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(70 min, Record Heaven)
TRACK LIST: 1. Faked It All the Way 6:21 2. Consumed by the Goblin 14:51 3. OSC Bolero 5:22 4. Falling Stardrops 15:46 5. Grab a Cab 7:16 6. Moonhead 2:29 7. Sundown 17:40 PERSONNEL: Magnus - guitars; synthesizers Ola - piano, synthesizers Mogens - synthesizers Scott - synthesizer Sebastian - guitar Michael - bass Dave - bass Soren - drums
Prolusion. ORESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE (OSC hereinafter) is a kind of Scandinavian supergroup, as the project comprises current and former members of several bands from Sweden and Denmark, all of which, according to the CD press kit, are well known in their countries.
Analysis. OSC describe their music as free-improvisational Space Rock. This statement suggests they perform nothing else but Space Fusion, which is true in most cases, but is sometimes not true at all. Faked It All the Way and Moonhead, both of which are excessively overloaded with synthesizer effects and feature neither drums nor tempo changes, are closer to electronic space music than to Space Rock, let alone Space Fusion. The other five tracks are much more expressive, although the band's approach isn't new and was previously applied by the likes of Djam Karet, Pseudo Buddha and Escapade along with many others. Four members handle the keyboards, and although they are normally well supported by other musicians (two bassists, three guitarists and a drummer), synthesizers remain the primary soloing force in most cases. The first two of the longer pieces: Consumed by the Goblin and Falling Stardrops begin slowly, as the players grope their way to gradually increase the speed to finally merge into one intense jam, which normally happens somewhere in the middle, the further arrangements developing in different ways (atmospheric and relative transparent textures alternating with dense ones etc), but always with enough intricacy and drive to keep the stuff sounding interesting. Overall, it's much the same with the longest track Sundown, but the guys are somewhat slower to get moving this time out, besides which they quite quickly get exhausted after reaching a culmination. I don't want to say the piece is boring, but it is in many ways inferior to the previously described ones, both of which can easily be considered masterworks within their genre category. On OSC Bolero and Grab a Cab the band keeps a moderately intense pace throughout, showing a mellower and, at the same time more symphonic approach, the former track having a light (at times barely perceptible) oriental feel to it.
Conclusion. While the spacey electronic minimalism of Faked It All the Way and Moonhead may seriously mar the listener's impression, overall, this album is an interesting specimen of modern psychedelic Space Fusion and should satisfy anyone interested in this kind of progressive music.
VM: March 16, 2006
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