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OZRIC TENTACLES

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom


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Ozric Tentacles picture
Ozric Tentacles biography
Founded in Somerset, England in 1983

OZRIC TENTACLES are simply put, legends of the UK underground. Inspired by a myriad of musical genres and musicians from Kraut-rockers KRAAN to guitar maestro Steve VAI, from ethnic Arabic to electronic techno, from HENDRIX to HILLAGE. OZRIC TENTACLES' music is a fusion of sounds, styles and genres that cannot be categorized nor plagiarized, such is its complexity.

The essence of the OZRIC TENTACLES remains essentially a free-willed musical unit oblivious to fashion trends and intent on exploring instrumental experimental music with an obsessive zeal. Formed in the early eighties, the Ozrics began life as a free-form psychedelic vehicle for jamming, attracting a dedicated fan-base at grassroots level by playing at all the free festivals to fans of space-rock, dub, psychedelia, and later on when the festivals had developed into raves, to fans of house and techno. Having then developed their own cottage industry - studio, label, tour bus, dedicated following - the Ozrics eventually achieved top ten album status in the UK with their 1993 album "Jurassic Shift". It was, and still is, an astonishing accomplishment for a band with no celebrity status, and no major record label backing.

To date, the band have released 20 albums, a vast body of music that is both complex and fascinating in its scope and vision. The new live double album, "Pongmasters Ball" was recorded at their sold-out show at London's Shepherds Bush Empire earlier this year. The DVD of this show will be released in September.

See also: Ed WYNNE

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OZRIC TENTACLES discography


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OZRIC TENTACLES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.59 | 117 ratings
Erpsongs
1985
3.25 | 95 ratings
Tantric Obstacles
1985
3.71 | 102 ratings
There Is Nothing
1986
3.69 | 94 ratings
Sliding Gliding Worlds
1988
3.51 | 81 ratings
The Bits Between the Bits
1989
3.80 | 209 ratings
Pungent Effulgent
1989
4.03 | 347 ratings
Erpland
1990
3.91 | 285 ratings
Strangeitude
1991
4.14 | 487 ratings
Jurassic Shift
1993
3.93 | 238 ratings
Arborescence
1994
3.71 | 139 ratings
Become The Other
1995
3.94 | 198 ratings
Curious Corn
1997
3.86 | 201 ratings
Waterfall Cities
1999
3.92 | 179 ratings
The Hidden Step
2000
3.56 | 114 ratings
Swirly Termination
2000
3.82 | 185 ratings
Spirals in Hyperspace
2004
3.71 | 139 ratings
The Floor's Too Far Away
2006
3.53 | 188 ratings
The YumYum Tree
2009
3.46 | 131 ratings
Paper Monkeys
2011
3.92 | 235 ratings
Technicians of the Sacred
2015
3.77 | 86 ratings
Space for the Earth
2020
4.21 | 62 ratings
Lotus Unfolding
2023

OZRIC TENTACLES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.61 | 45 ratings
Live Ethereal Cereal
1986
4.35 | 75 ratings
Live Underslunky
1992
4.02 | 37 ratings
Spice Doubt
1998
4.60 | 85 ratings
Live at the Pongmasters Ball
2002
4.29 | 54 ratings
Sunrise Festival
2008
2.00 | 3 ratings
Live At One World Frome Festival 1997
2011
2.00 | 3 ratings
Live at The Academy, Manchester 1992
2011
2.33 | 3 ratings
Live In Oslo
2011
2.00 | 3 ratings
Live In Italy 2010
2011
2.00 | 3 ratings
Live In Milan 2012
2012
2.50 | 2 ratings
Live in Pordenone, Italy 2013
2013

OZRIC TENTACLES Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.24 | 56 ratings
Live at Pongmasters Ball 2002
2002

OZRIC TENTACLES Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 40 ratings
Afterswish
1992
3.99 | 31 ratings
Vitamin Enhanced
1994
1.95 | 19 ratings
Floating Seeds Remixed
1999
3.79 | 14 ratings
There is Nothing / Live Ethereal Cereal
2000
3.73 | 15 ratings
Bits Between The Bits/Sliding Gliding Worlds
2000
3.27 | 14 ratings
Tantric Obstacles/Erpsongs
2000
4.13 | 15 ratings
Pungent Effulgent & Strangeitude
2002
4.08 | 12 ratings
Aborescence/Become The Other
2003
3.83 | 12 ratings
Live Underslunky/Spice Doubt
2004
4.00 | 10 ratings
Curious Corn / Swirly Termination
2004
4.41 | 23 ratings
Erpland / Jurassic Shift
2004
3.70 | 21 ratings
Eternal Wheel (Best of)
2004
4.18 | 11 ratings
Waterfall Cities / Hidden Step*
2005
2.63 | 8 ratings
Pyramidion / Floating Seeds Remixed
2005
4.83 | 5 ratings
Trees of Eternity: 1994-2000
2022
4.92 | 5 ratings
Travelling the Great Circle
2022

OZRIC TENTACLES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.29 | 7 ratings
Sploosh / Live Throbbe
1991
3.00 | 4 ratings
Ozric Tentacles
1993
2.50 | 2 ratings
Wob Glass
1999
3.00 | 4 ratings
Oakum
2000
4.29 | 43 ratings
Pyramidion
2001
2.00 | 2 ratings
Eat Static Remix Ozric Tentacles: Chewier
2004

OZRIC TENTACLES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Become The Other by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.71 | 139 ratings

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Become The Other
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The 1995 representative of the on-going development and evolution of Ed Wynne's Ozric Tentacles.

