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Album Review

While the mainstream media was as far away from experimental space rock as it ever has been in 1991, Ozric Tentacles was making fascinating and very original music with few noticing outside of their homegrown "crusty movement." Mind-bogglingly talented and forward-thinking, Ozric Tentacles took this moment in their career to take their folk tendencies, add a heaping dose of weirdness, and connect it all with a dash of the emerging electronica scene to create a wildly experimental yet highly accessible sound that was all their own. One look at "Sploosh!" reveals throbbing synthesizers, continually changing water sound effects, heavily processed virtuoso guitar, hypnotic conga beats, and an amazing array of repetitive percussions that lead to a fascinating journey through their complex compositional skills. Not every track is that dense, but in general Strangeitude works because of their ability to build layer upon layer of sounds that bring the listener to different places. This music takes patience, as many times the subtle changes and winding melodies are hard to keep up with unless full attention is paid. But what makes this so rewarding is the delivery, as guitars dive bomb into the music and result in explosions of instrumental complexities that make perfect sense. What's even more impressive is how easy it is to go back to the record for repeat listens, despite the almost-complete lack of vocals, the time dedicated to the tracks (which are rarely under seven minutes), and the abrasive and experimental nature of their arrangements. Without needless noodling or druggy tautology, Ozric Tentacles unveiled a magnificent space rock effort that won them a contract with Capitol Records and finally brought them to American audiences.


Formed: 1983

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

A band from another time, Ozric Tentacles served as the bridge from '70s cosmic rock to the organic dance and festival culture that came back into fashion during the '90s. Formed in 1983 with a debt to jazz fusion as well as space rock, the band originally included guitarist Ed Wynne, drummer Nick Van Gelder, keyboard player Joie Hinton, bassist Roly Wynne (Ed's brother), and second guitarist Gavin Griffiths (who left the group in 1984). The Ozrics played in clubs around London, meanwhile releasing...
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Strangeitude, Ozric Tentacles
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