For all that we've learned of it, the universe remains a mystery — and there can be a comfort in that unknowing. Electronic producer Max Cooper's Emergence explores how humanity came from nothing in an album that graces minimal techno, frostbitten ambient and emotionally-driven IDM. It's great on a pair of headphones, but if you have a chance to see Cooper live, the visuals that accompany his performance are enveloping, charting evolution in abstract landscapes and repeating shapes.
Featuring the sustained piano murmurings of Tom Hodge, "Myth" is among the album's most formless tracks, with sound design so rich that it melts into your ears. Think of Harold Budd and Brian Eno's ambient masterpiece The Pearl, stretched deep and twinkling. In the video, the Berlin-based Susi Sie straddles science and art: "I created constantly changing patterns by exploring the reactions of diverse liquid mixtures," she tells NPR. The red, white and black liquids move like impossible waves, curving landscapes still forming. Turn out the lights and go full-screen on this one.
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