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COSMOSIS - PSYCHEDELICA MELODICA

 

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Artist: Cosmosis

Title: Psychedelica Melodica

Format: CD

Label: Phantasm Records (England)

Cat. #: PTMCD163

Date: June 6, 2007

 

Track listing:

 

1. No Such Thing (Throb Factor Five Mix)

2. Creature From Outer Space

3. Metaphysical Worlds

4. Dance Of The Cosmic Serpent

5. Life Between Lives

6. Martian Blues

7. Journey Of The Soul

8. Spanish Gypsy

 

One word after the first listen is... SMOOTH!!!! This is a high quality release which adds a touch more melody and funk than in some previous Cosmosis releases. One thing I like is that I can immediately identify this sound as being unique to Cosmosis. Seamless transitions and inventive psychedelia are littered throughout the album. What's even more impressive is in doing this, Cosmosis has retained some of their old style, infused it with some classic goa sounds and progressions, while still sounding fresh and captivating. "No Such Thing" is such a sweet introduction to the album with it's floating, dreamy synths paralleled with a pounding baseline and some whacked out psychedelics! "Creature From Outer Space" rips a new one with phat beats, and a nicely filtered hybrid acoustic/electric guitar, and really turns up the energy. "Dance Of The Cosmic Serpent" is awesome!!! This was a nostalgic listen for me and combined some great old-school goa with the new Cosmosis flavour! Excellent! Then "Live Between Lives" is just a continuation of the precedent set in the previous track, which now includes some intelligently placed breaks and cuts. The funk really starts to flow in "Martian Blues", and for those who like nice electric guitar riffs will appreciate this one. "Journey Of The Soul" switches it up again from the direction the previous track was heading and stretched me right out onto a cosmic plane of bliss. This track is a paradigm to the smoothness of this album, and is quite possibly a Cosmosis classic. There are a few parts where it gets close to being a little overdone, but it pushes the envelope and didn't cross it. "Spanish Gypsy" slams the album shut with yet another nostalgic run through goa, enmeshed with the Cosmosis of 2007. Very well done. This album proves that tracks don't need to be overcrowded with excessive layers and rapidly changing varieties of effects to be considered psychedelic. It hypnotizes and mesmerizes with it's creative and intelligent simplicity.

 

I really enjoyed this album, and it's precisely the style of psycedelic/goa that I relish. Definitely one of the strongest releases I've heard in a while, and certainly going to be one of the stand outs for me in 2007 I would presume.

 

9.5/10

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Smooth transistions sums it up just about right. Cosmosis knows how to make the music flow at a perfect pace. Blissful melodies. I just bought this 2 days ago and im already on my fourth listen of the entire album. Magical experience.

10/10 B)

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Artist: Cosmosis

Title: Psychedelica Melodica

Cat. No: PTMCD163

Label: Phantasm Records UK

Released: 08 June 2007

Info, samples and shops: www.cosmosis.co.uk, psyshop.com, saikosounds.com

 

 

Bill "Cosmosis" Halsey is one of 3 artists responsible for ruining my life. Together with Hallucinogen and Koxbox he made me realise how pathetic and worthless was the music I listened before 1997 (MTV / VIVA trance and techno). How can this be bad? Well, if you would've lived in Poland at the time you'd understand how painful it was to purchase any goa / psy-trance releases back then. Anyway, his classic albums "Cosmology" and "Synergy" became for me a sort of point of reference for every other release. And to this day only few have matched that quality and none has exceeded it. Even his own next releases were always missing that something – either they were heading towards completely different and unexpected territories ("Intergalactic"), too mellow and controversial ("Contact") or lacking in a distinct theme / character ("Trancendance"). They were all good or even very good at their own, but for me knowing they came from the man that released "Howling at The Moon" and "Moonshine" kind of decreased their relative value. I've developed some kind of double standard for judging music, but I guess most of us have those for Hallucinogen, Koxbox, Transwave, Etnica / Pleiadians or in fact any other of those old-timer classic groups. We expect much more of them – I know this is stupid, but I can't help it.

