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04'06 INTERVIEW
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Click on the cover to access the Chris Cook website  

SAME ACTOR
Sharp Edges

BLEEP30
Bip-Hop Records 2005
13 Tracks. 73mins14secs

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Although Chris Cook, who hides behind the Same Actor ensign, has been releasing music in a variety of formats and under countless monikers for some time, Sharp Edges is his official commercial debut, courtesy of French imprint Bip-Hop.

Hailing from the seaside town of Brighton, Chris Cook is an active member of the Spirit Of Gravity collective of artists and has been operating under a variety of guises, including Remote, Hot Roddy and Same Actor, and has released an impressive number of CDRs since he first appeared in 2001. Sharp Edges collects thirteen compositions which all evolves around a similar concept, albeit developed in various ways throughout. Primarily basing his work around elements of acoustic guitar, dulcimer and sitar which are sampled and processed before being regurgitated in a variety of forms, Cook makes good use of his natural sense for melodies as he combines a wide range of influences, from middle-Eastern to Celtic and folk to prog-rock.

Cook demonstrates here a constantly playful and mischievous approach as he processes his sound sources and collates elements to build his compositions, yet the result holds overall pretty well. If the electronic side of his work is not always apparent, it remains a constant throughout. Whether he chops up melodies, samples or voices (Nothing Yet, Red Yellow Porpoise, Squash), or takes the time to properly layout the various components of a track (Dulcimer Scramble Suit, Celeriac, Morph), Cook never fails to colour his compositions with effects and tricks, sometimes to the detriment of their substance.

The album concludes with the twenty-seven minute epic Deforestation. Here, Cook appears suddenly more focused and serious as he builds up layers of atmospheric tones. As the piece mutates, going through a phase of almost microscopic found sounds before erupting in swathes of sitar, Cook shows off a more incisive side, but he eventually fails to take this composition to a different level and ends up once again chasing his tail.

Working from a somewhat original template, Chris Cook combines on this album a series of rather rich sounds but never seems interested in developing a true narrative through this record. This results in Sharp Edges sometimes appearing a tad too contrived and lacking of stamina, but Cook is also capable of very lucid and inspired moments, and this album provides enough of them to remain a rather promising offer.

3.2/5

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TRACKLIST

Light Years
Nothing Yet
Dulcimer Scramble Suit
Red Yellow Porpoise
Celeriac
Sharp Edges
Tread Carefully
Hammer
Extreme Pumpkin
Squash
Morph
Take A Bow
Deforestation

SAME ACTOR Discography

THE SURFER'S GUIDE TO SAME ACTOR
Hot Roddy / Chris Cook
Bip-Hop

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