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Ozric Tentacles live in Zagreb, 2004
|Genres||Psychedelic rock, space rock, progressive rock, jazz fusion, instrumental rock, electronic music, dub, world music, livetronica|
|Labels||Dovetail, Snapper, Stretchy, Magna Carta, Madfish|
|Associated acts||Eat Static, Nodens Ictus, Dubblehead, Moksha, Dream Machine, Here & Now|
Ozric Tentacles (also known as The Ozrics) are an instrumental rock band from Somerset, England, whose music can loosely be described as psychedelic or space rock. Formed in 1983, the band has released 28 albums as of 2011, and became a cottage industry selling over a million albums worldwide despite never having major label backing. Throughout many line-up changes over the years, guitarist Ed Wynne has remained the only original member of the band.
The original lineup met in 1983 at the Stonehenge Free Festival and its name arose from discussions of hypothetical cereal brands (Malcolm Segments, Desmond Whisps, and Gordon Lumps are among the names, that were considered). In the 1980s the band built a fanbase on the festival circuit, becoming particularly associated with the Glastonbury Festival, and made a series of cassette releases, sold at gigs and via a fan club.
Its first label release was Pungent Effulgent in 1989, which was also re-released in the early 2000s, packaged with Strangeitude (1991). This was followed by Erpland (1990), an album dedicated to the Pongmaster, a character which appears on many of the band's album artworks. 1991 saw the Strangeitude LP. By 1993 the band had grossed over three million dollars, and its Jurassic Shift album reached the Top 20 of the UK Albums Chart.
The band have gone through myriad line-up changes, with Ed Wynne (guitar, keyboards) being the only constant presence since the beginning. Many members left to pursue more electronic music spin-off acts, such as Eat Static, Transglobal Underground, Nodens Ictus, Dubblehead and Moksha. Nick Van Gelder (aka Tig), drummer for Jamiroquai during the Emergency on Planet Earth era was once part of the Ozric Tentacles line up, contributing drums and songwriting on the original cassettes Tantric Obstacles and Erpsongs. Nevertheless, the band maintained its identity and continued with this prolific rate of albums throughout the 1990s, and into the new millennium. It also continued to tour extensively, releasing a live DVD in 2002 entitled "Live at the Pongmaster's Ball".
The band are famous for their live performances, fronted for years by "Jumping" Jon Egan (a.k.a John Egan), who used to dance around the stage in a trance-like manner while playing a variety of flutes. Ozric Tentacles has long taken an audio-visual approach to live performance, with an integrated lighting and projections crew. The band has seen many rhythm section changes over the years. As of May 2012, the lineup featured Ed Wynne (guitar, synths), Ed's wife Brandi Wynne (bass, keyboards), Silas Wynne (synths, keyboards) and Oliver Seagle (drums, percussion). (Vinny Shillito toured the UK as a bassist in 1990 as stand-in bass player, when Roly Wynne was ill and remained friends with the band after forming his own band Grooveweird with his brother Dominic.) Brandi is back on bass and Silas Wynne (Ed's son) is on synths.
In 2011, Ozric Tentacles released their latest studio album, Paper Monkeys, and toured the record in America in March 2012, moving into a six week long, laid back but extensive European tour in April-May 2012.
In June 2012 their home in Colorado was destroyed by wild fires, that had ravaged the area for over a week. The band was on tour at the time. Archived material was destroyed as was their studio and some instruments. After the fire, the band reached out to fans to help rebuild the archive.
Ozric music is a highly psychedelic mixture of thumping basslines, sound effects and keyboard and guitar work, with a sound influenced by Steve Hillage and Gong. Many of the Ozrics' songs are in unusual time signatures and/or unusual Eastern-influenced modes. Furthermore, the band often features complex arrangements, which change time signature, key signature and tempo frequently in the course of a track, a well-known element present in progressive rock. There are also moments of straightforward funk-influenced grooves and strong influences from jazz fusion, dub/reggae and ambient music styles.
These features are mixed with electronic elements, including densely layered psytrance- and techno-influenced arpeggiated synthesizers, pads, synth basslines, effects and programmed drumbeats. There is also a strong influence from dub and ambient music, with many quiet relaxed tracks, that balance the frenetic, intense material.
The Ozrics also use a wide range of instruments in their performances. Electric and acoustic guitars, flutes, recorders, xylophones and even sounds of digitally tweaked human voices appear throughout.
Early cassette-only albums 
- Erpsongs (1984) DOVE OT1
- Tantric Obstacles (1985) DOVE OT2
- Live Ethereal Cereal (1986) DOVE OT3
- There is Nothing (1987) DOVE OT4
- Sliding Gliding Worlds (1988) DOVE OT5
- The Bits Between the Bits (1985-9) DOVE OT6
- After these first six cassette-only albums, the band began recording and releasing material on CD. These first six albums were released in 1994 as a CD box-set called Vitamin Enhanced. The box-set is now deleted, but the albums are available separately (with the above catalogue numbers).