 

Having that in mind, you'll understand why I HAD TO be disappointed at first. The CD was announced as a back-to-the-roots kind of thing; that Billy has revisited his old tunes and found out that what he liked about them the most were the melodies and musical structures. While I can't argue with that, I silently hoped that what will come back with the melodies will be the complexity and mind-boggling quality of his old stuff ("Cosmology" / "Synergy" era). To my initial disappointment, the new tunes did seem more melodic, but at the expense of complexity. The grooves (basslines) seemed much simpler, the percussions less rich and the lead sounds more basic. There was less layers, less sections, less of everything really...

 

More about this later, though.

 

 

 

The review:

 

The album comes in a standard jewel case box, with non-transparent inside tray which means that there's no artwork behind the CD. While this might seem like a drawback for some, it is in my opinion more than made up for with the extensive info about each tune (3 pages!) fit inside the unfolding front cover. The cover itself is beautiful – this has become a sort of tradition for Cosmosis to put a hand made backdrops on their cover and this time we have a painting called "Medicine Buddhas" by Paul Heussenstamm (www.mandalas.com). All other graphical elements use the same colours and theme, so it really looks good.

 

"No Such Thing (Throb Factor Five Mix)" – the album starts with a morning floating tune, with Allan Watts explaining why there's no such thing as "things". You can immediately recognise it is Cosmosis – the pads, those little acid lines and quasi random effects, the break beat percussion loop and chopped up synth lines made me realise how much I missed Cosmosis music! It develops seamlessly towards more grooving and pushing territories, adding some dreamy pads and spiralling, 6-note melody. Few key changes and breaks later, around 3:00 mark, my favourite part appears – a true funky riff played by psy-trance equivalent of slap bass guitar, revealing Billy's roots in jazz / funk music. I love it!!! When you think you heard it all, next break sweeps you of your feet with unexpected Eskimo-like trickery (you know, when there is nothing more but kick and bass playing, processed through multitude of effects, stretched, chopped and pitched). But damn, he pulls this out perfectly! The end of the tune is a come back of those funky sounds with a melody from the beginning. An almost perfect tune – so musical and funky!

 

"Creature From Outer Space" - starts with a clean classic guitar riffs. Sounds a bit strange for a sci-fi themed tune? Well, that's not all surprise there is for you here. The tune takes its time to build, adding layers and layers of melodic and acidic effects over a fairly standard full-on bassline. It gets harder and harder with each minute and really sounds like aliens talking to each other. Then at 3:48 a relaxed, floaty melody comes and receives more and more filter modulation as the tune goes by. The guitar is re-introduced after 5:10 and it does sound strange at first having a blasting psytrance beat playing over a melancholic guitar. You know what it's like when you mix two totally opposite things and most of the times it looks / sounds / tastes tacky? Well, this is one of those times when it makes perfect sense! Besides, it reminds me one of early Infected Mushroom songs from "Classical Mushroom". The real bomb however, is the way that the main melody returns – it is the same patch, but modulated in some sort of alien and spooky way! Great effect, just too bad it lasts so short. Another wicked tune!

 

"Metaphysical World" – from the first seconds I felt this is different. This time Billy decided to explore a darker, harder side of his music. In a vein of his older tracks like "Visitors" or "Stormy Monday", this one relies on acidic distorted leads that cut through the mix like a surgeon's scalpel through the butter. The effect is devastating – at places there is like 2 – 4 acid lines at once, complementing and "talking" to each other, screaming to gain their deserved place in the mix. Add to that few matching samples about human's mind and you've got a corker of a tune!

