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OHEAD

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom


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Ohead biography
OHEAD respectively O-HEAD is an electronica/space rock outfit headed by Somerset/UK based musician and producer Dave Hendry. Basically rooted in trance, dub, ambient and world music he started OHEAD as a side project in 1996, intending to explore a more organic and retro sound heavily influenced by pioneers like Tangerine Dream and Pink Floyd.

The debut album 'Silent Universe' was released in 1998 on Centaur Records, an effort where he's trying to resemble the 'Berlin School' tradition. The second album 'Steps Across The Cortex' seven years later became the starting point to produce a bunch of songs in collaboration with several guest musicians. From now on the music gradually turned into a stronger space rock direction which culminated in the 2012 'Visitor' album featuring significant Ozric Tentacles references.

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OHEAD discography


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

4.50 | 2 ratings
Silent Universe
1998
4.09 | 5 ratings
Steps Across The Cortex
2005
4.08 | 3 ratings
Gaia's Garden
2008
4.09 | 2 ratings
Decade In Space
2008
5.00 | 1 ratings
Space Daze
2010
3.92 | 4 ratings
Dream State Circus
2010
4.48 | 5 ratings
Visitor
2012
3.52 | 3 ratings
Resurgent Resonance
2017

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

OHEAD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

OHEAD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Resurgent Resonance by OHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.52 | 3 ratings

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Resurgent Resonance
Ohead Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by wiz_d_kidd

3 stars This album seems to be a continuation of where OHEAD left off with "Dream State Circus", before the "Visitor" excursion where they went and did the Ozrics thing.

1. "Blue Pyramid". Swelling, ebbing, slowly morphing synths open this track, pierced cleanly by lead guitar, before settling into a nice downtemo groove. About two-thirds the way through, birds come out to play amongst an echoey guitar line, then (yay!) the reprise. There's something almost Gilmorean about the guitar play and overall pace of the piece. Unlike many OHEAD tracks that are dominated by synth sounds, the guitar really shines here.

2. "The Gathering" opens with synth choir ohs and ahs and real-sounding drums (as opposed to the more mechanical drum machines) as a vehicle to carry the guitar lead. The pace picks up about one-third through, and even more half-way through, as it morphs into jam somewhat reminiscent of an Ozrics track in the latter half. Again the guitar work is front and center.

3. "Valley of Veils". Swirls of synth pads are the precursor to a pastoral flute lead, before bright & perky synth sequence rolls through as a temporary distraction. Without rhythm or percussion, it's a spacey, dreamy, flute-driven interlude.

4. "Procession". Sequences of bright synth pads and leads float over the simple, percussion-less heartbeat of a bass as the piece builds into a percolating groove with Gilly Smyth-like space whispers courtesy of Maxine Marten. More please!

5. "Cave of Souls" Airy, spacious, resounding synths provide a trippy backdrop to the ney flute lead. Wonderfully hypnotic, this one!

6. "Orange Moon" greets you with a brief passage of vocoder vocals reminiscent of Tangerine Dream before erupting with hard driving bass and guitar. The melodic theme continued until an abrupt change about two-thirds the way through. Is this a new track? It seems so dissimilar and unrelated. Then the original groove comes back for a reprise. Phew. I personally prefer some kind of bridge across these abrupt changes to give me the feeling of continuity.

7. "Ether Pools" is nice, brief ambient interlude to mellow the sharper edges left by the previous track.

8. "Opal Cloudlets" the slowly building sequences, overall tempo, and percussive elements are very reminiscent of Tangerine Dream's Cyclone. It's a very pleasant little cruise. I wish it were longer.

9. "Hall of Whispers" has layers of echoey sax riffs that almost sounds like a flock of geese. I waited, hoping the track would morph into some cool head-nodding groove with a sax lead, but it didn't. Sigh.

10. "Serpent in the Sky" presents you with lots of guitar styles, some bright and clean, some fuzzy, some like Hawkwind, some like the Ozrics. And the vocals with FX are back in a big way. The overall melody makes be think of an early Black Sabbath tune. This track is all brash guitar. Very little synth presence. It almost sounds out of place for this album.

11. "Blue Pyramid pt 2" similar to track 1, but with those lovely Marten space whispers, too. I really dig the last half of this track that combines excellent guitar work and those spacey whispery vocals. It would have made a nice foundation for an entire track.

I liked most of the album, but thought tracks 6 and 10 felt a little out of place. I also would like to hear more of the brilliant guitar work, sexy sax, ney flute, space whispery vocals, and real percussion from his guest artists. Each time one of these musicians does their thing, I find something pleasing and sublime, and wish there was more of it, not just an embellishment in a track or two.

