SOLID WASTE “City of the Cosmos” (Distant Bloom)


Solid Waste has dissolved into the ether. (And yes, I know how weird that sounds.) The trio – Nate Bethel, Josh Kahl, and Mario Martinez – once stormed the St. Louis ambient/New Age scene, landing righteously and appropriately on St. Louis ambient/New Age institution Distant Bloom after a couple of other remarkable tapes elsewhere. City in the Cosmos is posthumous – we will no longer be graced with the presence of Solid Waste. (Again, that sounds weird, sorry.) But fortunately, as it happens with all things wonderful that leave us too soon, we are at least able to enjoy one last morsel of Solid Waste (sorry …) before the coming of that long, dark night.
Distant Bloom has it right – the label mentions 1970s German kosmische, 1980s Japanese environmental music, and 1980s-1990s American New Age when discussing Solid Waste. And that’s no lie – anybody mentions any one of those things in my presence and I usually start slobbering Pavlovially. So when I say City of the Cosmos hits all those beats, just know that I basically fainted from sheer joy while I listened. The trio zones out with synthesizers much of the time, but they’re not afraid to knock you out with distinct rhythms, such as the on the surprisingly upfront “Friends of the Earth” (there’s that Japanese environmental music in play!). Even “Deep Forest Portal” has the hint of a pulse, but it’s mostly the synthesizer arpeggios that carry the day. And they carry you into deep trances, all the time, spectral sci-fi goodness washing over you and leaving you floating in pristine stasis.
Isn’t that why we all came here in the first place?
This last little bit of Solid Waste is a perfect career capper, and has me glancing at my watch ready for the inevitable, welcome, and glorious reunion.