1. "Cat DNA" (6:28) an all-out hard-drivin' rock 'n' roll song with some extraordinary guitar work impressing over the solid bass and drums rhythm section and synth interplay, the sound of this one is so good: with all instrumentalists sounding truly inspired and fully-engaged. The music is a little rooted in old rock 'n' roll forms and palettes, but it's good. Ed, in particular, is on fire with his electric guitar play--both soloing and chord play. It's weird: according to the credits John Egan is playing flutes but my ear cannot detect them--which means that they're probably so heavily- treated that I think they're a synthesizer. (9.125/10)

2. "Ahu Belahu" (2:55) the sounds of large animals (predators by the mood being cast by the music) carousing around an exotic stream. Nice percussion and synth work from Conrad, Zia and Christopher Lenox-Smith. (8.875/10)

3. "Ghedengi" (5:41)a very TANGERINE DREAM-like song whose musical sounds all feel computer generated--even the bass and drums. Scenario-like AL DI MEOLA like guitars enter in the second half of the second minute. Cross-melodies are expressed in the third minute before a stoppage and eerie wait-for-the-volcano-to-stop-spewing delay before the band restarts the initial motif to play out to the end. (8.875/10)

4. "Wob Glass" (7:50) an okay rhythm track that again has me thinking that the bass and drums are totally computer- generated. Synths lay down some interesting sounds and textures over the top. This is not a bad song except for the fact that I keep waiting (and hoping) for something extraordinary to burst out at me, but, alas! it never happens. Even the cool weave in the fifth minute and Ed's "breakout" guitar foray in the sixth fall short of what I'm hoping for. (13.125/15)

5. "Neurochasm" (6:47) nice palette of instrumental sound choices (and a song in which drums and bass finally sound like drums and bass) but, even though it's a fairly hard-driving rock song, it's not until the 3:20 mark that anything exciting really kicks in. Ed's guitar feels as if he's trying to reach for Satriani/Vai territory. Not bad! Flutes in the fifth minute (yes, real flutes)! (The longer the song goes on the more I hear TONE LOC's "Wild Thing" bass line!) (13.125/15)

6. "Become the Other" (6:24) another lush sonic landscape that sounds as if it came from AL DI MEOLA's Scenario album. Multiple guitar tracks, sometimes mellow and moody, sometimes fiery, or even very pregnant (as if he's holding back--just building up to something fiery) keep the listener enrapt with expectant tension. Finally, around the four-minute mark--in the background--it starts to happen! But then it returns to the moody, ethereal Scenario motif for the final two minutes. Nice music; it's just that, again, I was kind of expecting something ? more. (9/10)

7. "Vibuthi" (10:52) acoustic "guitar" of some sort seeming to solo while sitting next to a waterfall inside an Indian or Middle Eastern temple grounds or ashram. At the 90-second mark flute joins in with Ed's virtuosic melody-making for a bit before the rest of the band finally kicks in at the 1:52 mark. Definitely a music that is directly derived from some Oriental tradition--the study of if not the direct copying of. The flutist, bass player, and drummer all perform admirably. Even when Ed takes the melody play to his electric guitar the music remains quite true to its traditional world music roots. And what's even nicer is that the melody and harmony lines all remain catchy and engaging throughout. As the music slowly moves more and more into full-on rock 'n' roll in the seventh and eighth minutes it really rocks! But then it pauses to reconsider and then falls back into its more ethnic world music instrumental palette and melodic sensibilities. Interesting appearance of two organs in the ninth minute: sounding as if two small organs in a Jerusalem church were duelling with one another. Though the song loses its charm a bit when it keeps sliding over into the rock realms, it is quite an admirable feat of ethnic captivity--as well as quite a convincing display of teamwork. (18.25/20)

8. "Plurnstyle" (7:46) bass player Zia Geelani's style hugs a bit too closely to Reggae traditions in this one for my tastes (and enjoyment), but the laid back weave created by the rest of the musicians is quite pleasing--and even impressive. It is always such a pleasure to experience the otherworldly (or alternate-world) places that the beautifully-engineered soundscapes of any Ozric Tentacles song takes one to. After six and a half minutes of just messing around, Ed steps in with his axe to do some shredding. Again it feels as if he is trying to reach for heights that others have achieved: but somehow it comes out more like emulation than the realization of original sounds or ideas. (13.25/15)

Total Time: 54:43

An album of quite-listenable and competent songscapes that somehow manage to fall short in terms of reaching the heights one might hope for from these seasoned musicians.

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of spacey world music prog.

 Swirly Termination by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.56 | 114 ratings

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Swirly Termination
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Ed Wynne and his Ozric friends are nearing the end of an era with this album. Though the music isn't sounding tired, it is feeling somewhat formulaic and repetitive.

1. "Steep" (3:12) the best song on the album for its fresh, pastoral world music take, great bass sound (and play) and great DAVE GILMOUR-like rock lead guitar. (9/10)

2. "Space Out" (8:28) what starts out with some promise turns sour with its disco drum beat. (17.375/20)

3. "Pyoing" (4:29) solid rock rhythm foundation with JLP synth weave over the top pans out to be nothing more than another Star Wars video game soundtrack. Not even Ed's inventive "Middle Eastern" electric guitar solo in the second minute can save this one--though the tightening of the bass and drums in the third minute is an improvement--as is the addition of the Petri Walli guitar play thereafter. The long drawn out finale also diminishes the powerful mid- section. (8.875/10)

4. "Far Dreaming" (5:24) a song made up of several threads that are kind of at odds with one another. Interesting but ultimately feeling more like an experiment in combining that fails to deliver the desired magic. (8.75/10)

5. "Waldorfdub" (6:13) another one of the boys' variations on the Reggae music. Though this song is interesting for its bare-bones exhibition of percussion, it is ultimately kind of boring. (8.6666667/10)

6. "Kick 98" (6:03) a nice PETRI WALLI/KINGSTON WALL opening guitar is diminished by the movement and reversion into more comfortable OT sounds and individual styles. (8.75/10)

7. "Voy Mandala" (11:52) a pretty good song with strong Southeast Asian representation is marred by the Jamaican Reggae bass play. Also, Conrad Prince's drum play here just struggles to fit with A) Zia Geelani's bass play and B) the rest of the music. The scond half is, however, a little better--once Zia leaves behind the Reggae bass lines and Conrad is able to sync up better. (21.75/25)

Total Time: 45:01

Despite the fact that I do love to hear the "real" instruments being played (as opposed to the computer-programmed tracks that will dominate the future albums (starting with Spirals in Hyperspace), my feeling is that the band in its current lineup, form, and orientation has "played itself out." I welcome the arrival of the next gen of musicians (Ed's kids) and the 21st Century computer engineering. Even the swan-song album of this lineup and form, the highly- acclaimed live album, Live at the Pongmasters Ball, feels more akin to these "end of the century" albums than it does to the "future" sound that Ed and family ignite in 2004.

