Wherever there’s a frontier in the world of bass, it’s safe to assume you’ll find Steve Lawson standing out there, waving to the rest of the community to set aside their apprehensions and join him on its outer edge. Last year he invited fellow lowend adventurer Trip Wamsley to make an improvisational ambient duo record, and sealed the deal by making his way from London to Wamsley’s Louisiana home to cut the tracks together, in person. The 11-year friends made Slow Food Steve’s way, with no rules and plenty of “freewheeling improv goodness.” Moods range from the calm, patient “Growing Up and Moving On” to the edgy, uncomfortable techno of “Imaginary Robot Ninja Assistant.” There’s chordal and arpeggiated loops, fretless melody breaks, a lead-guitar-sounding thing, and Trip using some Taurus-style bass pedals to drop deep, subsonic bombs in “Grown Ups at Play.” Recorded and released in shimmering 24-bit audio, Lawson’s vision of a shared musical moment with a friend is a deep listening experience—moving, enchanting, and always provocative.
Damian Erskine's Right-Hand Drive
ANYONE WHO HEARS DAMIAN ERSKINE’S new album So To Speak is about to find out what both keyed-in locals and hardcore jazz/fusion bass enthusiasts already know: There’s a world-class virtuoso bassist living in Portland, Oregon, and most nights he’s out there hustling like the rest of us.