23 Oct 2017
Reviewed by Nathan Ford
Interesting one this. In the mid nineties the Psi-Fi label released a stash of Krautrock albums on CD which were purported to originally have been released by the Pyramid label, with Cozmic Corridors' self titled 1972 album being among them. There was a lot of talk at the time as to whether these were genuine seventies albums or whether they'd been put together as fakes at the time of their mid nineties release. The fact that no-one seems to have been able to trace any of the original seventies Pyramid pressings of any of these albums seems to provide the most telling evidence in this case. Although "Cozmic Corridors" does also claim to feature Mythos drummer Hans-Jürgen Pütz on percussion, so maybe someone should ask him.
Either way, Guerssen's Mental Experience offshoot label has seen fit to rerelease "Cozmic Corridors" on vinyl (or release it for the first time on vinyl depending what side of the fence you're on), so that we can re-evaluate it and judge it on its musical merits exclusively, which is what I intend to do here.
If this is a fake (which admittedly seems likely), it's an exceptionally good one. Musically there's nothing going on here that would have been incongruous in 1972, in terms of influences or instrumentation. And more importantly, it's a really great album. Krautrock isn't the most user friendly genre, but "Cozmic Corridors" is a really inviting, easy to digest album, which is a little unusual as it's also a very moody piece of progressive electronic / kosmische music.
There's plenty going on in these five mostly lengthy pieces. Built on a bedrock of keyboards / synths (Moog and Rhodes feature prominently) there are some compelling forays into cinematic, gialloesque horror score sounds ("Dark Path", "Daruber"), organ drones reminiscent of Terry Riley, and ritualistic chants which give this a dark, meditative, occult atmosphere that I found irresistable.
Certainly fans of Ash Ra Tempel, Popol Vuh and Emtidi are encouraged to investigate this immediately, as are fans of the Ghost Box label who will find the textures here evoke the same sense of comfortable but uneasy nostalgia that artists like Belbury Poly specialise in.
Vinyl, CD and digital (as well as full stream) are all available here:
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