 

"Dance of The Cosmic Serpent" – just first few seconds of it make you think "This is going to be huge!". The delicate acid line and melodic riffs sound like the tune was created sometime between release of "Cosmology" and "Synergy", but soon enough an up to date production makes you realize it is 2007! The main, Eastern-scale inspired melody develops from few simple sounds to a multi layered, up-and-down spiralling crescendo of sounds, travelling harmonically over a key-changing full-on bassline. And then, when you're already crying of joy that Goa-trance was revived, Billy gives you that part at 3:30 which simply and literally sends the shivers down my spine – the crackling and twisting acid line that splits the head open! Incredible moment!!! Sadly, seems like Eskimo decided to pay the visit and "help" with the tune and after the chilly part decided to put his boot in with "We got to keep it rocking…!" sample and …, yeah – an Eskimo break. WTF?! Gladly, Billy soon enough had realised what's going on and took back the sequencer. The last two minutes are one of the best and most beautiful melodic goa-trance you could dream of hearing! The track would be simply perfect, if it wasn't for that Eskimo intrusion.

 

"The Other Side" – the metaphysical dispute continues in this track, wandering about what's going on after the death. This track starts a bit similar to #2, meaning that it takes its time to develop from basic beat & bass structures to full-speed psy-trance monster. This time however, things get much more melodic and euphoric – the first few notes around 2:00 announce the main theme, without revealing too much too early. But when it finally enters around 2:55 it feels like a hurricane with its insane power and complicated harmonic structure. Granted, it does sound a bit clubby, but Billy proved numerous times that he can successfully balance on the border without ever falling into cheesiness. And this is a fine example. Then, after a break he re-introduces the main melodic theme, backed up with highly resonant and screaming acid line (a'la Synergy's "Higher Access") in background. Damn, yet another marvellous tune!

 

"Martian Blues" – I feel this one will divide the listeners due to its heavy use of guitars. It starts with incredible blues riffs and then – who'd have thought – drops into 4/4 beat. What I really liked about it, is that it uses guitars more as an effect than an instrument – there's a lot of guitars there, but most of the time they're so processed and modulated you'll have hard time deciding if it isn't a synth. Also, this is one of better arranged tracks on the album, taking the listener through different sections – some are hard and powerful, some smooth and even dreamy. But the cherry on the cake has to be the final section, where Billy pulls a dusted TB-303 from his closet and squeezes a mad, twisted and deranged acid line of it! The sample "Oh my God, who was this?! It sounded like someone from Mars playing the blues!" sums it up pretty accurately. Smashing tune!

 

"Journey of The Soul" – again, we're coming back on the familiar territory explored in #2 and #5. The recipe is similar – dreamy pads, acidic lines a plenty and delicate melodic lines. This time however, the tune is more melancholic than euphoric. It is almost sad at places, especially when that 4-note riff at around 3:50 is introduced. I love the way it asynchronously echoes in the mix! For the next couple of minutes it develops towards a full-speed kicking tune, with re-introduction of all the sounds we've heard in the beginning. Then we have a dreamy break and when you think the track should have ended, it sadly doesn't. The final melody simply doesn't go with the flow of the rest of the tune. It is too happy, sounds rushed and not developed enough with occasional missed notes. It could have been one of the best tracks here, but due to this is probably my least favourite.

 

"Spanish Gypsy" – ever wondered how Gypsy trance could sound like? You don't have to anymore. Billy has combined elements of flamenco, Indian folk music, Spanish dance Pasa Doble and galloping psy-trance rhythm and this is the result. I have no words to describe it, though. It is packed with melodic scales characteristic for the above mentioned styles, but somehow it doesn't sound out of place – on the contrary, it feels like those styles complement each other perfectly. Somehow, the psy-trance beat fits right in with that flamenco guitar licks, the squelchy acid lines underline the melodic structures and so on. Another wicked tune, though I do realise that it might be perceived as cheesy by some.

 

 

The bottom line:

 

Comparing the introduction of this review and track descriptions you've probably noticed something has changed, right?

