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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

├śresund Space Collective

Entering into the Space Country

Review by Gary Hill

I believe this album from OSC is a vinyl only release. However, I was given a CDr of the music from which to write my review. As always from this group, we’re given a slab of improvised space rock. In a lot of ways, though, these jams wander into different territory than a lot of their other discs. Hawkwind is seldom a reference here, even though that band really defines space rock in the minds of many. At points this moves towards fusion. At other times you will likely hear early Pink Floyd. Other parts of the disc call to mind The Allman Brothers. All in all, though, this is a highly enjoyable set of space rock jams.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Born Between Stars

While Hawkwind is always an easy reference when discussing the music of Øresund Space Collective, this builds up gradually in something that’s closer to a mix of early Pink Floyd and Nektar. As it continues, the space rock explosion is preserved, but it seems to wander close to fusion at times. Then around the seven minute mark it drops down to a mellower motif. The cut grows out from there moving through a number of changes and alterations. As all good space music, though, nothing happens quickly, rather the music transforms in a steady, but almost unnoticed way. It’s kind of like clouds changing shape as they float through the sky. You don’t really notice the change as it happens, but then find yourself in completely different musical territory. There’s some killer instrumental interplay later in the tune. This is a stomping hot space rock jam. Around the seventeen and a half minute mark it tears out into a screaming guitar solo section that calls to mind Jimi Hendrix and others. It turns out to more atmospheric jamming from there. Later a bouncing sort of interplay ensues to take the cut out. At almost twenty two and a half minutes in length, this is an epic length piece and the longest track on show.

Rising Tides And Floating Nebulas
This comes in tentatively and feels more like Hawkwind at the onset than the previous piece ever did. An almost old school rock and roll bass line enters and the cut moves out in different directions with hard edged jamming over that driving rhythm section. As it builds up from there it takes on a mode that’s almost like a space rock take on the Allman Brothers. This thing really rises up toward the stratosphere as it continues. It’s certainly one part jam band and one part space rock, but those two styles are never that far removed from one another. They drop it way down around the eight and a half minute mark and as it comes back up it resemble Pink Floyd’s “Careful with that Axe, Eugene” a bit to my ears. Eventually that’s transformed into a slow moving groove that’s very much more standard progressive rock than space rock. There is even a little fusion mixed in there. The piece weighs in at almost fourteen and a half minutes, making it short compared the opener, but still quite massive.
Red Earth Calling
Eastern tones bring this in and the cut grows in understated ways at first. Comparisons to Hawkind have merit as it begins to rise upward. Psychedelic and Eastern sounds swirled around in a space rock motif as this piece continues to evolve. At less than seven and a half minutes in length, it’s the shortest track of the set.
 
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