ohead Visitor (2012)
A space rock masterpiece waiting to be discovered! ohead is a Dave Hendry project, he has several projects of varying styles. Visitor is the latest in a series of ohead releases, this time he receives more outside help than ever before, even real drums on occasions, and it shows. It sounds like ohead might end up a real band, like Porcupine Tree. Anyways, this stuff is truly up your alley if you enjoy groups like Ozric Tentacles, Tidal Flood, Quantum Fantay, Hidria Spacefolk, and the likes. "Kull" might fool you into thinking this is going to be symphonic progressive rock, sounding a bit like the '70s French band Pulsar circa The Strands of the Future, with sampled Mellotron choirs (Hendry never used a real Mellotron, apparently a Roland JV 1080 with expansion pack), but with the next cut, "Alluvial Morte" it's in more familiar space rock territory. This piece reminds me of early Porcupine Tree because there are vocals from Al O'Kane who remind me of Steven Wilson. Much of the rest is first rate space rock, with the occasional techno moves, particularly the title track. I also love the presence of the ney flute on a couple of the cuts, courtesy of German-born Maren Lueg, her ney playing reminds me a lot of John Egan's ney playing in the Ozrics. Generally she plays in more traditionally inclined Middle Eastern music ensembles, but I wondered if she's heard Ozric Tentacles, and felt if John can play ney in space rock, so can she. Don't know. "Jagged" is a strangely out of place piece, with metal guitar riffs, then suddenly the piece mellows into spacy psychedelic territory, but then ends with those metal riffs again. Does that mean that Dave Hendry might end up with a metal project? There's even one cut that starts off with that same bass synth that you've heard on the Ozrics' Spirals in Hyperspace and The Floor's Too Far Away (helps that Hendry uses Novation synthesizers like Ed Wynne).
This stuff is begging to be discovered, truly some of the finest space rock I have heard in a long time. If you don't know ohead, Visitor is a great place to start!
Ben Miler, Discogs (2012)
New for 2012 Its the exciting return of ohead ! Wonderfull ambient psychedelic journeys through space and time are the order of the day. Floatatious and spacious, Dave Hendry or Captain ohead is gracious enough to kindly steer our ears. minds and senses through a musical electronic soundscape that inspire the words Amazing and Wow and other similar terms. Highly recomended by Overflow, this album is not to be missed.
Garry Lee, Starship Overflow Radio CD of the week (2012)
Much as I was impressed with Dave Hendry AKA ohead's previous releases Visitor moves things towards the stratosphere. The guitarist guests contribute a lot to the success of this album namely Tim Jones and John Simms (Clear Blue Sky). It is also little touches like ney flute and sax and a vocal or two from Al O'Kane that help create a diversity of approach that takes them musically to The Ozric Tentacles and beyond. There are Afro rhythms and ska beats and even a brief flurry of HM guitar and enough swirling and swooshing synths to keep the most demanding electronic music fan very happy indeed. Visitor is already marked down as one of my must return to releases of 2012. If you like any or all of the above don?t miss it!
Philip Jackson, Acid Dragon Magazine (2012)
This new album by Ohead (that's a project of David Hendry from the UK) again includes splendid, psychedelic and trance-inducing hybrid of electronic music and space rock. As usual, there are several guests featured on guitar (John Simms and Tim Jones!), drums, wind instruments and vocals while David takes care of the synths, programming and occasional bass. After the short intro Kull, Alluvial Morte rocks pretty tight and in a hypnotic manner also including some vocals. Solar Glide is cosmic and pretty groovy going and the ney flute enhances the great atmosphere that's quite like the old Ozric Tentacles had. There's also some killer solo guitar by Mr. Simms! The shorter Diadanze is another pleasant instrumental piece where the delay guitar is played by Gazbot (whoever that is). This one has some dub moods. Jagged offers some heavier, hypnotic riffing although there also is a floating, acoustic section in the middle. Space Soup is a more relaxed, Ozrics styled, sequencer-driven great instrumental and Utep a more rhythmical and progressive number that could well by written by Ozric Tentacles as well. Perhaps the albums best piece still is its Ashra/Tangerine Dream spirited title track Visitor that has an excellent, hypnotic and uplifting atmosphere. As the title suggests, Alluvial Morte Dub is a dub styled number with saxophone and the album is finished with the soothing, mystical ambient piece Manu where we get to hear some more of the ancient ney flute that's perfect for the mood. An amazing album, once again!
DJ Astro, Psychotropic Zone (2012)
Multi-composer David Hendry (Guitars, Bass, Synths and Programming) first conceived Ohead in 1996, though it wasn't until 1998 that the first Ohead CD Silent Universe was ready for release. Since then there have been a total of seven Ohead CD's, plus the excellent Stella Polaris (later on review), another space rocking project and Transequence, a more electronic ambient trance project..
