Friday, April 04, 2014

ODD-STRALIA pt 3: The Invented Instruments of Rod Cooper

Another strange-music-making Australian ("odd-stray-alien," as our expert in such matters Buttress O'Kneel says) is the chap in the above video, Rod Cooper, a metal-worker who makes fantastic plunky/boingy/screechy hand-built metal instruments. Seeing him live would be the optimal way to experience him, I would imagine, considering how, to quote B'O'K: "he used to play in subterranean stormwater drains and stuff, secret illegal gigs that utilised the tunnels' natural reverb to the fullest." And of course, you'd get to see these gizmos up close.

He has a few albums for sale, but here's one you can listen to via Bandcamp as Klunk, a duo with John Bell on vibraphone and percussion:

Klunk: "Metalic"

Many of these improvised instrumentals are nice indeed, with Cooper coaxing all kinds of atmospheric, almost ambient soundscapes out of his Highly Resonant Object. No harsh industrial pounding here. The interplay between vibes and HRO on "Aluminum" is quite lovely, and the dramatic "Columbium" is compelling.  I love jazz vibes, but on some tracks the aimless wandering vibraphone doesn't do much for me. Tracks like the sparse, haunting "Stainless" are more successful.

Here are two samplers, both almost 6 minutes long:

And then there's:


Artist Statement - Like the man says: "Comfort Through Dissonance"

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