniqueness that makes it an attractive album.

The album opens with White Rhino Tea (5:55) that comprises a great combination of ambient, spacey and psychedelic music with traditional roots music as demonstrated through flute work. The bass lines used here is very inventive and provide an excellent sound that enrich the music. The structure has some variations that make this song very enjoyable from start to end.

Sploosh (6:24) is an energetic track with upbeat tempo. It has repetitive drum work at the beginning part but it changes in the middle especially when electric guitar solo takes its part. Again, this represents the true characteristic of Ozric music. I really enjoy the sound effects part even though the rhythm section is repetitive. Uplifting track with relatively minimum tempo changes.

Saucers (7:30) starts with excellent acoustic guitar work followed with jazz-rock fusion music and sound effects. Acoustic guitar plays lead melody. Thin solo keyboard appears in eastern music style before it finally demonstrates sound effects. Compared to other tracks, this one is probably less spacey at the beginning. Electrical guitar finally takes solo part in the middle of the track with excellent bass line and keyboard work and provide spacey elements at the end of the track.

Strangeitude (7:29) opens with an ambient traditional sound that reminds me to middle east music. The ambient part exploring various sounds takes half of track's duration until it flows into a space music with the entrance of drum beats in constant tempo and repetitive in nature. Some distant voices are added on top of the music. Bizarre Bazaar (4:04) brings the music back into more upbeat tempo exploring dynamic drumming and excellent flute work continued with electric guitar solo. I can hear the solid bass lines and various sound effects used - percussion and distant vocals. In the middle of the track the tempo turns slower followed with quiet passage but it then continue with stunning guitar solo in high register notes augmented wonderfully with flute work. Bass guitar is also given a chance to play obviously and characterizrs the rhythm section. Wonderful track.

Space Between Your Ears (7:46) is mellower than previous track. And as the title implies, it has a strong spacey nuance with excellent combination of solid bass lines and drums / percussion works. Electric guitar solo continues the flow with long sustain style. Sound effects, as typical with Ozric music, is widely used in this track. Sometime the music turns into quieter passage and giving chnace for drums to enrich the nuance.

Live Throbbe (7:16) has a very strong traditional music background especially with the work of flute at the opening combined with floating keyboard sound. The drum sounds enter the music combined with repeated keyboard effects sound in floating style. The music flows in slow / medium tempo with some male chanting at the background. Electric guitar continues the melody augmented by the keyboard effects and dynamic drumming. Bass guitar is played repeatedly. Even though there are repetitions but this track is enjoyable because the soloist (guitar) and the effects that come oute throughout the track.

My CD has bonus track Weirditude (5:13) that is also an excellent track exploring a combination of guitar solo and keyboard punch in floating style.

Overall, I recommend you to buy this album. Keep on proggin' .!!!

Progressively yours,


Review #301

Report this review (#5457)
Posted Wednesday, May 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars To me, Ozric Tentatacles make organic space groove rock. It's all in the beat. Right from the start, a new agey synth starts off the album then WHAMMO, in comes the techno beat. This is bliss music and then some! This was my first album I bought by the Oz's and I remember being totally blown away by the sounds coming from the speakers. I never heard anything like them, (I was not into Gong back then). This was prog to dance to! (If you can imagine Deadheads dancing...:-))The first three tracks are songs that you could probably play for a female music fan who may not like prog. But for my money, "Space Between Your Ears" is the ultimate track on this album. Mind bending, space rock that chugs along until half way through when it picks up speed and takes off! Ed Wynne's guitar just soars on the track. Magnificent! When you're tired of your basic symph, jazz, neo- prog and want something different. Pick an Ozric album, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Report this review (#36373)
Posted Monday, June 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars It was the first release which I ever had of the Tentacles of Ozric. I was inspired by descriptions of the noises synthesized by spacey and the low lines of palpitation in the reviews which I had knowledge of this group. Indeed, listening at the time initially, I was not left downwards. The combination of Ed and Roly Wynne is pure genius.

