London, 2nd November 2022 OUTSIDE
Matt Cooper recording again as Outside releases new EP
‘A New Beginning’
Out today on Dorado Records – listen here
“An incredible pianist, drummer, writer, producer and artist, Matt has been leading the way with British Jazz Funk for the last 30 years” – Gilles Peterson
“The atmospheric and experimental nature of this album takes us on a refreshing journey and Matt’s creativity and musical genius shines brighter than ever” – Bluey
(November 2nd 2022) Matt Cooper, recording again as Outside, makes a surprise return following a 20-year creative hiatus to release stunningly beautiful four-track EP ‘A New Beginning’, which comes out today on Dorado Records.
Studio mastermind and prodigiously gifted multi-instrumentalist, writer and arranger Matt Cooper, aka Outside, has been a creative powerhouse from the time he founded Outside in 1993, to now where he has been Musical Director of Jazz-Funk pioneers Incognito and collaborated on the STR4TA project with Incognito’s Bluey and Gilles Peterson as co-writer/producer/performer on four new tracks from the forthcoming album, including current STR4TA track ‘Lazy Days’ featuring Emma-Jean Thackray.
Outside releases this four-track EP of cinematic, jazz electronica, ahead of forthcoming sixth studio album ‘Almost Out’ which will be released in Spring 2023. ‘A New Beginning’ sees Cooper playing his first instrument, drums, as well as keyboards and most of the instruments. The music was recorded and completed between lockdowns and creatively assisted and co-produced with Valentina Pahor, in London and Portugal.
The new EP juxtaposes the percussive and the melancholy to hauntingly beautiful effect, drawing on 20 years in the company of soul and jazz legends, and adding a dash of Philip Glass and Steve Reich minimalism. Writing and playing solo, as he first did in 1993, Cooper has come full circle to showcase his unique musical sensibility once again as Outside.
The result is a work of clean lines and pared-down elegance across four tracks. Opening track ‘A New Beginning’ sees slick downtempo beats and keys meet Lo-Fi vibes and basslines with seamless touches of jazz instrumentation. ‘Searching, Finding’ is a minimalist glitchy, electronic soundscape that acts as a backdrop to the hauntingly emotive slide guitar of Francesco Sales and Cooper’s lush keys. ‘Navigating’ is a cinematic feast for the ears, with a deeply yearning, searching groove, and ‘Flying High’ closes the EP and is a soaring, exhilarating, yet minimal sonic spectacle that sees Cooper play his finest syncopated and off-beat drums to take the listener home.
‘I’ve evolved the mixture of modern and retro,’ Cooper says. ‘That’s the Outside sound.’
Matt Cooper was a key figure in the music revolution that rebooted jazz with digital beats in 1990s London. Recorded under the name Outside, his 1993 debut album ‘Almost In’ marked him out when it was released on experimental label Dorado — a contemporary of Talkin’ Loud, Acid Jazz, Mo’Wax and Ninja Tune that was founded by Ollie Buckwell and celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. ‘I wanted to make quality records that would stand the test of time,’ says Buckwell. ‘and I was blown away by Matt’s talent.’
Mixmag pronounced second album ‘The Rough & the Smooth’ “the best record of the last two years”, Outside released three further albums: ‘Discoveries’ (1997), ‘Suspicious’ (1998) and ‘Out of the Dark’ (2001). Cooper joined cult UK soul act Incognito as musical director and went onto work as MD and instrumentalist for legendary artists including: Chaka Khan; Jocelyn Brown; Whitney Houston; David Sylvian; Paul Weller; Terry Callier; Leon Ware; Marlene Shaw; Freddie Hubbard, and Ronnie Laws.
‘A New Beginning’ EP Track List:
- A New Beginning
- Searching, Finding
- Flying High
Outside biog & assets here
Outside Insta / Matt Cooper Insta/ Spotify
YouTube: Dorado Records