CD review

Various artists – “Door to the Cosmos”

Various artists – Door to the Cosmos 
(On The Corner. CD review Amy Sibley-Allen)

Door to the Cosmos can only be described as a tremendous 24-track compilation album from the innovative and exciting left-field imprint On The Corner. For their 10th full album release they have gone all out to honour their adventurous, Miles Davis-esque ‘call it what you want’ philosophy. With over 30 artists featured on the album, from long-standing label contributors to those new to the On The Corner family, all are devotees to the curation of future sounds – melding ancestral music with club culture and pushing genres.

One of the stand-out tracks from those new to the label is Ariwo’s Flameback Dance. The London-based quartet features Iranian electronic composer and producer Pouya Ehsaei, the outstanding Cuban percussionists Hammadi Valdes and Oreste Noda and trumpeter Yelfris Valdés. Originally forming to collaborate for electronic music festival Manana//Cuba in 2015 they have since produced two exceptionally well-received albums. Recorded during the height of lockdown and mixed remotely by Ehsaei, Flameback Dance, at nearly seven minutes long, elevates the spirits to the highest heights, with a soaring, free-spirited brass line over mesmerising drum rhythms and modular synths.

Also absolutely not to be missed is the debut track from London-based interstellar jazz trio Edrix Puzzle, a new project from established percussionist and producer Nathan ‘Tugg’ Curran, bassist Tom Mason and bass clarinettist and alto saxophonist Martin Slattery. Their track Jonny Buck Buck is a fine mix of breaks, a heavy bass line, percussion and synths under a subtle yet beautiful brass melody – a sound reminiscent of Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi.

Contributions from label regulars include remixes of original tracks from Collocutor, the modal and spiritual jazz ensemble led by inspiring composer and saxophonist Tamara Osborn – with new spins on Everywhere Live at TRC by Black Classical and Lost And Found by Afrikan Sciences. Collocutor also teams with poet Tenesha the Wordsmith for Yemaya, a beautiful fantastical ode to the Ocean Mother Goddess – remixed by DJ and producer Rebecca Vasmant.

The album’s title, a nod to the afro-futurist jazzer Sun Ra’s infamous chant ‘dare to knock at the door to the cosmos’, is the perfect invitation to delve into this vast celestial journey of sound.

LINK: Preview and purchase the album

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