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├śresund Space Collective

Black Tomato

Review by Gary Hill
Hawkwind fanatic that I am, I pretty much love all space rock. That means that I’ve enjoyed everything Øresund Space Collective have done. The thing is, this disc might well be their most consistent. I can say that it’s almost certainly my favorite by the band. Check out the Transubstans/Record Heaven site for information on ordering this.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 6 at
Track by Track Review
Rumble Part I
This rises up with a killer jam that has “old school Hawkwind” written all over it. A hard pounding riff drives it while space keys wander across the top creating the waves of sound. A smoking guitar solo emerges later. It evolves and modulates gradually, as so much great space rock does. We get a more spacey guitar solo further down the road. It shifts towards a more full space jam later as echoey melody lines emerge over the top and more funky guitar patterns also take center stage. They drop it down towards just these two elements for a time. Then it falls back even further towards the sedate. Changing almost to blues later, this still has a lot of vintage Hawkwind in there.
Rumble Part II
A driving bass and chirping textures segue in from the previous piece. Guitar lays down echoey lines over the top of the bass line and then a spoken vocal line (not in English) comes in over this backdrop as the instruments intensify. This vocal section is delivered with passion, something that is not often present in Hawkwind-like recitations, which tend (intentionally) to feel cold and detached. Eventually an echoey sort of jam full of delay takes over as the voice goes away. This gradually modulates out towards a jam that is closer in texture to the previous one (but with a less hard edge nature). A guitar chirps and squeals over the top in a cool way. This moves onward in ever so gradual ways through a series of intriguing alterations and adaptations. It wanders towards an almost jazzy approach (but still retains its space textures) later. It then drops back to essentially just keys with a bit of a Dark Side…era Pink Floyd feel to it. Noisier elements rise up amidst more sound effect type stuff to segue into the next track.
Rumble Part III
Rising up with noisy, echoey sort of textures, this takes on a texture that almost feels like space rock does the Ventures at times. Then the echoey start and stop strikes enter over the top of a cool groove to take this in new, very cool directions. It wanders into more traditional space rock territory as it carries on. As it intensifies we get some killer guitar textures. Then it shifts the focus to an emphasis on the killer bass line. As this turns more towards hard rocking, psychedelic jams we get another spoken recitation over the top, this one in English. They turn it funky as they carry on. The main riff that drives this has a classic rock sound, rather in the vein of Led Zeppelin. The cool, noise guitar soloing over the top as they carry on is pretty awesome, as are the space wanderings that run alongside. This turns into some of the most metallic music of the whole disc.
Rumble Part IV
As this transitions out of the last number it takes on a bass driven space rock sound, a lot more mellow. It modulates ever so gradually and slowly through, at times feeling a bit jazzy. At around the one minute mark it begins a rising motion, but instead wanders more fully off into space. Still, the bass keeps driving in an energized fashion and the more spacey elements go away. Chirping, swirling lines of sound are laid over the top of this motif. They move off towards more funky, echoey space music. The bass moves to the lead zone again, accompanied at times only by more spacey, swirling keyboards. Funky space guitar comes up as this carries on. The chirpy funk guitar rises further up and at times this feels a little like vintage Nektar. It makes its way towards a bit more chaotic, open form space as they continue. Reverberated feedback is manipulated to rise and fall in fine fashion. The bass drops away and just the space sounds continue to pull into the final portion of the suite.
Rumble Part V
The shortest portion of this multipart epic, space sounds start this and bass rises. More space keys are laid over the top and bass falls away from the mix. This turns towards more pure ambient space as they continue. This has an almost new age texture to a lot of it. You might hear echoes of Pink Floyd as it transitions through some chordings later. After that section just the space remains to finally end this massive beast.
The Black Tomato Part I
The opening salvo of this three part suite, this one comes in with a rather funky style that turns into a plodding sort of chugga riff after a time. Space keys wander in and out over the top of this backdrop as they move forward. It turns out to something close to early Hawkwind as they move it forward. In fact, the driving riff reminds me a bit of “Time We Left (This World Today).” They move through a number of intriguing patterns and reworkings without really moving far from the core. It drops toward ambience to give way to the next portion.
The Black Tomato Part II
This rises ever so gradually, but as the driving bass line comes in I’m again reminded of Hawkwind’s Doremi… album. This one is another classic space rock jam. This shifts out with some almost Eastern overtones at times. Like the previous piece it doesn’t reinvent itself so much as modify the basis that began it. We get some whacka guitar on this one and some killer retro guitar textures, too. I hear bits of Hall of the Mountain Grill era Hawkwind here, too. It definitely takes on funky elements from time to time. At about the six minute mark it drops away to an urgent sort of droning. Noisy keyboard effects are laced over the top of this. It threatens to rise up into a more full process here and there but it’s a while before it does. When that happens its less intense than the earlier motif, but has a lot of atmosphere. We get soundclips of someone speaking thrown over the top of the dramatic space jamming. Noisy guitar soloing comes in over this motif at times. Eventually it works out to a more hard rocking jam based on these crunchy sounds. We still have plenty of space sounds in the midst. It works its way to a jam that reminds me a bit of Iron Butterfly or even The Doors after a time. This eventually gives way to a series of changes that pull the track into the next one.
The Black Tomato Part III
A chiming, echoey guitar sound brings this one in from the last movement of the suite. This holds it, with minor variations, for about the first minute. Then it rises up a bit with slow whammy guitar. They turn it toward echoey, psychedelic space from there. And this holds it until around the three minute mark when they power out into more hard edged jamming. We’re definitely back into Hawk-like territory at this point. We are treated to some extremely tasty, space rock guitar soloing later on. They continue to rework this general theme, bringing it way up in intensity. It even feels a bit metallic at times. Different elements take control here and there bringing a varied texture to a fairly static musical progression. In many ways that’s a mainstay of space rock, taking a simple repetitive pattern and making it live by varying the delivery method. These guys show that they have the skill to do that in spades here. This is astrong conclusion to their second (and final) suite of the disc.
Viking Cleaner
The only independent track on the disc, a frantic, nervous sort of musical pattern serves as the backdrop for the instrumental journeying that ensues. Space keys come and go over this and a rather old time rock and roll type guitar melody plucks its way across the top. It modulates to more traditional Hawk material, but also threatens to disappear into chaos. Neither really takes control for a while. When there is a change it’s to the frantic hard edged Hawkwind type sounds. This really feels like it could have come off of In Search of Space (the louder more pounding parts of that disc). It gets extremely intense at times. They eventually crescendo, though and take it to more ambient (and rather pretty) keyboard driven territory. This evolves downward to space and final the sounds of the band having a conversation in the studio (at least I think that’s what it is) to end.
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