In this feature we cover a lot of ground quotes, soundcloud links to the first track of the Album and we also got the chance to put a few Questions to Steve. So have a scroll through, have a listen and enjoy. I have had the pleasure of hearing the whole Album where I can tell you there is something for everyone.. HEMIDEMISEMIQUAVER by Steve Cobby produced in his ‘Shedio’ is out on Déclassé from the 27th of October, for more information on the release go to Steve’s Site.
Well over a quarter of a century has passed since Steve Cobby’s music first appeared in record stores, but the Hull musician has lost none of his appetite for writing and releasing new music. Having re-introduced himself to the record buying public via the critically acclaimed Saudade album back in 2014, Cobby has gone on to release a string of fine solo records under his given name. This October, the former Fila Brazillia and Heights of Abraham member is set to release a brand new album, Hemidemisemiquaver, and it could well be his most accomplished solo work yet.
Written and produced in the “Shedio” at the bottom of his garden,the album is little less than a kaleidoscopic musical trip through the hive mind of our hirsute hero. Those with a wide musical palette will spot a dizzying array of influences – from dub, trip-hop, lounge jazz and Balearica, to wide-eyed electronica, early ‘80s NYC synth-pop, Pat Metheny style jazz-fusion and sweaty drum and bass – as well as a few sly nods to Cobby’s own musical past. It’s as vibrant, colourful and effervescent a set as you’ll hear all year, packed full of warm, attractive and melodious tracks that sidestep conventional categorization.
Really, we should expect little less from Steve Cobby, a man whose musical resume looks more impressive with every passing year. Most will know of his production partnership with Dave McSherry under the Fila Brazilia alias; after all, the duo’s career spanned 14 years and resulted in 12 acclaimed albums and over 70 remixes for the likes of Radiohead, Busta Rhymes, Black Uhuru, Simple Minds, Moloko and the Orb. Some will be aware, too, of his involvement with Pork Recordings, the eclectic, open-minded imprint that became a byword for quality throughout the 1990s. It was on Pork that he released his first solo material as The Solid Doctor (he later also recorded as White Dopes on Funk and JJ Fuchs).
Although now famed for his solo work, Steve Cobby has spent much of career collaborating with others. There was his collaboration with former Chakk members Sim Lister and Jake Herries as Heights of Abraham (whose inspired Electric Hush album is now considered one of the finest downtempo sets of the 1990s), a surprise hook-up with legendary pianist and composer Harold Budd, and a string of singles co-produced by former Cabaret Voltaire man Stephen Mallinder.
Earlier this year Mr Cobby turned soundtrack composer via a film about Hull created for the city’s 12-month stint as European City of Culture. He also found time to collaborate with playwright Russ Litten on “For The Many”, an inspiring anthem for a better Britain that led to a blossoming friendship with Jeremy Corbyn. Clearly, the Labour leader has impeccable taste.
HEMIDEMISEMIQUAVER well where to start, the production and high quality of this Album is truly remarkable, the work of one Man Steve Cobby. Steve’s wealth of musical influences are all over this, the laid-back Jazz Funk-Trip Hop vibes of ‘Candle for the Moth’. The Organic Drum and Bass break in ‘Rick James dwells in the Abyss’. ‘Cherry-Skin Blanket’ gives us Balearic Electronica where as ‘Babylon on the Hudson’ is pure Dub all the way…. “The Track for me is the heady dreamlike affair which is ‘The Canyons Of Lower Manhattan’. Saturday nights, Sunday Mornings, Sunsets to Sunrises all bases are covered in this Curious, exceptional and Impressive Album.
Below is a link to the first track on Hemidemisemiquaver–Jenkem.. Enjoy….
Q&A with Mr Cobby.
1. Who, what, where, when and why is Steve cobby?
Musician / Producer / DJ of 30 years standing. Denizen and native of Kingston Upon Hull. First commercial release 1988. First paid DJ set 85. Co-founded PORK Recordings in 1990. Formed Fila Brazillia in same year with David McSherry.
> Why I came to be would be a question for the authors of my being Rod and Grace. But I know I wasn’t planned, so serendipity had a large part to play in proceedings. Just like my career.
2. When and why did you start making music?
I started making music with my first guitar aged 14. Bought for me as a reward for returning to school after a long period of ‘twagging’ as its known in Hull….otherwise known as bunking off elsewhere.
As the level of distractions for a teenager in 1979 amounted to three TV channels and the radio I became competent on guitar by playing along to records in my bedroom. Bands were formed and abandoned, collaborations followed and at a glacial pace my fledgling interest slowly blossomed into a career. It would take well over a decade to do so.
3. What was the first Record you bought?
I just can’t help believing – Elvis Presley 1971
4. Hedonism or Sprituality?
Bit of both. I’m part sybarite, part shamen.
5. Trying to balance Work, Music and family life what is your Secret?
Fear of failure and love of truth and beauty.
6. Which brings me to ask about ‘The Shedio’ how did that come about?
A temporary home for my share of the Fila Brazillia studio equipment that was divided up when we vacated the town studio. It has since gone on to serve me well past it’s intended tenure for over ten years.
When Hemidemisemiquaver goes triple platinum I shall knock it down and erect the studio of my dreams in its place. . .