All gives a kick in speed with the white tea of Rhinoceros. I am not sure how you can make a tea starting from a white rhinoceros as I thought that the tea was a factory and not an animal. Although this makes my brain feel strange, I appreciated it though I did not taste the tea. You would think that it could smell very badly, but I cannot feel anything when I listen to this song. It is probably for the best, my brain would think bravely.

Sploosh has a low line wild and palpitating which makes my ears reverse milk shakes with joy. This only song is worth the sorrow the purchase of this album for me. I can balance eggs on my head and still smell myself as I have a time of recreation. There was not something to smell here while I listened attentively. Definite more, but not has without, in my paragraph to be initialized.

I found saucers pleasant as well. These types are really gifted when it comes to qualities instrumental. The song of title is another house of power of the bright brushes of connector of ear. It is terrible and it makes my mouth sprinkle although not around celery. Really, I am excited with my nose in the music more than my toes could imagine.

I also like the odd bazaar. I was with several of the odd places on the ground, even when you look to the top the moon and fall in bottom of the throats and direct pencils in bottom of the right roads. I am certain that you can buy houses of lettuce and dog and factories of wax here. It is a pleasure to hold on your being!

Space between your ears must be inspired by the people as I who have much of this space and has us much more ears than the average person. I would say that I have approximately 32 ears and they go all around my head and some are on my back and my legs. I like to hear and I like to listen and the Tentacles of Ozric are very good to make them water.

The last entry is Throbbe of phase and it has which it low of palpitation which places my thoughtless molecules all with the fluids of washing. I can say myself will require for much stamping if I want to send my washing machine in bottom of the street with take some bags of liquorice and bread. Court the hoo!

To conclude, I must say that it was completely a happy album for my ears because they rebounded all around my main thing having the recreation and drinking sodas. I can find much only moments to eat pizza pie and whirr around the back porch of the house of dog. I can hang my trousers to the top high and never have to worry about my ears falling. It is chief of work in my spirit and because it indicates that a chief of work must be five holds the first role, then I must conclude to give these five holds the first role for him is a chief of work. Strongly recommended for your ears and moose! --JB

Report this review (#87940)
Posted Tuesday, August 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Oh Yeah Baby ... Ozrics step up a gear!

For me, and I know diddly squat so take this with a pinch of salt ... the Ozrics take a quantum leap forward with this one (now that is dumb because quantum physics is about minute amounts): OK, it's a kangaroo hop forward (somehow that just doesn't work for me).

So many crowd pleasers in this album: White Rhino tea and Sploosh! (don't forget the exclamation mark).If you like dance then Strangeitude is ... well i'll get censored fill in the gaps.

One of the things you will learn form this album is that if you want to know Ozrics you must see them play. Live Throbbe and Weirditude are live and they blow the other tracks out of the wtare with sheer energy. This is not a sit back and contemplate band (you know the sort of expression jazz afficiandos have as if they are grimacing slightly with a compacted tooth while nodding sagely to those in the know about some obscure bum note).

Just paint me pink and call me Jeremy this is a brilliant album ... 4 stars

having spent my hard earned dosh on this i was later to be gobsmacked by liveunderslunky but hey there you go ...... next review

Report this review (#112239)
Posted Thursday, February 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars A delightful record, if a little monotonous, of trippy, spaced out psych-rock. The Ozrics may only do one thing, but they do it well, perhaps better than any other band. They've taken the sound developed by Steve Hillage and Gong, stripped away the silly vocals, and made a career of it. This type of record is the perfect soundtrack to just let your mind drift through imaginary landscapes, or to relax after a long day. I particularly enjoy the forays into Middle Eastern aesthetics shown on Bizarre Bazaar and Strangeitude. The bonus tracks are also of quite high quality. To sum up, this is a very enjoyable listen, but I can't imagine why anyone would need more than one Ozric Tentacles album.
Report this review (#130862)
Posted Monday, July 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Money
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars 70s Space Rock and 90s Ambient Techno are two musical styles that have a lot in common. On the CD "Stragetude", Ozric Tentacles expertly combine the two and come up with a sum greater than the parts. Think Clearlight and Hawkwind jamming with The Orb, only better. Techno has always been an influence on OT, but it becomes more pronounced on this album.

