Unclassifiable veteran British guitarist Mike Cooper has periodically turned to Lawrence English's Room40 label to release his warped visions of tropical paradise, beginning with 2004's Rayon Hula and continuing with 2013's White Shadows in the South Seas.
Arriving in 2015, Fratello Mare follows in this direction, somewhat resembling one of Nurse with Wound's easy listening nightmares taking place on a palm tree-filled Pacific island.
The album's steel guitar riffs and thumb pianos are nestled under a thick blanket of bird calls, but it feels so detached and eerie that it's impossible to imagine lounging on the beach to this music.
One of the album's most bizarre moments comes at the end of "Summer Without Waves" when the nature sounds abruptly cut out without warning, snapping everything into perspective.
As unsettling as this album seems, there are some quite lovely moments to it, such as the sublime (but still off-kilter) title track, and the final two pieces incorporate the complex polyrhythms of Balinese gamelan into their dense sound arrangements.
The slippery drum machine beats of "Notes from My Pacific Log" add another dimension to Cooper's confounding sound-world.
Hard to wrap one's head around, Fratello Mare is nevertheless a bewildering listen.