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OZRIC TENTACLES

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United Kingdom


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Ozric Tentacles biography
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. OZRIC TENTACLES are: Ed WYNNE (guitar, keyboards) - John EGAN (flute, vocals) - PAZZA (bass) - SEAWEED(keyboards) - SCHOO (drums, percussion).

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Technicians Of The Sacred ( 2 CD Set )Technicians Of The Sacred ( 2 CD Set )
MADFISH 2017
Audio CD$31.77
$32.27 (used)
The Yum Yum TreeThe Yum Yum Tree
MADFISH 2017
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Paper MonkeysPaper Monkeys
MADFISH 2017
Audio CD$7.15
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The Floor's Too Far AwayThe Floor's Too Far Away
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Vitamin Enhanced ( 6 CD Box Set )Vitamin Enhanced ( 6 CD Box Set )
Import
MADFISH 2014
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Jurassic Shift ( 2 Cd Set )Jurassic Shift ( 2 Cd Set )
Import
MADFISH 2017
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Erpland ( 2 LP )Erpland ( 2 LP )
MADFISH 2017
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Import
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Pungent Effulgent ( 2 LP SET )Pungent Effulgent ( 2 LP SET )
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OZRIC TENTACLES PICTURE ARTICLE ORIGINAL ADVERT 16 X 12" POSTER SIZE 11 DEC 1993 USD $17.57 Buy It Now
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Ozric Tentacles - Arborescence (CD 1994) USD $1.35 [0 bids]
5h 24m
Ozric Tentacles - Pungent Effulgent (1998) CD USD $1.35 [1 bids]
5h 26m
Ozric Tentacles - Afterswish 1984-1991 (1998) Double CD (2 discs) USD $2.97 [5 bids]
5h 28m
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OZRIC TENTACLES discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.43 | 89 ratings
Erpsongs
1985
3.04 | 74 ratings
Tantric Obstacles
1985
3.55 | 75 ratings
There Is Nothing
1986
3.62 | 68 ratings
Sliding Gliding Worlds
1988
3.29 | 59 ratings
The Bits Between the Bits
1989
3.80 | 156 ratings
Pungent Effulgent
1989
4.02 | 270 ratings
Erpland
1990
3.91 | 203 ratings
Strangeitude
1991
4.10 | 391 ratings
Jurassic Shift
1993
3.91 | 187 ratings
Arborescence
1994
3.61 | 107 ratings
Become The Other
1995
3.94 | 151 ratings
Curious Corn
1997
3.82 | 149 ratings
Waterfall Cities
1999
3.95 | 133 ratings
The Hidden Step
2000
3.44 | 84 ratings
Swirly Termination
2000
3.76 | 149 ratings
Spirals In Hyperspace
2004
3.63 | 105 ratings
The Floor's Too Far Away
2006
3.58 | 144 ratings
The YumYum Tree
2009
3.38 | 102 ratings
Paper Monkeys
2011
3.87 | 184 ratings
Technicians Of The Sacred
2015

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

3.56 | 35 ratings
Live Ethereal Cereal
1986
4.32 | 60 ratings
Live Underslunky
1992
4.12 | 29 ratings
Spice Doubt
1998
4.73 | 66 ratings
Live at the Pongmasters Ball
2002
4.35 | 45 ratings
Sunrise Festival
2008
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live At One World Frome Festival 1997
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live At The Academy Manchester 1992
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live In Oslo
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live In Italy 2010
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live In Milan 2012
2012

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

4.25 | 47 ratings
Live at Pongmasters Ball 2002
2002

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

3.65 | 30 ratings
Afterswish
1992
3.69 | 17 ratings
Vitamin Enhanced
1994
1.97 | 17 ratings
Floating Seeds
1999
3.85 | 13 ratings
There is Nothing / Live Ethereal Cereal
2000
3.73 | 11 ratings
Bits Between The Bits/Sliding Gliding Worlds
2000
3.27 | 11 ratings
Tantric Obstacles/Erpsongs
2000
4.08 | 12 ratings
Pungent Effulgent / Strangeitude
2002
4.22 | 9 ratings
Aborescence/Become The Other
2003
3.80 | 10 ratings
Live Underslunky/Spice Doubt
2004
4.29 | 7 ratings
Curious Corn / Swirly Termination
2004
4.44 | 21 ratings
Erpland / Jurassic Shift
2004
4.04 | 18 ratings
Eternal Wheel (Best of)
2004
4.44 | 9 ratings
Waterfall Cities / Hidden Step*
2005
2.71 | 7 ratings
Pyramidion / Floating Seeds
2005

