Boomkat Product Review:
Room40 reissue the British guitarist's experimental album, dedicated (apparently) to the dubious charms of the Hawaiian shirt. Mike Cooper has been a figurehead of Britain's blues, jazz and R&B scenes since the 1960s, leaning towards the avant-garde with later collaborations alongside Lol Coxhill, Keith Rowe, Eddie Prevost, David Toop and Steve Beresford. More recently, Cooper recorded an album for Room40 with Necks pianist Chris Abrahams, but this recording takes us back half a decade or so to a collection of solo, exotica-influenced electroacoustic experiments. Cooper's fixation on all things Hawaiian extends back to the 1980s, but this solo outing is one of his most exploratory works in the field, melding lapsteel and slack-key guitar styles with electronic loops, processing and field recordings collected in the Pacific. The music skirts between Philip Jeck-like crackle and loop manipulations (such as 'Caught Inside (For Daniel Duane)' and the skittering beat-scapes of 'Kokoke Nalu', but all the while Cooper's musicianship as an accomplished guitarist shines through.