Cosmic Smokers

The Cosmic Smokers are something of an Electronic Music super group made up of:
Adrian Beasley, John Christian & Pete Ruczynski (all from AirSculpture)
Grant Middleton (from Under the Dome) Paul Nagle (from Binar, Joint Intelligence Committee, Headshock and solo)
They play a sequencer led improvised brand of Berlin School music.
Cosmic Smokers
Cosmic Smokers - Live at the National Space Centre

Artist: Cosmic Smokers
P: 200
4
Selected highlights from the concert at the National Space Centre in Leicester, England, June 26th 2004. On the 26th June 2004 AirSculpture, Grant Middleton (from Under the Dome) and Paul Nagle descended on the National Space Centre in Leicester, England for a combined concert. They had rehearsed for two days to get tuned into playing together as a single unit but even so what you have here is all new music, selected highlights from the concert itself, running together as one seamless track split into eight parts. None of it is covered on either of the two albums taken from the rehearsals ('On Another Planet Vols 1 and 2').
Initially we float on soft stellar pads. It's all rather beautiful, relaxing and increasingly melodic. Sequences and more prominent lead lines come in with the beginning of Part Two. Mellotron pads add to proceedings. As we progress the sequences and melodies just get better and better- then in the third minute the intensity is increased still further with the introduction of a rhythm, complimenting all the other pulsations perfectly. By the fifth minute the addition of some excellent soloing takes us to new heights. Some leads are low and growling whilst others spit from the speakers like tongues of fire. By the eighth minute the pace has slowed and now things become very moody.
Sequences return as we move to Part Three but proceedings are still tinged with a sort of snarling attitude. As the sequence morphs and lead lines enter the atmosphere lightens.
We transcend to Part Four and things erupt once more as massed sequences make an entrance, some of them of the heavy bass laden variety, others like careering roller coasters with awesome lead lines completing the exciting picture superbly.
The storm briefly moves on and we gently float for about a minute before rapid sequences return once more for Part Five. The way all the notes bounce around a playful lead is exquisitely done. My head was nodding and hands beating the table in time to the music. Again things become increasingly intense and exciting as we progress, returning to moody realms with a couple of minutes to go.
Part Six continues this feeling forward but right from the beginning you can sense something stirring low in the mix. Very gradually the 'something' materialises as a rumbling bass sequence, lush pads supporting it low in the mix. Another splashing sequence moves into formation. Laser flashes scorch from the speakers then more leads come in creating the most ball breaking moment on an album which has already had so many thunderous highs- truly awesome stuff! This section finishes and we cross fade to the equally wonderful Part Seven.
We now have a very different feel however. If anything the sequences are even faster but they have a much more positive feel, bouncing from the speakers full of real joy.
The Final Part is even more energetic as a superb shuffling rhythm gets into an infectious groove- a real body mover full of excitement and positive energy. The guys kick up quite a storm- ending in an explosion! What an excellent way to finish the best album in the three album Cosmic Smokers series.

15,90 EUR
 
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Cosmic Smokers - Live at the Y

Artist: Cosmic Smokers
P: 2008

Lovely spacey twittering sounds and cosmic winds provide a rather traditional start to such an album but hardly surprisingly given the pedigree of the people involved, these aren't just any old sounds, they are quite exquisite and wonderfully crafted, hitting the spot perfectly, taking the mind on it's own serene blissed out journey. The first sequence doesn't just blunder forward, instead it is slowly formed, probing it's environment like some living thing, then gradually gaining confidence as it rises through the mix encouraged by the subtlest of lead lines. With five musicians on stage it would be far too easy for the sound to get too cluttered and over the top but this is never the case here as each comes and goes as needed, contributing something when he thinks it is right to do so then departing for a while after making his contribution and let someone else have their 'say'.
There are whole passages for instance when Andy's guitar can not be heard but then when he does make an entrance his playing fits the mood perfectly, either when the sequences start to swell or as extra cosmic coloring during some of the atmospheric passages (especially on the start of the second track).
Even though this is improvised music (so by definition all new music) the musicians are so used to working together now through their previous concert and various rehearsal sessions that there are never any awkward moments. The whole thing has a wonderful organic flow, subtle at one moment, forceful at the next depending on the prevailing mood at the time. Both main tracks for instance are an absolute master class in how to build a sequencer based piece, keeping the attention locked on for each of the over forty minute durations.