 Visitor by OHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.48 | 5 ratings

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Visitor
Ohead Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by wiz_d_kidd

4 stars Here's a quick quiz for all you prog-heads out there... What band is synth dominant, has a strong bass & percussion presence, incorporates ney flute accompaniment, uses track names like Alkivial Mode, Utep, Kull, Manu, and the band's name begins with the letter "O"? Ozric Tentacles? No. OHEAD! At least on this album...

Sure, Ozric Tentacles sounds can be found, in small part, throughout OHEAD's albums, but on this album, the rhythms, sounds, and compositions are often indistinguishable from the Ozrics. Some might say that is a bad thing, but I don't necessarily agree because the homage is done so well, and the Ozrics (IMHO) have become somewhat stale with age and deteriorating lineup. The sounds herein are new, fresh, and reflect the Ozric Tentacles at their (earlier) finest, yet they still have the OHEAD flavor.

And better than that, this is the first OHEAD album that really sounds like a full-on band, rather than a multi-instrumentalist with guest musicians for embellishment. In fact, there are some truly sublime parts of this album that, if combined consistently within and across multiple tracks, would yield a really killer album. I'm talking about synth (of course), ney flute, sax, a real drummer, airy vocals, and guest guitarists -- all together, all contributing at the same time as a band, all trading leads. How cool that would be!

This is an easy 4-1/2 stars (unfortunately rounded down to 4 because we don't have halves on PA, and I use my 5 ratings very sparingly).

 Dream State Circus by OHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.92 | 4 ratings

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Dream State Circus
Ohead Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by wiz_d_kidd

4 stars Dreamstate Circus, for me, is the best output by OHEAD so far. There are loads of captivating synth grooves here, perfectly augmented by his guest musicians. Some tracks are well composed, with definite themes running throughout, while others are an assemblage of disparate passages glued somewhat incongruously together -- but in a way that works. Aside from a few passages that reflect the influence or style of other artists, this album sounds the most pure, mature OHEAD to me.

1. "Dreamstate Circus" greets you with howling wolves before hard-driving bass, bright synth sequences, and uptempo percussion (1/8th note hi hat swishes ala early Hawkwind) take over. Spoken, distorted vocals provide contrast the otherwise spacey guitar riffs. Nice driving grooves throughout. Mildly reminiscent of the Ozrics but with a cleaner guitar line.

2. "A Thousand Stars and a Thousand Moons" starts with swirling layers of bright pad sequences tinkling and circulating around a deep, rumbling bass line that give you the feeling of cruising the stars in the backseat of a driver-less interstellar Tesla. But half way through, the piece shifts to a rhythmic beat with almost a Native American feel. I envision smoking peace pipes and dancing. You could almost cut this track in two -- the front and back halves are so very different.

3. "Subliminal Conditioning" provides a mellow, spacey introduction before (dub)stepping into a downtempo movement with some cool (but a little to quiet) sax work. It's a good head-nodding, paw-tapping tune to listen to when your cruising in a subcompact car with sunglass-bespectacled gerbils.

4. "Meadow of Dreams" is a slower tempo piece with a casual shuffle rhythm underlying a beautiful melody reminiscent of classic Maurice Jarre, albeit with some out-of-place (IMHO) robotic vox effects. Midway through, it shifts to some acoustic and electric guitar work that is very much in the style of David Gilmore -- making back half of the piece very (modern) Floydian. Nice.

5. "Dubliminal Conditioning" provides an interesting spoken vocal track, seemingly adapted from a bad sci-fi movie... "Doctor have I ever been alone in this room?". Building synths lead into slowly pulsating rhythms and Tangerine Dream-styled guitar. Turn up the volume and let it envelop you!

6. "Infinite Possibilities" is an attempt at achieving just that... birds, breathy synths, throbbing bass lines, drum tracks, Theremin-like synth slides, bells and chimes, African chants, bright pads, poppy synth sequences, swooshing breathy backgrounds, and maybe even the kitchen sink (but I'm not sure what that sounds like). Points for utilizing the full arsenal of synth motifs, but it remains a bit too wandering and fragmented (for me).

7. "Transition Zone" reminds me a little of the percussion and sequences of SYNTH.NL. It's the kind of piece that would fill the background ambience of a house party. Not too invasive. Not too quiet. But when there's a pause in the conversation, there's definitely some head-nodding, shoulder-swaying to be done without breaking into all out dance. Nice melodic theme carried throughout.

