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PSYCHEDELIC/SPACE ROCK

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Psychedelic/Space Rock definition

Psychedelic Progressive Rock

Progressive rock music has its roots in the mid 1960's psychedelic cultural phenomena. During that time the British Invasion and folk-rock bands began to expand the sonic possibilities of their music. These groups slowly started to abandon the concise verse-chorus-verse patterns of rock & roll, and moved towards fluid, free-form oriented song structures. Just as important was the incorporation of elements from Indian and Eastern music. Along them the principles of free-form jazz were included to the psychedelic sound, emphasising spontaneous emotions over calculated and estimated compositional constructions. Experimenting with new studio technology, electronically altering instruments and voices, was a part of this altered approach as well. Acid rock groups like THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE and CREAM stand as descriptive and popular examples of the path from psychedelic sunshine pop towards a more aggressive and distinct rock expression, in particular showcased in their improvised live performances.

The boundary dividing the "Experimental" and "Progressive" classification is a thin and at times contested one for this era. The pioneering psychedelic progressive rock bands to be found at www.progarchives.com will in most cases be found in the Proto-Prog section of the site. Amongst these pioneering outfits are acts like THE BEATLES, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE AND VANILLA FUDGE. Artists such as PINK FLOYD will not be found there though, as their career extended well beyond these first, formative years.

Psychedelic progressive rock music may contain the elements previously described in varying combinations, but the artistic perspective of progressive rock is another factor. Some psychedelic rock bands stuck to the mid 1960's beat rock style in purist form, not partaking in the experimental development of the impressionistic possibilities of psychedelic rock music others spearheaded. The evolution of the psychedelic depth within a progressive context could be seen for instance in the 1960's recordings of ARCADIUM and BABY GRANDMOTHERS. One good example of early 70's Continental European progressive psychedelic rock is the album by AHORA MAZDA, and from Britain JADE WARRIOR's early efforts fuse psychedelic rock and ethnic music. Current artists exploring the vintage 60's/70's style and sound are acts like THE SPACIOUS MINDS and ACID MOTHER'S TEMPLE.

The entire Western pop culture scene was influenced by the psychedelic culture to some extent, including other prog genres such as Prog Folk. In Germany, artists influenced by the British psychedelic movement formed their own genre called KRAUTROCK. The pioneering early 70's bands in this genre represent the progressive acid rock sound of Germany, experimenting with long instrumental improvisations, emphasizing the use of psychedelic effects and weird electronic sounds. Some examples are artists like AMON DÜÜL, ASH RA TEMPEL, CAN, GÄA, NECRONOMICON and YATHA SIDHRA. The PROGRESSIVE ELECTRONIC style emerged from Krautrock. Some of the most influential artists of this genre, such as TANGERINE DREAM and KLAUS SCHULZE, explored a distinct psychedelic musical style at first, which was influential for the development of the "space rock" sound:


Progressive Space Rock

The late 1960's psychedelic rock scene also spawned the birth of the space rock genre. The pioneering acts of this genre assimilated krautrock elements like repetitive hypnotic beats and electronic/ambient soundscapes as they moved away from the common musical and compositional approach. The synthesizer with its bubbling tones and spacey patterns, provoking a gliding flow, is a typical instrument of this genre. Guitars are by preference played with glissando technique and delay/echo effects are heavily used, and elements originating from reggae/dub are fairly common. Several bands combine their live performances with trippy lightshows using random fractals. Albums in this genre will often include at least one long meandering jam based on a main theme, where loops and wavelike fluctuations provides slight variations to this structural foundation.

Stories, images, song titles and album names referring to cosmic themes are fairly common features of the genre. HAWKWIND's live album "Space Ritual" is said to be the ultimate space rock album due to the collaboration with sci-fi author Michael Moorcock. His lyrics are performed by a narrator and underlaid with synth elements. PINK FLOYD can be regarded as pioneers of spacey music during the band's early phase, as exemplified by certain tracks from "The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn" or the stirring live performance of "Careful With That Axe Eugene" from "Ummagumma". GROBSCHNITT provides another fine example of classic space rock with their epic effort "Solar Music". Other bands explored the space rock sound for a limited time period only. GONG released groundbreaking albums in the genre at the start of their career, while British hard rock band UFO released the extraordinary album "Flying - One Hour Space Rock" as their sole contribution to the genre in 1971.

A space rock scene can be found in most countries sporting artists producing music with a western-oriented or influenced sound. Swedish bands are known for a brisk exchange of musicians among each other. The "Strange Daze" festivals from 1997-2000 showcased the American space rock scene. Japan is an inexhaustible reservoir of artists exploring both psychedelic progressivce rock and progressive space rock. Representative examples of the style are bands such as ORESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE with their focus on long grooving improvisations, QUARKSPACE and OZRIC TENTACLES with their stronger emphasis on electronic elements and VESPERO and HIDRIA SPACEFOLK with their inclusion of ethnic-originating musical components. Other groups like ESCAPADE and THE LEGENDARY PINK DOTS represent an avantgarde approach to the genre, whereas SUBARACHNOID SPACE and KINSKI are examples of artists that provide transitions to the post rock genre.


