Juana Molina

“Cosoco” – Juana Molina

The world would be a plainer, paler place without odd time signatures. Leave it to the mistress of mysteriously appealing electro-acoustic experimentation to find such a lovely, hypnotic groove in 7/4 time. Propelled by some of the most softly satisfying percussive sounds I have ever heard, “Cosoco” is a sprightly off-kilter dance that blossoms, at 1:40, into an even tighter, richer, more intriguing parade of sound and rhythm, led by Molina’s charming, multi-tracked vocals. The effect is of something at once complex and free-spirited, intricately woven and yet easy to follow. On the one hand, we get a “solo” from the sort of loopy electronic sound that is her ongoing signature (2:20) (even as each song seems to present us with a different variation). But then, straight away, arrives a short, plump bass solo (2:42), pretty much its ambient opposite. The bass stays front and center through the next section of the song before steering us into one more iteration of our main musical setting.

Then, at around 3:48, a magical mystical coda begins, with the entrance of a swirly, wind-like effect that emerges in tandem with the drumming that now sounds more and more organic. “Cosoco”‘s closing minute is as engaging as it is amorphous: there are no particular melodies, or even any chord progressions, just the ever-energetic pulse of the 7/4 rhythmic riff that has provided us with the song’s foundational characteristic from beginning to end, accompanied by the curious synthetic squiggles that Molina manages to rope into pop coherence.

Once upon a time a sitcom star in Argentina, Molina, long ensconced on the Fingertips “Most Often Featured” list, has been written about here three previous times: in June 2003, May 2006, and September 2008.

“Cosoco” can be found on Halo, Molina’s seventh album, released in May on Crammed Discs. You can listen to the whole thing and buy it via Bandcamp. Thanks again to KEXP for the MP3.