Cosmic Shuffling – Cosmic Quest
Could any of you have foreseen Switzerland’s rise as a premier producer of high-quality reggae, rocksteady, and ska? It seems highly unlikely. Swiss artists, producers, and record labels have made impressive strides in the competitive music industry in recent years. Fruits Records, the label renowned for their releases from the likes of I Kong, Oko Unuora, Samory I, Cornell Campbell, and The Viceroys, is proof of this. Besides recordings of Jamaican artists, they also released material by homegrown artists like Cosmic Shuffling, the Geneva ska and rocksteady band. After having released a few singles, Fruits Records put out Cosmic Shuffling’s well-received debut album Magic Rocket Ship in November 2020.
At the beginning of March 2023, three black vinyl singles by Cosmic Shuffling were unleashed featuring six tracks, encompassing both instrumentals and vocal tunes. Only one of the tracks of these singles, Hope For Longer Days, is included on the band’s sophomore album entitled Cosmic Quest. Produced by Mathias Liengme and mixed by Roberto Sánchez in true sixties style & fashion, this rocksteady piece is elevated by the expertly played pick guitar and soulful horns. In contrast to their debut album, the band’s new album solely comprises tracks with lead vocals by the band’s lead singer Léo Mohr. The latter’s distinctive vocal may require some accustomization before becoming pleasing to the ear. Musically, each track is stamped with quality all over which will surely delight any fan of 1960s Jamaican sounds. Next to the aforementioned Hope For Longer Days, the album consists of ten diverse tracks, spanning from dynamic ska numbers to beautiful rocksteady ballads. Additionally, this collection includes lively early reggae tunes, with sometimes a bit of 1950s mento infused as can be heard in the lovely sounding By The Rivers. While listening to tracks like the infectious Eclipse and the irresistible Tina, it will be difficult to resist the urge to get up and dance. In addition, it’s an absolute delight to immerse oneself in head bopping rocksteady goodies like Birds Of Spring and the concluding track Dusk Till Dawn.
Similar to the band’s debut album, this fresh collection is set to appeal to fans of classic Jamaican sounds.