The boundaries of Psychedelic Progressive Rock connected with Stoner Rock and Acid Folk

The 1960's and 70's were a time of liberation, a time of rebellion against rigid rules and strict moral boundaries. In those "freedom of expression" days, an artist would typically herald their liberal attitudes as a mind-expanding trip on stage together with the audience in two ways. One was to realize audio/visually the visual and auditory hallucination as it was, and another was to play their repertoire spiritually and improvisationally under the trip. As for the latter approach, they devoted themselves solely to slow-to-mid tempo playing with low-tuned guitars in a heavy and expansive manner for playing steadily under this twilight condition. In the same time period, this approach to the musical trip was also taken on by some artists especially in the hard rock and heavy metal scene. This new style, drenched in heavy and downer psychedelia, was called "Stoner Rock". The name originates from the expression "stoned", referring to people in altered states of mind while under the influence of psychedelic substances. The Stoner Rock genre was universalized "as a strict musical style only" by the Industrial Grunge Rock genre that gained worldwide popularity in the early 1990s. The common denominator of all the artists mentioned is the representation of their personal cultural and political backgrounds, whilst playing slow-paced depressive songs with heavy guitars and echoic rumbling drums as the dominating features. Most of current outfits claiming to be the so-called Psychedelic Heavy Progressive Rock ones should be much influenced by the traditional Stoner or Grunge Rock as well as the early Psychedelic Progressive Rock. They can be considered as a borderline case between Psychedelic Progressive, Heavy Progressive, and Progressive Metal.

"Acid Folk" can be mentioned as another musical style with hallucinogenic approach. Psych Folk or Psychedelic Folk are other names for this genre, and is vaguely defined as a rock subgenre due to the mixture of folk rock and psychedelic rock. This is a style lacking in strict definitions, and it is contested whether or not the term was actually used at what is deemed the dawn of the genre. It's an undeniable fact that the Acid Folk scene gained some popularity by the efforts of artists in "The Folk Revivalism", but it's important to remember that there were two distinctly different approaches taken by those who helped shape the genre in the mid 1960's. Some folk singers approached a psychedelic rock structure as was popular at that time, while some psychedelic rock outfits tried to absorb and incorporate techniques and elements from folk rock. Both have great importance in the development of Acid Folk, and this may be the reason that strict definitions of the genre cannot be given. In view of the history, it's no exaggeration to claim that TYRANNOSAURUS REX, SYD BARRETT or THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND in UK rock scene seasoned the "traditional" Acid Folk with a more progressive spice. They, as eccentric or heretical rock outfits, accepted and incorporated Middle-Eastern and Oriental elements or instruments, and the result was the foundation for the current progressive Acid Folk movement. And in the Eastern parts of the world, different acid streams was provided by artists such as TAJ MAHAL TRAVELLERS or MAGICAL POWER MAKO who exerted a great influence on younger progressive bands. Their amazing achievements resides in the twilight zone between the Prog Folk and Psychedelic Prog subgenres.


A path that never ends

In addition of the styles described, psychedelic elements can be found in many other genres of progressive rock. The psychedelic cultural explosion had an immense influence on the western popular culture, and traces of it can still be heard also outside of progressive rock circles. The collective techno rave parties carry on the legacy of the audiovisual attack from the PINK FLOYD concerts in 1968, to cite one example. As the psychedelic movement was a large cultural phenomenon, it is difficult (and maybe unnecessary) to fence it to a clear category. Psychedelic progressive rock has been developing towards several different directions over time, and the task of classifying them as distinct genres and sub-genres is an ever ongoing process, often loaded with strong opinions. The psychedelic rock artists which are not considered as progressive in style are not listed in the databse of www.Progarchives.com. This in order to maintain the site's scope to be a progressive rock reference.

The aim of this description is to be a tool of reference for potential and existing fans of the genre, and we hope that this will aid those who read it to a better understanding of the genre as well as to enjoy and discuss the subject at hand both in the forums of the Progarchives website as well as in other places online and offline both.


Psychedelic Rock / Space Rock team April 2010

Space rock definition by Rivertree
The boundaries of psychedelic progressive rock chapter by DamoXt7942
Other text by Eetu Pellonpää
with kind guidance and support by Windhawk



The responsibility for the psych/space, indo/raga, krautrock and prog electronic subgenres is taken by the PSIKE team,
currently consisting of
- Sheavy
- Meltdowner
- siLLy puPPy
- Rivertree



Psychedelic/Space Rock Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Psychedelic/Space Rock | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.62 | 3726 ratings
WISH YOU WERE HERE
Pink Floyd
4.60 | 3921 ratings
DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
Pink Floyd
4.52 | 3337 ratings
ANIMALS
Pink Floyd
4.30 | 2823 ratings
MEDDLE
Pink Floyd
4.21 | 949 ratings
OCEAN
Eloy
4.16 | 287 ratings
LEGACY
Hypnos 69
4.10 | 596 ratings
WARRIOR ON THE EDGE OF TIME
Hawkwind
4.07 | 2677 ratings
THE WALL
Pink Floyd
4.35 | 64 ratings
OBSOLETE
Hedayat, Dashiell
4.11 | 360 ratings
RITUAL
Nemrud
4.09 | 398 ratings
JURASSIC SHIFT
Ozric Tentacles
4.15 | 150 ratings
KINGSTON WALL II
Kingston Wall
4.06 | 512 ratings
A TAB IN THE OCEAN
Nektar
4.14 | 156 ratings
BY THE WATERS OF TOMORROW
Vespero
4.10 | 244 ratings
TOGETHER WE'RE STRANGER
No-Man
4.04 | 558 ratings
DAWN
Eloy
4.16 | 104 ratings
TAKO
Tako
4.14 | 110 ratings
PARALLEL WORLD
Far East Family Band
4.05 | 271 ratings
EVERYONE INTO POSITION
Oceansize
4.02 | 577 ratings
SILENT CRIES AND MIGHTY ECHOES
Eloy

