Two bassists from two different continents -- Italian Lorenzo Feliciati of the adventurous jazz-rock band Naked Truth and the intensely searching nu jazz group Berserk! and Australian Colin Edwin of the longstanding prog-rock band Porcupine Tree and the heavy-duty, experimental Metallic Taste of Blood as well as Ex-Wise Heads and Burnt Belief -- come together to make one potent statement on Twinscapes.
With special guest appearances by acclaimed trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer, saxophonist David Jackson (of Van der Graaf Generator), Swiss percussionist Andi Pupato (of Andreas Vollenweider and Nik Bartschʼs Ronin) and drummer Roberto Gualdi (of the Italian prog-rock band PFM), this bass-dominant project, which was mixed by renowned bassist-producer Bill Laswell, travels from ambient soundscapes to slamming funk workouts and kinetic grooves to cinematic-sounding pieces that defy easy categorization. And there are plenty of virtuosic fireworks along the way by all the principal soloists on this outstanding RareNoise release which is released on March 3rd on CD /vinyl and Hi- Res digital download.
Feliciati and Edwin first got together for an impromptu one-off gig in London early in 2013, and they discovered an instant chemistry on the bandstand. As Colin recalls, "I was familiar with Lorenzoʼs band Naked Truth and also his solo album Frequent Flyer, and coincidentally had been toying with the idea of a dual-bass project with a bass player friend of mine. So I immediately thought it was something worth doing as an experiment, at least. And I knew that this project would lead us to explore other things you tend to do a lot less of in a regular band set-up, like using different effects, E-bows, have the bass playing melodies and so forth."
In preparing for their session together, Feliciati and Edwin spent a few productive days in a studio in the English countryside, fleshing out compositions from the bones of each otherʼs sketches.
Playing both fretted and fretless basses, the two kindred low-end spirits create a formidable undercurrent on the 11 powerful tracks from Twinscape while embellishing the open-ended pieces with freewheeling improvisation. "We had a very short time to plan what to do and only a small amount of rehearsal," says Edwin, "but even from our brief rehearsal, it certainly felt like we had a natural way of playing together. Without any real discussion we managed to find a way of fitting around each other, despite occupying the same frequency area. It requires a certain amount of intuition and sensitivity just to be able to do that, without stepping on each others toes and filling up the same space."
That kind of complementary attitude permeates Twinscapes, though each of the bassists do step out with stunning solos from track to track. They kick off the proceedings with "Shaken," which begins with a calming, ambient drone before developing a thickly textured undercurrent from multiple overdubs laid down by the two bassists. As drummer Gualdi fuels the track with powerhouse backbeats, Edwin plays the fretless solo, the harmonic delays and the picked bass parts while they combine on the tight unison riffs. Feliciati adds false harmonics and octave bass lines on this dynamic opener. On the more lyrical "Alice," a piece written by Feliciati for his daughter and which appeared on his first-ever solo release in 2003, he plays the main bass part and the chordal part while Edwin covers the melody, the harmonic slides and the beautiful fretless bass work. Lorenzo provides the ambient wash with his bass pedals on "In Dreamland" and Colin contributes to that ethereal vibe by using the E-bow in conjunction with his bass.
With Andi Pupato, Nils Petter Molvaer, David Jackson and Roberto Gualdi, Feliciati and Edwin have gathered a group of world-class musicians who bring this release to new creative heights.