By the time this CD came out drummer Merv Pepler and keyboardist Joie Hinton were wanting to leave the band so they could work full-time on their trance-techno project Eat Static, and it really shows. At this point both projects share a lot of the same keyboard sounds, and in fact there are a couple of tunes on "Strangetude" that wouldn't sound out of place on an Eat Static album. Merv and Joie's new techno project would go on to be one of the freshest new sounds in a genre often given over to dull cliche.

"Strangetude" also shows the band moving ahead in their mixing technique. The production on this CD is incredible, guitar solos come out of the background only to be swallowed up by waves of synthesizers and electronic sounds. This is psychedelia at its best, the soundscape is constantly shifting making repeat listenings always enjoyable. Although OT is usually kind of jazzy, there are couple songs on here that really rock in a heavy chugga-chugga Hawkwind kind of way. I also like "Space Between Your Eyes" it is excellent Dub Reggae. Usually rock bands sound so clumsy trying to play Jamaican rhythms, but these guys sound natural playing it their way.

Report this review (#143758)
Posted Friday, October 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is the eighth studio release from the band and I am still waiting for the first great one.

"Pungent Effulgent" was a little better than their usual and repetitive production and I thought that the fact that the band was signed on a record label was the starting point of their musical career and that they would head some sort of more interesting music.

Unfortunately, "Erpland" was no such effort and with this "Strangeitude", I am afraid that the band is just repeating history. If you would exclude the good opening number ("White Rhino Tea"), most of the songs are just dull and monotonous ("Sploosh" and "Saucers").

Another decent track is "Strangeitude". It is not the first time that the band integrates some Oriental influences in their music, and almost each time, it leads to a good track. This is another one of these even if OT reverts to the poor and repetitive sounds during the second part of the song;

As usual, the band is also "performing" a reggae-oriented song (Space Between Your Ears). As usual, it is totally useless and boring as long as these rhythms prevail. Fortunately it will evolve into a fine and spacey section which prepares the listener for the finale: a huge and wild guitar part which has to be considered as one of the best moments of this album. It is quite a controversial track, indeed.

I guess that my usual two star rating is the more adequate for this album.

Report this review (#182944)
Posted Saturday, September 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
4 stars Strangeitude opens with gusto and doesn't let up, fueled by Ed Wynne's driving riffing and a heavy performance by the rhythm section, trading off the spotlight to an amazing series of solos keyboard solo and textures-- talk about first impressions!

This Ozric release follows the band's template for success with little deviation, but benefits from an improved production over its predecessor Erpland, giving it more depth and umph to its sound. One can expect the classic Ozric blend of world/trance/psychedelic/guitar rock, with cosmic hooks and style which will appeal to fans coming from many genres. Great songs, great musicianship-- and great energy!

Strangeitude is a good place to start for rockers thinking about trying out the band, since its songs are more upbeat, and punchier than in some of their other releases.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: NA Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Report this review (#216400)
Posted Sunday, May 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars 1991 Ozric Tentacles back again, after a year off, we begin with white rhino tea, which transports us to a different world, the keyboards sound like mystical sphere pressing forward, aggressive guitars and rhythm changes in flashing drums to beggin the adventure, this song in a particular way has the classic progressive rock style, so to speak, after this segment begins the psychedelia, what is Ozric Tentacles soul, until the sound of a elephant appears. excellent song with infinite changes.

still one of the best known songs of Ozric Tentacles, and im talked about Sploosh! The beginning is dark, it's funny, it seems that we are on a dark night, with sounds of a canoe or raft, apparently there is rain and thunder magnificent, bit begins, the body automatically moves, makes us dance, dream, imagine, we turn on the adrenaline, strange sounds begin while the drums keeps going and going, we're in a woodworking factory, in my opinion one of the best tracks from this band.