Psychedelic/Space Rock overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Psychedelic/Space Rock experts team

HORIZONTE DE SUCESOS
Bëiruth
PATAPHISICAL FREAK OUT MU!!
Acid Mothers Temple
THE SUITE
Analogy
PSYCHO ERECTUS
Polytoxicomane Philharmonie

Latest Psychedelic/Space Rock Music Reviews


 Paix by ALPES & CATHERINE RIBEIRO album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.11 | 41 ratings

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Paix
Alpes & Catherine Ribeiro Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Chanson, folk, symphonic rock in the vein of early Pink Floyd, a hint at Canterbury and arousing political poetry; this album is a truly original record in the classic progressive rock era. Catherine Ribeiro can sing beautifully, but will often to choose to almost 'primal scream' her way through the most intense moments! The gives the album a real sense of authenticity, which is often missing in smaller prog groups of the seventies.

The two shorter tracks in the beginning of the album are highlights, especially the melodic and fierce symphonic folksong 'Jusqu'' Ce Que la Foce de T'Aimer Me Manque'. The album continues to deliver two long symphonic pieces in which the band combines spacey atmospheres, spoken word (or rather political arousal) and gothic vocals. The power lies in the minimalist approach of the group, which creates a warm symphonic bath. Almost like a cleansing ritual for the mind. The music excites by keeping a few musical themes relevant by constantly raising the stakes. Perhaps Ribeiro & Alpes are so flexible because of the few instruments they use; often you'll only hear an organ, a bass guitar and a hand drum. Perhaps a bit like Robert Wyatt's Rock Bottom.

The recording of this album is good as long as you listen to it in a room with speakers. This is partly because of the sound and partly because of the ritualistic feel of the music. I don't know whom to recommend this music to, but I myself became quite attached to this record and its predecessor 'Ame Debout'.

 Strange Valleys by STARVING DAUGHTERS album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.70 | 4 ratings

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Strange Valleys
Starving Daughters Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

5 stars Funky Canterbury; this year's equivalent to 2017's Suspension by fellow West Coaster Brian Ellis. Chris Tillotson and collaborators have pulled together such a great collection of psychedelic funk prog instrumentals that I find myself asking, "Who are these guys? Why have I never heard of them?" And, of course, I've got to go back into their discography to hear the other albums that led to this masterpiece.

1. "Sunburn" (3:14) the West Coast funk reincarnation of Steve Hillage?! (9.5/10)

2. "Night Stalker" (3:08) great groove with amazing weave of acoustic guitar, electric guzz guitar and synth. The synth solos steal this one away! Best song on the album and in the running for Song of the Year! (10/10)

3. "Raw Deal" (2:59) Amazing slowed-down section beginning at the 2:00 mark. (9.5/10)

4. "Al Pastor" (3:20) prominent and aggressive acoustic guitar strumming distinguishes this song from the rest. (8/10)

5. "Joshua Tree" (1:37) more syncopated, slowed down acoustic guitars form the spine for this one while multiple synths and heavily-treated guitars cover the weave of leads. (8/10)

6. "PCH" (2:10) almost a total ripoff of CHIC/NILE ROGERS/BERNARD EDWARDS/SISTER SLEDGE song "He's The Greatest Dancer" for the first minute before the searing STEVE HILLAGE-like solo guitar takes over. (8.5/10)

7. "Jogging" (3:01) more IBIZA beach-jazz-funk; more disco-like rhythm guitar over which synths and STEVE HILLAGE- like lead guitar jam. (9/10)

8. "Diamonds" (3:08) essentially a continuation of the previous song's rhythm tracks with new/different lead instrument sounds and melodies. Great bass play! (9.5/10)

9. "Los Angeles" (3:31) more of a 70s Black sexploitation soundtrack song on this one, though more laid back. Heavily flanged synth in left channel and fuzzed guitar in right tandem solo. Lead guitar switches through three different sounds, the last of which sounds like Mike OLDFIELD. More great bass play and R&B rhythm guitar. (8.5/10)

10. "Pursuit" (1:55) a hard drivin' funk song with awesome OLDFIELD/HILLAGE-like guitar sound soloing over the top. Synth joins in with chorus, otherwise this one is a showcase for a single solo guitar. (9/10)

11. "Neon Traffic" (3:27) jazzier funk here supports GARY NUMAN-like solo synth sound before guitar enters to take the lead. More HILLAGE reminders here. Nice spacey synth solo at the end of the second minute. (8.5/10)

12. "El Nino" (2:20) like a revisitation to STEVE HILLAGE's "Palm Trees" (without the lyrics). (9.5/10)

13. "Criminal Weekend" (2:34) Another gorgeous song that feels as if it were inspired by STEVE HILLAGE's album Green--and specifically the song "Palm Trees." (10/10)

14. "Sunsets" (3:11) a great, melodic song that sounds as if it should have been a theme song to some 1970's television show. Very catchy bass and synth lines with the ear-candy melody being delivered by the guitars (lead and rhythm). Awesome end to an awesome album. (9/10)

5 stars; a masterpiece and ground-blazing contribution of upbeat, "Canterbury Funk." Happy music! Makes me think of what might have happened had Steve Hillage or Mike Oldfield gone West Coast jazz-funk. Great stuff and HIGHLY recommended to music lovers everywhere.