8. "Puzzle Box" has loads of arpeggios and VCO bursts, built up layer by layer, with a 4-note melody repeating over and over. This piece is all about how the layers play against each other, and mess with your head as they fully exploit the L/R separation of your stereo system. Shortest piece on the album, but engrossing.

This is an "excellent addition to any prog rock music collection". Four stars.

 Decade In Space by OHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.09 | 2 ratings

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Decade In Space
Ohead Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by wiz_d_kidd

4 stars The tracks on "Decade in Space" are nicely-conceived, well-structured, synth-based compositions. Mostly void of percussion but not droning, the repetitive rhythms keep the pieces marching along. Not sleepy-time chill, nor intrusively energetic -- but somewhere in between. Most pieces flow seamlessly one to another without silence. Aside from the occasional spoken vox embellishments, or some MIDI choir ohs and ahs, it's all instrumental.

1. "A Partial Memory" begins with a spacey synth backing a female voice repeating "a memory from your subconscious". The track is more about the overall mood it creates, rather than the simple 3-note melody that permeates it.

2. "Seemless Time" is a rework of the track "Timeless Sun" which appears on the album Gaia's Garden. For me, I hear Hawkwind all day long. Spoken male vocals and medium-energy music, if a bit repetitious. A good song for listening to on a lumbering commuter train as you hear the click-clack of the tracks, feel the repetitive sway of the coach, and watch the utility poles strobe past the window.

3. "Dub Bubble" invokes the synth bubbles, flutters, pops and squeaks of the Ozrics. A somewhat haunting, slow sax lead punctuates the underlying rumbling bass line. About half way thru, spoken vocal snippets lead to an Art of Noise kind of shuffle, were it not for the sax lead.

4. "The Still and Silent Universe" is slow and introspective, with brief sequenced flourishes and other synth dramas fading in and out, kind of like drifting in a still & silent universe and occasionally wandering past an interesting nebula or star or planet that grabs your attention. Very chill.

5. "Space Messages" evokes a very industrial, mechanical, electronic feel. More spoken VOX and a bright pad sequence pulsates and echoes between the left & right channels. Gotta listen to this with headphones, man! Overall, somewhat repetitious, begging for you to kick back, chill, and continue that train ride.

6. "Deep Space Travelling" opens with a slow Kraftwerk-like pop sequence with maybe a touch of Art of Noise. Overall the piece is slow, quiet, and meandering, with guitar, Mellotron-ish keyboard, and saxophone trading leads.

7. "Eyes of the Oracle" is a rearrangement of "Oracle Eye" on the Steps Across the Cortex album. A bubbly, murky synth patch flows over top of a strong rhythm section - the first time drums really stood out on the album. Upbeat and rhythmic, but not high energy.

8. "Voyage Sequence II" has a nice synth wind instrument lead with a light percussive backdrop. Stay on the train for this mesmerizing track.

9. "Back to Earth" evokes the sounds of a babbling brook and insect-like buzzes. Slowly ebbing and swelling, not rhythmic, it finishes with melancholic choir ohs and ahs, humming a peaceful introspective melody. Listen to this while getting a massage.

"Decade in Space" was released in 2008 after "Gaia's Garden". A printing error incorrectly shows the release date as 2010 -- a fact that was confirmed by the composer (David Hendry).

Four stars all day long.

 Gaia's Garden by OHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.08 | 3 ratings

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Gaia's Garden
Ohead Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by wiz_d_kidd

4 stars There is a lot to like about this album. It contains many interesting synth-based motifs. There are tracks which hint at a mild version of Ozric Tentacles (1), the low-impact melodies of Larry Fast or Vangelis (3), some decidedly Hawkwind-meets-Ozrics (6), Alvin the Chipmunk does vox (10), a sweet sax lead with synth backing (10), and even some reggae passages thrown in for good measure (8). Electronic "birds" grace Gaia's Garden throughout.

The highlights for me are: "Timeless Sun", with its nod to Hawkwind (and which will re-appear on a differently named track on a later album), "Skies", with its hard driving prog and Ozrics-do-reggae feel, and "Soapbubble" with its sexy, saxy, synthy-ness.

A little bit of re-mixing would help to punch-up the dramatic spots, soften the quieter passages, and highlight the leads -- giving the album a little bit more dynamic feel. Still, a good 3.5 stars, and a good addition to any synth lovers collection.

 Steps Across The Cortex by OHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.09 | 5 ratings

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Steps Across The Cortex
Ohead Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by wiz_d_kidd

4 stars I first ran across David Hendry's work as OHEAD when exploring other people's connections on MySpace. The few samples of music I found there convinced me I had to buy whatever I could lay my hands on. I quickly put in an order for the 5-CD set (everything that was still in print before Resurgent Resonance), and I wasn't sorry. David himself took care of getting it wrapped, posted and shipped, and kept me appraised via email of it's progress.

