Cos — Viva Boma
(Musea FGBG-4159.AR, 1976/1997, CD)
by Henry Schneider, 1997-10-01:
Here we have Musea’s reissue of the second Cos album, recorded in 1976. In addition to the original album Musea included four bonus tracks recorded in Cos’ rehearsal room on a 4-track recorder. As a result, "Mon Rebis," "Reine de la Vallée," "Nog Verder (Demo Version)," and "Fanfan la Tulipe" sound a bit muddy but the band's energy and musicianship shine through. Viva Boma is quite an interesting album. It opens with "Perhaps Next Record," a pleasing little ditty of gurgling electronics, synths, and guitars very much in line with the late 70s. Cos then proceeds to entertain you with sublime to complex jazz-rock arrangements combining elements of Soft Machine, Magma, and Zao. Adding to the mystique of the music are Pascale Son’s airy vocals and wordless chanting. High points for me are "Flamboya," with its killer bass work and Frippertronics bubbling in the background and the demo version of "Nog Verder." Whereas the studio version from the album is relatively calm, the demo version is an energetic jam worthy of Magma. As usual Musea reproduced the original album artwork and included extensive band history notes and photos to complete the package. Viva Boma is reissue of note from the formative 70s.
by Rob Walker, 1997-10-01:
The first Cos album, Postaeolian Train Robbery, was rereleased by Musea several years back. With its zeuhl-inspired sound, offbeat jazz sensibility, and the amazing vocal talents of Pascale Son, it is rightly considered among the better testaments to the 70s French progressive scene. Now, at long last, we have the rerelease of the band's second album, Viva Boma, complete, as was the first release, with a substantial helping of tasty bonus material. The lineup on Viva Boma retains most of the core members from the first album, adding a new keyboardist and some other incidental guest musicians. From the first notes, though, the band shows just how much it had matured since its debut. While maintaining the same overall sound as their first release, Viva Boma displays a greater abundance, variety, and quality of musical ideas, along with a much more sophisticated sense of song development. Whereas each piece on Postaeolian Train Robbery sought to exploit a single sound, feel, or harmonic mode, this album is ripe with tracks which swing freely from brooding zeuhl-influenced atmospheres to more nimble and cheery Canterbury style fusion. Imagine something halfway between Zao and Hatfield & the North, with a touch of that distinctive French-progressive dramatic flair and enough originality to sound far from derivative of any particular band or style. Viva Boma is striking not just in how much it improves upon the band's first, already solid, release, but also in how well it stacks up against the best of any of the bands Cos might be compared to. A fantastic album by any measure, this is the caliber of rerelease that only comes along a few times a year. Don't miss it.
Related artist(s): Cos
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From the press release:
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water takes from Echo Us' past and spins it into a whole new direction, one closer to traditional acoustic Celtic music than ever before.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water was composed and recorded during the first few months of 2017. Although Celtic influenced and comprised of a number of re-workings of Irish folk tunes and Breton aires, the album is still in large part new and original Echo Us music that fits right in the Echo Us ‘canon’. “Wake” is a natural progression from “A Priori Memoriae”, which was released to critical acclaim in Europe in 2014.
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is Echo Us’ ‘Celtic’ album that was planned for a long time but never executed because of the work on the trilogy that came before it. The album title is a typical ‘Echo Us’ play on words which one can find their own meaning.
“It is also both evocative of the Oregon rain, which I am told is not too unlike the rain in Ireland.”(Matthews)
To Wake a Dream in Moving Water is also a comment on conception- which was unintentional when the lyric was written. Matthews surprised himself a few months after writing it, realizing that the song was actually about the nitty gritty, biological workings of what happens when a child is conceived. The folk song it derives from musically describes a courting ritual, one that even today we can all relate to in our own way.
“Come With Me Over the Mountain" in acapella was the musical inspiration for the song, and came into my consciousness after the lyrics were written a few months prior. “ (Matthews)
As with all Echo Us recordings, a number of seeming coincidences resulted in connections being drawn where prior there were none. Another experience of similar capacity was found in oboe samples from A Priori Memoriae that echoed the traditional “May Morning Dew’, also reworked for guitar on the new album.