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

3.31 | 4 ratings
Sploosh / Live Throbbe
1991
3.50 | 2 ratings
Ozric Tentacles
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
Wob Glass
1999
3.00 | 1 ratings
Oakum
2000
4.32 | 36 ratings
Pyramidion
2001
3.00 | 1 ratings
Eat Static Remix Ozric Tentacles: Chewier
2004

OZRIC TENTACLES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Jurassic Shift by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.10 | 391 ratings

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Jurassic Shift
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Walkscore

3 stars Trippy-ish, but thin

Often considered the best Ozrics studio album, Jurassic Shift is at least enjoyable all the way through, and it is the studio album of theirs that I have listened to the most (hence this review). Like other Ozrics albums from this period, the music is instrumental and feels like it was recorded live in the studio. When they are at their best, they sound like (Daevid Allen's) Gong improvising live in the 1970s, which is why their live albums are generally their most musical, as they get to stretch out and improvise onstage. However, they emerged in the early 1990s during the early rave scene and their music is also clearly targeted to that audience. So, most of the tracks have a repetitive beat/lick set to a programmed bass line that are meant for getting people dancing, and musically these pieces are thin, they generally do not go anywhere. They might start or end with some interesting noises, and contain some interesting beats, but most of the pieces just repeat that beat or pattern for the entire song in one key and then end. I wish there were something additional to maintain interest, whether solos, melodies, vocals, changing time signatures, or key changes. Indeed, there are few real solos to speak of (a couple of the Gong-like tracks have short guitar or synth solo-like breaks, but they last maybe 15 or 20 seconds, and are not developed to their potential), and all but the title track is in a fairly straight 4/4 beat (the title track moves between 4/4 and 6/8). There are no vocals, which is fine, but that means there needs to be something else to add musicality to the repetitive beats. For the most part, this is done with textures made by synths, whether synth washes or sequencers, or the occassional flute-synth lines, but in most cases these can't make these tunes worth listening to more than once or twice for their own sake (although it makes a fine background music for parties). The best tracks on this album are the title track ("Jurassic Shift") and the closer ("Vita Voom") - those are the songs with some real guitar playing and sufficient improvisation, and good drumming, for continued listening. After this, the opener ("Sun Hair") is a nice tune with an interesting synth sequence that actually has chord changes, while second track ("Stretchy") has a memorable synth-based main theme, so both are enjoyable but nonetheless pretty thin. My version of the album has both the studio version and also a live version of "Feng Shui", which starts with nice flute notes, and has a quirky repeated dancehall (4/4) beat, but unfortunately no solos, just 10 minutes of synth noises over the same bass line. There is a cool acoustic guitar theme that reappears occasionally in the fourth track "Half Light in Thilla", but it is more like a tease, with the song fading out before anywhere realizing its potential. "Pteranodon" and "Train Oasis" are, again, enjoyable, but thin musically and too repetitive. On the whole, some nice background music for a house party, but really only two standout tracks. I give this album 6.8 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 3 PA stars.

 Strangeitude by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.91 | 203 ratings

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Strangeitude
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Essentially their third album (although there were six early cassette releases that shouldn't be overlooked!), 1991's `Strangeitude' saw British festival psych band the Ozric Tentacles introduce more fully an electronic sound, although in very different ways from the programmed later direction the band would move into in their more recent years. The band had briefly flirted with electronics on both the `official' debut `Pungent Effulgent' and the follow-up `Erpland', but here it was perfectly grafted to their colourful psychedelic jamming and exotic ethnic flavours, often in a very heavy and intense manner that would in many ways remain exclusive to this album.

