Stereo Stickman’s Exclusive Interview With Bruce Cohen

If you haven’t yet explored Bruce Cohen’s latest album Four BC, you most certainly should. The story behind it is a unique and interesting one, but more importantly – the music is well worth taking the time out to experience.

We caught up with the artist behind it all for an in depth chat about creativity, inspiration, touring, the future of electronic music, and much more.

Here’s how it went ► http://www.tarockmusic.com/stereo_stickman__bruce_cohen_interview/

(A free mp3 of “Seen” can be downloaded at the end of the interview.)

JamSphere Review: “Bruce Cohen’s Four BC is ambient music that favors abstraction and improvisation.”

JamsSphereBruce Cohen is a founding member of the Philadelphia band, The Reds®, who’s first self-titled produced by David Kershenbaum, showed the band’s impressive blend of Rick Shaffer’s guitar, and Bruce Cohen’s keyboards.  The album was supported with live appearances with such diverse acts as The Police, Joe Jackson, Blondie, The Ramones, The Psychedelic Furs, and Public Image.  Cohen’s solo projects include musical scores for theatrical productions and his electronic album series “One BC”, “Two BC,” “Three BC,” and now the latest 2017 album – “Four BC.”

The liner explains that on this recording, Bruce Cohen returned to his ‘ambient electronic roots, with the slightly added twist of totally improvising every song to fit a self-imposed four minute time frame, with little to no overdubs, and no edits whatsoever.’

Douglas Rushkoff notes in his book that “ambient music isn’t a set of particular sounds one listens to but a space in which one breathes.”  In “Four BC” the layers and washes of sound and music can be focused on or ignored, lazily mind-surfed or instead analyzed.

Never a trite “sound collage”, a problem which plagues so many in this genre, this album has moods, textures and rhythms that lend well to repeat listening.  So you can dig deep or soar to the shore with this exceptional work.

Come equipped with a truly open mind because “Four BC” is easy to dismiss without one.  As improvised music, it shouldn’t be surprising that one needs to experiment in finding the appropriate setting and circumstances for realizing its potential.

It may be as simple as using headphones in darkness; for others, it may need to be experienced in nature during a particular time of year.  But the genius is in there waiting for you.  If you can’t be bothered to put in the effort, then listen anyway as you’ll still find plenty to enjoy in terms of rhythms and sounds. It just more accurate listening is so much more rewarding.

I am a devout listener of ambient/electronic music, and when I played through “Four BC” for the first time, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, because I was so used to the mundane commercial tracks of mainstream artists.  I became instantly attuned to the vibrant, melodic vibrations and flowing wave-forms, and ethereal pings that instilled the vastness of space that was all beautifully, subtly and tastefully filled.

Frequencies are substituted for real soundscaping, as the tracks here, are evocative and extremely pleasant to listen to.  This is music that favors abstraction and improvisation, yet everything sounds well-planned out and accessible enough to hold your attention.

On the album “Four BC,” Bruce Cohen offers us more than mere sonic manipulation.  He looks beyond synth manuals and realizes music that is an inextricable weave of sound engineering, solitary reflection and ambient aesthetics.  Consider the album’s tracks as various degrees of emotion, lingering, and then shifting to another state.  For me, the musical subtlety of “Four BC” is in the impression left, rather than the story told.

∎ Rick Jamm — JamSphere MAGAZINE

fourbc_soundcloud

Tarock Music Releases Bruce Cohen’s “SEEN” Video

fourbc_artworkTarock Music has released a video of Seen track 5 on Bruce Cohen’s new album, Four BC.  

All of the pencil sketches in the video are the work of Cuban artist Emilio Sanchez (1921 – 1999) from his private collection created from 1940 to 1999.  His full biography can be read at The Emilio Sanchez Foundation. 

View “SEEN” on YouTube ► https://youtu.be/SwCTUP-_kM8

And, download a FREE mp3 of “SEEN” on SoundCloud  https://soundcloud.com/tarockmusic/seen-bruce-cohen

 

Tarock Music Releases Bruce Cohen’s “FOUR BC” Album

fourbc_artworkTarock Music has released Bruce Cohen’s 2017 album.

On FOUR BC Cohen returns to his ambient electronic roots, with the slightly added twist of totally improvising every song to fit a self imposed four minute time frame, with little to no overdubs, and no edits whatsoever.

Listen/Buy/ Full Tracks HERE

Download a FREE mp3 of “Seen” on SoundCloud

ALBUM LINER NOTES

 

“Blue Stomp is a polite, solid take on retro sci-fi vibes . . . “

NoiseShaftBruce Cohen’s track “Blue Stomp” is a polite, solid take on retro sci-fi vibes arranged into safe patterns of resilient trance fascinations.  The name of the game is chill, and no black holes worth inspecting are imminent this time, Miss Hawking.

Movement is sanely sacrificed for the establishment of mood.  A well sculpted, yet deliberately isolated sonic structure greets your senses both in the form of the intro, and in the form of the outro.  You are not organic, not machine, but something happened in between.  Optimal effect! A cool experiment on display, that has nothing to do with the subject matter other than the act of courting it from both ways.  Then the track is quick to reveal its character as being assembled from individually thought out parts, and surprises of baffling character are deliberately absent from the mix.

The organic musical backdrop itself is bare-to the-bone enough to summon the classic tint of video game culture as it was raging through the early ‘80’s and ‘90’s.  Did you ever type “Final Signal” and “Moody Breeze” yet into YouTube?  Those were, and still are fun themes, filled with a playfully soul-crushing sense of isolation and irrefutable doom, (trapped in open space comes to mind) moods akin to the one featured in “Blue Stomp” — read on to know more about it.

