Cosmic Mind Warp: Zero Beats Per Minute

cmw_zeroLet’s call this impressionist ambient with a hints of a slightly dark edge. The duo Cosmic Mind Warp lay down a very listen-worthy ride that ranges from perfect spacey drifts to vivid mind-pictures crafted in intriguing sounds. Outside of the errant sound bite that opens “A Swarm of Ghosts” (sorry, guys, it doesn’t work), Zero Beats Per Minute is a smooth voyage. On the soft side, there is the lush and quiet “Fading Into Ether,” the album’s longest track. This is a 14-minute soother in an absolutely classic spacemusic style. Paired with its follow-up, “Zero Mass Particles,” the two create a very deep 20-minute glide. The pads here shift and cross slowly, the tone stays just warm enough and just on the edge of brightness. Conversely, “Inside the Mothership” comes off as cold, mechanical and angular, the remnant chug and hiss of an abandoned craft. Although there are no beats, as promised, the various sounds at work here go about their business in a dedicated pattern–you know, as machinery does–and creates something of an ad hoc rhythm. Close your eyes and look around to take in the details of this alien craft. “Infinite Void” depends on vocal drops to give it a mildly uncomfortable feel. Or perhaps that’s just my own monolingual insecurity at work. Minor chords and static hisses augment the off-putting mood. CMW will play with your head when you get around to “The Space-Time Continuum,” swirling droning pads back and forth, setting your mind spinning just a touch. Great spatial sense here, and once again the duo bring in a vocal sample, torn and distorted, to give a gently dark tint. Zero Beats Per Minute works very well as an ambient listen, particularly in its softer tracks. But this is one you need to get up close and personal with. The depth of sound is excellent, as is the overall dynamic. The music here slowly carves out well-detailed spaces for you to look around with your mind’s eye. So have a look.

Available at Bandcamp.

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