A founding member of Philadelphia band The Reds, Bruce Cohen has a long and diverse musical career that extends through all manner of electronic ingenuity.  Since the dense electronic chaos of The Red’s self-titled debut, Cohen has become a wonderfully evolved artist, tying together the digital disarray of early work with a new penchant for calculated ambience and inspired funk.  It’s a hybrid sound that he has been cultivating since his debut solo work, One BC, and now with the release of his fifth solo excursion, Cohen has created his most complete work to date.

While Cohen’s previous album, 2017’s Four BC was a constrained four-minute per song experiment, Five BC arose from a far more organic process.  Each song was approached and recorded with no time limit and a total stream of conscience, with everything put into crafting and perfecting the sounds, to the point that even the titles were only added once the recording was complete.

The results are remarkable and instantly noticeable.  Built upon layers of progressive house grooves, atmospheric melodies, and tactile electronic notes, each song arrives as a demonstration of both control and spontaneity. Tracks such as Groovatronic and Kaiju take center stage, firing on all cylinders with their space-age grooves and rolling bass lines that undercut the levity of their production, while the likes of Requiem  and Silence balance the album’s energy with gentler, classically electronic songs.

It’s an album that arrives through rolling waves of sound, giving something new with each repeat listen and ensuring that listeners of all backgrounds can find something to enjoy.  In that way, it’s easily Cohen’s most complete album to date, and one that’ll fit most, if not all moods. 

∎ Broken 8 — Sydney, Australia, 2019