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Best of 2021

Mike Cooper

Spirit Songs (LP)

Label: Eargong Records

Format: LP

Genre: Experimental

In stock


Originally released in 2005 on Cooper's Hipshot Cd-r label, and reissued here for the first time on vinyl, Spirit Songs deserves to be regarded as a true rediscovered gem, remixed and remastered by Mike Copper himself!

Spirit Songs comes as a highly organic form of Ambient-Folk-Blues with Cooper reordering material to create an immersive listening experience. A stream of cut-up lyrics inspired by Thomas Pynchon's writing slide across multiple electronic layers and masterfully fingerpicked acoustic guitars combining into a moving tide. This is deeply inspired music from a unique artist: Mike Cooper the so called  "icon of post-everything music” a true sound explorer constantly pushing the boundaries of genres and styles, Folk, Blues, Free Improv, Exotica, Ambient, Electronica...

"Spirit Songs.. a glorious marriage of all three of Cooper's previous musical strategies; creating a stunning hybrid. The album contains 10 songs performed on finger-picked acoustic and electric lap steel guitar, often looped and treated in real time, with Cooper singing lyrics in a quietly meandering, semi-improvisatory manner that recalls a more polished Jandek. The style of songwriting is immediately recognizable as blues, but an intuitive, idiosyncratic form of folk-blues, with Cooper narrating laments over matters personal and global, gentle universalisms that double as political messages. All of this occurs over a loose rhythmic framework provided by various noisy loops, with cracks, scratches and pops, echoes and distortions skipping out from every refrain. It's a gentle cacophony with subtle undercurrents of beauty and sadness, effortlessly nostalgic but still very rooted in the now. I think that Mike Cooper can genuinely call this style his own; I've never heard anything remotely like it, and it works beautifully, highlighting both song and singer, as well as the happy accidents resulting from the intersection of structure and chaos."- Pitchfork Review.

Cat. number: EG002LP
Year: 2021