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OZRIC TENTACLES

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom


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Ozric Tentacles biography
Founded in Somerset, England in 1983

OZRIC TENTACLES are simply put, legends of the UK underground. Inspired by a myriad of musical genres and musicians from Kraut-rockers KRAAN to guitar maestro Steve VAI, from ethnic Arabic to electronic techno, from HENDRIX to HILLAGE. OZRIC TENTACLES' music is a fusion of sounds, styles and genres that cannot be categorized nor plagiarized, such is its complexity.

The essence of the OZRIC TENTACLES remains essentially a free-willed musical unit oblivious to fashion trends and intent on exploring instrumental experimental music with an obsessive zeal. Formed in the early eighties, the Ozrics began life as a free-form psychedelic vehicle for jamming, attracting a dedicated fan-base at grassroots level by playing at all the free festivals to fans of space-rock, dub, psychedelia, and later on when the festivals had developed into raves, to fans of house and techno. Having then developed their own cottage industry - studio, label, tour bus, dedicated following - the Ozrics eventually achieved top ten album status in the UK with their 1993 album "Jurassic Shift". It was, and still is, an astonishing accomplishment for a band with no celebrity status, and no major record label backing.

To date, the band have released 20 albums, a vast body of music that is both complex and fascinating in its scope and vision. The new live double album, "Pongmasters Ball" was recorded at their sold-out show at London's Shepherds Bush Empire earlier this year. The DVD of this show will be released in September.

See also: Ed WYNNE

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OZRIC TENTACLES discography


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

3.58 | 114 ratings
Erpsongs
1985
3.24 | 93 ratings
Tantric Obstacles
1985
3.71 | 100 ratings
There Is Nothing
1986
3.68 | 92 ratings
Sliding Gliding Worlds
1988
3.50 | 79 ratings
The Bits Between the Bits
1989
3.80 | 206 ratings
Pungent Effulgent
1989
4.03 | 343 ratings
Erpland
1990
3.90 | 280 ratings
Strangeitude
1991
4.12 | 483 ratings
Jurassic Shift
1993
3.93 | 237 ratings
Arborescence
1994
3.69 | 137 ratings
Become The Other
1995
3.94 | 196 ratings
Curious Corn
1997
3.86 | 200 ratings
Waterfall Cities
1999
3.91 | 177 ratings
The Hidden Step
2000
3.51 | 113 ratings
Swirly Termination
2000
3.76 | 184 ratings
Spirals in Hyperspace
2004
3.63 | 138 ratings
The Floor's Too Far Away
2006
3.51 | 186 ratings
The YumYum Tree
2009
3.42 | 130 ratings
Paper Monkeys
2011
3.86 | 231 ratings
Technicians of the Sacred
2015
3.72 | 81 ratings
Space for the Earth
2020
4.29 | 37 ratings
Lotus Unfolding
2023

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

3.61 | 45 ratings
Live Ethereal Cereal
1986
4.35 | 74 ratings
Live Underslunky
1992
4.03 | 36 ratings
Spice Doubt
1998
4.60 | 83 ratings
Live at the Pongmasters Ball
2002
4.27 | 52 ratings
Sunrise Festival
2008
2.00 | 3 ratings
Live At One World Frome Festival 1997
2011
2.00 | 3 ratings
Live at The Academy, Manchester 1992
2011
2.33 | 3 ratings
Live In Oslo
2011
2.00 | 3 ratings
Live In Italy 2010
2011
2.00 | 3 ratings
Live In Milan 2012
2012
2.50 | 2 ratings
Live in Pordenone, Italy 2013
2013

OZRIC TENTACLES Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.23 | 55 ratings
Live at Pongmasters Ball 2002
2002

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

3.66 | 39 ratings
Afterswish
1992
3.99 | 31 ratings
Vitamin Enhanced
1994
1.95 | 19 ratings
Floating Seeds Remixed
1999
3.79 | 14 ratings
There is Nothing / Live Ethereal Cereal
2000
3.73 | 15 ratings
Bits Between The Bits/Sliding Gliding Worlds
2000
3.27 | 14 ratings
Tantric Obstacles/Erpsongs
2000
4.13 | 15 ratings
Pungent Effulgent & Strangeitude
2002
4.08 | 12 ratings
Aborescence/Become The Other
2003
3.83 | 12 ratings
Live Underslunky/Spice Doubt
2004
4.00 | 10 ratings
Curious Corn / Swirly Termination
2004
4.41 | 23 ratings
Erpland / Jurassic Shift
2004
3.70 | 21 ratings
Eternal Wheel (Best of)
2004
4.18 | 11 ratings
Waterfall Cities / Hidden Step*
2005
2.63 | 8 ratings
Pyramidion / Floating Seeds Remixed
2005
4.91 | 3 ratings
Trees of Eternity: 1994-2000
2022
5.00 | 3 ratings
Travelling the Great Circle
2022