Opener `White Rhino Tea' sees the band burn through a range of gutsy electric guitar-driven themes and chunky upfront bass all unexpectedly played with the sleek heavier aggression of Rush, and light tribal touches, ambient synth breaks, busy snapping drumming and whirring keyboard wig-outs are also worked in. `Sploosh!', released as a single at the time and something of a classic Ozrics track, has looped sounds of water effects dripping around pulsing trance-like electronic programming with harsher interludes almost serving as a reprising `chorus', the piece growing more intense and unhinged as it progresses. Full of ancient world mystery, ravishing Arabic-flavoured acoustic guitars weave between purring bass and spiralling synth ripples throughout `Saucers', but pay close attention to how effortlessly the piece glides into a scorching space-rock burst and further hypnotic electronic drift in the final minutes.

The first half of side two's `Strangeitude' unfolds as a meditative eastern-flavoured ambient float laced with just a hint of unease before distorting into a hard electronic drum n' bass-like breakdown with twitching treated vocals and strident drumming, even finding time to tease with wisps of psychedelic glissando-guitar bliss. `Bizarre Bazaar' is one of those frantic up-tempo pieces the band does so well that unleashes wild acoustic guitar flourishes backed by busy drumming, bouncing bass and darting flute with fiery electric guitar snarls. Album closer `Space Between Your Ears' is a seductively chilled reggae/dub groove with purring bass slinking through pools of mellow synth washes before raging to life with mangled fiery guitar histrionics and bashing drums, making it almost an early run for later pieces like `Feng Shui' off their next album.

If you've got the CD version, the disc ends with `Live Throbbe', sure enough a live recording that's more-or-less a stomping drone that fuses Deuter-like meditative flute with plodding heavy drumming, wild guitar soloing and rising/falling electronics.

`Strangeitude' is definitely one of the Ozric's tightest and most focused albums, that doesn't sacrifice the liveliness and energy the group is known for, and the use of particularly heavier electronics makes it real one-off in their discography. `Jurassic Shift', one of their most popular and artistically successful moments was just around the corner, but the Ozrics had already hit gold with this one (hmmm, as well as `Erpland' just before it!).

Four stars.

 The Hidden Step by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.95 | 133 ratings

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The Hidden Step
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars For their ninth proper album, `The Hidden Step' would be a kind of final moment before the digital programming began to consume the sound of the Ozric Tentacles more fully, a direction that especially began to emerge on their superb previous album `Waterfall Cities'. If anything, `The Hidden Step' from 2000 took a step back again from being constantly dominated by the electronics, and in addition to their expected colourful psychedelic space-rock fused with ethnic sounds, it included ambient, new-age and even symphonic elements that had rarely been employed by the group on much of their previous discs.

Opener `Holohedron' is an instant showcase of founding Ozrics member Ed Wynne's wailing Joe Satriani-ish electric guitar tearing through trickles of rising/falling electronics, subtle pulsing bass and low-key programmed beats. The propulsive title- track `The Hidden Step' keeps up the momentum, Zia's rumbling relentless bass and Rad's skittering drumming racing behind a range of Seaweed's gurgling and contemplative electronics. But it's `Ashlandi Bol' that proves to be a real diversion for the band, a dramatic and ravishing Eastern-themed synth piece permeated with mystery, where a majestic symphonic theme twists and turns seductively as wisps of John Egan's flute twirl around and glissando guitar eerily cries from the ether before a frantic and fiery acoustic finale. `AraManu' is a low-key and drifting ambient piece that still offers strong musical themes with the lightest of delicate programming and carefully groaning electronics, the littlest of New Age traces to its dusty desert atmosphere and very subdued acoustic moments.

Side two's `Pixel Dream' instantly brings back the liveliness powered by bouncing hypnotic bass and snappy drumming, and there's real moments of happiness in the constantly joyous electric guitar bursts and lightly uplifting synth noodling before it breaks down into a funky electronic jam in the final moments. `Tight Spin' is a chill-out of cool slinking beats and the lightest of electric piano shimmers with fizzy effects that slowly grows into a dangerous and wild electronic meltdown with harder dance beats pounding behind deranged acoustic guitar shambling. The band then bravely closes on a final impossibly subtle ambient piece, `Ta Khut', mixing mellow and mystical synth caresses weaving throughout Middle Eastern/Gong `Shamal'-era meditative intrigue with woodwinds, chimes and placid acoustic guitars.

