Different Creatures Reviews

The Obelisk

Øresund Space Collective are among psychedelia’s most open and most stringent of bands. Now active for more than a decade, the Danish collective are fiercely committed to a single idea — it just happens to be that single idea is being open to all things at all times. To wit, the prolific, prone-to-documentation Danish/Swedish outfit led by synth-player and bandleader Scott “Dr. Space” Heller have maintained their ethic of being entirely improvisational and amorphous in their lineup, and that has resulted in an expansive catalog of live and studio recordings of some of the world’s most expansive space and kosmiche rock.

Their latest pair of offerings through Space Rock Productions, released within a month of each other, together stand as a solid compendium of some — not all — of their scope. Released last month, Out into Space, is a 3CD live offering captured in Feb. 2015 at their 10th anniversary show at Loppen in Christiania, playing to support 2014’s Music for Pogonologists (review here) though obviously not actually playing anything from the record since it’s all improvised, and the even-newer Different Creatures is a 2CD/3LP studio album. Both are completely different lineups apart from Heller — in fact, in the case of Out into Space, it’s no fewer than three different incarnations of the band playing a single show. It suddenly makes sense why Øresund Space Collective would have the recorder running as often as they do. How else to keep track of what they’re doing at any given point?

The concept for Out into Space is an exception to start with, though. Their 10th anniversary gig was more than the average show. They played three sets, again, each with a different lineup, in an attempt to capture the beginning, middle and current eras of the band — or at least give them some representation. As a result, each set has its own specific feel, whether it’s the way the band seem to rally around the guitar in “The Last Glide” on disc one or how “Stargate 7431” on disc two has its own progressive edge. Heller speaks to the assembled crowd between jams, informing them of what’s happening and introducing each band, and though at over three and a half hours of material, one could hardly call Out into Space anything other than comprehensive, it’s worth noting that it’s not complete. The third set, the recorder gave out. They literally out-jammed the recording equipment. That’s the scale of jams we’re talking about here.

Heller announces it’s 1AM as that third set kicks off with the 34-minute “A Long Night Amongst Friends” — he says, “Time to go to another planet” as the ultra-fluid track gets underway with a soft jazzy roll on the drums and yet another foundational bassline, the low end seeming to be the factor that holds the material together no matter who’s playing it at any given time — Jocke first, Thomas second, Jiri third — and it’s around the solid groove that the molten jamming happens in extended earlier pieces like the krautrocking “Has Anyone Seen Nick?” from the first or the particularly spacey “Chocolate Orange Candle” in the second set. While each has its own personality, I’m not inclined to pick a favorite from among the three lineups. It seems against the concept of Out into Space entirely, which was so clearly to bring these different personae together as one cohesive (if constantly shifting) whole, rather than to drive them apart. While it can be overwhelming in a single sitting — it is an afternoon long, after all — Out into Space provides years’ worth of psychedelic fodder to dig into.
So naturally they let it breathe for about a month before dishing out a follow-up. That’s not a criticism. In the tradition of the best of space rock, Øresund Space Collective do not stop to examine, do not stop to bask. They continue to move forward and on to the next thing, letting history sort it all out in their wake. The next thing? Different Creatures, which was recorded over a period of three days, Oct. 24-26, 2014, and found the band working as an eight-piece with Heller on synth as ever, plus Alex on drums and percussion, guitarists Jonathan (also violin, Theremin, electric mandolin and Hammond), Mattias (also pedal steel and shaker) and Mats (also bass on “Juggle the Juice,” “Digestive Raga” and “Bon Voyage”), bassist Hasse, key specialist Jonas and sitarist/synth-player KG. This lineup tears into over two and a quarter hours’ worth of material, showcasing distinct and differing vibes on the half-hour “Digestive Raga” and “The Man from Wales” while universally impressing with the chemistry at the heart of their improvisations. “Digestive Raga” — which, presumably, was performed after lunch — or the penultimate “Raga for Jerry G.” would be highlight candidates were it not for the sheer immersiveness of closer “20 Steps Towards the Invisible Door,” which is an album unto itself at 45:14 and emphasizes not only the beauty at heart in Øresund Space Collective‘s creative process — getting to the very core of group performance that brings individuals together working toward a common purpose — but also the beauty in the result of that process.
Hypnotic from its launch stages through to the strings and synth at its gradual comedown, it lives up to the promise of album-opener “The Ride to Valhalla” and speaks in its entirety to what makes Øresund Space Collective such a special project to begin with. To compare it to Music for Pogonologists seems moot since it’s different players throughout, but it wouldn’t matter anyway. “20 Steps Towards the Invisible Door” and Different Creatures as a whole have their own persona, and in capturing that special moment in time, unfiltered, unrestrained, gorgeously mixed, Øresund Space Collective once again affirm their position as the foremost jammers in the known cosmos. There are others who jam, and others who improvise their work along similar lines, but nobody who seeks to turnover their lineup with such regularity and still maintain such a consistent quality of output. Even within the vast realm of space rock and heavy psychedelia, Øresund Space Collective remain one of a kind.

