Hello all! Very pleased, very proud to say that there's a new Mike Cooper release coming out this February, with sleeve art by yours truly.
Time and again, Cooper heroically expands the horizons of exoticism (and everything else) with experimentalism and improvisation. An absolutely brilliant artist, a gentle titan, a true and revolutionary exot. The album, Reluctant Swimmer / Virtual Surfer, is being released on vinyl by the Discrepant label, which has put out tons of field recordings, exotic, experimental, and globally-minded music. From the Discrepant site:
The 'icon of post-everything,' Mike Cooper, returns to Discrepant with a recording of a live set recorded at the Controindicazioni Festival of Improvised Music in Rome in 2003. The music moves very slowly through four movements: “Reluctant Swimmer,” “Movies is Magic,” “Virtual Surfer,” and “Dolphins”. 'Floating in out of the exotic ether and disappearing like smoke, engulfed in the alien hugeness of nature... a very elegant set by a visionary artist.'
Mike Cooper says 'the first half is played on my old 1920s National tri-plate lapsteel guitar and the second half on my Vietnamese electric lap steel. I also sing two songs along the way. “Movies is Magic” by Van Dyke Parks and “Dolphins” by Fred Neil. It was the first time I had ever sung the last song.'
Seriously, the rendition of "Movies is Magic" (originally on Van Dyke Parks' & Brian Wilson's strange, wonderful, frustrating album Orange Crate Art), is totally transformative, just deeply moving, especially in the context of the performance, where it truly emerges from abstraction and atmosphere, then disappears again. Listen to the two versions together sometime.
Check it out here.
I have a couple more covers for Discrepant coming out this year, stay tuned. Very exciting music. I love making cover art for good music; let me know if you have one and perhaps I can provide the other.