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After making us wait almost two decades for new solo material before last year's "Saudade", Steve Cobby is back in the blink of an eye with his second LP in as many years, once again on his own Declasse imprint. I suspect self-releasing suits Mr Cobby, and "Everliving" sees him embrace the creative freedom it allows. The fourteen immersive and expansive cuts are spread lovingly across three LPs rather than cramped onto a double, allowing each track the time and space to grow and evolve at its own pace. The result is an LP which entirely envelops you within its own sonic world, beguiling your senses with hypnotic keys, lilting rhythms, gentle guitars and pan global sounds. More electronic than its predecessor, "Everliving" delves deeper, gradually easing you into a trance like state through repetition and an expert understanding of space. So far the release has been met with universal praise from the likes of Dave Harvey, Phil Mison, Richard Norris and Peter Kruder, and really, who are we to disagree? Superb.


STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Surely it's about time Hull appointed Steve Cobby 'first among equals' and had done with it. The insanely talented Yorkshireman is on peerless form here, blending mellow dub, outernational sounds and acoustic warmth into a sublime bit of laid back listening. Cap doffed, sir, cap doffed.

Cobby & Moore

Left-handed Books - Inc Ashley Beedle Remix

Two titans of North England dance music join forces for a brand new single, whilst a naughty southern rascal with plenty of credentials sneaks in on remix duties...

Do Danielle Moore and Steve Cobby need introducing to Piccadilly customers? I think not; the former Manchester-raised, globally adored songstress and superstar has seduced us with her voice for near enough the last two decades whilst the latter, deeply rooted in Hull, is one of the Balearic scene's prized curveballs and a true artistic maverick.

Together, they have produced "Left-handed Books", a laid-back, summery house jam perfect for lazy nights or gentle saunters. It's a glossy, cushion soft production rich with delicate piano trills, a typically low-slung bass and gentle, prodding synths. Dani's vocals drift and bob in a coastal, oceanic manner; music that reflects the crystalline blues and sharp gilded edges of the Adriatic coast; a location that the two are more than familiar with as long term baton bearers paradisiacal island musica.

As remixer, DJ, producer and label owner, there's very few aspects of dance music culture that Ashley Beedle hasn't been involved in. Here he applies a very sympathetic hand to Cobby & Moore's original, keeping with the coastal, holiday house flavour as he adds subtle instrumental flurries and a sweeping, tidal wind through the stems. 


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Two personal heroes (blush!) deliver a superbly relaxed tickler for sumertime beach maneouvers - it's a doozy!

Hull's finest son, Fila Brazilia's Steve Cobby returns with his first solo material in 18 years and it is well worth the wait. Released on his new Declasse imprint, "Saudade" sees the veteran producer superbly weave a lifetime of influences and experiences into a panoramic world view spread across twelve expressionistic soundscapes. Across four sides of pristine white wax, Cobby marries vibrant rhythm and playful melody, alternating irresistible grooves with the horizontal beauty of blissed out orchestration. The producer has scattered the album with souvenirs from all corners of the globe, be it the Caribbean pans of "Melismatic", the African thumb pianos of "Passerines" or the West Coast funk of "Clawfist" and "Why Sleep Through Your Dreams?". While the LP boasts plenty of hypnotic grooves to get lost in, but also delights on the more concise cuts, such as the jazzy "Rapelle" and the atmospheric "The End Of A Perfect Death". Essential for fans of our Balearic selections or the textured downbeat of Nightmares On Wax, "Saudade" is a strong contender for my album of the year. I'll leave it to our good friend Boggy to have the last word...

"Those of you not aware of Steve Cobby will be one of two things. Young or tone deaf. Here is a solo album inflected with indescribable feeling of Saudade. True craftsmanship." - James Holroyd (Back To Basics, Bugged Out)

Not only is Steve Cobby a resonating force for social change and incredibly nice chap, he's also a TOTAL effin' ledge, and this latest LP delivers every bit of slow-release splendor you could hope for. "Jenkem" opens the set with a sublime mid tempo groove, giving us blobby bass, funky guitar licks and mellow mallets, all topped with the purest pads and delivered with crystal clear production. So far so funky, and the cool and cosmic of "Rick James Dwells In The Abyss" delivers on its titular promise with a mega Charlie Murphy vocal sample, soulful strut and eventual evolution into rapid fire breakbeats and buzzing guitar-god riffage. "The Canyons Of Lower Manhattan" powers into the peaktime with neat disco-house percussion, Metro Area style production and a heart wrenching leadline worthy of a Todd Terje classic. It wouldn't be a Cobby cut without a little dub, and "Babylon On The Hudson" arrives right on time, translating Blaxploitation chords and soulful horns into a supreme smokers jam, while "Heure D'or" is a thing of true beauty - all twinkly keys, broken beats and warm feelings. "A Candle For The Moth" continues with the dreamy downbeat theme, serving us soulful keys and chiming mallets on a stoned Roy Ayers tip. "Cherry-skin Blanket' brings back the blorp, pairing slobbery synth bass with smooth guitars and pleasing arps, before Cobby calls time with a siren song for subtle bodies and sunsets alike, merging malleable electronics with divine acoustic guitar. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Steve doesn't make bad records, but this is beauty even by his standards. Whatever your particular penchant is, if you like to live slowly, there's something here for you.

