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COS

Canterbury Scene • Belgium


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Cos biography
This band's career spans over five albums released between 1974 and 1984, but the band had its roots in Classroom, a group that was formed in the second half of the 60's.. Often referred to as the Belgian answer to ZAO, they offer a mixture of prog rock, jazz and Canterbury styles, drawing their influences mainly from MAGMA, KING CRIMSON, HATFIELD AND THE NORTH, and of course, ZAO. They are led by flautist/guitarist Daniel Schell and feature the unique vocals of his wife, Pascale Son, who uses nonsense syllables to suggest a semblance of language; she also plays the oboe. The rest of the regular cast included Robert Dartsch on drums, Alain Goutier on bass and Charles Loos on keyboards for their first album, released on the ultra-small Plus label with and red and yellow stripped artwork. The band went on to tour with Magma, Zao, Univers Zero and Placebo for the next year or so. In 76, they released their absolute masterpiece Viva Boma, which is a chef d'oeuvre of Canterbury-style of music.

Each of their following albums has its own sound: "Babel", emphasizes Pascale's vocals, but also features funk/disco beats; "Swiss Chalet" has a particular African feel, but develops a New Wave-ish sound as well; as for "Pasiones", it is a strange mixture of styles (Adrian Belew-era KING CRIMSON, Canterbury, operatic and Latin American). The band folded in the mid-80's after releasing the Hotel Atlantic EP

However, their strongest are their first two releases, "Postaeolian Train Robbery" (1974) and "Viva Boma" (1976) and until recently where the only ones available. They are a mixture of jazzy and surrealistic sounds with some off-beat, humorous twists.

If you like the idea of ZAO or MAGMA with a real goofy edge (in a different but similar slant then the Dutch group of SUPERSISTER), then these two albums are highly recommended.


: : : Lise (Hibou), CANADA and Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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Viva BomaViva Boma
Import
Musea 1976
Audio CD$15.74
$18.99 (used)
Siccmade RitualsSiccmade Rituals
Siccmade Records 2002
Audio CD$62.13
$20.00 (used)
BabelBabel
Import
Musea 1978
Audio CD$17.16
$32.00 (used)
Postaeolian Train RobberyPostaeolian Train Robbery
Import
Musea 1974
Audio CD$15.74
$40.43 (used)
Swiss ChaletSwiss Chalet
Musea 1979
Audio CD$17.93
$45.00 (used)
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COS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

COS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.18 | 89 ratings
Postaeolian Train Robbery
1974
4.25 | 179 ratings
Viva Boma
1976
3.64 | 40 ratings
Babel
1978
2.31 | 16 ratings
Swiß Chalet
1979
3.34 | 20 ratings
Pasiones
1983

COS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

COS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

COS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

COS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.50 | 2 ratings
Hotel Atlantic
1984

COS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Postaeolian Train Robbery by COS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.18 | 89 ratings

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Postaeolian Train Robbery
Cos Canterbury Scene

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Neo Teams

4 stars This superb debut album of COS can be called as one of important landmarks upon the Belgian Canterbury Scene. Pascale's colourful, delightful voices supported upon the sound grandeur created by other musicians of genius give us an invitation to an enjoyable madness party, and (not many reviewers can have a positive appreciation for their roots though) also the last four "old" songs exert energetic melody magnification. Very interesting their roots "The CLASSROOM" had already had definite fantasia, and the fantasia might have anticipated the new era named COS I imagine.

A reflective combination of Daniel's loud and pleasant flute vibes and Charles' quiet piano stardusts, following to an ill-matched introduction phrase, is obviously simple but remarkably powerful like Soft Machine, the vanguard in Canterbury Scene. And for me some acidity can be heard via the atmosphere under their freaky sound circumstance. Pascale sings as if she would read poetry, cry upon a curtain call, or chuckle like a cute kid ... actually her voices are not only theatrical but also charismatic. Jaunty and springy steps produced by the rhythm party (Robert, Steve, and Alain) should tighten and strengthen their quirky melody lines, which form the sound basis.

It's quite impressive and immersive they have created such an originality via intensive simplicity (a good example is Melanie's "Brand New Key" if I'm correct). So let me say one of my favourite tracks is the last "L'Admirable Amas Cellulaire Orange" almost only with Pascale's pretty voices and xylophone footsteps. Simple is great indeed.