SAUCERS: the masterpiece of this album, banging with a really powerful sound, acoustics guitars playing to the maximum, with an Arab-ethnic tone, the rimto goes on and on, maintaining its strong, then we mix sound space, continues the same theme but change the background, then we got to the essence of the album and especially in 4:53 to the end, we have a change where we hear the drums, percussions like new age, awesome, the sound vibrating in my head to the final 4: 55, and 4:59 starts a powerful and impressive guitar tune , great that interval, impressive, low-pitched sound starts wearing make sense of the song as the end, electric guitar solo and finished the song with some keyboards epics and mystics.

No need to listen more songs to put 4 stars to the album, the rest goes to 4.4 stars, so you have it, listen, a great production of a magnificent band.

4.4 stars.

Report this review (#261357)
Posted Sunday, January 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars I really believe Ozric Tentacles are an essential part of any progger's discography. But when it comes to singling out that one essential and defining album, matters are less obvious. None of their albums really stand out above the rest. They're all very closely related, in form, style, sound, and even in quality.

If I really had to chose, I'd go with the majority and pick Erpland and Jurassic Shift as the most inspired efforts. The Strangeitude album sits inbetween those two and while it's a very strong record it has a hard time claiming an individual identity. The Ozrics sure did try to make it a bit different. There is a stronger emphasis on their entrancing dance beats. No matter whether they are rocking, funky, dub, techno or inspired by World Music beats, this stuff simply grooves all the way! The title track and the Passport-inspired Sploosh that once served for a BMW commercial, are good examples of the Ozrics trance qualifications.

Middle-eastern rhythms and Arabic scales feature abundantly as well, Bizarre Bazaar is a great example of it. Other characteristics are the liquid guitar solos and washes of space-synths that seem to come straight out of Gong and Hawkwind albums. Fans of the early Porcupine Tree albums should find a lot to appreciate here.

Strangeitude is a great album that almost reaches 4 stars for me. But I'm sure the Ozrics won't mind I'll round it down to 3. After all, in the galaxies that they inhabit, there's a zillion of stars already.

Report this review (#279002)
Posted Thursday, April 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars This album is such a blast ! It's impossible for me to pick a top three even because the songs are all so good.

"White Rhino Tea" is definitely a live favourite with the OZRIC fans. I was surprised that I was reminded of RUSH when it turned powerful early on. Great sound 2 1/2 minutes in as well. I really like the bass and guitar. Kicking ass 3 1/2 minutes in. "Sploosh" opens with water sounds as a beat comes in and takes over. Turn it up ! Spacey sounds come and go. Guitar after 2 minutes. "Saucers" is guitar and drum led as synths come and go. "Strangeitude" is fantastic ! Atmosphere to open as a Middle-Eastern vibe roll in. I can almost smell the aroma of hydro here. Sounds stutter than drums lead the way as synths wash in and out. Nice bass and we get some voices too.

"Bizarre Bizaar" sounds so cool. Intricate yet powerful as the flute plays over top. Guitars' turn. Voices too as themes are repeated. "Space Between Your Ears" might be my favourite although the live track that follows is also in the running. Drums pound as bass joins in. Synths follow. The guitar before 2 minutes grinds away. Flute 4 minutes in. Amazing sound 4 1/2 minutes in, so intense. The guitar is lighting it up ! "Live Throbbe" opens with spoken words then flute takes over. Synths follow. Drums and an incredible sound before 2 minutes as the guitar joins in. So good.

Without a doubt one of my favourite OZRIC albums. Play it loud !

