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Boomkat Product Review:
Slide guitar maestro Mike Cooper expands his personalised world of abstract ambient exotica with this live recording made at Controindicazioni festival, Rome, October 2003.
Like a sort of grandpa to Spencer Clark’s improvised new age meditations, Mike Cooper has been sensitively appropriating elements of Pacific music and its environments into his music since emerging from the British blues revival in the ‘60s.
The four parts of Reluctant Swimmer were originally recorded as a seamless performance and are broken in two here, segueing from a swirl of what sounds like prepared guitar rattle pinged thru an FX pedal, to coalesce at a cosmic country cover of Van Dyke Parks’ Movies Is Magic as you’ve never heard it before, then melting out into Virtual Surfer’s humid canopy of location recordings and radiophonic chaos, and fading back into view with a take on Fred Neil’s folk rock classic The Dolphins swaddled in discordant electronic feedback.
Really can’t think of many other 75 year old guitarists whose music still feels somehow relevant thru it’s sheer, expressive abstraction nowadays. And this recording proves; Mike Cooper is pretty special.