To follow last week’s announcement of our Terry Allen reissues, we have some more exciting reissue news.
In 2014 Paradise of Bachelors reissued iconoclastic English-born, Rome-based folk and experimental music legend Mike Cooper’s classic triptych of early 1970s avant-folk-rock records—Trout Steel (1970) and Places I Know/The Machine Gun Co. with Mike Cooper (1971-72)—to widespread critical acclaim, including Best New Reissue recognition from Pitchfork and Rolling Stone. But Cooper sowed the seeds of his deconstructivist music five years earlier in his extraordinarily rare earliest recordings, until now scarcely known and never reissued—fitting fodder for PoB’s very first official Record Store Day exclusive release.
Named for The Shades, the Reading, UK folk club where he regularly performed, and which employed and housed guitar prodigy Derek Hall—who later played on Cooper’s 1969 debut LP Oh Really!? and was, in his estimation, “a guitarist who could actually match Davey Graham both in technique and musical ideas”—this little-heard EP of Mike’s earliest recordings was released by local label Kennet Recordings in 1965. The songs were recorded live to a single microphone in the kitchen/bathroom/former outhouse of Mike’s rambling Georgian apartment, on a portable Ferrograph reel-to-reel that the engineer otherwise used for “recording birds and trains.”
Highly recommended if you like Michael Chapman, Jackson C. Frank, Davey Graham, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Wizz Jones, or Clive Palmer.
STREAM “PAUL’S SONG”:
The very first Paradise of Bachelors official Record Store Day release, this limited-edition 45rpm 7″ vinyl EP–featuring heavy-duty color jacket, restored original artwork, and notes–is only available in small quantities from participating brick-and-mortar record shops, beginning on Record Store Day (April 16, 2016) and continuing while supplies last. (A digital edition will be released later.)
Contingent on availability, we may offer this special release for sale directly from this website later on, but in order to secure your copy and hear it ASAP, we suggest you support your favorite local record merchants on RSD (and ask them to stock it). For digital-only pre-orders, please visit one of the below links.
For digital-only pre-orders—the digital release date is June 17, 2016—please visit one of the below links.
Purchase Trout Steel:
Purchase Places I Know/The Machine Gun Co.:
8.6: Best New Reissue. Sung verses alternate with extended jamming like honey running from a spoon… the gracefully exhaled quality of a master statement. – PitchforkBest Reissues of 2014. A folk-rooted prodigy navigating the rapids of psychedelia. – Rolling Stone
9/10. Exceptional LPs. Stinging playing… A completely blitzing rapprochement of folk, blues, free improvisation, and avant-garde tactics. – Uncut
Gorgeous, tender, moving… A work of art that experimented with the idea of music being one vast universe with song being its poetic and foundational heart. – Allmusic
4 stars. Warm folk songs venturing into Pharaoh Sanders-inspired skronk. – MOJO
Cooper was forging connections between folk and experimental musics long before America got New or Weird. – The Wire
Trout Steel really steals the show. – The Guardian