Saturday, March 11, 2017
Cos - Viva Boma. 1976 Belgium
CD reissues: 1997 Musea (France); 2010 Belle Antique (Japan mini-LP)
LP reissue: 2010 Fluide
Cos' second effort is a bit of an odd duck. As an opening move, the humorously titled 'Perhaps Next Record' starts off with a short primitive mid 1970's electronics piece in the Gottsching/Pinhas mold. This is followed by yet another short piece, this time the title track, a tribal African rock work, a style which had gained some popularity in the Northern European underground during this era. Then starting with 'Nog Verder', new keys man Marc Hollander (later to form Aksak Maboul) pulls out his trusty old Farfisa, fuzzes it all out, and basically we now have introduced early Soft Machine into the mix. And yes indeed, this is the album where Cos went whole hog (hippo?) for the Canterbury thing. Once Pascale Son brings forth her unique enunciated scat vocals onto the mix, it finally become clear that this in fact a Cos album after all. Meanwhile none other than Marc Moulin is at the control desk, and oh most certainly he was an influence. There's no escaping those Placebo like deep jazz grooves. And that's your story line for Viva Boma. Somewhere between Postaeolian Train Robbery, Placebo, and National Health, one will discover this album under the blanket. It's a bit rich in sound, not overly deep in thought, and the type of album that's instantly enjoyable for even your dinner party guests.
I bought the Musea CD not long after release in 1997, and it's the only copy I've owned. Comes with their usually great historical liner notes and excellent sound. I should get an original LP at some point, though they are rarely to be found at a fetching price. The Fluide LP looks very intriguing. It appears to be their only release (I see one other cataloged actually), but it appears to be a high quality production with band involvement.