The Cosmic Range

It’s hard to find new music from this general area with so many bands promoting the same tired, familiar tropes plucked from different underground-rock sources. Matt Dunn’s The Cosmic Range, however, is one of the few shining examples. The band’s main asset is its wide range of musical resources, both stylistically and individually. While its skeleton is unquestionably psychedelic, its flesh and musical nervous systems are something entirely different. Although the rhythm section has a lot of rock power, its temporal demeanour and tempo are surprisingly supple. Max Turnbull, aka Slim Twig, isn’t content to be a strident guitarist hero, but he remains textural and tied to the gyrations. Dunn’s leadership behind the organ, vibraphone, or piano integrates seamlessly into the ensemble, occasionally only emerging organically in the foreground. Dunn has also recruited Mike Smith and Jonathan Adjemian, two analog synthesists (who perform together as Transcombobulation). The pair offer a timbral array far removed from the knob-twiddling nonsense trap that many people fall into on their way to the celestial realms. Andy Haas’ distinctively nasal-sounding soprano/sax tone is a contrast to the rich sound billows. His sober approach to material provides a nice contrast. They offer the same clarity when Isla Craig’s clear vocal colours waft through “Look at What Our Love has Done” closing track. Craig’s instrumental is energizing, but Craig’s magnetic sonic charisma makes it worth the wait to hear more from her on the next Cosmic Ranging. Although the music is pointed conspicuously upward, it’s clear that The Cosmic Range is a carefully orchestrated affair. This is due to both keen-eared group dynamics and equally sensitive individual listening habits. Despite the emphasis on repetition and maintaining tonal spaces, the music is full of momentum thanks to the tension they create between bounty and restraint. They are supposedly working in a domain where pastiche has become the norm. However, their hybrid is both respectful of history and strong enough to stand on its own. This feat is remarkable considering today’s psychedelic climate. From

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