The earliest CD still available on his website, "Steps Across The Cortex" clocks in a 1 hour 18 minutes for only 6 tracks. It is essentially all instrumental, synth-based music with a guest guitarist. The music overall is upbeat and rhythmic, not droning, like some electronic music can be. Think Ozrics, or Jarre, or even sequence-driven Tangerine Dream. The only "vocals" are spoken.

Some of OHEAD's songs can sound like a compilation of different thoughts craftily joined together into a single track, but the tracks on this album are more composed, unified pieces with a clear theme running throughout each track. Some notes on each track follow:

1. "Twilight Pilot" has a very Tangerine Dream, Klaus Shultze-like sequence, with mild hi-hat and kick percussion. It reminds me a lot of Tangerine Dream's "Ricochet" album at times. Nice pace, and forward-leaning groove.

2. "Otherworldly Journeys" begins and ends with a strong nod to Jarre's "Oxygene", but with a middle that evokes more of the Ozrics, sans Ed Wynne on guitar. Slow and un-intrusive for those times when you want to chill, but not fall asleep.

3. "The Loneliness of the Deep Space Traveler" begins with eerie vox, leading to a bright pad lead of a simple 4-note repeated melody. Spacey, percussion-less, loneliness. About half way through, it transitions to a pounding bass sequence and drum kick with a slowly evolving mellotron-sounding lead -- the kind of mellotron where you hold the keys down 'till the tape runs out. Drumming kicks the piece into a nice groove with a punchy synth lead. Listen to this with headphones while sitting at a sidewalk cafe watching the young hipster crowds stroll the Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris while downing a big 3-Monts Flanders ale.

4. "Oracle Eye" starts with some spooky, haunting sounds, but quickly transitions to a bubbly synth backdrop with drums, and lots of different synth lead patches. Interesting, but a little bit of Ozrics rambling here.

5. "Delphi Ceiphi" opens with vox, synths, rhythms, and simple melodies that remind me of Kraftwerk, with a little bit of a spacey guitar lead ala Klaus Shulze or Tangerine Dream. But about half-way through, everything changes abruptly -- almost like it's a different track (only the overall tempo stayed the same). But just when you thought David drifted off to something new, the reprise happens! Same tune after all. Slick.

6. "Colours Become Shapes", a 25 min opus, begins with troubled voices echoing off the color-splattered walls of a mad house. Imagine the colors leaping off the wall, morphing into flying cars, complete with Jetson exhaust plumes, as they bloop-bloop past your ears. Eventually this all fades into some droning arrhythmic Tangerine Dream for a few minutes, before a voice emerges, citing Huxley's "The Doors of Perception". Bright arpeggiated sequences take over, lending a very Ricochet feel again. I love this part! The driving sequences eventually fade at around the 21 minute mark (which is where I would have preferred the piece to end) and then continues with a reprise of the troubled voices that began the piece.

This album deftly avoids many of the cliche' motifs of synth-driven music (e.g. endless repetition of sequences or endless droning) in favor of nicely interwoven, rhythmic, melodic sequences. Overall, a solid 4 stars.

 Resurgent Resonance by OHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.52 | 3 ratings

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Resurgent Resonance
Ohead Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars Another installment in David Hendry's space rock project OHead. Resurgent Resonance was released five years after the last one, Visitor and it's pretty much in a similar vein, although a bit more calm and more ambient. The overall feel of this album is Porcupine Tree circa The Sky Moves Sideways. A great deal of the more ambient parts of this album reminds me of "Moonloop". "Valley of Veils" bears more than a passing resemblance to Edgar Froese's Epsilon in Malaysian Pale, which I'm sure was totally intentional, as Mr. Hendry was a big fan of Froese/Tangerine Dream, and I'm certain he was paying tribute to Froese as he passed away in 2015. Other parts of the album have a bit of a Berlin School feel to it, while other parts occasionally flirt with heavy metal, particularly "Serpent in the Sky". "Blue Pyramid" and "Blue Pyramid Pt, 2" is close to Pink Floyd and early Porcupine Tree territory, with Gilmour-like guitar and "Moonloop" type of ambience. He gets some guests on this album, most notably John Simms of Clear Blue Sky (yes, the heavy rock band who recorded for Vertigo in the early '70s). The Ozric influence seems less than on previous albums (since Gaia's Garden, at least, as Steps Across the Cortex and Silent Universe is more like a techno/electronica version of the Berlin School sound). If you've enjoyed what Hendry/OHead has been doing since Gaia's Garden, you should give this one a try.
 Visitor by OHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.48 | 5 ratings

