RVNG Intl's FRKWYS series continues to bring together like-minded artists from the past and present for a series of immaculate collaborations. Here, veteran British blues-folk guitarist Mike Cooper - whose first album dropped back in 1969 - and new school guitar virtuoso Steve Gunn join forces for an album of glistening, Portugal-inspired downtempo sketches. Touching on Americana, blues, British folk, Balearica and the classical Spanish guitar stylings of Pierre Bensusan and Isaac Guillory, Cantos de Lisboa is an evocative and engaging set that simply ripples with sun-kissed beauty. Highlights are plentiful, from the glistening brilliance of "Saudade Do Santos-o-Velho", to the fuzzy, string-laden experimental lo-fi stylings of "Song for Charlie".
There seems to be a huge amount of Material coming out by Mike Cooper of late and whether they are reissues or new material, this guy has been consistently impressive throughout his career, and always able to reinvent himself and keep himself in the cutting-edge. This new mini LP is all about exploration and the moulding of abstract sounds, with the likes of "Te Lapa Phosphorus" spread across exotica, drone, and noise. "Bendigo To Kyoto" flutters its bird sounds and odd bleeps at all angles, but Cooper manages to unleash tidy grooves of sound - totally beret of beats - but still packing a tight melodic bundle. We love this guy - highly recommended.