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** We will happily publish more than one review of each album.....donít let that stop you **

The Odyssey - Setting Forth
1969
Trip

Track List:
Angel Dust, Sally, Churchyard, You’re Not There, Got To Feel It, Tied By A Rope, Society’s Child, Denky’s Bookie, St. Elmo’s Fire, Come Back.

****Submit a review?****
 
 

Ohm - Raw ohm

2001

Mizmaze/Snowdonia

Track list:

Melodica festival May'98 Austin, Ohm practice summer '97 Ft worth, Club nowhere 11-29-97 Ft Worth, Club nowhere 11-29-97 Ft worth, The Argo 6-26-97 Denton.

Review:

Band members are Doug Ferguson who formed a short lived band in the 80's called "Frankie Teardrop" and is the instigator and founder of "Ohm" who plays the Keyboards and switches, Nathan Brown formerly of "Carrier Wave" and provides bass and drums, Mason Weisz on guitar and Chris Forrest on Clarinet.
The album headnotes stated that "the record you have just purchased may very well change the way that you perceive music for ever". Mmmmm, a very bold statement thinks I. So trying to ignore this I objectively stuck it on the CD player in the car on my way to work, away from any disturbances, cranked up the volume and waited to accept whatever was thrown at me.
I was greeted with what I can only describe as Avante-garde, freeform, improvised sounds which also had a kind of disturbingly fluid balance about it and by track two and ten miles on my car was fast becoming an intergalactic pod as I was engulfed in spaced out noise tearing at my mind to accept that this was going to change my view of music in some way.
Personally I haven't heard anything like this to compare it to, so to that end they have achieved their statement. Track 4 and fifty miles on (or high) I had to park up because the screeching strangeness threatened what is left of my sanity and other road users around me. Track 5 bought me back down again with an unusual ambience. overall a fine album with fine musicians making good use of the clarinet as well as various electronics, drums, guitar and mellotron.
 It is hard to put this album into a musical niche but then again I don't think it should be. That said it fits well into our psychedelic based site in that it is music that messes with your head. You might well find that at first you can't appreciate it but believe me the more you play it the better it gets. For me, a very adventurous and enjoyable 160 mile round trip. If you do buy it then join me somewhere lost in space and smiling.

Reviewed by Sir Eel - November 2001

Please contact Giampiero at Mizmaze Records in Italy for more information on Ohm. mizmaze@tiscalinet.it

 

Open Mind - Same

1969

Antar

Track List :

Dear louise, Try another day, I feel the same too, My mind cries, Canít you see, Thor the thunder god, Magic potion, Horses and chariots, Before my time, Free as the breeze, Girl iím so alone, Soul and my will, Falling again, Cast a spell.

Review:

Yep, this is a re-release of the hard to find Philips original but do we care.........?
Excuse me was this really recorded in 1969?? One of the best and most powerful examples of British Freakbeat is represented here in itís entirety, if you are lucky (rich) enough to have the Philips original then you have in your hands a very rare piece of vinyl indeed, but this reissue is plenty good enough if you just want to experience the sound of The Open Mind.
The London 4 piece deliver the awesome, terryfying Magic Potion which is quite frankly years ahead of its time without compromise. It also stands head and shoulders above anything else on this LP, with Cast A Spell coming in at a close 2nd. The power of this track will truly blow you away and it is worth buying just for this track, that drumming will follow you to your grave...............

Reviewed by pOoTer

 

Orange Can - Entrance High Rise

1999

Regal

Track List:

High Rise, Butterfly, Come on Easies, The Big Storm, Wheels Rolling, Young Man, Feed 'Em Up, Wheels Movin', Beat The Sky, Diamonds, Softly, Wasted Days, Monkey Magic, We Love You.

