Cooper Cult is a private press and shop, specializing in underground music and sub-cultural ephemera. We produce and distribute vinyl, cassettes, CDs, lathes, books, zines, prints, periodicals and other printed matter.
EST. 2011. Purveyors of existential art. Committed to the underground. From the badlands of Aotearoa.
All inquiries, contact: coopercultrecords (at) gmail (dot) com
OUT OF PRINT - COOPER CULT EDITIONS: all physical copies of the following titles have sold out. For digital editions, check the Cooper Cult digital store.
CC001: Brother Sun, Sister Moon ‘s/t’, CS
With their debut release Brother Sun, Sister Moon take all preconceived notions of what an album should be and break them down right in front of you, presenting a record that runs the gamut of genre defying boundaries, boldly reimagining pop music for the ‘post-genre’ generation.
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“The delicate finger-picking, vinyl scratches and soothing vocal summon the sound of a different era.” - The Guardian
“Lovely lo-fi, cross-genre lullabies.” - Boing Boing
"Patches of leafy textures thronged with shoegaze touch points aplenty" - International Tapes
“Brother Sun, Sister Moon shows what delightful things can happen if two talented artists come together without inhibitions or agendas, just to be creative.” - The Silent Ballet
“Some of the most beautiful drone music in the world.” - OMG Vinyl
“The feel of a dusty lost Vashti Bunyan demo.” - Gorilla vs. Bear
“Merz’s signature whisper and wintery sensibilities complement Munday’s powerful sampling techniques to create a varied self-titled release that resonates with shoegaze, folk, and ambient sensibilities in genuinely refreshing and surprising configurations that are neither overreaching or out of the can.” - Impose
Mastered by Jeff Stonehouse / Art by Romain Barbot and Spencer Walker
CC002: birds of passage & I’ve Lost ‘I Was All You Are’, 12” + CS
Private music to aid you through the Autumn months - in to the bleak Winter. This is ambient folk for fans of Grouper, Ekin Fil or Félicia Atkinson. - Cooper Cult
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"Like time-lapsed nature photography, the music itself drifts in dream-like fashion, delicately wrapping itself around the fragile voice as it does so." - Textura
"Listening is like watching a film in slow motion, then filming it and watching that film in slow motion, then taking the stills, cutting them into separate strips and spreading them sequentially over a one kilometer field. Lest one misinterpret such a statement, this is a good thing, an alternate proposal to an ADD world. To slow down, to listen, to listen carefully, to discern.” - A Closer Listen
“The duo produce a cohesive and beautifully unhurried work which serves as a testament to the worth of such ambient/experimental pairings when carried out correctly.” - Fluid Radio
“Purely subdued beauty here, it’s best you give it a listen. As cool as anything Grouper is doing right now.” - OMG Vinyl
Mastered by Bobby Jones / Art by Jeff Masamori
CC003: Listening Mirror ‘The Clearing b/w My Hiding Place’, 7” Lathe
Desolate drone for midnight masses. Ambient music just got bleaker. Listening Mirror joined the cult: you should too. - Cooper Cult
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"Jeff Stonehouse explores his inner David Lynch on this extremely limited release. Beating a path from abandoned wood cabin to haunted forest, The Clearing arrives at a scenario where mage Edward Kelly - replete in particularly-zipped centaur costume - is busy harvesting a fresh crop of monads. On the flip, My Hiding Place offers uneasy sanctuary back at the ol’ timber shed where a troupe of pesky kids are jamming the brakes on a stack of Thomas Köner and Hafler Trio records." - Record Collector Magazine
"The delicate nature of the music threatens to spiral off into ethereal grey clouds, but then there’s the comforting twang of a guitar string and the background ambience shimmers into cohesion around the sparse patterns played." - A Closer Listen
“Lowering the needle is a truly exhilarating experience, I have absolutely no idea what to expect. As the needle settles into the groove a slight hiss is projected and a deep drone carries weight into the foreground. The Clearing certainly lives up to its name, seemingly opening up a vast space for distant guitars to reach out into the openness. Looking closely at my stylus, it seems as if it is floating above the lathe cut disc as the tiny grooves appear to be moving back and forth, floating like the atmosphere of the track itself.” - Noisetopia
"In keeping with its titular evocation of wide-open spaces, “The Clearing” presents long swaths of willowy haze against which heavy-lidded guitar tones tremulously intone. The similarly styled second track, “My Hiding Place,” is as dusty, even if its sound design rumbles a bit more forcefully by comparison. Listening Mirror’s penchant for slow-motion ambient-drones, thick with atmosphere and haunted in tone, receives its most thorough workout in the spectral bonus track, “Play Fair Frank,” whose shuddering tapestry unspools at an even slower pace than its brethren." - Textura
