Max Cooper: Expressions (Traum)
Really lovely stuff coming from Max Cooper on this 4-track EP on the esteemed Traum label. His work here suits the various facets of the Traum label quite well, harking back to the label’s drowsy ambient heyday as well as working functionally for a dancefloor like much of their more current catalogue. For more no-nonsense DJ types, Maetrik turns in a straightforward remix of “Chaotisch Serie,” but it’s the least exciting thing here for this listener. The other three originals really excel where Maetrik’s remix falls perhaps a tad short; they are long on melody, atmosphere and emotion. They share the same sweet tenderness of other post-techno acts like Pantha Du Prince or Lawrence, moving as much emotionally as physically. “Enveloped” is the cut that straddles these worlds the most effectively, never really hitting a full mixable stride, insisting on a slower half-beat with a framework that would lend itself to DJ compatibility otherwise. “Sea of Sound” lives up to its name with an underwater pulse that grows over time, full of swooning chords and layers of effects and harmonics that completely fill the landscape. It’s a handsome complement to some of Cooper’s more visceral minimal techno output (like the Sleazebox 12" he released earlier on Very Very Wrong Indeed), hopefully suggesting where he’s heading next.