In the first Baldelli-fuelled cosmic rediscovery goldrush, record sleuths started uncovering these purpose-made 90s afro-cosmic records. Generally, the consensus was not good - leaning in a new age trance direction and with a heavy reliance on some well-worn sample sources, this was a far cry from Arpadys et al. However, where there's much there's brass and with the benefit of a few more years, some sounds from the oeuvre are feeling a lot more relevant. To which end Antinote have enlisted French 'cosmic nut', Ygal Ohayon, to guide us through the genre. Which he does with aplomb and panache.
Ygal keeps us predominantly in the slower and lower end of the afro-cosmic pool and sensibly avoids the more overtly banging numbers that became increasingly common as the genre progressed. Inspired by DJs like the aforementioned Baldelli and Bepe Loda's giddy wholesale plundering of global music, these producers took advantage of fledgling sampling technology and ran amok with it. There's a heavy, lethargic, drugginess to proceedings that may not be unrelated to the later cosmic scene's reputed drug of choice. Witness Mamukata's - 'Tantawina', a deep, deep dive into heavy arpeggiated moody electronics.
One of the titans of the sound is Austria's Stefan Egger - undoubtedly worthy of his own compilation or three - and he is present here with 'Cosmic Esmerelda'. The tongue in cheek vocals and slo-mo emotive trance pulse adding up to a rather more playful vibe. DJ Fred, DJ Otti & Jaypee's didgeridoo driven honker, 'Indien (sic) Summer' barrels along on a similar trip - big fun for dancefloors and DJs unafraid of a light sprinkling of cheese.
All in all, this is a superb primer into a formerly overlooked genre and shines a light on a fertile period of creativity. TIP!
'Studiolo' is out now on Antinote