Review:

As a fan of psychedelic music I am always on the look out for new psychedelic heroes. It is often a difficult task to find musicians that can produce classic melodic psych like that made between 1967-1968. But if you are willing to search long enough you will find it out there. ORANGE CAN have recorded just such an album. Fantastic, swirling, heady music for those who like it just a little blissed-out or even fried (vocals on "Beat The Sky"!).
The entire album was recorded at home on a Roland VS880(VX) by the Aslett brothers (guitar, vocals, and organ).  The comparisons are difficult to make but they remind me a little of  Spiritualized, Pink Floyd, and Caravan, (or a very druggy Stone Roses). I have been listening to this album non-stop since I bought it and I keep hearing something new within the "home recording" (is that a mobile phone in "Diamonds"?). My personal favourite tunes are "The Big Storm" (love that bass!), and "Young Man". But the whole album works from start to finish and
it is difficult to stop at just a couple tracks.
If you are a fan of sixties psych I highly recommend you buy this album as you will be surprised at just how well psychedelia has aged, matured and gracefully walked into the
contemporary world of rock.

Reviewed by Flaming Groovy - January 2002

Entrance High Rise

 

Orange Can - Engine House EP

2000

Regal

Track List:

In The Bag, Down Where She Lies (Reprise), Bother Boots, I Don't
Mind, Light It Up.

Review:

Imagine what Pink Floyd would sound like if they recorded with The Beta Band, Ian Brown, and Spiritualized. That is a brief, but certainly by no means, complete summary of the sound of Orange Can. Influences aside, they are a unique, original, and beautiful band for the 21st century. Anyone who has Orange Can's first album, "Entrance High Rise", will love this superb
follow-up EP. The 5 tracks were recorded at The Engine House more or less during that first album's session, and continues on nicely where "We Love You" left off (the closing track on the 1st CD). This EP also includes a nice early version of "Down where she lays", which The Can have extensively reworked on their second album, "Home Burns". Orange Can create very moody, dreamy, atmospheric, contemporary psychedelic music.
They are without a doubt one of the most interesting bands in Britain today. If you haven't
heard of them by now, I urge you to buy all three albums, lock yourself away for a week, and listen to them repeatedly. Only then will you realise what that empty void was in your life before you discovered this band. Music to enjoy and cherish for years to come.

Reviewed by Flaming Groovy - January 2002

 

Orange Can - Home Burns

2001

Regal

Track List:

In Your Shoes, Crybaby, Down Where She Lays, Shoot The Morning Sun,
Ransom, Mornin' Son, Lou, Only 15, Bullets, Exit, A Player

Review:

Relax your tired mind. Welcome to the sound of Orange Can. Officially London's best kept secret. "Home Burns" is one of those special albums that comes along all too rarely and says so much in such a short space of time. Although still producing glorious psychedelic melodies as on their first psych masterpiece, "Entrance High Rise" and their follow-up EP, "The Engine
House", this latest offering showcases the unique sounds of Orange Can.
"Home Burns" is a very dreamy affair which is deliciously fuzzy and full of swirling golden melodies that dance in your head for days afterwards. When first played, it sounded like The Beta Band meet "Animals" era Floyd to me. Upon repeated listens I started to hear such influences as The Sopwith Camel ("Miraculous..." era), Grateful Dead, Caravan, Nick Drake, and even what appears to be a homage to fellow Brit, John Mayall on the track "Crybaby".
However, they are a unique band who have carved out their own voice amongst their influences. My favourite tracks on the album are "Shoot the Morning Sun" for its beautiful Nick Drake like guitar, and "Lou/Only 15" for its superb lyrics/vocals and its fuzzed out guitar solo. For this reviewer, "Home Burns" is definitely one of the great albums of 2001 (along with "Dilate" by Bardo Pond!) and Orange Can receive my vote as best band in
Britain (along with Mogwai!).
Do yourself a favour and check em' out!

Reviewed by Flaming Groovy - January 2002

Home Burns

 
 
The Oroonies - Of Hoof and Horn
1992
Demi Monde DMLP 1027 (UK)

Track List:
Girls of Alexandria, Pump happy, The white owl and the silence, The notes of Pan, Wdjawiek babka, Dust devils, Walk out of it Hogan.
Review:
Those who play own the awareness that this music is intended for few chosen, and goodness knows why someone granted us the privilege of sharing it. You can have a hunch that it was recorded at a magical and mysterious place that has nothing to do with the contemporary civilization, as if this maniple of druids and nymphs deliberately isolated themselves from the rest of the world, to try to contact the ancestral forces that rule the planet, attaining their purpose.
From here one cannot come back!


