Closing In

by Steve Lawson

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The idea for this album is for it to be a place where I upload works in progress as I work towards the new solo album. A lot of these will be things that I would've happily released on the album, were my approach the same as for my last couple of 'studio' solo records (11 Reasons and Behind Every Word) - but I'm going for a slightly different approach this time, I'm just not quite sure what it is.

At the moment, I'm playing A LOT, trying things out, using my gear in different combinations, working on melodic and harmonic ideas. So some of these may be pretty strange, and some may end up being quite similar... I won't be putting anything up here that isn't 'finished' in and of itself - these aren't crappy demos, but instead complete works that are part of the journey towards the album. If that makes sense.

Enjoy!

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released July 8, 2015

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Steve Lawson UK

The UK's most celebrated solo bassist, here with lots of looped/layered solo albums, & collaborations, most notably with genius singer Lobelia. Dig in deep, there's a lot to discover.

Pretty much all the music here is 'Pay What You Think It's Worth', so listen as much as you like, & do what it says on the tin...

As the website strap-line goes, it's the soundtrack to the day you wish you'd had.
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Track Name: Closing In
This was an experiment in putting a looper right at the front end of the signal chain - before all the FX and processing, so I could then change the sound of whatever was looped... Mostly, in this case, reverb, distortion and an envelope filter... I like how this turned out. It's in a similar space to 'Nothing Can Prepare' from 11 Reasons, but ends rather differently...
Track Name: Imperfection
This one is an exploration of the impact of imperfection on the music - I had to switch from my main Looperlative (the looper I use) to my back-up (which is the original prototype), and it generates a lot more noise and pops and clicks than the new one did... it used to annoy me, but now I'm actually thinking it might add something interesting to the music, like vinyl crackle does... So this is that - let me know what you think..

the piece itself is an improv, starting out with a new-ish sound that uses a quite extreme tremolo setting to establish a rhythmic basis, with pitch-shifted reverb creating that initial ambient texture... fun times ;)
Track Name: Tripped, Stumbled, Down But Not Out
Another idea in development. We'll see where this one ends up.

Again, I'm loving the imperfections, that the kick drum part doesn't line up, that there are some delicious tonal ambiguities happening at various times. And that odd moment where the main rhythmic loop stops abruptly... that was unexpected while I was playing it too :)

It gets pretty intense. Enjoy :)
Track Name: Time To Start Caring
Another experiment - this one starts out with a really simple synth loop played on the Quneo, then fretted bass for the rest of the track... start playing see what happens. The delay and pitch shift stuff is done with the Looperlative LP2 pedal (the bleeps are achieved by double clicking the track speed button so it records a tiny bit of the audio at half speed then plays it back at double speed). The Looperlative is very early in the signal path so I was able to manipulate the reverb and distortion after it... Fun times :)
Track Name: The Ice Cracks But Holds Firm
Another experiment with the Quneo - this is actually the fourth thing I've recorded using this electric piano sound - I'm loving the combination of that, and running the loop of it into the Kaoss Pad (firstly with a granular filter, then a backwards delay at the end). This is a bit of a departure for me, though the fretless melodic component will be familiar... All the processing is part of the live performance - there's no post-production here...

I'm going to spend a lot more time exploring this combination, but I thought you'd like to hear where I'm up to with it so far!