Mastered by Jeff Stonehouse / Cover photo by Jeff Stonehouse // Art direction by Joseph Merz and CJ Parahi
CC004: Félicia Atkinson ‘A Transparent Comet’: Franny b/w Alexandra, 7” Lathe
Ceremonial folk, best played loud at your local abandoned church. Broken piano cloaked with fragile voice: fills the empty space and summons the spirit of Salinger’s Franny. - Cooper Cult
"The lyrics appeared to me as a vision: a kind of prayer." - Félicia Atkinson
"This record is inspired by three books, with three women struggling in the world; Franny and Zooey by Salinger, especially the character of Franny; At Home in the World, which is a memoir by Joyce Maynard about her teenage relationship with JD Salinger and how difficult it was; and a notebook about Alexandra David-Neel, who was a traveler, a philosopher and one of the first women to go to Tibet. Those three women had visions, fights and beliefs. This tiny record is inspired by them.” - Félicia Atkinson
"A five-minute immersion into a dread-filled zone, the A-side’s “Franny” pairs dark percussive clangour generated from a broken-down piano (recorded in Rennes, at the Le Bon Accueil art center) with haunted vocals (laid down in Brussels) intoned by Atkinson as if they’re being channeled during an invocation of the dead. Rather less possessed by comparison, the vocal-less drone “Alexandra” presents its decaying, out-of-tune piano chords as a relentless plod in a way that suggests the despairing tone of a work by Faulkner more than Salinger. Though short at eleven minutes, the single is a prototypically idiosyncratic offering of cryptic folk from Atkinson, whose work continues to defy expectations and surprise in one way or another." - Textura
"Dark and minimal… definitely some of the “weirdest” this French goddess has provided us with so far." - No Fear Of Pop
“Atkinson draws on the literary legacy of J.D. Salinger (particularly the character of Franny), Salinger’s effect on the women in his orbit, and the journeys and visions of radical females across time and history. This backstory foregrounds the feminist streak in Akinson’s work, and listening to this latest inimitable dispatch confirms how crucial Atkinson’s sound journal of her preoccupations has been to defining the contours of the tightly knit world of subterranean sound art producers.” - Ad Hoc
Recorded on an old broken piano in Rennes, at the Le Bon Accueil art center. Vocals recorded and piano treated in Brussels.
Mastered by Jeff Stonehouse / Cover art by Félicia Atkinson // Art direction by Bartolomé Sanson (Shelter Press)
CC005 birds of passage - The Brave Man with a Sword b/w In Heaven, C10
birds of passage unveils a mysterious new piece of cryptic drone, in the form of a limited edition cassingle. The A-side — The Brave Man with a Sword — features muted piano loops, that swirl beneath a sea of distortion and aleatoric noise. Disintegration ensues, as a muffled and mysterious siren’s call laments: “The Brave Man with a Sword”. This is a single from birds of passage’s forthcoming EP, ‘1890 Story’: her side of ‘Taxidermy of Unicorns’ (Watery Starve) — a four-way split cassette with Aloonaluna, Motion Sickness of Time Travel, and Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier. The B-side of this cassingle is an homage to ‘In Heaven’, the song sung by The Lady in the Radiator in David Lynch’s cult classic, Eraserhead — with echoes of Arvo Pärt’s Für Alina. This is haunted ambient-folk channeled from a strange yet beautiful place, and committed to tape, for the first in a series of limited edition releases from birds of passage. - Cooper Cult
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"Birds of Passage provides the feminine pool with an utterly intelligent drone, suitably entitled ‘The Brave Man with a Sword’. Wrapped up in a pool of distortion, a series of drowned piano loops conquer the cross-grained landscape, slowly dissolving into a sacred atmosphere over the New Zealandish land." - No Fear Of Pop
"Echoing through solitary areas of shadiness, ‘The Brave Man With A Sword’ assembles a condition of introversion, leaning towards smooth drone layers of haunting depictions. - Mystic Groove
“Ccracked, distant drone, with Alicia’s hovering, ethereal vocals threatening to disappear in smoke and hiss.” - Rose Quartz
"Merz’s evocatively titled opener cloaks an elegant piano lilt in dense folds of distortion and grime until the piano all but vanishes, its fragile voice reduced to a faint and ever-receding whisper—until her soft voice rises from the ashes like some spirit lamenting the dead." - Textura
Recorded by Alicia Merz in the Waikato wetlands in November 2012 / Art direction by CJ Parahi
CC005 Reissue - edition of 1: birds of passage - The Brave Man with a Sword, C10, white shell + original collage on handmade paper embedded w/ New Zealand wild flowers.
