Mike Cooper announces 15th anniversary reissue of Rayon Hula via Room40, shares video for “Paumalu”

Mike Cooper announces 15th anniversary reissue of Rayon Hula via Room40, shares video for "Paumalu"

Just in time for (western hemisphere) beach season: guitarist and all-around chill guy Mike Cooper has announced a 15th anniversary reissue of his album Rayon Hula via Room40.

Recorded in 2004 in Palombara, 40 minutes outside of Rome, Rayon Hula is part Pacific, part hauntological. It’s the sort of music the guitarist wished he heard when he visited the Pacific Island Nations in the 90s. The sounds of steel guitars lazily float in the middle of hazy clouds of reverb. Unattached to any time period, the record exists as a sort of faux-nostalgia.

“After several trips, beginning in 1994, to Australia and subsequently to South East Asia and then to the Pacific and its Island Nations, I conceived the idea of making an updated more ‘now’ version of some of the Exotica music that originated in the 1950s in America,” says Cooper. “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 ambiance 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.”

“Kiribati is a Pacific Island Nation and was one of the last places to be settled by humans and will be one of the first to disappear as the waters rise due to Global Warming,” he continues. “Is music political that has no lyrics? I would like to think so.”

The music contained on the album was also “heavily influenced” by reading James Hamilton Patterson’s books Seven Tenths and Playing With Water. “The planet is seven-tenths water,” Cooper reminds us.

You can pre-order a copy of Rayon Hula on digital or (limed-edition, transparent red) LP via Room40’s Bandcamp page ahead of its July 19 release.

In the mean time, kick off your shoes and watch the video of “Paumalu (Sunset Beach)” down below for a politically righteous-yet-relaxing taste of the exotica to come.

Rayon Hula 15th Anniversary tracklisting:

01. Mele Manu & Ho’okani Pila
02. Musa Shiya
03. Kokoke Nalu
04. Paumalu
05. Rayon Hula
06. Ho’omanau Nui
07. Alohabama
08. Caught Inside (For Daniel Duane)
09. Typhoon Lagoon
10. Mika One
11. The New Urban Slide / The Tiki Bar Is Closed

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