Monday, 31 July 2017

Track 7: 7 Billion


introverted album cover
This was the very first song written for the project. Its original title was 'Bye Bye 14' and was my test piece, I was trying out some of the instruments, mainly little drum sounds and wibbly bits, a simple bass line to tie it together, a tambourine and a little robot radio thing, nothing special.

I've always been a bit obsessed with massive numbers, those concepts that our minds can't really process, and none really blows my little mind quite like world populations. 7.5 Billion people on this planet right now, more joining the big blue ball every minute, to me, that's amazing.

While doing the Bos rehearsal sessions, we had managed to create a faithful rendition of this song, using a drum pad to have the exact plinky plonky rhythm bits. The biggest additions to this tune that Macey made was the chorus, all the sweeping strings and warming organs that burst out were not in the original version at all, they turned the song from a plinky plonky test song to an epic poignant one (good work Macey).

I wanted to do a big clever animated video for the song, using a map of the world and complex stop motion, but the idea was too big for our limited budgets on both money and time.

As this was the title track for the album it really needed a video (see just above), so I turned to the trusty old interweb, signed up to a stock video site called and made the very video referred to in the bracketed bit a couple of lines ago.

The current world population is over 7.5 Billion, but getting the 'extra half a billion' people in the song would have been clunky, so they don't get a mention, I'm giving them a shout out right here to make up for it, Sorry half a billion people, you rock and should not have been left out of this song.

Deciding what song to put out after 'Lucky Lampshade' was tricky, there were several candidates, but in the end it went to 'Stump the Fee!' (but that's the next blog...this is a little tease)

Thanks for your eyes and ears

Andy Jackson (Cosmic Bos)

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Track 6: Pondering

Hey friends, part 6 for ya


This was the interlude song, the last minute addition to the album that almost didn't make it. More a musing then a song, the original version that I had handed Macey was just three organs that I had improvised and not known what to do with, so I wrote a little poem to go with it.

When we were doing our album listen throughs to see how it sounded, this song stuck out as not quite working, so Macey stripped it down to it's knickers and gave it a complete overhaul. I'll return to this point in the conclusion to this album breakdown.

inverted mushroom pic
So last summer (the 2016 one, you know, the year that all the celebrities died), Cosmic Bos was running along side Meta-Cassette (metaphorically speaking of course, we didn't have races), a whole new batch of songs had landed in my lap and I was tasked with coming up with synth parts for them. If felt like musical Christmas, I had so many gifts to unwrap and play with. Fun times indeed.

Once it was decided that Cosmic Bos was going to release an album, only one song from the bunch felt like it could take the burden of being both it's own name AND the album name...'7 Billion' of course! (but that's the story for the next blog)

Peace and infinite sunshine

Andy Jackson (Cosmic Bos)

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Track 5: Lucky Lampshade

Howdy Doody friend, step right up for part 5:


When I was naming the instrumental pieces way back in the frantically heady summer of 2015, I was coming up with titles based on letters of the alphabet I hadn't used, by the end of it I had one song for every letter (and a few letters that got greedy and had a couple of songs).

'Lucky Lampshade' was my L title. (more of a double L title really)

While I was going through the process of writing lyrics to go with these bad boys, most of the songs would get a name change, almost all of them in fact, but this song, it was born out of it's temporary title. I played with the lyric for a long time before settling in on 'strap on' as the method one would use to keep a lampshade safely on ones head, this was logic and basic science winning out over creative whimsy.

The single cover
The song was a structural oddity. Macey had wanted to move it around a bit, make it more conventional, but I asked him to persist with it's two part, one verse, one chorus structure, to make it different from the other songs. What came out the other end was amazing, Macey built a whirlwind, layering on elements slowly and methodically until a beautiful mess of sound has you in it's clutches (a far cry from the plinky plonky nonsense I had originally given him).

I didn't know if Lucky Lampshade was ever really going to work, but after it's Macey facelift (or Macelift), I think it might be my favourite song on the album, which is a true testament to the production skills of Treeman himself.

