Ozric Tentacles ‎– The Hidden Step

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Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
STRETCHYCD3 Ozric Tentacles The Hidden Step(CD, Album) Stretchy Records STRETCHYCD3 UK 2000 Sell This Version
PNXR 2010 Ozric Tentacles The Hidden Step(CD, Album) Phoenix Rising Records PNXR 2010 US 2000 Sell This Version
OZTCD 10000510 Ozric Tentacles The Hidden Step(CD, Album, Unofficial) Not On Label (Ozric Tentacles) OZTCD 10000510 Russia 2000 Sell This Version
PLP2002 Ozric Tentacles The Hidden Step(LP, Ltd, Yel) Pancromatic PLP2002 Norway 2000 Sell This Version
SMMCD5639 Ozric Tentacles The Hidden Step(CD, Album, RE) Snapper Music SMMCD5639 UK 2002 Sell This Version
SDPCD153 Ozric Tentacles The Hidden Step(CD, Album, RE, Dig) Snapper Classics SDPCD153 UK 2004 Sell This Version
FCCD 10000510 Ozric Tentacles The Hidden Step(CD, Album, Unofficial) 2000 FruitGum Corp. FCCD 10000510 Russia 2004 Sell This Version
SDPCD153 Ozric Tentacles The Hidden Step(CD, Album, RE, Sup) Madfish SDPCD153 UK 2009 Sell This Version
PLP2002-2 Ozric Tentacles The Hidden Step(LP) Pancromatic PLP2002-2 Norway 2014 Sell This Version
PLP2002-2 Ozric Tentacles The Hidden Step(LP, Ltd, Pur) Pancromatic PLP2002-2 Norway 2014 Sell This Version

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tantric_obstacles

tantric_obstacles

August 24, 2016
edited over 2 years ago
referencing The Hidden Step, CD, Album, STRETCHYCD3

The Hidden Step was to be the last full-length album featuring the explosive Rad on drums and, in some ways, the end of an era. The line-up that had started with 95’s Become the Other and had given us such amazing albums as Curious Corn and Waterfall Cities would only produce the four live tracks on the Pyramidion EP after this release. Thankfully, Rad went with a, erm, bang, as this is one of their strongest albums.

Holohedron, which opens the album, is a space rock/techno combo and still sounds modern to my ears. Not too many sections on this one, but still progressive in attitude. It’s followed by the title track, which is in the mold of the last couple of albums’ eponymous tunes: long, with a few different sections, ending with an ambient piece. The bass line is really fast and thundering on the first section and heavy, persistent and a bit dubby on the last. Nice noisy climax, too.

The next four tunes are some of the greatest Ozric tracks ever. Ashlandi Bol has this eastern/oriental feel, some really deep sections and some of the most melancholy wind instrument and synth solos. Aramanu is one of the two purely chilled tracks of the album, along with closing Ta Khut. They both have a pagan feel and are very emotional - the synth solo near the end of Aramanu almost brings tears to my eyes. Ta Khut begins with a repeated wind instrument motif accompanied by an acoustic guitar and ends all dreamy ambient. Blissful.

Pixel Dream is the one track that made it past the tour for the album, though not for too long. A funky rhythm section underpins a continual guitar solo floating on dreamy pads for the first part of Pixel Dream, which even has a ‘chorus’ section accompanied by keyboards, while the second is highly experimental and I can’t say I’ve heard anything else quite like it to compare it with. Apparently, Pixel is (was?) one of Ed’s cat’s name. Experimental is precisely the word to describe Tight Spin, which starts off ambient but picks up pace and takes off with the help of a synth sequence, lands on an acoustic guitar riff and trails off like it started. One of the most unique and original Ozrics tunes on any album.

The Hidden Step is on par with the other releases of this particular line-up and a great album all around. It’s also a grower, which is great for long-term fans. These players had a great thing going among them, as evidenced by the mind-expanding effects of their gigs at the time immortalized on the Pyramidion EP and, to the extent that the members contributed to the proceedings, there is some sort of evolution going on from Become the Other all the way up to this album. I can’t help but wonder how different subsequent albums might have sounded had the line-up stuck together longer. In any case, in my opinion The Hidden Step is an essential piece of the Ozrics puzzle.
9/10