Ed Wynne, founding member and leader of the psychedelic prog stalwarts Ozric Tentacles, has teamed up with Gre Vanderloo, better known from his project Gracerooms, to release what is being described as a new project. Tumbling Through The Floativerse is the first album from them.
Ed explains that he is a long-term admirer and friend of Gre. “I’ve always enjoyed the synth orientated musical worlds he creates with his project ‘Gracerooms’” he says. “Shortly before lockdown 2020, whilst making the early stages of the recent Ozrics album Space for the Earth, we decided to try and make some tunes together. Gre came over from Holland where he lives, to the Blue Bubble Studio here in Fife and we started recording pretty much straight away. We ended up with about six definite starting points, which then developed and unfolded into a harmonic realm we referred to as ‘The Floativerse’…”
The album features guest appearances from Gracerooms bassist, Paul Klaessen and long-standing Ozrics synth player Silas Neptune, the recording being made at Ozrics headquarters; Blue Bubble Studios, and was engineered and produced by Ed and mastered by Adam Goodlet. Suitably mind-bending psychedelic cover artwork comes from Valerie Fangman.
Since it was formed in 1983, Ozric Tentacles has developed a diverse and quite eclectic sound that blends acid rock with, ethnic world music, dub, reggae, ambient and electronic, jazzy experimentation honed on the free festival scene, informed by the Gong and Steve Hillage tradition. This created a sweeping, busy sound that spans progressive rock boundaries. This release very much carries on that heritage.
In a positive way, that is. The sound is so broad and colourful that the musicians can act as painters working with a big sound palette, creating often vast aural paintings. Gre believes, “I think it’s not an Ozric album and not a Gracerooms album, and yet somehow both”. The synths are lithe and sinuous, the guitars trippy, panoramic and spacious, the rhythms flowing from sedate to busy or almost agitated. As ever from Ed, there’s a suitable glossy finish on the production that prevents the multifarious sounds and styles just becoming a freeform mess. The sound is adept at creating images in your head, whether it’s an individual tune providing an imaginative narrative or a particular sound suggesting a shape or a form. It is the sort of buoyant music that is playful while engaging. The song titles give hints about what the tracks are roughly about (Floating Plates, OilyVoice, Starseeds), while allowing for a good degree of amorphous abstraction in interpretation.
This is a varied and always interesting release from Ed Wynne and Gre Vanderloo. It does not move too far from what you may have heard from Ed and the Ozrics before, but that template is such a broad one that there is ample room to create variations on it. There is enough personality in Gre’s playing and approach to add something new, his synths being stylistically more artfully electronica-ambient than Ed’s normal style, noticeable at the beginning of Starseeds for example. You cannot mistake that Ed’s is the dominant style though. A myriad number of Ozric’s tunes come to mind whilst you are listening. There is some tremendously high-energy psych-infused guitar playing from Ed, who is a no mean player who strangely rarely gets mentioned in best guitarist lists. This is a very good album for Ed and Ozric fans, and one that will undoubtedly lead them towards discovering a little more about Gre too. This album is “a place where you might escape gravity for a moment” Ed reflects.
Seen The Sun
Ed Wynne – Guitar, Synthesisers
Gre Vanderloo – Synthesisers, Effects
Silas Neptune – Synthesisers
Paul Klaessen – Bass
Release date: 15th July, 2022
Formats:CD, black vinyl LP, limited edition blue vinyl LP and digital
Watch ‘Infinity Curtains’ here on YouTube – https://youtu.be/GEAvnayHoQw