 

When I forgot about my expectations and preconception of how exactly the album should sound like, I suddenly found myself appreciating it more and more and grooving to each and every tune like crazy! Especially in my car, which is about the only place I can play music loud. Finally I was able to realise how wrong I was – this is a perfect party music, destined to move people on the dancefloor! The levels of euphoria reached in some of the tunes (especially #3, 4, 5, 6 and 8) are unbelievably high and the melodies he pulls out are so sublime and emotional, yet far away from cheesy. You can tell there's years of real-life musician experience behind this, that he just doesn't tap randomly on the keyboard but that he tries – and manages – to put a message across with the music (read the booklet – it's all there!). Also the qualms about it lacking in complexity were missed. With repeated playing it reveals that there is a lot of detail and thought in what seems very basic at first. Most of the sounds and structures are crafted with such a mastership that only few posses in this scene.

 

Of course, I would have preferred there were less of the aforementioned Eskimo-breaks and basslines, some musical ideas were developed further or in other direction, some samples left outside etc. But all this is just nitpicking - this is possibly the most complete Cosmosis release since "Cosmology" and "Synergy". It perfectly captures that old goa / psy-trance vibe I felt in love with almost 10 years ago and delivers it in a form that people are expecting today.

 

Go and buy it before it becomes another out-of-print classic!

 

4.5 / 5

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i dont like this album, maybe i should give this more listens, but sounds used in some of tracks seem allready overused by cosmosis himself or by fullon mafia or both. the ones i liked are dance of the cosmic serpent and journey of the soul. i wouldnt say that this album is something new and fresh, atleast not to me, to me this one seems like well made album for "fullon masses" at those huge festivals.

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Awaited follow-up (at least for me)! The combination of old-school Cosmosis structures and melodies with new production technology makes this the freshest and most inspiring album I have listened to this year! It does not disappoint in anyway whatsoever. :posford:

 

My current favourites are Tracks 1 and 4, but it will probably take me some time to process the complete brilliance of this masterpiece.

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i dont like this album, maybe i should give this more listens, but sounds used in some of tracks seem allready overused by cosmosis himself or by fullon mafia or both. the ones i liked are dance of the cosmic serpent and journey of the soul. i wouldnt say that this album is something new and fresh, atleast not to me, to me this one seems like well made album for "fullon masses" at those huge festivals.

Well, yes. But goa/psy-trance was always written for the people on the dancefloor.

 

Problem is, the people have changed. So, if you are an artists trying to live off the music you've got to make compromise and Cosmosis strikes the balance perfectly IMO, maintaining the old-school spirit in a "disguise" of full-on.

 

Besides, for me it's a bit like trying to compare Aston Martin DB5 and DB9. They're both beautiful, yet still very different due to the times they were designed in. You can say that DB5 is still beautiful after all those years (equivalent of old-school goa) and DB9 won't be seen as classic after 20 years. Well, it's not for us to decide. Time will tell.

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Opening and widening up the debate a bit more.

 

 

People may have changed but another thing that has changed is that there is greater proliferatin of internet access, fast bandwidth and, as soon as an album is released, it becomes available for downloaded for free on the internet within a day or so.

 

So what you have now is a potential situation whereby artists (whom can put 12 -18 months of studiowork into an album) release work only to have the majority of people take it for free. (and some even then moan about the content <_< ). This is reflected in the poor sales numbers of CD's and the general lowering of standards.

 

So given this situation do you think that, in general, will artists (some of whom whom rely totally upon music to support themselves and family) is going to keep pandering to the home listener and CD sales in specialist small markets groups? a lot of whom will keep taking work for free....... or is he going to showcase and shape his music to appeal to live gigs/festivals where he actually gets paid?

 

 

I'm not sure I know the answer to this conundrum.

 

What I do know is that to me this album is uplifting and stong, shades Synergy imho and _currently_ my favourite track is track 2 however tracks 1,3,4,8 are contenders too.

