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Cosmic Ground

Progressive Electronic

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Cosmic Ground Cosmic Ground IV album cover
3.88 | 11 ratings | 2 reviews | 9% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2018

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Possessed (7:38)
2. Stained (11:30)
3. Obscured (7:25)
4. Greasy (12:29)
5. Progeny (20:21)
6. Plains (9:02)
7. Deep End (9:57)

Total Time 78:22

Bonus track on download release:
8. Soil (38:17)

Line-up / Musicians

- Dirk Jan Müller / composer, performer (*) & producer

(*) Analogue modular synths, Mellotron, String Ensemble, tape echoes, audio generator, MiniMoog, vocoder, guitar and Hammond, Farfisa, Rhodes & Echocord (8)

Releases information

CD Studio Fleisch - SFCD10 (2018, Germany)

2xLP Adansonia Records ‎- ar025 (2018, Germany)

Digital album (with a bonus track)

Thanks to rivertree for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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COSMIC GROUND Cosmic Ground IV ratings distribution

(11 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (9%)
Collectors/fans only (27%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

COSMIC GROUND Cosmic Ground IV reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars With three studio discs, remix/previously digital only/unreleased pieces compilations and even a live album all popping up in a relatively short span of years, keyboardist Dirk Jan Müller of modern krautrockers Electric Orange keeps up the momentum of his solo career and its alias Cosmic Ground to deliver 2018's `IV'. With his army of analogue gear and creaky Mellotron once again in tow, while Dirk may still have one foot in the door of the defining vintage electronic masters of old, here he expands his Berlin School-modelled atmospheres in all sorts of further directions, infusing them this time with murkier Krautrock textures, cinematic soundtrack-like elegance, dark ambient drifts, gloomy drones, dreamy chill-outs and even sparingly implemented vocoder touches, making for the most varied and unpredictable Cosmic Ground work to date.

The pulsing hisses and stark droning machine-driven suffocation of opener `Possessed' is not `industrial' as such, but it's absolutely oppressive and monolithic in its level of intimidation and Cluster-like enveloping fear. The expertly unfurling Berlin-School drama of `Stained' fuses alien tribal percussion with a sequencer-pattered slink, the bouncing `Obscured's evocative vocoder recitations call to mind Robert Schroeder and plenty of vintage electronic artists (not to mention Pink Floyd, with the piece sounding like the love-child of `One of These Days' and `Sheep'!), and `Greasy' dances with unceasing Ashra/Manuel Göttsching-like ringing trickles that lift into chiming fluffy heavens.

The twenty-minute `Progeny is a multi-part suite that seamlessly moves through strident unfolding synth drones, ever-circling sequencer jangles and drifting come-downs, all rising and retreating with carefully controlled grace and an impeccable unhurried touch. Both `Plains' and `Deep End' are final hypnotic drones, the first ebbing and eerie, the latter adding a bubbling and hazy `Phaedra'-era Tangerine Dream fuzziness and seeping unease.

(And if a seventy-eight minute album isn't enough for you, download copies come with an additional thirty-eight minute piece `Soil', a longform drone of reverberating organ and drowsy ethereal guitar wisps, with the final minutes revealing a cavernous stalking pounding before succumbing to a calming Mellotron climax. It's a beautiful standalone work all its own, and hopefully it doesn't languish as a mere download only and receives its own CD or LP release in the future - hint, hint, Dirk?!).

Dirk Jan Müller keeps refining his approach and implementing new sounds with each successive Cosmic Ground release, and this latest one shows his greatest restraint and natural subtlety more effectively than ever, with long stretches of measured space-music that never become static or uneventful. `IV' can easily sit alongside Thorsten Quaeschning's `Cargo' soundtrack and Steve Roach's `Molecules of Motion' as one of the standout prog-electronic works of the year, and is Müller's defining solo work to date...likely only until his next one comes along and tops it!

Four and a half stars.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The latest Berlin-School-styled space music from Electric Orange's keyboard maestro, Dirk Jan Müller--this time with more "shorter" songs and only one long epic.

1. "Possessed" (7:38) like a soundtrack to a creepy movie scene around railroad station, tracks, and sounds. The first of Dirk's interesting sound studies--this one an industrial mélange. The entrance and stay of a horn-like organ in for the final two and a half minutes is a bit incongruous. (8/10)

2. "Stained" (11:30) a slow sequence with octave-spanning bass-line establishes itself from the opening and proceeds to slowly rise and morph over the first four minutes. At 4:30 the sequences shifts into a higher octave while the rhythm and bass line remain constant. In the seventh minute, new sounds and tension dynamics enter making this more interesting. Very Tangerine Dream-like! The more sustained notes of the arpeggiated chords in the thick of the ninth minute are very cool, but then everything quiets down as Dirk begins the process of unravelling his Berlin School weave. (8.75/10)

3. "Obscured" (7:25) pure TANGERINE DREAM! Even sounds like part of its tracks come from a 1970s TD classic (while the rolling bass line sounds like bass and rhythm guitar tracks on PINK FLOYD's "Run Like Hell" from The Wall). (8.5/10)

4. "Greasy" (12:29) opens with spacey strings synth and deep bass note to match--almost church organ-like-- changing chords every 20 seconds or so. In the fourth minute the "space organ" disappears and a cool percussive computer synth sequence establishes itself--seeming to continually "rise" for over a minute before slowly reversing, seeming to "decompose." By the end of the eighth minute we are left with just the quiet bones of the sequence. (8.5/10)

5. "Progeny" (20:21) nicely echoed and flanged groovin' sequence over and under which synth and organ washes rise and fall. Very smooth, calming, and hypnotic. (9/10)

6. "Plains" (9:02) opens with on long-held full board synth chord that slowly builds as internal components seem to rise and fall. (Or do they?) This single chord is sustained for over three minutes while very subtle elements get slight rises or falls (e.g., a single pounding piano chord in the background). When singular elements "disappear" it is amazing to suddenly hear a component that you had not picked up before. This is like an aural test! Name those sounds, instruments, and chords contribution to this melange. Fascinating! I find myself liking this super simple song/étude more and more the longer it plays. (9.5/10)

7. "Deep End" (9:57) distorted and misshapen echoes of percussive sounds. Again, a fascinating study in sound manipulations. (8.25/10)

Let's face it, folks: Herr Müller is a master at this stuff. If you're looking for a collection of masterful, pleasing Berlin School songs with excellent sound mastering and really interesting experimentations with sound, you need look no further than this album.

Four stars; a very nice addition to prog world--especially interesting for fans of Berlin School music and especially the experimentations of Tangerine Dream.

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