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Cosmic Ground

Progressive Electronic

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Cosmic Ground Cosmic Ground album cover
3.38 | 24 ratings | 3 reviews | 21% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Legacy (14:07)
2. Deadlock (16:25)
3. Ground (33:24)
4. The Plague (14:18)

Total time: 78:15

Bonus track on download version:
5. Decay (18:26)

Line-up / Musicians

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

(*) Mu modular, Eurorack modular, Fender Rhodes, Mellotron, Moog sub phatty, Philicorda, Farfisa compact / Professional duo, Solina string ensemble, Roland RS202 / SH1000, Korg MS20, Hohner string melody II, Elka Rhapsody, Nord Wave, Moog Voyager, Hohner clavinet, Oberheim Sem, Korg mini-pops, Leslie 760, Hohner Orgaphon.

Releases information

CD Studio Fleisch - SFCD02 (2014, Germany)

FLAC download - (with a bonus track)

Thanks to philippe for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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COSMIC GROUND Cosmic Ground ratings distribution

(24 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

COSMIC GROUND Cosmic Ground 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
5 stars 2014 sees the release of the self-titled 'Cosmic Ground' debut album, and it is comprised of four long, droning instrumental electronic pieces. `Cosmic Ground' is actually the title given to this solo project by German musician Dirk Jan Muller, a name that may sound familiar to progressive audiences due to his involvement with psych/prog/krautrockers Electric Orange. Although that band had plenty of electronic elements, they were rarely a main focus, so the artist has taken this opportunity to delve straight into the black hole of dark space music, and it is the sort of album you can spend a lifetime travelling through.

`Cosmic Ground' was fully recorded on vintage equipment (seriously, just look at the equipment list on the CD details above!), with the CD booklet proudly proclaiming `no MIDI used', and it is constantly fuelled by endless haunting Mellotron. It means the album is an absolutely perfect vintage flavoured electronic album in the early Seventies style of Klaus Schulze, Adelbert von Deyen and Tangerine Dream's less melodic earlier works. A great source of inspiration was actually Tangerine Dream's `Zeit', with initial promotional material for this album pointing this fact out, and anyone who appreciated that darkly fascinating defining double LP from the 70's may find this equally as wondrous.

The appropriately titled `Legacy' opens the disk, setting the template for the whole album that proudly acknowledges the past masters, while always travelling it's own path. Haunting gothic Mellotron choirs groan over endless windswept deserts, lonely Rhodes piano teardrops drip through peaks and lulls of washing electronic waves, and frantic bass loops stalk through the blackest waters quickening your pulse. Heavy white noise, rising spectral church organ and enveloping electronic pools that comfort as much as suffocate welcome the eventually beat heavy `Deadlock'. A ticking Schulze-like percussion gently enters then quickly turns more strident and purposeful, almost dance-like in a few spots by the end, truly bridging the old styles with the new. The 33 minute `Ground' incorporates wavering hypnotizing psychedelia, occasional clipping low- key beats, placid synth breezes that rise and fall and chanting Mellotron. Regal, imposing yet almost triumphant themes, lulling and soothing affectionate passages and dark near-malevolence also briefly appear, the final ten minutes especially entering very deep drone territory with a beautifully executed build. The eerie and ominous `The Plague' joins crystalline Mellotron veils, delicate heart-breaking electric piano footsteps and reverberating electronic hums to almost reveal an evocative cinematic quality.

Buyers take note - when you purchase the physical CD from Bandcamp, you also receive a bonus download track that didn't fit onto the disc due to time constraints. The 18 minute `Decay' blends somber early 70's Pink Floyd-styled organ with Tangerine Dream-like sequencer pattern thrums, and it's just as good as anything on the main disc, and probably one of the more easily accessible pieces on offer here as well.

This album was originally recommended to me by Michael Bruckner, another German electronic composer and genuinely nice guy (his recent albums `In Letzter Konsequenz', `Naura' and `Thirteen Rites of Passage' are well worth looking into as well). The last month I've been in and out of hospital quite a lot, and this album, along with various shows from the Stillstream net-radio station such as Rebekkah Hilgrave's `At Waters Edge' program, has been a great source of comfort during my time there. It's easy to get swept along and drift away on the uneasy waves of ambient electronic bliss here, lulled into a trance-like state, and I hope we see more albums from Mr Dirk Jan Muller under this project name in the future.

`Cosmic Ground' is simply one of the best Berlin School-styled albums since the Seventies classics, recorded in the same manner, and anyone looking for more works in that style now have the perfect album to discover. Those who can make the time to properly listen to this album repeatedly and has the patience for the subtle electronic/ambient genre will relish this tantalizing work. So far it's one of the best progressive related releases of 2014, and I have no hesitation in awarding it the highest score.

Five stars.

Review by admireArt
2 stars Fool's GOLD, overrated and forgettable!

I assume that if you have never heard electronic or prog/electronic music in your life, you could "survive" with this Cosmic Ground, 2014, "Cosmic Ground". Aside from that I will think it twice.

If not, as soon as 6.5 minutes have run, you will realize, again, that thIis band and its admirers and reviewers, are betting on your forgetfulness or "nostalgia" (or ignorance,could happen, you never know!).