See more at: http://theobelisk.net/obelisk/2015/11/19/oresund-space-collective-out-into-space-different-creatures-review/#sthash.5dVgJUyh.dpuf

Prog Archives

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother

SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars

Scott Heller (aka Dr Space) and his fellow musical friends that form the Øresund Space Collective have delivered two official works in 2015, both of them a mix of double/triple vinyl and multi-CD sets of fully improvisational space-rock. While the superb previous one `Out into Space' was sourced directly from three-set concert performances, `Different Creatures' was worked on in a studio and recorded live over a three day period, and it might have turned out to be the strongest ØSC release to date. Incorporating violin, sitar (in a very different manner to their ambient/raga work `West Space and Love' from 2012) and perhaps giving a heavier prominence to electronics and experimental psychedelia than before, this one has their most diverse range of sounds and a larger variety of moods, as well as even more dense and complex material that never loses the spontaneous sound that the band is known for.
Thoughtful violin whispers may glide through the twenty minute opener of the first disc `The Ride to Valhalla', but it quickly reveals a crash of unceasing and frantic up-tempo drumming and heavy guitar blasts. `Juggle the Juice' is a welcome twisted psychedelic mind-spasm interlude, and calming synth breezes float around drifting ethereal sitar strains, drowsy bass, careful pattering drums and slow-burn electric guitar in the 30 minute `Digestive Raga', another one of their most mellow and laid-back sublime moments that purrs along on toasty vibes. `The Man from Wales' is a sexy wasted guitar and gorgeous organ plod, and `Bon Voyage' is a swirling vortex of experimental electronic twitches and mud-thick distorted bass with maddening building drums.

The two extended pieces that take up the 65 minute second disc reach even impossibly greater heights. The twenty-minute `Raga for Jerry G' is one of the dreamiest, most placid, even sweetest and carefully reflective pieces ever committed to disc by any variation of the ØSC, a soothing haze of weeping sitar strings, careful violin strains, gently blowing synth winds, electric piano glistenings and even drowsy country-flavoured slide guitar ruminations. The ambitious 45 minute album closer `20 Steps Towards the Invisible Door' heads closer to deep space madness again, Tangerine Dream-like sequencers and loops taking on a creeping and darker machine menace, harsher electric guitar drones and a breathless rumble of rising drumming. Scratchy violin slivers dance around bubbling synths and teases of eastern flavours before exploding into unhinged electric guitar wailing like a storm, with a final effective come-down the perfect way to ease back to Earth.

The ØSC have always delivered strong albums, but that true greatness they'd always had within their reach has finally been fully realised here. If you're already familiar with the group and the sort of eclectic space music its mostly revolving door of musicians and guests can deliver, then you already know the talent on display and the colourful works they deliver with every release. But if you're looking for an introduction to the band presenting some of their best ever material, then this would also make for an ideal title to explore from them first.

`Different Creatures' is a defining release for the Øresund Space Collective, one of the most varied, special and exciting space-rock/psych releases of the year, and simply one of the best overall progressive-related releases of 2015.

Five stars.

Psychedelic Baby


Øresund Space Collective “Different Creatures” (2xCD, 3xLP on Space Rock Productions, 2015)
Listen: https://oresundspacecollective.bandcamp.com/album/different-creatures

