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Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond



Few more thoughts on last night's gig

January 13th, 2006 | No Comments | Categories: Musing on Music |

So, the format was that we’d do three sets, and each ‘curate’ one of the sets – I started, and I played solo, then duo with Cleveland, then we played as a trio. Next up was Cleveland solo, duo with BJ then trio, and finally BJ solo, me and BJ duo, then trio.

The three trio pieces were all very different sometimes very floaty, but the last one a high energy beat-box-led number – Cleveland’s contribution to a looping set is huge – being able to beatbox, sing tunes, do that tabla vocalisation thing, layer chords… he’s amazing. Couple that was BJ’s remarkable emotional empathy with his instrument – the steel in BJ’s hands has an amazing yearning quality, and my melancholic but ultimately hopefully noodlings, and you’ve got a rather potent mix.

the duos were really interesting, just to see what happens when you take one element out of the trio – the track that BJ and I did was fun, in that instead of ploughing our usual dark ambient furrow, we actually morphed into a country 12 bar! There was a bridge at one point, but I wasn’t looping at all until the last minute of the piece… an unexpected one for us as well as the audience!

I think the most fun for me as a listener was Cleveland’s solo set – he’s only just getting familiar with the Echoplex, and so his looping method is gloriously haphazard, but the end result was amazingly slick – his ability to respond in a group situation spills over to his looping, and he made whatever was happening work. He was just spinning the dial on his FX unit and using whatever sound came up, and coming up with the most incredible layers of vocalese.

All in all, one of the best gigs I’ve been involved in for ages, and two out of two for the Recycle Collective. It’s definitely turning into what I’d intended it to be – the most vital new music night in London!

If you were there, feel free to post your reviews in The Forum or here in the comments on this post…

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