Everyone's favourite computational biologist-turned-electronic music producer is back with what can only be described as one of the more fully realized EPs of 2017. Max Cooper's Chromos is a followup to last year's Emergence, and continues to build on the fascinating relationship between music and science — a relationship perhaps best embodied by the Belfast-born producer himself. Cooper, who earned his PhD from Nottingham University, worked as a genetics researcher with a penchant for late-night DJing before ultimately deciding to pursue music full-time. But his musical endeavours never failed to reflect his scientific roots, with Cooper finding innovative ways to marry the worlds of science and audio.
Through visual representations of data, best evidenced on Emergence and now Chromos, Cooper has been able to translate abstract data, concepts and research into tangible musical realities. His deft ability to infuse electronic music with information, combined with elements of visual arts, has resulted in a more accessible imagining of science for listeners and viewers. For example, opening tracks "Chromos" and "Coils of Living Synthesis" are two soundscapes inspired by the genetic research at the Babraham Institute in the UK. The former features an accompanying video by collaborator Andy Lomas, whose visuals used a simulated model to predict what DNA looks like inside a cell.
It doesn't take listening to the spellbinding 12-minute build of "Four Tone Reflections" to understand why Cooper remains one of the most innovative and cutting-edge producers in electronic music today; his work has always been a masterpiece of craftsmanship, his meticulous attention to detail surpassed only by the creative processes that drive his musical vision. Chromos is a truly immersive and multidimensional experience.
The title of track three ("Molten Landscapes") may just be the best combination of words to describe the EP: liquid, fluid, melted, flowing soundscapes — in other words, red-hot. (Mesh)