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

3.29 | 7 ratings
Sploosh / Live Throbbe
1991
3.00 | 4 ratings
Ozric Tentacles
1993
2.50 | 2 ratings
Wob Glass
1999
3.00 | 4 ratings
Oakum
2000
4.29 | 43 ratings
Pyramidion
2001
2.00 | 2 ratings
Eat Static Remix Ozric Tentacles: Chewier
2004

OZRIC TENTACLES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lotus Unfolding by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.29 | 37 ratings

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Lotus Unfolding
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by alainPP

3 stars OZRIC TENTACLES founded in 1983, kraut, Steve VAI for guitar, TANGERINE DREAM, ethnic arab-techno, psychedelic ambient space rock fusion, experimental, instrumental ambient music that will drive fans of techno and house music, the height of it; they emerged during the Stonehenge Festival to indicate their musical signature, combining cosmic and nature; it's the WYNNE family who orchestrates. Known in 94, it's their 21st album of 2020 that brought me back to them, let's see what the 22nd is about.

"Storm in a Teacup" takes us directly to their space, on the border between jam and experimentation, with layered synths, a vibrant tune reminding me of RUSH just fleetingly; ah Ed's tortured guitar on the flights of TANGERINE DREAM, VAI, it goes on, the dynamite bass and the funky drums; a sound that is dated but still fresh and catchy; I compare it to the more recent QUANTUM FANTAY for this psychedelic enthusiasm; the stereo and fluid finale in which we have the impression of seeing the notes flowing. "Deep Blue Shade" more dub, bass, for a hypnotic journey variegated with blue, well that's in the title; a universe to listen to alone, at night, on headphones or loudly on Hi-Fi to blast your speakers, funky-jazzy at one point; Ed and Silas engage in a friendly musical battle. "Lotus Unfolding" shifts time and space; Saskia's flute offers a musical yoga eyeing the sounds of KITAJIMA, purity of the moment and of the sound; birds come to land before the monolithic synth sets the rhythm on a serene hypnotic waterfall variation looking over the Japanese world.

"Crumplepenny" arrives, much more complex, tinkered and chaotic with dark vibes; it vibrates out of tune, it moves like a doe in spring ready to eat berries to get drunk; the finale with Vangelisian synth choirs restores a little madness while an Andalusian and Yessian acoustic solo sows discord; the modern title which does not only provoke trance, here it is reflection. "Green Incantation" bass ą la 'Subway', flamenco guitar-sitar ą AL DI MEOLA, astral radiation to go even further; the synth gives the different instruments the opportunity to give their all, without being obliged to provide a deluge of sound; the colorful, dancing air, here it goes again on a programmed jig which flows like an effusion of land, astonishing; the piece to consume with a substance without a doubt, I who thought that we no longer needed it. "Burundi Spaceport" ends this journey, a hilarious title for a trance-meditative air if that can exist; calm, lively, organs, hypnotic, bouncy drums, a more complicated title which passes like a letter in the post, finally from the time when the post office ensured its traffic; I'm getting lost but this title risks... losing you by offering a unique tune that makes you think and meditate even more.

OZRIC TENTACLES returns in force with this creative, meditative, hypnotic album; mantra tunes, psychedelic to go far away, that's the goal; captivating sounds which gave the idea to ORESOUND SPACE COLLECTIVE, QUANTUM FANTAY, ASTRAL MAGIC to also explore this very particular musical mode; so it's progressive above all, danceable, jazzy but oh so entertaining to make your whole body vibrate; colorful multi-layered music which does not revolutionize the genre but extends the movement as if time could also go back; repetitive yes, shimmering and imaginative yes, what better way to wander in this musical maelstrom.