Rad and Zia left the group after this album, and the classic string of consistently great Ozrics albums somewhat ended here, despite all of their albums since holding terrific moments. But `The Hidden Step' boasted strong compositions, sleek production and cool playing, and it definitely helps that this one was a welcome single vinyl length meaning it stayed punchy and oddly focused for such an eclectic group. It offers some fascinating musical diversions that make this particular album from them stand out in their discography, and it's a fine send off to the departing drummer and bass player from the best era of the Ozric Tentacles.

Four and a half stars.

 Tantric Obstacles by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.04 | 74 ratings

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Tantric Obstacles
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Sachis

4 stars I need to make a remark: this excellent prog band from UK was unknown to me until I put my hands on this album. After some hearings, I can make a review: first of all, the music is quite complex, but very catchy, speaking in the field of progressive rock music. These guys really show there skills in instrumental music. The songs are various. Some of them are almost experimental, others are more close to prog rock. Nice guitar solos and synthesizers background atmospheric sounds. The rhythmic part is excellent. Hardly I can distinguish some favourite songs from it, so the album deserves to be listened from the first second to the last. IMO, Ozric Tentacles requires attention for any progressive rock lover and, this album at least, should be an excellent addition to any prog music collection.

4 stars!

 Technicians Of The Sacred by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.87 | 184 ratings

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Technicians Of The Sacred
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Technicians of the Sacred' - Ozric Tentacles (82/100)

For a band as longstanding as Ozric Tentacles, you would expect them to have had at least a handful of slip-ups over the years. And you would expect wrongly; though certain albums wax inspiration moreso than others, there's not one journey of theirs that isn't worth taking. Perhaps its because the Ozrics have managed to scope out a niche that assumes the most defining traits of space rock, all the while managing to sound completely unique while they're at it. I have said many times before that there's something purely addictive about Ozric Tentacles' sound. Their jams are filled with some of the best psychedelic ear candy around. When you pair that with their jaw-dropping musicianship, well, it's practically a match made in Shambhala.

Techncians of the Sacred is absolutely nothing new for Ozric Tentacles. It's intensely psychedelic-- almost overwhelmingly so. It teeters in the grey area where I'm unsure whether the songs are best described as loose compositions or focused jams. The tone is playful and alien. This is nothing Ozric Tentacles haven't done on albums prior, and in their case, that is exactly what I'd hope to hear on a new album. While some bands are rewarded by their own constant reinvention, this band is so deep within their own rabbit hole it would seem totally contrived if they tried to stir the pot, especially at this point in their career. While calling it a familiar experience probably isn't cause to be excited about Technicians of the Sacred by itself, the fact that they're still making new memorable material with those same strokes should act as testament to what a special band they really are.

Even amid the band's discography, Technicians of the Sacred holds a special place. It's easily their strongest album at least since Waterfall Cities in 1999, and though the band's past two albums-- 2009's The YumYum Tree and 2011's Paper Monkeys-- seemed to go a little too far with the electronic end at the expense of their energy, here they sound refreshed with a totally revived stamina. Considering it's an hour and a half long (their first 2Lp since Erpland in 1990) it's a small marvel they manage to hold a momentum half as well as they do here. Fans of the Ozrics should know well very what to expect. The tracks are generally built around tick grooves and a load of spacey effects to fill one's ears. Like a lot of their best work, you can tell these guys probably had a ton of fun piecing this album together. I hesitate to use the term 'loose' to describe their song structures, but suffice to say, they leave enough room for their atmosphere to breathe, no matter how fast or harrowing a given groove may be.

A lot of the most amazing parts of Technicians of the Sacred manifest themselves when the reins are tightened and the compositions take a more rigid form. While you can definitely tell some stretches were left up to magic and chance, Ozric Tentacles offer frequent reminders that this approach is never because they're trying to mask a lack of songwriting tact. The exotic "Epiphlioy" is easily the best example of Ed Wynne as an accomplished composer I have heard in a long time. The frantic acoustic guitar lick it's based around sounds intensely calculated, and the effect is only intensified when he plays around with and changes it up partways into the song. Other songs are memorable for other reasons. The best Ozric magic usually occurs when they find a great idea and latch onto it. So it would be with "Butterfly Garden" and quite a few others I've gladly remembered from the first listen onward.

