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(77:08, Transubstans Records)
TRACK LIST: 1-5. RumBle 38:35 6-8. The Black Tomato 32:05 9. Viking Cleaner 6:28 LINEUP: Magnus - guitars, synthesizers Sebastian – guitars; electronics Tobias - guitars; electronics Soren - drums Michael - bass Jocke - bass Scott - synthesizers Mogens - synthesizers Ola – el. piano; synthesizers
Prolusion. Founded in April 2004, ORESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE (OSC from now on) is an international ensemble consisting of musicians from Denmark, Sweden and the USA, with Copenhagen, Denmark, as their chosen base of operation. Their style of music is space rock, with improvisational jam sessions as their specialty. The band’s jam sessions are available for download on their homepage on a regular basis, and the band has chosen to release some jam sessions they are particularly pleased with on CD. “The Black Tomato” is their third official CD, released in August 2007.
Analysis. The art of improvisation isn't held in high esteem by too many mainstream rock bands these days, but quite a lot of indie artists excel at this. OSC use this approach to create space rock, and is among the top acts in this niche of improvisational music. On “The Black Tomato” the band have set a course pretty close to spaceship Hawkwind in style, with quite a few segments where the band rocks out in a way Dave Brock and his crew of musicians haven't done for a couple of decades. Still, most of the jamming here is of a slightly more laidback nature, and the mellow and atmospheric psychedelic workouts Hawkwind had in the 70's are more influential on the soundscapes here than the hard space rock compositions they are more known for. The foundation for the jamming on these tracks is most often bass and drums, where especially the bass creates a solid foundation for the other instruments’ explorations. The drums keep the pace of the tunes, and at times instigate changes in pace and style in the performance. The guitars seem to be the most important instruments here, though, most of the time with two guitars wandering and probing, creating moods and atmospheres. The guitars take turns between the different roles in the songs, when one guitar is probing sounds to start off a riff, and the other is soloing or conveying melodic fragments more or less space-like in nature. The improvisations then develop, the riff structures from one guitar slowly evolving towards melodic fragments and soloing, while the guitar conveying melodic fragments or soloing slowly evolves towards probing new sounds, ending up in a riff pattern eventually. Fleshing out the sonic patterns explored and adding mood and atmosphere are synthesizers, sometimes providing melodic patterns, at other times flavoring the songs with electronic sounds of a very space-like nature. And quite a few times doing both. Wind synthesizers are used quite frequently as well, enhancing the already strong Hawkwind flavor of this release. The only negative factors on this release are the segments where the band probes searching for a new sound to set them off, which for some may be very interesting but for others, like myself, can be a bit tedious to listen to. Still, this is a high class release, and the best of this kind of music I've come across so far. And as an old metal fan, I like the segments where the band rocks out best, although several of the more mellow and psychedelic segments sound intriguing, too.
Conclusion. If improvisational instrumental space rock is to your liking, this release is a must have. Most Hawkwind fans should find this interesting too, especially fans of their more atmospheric 70's work. Recommended to fans of the genre.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: March 21, 2008
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