This is a home-dubbed reissue of one white cassette (the first pressing was limited to 80, w/ clear shells). The collage is the original from which the j-card art of the first pressing was based on.
CC010 Snoqualmie Falls ‘Red fire Dark b/w Pearl’, 3” CD
Cavernous, ambient-drone and Lynchian atmospherics, leavened with ethereal vocals that call to mind the midnight siren calls of Julee Cruise. This sounds like a lost B-side to “Falling”: Badalamenti’s haunting theme for the greatest ever television show, Twin Peaks. Limited edition 3”, attached to a replica vintage postcard of Snoqualmie Falls.
"Snoqualmie Falls take on the beauty and the horror of a dream’s enigmatic aftermath almost receptively. With “Red Fire Dark” also comes the thrill of a story slowly unwinding, one that Snoqualmie Falls have no trouble getting comfortable with." - Mystic Groove
Music by Snoqualmie Falls / Art direction by Jeff Stonehouse
CC011 jffstnhs - Broken, 3” CD
Formed from the remains of Listening Mirror, jffstnhs is the solo project of LM’s co-founder Jeff Stonehouse. jffstnhs will visit darker places than Listening Mirror dared to tread.
“His biggest misgiving came from his concern about the loud crash that was bound to occur and would probably create, if not terror, at least anxiety behind all the doors. But that would have to be risked.” - Franz Kafka, the Metamorphosis
"A haunting and slowly intensifying drone." - Ambientblog
"The adventure starts with a voice. Coming in over what sounds like a loudspeaker, only muffled, lost in translation. Maybe it’s Houston calling, calmly going over last-minute instructions to the cockpit of a space shuttle that’s about to try out warp speed for the first time in history. Whoever it is, whatever they have to say won’t help now. It’s begun, the low end and ebbing synth cluster in the upper register setting the pace with an unrelenting forward motion. It is super-slo-mo and fast-forward at the same time, mounting with a calculated intensity and extreme velocity. If things were to stop suddenly, the results would be catastrophic. Injuries would mount. Our intrepid pilot might die. This doesn’t happen, but our hero isn’t out of the woods yet… The bass starts to throb. There is a malfunction. It is terrifying." - Tiny Mix Tapes
"… right from the off it’s clear jffstnhs (or stnhs, if you will) is going to present an altogether heavier sound and one with increased immediacy. No longer is there any feeling of otherness or seperation – the waves of noise envelope you straight away and don’t really let up until the single track’s twenty-two minute running time has elapsed. It’s not vicious or abrasive, it’s just consuming – a mass of muffled voices swirling in a hurricane and slowly dying out as the winds take hold. As it progresses it gets harder to bear; when turned up loud the higher-pitched tones scream through the drones like comets entering the atmosphere. It’s a real thrill ride with a submerged grumble of a beat emerging to propel, challenging the listener to stick to his or her guns or shout that you want to get off. The cover image of what appears to be a fighter pilot preparing for take-off is wholly appropriate, as Broken seems to be made up of everything flying a jet would expose you to, from the roasting hum of the engines to the deafening growl of take-off and headlong into the sonic boom as you break through the sound barrier. It’s powerful stuff, compounded with stunning effect towards the end when a sudden thunk and its rumbling aftermath replicates an airborne pressure drop in your ears." - Fluid Radio
“It’s one long 22-minute track of throbbing dark drones. It’s considerably darker than anything I’ve heard from him before. It’s practically doom laden and it’s making me wish I’d brought my spare pants into work. It’s a dark journey into barren industrial wastelands where the weather is bleak and all around everyone looks grey and poorly.” - Norman Records
“Gradually the intensity level subsides, a move that allows a cycling flow of convulsions to become more dominant, until the hazy mass returns, this time swelling into a crackling cloud and surrendering to madness all the more. Crank that stereo as loudly as it can go, and then lie back and strap yourself in for this haunted trip to the outermost reaches.” - Textura
"Gone completely are the pastoral utopias of Listening Mirror, this is more a soundtrack to becoming lost in fog. jffstnhs is now firmly positioned alongside the likes of Colin Potter, Michael Begg and Robert Hampson as a first class crafter of strange, dystopian dreams in sound." -Was Ist Das!
Written and produced by Jeff Stonehouse / Cover image courtesy of Lee Noble