B/four stars; a fine representative of the Space/Psychedelic sub-genre, just not up to creative and innovative standards of other OT albums.

 The Floor's Too Far Away by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.71 | 139 ratings

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The Floor's Too Far Away
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Newcomer Brandi Wynne steps up from her previous guest appearance to that of full-on collaborator--mostly on synth and in the production booth. Otherwise, this album represents Ed in an almost-solo capacity. You go, Dude!

1. "Bolshem" (4:48) actually a pretty cool groove--a steady but easy-going pace with some fine performances (and fine coherence) across the board, start to finish. (8.875/10)

2. "Armchair Journey" (5:53) seems to get a jump start from the bleed-over from the previous song but is, in fact, a totally different song. The long spacey intro is really great--quite YES-like, but then, in the third minute, Ed breaks out his STEVE HILLLAGE--but then backs off--it's only a tease while he lets the drums (grce Matt Shmigelsky) show off a bit before taking off/over himself. The bass (Ed's) is pretty great throughout: not just a rhythm keeper but also a part- time melody-maker. The dreamy Fender Rhodes is cool too--there are parts that make me think I'm in the middle of the lush soundscapes of NOVA's Narada Michael Walden-produced Vimana, 1976. This is great--not just regurgitated old OT stuff.(9.125/10)

3. "Jellylips" (6:07) opens with computer-effected weirdness (like the treated voices in Kanye West's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger"). The drum, bass, and synth cohesive rhythm track has some nice staccato elements but is otherwise another variation on the "drive with the top down country road" format that this band excels at. I've got to hand it to Tom Brooks and Ed's synth mastery (with perhaps a little assist from new-energy newcomer Brandi Wynne) for the very creative soundscape they've pulled off for this one. The solos are 90% synth generated, 10% Ed's Hillage-guitar. Kudos for sound and palette creativity. (8.875/10)

4. "Vedavox" (2:51) Space-African sound palette with talking drums, drones, and all-kinds of teeth, nose, and thumb instrument sounds all woven together within a kind of Arabian orientation. Again, credit is deserved for the sheer creativity behind the sound choices devised to make this weave. (8.875/10)

5. "Spacebase" (9:36) the slow bouncy percussive synth-bass intro reminds me the work of both Berlin School-KLAUS SCHULZE and SONAR. Other instruments soon join in to create the usual full-spherical four-dimensional surround- sound. It feels as if the bouncy synth-bass is quite often either the lead instrument, or the melody-setter, as well as, occasionally, the attention-getter. Even when Ed is soloing on his guitar I find myself much more interested in what the bass line is playing. That super-funky BILLY PRESTON ("Space Race")-reminiscent sixth minute is so ill! And the synth player(s) just keeps driving it home throughout the next minute--even while a separate synth tries to take over and Ed's searing guitar play really does. Cool, simplistic PAUL HARDCASTLE-like solo synth in the seventh as the support palette of instruments slowly shifts to a more dream-jungle-like soundscape--until 7:25 when the robot funk "bubble" voice takes over and carries the lead well into the ninth minute. Overall, quite a magical, danceable ride. (18.5/20)

6. "Disdots" (6:48) more great multi-multi-dimensional sounds woven together magically across many levels in a very jazz-rock fusion fashion with some great drumming, bass play, and Steve Hillage-like lead guitar work. (13.5/15)

7. "Etherclock" (8:01) using a foundational soundscape that sounds remarkably like something from one of ANDREAS WOLLENWEIDER's early albums, this one takes off into planetary reconnoitre before going heavy rock 'n' roll with one of Ed's raunchier guitar sounds soloing away. The interesting rhythm guitar chord strum play in the fourth minute is quite JAN AKKERMAN like. Great MOOGY KLINGMAN/UTOPIA-like synth play in the sixth as Ed's guitar continues its creative strum play. A song with some great highs (the syncopated strumming) and irritating lows (the raunchy guitar). (13.33333/15)

8. "Splat!" (8:59) a very funked up weave (that my wife loved!) sets up plenty of opportunities for solos--many that come from the synths as well as a few tamer ones from Ed's electric guitars. (I count, minimum, five different ones-- which is actually small when compared to the number of synth sounds employed.) Solid, very good, but just not enough to raise it to "write home about" level. (17.75/20)

9. "Ping" (6:39) a dreamy sci-fi keyboard soundscape over which Ed flies around on his fretless bass. Besides Brandi's keys, I'm not sure there's anyone else contribution to this one. Daryl Stuermer (with Jean-Luc Ponty)-like acoustic guitar joins in and then takes over for the third minute as the music flattens out and runs a few red lights. Impressive! The fourth minute presents some very PAT METHENY GROUP-like polyrhythmic math rock odd time sigs and playing while the drums and electric guitar take off in straight time over the top. Very impressive!! Another one of those once- in-a-album songs that serves notice that this band is very much alive and producing highly creative, highly charged music. (9.5/10)

Total Time 59:42

I think the creative input added by Brandi has definitely provided a much needed shot in the arm--this despite the signs that the OT moniker is becoming a shadow mask for Ed to realize his ideas in solo. The sounds created by the computer keyboards for so much of this album are highly original and, therefore, to be commended and praised. Otherwise, I'm not sure the band has any new ideas to contribute to rock/progressive rock music in terms of song structures and style. (Though I should perhaps be reprimanded for accusing a band that has originated and perpetuated a style that is very much all their own of not being creative or progressive enough!) On another positive note: this album gets the "Big Funk Seal of Approval" from my Prince-loving wife. (It's rare that she ever asks me to turn up my music much less dances her sultry Soul Train dances right next to me while it's playing.)