You’re familiar with the term ‘binge viewing”, but you may need to do some “binge listening” to fully absorb this mammoth triple album/double CD (the CD contains extended versions) from the Scandinavian psychedelic supergroup that has benefited from participation of over five dozen different musicians across its decade-long existence. To mark their 20th release, Scott Heller and the improvisational Øresund Space Collective have edited numerous hours of tapes recorded in Copenhagen back in October 2014 down to the more manageable, yet still daunting 2½ hours presented across theselengthy jams, several exceeding 20 minutes and a monstrous 45-minute finale that’s practically an entire album unto itself.
‘Ride To Valhalla’ kicks things into overdrive, with an energetic blast of space rock. Simply strap on your jet pack and set the phasers on stun – it’s going to be a bumpy “ride” across the universe “to Valhalla”. Supercharged drumming, headswirling synth action, throbbing basslines...they’re all here in abundance. Toss in some sweltering, wah-wah guitarlines, serpentining violins and you’re in for a hell of a journey to the infinite ... and beyond.
Following this 20-minute take-off, ‘Juggle the Juice’ is one of two experimental sound collages that break up the sonic assault on the senses. Not necessarily to everyone’s taste, the percolating synths and tribal skinpounding certainly acted as a sonic sorbet for me to catch my breath and regain my senses to prepare for the 20-minute ‘Digestive Raga’ (expanded to a full half hour on the CD set). Pure sonic bliss awaits fans of sitar loveliness, as this contemplative naval-gazer floats effortlessly around the room, soothing away the day’s transgressions, tensions, and worries. Just sit back, close your eyes, and breathe deeply as its medicinal comfort envelops your body and transports you to another plane of existence, where pain and suffering have vanished and marshmallow clouds soar by, wrapping you in a mushroomed haze of warmth and inner beauty. Aaaahhhhhhh....
Fans of Welsh psych monsters Man will freak out (in a good way!) to the beloved tribute ‘The MAN from Wales’, a swarming, throbbing blur of tasty guitar licks (a MAN specialty), swirling keyboards, and hard-driving rhythms. To paraphrase the masters, “Yes, we like it here now and we are settling in quite comfortably”! ‘Bon Voyage’ is another extemporaneous detour, featuring a bunch of speak and spell type toys (think Experimental Audio Research’s Data Rape album), we’re welcomed to sit back and enjoy another raga, this one for the mysterious Jerry G. It all begins with a weeping violin that reminded me of the more countrified selections on The KLF’s Chill Out album, and then brought in some heady sitar embellishments to transport me to another universe inside my head. Breathless...and endlessly fascinating! Country raga?!? Like, way grooovy, MAN! I can almost feel my face melting off my head!
Now about that 45-minute album, er, song that makes up the third LP in the set (and most of disk 2): Boy Howdy! I can almost guarantee you’ll stumble a few times whilst attempting to take those ’20 Steps Towards The Invisible Door’, but it’ll be an enjoyable trip along the way. The band toss everything in their arsenal into this bad boy, from throbbing gristle to bubbling cauldrons of medicated goo, all in search of the lost chord that tethers us to this universe and keeps us from falling though that “invisible door” to the worlds that lie on the other side. While almost impossible to experience in a single setting without venturing off the deep end, pace yourself and sit back and enjoy the ride. Not since The Bevis Frond’ssimilar experiment in album-long songs (White Numbers’ ‘Homemade Traditional Electric Jam’) have we been so impressed that a band could sustain the momentum without losing the plot a few times, but OSC manage to keep their feet on the ground and their (and your) heads in the clouds. A fascinating climax to an incredible journey to the infinite...and beyond.

Review made by Jeff Penczak/2015



It’s hard to believe it but the band known as Øresund Space Collective have released 20 albums since 2006, while the band actually started in 2004. The band strikes space-rock gold on their 2015 double CD set entitled Different Creatures. Released on the band’s own Space Rock Productions label, Different Creatures features a wide range of instrumental, improvised psychedelic sounds that captures the essence of this bold and exciting music ensemble. At the helm of Øresund Space Collective is synthesist Scott Heller, who also goes by the name of Dr. Space. Featuring two CDs of sprawling, electronica and space-rock freakouts, Different Creatures a number of gifted musicians from Sweden, Norway and the U.S. who convened in Copenhagen in late 2014 to record this latest Øresund Space Collective release. Some of the other musicians featured on this 2015 Øresund Space Collective album include Alex (drums), Hasse (bass), Jonas (Hammond, synths, piano), KG (sitar), with Mats and Mathias (guitars). Also on hand is Jonathan, from acclaimed rockers Camper Van Beethoven, adding guitar, violin, theremin and electric mandolin. Scott Heller lists all the artists and credits as well as writing the Different Creatures CD liner notes. Musically, it's more than fitting to compare Øresund Space Collective to mid period Gong, especially the You era band with Daevid Allen and Steve Hillage. Being all-instrumental, Øresund Space Collective’s Different Creatures dives into a wide range of free form jams and space-based freakouts that will appeal to fans of Gong, early Grateful Dead and even early Pink Floyd. It’s pretty impressive that Different Creatures was recorded live in the studio as there’s hardly an off note throughout. The spirit of primo late ‘60s / early ‘70s progressive space-rock is alive and well on Øresund Space Collective’s double album masterpiece, Different Creatures. www.oresundspacecollective.com

Rock Times (Germany)