His most recent outing Visitor continues his dreamy blend of space rock, dub, electronic and fx alien influences. Alluvial morte is a fast paced melodic only-vocal track that reminds me a bit of old Porcupine Tree. Solar glide is a mellow and very cool synth-based track with a lot of psychedelic percussive aspects to it. Diadanze changes the flavour once again and is a quite laid back dub number but still very stoned and psychedelic and it features a guitar solo. Utep and Space soup have memorable Ozric-melodies and are very much in the Kitaro-ambient mould too. Ohead excel at creating alluring songs with Ozric Tentacles potential that are backed by intriguing electronica and wailing guitarsolo work that incorporates multiple sounds and styles. The lead guitar work by Tim Jones and John Simms (once of Clear Blue Sky) is fabulous, seemingly one foot on the pedal, one hand on the gliss bar, a mix of Dave Gilmour, Steve Hillage and Ed Wynne. Jagged maintains a metallized marching guitar beat riff throughout the song and includes an acoustic floating explorative middle part that gives it an acidic oriental quality. The title track is an interesting track, having a Astralasia/Banco De Gaia feel, though it's all happening within a larger rocking cosmic whole. And dig that Hillage-styled soundscape guitar. The dub continues on the appropriate titled Alluvial morte dub, a very engaging song which is embellished by great saxophone by Spacey Rach. The dreamy flute by Maren Lueg and the soothing percussion give the last song Manu a World Music feel that I can't quite place.
If you're a fan of Ozric Tentacles, Dead Flowers, Nukli, Klaus Schulze or bands such as Astralasia, Banco De Gaia or even Zion Train you'll no doubt find plenty here to enjoy.
Peter Brems, Concreteweb (2012)
Dette navnet ble rimelig fort byttet ut med Ohead, og her kunne Hendry dyrke sin musikk som er inspirert av band og musikere fra hans oppvekst. En oppvekst hvor artister som Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd, Eloy og Steve Hillage var det som ble lyttet mest til. Dette gjenspeiler seg i Ohead sin musikk, og det var en musikk som på de foregående skivene har vært forunt med lite ekstern hjelp. Denne gang er det faktisk vokal fra Al O`Kane og fløyte fra Maren Lueg, og ikke programmerte trommer her og der. Denne forandringen fører til at følelsen av at Ohead er et band er stigende, og det er noe vi kan like. Vi liker også at skiva er på over timen slik at vi får mye musikk fordi det her aldri blir kjedelig da det så er variert. Akkurat det med variert er jo noe enkelte kolleger til Ohead strever med, men Hendry har åpenbart lagt seg i selen for å få til variasjon. Denne, variasjonen altså, kommer blant annet fra at det denne gang hentes inn elementer som det ikke akkurat har vært flust av på tidligere utgivelser. Den tidligere nevnte fløytespillinga til dyktige Maren Lueg gir skiva merverdi og en sonisk snert som er høyst velkommen. Når så oHendry også beveger seg inn i skogen hvor metallriffene bor, da blir det rett så spennende. På ?Jagged? hentes det frem riff som er smaksatt med en umisskjennelig metallisk vinkling, og det skaper en formidabel dynamikk i låten. En låt som rundt midten er en snarttur innom roligere farvann med psykedlisk spacerock før den igjen hardner til mot slutten. Strålende! På kanten til strålende er definitivt også "Kull" som er tett opp mot symfonisk prog og som låter virkelig bra. Bra låter også skiva som helhet og variasjonen er som tidligere nevnt fin og Hendry har nok lyttet på mye forskjellig musikk som han inspireres av. Kan vi driste oss til å gjette på at Steve Wilson sin tidligste komposisjonsteknikk kan være trukket veksler på når låten "Alluvial Morte" ble laget? Uansett så er "Alluvial Morte" en flott spacerock låt som gestalter hele arsenalet av krav til outerspace musikkestetikk. Kravet til god elektronisk musikk og spacerock oppfyller så absolutt "Visitors" og å bli hva platetittelen indikere og altså være en besøkende i Ohead sin verden kan være et smart trekk!
Ulf Backstrøm, Merlin Prrog (2012)
ohead Dream State Circus (2010)
Well it's only 3 months since we last featured Ohead on this page, but hey, we cant help it if they make so much amazing music! Roll up, roll up (& we mean that in the most encouraging of ways), the Dream State Circus is in town. Prepare yourself to be mesmerised by the musical world of Dave Hendry once more and wrap your ears around this trancey psychedelic space-rock masterpiece.
