10 April 2009

CD REVIEW: Øresund Space Collective - Good Planets Are Hard To Find (2009, Transubstans Records)

OK, so…

I have been listening to Good Planets Are Hard To Find, the latest release by Øresund Space Collective, for a few days now, and I am at a loss. I simply don’t know how to review this. This is not because I find the music lacking, or unenjoyable…it’s been a lovely soundtrack for 3 solid days of work. I am digging the vibe, the grooves, the heavy Indian influence (loads of sitar!). But I’m simply unable to figure out a good way to get this review started.

Øresund Space Collective releases small quantities of fully improvised space rock (this release, according to the band’s website, is limited to 1000 copies). Theirs is a sound that seems to fall generally speaking into the same branch of space rock as bands like Ozric Tentacles and Hidria Spacefolk in a lot of ways…trippy, groove oriented, instrumentals that sprawl out over 10 to 20 minutes in some cases, incorporating some heavy bass/drum groove interplay and a bit of playful musical sensibility. On this release, ØSC adds in copious amounts of sitar work, bringing a distinct eastern vibe to the proceedings. This isn’t space rock in the jackbooted alien, Hawkwind mode, not is it pataphysical humour-based like Gong…this is dance your arse off festival music.

There is some good variance in general sound on this album…it’s not like every song sounds like little more than a variation on a theme. The title track, which opens the album, exhibits a lot of the heavy sitar play that I really enjoy here. “Space Fountain” opens with a tight drum and bass groove, and just a smidge of light blanga. “Orbital Elevator” does this a bit better and a bit heavier, with some nicely sweeping synths and a good bit of crunchy rhythm guitar. If anything, songs like this one and the preceding “Space Fountain” could do with a bit more heaviness, and if there is a complaint to be made about this release, it’s that…so much of the album rests in a comfortable rhythmic groove that the band seems to not want to leave. A bit more tempo change would do wonders for me.

In some ways, “MTSST” best exemplifies this…there’s a touch of rhythmic/tempo shift throughout the track’s 19:28 length, but overall the song isn’t something that can be easily focused on the entire time. That doesn’t mean I don’t groove to its space-y sitar laced goodness…but it does mean that focused listening does not do the piece any amazing wonders.

I won’t say that space rock is a dirty secret for me…I certainly enjoy quite a bit of it. And I enjoy Good Planets Are Hard To Find, much as I have enjoyed other material I’ve heard Øresund Space Collective. But this is not music that rewards focused, attentive listening. Sit back and groove to it, or better yet, get up and dance to it. Play it at your next party. Take it for what it is…lengthy excursions to the further reaches of altered consciousness…

1. Good Planets are hard to Find 9:43

2. Space Fountain 8:51

3. Orbital Elevator 16:12

4. PF747-3 19:35

5. My heel has a Beard 6:01

6. MTSST 19:28

Recorded on Nov., 2007 at the Black Tornado Studios, Copenhagen, DK

Tobias –Guitars

PIB- Drums



Luz- Percussion

Mogens- Hammond, Synths

Dr. Space- Synth

KG- Sitar, Guitar, Hammond

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bill. I am very happy to hear you are enjoying our latest CD. Thanks for the positive feedback!

scott and the OSC