 Babel by COS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.64 | 40 ratings

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Babel
Cos Canterbury Scene

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Positive reviews and good sales followed the release of ''Viva boma'' and in 1977 Daniel Schell begins to deep into diverse music styles such as Folk, Pop and Contemporary Classical Music.He had to face again though the departure of his drummer and keyboardist.Guy Lonneux was replaced by Phillipe Allaert, while Marc Hollander helped the band in just a couple of tracks for a third album, before skipping through the Avant-Rock scene, forming Aksak Maboul, while he also became a member of Art Bears.The album was finished with the help of Placebo's Marc Moulin on organ, François Faton Cahen and Julverne's/Abraxis' Charles Loos on piano with former Pazop and Abraxis Dirk Bogaert contributing on flutes and voices.The album ''Babel'' was recorded at Shiva Studios in Brussels during the summer of 1978 and released on IBC.

''Babel'' was the obvious choice for the album's title with Daniel Schell wanting to identify the band's new style, which contained different elements and flexible influences.The music is still very jazzy with a strong Canterbury tone, hence the band has added a few clever breaks with Classical, Pop and Folk tunes, producing dreamy and inventive jazzy Progressive Rock.To my ears Cos had reached their peak at this point.Pascale Son's voice is not only sensational, but his wordless lines have become something like an additional instrument, which is pretty exciting.The musicianship is challenging, ethereal, demanding and often very rich, while the band never abandoned the basic style presented in the previous works, but developed it even further with impressive keyboard parts and Classical interludes.The instrumental battles are usually great with marching rhythms based on jazzy/symphonic piano, sharp electric guitars and a flawless rhythm section, leading to Canterbury Fusion stylings with technical solos and complex drumming.Parts of the album contain even some funky beats, but these are also well absorbed within Cos' trully progressive music.''Greeneldo'' is one of the very good dreamy, instrumental Prog/Jazz Rock pieces of the time with Son's voice battling the sound of organ and piano and the music going from dramatic breaks to pleasant, jazzy grooves.

For me the starting point of Cos' discography.Canterbury-styled Prog Rock with passionate executions and solid compositions.One of the best of the era regarding the style, strongly recommended to say the least...3.5 stars.

 Viva Boma by COS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.25 | 179 ratings

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Viva Boma
Cos Canterbury Scene

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars The second album by Belgian band Cos, `Viva Boma', is certainly one of the more original Canterbury albums in my collection, and one that I initially had immense trouble coming to appreciate! First of all, the unique female vocalist of the group, Pascale Son, sings in a spontaneous, improvisational and nonsensical language, preferring words that simply flow with the music and are just as much their own instrument. Anyone who has heard the first album by Zao, or the vocal ticks of Henry Cow's Dagmar Krause will have a better idea what to expect here, and listeners will either love it or hate it. Secondly, although considered an album in the Canterbury style, the band incorporate a whole range of other genres to take the music in different directions that other bands and albums associated with that style never did. It makes for an initially difficult album to get your head around, but persistence pays off beautifully!

The appropriately titled opener `Perhaps Next Record?' is an experimental electronic and sitar fragment that sounds unlike anything else on the rest of the album. The title track is a joyous hippy shuffle of piano and acoustic percussion that you could almost dance to - go on, give it a try! The downbeat first section of `Bog Verder' has Pascale take on the same fragility that Paatos singer Petronella Nettermalm exudes, a somber tune with glistening electric piano before an Egg-like march in the middle that leads straight into a frantic uptempo Zeuhl run filled with snarling guitar and gnarly bass. `Boehme' keeps the same Zeuhl intensity with a spiky dash of electric guitar fusion for good measure. `Flamboya' starts as a sexy purr over the loveliest of placid synth washes before taking an unnerving darker turn. Pascale's deranged and breathless phrasings weave around edgy electric guitar soloing that twists the piece into a disturbing psychedelic dream-state.

`In Lulu' is more along the lines of the guitar driven sections of National Health and Gilgamesh, as is the eleven minute centerpiece `L'Idiot Leon', full of driving momentum, playful diversions and loaded with extended and manic instrumental runs on piano, fuzz organ and electric guitar. Also add some strolling bass, smoky Soft Machine trilling clarinet over rapid-fire tempo changes back and forth thanks to the focused drumming. The band really gets to unleash and challenge themselves on this one, and the piece is just as good as anything off the more well-known Canterbury albums. Closer `Ixelles' mixes in everything from loopy electronic experimentation, a thoughtful and downbeat cello passage, murky jazz tastefulness and a sultry vocal, where once again Cos almost come across as a blueprint for the debut album by modern band Paatos. I wonder if they've heard this one?

