By: Dream Chimney
The following interview was conducted in January 2023
Listen to the interview
It's a little tricky to ask questions without knowing who you are. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
There are two of us behind the Cosmologist, but we prefer to work in the shadows.
How long has The Cosmologist been about?
Our first release came out in 2012, where I met the other half of Cosmologist in Manchester through a mutual friend. We just clicked and our musical tastes aligned, we thought working together would be fun.
Set the scene - Were you making music before The Cosmologist was born, what kind of stuff were you making?
Yes, we both released tracks separately from the early 90's onwards under many guises/ names. I was releasing stuff from deep, percussive house, downtempo dub, as well as tracks for peak time dancefloors. LL worked with The Durutti Column and releasing club friendly tracks on Eastern Bloc.
Have you been a DJ over the years, and where could we have seen you playing?
Only very occasional house parties now, but I came out of the Pirate Radio scene in the '80's, and following a year in Tenerife, played clubs like Flying, Full Circle, Shave Yer Tongue, Menace, Gosh etc.
If you walked up to the door of 'the' club in your city, would they know who you are?
I just recently moved, so dipping in and out of the Brighton scene at the moment.
Who would you cite as the biggest musical influence in your life?
Musically it's Leroy Burgess as he spanned so many scenes, and as for DJ's, Andrew Weatherall kept it fresh for decades.
What kind of tracks might we hear in a Cosmologist set today if you were playing?
Pretty broad church, Soul, Jazz, Boogie, Disco and House Music.
Do you spend much time Shazam-ing? How do you listen to new sounds?
Still like the odd afternoon spent digging the crates.
On looking at your release history Volume 4 and is one of my all-time fave rare grooves. You haven't tried to hide the original, more emphasised its most euphoric parts. It's quite a record, right.
Some records are perfectly formed, and that's certainly true of Flowers. Slight modification rather than a full-on reconstruction.
It's kind of hard to put you in a box as musically you span soulful grooves, nu wave, post punk, island vibes. What do you think about musical boxes and where do you think you sit?
I think one of the refreshing things of the better nights is the lack of pigeon holing, and the fact you get to hear a wider spectrum of music. In old money that might be described as the Balearic spirit but is a return to the pre house era where things were less rigid.
As an edits label, do nerves ever come into the creative/ release process. Do you spend a lot of time thinking about the original artists?
Yes, is always a consideration and we aim to treat the tracks with respect. There is the pressure of re-interpreting these hallowed records, you want to do them justice and open them to new ears.
Why do you think edits are so big? They undoubtedly are in huge demand. Why do you think dancers/ listeners enjoy edits? Those who know the tracks and those who are hearing it for the first time.
The remix is an artform in dance music and has always taken familiar records and added a different slant. Hip Hop was disco modified for the Bronx, House did the same thing in Chicago. Techno was influenced by Jazz and electro, so music always borrows. Edits are simply an extension of that, and when done well, put the jigsaw back together differently to form a new picture.
On Cosmology Vol.5 the A side touches on a cult nu wave cut. What's your history and story with this track.
It was on my wants list for a long time as it was a Rampling secret weapon-once heard, it was never forgotten. We felt it was due a
An edit of a Fela Kuti track is a brave feat. This track has been reworked before, right? Talk us through what you did to the original?
It has been done a fair-few-times. With our version, we kept the afro feel and essence of it, but introduced electronic elements to take it to a different set of DJs.
What do you think Fela would say, do you think he would like it?
That's hard to know, but you hope that all the OG artists would give their seal of approval
Who are the DJs you would love to hear playing your music? Who is your ultimate DJ at a party?
The aforementioned, Andrew Weatherall, was a big supporter of all the early Cosmologist tracks, and Gilles Peterson is playing the new Fela, so we are chuffed with the DJ support we had, from DJ's we admire greatly.
Are there plans for Cosmology Vol 6 already in the making?
We don't tend to rush into them, but plans afoot to add to the ad hoc schedule…
What does The Cosmologist like to do when he's not making hot cosmic edits?
Time is tight, but music, film and reading are always opening new doors.