Cooper, Mike: Tropical Gothic LP
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It's 2018 and it's time for some new discoveries into Mike Cooper's limitless exploration in his collection of guitars. The title itself, Tropical Gothic references Cooper's beloved areas of "the South" with a Gothic, dark, remote interplay... he explains: ''Tropical Gothic includes, but is by no means limited to, a reflection on a region where European colonial powers fought intensively against indigenous populations and against each other for control of land and resources.'' On each side, Mike Cooper studies different approaches to his method of uniting guitar and field recordings into a constant stream of sound, where he delivers chaos and melody -- not necessarily in that order. Side A is composed of shorter pieces. Each of them offers a myriad of images and sensations, between the enigmatic and terror ("The Pit"), joy, happiness and freedom ("Running Naked") or pure contemplation ("Onibaba"). "Onibaba" runs as a fitting introduction to Side B and its 18th minute magical piece "Legong/Gods Of Bali". A mix of ambient exotica music, silent film soundtrack and distorted rhythms that dance around Mike's guitar. It keeps reinventing and transforming itself throughout those eighteen minutes, summing up the dexterity and muscle of Mike Cooper's music of the last two decades. With another grand collage artwork by Evan Crankshaw.