Not only is it another Tangerine Dream's "RUBYCON" / "RICOCHET", rip-off (Klaus Schulze's bizarre synth lines, of course, are also "used".) , it openly abuses their charecteristics and sounds. Yes!, remember the "drowning breathing " sound of both ("RUBYCON" / "RICOCHET",1975) ?? Well copying it perfectly may turn out to be the best "attribute" of this 2014 "project".

Second, it is quiet unwise to start any "electronic music" discourse, if you have never heard italian electronic music composers Antonio Russolo's "Corale" (1924) or Luigi Russolo's "Ululatore" or "Crepitatore" (1925). As to understand perfectly that "eerie" or "obscure" electronic environments were not "invented" in the now so "sheltering" Berlin school or the later prog/electronic style.

Buy the remastered "Rubycon" or Schulze's "Blackdance" (not my favorite KS, but CG sure fed up on it.).

For USA's Zombi fans, I suppose!

*2 and going down to 1, "good because it is not bad in comparisson to itself" , full of unattractive or lazy melody lines and UNORIGINAL to the top! PA stars.

You can do better with your cash!

Review by Guldbamsen
3 stars Homage

The German electronic scene was never the same again, after one Edgar Froese started fiddling about with the sequencer back in 1973 on Tangerine Dream's unicorn of an album 'Phaedra'. This enigmatic and strangely astral record somehow managed to pull people in from far and away - often folks who would never dream of purchasing a modern LP without drums and a certain whiff of the ol' rock energy. Phaedra then was the first of it's ilk to really connect with a larger audience. Through this newly won affection the ripples grew larger and larger - manifesting themselves in 100s upon 100s of copycat electrolytes out to set the controls for the heart of the sun, undertake space voyages and all those lyrical attributes that so often accompany this form of electronic music: The classic Berliner Schule.

Dirk Jan Müller, who normally sits behind the organs and synths of the neo Krautrock group Electric Orange, has here under the moniker of Cosmic Ground created a pendant to the early footsteps of the Berlin School. I'd even venture as far as to call this album an homage. With the following equipment extensively in use: Mu modular, 960seq. eurorack modular, fender rhodes, mellotron m4000d, moog sub phatty, philicorda, farfisa compact, farfisa professional duo, solina string ensemble, roland rs202, korg ms20, roland sh1000, hohner string melody II, elka rhapsody, nord wave, moog voyager, hohner clavinet, oberheim sem, korg mini-pops, leslie 760, hohner orgaphon - one could very easily be lead into thinking that this album indeed is a remnant of the analogue 70s. The print on the cd even goes out of it's way to underline the fact that NO midi tampering was employed during the recording.

To me this is both good and bad. I love how the synths sound, and they have that wobbly and authentic sheen to them that I often miss on modern electronic offerings. On here, and on most old analogue electronic albums, you're able to spot the small quivers of the human spirit forcing themselves through the robotics - what I'd call the flesh fingerprint. What it adds to the overall sound is a warmth and humanity - something to counterpoint the otherwise mechanical heartbeat of the sequencer. On the other hand, I can't escape the continuous stream of Tangerine Dream images my mind conjures up, whenever I pop this baby on the stereo. My eyes look at the alluring cover art of Cosmic Ground, but my ears keep hearing Rubycon revisited. Not a bad thing if you're out to project a certain TD era - at least it isn't Melrose or Tyger you're aiming for............but in my humble opinion the release as a whole suffers a tad from this lack of originality. Don't get me wrong, this is a very eloquently executed album that literally exudes warmth and something I'd like to call beep beep beauty - I can listen to this sort of music all day long - and all night for that matter, but for an album to really distinguish itself, especially in a style of music so well defined as this one, it has to have some umphh and personality on it's own - something that unequivocally screams uniqueness...and sadly that is the one thing that I'm missing here.

Even the beautiful wavering vapour-like presence of the backdraft has me thinking of Klaus Schulze and his unique brand of space ambient, no matter how much I adore it. It works wonders with the beeps and melodic synth spirals offering up a holy marriage of the intangibly floating and the more overt musical qualities, yet I still miss something that is entirely Dirk's creation. A red stork in my curry if you will.

The best thing about the album though is the level of immersion Dirk undertakes. His playing is deeply hypnotic and enchanting no matter what electronic device he is riding. Through interwoven surfaces of sound from ambient floating segments to almost stroboscopic light flickers of the sequencers, Dirk magically dreams up a vast satin black sky screen that pulsates and zooms - in and out - pulling you into the vortex of a dying star. For those of you who fancy Star Trek holidays and abstract albeit melodic electronic adventures, this album will be a real treat. For the mellotron and farfisa lovers alike - you too are going to salivate uncontrollably upon listening to this little rascal. For what Cosmic ground maybe lacks in originality, it (almost) trumps in sheer emotional delivery.

To the unenlightened who has never heard this kind of music, then imagine a liquid form of sound - a sonic oil dripping down Egyptian sand cathedrals - a lysergic soundtrack for astronauts and their unearthly home out beyond the infinite blueness of our skies. Out there among the stars and black matter, that's where this music really makes sense and takes on wings. 3,5 stars.

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