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Ozric Tentacles – Live At The Pongmaster’s Ball

Label: Snapper Format: 2CD

Summoned by that shadowy entity, The Pongmaster, the Ozrics come to you live from the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, a gathering place of eldritch forces. This troupe of space minstrels are celebrating 20 years of tantric trucking. Their vehicle, laden with synthesisers, flutes and guitars, has been unloading at carefully selected sites of festival throughout those years and now a portion of their celebrated utterances has been captured for devotees and novices alike on two CDs.

This offering may be likened to a series of trips accompanied by chiming keyboards, thrashing drums and crisp guitar licks. These are the required ingredients, along with throbbing propulsive bass, to power their probing excursions into the nether reaches of “Erpland”, for instance. The being known only as Ed will unleash showers of sparks and dazzle onlookers with glittering cascades of electrically re-shaped molecules from a guitar that surely has magical properties. Among other revelations they tell us that “It’s A Hup Ho World”. They may have unearthed a dangerous truth. It is a place where keyboards float with unrestrained buoyancy and giant bubbles of unknown substances reflect rarely visited landscapes. Worlds shift shape before the eyes of entranced dancers who cannot tell if minutes or years have passed during the unfolding of sustained guitar howl and whispering flute. Maybe they will leave the theatre in altered states and never find their way back to wherever they thought they came from.

The Ozrics will also take anyone willing to “The Domes Of G’Bal”, a territory charted only in the minds of demented visionaries whose names may not be written down, though they openly refer to other questionable figures such as Hendrix and Hillage. Fearlessly they show sights that could only be the product of echo and distortion, a powerful combination and one they are adept at manipulating. Some say they have the power to raise “Pyramidion”. It’s true. They do it in just over 12 minutes, cajoling unearthly ululations from their instrumentation and hinting at a knowledge of the arcane rhythms of Rub Reggae.

Perhaps only the truly initiated will be able to unlock the mysteries of “Sploosh”, “Ta Khut” or “Kick Muck” as they unravel fuzzy embellishments created by Ed, Zia, Schoo, Champignon and Seaweed. The devoted will have gathered at Shepherd’s Bush to witness this first hand. Those unable to attend will no doubt seek immediate possession of these two illuminated discs.

-Paul Donnelly-

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