 The Eclipse by JADE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.00 | 1 ratings

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The Eclipse
Jade Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars I've given up trying to find out much information about these guys, as even though this is their second album, some 19 years after the debut, there seems to be very little about them on the web. Needless to say they don't appear to have a site, and their Facebook page isn't exactly a treasure trove of information. What I do know is that they are a trio, and that their 1998 debut was called 'Jazz Afro Design Electric' (hence Jade I guess). Bernard Brand (bass) and Olivier Freche (guitars) are back for round two, along with new drummer Charlie Davot. Pierre-Alain Goualch provides keyboards on four numbers, Mederic Collignon trumpet on two of these, and Mike Ladd provides vocals on the last song of the set. More of that later.

So, the first six songs are by three different line-ups with two each, a trio, a quartet and then a quintet. What this does is allow the band to expand what they are doing and what they sound like. So much so that when Mederic joins in for the two "Yellow t.o.t.e.m." numbers they arguably have moved away even from fusion and more into the realms of straight jazz. With the changing nature of the band they show that they are in total control and are exploring different musical territories, which is both interesting and intriguing for the listener.

So, those six songs come to just a fraction under 44 minutes in length, and they should have ended the album there. But, no, they felt that it would be good to finish with a rap/hip-hop song that has nothing at all to do with what has gone before. True, it is a rap number with real instruments underneath as opposed to something electronic, but I find it hard to think that those who enjoyed the first six would like this one, whereas those who might be interested in this are unlikely to listen to what has gone before. I'm all for variety and diversity, but this last doesn't work on any level. My rating is as if the last track doesn't exist

 The Birth Of Maat's Galaxy by MAAT LANDER album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.52 | 14 ratings

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The Birth Of Maat's Galaxy
Maat Lander Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by wiz_d_kidd

3 stars This album has a couple of different flavors to it. The first 6 tracks could be characterized with the same basic formula: start out slow with some contemplative guitar work on top of some backing synths, slowly work in the rhythm section, do some improvisation and riffing on the guitar, adorn everything with a few synth bubbles and embellishments, then fade out. It's kind of like the improvisation of Oresund Space Collective playing on top of a Hawkwind rhythm section with the Ozric Tentacles adding synth bubbles and VCO sweeps.

Don't get me wrong, it's not bad. In fact, it's quite nice and I like it a lot. Most of the first 6 tracks have a nice groove that leans forward and carries you along, but the dynamics are somewhat muted and subtle. Track 5 (Aquarius) tries to pick up the energy level with driving percussion and pulsating bass, but the guitar and keyboards don't follow suit.

Track 7 (Lunar Rocket) starts off immediately with a rolling rhythm section, while the band appears to attempt a more conventional verse/chorus structure, rather than the improvisational meandering of the first 6 tracks.

The final three tracks introduce some nice synth sequences. With a relentless percussion track in the background, there's a lot of similarity to Tangerine Dream's "Madrigal Meridian" from their Cyclone album, except with guitar carrying the lead instead of (synth) violin. Track 9 (Coma Berenices) makes a definite melodic statement, with lots of bold, energetic passages. It's the highlight of the album, in my opinion. In track 9 (The Birth of Maat's Galaxy), a sequenced bass line and a catchy melodic motif carry the piece throughout. The addition of a (synth) vibraphone adds a nice contrasting crispness. It give the sense of something evolving (or being born, like Maat's galaxy), but it doesn't really go anywhere. Still a nice piece, though.

Overall, I really like this album. I give it 3-1/2 stars. If some of the early tracks were remixed to bring some of the guitar solos to the foreground and emphasize other synth passages to give the album more dynamics, I could envision adding another star to the rating.

 Annunaki by CHROMIUM HAWK MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2017
2.10 | 2 ratings

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Annunaki
Chromium Hawk Machine Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Of all the key members of the space rock legend HAWKWIND, sax/flute player Nik Turner has the most prolific career. Probably also the most spaced-out, what comes to his music. His solo debut Xitintoday came out in 1978, and between 1993 and 1997 he released a new album each year. As a Finn I might also mention that he has played with the Finnish space rock band Dark Sun. I'm not an acquainted listener of either Hawkwind or Nik Turner. To get more precise and analytical review of this double CD by his latest project (it's a trio with Helios Creed on guitars, bass and vocals, and Jay Tausig on drums, synths and bass) it would take someone who knows his / their output much better than me. And a little more enthusiasm towards psychedelic space rock would surely help too.

106 minutes of music, divided in eight tracks (the longest one being 32 and ½ minutes!). The 15-minute opener 'Cosmic Explosion' has no fancy overtures or prologues, it jumps directly into heavy-rhythm stoner rock. The manic drumming is rather monotonous, except that in the midway there's a brief slow interlude. Bass, guitar and saxophone are being played as if the goal would be making as much noise as possible. On top of that havoc, the vocals on the first half are first electronically manipulated, then sounding like a teethless man with a bad hangover (when not sounding quite a lot like Robert Wyatt, actually). The next track 'Time and Terraforming' has, at first, more electronic approach, with a section of manipulated manic vocals. The instrumental latter half goes on and on. The tension is high-wired, even hostile. You already guessed it: I'm not a fan of this music. There are promising moments in which Turner's sax or flute plays recognizable melodies, and the atmosphere has some strange freak-out magic. However, to me that sensation is always soon killed by the frenziness and heaviness, and each long track feels too long for its own good, giving way to feelings of dead-boring monotony.