The four bonus tracks are a welcome treat as well. `Mon Rebis' is an acoustic piece with a very dark atmosphere, highlighted by some very emotional and restrained saxophone soloing, what a haunting and beautiful piece. The drifting `Reine de la Vallee' is overloaded with blissful electric piano bringing a nice tension, despite being lovely the piece always has a hint of edge and danger. The demo of `Nog Verder' is more spontaneous and reckless than the studio version, very jazz/fusion heavy with thick punchy bass, intimidating electric guitar snaps and smashing drumming. It also has warm duel male/female vocals in parts, I wonder what the album would have sounded like with more of that? Then there's a fragment of a brief vocal improvisation piece that is droning, mysterious and brimming with potential.

After initially struggling with the vocals and confusing direction changes, I've quickly come to love `Viva Boma' as a quirky, colourful and very pleasing release. It's unpredictable, often thrilling, and even sometimes a little frustrating and confusing! While Cos have plenty to associate with the Canterbury sound, `Viva Boma' really goes beyond that to offer so many new and exciting possibilities, and is truly a unique and distinctive work in a genre with so many outstanding releases.

A perfect kaleidoscope of musical colour for warm hazy summer days!

Four stars.

 Viva Boma by COS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.25 | 179 ratings

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Viva Boma
Cos Canterbury Scene

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars After a good debut Cos had to face the departures of Robert Dartsch and Charles Loos, both were quite hard to be replaced.Drums were given to Willy Mazy, a friend of Schell, who gave up at the end of 75' to focus on his studies, replaced by Guy Lonneux.Initially keyboards were given to Dutch Tony Kleinklamer, who later was replaced by ex-Pazop Frank Wuyts for a short time.Finally a young Marc Hollander was responsible for the sax and keyboard section of the group.In between Cos never stopped playing live, touring Germany, France and Spain in an exhausting schedule.The second album of the group was recorded in July 76' at the Cathy's Studio in Brussels, released the same year again on IBC.The album was produced by Placebo's Marc Moulin.

Again what we have here is a Canterbury-styled Progressive/Jazz Rock, maybe a bit more experimental, with lot of twists and turns, special keyboard and electric piano manifestations, some throbbing bass added for good measure and of course Pascale Son's ethereal voice, spread in wordless vocal exrecises.Cos' sound continues to recall the British masters such as NATIONAL HEALTH, HATFIELD AND THE NORTH or BILL BRUFORD's early albums, still you can throw in a bit of a MAGMA-inspired Zeuhl influence in the most sinister moments.The delightful combinations between hypnotic grooves, jazzy interludes and varied keyboard themes, full of solos and atmospheric textures, are the album's highlights, even the shortest tune has something interesting to offer.On the other hand the monster sound of the aforementioned Canterbury legends seems really hard to be overcome, Cos' overall delivery sounds quite smooth compared to the British bands of the style, far of course from safe, but at moments there is a tendency through more poetic, lyrical and atmospheric music than well-crafted interplays.Finally, Hollander seems to be a great addition for the group, his electric piano specifically sounds really attractive.

Another strong album by Cos.The opening preludes and some instrumental ideas are of first class, but this is not actually in the same level as the pure Canterbury-based monumental releases.Warmly recommended if you like Zeuhl, Canterbury Prog, Jazz-Rock or Prog/Fusion.

 Postaeolian Train Robbery by COS album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.18 | 89 ratings

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Postaeolian Train Robbery
Cos Canterbury Scene

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

5 stars AS I was completing my post for ATOMICRIMSONRUSH's "Best of Sub-genres" list I realized that I've been remiss in posting a review for this, my favorite Canterbury album of all-time. I do have to admit that I've only known of COS for the past year or so, and that the CD version I have of Postaeolian Train Robbery contains the four CLASSROOM songs that pre-date the official formation of COS, AND that those four songs definitely add to the power of PTR, IMO. Were I to rate this album based solely on the six songs that came on the original vinyl I might not be so keen to proclaim this the best or my favorite Canterbury album.

