Robot Koch “Cosmic Waves” | Project: Mooncircle

Wonderful and strange —- pop music from the future – John Peel (BBC UK)

Experimental electronic producer Robot Koch presents the eight track album Cosmic Waves with the prestigious Project: Mooncircle. The label has been putting out some of the best electronica in recent times, coming into the same league as Alpha Pup, Warp, Ninja Tune, Plug Research and Brainfeeder. Their prints are beautiful and very much worth the price tag from release to release.  Cosmic Waves features a wide array of guests with only three o f the eight songs being completely solo efforts from Robot Koch. Pressed on limited double white vinyl 10”, this record is set in a futuristic dimension where synthetic tones flirt between lines of hard hitting instrumentalism and abstract overtones, the sound of the future is all over this beautiful LP. There is something very special with the way Robot Koch designed Cosmic Waves, something you hear from front to back. It is because of this unique voice that we are really happy to come into contact with this artists music for the first time.

Beginning with the self titled track, “Cosmic Waves” is a testament to the symbiotic nature and resonating lasting power between dance music, minimal abstractions and a vestige into the subversive world of psychedelics that overwhelms all the little tiny spaces left to mold. Small sounds drip off the main rhythm and melodies at the most balanced rate and become glowing on contact. Built around the same melodic approach from beginning to end, there are but a few cycles to the piece and it becomes a meditative window into what the modern beat scene is achieving spiritually. The bass in this first track is what really positions the album into a hypnotic state, with a drone of sorts that makes the song feel like there is an explosion in the distance occurring every few seconds. With the sound of waves and other beautiful landscapes, it really opens up the mind for something much bigger than just a label of dope beats.

“Nano” is the song on Cosmic Waves that has a towering presence of energy that fills the bottom, middle and top sections in full. Based around a pulsating synth melody that stays in the piece from beginning to end, the song is a beacon of power and strength. It’s one of those type of songs where I love when turning it up to the highest volumes possible. Around the middle of the piece, the music breaks down with a small but lovely vocal adlib, “let’s continue”. The music becomes more complex at this point, slicing into highly textured spaces of sound and some of the most beautiful synth tandem that has ever graced my ears. It’s some of the most abstract dance music I have ever encountered, giving enough muscle to knock deeply into any good system. It’s unreal how he manages to retain those beautiful overtones that keep my mind guessing what’s coming next.

The first collaboration of the album comes with Headshotboyz and the third track “Milan”. With a minimal intro that is very light in essence, when the bass and drum fully realize itself the beat is massively heavy. The bass rides in a very low and smooth territory and rides in a state that hits just hard as it is pleasing melodically. The break down in this song is phenomenal and really shows the masterful approach these producers have with the modern tools available. With most of the music in this song being futuristic sounding, this is the type of song that hits on that raw, primitive and powerful drum and bass work that has defined generations of hip hop producers. “Follow Birds” is the remaining solo piece from Robot Koch on Cosmic Waves and is also the shortest track of the set. With a heavy state of percussion that comes in right away, this piece leaves no time with its full throttle energy state and the side winder overtones that maintain the psychedelic aura throughout. I could see Ghostface Killah going off over a beat like this, a potential reality that doesn’t come to fruition when I hear most modern electronica.

Pavel Dovgal takes on the second collaboration of Cosmic Waves with the highly experimental track “Open”. The intro is entirely percusionless and features otherworldly sounds that bubble, oscillate and move in the most abstract forms. The rhythm comes in a little under a minute into the piece and it’s one of the most transcendent takes on rhythm I have heard in awhile. Vocals are processed into euphoric states and synth is shot all over the mix. As the beat becomes more pronounced, the abstraction takes a slight back seat for some hard hitting bass and drum. The music is still moving in all different types of directions, but there is much more cohesion now. It’s a really interesting ride and is my favorite song of the record. “Sludge” finds Robot Koch working with producer Kuhn for a another abstract take on the beat genre and dives down an 808 bass heavy club path. Electronic drums are stretched into really high tempos as the synth creates a haze that is spell binding. This song is crafted so well with all of the transitions that take shape, becoming yet another example of how far outward the new producers if this age are taking things.

Producer Submerse is the next collaborator and their song “Void” is the track that embedded itself into my psyche the most. The level of experimentalism and cohesive melody is mind blowing, creating a labyrinth of synth that is beyond. Rain Dog, one of my favorite newer producers, takes on the last collaboration of Cosmic Waves with the piece “Never Will”. With a much more subdued and light filled aura than most of the tracks, this is a great ending to a stellar album that leaves so much sound and rhythm to process that repeated listens feel mandatory.

Cosmic Waves is one of those albums that on the surface, you may not find everything it has to say. It’s an album that requires you to look in, requires you to grab every transition and sound to summarize a whole that speaks a language from another world. It is cosmic beat music and speaks a spiritual language that fits perfectly with the hard hitting instrumentalism in rhythm that identifies so much modern production work. With the heart of the drum fully intact and a field of tones that goes into the furthest reaches of the cosmos, this is the perfect balance between worlds I respect just as much as the other.

-Erik Otis

Purchase the limited 2×10″ white vinyl version here

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