Jazz man on an ambient mission
The first thing you need to know about Stuart McCallum is he’s a guitarist. He’s a bloody good guitarist too. There’s nothing remotely rock ’n’ roll about this man and what he does, though. He’s a future jazzer with a talent for combining beautifully ambient guitar noodlings with electronic undulations. He’s got form for this stuff too. He’s a long-time member of Ninja Tune signings The Cinematic Orchestra and his recently released ’City’ album is his fourth solo outing.
Why Stuart Mccallum?
Yes, he’s been around longer than most of the artists we feature in Pulse, his first album having landed almost a decade ago. Never mind that. No, there’s no way you’re going to be bumping and grinding to McCallum’s music at your local discotheque, even if ‘City’ does find him steering into slightly stronger electronic waters than before. Never mind that either. So why Stuart McCallum? Because sometimes, just sometimes, it’s nice to have a dollop of organic goodness to balance out all those machines.
Tell Us More
A quick word about the friends McCallum keeps, then. He’s got some seriously impressive people helping out on ‘City’, most notably drummer Richard Spaven (4 Hero and Flying Lotus, as well as The Cinematic Orchestra), who has co-written and co-produced the album. There are also contributions from several singers, including Sophie Barker (Zero 7) and new Island signing JP Cooper, which is the first time McCallum has worked with vocals. And it makes a big difference. If you enjoyed the Portico album earlier this year, you’ll dig this too.