Mike Cooper - Rayon Hula LPRoom40 (Australia)
Room40 offer a re-mastered, re-edited 2019 version of Rayon Hula, originally released in 2004. From Mike Cooper: "After several trips, beginning in 1994, to the Pacific and its Island Nations, Australia and subsequently to South East Asia, I conceived the idea of making an updated more 'now' version of some of the Exotica music that originated in 1950's America. Arthur Lyman and Martin Denny were the two I mostly had in mind at the time, but I didn't want it to sound like them and the two words 'Ambient' and 'Electronic' had to figure large. I was deeply influenced by the ambience of the places I was visiting (Australian birds are scarily creative) and lo-fi electronics were something I had been working with in my free improvisation gigs since the '80s . . . No-one was issuing recorded work by me, so I started my own DIY cd.r. label, Hipshot, and sold them via the internet. I was free to record whatever I wanted and I did, starting in 1999 with Kiribati . . . The summer of 2004 house sitting in Palombara, 40 minutes outside of Rome, at our friend Jo Campbell's house, in the company of several dogs and numerous cats, I set to work outside in the shed with a Zoom Sampletrack ST-224, two mini disc recorders and a Tascam four track cassette machine; a pile of Arthur Lyman and Martin Denny CDs and my lap steel. My intention was to create a kind of music that I had hoped to hear when we visited Hawaii in the early '90s (some kind of Hawaiian Futurism maybe?) which we never did. Rayon Hula appeared from the shed and was initially released as Hipshot c.d.r. HIP-007. I submitted it to the Ars Electronica awards in Austria and was very surprised when it received some kind of a prize. I think that David Toop had something to do with that, as he was on the jury (thanks David). It was picked up by Cabin Records, a new label initiated by Pete Fowler and Graham Erickson and released as a double 10-inch vinyl set . . . Although the idea was an homage to Arthur Lyman, it was also an homage to Steve Feld who introduced me to the concept of 'lift up over sounding' in his book Sound and Sentiment, a study of the Kaluli people of Papua and their relationship with their aural environment. From it I gleaned, among other things, the idea of looped sounds played simultaneously but out of sync. An idea which had in fact guided me from the beginning of the series."