As hinted, the central melodic idea that ensues at the middle of the composition, invokes a retro sci-fi feel with enough charms in it to soak a pair of ears into it via two consecutive turnarounds.  Cohen’s creative conduct fortunately is experimentive enough to market the lead melody with a harmonious collision-pair on each repetitions, and a nice understanding of the operations of introspective retro sci-fi indeed is observable when the two lines are flirting with each other to the conclusion that you will be inevitably sucked into outer space, and you will have a terrible day indeed, but you still have time to make amends as a legitimate participant in the consciousness ecosystem.  Since the nature of the song is more of a chill-out character with a well established pulsation to it, the track ultimately arrives to its conclusion with the unchallengeable notion that the message was delivered through the more elegant simplicity on auditory display — and such is the case.

NOISE SHAFT BLOG

Download a FREE mp3 of BLUE STOMP on SoundCloud ► https://soundcloud.com/tarockmusic/blue-stomp

Watch the BLUE STOMP video on YouTube ► https://youtu.be/yzFIlmEpr-Y

VERY COOL TUNES Advises THREE BC “belongs in any serious audiophile’s collection.”

Three BC is the third solo album by Bruce Cohen containing 12 tracks of amazingly rich EDM.  This album touches upon the emotional vibrations and will set any dance floor on fire.  The twelve tracks are each filled with fantastic instrumentation and sonic elements that will lift any crowd into a state of trance. Let’s dig into this treasure track by track.

Track 1 “Blue Stomp” is the perfect beginning to a truly great EDM album.  It starts off with a pulsating riff then transforms into a tribal yet atmospheric stomp.

Track 2 “Shoot First” keeps the energy flowing with an airy synth pad to start it going.  The track builds up nicely with rhythmic elements and soundscapes.  Congas highlight the track adding a nice flare to it.

Track 3 “Dead On” lifts off with synth stabs and quirky electronic

sounds then takes you a place that is truly spectacular.

Track 4 “Happy Dog” echoes with epic old school sounds that build into a quirky yet interesting piece.

Track 5 “Witches Brew” keeps the energy high and definitely contains elements that will make you want to play this one over and over.  It’s harmonies are distinctive and classically weave a mesmerizing track.

Track 6 “Just Be Boom” is another interesting track that features dissonance and powerful rhythm.

Track 7 “Or Is It” takes you back in time and propels you into the future all at once.  Check this one out. It’s got some nicely crafted elements in it.

Track 8 “Shadow Dance” pulsates with ecstasy and pumps you up into a trance.

Track 9 “This is the One” has dark sonic elements weaved into a powerful array of sound.

Track 10 “Ask Later” features syncopation and futuristic sonic elements that will build a nice aura of sonic bliss.

Track 11 “Match Me Once” keeps the energy high and will lift you up.

Track 12 “Opus Funkus” is a perfect ending to a great album.  This one features syncopation and elements that are truly unique.

All in all this is a great album by Bruce Cohen and belongs in any serious audiophile’s collection.  We recommend it!

∎ Very Cool Tunes

Download a FREE mp3 of BLUE STOMP on SoundCloud ► https://soundcloud.com/tarockmusic/blue-stomp

Watch the BLUE STOMP video on YouTube ► https://youtu.be/yzFIlmEpr-Y

Indie Band Guru urges it’s readers to ” . . . immerse yourself in Three BC.”

The keyboardist and producer first made waves back in the late 70’s and 80’s with The Reds.  The aggressive punk rock and new wave sound they produced fit the times well and garnered them a lot of attention and a signing with A&M Records.  As the years passed Bruce Cohen continued to make music and has a prolific solo career.  His first solo album, One BC, release August 2009, contains all atmospheric, ambient instrumentals in the tradition and style of Brian Eno and Peter Gabriel.  Cohen’s 2011 solo venture, Two BC, expands on his earlier ambient themes, yet are even more experimental and danceable.

The most recent record, Three BC, changes it up again.  The 12 track album focuses on the EDM and Trance genres.  Cohen attacked the genre different from most artists of today.  He leads with his natural instrument, the keyboard, as opposed to beat first technique made common by the DJ’s and producers nowadays.  The opening track “Blue Stomp” lets you know right away that this will be something different.  The atmosphere is built as noises come in slowly to build up the track.. The full atmospheric approach continues on “Dead On” with keyboard sounds creating a backdrop as the beat comes in to welcome everyone to the dancefloor. The eerie vibe throughout makes for interesting listening.  On the other side of the coin, songs like “Witches Brew” and “Just Be Boom” get the asses to the dance floor immediately with pounding drum and bass creating the energy, while the tweaking keyboards warp the sound through the song.  Experimentation comes in as well on “Ask Later” with odd sounds popping in and out forcing your mind to open wide and accept anything that can happen.  By the time you reach the closer “Opus Funkus” you will be completely spent with the exotic sounds and emotions created by this complete record.  Find yourself a solid hour and a half and immerse yourself in Three BC.  Listen t full tracks on CD Baby ► http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/brucecohen12

  • Indie Band Guru • July 10, 2016

Download a FREE mp3 of BLUE STOMP on SoundCloud ► https://soundcloud.com/tarockmusic/blue-stomp

Watch the BLUE STOMP video on YouTube ► https://youtu.be/yzFIlmEpr-Y