It's been another impression I've had for some time that Ozric Tentacles really possess the chemistry and musicianship a band like Dream Theater wish they had. It's not just that they know how to dominate with their respective instruments. They know how to fuse their talents together. It is crazier still that Ozric Tentacles has developed into something of a family band in more recent years, with Ed Wynne's wife Brandi taking bass guitar and his son Silas manning the keyboard. While the main man is as impressive a guitarist as ever, it's always been the keyboards that have drawn me most to the band's sound. The same rings true on Technicians of the Sacred. With the kind of gorgeous sonic textures they emit in the music, I'm sure they could have still made enjoyable music with only marginal attention to depth or composition. It is all to Ozric Tentacles' credit that they've gone the extra mile and created an instrumental space rock album with depth to reward repeated listens.

It seems like a trivial criticism to make, but one of the same things that makes Technicians of the Sacred stand out in the band's career is the thing that may ultimately hold it back. While I don't think anything on this album is weak, the second half of the second disc definitely seems to slow down. Compared to the way the album started, "Smiling Potion" and "Rubbing Shoulders with the Absolute" feel kind of snoozy. The issue of the album's audacious length isn't made any better by the fact that Ozric Tentacles just kind of hang out the same wavelength throughout the album. Whether they're going soft, loud, fast or slow, the atmosphere is always one of quirky tranquility. Then again, would Technicians of the Sacred be such an enticing trip if the psychedelic atmosphere made room for sour vibes? I think not.

 Paper Monkeys by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.38 | 102 ratings

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Paper Monkeys
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Paper Monkeys fits right in alongside the Ozirc Tentacle's massively consistent, enjoyable, and successful pattern for great instrumental rock. I enjoy everything Ed Wynn and company produce, even if we're mostly hearing variations of the same cosmic, swirly, energetic, throbbing, swoshing, rip-roaring song. The writing is nuanced and deeply textured, the players are on top of their game, and the overall effect is essential.

If you're not an Ozric fan this is a perfectly acceptable place to start. It's an enjoyable album that will drift in and out of the background, providing a variety of moods and tones and grooves to enjoy. If you are a fan, you may find Paper Monkeys to have a bit more attitude and swagger than the typically Ozric release. That's me stretching for a way to describe Paper Monkeys in a way that I haven't used on other Ozric albums.

This is a great album, but because it's just another star in the Ozric's hyperspace, it's a 3-star album. If you've never enjoyed an Ozric album, then check this one, and their other works out right away! It's an instrumental treat.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: NA - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

 Technicians Of The Sacred by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.87 | 184 ratings

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Technicians Of The Sacred
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars It's hard to believe that psychedelic space rockers the Ozric Tentacles are now thirty years and twenty studio discs (if you count those first six cassette releases) into their career! By the time of their terrific 1999 Album `Waterfall Cities', the band had begun evolving further than ever before in an electronic-driven direction, and it was a move that would affect their sound to this very day. But although the last few albums have hardly been poor (there seems to be some opinion that `The Hidden Step' from 2000 was their last truly great moment), there was a sense of repetition sinking into their music, perhaps even signs of a band just going through the motions a little, even though each album still had plenty of stand-out tracks throughout. But it's a welcome surprise to find that `Technicians of the Sacred' is their best release in many years, and this bold, confident and creatively inspired two disc musical statement has all the acoustic, electric, ethnic, world, ambient and psychedelic flavours expected of the band, as well as wholly embracing modern styles such as Goa and psy-trance to concoct a fascinating mix as always!

The title suggests that these two discs reflect the coming together of the technological modern and future age with the ancient, spiritual and meditative ways of old. Much of the first disc moves these cyber hippies the closest they've come to more purely electronic journeys, and there's definitely less histrionic guitar wailing than any other Ozrics album. Unsurprisingly, their soundworlds are constantly upbeat, spiritually blissful and still just a little schizophrenic!

As most Ozrics pieces end in a completely different place from where they begin, it's best to simply look at some standout moments instead of entire tracks. `The High Pass' is a pretty reliable Ozric opener that sounds exactly like you'd expect them to, all synth trickles and bubbling effects, pulsing beats and delirious electric guitar meltdowns. Tribal chants float around ripples of synths, a joyous trilling loop and slow-burning guitar in `Butterfly Garden', and `For Memory' holds blissful chiming guitar ruminations and gurgling beats. `Changala Masala' is a deep electronic psychedelic trance and world music race with slinking programmed bass and frantic guitar bursts (dig the manic throwback to their earlier track `Kick Muck' ever so briefly too!), after an almost oriental themed intro `Zingbong' morphs into one of those loopy reggae diversions that the band do so well, and `Switchback' delivers cascading and joyful synth melodies that could also get you dancing in between subtle moments of long ambient low-key stretches, and they even almost flirt with a kitschy J-Pop style in the opening!

