Cooptrol

Cooptrol is more than Hernán González’s (Johannesburg 1976) artistic name. It has become a complementary personality in its own right, and a prominent actor in the South American experimental music scene. A project that had its 15th anniversary in 2015, and has circulated between defined stylistic landmarks: dub, post-industrial, IDM, techno, dubstep, always combined in subtle ways to define a very personal view of music.

With a past as drummer since the early 90’s, syncopation and polyrhythms rule his music, as well as a love for all sounds synthetic. An electronic music purist, Cooptrol is not a fan of genre crossovers. Electronic music is a universe wide enough to express anything, and a lot of different things have been said since Cooptrol’s first official release Detractor in 2004. Subsequent releases such as Ubicuidad (2005) and Avatar (2007) constitute experiments in genre creation. This first body of work takes Cooptrol to the first European tour in 2007, playing in Spain, Switzerland and Germany, and with the participation in famed Experimentaclub festival in Madrid, sharing stages with big acts such as Merzbow and Mouse On Mars.

Having met the European scene first-hand, the period between 2008 and 2010 signs a new strategy of taking hold of bass music and model it to Cooptrol’s standards of abstraction and potent rhythmical devices. Far South Nights and Southern Fire combine hip hop, dubstep, glitch, vocals and remixing collaborations with many artists worldwide. These are also the first European releases, through UK label Duster. Another Euro-tour in 2009 consolidates Cooptrol’s ability to provide a powerful live show. By the end of 2010 the EP The Fin is released, as a bridge between the bass music predecessors and a return to experimentalism and free-form.

2011’s album Danx (released by Series Media) is a perfect synthesis of all the elements that have gone in and out his music all these years. It constitutes another exploration into genre creation. Cooptrol presents Danx live first in Santiago de Chile at the Pueblo Nuevo Festival, and then in Montevideo at the SOCO Festival, held in the Teatro Solis, Uruguay’s most important venue, sharing stage with artists such as Pole, Kanding Ray, Deadbeat, and Christina Nemec. Also in 2011, a collaboration with McNongenetic form the lengendary Shadowhuntaz is released on vinyl through Spezialmaterial Records from Switzerland. The release is called Hemispheres and includes two original Cooptrol+Nongenetic tracks, plus four remixes made by Spezialmaterial artists.

In 2012 Cooptrol releases the LP Hexaedrum on his own label Tiredbeat. The LP was released commercially on all digital stores, and then pirated thoroughly on the net, which led on Russian magazine Modern Stalking to commission an EP with outtakes of Hexaedrum called Heptahedron. 2012 was the year of sonic exploration in synthesis techniques such as FM and modular, with classic hardware. These releases would later continue in 2014 with the release of Octaedrone and Nonhaedron.

2013 starts with a bi-monthly two-hour improvisation radio show on English net radio Future Music. Also the imminent release of EPs of Cooptrol’s dub side project Amdet. The first one is called Furtherance, a house-dub EP with four tracks and two remixes by Ema Remedi and Barbara Wild. 2013 is the year of Cooptrol returning to the dancefloor delivering cracking sets of house and techno using only hardware synthesizers, playing in the best clubs of Montevideo and Punta del Este. Also an experimental audiovisual performance is presented in the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art, and in the Live Performers Meeting festival in Cape Town. 2014 brings many shows locally and abroad, plus the release of many albums also under the more classic electronic dub-oriented AMDET moniker.

The inclusion of Cooptrol in the 2015 Uruguayan Music Catalogue of the Ministry of Education of Uruguay marks the recognition of his own country to an extensive career in the development of electronic music in the region. For Gonzalez it is very important to support the amazing Uruguayan emerging electronic music scene with projects such as the Amigos de Cooptrol compilation series that showcases local talent, teaching electronic music production at the ORT University, and collaborating with younger artists.

In 2016 Cooptrol continues to investigate into the fusion of abstract synthetic sounds and textures with dancefloor and downtempo rhythms. Also continues to release a string of dubtechno releases on Canadian label Kizi Garden (Montreal), including titles such as Untension (2014), Traces (2016), and Kenjataimu (2016). Dancefloor gigs continue throughout the year, with an ever evolving and lengthy house and techno live set. Other projects include audiovisual performances with Flatten (with longtime friend and curator Martin Craciun), the production of a soundtrack for Polish Oculus game Gnosis, and a new formation of AMDET as a live electronic dub outfit.