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music and a real turning point in the lineage of OT sound and energy. Welcome, Brandi! Just what the band needed!

 The YumYum Tree by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.53 | 188 ratings

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The YumYum Tree
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A foursome that includes Brandi as well as newcomers Vinny Shillito and Roy Brosh on bass and drums, respectively.

1. "Magick Valley" (6:42) some very weird, non-musical synth noises sounding like an alien race of animals who possess language opens this for about a minute. When the musical part enters and congeals into full form it is a kind of house/dance version of electronically-rendered Middle Eastern sounds and melody styles. It sounds very much like some of the music I might have heard in one of the Lebanese restaurants I used to love in my graduate school years in East Lansing, Michigan. Synths are definitely the domineering thread-producers of this weave--even when Ed picks up his guitar it is so effected that it almost sounds like it, too, is a synth. (8.875/10)

2. "Oddweird" (6:14) right musicianship in a very rock-sounding style and sound. The usual exotic and tropical sounds manage to make their way into the song, of course, and the dominant bass lines and additional percussion instruments used sound near Jamaican/Caribbean--and then there is the koto in the fifth. I'm still listening for the kitchen sink. Just a transcontinental, transcultural stew that satisfies a lot of rock "needs." (8.75/10)

3. "Mooncalf" (7:41) strong bass, drum, and percussion play is not quite enough to launch this mutt of styles and sounds into the heavens. (13.33333/15)

4. "Oolong, Oolong" (5:54) nice laid-back jungle groove that supports some very pleasant solos. That first guitar slash and burn is top notch--and I love the way the rhythm section gives way to the spacemospherics and hypnotic synth strokes in that third minute. The amazing synth solo in the fourth minutes makes me now question whether or not that initial solo in the second minute was a guitar or not! (It was, but the sound duplication from the synth is astounding!) A song that really sits well with me from all perspectives: a new OT masterpiece! (9.75/10)

5. "Yum Yum Tree" (9:08) jungle noises bleeding over from the previous song are augmented by an odd synth tuned percussive, odd muted bass, and percussionist's cymbal play. This interplay of odd, andro-fabricated sounds goes on well into the third minute before new sounds are added to the weave. Then we cut back to just multi-percussives and the "talking drum" synth for a good spell before everybody else joins back in so that Ed can add his speedy flangy guitar solo to the background scenery. (This is the exact effects settings used by Todd Rundgren on the 1974 Utopia and Todd albums--especially for "The Last Ride.") I'm so glad the bass gets some lead time (in the seventh minute) where he is nicely paired with the xylophone. Not a big fan of the raunchy rock electric guitar strumming that comes next, but, luckily, it's short-lived, yielding to synth and multiple tuned percussion instruments weaving a cool semi- Gamelan (17.75/20)

6. "Plant Music" (5:28) I'm not as big of a fan of these STIVE HILLAGE driving rock songs that Ed produces. The sounds incorporated in the song--cameos and integrally--become the feature that you have to look for while the rhythm section just keeps motoring down the Autobahn. (8.666667/10)

7. "Nakuru" (5:38) Cool effected-saxophone sound being produced from some kind of MIDI-ed instrument is played like a blues saxophone solo over some gentle spacemospheric synth, percussion, and JACO PASTORIUS-like bass play. The music actually sounds like a cross between WEATHER REPORT and AL DI MEOLA's 1983 album Scenario. Nice! (8.875/10)

8. "San Pedro" (6:21) an actual chord progression coming from an electric piano-sounding keyboard! You never know how odd this phenomenon is in an OT song until it happens! Despite this foundational anomaly, the song once again creates a delivery mechanism for odd instrumental sounds (and some awesome percussion play) to make their presence known. (8.75/10)

Total Time 53:06

The weird thing about my reaction to the music on this album is how much I enjoyed the percussion parts--especially when multiple tracks were playing with and between each other. The other thing I notice as I near my completion of the OT discography is how there seem to be some "default programs" that OT uses to get songs started, rhythm section formulae that have become stable staples over which to build songs. The unfortunate part of this is that the rest of the instrumental performances on these particular songs become more of an exercise in exhausting mathematical permutations and combinations of surplus/adjunct sounds: while the synth and effects engineering can be highly creative, the overall songs end up existing while lacking in any core originality or freshness.

B/four stars; a very solid and respectable, if not totally refreshing display of Ozric talent and creativity--but also containing more songs founded in patterns and styles that sound "rote" or "default" for the band. I suppose after 18 studio albums in 25 years there is bound to be a little repetition and borrowing. At least this album has far less ideas borrowed from other bands' music than some of OT's other albums.

 Paper Monkeys by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.46 | 131 ratings

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Paper Monkeys
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Ed & family's sixth studio album release of the 21st Century.

