Cosmic Ground 2 (2015)
Updated: Oct 4, 2022
“This is a very strong album of pure vintage Berlin School in order to charm as much as in the 70's”
1 Sol 19:23 2 NGC 224 18:40 3 Organia 19:43 4 Altair 20:09 Cosmic Ground Music
(CD/DDL 77:55) (V.F.) (Classical Berlin School)
It's always a little bit difficult to survive a first album which put you on the map, especially in a musical crenel where the traps of the pale imitations and, especially, those of the redundancy hide in every 60 seconds. Although always strongly inspired and filled of the influences of the vintage years of the MÉ of style Berlin School, Dirk Jan Müller plays the game very well with the suite to his eponym album appeared one year earlier. Yes, there is always this the classic sound. Yes, there are always these mystic and chthonian atmospheres. Yes, there are always these layers of Mellotron and of the Hammond organ. And yes, there are always these festivals of rhythms which break out in loops. And the big difference between the first sonic essay of Cosmic Ground and this one is exactly situated at the level of these rhythms. Set apart for the slow ambient procession of Altair, COSMIC GROUND 2 offers an epidemic of hard driven running keys which weave a legion of sequenced rhythms where the immoderation gets amplified in each title.
Sol begins the exposure of the four long phases of this second essay of Cosmic Ground with the muted hummings of a long drone where from also escapes a slight iridescent line of mist. The long droning torsade is nibbling at our walls, forging the beginnings of an ambient rhythm which circulates like a slow effect of go and come inside our eardrums. Pulsations paw the ground with impatience just before the bar of three minutes is reached. It's the beginning of the festival of the electronic rhythms embroidered in an analog sequencer as furious as accurate. The loops of the rhythm scatter its variances, weaving a long hypnotic route knotted by fine upward effects where from sometimes appears another cycle of rhythmic turbulence doubled by a game of keyboard with chords as much agile than frivolous. The ambient hoops of the introduction come back to blow our ears with sensible inserts which decorate the minimalist effect of this structure of sequenced rhythm where a Mellotron covers by places of ethereal mist. We are also going to hear knockings and effects of psychedelic brilliances, kind of Phaedra, on this long railroad cargo of keys disruptive of hypnotic sleep of which the first peculiarity stays its originality. Indeed, set apart a vague resemblance with the analog rhythms of the Phaedra or Rubykon years, the rhythmic structure of Sol remains all the same rather unique due to its threadlike minimalist stamp which reaches almost the 15 minutes against 5 minutes of atmospheres.
NGC 224 is clearly more violent with flavors which put on the signature of Redshift. The introduction is very theatrical with loops of a synth full of John Carpenter charms and wide fog banks of black resonances static. While the machinery snores royally, the keys already begin to sow the disorder even before the point of three minutes. The rhythm which appears from it is simply furious. Much more furious than Ground with keys, their shadows and the shadows of their shadows, which skip and drum on the spot and whose pile has no other choices than forming a long train which hiccups and skips of everywhere. The sound decoration remains the same as in the first opus. Only the rhythm abounds in originality with effects of tremor and with more violent phases of ascent which are added here and there, thwarting the plans of the minimalism and of these effects of repetition. It's awesome! Organia offers a much longer ambiospherical introduction. The atmospheres are nebulous and made up by layers of voice which float on a nest of reverberations of which the slow twists sound like the breaths of the Devil. The layers and floating waves of the Mellotron are intrusive and move us closer a little more to the dark atmospheres of the first sonic chapter of Cosmic Ground. The pulsations burst a little after the point of five minutes. Here, the sound of the sequenced keys is more nuanced. It's closer to the dark zones of Mephistopheles with black shadows which breathe and skip in an intense waterfall of resonant pulsations which is rolling at a brisk pace. Still here, Dirk Jan Müller weaves of the genius by adding a plethora of related noises which is over sizing of all its charms. It's a beautiful violence of eight minutes before Organia goes back to explore again the disturbing zones of black atmospheres of its opening. After all this bath of rhythmic violence, Dirk Jan Müller decided to close the adventure of COSMIC GROUND 2 with a beautiful monument of ambiences. Altair offers a sonic procession which is simply intrusive. Weaved in comfortable moods where the ether exhales life and where the cosmos encroaches on the Earth zone, a slow structure of rhythm is born with smothered knockings a little before the 5th minute. These beatings become in fact tom-toms which drum like in an effect of passive trance under a thick cloud of reverberations painted by all of the interstellar colors. Knotted in the discord and in the excess of speed of certain of these beats, the movement becomes more fluid but stays relatively ambient. And yet again, D.J. Müller structures his rhythmic approach in the originality with additions of clashing and random elements which make of Altair an extremely mesmerizing piece of ambient music. Even when the keys and their shadows which beat are disappearing in the night-anesthetic pads of a magnificent mixture of organ and Mellotron which regains control over Altair just before the 12th minute. The patient ears will be rewarded because Cosmic Ground unwinds another lively and jerky structure of rhythm which hiccups in a heavy echo for the last 3 minutes of Altair, concluding an album as attractive, I would say even more powerful, than the very first opus of Cosmic Ground with this COSMIC GROUND 2 where the retro kind Berlin School opens its cracks of originality to charm so much that in the 70's. An excellent discovery and one of the most solid albums of 2015.
Sylvain Lupari (August 24th, 2015) ****½*
Available at Cosmic Ground Bandcamp