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Appreciation Post

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Subtle, calculated and highly-rewarding, Island of Noise is a perfectly balanced mixture of jazz, post-rock and hypnotic rhythms presented in a wonderfully unique way. Modern Nature, Jack Cooper’s most recent musical venture post-Ultimate Painting, brims with the creativity that only comes from an awry of talent as on this record. It’s an album oozing with influences, and Jack has kindly provided some of his most important records for us at fopp. So, here is what Modern Nature appreciates, now, let us appreciate Modern Nature.

In A Silent Way – Miles Davis
My favourite record of all time I think… certainly the best sounding record. Blessed with perfect economy and space. Composed but free in the most beautiful way. Recorded over 50 years ago and it still sounds like it has beamed in from the distant future. Notable also as the gateway to some of the greatest music of the 20th century; the Lost Quintet, Bitches Brew and beyond.

Anthony Braxton – Anything
Over the last few years, I’ve read and listened to everything I can by Anthony Braxton. I’ve hassled our piano player Alexander Hawkins about Braxton, as he’s worked with him a lot. I hope to one day meet him. His music can at first seem impenetrable but if you persist, you will be rewarded. Graham Lock’s biography/tour diary ‘Forces In Motion’ is also a great in.

Live At Birdland – John Coltrane
Only the first three tracks were recorded live at the Birdland club; the rest are studio recordings. If music transcends any other communication, then ‘Alabama’ is everything. Pure, succinct, transcendent and magical. The John Coltrane Quartet at it’s peak.

Ege Bamyasi – Can
I never tire of this record and the atmosphere is second only to ‘In A Silent Way’. Every repeated listen unlocks another door. Every few minutes there’s a moment that could bear an entire new musical movement.

Sleeping Beauty – Sun Ra
You can probably hear a theme emerging if you buy some of these records. Sleeping Beauty is mainly space, but the music itself has the momentum of a flock of birds of a pod of dolphins… breaking the surface and occasionally breaching. Getting into the music of Sun Ra is a labyrinth.

Bill Orcutt – Bill Orcutt
I am a really big fan of Bill’s band Harry Pussy and discovering them 15 years ago led me on to a world of amazing music. I lost track of what Bill was up to but rediscovered him recently and this run of fantastic solo albums. His duo with Chris Corsano is also well worth exploring, but it’s on his own where Bill’s music is so fascinating.

Alice Coltrane – Journey in Satchidananda
I don’t know what I can add to the acclaim Alice Coltrane’s music has received. Often in the shadow of her husband’s miraculous innovations, Alice’s own music seems to have finally received the attention and love it deserves.

The Necks – Body or Three
I’m fairly new to the music of The Necks but attended a show in London a few years back that’s up there with one of my favourites ever. Each show and album is entirely improvised but they have such a well established palette of sounds, a performance could never be mistaken for anyone else.

Mark Hollis – Mark Hollis
As a final statement, Mark Hollis’ solo album is perfect. Talk Talk’s final three albums are equally brilliant but everything was leading to this. I can’t shed any light on what makes it so wonderful, but I suppose that’s the point.

Morton Feldman – Rothko Chapel
Just incredible… Feldman wrote Rothko Chapel for the meditation room of the Menil Foundation in Houston/Texas in 1971. The room contains 14 large paintings by the American artist Mark Rothko in red, black and purple tones – Feldman said “Art in relation to life is nothing more than a glove turned inside out. It seems to have the same shapes and contours, but it can never be used for the same purpose. Art teaches nothing about life, just as life teaches us nothing about art.”

island of noise is available in-store on cd & lp!

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