Ozric Tentacles- The Yum Yum Tree
(Snapper Music SNAPCD958P)
From Aural Innovations May 2009 update
Well, the Ozrics are back with their first new studio CD in 4 years, after moving from the UK to Colorado. Once again, this is basically an Ed Wynne solo record with his wife Brandi playing some bass and synths and also features live drums on two of the track, but basically Ed sequences with perfection all the tracks and in this very psychedelic electronic music record. I would not really call it rock anymore. This is very advanced electronic groove music. Very tightly focused, sequenced and perfect, a little too much so, that it seems sterile sometimes, despite the amazing songs and sound production by Ed. Magick Valley opens the CD and this is the most techno sounding of any Ozric track ever. Total trance techno (without the thump thump thump, more of a modulated synth bass line) and some searing guitar parts that fly in here and there. You really get sucked into this one. Oddweird follows and begins with some chill out style synths and a nice bass line (I guess played by Brandi) before Ed kicks in with the first guitar solo and a cool riff here and there, then the guitar drops out and Ed heads into synths solo land with multiple layers in the background as he slows. When the guitar does come back (mixed far back) the synths are really psyched out. I guess this is one they might play live. Lots of cool parts with special drums, sounds like Ed plays an Asian string instrument solo as well. Mooncalf is next and is almost 10 minutes and features a real drummer and this track is pretty awesome. It starts slowly with multiple synth layers before the drums and bass kick in and then finally the guitar, which does not take long before going supersonic as the track builds and the synths sequences take over. A very cool reggae like part enters as well. Oolong Oolong features some beautiful spacey guitar playing in what is a pretty laid back track the mixes Ozrics and Nodens Ictus styles into dreamy floating like state until Ed wakes you up with a pretty intense synth solo. The Yum Yum Tree is over 9 minutes and continues directly out of the chilled out ending of Oolong. A very steady electronic groove is maintained and around 3 mins in Ed lays down another one of those solos that just sort of soars through the soundscape before fading away and the synths take over again and a very groovy bass line kicks in. Lots of cool parts in this track. Plant Music is another trace-rave track with some cool bass lines and parts before Ed flies in with the ripping guitar as the groove just keeps pushing forward until the pre-programmed break and back to the main trance synth line. Nakura starts with a very cool highly effected synth and the sound of the forest. It has some hand drums, fretless bass (?) and is a very chilled number without any guitar. San Pedro begins with a sound like we have heard before back on Waterfall Cities, I believe, as this track builds. A pretty cool electronic groove-chill out album. Enjoy..
Check out the band web site at: http://www.ozrics.com
Check out the record label web site at: http://www.snappermusic.co.uk
Reviewed by Scott Heller