Max Cooper (born 1980) is a London-based electronica and techno producer who has been releasing music since 2007. He has received positive criticism from magazines such as Clash and his best-known release is his debut album Human, eleven tracks that carved out his own artistic space in creating highly-produced, emotional electronica made for both the dancefloor and sit-down concerts.
Cooper has released more than seventy original tracks and remixes and more than twenty accompanying video works, primarily on London label FIELDS and German label Traum Schallplatten. His remixes range from avant-garde composers Michael Nyman and Nils Frahm, to bands like Hot Chip and Au Revoir Simone, to techno acts such as Agoria and Dominik Eulberg.
Early life and education
Cooper was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland to parents of Australian descent. He was inspired to become a geneticist after reading a Stephen Hawking book as a child. Although he did not receive formal music training, Cooper started playing violin at age 12, but eventually stopped: "I never enjoyed it [violin] and didn't pursue it to any great degree—the music wasn't right to be honest."
Cooper received his Ph.D. in computational biology from Nottingham University in 2008. During his doctoral training, his research interests focused on modelling the evolution of gene regulatory networks—he specifically examined the evolution of feed-forward loops, and studied the evolutionary influences of binding site organisation during transcriptional processes. After completing his doctoral work, Cooper held a brief post-doctoral position as a geneticist at University College London.
In 2010, Cooper decided to focus entirely on music production and his music is influenced by his science background. In terms of musical references, Cooper has cited Jon Hopkins, Sigur Rós and Ólafur Arnalds, adding that his influences are "mainly electronica more than techno". By 2012, he was voted in the top 20 live acts of the year for two years running on Resident Advisor and named a Beatport artist of the year.
Cooper released a two-part EP, Conditions One, on 10 December 2012, which also featured Braids, Ghosting Season and D/R/U/G/S (aka Callum Wright). That same month, he achieved the number 5 spot on BeatPort's "Top Artists of 2012" and was voted a "top 20" live act by the readers of canonical electronic music website Resident Advisor.
Cooper encourages fans to produce their own videos for his music, with the results displayed on his website. He released a music video for the song "Pleasures" that was animated by artist Cédric de Smedt.
Cooper revealed that some of the artwork on his album covers was inspired by his flatmate, who is a graphic designer.
In December 2013, Cooper announced the release date of his debut album Human as 10 March 2014. The album was preceded by the single "Adrift", which was released on 16 December 2013. In regard to "Adrift", Cooper explained that it is "more of a personal piece of music for me than a club track, which is the approach I've taken for the whole album". Human received critical acclaim and was described by Clash as "sumptuous, enticingly beautiful". The release was followed by two remix EPs, Inhuman One and Inhuman Two, with remixes from Rodriguez Jr., Lusine, Harvey McKay, Jack Dixon and Olaf Stuut.
In September 2014, Cooper launched his debut audiovisual show Emergence at the Decibel Festival in Seattle. Performed entirely live and solo, it is a one-man show that ties together his scientific, experimental, musical and visual interests in a single conceptual festival artwork and is on tour in Europe.
In early December 2014, Max Cooper released his follow-up to Human, the "Kindred EP" featuring singer Kathrin deBoer from trip-hop band Belleruche and remixes from David August and Throwing Snow. The EP features Cooper's experiments with the sansula instrument and the polyphonic analogue Prophet 08 synth and was described by Fact (UK magazine) as a "gorgeous slice of electronica". During the summer before the Kindred release, Cooper released "Tileyard Improvisations Vol. 1", a collaboration fusing jazz and electronica.
Max Cooper released his second collaboration with classically-trained pianist Tom Hodge, "Artefact" as well as a remix EP of the same name. The music combines piano music with electronica and glitch and was inspired in part by an excursion Cooper made to the Teotihuacan pyramids in Mexico.
Cooper has performed at numerous festivals, including Glastonbury Festival,Fuji Rock Festival,Bestival, Latitude Festival, Awakenings Festival, MUTEK, Amsterdam Dance Event and Decibel Festival. He has also performed live with artists such as Echaskech and Baltimoroder.
As of 2011, Cooper is working with software company Liine on music-production software that is influenced by science. In December 2012, he wrote a blog for British music magazine NME.
Cooper uses Ableton equipment and Akai APC40 controllers. He is also an early adopter of unusual club sound systems, performing in August 2013 on a 3D sound system called "4DSOUND".
Max Cooper (with Tom Hodge) - "Artefact Remixes" [Fields] 2015
Max Cooper (with Tom Hodge) - "Artefact" [Fields] 2015
Max Cooper (with Kathrin deBoer and Quentin Collins) - Tileyard Improvisations, Vol. 1 [Gearbox Records] 2014
Max Cooper - Kindred EP [Fields] 2014
Max Cooper - "Inhuman Two" [Fields] 2014
Max Cooper - "Inhuman One" [Fields] 2014
Max Cooper - Human [Fields] 2014
Max Cooper - "Adrift" [Fields] 2013
Max Cooper (with Tom Hodge) - Fragments of Self Part Two [Fields] 2013
Max Cooper(with Tom Hodge) - Fragments of Self Part One [Fields] 2013
Max Cooper feat Kathrin De Boer - Conditions Two [Fields] 2013
Max Cooper (with Braids) - Conditions One [Fields] 2012
Max Cooper - Mechanical Concussion EP [Herzblut Recordings] 2012
Michael Nyman and David McAlmont - Secrets, Accusations and Charges - Max Cooper Reconstruction and Deconstruction [Last Night On Earth] 2012
Max Cooper - Egomodal EP [Traum Schallplatten] 2012
Max Cooper - Empirisch EP [Traum Schallplatten] 2011
Max Cooper - Metaphysical EP [Traum Schallplatten] 2011
Max Cooper - Amalgamations EP [Last Night On Earth]
Max Cooper - Miocene EP [Herzblut Recordings] 2011
Sasha - Xpander - Max Cooper remix [Deconstruction] 2011
Max Cooper - Metaphysical EP [Traum] 2011
Hot Chip - I Feel Better - Max Cooper remix [Flash] 2010
Max Cooper - Expressions EP 2010
Max Cooper - Series EP [Traum] 2010
Andrew K - The Doppler Effect - Max Cooper remix [Vise Versa Music] 2010
Max Cooper - Ediolic Spectra [Bedrock] 2010
Au Revoir Simone - Take Me As I Am / Remix [Moshi Moshi] 2010
Max Cooper - Chaotisch Serie EP [Traum] 2010
Max Cooper - InhaleExhale EP [Veryverywrongindeed] 2009
Max Cooper - Stochastisch Serie EP [Traum] 2009
Abe Duque & Blake Baxter - What Happened - Max Cooper remix [Process] 2009
Max Cooper - Symphonica [Traum] 2009
Max Cooper - Harmonisch Serie EP [Traum] 2009
Max Cooper - Crushbox EP [Autist] 2008
Max Cooper - FRANK [Firefly Recordings] 2008
Max Cooper - One Is None EP [Evolved Records] 2007
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Management company official website