Garry Lee, Starship Overflow Radio CD of the week (2010)
Dream State Circus is Dave's very latest release and has some distinguished guests appearing notably the estimable John Simms (Yes, he of Clear Blue Sky) whose unmistakeable guitar graces the title track and Tim Jones who plays lead on three tracks including Infinite Potentialities which also happens to be on the Stone Premonitions 2010 CD, not that I minded hearing it again! It is on Meadow of Dreams though that Tim really excels playing one of the most expressive solos I've heard from him, following Mike Bike's enchanting acoustic guitar beautifully. Mark Newman's djembe also adds greatly to proceedings and the voice samples and general vibe took me back to Porcupine Tree's Voyage 34. There are lots of atmospheric jungle sounds leading to a great headphone listening experience and also elements of trance and dub (although I am no expert the title Dubliminal Conditioning kind of gives it away!) Dream State Circus is a tremendous album and definitely a grower.
Phil Jackson, Acid Dragon Magazine (2010)
Ohead's latest album Dream State Circus is possibly the best so far and at first rocks more than before. The opener, a pretty fast and tight title track proves that Dave has found a very well working combination of psychedelic space rock and electronic music. John Simms (Clear Blue Sky) plays lots of superb guitar solos and also some effected vocals are included. Beware, Hawkwind
Tim Jones (Stone Premonitions) plays lead guitar on three of the tracks like on A Thousand Stars and A Thousand Moons that some amazing sequencer stuff and starts off as ambient but transforms later on into a bit dub-like style and then gets a little harder. Dave Hendry himself is featured on the new Stone Premonitions release. There are some dub vibes also on the next piece Subliminal Conditioning and it also has some saxophone (Spacey Rach again). Meadow of Dreams is a very pleasant, laid-back track with several guests. Dubliminal Conditioning is rather psychedelic, druggy stuff and the album's longest (13:21) track Infinite Potentialities mainly quite minimal, relaxing and dreamy ambient. Transition Zone is trance, danceable material and works really well.The album is finished with the mellow, sequencer-driven ambient piece Puzzle Box. Dream State Circus has high-quality music on it.
DJ Astro , Psychotropic Zone (2010)
Dave Hendry is an enterprising man, and is both multi-instrumentalist and producer. In this work he is with his beloved Ohead with a slice of psychedelic space rock. Less well known is probably that Hendry also releases music under the name Transequence, but it'll be another story another time. All good musicians have the sense to hire the best collaborators, and from Clear Blue Sky is the eminent guitarist John Simms brought in to provide additional timbres to "Dream State Circus." Simms lush guitar playing is included on the title track, and believe me, he is well worth lending your ears to! Tim Jones takes care of guitars on three tracks, including the beautiful song "Infinite Potentialities" which was also found on Stone Premonition 2010 that we found quite a favorable review earlier. This replay is no bad thing, but on the contrary a great experience so good is the song! The album is so full of small and subtle and fine details, that to take it all in, it is a smart move to use some good headphones. By repeatedly listening, music sections will grow big and strong, and one will really get into ohead's great music universe. On "Meadow Of Dreams features Tim Jones with a guitar solo that smells of quality, and which simply must be heard. The song is also a varied listening experience that also easily leads to a hypnotic effect on the listener. There are as many as three guest musicians who all contribute to this great atmosphere, and this quiet song is really a must-listen song. Very well worth listening to is Mike Bike's acoustic guitars as they interact with the fabulous and gorgeous lead guitar of Tim Jones. The sound from Mark Newman's djembe make this a truly excellent song. "Dream State Circus" is a delicious slice of psychedelia with strong tunes, recomended for those with a penchant for psychedelic space rock quality should definitely check out.
Merlin Prog (2010)
Born under the same star sign as the Ozric Tentacles and Omnia Opera, Ohead (What is it with Brit neo-space rockers and the letter "O"?) mine the psychedelic ore of the asteroid belt and refine it into a diffuse mixture of trance, ambient, dub and blazing rock. This is particularly evident on the title track with its driving sequencer pattern and lock-step drums. Ohead pilot David Hendry charts a course through the cerebral cortex with some searing lead guitar, hovering pads and dive bombing noise sweeps. A Thousand Stars and a Thousand Moons features mesmerizing sequencers against a backdrop of coiling synths and slash and burn guitar. Hypnotic and yet hyperactive at the same time, it trails off into an ocean of bubbling electronics and diaphanous synth textures. The house vibe of Subliminal Conditioning seems a bit dated these days but the inclusion of some slinky sax work and a vibrant rhythmic bass save the song from being merely sonic trivia. Meadow of Dreams brings the listener back to more rarefied atmospheres, with its floating synths and ostinato bass line establishing a repetitive calm punctuated by some airy acoustic guitar and crescendoing strings before transitioning to an up-tempo coda that features more blistering lead guitar set against a background of icy synth pads. The 13-minute Infinite Possibilities is unquestionably the album's centerpiece, evolving as it does through different sections evoking subtly different moods, very much, for instance, in the tradition of mid-70's Tangerine Dream masterworks such as Ricochet and Stratosfear. Here particularly is where Ohead excels at its Berlin School-derived electronic and Ozric-fueled post-Gong/Hawkwind space rock. Phased metallic guitars anchor the otherwise shifting sequencers and atmospheric pads to terra firma before the piece morphs into a kind of electronic saraband for 21st century stoners. All in all, Dream State Circus is an excellent addition to Ohead's growing galactic catalog of neo-psychedelic trance rock. Where the Ozrics left off at the end of the last century, Ohead forges ahead in this one.
