Ed Wynne has solved the mystery of time travel. As the keyboardist/guitarist/chief programmer/creative mastermind of the band Ozric Tentacles, Wynne traverses the ages through his primordial yet distinctly modern, mind-bending music. The Somerset, England, resident is a citizen of the world: his art knows no boundaries in time or space.
"Recently we have been playing the four corners of the world and it seems the audiences like the combination of techno rock, strange rhythmic grooves, stomping bass line, and the quasi ancient and ethnic music," Wynne says.
Wynne jokingly refers to OTs music as "ethnological forgery", but Ozrics new Magna Carta release, "The Floors Too Far Away", is far from bogus. Recorded in Wynnes home studio in Somerset, England, the nine-track, all-instrumental CD is a musical reflection of Wynnes centrifugal creative vision a vision synthesized into a spiraled, multifaceted tapestry of butt-moving, trance-inducing ethno-techno space rock. "Ive always been interested in Eastern music." Wynne says. "But none of the scales I use are official, traditional Eastern scales. They are just snippets of what I have picked up over the years from traveling to different places and keeping my ears open."
In many ways "The Floors Too Far Away" is a signature Ozrics record. Rife with incessant intergalactic grooves, the new record offers a satisfying, near state-altering listening experience. "We took a bit more time in coming up with the proper track listing for this," admits Wynne.
Although Ozric Tentacles is the bridge between 1970s space rock and 1990s techno, they've never quite crossed that bridge themselves. They remain suspended in an approach that sounds like it could've come straight out of the recording sessions for Gong's You and Steve Hillage's Fish Rising albums from the mid 1970s, a decade before they were formed. With Ozric, you strap yourself in and hold tight as the band careens through sequencer patterns spinning like rotor blades, slicing up the real fusion drum grooves that remain the engine of their sound. As kinetic as techno, but full of syncopated rhythms that shift through complicated time signatures, Ozric layer synthesizer swirls, deep-throb bass lines, and serrated guitar forays from founding and only original member Ed Wynne. In fact, Wynne plays a lot of the instruments and programs the entire album. With the departure of flutist Champignon, part of the sonic palette is missing, but Wynne and his wife, keyboardist Brandi, make up for it in electronic colors. Much of Ozric's music is about morphing forms, as stuttering voices evolve into a gurgling lead synth line that's chased by a guitar that morphs into an explosion. The Floor's Too Far Away breaks no new ground for the psychedelic travelers, but it is more tightly arranged and a cogent distillation of a sound that's been fermenting for 23 years. The tea is definitively steeped. Have a cuppa. --John Diliberto