The lyrics (by Helios Creed) are printed in the folded leaflet. They are a mess of mythology, symbolism and the vibrating universe. The final track of CD One is surprisingly relatively slow and serene. Now the vocals of Nik Turner sound VERY much like Robert Wyatt (with bad teeth, though). This track has a nice melancholic, spacey atmosphere.

The hour-long CD Two has no big surprises. All in all, this is easily the most psychedelic album I've listened to for a long time. I'd recommend it only to Nik Turner's fans and to those space rock listeners who have no problem digesting the heavy stoner flavour. Please note that my low rating is of course very subjective (more objectively calculated it could be three, as this music is 100% dedicatedly what it is). But nevertheless, I think that perhaps 106 minutes is simply too much...

 Jonathan's Dive by EDGAR'S HAIR album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.82 | 3 ratings

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Jonathan's Dive
Edgar's Hair Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars Adopted from Richard Bach's 'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' novel, here we have a somewhat erratic epic of about 100 minutes playing time. Designed by three musicians from the Netherlands and Czech Republic, featuring support coming from some friends on diverse, partially ethnic instruments furthermore. Although being experienced musicians, I did not know anything about Hans Brussee, Leon van der Leer and Leo Zwaan beforehand. Luckily that's history now. 'Jonathan's Dive' turns out to be an ambitious blend of rather dark mooded psychedelic space rock, kraut and ethno music, overall mixed with diverse vintage electronica stuff and a proper voice palette concerning multiple languages. Appealing! Worth it to be checked out.

The album is available via Hoor'75 Records label as double LP and CD ... and yes, even on music cassette! This is not a quick shot from one weekend filled with jams. Maybe when it comes to the basics, moreover though conceived with patience right down to the last detail due to a vivid exchange via internet. According to the main frame the sound of the sea, seagull samples especially moreover, won't be missed here of course. At the latest the atmospheric Stratosphere empathically will confirm - this is an album where headphones (respectively an isolated private listening area without any distraction) are strongly required in order to reach for a higher level. Brussee is serving a bunch of beautiful soaring guitars. Theremin, moog as well as diverse gongs are responsible for a hallucinogenic feel in between.

Furthermore, not only on The Messenger, the echoing trumpet turns out to be a very spacey instrument. On the other hand we are experiencing some heavy outbursts too. And you see, track titles are not accidentally chosen. I mean Speed Of Life for example, which appears in a really rushed, rather heavy and biassing manner. The album's title track should not be left unnoted, somewhat special for sure. A range from expressive to screaming vocals, contrasted by nice piano licks, would you like to have much dramaturgy? Now coming to my personal favourite, the opener Glitterings Height marks a fantastic space rock tune which gradually and carefully unfolds. Trumpet or didgeridoo? Whatever, this makes my day. A really well-made debut which was issued at the end of the last year.

 Vitamin Enhanced by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1994
3.78 | 19 ratings

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Vitamin Enhanced
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars OZRIC TENTACLES spent the majority of the 80s playing small festivals and venues before they would find their first album 'Pungent Effulgent' on the Dovetail Records label which would lead them into on their way to find themselves as one of the most interesting underground psychedelic space rock bands of the 90s.

During this time the band released six recordings but only on cassette and were only sold at live venues making it quite difficult for anyone who wasn't there at the time to track down. Dovetail solved that problem by releasing all of those homemade albums on CD in the box set compilation VITAMIN ENHANCED in 1994.

As if the originals themselves weren't hard enough to find, the original pressing for VITAMIN ENHANCED was limited to a mere 5000 copies which sold out quickly as the band amassed more popular appeal. Not helping the matter was the fact of legal issues from Kellogg's who complained that the artwork resembled their brand of Corn Flakes packaging.

Because of all that, the plans for a repressing were scrapped but finally in 2013, in honor of the band's 30th anniversary, the Snapper Music label remastered the entire six albums which saw a release in January of 2014. Also included is a generous booklet filled with history and artwork from those early days. The CDs included are wrapped up in cardboard sleeves with their original artwork all snug together in a nice tripped out box.

While most of the early albums aren't exactly essential with only 'Live Essential Cereal' and 'Bits Between The Bits' receiving a four star status from yours truly, this is an impressive packaging design and an excellent way to get all the early albums in a one-stop shop in totally remastered form, thus a 4 star box set which includes mostly 3 star albums but the remastered versions add a little more star heft to my rating.

This box set includes: CD 1: Erpsongs (1984) CD 2: Tantric Obstacles (1985) CD 3: Live Ethereal Cereal (1986) CD 4: There Is Nothing (1987) CD 5: Sliding Gliding Worlds (1988) CD 6: Bits Between the Bits (1989)

 The Bits Between the Bits by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.39 | 63 ratings

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The Bits Between the Bits
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars OZRIC TENTACLES reached the end of the line for the 80s run of their cassette-only / available-only-at-concert days albums by the time they released their last album of this period THE BITS BETWEEN THE BITS (or 'The Purple One'). The band's popularity had started to expand by the end of 1986 which led to more money to buy new equipment. Starting with 'There Is Nothing,' the band began to experiment with more reggae and rock in their sound as well as adding new samples and with the purchase of a then swanky 8-track tape machine, the OZRICS were able to expand their overdubbing and percussive overdrive that sets their sixth album THE BITS BETWEEN THE BITS in another league above what came before. This album is in reality the leftover tracks from the other five cassette releases that came before but because of the extra attention paid to the recording process and the heightened use of percussion and Hawkwind-esque swirling synth action, this one ranks as my favorite of the early years.

