Coppé has been delivering her finely tuned miniature epics with astonishing regularity since her debut self-titled album was released in the late nineties, working with an ever increasing circle of friends and collaborators along the way. After spending a few years in Arizona and Hawaii, Coppé returned to Japan in 2005 following the death of her father and has since established her Mango & Sweet Rice imprint in Tokyo, where she has also been seen regularly performing live.
Following last year’s double anniversary album 9+10, which collected rare tracks and remixes as well as new tracks, Coppé could have opted for a well-deserved rest, but instead, she got straight back in the studio to work on her eleventh album. The result is Fi-lamenté, which clocks at no less than nineteen tracks spread over nearly eighty minutes of elegant electronica on which the songstress applies her unmistakable voice in soft Japanese and English brushes. Once again, numerous artists, met during various tours or on the web, have answered her call, each weaving their own digital strand into her musical space. The album opens with the gentle tones of Black Water Melon, produced with Spoomusic’s Ariel Gross and Dave Ramen, and the scintillating Nicola with Dutch artist Kettel. Plaid contribute a lush new version of last year’s Lavender Oil, Mickey The Cat dresses Alien Mermaid with a delicate groove and rich soundscapes, and later, former Jah Wobble engineer Cai Murphy wraps a delicate blanket of found sounds around Coppé’s sweet voice on the frugal I Live In A Lava Lamp. Perhaps the most surprising contribution of all is found on the title track, where long term friend and musician Terry Driescher uses a sample of Coppé’s mother singing Utai, a traditional Japanese vocal form.
Very much like on previous albums, Coppé constantly jumps from one mood to another, dealing playful, atmospheric or haunting cuts with equal dexterity. With Bristol-based guitarist and producer Fred Moth, Coppé layers sparse drum’n’bass beats, electronics, breezy vocals and slurping noises into a light-hearted sonic vignette, Bristol Rain, before switching to the much more peaceful Broken Kaleidoscope with Demi Batard and the sun-drenched Just Want 2 B Me, shaped by Krautiopharm. Later, Coppé becomes all moody on the sumptuous and evocative I turn, with Parker and Dight, who create here one of the standout tracks of this album.
Coppé makes music with her heart, grabbing each new opportunity with passion, soaking up influences and eagerly pushing the boundaries of her music. While she ultimately calls the shots, she is happy to stand back and let other musicians guide her into their own realm. Fi-lamenté is one of her densest and most impressive records yet, and as she continues to surprise and captivate, she still manages to create music that sounds like very little else around.
by bruno laznier / www.milkfactory.co.uk