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White Shadows In The South Seas

by mike cooper

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hexenductor Compared to Rayon Hula, which conjures up a consistently hazy, ethereal mood across its tracklist, this album is much more diverse and the individual songs stand out more. Tracks like White Shadows have an incredible grooviness to them, while tracks like Lung Collapse show off Mike’s ability to craft a woozy, hallucinatory atmosphere. If you’re looking to get into his exotica work, this is a great jumping-off point; highly recommended! Favorite track: White Shadows.
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Dr Derelict 03:27
Beached 04:02
Po Mahina 03:30
The Ordeal 04:04
Tiki Tampoo 02:57
Tapu Lifted 03:52


t’s difficult to know how to summurise the meandering journey that has been the life and times of Mike Cooper. Having just celebrated his 70th year of mischief making here’s what we can tell you...

-:- A young Mike Cooper can be spotted playing a beatnik guitarist on an anti-nuclear march in London beat cult film “That Kind Of Girl”.

-:- His first band The Blues Committee played with and supported blues legends such John Lee Hooker, Howlin Wolf and Jimmy Reed.

-:- Cooper was central in launching several of the first folk and blues venues outside London, especially in and around Reading.

-:- He was a regular on John Peel’s program from 1969-1975, recording numerous sessions.

-:- His free music group The Recedents was formed in 1982, threading directly into London vibrant improvisation community.

-:- He moved to Italy in 1988 after a slew of musical projects during the 80s in the UK and EU.

-:- Since 1994 he has spent increasing amounts of time touring and exploring Oceania.

-:- One of the outcomes of his exploration is Beach Crossings-Pacific Footprints - a radiophone work commissioned by Italian and Australian radio - that traces the history of colonisation in the Pacific by Europeans from Tahiti up to the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

-:- His recordings have been re-issued numerous times by labels across the globe. Original pressings are found for obscene prices via various outlets. 

White Shadows In The South Seas is his latest offering and follows up directly from his lauded Rayon Hula album. It’s a pacific sunset-like dream spanning the horizon in pulsing waves of richly coloured rhythms, tropical sound fields and pacific-inspired slide guitar.

’Running his Hawaiian loops sweet and slow, Mike Cooper’s homage to Arthur Lyman is a masterpiece of contemporary exotica.’ The Wire.

‘Recent attempts at resurrecting exotica by John Zorn and Tipsy have been a little too reverent for their own good...RAYON HULA is the first truly sincere attempt at 21st Century exotica..a cool breeze of an album, experimental but eminently listenable.’ Brainwashed.


released March 22, 2013


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mike cooper Roma, Italy

Mike Cooper has traced a path completely his own for the past 50 years as an international musical explorer, lap steel guitarist, singer, improviser and composer, performing and recording, solo and in a number of inspired groupings and a variety of genres. stretching the possibilities of the guitar with an eclectic mix of the many styles he has practiced over the years. ... more

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