Thursday, June 7, 2007

Cos-Viva Boma,LP/CD,1976/1996+Swiß Chalet,LP,1979,Belgium

With this second album, Cos still has half of Belgium laughing because of the artwork depicting Flemish grandmas. Although Loos was gone by this time, he is replaced by Marc Hollander (future Aksak Maboul) and Lonneux (ex-Recreation) takes the drum stool, but Dartsch still participates to the album. Then feeling is even more Canterbury-esque and the progression from the debut album is awesome. Marc Moulin (from the then-defunct Placebo) is the producer of the album and also contributes some killer Fender Rhodes on two tracks.
Opening electronic pulses will startle you if you were familiar with other Cos works, but this is a very brief moment, but another surprise awaits you on the following title track with its African percussions. Further Still (Nog Verder ) is a splendid slow Fender Rhodes-based track soon picking pace to end-up like a Weather Report-like funk. Boehme just funks along with sometimes-weird KB sounds startling you. The first side closes with the lenghty Flamboya, with Pascale Son making sweet love to Moulin’s moog and Hollander’s Rhodes, and soon the fuzzy keys send you flying across the channel to the Kent County. Clearly the first side’s highlight, this track holds some of the best Wyatt-like scatting I have heard outside himself.
Son’s opening Arabic influenced-vocals are a startling wake-up–and-pay-attention call especially when Schell pulls in one of those mystical Santana-like guitar solo just after it. The lenghty Idiot Leon is the cornerstone of the album with its fuzzy organ (David Sinclair-like) and weird quacking noises and a blistering Schell solo and wind instruments interventions. Closer Ixelles is a slow ode to the city where I was born some 13 years sooner and is probably my fave from the vinyl, but I can only be partial.
The four bonus tracks are excellent and great interest, especially a very different (and better) Nog Verder than the album version with its obvious Stella Vander-like vocals and Zeuhl-esque keyboards. A real touch of class!! But the other three were tracks that did not make the cut when the album was released. I can imagine how some choices can be painful.
Nevermind the details, we are again looking at a splendid album that typifies the 70’s Belgian scene much better than the mediocre Machiavel. Owning this album is one of the requisite to being a happy proghead and only the ones who do not know this cannot understand.
Review by Sean Trane (Hugues Chantraine) for

This 'Cos' album is different in style from all the earlier work, The saxophone is gone,afro rhythms and reggae are new. The English 'Canterbury Scene' feel makes place for German' Neues Welle' .......Soft Machine meets Nina Hagen and Wolf Biermann.... The lyrics (in almost all European languages)are taken from a diary or from a film set.....but brought here in typical 'Brussels Scene'way as we know from Strips like TinTin and Blake Mortimer, The bass playing on this album is outstanding and dominant ( reminds me to Stanley Clarke) The soprano vocals of classical trained Pasale Son makes this a very 'strange' album.

As requested!

Note: the link for Viva Boma has been removed as it currently available via Mindawn Here

get Swiss Chalet here


Vincent de Roguin said...

Waow, this is great, thanks!!!

Theo said...

Viva Boma is a masterpiece, thank you!

vespucci said...

Thank you very much for this post! Actually I asked for the "Swiß Chalet" release for a friend of mine who was looking for that album. She repeatedly wrote to Daniel Schell who wants to rerelease all Cos albums on CDs but obviously these plans are delayed.

For a more general note: I must admit that I find your blog overall - scary... I have no idea how you manage to post that amount of music here. I once was a contributor to Lucky's Cineville blog and the preparation of the posts seemed to take forever...
Also blog like yours teach me that I don't know anything about music. Often I feel like a mainstream listener.
Anyway, thanks again for your efforts.

Andy said...


thank you for the album.
just thought i'd mention that the last track "Fanfan la Tulipe" is missing.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting Swiss Chalet by COS! Could'nt find it anywhere! Now I know it wasn't such a big loss but it doesn't matter!

Thanks for your astounding job, man!


Anonymous said...

"Swiß Chalet" is one of the most likeable albums of all times if you give it a few spins. Same league as the Honeymoon Killers and Art Fleury!!! Thank you so much, I had forgotten about them for 25 years - how could I!