Making Waves is back for its fourth instalment, courtesy of Cosmic. The Bournemouth-based DJ is pushing for a specific sound in the city, mainly made of drum and bass, footwork, and a load of 140 stuff. He chats to us about his debuts, his collective lo-key, and his city.
On my hunt for the best unknown talent, I found the lo key collective. This group of young artists based in Bournemouth is made of true passionates of their own craft, dedicated to their art, who are all friends. Among them, I found Daniel Sosnowski who DJs under the name Cosmic. Particularly interested in drum and bass, footwork, and 140 of all kinds, he pushes for this specific sound in Bournemouth where this kind of scene is only just starting to emerge. With this mix, he introduces his universe, and I had the chance to catch up with him on his debuts as a DJ.
Waveform: How did you prepare for and record this mix ?
Cosmic: This one was quite tough, and took me a while to get right. I spent a long time listening through my library trying to find the right tracks, and equally as much time listening to other DJ’s mixes online for inspiration.
Funnily enough, I think the most important thing in the process of making the mix was to take occasional breaks from drum & bass. I found my mind getting incredibly over-saturated with tracks. Taking an occasional break from working on the mix was definitely the right thing to do. Too much of a good thing is bad after all.
Waveform: Did you have a specific idea in mind when you recorded it ?
Cosmic: I wanted to make a full spectrum kind of mix – it’s definitely something that I haven’t done before. I love everything about this genre, so naturally my mixes will often go off on tangents, however I always try to maintain an overall vibe. This time I aimed for more of a progression through the different sounds and I feel like I accomplished that to a certain degree.
Waveform: How did it all start for you ?
Cosmic: It’s probably the most boring origin story of all time. One of my friends who I used to go out raving with (and still do) got himself a DJ controller a few years ago. I’d pop round his place occasionally to hang out and started messing about with the decks. Music has always been a huge part of my life, so it’s not surprising that I immediately fell in love with the craft.
I saved up some money and bought a used DJ controller. After that I spent nearly every evening mixing my favourite tunes. Hundreds of hours of practice later and here I am.
Waveform: Who have been your major influences ?
Cosmic: Alix Perez and Skeptical for sure. I love their styles, both in terms of production and mixing. Seeing their 2 hour back to back performance last year was definitely incredibly inspiring. With that being said, my taste in drum & bass is incredibly broad so there’s a lot of influences from various record labels. There’s simply too many to mention in this interview.
Waveform: What records can we often find in your bag ?
Cosmic: There isn’t a single mix where I won’t try to squeeze in Paper Bag by Signs. I absolutely love this track. In fact, the whole Skin Out EP is outstanding.
Other than that, a few releases I almost always play out are South London’s Finest by Hyroglifics, Edition 1 by 1985 Music, Recall & Reflect EP by Alix Perez, Imperial EP by Skeptical, For Those Who Like It Sweet by Sam Binga & Chimpo and a final mention goes to Hackers EP by Jam Thieves.
Waveform: How long have you been a part of the lokey collective ? What is the aim of getting involved in such a collective ? What do you think collectives bring to the underground scene, especially in the case of lokey in Bournemouth ?
Cosmic: I joined lo key sometime in late 2016 or very early 2017. I got involved with the guys when the collective was still in its infancy, so initially I had no particular goal in mind. I simply enjoyed hanging out with like-minded individuals who shared my passion for good music.
In fact, lo key is much more than a collective – it’s a family. We are all good friends who simply love having a good time and sharing this with as many people as we can. Some of us aren’t even DJs or musicians – we are a collective of all kinds of artistic individuals.
I would like to think that we are bringing something fresh to the stagnating local scene here in Bournemouth. There aren’t many groups which will put on heavy underground music events covering dubstep, grime, drum & bass, halftime and other variations of bass music, whilst at the same time hosting house, disco, jazz and soul nights. We have a lot of talented individuals in the collective so our goal is to bring this variety to the underground scene in Bournemouth, and hopefully other places too.
Ultimately, I think collectives are a great thing for the whole underground community. It’s always easier to accomplish anything if you have like-minded individuals by your side.
Waveform: Is it difficult to tell a specific story or create a specific sound when you’re part of such a collective, and does being a part of it sometimes influence you ?
Cosmic: It can definitely be challenging at times, but the amount of musical variety among our crew is in my opinion a massive positive. We share our favourite discoveries between ourselves which allows us to find much more than we would otherwise be able to. We can also rely on each other for constructive and fair criticism when it comes to our work. But most importantly, we work together and have fun together.
Waveform: I have only heard your mixes but do you also produce, or is it something you would like to get into and maybe release yourself at some point ?
Cosmic: I’m still learning the black magic ways of making electronic music, but I would like to release my own music in the future. I suppose this one will have to wait until the time is right!
Waveform: Are there any artists you think we should keep an eye on ?
Cosmic: Most definitely Operate. I’ve had the pleasure of becoming quite good friends with Dom and I can safely say that this guy is going to make some proper waves. He’s been a bit quiet in the scene recently, but I can assure you that there are some big things in the works.
I would also like to mention Enta, another great artist I had pleasure working with. His production is top notch and his sets are always explosive.
Hollow Embassy also deserve a mention, this duo from Bournemouth was (to my knowledge) the first act to start pushing halftime in the Bournemouth area. That definitely took some balls. Big up.
Big shouts to Dunman, New Oddysee and Gleaza for pushing the 140bpm sound in Bournemouth. It’s always a pleasure working with these guys.
Finally, a shout out to Prolific who I’ve been playing sets with since the very beginning. He’s a very talented musician with a couple of very exciting projects in the works. Definitely keep an eye out.
Oh, and of course all of lo key, duh!
Waveform: Do you have anything exciting planned ?
Cosmic: lo key’s second birthday is coming up very soon, and we have prepared a special celebration for the whole underground community. I am very excited about this one. It will be our best party yet.
You can find more information about the event on our Facebook page.