Submitted by Roberto (The Wrong Way) - August 2003
Of Hoof and Horn
 

The Other Half - The Other Half

1968

Acta 38004

Track List:

Introduction, Feathered Fish, Flight Of The Dragon Lady, Wonderful Day, I Need You, Oz Lee Eaves Drop, Bad Day, Morning Fire, What Can I Do For You, First Half, The Other Half.

Review:

This is a real rare gem fresh from sunny California circa 1968.  Only Randy Holden is credited on the album, so what's the scoop? 
Well, we are all familiar with Mr Randy Holden from his days in Blue Cheer and then later as a solo artist. What some people may not know is Mr Holden had a couple of real cool bands before he joined the Cheer. The first being an early LA band called The Sons of Adam who released a handful of superb singles in '66-67 and were favourites on the Ballroom scene.  Towards the end of '67 they evolved into New Wing, released another single then the members began jumping ship and started forming new bands (or joining old ones e.g. drummer Michael Stuart joined Love).
When Holden left The Sons of Adam and formed The Other Half, he took with him his trademark psychedelic guitar playing and found a groovy singer who sounds like a punky Arthur Lee.  However, it is Holden's signature guitar playing that is written all over this baby.  This album nails you in the face right from the beginning. We are treated to the sound of cheering girls before Holden's guitar ploughs into "Feathered Fish" (which is in fact an Arthur Lee composition that Holden used to perform with The Sons of Adam) an awesome beat full of aggression before the singer raps, " I see colours make them go in my ears, I hear music I'm refusing to cheer...I..Donít...Know! There...I...Go!" All the while Holdenís guitar wails and screams, tambourines are beaten and shaken, the drums and bass roll on and on. Wow! But it doesn't stop there.
If you thought that was good, we are then quickly rolling right into "Flight of The Dragon Lady" which again, is a hard rocker full of killer Holden riffs and groovy harmonica.  The singer shrieks and begs the question "Tell me baby where were you last night?" while Randy pummels his guitar nearly to death.  Next up is "Wonderful Day" the albums quietest, but possibly most melancholic moment.  This song is essentially an early version of Blue Cheer's superb "Peace of Mind".  Great melodic guitar and more superb vocals.  The album maintains this high standard throughout most of its tracks (Side One possibly being the better of the two).  It is, however, the superb 9-minute finale of "What Can I Do For You?" where Holden really delivers the goods. His guitar wails, shrieks, cries, belches and vomits fuzz, distortion and feedback while the singer improvises his way through with short bursts of bluesy howls.  Man this baby rocks.

I highly recommend this album to all fans of 1960's Californian acid guitar bands.

Reviewed by BlueMagoo - August 2002

 

The Outsiders - Outsiders

1967

Pseudonym CD CDP1021DD (1994)

Track List:

Story 16, Tears are falling from my eyes, Ain't gonna miss you, I wish I could, Afraid of the dark, Filthy rich, I would love you, Don't you cry, Won't you listen, If you don't treat me right.

Review:

Before the brilliant 'CQ' (Seek You) concept album, the Outsiders from Holland released their self titled half-live, half-studio debut album in 1967 on the Relax Label - Ironically for the content of the LP (angst ridden fuzz and 250mph freakbeat classics) Relax was a Classical Music Label!. The first 6 tracks were recorded live in front of a raucous crowd on 17/02/1967 at a TV studio in Breda. This is the killer side of this album for me, the live Outsiders were faster and fuzzier than any other band at the time - amazingly fast r'n'b songs mixed with mellower numbers which showed off the great balance between Ron Splinter's speed riffing and Wally Tax's brilliant vocals. The live material is played with energy to a small intimate audience who scream so loud its often like listening to a live Beatles bootleg. Full marks to Pseudonym for sound quality throughout is amazingly clear.
 
The second half of the original LP is made up of yet more Pretty Things-esque original (Tax/Splinter) material. Ranging from the melodic and soulful 'Teach Me To Forget You' through to the gritty freakbeat of 'If You Donít Treat Me Right' (surely one of the loudest fuzz basslines ever recorded back then?!?!).
 
