The Cosmic Arc is headed up by German musician Tibor Fredmann, who I had previously been acquainted with through his duo project with Sigi Hümmer, The Cosmic Garden. On Feed Your Head, multi-instrumentalist Fredmann utilizes synths, mellotron, sitar, electric and acoustic guitars, piano strings, percussion, drums, voices, and field recordings, along with assistance from saxophonist Michael Hornstein and UK singer Mia. The promo sheet describes the music as combining “the influence of the pioneers of German electronic music (Kraftwerk, Can, Tangerine Dream, Popol Vuh, Amon Düül) with ambient, art-rock and space rock influences”. That’s a pretty good description but doesn’t begin to communicate the variety of influences that come together all at once on this album.
The title track opens the set, sounding like a more rock oriented take on the early Tangerine Dream sound, plus Kraftwerk styled robotic electronics and melodies against an icy electro rhythmic pulse. Radiant Meteor Explosion starts off as 1980s minimal electro-pop with a deep space symphonic edge, later adding a cool funky groove. When The Days Get Dark features heavenly drifting and swirling keys, winding and wailing efx’d guitar lines, jazz-in-space sax, and Mia’s impassioned chants, against robotic dance rhythms. Sun King sweeps the listener off into dreamy, droney, meditative, yet rhythmic floating space, with celestial symphonics, ethnic percussion, and blissful song-like guitar leads. Organic consists of multiple layers of hypnotic space waves and drones, seductive wailing guitar lines, rapid-fire, off-kilter yet strangely rhythmic electro patterns, and Mia’s cavernously efx’d chants. Into The Matrix traverses through multiple intensely cinematic deep space themes. Ammersee is a quietly understated sax driven spaced out lounge-jazz piece. Achtung Baustelle is simultaneously tribal and robotic, rhythmic and dreamy-drifty, like Kraftwerk in floating electronic space with a dose of trippy grooving tablas plus chill-out grooves. And Transmission Love is a harmonious blend of jazz-in-space, avant-world music, and high powered dance floor rush.
The beauty and allure of Feed Your Head is the diversity of influences that all come together so seamlessly. This is one of those albums that can only be absorbed over multiple listens, as it reveal new bits, pieces and treasures with each subsequent spin.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz