Cygnus – Cosmos

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Cygnus (real name, Phillip Washington) is an electronica artist who hails from Dallas, Texas. He has recently released the album ‘Cosmos’ which is available to purchase from Bandcamp, for $10. Click here to view/purchase.

The album opens with the track ‘Cosmos I’ and an unusual chord sequence which immediately conjured up images in my head, from Ridley Scott’s, fabled ‘Blade Runner’ movie. I also felt that, if played on a piano, it wouldn’t have been out of place in a free-form jazz arrangement, at least until the track develops, adding an arpeggio reminiscent of the type of melody lines used by Plaid (Warp Records).

A few seconds into the next track, entitled ‘Shuttle Launch’, it became obvious that the influence of science fiction was not only inspiring the artwork, but was firmly woven into the music as well. This one starts with much more of a retro sound, which is quickly accompanied by another interesting and slightly bizarre chord sequence, this time reminding me of Max Tundra (Domino Records).

‘Global Satellite Network’ is the name of the third track, which, when the beat kicks in sounds akin to some of AFX’s Analord series. I expect this is partly due to the use of an analog drum machine which may well be a Roland 909. The first, longer track on the album, this one definitely takes you on a journey, seamlessly altering trajectory between sections.

As well as a clear Sci-Fi element, there is also a strong retro feel to this album, not dissimilar to certain 16bit video games, especially some I used to play on the Sega Megadrive/Genesis. And although ‘Cosmos’ may wear its influences on its sleeve, this is in no way detrimental to the finished product, which appears to me to be the alien love-child of IDM and Electro. Whilst it is neither exclusively, a sense of both genres is apparent throughout. Listen out for the fantastic vocoder part in ‘Cosmos II’ and the beautiful synth work in ‘Cosmos III/Laniakea Supercluster’, which makes for my personal favourite on the album.

My only criticism is that the end is so abrupt, but it did leave me wanting more and certainly didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of this great selection of tracks.

Cygnus has also released music through Icasea Records, Central Processing Unit Records and Radical Symmetry Records. I also thoroughly recommend checking out his release ‘Tesseracter’ on CPU [CPU00001101D].

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