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Cosmic Ground

Progressive Electronic

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4 stars 'Cosmic Ground III' already... how time flies. Mind you, Tangerine Dream believed that Zeit was motionless and only existed in our own minds. If that sounds implausible, try listening to this album in a dark room.

I found Bandcamp's email alert about this album just after listening to Airbag's first album, 'Identity' and it set me thinking about 'mimic' bands. For those who don't know, Cosmic Ground is to Tangerine Dream what Airbag is to Pink Floyd. On the one hand, it is easy to disparage mimic bands, but on the other (and this is how I feel) they provide refreshing exposure to sounds we love from the Old Masters. And both Airbag and Cosmic Ground have taught me the same thing - the depth of invention of the Old Masters in elaborating their compositions. Because this extra dimension is absent in the Airbag/Cosmic Ground compositions - both bands recreate the Old Masters' sounds continuously but develop them less. I don't know if that makes sense or if I have been listening to 'CG III' too long now.

To get to my assessment, 'CG III' is another very definite four-star album in this series. Because of the lesser symphonic overlay compared to Tangerine Dream (see above), all Cosmic Ground tracks are even more hypnotic - and actually sustain their mystery in repeated plays because of the relative lack of landmark episodes. And the recreation of the phonic infrastructure is very, very impressive.

Verdict: If you liked the first two albums, you will like this one - without feeling it repeats material.

Report this review (#1615478)
Posted Sunday, September 25, 2016 | Review Permalink
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars Dirk Jan Müller is back from his third side trip to the Cosmic Ground by now, and he brings along some new goodies within the baggage. Technically seen this implies four extended elaborations, equipped with a proper Tangerine Dream retro reference again, just for a rough orientation, but definitely not reduced to that. Prepared as a double vinyl album offer this is dedicated to relax and to release basically. It's really amazing to experience how Dirk is able to materialize the imagination of gliding across the cosmos, with having a break here and there, at least for three times.

70 minutes, 70 days, 70 years? ... distance and time do not play a significant role anymore, are rather meaningless, when accompanying him on his recorded trips. And that's for sure, one will not suffer from boredom due to enough variation. There's a carefully pulsating flow given, respresented by the initial track Ground Control for example. And many many thanks for that wonderfully melancholic entree into Crumbling Darkness! Later on he's adding some hypnotic beat tendency, leaning towards rhythmic motion. Some impressions where you can divine his relation to Electric Orange in my opinion.

'Cosmic Ground III' is a new delicacy for designated progressive electronics fans by all means. However, I' don't have the ability to say if this is better than his prior albums or not, actually. Well, it doesn't matter in the end. Although Dirk is acting with a frequency of one album per year, which is rather ambitious when also taking his other projects into account, this is really well made, not something self-regarding at all. Recommended!

Report this review (#1618069)
Posted Monday, October 3, 2016 | Review Permalink
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Cosmic Ground is the alias employed by keyboard player Dirk Jan Müller of modern German Krautrockers Electric Orange, a solo project in the progressive-electronic/kozmiche musik style completely composed on the same analogue equipment of the original era. While the vintage Berlin School influences are still present as on the previous two Cosmic Ground releases, Dirk has given his lengthy compositions here a broader approach that allows them more space to breathe and to carefully unfold, making `III' his most natural and subtle artistic expression with this project yet.

Again made up of four vinyl length side-long pieces, opener `Ground Control' might be comprised of slow to reveal longer ambient streams and briefly rising electronic washes, but a constant variety of frequently up-tempo dramatic sequencer trickles quickly gain unceasing momentum throughout with an ever-expanding serene Mellotron pool slowly seeping out. `Crumbling Darkness' is an elegant cinematic drone that holds a tender mystery, with gentle sweeping winds behind ambient landscapes of electric piano ripples, shimmering electronic levitations and hypnotic looping steady sequencer beats that hover in the air.

A ticking bounce quickly overwhelms the monolithic metallic hum of `Keep Us in Space' with an unflinching trance-like rhythm, and `Monochrome Ritual' is a groaning drone expanse, initially not unlike the self-titled opening track off Tangerine Dream's `Green Desert'. It morphs into an ethereal glistening caress lapping around the most submerged rumbling traces of sequencers trying to take flight before a final crystalline deep-space mediation.

Unhurried yet also seductively busy with the most minute of variations and intricate details that assure the airy flowing atmospheres never vanish into still nothingness, `III' is intelligent and restrained with a frequent aching beauty, and is easily the strongest effort from Mr Müller under the Cosmic Ground moniker to date.

Four stars (and Dirk, how about some live recordings soon?!)

Report this review (#1651578)
Posted Saturday, December 3, 2016 | Review Permalink

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