Gravitated toward the green one in my latest Foxy box. This tape, released in April on Avant Archive, already appears to be sold out of its 50 copy run. It’s unfortunate, because though the music of Kösmonaut’s Patrick R. Pärk (which is purchasable in digital format via Bandcamp, by the way) is excellent, the packaging from Avant Archive is quite nice as well. An opaque green cassette with a stylishly lean label, Rothko-like block color foldout art and a cool transparent, Century Gothic-typed info card that is tinged in dusty green. Looks amazing.
But this tape also sounds amazing. The first few moments of opener “Eagle Wizard” give the idea that there’s something dark, doom-gloom and droning to come. And that stuff does come (and stay), but with it are some incredibly spacey beats—generally the album ends up being about dance, which comes as a soft surprise. The tape as a whole builds a sturdy bridge between some of the recent blip-beat, Tangerine Dream-digging artists like Grapefruit or Gemini Trajectory and the soft-synth creep-drone stuff like I’ve heard from Thaniel Ion Lee of late. Kösmonaut (as you might expect from having a name like “Kösmonaut”) approaches the elongated form on occasion, Pärk stretching winding skyways out into a 15-minute+ diversion like “Five Wisdoms.” 4-on-the-floor grooves puncture through curtains of wavering ambience and synths dig down into hypnotic oscillations with deep-cutting pulses. But Pärk also likes to cut up rhythms, create syncopation with light accents and percussive textures jumping around the sonic playground.
“Green” is certainly a dark-ish release (just look at the deep emerald color of that cover) with its swampy murk to wade through on both sides. But there’s something light and fluffy about it as well, airy and cloudy—a feeling that mostly comes with the bouncy, bounding forays into Kraftwerk motorisms and Gas-like persistence. And the squiggly rhythmic items of the Autechre variety help in this way too. But it’s easy to talk about tapes like “Green” in terms of what we’ve heard before—a music that plucks pieces of electronic music from the books like a Jeopardy contestant slaying an entire category (you know how when that happens, the crowd applauds?). It’d be a shame to not recognize Kösmonaut as the independent voice it really is. There’s a stamp here from the Austin sonic spelunker, and it marks an indelibly great contribution to (not a rehashing of) electronic music’s rich, ever expanding history.