Boomkat Product Review:
Wigged-out improv tripsperiments from The Necks' pianist Chris Abrahams - on synth! and veteran pacific voyager Mike Cooper, making for a proper grimy, offworld session for the weirdest new year ever.
Since 2006 Mike Cooper has jammed with The Necks' ivory tickler Chris Abrahams innumerable times, and "Praxis" is the result of their most recent session. Cooper was in Australia traveling light and borrowed a guitar from Abrahams, complimenting it with an iPhone virtual steel guitar app (really) and a suitcase full of pedals.
"Praxis" is an improv record, for sure, with Cooper's angular guitar shards forming the album's backbone, but with Abrahams swapping his piano for a Waldorf Q+ synth and Cooper interjecting with electronic elements, it makes for a thoroughly disorientating, head-mashing listening experience that's perfect for ushering in 2021.
Cooper's singular blues-flecked guitar tones are shrouded in stuttering pedal hiccups, stretched and mangled in harmony and dissonance with Abrahams' sci fi gurgles. At this stage, the two players have developed a strong sense of unity and their contributions melt and fade into each other: at some points it's not even obvious who's doing what. Cooper and Abrahams' mutual admiration for each other makes it a joy to absorb.