Posts Tagged With: eluvium

False Readings On – Eluvium

It seems in the past few years, ambient artist Matthew Robert Cooper, operating under the moniker of Eluvium, has really be attempting the push forward the envelope on ambient music. Albums like Similies and Nightmare Ending saw Cooper really expanding upon his sonic palette, offering up beautiful yet slightly challenging album experiences. On his latest album False Readings On, we see Cooper presenting what is perhaps one of his most ambitious album experiences yet. Still ingrained in the ambient genre, and yet incorporating many experimental elements, False Readings On shows Cooper as an every evolving artist, one who is able to redefine the ambient genre in any way he sees fit.

On his 2013 album Nightmare Ending, Cooper offered up a great range of ideas and concepts, creating something within the ambient genre that was a little different. Though the two-disc album did feel oddly bloated at times, it helped establish many leaping off points for False Readings On, which shows Cooper really refining his music, and showcasing some incredibly creative ideas. Many tracks anchor themselves around experimental motifs, such as a constantly shifting high-pitched drone, or a bouncing bass note that flows into view. Everything results in an album that is peculiar and challenging at first, but on repeated listens displays an incredible craft and an extraordinary number of hidden beauties beneath the layers.

False Readings On is certainly an ambitious album, but one that isn’t the easiest listen at times. Whilst the ambient genre suggests calm droning aspects, Cooper challenges this notion by structuring his tracks around certain motifs and techniques. The result is an album where each distinct element paints an individual portrait, with each pushing the overarching story-line being presented by Cooper. False Readings On may disappoint those expecting a more low-key and calmer album, but those who enjoy Cooper’s sheer creativity will no doubt find the album to be one of his most enticing and rewarding.

Even though there’s at times, so much happening on False Readings On, the result is still an album experience that is simply beautiful at times. Each new listen of the album reveals something initially overlooked, whether it be an underlying motif under the surface of a song, or something that ties into the overarching story-line. As an album, it is easily one of Cooper’s most consistent experiences from start to finish, with each track contributing wonderfully to the album itself. False Readings On comes across as one of Cooper’s most creative albums to date, and one that demonstrates so many new ideas and concepts, that what is to follow should be equally enthralling.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★★ 5/5

Selected Songs:

  • Regenerative Being
  • Beyond The Moon For Someone In Reverse
  • Rorschach Paven
  • Posturing Through Metaphysical Collapse

Eluvium’s latest album ‘False Readings On’ is out now available at: https://eluvium.bandcamp.com/album/false-readings-on 

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Maze of Woods – Inventions

First posted on echoesanddust.com.

Eluvium’s Matthew Cooper and Explosions In The Sky’s Mark T. Smith team up one again under the title of Inventions for the release of their sophomore effort ‘Maze Of Woods’. The new album sees the two collaborative artists building up on the groundwork previously established on their self-titled 2014 debut effort. ‘Maze Of Woods’ offers up another album experience branching off from both artists respective beginnings, though also incorporating many new and exciting elements, creating a sonic landscape of beauty and mystery that will certainly please and amaze fans of this exciting project.

On ‘Maze Of Woods’, we see Cooper and Smith presenting more material first presented on their debut effort. Whilst elements of ambient and post-rock dominate the record, we see more elements and techniques working their way into the mix, showcasing a real drive to create something that is interesting and different. There’s a few elements of uncertainty present on ‘Maze Of Woods’, sometimes feeling a little worrying and mysterious, though this opens up into gorgeous musical landscapes where each and every element, every tone and note, all come into play to present some of the most beautiful music currently being produced.

‘Maze Of Woods’ has a lot going for it, a record that is equally as ambitious and rewarding as its predecessor, though there’s a few elements that are a little more jarring than one would expect. The album opens up with the electronic-driven ‘Escapers’, one that features more similarities to Cooper’s work under the moniker of Martin Eden than his work as Eluvium. The track shows Cooper and Smith exploring different musical territories, driving forth a message that establishes the album, though it also suggests elements we might expect of the album that won’t ever arrive. It arguably works in some senses, though there’s a jarring element that might alarm some unsuspecting listeners.