Guitar is more prominent throughout the second disc, and in some ways represents the earlier era of the band more frequently. `Epiphiloy' harkens back to the dusty mystery and eastern bazaars of `Saucers' off `Strangeitude' where hypnotic acoustic guitar intertwines with gnarling synths, gongs, hand percussion, chimes and some biting heavier electric guitars to emerge as something of a modern classic from the Ozrics, and if the band can play it in a concert setting, it's sure to become a live favourite for many fans! Dream-like synth ambience glides through `The Unusual Village' with cutting little electric guitar spikes, and your mind grinds to halt with the lethargic and distorted groaning synths dropping mud-thick grooves on `Smiling Potion'. `Rubbing Shoulders with the Absolute' (now there's a title that electronic ambient musician Steve Roach likely wished he'd got to first!) has some lovely sedate and reflective moments due to glistening electric piano fingertips and washing Alpha Wave Movement-like synth caresses, and album closer `Zenlike Creatures' combines ethereal synth waves full of wonder and equally soaring and chilled guitars.

Even in the few less interesting moments, the album still sounds like addictive sonic ear candy all the way, and while it may not always hold their strongest or most memorable tunes, it's been a while since Ed Wynne and company have sounded not only so focused and determined to impress, but wanting to prove that they still have plenty of worthwhile music to offer and are more inspired than ever. `Technicians of the Sacred' is the Ozrics at their most vibrant, colourful and downright cool for some time, and it's great to have them back and finding their tentacled muse again!

Four stars - and bombard your senses by playing it louder for the best results! Who knows, it might even have you thinking it's one of the best and most addictive albums of the prog year!

 Technicians Of The Sacred by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.87 | 184 ratings

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Technicians Of The Sacred
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

5 stars This is an album that I liked immediately--for the familiarity of the sound that is so uniquely that of OZRIC TENTACLES--but that has taken me quite some time to get familiar with. That seems to be the problem with these modern artists who release 80-plus minute long albums (Dave Kerzer, Sanguine Hum, Barock Project, Nightwish, IOEarth, Sylvan, are a few of the others who have released long playing albums this year, so far.), it takes quite some effort to listen through and to thoroughly get to know them compared to a 45-minute long release. Anyway, the patience and time invested in getting to know Technicians of the Sacred has been well worth it. This has become my favorite Ozrics release since Jurassic Shift. While all the albums I've heard have been nice, none have really possessed that magic touch that compels me to return time and again. And, while the Ozrics sound, style, and magic is pretty generic (it is often difficult to distinguish individual tracks by title--this owning to the fact that they are an instrumental band), yet almost every song on Technicians has had a way to worm into my brain, to get me engaged and then to build, shift, add, twist and turn enough to keep me interested--and, often, smiling! These guys certainly have an unique way of creating sound combinations. I cannot think of anyone quite as eclectic and electronic as them and yet they are always grooving me with their bass and drum rhythm tracks. Always! Plus, their unusual combination of spacey, "Nature" electronic walls of sound with odd and unexpected world instruments never ceases to astound me. And these guys have been doing it for 30 years! BUT they have NEVER done it better than they have on this album. Hail Technicians of the Sacred! The stars have aligned in such a way that Ozric Tentacles have created a masterpiece (of their own genre of music)!

Favorite songs: 11. "Zenlike Creature" (9:54) (10/10); 9. "Smiling Potion" (7:12) (10/10); 3. "Far Memory" (7:12) (10/10) 4. "Changa Masala" (6:05) (10/10); 10. "Rubbing Shoulders with The Absolute" (8:36) (10/10); 8. "The Unusual Village" (6:21) (10/10); 7. "Epiphlioy" (11:50) (9/10); 2. "Butterfly Garden" (5:04) (9/10), and; 6. "Switchback" (10:13) (9/10).

This is an album that is hard to find flaw with as it is all pretty engaging and highly creative (even witty) stuff. 4.5 stars rated up for its unique style and high level of consistency. Check it out for yourself. You may be surprised!