As a bonus, we are lucky enough to get 6 bonus tracks from the original Relax singles they put out in Holland...again, not a bad track, the b-sides are all amazingly good originals, especially 'Touch' which was at the time quite sensitively handled due to its 'sexual' lyrics.
 
All in all, this CD is another Outsiders must have, I could not find a bad track on any of the Pseudonym Outsiders reissues! It's just a shame we can no longer officially buy the Holland only EMI CD compilation 'Original Hit Recordings' where we find many more of the Relax singles - one listen of 'Im only Trying to Prove to Myself that I'm Not Like Everybody Else' will knock you off your feet!

 
Reviewed by James the Bin - October 2001

Outsiders

 

The Outsiders - C.Q

1994

PSEUDONYM RECORDS PSEUD 1010

Track List :

 

Review:

The first thing to say is that this is one of the greatest albums in the history of music. It should be required listening for everybody who likes rock. This album deserves to be much better known. It is a very psychedelic album,  in fact it is one of the best psychedelic albums ever made. The combination of power, aggression and beauty is still quite stunning after more than thirty years.
Before buying the album I had never heard anything by the Outsiders but was attracted by their legendary cult status and my growing interest in Dutch psychedelic and progressive music of the sixties and seventies. There are many great bands from the Netherlands who are far too little known internationally.
The Outsiders had a short career and this 1968 album was their last. You can almost understand why this was the band's last album. There is a peaking of power and feeling here, which would be next to impossible to repeat. Every track is a masterpiece.
I bought the album a few weeks ago at Fame in Amsterdam and have been listening to it continuously ever since. If you like psychedelia I would be very surprised if you did not like this album. This is not flower power psychedelia and nor is there anything whimsical about this music, that is very hard edged. It is difficult to compare to other bands but the Pretty Things would possibly be the most similar music or the era.

The outsiders should have been huge internationally. The combination of energy and aggression foreshadows punk. It is not everyone's cup of tea. It's probably one of those love or hate albums. If you like psychedelia but you also love the power of the MC5 and Teenage Head era Flamin Groovies I think you will like this album very much. The musicians are superb. Ronnie splinter should be a world renowned name for the things he was doing with the guitar in 1968. Wally Tax, who wrote the lyrics, is one of the best singers I have heard. The drummer and bass player are both very powerful.
This album should have the same legendary status as 'After Bathing at Baxters', 'Electric Ladyland' and other world renowned classics from 1968.

Another comparison I would make is with Love's 'Forever Changes'. Both albums inhabit a unique and idiosyncratic world of genius. Indeed more than inhabiting, they shape their own particular worlds. To me the world of CQ is a much darker world then Arthur lee's.

There isn't a weak song on the album. Particular highlights for me are 'Zsarrahh', 'Happyville',  'Man on a dune', 'the Bear' and 'Doctor'. The guitar of Ronnie Splinter on the latter track is awesomely powerful and innovative. The last song 'Prison song' is possibly the darkest end to an
album I know and an amazing psychodrama in itself. As soon as I had heard this album for the first time I had to play it all again straight away. I have heard thousand of albums and this is one of the few that has compelled an immediate replay.

The 2001 reissue is a piece of art in itself. Pseudonym have obviously put great effort into the packaging and sleeve notes and you will get great pleasure from this, if you choose to buy the disc. Pseudonym are my favourite reissue label, having done an equally beautiful job with the
reissue of Group 1850s Agemo's Trip to mother earth a few years ago.
Buy this album as soon as you can. You will not regret it.
I hope I have made you want to hear this album. If as a result of reading this review you are tempted to buy it please e-mail me and let me know what you think. It would be nice to know I influenced somebody to listen to the Outsiders.

