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Cosmic Ground - Cosmic Ground 2 CD (album) cover

COSMIC GROUND 2

Cosmic Ground

 

Progressive Electronic

3.97 | 11 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Cosmic Ground is the name of the solo project from Electric Orange's keyboard player Dirk Jan Müller, who performs vintage era influenced deep-space soundscapes with elements of Kosmische Music, Berlin School, electronica, drone, trance and ambient styles. Dismissed by some as mere homage, or worse, an outright clone of the classic Seventies period of Tangerine Dream, Müller may absolutely utilise the same sounds as that defining group on the surface, but digger deeper reveals directions that the important German band never travelled in, as well as some very modern influences worked in as well.

While 2015's `Cosmic Ground 2' (arriving a year after the self-titled debut) takes the format of Tangerine Dream's `Zeit' by offering four vinyl-side length/twenty minute-plus extended pieces, it differs quite substantially musically from that particular genre-creating landmark work. It lacks the icy nightmarish drones of that double set, instead all of the four compositions here are made up of long stretches of minimalistic soundscapes that slowly evolve in the most subtle of ways, the most minute of details delicately worked in and stretched out much further than mere imitation would offer.

Opener `Sol' is sprinkled with chiming sequencer ripples that slowly grow in presence, the very lightest of dancing trance traces slinking in and out with fuzzy panning ambience its destination. The instantly darker `Ngc 224' groans with unease and builds in dense throbbing intimidation, and `Organia' drifts on gentler ambient washes, lulling synth caresses lapping back and forth as a steady pulsing beat bounces away before finally melting into darker ominous drifts. But the equally mysterious and lulling album closer `Altair' is the most impressive moment, Ashra and early Pink Floyd-like quivering organ shimmers and slowly emerging sequencer trickles concocting a drowsy, meditative and finally haunting siren cry of aching lonely beauty (although there was probably no need for the last minute sequencer dance, the piece was perfect just as it was!).

Dirk Jan Müller may not quite take the progressive-electronic/Kosmische Music style in undiscovered directions here, but nor is `Cosmic Ground 2' some `cut and paste' lazy idol worship or `highlights package' of more popular artists in the field. Rather, if given fair, patient and close repeated listens, it offers glimpses of worlds he may go on to explore in even greater personal depth in the future, but even for now this superior second effort is still an unhurried (but never uneventful) and deeply immersive soundtrack full of space that weaves a captivating atmosphere.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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