Review: Öresund Space Collective - Give Your Brain A Rest From The Matrix (Space Rock Productions, 2012)(Spacerock)

Öresund Space Collective is een spacerock band uit Öresund, Denemarken, die uit ongeveer 20 muzikanten bestaat en een muzikale mix maakt van improvisaties, funk, reggae, jazz en spacerock, is sinds 2004 actief. Leidende kracht achter de band is Scott Heller, alias Dr. Space, een Amerikaan, die naar Denemarken verhuisde.
De band is een kollektief, dat regelmatig van bezetting wisselt, waarvan de leden hoofdzakelijk uit Kopenhagen, Denemarken en Malmö, Zweden komen en de vaste kern bestaat uit Scott Heller - synthesizer en Mogens - synthesizer.De band die op deze CD speelt, bestaat behalve uit Scott en Mogens uit: Claus Bohling - sologitaar, KG - sitar, Johan Dahlström - sologitaar, Mathias Danielsson - pedal steel gitaar en sologitaar, Nickolas Hill - basgitaar, PIB -drums en Steve Hayes - synthesizer."Give Your Brain A Rest From The Matrix" is de 14e release van OSC en de 7e op het eigen label en is in een gelimiteerde oplage van 500 stuks uitgebracht. De muziek op deze CD is 26 september 2010 in de Black Tornado Studio te Kopenhagen opgenomen door Lars Lundholm en gemixt door Steve Hayes (van Secret Saucer) en gemasterd door Henrik Udd te GÖtenburg, Zweden in maart 2012. Er staan 4 nummers op de CD, die begint met het titel nummer "Give Your Brain A Rest From The Matrix", dat bijna 25 minuten duurt.
De muziek in dit nummer wordt rustig gespeeld en heeft een oosters karakter doordat de band hierin de sitar de boventoon voert, waardoor het geheel ook vrij psychedelisch klinkt.
Daarna krijg ik "Mainstream Is The New Acid" te horen, dat een symfonisch nummer is, dat naarmate het vordert in een sneller tempo gespeeld gaat worden, een hypnotiserende werking heeft en waarin eveneens lichtelijk oosterse invloeden te horen zijn. Vervolgens hoor ik "Step Into The Other World", een nummer dat opnieuw erg oosters klinkt door de sitar en in een langzaam tempo gespeeld wordt, waarin verder eigenlijk weinig gebeurt, zodat het tot het einde toe in een relaxed tempo voort kabbelt. Het laatste nummer heet "Cerebral Massage" en dit bijna 28 minuten durende nummer is meteen het langste van de CD. De muziek wijkt al meteen af van de rest van de nummers, want hierin hoor je de band een swingend stukje spacerock spelen, dat gemixt met de symfonische rock, een waanzinnig goed geheel vormt, waarbij het onmogelijk is om niet mee te gaan bewegen met de muziek. Dit is weer één van die CD's waar je als muziekliefhebber niet omheen kan. Verplichte kost dus!

4 out of 4


Oresund Space Collective – “Give Your Brain a Rest from the Matrix” (Space Rock Productions 2012, SPR007, CD digipack 500 copies)
October 30, 2012 Aural Innovations Uncategorized

Since being formed by Dr. Space (aka Aural Innovations’ own Scott Heller) in 2004, Oresund Space Collective have been recording and touring at an amazing rate, with Give Your Brain a Rest from the Matrix being their 14th proper release, although the number of limited edition releases using one format only (such as the vinyl-only Entering the Space Country and Phaze Your Fears from 2011 and 2012 respectively) make it hard to keep track of just what is out there. This CD release (limited to 500 copies only, although possibly to be released as a double LP at some future point) was recorded at the same session – Sept 26th 2010 – that produced Space Country and Fears. To find another instance of just one single session producing enough material for three different albums, one would have to go back to the legendary Amon Duul session of 1968, which birthed several rather unlistenable albums. Fortunately, the four lengthy tracks on Give Your Brain a Rest from the Matrix contain far more musical depth than the acid-drenched communal noodlings of the original Amon Duul.

