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)
Garry Lee, Starship Overflow Radio CD of the week (2010)
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
"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)
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)