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Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond



Slow Food, Track By Track, Pt 5 – Ten Years Of Listening.

September 13th, 2010 · Comments Off on Slow Food, Track By Track, Pt 5 – Ten Years Of Listening.

Click here to download Ten years of listening.

The longest track on the album. A slow build with some pretty big transitions, and a Big Distorted Solo™. The only way to navigating those transitions is to rely on deep listening.

Trip and I have been listening to each other for over a decade. I’m always as happy to listen to him play as I am to be playing the music myself. That’s the key to improv – play with people who make nicer noises than you can imagine making yourself. Removes the tendency to over-play.

So we listen, we react, we surprise each other and play catch-up. But after a decade of listening, the surprises get easier to adjust to 🙂

There are some amazing moments in this tune, too many amazing moments to list them all here. And there are sounds that you’d be forgiven for thinking were me that are actually Trip. He really stretches out on this, and the blend between our sounds has never been more integrated and organic.

This was also the first track off the album made available to hear – over on Soundcloud, it’s annotated with who’s doing what

Tags: Music News · Musing on Music

Two EPs On The Way, Duets With Trip Wamsley

August 4th, 2010 · Comments Off on Two EPs On The Way, Duets With Trip Wamsley

Trip and I have been friends for over a decade. We met at the NAMM Show in LA in ’99, and I was immediately a fan of his music. I doubt he heard anything I was on at the time – I was still 11 months away from my first ever solo gig, and he’d already been doing the solo bass thing for best part of a decade – he was SO far ahead of the curve, inspired by Michael Manring, playing opening shows for big name acts in The South all on his own. A real inspiration. [Read more →]

Tags: Music News

Supersizing “Live So Far” – Three New Tracks Added To Our Live Album.

July 17th, 2010 · 1 Comment

One of the joys of releasing music through Bandcamp (officially the world’s greatest digital music release platform, as voted for by me) is that album releases can be progressive.

We’ve already added ‘Happy‘ to the live album, when it became our de facto single, thanks to the awesome video. [Read more →]

Tags: Gig stuff · Music News

New Toys, New Music

April 29th, 2010 · 1 Comment

I finally got round to doing something I’ve been meaning to for ages, but never managed to line up being motivated and having the money for it – I replaced my live mixer and preamp with a MOTU Ultralite Mk III Soundcard.

There are a number of reasons for this – [Read more →]

Tags: Geek · Music News

Steve Lawson Biography

May 5th, 2008 · 5 Comments

Steve Lawson – wonky-beat-infused new-age electronica, post-rock, ambient-jazz, solo-bass… It’s a little tricky to pin down what he does, given that, as those hyphenated descriptions begin to tell us,

  • he’s the UK’s most celebrated solo bassist, who spends a lot of his time making very unbasslike noises.
  • He’s an ambient experimenter who likes pop tunes too much to go strictly soundscape, but is way too atmospheric to sit comfortably in the ‘instrumental rock’ category.
  • His electronica leanings produce some amazing hi-tech sounds, but even the beats are played live, and owe more to hip-hop than the usual sources,
  • making the eventual hybrid of jazz, electronica, ambient, new age and ‘new acoustic’ influences infuriatingly hard to pigeonhole.

It may be a deeply uncommercial move to be so diffuse, but Steve’s entire career – whether live or in the studio (and there’s a significant crossover between the two, thanks to Lawson’s focus on live recording) has been an ongoing experiment in making the music that means something to him, and then using the Internet to make that available to like-minded listeners. With 21 solo albums and 24 collaborative albums under his belt, there’s a definite ‘Steve Lawson’ sound to just about everything he plays on. Playful yet melancholic, possessed of a naive melodic quality whilst flirting extensively with dissonance and darker timbres to create this soundtrack to the inside of his head. He has through his completely improvised live show gained a formidable reputation as a fearless experimenter, creating music from the most unlikely influences and sonic combinations, taking the audience on an unforgettable journey.

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This ‘music first, marketing later’ approach has lead to him being greatly in demand as a writer, thinker and consultant on the present and possible future of the music industries, splitting his teaching time between University and College lectures on looping, improvising and bass techniques and further lecture tours on the sustainability of making the music you love. He also occasionally writes biographies about himself in the third person.

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With the eighteen year success of his on-going project to keep making the music that matters to him – and considerable acclaim by press and peers alike – the future looks just fine. In just the last three years, he has released 11 solo albums, (many of them exclusively available through his flagship Bandcamp Subscription offering), and 12 collaborative albums, was featured on the cover of the October 2015 edition of Bass Guitar Magazine, has received copious radio play from BBC Radio 3 and BBC 6Music, he has played shows with Jon Thorne, Rob Turner (GoGoPenguin), Jonas Hellborg, Reeves Gabrels & Jason Cooper, Divinity, Bryan Corbett, Corey Mwamba and Thomas Leeb, maintained a monthly column for Bass Guitar Magazine, and started a PhD looking at his audience’s experience of improvisation. And it only gets busier from here… Enjoy the ride.

Quotes

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I’m happy for this page to be a collaborative effort, so if you wish to add some biographical detail that seems relevant, or a quote of your own to supplement the ones in the box, you can do so in the comments below:

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