Cobby & Litten

Bootheferry

    The 2nd LP from Producer Steve Cobby and author Russ Litten, both natives of Kingston upon Hull following the critically acclaimed debut My People Come From The Sea.

    The LP includes RIME, a four part musical narrative inspired by the Triple Trawler Tragedy of 1968 that saw 58 fishermen from Hull lose their lives in treacherous conditions in Arctic waters. The songs re-imagine a lost fishing industry in a modern setting, evoking ancient folk-lore, superstition and urban myths before repatriating the lost souls back to their home city. RIME was commissioned for John Grant’s North Atlantic Flux Festival as part of the Hull City of Culture celebrations of 2017.

    Steve Cobby & Porky released 3 albums as The Cutler between 2007 and 2013 and were on the way to completing a fourth when Steve cut loose from their label Steel Tiger and decided to go solo in all pursuits with his own imprint Déclassé. Porky approached Steve last year with a shortlist of unreleased material they’d done together and wondered if there was life in them. Cobby set to work completing the unfinished tunes and refining those almost complete, resulting in a seven track set of easy moving grooves, loose white funk and dubbed out downbeat. Project names have been cast aside in favour of surnames for all of Cobbys collaborations post 2013, but in essence this is all Cutler, no filler! The chiming guitars, BBQ breakbeats and slick bass of the sampledelic "We'd Like To Capture Your Mind" open the set in fine summertime style, building up a head of steam until that brass blows like a steam kettle. "Porkbag" swaps the Afro-sizzle for a little dubbed up swelter, matching Moritz chords with subaquatic bass and subtle percussion to fully capture a little K&D style cool.  On to "Ho'oponopono" (presumably onomatopoeically named after the opening synth sound), and we're in full on future fusion mode, enjoying Coastal jazz-funk on a bed of dubby bass and glitching rhythms. The all encompassing audio approach continues on the flip as "Sirens At Dusk" offers Afro-broken-down-beat and the loose and jazzy "Stropharia Cubensis" glides out of the leftfield like an unheard Isaac Hayes interlude. Things take a turn for the dark and disjointed on the buzzing "Dresden"  before the beautiful "Black Pudding" closes the set with blissed out keys and lovely live bass.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: Cobby & Porky reprise their Cutler project for a fresh set of deep, dreamy and dubby downbeat gems. It's every bit as (De)classe as you'd expect!

    In these headspinning days of information overload, it seems hard to believe that anything can slip through the net. After all, if you've got a 3G connection, reasonably priced tablet and local coffee house you can do almost anything, at least until those artisanal grounds send you into cardiac arrest. Remarkable then, that the world was nearly deprived of these three sonic gems from Chieftain. The collaborative vehicle (image a tandem) of Fila Brazilia legend Steve Cobby and Birmingham mainstay Adam Regan, Chieftain made a brief and ill-fated appearance in the digital realm back in 2013, delivering a killer package of jazzy downbeat, piano house and island funk which was lost in the face of label ineptitude and online ignorance. Luckily for those of us with ears and a turntable, Mr Cobby is a man of stern stuff. Making fine use of his stubborn Yorkshire grit, Hull's finest son has waded through copyright calamity to give this material a much deserved moment in the vinyl spotlight through his Déclassé imprint.

    'Out Of My Life' struts into the room to the laid back funk of a fine breakbeat, pours itself a drink and starts to hold court. Mellow jazz chords and lithe sequences add a sophisticated texture while sumptuous strings (both sustained and pizzicato) sit in perfect balance with the floor shaking bassline. While lesser men could have made this cocktail way too smooth, Cobby and Regan are raiders of the Black Ark, utilising plenty of dub FX to add a little bite. 'Til Everyman Is Free' sees Chieftain shift gear, switching to midtempo house with a solid drumtrack and driving bassline. Soulful vocals and warm keys turn up the heat before the killer house piano drop tears the roof off in an explosion of wide-eyed dancefloor euphoria. It's the perfect soundtrack for those sultry nights when you're still dancing as the sun comes up, and that's exactly where the polyrhythmic exuberance of 'Coati Mundi' comes into play. Alive with the ripple of playful percussion and the sunkissed sounds of steel drums, this Island groove throws out shapes and feelings long after the part timers have gone home, slinking around to languid synth lines and getting down to those funky Rhodes licks. With Chieftain taking care of the warm up, peak time and after party, you've just gotta remember to pack your dancing shoes. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: Hull's finest export gets collaborative with Brummy boy Adam Regan for three choice cuts, including the magnificent beard house bomb "Til Everyman Is Free". Pianos and hazy memories from the master.


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