There was a period in my life when I was really into Ozric Tentacles: I was collecting many of their CDs and I also had a couple of opportunities to see them playing live in Italy. Attending their gigs made me understand how central and crucial was the role of Ed Wynne in the sound of the band. He was not only playing his psychedelic guitar, but he was actually doing a lot of other stuff with keyboards and synths. It was not a surprise for me, then, that the kind of music that Ed Wynne is now releasing under his solo project has the same sound and feeling of Ozric Tentacles. To be more precise, it’s almost impossible to find any real difference between the material that he has recorded for his new solo LP Shimmer into Nature and the music featured in the last couple of albums by the Ozrics.
Based on the above, it’s relatively easy to introduce and describe the music of Wynne’s new LP, since it’s basically the same kind of instrumental progressive rock that he’s playing since 35 years, with all the usual heavy influences from jazz fusion, ethnic electronica, world music, and psychedelia. In synthesis: Ozric Tentacles.
If the sound of Wynne’s new project is the replica of Ozric Tentacle’s one, unfortunately the same applies to the quality of the music. I was a great fan of the Ozrics and, as said, was absolutely into their music. Nevertheless, I’ve always felt that their last good album is 1999’s Waterfall Cities, the eightieth album of a large discography which now counts 15 LPs, 10 official live records, and many other releases like compilations, remix albums, and EPs. At some point of their career, the English band stopped writing actual “songs” and they started proposing flat pieces of music without any internal development, structure, or everything else that could really differentiate one song from another.
Shimmer into Nature makes no difference: five long instrumental tracks which are all very nice to hear, well played and recorded, but there is no trace, albeit minimal, of what could be considered as a song. Pure layers of electronic and ethnic sounds and, on top, jazz-like psychedelic improvisations. Perfect as a background, but not much more than that.
My overall rating for the LP is 6/10. Favorite track: Oddplonk.
Shimmer into Nature can be streamed from Spotify.