Ozric Tentacles - Live Ethereal Cereal (Ofgv) (Uk) | RECORD STORE DAY

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A raggle-taggle, unpretentious assortment of punk-infused, dreadlocked hippies, since 1983, the Ozric Tentacles wove psychedelic audio-tapestries that captured the almost dangerous musical diversity of the free festival scene, blending acid rock with dub, reggae, ethnic world music & electronic, jazzy experimentation. This was the soundtrack to the herbfragranced, alternative lifestyle that wound it's way around country lanes looking for a place to set up & party, away from the psychoses of corporate life. Without any desire or need for a record label, it was the Ozric Tentacles' cassette releases that funded & supported their journey through the '80's. These simple artefacts with photocopied inserts & rainbow spray-painted labels were sold in vast quantities at festivals, on the merchandise table at Club Dog & through a mail order outlet. With the rapid word of mouth success of 'Erpsongs' & 'Tantric Obstacles' in 1985, the growing ranks of Ozrics fans were demanding more music. Ed Wynne was regularly handing out compilations of live recordings & studio outtakes to fans who wanted to send him a blank cassette in the mail. The solution to the overwhelming number of requests was a compilation of live recordings under the title 'Live Ethereal Cereal' which first appeared in '86. It is immediately apparent that the band was a much heavier proposition in a live environment. The opening cut 'Erpriff' displays just how strong they could be with a full drum kit. The recordings perfectly capture the atmosphere of those early anarchic tours. 'Erpriff' & 'Tentacular Explosion' are powerhouses of crackling improvisational energy. 'Obstacular Explosion' sounds like Santana in places, with Ed improvising solos over a backbeat of conga fuelled percussion whilst at other moments the band pull back for some lazy dub sounds as heard on 'Stupid Reggae'. A nod to Gong & Steve Hillage can be found in the form of 'Aumriff' ('Om Riff'), which is about as close as The Ozrics would ever come again to a cover version. Unsurprisingly the 'pot-head pixie' tune effortlessly dovetails with their own material. Newly remastered by Ed Wynne & available again on Double LP, these recordings offer a wonderful insight into Ozrics at the height of their live powers.