Common sense, sound judgement, good advice – these are all things that I don’t have a lot of. What I DO have a large quantity of is music. And because I have so much of it, I often go months without listening to an album in my collection. This was the case with Koop. A weird little album that I stumbled on while digging around for artists similar to the amazing Jazzanova. The first impression that you get when you listen to their music is that it should be playing in a quaint little French cafe where they serve great coffee and tasty croissants. Hell, I felt classy and cultured just listening to the first song on the album. Anyway, I haven’t listened to their album Islands in a long time, and decided to give it a spin while having cocktails at the pool, and I’m glad to report that it fits a summer afternoon better than your favourite sock fits your smelly foot.
Koop is Magnus Zingmark & Oscar Simonsson. When listening to Koops music it’s somehow easy to believe that was put together by a small orchestra, but in fact the music is based on samples. Thousands of small clips from records puzzled together into new songs. All the drums, strings, horn sections and choirs are sampled and I think that this makes the album even more impressive. This is a very time consuming way to make music (it’s one of the reasons it takes such long time to make a Koop album), but it’s the only way to create the surreal Koop sound. One element of the music that isn’t sampled, is the vocals. Many vocalists have graced the Koop albums with their talent, and on Islands the singers are Yukimi Nagano, Ane Brun, Hilde-Louise Asbjornsen, Rob Gallagher and Mikael Sundin. For their live gigs, Koop transforms into a 7-9 piece swing orchestra including one or two singers, and the main mission is to make people move their feet. Koop themselves play piano/accordion (Oscar), sampler (Magnus), and wear dresses. Actual dresses.