1. "Attack of the Vapours" (5:22) like STEVE HILLAGE with rock beat, frenetic Indian-like percussion, and conversing synth cats! Definitely one of Ed's most speedy and computer-roboticized pieces. (8.75/10)

2. "Lemon Kush" (6:15) a bit of a rocker that conjures up concepts like OT doing mock ups or mix-medleys of old rock classics (here The Who's "Eminence Front" with Alan Parsons Project's "I Robot" and Jan Hammer's "Miami Vice Theme"). It's hard to imagine that all of these tracks were played at these breakneck speeds; might they have been computer-sped up for the final mixes? Very interesting. (8.875/10)

3. "Flying Machines" (6:26) some Petri Walli/Jimi Hendrix-like guitar shredding dispersed over one of the simpler rhythm tracks and song constructs I've heard from OT in a while. (8.66667/10)

4. "Knurl" (6:08) I know this one was built around Brandi Wynne's gorgeous TONY LEVIN-like bass line. How much fun would it be to be in the studio when these guys go through their vast array of tried and true sounds and styles of world and traditional music sounds and styles in order to find which combination and permutation "fits" best with the current construct they're working on. This one has no certain traditon for its source and so must justifiably be labelled a "mutt," "mlamge," or "hybrid." It is, however, a bit of a lame duck in terms of taking space where originality could stand tall. (8.666667/10)

5. "Lost in the Sky" (7:20) I know it must be terribly difficult to constantly have to try to reinvent one's sound, style, or library of sound from album to album--especially over a 25-year span--but to borrow not one but two signature sounds from one song ("Stretchy") for a new song is inexcusable. Perhaps this was a period where fans were clamoring for more of the old (I know it was before the fire that destroyed all of their equipment). (13.125/15)

6. "Paper Monkeys" (7:17) opens like a classic heavy rock song from the 1970s--like something by Ted Nugent or even Jeff Beck (especially in the bass and drum rhythm section); very rock lead guitar-led and -oriented. Not only are they reaching back for old riffs and sounds to build their songs upon, they're actually going beyond their usual psychedelic and space rock sources. Too straightforward and one-dimensional. A lot of people will like this one for yet another hyperspeed journey. (13/15)

7. "Plowm" (7:52) interesting synth sequence to open. Deep funky bass-led band jumps right in within 30 seconds, setting up a nice weave over which Ed's searing lead guitar and multiple synth sounds take turns injecting their perspectives, short-lived or not. Different upper-register e-guitar strumming around the three-minute mark followed by bridge to alto pan flute-like synth solo. Nice low-end, well-spaced guitar chords in the fifth minute before they turn into one of Ed's fiery flanged Todd Rundgren-like solos. It's quite a nice solo; too bad it's stuck way back there in the garden. (I love Todd's lead sound.) Finally something that feels a little fresh. A top three song for me. (13.5/15)

8. "The Will of the Wisps" (10:42) What?! Dreamy, spacey? An all-synth weave (before the militaristic drumming rises to the fore)? A little Andreas Vollenweider here? Another "too bad" cuz Ollie Seagle's drumming is actually rather remarkable. I actually enjoy this kind of "world space music" quite a lot--and do not miss the guitar or funky bass; it's always fun for me to see/hear what a whole room of computer keyboard players can weave together. The Balinese "will 'o' wisp" voices in the sixth minute are cool, but I have to admit that the guitar track introduced disappoints me-- even though it's just Jan Akkerman-like rhythm work. Another wave of Balinese voices and we switch into the domineering presence of the full wah-blues guitar. Fortunately, he doesn't go off into a full-blown testosterone-fueled solo until well into the tenth minute. (George Thorogood!) Despite the let-down of the final three minutes, this is another top three song for me. (18.25/20)

9. "Air City" (3:53) sounds like a percussionist's happy variation of Jan Akkerman's classic, "Skydancer." My other top three song. (8.875/10)

Total Time 61:15

This is the most computer-manipulated music I've ever heard from the OT crew--which begs the question: Can this music actually be performed live by non-robotic human musicians? Also, is the overwhelming dominance of breakneck-speed songs on this album indicative of any issues within the band? (Like impatience, time limits, or amphetamine use?)

B/four stars; overall, this is an album of solid it, at times, familiar Ozrics songs with just enough fresh ideas to make it an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection--especially if you're already a fan.

 Space for the Earth by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.77 | 86 ratings

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Space for the Earth
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Ed Wynne's Ozrtic Tentacles is reduced to he and a drummer and an entourage of computer keyboard artists.

1. "Stripey Clouds" (6:37) opens like a modern remake of one of KING SONNY AD?'s African JuJu songs before the funky space keyboard sounds enter and take over. The overall mix once the song has fully unfolded in the second minute is quite cohesive and Ed Wynne's guitar solo starts off so clean and concise--one of the best I've ever heard from him! The slow down for the stop sign in the third minute is seemless and continues to present very enjoyable nuances-- such as "Champignon"'s flute. Who is playing the bass? Can this really be just synth work? Nice! I have some issue with the sound used to present the drums (especially the hi-toms: too plasticky), and then the bluesy last minute is a little disappointing after the awesome Afro-pop opening, otherwise this is a pretty awesome song. (9/10)

2. "Blooperdome" (5:34) almost Berlin School synth weave (sequenced?) is used to form the base for this one. All kinds of monkey-like incidentals are used from a variety of instruments to form the overall haphazard texture (sauf the steady, big bass). The electric guitar takes off around the two-minute mark for a nice solo before the band crescendos and then empties out. Enter a dobro for an extended solo over some sparse bass-and-drum accompanied I LOVE the teasing pause around 4:15 before the cascading bells and bubbling synth solos. Unfortunately, there is an odd "disconnect" to the sudden end--as if one has just given up, changed channels! (8.875/10)

3. "Humboldt Currant" (8:58) sounds like a slowed-down variation of the opening to something from Erpland or Jurassic Shift. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of elements, sounds, and "tricks" used in making the fabric of this song that sound "borrowed" or "rehashed" from older OT material. The best part of the whole song is the extended sample of Cambodian spiritual chanting (something Pat Metheny used on the opening song to his 1993 Grammy Award winning album Secret Story), however, I do like the semi-acoustic guitar solo in the fifth and sixth minutes as well as the stripped-down waves and keyboard duet in the seventh and the awesome deep bass in the eighth. I'd love to hear an entire song built around those Cambodian chants. (17.75/20)

