Phone app warrior serves up off-kilter electro loveliness
Glasgow born and bred, Stephen Solo’s musical adventure began at school, before he could play an instrument, when he would create alternate Beatles records in his head. In and out of bands for years, he recently began thinking about his own creative processes and, in a bid to free himself from the age-old piano/guitar songwriting shackles, started mucking about with music making apps on his phone.
Why Stephen Solo?
Solo first became interested in the results of his phone meanderings when he was crafting incidental sounds for an animation. He found himself recording little stream of consciousness stories, sitting in his car in the rain shouting random lyrics. “Two of the songs on the album have the same rainstorm in the background,” he says. “Little details like that make me happy.”
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Album? Did he say album? Yes, an entire album, ‘Pii’, made completely on the fly. It’s hard to believe tracks such as the warm ambient loveliness of ‘New Titan’ and the electro skitishness of ‘Freak’ poured forth from a phone. “Using a device you always have with you changes everything,” explains Solo. “It’s weirdly intimate yet alien, slick yet clunky. It feels like trying to wash your clothes with a toaster at some points.” The album comes as a limited edition USB release by the hugely innovative not-for-profit Last Night From Glasgow imprint, which is itself well worth investigating as it’s as inventive as the tracks it puts out.
‘Pii’ is out on Last Night From Glasgow