Auf der zweiten CD des Øresund Space Collective-Doppeldeckers "Different Creatures" befinden sich nur zwei Songs. Einerseits ist es "Raga For Jerry G" und andererseits "20 Steps Towards The Invisible Door". Über fünfundvierzig Minuten benötigt das musikalische Kollektiv für die zwanzig Schritte/Stufen bis zur unsichtbaren Tür. Hingegen hat man den "Digestive Raga" schon innerhalb von dreißig Minuten verdaut.
Das Øresund Space Collective (ØSC) hatte mit der 3-Scheiben-Live-Dokumentation
Out Into Space (2015) ihr zehnjähriges Bühnenjubiläum gefeiert und Ende 2015 kann man sich über den nächsten Output der Band freuen.
Dabei versammelten sich vom 24.bis 26. Oktober 2014 acht Musiker im Black Tornado Studio und jammten quasi, was das Zeug hielt und die Zeit hergab.
Die beteiligten Leute stehen unter anderem mit Bands wie Siena Root, Tangle Edge,
Gösta Berlings Saga oder Agusa in Verbindung, aber spielen hier unter dem Namen Øresund Space Collective.
Auch wenn die Abbildung im Kreis des Coverbildes wirr zu sein scheint, spiegelt es doch die auch in der Gelassenheit steckende Dynamik der Sessions. Es gibt halt "Different Creatures".
Das vorliegende Doppelalbum mit Music For Pogonologists zu vergleichen, verbietet sich im Grundsatz, denn dort war das Line-up ein anderes. Sehr wohl ist es erstaunlich, auf welch hohem kosmischen Niveau improvisiert wird.
Die intergalaktischen Strahlungen sind sehr intensiv. Instrumente wie Theremin, Sitar, Pedal Steel oder Violine erweitern das klangliche Spektrum enorm, aber dennoch schweben alle Nummern unter dem hohen Dach des ØSC.
Wer neugierig auf Space Country ist, der lässt sich eindeutig von "Raga For Jerry G" überzeugen. Getragen von einem unsichtbaren Luftkissen ist dieses Stück ein Beispiel dafür, wie spielerisch das Kollektiv ein Genre auslegen kann. Die einzelnen Instrumente ergeben ein herrlich-homogenes Bild aus ineinander fließenden, eher pastellen Farben. Eine Einleitung, noch ohne Schlagzeug, ist geradezu nachdenklich-verträumt. Wie perlende Wassertropfen an einer Fensterscheibe zu kleinen Rinnsalen werden ist "Raga For Jerry G" in seiner Gesamtheit eine Nummer, die Entspannung beim Hörer verursacht. Die diversen Instrumente treten in Alleingängen prominent in den Vordergrund. Bei dem Songtitel und Jonathans Violine kommt einem Jerry Goodman von The Flock beziehungsweise Mahavishnu Orchestra in den Sinn.
"Ride To Valhalla" ist aus ganz anderen kosmischen Eisen geschmiedet worden. Heftige kosmische Winde toben durch den rechten und linken Lautsprecherkanal. Das Øresund Space Collective rockt im Weltraum und auch wenn Jonathan mit seiner virtuos gespielten Violine bereits Erwähnung fand, ist er schon im Opener prägend mit von der Partie. "Ride To Valhalla" verfügt über ein Alleinstellungsmerkmal, denn keine andere Nummer auf diesem Album rockt so dermaßen ab. Hypnotisch zeichnen die Synthesizer ihre galaktischen Ringe und im Untergrund brodelt der Retro-Hammond-Sound, kreiert durch Jonas. Highlight schon zu Beginn!
Wie auch immer man auf den Titel "The MAN From Wales" gekommen ist, geht es bei 'MAN' tatsächlich um Man. Was bei "Ride To Valhalla" den Retro-Klang anbelangt, erzeugt zu Beginn hier auch die E-Gitarre. Das Stück wird angetrieben von einer hochinteressanten Psychedelic und verfügt über eine gewisse Härte in der Aussage, die durch herrliche Melodien konterkariert werden. Fantastisches Lied!
Klar, das minutenlange Monster "20 Steps Towards The Invisible Door" darf natürlich nicht unerwähnt bleiben, denn es gehört zu den Primus inter Pares der zwei Scheiben. Gegenüber "Ride To Valhalla" sind die kosmischen Winde hier eher sanft. Die Synthesizer und Keyboards vereinen sich zu einem herrlichen Miteinander unterschiedlicher Ausprägung. Die sich stetig steigernde Dynamik nimmt den Hörer gefangen. Die Intensität steigt, wird unter den Kopfhörern zu einem besonderen Genuss. Es ist verdammt viel los und selbst nach der Hälfte der Nummer will man immer mehr von den "20 Steps Towards The Invisible Door". Beim ØSC kennt die Improvisation keine Grenzen, ist im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes ausschließlich in der Freiheit der Ideen eingebettet. Gegen Ende, nach gut sechsunddreißig Minuten, mit Einsatz der Violine, scheint die Raumkapsel hinweg zu schweben und ganz zum Schluss dürfen die Synapsen, angeregt durch die Musik, ein wenig Erinnerungen an
The Doors und ihr "Riders On The Storm" erwecken.Das Stück bekommt eine unglaubliche Leichtigkeit.
"Different Creatures" gibt es als Doppel-CD oder 3-LP-Gatefold. Das Booklet der Silberling-Version lässt sich zu einem Plakat auseinanderfalten. Auf der Vorderseite befinden sich viele Fotos der Session und die andere Seite ziert ein Kunstwerk von Mårdøn Smet und Lea Løvberg. Mit der fernöstlich angehauchten Space Trance von "Digestive Raga" ist "Different Creatures" eine der besten Øresund Space Collective-Veröffentlichungen, die bisher erschienen sind und somit eine dicke, ganz dicke Empfehlung!



