Saturday, 2 January 2016

ØRESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE – DIFFERENT CREATURES (Space Rock Productions 3 x LP, 2 x CD).

Having recently celebrated their 10th anniversary, the prolific Øresund Space Collective are an ever changing group of musicians, mainly from Denmark and Sweden, that play entirely improvised Space Rock with around over five dozen different musicians having been involved in 19 albums during that time. Known for their epic live sets of freeform jams sometimes up to 5 hours in length, the Øresund Space Collective just don’t do short and snappy and their most recent release is no different………there is a lot of music here, spread over 3 x LP/2 x CD. For Different Creatures OSC mainstay Dr Space (Copenhagen based American musician Scott Heller) has assembled a group of his favourite musicians from Norway and Sweden, they have locked themselves in the Black Tornado Studio, Copenhagen with incense and no doubt other substances burning and let the tapes roll………..the fruits of these sessions have been edited down to 2½ hours of vast cosmic jams, many stretching beyond 20 minutes with the final track, ‘20 Steps Towards The Invisible Door’, a mammoth 45 minutes of face melting Psych Rock.

Musically OSC are inspired by many of the more current Space Rock bands………the opening track ‘The Ride to Valhalla’ has all the supercharged kinetic energy of Ozric Tentacles….. but also the proto Space Rock of 70s Prog/Psych/Kraut bands such as Gong, early Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, Amon Düül II and Hawkwind and the lysergic adventures of the Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service…….jamming on the riff from ‘Eight Miles High’ OSC create a haze of tasty guitar licks, swirling keyboards/synths and hard-driving rhythms for ‘The MAN from Wales’ which is a homage/tribute (?) to the 60s West Coast influenced Welsh band who themselves are no strangers to epic jams……. but ultimately as all tracks are improvised it is essentially down to what the individual musicians bring to the party. There are two wonderful sitar based tracks on Different Creatures……..’Digestive Raga’ ebbs and flows through a river of contemplative calm on a 30 minute transcendental journey that soothes both body and mind while ‘Raga for Jerry G’ mixes sitar, pedal steel guitar and violin in a beautiful, meandering “Grateful Dead goes East”, a tune dedicated to the late great Jerry Garcia. This is certainly a record that is not going to be to everyone’s taste as it takes a great deal of commitment to take in the whole of this epic album, but dedication is rewarded with an expedition to the centre of the mind and back. Turn on and tune in to the Øresund Space Collective but don’t forget to bring a packed lunch as you may not be home for tea, Different Creatures is a very, very long strange trip.

Different Creatures is out now on the Danish Space Rock Productions imprint and available as a limited edition press (500 copies in total) on black or coloured 3 x vinyl LP or on 2 x CD. Available from the OSC Bandcamp page at http://oresundspacecollective.bandcamp.com/album/different-creatures or alternatively check the Space Rock Productions website for other distribution details.


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