New Album Invenzioni, with Mike Outram, Out Today!


I know a lot of you have been waiting for this patiently for two years. Well, here it is, the first of 3 albums to be culled from that epic first session:

There’s some info about the album’s genesis on Bandcamp, and here’s the press release in full:

Steve Lawson and Mike Outram – Invenzioni. Out Sept 11th, 2012, on Any And All Records.

Guitar/Bass duo carve out new territory at the improvised intersection of jazz, electronica, ambient and post-rock.

The first time Steve Lawson and Mike Outram ever played together was in the studio with the virtual tape rolling. Invenzioni is the hugely creative result of a plot hatched via social media, forged on mutual musical admiration and a curiosity to see how their respective soundworlds would blend given the chance.

  • Steve Lawson‘s career as a solo bassist and experimental collaborator stretched back to the late 90s, and his prodigious output since then has blended jazz with ambient, electronica, folk and post-rock to create an approach to improvisation that leaves an indelible mark on any project he’s a part of.
  • Mike Outram has long been one of the most admired and respected jazz guitarists in the UK, but his skills and reputation stretch far beyond the confines of jazz and have led to work with Porcupine Tree main-man Steve Wilson, soul legend Carleen Anderson and with electronica/IDM artists Photek and the Cinematic Orchestra.

The serendipitous chance of a day’s studio time in January 2010 led to an epic recording session that has resulted in 3 albums worth of material, the first of which is Invenzioni.

Each track is improvised in the studio, with almost no discussion before starting each one. As Mike says, “we’d never played together, we just set up our stuff and started playing, so what you hear is two people playing music together for the very first time.”

Lawson acted as master-looper, recording both his own bass and Outram’s guitar on the fly, spitting it back into the room, sometimes altered or reprocessed, ready to be reappraised and responded to. A lot that you think is guitar may actually be bass. If you’re familiar with Steve’s more ambient work, you may also be fooled into thinking that some of Mike’s stranger sounds are actually Steve… The cross-over in ideas and sounds is remarkable.

“I love that ambiguity” explains Lawson, “a lot of people don’t seem to be able to compute that the ‘lead’ guitar solo in the middle of A Beautiful Mind is, in fact, bass, or that Light Over Water is nothing but looped and processed guitar. That makes it all the more interesting, I guess – the ‘how did they do that?’ element”

A near telepathic musical relationship emerged immediately, leading to a stylistic breadth and melodic depth rare on improvised records.

Of these 5 tracks, Light Over Water stands out as an improvised guitar solo, looped and processed in real time by Steve, taking Mike’s shimmering guitar and reversing, pitch shifting, fragmenting, restructuring it into an unrepeatable slab of Guitronica.

With over two years elapsed between recording and release, the mixing and mastering process was equally experimental. Initial mix sessions were a collaborative affair, with Mike finishing the mixing and Steve taking over for final edits and mastering.

Initial responses to Invenzioni are unanimously that it’s one of – if not the – best thing Steve has ever released, such is the level of inspiration Outram and Lawson drew from each other.

Look for live dates soon.

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