Published Jan 20, 2015Chris Cooper is a noise prankster with the uncanny ability to — at times — get serious. Having recorded with the likes of Caroliner, Fat Worm of Error and Deerhoof, he is an expert at fusing obtuse mayhem and amusing shenanigans to blistering sonic onslaughts. It's no surprise then that Bidden, a collection of solo pieces recorded between 1996 and 2009 (with a recently crafted tune thrown in for good measure), has arrived on Jason Lescalleet's Glistening Examples imprint. Lescalleet is a serious noisenik whose tape works have unspooled for labels such as Erstwhile and Intransitive. He's also taken the piss out of Big Black with his Songs About Nothing LP, which shows that there's also a sense of humour at play in his work.
Cooper's modus operandi is to blend high-speed tape gargling, not-quite-innocent "melodies" improvised on an assortment of instruments and chaotic streams of undifferentiated sound into compositions that shift from being extremely jumpy to very slothful and back again. A three-ring circus folded into a cement mixer might be an apt metaphor for the oblique sound world that Cooper inhabits. Yet as bonkers as it is, Bidden has many inspired moments, and is a nice starting point for those unfamiliar with what this entertaining artist has to offer. (Glistening Examples)