 Waterfall Cities by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.86 | 200 ratings

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Waterfall Cities
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars Ed and company close out the 20th Century with the Ozrics' 13th release of cosmic otherworldliness.

1. "Coily" (7:19) a nice driving effort by the bass and drums rhythm section is spoiled by one of my least favorite synth sounds (like a saw) and equally abrasive edge to the guitar sound of choice. Pleasing melodies seem to be far from the band's minds as they just plunge forward with more mathematical "Egyptian" lines and sounds (including John Egan's flute). While I appreciate the effort to try to "re-"create possible ancient musical sounds and melodies, I still think most humans appreciate something they can connect with more than things esoteric. (13/15)

2. "Xingu" (7:27) a much better opening with Ed's mesmerizing heavily-flanged guitar-sounding synth line winning me over from the start. The second line, however, is just a bit too weird, but then the Lebanese synth wash makes up for it. The soft and sustained synth lines over the steady rhythm track and intermittent quick-descending cartoon arpeggio in the second half is okay. (13.125/15) 3. "Waterfall City" (11:03) this is the kind of music that Ozrics is all about: space trekking at hyperspeeds, encountering weird creatures, systems, and phenomenon while cruising around the outer edges of ours and other universes. I love the "calm, peaceful" section in the sixth and seventh minutes as the starship continues to cruise at speeds just under the speed of light--which is then followed by an awesome frog belching Tiesto house rave section before finally closing out. My favorite song on the album. A great OT song! (18.75/20)

4. "Ch'ai?" (5:03) the title's Chinese reference is definitely in order for this song despite the similarity to some of Pat Metheny's music in the sound and rhythmic choices. I actually love the syncopated, stop-and-go nature of this track's flow--minus the funk-bass lines dominating the third minute. Ed's guitar seers in the fourth minute on a level that is both old and new despite the funk-Chinese stuff going on beneath. Then we're back to Charlie Chan soundtrack music for the final 80 seconds. Another top three song for me. (9/10)

5. "Spiralmind" (11:40) despite the presence of plenty of swirling, spiralling synths, this is the song that sounds most representative of an advanced civilization's urban waterfall problem (or blessing). The synth lines sounds a lot like something off of Jurassic Shift, but the bass and acoustic guitar play are more funk and world music oriented. Ed is so in tune with bassist Zia Geelani's extraordinary work here. Work like this makes the band worthy of comparisons to top notch jazz fusion bands like Al Di Meola-era RETURN TO FOREVER. My other top three song. (18.5/20)

6. "Sultana Detrii" (9:17) Just when the grooves of three great space/world songs in a row were starting to lull me into high flattery and lure me into mega-fandom, the band has to remind me that they always reserve one song per album to the praise of Jamaica's #1 export: man! the most boring and homogeneously type-cast musical style of all (yes, even more than Gregorian chant). Luckily, the band moves to Honduran and Gamelan edges to blend into (or even supplant) the Rastafarian tradition enough to win me back. (I am NOT a fan of Reggae music--and even less so of cocky pretenders and usurpers). (17.5/20)

7. "Aura Borealis" (5:40) a Korg Wave Station put to great use! Me likey! Around 2:20 the music goes more solo funk synth as drummer Conrad Prince continues to dance around his cymbals and hi-hat, but then synths start to multiple and branch out, filling the soundscape before taking time for some soloing and, eventually, slowing down and shutting down. Kind of cool! (8.875/10)

Total Time: 57:29

I've never heard how or why Ed Wynne and company found such a draw to Middle Eastern instrumental sounds and melody lines (maybe hanging out too much in falafel and tabouli restaurants) but it often gets a little old. I love the jungle sounds and "other worldly"spacier stuff better.

Their sound is great, their musicianship has never been better (especially from the bass department), and their unique formula has never been tighter. Perhaps that's why this album earns the fourth-highest ratings score of the ten OT albums I've reviewed.

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of jazz-rock fused world space prog. Definitely one of the best OT albums that I've heard: the band is so polished! No wonder the Pongmasters Ball concert less than two years in the future is so revered. These guys are so in sync!

 Erpland by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 1990
4.03 | 343 ratings

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Erpland
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars For many people, this is the album that finally launched Ozrics into prominence and respect--the album in which the band meshed to produce some really fine, engaging compositions all performed with great band cohesion and skill.