Charles Van de Kree, Aural Innovations (2010)
ohead Decade In Space (2008)
Decade in Space celebrates the first ten years of released Ohead material (1998-2008). Instead of just putting together a compilation album Hendry decided to rather re-record all the tracks. This was a very good idea since that way they sound fresh and he got the chance to fix things that he was not totally happy with as well as add bits and pieces here and there. Great! The CD includes nine mostly long tracks and only some of them were known to me before. One of my personal favorites is the hypnotic Seamless Time that uncommonly also includes vocals. The pretty heavy electric guitar gives a nice space rock feel although the bass drum beats in the dance music mode while sequencers blast away. This track features Gazbo on guitar. One other track (Dub Bubble) also has a guest musician: Spacey Rach plays saxophone on it. Many of the more ambient pieces like Space Messages bring to mind the best stuff by Astralasia which is only a good thing in my books. Other highlights of the album include the bit mystical Eyes of the Oracle and the little Kraftwerk-like Voyage Sequence II. This is an excellent album in every way and a great way to get fast into the spacey music of Ohead
DJ Astro, Psychotropic Zone (2010)
ohead Gala's Garden (2008)
Fans of pschedelic and ambient music are in for an absolute treat with this simply brilliant and quite stunning release from ohead. The man behind the band/music is Dave Hendry and the multi-instrumentalist already has a plethora of work to his name but I doubt if he has previously produced anything as devastatingly good as this. Guitar and keyboards combine fluidly with drums and bass to produce an instrumental landscape of sound that is dreamy, ethereal and atmospheric. A tad of space rock for sure but think of the mighty Ozrics and early Porcupine Tree given full reign to experiment in rhythms and sound effects and you'll have some idea of what is happening here. Hendry has been very clever as he uses several guests to devastating effect on several of the tracks. The genre of psychedelic/ambient rock simply doesn't get any better than this.
T.C The Classic Rock Society magazine (2008)
David Hendry from the UK is a very busy fellow who has released different kinds of electronic music under various monikers. ohead is one of his projects that has prior to this new CD released two great, cosmic and psychedelic ambient albums. I reviewed Steps Across the Cortex, the latter of these, last year. On Gaia's Garden David plays synthesizers, bass, guitars and sings as well as does the programming. Rachel Hutchinson (saxophone), Will Greenwood (lead and glissando guitar) and Gaz (lead guitar) are also featured as guests on one track each.
Gaia's Garden is a very well produced, psychedelic and mostly electronic ambient album that has a bit organic feel too because of the guitars and bird song. The music is pretty original, although it evokes similar feelings than early/mid 90's Astralasia, Banco de Gaia etc. Excellent music!
DJ Astro, Psychotropic Zone (2008)
Possibly the best psychedelic-ambient album of the year... ohead is purely the work of 'Dave Hendry', who has a colourful and extensive musical history, as a composer,producer and musician. This unique masterpiece is dynamic, atmospheric and saturated with feel-good factor... interwoven with keyboards... guitar and polished to perfection
Garry Lee, Starship Overflow Radio CD of the week (2008)
Ohead is the one-man space band of David Hendry. Hendry has extensive experience in the electronic music scene in genres such as trance, ambient and drum n' bass. And while his ohead project draws on some of those influences, Hendry infuses it with so much more, adding guitars and bass to the electronics for a fusion of sound reminiscent of Ozric Tentacles in many ways, but different as well. Hendry has a polished sheen to his production, the non-electronic instruments having gently rounded edges, melding into the mix with the electronics for a smoother and less raunchy sound than you often hear with the Ozrics. It's mostly instrumental music, except for the occasionally freaky voice sample, and of course the mysterious and edgy track Timeless Sun, which features spacey, processed singing from Hendry himself, multi-talented guy that he is. Ohead hearkens back to the electronica and festival sounds of the 90's while pushing forward and exploring new territory for the future. Lush, rhythmic and spaced out, this is music for the head. The O-head, that is.
