ØRESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE - "Organic Earthly Floatation"
Attivi dal 2005 e con caterve di dischi alle spalle (ad oggi se ne contano ben 16 ufficiali, senza considerare i vari live album), Øresund Space Collective è il concetto di massima potenza applicato allo space rock. Collettivo guidato dal guru dello spazio Scott Heller, la formazione include musicisti danesi e svedesi alle prese con una formula musicale totalmente improvvisata, che sgorga dal cuore per confluire nelle immense distese dell'universo. "Organic Earthly Floatation" è l'uscita numero 6 (!) del 2013, primo full length vero e proprio dopo "The Black Tomato". Per l'occasione la band si presenta in line up di lusso. Mogens e Scott "DR. Space" ai sintetizzatori; Kristoffer (batteria), Nicklas (chitarra) e Christian (basso) direttamente dai magici Papir (per chi non l'avesse ancora fatto, recuperare l'esordio omonimo, "Stundum" e il recente "III"); Pär (Sgt. Sunshine, Carpet Knights, Hoofoot) al basso e il chitarrista statunitense Daniel Lars, per la prima volta in trasferta danese.
Registrato ai Black Tornado Studios di Copehagen nell'aprile 2012, mixato da Lars e masterizzato da Johan Dahlström, "Organic Earthly Floatation" – concetto visivamente espresso in copertina dall'artista finaldese Eetu Pellonpåå – è puro ed incontaminato space rock. Roba d'altri tempi, verrebbe da dire. Ma come non restare ammaliati dinanzi ad una passione così profonda. Le quattro composizioni che formano il disco sono un trip comodo e sognante tra stelle, gas e polveri. Le linee di chitarra di Daniel e Nicklas formano scie che si sciolgono letteralmente nell'atmosfera. L'arpeggio liquido che apre "Walking on Clouds" – subito spinto nell'ignoto spazio profondo da synth siderali – ne è la riprova. La composizione (divisa in due parti) è un monolite di 25 minuti, versione a dir poco psichedelica di un classico tradizionale danese. C'è tanta grazia nell'animo di questi musicisti che navigano nella lingua di mare di Øresund, nella contemplazione di una Natura altra. Paesaggi che diventano lunari in "Carlos on the Moon" – altri 17 fantastici minuti – e totalmente astratti in "Neptune Rising", meta d'arrivo di un viaggio di consapevolezza. La materia si è dissolta per lasciar posto allo spirito, ai sogni, alle sensazioni.
Chi cerca innovazione resti lontano da "Organic Earthly Floatation". Chi abbraccia metamorfosi e superamento, lo accolga a orecchie spalancate. This is totally improvised space rock, baby!
Øresund Space Collective – Organic Earthly Floatation
Øresund Space Collective are another band who aren’t new, but who I’ve just heard of. Totalling six members (quite a few form another band, Papir) they’re based in Denmark where their latest release was recorded.
They’ve been around since 2006, and Organic Earthly Flotation will be their sixteenth release in that fairly brief period. They’re a prog rock band in the truest/most classical sense and their official web page proclaims the music to be Totally Improvised Space Rock!
Well, it certainly has the wooshy sounds which give it a wonderfully 60's-era spacey feeling. The twin guitars are backed by bass, drums and a variety of keyed instruments handled by two members of the band. Looking at the photos of them in the studio, I’d feel amateurish if I just referred to them as “keyboards”.
This new release only has four tracks, though the running length is still around 48 minutes. It’s available as a download (or will be shortly – release is due in November), or as a limited edition twin-disc gatefold vinyl version. Cool.
I’ve mentioned this countless times, but I’m not a prog fan to any real extent. However, I must say that I found OSC’s stuff very easy to listen to. Nothing sounds forced or crammed in for the sake of it, and it’s truly improvised then I’m even more impressed as the longer tracks just seem to flow naturally.
There’s one of the tracks from the album embedded below (if this is one of the instances where bandcamp players work – in case it isn’t, here’s a link until it’s fixed). If prog is your thing then give it a listen. As I mentioned earlier, they’ve got quite the back catalogue to catch up on if you decide you like it. Talking of liking, here’s a link to their facefart page as well.
Personally, I can see myself sat in a comfy chair reading a book, my toe gently tapping with this album pumping through some headphones so the kids don’t disturb me.
Oresund Space Collective – Organic Earthly Flotation
Space rock is not dead it is alive and well and currently living in Denmark!
The Oresund Space Collective are a group of Danish, Swedish and American musicians who have been coming together since 2004 to create improvised space rock music. The word ‘collective’ is probably a true description here as this is not a band as such as over the years over 30 musicians have been involved at one time or another.
Now improvised is a very daring word, loads of bands have done it live, extending four minute studio songs into 20 minute jams, but how many would have the balls to walk into the studio and record an entire album like that!
Due for release in November 2013, Organic Earthly Flotation is the collectives 16th release and is limited to 500 vinyl copies so if you fancy getting your hands on a copy I wouldn’t hang around.
The atmospheric ‘Walking On Clouds’, apparently the only track that had a structure before going into the studio and written by American guitarist Daniel Mars clocks in at a very respectable 19 minutes. With an underlying riff that is very reminiscent of Amon Duul II, mainly guitar dominated with the synths bubbling in the background, it ebbs and flows until the last four minutes when it bursts into life with a couple of great guitar solos that bring to mind an early incarnation of Pink Floyd.
‘Walking On Clouds Pt2’ follows on form the previous track but is more laid back and trippy.
OSCThe rest of the completely instrumental album follows in roughly the same vein with the tempo picking up on the final track ‘Neptune Rising’ which fades in like it has been playing for ages (which it probably had) and sounds very much like early Tangerine Dream with the synths taking centre stage particularly towards the end.
This is not an album that is going to break records or threaten the Billboard chart, however I can see a niche market for this type of music, particularly in Germany. All in all this is a very listenable album and even without the inclusion of vocals it doesn’t get boring. Yes a lot of it is repetitive and what some might consider as self indulgent noodling but It is the type of music that you can stick on after a hard day and just let it wash over you. If you like bands like Can. Amon Duul 2, Tangerine Dream and even early UFO check them out!