The Kosmik Dead: Decadent, depraved - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #116

The Kosmik Dead mid-ritual.
“These are the last of the tapes” says (Kosmik guitar priest) James; the last of the tapes of the exalted the Exalted King are laid out in an inverted crucifix, along with CD copies of Cosmik Tape One alongside a hastily scratchy written sign on paper saying ‘Cosmic Dead (shite)’, “we won’t be making this on tape, again… ever” he says,
“Do you play in the Kosmik Dead?” I asked, shouting over the PA,
“If I ask nicely, they might let me, do you play in the Kosmik Dead?” I stared up, blown away by the madness of it all, at his resplendently hirsute face, I’d play with the Kosmik Deed if they’d let me. Meanwhile, in the future, the Kosmik Deed are playing a blistering and raw tribal set, and all reach enlightenment; for a single moment, all three men completely connect and become more together than they could individually. Meanwhile, after the show, (Kosmik) James says thankyou as I tell him how great the Cosmic Dead were, he says thankyou, and then grabs my camera from round my neck and licks the lens (lenscap on, mercifully), looking at it, he says “ah, Canon! Canon tastes like shit, you want a Nikon mate!” and then rambles off. He seems to have a view of the ridiculousness of it all. It’s Glasgow, it’s the ABC (two this time, the secondary bunker in Glasgow’s on-going domination of the Scottish rock scene) and a mini-date on the music calendar as Miami’s doompop quartet descend on chilly-Jocko land and bring out of semi-hiatus Glasgow’s own scotPsyche pioneers the Kosmik Deed. My predictions of a weird mashup proved correct, the Kosmik Deed played for aroundabout fifty minutes and played a sprightly and tightened version of an hour and a half number; Torche played for just over an hour and played about twenty songs. Nevertheless, the good and the great and the smokers and the dopers and the horny-handed mountain men from the rural sub-basement all turned out as usual to indulge in the orgy of weirdness and watch the freaks lose it. It was also packed fulla hired geeks like myself. I ran into another photog and a writer too; keep rolling, all y’all. And Ye gods! it was loud. I know that’s par but hoo-ee me ears are still whistlin’. Rumours were that it was going to be a very heavy night. The Kosmik Dead were whipping up something of a storm, there was even word from an unconfirmed source that (Kosmik) James had been messing with some very heavy stuff: an exotic brand of speed known as ‘Wallet’.

The guitar priest, the drum shaman and the keyboard pharaoh; watch the freaks lose it.
Natch, it’s the Kosmik Deed, it was an orgy, a veritable sendup of all that was right and true in the national consciousness. I stood against the barrier trying to compose myself enough to adjust the focus on my camera after staggering around the crowd – ripped, torn, shredded, stoned – good people. The set was a single moaning bleating bombing run, a convey of truly heavy propeller-driven stuff arcing right overhead. (Kosmik drum shaman) Julian led the charge with a Mongol horseback unit hidden in his percussive places; the axe wielded by (Kosmik) James is always vital, his gee-tar tuned to somewhere around Hall of the Mountain Grill but played like Bardo Pond really got on top of him; but during this particular ritual (Kosmic keyboard pharaoh) ‘Lu-his Khuk’ was leading the ayahuaska ceremonial. The absence of (Kosmik bass guru) Omar did not impede the ritual, or the passage beyond human form and into gaseous vapour and the subsequent heavy-water reintegration into a palpitating pounding mass on stage just as the song (and the set) drew to a close. All stood in ceremonial positions in a triangle, the only one facing the crowd was (Kosmik) Julian, with eyes glazed over and periodically sipping from a beer in true John Bonham waiting for his turn on Stairway style. My professional photog voice is pissed at (Kosmik) James for spending the whole set standing just out of his spotlight, but the spirits he was channelling… phew dude! True be-stringed monsterous motherfuckery leaping hither and thither, yon and fro about the stage, a dark bedraggled beast too infrequently seen in these parts darting between the three men, always half-hooded in shadow and inconspicuous; he may not have been standing in the light for my camera, but the radiant flames he was generatin’ more than made up for it. Of course it was (Kosmik) ‘Lu-his Khuk’ who led the ritual, standing tall and his keyboard holding forth both vibration and sound to almost unfathomable levels of depth. I could feel the weight of the old-fashioned diving helmet on me as we descended further and the water pressed in on the sides of our tiny pressure vessel more and more until his keyboard playing was all that was keeping the laws of physics at bay. Together the ritual swelled us each to the size of a planet and allowed us to pass through the eye of a needle. It was superb, uplifting, important, frightening, deeply moving, enlightening; a moment of nirvana in a dark attic in Glasgow as the nation’s foremost Hawkwind tribute band enslaved us all for their unknowable sonic magic.

Torche moving mountains
After being blasted into Orbit aboard a Soyuz and left to float in limbo desperately trying to take photos while all about me my capsule crumbles, Torche (Miami’s very own Mammoth Mammoth… but Torche came first so I guess Mammoth Mammoth are Australia’s Torche without the pop pretensions, or something) are an appealingly straightforward blast. The set moves at a million miles per hour and doesn’t even consider stopping ‘til the sheer volume has given ye the true 360 Linda Blair at least once. I was standing front and centre next to the amp stacks and I swear I could hear the whole thing through the floor. The set is a totally different beast to the one the Kosmik Deed summoned, making their pairing sublimely weird. Torche’s set is built of the now-classic doom-pop thunder rock they’ve been purveying consistently since their debut; songs so short and punky they had to be collated into marvellous vibrant high-volume collages. The energy was incredible. After being down in the sweatpit trying to take the shot that would sum up this madness, I retreated to the back, and found, then occupied and then squatted just far enough so’s my tinnitus didn’t get any worse but I could still watch and snap as I saw the freaks lose it. 

We're hired geeks, the Enemy.
Kosmik Deed’s rituals continue apace, they’re prolific like all those psyche motherfuckers, just like Bong and Gnod; so expect plenty more things and keep them dialled in on the intergalactic airwaves. Torche are midway through their UK/Europe tour and if you’re a fan of their doompop, rest assured it is lovingly re-enacted in their bright, beautiful and blistering stage show. I didn’t get a true interview with the Deed, guess they were too busy blowing minds and tripping planets but they assure me ominously, that I’ll get my shot soon enough.

Torche’s new album, Harmonicraft is available from all the usual suspects, and all the details are at their website.
The Kosmik Deed commune with the living mainly through their bandcamp, through which there’s already a nuts amount of stuff to get yer teeth into, and a buncha it is free too. So step up and receive.

Attended, photographed and written under duress by Steven.

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