From the smoldering intensity of Dirk Jan Müller comes another exuberantly imagined release by his Cosmic Ground Spacemusic project. Focusing on the practice and beliefs of this most cosmic of all genres he ventures through another chimerical dream of attaining the feeling and atmosphere of the original Berlin-School. With a strange beauty that borders on the forbidding his sixth studio album 0110 (68:04) blooms with heat and depth, and then portends doom - ultimately leaving us to search in imaginative absorption. Propulsive in the way a motor winds or a machine cycles, the first four tracks deploy minimalist sequencer patterns that build into dense harmonic forms. The interlocking spell of notes turn in a helix of echoing blips. The tension escalates, and releases in our minds as a cerebral forward motion. Spare and haunted, with electronic sputters that ominously circle in the upper regions, 0110 evokes a closed world - confined, anxious, yet, in its darker moments, thrilling. As we all struggle to keep pace with the machinations of fate, the fifth and final track descends into a sepulchral thrall. Instantly scene-setting, as this low dive reaches our ears and enters our head, the waking mind tries to make sense of a thing designed better for sub-conscious intake. Here Cosmic Ground renders the deadened emotions of 2020 down to a thoughtful stillness - a zone from where we may begin seeking renewal. A penetrating work, at its heedless heights 0110 wants to disconnect us from the plane of this planet. Along a spacey sonic rapture the story finds room to breathe. In its intimate mood of late-night conversations we find music that keeps us up past our bedtime. With its endless starscapes, empty fields and cold wastes reflecting human loneliness, Cosmic Ground shows how this music can take listeners that extra step into the composer's experience. An heir to the Kosmische Musik movement of the 1970s, releases by Cosmic Ground are a frontline chronicle of the interstellar mind. Only when we become acquainted with its vacant zones and sonic abandon, its hopes, secrets and prophesies, and hear its tender complexities in the sideways drift of thought, will we finally find the face of night - the heart of the dark.
Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END - 3 December 2020