Assorted scribblings of a dog-eared music journalist

Melody Maker | Info Freako | 23 May 1993


A friend tells me that the sleeve of Ozric Tentacles' "Jurassic Shift" album is made out of straw. What the fuck is he talking about?

Wenzel, London E9

Your friend is half right. A bit over half, to be precise. The sleeve of the first 25,000 copies of "Jurassic Shift"is made out of a special paper consisting of 55 per cent straw, 25 per cent hemp and 20 per cent cotton. As far as the Ozrics are aware, it is the first use of tree-free paper in the music business. Three tons of the environmentally friendly product were milled for the band.

The cultivation of hemp not only saves wood, but further reduces the threat to the ozone layer by turning carbon dioxide into oxygen. The Latin name for the plant, which can be grown under almost any conditions, is Cannabis Lativa. In other words, it's a type of marijuana.

"We thought it was hilarious when we first heard about it," says Ed Ozric. "Then we realised it was a good chance to make a serious ecological point. Legally importing a load of dope into the country caused us a few problems, though. As I'm sure you can imagine."

Oh yes. But does this mean that, if Ozrics fans can't get a buzz from the music, they can roll up the sleeve of "Jurassic Shift" and smoke it?

"Oh no, I wouldn't recommend that at all," says Ed. "This strain of cannabis has a different narcotic content to the stuff you can smoke. You'd be very ill before you got stoned on it."

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