4. "Popscape" (4:51) too much like some of their older stuff--with some very old (HEART-like) guitar riffing. It's got a great pace--one that makes you want to be driving out in the countryside--and a (rare) decent ending--but that's about all. (8.666667/10)

5. "Climbing Plants" (7:05) a lot more laid back and Costa Rican than the previous song; makes one feel as if one were walking through the "tamed" jungles of the resort areas of Central America with the occasional "surprise" visitor from the wild: like Ed's fresh JEFF BECK-like bluesy guitar playing of the third minute--which then turns STEVE VAI-ish with a "Teeth of the Hydra"-like animal sound in the fourth. There are even seductive, alluring pan flutes in the background throughout the fifth minute! Now the bass play that next arises really surprises me to think that it's computer keyboard generated. Good song. (13.5/15)

6. "Space for the Earth" (7:36) if the accompanying video is anything to go by, the aim of this song (and album) might be to further express the impressive-yet-impermanent works of mankind in the scope of Mother Nature's insidious and domineering desire to grow and flourish. The music feels far more laid back and Indian in its sound palette and melodic choices--until the hokey ooze-sounds enter at 4:20. The stop and shift at the five-minute mark is promising, but then the music returns to the exact same baseline motif for a pretty standard Ed Wynne electric guitar solo for the next 90 seconds. The final minute is nice: more anarchistic and dream-like--like nature, the ultimate winner. (13.25/15)

7. "Harmonic Steps" (6:36) multiple keyboard sequences layered one within the other open this one--and continue to multiply and thicken--until the second minute when a kind of "Eminence Front" rhythm track is set up for the rest of the action to congeal and peal off of. Always nice to hear the flute--and then a fresh sound from one of Ed's guitars (no matter how briefly). The synth lead in the fourth minute gives the listener a reminder of pop-synth genius PAUL HARDCASTLE, all the while John Entwistle's bass line persists and remains steady as the guidepost to this song. (Still can't believe these are synth basses, not stringed instruments!) Despite being based on a rather obvious and blatantly- lifted sound/rhythm, this is actually a pretty cool song. (9/10)

Total Time 47:17

Despite the pared down lineup of collaborators, Ed Wynne continues to produce highly engaging--and often entertaining--"instrumental" music--and this time seemingly without a bass player!

A-/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of Ozric Tentacles psychedelic/space music--one that stands up quite well to the tradition created over the course of 22 studio albums.

 Strangeitude by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.91 | 285 ratings

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Strangeitude
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars At this point, with this, their eighth studio release, the band's albums and song styles have not quite turned so formulaic as to overstretch the soundmakers' creativity and cause the listener buyer's recourse due to repetition and overfamiliarity.

1. "White Rhino Tea" (5:55) the band going for something heavier--almost in the TED NUGENT vein of music. Some really cool elements but, as a whole it just doesn't come together well. (8.75/10)

2. "Sploosh! (6:24) real water sounds with TD sequencer joined by synth sploosh bass and flanged bass start this one off but the recordings of water being manipulated seem to be the lead instrument that everything else is trying to buoy. In the third minute speed-manipulated guitar play enters for a bit but alternates with splooshy sounds and other keyboard oddities every 20 seconds or so. I'm sure this was fun to create in the studio, but as a listening pleasure it holds little interest. (8.6666667/10)

3. "Saucers" (7:30) the band moves into its now-recognizable Arabian-influenced musical spectrum with some fancy almost-Bayou guitar and rock drums and bass. Spacey keys join in during the second minute. The melody picked up at the two-minute mark for the "chorus" is very familiar from (so many) other OT songs of this ilk. About halfway through, as the soundscape thickens, the Arabian flavours turn more Spanish--and hold this way throughout the more rockin' second half. (13.25/15)

4. "Strangeitude" (7:29) Arabian nose horn opens this as if a call to prayer while monstrous bass notes float and morph ominously beneath. a great groove from the rhythm section drives this one into and through multiple aural dimensions without suffering veer or deviation. Some very sound manipulation at the beginning of the fourth minute cuts off the opening motif, cleaning the slate for a totally new groove to set up. It sounds like the dance music from The Matrix Reloaded (which doesn't come out for another 12 years). Then alien voices and other odd "vocal"izations flit in and out while the future rave continues. Pretty cool. The coolest, most original and innovative song on the album. (13.5/15)

5. "Bizarre Bazaar" (4:04) a very engaging song with Nature/animal sounds (of course) but a nice jazz-rock fusion flow and feel to it (with some Arabian inflections). (8.875/10)

6. "Space Between Your Ears" (7:46) time for a jaunt into Rastafarian jungle lands. The bass holds the line with spacious drumming doing the Jamaican time keeping while a wild assortment of odd noises are thrown into the soup-- until the third minute when a righteous slide guitar seems to want to direct traffic--but then, lo! and behold! it just disappears, allowing more oddities and keyboard sounds to be thrown in. It's like we're viewing a constantly flowing jumble of random items (thoughts and ideas). I like the shift in drumming (percussion) in the fourth minute and then the hyper bass in the fifth--before the guitar re-enters to wail away. Pretty cool song despite my usual aversion to all- things Reggae. The final two minutes are pure rockin' jam-ba-lam. (13.35/15)

Total Time: 39:08

B/four stars; an excellent display of creative sound engineering over great grooves.

 Lotus Unfolding by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.21 | 62 ratings

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Lotus Unfolding
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by alainPP

3 stars OZRIC TENTACLES founded in 1983, kraut, Steve VAI for guitar, TANGERINE DREAM, ethnic arab-techno, psychedelic ambient space rock fusion, experimental, instrumental ambient music that will drive fans of techno and house music, the height of it; they emerged during the Stonehenge Festival to indicate their musical signature, combining cosmic and nature; it's the WYNNE family who orchestrates. Known in 94, it's their 21st album of 2020 that brought me back to them, let's see what the 22nd is about.

