Max Cooper is now on his 12th release with Traum and if that wasn't already a magic number, he has teamed up with Nicolas Bougaïeff, co-founder and Creative Director of Liine in Berlin. Bougaïeff, in collaboration with Richie Hawtin and other Liine partners, built the controllers for the Plastikman Live 2010 show. The company provides the Lemur App, Remiix Apps and Griid, amongst others. Nicolas Bougaïeff has recently completed his PhD on minimal techno.
The collaboration evolved in Berlin where both of them met and as Max says in his own words: "Nick contributed a load of ideas to this EP, one being this great patch he made using Operator, with lots of nice squelch, and some cool melodic frameworks as a starting point." The EP comes in vinyl and digital format.
The vinyl version holds all original tracks whereas the digital version also includes several remixes including one by Microtrauma, Nyma and Logiztik Sounds.
Starting with "Fracture", this track is built on a massive bassline that could be described in sound as similar to a Roland 303, but we won't swear to that. Within the track a lot of eruptive sounds surface with force that show an almost "crystal and fractured shape", still being very much on the side of the dance floor.
In fact Max Cooper has played these tracks in his recent live sets and regards them as very attractive to the dancing crowd. It is for the collaboration that the arrangement here of a typical Max Cooper track has undergone a strong change with advanced tools at work… the manipulation of sounds has been pushed to another though different level. The release with Nicolas Bougaïeff can therefore be described as an exciting stream of consciousness rather then an arrangement that has been fully formulated beforehand.
"Meadows" is the most electronic-ambientish of all trax on the EP, somehow painted in golden colours with shades of Joy Division melancholy at the beginning, then diving into a much sweeter sea of sounds, bathing, relaxing, breathing, collecting energy… making use then of a of repetition in sound that reminds us of Steve Reich's methods.
"Ellipse" is another dance floor track again, working on two levels, one being the arpeggiator sequenced sound-melody that could as well be described as funky and early Luciano flavoured and on the other side featuring sound shaping that includes aspect of randomness. The central point of the track is the subtle evolving dynamic or rather a journey-like spirit. At the end of the track you realize you have come full-circle and this gives the track an organic feel not unlike "Fracture". Says Bougaïeff: "The core of the melody was improvised in 20 minutes with a hardware Lemur a couple years ago. It was a great little sequence just waiting to be developed into a full track."
"Walls" could very well end up being a fantastic after-hour tune, since it is super reduced and almost haunting. It starts with a drum pattern meeting a controlled sequence of a single tone in repetition, which brutally gets interfered with by a strong fuzzy synth sound and creating something like a Radiohead kind of feeling! What a great closing track!
Track 5 features a remix of "Meadows" by Microtrauma. The duo has transformed the ambientish broken beat aesthetic of the original and transformed it into am epic "hymn like" techno track , showing great details by using sound snippets from the original, bringing ends together here in a very skilfully way, surprising with their arrangement... all resulting in an hypnotic and at times almost romantic piece of high quality music.
The second remix features Berlin based artist Nyma who has been busy as a DJ and since 2005 also as a producer. He did the technical support for Ableton and studio support for artists from the likes of Richie Hawtin, Carl Craig and Loco Dice in the past. Nyma has remixed the track "Fracture" and has kept a minimalistic "stripped-down staccato structure" approach" with an low key edge... hence a lot of understatement emerging from it… making it in many ways retrospective of American and Canadian techno music and through that very universal and DJ friendly.
The last track highlights South American producer Nicolas Silvano aka Logiztik Sounds from Montevideo, Uruguay.
In 2005 he wrote his first track, which was quickly picked and played by Hernán Cattaneo.
He has released music on Global Undergound, Little Mountain, Vapour, Sprout and emFire, Sasha’s label and has gained support from Dave Seaman, Nick Warren, James Zabiela, Jimmy Van M, Anthony Pappa, Pete Tong, Sander Kleinenberg and more. Nicolas is more in tune with the progressive and playful side of progressive techno music than Nyma hence his remix of "Ellipse" has turned out to be more melodic and colourful.
Release date: 2nd April 2013
(Max Cooper & Nicolas Bougaïeff)
A2. Meadows (Max Cooper)
(Max Cooper & Nicolas Bougaïeff)
B2. Walls (Max Cooper)
(Nyma's „Amethyst“ Remix)
(Logiztik Sounds Remix)