Minimalist techno maestro Murcof, a.k.a. Fernando Corona, summons the monolith on Cosmos. His third LP is an epic exploration of electronically manipulated acoustic recordings featuring crystalline atmospheres and subtle piano chords. Alternately haunting and stark, his almost marrow-eviscerating strings are interspersed with infinitesimal beats. A founder, and until recently a resident, of Tijuana's internationally renowned micro-beat generation, Corona now resides in Barcelona. Previous album Remembranza, which esteemed UK-based Leaf Label released in 2005, was a beautiful, intimate eulogy for his mother. Cosmos, in contrast, is a deft revival of the reverent minimalism of Arvo Pärt's Tabula Rasa, and the Hungarian composer György Ligeti's apocalyptic arrangements that appeared in 2001: A Space Odyssey. There's also a nod to Sunn O)))'s catastrophic drones on the last and most striking track, "Oort." The term "laptop composer" may raise a few eyebrows, and there are lots of over-synthesized knockoffs of analogue masterpieces out there, but Cosmos is an original with universal appeal.
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