20,50 EUR
 
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Cosmic Smokers - On Another Planet Vol. 1

Artist: Cosmic Smokers
P: 200
4
On the 25th June 2004 Adrian Beasley, John Christian and Pete Ruczynski met Grant Middleton from Under The Dome and Paul Nagle from Binar (plus a host of other projects) to rehearse for two days before their evening concert at The National Space Centre in Leicester on the 26th June. It was decided that the collective name they would perform under would be the Cosmic Smokers as a bit of a tribute to a different gathering of musicians in Germany some thirty years earlier. These were rehearsals with a difference however. The purpose of them was to get the five musicians used to working together as an improvising unit, not to come up with music that they would actually perform on the night of the concert. That music would be completely different. What we have here is the first collection of music from these rehearsals cross-faded into one another to make one long track separated into ten parts.
Part One goes straight into sequence mode and an excellent one it is too! A scything lead line flashes over the top as various intricate bits of detail do their thing underneath. In the second minute an insistent rhythm starts up and the excitement builds to fever pitch! More leads come in melding with each other so well and pads swell enormously reaching new heights of wonder- this is so so good! How on Earth could they have come up so spontaneously with such wonderful music?
We drift seamlessly into the very comic, floating Second Part which acts as a three-minute interlude for us to regain our composure before entering Part Three. Another excellent sequence starts up sounding very much in Paul Nagle mode to me, surrounded by other lovely little tinkling melodic motifs. Even though there is loads going on there is a feeling of subtle delicacy. A lovely piano lead line enters emphasizing this feeling still further but very gradually the backing becomes increasingly intense.
We move into Part Four and another excellent sequence strikes up amongst other psychedelic warblings and whooshes of sound. A lovely slow organ joins the fray. This morphs into another lead sound then an absolutely fantastic ground shaking sequence almost explodes to the surface- absolutely devastating stuff! Things then calm down a little, a much more restrained sequence providing structure around which various cosmic effects weave.
As we get to the end and move into The Fifth Part things begin to sound a lot darker and sinister. Mournful pads slowly drift from the speakers like a mist rising from a lake. A sequence slowly starts to form, becoming more strident all the time. A second then a third are added, all echoing a similar theme. The energy level increases as a no nonsense rhythm falls into formation. Things get gradually faster. Just before the six minute mark the music is stripped down a little to just one echoing sequence and a splashing rhythm which create quite a groove. A new rapid lead line strikes up adding extra wonderful energy to an already heady brew. Things calm down a little again in the eleventh minute with the introduction of gorgeous mellotron and lovely lead line. The sequences and rhythms keep going but somehow the backing isn't quite as intense. Instead of this being a prelude for some transition into another part however things start to build in intensity once again, only calming down very near the end with the return of the organ.
The very short Part Six consists of a harpsichord solo over contrasting dark drones (really lovely stuff).
With the even shorter Part Seven things become lighter, the lead lines this time being provided via guitar and piano, a simply beautiful combination.
In complete contrast grinding metallic sounds introduce Part Eight and we descend to an ever shifting collage of very eerie spacey effects.
Part Nine brings the sequences back big style as we surge forward on a wonderful waterfall of pulsations. More rapid patterns of notes are introduced like lasers flashing all around some central point. Things return to darkness once more and some strange unintelligible vocal utterances can be heard.
These leave as we enter the final part and a blistering train type sequence starts up, followed by another. Its as if two steam locomotives are racing each other down parallel tracks slowly getting faster and faster. A scorching lead line is added like sparks flying from the rails.
What a wonderful way to finish.

