Ozric Tentacles is the elder statesman of space music, and were instrumental
in developing the style of lost notes floating around in space looking for a
home but never finding it. Unlike traditional forms of music, the point of
spacey music is to create a vibe, a sonic backdrop for the spaced out. It's a
relatively unstructured format characterized by meandering sounds, melodic but
without melody, and you can imagine yourself zoning out to the ambient tones and
the moods and the atmospheres.
Think of it as the soundtrack to your dreams.
Garlands fits that mold, but thankfully it has more substance to it
and many of the songs actually seem to have a purpose to them - vague though it
may be in places. There's a lot of reverb with much of this music, and the
mastering blends most elements into the broad soundscape of a spacey ambience,
with just the guitar powering its way through occasionally providing an
interesting feet-on-the-ground contrast.
The first impression you get when listening to Garlands is the
synthetic beat at the beginning - a synth-pop beat that starts 5 seconds in, and
it's there - on and off - all the way through the CD. Then the synth keys
provide a spacey backdrop to the simple yet elegant sound of well played
guitars, and the stage is well set for the rest of the record. The rare vocals
on "Ghost Town" will recall Chris Rhea, or J.J.Cale.
In "Voyager", that repetitive synthetic percussion does little to ground the
synth and guitar-generated textures and the formless ambience that has little
melody or purpose - it's a low-energy flow that rarely seems to build up. Yet
the next song" introduces strong guitar sounds, and rich mid-ranged female
vocals, yielding a pleasing piece that bears several revisits. And on "The
Flying Sorcerer" there's an aggression, and the oft-repeated motif from the
song's intro is in a style that could have come from a Charles Brown record.
Still - even this track is about mood rather than melody, sonics rather than
With its gutsy guitars and the wonderful - if rare - female vocals,
Garlands stands apart from most space music and will have appeal to a wider
audience. Give it a try.
1. Ghost Town
2. Test Pilot
4. All Moonlit Through The Trees
5. Magnetic South
6. The Flying Sorcerer
7. Lady Evening Star
8. Beneath My Tree
9. Sun On The Mountain