1. "Postaeolian Train Robbery" (4:14) is a perfect introduction of the band (though why Pascale's voice is mixed so far in the background I'm not sure). (9/10)

2. "Cocalnut" (7:20) showcases the amazing talents of keyboardist, Charles Loos, as well as the incredible voice of Pascale Son. Also, the fast pace allows the rhythm section to show off their tightness. (9/10)

3. "Amafam" ((8:24)) starts off showing off the talents of drummer Robert Dartsch. Then flutist Daniel Schell and Pascale share lead melody scats--which then amazingly transfer to that of Pascale mimicking/duelling with percussionist Steve Leduc. She is amazing! Reminds me of the Indian raga voice scats on SHAKTI's albums. Unfortunately, the drums and bass are relegated to a very repetitive two-note/two chord rhythm so that the others can solo-- including a rather long one by the electric keyboards. Poor bass player! The final minute allows the drummer to go out just as he came in: showing off. Amazing talent. Not the greatest song. (7/10)

4. "Populi" (3:31) begins with a bouncy clavinet (?) before the band and Pascale join in--this time with actual lyrics! (For a while!) Flutist Daniel Schell takes a turn on electric guitar as Pascal's amazing chicken-like scatting bridges solos from guitar, electric piano, and bass. (8/10)

5. "Halucal" (3:51) uses a flute's arpeggios to establish a kind of standard jazz chord progression! The band joins in with wonderful bass, keys, and drums throughout. Keyboard work reminds me of CHICK COREA. Bass player Alain Goutier is really allowed to strut his stuff on this one. (8/10)

6. "Coloc" (9:44) begins with a piano and a background laugh from Pascale. Then the piano takes over (with a little support from the drummer's cymbol play and, later, chorded bass play). Again I am reminded of CHICK COREA here--The Mad Hatter suite (which came later, in 1978). Then at 2:20 Pascale takes over. Wordless vocal acrobatics with one of the nimblest, jazziest voices I've ever heard. Her "instrument," in fact, is probably more expressive and versatile than 99% of the jazz instruments I've ever heard (including that of famed jazz vocalist BOBBY McFERRIN). Daniel Schell performs a few admirable somewhat JOHN McLAUGHLIN-like soli, though his mastery of both finger speed and the volume pedal is in the future. (8/10)

Again, were I rating this album on these first six songs alone, I would not put it so high. But, let's continue.

7. CLASSROOM's "La partie (d'Echecs)" (2:39) is breathtaking, stunning, stupefying. It defies all previous conceptions for possibilities of the human voice in song. Her precision with pronounciation is unbelievable. And this one has lyrics. Throughout! One of the most amazing songs I've ever heard. Ever. (10/10)

8. CLASSROOM's "Sur deux" (4:32) showcases a four piece instrumental jazz combo in which xylophone and guitar work with and off of one another and a very fast-moving bass gets a vast amount of show-time. No Pascale. A very good lounge jazz song with some very nice melodies. (9/10)

9. "Achille" (10:05) starts out displaying a tenderer side of the band--of Pascal. Long sustained notes replace the speed we're becoming used to. But as the one minute mark approaches the band kicks into a kind of BURT BACHARACH Latin-influenced rhythm and structure. Before the end of the second minute things slow down and most instrumental support drops out while Pascale stretches out a little. Then around 2:20 the band reintegrates into a fairly conssitent groove for over a minute while Pascale sings. At 3:40 everybody breaks but Pascale and the drummer. The two play, he with his toms and cymbols while Pascale plays with Achille's name and, a little later, a particular sentence, "Où est la fin de cette forêt?" The guitar solo in the ninth minute is the song's only weak spot--though it is not bad for a more traditional European jazz guitar solo. A very entertaining and yet surprisingly serious song. More like an exercise with time, form and structure. And a test to see if Pascale can keep up with . . . anybody! (9/10)

10. "L'admirable amas cellulaire orangé" (2:13) employs the same four-piece jazz combo to support another masterful performance by Pascale. She is a veritable wonder of musicality. (10/10)

 Viva Boma by COS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.25 | 179 ratings

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Viva Boma
Cos Canterbury Scene

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

4 stars In fact the bands description already states it: Cos actually isn't downright Canterbury at all just partly. And that's what struck me most listening to this album for the first time. Sure, there's a bunch of Canterbury moments on it such as best and longest track L'Idiot Léon which is even one of the best Canterbury examples I know in history. But actually it's the only straightforward Canterbury song on this release.

