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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Øresund Space Collective

Live at Roadburn 2010 Vinyl

Review by Gary Hill

This disc, as one might guess, a live album, from OSC is available only on vinyl, a two record set. It’s got some killer space rock as only OSC can deliver. While those not extremely familiar with the space rock genre might think that OSC is essentially a Hawkwind-copy, that’s not true. Sure, space rock always conjures Hawkwind as they are arguably the quintessential space rock band, but OSC’s sound is unique, too. One of the coolest thing about this band is the fact that all their recordings are completely improvised. That means you’ll never hear the same song twice from these guys. They combine the space rock sound with a jam band sensibility taken to the extreme in that respect.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1 – Side 1
Roadburn Jam

Space brings this in rhythmically. Then an almost funky bass rises up and takes it into a more rocking space territory. They take us through a number of space rock changes, but it’s all very organic. Sure, comparisons to Hawkwind are valid, but really this goes a lot more into an almost fusion sound than that. There are moments here that call to mind the jammy side of Zappa and some other sections that might bring up echoes of Grand Funk Railroads more exploratory side. Of course, it’s all space rock and all OSC. A lot of this works in the mellower side, but it rises up at various points towards rock. There’s a little spoken bit (talking to the crowd) in the middle of this. It fires out to some of the most rocking sounds yet later down the road. At the end of the jam it drops to some ambient space as band introductions are made. That takes it out.

Disc 1 – Side 2
Reintroduce the Snakes to Ireland
Mellow space meets jazz motifs open this and it builds up gradually from there. It’s quite organic, but there is also plenty of space keyboards built into it. The rhythm section really drives this nicely. It starts rocking out pretty nicely after a time with the bass pulling it along. Some killer melodic keyboards riff over the top with a psychedelia meets fusion sound. It rocks out big time from that section. It resolves out to something not that far removed from a cross between Hawkwind and Iron Butterfly as it keeps building. Then it works down to mellower sounds. That movement allows for the transition to the next piece. In fact, they work together almost as one track.
Volcanoes and Ash
Bass guitar brings this in from the previous number. It works into a killer rock groove with a lot of space. As the rhythm section pulls it along a cool path guitar and keys bring the space over the top. As is typical with space rock, nothing changes quickly here, but rather it moves organically from one thing to another with waves of sound being the real alteration. That said, this gets pretty noisy with space weirdness later. As it gets more melodic from there that distortion laden element returns. Different instruments lead the way at different points.
Disc 2 – Side 1
Global Freakout in Tilburg
After some stage chatter some space keyboards start us off. Other sounds are heard as rising and falling waves as this starts to build in killer space ways. Echoey guitar comes in later and seems destined to take it in new directions. As this continues to rise up gradually, there seem to be some hints of Celtic sounds at points. Still, it’s basically a fusion-tinged space rock jam as it works upwards. It gets quite a rocking motif as this builds. Some screaming, twisting guitar sounds take it later. That doesn’t last forever, though, and they move it out to a more playful, mellower space jam after a time. Just let you go and you’ll find this section to be a lot of fun. After a time, though, they announce, “OK, we’ve got about a half hour left, we’re going to try to play some heavy stuff,” and a hard rocking droning takes over. As this droning continues keyboards and percussion seem to fight for control. The percussion gets quite involved as they continue. That segment eventually takes it out.
Disc 2 – Side 2
Farvel
On the spoken introduction here, there is a parental advisory in terms of the monologue. They bring this in gradually with space and psychedelia blending in an upwardly spiraling jam. After a time the bass drives it in a new direction. Some of the keyboards coming over later really do bring a Hawkwind element to the table. Of course, when it’s space rock such comparisons are inevitable. After working through with some varying space sounds this works out to some killer guitar dominated jamming later. They really take this one through some of the coolest sections of the whole set. It’s inspired, spacey and very cool. The closing movement itself is extremely powerful.

 

 
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