From Aural Innovations 40 (2008)
Ohead is the project name for Englishman David Hendry's music. David has produced the album, composed all the music and played all of the instruments except for the sax on Soapbubble (Rachel Hutchinson) the lead guitar/gliss on Skydancer (Will Greenwood) and the lead guitar on Desert Path (gaz). Despite these contributions this remains very much a David Hendry solo effort. It is well conceived, composed, played and produced. The music, totally instrumental save for some short vocalisations on some of the compositions, lies in that region of soundscape that encompasses psychedelia, ambient and space-rock, with David weaving seamlessly between the three. The sound is impressively clear; this is another of those albums that is definitely enhanced by being played on the best of hi-fis.The opening Lost In The Stars immediately lifts you into a good mood with its effective use of warm synthesizer sounds from the bass end, neatly juxtaposed with higher frequency playing. The Gaia's Garden set of compositions mixes spacey sounds along with birdsong and the like, all very pleasant in an ambient way within this psychedelia/space-rock setting. Other highlights are the subtly different space-rock feels of Timeless Sun and Red Skies, purposely contrasted by David I'm sure; and Soapbubble , to which Rachel's sax contributes some wonderful musical colour. Overall, a fine album: recommended for fans of totally instrumental psychedelia/space-rock/ambient soundscapes.
Alex Torres, DPRP (2009)
ohead StepsAcrossTheCortex (2005)
A warbly bass synth sequence, some male sci-fi dialogue in the background, and we're off and running on another spacey ohead release, as if Silent Universe were only yesterday, not seven years prior. A light vintage synth lead and a thumping beat also emerge, and the feeling on Twilight Pilot is very familiar, like coming home. Various cool electronic effects fly in and out of the mix at will. The bass sequence gets a bit heavy, not changing at all until it transposes off and on going into the seventh minute, but it's still good fun. We float right into Otherworldly Journeys, with lots of bubbly little synth sounds. A hypnotic sequence gets going, then a bass pulse, then more layers of electronics including a pleasant melody. The feeling is cool, hip, relaxed. Mellotron flutes and strings are added at the end for good measure. Next up is an epic excursion, The Loneliness of the Deep Space Traveller. This one builds perfectly from ambient beginnings to a steady marching beat with, again, a wonderful assortment of playful synth sounds. Dreamy throughout, by the end you will be tapping your toes and grooving with it. Oracle Eye develops in similar fashion, with fully engaging rhythms and melodies that will completely hook you. David Hendry manages to coax tunes along in such a way that it is difficult to tell what parts are preconceived and what parts are freeform experimentation and improvisation. Certainly they have the feel of tight compositions, but when you venture across each electronic landscape for anywhere from 9 to 26 minutes, it seems likely that some exploration is going on. On the other hand, the consistency between the two O-Head discs is so amazing Delta Ceiphi seems like a sequel to The Domes of Atma, that perhaps there is method to the madness throughout. Excellent.
Phil Derby, ElectroAmbient Space (2005)
Steps Across the Universe was released in 2005 and is the second CD by ohead aka Dave Hendry. ohead's music is an amazing combination of early 90's styled British ambient and trance á la Astralasia, Future Sound of London and Eat Static crossbred with a suitable dose of old school German kosmiche music pioneers. This is just the kind of deep, psychedelic electronic music that I like!
The album gets going with Twilight Pilot that begins with a simple sequence and narrative sample. Little by little more synthesizers and a rather minimal beat join in. This is like Astalasia's What Ever Happened to Utopia album mixed together with some 70's Klaus Schultze or Tangerine Dream album, great! My little boy labelled this space-robot music, and this is a very good description. A bit slower Other Wordly Journeys continues the same cosmic line, but mostly in very airy and ambient spheres. Hovering and hallucinatory stuff, and in the end there is again some effective narration. The 13-minute-long The Loneliness of the Deep Space Traveller starts off with a very psychedelic web of sound that transforms into peaceful, beautiful and spacey ambient. At around the five minute marker the deep, dark sequences and bass drum are added, and the journey into inner space really begins. After seven minutes have passed the drum comp joins in and the track gets more trancey. Amazing, hypnotic going! Oracle Eye has just some little, bubbling synth sounds at first but later on also includes some guitar, and when the track really begins it brings to mind Ozric Tentacles Sploosh! quite a lot. Another great track. The fifth track of the album Delta Ceiphi is again more peaceful and cosmic material in the Astralasia vein. There is also some space guitar and bass in there. The last track Colours Become Shapes is a massive, over 25-minute-long magnus opus of the album and begins very peacefully with a cosmic speech sample and floats in weird, psychedelic waters until the Tangerine Dream styled tinkling sequence takes over along with the wonderful synthesizer melodies. In the end the track mellows down into cosmic radiation and bubbling and we get to hear some more speech samples. This is a superb ending for this excellent album and the next album should also be available soon.
