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Ozric Tentacles - Swirly Termination CD (album) cover


Ozric Tentacles

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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3 stars There is a shroud of mystery surrounding OZRIC TENTACLES' @Swirly [email protected] album. From the research I conducted I found that the group considered this as an incomplete recording and an obligatory release to satisfy their commitment to the label. Another oddity was that it was listed in the massive AMG database without a review. The group does not list the CD on their site either. Its too bad they aren't recognizing this fine achievement of instrumental progressive space rock. There are also no credits listed on the CD inner sleeve. I found a listing of past and present group members on the group's site, so I am assuming it was the present members that performed on this year 2000 release. Well, I hope this is the lineup that played on this album. I am sure someone will let me know if its incorrect. I had no way of finding out through the usual methods.

Regardless of the inconsistencies and incompleteness of this release in other areas besides the music itself, I found it to be a fantastic listening experience that left me wanting to hear more of the same. Ed Wynne plays a key role with his authoritarian guitar playing pushing Seaweed (keyboards), John Egan (flute), Zee Geelani (bass), and RAD (drums) into instrumental warp drive. Some Middle Eastern influences are detected from time to time along with whirling dervish keyboard playing and fat power chords that make this group a difficult one to classify. They border on techno at times then jump right back to the prog sound very quickly. That's what keeps everything interesting while listening to OZRIC TENTACLES. I look forward to hearing more.

Report this review (#34182)
Posted Monday, January 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars swirly, maybe, is the best ozric's effort ever. the most progressive, for sure. the last track "yoy mandala" is , for a lot of ozric fanatics (like me), the ultimate ozric masterpiece:it's a fanttastic dream. the rest of the album is excellent and really, i don't understand ed wynne 's opinion about this release olpa
Report this review (#34183)
Posted Sunday, May 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Yoy Mandala! there is nothing more i can say..... those who know the track, knows the higher than that there is no more where to reach! it is clearly the pick of their album and eventhough it's hard to say for an ozric maniac like my self it's the best peice of art, magic, that they ever did. i've heard lot's of music in my life but i never heard a divine sound like that, cosmic sound, the sound of tbe creation of the world, creation of life- true- uplifting. taking me every time to some different place on earth, than like a commet, flying with the speed of light they take me away from the earth arround the sollar system and beyond, out of the galaxy into deep space- intergalactic travel emarging and becoming one with god if you like, allah, buddah, nature, the universe! keep on with what you do, you add lot's of unseen colors to the world, up the ozric!!!
Report this review (#70431)
Posted Friday, February 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Terminate the Swirly mess from your collection

Some have written that this album was unfinished and abandoned by the group as they changed labels and the old label chose to release this against the band's wishes. I do not know if that's true but the album sure sounds unfinished and I would understand why the band would not be happy. It starts out pretty well but eventually succumbs to aimless fluff-psych wandering that was such a snore. At times the material will remind you very much of Djam Karet, Kingston Wall, or even Pulsar, but there's a difference. On the best albums by those groups (Devouring/KW2/Strands respectively) you will find great, highly inspired composition and dynamic interplay between musicians. You will feel that beyond the spacey sounds and far-out ambience there is great purpose that the band is working towards. No such lofty goals on "Swirly" where it often sounds like lost, emotionless musical flailing. It really does sound like there were outlines for some potentially good tracks here that were simply not brought to fruition, leaving much of the album less than compelling.

"Steep" starts out very cool with a fast-picked acoustic with some effect on it and awesome swampy bass. Half way through Ed tears into an electric solo with a feisty raw sound and you get excited that this is going to be great. Swirling synth sounds abound as they do all over this album, thus it appears aptly titled. Probably the best track. "Space Out" is a boatload of ambient noises and trippy keyboards creating some worthy headphone moments I suppose. About half way through the band has joined but does not take over, leaving the track as a sonic freak-out for the most part. "Pyoing" starts with a quick drum beat and a drubbing bass swimming through all manner of electronic gadgetry sounds. After the synths explore some very high pitched registers there is a scorching electric guitar solo that turns to rhythmic jamming. Quiet space soundscapes fill out the last minute or so. "Far Dreaming" features some soaring psych guitar leads in the early going over the murky bass and a fairly modest beat, the consistent keys/noises shimmering all around making things trippy. Some keys enter with an exotic sounding solo then things drop off into quiet with just light cymbals and bass. This goes on with nothing much else happening and it is around this time that you realize you're heard everything there is to hear, but the album is only half over. Perhaps an EP of the first 3-4 tracks would have been a better release. "Waldorfdub" continues what is becoming sort of a pointless exercise of rather inconsequential music. A repeating bass line with drums over which we get lots of gimmicky sound effects.pretty poor stuff here..repetitive with little of serious value. (Perhaps good stuff if you've got some good chemicals to go with it-I read a lad on another site say it was a great album to get high to, so perhaps that's my problem...too sober.) The drumming is very good but it's not enough to save it. "Kick 98" is very reminiscent of a Kingston Wall track with Petri-like guitars and muscular bass with the space noises of KW-3, but again, repetitive and luke warm stuff. "Yoy Mandala" begins in interesting fashion as "space-reggae" with a reggae rhythm and the Ozric space keys. Some wordless vocals fill in the background space. Two minutes in we get a guitar solo as the keys get louder. Things then drift into various exercises of the same rhythms with noises as I fight my hardest to stay awake and attentive. It gets more intense near the end as it works to pull you back in but by this point you really don't care anymore.