A true collective, rather than a band as such, Oresund have featured over 30 different musicians in their line-up, most of whom have connections to other Scandanavian/European spacerock ventures. For example, Matrix features First Band from Outer Space guitarist Johan Dahlstrom on one track, and Secret Saucer synth-player Steve Hayes on another. However, by far the most notable guest contribution comes from Siena Root’s enigmatically-named KG, whose sitar is all over much of this album. No stranger to the OSC family, KG provided sitar-stylings on 2009's Good Planets Are Hard to Find, probably the closest touchstone for Matrix in the Oresund back catalogue. If, as stated in the sleeve notes, Give Your Brain a Rest from the Matrix is all about unplugging from the soulless and potentially isolating technologies of the internet, smartphones and headphones which block out the “real” world, the opening track serves as a mighty call to… let go, relax and drift! A lengthy ambient-folksy sitar/guitar intro sets the mood, and the music seems to almost hold its breath for five minutes in anticipation before tabla-style percussion, guitar, bass and synths bring in a gentle groove, which flows across the remaining 20 minutes. This is definitely “world” music, although the world in question may not be Planet Earth. First Band’s Johan provides bluesy guitar on Mainstream is the New Acid, probably the most “conventional” (if such a word can be used in the worlds of OSC) track on the album, which includes a cracking guitar solo around the ten minute mark. Sitars make a return on the nine minute Step into the Other World, while gentle waves of guitar (courtesy of Claus Bohling and Mathias Danielsson) break against eastern shores. The interweaving patterns of guitar and sitar make this otherworldly invitation a most inviting one. Insistent bass and drum grooves give Cerebral Massage (the twenty-seven minute album closer) more of a rock feel, enhanced by KG’s bubbling and swirling Hammond organ, and stabs of wailing guitar. After a brief breakdown session about halfway through, the driving guitars and Hammond return for the most spacerocking section of the album.

The relaxing and terrestrial nature of much of the music on Give Your Brain a Rest from the Matrix means that this album might not be an ideal point of entry for anyone searching for spacerock sounds in the OSC catalogue (2007's The Black Tomato would probably be the ideal place to start), but it does provide a welcome, if temporary, respite from the relentless encroachment of 24/7 information technology into the world of the listener.

Access the band websites at and
Scott “Dr Space” Heller can be contacted at
The CD is distributed by Record Heaven at


Oresund Space Collective – Give Your Brain A Rest From The Matrix

Regular blog followers will undoubtedly know the score with Oresund Space Collective who are a revolving group of space-rock musicians from, variously, Denmark, Sweden and America, with Scott Heller taking a pivotal role and this time out including Steve Hayes among the musicians involved. Scott gets over to the UK on a semi-regular basis for the same concerts as I'm always aiming to attend and very rarely actually make so though we've corresponded across the ether I've never actually met him – though we were in the same bar at a gig in Oxfordshire a few years back and didn't realise it. I'm looking forward to catching up with him some place, some time, but in the meanwhile there's always his great CDs to look forward to and the latest batch brought this new OSC recording and one that Scott's had a hand in recording and mixing by Danish 'space psychedelic krautrock band' Troldmand – Live At Loppen – which I'll write-up over the next few days.

OSC's Give Your Brain A Rest From The Matrix notes itself as being a call-out to people to disconnect from the smart phone Internet generation and kick back with relaxing sounds instead. Seems sound advice to me and this collection of four extended improvisations is exactly what the doctor ordered to slip out of the pressures and demands of the modern workplace and society and get lost in some psychedelic travelogues that takes us to Eastern, Far Eastern and Interstellar head spaces.

