Progressive music sub-genre: Psychedelic/Space Rock
Country: United Kingdom
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 23 albums, a vast body of music that is both complex and fascinating in its scope and vision.
OZRIC TENTACLES — Waterfall Cities
Review by Proghead (Ben Miler)
Apparently there was something happening at Snapper Records that didn't please the band, so they left the label, and started their own Stretchy Records label (and had American distribution through the ill-fated Phoenix Rising label). "Waterfall Cities" was their first on their new label. This album, while not bad, falls in that wankfest, where they seemed more obsessed with plastering it with as many silly electronic effects as possible. I think the reason for that was the band was trying to obtain new equipment, making the recording process a little more difficult. In fact, the first two cuts, "Coily" and "Xingu" seems to drag on a bit more than needs to, and "Xingu" is full of those annoying electronic effects the band needed to lay off. "Waterfall City", luckily is a vast improvement, and they go in to lengthy jams and a techno experiment. "Cha'i" finds the band exploring Chinese styles, and also adding a truly funky synth bass. "Sultana Detrii" finds the band exploring reggae for the first time since "Erpland"'s "Iscence", but they also move into other stuff too. Not the best OZRICS album, but at least I can say I never heard a bad OZRIC album either. "Waterfall Cities" is basically for the fans. To me, their following effort, "The Hidden Step" is quite an improvement, so if you want to hear more recent stuff from them, start there before you come here.