Cosmosis – Fumbling For The Funky Frequency (Holophonic)

Posted in Reviews 2009 by - July 21, 2009

 

Cosmosis Fumbling For The Funky Frequency - review on psyreviews.net

 

Cosmosis is something of a contentious subject round these parts. He has always made music that touches a little deeper than most; his high-watermark Synergy is probably the single psychedelic trance album I’ve listened to the most times over the years, and to my mind it’s still up there with the tried-and-true classics of the genre.

His more recent form has, for the most part, been strong; 2007′s frankly disastrous Psychedelica Melodica can be forgiven as a blip on the journey that I previously thought had ended with 2005′s Trancendance, but there you go. More to the point, here we are.

As ever with Cosmosis, his own site gives a down-to-earth artistic manifesto on where he is and what he’s doing:

Also I’ve been discovering vast previously untapped seams of juicy old
school vibe deep in the bag, which I’ve enjoyed layering on in spades

in some of the tracks. Plenty of light and shade, keeping it musical
and pleasing to the ear but yet still a phat and pumping, raging and
jumpin’, feets-don’t-fail-me-now, pedal to the metal, high octane,
rubbery be-basslined, monster sub-bass fest…

Enough, in other words, to get old farts somewhat excited. But does the album deliver the promise of the artist in his studio?

In a word: yes.

In three words: yes, just about.

It seems that the operative concept in Fumbling For The Funky Frequency is that of fumbling. Tracks don’t seem to quite know where they’re going until they get there, and in this world of dancefloor stormers and huge moments, there’s a danger that the lapse in attention could create an energetic hole.

Thankfully, the melodic aspects witnessed on Psychedelica Melodica are less emphatic here. Self Discovery wants to be a huge anthem, and forces energy and movement out of every seeping pore, resulting in a messy finale that’s limp by virtue of its inauthenticity, and the GMS-bothering Samba Del Gringo is the inevitable Latin-flavoured track that every artist who goes to Brazil and larges it on a beach seems to be compelled to produce.

Incidentally, by Latin-flvaoured I mean South American, as opposed to Pim Pis Pit, Pimus Pistis Pants, which is the title of a track on the next Ott album.

Further weak points are inevitable: Siren Song sounds unfinished, and the closing track The Eternal Now is a largely unfathomable noodle through some sort of sonic undergrowth, which one suspects was considerably more fun for the artist laying it down than it is for anyone listening to it.

The production is, as we would expect, multi-layered and expansive stuff that sucks you in and keeps you focused. At times the mastering seems to let it down; sounding too compressed, or too something, and not quite as expansive as (warning, incoming reference to old output) Synergy.

If you’re anything like me — and I occasionally like to kid myself that you are — then you want to hear about these promised oldskool elements. Space Traveller has it in droves — solid 303s, evolving basslines, oodles of microsounds and a vibe that holds you in expectation of something about to happen (at the time of  oldskool, we thought it was Y2K and Mulder getting abducted by aliens to find his sister, but now we realise that it was Twitter.)

Where Funky Frequency succeeds, it excels. Take Flight is a stellar track, delivering everything you could possibly want from an old hand at the genre rediscovering his roots.

It all comes together on Beyond The Five Senses, one of the best tunes I’ve heard this year. Individual sounds are playful, as opposed to ‘arranged’ in the conventional sense of the word. Energy builds in a measured, organic way; it’s the sound of a dancefloor getting bigger, more colourful and more involved. Synergy-era acidlines give way to Hang-On-Isn’t-That-The-Infinity-Project, before you’re pulled through a pulsating, hair-on-end midsection and then catapulted by way of the friendliest oh-shit-I’m-spannered 303′s to something approaching oldskool nirvana (the place, not the band); somwehere that Goasia and Filteria’s music will go when (or if) it grows up.

I am a sucker for Cosmosis. I buy his albums by default like some sort of mad blind pig looking for a gilded truffle, and I’m delighted to report that Beyond The Five Senses is the mother of all gilded truffles.

It’s far from a perfect album: there are too many tracks here that you will want to skip and then never come back to (I refuse to accept the argument that individual tracks are “growers,” it is an irrelevant concept in dance music.) Twats like me would be happy with an entire album of Beyond The Five Senses, and I guess a positive effect of the digital revolution is that I can fire up Nero and create just that.

All in all, likeable. Infinitely better than the last album.

Buy digital direct form the artist here.

This post was written by psyreviews