1. "Eternal Wheel" (8:20) bouncy synths pan around the field before chunky low-end bass and steady drum beat root this one into an engaging, hair-thrashing groove. Then Ed Wynne's heavily treated bluesy lead guitar enters and takes over (and almost never stops!) Bass and drums sure shine on this--as does the foundational contributions of the airy synths. Fun to listen for the odd percussives and synth flourishes occasionally thrown into the mix. And cool synth- treated & -accompanied flute play near the end. Great opener! (18.25/20)

2. "Toltec Spring" (3:03) very pleasant slow groove that makes you feel as if you are walking through a jungle while paying attention to the amazing array of flora and fauna around and above you. Great melody, too. Gorgeous and mesmerizing! (9.5/10)

3. "Tidal Convergence" (7:14) awesome spacey synths and percussives open this one before funky bass line and full speed drums join in just before the end of the first minute. Melodic shift at the two minute mark signals the entry of Ed Wynne's searing lead guitar (though it stays in the background). After a little bridge/diversion, the original "verse" returns with Ed playing some very cool combinations of whip-strummed treble chords over the top at 2:30. At 4:20, after another round of verse and "chorus" (these are all instrumentals, we must remember), Ed bursts into the lead with some impressive lead guitar over the third verse. It's a highly charged and very engaging & upbeat cosmic jam. (14.25/15)

4. "Sunscape" (4:02) opens with picked acoustic guitar arpeggi that are joined by layers of other instruments, many percussive, before flute and electric guitars take on the lead roles. Reminds a lot of Corrado Rustici's 1970s NOVA project--especially the Vimana album. Unfortunately, this one doesn't quite come together or soar to the heights of the previous three songs. (8.5/10)

5. "Mysticum Arabicola" (9:14) opens with weird samples before letting an Arabian sounding instrument, sound, and multi-instrumental pattern establish itself as the foundational groove. The instrumental array and arrangement is very impressive--as are the lead performances, but the foundational riff/pattern, I think, needs more development, more variation, and more length to it in order for it to not become aggravating/annoying. This song is really more of a showcase for the exotic instruments and the percussionists. (16/20)

6. "Cracker Blocks" (5:40) more exotic percussives with arpeggi of guitar harmonics and steady background synth support (and ChapmanStick-sounding bass notes) for the first two minutes. New subtle instruments join in in the third minute giving the song a "As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls" feel to it. It's a pretty cool, almost Crimsonian weave. Could've used a little more development or shifts and variation but it's a pretty cool, interesting, and immersive song. (8.75/10)

7. "The Throbbe" (6:21) Opens with a MARK ISHAM horn and synth soundtrack feel to it. At 0:57 a tin can hit and drum beat and bass-synth note establish themselves as the baseline groove, signaling the step into the meat of the song. An Arabian male vocalise becomes the lead instrument. Synth player takes over "lead" in the third and fourth minutes while percussionists and Ed's STEVE HILLAGE-like delay/echo guitar snakes around beneath the baseline groove. (8.75/10)

8. "Erpland" (5:32) opens with a POLICE "Synchronicity"-like pace and sound while samplist has fun playing with all of his myriad sounds and noises. In the second minute Ed's straightforward guitar chord playing leads for a bit before spacey synths get some showtime. A second guitar chord chord pattern takes over in the third minute before pace and melody play quickens--electric guitar turning into lead soloist į la Steve HILLAGE. Great, complex section bridges this section at the end of the fourth minute into a new, super fast-paced multi-leveled jam in the fifth minute. Return to the "Synchrocity" formula for the final 30 seconds. (8.5/10)

9. "Valley of a Thousand Thoughts" (6:32) more jungle play--this time African. Love these guys' adventurousness! Once again, they follow the formula of 55-second intro before the foundational groove is established, and, like "Toltec Spring" song, the first three minutes are filled with so many subtleties that you can feel as if you're walking through a jungle, taking in all of the sights and sounds. A few rampages of searing guitar and percussives enter like wild animals. Simply awesome! (9.5/10)

10. "Snakepit" (3:17) a return to an Arabian themed song/sound at a medium pace, but then things amp up and the soundscape fills with many instruments and sound streams as Ed's heavily-treated guitar wails away. Not as engaging melodically as some of the others, but still impressive for its intricate weave. (8.5/10)

11. "Iscence" (4:37) settles into a Jamaican Rasta groove (bass, percussion sounds, and guitar/synth chord play stylings- -though the drums are less succesful at mimicking the Rasta sounds and stylings) before male vocalise and assorted instruments bring in their added flourishes and passages. (8.5/10)

12. "A Gift of Wings" (9:46) very steady base of large percussion ensemble over which amazing lead performances from synths, treated guitars, Arabian stringed and wind instruments. Cool, cool, mesmerizing song! (18.75/20) = 9.375

Total Time: 73:38

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music and a shining example of world-space jam fusion.

