The release of a new Ozric Tentacles album is like slipping into your favorite pair of well-worn slippers. No sudden shocks or surprises – just the comfortable fit you’ve come to expect. And so goes the music of the Ozrics, highlighted by some of the finest cosmic jam sessions this side of the Milky Way - a bombastic rhythm section, ethereal synths washes, beeps, blips, and sequenced arpeggios, and Ed Wynne’s brilliant guitar work.
The line-up may change from album to album, but the spirit of Ozric Tentacles prevails, thanks to that one constant – Ed Wynne.
The Sunrise Celebration Festival is one of the UK ’s leading sustainable festivals, and a showplace for some of the finest Space rock groups performing today. The Festival is a throwback to the Psychedelic Woodstock era and those legendary Fillmore East gigs where a group like The Grateful Dead might jam for hours on end to the delight of their legion of fans.
The Two-Disc Special Edition “Sunrise Festival” chronicles the June 1, 2007 performance by Ozric Tentacles on both CD and DVD . And it’s a bona fide wet dream for every Ozric aficionado. Besides Ed (guitar, keyboards) and Brandi Wynne (bass), the line-up on this special performance includes past Ozric alumni Merv Pepler (drums & percussion) and Joie Hinton (an arsenal of digital and analog synthesizers) who had not performed with the group in over a dozen years. Apparently the cosmic fabric of Ozric had been interwoven into their musical DNA because the 12 year absence did not affect Merv and Joie in the slightest.
The sound quality is excellent even though there appears to be moments of controlled chaos on stage as the band members and stage crew tinker with faulty gear throughout the concert. Watching the group perform during these technical glitches without missing a beat is a real lesson in by-the-seat-of-your-pants professionalism. Had this been simply a music CD you would never know a problem existed – but by watching the performance on DVD it gives the viewers a unique perspective and backstage glimpse of the technical aspects in putting together a multi-band Festival where cables snaked across the stage like a plate a spilled spaghetti, bands and equipment are shuffled on and off stage, and Roadies and stage hands work in hyper-drive with the speed and efficiency of an Indy Car Pit Crew.
For fans of Ozric Tentacles this deluxe CD/ DVD package is a must-have. And for the novice “Sunrise Festival” is the perfect introduction to one of the best Space rock bands performing today.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on June 19th, 2008