- Pungent Effulgent (Feb. 1989) DOVE CD2, DOVE LP2
- Erpland (Nov. 1990) DOVE CD1, DOVE LP1, DOVE MC1
- Strangeitude (Aug. 1991) DOVE CD3, DOVE LP3
- Afterswish (1992) DOVE CD4 (double-disc compilation of material from early cassette releases, with 3 previously unreleased tracks)
- Live Underslunky (Apr. 1992) DOVE CD5, DOVE LP5
- Jurassic Shift (1993) DOVE CD6, DOVE LP6
- Arborescence (1994) DOVE CD7
- Vitamin Enhanced (1994) DOVE BOX1 (CD box-set, now deleted, of the first six cassette-only releases) (see above)
- Become the Other (1995) DOVE CD8
- Curious Corn (1997)
- Spice Doubt (live) (1998) (album of the band's live webcast that summer)
- Waterfall Cities (1999)
- Floating Seeds Remixed (1999) (remix album, containing material from the band's other projects)
- The Hidden Step (2000)
- Swirly Termination (2000)
- Pyramidion (live EP) (2001)
- Live at the Pongmaster's Ball (2002) SPECIAL EDITION CD + live DVD
- Eternal Wheel (The Best of) (2004) (double-disc compilation, consisting entirely of previously-released material)
- Spirals in Hyperspace (2004)
- The Floor's Too Far Away (2006)
- Sunrise Festival (live) (2008)
- The Yumyum Tree (2009)
- Paper Monkeys (2011)
- ”Sploosh” / ”Live Throbbe” (July 1991) DOVE ST3 (the only single the band has released: two tracks from the Strangeitude album)
In addition to the official releases, there are known to exist numerous other obscure / rare recordings from the band's many studio sessions. It was said in the early days, that the band even invited fans to send them blank cassettes, which they filled with tracks and returned.
Band members 
- Ed Wynne - guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, samples, koto, fretless bass, programming (1983-present)
- Brandi Wynne - bass, synthesizer (2004-present)
- Silas Wynne – keyboards (2009-present)
- Ollie Seagle - drums (2009-present)
- Joie Hinton (a.k.a Ozrooniculator) – keyboards, samples, synthesizer (1983-94)
- Roly Wynne - bass (1983-92)
- Nick van Gelder (a.k.a Tig) - drums (1983-87)
- Tom Brooks (a.k.a Zorch) - keyboards (1983-86)
- Gavin Griffiths - guitar (1983-84)
- Paul Hankin - percussion, congas (1985-91)
- Merv Pepler - drums, percussion, tambourine (1987-94, 2004-09)
- Steve Everett – keyboards (1987-2004)
- Marcus Ethnic (Marcus Carcus) - percussion (1988-90, 1993)
- Generator John - drums, percussion, tambourine (1989-90, 1993)
- John Egan (a.k.a Jon Egan, Jack Egan, Jumping John, Eoin Eogan) - flute, vocals (1989-2005)
- Zia Geelani - bass, percussion, castanets (1992-2004)
- Rad (Conrad Prince) - drums, percussion (1995-2000)
- Christopher "Seaweed" Lenox-Smith - keyboards, synthesizer (1995-03)
- Stuart "Stu" Fisher (a.k.a Schoo) - drums, percussion (2000-09)
- Metro - drums (2004-2009)
- Greyum May - Bass (2004-2006)
- Steve Hillage - guitar (2004, as a guest guitarist)
- Paul Godfrey - bass
- Paul Chousmer - keyboards (2006)
- Vinny Shillito – bass (2009)
- Roy Brosh – drums (2009)
Original bassist Roly Wynne, Ed's brother, was a major force in shaping the melodic rhythms at the heart of the Ozrics sound. Roly's later life had been plagued with difficulties until he committed suicide in 1999.
Seaweed (a.k.a Christopher Lenox-Smith) was keyboard player for much of the 1990s. He was previously a member of the Thunderdogs (who toured with French circus troupe Archaos in the early 1990s) and Moksha.
Flutist Jon Egan (a.k.a John Egan) parted company with the band in 2005 and is now playing with space rock outfit Dream Machine (along with ex-Ozric Joie Hinton, among others). He has also played with ex-Ozric Zia Geelani's dance and electronica band (ZubZub), as well as his own band Champignon, playing eclectic, spacey world music with Alex Pym (Dream Machine) and Mindflux (Dream Machine). John also recently contributed to the lesser known band 'JC's Flatline Junkies' and their first album Brass Ladies and Butterflies (2007), playing flutes on the three songs, "Crawling off the Sliproads", "Flatline" and "Passing Song".
Ex-bass player Paul Godfrey is now the bass player in The Cellar Door Sound.
Paul Chousmer (Also Another Green World, Webcore, Zuvuya, Astralasia) played keyboards throughout 2006, and features on the live video of 'Chewier' (filmed at the Roadburn Festival, Tilburg, Netherlands 2006) on 'The floors too far away'.
- "Features and Interviews > Ozric Tentacles". Musoscribe.com. Retrieved 2012-04-18.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 413. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "High Park Fire". Ozrics.proboards.com. p. 2. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
- "PEPPERMINT IGUANA ozric tentacles interview". Peppermintiguana.co.uk. 1984-06-21. Retrieved 2012-04-18.
- "Get Ready to ROCK! Interviews with Ed Wynne of progressive ambient rock band Ozric Tentacles". Getreadytorock.com. Retrieved 2012-04-18.
- Official Website
- Interview in Sound on Sound magazine
- Ozric Tentacles in concert (54 CC-attribution-share-alike licensed photographs)
- Cognition Factor (2009) soundtrack. 'Sphere Wave's programmed and performed by Merv Pepler and Ed Wynne in the Cognition Factor movie.