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Sula Bassana - Kosmonauts [Aka: Sulatronics 2] CD (album) cover


Sula Bassana

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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2 stars Another facet of Sula Bassana's allrounder experiences. He already had published this songs on CD-R in 2009 under the working title 'Sulatronics 2'. After receiving many reviews and requests the decision grew to reissue this material as an official album. All instruments are handled by himself - okay, this is nothing new really, the same applies to the mixing process which has been done by Eroc once again with high quality guarantee as usual. The new album title 'Kosmonauts' fits. Who is familiar with his work knows that Sula (nearly) always deals with cosmic and sci-fi themes, no matter what project is just up-to-date. And indeed this one can be treated as spacey music again, however on this occasion clearly deriving from the electronic/ambient fields.

So here you can explore five downbeat/breakbeat or maybe even drum 'n' bass coloured songs decorated with Berlin School progressive electronic elements. All in all made of a strong repetitive behaviour, speaking of the beat (drumbox) first of all. The opener Barbarella comes hypnotic, simplistic, synths and mouthharp are only slightly varying over the course of eleven minutes. Thora and Stella Star however are showing a groovy beat and swirling synths which stylistically gets closer to some Ozric Tentacles stuff.

Trillian consists of swelling dub oriented elements where Pygar shows a Tangerine Dream similar outfit with melancholic relaxed synth and guitar patterns, a nice atmospheric one, for me the best track. As stated before a professional production and probably a revelation for fans of electronically worked out music, however not my cup of tea. I can't get used to it really, and the same applies to the artwork which unfortunately provokes mixed feelings - 2.5 stars.

Report this review (#295905)
Posted Monday, August 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
Retired Admin
3 stars Kosmonauts in the woods

There is something about summertime, that makes me more appreciative of electronic music. Maybe it´s because of the fact, that I know quite a number of underground dj´s - who occasionally invite people in the know to grand scale parties in the woods, or in dried out bogs - far away from society and cops, who generally think we are dangerous drug-addicts trying to kidnap the innocent youth of the nation stuffing them full of uncontrolled substances. Well, everybody´s entitled to seek out their own boundaries and minds IMHHO, as long as it doesn´t put others at risk or in danger. The reason why I´m starting this review like this, is because I feel several ties - common denominators between the music of these hidden events and the one you´ll find on this record.

Sula Bassana is a one man army, who dabbles in all kinds of approaches to making music - ranging from all out psychedelic and rocking assaults - using guitars in various disguises, drums, wobbly bass foundations, Krautrock flows of music that develops and unfolds on its own terms, , as well as highly structured pieces- to the bib bib bib electronics you will find on this mother.

This album is very much an echo of what is happening in the electronic underground scene in Copenhagen and Berlin, and if you are looking for something similar to the space rock found on the 2009 effort The NIght, you are most likely in for a nasty surprise. The guy behind the music is named something as mundane as Dave Schmidt. He masters a wide variety of instruments, but on this the emphasis lies on synthesizers, drumboxes, sequenced guitars and samples. All of the pieces here have their own flow, and I´d like to think of them as small ponds of sounds - each of them providing different symmetries to a record that exudes an otherworldly optimism and far away space travels on the edge of the solar system. They do feel like ponds to me, slowly parting with their tunes in compliance with the big beat conjurer throwing pebbles into the water. A kind of electronic music conveyed in ripples.

There is a dance flavor to this as well, that will drill its way into your neural pathways like an insistent snout beetle hooked on human flesh, but this should hopefully not deter you from trying out this rather original outing. The ump pah ump pah rhythm is only a minuscule part of the music, lying on the bottom of the pond. The psychedelics of Sula Bassana penetrates in a wonderful way - through a whirlwind of synths, that both bubbles rhythmically to the beat - as well as providing wings to the pieces making them airborne and swirling - just like a plastic bag caught in the updraft of wind gusts in the street. It´s a real melting pot of electronics and psychedelics, and you are in for a treat, if you´re able to pass through the bounciness of the beats and explore the whole package so to speak. Furthermore you´ll also get strange and outlandish trickery squeezed into the tracks, that adds a welcome and uncertain element to the music. Like the mouth harp on the opener Barberella, that acts as a cornerstone for the rhythm in an enticing but somehow very simple way, or the guitars of the last piece Pygar - which have an almost irrigating effect - showering the rest of the swirling synths and sounds.

I actually think, this is one of the few albums, I have heard, that combine that fleeting feel of underground trance parties together with the space voyages of the trippy hippy psych pastures, which normally evolves around a rock band. Well not this one matey!

A hypnotic and ebullient voyage handed over in musical ripples, that is recommended to space cadets, electronic pixies and those with a love for the modern foxtrot and salsa.

Report this review (#473555)
Posted Friday, July 1, 2011 | Review Permalink

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