During a live performance, there is something about the synergy between the band and the audience with the spur of the moment vibe played within the mement that builds upon the psyche. A passive-aggressive element of telepathy that invokes mutual amusement and the organic and spontaneous combustion of ideas come from the depths of the soul being at the heart of enigmatic performances taking place in the flesh. No filtering, now added ingredients, and no preservatives in the form of studio trickery – There are reasons why albums such as Live/Dead & Space Ritual are milestones with their free spirited improvisations and hypnotic resonance that memorize those within earshot.

A unit of musicians from Scandinavia, Øresund Space Collective throws all studio wizardry out the window and lets the performance itself do the talking. Aside from mixing & mastering, nothing has been sent though a post-production filter that could have otherwise discarded the soulful elements. The more raw energy that travels from the neurons all the way to the amps, the better. Two albums of melodic fulmination persist of two albums by this collective. Of course, this series of tunage takes place on the live stage and it literally began the moment these guys hit the stage as no charts, not sheet music, no demos and no type of musical GPS of sorts there to provide the roadmap of what would happen. It’s all in favor of capturing everything from the ground up in this (ahem) space in time.

Several hours are spread out between these two releases; crescendos, sweeping synths, swirling moogs, odd time signature and tempo inclinations all make headway as everything executes various moods, with the band often igniting musical affinity from natural cues. Each set of performances is unique, Out Into Space gives us a performance spanning three CDs running through elements of funk (“Has Anyone Seen Nick”), low key groove (“The Man Who Ate the Planets” & “Jamming for Your Mind”), and metalize shred guitar ecstasy (“One More Space Out” & “Let it Groove”); definitely being a journey through and through. But the journey doesn’t end there.

Different Creatures sees the collective venturing further into outer space through a chaotic, yet harmonious sprint on the opening “The Ride to Valhalla,” playing out a Gilmour-esque steel guitar to refine a bluesy edge on “Raga for Jerry G,” and diving into world/ethnic sounds on the transe-like “Bon Voyage.” So through these two albums, you hear that these guys are way beyond simply standing around. The music in fact, never ends, it constantly evolves, even as if a trackslist or set of song titles might denote something of more of a singular manner, separation and what not, everything is glued together, not by some arrangement or a compositional goal. Compelling with deep intrigue, Øresund Space Collective delivers a triumph of free form music to the ears.

Music Street Journal

Øresund Space Collective

Different Creatures

Review by G. W. Hill
To a large degree you really know what you are going to get when you spin a new album from OSC. I mean, their music is always improvised space rock. There is a decent amount of range within that picture, though. This new double disc set doesn’t have any huge surprises. It does have some great pieces of music.
Track by Track Review

Disc 1
The Ride to Valhalla
At over nineteen and a half minutes of sound, the opener is an epic. Classical elements start it. Spacey sounds join as the piece evolves in very slow ways. After the first minute elapses a new energy is added and the piece starts to really rock. It’s all space music at that point, with the classical things gone. Although nothing changes quickly, by about the six and a half minute mark, this thing is on fire. It’s scorching hot space rock that just plain jams. As it continues to shift and evolve, it really has some amazing moments. They know that you need to balance between faster and slower, louder and softer passages and make a great effort at doing that. It eventually drops way down for a pretty keyboard section at the end.

Juggle the Juice
Weird echoey synthesizer starts this. It builds out from there as a particularly strange, but effective bit of space.