These are tracks cut back in September 2010, during the sessions that also conjured up their Entering Into The Space Country and Phaze Your Fears albums, albeit with modestly different line-ups contributing to the free-flowing jamming that is the OSC modus operandi. As always, there's a looseness to the playing on these tracks that allows the various players to follow their muses around a central theme or idea, or just a particular tone, and it's that sense of aural exploration and freeness to take a tangent or a deviation from the starting point that creates such a meditative luminance to their work. The title track has an Eastern flavour to it in principle but it that flows in and out of what they're playing so that it's a texture without being an overpowering 'flavour' to the music. On first hearing it I pegged it into having something of It Is The Business Of The Future To Be Dangerous about it and yet when I sit down to write about it with it running through my computer speakers I hear it differently and wonder where that notion derived from – and then it's shifting sands and perhaps that notion on another listen in another context on a different day would resurface.

I think that's what's so captivating and interesting about the OSC works that I've heard over the last few years, that spirit of improvisation and following where the music leads somehow becomes imbued into the pressing of the music onto physical format so that it's spirit shifts and moves on each listening – maybe because the music wanders so much from its inception to its close. 'Mainstream Is The New Acid' suggests track two, a light and spacious dream world that seems to float out of the speakers, melodic and hallucinogenic and the absolute encapsulation of that notion of freeing ourselves from the always-on demands of today. 'Step Into The Other World' is, for more, Far Eastern, Oriental, mysterious and ancient, civilized but of a different civilization and yet my kids, perhaps more properly now that I hear it again – that sense always of taking different things from the music on different listens – picture it as being Indian in its Eastern vibe; pictures painted musically. A lovely piece.

'Cerebral Massage' plays this one out, a more lively and innovative piece that bubbles up with freshness and vitality. Heavier than what has come before with some sharp and robust drumming propelling the musicians along in the most space-rock track in this set. A very smart collection in total that I see for European customers to the OSC website is priced at only €10 (I assume this the album that Scott notes on the OSC website as having been produced by the pressing company as CD-R instead of glass master CD and reduced in price by the band accordingly). It's a bloody bargain and restricted to 500 copies so please get in early and get your head out of the social networking matrix for an hour in the company of some great sounds.


Öresund Space Collective
Give Your Brain A Rest From The Matrix
(Space Rock Productions)
Så damp en ny platta ner med Öresund Space Collective. Detta underbara gäng med amerikanske Scott Heller / Dr Space i spetsen har jag recenserat ett flertal gånger innan. Och de flesta GARFare minns dem säkert efter Slottsskogsspelningen på Bel Parc.
Det kan vara lite svårt att recensera deras plattor eftersom de ( liksom livespelningarna) enbart består av improvisationer. Ofta finns ett stort spektra av musikaliska riktningar med.
Titeln kommer ifrån att alla människor brukar gå omkring med sina smartphones ständigt ipluggade i öronen och alla ska vara online konstant. Håller med bandet, kör detta i lurarna istället. Perfekt för promenader eller blundande i soffan. Du kommer sväva iväg, jag lovar!
Men vi gör ett försök till recension då...
Spår ett, som är titellåten, har det sedvanliga långsamma uppbyggandet. Sakta men säkert växer låten och blir alltmer komplex. Stämningsfullt sitarspel av KG, inlånad från fantastiska Siena Root. Han spelar för övrigt på plattans tre första låtar. Personligen tycker jag inte om när sitaren dominerar för mycket men så är inte fallet. Det är precis lagom för att få till den där härliga drömska stämningen. Ofta växlat med gitarr.
Sedan följer "Mainstream Is The New Acid", ett stycke i samma stil.
På "Step Into The Other World" är inriktningen lite annorlunda. Sitaren tar mer plats och stycket känns mer som en låt. Det är inte så att den byggs upp och växer utan har samma stuk hela tiden. Detta är inte nåt negativt för den är meditativ och helt underbar. Verkligen en port in i en annan värld.
Den jag kanske gillar allra mest är avslutande "Cerebral Massage". Här, om någonstans, känns det som en strukturerad låt, även om det helt eller till största delen är improviserat. Det börjar med en malande maskinaktig synthgång och ger sedan plats för bl a härligt gitarrspel. "Cerebral..." övergår sedan i flera olika faser och här finns allt. Inte minst en Floydiansk hotfull stämning som löper genom hela stycket.
Har egentligen bara bra saker att säga om ÖSC. Trevliga killar, duktiga musiker, produktiva och ofta förpackat i en snygg presentation. ( Ja, detta omslaget är också magnifikt).
Denna, och plattan "Sleeping With The Sunworm", tillhör mina favoriter men gruppen har egentligen inte gjort nån dålig platta. Och det är i princip omöjligt att tröttna på dem.


