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3rd Ear Experience

3rd Ear Experience with Dr Space - Ear to Space

Review by Gary Hill

This was a disc I was pre-determined to enjoy. I like space music, a lot. I also like pretty much everything from 3rd Ear Experience. Then, when you add in the fact that I love Dr. Space's work with Øresund Space Collective, it becomes obvious that this will be a winner for me. It certainly is, too. This set of space rock works quite well. It has some great extensive jams.

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Track by Track Review
Screams of Eagle Bone
Trippy space elements rise up to bring this in gradually. About half-a-minute in percussion and jazzy textures come across. Bass joins after that as it starts to drive out as an early Hawkwind styled jam. This thing drives forward in killer space rock fashion. There is soloing from what sounds like a saxophone, but there is no one credited with playing sax, so perhaps it's something else. This thing gets downright intense as it works its way onward and upward. They slow it down around the half-way point of the piece (this is almost 15 minutes long). They continue to take this through various space changes. It drops way down to mellower stuff around the eleven minute mark. Around a minute-and-a-half later it begins driving back upward. It eventually works its way to the mellower space-based closing.
Anam Cara
While the opener was extensive this (and the next cut) make it appear fairly brief. This one is almost 20-and-a-half minutes of music. Weird space sounds open it before the band fires out into a pounding, rocking jam from there. Again Hawkwind is a valid reference, but this seems even heavier and spacier somehow. There are some weird non-lyrical voices on this. The bass has a great sound and the keyboards dance over the top in style. It works through without the voices after a while before eventually dropping way down to atmospherics after the five-minute mark. It gradually begins an upward journey from there with mellower space textures exploring sonic reality. After the 11-minute mark it begins to really rise up into a more rocking, space meets almost jazzy textures zone. There are some rather Hendrix-like guitar sounds that emerge as the emphasis shifts more toward rock. Those vocals return around the 14-minute mark but don't stay around long. The cut shifts a bit and explores some psychedelic space rock from there. The music eventually ends after a cool space rocking run, and those voices return to hold the track's final moments.
Dreams of the Caterpillar
At over 22 minutes of music, this is the longest track of the set. Space textures bring it into being. There is almost a symphonic element on the earlier parts, but it shifts to more pure psychedelic weirdness from there. It is mostly just weird effects for almost five minutes. Even then something more musical just sort of flirts with rising up for a time. By around the seven-minute mark a driving kind of space rock element drives the rhythm portion of the track, but only space keys dance above it. We're eventually taken into more typical space rock. This thing continues to shift and evolve. At different points different instruments take the lead. I really love the keyboard section that emerges around the 17-minute mark. The section that comes after that at times makes me think of some demented seagulls. After the 19-minute mark the song shifts to a real rocking jam as it drives onward. It remains rocking right up the ending.
Coin in the Desert

Mellower motifs start this, with a chiming sound a bit like coins hitting a hard surface built into the mix. There are some definite mellow fusion textures built into this opening movement in some ways. Keyboards continue to drive it for a while. Eventually the rhythm section joins and the cut starts to gain intensity and fire. Some tribal drumming takes command after the five-minute mark. Keyboards rise back up from there. The cut powers forward in style as it continues with the keys really leading the way. At nine-and-a-half minutes, this would be the epic of some discs. It's one of the two shortest here.

Sue's Dream World
This is the shortest cut here, and yet still over six minutes long. Trippy atmospheric keyboards bring this in and hold it, as it seems to be pretty much a keyboard solo.
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