Digestive Raga
If the opener was an epic, this piece (over half an hour long) is something in a completely different league. It starts with space music that has a lot of old school blues and psychedelia built into it. The cut grows out gradually from there. The ride is pretty cool from there. We get the kind of space rock one expects. It rides in waves up and down, while moving along the shoreline allowing us to see various bits of changing scenery. There really are some cool flavors built into this as different instruments take control at different times. Bits come back to the psychedelia. There is even a section that seems a bit like surf music. There are even some moments that make me think of the Doors a bit. There is a cool mellower section at the end, too.

The MAN from Wales
More of a harder rocker, this feels a lot like something Hawkwind would do, really. This is perhaps less varied than some of the others. Still, there are shifts and changes. Parts of this cut also make me think of The Doors a bit.

Bon Voyage
This spacey cut is quite trippy really. There is a lot of psychedelia built into it. It’s mellower than some of the rest, too. I can make out a lot of Iron Butterfly at times, especially during the drum driven mid-section jam.

Disc 2
Raga for Jerry G
This really is an entirely different creature. It has a real bluegrass meets spacey folk music vibe to it as it slowly drifts through the first sections. It gets into more familiar space rock territory later, but still has a real Earthy kind of 60s rock vibe all the way through. At more than twenty minutes in length, this is another epic piece.

20 Steps towards the invisible Door
The longest track here, this one clocks in at over 45 minutes in length. This comes in tentatively, threatening to explode out as mellow sounds dance around. It definitely feels a lot like Hawkwind as it works through this opening segment. Spacey jamming moves around as this continues to build. It never really explodes like it seemed about to do. Instead, this is a slow simmer that gradually heats in cool ways. There are some hints of Middle Eastern music in a slightly more powered up section around the ten minute mark. Before it gets to the twenty minute mark the whole thing drops down in terms of volume, but doesn’t let up in terms of pace. It continues to evolve with a new rocking movement built around that backdrop. After another building process, it drops way down again around the twenty minute mark. The intensification process begins again with more powerful space music emerging over the next ten minutes or so. By around the 35 minute mark it falls back into particularly mellow keyboard territory. Eventually it builds back upward a bit. Violin echoes over the top and the keys bring an almost jazzy Pink Floyd sound to things. It manages to bring both Earthy and space-oriented elements into being at the same time as it continues to make its way forward.

Thee Psychedelicatessen


Having recently celebrated their 10th anniversary, the prolific Øresund Space Collective are an ever changing group of musicians, mainly from Denmark and Sweden, that play entirely improvised Space Rock with around over five dozen different musicians having been involved in 19 albums during that time. Known for their epic live sets of freeform jams sometimes up to 5 hours in length, the Øresund Space Collective just don’t do short and snappy and their most recent release is no different………there is a lot of music here, spread over 3 x LP/2 x CD. For Different Creatures OSC mainstay Dr Space (Copenhagen based American musician Scott Heller) has assembled a group of his favourite musicians from Norway and Sweden, they have locked themselves in the Black Tornado Studio, Copenhagen with incense and no doubt other substances burning and let the tapes roll………..the fruits of these sessions have been edited down to 2½ hours of vast cosmic jams, many stretching beyond 20 minutes with the final track, ‘20 Steps Towards The Invisible Door’, a mammoth 45 minutes of face melting Psych Rock.

Musically OSC are inspired by many of the more current Space Rock bands………the opening track ‘The Ride to Valhalla’ has all the supercharged kinetic energy of Ozric Tentacles…..but also the proto Space Rock of 70s Prog/Psych/Kraut bands such as Gong, early Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, Amon Düül II and Hawkwind and the lysergic adventures of the Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service…….jamming on the riff from ‘Eight Miles High’ OSC create a haze of tasty guitar licks, swirling keyboards/synths and hard-driving rhythms for ‘The MAN from Wales’ which is a homage/tribute (?) to the 60s West Coast influenced Welsh band who themselves are no strangers to epic jams……. but ultimately as all tracks are improvised it is essentially down to what the individual musicians bring to the party. There are two wonderful sitar based tracks on Different Creatures……..’Digestive Raga’ ebbs and flows through a river of contemplative calm on a 30 minute transcendental journey that soothes both body and mind while ‘Raga for Jerry G’ mixes sitar, pedal steel guitar and violin in a beautiful, meandering “Grateful Dead goes East”, a tune dedicated to the late great Jerry Garcia. This is certainly a record that is not going to be to everyone’s taste as it takes a great deal of commitment to take in the whole of this epic album, but dedication is rewarded with an expedition to the centre of the mind and back. Turn on and tune in to the Øresund Space Collective but don’t forget to bring a packed lunch as you may not be home for tea, Different Creatures is a very, very long strange trip.

