Belfast's Max Cooper has carved a unique position for himself as an artist mixing emotional dance floor experimentation with fine art sound design and stunning visuals. He's playing Amsterdam's Paradiso tonight (Friday) and closer to home at Opium Rooms in Ireland tomorrow. We caught up for a very special collaboration.
Max: "Sometimes it's important to take a step away from reality and remember that existence can be a beautiful thing. It's a simple aim, but one that's hard to achieve with words, for me at least. But music can do it.
I wanted to create a playlist of this sort of beautiful escapism, exploring some of my favourite music that can remind me of what's important amidst all the hectic information overload of modern life. It's also a playlist that very much explores the links between us and machines, with many traditional live instruments fused with electronics and computational techniques. That's some of the richest ground for me musically, and also a reflection of where we're at, being why it resonates now.
It should be heard on headphones with a good low frequency coverage and stereo field, or a nice external system that can deliver the same effect, so that it can wrap you up in the layers of warmth and provide it's full effect. It's also needs to be given a little bit of time to work. It's not like most things now which we demand to give instant gratification. Escaping to a more reflective space takes a while, but I think it's worth it."
Max: "So many amazing pieces of music in there it's hard to pick out specifics. But I guess I could mention some old favourites in there such as the classical Cold Water Music, which was something that had a lot of play during my Uni days, and the Mosaic remix of Blamstrain which has featured in many of my sets over the years. Then there's the one deviation from my path of solace via form, where I abandoned the musical form for a piece of music that is poetically focused - Woozy With Cider. I'm not usually one to pay much attention to lyrics, but the honesty of this piece of music grabbed me, as the same sort of honesty I tried to bring in via tonal form amongst the rest of the tracks."