Cosmo Records was one of the first electronic music imprints to put Morocco on the global dance music map back in 2009. Operating for nearly a decade before going on hiatus, the record label managed to invite the likes of San Proper, Radiq, Dandy Jack and Cesar Merveille to Morocco to produce for Cosmo, while also securing equally seasoned names to remix and re-imagine their releases, including Sonja Moonear, Cab Drivers, Burnt Friedman and Ricardo Villalobos.
With Cosmo’s last release going out on August of 2017, the imprint went silent before dropping their latest release this past Monday, bringing an end to a hiatus of over two years. This re-inaugural release comes courtesy of French duo Ben Vedren and Leiris who formed after releasing a joint EP on Cabanne’s Minibar in 2014. Under the alias of Monkey Nenufar they’ve managed to share their music through other esteemed labels like Lamache’s Discobar as well as Rotate records.
The 2 Monkeys In The Oud EP comes in the form of three lush minimal cuts. Kicking off with the stripped down, yet immensely hypnotic ‘Cosmos 2018’, the EP then takes a more cross-cultural turn with the following two tracks which are more reflective of their studio time in Morocco for this release. ‘Heode’ is a more direct club cut featuring the vocals of Jamal Nouman who sings an Andalusian-Arabic mawwal overtop the punchy kicks and crisp claps.
The release ends with its title track ‘2 Monkeys In The Oud’ which welcomes back frequent guest artist on the imprint, Saad El Bouaamri, who played several instruments on previous Cosmo releases by Yes’in, Pier Bucci. Arguably the most fluid track on the EP, this production thrives to give the oud justice without overpowering it, without using a complicated arrangement. Instead Verden and Leiris clearly shifted their focus towards the complexity of the sonic textures used to accompany it. Deep listeners will be pleasantly surprised with this one.