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Visitor
Ohead Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Progfan97402

5 stars This was taken from my review over at Discogs, just shortly after I purchased this in 2012, and my opinion of this hadn't budged one bit:

A space rock masterpiece waiting to be discovered! O-Head is a Dave Hendry project, he has several projects of varying styles. Visitor is the latest in a series of O-Head releases, this time he receives more outside help than ever before, even real drums on occasions, and it shows. It sounds like O-Head might end up a real band, like Porcupine Tree. Anyways, this stuff is truly up your alley if you enjoy groups like Ozric Tentacles, Tidal Flood, Quantum Fantay, Hidria Spacefolk, and the likes. "Kull" might fool you into thinking this is going to be symphonic progressive rock, sounding a bit like the '70s French band Pulsar circa The Strands of the Future, with sampled Mellotron choirs (Hendry never used a real Mellotron, apparently a Roland JV 1080 with expansion pack), but with the next cut, "Alluvial Morte" it's in more familiar space rock territory. This piece reminds me of early Porcupine Tree because there are vocals from Al O'Kane who remind me of Steven Wilson. Much of the rest is first rate space rock, with the occasional techno moves, particularly the title track. I also love the presence of the ney flute on a couple of the cuts, courtesy of German-born Maren Lueg, her ney playing reminds me a lot of John Egan's ney playing in the Ozrics. Generally she plays in more traditionally inclined Middle Eastern music ensembles, but I wondered if she's heard Ozric Tentacles, and felt if John can play ney in space rock, so can she. Don't know. "Jagged" is a strangely out of place piece, with metal guitar riffs, then suddenly the piece mellows into spacy psychedelic territory, but then ends with those metal riffs again. Does that mean that Dave Hendry might end up with a metal project? There's even one cut that starts off with that same bass synth that you've heard on the Ozrics' Spirals in Hyperspace and The Floor's Too Far Away (helps that Hendry uses Novation synthesizers like Ed Wynne).

This stuff is begging to be discovered, truly some of the finest space rock I have heard in a long time. If you don't know O-Head, Visitor is a great place to start!

And it's true, everything I meant. It's clearly a highlight of Mr. Hendry's career, as far as I'm concerned.

 Steps Across The Cortex by OHEAD album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.09 | 5 ratings

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Steps Across The Cortex
Ohead Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Progfan97402

4 stars O-Head is the name of electronica and space rock project from Somerset, UK-based David Hendry. This is the same area that brought us Ozric Tentacles, before late 2008 when they decided and move to Colorado. There is definitely two different phases in O-Head career, the early stuff which is electronica (1998 to 2005) and the space rock phase (2008 to present, at least until 2012 when Visitor was released, and since that time nothing new released, so far). Steps Across the Cortex was the final of just two albums in this early electronica phase, and seemed to be the final release on Centaur Discs, although Dave Hendy had since reissued it (with a different cover), so if you're wondering why your copy has a different cover, it's a reissue, as the cover posted here is the Centaur original. Basically this CD has one foot in '90s techno and the other foot in '70s Berlin School electronic music, so this particular release would fit more comfortably in the Progressive Electronic section, than Psychedelic/Space Rock (but it's totally understandable why O-Head is under the Psychedelic/Spacy Rock category, due to the releases starting with Gaia's Garden, which is closer to Ozric territory). So instead of reference to Ozric Tentacles here, Tangerine Dream is a good reference,, perhaps a bit of Jean Michel Jarre without the Eminent 310 and '90s type of techno beats, but unlike real techno it's difficult to dance to this as there's plenty of moments without any beats and sticking to more ambient moments. "Oracle Eye" does point towards the more Ozric-like direction of later releases as this piece bears more than a passing resemblance to "Sploosh!" off Ozrics' 1991 release Strangeitude. It has that same pulsing bass rhythm. Sampled Mellotron is used from time to time, which I really like (at least Dave Hendry's honest that he never used a real Mellotron, as no Mellotron is mentioned in the gear listings on the CD - he probably couldn't afford a real Mellotron or didn't want to hassle with the mechanics of one). The music is stuffed with nice use of digital and analog modeling synths. It's strange that this album was released in 2005, this could have been easily released sometime in the mid 1990s. He even gets some guitar playing from Simon Williams of Mandragora.

This is a nice album to have for those looking for spacy electronic music.

Thanks to rivertree for the artist addition.

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