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
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more