Artist: Glenn Morrison
Title: Cosmic Flight
Label: Hope Recordings
By: Carleton Neil | 25 May 2008
  • A. Cosmic Flight (Original Mix)
  • B. Cosmic Flight (Nick Warren Mix)

Glenn Morrison "Cosmic Flight"

Out Now on Hope Recordings

Canadian Glenn Morrison joins the likes of Max Graham and Benz & MD as those bringing the sound from up country. Morrison's work is multi-faceted: his own productions and his collaborations with Deadmau5 show he's not afraid to bust out a melody and his remixes of Local Daddy’s 'Talk To Me' and Prime 33's 'Burn' prove he can work a heady groove or a sultry funk. Now he hits us with another blast of northern exposure with his latest 'Cosmic Flight' out on Hope Recordings with a featured remix from Nick Warren.

‘Cosmic Flight' begins with calm ethereality but bursts into a raging journey. Opening with spacey sustained strings and synths, Morrison's near-tribal percussions percolate into the track while lush windy synths billow and swell to meet cymbals that crash as they plot musical phrases on the sound scape. Hats and a reverberating clap drop into the mix as Morrison quietly builds another layer of fluttering mid-range percussion, but it is masked when the heavy kick drops. Morrison carries the track at this pace momentarily before nixing the kick for a measure at the end to introduce an FM synth. Here the track hits its first breakdown, the percussion abandoning the synths and tribal sounds, which is eroded out of the mix as it is overloaded with reverb.

Leaving this much space was necessary to accommodate the massive bassline that crashes into the mix with percussion in tow. Exiting the breakdown, the track reboots with this new bassline, fading in the percussion again and returning with simpler hats. The bassline splits in two, with one growing into a surging 303 as Morrison turns up the EQ frequencies. The 303 takes over the mix, keeping time with spacious cymbal crashes and barely making room for the disparate synth, but the 303 then rolls to the back as the track enters another breakdown. As the windy synths leave the mix, Morrison clears the way again for the 303, dominating the mix once again as fills swirl and bubble around it in a massive build up. The track launches off this high plateau toward the end of the mix, and as the 303 is buried into a bassline again, the synths and hats venture back out into the forefront of the mix. Hitting one last breakdown, the track coasts to conclusion on a bed of kicks, claps and the fluttering mid-range percussion that only gets to shine at the end of the mix.

While Glenn Morrison's original mix is at times lush and almost organic, the Nick Warren remix is a percussion-based Balearic throwback to some of the progressive trance of the late ‘90s. Opening rather flat with slightly fuzzy kicks, the track quickly realizes itself and expands up with fills that cast off into the dark. More fills clatter and ricochet around the percussion before a crisp snare and frenetic hats fall in line, and Mr. Warren wastes no time introducing short round bassline during a miniature breakdown. A monotone fill nails down the tempo as blocky hats with quick attacks and releases box in the bassline. This becomes the background for the remix and allows Nick to give importance to minimal fills and a synth that warbles ominously as it plays a bit chord progression with the bassline before the remix enters another breakdown of the bassline and shifting metallic fills. The track gains more energy as hats rain down in sixteenth notes and the synths weave with the bassline, reaching still higher as wobbly guitar-like synths cascade down the top of the mix amid fleeting moments of a Rhodes piano and shimmering wood-like synths.

The melodic ride is soon over when the synths drop out and the bassline abruptly returns, decaying fills signifying the end of the track. Through all the fills, snares and kicks, Nick Warren's only recognizable nod to Glenn Morrison's original mix is the use of his spacey synths at the end of the his remix. From there the track exits sans the bassline and kick, only on snares and hats.

While recent years have seen a rise in minimalist electronic music embracing the sound of the machine, Glenn Morrison has no problem returning to the idea of masking the source of the sound, modulating frequencies so that the listener doesn't even know what instrument created it. It can't be coincidence that Morrison is revisiting 303 styles that are reminiscent of Nick Warren GU releases from a decade ago nor that Warren's own remix would find its stylistic place back in the day as well. 'Cosmic Flight' is cinematic style with synths right out of a 70s sci-fi thriller makes it a versatile track if one is creative enough: the first half is gentle enough to start a mix, the latter half powerful enough to end one.

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