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Cosmic Ground - Cosmic Ground Live CD (album) cover

COSMIC GROUND LIVE

Cosmic Ground

 

Progressive Electronic

4.02 | 4 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Recorded over two dates in October and November 2016 and taken from performances in both Cairo and the Netherlands, `Live' sees Electric Orange keyboardist Dirk Jan Müller presenting a series of immersive Berlin School-modelled prog-electronic instrumentals in a concert setting, joined on additional synths by Horst Porkert of Sunhair Records. Like the last two Cosmic Ground studio albums, `Live' is comprised of four side-long pieces that slowly unfold and delicately reveal their intricacies, and while the early Seventies works of Tangerine Dream are the starting point as always, Dirk and company move beyond that as lengthy unhurried atmospheres and welcome surprises emerge throughout the set and take the pieces in fresh directions, with many stretches fusing both modern and vintage sounds effortlessly.

Opening with quietly mournful and groaning Mellotron mystery, `Dark Enck' evolves into a heavy and dense pure Berlin School drift that rumbles with jangling machine-driven tension and echoing cavernous vibrations. `Cairo Grind' quickly builds in tempo to thrum with rapid skittering sequencer trickles and pattering beats that almost take on a relentless trance-like urgency.

At its core, `Unground I' is a slowly unfolding drone with a constant sustaining hum to its backing behind placid synth caresses, but there's emerging traces of unease flitting around throughout, and it ultimately dissolves into more dangerous sequencer-laced tension in the second half. `Unground II' comes the closest to a purely ambient piece with serene lulling synth washes and fuzzy unfurling electronic trickles teeming with life, and it makes for a more soothing, hypnotic and embracing finale.

`Live' maintains the same high standard of the three (to date) Cosmic Ground studio albums, and it captures beautifully the energy and momentum that the live environment offers. Some may find nothing particularly new here, but take the time to look past the surface similarities to Tangerine Dream, give it plenty of repeated plays and dig a little deeper, and you'll discover a hugely rewarding live document from an intelligent modern progressive-electronic artist in Müller.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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