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John Rose
(Space For Music Records)

John Rose is not only a member of Spacecraft (whose recent Cybersphere is also a nice, minimal musical trip), but apparently he's been creating music for well over a quarter of a century and has built his own instruments to help create the moods that are his newest release. Like his other group Spacecraft, and like all the music I've heard thusfar on the Space For Music label, Cosmogenesis is a slowly evolving trip through meditative places.

One of the things that sets him apart from the other group that he's a part of, though, is that he employs the use of more organic instruments mixed in with the layers of keyboards. The different plucked instruments add another layer entirely to the music that would otherwise drift completely into the stratosphere. With this release and previous by Rose's other group, the label is (and already has through MP3 disc sales) carving out a nice nitch in the genre.

The main instrument on the album, though, is still the synthesizer, but fortunately it is used in enough different ways to keep things interesting. The album opens up with multiple layers of it on "Hypogogia," and once things get going and the water-like sounding layer is added about one-third of the way in, you may find yourself wondering if you're listening to a track off the From Within series by Richie Hawtin and Pete Namlook. It's a very nicely progressing opening track, and soon drifts into the ambient wanderings of the short second track "Dawn Of Ages Past."

It's the third track where Rose encorporates a more standard instrument for the first time, and the layered, plucked strings tend to make things drift into a slightly more New Agey feel, but never quite drift over into Fresh Aire territory. From there, the album goes to haunting (on the long, more minimal "Dream Of Life") to almost algorithmic progressions ala Tangerine Dream on both "A Space Within" and the very excellent album-titled track of "Cosmogenesis." The closing track on the disc begins with a piano piece from Chopin before fading into a lovely closing of layered synth chimes and chorus vox. As mentioned above, this release is probably best for putting on in the background while getting some things done, or simply spacing out (sorry, I had to make the reference once) to. In fact, I loaned it to a friend who has a Yoga studio and it went into regular session rotation. As the label says, it's music that explores open spaces, and this release is no different.

Rating: 6.5