The experimental duo of Joseph Kramer and Noé Cuéllar have been steadily producing music as Coppice since around 2010. For some unknowable reason I’ve been out of touch with their output since around 2013, just after the release of their excellent Holes/Tract on Stephen Cornford and Samuel Rodgers’ Consumer Waste imprint.
Up to that point their music — one might say some of the most original being produced anywhere at the time — was identifiable as none other than Coppice (it was rare to hear the wheeze of a shruti box enrobed in electronic feedback). Somewhere along the way Kramer and Cuéllar dissolved the line that divided them as respective players. Now, the act of tracing their music to origin is a hopeless task by ear alone. Suffice it to say that the duo’s craft has evolved considerably since those early years.
Green Flame is a recent product of Coppice’s physical modeling & modular syntheses series. The album is a hodgepodge of sound, ranging from the opening track’s fluctuating scree to pieces like “Country Road,” whose circuit-bent techno would go hand-in-hand with almost any offering from Nick Hoffman’s latest. Of particular interest is “Ashdown (slimy),” transitioning seamlessly from the previous track, spewing forth a dark blend of tones that sound like fog horn bellows run through a dilapidated tape system.
Perhaps some context on “Emanations,” the album’s closer, would enrich it with life, because all I hear is a soft flatline for a few minutes with a slight rise at the end. Nevertheless, Green Flame is bursting with a wide-eyed wonder for experimentation. It’s a quality of the duo that anyone with even a remote interest in fringe music could appreciate, as if Coppice approach each album as their first, eager to hear what strange and beautiful sonic emissions might arise.