 Space for the Earth by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.72 | 81 ratings

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Space for the Earth
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by JazzFusionGuy

4 stars I have been listening to Ozric Tentacles for many, many years. I first heard their 1994 Arborescence release while sampling used CDs in an actual brick and mortar record store. When I heard the track, "There's A Planet Here", through the headphones, I immediately decided that day to go out and purchase a CD player. Yes, Ozric Tentacles had that kind of effect on me. They shifted me into a new realm, so to speak, with their lysergic acid, soaring guitars, bubbling synthesizers, and huge bass grooves -- they reminded me of Steve Hillage's solo releases, Gong and a touch of Hawkwind. Yet the Ozrics were unique in their own tripped out way. Nobody really sounded like them. I own every CD they have released and now in 2020, I sit listening to and enjoying Space For The Earth.

It weighs in at ~ 47 minutes with Ed Wynne, Silas Neptune and Balazs Szende providing the psychedelic groove space as the main musicians. The official release notes state, ". . . features special guest appearances from former members synth player Joie Hinton, drummer Nick Van Gelder, flautist Champignon and percussionist Paul Hankin. Psychedelic voyager Gracerooms also contributes additional synth layers."

So is it worth a streaming listen, an actual download, or perhaps even a purchase? Well, if you are an Ozric Tentacles fan, of course it is a must-own. Yes, it is a fine release, continuing the superb Ozric legacy. I have been listening to this release all day and my only criticism is -- I wish it was 70 minutes long. You can never get enough of great compositions like you find on this release. Stand out tracks were the very upbeat, in-your-face "Popscape" and the guitar-drenched-driven "Harmonic Steps". But by no means are the other five tracks weak. It is all well done. Thank you, Ed Wynne, for continuing to give us such superb music for so many decades! Highly recommended trance grooves within . . .

 Lotus Unfolding by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.29 | 37 ratings

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Lotus Unfolding
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by JazzFusionGuy

4 stars I am a long-time Ozrics fan. First time I heard them was on a CD of their Arboresence release. I was in a brick and mortar store and bought it as a used disc after sampling it via the store's headphone listening station. One problem -- I didn't own a CD player. I went right out later that week and bought a Sony 5-disc player. That's history. So what about Lotus Unfolding?

Seeing as I own everything the Ozrics released and all the boxed sets -- and having recently reviewed Space for Earth -- I can confidently say this release does not disappoint. The label sent the typical online e-press kit page and mp3 files to download. I of course then ordered the CD, which is yet to arrive from the UK.

"Storm in a Teacup" really get things blasting off nicely and is tight. "Deep Blue Shade" has an excellent synth intro with Ed layering on nice guitar full of delay and punch. Typical rocking, trippy Ozrics, speed, funk reggae ska bliss here. Gawd the synths are so nice. Makes me want to go noodle on my own synth rack.

"Lotus Unfolding" starts out very new-agey with flute to guide you and synth bubbling on the edge of hearing. Then the drums and bass kick in and you are slowly pulled in. It takes 5 minutes and 21 seconds before Ed explodes into his signature blazingly warped and distorted Steve Hillage inspired riffs. And from that crescendo, it all goes back into a long outro into simplicity of sound.

"Crumplepenny" is spacey groovefest with Ed riffing on acoustic guitar. At nearly 3 minutes in -- he blasts off into electric guitar hero blissdom and the groove really picks up before he returns to a mean acoustic solo. Very, very Ozrics gold here...

"Green Incantation" features more acoustic guitar early on with bubbling synths and even paced drums. 4.5 minutes in, Ed starts an electric guitar power chord passage to move things along and then the synths take off again with a heavy bass line. At around 6 minute mark Ed goes crazy on electric guitar in his signature style of swirling effects laden majesty. Then things fade out soon.