13,90 EUR
 
incl. 19% tax excl. Shipping costs
Cosmic Smokers - On Another Planet Vol. 2

Artist: Cosmic Smokers
P: 200
4
The Cosmic Smokers are Adrian Beasley, John Christian and Pete Ruczynski from AirSculpture plus Grant Middleton from Under The Dome and Paul Nagle (from all over the place!).
In 2004 they all met up to do a combined National Space Centre concert spending two days together rehearsing. This is the second album of highlights from those sessions. All the music is unique and not released in any form before. And there is no messing around as we are straight into an insistent driving sequence which gains momentum all the time as a lovely lead soars above.
The guys hurl in more sequences and lush mellotron and even though we are less than two minutes in I am already in Heaven! This isn't all pulsations however, there are melodies as well but even these contain more than their fair share of oomph. Yet another high register sequence enters- itself being fairly melodic then by the fifth minute mark, if things weren't at fever pitch already, we really do go into overdrive! Every element mutates superbly sometimes subsiding slightly, sometimes surging forward once again but always fantastically exciting.
At the tenth minute mark we get our first true breather as we settle down to a calm bubbling sequence and tranquil leads. You can still feel pent up energy however and it isn't long before the pulsations stretch at the leash then breaking free for another session of mayhem.
We cross fade into Part Two on the back of two sequences: one rapid and tinkling morphing this way and that in crazy fashion whilst the other bass one provides structure around which it all hangs. More sequences come and go and I am soon unable to count all the individual lines so just let all the wonderful note patterns do their magic in my head. There are some really nice slower melodies as well that provide excellent contrast.
We subside to swirling atmospherics in time for Part Three. Things become quite shimmering and metallic then softer, ethereal even. Little melodies make brief appearances like ghostly apparitions- all very delicately done.
Part Four begins with soft flute and birdsong but after just a few seconds a high register sequence bounces forth. It casts a mesmerizing hypnotic spell until in the fifth minute another sequence joins it. The mood is still sedate as the mind is taken on another tranquil but at the same time psychedelic trip. We finish with a lovely melodic minute and a half section featuring virtual acoustic guitar and piano.
They fade away again as another sequence surges forward for Part Five. It is highly syncopated and exciting, leaving all too soon.
Part Six soon rectifies this however as probably the best sequence on the album makes an entrance accompanied by some lovely flutey lead lines. An excellent conclusion to a fascinating album.

13,90 EUR
 
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Cosmic Smokers - On Another Planet Vol. 3

Artist: Cosmic Smokers
P: 200
6
The first two volumes of this series came from the rehearsal sessions for their National Space Centre concert. This third volume is taken from the rehearsal sessions from their Y theatre performance in 2007 so the musicians this time are John Christian, Peter Ruczynski, Grant Middleton, Andy Bloyce and Paul Nagle. As with Vols 1 and 2, the music wasn't really intended for release but some might find it interesting as it shows how the five individuals used the pre gig time to get together so that by the time of the evening concert they are perfectly tuned into one another. So here it is- nine sketches.
The music is different to what they played live but you might hear the occasional formulation of ideas that were used later though in a different settings. Right from the off this is moody sequencer based music in the classic tradition. Layers of pulsations weaving in and out of each other, some playful, others with a real snarl, Andy's guitar is used sparingly, giving just the right amount of ethereal colour when it is needed though it does let rip a little for '3rd Planet Part 9'. Lead lines spar against equally as melodic sequences creating quite a mesmerizing brew. For the most part the sequences take prominence over rhythms but the role is reversed for the highly syncopated '3rd Planet Part 6' and to some extent '3rd Planet Part 7'
This is music that is best played loud to create a similar atmosphere to that pumped through the Y theatre PA as the practice sessions took place from about noon of the day of the gig right through to just before the audience started to arrive.

13,90 EUR
 
incl. 19% tax excl. Shipping costs
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