Brand new three-track EP by experimental electronic artist Sheer Zed. Cosmic Meditation is inspired by personal meditation rituals and vivid dream working. Simon Tucker reviews.
Meditation and dreams have been inspiring artists for centuries. Some artists have dived into the subconscious via the aide of narcotics whilst others have adopted the practices that us in the West were unaware of. Self-discovery is an important tool in a humans understanding of themselves and their place is in the universe and artists have mined these thoughts as inspiration in various ways. For this EP, Sheer Zed was inspired by a session of meditation and chanting. During the session he experienced an intense vision which he then quickly drew on a pad and the result is the cover that accompanies this release.
Musically, Cosmic Meditation is not as “new-age” or light as the title may suggest. It is a deeply immersive experience that travels the gamut of progressive electronic music making the listening experience an incredibly rewarding and thrilling one.
Opening with the title track, Cosmic Meditation lays you down gently, calming all thoughts and sharpening the focus. As we embark on its ten minute-plus running time layers are quietly introduced. The bass starts the engine and develops an hypnotic groove before synths slowly start to add a sense of discordance and thrilling darkness. This is a tribal music that can be enjoyed on your own in a darkened room or as a communal experience slamming out of a sound system in a sticky-sweat basement club. This is music to rejoice in even if it is the last dance you have before civilisation crumbles.
Peacock Epoch twists the skull further. Grinding and buzzing synths swarm over your head as the track transports you to a world where around every corner there may lie danger or there may lie ecstasy. Showing a kinship with the early days of dubstep (in attitude not sound), Peacock Epoch is a gritty, insidious beast that gets the hair on the body standing to attention. In moments it may be overbearing and may choke the oxygen out of your system but with Sheer Zed’s talent for arrangement it never once gets too much.
The final track on the EP, Black Moth again shows Sheer Zed’s gift as an arranger and also his patience as a producer. It never rushes to get to another section instead each part is allowed to breathe and develop at its own pace. Sheer Zed gives the listener time and space to acclimatise themselves to his world before taking in the various kinks in the road. Black Moth is as perfect example of this as it at first seems quite abstract and skittering before we reach the seven minute mark where a sudden burst of warm energy cascades out, rolling and tumbling like you are on the edge of the beach watching the tide approach you. Its a sensation of inner peace and one that invokes a sense of how small we are when compared to this wonderful universe we are so fortunate to exist in.
Cosmic Meditation is an extraordinary listen. Its way with structure and nuance allows the listener to travel on their own journey, finding their own inner thoughts never forcing a sensation or feeling but more like a guide that holds your hand and helps you find your way. Sheer Zed is also clever enough and involved in the practice of meditation to such an extent that he never patronizes you by saying that these journeys of self-discovery are easy and full of right-on musings and light. To go deep inside yourself you must expect a few dark sections, you must face a few frightening truths but if you embrace these thoughts and accept them then the rest of the journey and your personality itself can make you a finer and more in-tune human being. Cosmic Meditation is a vital release and a journey many would do well to venture on.