Cosmograf: Rattrapante-2021.

COSMOGRAF is a progressive rock project lead by the multi instrumentalist Robin Armstrong. The sound is rooted in 70s classic rock with a contemporary and progressive twist.

Robin Armstrong (pictured) plays guitar, keyboards, bass and drums, sings, and records, producing himself and fellow collaborating musicians, in his home studio, ‘The Trees’, self built at the bottom of the garden. The project is now in it’s third incarnation, with a number of talented musicians from the progressive rock community performing and writing on the new album ‘When Age has Done it’s Duty’.

‘Neo prog’ is about as close as you can get to a label but the occasional lapse into straight metal or even classical, often dumbfounds a catch all description. I’ve never been very talented in weaving the genres seamlessly together like ‘Yes’ would do. It’s fairly clear where it’s at though, when you listen to it.

Studio Album, released in 2021

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. In 1985 (12:46)
2. Rattrapante (9:44)
3. I Stick to You (6:52)
4. Memories Lie (8:29)
5. Time Will Flow (12:43)

Total Time 50:34Line-up / Musicians

– Robin Armstrong / vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass

With:
– Chrissy Mostyn / vocals (3)
– Kyle Fenton / drums, backing vocals
– Tommy McNally / spoken words (5)

One thought on “Cosmograf: Rattrapante-2021.

  1. Cosmograf is one of those modern prog rock bands that is releasing consistently excellent material, and yet remains in the shade of many bands that are not necessarily better, or rather, does not get the deserved attention and exposure. Despite this sad truth, this relatively new project has gradually become a very big favorite of mine, and the news of new material are always welcome. The one-man band led by multi-instrumentalist and producer Robin Armstrong released its eighth studio album ‘Rattrapante’ in March of 2021, on Armstrong’s own tiny independent label, called Gravity Dream Music. Ever since he started in 2009-2011, this man has been busy releasing album after album every year or two, and needless to say, the content on the Cosmograf albums is pretty spectacular!
    A strong Porcupine Tree flavor, mixed with some Floyd, and cast through a neo-prog prism would be an insufficient but relatable description of the music on ‘Rattrapante’ (and I would say, this applies for the band overall) – the most impressive aspect of it all, is that Mr Robin Armstrong does the vocals, plays the guitars, the keys and the bass, with a little help from Kyle Fenton on drums and backing vocals, and Chrissy Mostyn on co-lead vocals for one track.

    It could be safely said that ‘Rattrapante’ is a concept album, and the idea behind the whole thing is well described by Robin Armstrong himself: “‘Rattrapante’ is a collection of 5 songs about our interaction with time; we measure it, but yet waste it more, it defines our existence and forms our memories. Some seek to beat it by being the first or the fastest and some can appear to outlive time itself through their achievements? The idea for the album was inspired from my work with mechanical watches. Rattrapante is a French word deriving from ‘rattraper’ meaning ‘to catch up or recapture. A Rattrapante chronograph can simultaneously time 2 events such a lap split time and a final race time”.

    Just five songs comprise this 50-minute record, but every single one is very enjoyable, memorable, and intriguing. Kicking off the album, we have the nearly 13-minute ‘In 1985’, menacing memorabilia about some better times; This one has an anthemic, almost Queen-like character, while maintaining the strong Cosmograf personality. Then comes the title track, a heavier number from the band, and one that has one of the best and most infectious melodies I have ever heard. ‘I Stick to You’, the third song on the album, happens to be the shortest one; It is a beautiful love poem, well-written and charmingly memorable. ‘Memories Lie’ is a more typical Robin Armstrong acoustic number and ‘Time Will Flow’ is the grand finale epic that concludes in the most dramatic possible way this excellent album.

    British prog rock is alive! Cosmograf is the proof, this band/project is too exciting to be missed out on; the mixture of heaviness and gentleness, the masterful song-crafting, the thoughtful lyrics, the puzzling concepts, and the crisp production, are among the facets of not only the band, but also their very good 2021 release ‘Rattrapante’.

    Like

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