We played this in the rehearsal sessions, in fact, we played it differently every time. We had a swing jazz version, punk rock version, dub version, country pop version, you name it, we probably tried it once. I don't know it this influenced how the recording turned out, but it was always a highlight of the live sessions.

As this was the second single, it needed a special video to go with it. Abi and I spent a long time discussing ideas that would utilise light, since the song was about lamps just as much as it was about shades and their potential luck bringing qualities. We had loads of little finger lights, and rope lights, flashing crystal maze bulbs (as used in Given Half a Dance video), light up balloons, UV paint etc.
Negative version of the single cover.

So we tried out a bunch of ideas, and quickly discovered that the UV paint stuff in complete darkness with just a UV bulb, looked freaking sick on a stick. It looked so good on its own that we ditched all our over light based ideas and went full UV. We painted ourselves all UV (well, Abi painted us both actually, I merely sat and got painted), and we painted up some lampshades we had purchased. We shot the video over two evenings using two UV bulbs and a whole load of UV paint.

This song managed to get a little bit of radio play, which was nice.

Once 'Lucky Lampshade' was out, it was decided that this whole project would become an album. Nick had returned from travelling around the world, so the Cosmic Bos live band rehearsal sessions came to an end, and I joined the 'old' band as a synth player and backing vocalist.

A still from the video shoot.
Macey and Nick have been working together for a long time, and in 2013, with Charlie Gibbs on drums and James Finburg on Bass, they had released their debut album 'Something in the Water' - they were known as 'Jipsy Magic'. James left the band the following year and the guys recruited the amazing Paul Bradley on Bass. Before Nick went travelling the guys had been working on a bunch of new material, on Nicks return, with the addition of beardy old me, a new identity for 'Jipsy Magic' was born... META-CASSETTE

While rehearsing Cosmic Bos I had gotten the opportunity to play with these amazing musicians that I admired, I have been an avid fan of 'Jipsy Magic', and I had always hoped that one day I would get to be part of it, it was, and still is, exciting and special getting to make music with such talented individuals. Bos shifted gears back to being an electronica project, but it had been infused with the live musical energies that only a band can give.

Lucky Lampshade made it to the acoustic recording sessions, it's just two chords back and forth so not the hardest song in the world (for any musicheads out there, it's Dm and G)

After such a big epic track, the album needed to calm down a bit, so we went Pondering...

Peace and infinite love

Andy Jackson (Cosmic Bos)

Me all UV painted up for the video shoot.
Here are the '7 Billion' album links if you were out looking for them:

Friday, 28 July 2017

Track 4: My Bruised Ego

So we reach part 4 of our musical journey, and this time we get introspective.


Probably the most personal song on the record, this one took a long time to get right. Musically it was there from pretty early on, but the lyric was a struggle. I had the 'kicking me down while trying to get back up' line going round and round in my head for ages, but the lines to follow that went through many iterations before finally settling on the whimpering sounds of a bruised ego.

I think the hardest part about writing about your own ego is removing said ego long enough to honestly analyse it. Every time I felt like I had nailed it, it became clear that my ego had snuck in and tried to big itself up (probably by distracting the rest of my mind with tea and cake - damn you delicious cake).

UV Cosmic Bos artwork by Abi Jackson
There is something very therapeutic about honest self analysis, once you get over yourself enough to realise that we all have these strange struggles with ourselves internally, we all want to be special in some way or another, but really, when all is said and done, most of us, the vast majority in fact, are unremarkable, normal, boring and the same as each other. That's a good thing though, we can't all be the best, the very concept of bestiness allows for only a very select few to shine though.

I come back to this idea in my songs once in a while, as well as voicing the exact opposite idea in other songs, it's fun to bounce around conceptual spaces, language, especially, allows for multiple meanings within the same sentence, and that's awesome (in my humble opinion).

Emotionally life can be a rollercoaster (I think someone might have already said that in song form), and acknowledging our weaknesses as well as our strengths helps us grow and develop, sometimes that ego needs a bit of bruising, even if it hurts.

The built in irony here is that my ego feels warm and fuzzy when someone else gets something from this song, it heals a bit more of the bruising. This song was not attempted at band rehearsals for it's very electronic nature, but it felt necessary to include it on the album.