 

 

Jim :P

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Yah here in Los Angeles the psytrance parties are full of really drugged out people, lots of tweakers, drinking, etc - the psytrance the DJ's spin is that obnoxious full-on stuff without subtlety or depth - party music - the dumbing down of the psytrance culture...

:lol:

 

sometimes i read stuff on forums and think i must have been existing in some weird parallel scene for the last 13 years. the psytrance scene has always been full of "drugged out people" and the music has always been party music (ffs we call them parties for a reason!!). it came out of a hedonist crowd and was developed as a soundtrack to dance and have a good time to. it's not rocket science! sometimes i wish it had been born anywhere other than goa, so we wouldn't have this pseudo eastern mysitcal bullshit rammed down our throats as a justification for getting trolleyed and having a good time (which is just spiritual and good for your soul in itself). anyway, enough off-topicness ;)

 

as far as the album goes, i've heard it live 3 times in the last 12 months, twice this year. i've now heard it a couple of times at a friend's house as well, and imho this album is the best hybrid of old school pystrance melodies and vibes and modern production techniques that i've heard. i think it's track 2 that when i've heard it on the dancefloor its like being stuck in a timewarp, yet it doesn't sound outdated at all... absolute bliss. this time next week, when i get paid, the first thing i'm going to do is buy this album, it's class and it's timeless.

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Hm, there's

as far as the album goes, i've heard it live 3 times in the last 12 months, twice this year. i've now heard it a couple of times at a friend's house as well, and imho this album is the best hybrid of old school pystrance melodies and vibes and modern production techniques that i've heard. i think it's track 2 that when i've heard it on the dancefloor its like being stuck in a timewarp, yet it doesn't sound outdated at all... absolute bliss. this time next week, when i get paid, the first thing i'm going to do is buy this album, it's class and it's timeless.

I have yet to hear it as a whole album, only tracks. The only track that stands out so far for me is Journey Of The Soul. Yeah, that is a nice one. The other tracks also have some good moments now and then.. But generally it gets too cheesy & fullonish unfortunately. There are times that you recognise Cosmosis sound, but that's not enough.

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well i waited this album like all the others, the known full on boring style without any feelings, just to produce something...

But mr. Cosmosis had different opinion! He produced a great album, with beauty melodies and amazing production!

HIGHLY RECOMENDED

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the use of VSTI's (unlike earlier albums) is strongly felt... and if someone would let me listen to it without telling who is the artist, I wouldn't tell it's Cosmosis!

 

for a melodic fullon album it is quite good, but for a Cosmosis album it's disappointing.... :(

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I didn't like it. It's true that the cosmosis style is there, and the man knows what he is doing. Technically it is a great album.

 

But there is no creativity here (and i am not talking about innovation). I found the tracks boring and uninspiring. Nothing special about the melodies. Just plain and simple full-on.

 

 

And btw, the leads in some tracks like Dance of the Cosmic Serpent remind me of greek nizonot (or however it is spelled) trance :P

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Cosmosis is need no introduction. After so many magical releases beyond, Bill Halsey is releasing brand new album called "Psychedelica Melodica". The album is present Bill's latest materials influenced by the modern full-on style, but still keeps Cosmosis rare touch. It's out in Phantasm Records on June 07.

Now is the time to taste some psychedelica melodica...

 

 

Review :

 

01. No Such Thing (Throb Factor Five mix)

It's start with a morning twister, don't look for pleasant begining or something because you won't find it here. I'm really impressed from Bill's ability to combine between his old style and the modern line of nowadyas and tell you the truth - it's sound amazing ! like always, the melodies is the main issue - floating and lovely. The track has some secret power to hypnotize the listener to it. "No Such Thing" track is remind me how much I miss Cosmosis music...

