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.
On Another Planet (Vol 1)
Running time: 1:04:02
Part 1 - 7:05
Part 2 - 3:18
Part 3 - 5:30
Part 4 - 10:34
Part 5 - 15:05
Part 6 - 1:45
Part 7 - 1:30
Part 8 - 5:04
Part 9 - 5:40
Part 10 - 8:31
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 emphasising 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. (DL)