Ozric Tentacles - Jurassic Shift. 1993 England
Select CD issues: 1993 Dovetail; 1993 IRS (USA); 2004 Recall/Snapper (w/Erpland); 2008 Snapper;
LP reissue: 2013 Madfish (Germany)
While listening to any album, I tend to read other reviews of what I'm listening to. I get the feeling that most reviews of Jurassic Shift were penned considerably later than the actual listen, or they weren't paying attention. For me, the most telling is the short shrift that 'Feng Shui' receives. To me it's one of their most innovative tracks, and the type of composition I'd like to see Ozric focus on more. In general I read things like "their requisite boring reggae song", "dull", and "spacey soft new age music". Did they actually listen to the whole song? Not only did they mix in traditional Chinese themes (new for them), but the last half of the track is the heaviest Ozric EVER got on tape. Ed Wynne tears it up - it's almost metal, something that Ozric stays (fortunately) away from, but in this context is breathtaking. I didn't see one review that even noted it. Wow.
By 1993, Ozric had already made quite a splash worldwide. Enough so that they were signed to a relatively large US label called IRS, and this was the debut for the label. I decided to stick with the original UK import. The big deal, at least made at the time, was that the cover of the CD and LP were made from a blend of straw and hemp. The latter sort of being wink wink I suppose. I still have the original insert that discusses the full process and that it didn't involve any trees. It was considered an ecological breakthrough! And then neither Ozric, nor anyone else, ever used the process again. You think it wasn't cost effective? You know it.