Retroactively I worked out an acoustic version of 'My Bruised Ego', and it was recording in the great acoustic jamboree earlier this year. Happy times.

The collection of tracks I had given Macey back in that whimsical summer of 2015 didn't really have many singles in it, with 'Given Half a Dance' already used up, working out what song to release next was tough. There was one song that Macey had been strongly draw to, which was one of the more experimental pieces, to say the least, and as it grew in stature, it became clear it would be the next thing we could release...step up to the plate 'Lucky Lampshade'.

Peace and infinite love

Andy Jackson (Cosmic Bos)

7 Billion album links

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Track 3: Kiln

So, here we go with Part 3...


This is a song of contrasts, it's a bit of an angry rant, feet stompy, but a bit non committal as well, pretty much given up in the fight, wants it all to be over, but might still have a tiny slither of rebellion to hand should an uprising occur. Not the best description of a 3 minute song ever, but it's what you are getting I'm afraid.
A visual representation of life inside an ultraviolet kiln

Musically the drums made this song shine, and the build up and drop out nature of the whole thing keeps it interesting (I think so anyway, you may very well disagree). This was one of the songs that worked nicely in the band setting, and Macey ultimately used some of the band jam to construct this song sandwich, the vocal was shaped in the rehearsal rooms, giving it that screamy edge and energy that was lacking from the original demo.

This song got chopped and changed a bit to work. From the electronica pieces that I originally handed Macey, this one needed building up, there are a lot of vocal layers swirling around right there.
With the lyric to Kiln, I was going for a need for repair vibe, via the use of fire and brimstone, the hot ovens to burn out the rebel in us all, to harden us to the harsh world, mould us to societies whim, and be damned whatever we ourselves may want. That's a bit depressing and bleak, sorry about that (there are other songs coming that are more optimistic I promise).

Just a quick aside, when I came to putting together these video's to go with the songs, I used an online video making tool called biteable (which ironically it isn't). It's a good little tool, they update its content frequently, and you can sign up to use a trial version before forking out your hard earned cash to support your online video editing habit. Okay, back to the blog...

Many of the songs on '7 Billion' were completely electronica in nature, not a real instrument anywhere near them, which fundamentally was not a problem, but when we came to try and work them in a live room setting, many of them would not translate. We had many attempts to make 'Given Half a Dance' work for a band, but we could never get it to sound good, something was always not quite working about it. 'Kiln' never had this problem, it was one of the best sounding in the live environment, like it was born there (which, it kinda was).

Check back for Part 4 where my ego is going to get a bruising,

Peace and infinite biscuits

Andy Jackson (Cosmic Bos)
Buy a copy of '7 Billion' for someone on
Earth that doesn't yet have one

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Track 2: Where the Warp-zones Are

So continuing on...


Based around a guitar riff of mine that I had been playing for a few years, and married to a Massive Attack style drum beat and bass, the recorded version of this song had one foot firmly in electronica (which is odd because songs don't have feet!). While we were doing the band style rehearsal sessions this song became a rock anthem, hitting hard and big. The bass line Paul came up with made it to the album, and the vocals were also shaped in those sessions.
A visual representation of a warp-zone,
made with love and photo editing software

The lyrics are about the chaos of life filtered through computer game metaphors (mainly 2D side-scrolling Italian plumber mascot based ones) and electronic robot logic. I am a big fan of the imagery of retro gaming (having grown up with it), the simplistic A to B logic and crippling difficulty of early gaming. The main element from Mario that inspired this the most was of course the green warp-zone pipes, you know the ones, they lead to secret little rooms with treasure and a couple of guard turtles. Sometimes they have tiny 'Audrey 2's spitting fire at you (just bop those bad boys on the head and down the warp-zone pipe you go).

I guess I wanted to use that odd imagery to construct a metaphor for life's strange twists and turns, the ones you can't plan for, but hopefully you can fight off the mini boss and come out flashing with star power. Strange metaphor for life, sure, but somehow relatable? Maybe?