In its best moments "Swirly Termination" will feature a blast of great electric guitar or some interesting sound effect. But this is a mess of an album that will test your willingness to endure extended bouts of repetitive material with very little payoff. It is not the Ozric album to start with and should be consumed by the dedicated fan exclusively. The fabulous cover art is the best thing about this release. The Ozrics are a legendary band and I feel bad going two stars but I cannot call this "good." 2 ˝. Fair with some good parts.

Report this review (#167819)
Posted Thursday, April 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars I was not expecting too much from this OT album, since the last one of the kind The Bits Between The Bits was quite nightmarish. This album is actually a collection of left-over from 92 through 99.

I was ready for the worse, and to my great surprise, the album opens on one of the finest songs from the band: Steep. The guitar work is excellent even heavy and it is combined with pleasant sounds out of another world.

The band remains in good, but no adventurous, territories with a classic and spacey OT track: Space Out (well named). This album is of course not a revolutionary one, but most of the songs featured are doing their job; even if Pyoing is probably not the best of all: at least it features a solid beat and, again some great work from Ed Wynne on the guitar.

There is still one useless and reggae-ish type of song, but this is a great tradition of the band. You might well press the next key to avoid some pitiful minutes (six or so). Fortunately, it is almost forgotten with upbeat Kick 98, which is really kicking your ass. Excellent bass play and percussion is huge as well. It is a very dynamic track; one of the best of this Swirly Termination.

The closing track starts again on these reggae rhythms and I thought: gosh, here we go again for almost twelve minutes! Fortunately, these beats won't last for long and Yoy Mandela finally belongs to the top three of this album. The second half is particularly well polished. Again, the upbeat mood is combined with a superb guitar solo and some fine and heavy psychedelia.

I am rather pleased with this OT album. Not a masterpiece of course but a good album. Three stars.

Report this review (#186741)
Posted Thursday, October 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars To paraphrase an old Japanese proverb: You are a fool if you do not own an Ozric Tentacles album...but you are a worse fool if you own two.

Well, more fool me is all I can say, and I'm sure a lot of likeminded fans would agree. It's true that most Ozric albums are more or less interchangeable, each one shuffling the same combination of vigorous cosmic ragas and throbbing space-dub soundscapes. But the formula allows plenty of room for invention, and after almost a quarter-century (and counting) it can still be a fresh and invigorating experience.

The final Ozric album of the last Millennium is fairly representative, despite the lingering cloud of mystery around it (see previous reviews for details). Was the album really a haphazard compilation of incomplete older recordings, released without the band's permission? The Snapper Music CD lists no production credits, and includes no details about the musicians or instrumentation (the line-up listed on its page here at Prog Archives is strictly guesswork). The band apparently never promoted the finished product.

Too bad, because it contains some quintessential space jams, beginning with the punchy opener "Steep" (one of the band's strongest and yet most economical rockers) and continuing to the somewhat meandering but often compelling 12-minute cosmic improv "Voy Mandala". Other highlights include the pulse-pounding adrenalin rush of "Kick 98" (a dynamic update of "Kick Muck", from their 1990 debut LP "Pungent Effulgent"), and what may be the ultimate Ozric Tentacles trip, the aptly titled "Space Out": a minor classic of Eastern influenced guitar and synth psychedelia.

The album is only 45-minutes long, a bit stingy for digital music. And the lack of any official endorsement reduces it to a dwarf star in the larger Ozric universe. But if nothing else it's certainly a worthwhile primer for newcomers, and a windfall to all those dedicated fools who wouldn't ever think to stop at a single album.

Report this review (#208762)
Posted Wednesday, March 25, 2009 | Review Permalink

I'm not a true fan of Psychedelic Prog, of course. It's difficult to me to write a powerful review about Ozric Tentacles and Swirly Termination. But these words are established by my mind, not from my heart.

In this Swirly Termination I heard (in vaious percentages) echoes of Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, German Electronic Prog (without Kraut flavor) e Reggae. All is filtrate and manipulated by Ozric Tentacles for to create a absolute Psychedelic music in a way of these days.

But if you search in my words the essence of Swirly Termination probably yes, you have found what I knew of this disc. But also I found a great production and a great mastery of the use of instruments, with simple and very exciting melodies. But I do not have a preferred song: all the songs please me at the same leval.

Good work, Ozric Tentacles, very Prog but also very Rock.

