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Cosmic Ground - Cosmic Ground 5 CD (album) cover

COSMIC GROUND 5

Cosmic Ground

 

Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 4 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Dirk Jan Müller, as his solo alter-ego project name Cosmic Ground, has been constantly honing and refining his atmospheric progressive-electronic works, moving far beyond the vintage Seventies `hero worship' imitation of his earliest releases. Whereas the previous disc `IV' showed the artist incorporating a ton of murkier and earthy Krautrock touches (something Müller's `day-job' band Electric Orange currently does so sublimely), 2019's `5' is a deep dive back into purer vintage Berlin School electronic compositions. With a perfect balance of rhythmic and sparse pieces, touches of trance, drone and dark ambient also creep in around the gloomier Seventies moods, and effortless tempo changes slyly infiltrate before you're even aware they've taken over.

Brief intro `Sludge' is a cavernous and foreboding drone that gives way to `Girls from Outer Space's trickles of bouncing and incessantly ticking sequencer patterns, where the lightest of punchier bursts bring a potent urgency around its backdrop of shimmering synth caresses. `Misery's spectral drone is constantly bathed in light to reveal hints of new life, and, after a blissful and cinematic soundtrack-like introduction, `Azimuth/Drowning' purrs with a slinking array of ever-evolving programming and bass pulses that create a highly lulling and hypnotic aura.

The hovering organ quivers of `Compact/Space' blends the early periods of both Klaus Schulze and Pink Floyd, and there's a stark unease to `Delusion's white-noise drones. But the best of the disc comes in the final thirty minutes, with `Operation: Echo's teeming sequencer ringings sinking deep into the background between near-subliminal reverberations, and there's a lurking and maddening repetitiveness to the subdued programming and darkly enveloping air of `Burn in Hell'.

Despite being a bit of a step away from the dustier Krautrock textures of `IV', this latest disc is full of a range of darker progressive-electronic styles in both vintage and modern trappings, and the variety, subtlety and confidence that Dirk displays throughout `5' makes it the definitive Cosmic Ground work to date.

Four and a half stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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