"Burundi Spaceport" -- the final track features either electric guitar processed to sound acoustic or vice versa. I like that a great deal. Lots of delay, reverb and echo is happening here. Bass, synths and drums are really groovin' and movin' things along. This song reminds more of a jam session that is quite unstructured song-wise but remains tight until it finishes. But aren't so many Ozric songs such engaging sonic journeys and a meander? Nonetheless, any Ozric fan will enjoy Lotus Unfolding.

High recommendations.

 Lotus Unfolding by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.29 | 37 ratings

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Lotus Unfolding
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ozric Tentacles return with Lotus Unfolding, in which the Wynne clan and guests offer up something with a little bit more bite than Space For the Earth and Technicians of the Sacred. There's still the clean, pristine production one has come to expect from recent Ozrics releases, but at the same time there's a forcefulness to the music which has been missing for a while, with opener Storm In a Teacup setting the pace and the rest of the material ably measuring up to the standard set. It's nothing to completely shift the direction of the group's gradual musical evolution, but it is a finely-crafted product of it.
 Space for the Earth by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.72 | 81 ratings

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Space for the Earth
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It's a consequence of Ozric Tentacles' very gradual musical evolution (which never entirely loses sight of their roots, even as the shift to more electronics and a more studio-based, pristine production has taken place) that just as there are some albums which seem to push their sound to new heights, there's other albums which just qualify as "business as usual", whatever that happens to imply at the relevant point in their career.

With the album prior to this, Technicians of the Sacred, being one of those albums which pushes the Ozrics sound a little further, the odds always were that Space For the Earth would turn out to be a "business as usual" album; that it ended up emerging during the COVID pandemic more or less guaranteed it. For Ozrics fans who wanted some new material, it was doubtless good for morale during that difficult time, but the end result is an album which I won't skip past if it comes on shuffle, but I'm unlikely to purposefully put on very regularly.

 Technicians of the Sacred by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.86 | 231 ratings

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Technicians of the Sacred
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Technicians of the Sacred" is truly an apt term for where the Ozric Tentacles sound ends up on this 2015 album. By now the rough about the edges aspects of the group have been left far behind - as much a thing of the past as the free festivals at which they honed their craft - and in its place stands crisp, precise studio intricacy. Once again, this project essentially comes down to the Wynnes plus a few friends, with Ed very much in the creative lead, and once again a fusion of electronic psybient and Gong-influenced space rock is the order of the day, but there's just a little bit extra oomph this time around compared to the immediately preceding albums. Instantly gripping, this is the album to persuade you that the Ozrics were still doing something compelling in the 2010s.
 Lotus Unfolding by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.29 | 37 ratings

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Lotus Unfolding
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

5 stars Ed Wynne has chosen to revive the "Ozric" name--with the help of his family and some friends--for this, their 16th studio album release, and I have to concur with the other early reviewers: this may be one of their best albums ever-- certainly top five!

1. "Storm in a Teacup" (9:37) a song that captures all of the instrumentalists (and programs) contributing equally and fully to the break-neck rush-forward race down the highway that it presents, start to near-finish. Definitely my favorite song on the album. (18.75/20)

2. "Deep Blue Shade" (5:09) another perfectly balanced Ozric soundscape that conjures (and calls) up all of the best of everything this band has ever done and yet is uniquely its own song. The bass, synths, and percussion play really stand out for me. Like the album's opener, this song makes me want to dance! (9/10)

3. "Lotus Unfolding" (8:13) calm, floating music that conjures up dreams or meditations of exotic jungle scenery. Saskia Maxwell's beautiful ethereal flute is the lead instrument for the first three minutes. In the fourth minute drums, bass, and keys kick in, giving the beautiful music some flow, while the flute comes back sounding a bit distant due to its place within the mix. Great bass line from Brandi Wynne and easy going, yet impressive drums from Tim Wallander lead to a heavier section with Ed's electric guitar searing in the lead. With a few gentle stop-and-starts the synths join in as the flute returns to counter the guitars and synth. Beautiful song. My second top three. (14/15)