Perhaps the material on this one isn't necessarily stronger than what came before. THE BITS has the same hypnotic grooviness and approach of taking layers of synthesized effects and taking you to cloud nine, however the more sophisticated technological advance in production was exactly the ticket to bring OZRIC TENTACLE's sound to a more professional level which is what would get them signed to Dovetail Records where they would soon release their first 'official' album 'Pungeant Effulgent.' What sets this one apart is a more thoughtful use of bass grooves, synthesizer mood building atmospheres and an extremely spacey mixing job. In many cases the sounds sort of 'bleed' together creating an electro-acoustic version of a hallucination. The tracks likewise are more diverse in their approach with a much more varied set of dynamics including more tempo changes, a wider range of timbres with influences from India and other Asian cultures as well as a sense of changing the guitar use up more.

I seem to be in the minority for liking this purple one of the early 'colored ones' the best but THE BITS BETWEEN THE BITS is exactly the type of music i always pictured OZRIC TENTACLES of delivering before i actually heard them. While the previous cassette-only releases were good in creating hypnotic effects to lull the listener into a placid state of bliss, they often sounded cheesy and cheap in the production department which is why out of the earliest albums i find 'Live Ethereal Cereal' to be the best representation of their early days. THE BITS takes all of that frenetic energy found on the live release and marries it to the excellent production opportunities of the studio and elevates it to a totally new level, one where all the influences that led to this point happily perform a matrimonial ceremony and exchange vows which allows everything to mix and meld so smoothly. In addition, the use of samples and odd intros and breaks adds a lot more surprises than the earlier stuff.

Like all of the early cassette-only years, THE BITS BETWEEN THE BITS is most easily found as a part of the entire early years collection in box set form titled 'Vitamin Enhanced' which while released in 1994 has been totally remastered. Although i can't compare this remastered album to the original, i have to say that the one i have is one of my favorite OZRIC albums period because it retains a lot of the early spirit with an enthusiastic flair for newbie technological experimentation.

 Sliding Gliding Worlds by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.52 | 72 ratings

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Sliding Gliding Worlds
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars SLIDING GLIDING WORDS is the fifth release that continued the free-cassette only releases of OZRIC TENTACLES during their 80s run as an up and coming psychedelic rock band of the ages before they would finally release a real first album titled 'Pungent Effulgent' in 1989. While very little sets apart these early releases as they are all a conglomeration of Hawkwind inspired space rock with the prog leanings, elements of jazz-fusion, electronica, dub and ambient sound effects, this one has a more chilled out vibe to it compared to the preceding albums that ranged from 'Erpsongs' to 'There Is Nothing.'

And once again, SLIDING GLIDING WOLRDS presents a fluid range of improvisational sounding pieces that continue the sampling and synthesizer attacks. OZRIC TENTACLES took two years to release this next cassette only hour long experience due to a lineup change where Tom Brooks left his keyboard post and was replaced by Ed Wynne which is possibly why this album sounds more relaxed with less heavy guitar outbursts and more of a cementing of a sound that would emerge in the 90s.

Really not much can be said about SLIDING GLIDING WORLDS that can't be applied to the entire 80s run of cassette-only releases. For the most part they are practically indistinguishable by the time they get to album number five as the beats, tempos and timbres are familiar territory however OZRIC TENTACLES still retains their very own distinct sound that they are slowly refining with more world music influences. As with the other early releases, i personally don't find SLIDING GLIDING WORLDS to be any more essential than any other of the era, however this if you are seeking out the raw early primeval material from the OZRICs then this one is as good as any other.

While the original is practically impossible to come across these days, as with all six of the cassette-only releases SLIDING GLIDING WORLDS was eventually released in 1994 by Dovetail Records on CD and today can be found digitally remastered and available in the 'Vitamin Enhanced' boxed set.

 Secrets About September by EATING.SEATS album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Secrets About September
Eating.Seats Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by wiz_d_kidd

— First review of this album —
4 stars This album certainly has its share of Pink Floyd influences and references. The vocals are reminiscent of early, psychedelic-era Floyd as in, for example, "See Emily Play". At other times however, the vocals remind me of the half-sung, half-spoken style of Deluge Grander on their "August in the Urals" album. Floyd influences aside, the vocal style is very unique, and upon first listening you might be slightly taken aback, as I was. But it grew on me, and I'm fully engaged with it. The electric guitar playing certainly exhibits David Gilmore's style. And there are a few other Floyd influences, noted in my track notes below...

1. Secrets About September. This piece begins with a slow-paced, somewhat foreboding, swirl of spacey synths supporting breathy, non-spoken vocals. The music slowly morphs into a more structured song as percussion, bass and guitar emerge from the swirl, climax in a swell of wordless vocals and backing, then diminish before being suddenly sucked into abrupt nothingness. The guitar work throughout is very Gilmorean.

