Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Matthew Robert Cooper - Miniature 1
Eluvium is one my absolute favorite minimal/ambient dudes. I try my hardest to hear everything he makes. And this new record is his first release under his real name, Matthew Robert Cooper, as opposed to a stage name/pseudonym like Eluvium, so obviously I had to have it. I just received it in the mail yesterday and have only been able to listen to it a few times. So while I don't know all of Miniatures' nooks and crannies yet, I was just too excited not to write about it.
So first off, why Matthew Robert Cooper and not Eluvium? Well, because this doesn't sound exactly like Eluvium. Most of it is more pared down and thin. You won't be finding anything like the lush "New Animals From The Air" on here. There are a couple of "Eluvium" sounding songs, but there are very subtle differences that differentiate between Eluvium and MRC. Probably the song that sounds most like Eluvium is the opener, "Miniature 1," and man it is fucking gorgeous. A perfect way to start off a record. There a few piano tracks, like those found on An Accidental Memory In The Case Of Death, but even then it's different. Like on the piano based song "Miniature 7" you can hear a recording of someone writing and turning pages underneath the piano. It reminds me of Max Richter's The Blue Notebooks and that is definitely a good thing.
My only minor complaint right now is cohesiveness. Whereas all previous Eluvium material has a very specific sound, Miniatures seems to be a little more scatter brained (which sounds a little weird when talking about an ambient record). Maybe I'm just having trouble with the combination of traditional piano on some tracks and the layered drones on others. I'm sure everything will fall into place upon further listening, but right now this sounds more like a compilation album than anything. As far as I know, it wasn't meant that way, but if it was, I wouldn't have a problem with it. Because this would probably be the most beautiful compilation ever.
So maybe I should specifically state whether or not I actually like Miniatures. I do. A lot. It's amazing. Not that I expected anything else from a genius. But yes, this record is truly fantastic. I think I'm more partial to music made under the Eluvium name, but that doesn't stop me from loving this. It's only available on vinyl from Gaarden Records, in a limited edition of 2000 copies. The first 1000 come on creme colored vinyl.