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Zombi - Cosmos CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.07 | 22 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
2 stars 'Cosmos' - Zombi (4/10)

The debut full-length from this electronic space rock project, Zombi's 'Cosmos' shows a pair of artists that are still evidently looking for a sound that works. With comparisons readily made to such legends as Klaus Schulze or Tangerine Dream, Zombi never set out to reinvent the wheel, but rather to refurbish a spoke or two. Although they would later go on to accomplish this with a greater sense of success, 'Cosmos' is a much less realized piece of work than its successors. Although sporting a variety of vintage electronic sounds, the way they are put together are is very hit-or-miss, sometimes transporting the listener to spacial vistas, but quite often leading to a sense of misleading repetition and aimlessness in the music.

To describe the sound of Zombi to someone that has never heard them before; they are an electronic project that uses space rock effects and keyboard textures, with the added touch of having live drums and bass to back up the collage of electronic atmosphere. Since beginning with this album, the trend in their sound has led them to focus more on drawn out compositions and less on shorter energetic bursts, which are what makes up the majority of 'Cosmos'. In specific regards to this debut, Zombi's efforts seem divided between a triumvirate of longer pieces, and a mish-mash of shorter rockers to flesh out the album. Overall, these two camps that Zombi employs for the record each have their own strengths and weaknesses, although by the end of the record, it is painfully clear to the listener that their strength lies with extended and carefully textured pieces rather than conventional songwriting, which they seem to get blindly lost with.

In terms of the longer compositions, the music is composed with minimalism in mind; things rarely change too suddenly, instead favouring a gradual addition of new textures and layers onto the evolving sound. Sometimes this buildup is incredibly effective, making each new layer of spacey keyboards or chord progression heighten the sense of adventure and drama. Other times- and sadly, most commonly in the case of 'Cosmos'- the music gets rather monotonous, feeling like a soundtrack to some vintage video game. With the case of the shorter tracks, things are even less successful; although the tempo and pace is kicked up, the sparse amount of ideas that Zombi uses remains the same, so even in the case of a two and a half minute track, the amount of times one will hear the same sampled keyboard tone can get frustrating. The exception however would be the blissful track 'Andromeda', which works well as a flowing short composition, and highly reminiscent of Star Trek incidental music. Barring that, Zombi should stay clear from trying to make shorter tracks, because the rock songwriting approach really isn't working for them.

Luckily, there are some nice bass grooves here and some simplistic but effective drumming to add a little flair, but barring that, this is an album for fans of spacey electronic music. While 'Cosmos' remains something of a mediocre album though, the potential for Zombi to something very good can be heard amidst the plodding compositions and amateurish flow, and to their credit, things would only get better from here.

Conor Fynes | 2/5 |


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