DJ Astro, Psychotropic Zone (2007)
This is a solo synthesizer CD by musician David Hendry.The first track begins with a repetitive bass synth sequence, over which samples and some new agey synths layer in and over it. "Other Worldly Journeys" is next and this is more spaced out spacescapes of sort. A fantastic and rich sound is achieved with all these modern synthesizers. After about 1½ minutes a bass line joins in and the rest of the song is wrapped around these modulated bass lines. Quite cool stuff. "The Loneliness of the Deep Space Traveller" takes us on a 13 minute journey, which is very mellow and spaced out until a sample of an astronaut comes in around 4½ minutes and then the bass synth line starts and the track really builds up into a dark theme and then becomes almost like an ORB like techno track. Very cool stuff. "Oracle Eye" is next and reminds me of some of the stuff on Seaweed's, Patchworks CD. This features some programmed drums and is quite a cool 11 minute trip into space. "Delta Ceiphi" is next and features Simon Williams on guitar (Mandragora!). This is the first thing I have seen Simon on in years. The track starts very new age with rich sweeps of lush sound before Simon kicks in at about 3½ minutes with some really cool delayed, highly effected guitar soloing. It is quite a short solo but he plays another one later in the track as well. The CD ends with the 26 minute "Colours Become Shapes". Here David experiments with some more far out sounds than on most of the other tracks. There are quite a few layers of stuff on this track. A very enjoyable space music CD.
Aural Innovations (2007)
ohead SilentUniverse (1998)
A stellar wind and electronic shimmers conjure up the cosmos but then a vocal sample makes us think much more of the space within, as if ones consciousness is slowly being awoken. The first sequence can be heard and this is added to by another. We are now far from sleep rather hurtling at full speed. A rhythm is chucked into the steaming brew with soft synth pads fleshing out the sound. As if we weren?t close to overload already another heavier rhythm is added. A case of more is more? Good exciting bombastic stuff.
The second track is somewhat more subtle than the opener but even better. A slow sequential motif provides the framework for lovely effects to caress the mind. More sounds are added, each like a shining star, startling in beauty but with awesome power. Unlike the first number however the effect is much more of calm than speed. The foot certainly starts tapping when the main rhythm is added just before the half way mark, but really it is the sounds he uses that are the main focus. You can hardly call them lead lines because they never last for long before departing and another taking its place.
On to track number three, a real little gem. I know I keep going on about sounds but really the warbling sequence used here is like nothing I have ever heard before and it got my whole body bopping to it. The accompanying lead lines compliment it superbly. Awesome, absolutely bloody awesome! Surely it can't get any better than this. On to track four and back to deep space. The sequence and initial gentle lead motif are subtlety personified. Piano melodies and bell like percussion are added to by an acoustic guitar sound giving the fifth track a very un-electronic feel but it is, as are all the pieces here, a delight. The next number is the longest at eighteen minutes. After a calm start the track develops into a fairly conventional sequencer / rhythm romp but by the eleven minute mark we are starting to get more of those unique sounds though the sequence shifts in a very Tangerine Dreamish sort of way. The melodies are always top notch and this is a very fine piece but somehow sounds a bit normal compared to the inventiveness that has gone before. The title track finishes the album off back deep in the cosmos, all shimmers and effects making one think of outer space.
This is an album that will be enjoyed by people that like their Electronic Music 70's influenced but at the same time sounding 90's without having to resort to dance rhythms.
Dave Law, SMD (1998)
Census Of Hallucinations Spirit Of Yellow (2013)
Believe it or not 2013 brings the first professionally manufactured CD in the long history of this illustrious group. Familiar numbers from the Census of Hallucinations back catalogue get a makeover with Tim Jones garnering assistance from John Simms (electric guitar), Maxine Marten and Terri B (backing vocals), Kevin Hodge (drums and bass), Mark Craney (keys on 'Infra Red Part 1') and Dave Hendry (whose ohead releases I have had the pleasure to review for Acid Dragon). All play their part to breathe renewed life into a collection of excellent songs, the synth on 'Forest' embellishing the catchy chorus and reflective verse, Tim's acoustic guitar and John Simm's electric guitar fills on 'More Than Ashes', the inventive arrangement on 'Church' and a solid rhythm section all get the album off to a flying start (and I have never heard Tim and his backing singers in such fine voice). Acoustic guitar once again introduces 'Riding The War' while John's Dave Gilmour like guitar on the second part of 'Infra Red' is the perfect foil to the shimmering synth lines with what can only be described as a heavenly choir in the background.
