Max Cooper – Expressions review

It sounds like Hot Chip remixer Max Cooper has temporarily put the brakes on the dancefloor sensibilities that sees him charted by the likes of Dubfire and Gui Boratto. Indeed, on Expression, he has applied the cerebral side of his thought process that saw him complete a PhD in Genetics.

“Enveloped” is a deeply reflective piece of mood music that at first sounds understated. Gradually though, it surges to a climax thanks to a trancey melody sequence and then fades to reveal a breaky, glitchy rhythm track. It’s reminiscent of Border Community output, but more complex. “Sea of Sound” follows a similar path: understated beats provide the backing for rich, sensuous melodies that build and build into an epic finale. Trance may be a dirty word, but both tracks are trance in the most positive meaning of the word, uplifting and melodic yet also forward thinking.

“Ripple” is also evocative, but uses reverberating riffs rather than hooks, and also nudges Cooper back towards the dancefloor, thanks to a grungy bass and spiky shards of percussion. This shift is completed on Maetrik’s version of Cooper’s “Chaotisch Serie”, where a snaking, dubby bassline and otherworldly vocal samples translate into an effective DJ track, that like all of Cooper’s output, is the product of applied thinking.

Richard Brophy