WITH what looks to be another absolutely essential, cartographically-inclined Maps EP out at midsummer, Max Cooper has today dropped a typically jaw-dropping short film – to call it a video is somehow to demean the scale and art of the piece, I feel – for one of that EP’s most outstanding tracks, “Leaving The Place” – watch with us. Be awed with us.
We’re told that the track was written during a recent period of isolation when Cooper was in search of escapism. He became totally lost in the process, often forgetting to sleep or eat for long periods of time while he worked on it. The densely layered sonic spaces are best enjoyed through headphones, and represented in the video when small geometric structures combine and sort themselves into large forms.
“I stuck with the same principles of space and feeling from the EP in general, by mixing the pads, the slowly evolving atmospheric synth parts louder in the mix, and the percussion quieter, save for a kick filtered right down,” he says, “so the mix took on an engulfing quality.
“I also added a lot of layers of binaural elements and small synth jams to further this atmosphere and yield a strange space around you with headphone listening; and I pretty much avoided adding any big drums.”
As with last years astonishing visuals for “Swarm” the video for “Leaving This Place” flits around a wired, warped revisualising of the organic, and in this case sees pixel-sorting algorithm doing battle with a slime-mould algorithm for control of the visual field – and the dizzying effects come courtesy director Jazer Giles.
“I was drawn to the work of Jazer Giles which, for me, has a beautiful balance of computational and organic form,” Max says.
“It’s rich with structure and rules, but also full of a sort of wrongness that signifies art from a human. And it’s also deep with sub-systems and details, there’s a lot hidden in there as there is with the music, if you’re interested to delve into it with headphones and high res.”
The forthcoming Maps EP was borne of a multidisciplinary arts collaboration, with choreography, dance, film and music, each mapped to the other.
“A map is the representation of one structure in terms of another,” he explains. “Each creative provided their own mapping, not of some literal structure or brief, but of the feelings, movements, textures, the felt form of what was presented, which carried so much intent from the outset and filtered through the whole process.”
Hold on to your hats and prime your credit card if you’re in the Eastern Med, as Max has also announced details of an historic show at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece on July 6th. It’s set to be the first event of its kind in the amphitheatre’s 2000-plus year history, with Max using the ancient theatre as the canvas for his incredible visual show. It took years to put the show together, with approval being needs by archaeological foundations and trusts, and it joins a few other forthcoming dates, as detailed below – click on the venue hyperlink for ticket details.
Saturday, July 3rd, Liverpool, Grand Central Hall;
Tuesday, July 6th, Athens, The Acropolis;
Sunday, August 22nd Warm Up Festival, Bygrave Woods, Hertfordshire, and
Saturday, April 30th, 2022, The Roundhouse, Camden, London.
Max Cooper’s Maps EP will be released digitally by Mesh on June 24th and is available to pre-order now at Bandcamp.