Originally this was going to be much later in the running order of the album, but it found a warp-zone of it's own and jumped the queue right to number 2, lucky little biscuit. Macey played around with this one lots, mixing the sounds around, trying to give it more of the punch of the live full band version, and he did a damn fine job wouldn't you agree? (Please agree in comment form)

As this had been a riff I had played on guitar wandering around our flat, it only seemed fitting to try and do an acoustic version of it, so that's what we did, and would you ruddy believe it! It's right here! On this blog about Cosmic Bos music? Yes, look, it's just underneath these very words you are reading right that play button, go on, you know you want to (winky face)

From the live rehearsal sessions Warp-zones changed more then any other song, we never recorded the rocky heavier version as it didn't fit with the template Macey was working off of. A song that did take some nice juicy rocking up was Kiln.

But that's a story for another blog (the next one in fact)

Peace and infinite love

Andy Jackson (Cosmic Bos)

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Track 1: Given Half a Dance

The first song to blossom out of the bunch was Given Half a Dance


The original version of Given Half a Dance was well over 5 minutes long, with a minute and a half long introduction full of 'oooo's, it was decided a couple of minutes could be sliced off of it so it would be more single worthy and possibly played on the radio (which it hasn't really been).

The song is about building our own path/dance from what we have been given, using a rising number structure in the verses as a nod to the 8 circuit model of the brain (as popularised by the Cosmic 'Robert Anton Wilson' in his book 'Prometheus Rising'). I am a fan of the idea that we build our own fate by the choices we make, and it is totally possible to stop, make changes and try a different dance if we need to, life is full of choices, we get what we are given and have to make up the rest for ourselves.

As this was going to be the first song we released as Cosmic Bos, we felt it important to make a special video to go with it. To that end, we took a trip in October 2015 to Avebury, a whole team of us in a van. It was on that very video trip that 'Treeman Productions' got it's name (Macey plays the Treeman in the video). We went at the perfect time, just as autumnal colour shifting was gracing the forrest, as you can see in the video, the trees were displaying vividly.

Nick Jackson shot the video, a few weeks before he went off travelling around the World for 6 months. Macey and I continued to work on the album.

I recorded a little acoustic version of this song while doing the little acoustic session that I did. Here it is in video form.

We started doing rehearsal sessions with Charlie Gibbs on drums and Paul Bradley on Bass (both from Meta-Cassette fame). From these rehearsal some of the Cosmic Bos songs started to come to the forefront, one such one was 'Where the Warp-zones Are'.

But that's Part 2, and that's coming tomorrow.

Peace and infinite love

Andy Jackson (Cosmic Bos)

Monday, 24 July 2017

The Story of Cosmic Bos '7 Billion' Debut Album - Introduction

Hello friends,

I've written a big old blog about the new Cosmic dog (Bos): it goes a little something like this...
Album cover for Cosmic Bos debut Album '7 Billion'


The debut album '7 Billion' by Cosmic Bos was released on the 4th of February 2017 to a wave of indifference and unnoticement, which is not a surprise, it's not like Cosmic Bos is a known of brand or popular artist of the moment (at least not at that moment), far from it in fact. Still, that album is out there and has been since the date mentioned previously, and if someone is meant to encounter the album and get something out of it for themselves, then they will, or they have already, or they might be listening to it right now...probably not though, I don't know, I'm just some words on a blog.

I (Andy Jackson - generator of the blog words) spent the best part of 2 years working on '7 Billion', and for a year and a half of that it had been with the awesome Chris Mace (Macey/Jeffrey/Treeman), it is he who shaped the album out of the rag tag bag of musical swag i had dumped upon him.
Simple times of birds and rainbows.

Cast your mind back, way way back, to the heady summer of 2015, a simpler time before Brexit and Trump presidencies, it was that carefree summer that I handed Macey about 30 instrumental electronica songs I had built in Logic on my Mac (of the apple variety, not the rain variety). Some of the songs had guitar on them, none had any vocals (although lyrics had been written to most of them), all of them required a lot of work in order to, well, work.