Give Your Brain A Rest From The Matrix
Krautrock - Spacerock

Clear Spot
29/10/2012, Paul Van de gehuchte

Geformeerd in Denemarken in april 2004 speelt dit collectief, bestaande uit Deense, Zweedse en Amerikaanse muzikanten - soms zijn ze met twintig - zich vooral in de kijker tijdens concerten en op festivals. Via deze link biedt het gezelschap gratis muziek aan van heel wat van hun live shows en jam sessies. In totaal kan je voor meer dan 40 uur aan materiaal downloaden. Sinds 2005 brengen ze ook regelmatig platen uit, doch telkens in een beperkte oplage gaande van een paar honderd tot duizend stuks. Zo verschijnt dit werkstuk op slechts vijfhonderd exemplaren. ‘Give Your Brain A Rest From The Matrix’ – dit jaar al hun derde release - bevat vier lange composities, goed voor iets meer dan 75 minuten muziek. Eigenlijk kan je niet spreken van ‘composities’, want de nummers komen tot stand via bijeenkomsten waar vrijelijk wordt geïmproviseerd. De ene keer vinden die plaats in Malmö, de andere keer in Kopenhagen. Beide landen zijn met elkaar verbonden door de Øresund brug (denk aan de spannende TV-serie ‘De Brug’). Alle sessies worden in ieder geval opgenomen en via verschillende kanalen verdeeld en beschikbaar gemaakt voor het publiek. Dat men wat de muziekstijl betreft zijn heil zoekt in voornamelijk space rock lijkt getuige de groepsnaam logisch. Om het toch wat meer spannend te maken zitten er ook facetten uit jazz, reggae, stoner en funk verweven in hun muziek. Beginnen doen ze echter in India met de sitar en tabla als centraal gegeven. Het samenspel met andere instrumenten als elektrische gitaar, synthesizers en meer percussie laten je de tijd vergeten. Je komt in een andere wereld terecht. Met 'Mainstream Is The New Acid' reizen we naar Centraal Europa en bezoeken er een moderne en hectische metropool. Met 'Step Into The Other World' trekken we terug naar de republiek India. De klemtoon ligt wel anders en de link met het Westen is nadrukkelijker aanwezig. 'Cerebral Massage' heeft een aan Tangerine Dream verwante riff als grondthema. Daarbovenop komen velerlei, steeds wisselende lagen en nemen verscheidene instrumenten om beurt de overhand. Je komt terecht in een maalstroom van impressies. Daar is het deze muzikanten om te doen: buiten de lijntjes kleuren en de toehoorders toch blijven boeien. Met deze 'Give Your Brain A Rest From The Matrix' is dat hen alvast gelukt.


Oresund Space Collective: ‘Give your brain a rest from the matrix’ (Space Rock Productions)

Riposo per il cervello, nuovo acido, passi in altri mondi, massaggi cerebrali. Esplicito più che mai, l’Oresund Space Collective torna con il suo inconfondibile space-prog psichedelico, come sempre pieno zeppo di riferimenti chiari ed evidenti ad un’epoca d’oro. Quella dell’allargamento della coscienza, del rock come veicolo di liberazione interiore ed esteriore, della sostanziale identità tra studio e palco. E poi oggi trovare buoni acidi è così difficile, l’OSC si propone come surrogato sonoro di qualità…

“Give your brain a rest from the matrix” è il quattordicesimo disco del collettivo scandivano/transnazionale, ormai inarrestabile vista la singolarità delle sue pratiche di incisione. Il 26 settembre 2010 – il terzo giorno delle sessions che porteranno alla nascita di altri due album – il gruppone si è chiuso in sala d’incisione e ha tirato fuori quattro pezzi chilometrici, in seguito assemblati in questo eccitante lavoro.

