Spotlight: Cosmo Topper

Published on 15 February 2023 at 10:35

20 years after it's original release, Cosmo Topper's Pure Fast Vibration is on vinyl!

This album was produced, engineered, and mixed by Joel Bell in the loft across the street from Al's bar in Los Angeles, California from August 8, 2000 to about September 21st, 2000.

The players include Probyn Gregory, Brian Matalski, Pete Pagonis, Brian Glascock, Victor Bornia, Joel Bell, Diana Faust and Susan James...and Morley Bartnoff as Cosmo Topper.

For those of you who haven't heard of Morley, he has worked with artists such as Burning Sensations, Dramarama, Stereo Captain Janet, Waterfall, Concentrated Orange Juice, Canteloupe Without A Ladder and many more.

While I was listening to this album, I was reminded of the early 2000s (when this album was released) and many great albums were released but not promoted. The albums I thought of were "33 1/3" by Mother May I, "Samantha 7" by Samantha 7, "Actual Size" by Mr. Big, and "Jughead" by Jughead.

This album is fantastic. It is an album of people playing instruments instead of using machines to create the sounds of instruments. Music today, specifically popular is lacking real instruments. This needs to stop. Most tunes that I hear that don't have instruments cause me to lose interest because there's nothing to listen to besides vocals and drum machines.

You can listen to and purchase a copy of the album on Bandcamp, at this link:

I sent Morley an e-book of my book Journey To Generation Clash, and he sent me this review which I wanted to share!

"Music that inspires you is timeless, if you’re able To feel & hear it, and you’re compelled to express & share it, then you can give new life and meaning to each and every person who was invoked with creating the work of art that lit your fuse regardless of its original release date.

The fans and appreciators that read your expression are also uplifted and reminded of their own excitements in discovering the sonic magic that exists in the silence long after side 1 and side 2 have finished their reveal.

This compelling swirl continues with and by introducing and turning on new audiences to music that they have not yet heard, but are more than likely a perfect match to that magic that you’re feeling, and can seamlessly convey.

This is the buzz that I experienced from reading Carmela Carr’s GenClash Universe. There was a timeless excitation as she timelines the sequence of photos, mixtapes, playlists, and formats that revealed themselves to her one album at a time.

It’s my belief that some people are meant to communicate the excitement of music that others simply feel, and may choose to keep to themselves, thinking that "why am I the only one that knows about this album" or "why are my three friends as excited about this record as people are about top 10 pop music, radio candy" which also serves its own wonderful purpose too.

I highly recommend that people seek out and read Carmela’s book, but that’s only part of the equation, because if there are records that she mentions that were quintessential to her musical growth, then you too should seek out that music because Carmela's excitement will spill over to you, and you will be excited to share that with people who may not have heard her excitement."

-Morley Bartnoff


You can follow Morley on Instagram at @cosmorley!

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