In early 2023, Tresor Records will reissue the sole output from Shifted Phases entitled The Cosmic Memoirs Of The Late Great Rupert J. Rosinthrope. Initially released in 2002, soon after James Stinson passed away, this LP plays a mysterious and compelling role in the Drexciya journey. While other records of Drexciya and related projects have received numerous reprints and editions, The Cosmic Memoirs... has remained out of print since its release. This rarity leaves it more open to interpretation with its place in the Drexciyan storm series, as it became increasingly hard to find and underexplored.
Track titles Solar Wind, White Dwarf, and Lonely Journey of the Comet Bopp reveal a focus on cosmic realms, suggesting a link with the Drexciya LP Grava 4 that moves from the underwater to the galactic. As it launches with mechanical blows on a precise orbit, each repetition entrenches the gravitational pull in the galaxy of Shifted Phases. In many places, it sounds like the readout of frequencies harvested from outer space, pockmarked with packet loss from the millions of kilometres distance travelled.
The music is hard to contain, intuitively restless in motion through its unfolding universe and achingly resonant. It shapeshifts across affectedly melodic sequences such as in Lonely Journey..., to the sparse, hard-hitting timbres found in Alien Vessel Distress Call and the mangled reverse vocals in The Freak Show, somewhat reminiscent of another Drexciya side-project, Glass Domain. The mythology of Drexciya is evident in how keenly James Stinson and Gerald Donald created their imaginary worlds. In Crossing Of The Sun-Ra Nebula, there is an undisputable reference to another Afro-futurist who delved deep into a galaxy of their own making.
This reissue does not merely close the loop on Tresor's reissue series of the Drexciya catalogue but brings Shifted Phases to fresh ears more than other records. Accompanied by newly commissioned artwork from Matthew Angelo Harrison, the 3xLP vinyl reissue also features the tracks Crossing Of The Sun-Ra Nebula and Alien Vessel Distress Call, which were previously only on the original CD release.