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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

├śresund Space Collective

Four Riders take Space Mountain

Review by Gary Hill

Øresund Space Collective is one of the most consistent acts on this (or presumably any) planet. Yet, each album is still different. They produce instrumental space rock that is created via improvisational playing. That means no two performances or albums will ever be the same. Yet, each album is strong. This four track set is no exception. One thing that's missing this time around are any numbers that would qualify as anything close to brief. The shortest track is over 17-and-a-half minutes long. The first three songs almost seem like one very long number, with each successive one coming right out of the one before it.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 6. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Approach

Sounds like space winds bring the track into being. Furious drums come in from there. I pounding, driving space rock jam emerges with some definite psychedelic sounds in the mix. As is the case with pretty much everything from this outfit, changes don't happen fast or suddenly, but rather emerge via gradual evolution. This piece really covers a good amount of ground. It works through various driving space rock sections and modes as it does so. It's a powerhouse and a great opening shot. The violin brings a lot of magic to the piece. The bass work is pretty exceptional at times, too. The whole thing rocks in great space music ways.

Ascent
This comes out of the previous number with a real screaming intensity and fire. Some soaring guitar sounds add a nice layer, yet there are also mellower parts of the piece, too. Around the halfway mark there is a section where the bass drives it in a way that makes me think of early Hawkwind. The arrangement is mostly just the bass and drums with space elements added over the top. As the number continues to evolve it gets more involved and built up. Some of the keyboard sounds later in the piece bring hints of a retro texture to it.
Summit
Coming out of the previous piece, this turns incredibly intense rather quickly. The rhythm section is insistent and powerful as it propels this forward. While this piece has plenty of shifts and changes, it is, perhaps the most consistently high energy number of the  set. It turns even heavier and harder rocking as it works its way into the later sections of the piece. It drops to mellow keyboards at the end, and this is the only instance one the disc where the song doesn't flow into the next one, instead actually ending.
Descent to Reality
Sitar brings some real world meets psychedelic texture to the piece. The space elements rise up to surround and support it as they begin to build on that. Eventually this gets into more traditional space rock zones, but even then the sitar brings something extra to it. Around the six-minute mark it drops to a world music sitar exploration. The cut tempers that with more space rock added to the mix as it continues. Violin brings some magic with as it joins this movement.
 
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