Modern Nature :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

“It’s a lot to take in… It’s impossible to see,” Jack Cooper sings on Modern Nature’s No Fixed Point In Space. The limits of language fascinate Cooper, who spends much of the album guiding his collaborators, including members of The Necks, This Is Not This Heat, and Julie Tipppets, to a place where words aren’t required. But sometimes language does come in handy, which is why we rang Cooper up at his space near Cambridge, UK, to discuss the album, how the natural world informs his creative process, and the nebulous zone between composition and improvisation.

Modern Nature :: No Fixed Point In Space

Space is the operative word for Modern Nature. Since his days leading bands like Mazes and Ultimate Painting, Jack Cooper’s music has gone panoramic, leaving ample room for softly uttered vocal melodies and semi-improvised instrumentation. On the loose ensemble’s latest album – now including members of The Necks, This Is Not This Heat, and the legendary Julie Tipppets (FKA Driscoll) – Cooper’s poetic lyrics are delivered patiently, leaving pregnant pauses between each line as the instruments swell and contract. Songs begin with the melancholy, drifting post-rock sound pioneered by Talk Talk, before bristling strings, eerie horns, and electronic bleeps overtake the band’s voices completely.

The Lagniappe Sessions :: Modern Nature

Bandleader, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Jack Cooper continues to push boundaries, expanding upon the breadth, depth and scope of the ever-evolving Modern Nature. Open-ended in approach, Cooper and co. return with their second Lagniappe Session, this time digging into the lovelorn, torch perennial, “Stormy Weather”, and the Billie Holiday penned blues lament, “Fine & Mellow”.

Transmissions :: Modern Nature

We’re back. This week, we’re featuring Jesse Locke’s interview with Jack Cooper of Modern Nature. Formerly of Ultimate Painting, Cooper has expanded outward with his new project. The band’s new mini-album, Annual, is the follow up to the band’s debut, 2019’s How to Live. Inspired by the group’s time on the road in support of that album, this new one demonstrates the way live performance and improvisation has informed Cooper’s continually more expansive approach to Modern Nature.

The Lagniappe Sessions :: Modern Nature

Ultimate Painting’s Jack Cooper returned last month with Modern Nature, an ever-evolving ensemble that headily widens the lens of UP’s paisley psychedelia. This new project expands the scope sonically, fusing British folk influences with chamber-clothed experimental rock and spiritual jazz ragas. For this installment of the Lagniappe Sessions, Cooper and co. lean in mightily, embracing their sonic and creative influences.

Modern Nature :: A Soundtrack/Score Companion

Constant readers will no doubt recognize the name Jack Cooper, whose former project (Ultimate Painting) remains an in-house favorite. Following a stripped back solo venture, 2017’s Sandgrown, Cooper returns with a group proper – Modern Nature – who have just released their debut full-length, How To Live. While anchored by Cooper, the record’s grooves find a formidable cast of players exploring myriad veins of Kosmische Musik, British folk traditions, and beyond – all underpinned with an oblique sense of otherness.

Som Imaginario :: Live at Museu de Arte Moderna

A “Nature Day” concert at a modern art museum in Brasília, 1976. Enter Som Imaginario, the Tropicalia legends known for their own stellar album run in the early seventies (in addition to backing Milton Nascimento). With their wailing psychedelic fuzz guitar and blistering jazz rhythms, recently unearthed relic Banda Da Capital is a fascinating glimpse into the group’s live prowess. At times, eerily reminiscent of the original Soft Machine line-up in the best possible way.

Aquarium Drunkard :: 2023 Year in Review

Looking back to look ahead. It’s our Year In Review 2023. As always, our list is unranked and unruly. Let it blurb.

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