It’s arguable that ‘Maze Of Woods’ is perhaps not as strong as Cooper and Smith’s debut effort, though it is an effort that expands upon the landscapes they’ve conjured up over the past few months. This second album under their collaborative title offers new insight and new emotions, highlighting the incredible strengths these two composers have. There’s extraordinary amounts of beauty that Cooper and Smith effortlessly pull us into, dropping us into a world where sounds intertwine beautifully to great extents. Those who were so taken by the groups debut effort will find ‘Maze Of Woods’ to be a more than satisfactory successor.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆ 4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Springworlds
  • Slow Breathing Circuit
  • A Wind From All Directions
  • Wolfkids

Invention’s second album ‘Maze Of Woods’ is out now.

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Pedals/Petals – Eluvium

Ambient musician Matthew Robert Cooper, better known as Eluvium, offers up the very welcome digital release of his 2014 EP ‘Pedals/Petals’. The originally vinyl-only release saw Cooper offering two ambient tracks roughly 10 minutes each in length, both featuring his now trademark ambient style. Although rather short, ‘Pedals/Petals’ offers up a very nice and inviting ambient musical experience, perfect for playing and letting wash over one’s self. Although the EP might not demonstrate any new techniques or ideas from Cooper, it does present what the musician does best, and in a very enjoyable way.

‘Pedals/Petals’ opens up in typical Eluvium fashion, by introducing a wave of electronic drone that is accompanied by ambient movements that swirl around like waves. There’s a wonderful driving force in both of the tracks, which offers up a very relaxing ambient experience, but one that also rewards attentive listening. Both tracks seem to follow similar forms and ideas, both constructed around similar notions, though they also seem to offer something different to each other, though in very subtle ways. The main elements at play here on ‘Pedals/Petals’ might not deviate all that much from most of Cooper’s other releases, and in fact sounds like a shorter and arguably more accessible version of ‘Catalin’, though there’s something lovely and enjoyable here still being offered.

Some might not find ‘Pedals/Petals’ to be all that impressive, though this rather brief record is certainly a reminder of the great amount of talent from Cooper. The ambient notions being offered on the two tracks feel almost effortless in their creation, though showcase the wonderful and complex style of Cooper in wonderful fashion. The way in which the ambient techniques wash over so wonderfully make this short EP a wonderful listening experience, and one that fits alongside nicely amongst everything else Cooper has released thus far.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Pedals
  • Petals

Eluvium’s latest EP ‘Pedals/Petals’ is available on Vinyl and on digital download on Bandcamp.

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Wisdom For Debris EP – Eluvium

Ambient artist Matthew Robert Cooper, working under the moniker of Eluvium teams up with wife and partner Jeannie Lynn Paske with the release of their latest project ‘Wisdom For Debris’. The new release, limited to only 200 copies, combines together a book, featuring many of Paske’s gorgeous artwork (much of which has been used as artwork for Eluvium’s releases), as well as a bonus containing a new EP from Cooper. The short album from Eluvium comprises four new tracks, all of which come across as some of Eluvium’s most intimate and gorgeous ambient tracks to date. 

Across the four tracks offered by this regrettably very limited EP, we’re invited to the swirls and swoops of ambient drones that Cooper so easily utilizes for his own style of ambient music. There’s something very typical and expected of the music featured on the short EP, but it all comes across as some of Cooper’s most intimate music to date. Each track is fairly lengthy, giving themselves time to express themselves to the listener well enough for us to paint the pictures that best match the music. Each of the four tracks are as strong as each other, all offering something different yet all being as equally relevant in the context of the album itself. Fans of Eluvium will find the musical element of the release very inviting and very pleasing, which features some incredibly technical effects and elements, yet all of which come across in a very subtle and gentle manner.