Different Creatures is out now on the Danish Space Rock Productions imprint and available as a limited edition press (500 copies in total) on black or coloured 3 x vinyl LP or on 2 x CD. Available from the OSC Bandcamp page at http://oresundspacecollective.bandcamp.com/album/different-creatures or alternatively check the Space Rock Productions website for other distribution details.

Rock Impressions (Italy)


Space Rock Productions
Distribuzione italiana: Black Widow
Genere: Space Rock
Support: 2CD - 2015

Era un po’ che non ascoltavo gli OSC, il progetto portato avanti dal visionario tastierista Scott Heller. Uno degli esempi migliori di come un sogno ambizioso e profondamente utopico possa in realtà diventare solidamente reale. Sono già diversi anni che questo collettivo di musicisti ci regala grandi emozioni e le uscite discografiche, più o meno ufficiali, non si contano più. Dominante di ogni uscita è che si tratta di lunghe improvvisazioni strumentali in chiave space rock e ogni volta con formazioni diverse, con elemento comune appunto Scott.

Questo nuovo album si presenta subito bene con un artwork curato e bello, doppio cd in digipack con libretto a poster e una scelta di colori e immagini molto azzeccata, degna di questo progetto musicale. Il primo cd contiene cinque brani, tre hanno la durata di una suite, il primo “Ride to Walhalla” è enfatico, pomposo, vero space rock epico. Il ritmo incalzante con ottime parti soliste, supportate da una sezione ritmica adrenalinica. “Juggle the Juice” è breve e sperimentale, dove si divertono i tastieristi, i suoni di synth si sprecano ed è difficile immaginare uno space rock più visionario di così. “Digestive Raga” invece si rivolge all’oriente, il sitar da anni è considerato un veicolo perfetto per i viaggi cosmici e anche in questo caso non fallisce l’obiettivo. Brano molto rilassante e onirico. Ma essendo lungo più di trenta minuti è difficile raccontarne tutte le sfumature, l’unica pecca forse è la linea di basso, che mi è parsa un po’ troppo ripetitiva. “The Man From Wales” è forse il brano più vicino ai maestri del genere, gli Hawkwind. Un altro bel trip. Il primo cd si chiude con “Bon Voyage”, non credo che servano molti commenti, se non che vengono aggiunte delle percussioni etniche, che generano un’atmosfera dai sapori sciamanici e ancestrali.

Il secondo cd è composto solo da due lunghi brani, “Raga For Jerry G” di oltre venti minuti e “20 Steps Towards the Invisible Door” di oltre quarantacinque. Il primo sembra essere dedicato a Garcia, indimenticato leader dei Grateful Dead, la più grande jam band di tutti i tempi, i suoni sono orientali, molto sognanti, poi, man mano che passano i minuti, il pezzo prende sempre più quota. La chiusura è il perfetto esempio di cosa sia lo space rock psichedelico, summa di tutto il genere, dalla kosmiske musik al prog visionario degli Hawkwind, con qualcosa anche di Gong e Ozric Tentacles.

Il ritorno in grande stile di questi freakettoni non può che farmi piacere, una band fuori dalle mode e dai cliché, che porta avanti controcorrente la propria eroica proposta musicale. GB

Agoravox (France)

Oresund Space Collective, du space psyché scandinave

par Bernard Dugué (son site)
mercredi 20 janvier 2016

A l’écart des médias de masse et de la culture mainstream, la scène alternative n’a jamais cessé d’enregistrer des albums et de se produire sur scène. La plupart des musiciens ne jouent pas pour assurer des revenus principaux et du reste, les « amateurs » sont même « meilleurs » que les professionnels signés sur les majors et présents sur les plateaux télé. La controverse sur les artistes mainstream ou underground ne cessera jamais. A chacun de faire ses choix et tant mieux si quelques plumes de la presse font circuler les informations, annonces, critiques et revues sur ces admirables productions alternatives englobant de multiples genres, prog, coldwave, zheul, RIO, krautrock, métal, heavy, électronique…

Fin 2015, on a vu apparaître sur radars de la musique alternative scandinave un double CD avec 140 minutes de longues séquences enregistrées l’espace de quelques jours en jam session par un collectif de musiciens évoluant sur la scène space et psyché. Oresund Space Collective est comme son nom l’indique un collectif rassemblant une trentaine de musiciens venus du Nord (voir présentation plus bas (1)) et qui se réunissent pour former des line-up dédiées à la scène ou à l’enregistrement d’albums comme cette dernière production proposée dans un double digipack en CD et en triple LP (2). Rien de moins. Pour l’occasion, Scott Heller a réuni huit musiciens issus des scènes alternatives suédoises et norvégiennes pour enregistrer à Copenhague fin 2014 ces sept séquences produites avec un soin particulier.