2. Kelso. A growling space monster leads you into a brief, symphonic-prog sound track, followed by a slowly picked guitar, rambling over the steady strokes of a brushed snare drum rhythm. Airy vocals, reminiscent of early Floyd, emerge in a somewhat odd, unidentifiable musical scale. Midway thru, the tempo picks up with the guitar starting out softly picked, then changing to an edgy, metal-tempered style. A long-sustained and distorted guitar runs over some psychedelic keyboard noodling, before returning to the same slowly picked guitar motif, brushed snare rhythm, and airy vocals that started it off.

3. The Colour of Eternity. This piece begins with swirling synths and the almost spoken vocals in the style of early Deluge Grander. The song structure, still reminiscent of early Floyd replete with Gilmorean guitar, is the most traditional song-like structure so far on the album. And if that weren't enough Floyd references, the piece ends with the "tolling of the iron bell" albeit somewhat distorted.

4. Who Has Got The Last Laugh Now? Wails of trapped psychotic souls, the words in their heads leaking out, greets you at the beginning of this track. An electric guitar with long sustained notes sets an eerie backdrop. Stark brash strums of an electro-acoustic guitar interrupt the psychasm, then mutate into a mildly metallic interlude, before commencing with wonderful mid-tempo, melodic vocals -- perhaps the catchiest vocal melody on the album. Then the ersatz Gilmore takes us out with a wonderful guitar climax at the end.

5. Heppet Et Noru Dest. You're at someone's house. A pleasant upright piano plays in the background, while an unintelligible discussion takes place in the kitchen as someone is washing up the dishes. That is literally it. A reference to Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast, maybe?

6. Who Painted The Sky? This is a nice, rambling, slow-paced number with traditional percussion leading a repetitive guitar arpeggio with backing keys and bass. The inimitable vocals build to a swelling, layered vocal chorus, before being replaced with a picked guitar carrying the melody forward. The backing elements fade, as the picked guitar, becoming more airy and echoey, takes us out.

7. Postman. Think "Money" (the track from "Dark Side of the Moon"). An alarm bell goes off. The snooze button triggers a driving guitar with pulsating bass & percussion. Catchy vocals frame the psychedelic feel. This is a head-nodding, foot-tapping, and sing-along (if I knew the words) kind of piece. Half way thru the rhythm section takes to the foreground, with guitars riffing and vamping in the background. A female voice begins presenting the days news, in German, in a flat, matter-of-fact kind of style typical of a radio newscaster. But as the piece continues, the reader's voice slowly becomes more and more agitated until it becomes downright angry and dramatic, ending with a sigh of relief. It's Monday, after all.

8. Who Painted the Sky? (Reprise). Simple piano chords back a nice prototypical vocal and Gilmorean guitar with no percussion. Then the drums and bass kick in, accompanied by soaring unspoken vocals in the style of Floyd's "The Great Gig in the Sky" -- albeit with less gospel influence. A nice finish.

Plenty of Floyd influences, without sounding copycat-ish or derivative. Eating.Seats have a unique style -- one that grows on you. This is a very good work, and you can download it for free from their website! Essential? Maybe not. But certainly fun, enjoyable, and well executed. I give it 3.5 to 4 stars.