It’s a shame that this release has had such a restricted and limited run, as it is perhaps one of Cooper’s best releases under the Eluvium moniker. Each of the four tracks present on the EP come across as beautiful, lovely and warm ambient tracks, all of which come across as some of his best work in his current career. It is difficult not to like what is being expressed here, which is just simple and gorgeous beauty through the use of the ambient musical genre. Combined with the absolutely gorgeous artwork of Jeannie Lynn Paske, ‘Wisdom For Debris’ is perhaps one of the most special and intimate releases from Eluvium thus far.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★★  5/5

Selected Songs:

  • Wisdom II
  • Wind Book
  • Return To Debris
  • Night Projections
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Inventions – Inventions

Explosions in the Sky guitarist Mark Smith combines his own creative ideas with equally creative Matthew Cooper of Eluvium, resulting in the duo’s latest album effort Inventions. The new band has pushed out their debut self-titled record, showcasing the collaborative style from two of Temporary Residence’s best artists in their current roster. Both Cooper and Smith throw their own musical ideas into the pool, resulting in the new sound that is Inventions. The bands’ debut album is a phenomenal effort that combines the brilliant ambient styles of Cooper with the post-rock elements of Smith, whilst also offering some brilliant new ideas that are captivating, haunting and beautiful.

Fans of both Eluvium and Explosions in the Sky will find tremendous amounts to enjoy here, though there’s a lot of surprises that will certainly keep you on your toes. As an album, ‘Inventions’ doesn’t actually sound characteristically like anything the duo have released before, which is great! We’re presenting with a new force that draws upon what both Cooper and Smith already know, and offers up some new discoveries and new ideas that the band have come across in their collaboration. It is a perfect collaborative effort, where both Cooper and Smith compliment each others own ideas and styles, both letting each other speak their own messages, both supporting each other. Musically the album is rich and delightful, offering up a lovely blend of tracks, some of which are just phenomenally beautiful.

It seems Cooper and Smith have produced a great effort with ‘Inventions’, which as an album has very little that is truly wrong with it. It is arguable that certain tracks (one in particular) don’t seem to contribute as much to the album as others do. Halfway through the album, there’s a sudden jarring effect with how the music is presented and sounds, giving the album a little bit of a clumsy element. As a track, it is still enjoyable in its own right, but on the album itself it seems like it is perhaps missing something that could help make it truly work and contribute towards the overall album itself.

Even so, Inventions comes across as a phenomenal project by both Cooper and Smith. The new bands’ debut album is a wonderful and expressive musical journey that tugs at a great selection of emotions. So much of this album has been done right, which expresses what is best of both Cooper and Smith. It’s wonderful that both musicians have managed to find some new ideas in their collaborative efforts, and on top of that, make these new ideas work well in the presentation of their first album. ‘Inventions’ is a gorgeous album effort that one can only hope is the beginning of something permanent. We can only cross our fingers and hope that ‘Inventions’ isn’t going to be a one-off project.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Flood Poems
  • Entity
  • Luminous Insects
  • Peaceable Child

Inventions debut album ‘Inventions’ is set for release on 1st April 2014.

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Catalin – Eluvium

Eluvium (Matthew Robert Cooper) once again offers another gorgeous ambient experience with his latest EP release ‘Catalin’. The new EP made up of two new compositions, both roughly 20 minutes in length each, cements Eluvium’s position as one of the forerunners in the current ambient music scene today. ‘Catalin’ comes across as another gorgeous musical experience which contains all the wonderful creativity and emotion that makes up the music that Eluvium presents. There might only be two tracks to enjoy here on ‘Catalin’, but it comes across as such as a perfect ambient music experience that does exactly what one would expect an ambient album to do.

It’s hard to fault ‘Catalin’ in terms of the experience the album offers. The two droning compositions on the album are so wonderfully relaxing and gentle. Nothing ever seems to interrupt the music at any point, but rather everything comes in gently and peacefully, creating an almost lulling music experience that could easily let people drift off. The two tracks themselves both offer different musical experiences when it comes down to their actual sounds, though they both compliment each other very well, both working together to present a strong album experience. Perhaps fans of Eluvium might find the long composed droning elements that dominate the two tracks a little dull in comparison with Eluvium’s previous work, which often introduces new elements at times to keep the music going. We can see where people who think this are coming from, but at the same time the subtleties of ‘Catalin’, and how the two tracks just go on and on in their relaxing states are just incredibly appealing and enjoyable.