Report this review (#284958)
Posted Friday, June 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This was the first Ozric Tentacles album I heard or owned (I believe it was the first on the I.R.S. label), so it does hold that place in my collection. While I like it a lot, I find that the production is a bit rougher than to two albums to follow. On the other hand, the best tracks on the CD, Saucers and Space Between Your Ears, both sound better to me than any of the songs on the other two Ozric albums I own. They both have much more prog elements in their rhythms and structure than I am used to hearing in this band. Sure, the spaced out jam is there, but there is a level of complexity in the setup of the jam that I don't hear in the other two albums.

But the rest of the album is a very slight step down. In all of the other songs, the solos take quite a long time to develop, and often there are long stretches of very little, or even no soloing at all. That can get a bit tedious.

Nonetheless, I still love this album.

Report this review (#297592)
Posted Monday, September 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Another Ozric Tentacles album - and if you've heard the preceding ones you should know what to expect by now. Strangeitude is distinguished from the others thanks mainly to its slightly harder edge - White Rhino Tea, for instance, has some pounding riffs on lead and bass guitar - as well as being rounded off with a decent live rendition of the Throbbe. In between those two, there's the typically excellent Ozrics soundscapes to lose yourself in. Ozrics fans already know what they're getting here, whilst if you are new to the band this one is as good a starting point as any.
Report this review (#605570)
Posted Sunday, January 8, 2012 | Review Permalink
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Essentially their third album (although there were six early cassette releases that shouldn't be overlooked!), 1991's `Strangeitude' saw British festival psych band the Ozric Tentacles introduce more fully an electronic sound, although in very different ways from the programmed later direction the band would move into in their more recent years. The band had briefly flirted with electronics on both the `official' debut `Pungent Effulgent' and the follow-up `Erpland', but here it was perfectly grafted to their colourful psychedelic jamming and exotic ethnic flavours, often in a very heavy and intense manner that would in many ways remain exclusive to this album.

Opener `White Rhino Tea' sees the band burn through a range of gutsy electric guitar-driven themes and chunky upfront bass all unexpectedly played with the sleek heavier aggression of Rush, and light tribal touches, ambient synth breaks, busy snapping drumming and whirring keyboard wig-outs are also worked in. `Sploosh!', released as a single at the time and something of a classic Ozrics track, has looped sounds of water effects dripping around pulsing trance-like electronic programming with harsher interludes almost serving as a reprising `chorus', the piece growing more intense and unhinged as it progresses. Full of ancient world mystery, ravishing Arabic-flavoured acoustic guitars weave between purring bass and spiralling synth ripples throughout `Saucers', but pay close attention to how effortlessly the piece glides into a scorching space-rock burst and further hypnotic electronic drift in the final minutes.

The first half of side two's `Strangeitude' unfolds as a meditative eastern-flavoured ambient float laced with just a hint of unease before distorting into a hard electronic drum n' bass-like breakdown with twitching treated vocals and strident drumming, even finding time to tease with wisps of psychedelic glissando-guitar bliss. `Bizarre Bazaar' is one of those frantic up-tempo pieces the band does so well that unleashes wild acoustic guitar flourishes backed by busy drumming, bouncing bass and darting flute with fiery electric guitar snarls. Album closer `Space Between Your Ears' is a seductively chilled reggae/dub groove with purring bass slinking through pools of mellow synth washes before raging to life with mangled fiery guitar histrionics and bashing drums, making it almost an early run for later pieces like `Feng Shui' off their next album.

If you've got the CD version, the disc ends with `Live Throbbe', sure enough a live recording that's more-or-less a stomping drone that fuses Deuter-like meditative flute with plodding heavy drumming, wild guitar soloing and rising/falling electronics.

`Strangeitude' is definitely one of the Ozric's tightest and most focused albums, that doesn't sacrifice the liveliness and energy the group is known for, and the use of particularly heavier electronics makes it real one-off in their discography. `Jurassic Shift', one of their most popular and artistically successful moments was just around the corner, but the Ozrics had already hit gold with this one (hmmm, as well as `Erpland' just before it!).

Four stars.

Report this review (#1732236)
Posted Monday, June 12, 2017 | Review Permalink

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