The rest is indeed a mixture of Latin, KC-like experimental music, several sorts of jazz and other eclectic stuff (avant prog, Zeuhl) which made me come to the conclusion eclectic prog is probably more the on par subgenre than Canterbury for Cos, at least where this album is concerned (don't know the others yet).

Ultimately, the other thing that strikes me is the very high average rating for this album. The strengths are composition and instrumental handling but the vocals are pretty weak I have to say. Pascale Son sings out of tune at least a dozen of times and I´m surprised she is even mentioned the strength of the band by some reviewers. So this will have to be at least one star diminution in the end. But Viva Boma is for sure one of the prog jewels in history and even a must for prog devotees. So checking it out is the least one should do. Four stars are well deserved.

 Viva Boma by COS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.25 | 179 ratings

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Viva Boma
Cos Canterbury Scene

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

5 stars A new discovery that brings me great joy! I really like the more laid back Canterbury approach--of which I am happy to find on many albums from the subgenre--and I love the excellent contributions and mix of all instruments on this album--with the added bonus of some really fun, beautiful and excellent female vocals. I have to admit that the album's opener, "Perhaps the Next Record (7/10)--with its Kraftwerk-like computer percussion, synths and Jaco Pastorius-like bass toying around threw me off a bit. Not quite what I was expecting. But the next one, the album's title track (8/10), has some great hand percussion and world rhythms--not unlike the music of one of my all-time favorite albums: JONI MITCHELL's Don Juan's Reckless Daughter! (minus the Björk-like vocal.) Though the two versions of "Nog Verder" (9/10) are both awesome, there really is not a weak tune on this album! "Boehme" (8/10) starts with a great Zeuhl feel to it before getting a little RTF-like; the stripped down "Flamboya" (9/10) reminds me of the most accessible of a Bruford/Stewart/Annette Peacock collaboration (very cool keyboard & pitch experimentation!); "Lulu" (10/10) has the beautiful and awesome Santana guitar & supporting keyboard feel; "L'idiot Léon" (9/10) is totally awesome prog rock start to finish-- probably my favorite on the album. The original album's closer, "Ixelles" (7/10) is a little disjointed--an odd puzzle to try to piece together, but still interesting. (Odd mixing of the cello!) If this were the end of the album that I purchased, it would be enough--unquestionably a masterpiece of prog--Canterbury or no. But there are four bonus songs on my version--ones that couldn't fit into the old 40-minute time constraint of a 13-inch vinyl record (unless you were Todd Rundgren). "Mon Rebis" (6/10) starts out prettily enough with Mike Oldfield-like acoustic guitar playing, but then takes on an unpolished, unfinished feel to it once the other instruments are added into the mix. Same for "Reine de la vallée" (6/10). The demo version of "Nog Verder" is great--maybe even better than the 'polished' album version, and "Fanfan La Tulipe" (8/10) is actually quite charming and entertaining (in a Robert Plant/Led Zeppelin kind of way). If you've never heard this one, pick it up, add it to your collection. Yes, Margaret, there was still some great music being put out after 1975!
 Babel by COS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.64 | 40 ratings

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Babel
Cos Canterbury Scene

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Belgian act COS was formed in the early 70's, and for the just over 10 years they were active they released five full length productions that have secured them a place in the annals of European progressive rock. "Babel" from 1978 was the third of these productions and the last of what is generally considered as their best albums.

"Babel" is a CD that explores a style of music that is firmly based in jazz rock, at times liberally flavored with details most commonly found in disco music. But it's when the band depart from those shores and head into territories of a more challenging nature they appear to be most interesting just over 30 years later, when dramatic non-verbal lead vocals and occasional richly layered backing vocals combine on top of a tight fusion based instrumental backbone to result in a bright, optimistic variety of Zeuhl. First and foremost referencing the legendary French band Magma, but with a positive sheen and naive nature very much particular to Cos.

