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Ozric Tentacles - Become The Other CD (album) cover


Ozric Tentacles


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.70 | 140 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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