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Ozone Player & Matt Howarth: Long-Range Influence
Science Fiction writer Matt Howarth and Finnish musician Otso Pakarinen, best known for his work in Ozone Player, have teamed up to make Long-Range Influence, a concept album that reminds me of the glory days of science fiction. The album takes elements of space, prog, soundtrack music and pop, puts them in a blender and fleshes out some pretty tasty stuff. The music is '60s retro and that is precisely what makes this such a fun listen. This is Ozone Player's sixth release.
The album's concept is a pretty standard one in the world of sci-fi; aliens, extra solar planets, etc. which serves to make the record that much more endearing to the ear. I will not describe the concept in detail as I will leave that up to you to discover. Included is an embedded PDF graphic file to help you follow along.
Howarth first set the story in motion creating a graphic storyline upon which Pakarinen set to music. He uses a variety of retro sounds including the mighty Mellotron. The foundation of this album is firmly entrenched in '60s television serials and that makes listening to this CD half the fun.
The story starts with "Saphire 12" complete with Mellotron flutes and lush viola. It is not complicated but the catchy keyboard line makes up for such pitfalls. It is a combination of retro prog and synth pop and it works quite well in setting up the story.
"The Jolly Rolly" has some darker touches, very cinematic in scope with a background filled with accordion style keys.
"Sentient Slimemolds" has more of a spacey sound with cool sound effects and hypnotic rhythms.
In the retro "Scaling the Sky Root" the '60s style guitar reminded me of the Batman theme while the ambient "The Enemy Nest" is a dark and moody piece that sounds just a bit creepy.
Beatnick pop and prog mesh in the ultra-catchy "The Great Anthem " a nice way to end what is quite a diverse album.
Long-Range Influence is a lot of fun, very diverse and well worth an hour of your time, especially if '60s science fiction and retro prog suit your fancy. A solid three and a half stars.
1. Sapphire 12 (5:30)
2. The Jolly Rolly (2:40)
3. Sentient Slimemolds (5:25)
4. Scaling the Sky Root (4:27)
5. Getting Past the Jelly Globules (5:12)
6. The Enemy Nest (4:51)
7. Robot Probe (2:58)
8. Attack of the Sentry Mites (4:41)
9. Diabolical Ohkar (5:00)
10. Plans to Catalyze the Atmosphere (5:11)
11. Attacked by Grooming Slugs (5:18)
12. Accidental Terrestrial Intervention (4:57)
13. The Great Anthem (4:16)
Added: October 12th 2011
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
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