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Ozric Tentacles - Space for the Earth CD (album) cover


Ozric Tentacles


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.74 | 86 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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 ADÃ?'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.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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