7/10

The release of Max Cooper’s ‘Chromos’ EP follows on from his extensive ‘Emergence project’ – an ambitious amalgamation between audio-visual show, scientific research project, art installation and IDM record. ‘Chromos’ – also released on Cooper’s imprint Mesh Records – follows on with the scientific research aspect to Emergence, as the new EP was inspired by genetic research undertaken at the Babraham Institute with Mikhail Spivakov – Research Group Leader.

Speaking about the project, Spivakov says, ‘as a biologist I am passionate to find ways to make our science more accessible, to help people understand what we do and why we do it. It was amazing to see how the project took real data from the lab and turned it into a multidimensional experience which allows people to get more closely acquainted with our DNA, what it does and it looks, making it almost palpable’.

The EP begins with the beautifully delicate titled track as an ominous melody underpins fluttering synths and staccato percussive elements, emulating the soundscapes of organic life. From the very start, Cooper encapsulates you with his profound passion for science and it’s enigmatic atmosphere. ‘Chromos’ is followed by ‘Coils Of Living Synthesis’, taking a more robotic, futuristic approach. Featuring glitchy sounds and crashing high-hats layered over an downtempo melodic beat, filled with emotion. ‘Coils Of Living Synthesis’ also features an accompanying VR video by long-time collaborator Andy Lomas, the production of which used a simulated model to predict what DNA looks like inside a cell.

As the EP flows into ‘Molten Landscapes’, the mood changes as it becomes uptempo, drawing focus to the pounding kick drums and echoing synths. It is a hypnotic groove that takes the mind away with complex layers of distant chords and computerised sounds. Whilst ‘Four Tone Reflections’ is a 12-minute, slow-building journey, giving the listener a space-like sonic experience. As the electric arpeggios begin to grow, the track turns into a euphoric trance, oozing that feeling of ecstasy.

Closing the EP is a beastly, warped techno monster remix of ‘Chromos’ from Cosmin TRG. As the song closes, the listener is left in a juxtaposed position as the warm chords try to pierce through the thundering kick drums. Throughout, it is evident how much thought and love Cooper has poured into this collection of work. With the aim to make science accessible, Cooper has just done that by bringing you closer to the landscape of organic life throughout the first two tracks and teaching us about the change that their organisms have, producing electrifying rhythms that are constantly evolving, pulsating and combining together – creating energetic waves of life.

Max Cooper – ‘Chromos’ EP will be available from the 26th May via Mesh Records

Posted by:Chanel Kadir

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