1980 Non Compos Mentis
Cosmic Debris were a band from Oklahoma
City that married electronic sequencer based music with rock
instrumentation such as guitar and drums. Very much like a mixture of
Klaus Schulze's Moondawn with Edgar Froese jamming on top. Or Wolfgang
Bock's Cycles album. Side 1 is made up mostly of 'Spectrum' with only a
brief introduction of Aaron Coplan's generally overused 'Fanfare'. This
is the only side that guitarist Shawn Phillips appears on. And he wails
wonderfully in a psychedelic manner throughout. The flip is more
atmospheric, though the driving drum set is still in place, with
sequencer based Moog, atmospheric sounds, and percussion, recalling
perhaps late 70s Jade Warrior in places. Mixed with Heldon. Cool.
There are no reissues, however there was a time when the band was selling homemade CD-R copies, but we don't technically count those. There's some debate on the date and title of this release. The copyright date on the original LP is 1980. However there are two typed inserts (with my copy anyway - and I reprinted them below this review). One is dated 1.1981 and the other 1.1.981, so we'll presume bad editing on the latter... So the evidence is there that the album wasn't released until 1981, though I'm personally a fan of copyright dates. Depends on the discography site and their rules eh? Based on these inserts, it's pretty clear to me, that the 3.7K title that has recently been appended this album is in reality the catalog number, not the album title. This becomes even more evident once you realize their second album While You're Asleep has 4.6K as a catalog number.
----Here are the two inserts included:
Insert #1 (dated 1.1.981) says:
"Cosmic Debris Biographical Information
Debris was founded in 1977 as an experimental synthesizer ensemble.
From their first performance at the Friends Jazz Festival in July 1977,
Cosmic Debris has constantly strived to bring subtlety, elegance and
control to live electronic music. Cosmic Debris has expanded beyond
strict electronic electronic horizons. In 1979, the ensemble performed
in the fusion jazz format. Growing out of that format, Richard Bugg
(founder of the Debris) and Joel Young (percussionist with the fusion
jazz edition), have gone on to incorporate elements from all musical
areas. "We present the listener with a choice of ever changing
perception of reality". The Cosmic Debris can be heard on Non Compos
Mentis Records number 3.7k"
--- It should be noted that the
above was riddled with spelling and grammatical errors which I attempted
to fix (not that I'm an English ace or anything, but jeesh!)
Insert #2 (dated 1.1981) says:
their debut album for Non Compos Mentis, Cosmic Debris (Richard Bugg,
Shawn Phillips, and Joel Young), have managed to fuse the control
available to modern electronic musicians, with the freedom of expression
that typifies contemporary music. The result is a true meta-language
that express the positive power of emotion and mind. An intelligent
sound that aggressively fuses pulsating undercurrents of raw power with
an intricate interplay of sonorities."
--- This one needed little editing. But who the heck knows what it means?