THE MYSTIC MOODS – Cosmic Sea [Warner Bros]

Popping up briefly in DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist’s Brainfreeze funkfest who knew the extraterrestrial atmospherics of The Mystic Moods’ ‘Cosmic Sea’ came from such an unlikely source – and by way of such an unlikely string of events?

By laying a little easy listening over train enthusiast and audiophile Brad Miller’s Steam Railroading Under Thundering Skies, KFOG radio presenter Ernie McDaniel not only pre-empted the KLF’s Chill Out by nearly thirty years but directly inspired Miller’s pursuance of a career in stereo-obsessed, effects-laden easy listening as The Mystic Moods Orchestra.

After the runaway success of initial outing One Stormy Night, The MMO’s frequent releases developed into a field-recording-meets-string-heavy-muzak phenomenon (with precipitation proving a persistent feature) that inched ever further into erotically marketed pop and soul territory.

Then somehow, nearly a decade on, amid the overblown psychedelia and hokey country soul of 1973’s Awakening, Miller’s collaborators turned out this stone cold space groove.

‘Cosmic Sea’ might still be scene-setting mood music but thanks to uncharacteristically the low-strung rhythm and uptight keys amid the more regular etheral strings and gospedelic vocals, phased-out drums and subtle stereophonic noodling, the scene is mean, cruising, interstellar funk.

And there’s not a raindrop to be heard.

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