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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

├śresund Space Collective

├śresund Space Collective

Review by Gary Hill

This Swedish/American outfit performs improvised instrumental space rock. Now, mind you this really isn't Hawkwind like space rock, but a more ambient, almost Tangerine Dream like version of the genre. There are elements of Hawksound here, but also a lot of jazz and other textures. The sounds are all interwoven into jams that move rather hypnotically through instrumental soundscapes. This is cool stuff for just kicking back and "spacing" out. You can order the disc direectly from the label at their online store .

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Faked It All The Time
This comes in gradually and eventually becomes a killer slice of fairly sedate mellow keyboard dominated space rock. It has slowly moving waves of texture and sound that weave into a nice journey.
Consumed By the Goblin
While this one shares territory with the opening number, it has a bit more oomph to it, and has a little bit of a jazz element involved in its space-scape. This also moves into some intense prog rock jamming with echoes of Pink Floyd and other bands coming and going. This one gets much more intense than the previous one, and I like it more. It moves through a lot of intriguing changes and really smokes at times. Late in the track it turns a bit Hawkwindish. It also manages to dissolve into ambient weirdness afterwards to slowly wind down and end. 
OSC Bolero
Well named, this is OSC's take on the famous "Bolero " sound with Latin textures merging with a cool space groove to create an effective and infectious jam. They even infuse some funky tones here in this track that is very jazz oriented.
Falling Stardrops
This one starts much more slowly and tentatively with weird keys and other odd space textures creating a mellow, weird soundscape. This is the most dissonant of any track thus far. It grows very slowly, and after a time begins to take on more rock textures with the entry of percussion. This becomes quite an interesting rock groove that moves well. Odd spoken sound bites come over the top, adding to the atmosphere. A short burst of Nik Turner like sounds comes in at one point, then the band move into an expansive prog/space excursion. There are more hints of funk on this one, and it is one of the more effective jams to be found on the disc. The guitar thoroughly soars through parts of this cool cut. This is another that at times takes on Hawklike elements in its lengthy duration, but it's also very dynamic, so doesn't stay there long.
Grab A Cab
A nice change of pace, this is a bouncy, spacey prog rock cut with serious doses of psychedelia. It has some definite strangeness in its over layers. As it carries on its path of emergence it begins to resemble the more electronic jams of Hawkwind, at least to some degree. As with the entire CD, there are no rapid-fire changes, but instead everything moves gradually towards its outcome. I'd have to say that this is one of my favorite tracks on the disc.
Moonhead
Super-science fiction oriented sound effect type keys begin this one. They carry it forward for quite some time in a whirring chirping sort of mode that only gradually begins to take on more musical formats. It never really gets there, though, as this short cut seems to serve as intro for the one that follows.
Sundown
Space keys start this in dramatic tones, and gradually a guitar line that sort of reminds me of The Doors begins to work its way up. It then shifts to something more akin to Pink Floyd, but still everything is quite sedate to this point. Eventually new sounds begin to rise in a progressive rock ballad sort of texture, but still ever so slowly. Then it shifts more towards that Doors texture, building steadily on a droning sound in that sort of mode. It never fully rises there, though; instead the keys begin to create an early Pink Floyd like texture to carry it forward. That texture is never completely realized, either, though, the cut instead moving into different spacey territory. After a long period of wandering about, the Pink Floyd like textures, Meddle era, coupled with Hawkwind like pure space, eventually move the track into an effective groove. This still doesn't change quickly at all, but eventually moves into something that has those same two elements, but with a bit of the Grateful Dead thrown in for good measure. I also hear a lot of Hall of the Mountain Grill era Hawkwind here. It eventually dissolves back down to more pure space to carry forward and eventually end the track. At over 17 and a half minutes in length this is the longest track on the disc. It's also the least cohesive and therefore not exactly the best choice for a disc closer. Still, the latter parts of the cut are the strongest, therefore pulling it together just in time.
 
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