Given the influence of rave culture, it's surprising that more British bands haven't followed the course of Ozric Tentacles. One of the bridges between space rock and acid house, the group helped keep the psychedelic spirit alive in the years before the U.K.'s 1988 rave-party "summer of love." Indeed, the group was founded at the Stonehenge Free Festival in 1982, before either the rise of Britain's trippy neo-disco scene or America's jam-band renaissance. The quintet's latest album, "Waterfall Cities," connects to both, although also to such prog-rock forbears as the Gong, Grateful Dead, the Blues Project and even the Who.
The album's seven tracks are all instrumentals, and draw on similar jazzy-rock precedents while mixing in elements from reggae (the dub rhythms of "Sultana Detri"), minimalism (the Reichian shimmer of "Cha'i?") and classical Indian music ("Coily" features what sounds like a sitar break, although it may just be one of guitarist Ed Wynne's "tendril manipulations"). The electrobeats are hardest on "Aura Borealis," but the composition also features the fluttery synth and flute timbres that make the Tentacles sound more ambient than industrial. This is music for dancing not in a warehouse but under a starry sky.
Appearing Sunday at Jaxx with Star People. To hear a free Sound Bite from Ozric Tentacles, call Post-Haste at 202/334-9000 and press 8107. (Prince William residents, call 690-4110.)