Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
The debut album by Cosmo Frequency, “Soundtrack to Life,” like life itself, is diverse and includes a variety of interesting elements and musical styles. The songs range from relaxed ambient excursions, to upbeat electronic grooves, and some mid-tempo pieces in between. Instrumentation includes synthesizers, Native flute, drums, bass, trumpet, flugelhorn, electric guitars, piano, percussion, background singing, and much more. Paul Martinson and Brent Vincent are the principle members of the group, which also includes lovely ethereal vocals by Lisa Wegener on some of the tracks.
A track called “The Gift,” begins with a percolating synthesizer sequence in the style of Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, or Jean Michel Jarre. The Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI) plays a trumpet-like part as orchestral elements and the sound of a solar wind are added to the mix creating a grand cinematic air. One of the things I appreciated most about this song and a number of their compositions is the way they incorporated the analog-style of sequencing heard in many classic electronic music albums and put their own spin on it with the layers and effects they added to it. Brent Vincent’s background as a club DJ is clearly heard on “Classic Story (Light Years Away).” After a brief symphonic intro, synth bass and four on the floor drums propel this upbeat tune into the stratosphere as a bubbly sequencer adds to the momentum on this danceable track with classical influences. On a track entitled “Canyon Chant,” that we get to hear another side of Cosmo Frequency that is more laid back. Although the sounds of Native flute and tribal drumming bring an earthy ambience, there are still enough electronic elements for this song to fit comfortably into the style of the album. For a composition called “World of Light,” I’ll coin the term “electro dream pop” to describe its’ style, which includes Lisa singing Paul’s lyrics about “consciousness.” As much as I greatly enjoyed the variety of grooves and spacey electronic effects on the preceding songs, I was quite taken by the softness and serenity of a track called “Winter Solstice.”
I am pleased to see Cosmo Frequency getting the media attention and radio airplay they deserve for their excellent debut CD, and I believe that they have just begun to tap in to their collective potential. I’m sure that we will be hearing even more great sounds from them in the future. I’ll certainly be tuning into their frequency.