 There Is Nothing by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.55 | 75 ratings

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There Is Nothing
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars THERE IS NOTHING is the fourth cassette-only release from OZRIC TENTACLES in the 80s before they released their first official album "Pungent Effulgent" in 1989. After the excellent live album "Live Ethereal Cereal" the OZRICS returned to dish out another studio cassette recording shortly thereafter. This album pretty much continues the consistent sounds that every album before incorporated. The evolution of OZRIC TENTACLES has to be one of the most subtle and slow burners in all of music history because from the very first album to the latest, the differences are fewer than the similarities. Not to say there are no changes here though. There is a noticeable leap in production and mixing. The instruments blend together more effectively, the synths have more variety in not only sound but in volume control. There are also more ethnic influences creeping in as well.

The space rock retains a strong Hawkwind feel as usual but there is also a huge "Fish Rising" Steve Hillage feel as well. At times it is a bit too pronounced and the OZRICS feel like more of a tribute band than original. It wouldn't be an OZRIC TENTACLES early release if it didn't include some reggae, ambient synths, hypnotic percussion and echoing guitar riffs. This would also be the last release with drummer Tig (Nick van Gelder) who would be replaced by Merv Pepler. The music is consistent and the track "O-I" would be re-recorded and included on "Pungent Effulgent."

Personally except for the "Live Ethereal Cereal" release, i find these early offerings by the OZRICS a little monotonous and too similar in their style and song structures to warrant any true excitement. It should be remembered that this is space rock and not progressive compositions brimming with virtuosity. For what this band is offering is pleasant enough and well played and in the right mood can be quite satisfying. I tend to eschew these early releases for the most part because i find the later releases much more varied from this early stage. OZRIC TENTACLES albums tend to be quite lengthy affairs as well and at 72:06 this one is a bit too long. I can't say anything bad about this one, but at this point it does seem to evoke exactly the same reactions as the previous albums and coming right after the live album seems a little less energetic. Decent and pleasant but not much more.

As with all six of the cassette-only releases THERE IS NOTHING was eventually released in 1994 by Dovetail Records on CD and today can be found digitally remastered and available in the "Vitamin Enhanced" boxed set.

 Live Ethereal Cereal  by OZRIC TENTACLES album cover Live, 1986
3.56 | 35 ratings

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Live Ethereal Cereal
Ozric Tentacles Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars LIVE ETHEREAL CEREAL (aka "The Yellow One") is the third cassette-only release from OZRIC TENTACLES in the 80s before their first official debut "Pungent Effulgent" came out in 1989. As the title implies this is a LIVE release and their first of which that showcased the band's diverse sound giving us insight into the shows that attracted them a loyal following during their 1985-86 performances mostly in Reading and Glastonbury, UK. Most of the material here is only available on this release.

It really hit me upon first listen how much better the songs are on this one than on the studio albums showing that OZRIC TENTACLES are indeed masters of the improvised jam and seem to provide studio albums only as teasers to what they were really known for with their ambitious and entrancing LIVE performances. The Hawkwind-esque space rock once again meets reggae, lysergic synthesizers and hypnotic echoing grooves and percussion. There is also a Steve Hillage tribute on "Aumriff" that borrows the classic guitar riff from the "Fish Rising" album.

I personally find LIVE ETHEREAL CEREAL to be a more interesting listen than the first two studio albums. The energy and vitality of the band is on full display here. While the songs can range from aggressive to sensual and fluffy, the band play together in a tight and proficient manner and all members involved deliver the highest quality LIVE performances. Ed Wynne is noteworthy here as his guitar riffs are outstanding but it's Joie Hinton's space synth contributions set the whole thing on fire and into space as the drums, congas and bass lines deliver unrelenting rhythms. If you only get one of the early OZRIC TENTACLES albums then this would be a great start because it really exhibits everything the band is famous for at this stage of their career. Probably the only thing that is problematic on this one is the sound quality since these were recorded on primitive technology but even so all the instruments can be heard quite well and the remastered version cleans it up significantly, so not a problem for me at all.

Like all six of the cassette-only releases LIVE ETHEREAL CEREAL was eventually released in 1994 by Dovetail Records on CD and today can be found digitally remastered and available in the "Vitamin Enhanced" boxed set.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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