Coppe
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Coppe'
Papa My Buddha

Upon hearing about an album created in memory of a passed parent, one might get the idea that it would be a rather subdued and introspective affair. Although there are moments of introspection on Papa My Buddha, it's more about celebrating life and finding the joys in small things. Although I hadn't heard of Coppe' a month ago, it turns out she's collaborated with everyone from Plaid to Kris Weston of the Orb and DJ Vadim (among others) over the course of three different albums. Mixing styles like a blender, Coppe' is a bundle of energy that adds vocals and atmospherics to the work of different artists that she's collaborated.

The end result is something that pulls from literally tons of different styles. There's a touch of electronic pop ala Cornelius, Pizzicato Five, or Cibo Mato, and little bits of ambient, lounge, trip-hop, and even jungle play into things. Another interesting thing to note about the release is in relation to the title, Coppe' actually recorded sounds of the hospital that her father was staying in (somewhat similar to Matmos' A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure) and those elements pop up at different points on the disc as well.

A few moments after opening with a dark garbled speech sample, "Pomegranate Tears" changes dramatically by dropping off into plucked guitar and atmospherics that recall the tropicali setting of Hawaii, which label Mango And Sweet Rice calls home. "When It Rains/Click3" follows up with a thick, thumping beat and some grimy guitar sounds, while "Geralds Blue Dream" runs a bit long during the first half of spacey electronic, but makes up for things with a subtle, found-sound collage ending.

Musically, probably the most interesting track on the entire disc arrives as "Silver Sea Sick." Starting out with a thick trip-hop beat and some loungey sounds, it threatens several times to break off into a rumbling jungle break, then finally rips into things full-steam about two-thirds of the way through the track. The aforementioned Kris Weston provides the track "Incubate," which is the only purely instrumental and sounds like it could have easily been a b-side to Cydonia.

For most people, the make-it-or-break it part of the album is going to be the contributions of Coppe' herself. A huge fixture of every track, she adds everything from atmospheric "ah's and oh's" to stream-of-consciousness lyrics in at least two different languages. At times, it might get a bit overwhelming for some listeners (some tracks have as many as 4 or more different vocal tracks going at some points), but most times they're incorporated in a way that works quite well within the track (as with the clever cut-ups of "Blue"). In the end, it's still an album of celebration, and there's plenty of fun to be had with it. Coppe' may not be as well-known as other artists making similar music, but that's not because she shouldn't be.

rating: 7.2510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00