Published May 31, 2017When a band known for jazz-fusion covers of deadmau5, J Dilla and Planetary Assault Systems make an album, expect something flavourful.
Kozmodrum definitely went for taste on their second LP, Gravity, surpassing their 2016 Na Tragu Satellita in both production and sound. Award-winning classical drummer Janko Novoselić refreshed his recipes with heartier helpings of ambient and post-rock. The ensemble of Goran Delac, Elvis Penava, Ivan Kapec and Hrvoje Galler make up his backing band from Croatia, based in the capital Zagreb, and the five together make "organic dance" music.
At its height, it's a marriage of boom-bap bass and staccato snare. Novoselić's compositions layer in his masterful drums throughout, particularly on opener "Jezgra" and in the second half of "Mountain Lion." The only song with lyrics features Croatian pop singer Mario Huljev, who evokes a fortitude in the face of loneliness on "Whisper" in somewhat broken English. Whether his sentence structure is complete or not, though, it's the breakneck pace of the percussion and harp-like synth that drown out the meaning.
A few times in the short but stocky LP, ambient intros deliver the danceable tunes very slowly. The final shimmering "Floating" is beautiful, but not much of a closer. And calling "F109" dance music doesn't make sense; it shines and blooms into "Otok Potok," but the latter could have carried the moveable momentum of "Mountain Lion" onward without the transitional track.
"Mountain Lion" is a near-perfect dish, though, like a childhood favourite made simple and soulful by a master chef. Popping drums and a slow wail explode into a mouthful of sub-bass and chutzpah, as Delac prowls through a bass line that rips your face off and Novoselić carries the beat beautifully — it really is delicious. If there was more of that, and maybe more than only seven tracks, it would be just a little more filling, but Gravity is a satisfying dish nonetheless. (Zona Muzika / PDV Records)