Cesar Merveille & C.S.R. feat. Malik – Kosmos EP | Cosmo Records / Cosmo012
Following the meeting between Masomenos, Vadim Svoboda and M’hamed el
Menjira, Abdessamad Boussahfa and Sanhaji, Cosmo Records is once more
exploring the crossover between Western electronic music producers and
traditional African instrumentalists. This time around the Casablanca-based label
is welcoming a new artist to the fold. Cesar Merveille has been active in the
European house and techno scene for many years, releasing on labels such as
Cadenza and Visionquest while always pursuing his own unique creative agenda
inside and outside the conJines of club music.
Cesar’s recent adventures have found him launching Roche Madame, a label for
his most personal and expressive work. In the spirit of this exciting new phase in
his career, this release for Cosmo Jinds him working with the captivating tones of
Senegalese vocalist Malik Diop across a range of tracks that capture the crosscultural
spirit of Cosmo.
“Kosmos” is a thoroughly delicate production, using intricate threads of
percussion that fall in intriguing, fractured patterns behind the layers of Malik’s
voice. The melodic content follows this hypnotic format, drifting in and out of
earshot in a playful key that speaks to West African traditions even as it
transmits through contemporary synthesis.
Given the subtle quality of Merveille’s original track, Burnt Friedman is the
perfect choice to deliver a remix. As an artist fully immersed in traditional
rhythms from distant cultures, his understanding of the project translates into a
staggering new version rich with complex instrumentation. The diverse sound
palette he deploys breathes with an organic quality rarely found in sequenced
music, naturally reaching the same spiritual plain as the source material while
saying something very different indeed.
On the B-side, Merveille adopts his C.S.R alias for two varying versions of “Tales
Of Africa”. The Jirst version is stripped-down to the bare essentials, using a
snaking set of drums and Jine ripples of bass to power the track while Malik’s
monologue rings out clear in the mix above the groove. While it builds up in
energy with a techno-like intensity, this is still predominantly meditative music
for inward introspection.
The “Breaky Take” of “Tales Of Africa” plays with a more Jlamboyant set of
sounds, using funky drum licks and errant sonic effects in the mix while Malik’s
vocals are sliced up and processed into parts of a more detailed whole. The beat
may be heavier and the sounds more overtly electronic, but Merveille once again
exercises great control in managing many different elements to make a smooth,
As the latest stage in Cosmo’s ever-evolving experiment, this record
demonstrates just how naturally Western artists are absorbing the rhythms,
melodies and structures of African music into their own practices. It’s because of
this that Malik’s voice sounds so natural alongside both Merveille and Friedman’s