Monday, July 8, 2013

SWL# 30: Placeholder, "Theoretical Love"

I’m sitting in a café in downtown Reno, NV, and the brutal heat of midday has given-way to a deluge of thick summer rain. No one seems to mind; the throngs of summer sunbathers near the Truckee River scurry inside with big grins and the shop fills with the smell of rain. All the while, I’m listening to Under, the second EP by 17-year-old North Carolina producer Alex Cooper (aka. Placeholder), and newest offering from Seattle’s Hush Hush Records. It’s safe to say that Cooper’s work has changed somewhat since his 2012 debut ‘Brothers’. The most obvious difference is that the Hip-hop-indebted percussion and vocal sampling have slowed to a narcotic crawl (i.e. XXYYXX or Holy Other), but somewhat deeper, his work has overall become much more restrained and quiet. On the wonderfully sluggish “Theoretical Love”, Cooper uses loads of negative space, droplets of immersive beatwork, and yawning vocals to create a drowsy atmosphere that feels utterly impervious to the outside world. Needless to say, it goes extremely well with a rainy afternoon indoors. Under is available now as a “name your price” download from the Hush Hush BC site. Get it while you can.

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