Ces jam sessions commencent par une première séquence ambiguë. Après quelques nappes space, une rythmique d’enfer se met en branle avec des basses synthétiques et hypnotiques, des nappes de mellotron, des guitares planantes, évoquant Ozric Tentacle. Le style répétitif évoque ensuite le Ash Ra Tempel période 1975 avec les « inventions pour guitares » mais avec les guitares qui sonnent un peu à la Gilmour. Cette séquence est façonnée avec tous les ingrédients du pyché tendance hypotique avec un rythme endiablé généré par les synthés dont les basses se combinent aux exécutions des percussions très soutenues, non sans des breaks fréquents et le reste fait de nappes d’orgue et de guitare. Cette première séquence est séduisante pour les oreilles initiés au krautrock, au psyché ainsi qu’à la techno mais on ne s’y trompe pas, c’est bien plus la facture psyché, et Floyd qui domine. 20 minutes pour ce premier morceau qui sonne vraiment seventies et je n’ai pas les mots pour décrire la fin de cette séquence qui s’envole avec les impros de guitare très réussies. Aucun doute, ça déchire et la suite sera plus modérée mais tout aussi passionnante.

Une facétie électronique de 3 minutes sert d’interlude pour passer à la troisième séquence, sorte de plat de résistance pour le premier CD. 30 minutes d’improvisations et toujours cette étonnante maîtrise du jeu musical qui maintenant résonne avec les orientalismes, avec un résultat impressionniste incorporant jeu de sitar ainsi que divers instruments peu courants comme le Theremin ou la mandoline électrique. On se croirait en 1970, avec les expérimentations de ce rock plus vraiment psyché mais devenu universel, mariant l’Orient et l’Occident. Cette troisième séquence est résolument orientée vers des plans psyché, planant et même krautrock plutôt du côté de Popol Vuh. Une musique chaleureuse et vraiment lumineuse, zen, avec des instruments qui cisèlent la musique. C’est du grand art et je n’ai pas les mots pour décrire cette finesse dans les détails et toutes les subtilités d’une musique calme et colorée qui nous dépayse assurément. Guitare inventive et planante, note de synthé en parfaite combinaison. Rien à redire. La séquence progresse, avec les percussions feutrées et au final, une impression de musique atmosphérique, éclatée, free, un sentiment de liberté de dégage et si vous voulez le partagez, n’hésitez pas à vous procurer cet album abouti et parfaitement enregistré et produit. Ces 30 minutes ont offert un agréable voyage esthétique sans aucun ennui.

Le premier CD se poursuit avec deux autres séquences marquées par des teintes différentes. Mais sans quitter ce style space et psyché qui oscille entre Grateful Dead et le Ash Ra période 1975. Sur le second CD, l’ambiance se fait plus planante, avec un côté feutré, raffinés, très inventif et juste deux séquences, l’une de 20 minutes et l’autre, pas moins de 45 minutes. On pourrait penser que l’on va s’ennuyer mais c’est l’inverse. Le space rock proposé n’a rien de Riley ou Glass ni du Tangerine Dream de la période « Zeit ». C’est plutôt une impression new age, psyché californienne, qui se dégage avec une musique aboutie et parfois, un foisonnement qui nous rappellera le Gong de la meilleure période, celle de You. Et bien évidemment, le « raga for Jerry G » est dédié au Dead de la belle époque, 20 minutes d’improvisation qui nous font revenir 45 ans en arrière.

En conclusion, aucun doute, c’est du rock alternatif orienté psyché et space qui nous est proposé. Car les morceaux sont exécutés avec les ingrédients de base du rock, à savoir une batterie, une basse et des guitares. Ensuite s’ajoutent les ingrédients propres au prog, krautrock et space. Les claviers évidemment, souvent vintage comme l’orgue Hammond. Les synthés sont employés avec subtilité et générosité et le reste des instruments offre réellement une touche d’originalité en permettant à chaque séquence d’avoir ses saveurs et sa coloration spécifique.

Pour donner une idée du résultat final, imaginez un mélange du Grateful Dead de 1969 jouant en live, du Floyd de « Careful Eugen » et « Atom », du Popol Vuh orientalisant de 1975, du Ash Ra Tempel période 75-80, un peu de Gong. Le tout joué par huit musiciens doués d’une excellente maîtrise avec chaque instrument judicieusement intégré à l’ensemble et la production très soignée qui permet d’entendre toutes les contributions sonores. N’hésitez pas à acheter ce très beau CD ou même le triple LP. Vous aurez un très bel objet de collection qui surprend à chaque écoute. Attention, le tirage n’est que de 1000 exemplaires. Note final, un franc 4/5 ou si vous voulez, disons 17/20.