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3 LEAFS United States
35007 Netherlands
3RD EAR EXPERIENCE Multi-National
THE 4 LEVELS OF EXISTENCE Greece
ABUNAI! United States
ACID FLORIANI Russia
ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE Japan
AD'ABSURDUM Switzerland
ADDICTHEAD Switzerland
AGAMEMNON Switzerland
AGUSA Sweden
AHKMED Australia
AHORA MAZDA Netherlands
AKASHA Norway
ALAMEDA 5 Poland
ALASEHIR United States
ALEX DELIVERY United States
ALGARNAS TRADGARD Sweden
ALHAMBRA Italy
ALICE France
ALIEN PLANETSCAPES United States
ALIENTAR United States
ALITHIA Australia
ALMUADEM Portugal
ALPES & CATHERINE RIBEIRO France
ALPHA NORD Germany
ALPHA OMEGA Australia
ALRUNE ROD Denmark
AME SON France
AMONULLUNOMA Ireland
THE AMORPHOUS ANDROGYNOUS United Kingdom
AMPACITY Poland
AMPLIFIER United Kingdom
ANALOGY Italy
ANDROMEDA SPACE RITUAL Poland
ANGEL'IN HEAVY SYRUP Japan
ANNOT RHÜL Norway
ANONIMA SOUND LTD. Italy
ANTA United Kingdom
ANTLERS United States
DADDY ANTOGNA Y LOS DE HELIO Argentina
ANUBIAN LIGHTS United States
APHODYL Germany
APPALACHIAN TRANSLATOR United States
APRYL FOOL Japan
APTEKA Poland
AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR France
AQUANAUT Australia
AQUASERGE France
AQUELARRE Argentina
ARCADIUM United Kingdom
ARCHITECTURAL METAPHOR United States
ARILYN Germany
ARZACHEL United Kingdom
ASSEMBLE HEAD IN SUNBURST SOUND United States
ASTRA United States
ASTRAL SON Netherlands
ASTRALIA Italy
ATAVISM OF TWILIGHT United States
ATAVISMO Spain
ATAXIA United States
ATHENE NOCTUA Italy
ATLETA Spain
ATOMIC SIMAO Ukraine
AURORIS United Kingdom
AVARUUSKORPRAALI PAHA HIRVI Finland
AXE United Kingdom
AYAHUASCA DARK TRIP Multi-National
AYERMANIANA Argentina
BABILS Belgium
BABY GRANDMOTHERS Sweden
BACHDENKEL United Kingdom
BACKSTREET ROMEOS Germany
BAIKAL United States
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BARDO POND United States
BARN OWL United States
BARRETT ELMORE Sweden
BARROWS United States
MASAKI BATOH Japan
BËIRUTH Spain
BEYOND-O-MATIC United States
BIG RED PANDA Portugal
BLACK BOMBAIM Portugal
BLACK LIGHT SECRET United Kingdom
THE BLACK NOODLE PROJECT France
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BLAND BLADEN Sweden
BLIM United Kingdom
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BLUE PHANTOM Italy
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BOSQUES Argentina
CHRISTIAN BOULÉ France
BRAINSTORM Australia
BREMEN Sweden
DAVE BROCK United Kingdom
BROTHERHOOD OF THE MACHINE United Kingdom
BROWN SPIRITS Australia
ARTHUR BROWN'S KINGDOM COME United Kingdom
BUHO ERMITANO Peru
BURNT NOODLE United States
ROBERT CALVERT South Africa
CAMEL United Kingdom
CANTERBURY GLASS United Kingdom
CAPITAL SENTIMENTAL Netherlands
CARLTON MELTON United States
THE CARPET KNIGHTS Sweden
CARRÉ.LADICH.MARCHAL Multi-National
CATHARSIS France
CATS ON THE ROOF Ukraine
CAULDRON Sweden
CAUSA SUI Denmark
CAVE United States
CENTRIC JONES United States
LES CHAMPIGNONS Canada
CHARLIE & ESDOR Sweden
CHICKENCAGE EXPERIENCE Germany
CHILLIWACK Canada
CHIMERA United Kingdom
CHROMA KEY United States
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CIOLKOWSKA Russia
CIRCLE Finland
CIRCUS 2000 Italy
COBALT BLUE Brazil
COCK C'NELL Japan
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COLORSTAR Hungary
COLSTER Italy
COMA STEREO Slovenia
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LA COMPAGNIA DIGITALE Italy
O CORVO MUDO Portugal
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LAS COSAS Argentina
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CRANIUM PIE United Kingdom
CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX United Kingdom
CRONOMAD Mexico
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CUCUMBER FARMER Finland
CUZO Spain
D SOUND Hungary
D'ARCANA United States
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DARXTAR Sweden
DASPUTNIK Finland
DATETENRYU Japan
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DAY OF PHOENIX Denmark
DAY SHIFT United Kingdom
DE CRONOPIOS Argentina
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DEEP SPACE DESTRUCTORS Finland
DEIGEN Japan
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EL DIABLO Mexico
DOMO Spain
THE DOPPELGÄNGERS United States
DOWNLOUDERS Italy
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DRAHK VON TRIP Sweden
DREAM MACHINE United Kingdom
DRUNKEN GUNMEN Australia
DUNGEN Sweden
DUNST Germany
THE EARLIES Multi-National
EARTHLESS United States
EARTHLING SOCIETY United Kingdom
EASTERN SYNDROME Russia
EATING.SEATS Italy
ECHOLOT Switzerland
ECSTATIC VISION United States
EDEN ROSE France
EDGAR'S HAIR Netherlands
EGO ON THE ROCKS Germany
THE EGOCENTRICS Romania
EGYPTIAN KINGS Portugal
EIDETIC SEEING United States
EKOS Mexico
EKTROVERDE Finland
ELECTRIC EYE Norway
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ELEVATOR Canada
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ELMER GANTRY'S VELVET OPERA United Kingdom
ELOY Germany
AN EMERALD CITY Multi-National
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EQUATIONS Portugal
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ETER-K Peru
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ETHIVA Spain
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EYE United States
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FAR OUT Japan
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MICK FARREN United Kingdom
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FIRST BAND FROM OUTER SPACE Sweden
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FJODOR Croatia
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GROUP 1850 Netherlands
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HANADENSHA Japan
HANDLINGNOISE Finland
HANDWRIST Portugal
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HAUNTED LEATHER United States
HAWKWIND United Kingdom
A HEADFULL OF MONSTERS United Kingdom
THE HEADS United Kingdom
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HELLBENDER United States
HEPTAGRAM Bulgaria
HERBCRAFT United States
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HIDRIA SPACEFOLK Finland
HIGH DEPENDENCY UNIT New Zealand
HILLS Sweden
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HOLY RIVER FAMILY BAND Sweden
HONDURAS LIBREGRUPO Argentina
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HOUSE OF NOT Canada
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ID United States
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IKIHEVONEN Finland
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IMANISSIMO Indonesia
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INSIDER Italy
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INTERNATIONAL HARVESTER Sweden
THE INVISIBLE BAND! United Kingdom
INVISIBLE OPERA COMPANY OF TIBET (BRAZIL) Brazil
ION QUEST United States
LA IRA DE DIOS Peru
IT'S NOT NIGHT: IT'S SPACE United States
IVORY Germany
IXTHULUH Austria
J. A. CAESAR Japan
JACKO WACKO Peru
JACKS Japan
ANDY JACKSON United Kingdom
JADE France
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THE JELLY JAM United States
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JUKE France
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SELIM LEMOUCHI AND HIS ENEMIES Netherlands
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MESS Estonia
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SPACE DEBRIS Germany
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ST 37 United States
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TEMPLES Finland
TERMINAL LOVERS United States
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THE FORMLESS FORM United States
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