4. "Crumplepenny" (9:55) quirky-wonky synth percussives woven together open this song for a long and prolonged stop-and-start intro. In the third minute acoustic steel-string guitar announces itself as the lead instrument while the band continues its little game of hide and seek--trying to decide whether or not to congeal into an united force. Finally they do: in an awesome driving motif. Guitars, drums, synth programs are all great but the rapid-fire, single-note bass line is the driving force behind it all. In the middle we enter a star-ceilinged cave of mystical awe in which everyone just stops, drops their jaws, and looks around them for a bit. When the band kicks back in, it's with a totally new motif, vocoder syllables thrown into the soup with everybody else. Great percussion work from Paul Hankin as well as awesome synth lines and acoustic guitar play. The song then comes to a close as it started: with quirk and indecision-- despite the acoustic guitar's attempt at leadership. Very cool and unusual song--even for the Ozrics! My other top three song. (18.25/20)

5. "Green Incantation" (7:38) with its funky bass, stop-and-go and play, and lead acoustic 12-string guitar, this one sounds like something from a STEVE TIBBETTS or DIF JUZ album. Great start. Wonderful engineering while somehow keeping a 1970s rock sound at the foundation despite the typical Ozrics pixie synth play (courtesy of Silas Wynne?). "Normal" electric guitar takes the lead in the seventh and eighth minutes. (13.375/15)

6. "Burundi Spaceport" (5:08) heavily-effected guitar solos over a steadily-rolled bass note as incidental synth and hand percussives play into a texturized background. In the third minute the full band finally comes together-- consolidates into a kind of Calypso foundation over which a distant multi-dimensional being (effected guitar) snorts and flies around as if some kind of elusive Chinese dragon flitting around the river canyon (8.75/10)

Total Time 45:40

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music. Come on everybody, get on board: Welcome back the Ozrics!

 Lotus Unfolding by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.29 | 37 ratings

BUY
Lotus Unfolding
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

5 stars There are few bands that you can trust anything they've ever released. You can't say that about Hawkwind, especially with all those unofficial releases that flooded the marked without the band's knowledge. To be fair they had a few stinker official releases too. But with Ozric Tentacles, you pick a release and you get an idea what they're like. Some are better than others, no one will deny the brilliance of albums like Erpland or Jurassic Shift. Technicians of the Sacred is definitely my favorite of their more recent releases, but it looks like Lotus Unfolding will rival that one. Space for the Earth, while an excellent album, never reached the heights of Technicians of the Sacred, but Lotus Unfolding is nothing short of amazing. It's much more intense and energetic than its predecessor. Ed and Silas are present, but surprisingly so is Brandi, who I thought stayed in the States as Ed moved to Scotland. Perhaps she couldn't find anyone to play with at home in the States, so she returned to the Ozrics. Also included is Paul Hankin, an early Ozric member that I'm so happy to see return (after Strangeitude, he hadn't appeared on an Ozric album until Technicans). Also, we get Tim Wallander of the Swedish band Agusa on drums. If you dislike the electronic side of Ozrics, it's doubtful Lotus Unfolding will change your mind, it is one of their more electronic albums, but then that never bothered me, they often had more electronic-leaning albums as early as Become the Other. "Stormy Teacup" shows very creative use of synths and Ed providing his usual great guitar work, same for "Deep Blue Shade". Then there's the title track, with some nice flute from someone other than John, in this case Saskia Maxwell, a Cornish musician who apparently recorded some stuff with Silas, so no surprise she'd appear on an Ozric release; however, she only appears on two tracks, this one, and "Burundi Spaceport". The title track starts off with a synth pattern similar to Steve Hillage's Rainbow Dome Musick (which seems like a rather obvious album that inspired a lot of the Ozrics' synth sound), but then there's added flute (not too different from what John has done) and drums. It's a bit more calm, but one point Brandi is using the exact same bass line heard on "Oolite Groove" off Curious Corn. Paul Hankin really shines on "Green Incantation" with rather creative use of percussion, it's the percussion that really shines here, but it's still an incredible piece. I have to say that I was very much blown away by this album, certainly a favorite of 2023, a year that's been a favorite of mine for prog in recent years, mostly Norwegian like The Chronicle of Father Robin's The Songs & Tales of Airoea three-LP box set, Lars Fredrik Frųislie's Fire Fortelligner, and Jordsjų's Salighet, making Ozric Tentacle's Lotus Unfolding as the major non-Norwegian album that made it for Album of the Year 2023 for me. So if you're a long-time Ozric fan or just beginning, this is a wonderful album to have.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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