London, 8th February 2023 (February 8th 2023) Matt Cooper, recording as Outside, releases the cinematic, jazz electronica single ‘Then It Hits You’ with Marie Dahlstrom on vocals, today on Dorado Records.
‘Then It Hits You’ sees Cooper on top form with lush, melodic keys, rolling, syncopated drums and slick production. Joining him is Marie Dahlstrom delivering emotive, soulful vocals as Cooper brings an outro of dubstep-esque beats and keys. Marie Dahlstrom is a Danish vocalist, producer and songwriter, who released her critically acclaimed album ‘Like Sand’ in 2020 and is one of the most essential voices in underground R&B.
Mercurial studio mastermind and 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 tracks from the new album, including acclaimed track ‘Lazy Days’ featuring Emma-Jean Thackray.
With the new single, Outside follows up last year’s 4 track EP ‘A New Beginning’, ahead of forthcoming sixth studio album ‘Almost Out’, which will be released on 7th April 2023. ‘Almost Out’ is a work of slick downtempo beats and keys, Lo-Fi vibes and basslines and seamless touches of jazz instrumentation across fifteen tracks, that will absorb the four EP track ‘A New Beginning’. ‘Almost Out’ juxtaposes the percussive, the haunting melancholy, atmospheric beats and tweaked out production to beautiful effect. Cooper is flying solo, as he first did in 1993, drawing on 20 years in the company of soul and jazz legends, while adding a dash of Philip Glass and Steve Reich minimalism.
The new album contains stunning new tracks like opening track ‘Cyclic’ an epic, glitchy soundscape underpinned by lush keys and rolling rum snares, some fine vocals on the moody ‘Utopia’ delivered by Samantha James, ‘True Thoughts’ showcases more lush instrumentation and Outside moods, while ‘Where Did You Go?’ is a moving and poignant groove with Cooper’s signature keys, snares and high hats, and the gorgeous, stripped back instrumental ‘For Lyle’ closes the album. As well as EP tracks ‘Searching, Finding’, a minimalist electronic backdrop to the hauntingly emotive slide guitar of Francesco Sales and Cooper’s lush keys, ‘Navigating’ a cinematic feast for the ears, with a deeply yearning, searching groove, and ‘Flying High’, a soaring, yet minimal track with Cooper’s finest syncopated, off-beat drums.
‘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 era that rebooted jazz with digital beats in 1990s London. Recorded under the name Outside, the1993 debut album ‘Almost In’ stood 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 MD, 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 and Freddie Hubbard.
‘Almost Out’ Album Track List:
- Cyclic Arriving
- Utopia feat. Samantha James Where did you go?
- A New Beginning Let it go
- True Thoughts Outlaw
- Navigating Flying High
- Searching, Finding Quite Sandy
- Then It Hits You For Lyle