Mike Cooper: all instruments, loops
Ignorance, let me be cuddled once more by your long arms: although I had read Arthur Lyman’s name time and again over the course of many years I had to google him to genuinely ascertain who he was (in ultimate synthesis, the so-called “king of lounge music”). White Shadows In The South Seas is represented as Mike Cooper’s hint of deference to Lyman, but sure as shooting it comfortably stands amidst the most charming loop-based albums of recent memory, independently from any stylistic categorization. A veritable model of implicative effectiveness defined by Cooper’s clever sobriety: the application of intersecting scents and shapes generates entrancing sound worlds throughout. The primary constituents are few, competently treated: slowed-down recurrencies of easy listening cadenzas, various types of interference, lap-steel guitars where required, plus the rather indispensable aid of glorious recordings of wildwood vivacity including unique birds, vociferous crickets and extra whatnots refulgently meshing with the instrumental echoes within fourteen tracks. Now and then the prime mover accessorizes his creations with piquant touches of drum ‘n’ bass, or conjures up shades and pulses inconspicuously connectable to Jon Hassell’s Fourth World’s aural landscapes. But those are just my feelings, mostly deriving from the remembrance of a bright summer night in 1985 spent lying on a beach listening to Dream Theory In Malaya. The strength of this brilliant album is indeed its sui generis identity, a concoction of resplendent idealism and starry-eyed smiles occasionally revealing sinister nightmarish tendencies in “strident frequency” sauce (those damn insects sting the membranes beyond certain volume levels, you know).