Cosmo Frequency is the keyboard duet of Paul Martinson and Brent Vincent (with vocals here and there by Lisa Wegener), and Soundtrack to Life wends through its opening trio of songs with an increasingly magisterial progrock air, harking back to Vangelis' Chariots of Fire as sieved through Jean-Michel Jarre, Eela Craig, and just a bit of Camel. However, these two guys were also party-cat DJs, obviously of the chill vein, and know a good beat when they create one, thus Classic Story (Light Years Away) picks up a dance beat before floating out among the stars, following again in Jarre's footsteps but also later Tangerine Dream and the side pocket of dance hall / rave musics propagated for the planet-eyed, latterday, cosmic kid offspring of the Boomer generation…'n thank God the more recent generations have picked up on that instead of the gawdawful bass 'n drum mode.
There's also a very strong air of a short-lived series of releases in the prog/New-Age vein that Miramar Records started out with: Amin Bhatia, Quintana & Speer, Pete Bardens, John Serrie, that sort of thing, though much of Soundtrack surpasses a good deal of what made it to vinyl in those days. There's greater weight and gravity here, more palpability, a greater degree of interwoven narrative melodics beneath the main themes. Chillaxin' is a great example, a song that starts out light and dancy and then gets ever more thick, dense, and complex. Froese, Franke, and Bauman will be quite quite satisfied in hearing this cut alone.
And I have to add that Martinson and Vincent handle balladic materials, as in Canyon Chant, just as literately as T. Dream achieved in their Canyon Dreams. I've hiked to the bottom of that outrageous Park nine times, it's one of my favorite places on Earth, and Chant catches the beauty of a day purpling into evening after one of the park's famous storms very well indeed. World of Light then alights between a Jon Anderson solo LP, one of those way cool narrative concept albums like Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds or Planet P's Pink World (even touches of Andy Pickford's much neglected Replicant), and a latterday Mike Oldfield enterprise with energy, mellifluity, and grace, one of several high points of the CD. A beautiful song to be sure, quite impressive, and perfectly engineered for that final top layer of absolute professionalism.
There are a few spots where the music does not quite reach to the level of the overwhelming majority of the CD, where it needed just a trifle more thought in the process, but those few instances are so minor that I'm not even going to bother citing them, heart and mind at present captivated, ears eager to replay the disc again. Be assured of this much, though, Cosmo Frequency is already a force to be reckoned with and will only mount ever higher in the coming years…as this is just their debut release. Whew!
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles