on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2014 14 Jul

TROUT STEEL, by Mike Cooper (lost classics, #9)

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog | TB | 2 Comments



The man who created (for example) the masterpiece RAYON HULA has a long, long story. „Much as David Sylvian, Derek Bailey and Christian Fennesz should be lauded for their work on the former’s Blemish album, Cooper’s audacious, unfettered performances mark an equally inspiring advance in marrying experimental sonics with song.“ This is what Keith Moline wrote in an English magazine years ago, and you can carve these words in stone.

He always rejected the easy way, he didn’t want to join hippie culture’s rock fame (and, believe me, famous men knocked on his door!) – he had his own ideas that lead him, in the end, to The Soutern Seas, to a 21st century form of „exotica“, a milion miles away from the Martini comfort zone of Les Baxter and associates. Is it true to say that it all started with his love for such an oldfashioned thing like the country-blues? No, too simple.

But speaking of lost classics, one record comes to mind, TROUT STEEL. It’s 1970. It’s London. Mike fell in love with the way jazz vibes enriched Van Morrison’s ASTRAL WEEKS. The blues, the folk, the avantgarde territory – for him this all was in the neighbourhood. You can hear that on this fabulous album, you can read it on the guest list: Mike Osborne, Alan Skidmore, Harry Miller, John Taylor. And his tunes were simple and intricate, haunting and passionate, his finger picking guitar style was on par wth the legends of the British folk scene.

Nevertheless, the album was a strange hybrid, too strange for big sales. So TROUT STEEL found its place in the memories of the happy few, the back of the minds of listeners believin that you can never trust the official lists of milestones. Certain milestones (the weird ones) have always been buried. Ruthlessly. Blame it on dull record companies, false nostalgia and bad luck. This one has just reappered on the surface. Don’t miss it this time!

This entry was posted on Montag, 14. Juli 2014 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. Gregor:

    Beide Platten sind RIESEN-Tipps, thanks a lot!

  2. Michael Engelbrecht:

    Mike Cooper read it and sent a nice email, Gregs. And, by the way, next year Manafonistas meeting on Sylt. You can choose a month: April or May give me 14 days between April 1 and May 30.

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