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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

├śresund Space Collective

Music for Pogonologists

Review by Gary Hill

The newest album from Oresund Space Collective, this is a double disc set. As is always the case with these guys, it’s space music. It’s also instrumental. As with most space music, track by track descriptions are a bit daunting because the music tends to evolve very slowly and gradually. Suffice it to say that this is great stuff. By the way, a pogonologist is one who studies beards.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
CD 1
Beardlandia
As this starts, atmospheric space serves as the backdrop for a spoken reading. Some noisier elements emerge as this grows. The vocal bit rises to near yelling. Then it drops away. A harder rocking guitar sound leads the piece forward from there around the two minute mark. They take this massive instrumental section through many shifts and changes. It’s killer space rock for certain. It gets quite intense before it ends.
Ziggurat of the Beards
Although this comes in tentatively, there is a driving rhythm section at the start. As it builds it is insistent and intense. There is some definite funk in the mix. I like the balance of harder rocking mellower modes on this piece as it continues. It’s great instrumental space rock through and through. They even take it out toward jazz around the eight minute mark. I love the build up section around the ten minute mark. It gets into some killer territory as it continues.
The Tricophantic Spire
This is killer music right out of the gate. It’s got psychedelia combining with space rock and more as it builds outward. There are some great nearly pure progressive rock sections later. Still, it has space rock built into it. I heard bits of Pink Floyd on the previous piece, but this definitely has echoes of early Floyd (pun intended). That section takes the piece out.
Bearded Brothers
This feels like a jazzy version of Hawkwind as it starts. It builds out for quite a while. There is some intense guitar soloing and general instrumental interplay. Then around the seven minute mark it drops way down again. It is the mellowest point of the song. They eventually start to bring it back up from there. After spending several minutes building it back up, the bottom drops out again, and we’re left floating in mellow space.
Remnants of the Barbonaeum
Keyboard oriented space opens this and it builds on that format. It gets more rocking, but only marginally. It’s a fairly slow moving, gradually evolving piece of killer space rock. It includes some pretty cool jamming as it continues. It almost turns toward doom for a time. It gets into some pretty powerhouse jamming later, too. This thing is intense for sure. It’s also epic length, running through 26 minutes of time.
CD 2
Music for Pogonologists
As the bass brings this in, it starts to build gradually outward. By around the three minute some killer hot guitar soloing is included on this. It has a real 1970s psychedelic blues rock vibe by that point. The intensity ramps up as more layers of sound seem to get louder. The bass seriously drives this thing like crazy. What an awesome jam this is. There is quite a cool space groove to later parts of this. I love the little stabs of sound around the fourteen minute mark. By around the 17 minute mark it’s moved out to something a bit like Hawkwind meets Grateful Dead space jams. It builds out to harder rocking sounds for a time. More Dead-like space jamming ensues later in the piece. More of a mainstream rock jam is heard for a time. There is a more electronic section at the end. This massive title track is over 34 minutes long.
Barboconsciousness
Psychedelia brings this thing in and moves it forward. This gets into more space rock oriented stuff after a while. In a lot of ways it’s like more intense early Pink Floyd. This beast has some great evolution built into itself. There are some of the most intense musical duels of the whole set going here with instruments dancing around each other. At points some rather middle-Eastern elements emerge. I really like the keyboard heavy jam that comes in after that section. The jamming continues to build out from there as other instruments take control. This is another extended and impressive space rock jam that keeps shifting and changing. It drops way down around the 23 minute mark. That motif segues into the next piece a few minutes later.
Portal of Pogonic Progress
Coming out of the atmospherics of the last piece, this rises up gradually. The guitar lines swirling around move this into more rocking space sounds as the piece works forward. It’s another killer space rock piece.
 
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