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Øresund Space Collective

ØSC meets BMC - Freak Out In The Fjord

Review by Gary Hill

The first thing that needs to be mentioned is the artist name. I've put this under Øresund Space Collective, but technically it is Øresund Space Collective and Black Moon Circle as a joint project. For the book version that wouldn't be hard to do, but it would get a lot more cumbersome on the internet version of this issue, so I've just put it under the one in act. In fairness, that's how they have it listed on Bandcamp (well technically under each band's name at each of their Bandcamp pages), probably for much the same reason.

With that out of the way, let's talk about the music. This is killer instrumental space rock jamming. Like all of ØSC's stuff it is improvised. They cover a lot of what you would expect, but there are some variants ranging from Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers type passages to stoner metal leaning stuff, psychedelia and more. All in all, this is quite a satisfying set.

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Track by Track Review
CD 1
Rendezvous in the Nebula

This rises up gradually with cool space tempered with funk, reggae and jam sounds. It works out with style as it marches forward. I dig some of the guitar work on this quite a bit. The cut really has some particularly cool jamming as waves of keyboards create some serious space over the top of it. We're taken through some killer shifts and changes. at times this rises up to some seriously harder rocking stuff. The Hawk-styled keys over the top really bring the space home to roost. This really gets intense at times. After the 14-minute mark it drops to a jam that's part Grateful Dead and part Hawkwind. It's slow moving, psychedelic and trippy. Guitar is a real driving factor of this section, but everything here works well to support it from the keyboards to the bass and drums. This gradually works its way back upward as the cut continues to evolve. It continues to climb upward until it nears the end (the song is more than 26 minutes long) when it drops back down for the closing section.

Afterglow in the Sea of Sirens

Some serious funk and early Pink Floyd elements seem to merge as this number opens up and moves outward. This builds outward into a powerhouse inspired jam that really drives in its passion and fire. The guitar really drives this in a lot of ways, but you can't overlook the powerhouse organ playing as this continues to journey upward and onward. By around the 11-minute mark it drops to a cool bass and keyboard jam. As this jam continues to evolve, they take that into some killer space rocking zones. There are some things that lean toward fusion, while other moments land closer to traditional prog rock. It gets very intense and rocking with some killer guitar soloing over the top of the arrangement. There are some moments that even make me think of some of the proggier stuff from early Judas Priest.

CD 2
Dinner with Gregg A and Jerry G

I'm guessing that the people referred to by the title are Gregg Allman and Jerry Garcia. This song, suitably for that second name, really rises up like something from the Grateful Dead. There isn't a lot of space rock in this early movement. Instead it really does feel like the country folk inspired sounds of the Dead. It eventually does make its way into more of a powerhouse space rock styled jam. As it does so, though, it retains some of those Dead stylings and gains some of the Gregg Allman elements with jamming that calls to mind the Allman Brothers. There is some real powerhouse guitar work on this, but pay attention to the bass and keys, too. They are positively on fire as this makes its way forward. By around the twelve-minute mark or so, it drops to a mellower jam that calls to mind psychedelia with some space flair. The track continues to evolve, eventually making its way out to a killer, hard-edged space rock jam that's so cool. This is the second longest piece here, at over 33 minutes. It eventually drops way down around the 28-minute mark to trippy echoey space psychedelia that builds ever so gradually. It eventually works out to mellower keyboard based stuff that calls to mind a lullaby just a bit. That section ends the piece in style.

Freakout in the Fjord

I dig the rhythm section groove that emerges early as this jam gets rolling. While the last number has the distinction of being the second-longest track here, this is the longest at just over 36 minutes. They make good use of that space, really stretching out. This gradually begins to rise toward some harder rocking territory as the keyboards soar toward the heavens. They get into some killer textures as they continue to reshape and re-envision the musical textures. By around the 14-minute mark they've built into a fierce rocking jam with some smoking hot guitar work. By a few minutes later it has worked through and dropped to mellower, trippy space textures to continue. It gets quite exploratory and a bit noisier as the spacey things keep right on driving it. This really is a "freakout" at this point. It eventually makes it way to a noisier, rocking buildup. That crescendos after the 25-minute mark and gives way to a mellow space bit. Then the rocking elements rise up and gradually take it out into something not far removed from stoner metal. There are still enough space and prog elements on hand to keep it from fitting fully under that heading, but if those layers were removed, this wouldn't be far from something like an instrumental Electric Wizard. They continue to evolve this, shifting it more toward pure space rock jamming as they do so. That said, it doesn't really lose that heavy edge.

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