'Ephemeral Fire' which I first heard sung by Terri B on her solo album is the last of three Tony Morland songs on the CD and is fittingly poignant and deliberative. The next two songs 'Mountain Climbing' and 'Lie Again' seem like old friends and have never sounded better. 'Sara Jane' I was less familiar with and it precedes the album's outstanding moment for me, if I had to pick one, the stunning 5 minute version of 'Hieronymous'. There are still 3 to go with 'Blood on My Shoes' one of Tim's 'social consciousness' songs if I can describe it that way, perceptive and to the point before the classic anthemic 'Free Yourself' (from greed) sounding very funky with John's bluesy guitar fills and 'Orion' which is always welcome and a fitting closer to 'Spirit of Yellow' which may well be the finest moment (of many) in the history of Census of Hallucinations.
Phil Jackson, Acid Dragon 2013
Songs like Forest and More Than Ashes communicate a rocking majesty, with trademark Stone Premonitions vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, melodic rocking guitar leads and deep space floating keys. Riding The War, Lie Again and Sara Jane are all classic Tim & Terri vocal numbers. Church is a standout track and a stellar example of the new dimension that John Simms’ guitar brings to the music. John is a veteran of the Progressive/Hard Rock world through his band Clear Blue Sky, who date back to albums on the Vertigo label in the early 70s. Plus we’re treated to more spacey keyboard embellishments and freaky looped effects, which wrap themselves lovingly around the souful splendor of the song. Hieronymus is another highlight and an outstanding example of CoH’s flair for dreamy singer-songwriter Psychedelia, now further enhanced by Dave Hendry’s cosmic soundscapes and bubbling synths and John’s subtly spaced out and efx’d licks. Dave is an artist who should be well familiar to Aural Innovations readers through many albums by his ohead project.
Jerry Kranitz, Aural Innovations
Stella Polaris Stella Polaris (2011)
Stella Polaris is yet another project by the ever proficient Stone Premonitions crew and I must say that as much as I have liked all their previous releases this definitely is one of the best. Featured on the album are the main man guitarist Tim Jones together with the keyboard wizard Dave Hendry (ohead), the drums are played by Kevin Thomson and on one track by Paddi and The Reverend Rabbit takes care of the bass duties and also sings on one track on this otherwise instrumental album. Jones and Hendry have very wisely left lots of space for psychedelic, hypnotic jamming driven by the excellent guitar work as well as the spacey synthesizers and keyboards. We've got both Pink Floyd-styled, dreamy space rock and cosmic ambient journeys and even more.
"Off with Their Heads" begins the album with its slow but effective going that brings to mind DSOTM era Pink Floyd and includes lots of great solo guitar work. Amazing! The soloing continues on the more ambient number "Ephadream" that only has a bit of rhythm. "Diocin & Widderhins" is more rocking stuff again although there is a floating sequence in the middle. The album's longest track is the funnily entitled "So What if They've Got Tee Shirts in Denmark" that is pleasant, spacey gliding with a little bit of beat. "Remembrance" is a shorter, peaceful and melancholic piece and after that the more normal rock number "Retroglide" brings in some more positive vibes. "The Man Who Never Was" is softer stuff again and "Givin' It Large" is the album's sole vocal track and also has some percussion. "Givin' It Large" continues the relaxed line and includes for example some very psychedelic, echoed guitar as well as small-scale rhythm. The album ends with the excellent "We're All Egyptians Now" that has a great, mind-expanding atmosphere and ends in a really far-out manner. Another superb album from the Stone Premonitions label again and I wish there would be more stuff like this! I can recommend this to all the space rockers and prog heads.
DJ Astro, Psychotropic Zone (2011)
Tim Jones and co. are back under yet another name and have never sounded better. This (mostly) all instrumental CD starts off with a great Pink Floyd inspired groove with Dave Hendry (Ohead) setting the scene on keyboards and Tim unleashing some of the best guitar licks I've heard from him. Dave Gilmour take note! The rest of the band play their part of course with Paddi in the drumstool on the 9 minutes of 'Off With Their Heads'. The rest of the drumming is supplied by Kevin Thompson and wisely 'Stella Polaris' is no succession of guitar solos and Dave Hendry's presence helps greatly to build a heady atmospheric vibe on curiously entitled tracks like 'So What If They've Got Tee Shirts in Denmark'. 'Retroglide' gives some indication of some of Tim's influences while more unexpected is the acerbic 'distant' vocal on 'Givin' It Large' to the accompaniment of some nice jazz-like chords and tabla. 'Stella Polaris' is quite simply a guitar fest and more - what's not to like?
