Ozric Tentacles - Loppen, Christiania 11/5/05

From Aural Innovations #32 (November 2005)

Wow, what an amazing day and show. I showed up a the club at 4:30 in the afternoon and the band was just finishing doing some soundcheck. Ed recognized me right away and we started to talk and then I got to meet everyone except Hagas, who was out and about. I hung out and talk with Ed about the new record and stuff and he and brandie and I took a short walk to get them something to smoke later (I paid for it and forgot to get the money back after the show) Anyway, I heard a bit of the sound check and the drums and bass were just extraordinarily loud and you could not hear Ed hardly at all. I figured this was because there were no people and this would improve.

The doors opened at 9PM and we had a little Ozrics pre-party at Dragens Hule with the Mantric Muse and ěresund Space Collective people and some friends from Sweden. It was some nice food and we heard PW's recording of an Ozrics show from Jan 2005 that was quite cool and got us in a good mood. We also heard the new Korai Ír÷m CD, which is really different but excellent music. Anyway, about 150 people were at the gig, not that many but they started right at 10:30 and it was off into space for 2 hours and 20 minutes. They did a hell of a lot of jamming tonight. It was like going back to the mid-80's but played within the structure of the new Ed Wynne solo band electronic era Ozric stuff. Amazing. We were all pretty blown away and the band were smoking lots of joints on stage and were flying (Ed and Brandie) and so was everyone in the club. The set list was nearly the same as they have been playing for the last year except for 3 new songs (jams) which were more chilled out and Ed played a lot of weird sounds on the synths. After watching and hearing the band it is hard to see how someone can complain unless your favorite period of the Ozrics is the 1995-2002 period as this is not that lineup. Ed has found an amazing bass player and drummer who stick together like glue and play amazing. Metro is very much like S°ren from the ěresund Space Collective in many ways and a damn good drummer. He plays very tight and hard. I watched Brandie quite a lot and I have her role in the band totally figured out now and she is damn good at what she does for Ed. She is Ed's synth clone. Ed has preprogrammed nearly all the stuff she plays it seems. She does some bubbles with the novation and a few weird sounds here and there but most all of what she does is trigger all of Ed's preprogrammed synth stuff at the right time and do some arppegios. It is perfect for Ed's current vision of the band. Total control. Metro has a click track to follow the most of the drums that Ed has programmed. Hagas follows the bass as tight as possible but with his own flair for sure and then Ed can just fucking jam like hell and experiment. It works very well. Ed said that about 30% of the set is improvised these days and that could be right. Incredible show and the band thought so as well. This was more jamming than they usually do.

I had a nice time talking to the whole band and Shawn, from Rubbish records, who was selling the merchandise. He hinted that there might be a triple Ozrics, Eat Static and System 7 European tour next year. That would be awesome. Ed said the new CD will be out in March on Magna Carta but he still had a lot to do. It is every bit more a solo record than the previous one, as Ed had programmed all the drums thus far (I asked Metro and he had not played anything yet but they would do some live drumming after the tour was over so I guess he will be on a few tracks). Ed had played some fretless bass on some tracks and I guess synth bass as Hagas had not recorded any bass. I asked if this was the real Ozrics line up for the long run and one does not know as Lord Hagas I think is like a hired hand and he is very busy so I guess he will be there if the money is right and the time but perhaps not otherwise. Metro is awesome and a great person but he is from Canada and has to keep renewing his visa, so I guess if they have enough work he will be able to continue to do that so it is hard to say he is permenant either. As for Jon, well, he is surely missed and I just loved all the weird and wacky stuff he used to say so maybe an element of fun is gone. "Pyramidion" is the only track at the concert where they had his flute sampled. Brandie and Ed have a special communication on stage and traded back strange sounds and had a lot of communication (some of which was clearly cues and coaching). Awesome night. Ozrics live. on't miss them or you will be very sorry. One last word... get rid of the soundman. He was an asshole and Hagas was way better. The sound in the front of the room was totally bassy and the kick drum and snare were super loud. I told him that the sound was like mud for the first 3 songs and you could not hear anything that Ed played on guitar (his synths were loud). He told me to fuck off. He did fix the bass after little while but still in the front of the stage the bass was way too loud and Ed was way too low for the whole show. It was not just me but everyone I talked to. In the bar the sound was great but 80% of the people are in the front of the stage and the sound was not good. The recording was ok as the microphones were up in the ceiling and got a bit more guitar from the top PA and much less from the overdriven subwoofers and hagas's bass amp but still the guitar was not high enough most of the time but again, people don't have their head up in the ceiling and if you stood in the middle of the room you heard nearly no guitar. Fuck off to the asshole sound man as well. He was a jerk.

Setlist: Jurassic Shift, Chewier, O-I, Dis Dots, Ta Khut>White Rhino Tea, Coily, Pyramidion>long jam (19min version!), Sunscape, New track, Plasmoid (19 min version!), Oakum, Kick Muck, Tidal Convergance, New song, Sploosh

Reviewed by Scott Heller

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