"Storm in a Teacup" takes us directly to their space, on the border between jam and experimentation, with layered synths, a vibrant tune reminding me of RUSH just fleetingly; ah Ed's tortured guitar on the flights of TANGERINE DREAM, VAI, it goes on, the dynamite bass and the funky drums; a sound that is dated but still fresh and catchy; I compare it to the more recent QUANTUM FANTAY for this psychedelic enthusiasm; the stereo and fluid finale in which we have the impression of seeing the notes flowing. "Deep Blue Shade" more dub, bass, for a hypnotic journey variegated with blue, well that's in the title; a universe to listen to alone, at night, on headphones or loudly on Hi-Fi to blast your speakers, funky-jazzy at one point; Ed and Silas engage in a friendly musical battle. "Lotus Unfolding" shifts time and space; Saskia's flute offers a musical yoga eyeing the sounds of KITAJIMA, purity of the moment and of the sound; birds come to land before the monolithic synth sets the rhythm on a serene hypnotic waterfall variation looking over the Japanese world.

"Crumplepenny" arrives, much more complex, tinkered and chaotic with dark vibes; it vibrates out of tune, it moves like a doe in spring ready to eat berries to get drunk; the finale with Vangelisian synth choirs restores a little madness while an Andalusian and Yessian acoustic solo sows discord; the modern title which does not only provoke trance, here it is reflection. "Green Incantation" bass la 'Subway', flamenco guitar-sitar AL DI MEOLA, astral radiation to go even further; the synth gives the different instruments the opportunity to give their all, without being obliged to provide a deluge of sound; the colorful, dancing air, here it goes again on a programmed jig which flows like an effusion of land, astonishing; the piece to consume with a substance without a doubt, I who thought that we no longer needed it. "Burundi Spaceport" ends this journey, a hilarious title for a trance-meditative air if that can exist; calm, lively, organs, hypnotic, bouncy drums, a more complicated title which passes like a letter in the post, finally from the time when the post office ensured its traffic; I'm getting lost but this title risks... losing you by offering a unique tune that makes you think and meditate even more.

OZRIC TENTACLES returns in force with this creative, meditative, hypnotic album; mantra tunes, psychedelic to go far away, that's the goal; captivating sounds which gave the idea to ORESOUND SPACE COLLECTIVE, QUANTUM FANTAY, ASTRAL MAGIC to also explore this very particular musical mode; so it's progressive above all, danceable, jazzy but oh so entertaining to make your whole body vibrate; colorful multi-layered music which does not revolutionize the genre but extends the movement as if time could also go back; repetitive yes, shimmering and imaginative yes, what better way to wander in this musical maelstrom.

 Waterfall Cities by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.86 | 201 ratings

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Waterfall Cities
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Ed and company close out the 20th Century with the Ozrics' 13th release of cosmic otherworldliness.

1. "Coily" (7:19) a nice driving effort by the bass and drums rhythm section is spoiled by one of my least favorite synth sounds (like a saw) and equally abrasive edge to the guitar sound of choice. Pleasing melodies seem to be far from the band's minds as they just plunge forward with more mathematical "Egyptian" lines and sounds (including John Egan's flute). While I appreciate the effort to try to "re-"create possible ancient musical sounds and melodies, I still think most humans appreciate something they can connect with more than things esoteric. (13/15)

2. "Xingu" (7:27) a much better opening with Ed's mesmerizing heavily-flanged guitar-sounding synth line winning me over from the start. The second line, however, is just a bit too weird, but then the Lebanese synth wash makes up for it. The soft and sustained synth lines over the steady rhythm track and intermittent quick-descending cartoon arpeggio in the second half is okay. (13.125/15) 3. "Waterfall City" (11:03) this is the kind of music that Ozrics is all about: space trekking at hyperspeeds, encountering weird creatures, systems, and phenomenon while cruising around the outer edges of ours and other universes. I love the "calm, peaceful" section in the sixth and seventh minutes as the starship continues to cruise at speeds just under the speed of light--which is then followed by an awesome frog belching Tiesto house rave section before finally closing out. My favorite song on the album. A great OT song! (18.75/20)

4. "Ch'ai?" (5:03) the title's Chinese reference is definitely in order for this song despite the similarity to some of Pat Metheny's music in the sound and rhythmic choices. I actually love the syncopated, stop-and-go nature of this track's flow--minus the funk-bass lines dominating the third minute. Ed's guitar seers in the fourth minute on a level that is both old and new despite the funk-Chinese stuff going on beneath. Then we're back to Charlie Chan soundtrack music for the final 80 seconds. Another top three song for me. (9/10)

5. "Spiralmind" (11:40) despite the presence of plenty of swirling, spiralling synths, this is the song that sounds most representative of an advanced civilization's urban waterfall problem (or blessing). The synth lines sounds a lot like something off of Jurassic Shift, but the bass and acoustic guitar play are more funk and world music oriented. Ed is so in tune with bassist Zia Geelani's extraordinary work here. Work like this makes the band worthy of comparisons to top notch jazz fusion bands like Al Di Meola-era RETURN TO FOREVER. My other top three song. (18.5/20)

6. "Sultana Detrii" (9:17) Just when the grooves of three great space/world songs in a row were starting to lull me into high flattery and lure me into mega-fandom, the band has to remind me that they always reserve one song per album to the praise of Jamaica's #1 export: man! the most boring and homogeneously type-cast musical style of all (yes, even more than Gregorian chant). Luckily, the band moves to Honduran and Gamelan edges to blend into (or even supplant) the Rastafarian tradition enough to win me back. (I am NOT a fan of Reggae music--and even less so of cocky pretenders and usurpers). (17.5/20)

7. "Aura Borealis" (5:40) a Korg Wave Station put to great use! Me likey! Around 2:20 the music goes more solo funk synth as drummer Conrad Prince continues to dance around his cymbals and hi-hat, but then synths start to multiple and branch out, filling the soundscape before taking time for some soloing and, eventually, slowing down and shutting down. Kind of cool! (8.875/10)

Total Time: 57:29

I've never heard how or why Ed Wynne and company found such a draw to Middle Eastern instrumental sounds and melody lines (maybe hanging out too much in falafel and tabouli restaurants) but it often gets a little old. I love the jungle sounds and "other worldly"spacier stuff better.

