Rhythm Of Paradise - Pleasure Zone (Cosmic Rhythm, 2020)



Dream House comes of age once more as the Cosmic camp serve up more intoxicating audial delights for the warm summer nights.


In this day and age, we are blessed with a multitude of superb deep house. From across the spectrum, there is a dizzying array to choose from, more so now that the genre has mellowed and been re-injected with contemporary passions and historical throw backs. There is as much take from past sensibilities as there is with modern day takes on the genre, where the past rings true as much as how we consume and create music today. More so, the tunes that remain exchangeable with times go by provide us with that key to past doors, areas of music we never got to experience but now feel the urge to explore and delve deeper. Its often quite rare that the vibe of one singular label is able to inherit the mantle from the previous generation, enabling the DNA of past scenes to recreate all the magic that can be found within musical history. Not just by tinkering with the sounds, but really studying it, a level of immersion that goes beyond to delve into what the tones achieve, how the textures induce a level of euphoria, why the progressions work so sublimely as they do. When listening to singular threads of labels discographies, its brilliant when it all flows together, when the mindset is truly together, looking to achieve a collection of releases that as individually bold as they are collectively cohesive. Much like how it was in the past, labels put their heart on their sleeve, attempting to carve out their own slice of the electronic landscape, where their style truly has a voice and a weight to it. As a result, the music becomes so refined, refined to the point that people who want that specifics in regards to playing a set or just listening at home, they know exactly which label they must head for. Like with many labels, house appears frequently, but the diversity means that some might appeal when others may not. But the few who dedicate themselves wholly to it always conjure up the magic.


When it comes to warmth, joy and immersiveness personified, you need to look no further than Cosmic Rhythm. The natural successor to such dream house labels like Vibraphone, Free Zone, Interactive Test and MBG International, to name a few, the Bari based label has since 2017 conjured up of the most impressive of musical resumes, where we begin to appreciate deep house and dream house in a new light. Each EP brings another side and character to the body of work, consistently re working the formula that gives over sunny, dreamy and flowing house music, repackaged each time by each contributor to provide original and wonderful experiences. For any deep house fan, its a go to label, with the quality of tunage always extremely high, along with being applicable to many a context or mood. Whats more, the label feels like a real self contained unit, with various family members offering up new servings under different names, or involving other producers who wish to buy into the warm brilliance that lives within the heart of Cosmic Rhythm. The identity which swells from the label is so infectious, with listeners always in know of what might come next but always delighted by the consistence excellence and evocative tones that always jump from the music. With so much goodness to choose from, here are some selected highlights, although they all come across as masterclasses of deep, deeeep house, each record exuding a colourful and vibrant character. These include the excellent 'Sotterranea' EP by Loss of Gravity, from 2017; the 'Self-Control' EP by the always immersive Rydm Sectors and the truly beautiful 'Now I Feel' record by Cosmic Garden, both from 2018; the immersive and bold 'Voyage' record by KETAMA from 2019; and the fast paced banger that is B.U.M's 'Feel Alright' EP, also from last year. With each record, we become more intuned with the music, aligning ourselves with its evocative landscapes and summery infused atmospheres, where the feelings are always pure and the passions constantly simmering. Its house music that represents the contexts where dreaming and joy collide, be it under a setting sun or deep in the club. Its for everyone, everywhere, any time, any place.


And now we arrive at one of their latest releases, Rhythm of Paradise's third effort on the label, 'Pleasure Zone'. All the classic quality remains, as to be expected, as we take a further dip into the vibe zone, where the bass lines abound beneath a sea of distant simmering synths. Four cuts that all give over a different part of the night, from the after glow to the exuberant beginnings, Mr Paradise has you covered on all bases. So lets begin!


First up comes the title track, and the drums signal the beginning of proceedings. The drums are extremely uptempo, fast burning hi hats interplay between the kicks, the percussive elements on top perfectly balanced. The bass then moves dynamically within the beat, finding its spot perfectly within the ever groovin' beat. Then, the soft pads slide into view, being allowed to move on through the track for a few moments. The kicks move away, the percussive features on top now becoming more expressive by the minute, with the beat allowed to breath on its own for just a moment before it is joined by the most bountiful of pads. These only last for a brief encounter, as the track draws our focus back to the bass and the drums, complete with sexy vocal samples that draw us further into it all. The keys from the intro return, with this arrangement playing out some more, with the deep set keys emerging from beneath. Its a masterclass in softly toned house, with the dynamics keeping us constantly moving between the lines, the song teasing us into the big melodic break that rather than being immediately, is drawn out to maximum effect. Fuck yeah. Next comes 'Bring the Back', and we begin with the drums once more, with warm nature sounds to boot. The swells begin from afar, underpinning the considered drums, crafting this vivid picture of natural flows, movements through the landscape early in the morning. The song is bathed in an ethereal glow, the elements having this lovely feel to them, as the bass kicks in to help us open our contently closed eyes. The pad in the background keeps the mood going, as the drums and bass take moments away from each other, and this is when the chordal switch up begins. It moves the song away from the quiet hum of nature and into the city, a contextual change that is crafted to perfection. From here on out, its the light touches that make the difference, subtle switches in texture and percussion that move with such craft and attention to detail. By this point, we have already given ourselves over fully to the track, we are very much within this world. Dreamy.


Up next comes 'In My Mind', and the drums set the scene once more. The pattern begins to craft a spacious feel, where the room between layers and tones is grand and opulent. This structure means that when the arpeggio synth line swings in, and the slammin' bass line, it all just makes sense. Suddenly the track is full of vibrancy, the nature of the lines and sequences complimenting the energies of the drums perfectly. As the hypnotic loop commences, the quick switch up then gives over the wondrous chords that dive in and out of view, floating for mere seconds before fading away into the backdrop. The second time they come round, its a real delight, the dynamics of the track flowing to such a powerful extent, where we get to know pretty much all the aspects of the tune, the ins, the outs, the beauty, the grace. To finish up, we have 'Pieces of a Dream', and the final pieces come together for this one. The drumming starts off quite sparse, the kick only having a single cymbal for company, but there is something brewing in the backdrop. The bass suddenly moves through the track, as this signals the introduction of new percussive elements to emerge from underneath. The movement through the lines is smooth, so smooth you almost don't notice the flute line swimming through this bed of liquid bliss. This begins the harmonic rise of the track, as all manner of chordal arrangements emerge from the background. Its quite beautiful really, and as the track hits its full stride its something to behold. The nature of its character, the exuding afterglow of soul, the pairing of the lines with the expressive chords, its fucking majestic. A fitting end to a record that hits the pulse so effortlessly, four cuts that represent the label so brilliantly, adding to the riches that deep house has to offer.


There are moments here that take the breath away. It might be the little moment when the drums loosen up a bit, only to multiple a moment later. It could be the time where the chordal arrangements recede, only to pop up later as a natural impulse, it could be the immersion in the atmosphere of joy, a connection that remains throughout the record. The heart contained here, its deep house for the new age, a package of tunes that will continue to give over to us for a lifetime. The term gorgeous comes to mind, but that might not even do the record justice. An absolute pearl.


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