The first thing that always comes to my mind when I think about Cosma’s music is what kind of music he would be writing now, had he still been alive. And while I don’t have a clue I am sure it would have been amazing and would reach the hearts of many people. Avihen Liven, Cosma, had this ability to touch your heart with his music, this ability to create an atmosphere that would alter the reality around you. It was always done in a very simple way, and it is very hard to understand what exactly creates this effect, as seemingly there was nothing groundbreaking or complex in his music, and yet the effect was there, and 13 years after his untimely death, it still is.
Cosma – The beginning
Avihen started his way-too-short musical road in Trance with the project Diablo, where he teamed up for some of the tracks with Benny Risher (Basic) and released one album – Insufficient Memory – in 1999. The album is raw and has a “not there yet” feeling about it, but still in some tracks you can already sense that “Cosma feel”, especially Hop She Goes, We Are All Monkeys & Sound of Silence. Diablo lasted for only a year and Avihen moved on to create Cosma. The name, btw, was suggested by DJ Jorg of Shiva Space Technology.
Listen to Diablo – Insufficient Memory:
In the beginning, Avihen was still searching for his path with few releases on Shiva Space Technology, Hommega and MDMA. In this rare mix uncovered last year from the personal vaults of Radio 1’s DJ Guy Salama you can hear the early Cosma music, some of it never released. It all precedes his first Cosma album:
In the summer of 2001 Cosma released his debut album – Simplicity – in BNE Records. The album can be viewed as a perfect blend between the Swedish open and relaxed crunch and the Israeli massive full power danceable style, with the first more present in the first part of the album and the second in the second. What is clear is that it is a mature and interesting debut album, with open, yet penetrating sounds. It’s an album with a story, enough diversity, but also unity; an album perfect to sit at home and move your head to, and also full of party killer tracks. You can read an interview with Cosma made just before the release of Simplicity HERE.
Listen to Cosma – Simplicity:
Simplicity was a huge success and Avihen started performing all across the globe building a devout following for his music . Not bad for a 22 year old. Quite a few releases followed including some on vinyl and the work on the second album followed. Avihen took a more dancefloor oriented approach in this one, while at the same time experimenting with more downtempo music for which he was really attracted to and saw as an important part of his future. You can listen to some of his downtempo tunes here, and the playlist start with a never before released ambient tune from him that we present here for the first time:
Cosma – The second album
During 2001-2002 Avihen worked hard on his second album. It was due to be released on Hommega Productions in the beginning of 2003. A long world tour was already booked and Avihen decided to take a much deserved vacation before the release and world tour in Goa, the place so important to the music he was making that he never visited. In February 10th 2003, aged only 24, Avihen died in Goa after a truck hit his motorcycle. The trance community was engulfed by shock and sorrow. In the summer of 2003 his second and last Cosma album – Non Stop – was released. Non Stop is a juicy and innovative journey to trance. It holds inside everything Psytrance has to offer: Deep & psychedelic, emotional & intense, dark & uplifting. With its clear and intense sound the album sounds like nothing else released at that time. Pure Magic.
Listen to Cosma – Nonstop:
Cosma’s ability to create engulfing atmospheres with what seems like very minimal tools is constantly present here as every track is much more than the sum of its sounds, and the whole album creating a true journey for the mind and heart. It is also hard to ignore the seemingly prophetic sings that are present through the album and that echo with our knowledge that Avihen died before the album was released, whether it’s the cover, track names such as The Time Has Come and Freedom (where Avihen actually sings “Land of Freedom”) and some of the samples in the album.
So the story of Cosma, Avihen Livne, is a sad story. A story of a great guy with loads of talent that never got the chance to fulfill it wholly; but it is also a happy story, a story of a great guy that managed in 4 years to touch the hearts of people all over the world and left a great legacy that still does that. And every time that someone plays a Cosma track in a big festival, and there’s always someone who does, the Cosma beat keeps echoing through the universe. Because good music never dies.