Eluvium might just have released one of his best sounding releases with ‘Catalin’, which sounds much more like a traditional ambient album, much like the music of Brian Eno. Perhaps long tracks can be challenging to some, but ‘Catalin’ offers the listener a chance to just lie back and let the music envelope them in everything it has to offer. It’s a gorgeous and relaxing affair, which is exactly what it should most likely be. We could argue that Eluvium hasn’t pushed himself to create something that is new or exciting (like with some of his previous albums), but at the same time, ‘Catalin’ just works incredibly well with what it tries to offer.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Memory Print Boutique
  • Welcome Home/Ceaseless Sea

Eluvium’s latest release ‘Catalin’ was released on a limited run of 300 copies and is now sold out. 

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Nightmare Ending – Eluvium

The latest album by ambient-musician Matthew Cooper, working under the moniker of Eluvium, offers a double-album, featuring 7 tracks on each disc. ‘Nightmare Ending’ can be seen as the companion piece to Eluvium’s 2007 release ‘Copia’, which is arguably one of the finest records to have come out of the ambient genre. His latest album departs somewhat from his 2010 release of ‘Similies’, which to an extent divided fans with its inclusion of vocals and gentle percussion. ‘Nightmare Ending’ sees Cooper return to the instrumental style of ‘Copia’, and features his trademark style of ambient drones accompanied by gentle piano melodies. The result on ‘Nightmare Ending’ is some of his finest sounding work, if also some of his most challenging.

‘Nightmare Ending’ features much of Cooper’s trademark style, making it another wonderful record in his already wonderful discography. The album opens up with the incredibly gorgeous and beautiful ‘Don’t Get Any Closer’ which was released as the first taster for the album. The track though is barely a taster of how the whole album will sound, as it contains many of Cooper’s unexpected surprises that help make up his albums. There are plenty amounts of ambient drones that run on for minutes on end, oscillating up and down at a glacier pace. It is music akin to the style of Brian Eno, but Cooper has managed to refine the ambient genre to suit his own needs and has created a sound that is quintessentially his own. On ‘Nightmare Ending’ much of what we’ve come to expect from Cooper is present on the album, whilst some other tracks that seem to broaden his creativeness within the genre. It is arguably one of his finest records to date, containing some of his finest sounding tracks of all time. There’s an incredible amount of emotion in the tracks, which for the most part feels incredibly relaxing, though just a little bit harrowing. There’s a dark element hidden amongst the gentle layers Cooper builds up with his music, which makes ‘Nightmare Ending’ just that little bit challenging to listen to. It is though, every bit as enjoyable to listen to as anything else he has released so far.

There is a lot that can be enjoyed on ‘Nightmare Ending’ and it is certain to please fans of Eluvium, and perhaps fans of the ambient genre. ‘Nightmare Ending’ though might divide some fans though, especially those who were really drawn in by the style presented on ‘Similies’. The use of vocals and gentle percussion displayed a beautifully sensitive side to Cooper’s music, whose vocals in particular were every bit as gentle and unobtrusive as the genre they were a part of. It is perhaps a little bit of a shame that Cooper has decided to return to his older style of strictly instrumental tracks (except for the album’s closing track Happiness, which features vocals, but not Cooper’s). Considering though, the creativeness that has gone into the crafting of this album, it seems any choice Cooper makes in regards to his musical direction is generally a good one, and all he really needs to continue doing is just be himself and make music that he himself is proud of. In regards to ‘Nightmare Ending’, he should definitely be proud of himself.

‘Nightmare Ending’ is essentially everything I could have expected it to be. There is a wonderful style to Eluvium’s music, and ‘Nightmare Ending’ acts as another brilliant chapter in what Eluvium has to offer. The album helps to explain why Eluvium is one of my favourite musicians in the ambient genre, as he has a style that just draws the listener in, and showers them in a wonderful array of different emotions. It is beautiful music that is a little bit broader than just simple ambient drones. It may not be my favourite Eluvium record, but it is worthy of being one of his best records so far.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆  4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Don’t Get Any Closer
  • Envenom Mettle
  • Rain Gently
  • Covered In Writing

Eluvium’s 7th studio album ‘Nightmare Ending’ is set to release on 14th May 2013.

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