 Viva Boma by COS album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.25 | 179 ratings

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Viva Boma
Cos Canterbury Scene

Review by zravkapt
Special Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars Cos were a Belgian band who were originally influenced by both the British Canterbury Scene as well as the French Zeuhl scene. They were a group I was interested in hearing and this is the first album I have heard from them. I don't know how this compares to their other albums, but this is one of the best Canterbury albums I have heard. The main member is Daniel Schell on guitar and flutes. Along with him is his wife Pascale Son who does the overwhelming majority of the vocals. Her vocal style is similar to that of Hatfield's Northettes but she sings strictly lead like Amanda Parsons in National Health. A lot of the time I have no idea if she is singing in French or just doing plain gibberish. Maybe both.

Pascale also plays some oboe. There are guest musicians who play percussion, cello and MiniMoog. Marc Hollander replaces the original keyboardist. I am more familiar with the group he formed after leaving Cos, Aksak Maboul, than with this group. As in AM he plays keyboards, sax and clarinet here. I don't know how strong his influence was on this album. I'm not sure if he does any of the synth work here (like he does in AM), but the synth sounds and playing on Viva Boma are excellent. Generally the music of Cos sounds similar to that of Hatfield & The North. In fact, most of the non-UK Canterbury groups, although originally influenced by Softs and Caravan, ended up sounding like Hatfield did at the same time.

There is also a Zeuhl and RIO/Avant edge to this music as well, although it is still pretty much a Canterbury affair. Viva Boma is actually far more consistent than either Hatfield album but if you put the best songs from those two on one album, then this wouldn't even compare. For such a strong Canterbury album it actually starts out fairly non-Canterbury. The instrumental opener "Perhaps Next Record" is nothing but overdubbed MiniMoog. This sounds like a cross between an 8-bit Nintendo game and a old western movie soundtrack. Some of the synth tones sound like a twangy guitar. I could see how some could view this as pointless filler but I love it.

Up next is the title track which is dominated with African style percussion. The lyrics (if that is what they are) get repeated and the bass really packs a punch here. After the first two songs we get more into tradional Canterbury territory with "Nog Verder." Mellow and jazzy with percussion that reminds me of Karl Jenkins-era Soft Machine. Some harmony vocals doing a type of 'chorus.' Gets darker and heavier later before getting very jazzy with some scat-like singing. "Boehme" starts off in a fuzzy/distorted heavy Canterbury vibe. Some nice minimal use of synth in this track before it switches to full-on funk mode, complete with wah-wahed electric piano and almost Magma-styled vocals. Ends on a fusion-y Canterbury note.

"Flamboya" begins in standard Hatfield/Health style with Rhodes piano mimicing the vocals. Then chorused guitar leads to atmospheric synths and a distorted bass solo. Some vocal improvisations in the middle. "In Lulu" opens with Pascale singing in a MidEastern/Indian style before she stops and the band goes into some great slow paced Canterbury. Love the overdubbed drum fills on top of the steady beat. "L'idiot Leon" is the longest song. Goes into some fantastic Dave Stewart style modified organ soloing for awhile. Great synth here playing classical style. Later a more upbeat part with vocals and wah-bass.

Great fuzz-bass solo in the middle followed by a jazzy guitar solo and some military style drumming. The tempo slows down and things calm down, then some reeds. I like how it goes almost polka with the reeds or other wind instruments. At the end the military drumming and the polka beat get mixed together (!?!). "Ixelles" features what I guess is cello (but I thought violin) and an acoustic guitar solo. The vocals here are the most French sounding. Absolutely love the synth tone near the beginning, what an awesome sound and so futuristic for 1976.

This album has great production and sounds timeless. It's one of those rare albums that just gets better every time I hear it. This is easily recommended to fans of Hatfield and National Health. I need to investigate this group's other albums, although it is doubtful that I would enjoy them as much as this; this is a one of a kind record. A masterpiece you may say. 5 stars.

 Babel by COS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.64 | 40 ratings

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Babel
Cos Canterbury Scene

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Another fine album from Cos, again with the vocals of Pascale Son proving a particular treat. Once again, the album is firmly rooted in the Canterbury tradition, particularly in the use of voice as a musical instrument (reminiscent both of the work of Robert Wyatts and Hatfield and the North's Northettes). Driving, martial, almost zeuhlish rhythms creep in here and there and Daniel Schell's adept guitar work proves to be another highlight. There's not much to choose from between the first three Cos albums, to be honest - if you like one, you'll probably like the others just as much. A consistently entertaining listen.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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