The name Ed Wynne does not really need an introduction, especially to those who fancy the psychedelic, spacious tones of his band Ozric Tentacles. He has lead this band for a steady thirty-five years now. After the last band effort; Technicians Of The Sacred in 2015 (see review) Ed took some time off to travel and find new inspiration, for what would become his very first solo album.
Since Ed Wynne always has been the main songwriter for Ozric, you cannot expect an album that tends to go in a complete different musical direction, since the psychedelic space rock is something that has settled itself in Ed's genes. When you listen to the album's opener Glass Staircase, it still breathes the signature sound of Ozric. This wonderful synth driven composition is filled with the familiar bulbs and floating synth sounds. The thing that really accentuations the song as an Ed Wynne solo track is perhaps the slightly different and more pronounces guitar solos and melodies. The second track sees a less floating bass and although the synths are prominent, Travel Dust can almost be seen as a regular rock song, but the bass and guitars tend to drift away a bit from the original Ozric feel, which is great when you release under your own name. Oddplonk is an amazing track that has a soundscape style element that takes you on an electronic trip, followed by intense guitar playing, creating a very interesting combustion of spheres and sounds. Shim is a composition that is an accessible song in disguise. The atmospheric soundscape elements are fused with delicate jazzy elements, which remind me a bit of the Japanese band Trix. The outcome is again a very interesting composition. The final tune Wherble is an over ten-minute journey, connecting with the places Ed Wynn visited. This nicely floating composition sees space, progressive rock and ambient elements fused to one coherent piece of music. A worthy end of a quite impressive album.
Although the music has a lot of programming, the organic, spontaneous feel remains intact on this album . Ed creates wonderful tapestries of sound, taking you with him during his three-year journey, displaying the wonderful places he has visited, trying to share the atmosphere he captured of the location in different parts of the world. Emphasizing the guitar side of his music this time, brings a pleasant balance in the album.
****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Dave Smith)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2019