Reviewed By James Holbrook

 

Oxford Circle - Foolish Woman  7"

1966

World United 1002

Track List :

Foolish woman, Mind destruction

****Submit a review?****

 

Ozric Tentacles - Erspongs

1984-85

Track List:

 

****Submit a review?****

Erspongs         Erspongs (Inner)

 

Ozric Tentacles - Tantric Obstacles

1984-85

Track List:

Og-Ha-Be, Shards Of Ice, Sniffing Dog, Music To Gargle At, Ethereal Cereal, Atmosphear, Ullular Gate, Tentacles Of Erpmind, Trees Of Eternity, Mescalito, Oddhamshaw Style, Become The Otter, Gnuthlia, Sorry Style, The Aum Shuffle.

****Submit a review?****

Tantric Obstacles

 

Ozric Tentacles - Sploosh (12Ē)

1991

Dovetail DOVE ST3

Track List :

Sploosh!, Live Throbbe

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Ozric Tentacles - Strangeitude

1991

Dovetail DOVE LP3

Track List :

White rhino tea, Sploosh!, Saucers, Strangeitude, Bizarre bazaar, Space between your ears.

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Strangeitude

 

Ozric Tentacles - Erpland

1990

Dovetail DOVELP1

Track List :

Eternal wheel, Toltec spring, Tidal convergance, Sunscape, Mysticum arabicola, Cracker blocks, Snakepit, Iscence, A gift of wings, The throbbe, Erpland, Valley of a thousand thoughts.

****Submit a review?****

Erpland

 

Ozric Tentacles - Live Underslunky
1992
Dovetail Dove CD 5
Track Listing:
Dots Thots, Og-Ha-Be, Erpland, White Rhino Tea, Bizarre Bazaar, Sunscape, Erpsongs, Snake Pit, Kick Muck, O-I, Ayurvedic.
Review:
The first order of business, especially for those relatively new to Ozric Tentacles like me, is to set forth what studio releases these songs come from. This should help alot in your further explorations of their earlier work. From 1985's Tantric Obstacles, there is "Og-Ha-Be." From 1985's Erpsongs, we have "Dots Thots" and "Erpsongs." From 1989's Pungent Effulgent, we have "Kick Muck," "O-I"
and "Ayurvedic." From 1990's Erpland come "Erpland," "Sunscape" and "Snake Pit." And ending with 1991's Strangeitude, we have "White Rhino Tea" and "Bizarre Bazaar."

This live CD is excellent both in sound quality and the music itself, with all the Ozric's classic styles well represented here. Good examples of their ultra-spacey synthesizer soundscapes are found here in the beginning of "Dots Thots" and the song "Erpsongs" as a whole. You'll also hear plenty of their hard rocking tendencies, complete with mindbending and soaring guitar and synthesizer solos and solid rhythm section. On the ethnic side, the most commonly encountered influence here is Middle Eastern; that you will find in some solos in songs not otherwise ethnic (e.g. "Dots Thots," "Og-Ha-Be" and "White Rhino Tea") and in other songs which are almost entirely ethnic (e.g. "Bizarre Bazaar" and "Snake Pit."). Another ethnic influence heard here albeit less often is reggae, which can be heard in parts of "Og-Ha-Be" and "Ayurvedic." Perhaps the most fascinating thing they do here (and still do to this day) is combine Middle Eastern elements and reggae into the same song (examples here "Og-Ha-Be" and "Ayurvedic").

Finally, an attempt to answer the ultimate question: Is there a difference between older and newer Ozrics? If this live set is truly representative of older Ozrics, something I don't yet personally know being a relative newcomer to Tentacleland, I'd say there is very little difference although there is some. I think maybe older Ozrics feels a little looser and more spontaneous than present-day material and there is greater variety in synthesizer sounds. In the older material, I don't hear any of the tinny-rapidly-repeat-the-same-note-continuously kind of electronica/techno sounds which they currently experiment with occasionally.
Guitar-wise, I can't tell any real difference at all.

Live Underslunky definitely belongs in your Ozrics collection!
Highest recommendation!

Reviewed by Acid Joe - November 2002

 
 

Ozric Tentacles - Jurassic Shift

1993

Dovetail

Track List :

Sunhair. Stretchy. Feng Shui. Half Light InThillai. Jurassic Shift. Pteranodon. Train Oasis. Vita Voom

****Submit a review?****

 

Ozric Tentacles - Swirly Termination
2000
Snapper Music 128212
Track list:

Steep, Space Out, Pyoing, Far Dreaming, Waldorfdub, Kick 98, Yoy Mandala.