Macey had a task ahead of him that was for sure, but he was up to the challenge, taking no time (well, some time of course, it would be impossible to do in no time what so ever), we recorded guide vocals over that beautiful 2015 Summer, as well as starting work on tunes Macey had that required some Andy based lyrical action. Nick Jackson (my bro) and Macey had amassed quite a library of tunes in some state of finnishedness, and some of these would be worked on over the album construction period.

The EP I did before Cosmic Bos
So, in the 2015 Summer of new music, the project was known as Mr. Jackson 'Continuity'. I had put an EP out the year before called 'Tea in Paradise', and that had gone under the name Mr. Jackson, and these songs were originally going to go the same way, as an electronica double album (oh I do have some pie in the sky ideas). As we worked on the songs, it became clear quickly that Macey was shaping them into something bigger and better, and it felt like a new artist name was needed to release this material as it was no longer just a Mr. Jackson project.

My wife (Abi Jackson) and I came up with 'Cosmic Bos' while sitting on the beach having a nice travel mug of tea. Bos is Dutch for forrest, which is why we went with that, and we like things to be Cosmic, makes them more exotic sounding.

'7 Billion' is available in many forms online right now, well, I say many forms, but's it's only really as video or audio form, there isn't an Occulus Rift special version, or even a CD, no one buys them anymore. Here is the band camp link where you can listen to the whole thing for free, and also buy it if you want (although, not much point if you can just listen to it for free...should have thought this through a bit better).

Tomorrow we will begin the track by track breakdown, starting with (coincidently) Track 1 : Given Half a Dance

Peace and infinite love

Andy Jackson (Cosmic Bos)

Sunday, 23 July 2017


Hello lovely friends and earth colleagues,

Big things have been happening all over the world, seems like you can't turn your head to look at something amusing to the left without something life changing happening just out of view to your right, we need some new approaches to living if we are to ever understand this chaotic world.

Fear not fellow human, for freshness is coming, scientists and engineers have been tinkering with things, I can't be more specific then that, I am not an insider, just a dreamer with a laptop, but still there is more to be hopeful for then fearful of, trust me I'm a badger.

The inverted cover to the verted album
Well, anyway, I can tell you about the exciting new changes coming to Cosmic Bos, we will be getting a flashy new look (at some point when we've actually designed it), and new material will be dropping all over the internet like fish sometimes do from the sky. Nick Jackson has officially joined the Cosmic Bos crew as a full fledged member. We had the initiation ceremony last week (videos were posted but removed by the Men in Plaid).

Chris and I (Andy) had a little look over all the material we have stored up in the electronic vaults, added Nicks material to it, did some swift calculations and deducted that we have lots and lots of music. Now we need to get it out to the world, Gia deserves to hear what we have done (we will put some speakers out in a forrest for her, so she gets a proper 4K music experience).

Bos is going to get Groooooooovy (with a few less 'o's)

Before that though, I (Andy) wish to share with you the journey we went on making our debut album '7 Billion', it was a fun journey, and we got an album out the end of it. Over the next couple of weeks I shall be posting the track by track breakdown, I hope your eyes spend some time reading the words, and your ears spend some time listening to the songs that the words are babbling on about.

It should be fun, and if it isn't, then don't read it, no one is forcing you to (unless you are living in some kind of robot utopian future where humans are forced to read pointless old blogs on the internet to help power the robots futuristic WD40 production plants)

Peace and infinite love

Andy Jackson from Cosmic Bos

P.S - if you are interested in spending some sweet sweet cash on music you heard on the internet, then here are some links you will probably find appealing in some way:

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Unbelievably Attractive - all about the lyrics

Hello dearest friend,

You are one attractive being you know, you really got it going all, everything is attracted to you, or at least reactive to your energy. You want lots of things in your life, a truck full of stuff, a shed full of bread, a hat full of smaller hats for some reason, I don't judge, i am not qualified to do so and would not presume to interfere with your lifestyle, what you choose for you is your bag (and the rest of your outfit of course).

Did someone say codswallop? ... No, no-one ever says that anymore.

Now I wish to help you believe the unbelievable (which obviously is technically impossible - but humour me for a while, you might get a silly quip out of it).

Unbelievable, yet, somehow, believable.

Peace and infinite love

Cosmic Bos