Per l’occasione il collettivo ha avuto anche la partecipazione di Johan Dalstrom della First Band From Outer Space, Matthias Danielsson dei Gosta Berlings Saga, KG dei Siena Root. Quasi eccessivo nel suo oceanico dilatarsi, l’album è una torrenziale sequenza che racchiude tutte le anime della psichedelia, passata e presente, con scelte strumentali dal forte simbolismo: il sitar che richiama ai misteri dell’Oriente, le turbolenze dei synths che rinviano all’epica degli Hawkwind, la ripetizione in crescendo di cellule sonore che riporta alla mente il lento torpore creato da Terry Riley.

Molto più rilassato e meditativo dei precedenti lavori, evocativo di riposi da post volo lisergico, “Give your brain” è come al solito un ascolto imperdibile per i fans dell’acid rock contemporaneo. Inutile aspettarsi altro dall’OSC, interprete oramai autorevole di un pensiero e di un’epoca.


Øresund Space Collective

Give your Brain a rest from the Matrix

Review by G. W. Hill
I have always liked this band. I have to say that this disc, though, is a real change. That doesn’t mean I don’t like it – in fact, I like it a lot. It just means that, no matter how familiar you are with OSC, you probably won’t expect this one. It’s not much like the Hawkwind-inspired sounds the group normally creates. Instead, this tends towards mellower, more psychedelic sounds with Pink Floyd, The Doors and Iron Butterfly showing up in the list of references. That’s not everything here, though, with some world music and jazz also well worth mentioning. It’s definitely a strong disc and a great change.

Track by Track Review

Give your Brain a rest from the Matrix
This comes in gradually and with a definite psychedelic groove, a bit like early Pink Floyd. It rises up gradually from there. Some sitar-type sounds are heard over the top as this grows outward. This moves and changes slowly, but consistently. It’s like watching clouds moving in the sky, the changes are subtle when taken moment to moment, but when compared in the long haul, it’s a dramatic alteration. It works out towards more traditional space rock at times and different instruments take the lead role at different points, too. There are clearly bits in this that feel a lot like The Doors, too. It’s quite an intriguing ride overall.

Mainstream is the new Acid
Mellow music opens this one with an almost smooth jazz meets psychedelia and space rock feeling. There is some particularly tasty guitar soloing as this continues and in a lot of ways it feels like a Pink Floyd meets jam band kind of thing, but with definite jazz in the mix. The Doors is also a definite reference point at times on this jam.

Step into the Other World
There are definite Asian elements on the opening segment here. The cut grows out gradually with that and psychedelic sounds merged. As it continues that Asian element goes away and more of a space rock meets psychedelic music (with plenty of The Doors) is heard on this piece.

Cerebral Massage
As this opens, Pink Floyd is clearly a reference point again. There’s a great mellow groove here and this builds out nicely. It works out gradually from this starting point. Later in the piece, as it works out to more traditional rocking sounds, organ rises up bringing in hints of Deep Purple, but then moving it into something closer to traditional progressive rock with a lot of retro psychedelic in the mix. Later it almost seems Pink Floyd has met Iron Butterfly in a progressive rock jam. This is the most dramatic and powerful cut of the whole set and it really does have some of the coolest music of the whole thing. It’s also one of the more dynamic pieces here. It dissolves into some space weirdness later. After that it works back out to some pounding jams that are a bit more like traditional space rock. It is one of the only moments where a reference to Hawkwind would be appropriate, and they are usually a pretty common reference for OSC. As it pounds upwards during that movement that connection is even more apparent. After that they take it into some almost jazzy space territory. It keeps evolving and changing from there. Later in the piece there are some sections that seem to have a Spanish kind of sound.