Had Ashra Tempel spent their formative years on a Mediterranean island they might have sounded a bit like this. One of the most slippery terms in contemporary music, we sent kosmische expert and Emotional Rescue/Response boss Stuart Leath on a mission to pin down the sound of the shape-shifting genre.
Intro: Stuart Leath
As with any musical form, can a song or track ever truly be defined by being “in or out” of a genre? However, over time, sounds appear and congregate that form a definition and this is just as true of kosmische.
Initially defined as experimental electronic music coming from Germany circa the late ’60s to mainly forming in the early ’70s, “Kosmische Muzik” soon spread out of its geographic confines to become a slow, bubbling global cult. Growing and morphing to become an influence to the ’80s and ’90s reawakening via bands like Spacemen 3, Stereolab and Broadcast, today its mutation continues, acquiring guitar and drums if needed. But as opposed the rhythmic pulse and motorik confines of krautrock, kosmische is now considered a more sedate, loose and free sound.
And so today’s “Moderne” term is as with so many musical genres, defunct. People often argue that genres are all a marketing man’s ploy, but isn’t it as chicken and egg? Here then is a selection of tracks from some of today’s modern collectors, DJs, producers and general nerds to give their take of what kosmische muzik is to them today.
‘Lobo’s Point’ from Introducing Obalski
“When Stuart asked me to contribute a modern kosmische track I immediately thought of Bear Bones, Lay Low’s mind-warping live show, which I saw some months ago – he seemed to be a kosmische wizard providing psychoactive waves!”
Chosen by: Lena Wilikens (Comeme)
Tom Furse Child Of A Shooting Star 12″
“The underground scene in Antwerp built around Dennis Tyfus’ Ultra Eczema label is a source of constant delight and this release by David Edren is not only a particularly fine LP, but also a perfect evocation of the ‘kosmische’ ethos – recorded as a set of live improvisations using the CEM Arp 2500 at Worm in Rotterdam. People need to know about this music!”
Chosen by: Tom Relleen (Tomaga / The Oscillation)
Stellar Om Source
‘1847 – Earth’ from Synthesist / Re-Synthesist
“Amazing project from Ralf Beck (Die Wilde Jagd). A classic yes, but kosmische (?), that is for debate. However, as mentioned it’s as much about personal opinion and to me this song is a perfect example of Moderne!”
Chosen by: Stuart Leath (Emotional Recordings / Sacred Summits)