The Cosmic Range is Toronto’s Matthew Doc Dunn, a man who has played extensively alongside psychedelic experimental heavyweights like MV & EE, Sunburned Hand Of The Man and J Mascis. All that experience made Dunn pretty well equipped to make New Latitudes a pretty special-sounding LP. Released by Idee Fixe.
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Multi-instrumentalist Matthew ‘Doc’ Dunn has assembled a sizeable collective of practised musicians from Toronto and its environs, helping him realize his kaleidoscopic vision on this new LP. The ‘Transcendental Rodeo’ -- so psych! -- can number up to 20 heads, although I count 8 players here. Too many to list, sorry ‘bout that.
The record opens quietly; ‘Morning, Ontario’ gently beckons the listener in with muted synths, distant tinklings of piano and bells and fragments of reverb-y, e-bowed guitar low in the mix as waves of ambience wash and increase in intensity before leading into a more cosmic jam that I may or may not associate with modern psychedelia. ‘New Latitudes’ is a jam that builds as it progresses, so that before you realise it there’s a bright, many-coloured party happening in your ears. Bass and organ throb as the drumming becomes tighter and the ghost of Sun Ra hovers with his head nodding in approval. Side A ends with a chill tune for the saxophonist to expand across.
Mad keys and analog electronics tumble and lead side B into ‘Barbara’. Drums and toms roll into ‘Kowboy’, a kosmische jam that stretches its tendrils lazily but still produces awesome moments of loud organ o’er the top of the inert keys, workmanlike bass and groovin’ percussion. Oh and a sax. Suddenly, unexpectedly, a luscious vocal (Isla Craig) appears towards the end, segueing into a gorgeous piano piece. When improvised music works, it really can get the attention of the little hairs on the back of your neck.
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