Philip Jackson, Acid Dragon (2011)
SP 2010 The Clowing Achievement (2010)
This is the best musical surprise I have had for a long time as the label that spawned The Rabbits Hat/Census of Hallucinations et al has finally adopted the name of the actual label realising what has always been the case - that Stone Premonitions is a true musical collective. Not only that but I believe Tim Jones, Terri B et al have produced one of their strongest albums ever. A major reason for this is the broader sound palette brought to the constant flow of ideas from Tim and Terri's fevered imagination by keyboard player Dave Hendry, adding a coloration, texture and ambience to the music. The opener 'Perpetual Motion' is instantly recognisable as a CoH song and immediately accepted as a classic one. Old songs like Tony Morland/Tim Jones' astute social commentary 'Out of Sight, Out of Mind' are brought up to date. This one with drums by Kevin Thompson (great guitar freakout at the end as well) as is 'The Judas Kiss' which is propelled onwards by Mark Dunn's reggae bass and some nifty programming with a welcome reappearance by the Reverend Rabbit, dreamy organ and gurgling synth and a fine vocal performance by Tim and Terri as well as some pretty funky guitar lines! There is a predominantly ominous edge though and you can cut the atmosphere with the proverbial guitar string. The thing I always love about SP music is that they really mean it and even when injected with humour, a legacy from bands like Gong in the seventies, the message comes across loud and clear. There is also room for sentimentality in the touching 'Down By The River'-Don Campau wrote the music to this one and a great melody it is. 'Infinite Potentialities' is a stunning 13 minute Dave Hendry synthesiser extravaganza that starts with bird song and opens like a flower on seven minutes with a synth pattern/ pulse that Tangerine Dream themselves would have been proud of with Tim Jones lending a helping hand on guitar. Next up is a Paddi/Jones song 'In The Image' with a venom in the lyric that as I said before gets straight to the point and you might say needs to. How's this for an opening gambit? "We're still in hock to the Lords of the Norman Conquest" then later "Follow the leader blindly to the theatres of hate". (Not bad, eh?) "Killing each other making money for the big, bad boss man", and variations thereon, makes up the chorus. No punches pulled then! The pertinent question 'Why Are We Here?' is asked before 'Give Us Back Our Heaven' (originally on CoH's 'The 4th Dimension' if memory serves) succumbs to an extended disco beat treatment, like one of those extended 12" mixes that were so popular in the 80s. That's it then. 8 tracks over an hour of music that do exactly what it says in the press release. "poignant lyrics (that will also resonate with a lot of people at the moment), incomparable vocals, music that rocks, grooves and challenges the senses fusing elements of Progressive Rock, Psychedelia, Space Rock, Pop and other genres, music that is challenging yet accessible and ultimately defies categorisation'. A true fusion it certainly is. This is one album that I have been returning to on a regular basis and will continue to do so in the future.
Philip Jackson, Zeitgeist (2010)
As you might have guessed, Stone Premonitions 2010 is the latest band project by the Stone Premonitions collective. In addition to Tim Jones, Terri~B and some other familiar faces they now also have on board synthesizer wizard Dave Hendry who?s previously known from his spacious ambient/electro/space rock project ohead. His arrival is very welcome indeed, since he?s been able to bring in some new dimensions to the music with his psychedelic synths.
This more than one-hour-long album has eight tracks on it. First we?ve got the powerful, mid-tempo rock piece Perpetual Motion and this vividly reminds me of Magic Mushroom Band. This really great number ends with a two-minute-long, hallucinatory synth drone from deep space. Out of Sight, Out of Mind begins in a pretty experimental style and after one minute the going somewhere in between hard rock and prog starts off. The old Census of Hallucinations number The Judas Kiss includes lots of programmed, electronic stuff, but also male and female vocals and guitar. The ending gets quite weird? Another track with loads of programming is the bit dub spirited Don Campau composition Down by the River. The album's longest track is Hendry's instrumental Infinite Potentialities that begins in an airy way with some bird-song and light keyboards. This is very ambient stuff although it also has some guitar. This piece could easily be from some old Astralasia album and it is in fact also included on the new ohead disc. In The Image is a song composed by Paddi and has lyrics by Jones and starts off with a minute-and-a-half of cosmic gurgle and then gets rocking a bit in the Gong style. The end is again tranquil, serene soundscapes. Tim Jones great, mid-paced Why Are We Hee begins with a psychedelic narration and after a minute the drums, rather heavy riff and vocals get going. The last couple of minutes are again more peaceful, floating stuff. Finally we get to hear some danceable electronic music that also includes vocals, and the hypnotic Give Us Back Our Heaven (originally a Census of Hallucinations track) is a very fine ending for this album that is one of the best releases on Stone Premonitions ever. I can warmly recommend this to all those who like psychedelic music!
DJ Astro, The Psychotropic Zone (2010)