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To attempt to review the Ozrics is like trying explain an aural rainbow to a deaf man. I approach cautiously for I hold this group on a pinnacle of splendored respect. As the day I had to review John McLaughlin and The Mahavishnu Orchestra’s remastered re-releases, so too I am timid to tread such hallowed grounds of instrumental magic and total ear pleasure.
Here I go . . . beware my bias.
For many years I held off on buying a CD player, happy with my awesome turntable and high-end cassette deck – then I sampled an Ozric Tentacles CD. I was riveted in place, delighted, enthralled, blissed out, spinal chill factor was off the scale – and that was just the first 5 minutes into the CD! I of course snapped that puppy up and wondered why I had never heard of these guys. I knew of about every eclectic, proggy, fusion, art rock, off-beat psychedelic, thing ever recorded and here in my hands was a perfect blending of all that and kickin’ jammin’ out the wazoo!
Well after many years of buying and collecting Ozric goodies, I had completely given up on their former label ever sending any promos as they never replied to many requests. Oh well. And then Ed and the guys got wise and formed Stretchy Records to do it the way they wanted it done, if you catch my drift. And in 2001, promos arrived with even a T-shirt I proudly wear.
What do these guys sound like? Imagine endless swirling jams of synths vs. guitars with wild bass lines meshed with drumming of sheer madness. Did I mention mesmer-flute? You may feel reggae has crashed into spacerock and then progressive rock spaced out fusion riffs explode! These instrumental masterpieces flow track to track like wizards battling across chasms of rainbow-hued rocks, dripping with myriads of tone and modal colorings. Their music takes you through ethnic flavors and distant lands’ rituals of song and scales eclectic. The Ozrics will mystify and confuse many normal-neuroned listeners but for those of us ready to trip out and get off in the songs of absolute coolness with some beatz you can actually dance to – I heartily recommend, totally adore this band’s groove and daring flights into 100% strange beautiful. “Go Ed, go! You are one wild dude!”
Personnel: (As stated informally in liner notes) Ed is guitars, synths, tendril manipulations . . . Seaweed is synths, whoopz, fizzles . . . Zia is basses and snapiness . . . John is flutes & twirlings . . . Rad is drum pounding
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.