Ozric Tentacles — Become the Other
(Dove CD 8, 1995, CD)
by Dan Casey, Published 1996-03-01A year had gone by without a release from the Ozrics. Some were sure they had dropped off the face of the earth. The early 90s saw OT banging 'em out like popcorn. And they had become unanimously in a rut. Well, two band members and one major label later, the Tentacles are back with their best release since Erpland. Keyboardist Joie Hinton and drummer Marv Pepler have left the fold to do their techno/dance/ rave thing with Eat Static full time. Replacements Seaweed and Rad filled their shoes without missing a beat. In fact, if you didn't know it, you would assume this was the same old band. Unless you listen closely. Then the new keyboard textures will reveal themselves to you. Things like sampled strings, organs, and wave sequences abound on this release, and are new to the OT palette. Another improvement is the heavy increase in keyboard soloing. Seaweed rips off a number of impressive analog-type leads. Songs like "Cat DNA" and "Neurochasm" are classic Ozric scorchers, "Ahu Belahu" is an ethnic percussion/synth interlude, "Vibuthi" is the middle-eastern acoustic-guitar-driven center- piece, and "Wob Glass" and "Plurnstyle" more dance-groove driven. In many ways, this album is on par with Strangeitude with its mixture of styles, but with all the changes the band has pulled themselves out of the rut with a fresh and very satisfying album. And, as always, they remain the same.
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more