Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Zone Six - Kozmik Koon CD (album) cover

KOZMIK KOON

Zone Six

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.83 | 4 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TCat
4 stars Zone Six, founded in Germany in 1997, has been made up of a variation of lineups through the years. They have also played and collaborated with members of Hawkwind. Their music is considered Space Rock, which it is, but it also borrows quite extensively from Krautrock styles, which produces a nice, trippy music which is mostly improvised. In December 2019, the band released their 6th album made up of music recorded between 2015 ? 2018 and named it "Kozmik Koon", the name being a combination of being named after Kozmik Ken who is the head of Kozfest and the amount of raccoons that inhabit the area where the band calls home.

Kozmik Koon features 5 tracks, 3 of those tracks exceeding 10 minutes. The line up consists of band founder Dave Schmidt (known as Sula Bassana) playing most of the instruments which include drums, synths, organ, mellotron, acoustic guitar and so on. Also joining him on this album is Lulu "Komet" Neudeck on bass, synths, tapes, fx and vocals; and Rainer Neeff on guitar and effects.

The music is definitely a nice mix of space psychedelia and krautrock jams. However, don't expect it all to be the typical space rock. "Maschinenseele" (12:52) actually is quite ambient at the beginning and moves along slowly, building a layer here and an effect there, following the Berlin rules of Krautrock but without a heavy or driving rhythm or sound. It is more of a wandering style as it floats along with mellotron and guitars and it stays interesting all the way through, capturing your soul and imagination as it takes your mind on a mostly relaxing journey. However, continuing on to the title track "Kozmik Koon" (10:58), the music suddenly gets more intense and full with a much faster beat and invigorating bass riff. The guitar effects improvise around this base, echoing and wailing as the background stays on one chord. The music boils along quickly and it is easy to get lost in it, even at the heavier and faster pace, it becomes quite hypnotizing, but the guitar remains front and center. Around 7 minutes, everything calms down as the music gets soft, but the effects make some interesting sounds as the bass keeps it moving forward quietly. Then layers of textured and manipulated guitars and keys take us into a psychedelic mood as the beat stays slow, yet steady to the end.

The two shorter tracks follow beginning with "Raum" (3:28). This one gives us layers of guitar and synth effects with no rhythm, just layers of sound ebbing and flowing, guitars moaning and synths whirling atmospherically. "Still" (3:37) takes the pulsating sound from the previous track and brings it to the fore before it is taken over by nice melodic layers of keys, mellotron and soft effects. It has a nice psych-pastoral feel thanks to the mellotron and electric piano, and is the most melodious of all of the tracks even though it still has the improvised feel to it. There is also some early Pink Floyd sounding guitar work throughout, and you actually wish this one went on longer as it could easily be something that PF would have recorded.

The last track is "Song for Richie" (13:52) which is dedicated to Richard Van Ess. This one has a moderate rhythm and follows a more psychedelic and meandering path that wavers from dark and intense to soft and pensive. The music intensifies as the beat moves along steadily while the guitar howls and builds thick layers of sustained sounds behind each note. Around 8 minutes, the tempo starts to speed up, sweeping up all of the guitar sound and enticing the guitar to play heavier and faster until it gets into a whirlwind of sound with the drone trailing off behind the sudden cascades of notes and riffs emitting from the guitar, the drums going along wildly until they gather everything together and slow it all down suddenly, reigning in the chaotic guitar and giving the drone to the keys to remain in the background as the guitar gets to have its final say.

The album is quite intriguing and in my opinion, one of the best psych/space albums I've heard in 2019. I found that I really enjoy the music on the album and if the last track had been a bit more engaging in the first half, this would have been a 5 star album. Even then, it is so close, but not quite there. The music is surprisingly variable even if it is inspired by krautrock tendencies. In all of the tracks except for "Song for Richie", there is an excellent mix of instruments that make this album unique among the many Psych/Space Rock albums released this year, and all of them get to build the soundscapes on this album. Even the shorter tracks are interesting and engaging, though I would have liked to hear more of the sound they developed on "Still" and less of "Son for Richie", then this could have been a strong 5 star album. Yet, don't pass this one by even as a 4 star album, because it's still excellent and some may even enjoy the droning and heavy guitar sound of the last track, I just found it too similar to what's already been done out there. Everything else is quite amazing.

TCat | 4/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this ZONE SIX review

Social review comments () BETA







Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives