18 Mar 2015

Nine Questions with Dr Cosmo's Tape Lab

Nine Questions is a new regular feature on the Active Listener, where we ask our favourite artists nine simple questions and get all sorts of answers....

Today .... Joe Kane from Dr Cosmo's Tape Lab.

What was the first record you bought? 
Phil Spector- Echoes Of The Sixties, an excellent compilation of all the classic Phil Spector hits with a really cool cover featuring a close up an oscillator screen.

What was the last record you bought? 
The Osmonds 'Yo-Yo' 45.

What's one thing about you that very few people know? 
I got very nearly fatally electrocuted aged 17 while playing the riff to 'Tatva' by Kula Shaker in my bedroom. I was using an old Wem Dominator valve amp which I used to unplug by simply pulling on the wire. The live wire inside the plug came to touch the earth wire and made me part of the circuit for just over a minute. My mum saved my life with a dried off rubber hair washing at the sink hose type thing. Quick thinking mum! After a few months of surgery and recuperation I returned to guitar playing and smashed a Les Paul copy through the Wem amp live on stage.

If you could record with any one artist who would it be and why?
I'd like to record with Nic Denholm who now lives in LA. We used to be writing & recording partners in The Owsley Sunshine and whenever we can get together we always easily fall back into our old groove so hopefully we can continue that soon.

Who should we be listening to right now? 
Big Hogg from Glasgow have just made a fantastic psych-folk-jazz LP which is out very soon on Neon Tetra Records. Check it out! Also The Junipers have a new album in the works which is gonna be incredible. Heard a few roughs from that and they never fail to blow the collective-cosmo mind.

Vinyl, CD, digital or cassette? 
I'm a big fan of all four mediums. I use them all daily. Love records though, especially collecting 45's of great songs that I hear randomly. CD's are great because they're still very cost effective for distributing music on and creating a product of your musical art on the whole. Also good if you're lazy and don't want to get up and have to turn a side over. Tape is a wonderful thing and the one I grew up with the most so it always holds a certain magic. You can do cool things with a cassette that you can't do with anything else.

Tell us about your latest release. 
Our next album 'Beyond The Silver Sea' is a sci-fi pop concept album set in an alternate not too distant future. It tells the story of a man experiencing a strange recurring vision in his dreams which is totally outside of his sphere of reference. The dream inspires him to think differently, change his physical appearance and even place in space/time to find a better way of life and escape the confines of his current reality. There's a lot of metaphorical stuff going on and some hidden meanings in there if you take the time to listen and unlock it all but there's a lot of fun and silliness too. It's all underpinned by a fantastic narration from our collaborator Adam Smith who also does the art and is our live band third member so really he's the "third Cosmo".

What's next for you, musically?
We've pretty much completed our third album which is entitled 'Cosmic Tone' and is really the follow up to (first album but second recorded) 'Ever Evolving Lounge'. It's a step on from that album but continues in a similar vein while adding a slightly different more modular kinda song style and less cluttered sound. It's more proggy but still very poppy too I think. It features a 22 minute song suite about the spirit of a dead old guy who possesses a young boy via a pair of pyjamas bought from a charity (thrift) shop which we hope to turn in to a short film at some point. We also have a bunch of other stuff planned which we hope to start work on very soon including a new single called 'Second Generation Imitation' and an electronics-heavy sequel to 'Beyond The Silver Sea'.

What's for dinner? 
Tonight we're having our second full band rehearsal throughout what most "normal" people would call dinnertime. We're featuring Stu "Cosmic" Kidd on drums & vocals, Adam Smith on bass and performance art antics, Paul Kelly (The Martial Arts,How To Swim) on keys/synth, Simon Caveman on percussion and myself singing & playing electric guitar. A rather meaty dish I think you'll agree!