Review:
England's Ozric Tentacles plays an intense, exotic and very intricate form of instrumental-only space rock. Much of their work tends to be more jam-oriented, although they can be a bit techno-y or symphonic at times. At least in recent years, their music generally has an unmistakable eastern flavor to it--not Indian, as is normally the case with eastern-tinged psych, but Egyptian! This makes them quite unique. The musicianship in this band also is top notch with the guitar and bubbling/watery synths
very fluid and freeform and the bass/drum combination very powerful and tight.

Swirly Termination avoids any techno experiments in favor of purer space jamming. I have read elsewhere that this has been the approach of their older material too. This CD opens with the short but oh so good "Steep," which contains repeating lines of acoustic guitar electronically altered so
each note has an intoxicating "boing"-like afterglow to it, as well as powerful bass and searing electric guitar soloing. Next is "Space Out" which is a sprawling synthesizer freakout which pushes stereo separation to the limit.
"Pyoing" is a fast-paced intense workout for the drummer accompanied by chaotic synths, electronically altered flute and guitar. "Far Dreaming" is a slower-faced majestic sounding track where incredible guitar and synths capture that Middle Eastern feeling in an awesome way; if you ever find
yourself floating down the Nile, THIS is what you want to hear. "Waldorfdub" is a fine example of reggae-meets-the-cosmos kind of song that I hear is very much in the classic Ozric's style. "Kick 98," a remake of "Kick Muck" (from 1989's Pungent Effulgent), is fast-paced hard rocker.

This CD closes with the 12-minute showstopper "Yoy Mandala," which starts with a reggae synth and baseline and quickly morphs into a Middle Eastern cranial feast. There's a slow part near the middle where the combination of synth drones and Middle Eastern voices makes you feel like your standing at the foot of The Great Pyramid at sunset when suddenly ancient Egyptian gods start talking to you. An incredible moment and you'll have no doubt when you reach it. From there, the song builds into an increasingly frenzied jam toward the end.

In summary, Swirly Termination is very strong throughout with "Steep," "Far Dreaming" and "Yoy Mandala" being particularly spectacular. If you are new to buying Ozric Tentacles like I am, I can hardly think of a better place to start.

Being fairly new to Ozric Tentacles, I have heard virtually nothing from the older releases posted on this page and I hope my review here will embolden visitors here who own these older CD's to step forward and share their impressions of them with the rest of us. As for the Ozric's newer
releases, if you go to the alphabetical review listings at the following
web address, http://www.aural-innovations.com/main/main.html ,
you will find reviews for the following CD's:

Waterfall Cities (1999)
Swirly Termination (2000)
The Hidden Step (2000)
Pyramidion (2001)


Reviewed by Acid Joe - August 2002
 
 
Ozric Tentacles -LIVE At The Pongmaster's Ball
2002
Snapper Music SMAD854
Track List (Disc One):
Oddentity, Erpland, Oakum, Myriapod, It's A Hup Ho World, Pixel Dream, The Domes of G'Bal, Pyramidion.
Track List (Disc Two):
Saucers, Dissolution, Sploosh, Ta Khut, Kick Muck, The Throbbe.
Review:
This March 29, 2002 concert, recorded at Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, provides the best possible summary of the Ozrics' career that a newcomer to this band can ever hope to have.
All their styles are present and accounted for, whether it's floating, multi-layered synthesizer soundscapes, searing guitar workouts, ethnic pieces (including Asian, Middle Eastern and reggae elements) and techno/trance influences.

