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You’re listening to the fruits of a long friendship, a collaboration between two very different musical talents and a collection of beautiful, eerie songs.
The underground aesthetic promotes passion and integrity over craftsmanship and musical chops. Calamateur vs. Steve Lawson offers no such dilemma. The playing is immaculate, the production gorgeous and the arrangements are achingly close to perfection. These are Calamateur songs though, which means they’re loaded with yearning, loss, ascetic sensuality and a commitment to revealing personal and universal truths. And tunes, it’s more packed with tunes than a Topic is with hazelnuts.
'Calamateur vs. Steve Lawson' finds Calamateur (Andrew Howie, reclusive solo artist and sage) in a rare collaboration with another musician, the much demanded session musician, tour sideman and solo bass player, Steve Lawson.
Despite their studio polish, and the understated musical chops on display, the nine songs that have emerged from the Howie-Lawson collaboration are emotionally raw and spiritually bereft. There’s far more pain and sense of loss and inadequacy on this album than on, say, 'The Old Fox of ’45', or the 'Son of Everyone' double EP. At times deeply unsettling, and often painfully confessional (even the instrumental tracks) the overwhelming sense is of beauty in a stark place; a desolate Antarctic wilderness of songs.
'How Long' throbs along gently in the stratosphere thanks to the helium filled falsetto and thin silver strands of guitar, looped through a barrage of effects.
from The Best Of Steve Lawson Pt 2 (Collaborations, 2000-2013)
released July 10, 2022
released October 1, 2007
Calamateur: Guitar, vocals, loops, electronica
Steve Lawson: Bass, loops, electronica
All songs written, arranged and produced by Andrew Howie and Steve Lawson.
Recorded at Autoclave Noiselab, Beauly and Pillow Mountain Studios, London.
Mixed by A.H. at Autoclave Noiselab
Mastered by Iain Hutchison at Glo-Worm Studios, Glasgow.