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Hugh Hopper's brother Brian has followed up his solo CD If Ever I Am with a second collaboration with long-term musical partner Robert Fenner. Just Desserts contains much of the ambient atmosphere of their earlier work, while also adding a stronger rhythmic approach and a more pronounced World Music influence.
Taken from both live and studio recording sources, the album featues prominent use of Robert's guitar and Brian's saxophone, as well a variety of exotic instrumentation and inventive post-production approaches.
Moving from haunting soundscapes to strongly jazz influenced pieces, Just Desserts is an excellent follow up to the highly regarded Virtuality.
1. Two To Tutu Too (Desert Mix) 7:04
2. Just Desserts (Dunes Mix) 6:59
3. Seven-Four Seasons 6:25
4. Icabob 8:35
5. Indian Summer 8:40
6. Morphology 7:04
7. Leeway 6:15
8. Polytribal 5:41
9. Plasma Cloud 6:52
10. Mandolindalay 6:14
All selections MCPS/PRS
soprano and tenor saxophones, midi wind controller, keyboards, synths, samplers, sequencing and drum programming
six and twelve string acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, keyboards, synths, percussion and sequencing
With sincere thanks to Ansy for her vocals and Lee Musson for the photography
Graphics and cover design by Brian Hopper & Robert Fenner
Recorded, Edited & Mastered at Spinney Studio, East Sussex, U.K.
Copyright 2006 Brian Hopper & Robert Fenner
Some tracks send a backwards glance to earlier styles the pair had used whilst others are rooted in a more funky environment complete with harmonised sax riffs and Fender Stratocaster responses. Robert has exploited his collection of stringed instruments including mandolin and various twelve and six-string acoustic guitars providing both rhythmic and melodic lines on several tracks while Brian has used soprano and tenor saxes with a more jazz oriented flavour plus extensive use of the Midi Wind Controller to add lead lines with more radical sounds, some echoing ethnic instruments and some of which were generated with acoustic modelling technology, enabling hybrid sounds to be formed which would otherwise be physically impossible as no equivalent acoustic instruments could exist. These are layered over a variety of evocative sounding synth voices and pads to enable them to blend comfortably into the overall sound of each track as it was developed. The programmed percussion elements were based on both real and synthesised drum samples, which enabled the generation of the desired feel and drive appropriate for each track.