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Music Review An epic three hour marathon

Max Cooper
The Roundhouse


AN ambient murmur can be heard from inside the Roundhouse’s colosseum-esque interior — complete with its frustrating pillars that support its roof and do a great job of getting in the way.

Of course, the atmospheric rumblings means Max Cooper has just started his set — what will be an epic three-hour marathon — showcasing not just his impressive latest release Unspoken Words but past favourites and a decidedly clubby techno mix.

Famed for being at the forefront of audio-visual technology — A/V for short — Cooper has a whole new live show of awe-inspiring panoramic videos he projects triptych-style on screens in front, behind and either side of him.

Bringing his science background — he has a PhD in computational biology — to his work, visuals range from the macrocosm to the microcosm with atoms splitting, planets orbiting suns and universes within universes.

Elsewhere, thousands of fractal images like broken glass awash the screens, self-propagating geometric shapes seem to flood the venue and words, phrases and digits are all displayed.

The effect, to the sound of his many ethereal and evocative tunes, is entirely mesmerising.

Much from latest album gets a show, including the reverberating Spectrum and the IDM-influenced tuneful dissonance of Exotic Content (, while the anthemic Everything — arguably one of Cooper’s best ever tracks — gets saved towards the end.

A memorable finale sees Cooper fooling fans into thinking it will be the clap-along Perpetual Motion before launching into The Prodigy’s Breathe in a seeming tribute to the group’s late singer Keith Flint. The crowdpleaser sees someone immediately hurl their beer so high above their head it almost touches the venue’s domed ceiling.

Tonight proves that Cooper is at the cutting edge of A/V live performance — and you’d be pushed to find a better demonstration than this.

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