Their sound is great, their musicianship has never been better (especially from the bass department), and their unique formula has never been tighter. Perhaps that's why this album earns the fourth-highest ratings score of the ten OT albums I've reviewed.

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of jazz-rock fused world space prog. Definitely one of the best OT albums that I've heard: the band is so polished! No wonder the Pongmasters Ball concert less than two years in the future is so revered. These guys are so in sync!

 Erpland by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 1990
4.03 | 347 ratings

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Erpland
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars For many people, this is the album that finally launched Ozrics into prominence and respect--the album in which the band meshed to produce some really fine, engaging compositions all performed with great band cohesion and skill.

1. "Eternal Wheel" (8:20) bouncy synths pan around the field before chunky low-end bass and steady drum beat root this one into an engaging, hair-thrashing groove. Then Ed Wynne's heavily treated bluesy lead guitar enters and takes over (and almost never stops!) Bass and drums sure shine on this--as does the foundational contributions of the airy synths. Fun to listen for the odd percussives and synth flourishes occasionally thrown into the mix. And cool synth- treated & -accompanied flute play near the end. Great opener! (18.25/20)

2. "Toltec Spring" (3:03) very pleasant slow groove that makes you feel as if you are walking through a jungle while paying attention to the amazing array of flora and fauna around and above you. Great melody, too. Gorgeous and mesmerizing! (9.5/10)

3. "Tidal Convergence" (7:14) awesome spacey synths and percussives open this one before funky bass line and full speed drums join in just before the end of the first minute. Melodic shift at the two minute mark signals the entry of Ed Wynne's searing lead guitar (though it stays in the background). After a little bridge/diversion, the original "verse" returns with Ed playing some very cool combinations of whip-strummed treble chords over the top at 2:30. At 4:20, after another round of verse and "chorus" (these are all instrumentals, we must remember), Ed bursts into the lead with some impressive lead guitar over the third verse. It's a highly charged and very engaging & upbeat cosmic jam. (14.25/15)

4. "Sunscape" (4:02) opens with picked acoustic guitar arpeggi that are joined by layers of other instruments, many percussive, before flute and electric guitars take on the lead roles. Reminds a lot of Corrado Rustici's 1970s NOVA project--especially the Vimana album. Unfortunately, this one doesn't quite come together or soar to the heights of the previous three songs. (8.5/10)

5. "Mysticum Arabicola" (9:14) opens with weird samples before letting an Arabian sounding instrument, sound, and multi-instrumental pattern establish itself as the foundational groove. The instrumental array and arrangement is very impressive--as are the lead performances, but the foundational riff/pattern, I think, needs more development, more variation, and more length to it in order for it to not become aggravating/annoying. This song is really more of a showcase for the exotic instruments and the percussionists. (16/20)

6. "Cracker Blocks" (5:40) more exotic percussives with arpeggi of guitar harmonics and steady background synth support (and ChapmanStick-sounding bass notes) for the first two minutes. New subtle instruments join in in the third minute giving the song a "As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls" feel to it. It's a pretty cool, almost Crimsonian weave. Could've used a little more development or shifts and variation but it's a pretty cool, interesting, and immersive song. (8.75/10)

7. "The Throbbe" (6:21) Opens with a MARK ISHAM horn and synth soundtrack feel to it. At 0:57 a tin can hit and drum beat and bass-synth note establish themselves as the baseline groove, signaling the step into the meat of the song. An Arabian male vocalise becomes the lead instrument. Synth player takes over "lead" in the third and fourth minutes while percussionists and Ed's STEVE HILLAGE-like delay/echo guitar snakes around beneath the baseline groove. (8.75/10)

8. "Erpland" (5:32) opens with a POLICE "Synchronicity"-like pace and sound while samplist has fun playing with all of his myriad sounds and noises. In the second minute Ed's straightforward guitar chord playing leads for a bit before spacey synths get some showtime. A second guitar chord chord pattern takes over in the third minute before pace and melody play quickens--electric guitar turning into lead soloist la Steve HILLAGE. Great, complex section bridges this section at the end of the fourth minute into a new, super fast-paced multi-leveled jam in the fifth minute. Return to the "Synchrocity" formula for the final 30 seconds. (8.5/10)

9. "Valley of a Thousand Thoughts" (6:32) more jungle play--this time African. Love these guys' adventurousness! Once again, they follow the formula of 55-second intro before the foundational groove is established, and, like "Toltec Spring" song, the first three minutes are filled with so many subtleties that you can feel as if you're walking through a jungle, taking in all of the sights and sounds. A few rampages of searing guitar and percussives enter like wild animals. Simply awesome! (9.5/10)

10. "Snakepit" (3:17) a return to an Arabian themed song/sound at a medium pace, but then things amp up and the soundscape fills with many instruments and sound streams as Ed's heavily-treated guitar wails away. Not as engaging melodically as some of the others, but still impressive for its intricate weave. (8.5/10)

11. "Iscence" (4:37) settles into a Jamaican Rasta groove (bass, percussion sounds, and guitar/synth chord play stylings- -though the drums are less succesful at mimicking the Rasta sounds and stylings) before male vocalise and assorted instruments bring in their added flourishes and passages. (8.5/10)

12. "A Gift of Wings" (9:46) very steady base of large percussion ensemble over which amazing lead performances from synths, treated guitars, Arabian stringed and wind instruments. Cool, cool, mesmerizing song! (18.75/20) = 9.375

Total Time: 73:38

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music and a shining example of world-space jam fusion.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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