Before I go any further, newbies need a run-down of what studio albums these songs come from. From 1989's Pungent Effulgent, we have "The Domes of G'Bal," "Dissolution" and "Kick Muck." "Erpland" and "The Throbbe" originate from 1990's Erpland. From 1991's Strangeitude, come "Saucers"and
"Sploosh." "It's A Hup Ho World" is from Afterswish (1992), which is a compilation of material spanning from 1984 to 1992.
"Myriapod" originates from 1994's Aboressence. "Oddentity" comes from Curious Corn (1997) whereas "Pixel Dream" and "Ta Khut" are found on 2000's The Hidden Step. "Pyramidion" is the title track and only new song from Pyramidion (2001) with the remainder of that CD being live material from The Hidden Step and 1999's Waterfall Cities. Finally, "Oakum" is their newest song which, apart from some airplay on the Internet, has been a single available only to those who join the Ozrics'
website's fanclub.

For those of you who are highly familiar with much of Ozric Tentacles' work and already own many of their studio albums, you'll have to excuse what for you would be unnecessarily detailed descriptions of what the songs on this live album sound like. I'm writing this primarily for those who are just now discovering the Ozrics and would be unfamiliar with many of these songs in any form.

The opening track on this concert CD, "Oddentity," goes through a baffling number of changes, starting with a synth "whoosh," then Asian chime-like sounds, next a fast-paced guitar jam, all an intro apparently, and then it switches to a reggae beat with space rock guitar and synths layered on top
for the song itself. "Erpland" follows as a classic up-tempo rocker and is usually part of their live sets.

The pace changes with the very spacey and somewhat techno-y "Oakum" although later on it gets pretty
intense too. It's with "Oakum" that this concert CD changes from merely good to truly incredible. "Myriapod" follows as the Ozrics' closest proximation, at least on this album, to heavy metal and this song has an extended jam at the end not part of the studio version.

Next follow three of my favorites from this CD (I have others as well), namely "It's A Hup Ho World," "Pixel Dream" and "The Domes of G'Bal." "It's A Hup Ho World," in its smoothness and dreaminess, is a sharp contrast from the fiery "Myriapod" preceding it and involves a repeating
hypnotic synth pattern which provides the foundation for guitar, others synths and flute built on top. "Pixel Dream" is one of the two great standout tracks from The Hidden Step and opens with a low-pitched synth drone and really nice druggy guitar. Lots of interesting electronics in this song and the middle actually gets funky--a feature which is kind of out of character for Ozric Tentacles but nonetheless excellent.
Once you hear this song, you'll understand why any live set they do is incomplete without it. "The Domes Of G'Bal" has lush, ultra-spacey synths and echoey guitar built on top of a reggae beat; this is one of many examples throughout their work of combining otherwise incompatible music styles into the same song yet they manage to make it work in a way that no one else can. "Pyramidion" is another recent techno-y song greatly enhanced by live performance and has a nice reggae-styled jam at the end.

"Saucers," which starts Disc Two, is a strongly Middle Eastern sounding, largely acoustic song with accompanying synths although some electric guitar comes in later. "Dissolution," at least this version (never have heard the studio version), begins with smooth, floating synths and is followed by very fast and intricate guitar, plentiful guitar echo effects, more synths of course and an echoey although unintelligible narration floating through much of the song. "Dissolution" is quite powerful and is perhaps the most in-your-face "space rock" song in this set. Next is "Sploosh," the Ozrics' signature rave song and it's appropriately named because the opening synth sounds immediately remind you of
noises made by a sloshing body of water. This version of "Sploosh" has additional sound effects and searing guitar and synth passages not a part of the studio version.

The remaining three songs are an encore. "Ta Khut" consists of very eerie, Middle Eastern sounding flute with electronics in the background. "Kick Muck" is a hard rocker and an audience favorite. "The Throbbe," a spectacular show-closer, has a smooth synth opening with eastern-sounding flute soon following, and then a low-pitched pulsating synth pattern sets in--"Daah, da-da-da, Daah" etc.--which repeats through most of the song and provides the framework for intense guitar and keyboard passages. On the first listen, I found "The Throbbe" the single most overwhelming song
on the entire album.

They ought to pass a law requiring all pOoTerLaNd visitors who like Ozric Tentacles to see them at least once in their lifetimes if at all possible. This 5-cube CD belongs in your collection and, if you
live in an area out of range of where the Ozrics tour, getting this CD is absolutely essential!

Reviewed by Acid Joe - January 2002

 
 

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