Report this review (#239894)
Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Swirley termination is an album which is like the bits between the bits[a later bits if you like] of recordings between 1992-1999[or 98],the title of this album was chosen by the record label not the band and the sleeve to,anyway to the album itself it starts with "steep"which is one of my favorite ozric tracks to be honest,a track recorded by ed on his ownback in 1992 after having got his new 24 track studio,which starts with an acoustic guitar sound driving the track and a nice bass to a promising start and at the 1.30 minute mark it gets going really brilliant as eds electric guitar sounds really good and exciting and just plays right till the end with the bass and acoustic sound keep going along a excellent start,"space out"[another version on spice doubt called spice doubt] starts really nice and chilled and mellow and is really beautiful i think and at the 2 minute mark a soft symbol playing comes in and a bit more in everything else comes in and the drumming soft like comes in and the bass to this is really promising this reminds me of like been under water as its got that sound to it like at 4.40 minute mark it gets going more and is such a enjoyment to hear with the drumming and electronics sounding really great and the synths sounding great aswell at around 5.40 mark after awhile its gets back to how it started sounding mellow and chilled and then it ends a really great track really great to hear,"pyoing"originally the end part of yog-bar-og of arborescence album and features previous drummer merv and synth player joie,starts with drumming and electronics and synths and the drumming and electronics and bass really driving the track hear especially the drums and bass a bit in,at the 2 minute mark eds electric guitar sounds really great here though raw sounding in the mix and sounds great,then after a bit it gets mellow and then it ends,"far dreaming"starts with drumming and ed playing his elctric guitar sounding really great sound and electronics flute like and the guitar really sounds great here i love it a kind of sound that relaxes you,and the synth really great to and the drums carrying on with great effect everything about this track is greatat the 3.20 mark about it gets mellow and chilled with trippy sounds coming in chilled to and nice toand then it ends alovely great track,"waldorfdub"starts with drums and synths the drums carrying on with some nice dubby bass lines from zia and this really is a track with bass and drums and synth in background for a little bit,then more synth sounds come out and the track just keeps going with zias bass line carrying on a nice bass line to learn and nice drum playing to at the 5.10 mark it gets going more and pity the track didnt get like this abit while back after a minute or 2 thats all there is to this track really but its a great sound so dont be put of,"kick 98"is kick muck from pungent effulgent album which ed remixed after hearing some results of the floating seeds remix album,and sounds great to a great remix a great bit of drums and bass and synths everything here is great,the guitar playing sounds really good here i love it and everything else the ending to this a really great and fast like,"yoy mandala"starts dubby with the keyboards[synth]really sounding dubby here and great to hear to and the drums go together really well to the synths here sounding dreamy like and then eds guitar comes in and really sounds great again,at the 3.00 mark a vocal like sound comes in which sounds eastern,at the 4.20 mark it quitens down and like a eastern mans vocal comes in with just the synths going and few taps fro the symbol with the synth in bit soundoing like birds,then the drumming comes in lightly and this sounds absolutely great with eds guitar coming inat around the 7 minute mark it makes the drums come in again and everything else just keeps on getting better i love this track,at the 9.40 mark it gets going faster and sounds magic it is such a great joy to here how this track gets going so addictive,it ends and i dont understand how people in other reviews dont rate this highly as it is underated,though it is like unreleased and remixed stuff like,i love this and i think there are alot more ozrics fans whoed love this as much as the other albums,this deserves more people liking this album as it to me is a really good enjoyment,though ive heard ed doesnt like this recording like probably cause it was an album that the record compant wanted to make them fill an last album by the ozrics,i give this 4 stars would be 5 but doesnt seem ed will play anything of this so a 4.
Report this review (#253178)
Posted Friday, November 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars It's interesting to me how ratings and reviews of Swirly Termination are all over the map. There seem to be about as many 2 star ratings as 5 star ratings. I wonder, how big a part being a OT fan you are over all, plays in the final assessment of the album. OT is one of my favorite bands, certainly my favorite psych/space band. Like My Dying Bride, another band accused of making soundalike albums, I always find their sound so interesting and enjoyable. I think Swirly Termination has some excellent material, so I'd give it 3 1/2 stars, rounded to 4 because we have to.

The fact that the band was at the very least ambivalent about Swirly Termination being released to the public has been discussed at length in other reviews. I'll just say that the quality of the album is inconsistent. I think the second half is stronger than the first. My favorite tracks are probably "Pyoing", "Kick 98", and the beloved "Voy Mandala". Over all, the album does meander a little too often for my tastes, and the "swirly" synthesizers are too present.

However, Swirly Termination is a good representation of Ozric Tentacles' unique combination of elements: psychedelic synthesizers, complex (sometimes reggae-like) rhythms, Middle Eastern sounds, and Ed Wynne's incisive guitar playing. The relatively short playing time of Swirly Termination might suggest that it would be a good introduction for the uninitiated. I think this is a very good overall representation. I might pick Pyrmadion first, because I think the songs are just better written. However, there's a lot of good-to-excellent music to be found on Swirly Termination for prog fans and newbies.

Report this review (#1247144)
Posted Thursday, August 14, 2014 | Review Permalink

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