I first heard of Mr. Coopers music in 2005, releasing his debut album Amongst Strangers on the intriguing Wimm Recordings label, totally unaware he’d had a track featured on the Lexoleum Trilogy compilation under the guise of Mummy Fortuna’ Theatre Company, a beautifully presented compilation on Lex Records from two years previous.
I loved the debut release as Mr. Cooper, somewhere stuck between electronic music and instrumental hip hop. Having been obsessed by all things electronic since my teens, I was becoming bored with electronica, it was becoming stale and predictable, new ideas were few and far between, but hip hop had been exciting me again, and the onslaught of hip hop/electronic hybrids by such luminaries as Prefuse73 put me on a different path, seeking out instrumental music that was futuristic, yet beat driven, encapsulating the soundtrack esthetic, with an emotive undertone. Mr. Cooper ticked all of these boxes, even though his debut was more electro/acoustic in its construction, recognizable sounds, organic in feel.
The new album, What Else There Is, released on Project Mooncircle, explores the electronic realm more deeply. Moving away from more recognizable sounds, and creating more abstract tones propels this release into the future. Being aware of Mr. Cooper’ influences throughout the making of this record, through the C7 forum, his love of hip hop, ambient, electronic, kraut rock and emerging dubstep artists, the result is a mix of all these and more. He notes an influence of the movie Bladerunner, and this “feel’ can be heard as an emotive thread through the whole album, not to say he is copying any of these influences, he has made the sound his own. The beats roll, the electronics simmer, and the result is truly from the future. Warning bells could sound with the dubstep overtones of Part 8, falling into the formulaic output of most dubstep artists, but not here, he retains that thread and pushes his take of dubstep in another direction, an indication of a true artist, more interested with experimentation than fitting into a scene.
I cannot recommend this enough, Mr. Cooper has created an outstanding album, containing so much dark, cold electronic sounds, yet retaining a real warmth that can be felt through a big sound system, and through headphones equally. When I was made aware of the quite basic setup this album was created on, my respect triples, the production sounds incredible, sonically. Mr. Cooper states â€œperhaps the most important qualities of my own music for me is the way it creates an emotive atmosphere. I hope that I haven’ lost any of thatâ€, most definitely not. Buy now, or find out more from www.projectmooncircle.com. Available as digital download and double LP vinyl, released in Japan on CD.