John Rose - "Cosmogenesis" (SpaceForMusic.com, SFM 22001, CD, 2001)
Easily one of my top picks among 2001 releases, Cosmogenesis is the fantastic solo debut by Spacecraft co-founder John Rose. Known for his inventiveness both in composition and in building his own instruments, Rose comes up with a gem here. There are tracks with sequencing and synthesizers reminiscent of Tangerine Dream, there are beautiful piano passages, and everything in between. "Hypnogogia" has a rapid, bubbly sequence and could easily fit on a Spacecraft album. "Gravity," on the other hand, is distinctly different from Spacecraft. Reverberant plucked strings are the predominant sound. It sure sounds like an acoustic guitar to my untrained ear, but as none are credited, it must be a synth, or perhaps Rose playing on the dulcimer. It is light and airy, but still retains a sense of the darkness of space. Most of the tracks are shorter, but a few are allowed to languish a bit longer, such as "Dream of Life." A haunting opening passage eventually gives up ground to a stuttering electronic pulse. Just as it seems this will grow into something, it devolves into a stretch of almost complete silence. It is one of the best uses of silence in a piece of music I've heard. You strain to hear what's there, and to anticipate what might come next. A rapid sequence appears again, faster this time, but just as quickly goes away. Finally, a third sequence emerges. Then the second sequence and the third play off each other, then dark drones and deep space, then the stuttering first sequence reemerges from it all. Rose's use of repeating musical themes and phrases is excellent. The lengthiest track is "A Space Within," which begins in active sequencer mode, sounding much like a loop that Ash Ra Tempel might use. Like a wind-up toy losing speed, it begins slowing down, but as it seems it might stop, it picks up again, continuing at a brisk pace. Then, in an amazing juxtaposition, the latter half of the track becomes a beautiful piano solo, accompanied only occasionally by soft synth strings. Rose's accomplished, delicate playing is full of passion. The effect, particularly after the first half of the piece, is breathtaking. If this is too pretty for Berlin school fans, then cue up the last two tracks, brimming with electronic energy. The closing track, "O.B.E.," is one of the best sequencer-based tracks I've heard, hearkening back to the very best of Tangerine Dream, around the Ricochet era. To be able to go from one end of the musical spectrum to the other with seeming relative ease is a testament to John Rose's abilities demonstrated throughout this strong showing. Very highly recommended.
2001 (c) Phil Derby / Sequences Magazine
"Cosmogenesis" is the third traditionally manufactured CD on the SpaceForMusic label. It is the debut CD of fellow Spacecraft member, John Rose. I have been inspired by John's music for the past 9 years and am pleased to present his finest recording to date on Space for Music. John's sensitivity in the true analog synthesis realm is very apparent on "Cosmogenesis." He has carefully crafted music that is warm and comfortable with Arp and Moog synthesis, yet filled with his compositional expertise that creates a true hybrid sound that is unique to John. His fascination with instrument building and the traditional mountain dulcimer is demonstrated masterfully on this new CD. If you liked the sounds that stemmed from the Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze era, then this will have a familiar feel for you. He bridges the dark and light to bring meaningful music forth that touches the soul. This CD can be played over and over again. As Giles Reaves said "It hasn't left our CD player in weeks." I would have to agree. I feel honored to work on a musical level with the talents of John Rose.
Tony Gerber - Label Head (Space for Music Records)
"COMSOGENESIS" by John Rose (Space for Music Records)
John Rose is a founding member of Spacecraft and an e-music veteran with over 25 years in the genre. "Cosmogenesis," his solo debut, is packed with atmospheres, sequences, bravado and triumph. John's goal has long been to create music to get inside. The double meaning is clear. As listeners get deeper into the music, it gets deeper into the listeners. John compliments his signature electronics with an acoustic piano and dulcimers. Those acoustics take the music over the edge of the lightness of being. John, as Spacecraft fans know, is not about to explore the dark side of the psyche. He is more interested in celebrating the gentler and softer aspects of the being. His pastoral textures create the perfect vehicle for such celebration.
This CD is great for lazy afternoons and for relaxing rest stops on the highway of life. It allows deep listeners to create their own respites. John dedicated this CD to the "loving memory of Josephine Moberly Rose," his mother. She passed away in 2000. She and all your family will be remembered in thought and prayer, John. Thank you for sharing.
Jim Brenholts, author of "Tracks Across the Universe"
John Rose: Cosmogenesis
(Space For Music - 2001)
Stepping away from his Spacecraft crew for a solo spacewalk, John Rose embarks upon his own exploratory Cosmogenesis.
Doing what comes natural, Rose (an electronic musician for 25 years) searches his original nature for the essence of goodness... and finds it.
A sinuously swirling haze leads into the beautiful abstractions of Hypnogogia; this delicate expanse evolves into a more-active realm of energetic pulsations. As synthorchestral floes cross a droning plane, Dawn of Ages Past (2:20) makes for an historical perspective of unfortunate brevity. Acoustic strings plaintively play, resonating into Gravity.
Dream of Life lingers in a world of billowing soundclouds, occasionally overtaken by more-solidified sequences. Axis' jangling strings precede the synthesized streams of A Space Within (18:24); electric guitar strands spiral through the trippy environments, then everything vaporizes before the halfway mark is reached. From this void, twinkling ivories glint within deep, glacial movements.
After those lulling tones, the starward journey of the title track seems downright hectic, though it's not; percolating notes ripple into miasmatic celestial spaces. Opening on some thunder and a little Chopin, O.B.E. closes the disc with its blend of piano notes and wafting e-keys, so pretty it aches. The intensity of its spaciness grows, blasting off before trailing away in sparkling remnants... and finds it.
While synthsounds are the driving force behind John Rose's interstellar flight into Cosmogenesis, other more-traditional instruments are interwoven with skillful craftsmanship and sensitivity. An 8.5 for lovely, gentle stuff.
Space For Music is the source for many similar recordings of spacey synthesis.
--David Opdyke of Ambientrance.org
(SpaceforMusicRecords SFM 22001)
Comprised of eight compositions ranging from three minutes to eighteen minutes, Cosmogenesis is Rose's first solo work for Tony Gerber's Nashville based label. Thealbum is an intoxicating blend of electroacoustic musicality and deep space ambience. This new release represents another step in the process of artistic maturity for John Rose, as commenced with his landmark works with the ensemble Spacecraft. The disc sheds light on Rose's fascination for the avant-garde and more experimental side of his sound design. Both his acoustic and electronic influences combine in a melange of experiences that reach into a very minimal and purely atmospheric approach to sound.
Utilizing the instrumentation he has recently used in collaborative mode seemed to access a particular mood and atmosphere which translates his fascination for this genre in sound but also gives him the perfect ability to moderate his inspiration to an unique level of blending and creating harmonies.
Perhaps while the work requires more energy and attention to absorb, than his collaborative efforts, it presents the listener with a collection of abstract and soothing collage music and truly contains an equally calm and introspective atmosphere to contemplate.Cosmogenesis depicts music and images in almost rhythmless suspension, as Rose lavishly paints poignant, loomIng images with his arsenal of digital electronics. John Rose drinks deep of these delicate platitudes in a music as unpretentious as it is lovingly constructed. Rose lovingly dedicated this CD to the "loving memory of Josephine Moberly Rose," his mother who passed away in 2000. Highly recommended.
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2. Dawn of Ages Past
4. Dream of Life
6. A Space Within