West, Space and Love is one of two new Øresund Space Collective albums. This one is available in a vinyl edition of 200, plus the album is available as a digital download. West, Space and Love is interesting in that it’s the smallest lineup of the band I recall hearing. KG Westman and Mr. Love from the Swedish band Siena Root were at Scott “Dr Space” Heller’s home studio in October 2009 for a jam session and the result of the trio’s improv’s are the 5 tracks on this album.
Side A opens with High Rise, an Indian grooving raga surrounded by whooshing windswept synths. Sitar, acoustic guitar and tablas jam along as Scott creates spaced out electronic swirls and effects, even adding to the melody a bit. Ragas in space baby! Kafi (For My Love) is next and starts off sounding like an old Klaus Schulze album. Then the sitar begins soloing, soon joined by folk styled acoustic guitar and then shooting star synth effects. A very cool dreamy and trippy combination of Berlin school Kosmiche, Indian and folk influences. The appropriately titled Spirit Blues rounds out Side A and is an acoustic driven jam with an interesting combination of Eastern influences and Blues.
Side B begins with Repetition, a slow-paced tune with trippy sitar soloing, light percussion, and a dark but catchy keyboard melody, plus various other bleeping and fluttering electronic embellishments. A simple but cool meditative jam. Sitars In Space fills up the rest of Side B and at 14+ minutes is the longest track of the set. The sitar jams away while Scott goes Berlin school again, but also throws in a variety of other alien electronic coloring. Later the sitar recedes into the background for a while and a slowly developing synth pattern takes the lead. It’s a strange but very interesting and difficult to describe effect, almost sounding like avant-garde theater soundtrack music. Finally the sitar returns to the forefront and trips along to the end.
This is definitely one of the most sparse and different OSC albums I’ve heard. A refreshing departure and of course with varying lineups that’s always a possibility and helps keep things interesting. A cool set of spaced out Indian influenced psychedelia.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz