Ozric Tentacles – ‘Jurassic Shift’: Round 70 – Graham’s Choice

Hastily arranged meeting means no time 220px-Jurassic_Shift_(album)to ponder and felt I had to go with something that had recently been playing at home. Unfortunately for colleagues that meant an album that had been fished out the previous night to accompany a sit on the decking with a beer as the sun went down. Wasn’t really trying to create a Glastonbury vibe, but the Ozric’s did the trick on Easter Monday evening.

Presenting this did give rise to the coming theme of “WTF is this doing in my collection?”. I’ve honestly no idea how it got there. I had an ever so brief fling with the New Age/ New Forest rave scene in the early 90’s, but mainly found the experience a bit damp and cold, so don’t think I picked it up there.

The Ozric’s are unsurprisingly a Somerset collective. More surprisingly our own resident ‘Wurzel’ didn’t seem too familiar with their output. Don’t own anything else by them, but if I ever feel the need to reach for some trippy, rave, space rock, its always a comfort to know they are there to fit the mood. Nice bit of flute action, and unless you’re into Jethro Tull and James Galway, its something you don’t hear enough of.

Various rhythms, beats and reggae style grooves to lose yourself in, along with some mentalist heavy guitar noodling to turn up if mood takes you. They have been around since the 80’s and are still going today with 20 odd albums to date. This is from 1993 and there 4th studio offering following an unsurprising cassette only distribution period at the end of the 80’s.

Music for the masses, doubtful. Music to fit the right mood, probably!

Rob listened: My reaction was more, “WTF is this doing in my house?” I was serious young music devotee in the late 80s and early 90s. The world according to Fugazi, Joy Division, Public Enemy and Dead Kennedy’s certainly had no place whatsoever for a bunch of ne’er-do-well hippies larking about as if Punk hadn’t put the sword to Prog. I knew nothing of their music, but I knew their loose-limbed, tie-dyed accolytes and I wanted no part of them, their drugs, their inner=space exploration, their back-of-an-exercise-book artwork and certainly not their records.

As a result of which I think I had never heard them properly before tonight. Distressingly, at least half of this album, heard with the benefit of considerable hindsight, sounded like it was well ahead of its time, taking electronics to space-rock and rave. It was s surprisingly pleasant listen. I’m glad I finally got it out of the way. Music snobbery is brilliant, ain’t it? Without it, we’d be lost.

Tom listened: I’d first of all like to thank Graham for giving me the sense of satisfaction of sorting out his formatting nightmare. It appears going into HTML and randomly deleting stuff actually works.

Talking of random…Ozric Tentacles were I band I too had preconceived ideas about, not all of them positive. I always lumped them in with Gorky’s Zygotic Myncci but, for some reason, when I actually heard Gorky’s and realised how wonderful they were, I never went back to The Ozrics to check out whether I had been wide of the mark with regard to my prejudices of them. It turns out, at least if Jurassic Shift is in any way representative of their oeuvre, that they are almost exactly as I imagined them to be. I guess this particular wurzel is more of a cider drinker than a crystal-centric glasto goblin.


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