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The Big Takeover #80 Spring 2017
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Patrick Cowley & Candida Royalle - Candida Cosmica 12"EP (Dark Entries)

Patrick Cowley Candida Royalle Candida Cosmica Dark Entries
18 October 2016

Between 1973 and 1975, electronic composer/hi-nrg disco producer Patrick Cowley recorded several tracks with friend/occasional lover/adult film icon Candida Royalle for her performances with Warped Floors and White Trash Boom Boom, as well as The Angels of Light, a performance troupe that had splintered from the legendary Cockettes. Recently, these tapes were found in the attic of Phantom Movers bassist Maurice Tani, making this the very first release of these extremely psychedelic electronic compositions.

Candida Cosmica shimmers in the neon light of erotic cyberpunk like a pornographic version of Philip K. Dick. Without question, these are the most abstract, experimental tracks we’ve heard from Cowley to date, rising from the chaos of early krautrock and building to an electric pulse recalling both Tomita and early Klaus Schulze. The sound of dripping water becomes percussion while synthesizers swirl in cosmic chemistry. Throughout, Royalle seductively moans and whispers like Donna Summer in the middle of “Love to Love You Baby,” even when delivering lyrics, as in the transformed Latin hymn, “Tantum Ergo.” In the end, her a cappella rendition of “Tomato Song,” which she sang with The Angels of Light in 1973, could make the most steadfast cyborg melt in sheer ecstasy.

The more we hear from Patrick Cowley, whether solo or with others, his AIDS-related death in 1982 only becomes more tragic. Sadly, Candida Royalle has left us as well, having succumbed to ovarian cancer in 2015. At least we have this blink in the past, when both were young and vibrant and the future was but a fantasy…

 

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