Matthew Robert Cooper
(08.2008, Gaarden Records)
Verdict = Eluvium-lite
I am a sucker for vinyl. Well, not a total sucker, but I definitely can't help but salivate at a nice 12" slab of wax. It's because of this that I am pretty elated about Matthew Robert Cooper, AKA-the man behind Eluvium, releasing this limited edition LP in advance of a 7 LP box that will contain all of his releases as Eluvium from Temporary Residence later this year It's all been pretty exciting news really. Besides, I am always pumped to hear anything new from Cooper and with this, his first album released under his given name, there are definitely high expectations. Cooper starts things off putting his best foot forward with "Miniature 1," a 5+ minute knockout revisiting the ethereal guitar tones of masterpiece, Talk Amongst the Trees. From there Cooper spends most of the remaining eight Miniatures with sparse piano tracks, ala An Accidental Memory in the Case of Death interspersed with various other, more atmospheric tracks that reflect more of a Copia aesthetic. The closing track in particular," Miniature 9," seems to absorb the synthy drones of Copia most adeptly, bookending the album with the second best track. Overall Miniatures feels like a kind of stylistic overview of Cooper's most recent output which isn't a bad thing for Eluvium fans. However, given the nature of the release and the choice of using a given name it is a bit underwhelming, but pleasant enough. Fortunately that box set is on the horizon to reassure us that Mr. Cooper isn't simply an above average atmospheric conjurer.
Matthew Robert Cooper aka Eluvium on Myspace