Ozric Tentacles: Spirals in Hyperspace

Spirals in HyperspaceOzric Tentacles, driven by Ed Wynn's boundless creativity, have returned with a new studio release. Spirals in Hyperspace, like its predecessors, is a psychedelic exploration through aural landscapes that should be packed up on the next space mission into the cosmos so that our alien neighbors will know we're ready to communicate.

A great sounding, nine track release, Spirals will sound warmly familiar to its fans' ears. The preponderance of programming may be a touch more noticeable in these tracks but the bubbles, plinking, and wooshing that are the band's signature are still there. Attempts to describe the Ozric sound remain an inexact science because these songs are journeys which take the listener to different places every time. There are no lyrics to tether the listener to this reality. Songs end up nowhere near where they started--just strap on some earphones and away you go.

The Ozric lineup may have shifted over their 20 (!) year journey but Ed Wynn is its heart. Ed is credited with writing at least half of the compositions on the new album, contributing guitar, keyboards, and "mind colours." Other contributors Schoo, Seaweed, John, Zia and Merv (who reappears on CD after a 10 year absense) fill the remaining space with an assortment of extraterrestrial weirdness. So what's new? Songs like "Plasmoid" and "Psychic Chasm" deliver drum 'n' bass flavors that will undoubtedly go over well in their rave-like live shows. Speaking of which, the boys are currently touring across their UK homeland and will be making their way stateside during the summer of '04.

Of the eight Ozric albums I've listened to, this one stands up to the best of them. Even with the embrace of more technology, the album retains an organic sound absent from other space rock monsters of yesteryear. It grooves, hiccups, dances, and flits with mellow bass lines, flutes, tribal drums, and eastern rythyms. The trippy song titles don't lie. Chew on this platter at your breakfast table and you'll surely start your day with a smile.

Haig Assadourian
JamBase | Colorado
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[Published on: 5/6/04]

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