Birch Cooper is an artist with his hands in multitudes of projects and different mediums. He moonlights with Barbara Kinzle in The Slaves and blasts havoc to all your senses in his multimedia duo with Brenna Murphy, MSHR. He's also spent time as a member of the enigmatic Oregon Painting Society and builds a lot of his own electronics. But that's not enough. His solo work has added a new point of light as it constructs new ground from nothingness. "'I Was a Teacher,'" his first solo LP, following up last year's absolutely stellar tape, "Weird Lesson," is the sound of machines warning each other that the end is near.
Fried circuits mutate and reform into something new and organic that sound like the guts of the Earth if it was all gears and escapement mechanisms. This music is harsh and frenetic. Electronic pendulums achieve locked-state oscillations as a form of aural catharsis. Frequencies shift like chameleons, working in forms of cryptic polymath to achieve the perfect destroyer. These tones screech out bleakness, worming their way through your ear canals until they can alter your synapses permanently.
It's incredible how Cooper is operating within a framework and language that is entirely his own. Cold electronics are twisted like scrap metal into impossible angles and bizarre shapes. It feels like you're trapped inside some kind of dystopian technological nightmare, searching every neural pathway for a way to escape. High-frequency blasts coalesce into cybernetic mountains, accented with neon trails and acid-laced electrons. This is complex music that is built to malfunction in unexpected ways. It is anti-whimsical. Sure, there's nothing beautiful about "'I Was a Teacher,'" but it stays with you all the same.
Vinyl edition limited to 100 copies.
released 15 July 2012