‘Confessions Without Words.’ by Jacqua Cooper sounds like a clandestine rave

Stream on Spotify or Apple Music

Score: 6.5/10

Add to playlist: ‘Cooler Back Then’, ‘Henny Harmon’, ‘On the Shore’, ‘Out Ahda’

Newcomer Jacqua Cooper has an ear for lo-fi techno beats with a stimulating hip-hop twist.

On his second LP, Confessions Without Words., the New York-born DJ/musician reveals his secrets across 21 doses of hard-hitting and (almost entirely) vocal-free dance music.

From trance and vaporwave, to industrial and future bass, the record leaves no electro subgenre behind – and at its finest moments, captures the raw, spontaneous energy of a clandestine rave. 

Be warned: Cooper’s production style is rough and ready. The copious stock sound effects don’t always add to the experience, and even at their most pummelling, his instrumentals have a tendency to meander.

But when he hones in on a particular concept – such as the slinky trap of ‘Out Ahda’, or the corrupted tropical house of ‘Cycle’ – the results are hypnotic in a Kaytranada-meets-Ryan Hemsworth kind of way.

Despite the record’s sonic disarray, Cooper isn’t above nailing more commercial sounds: ‘Cooler Back Then’ dials up the sugary 90s trance nostalgia, while ‘On the Shore’ is picturesque balearic house. If you listen to anything from Confessions Without Words., make sure it’s the final four tracks, which make a particularly good case for Cooper’s melodic prowess. 

Hey, after 21 tracks, ending on a high is no mean feat.

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