 

02. Creature From Outer Space

This time, the track has a chilly intro featuring acoutic guitar and soft melodies and go on with sophisticated groove. It's sound a bit messy on the first part of it , but when the melody is on, everything is just perfect. The glactic playing on 04:40 is add a convenient feeling to the track and later the guitar riff from the begining is come back and create a wonderful journey. Simply a delicate madness.

 

03. Metaphysical Worlds

The vocals & samples have a serious job on Bill's music and here you can find them again and again. On the second of the kick's enterace, I immediately thought about Astrix old stlye...kind of short flashback. Actually, I did not recognize a special moment on the track, same formula all the time without refreshes or suprises.

 

04. Dance of The Cosmic Serpent

The first 30 seconds gave me the impression maybe Bill is going to present us some old school tune, but ten seconds later I'm understood that this is just a fantasy :-). The goa melodies together with full-onish baseline is sound good just when it's combined well and thats exactly the case here. "Dance of The Cosmic Serpent" track has the feeling of the old style of Cosmosis with the unique atmosphere and thats why the brake on 04:30 really suprised me - after one minute of developing goa melody, come from no where a stretched kick (really similar to the Phantasm line) and lead the track to another place. I'm really appricate Bill for his courage to mix two different style and do it well.

 

05. The Other Side

The same thing from the previous track is happening on track number five. Bill is actually show us a new style - upgrade goa trance music by nowadays rules. It's has some hallucinate vibes on it with special parts like the "strong" up on 05:02, but generally "The Other Side" is not an unforgettable material, just avarage stuff with some highlight moments.

 

06. Martian Blues

This track is a gem ! it is start with Blues guitar playing and developing smartly. The Bluesy atmosphere is really special and the whole concept of "Martian Blues" track is simply one of a kind. People, prepare your self for an enjoyable tune, full of guitar riffs and amazing flow. The hit of the album IMHO.

 

07. Journey Of The Soul

"Journey Of The Soul" track is full on track on soft version. It's going up gradually, step by step, like a long journey with up's & down's. The general atmosphere is confusing a bit - sometimes it sound like we are going to bomb together with the track but it's not happen, just the opposite - the track is going down suddenly. I guess it's the journey of the soul.

 

08. Spanish Gypsy

Last but surely not least is "Spanish Gypsy" track. This one is melodic track with special delightful ability to make the listener fly high to a smiley trip. It's include all the necessary elements - story, beautiful melodies, magical atmosphere, exciting guitar riffs, danceable kick and positive vibes. What a lovely end to this journey....

 

 

To sum it up - "Psychedelica Melodica" is the prove for Bill's mature developing and his diversity to try different directions, which in my opinion he did it successfuly. This album has a lot of influences from Cosmosis past music and I'm sure every one who still did not hear it, is very curious to understand what I'm talk about.

 

"Psychedelica Melodica" album is available here :

http://www.psyshop.com/shop/CDs/ptm/ptm1cd163.html

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Wanted to really like this CD, but I find it not interestingly enough. It is not bad (Cosmosis does strike a decent balance between old-style and new full-on) - but the release is really not that special and is not worth me buying it.

 

The music will probably sound better in a party and I look forward to seeing Cosmosis at the Glade Festival in a few weeks' time.

 

 

 

 

Pedro

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not really happy about this one.. just got it (on mp3 off course, I aint gonna buy this before I listen ;)) and listened fast trough it.. so far the only track i liked was track 4, Dance of The Cosmic Serpent, which sounds more than ok but some typical elements ruïn it.. i don't got problems with these full on basslines in the track, most of the time they sound better and more funky than those old school basslines, but the fluffy delayed and reeverbed full on sounds that i have heard 100000 times bother me a lot

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  • 3 weeks later...

After several listens to this album over the last few weeks, my conclusion is, the perfect blend of goa with modern day sounds and production. You can hear elements of both goa and modern day full on when listeneing to this. I love how Cosmosis blended two eras together without over doing it or going to over the top B)

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