4 Sep 2014

Album Review: The Cosmic Analog Ensemble "La Fonte des Glaces"


Reviewed by Nathan Ford

The Cosmic Analog Ensemble is a bit confusing to get one's head around. Once you've gotten used to the idea that this ensemble (and it really sounds like an orchestra) is all the work of one man - Nairobi based multi-instrumentalist Charif Megarbane, you need to come to terms with the geographical incongruities of what's being presented to you. This music may have been physically birthed in Kenya, but it's heart belongs in Italy, specifically the Italy of the 1970s giallo / library era.

Megarbane immerses himself completely in the vintage musical paraphernalia of the time and is obviously having a ball in his analog playground here. Equally as obvious are his skills as a composer, with the title track "La Fonte des Glaces" in particular having the off kilter, melodic charm of Morricone at his best, and a playful giallo bassline promising something sinister and sexy.

There's plenty more where that came from too. In fact, the main strength of "La Fonte des Glaces" revolves around the fact that it offers so many different moods over its playing time - unlike the library LPs that its inspired by, which by their very nature were recorded to offer multiple viewpoints of the same mood, rather than the variety contained within this tome.

"La Fonte des Glaces"is one of many releases from Megarbane (all available here) - I've chosen this simply because it's one of his most recent releases, and because I spotted a recommendation for it from Orgasmo Sonore's François Riendeau, who is basically my guru in such matters. Further investigation reveals that there are any number of other starting points you could use to enter The Cosmic Analog Ensemble's world - all of which are equally addictive.

Free download right here:

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