6th Studio Album ‘Almost Out’ – released today here
Focus track ‘Utopia’ feat. Samantha James
“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
(April 7th 2023) Matt Cooper, recording as Outside, releases 6th studio album ‘Almost Out’ today on Dorado Records. It is a stunning collection of cinematic, jazz electronica, with the sensual, Lo-Fi beats of focus track ‘Utopia’ featuring Samantha James.
The album follows the recent single ‘Then It Hits You’ with Marie Dahlstrom on vocals, which saw Cooper on top form with lush, melodic keys, rolling, dubstep-esque beats and keys, plus Dahlstrom’s emotive, soulful vocals.
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 ‘STR4TASFEAR’, including acclaimed track ‘Lazy Days’ featuring Emma-Jean Thackray.
‘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. ‘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.
Highlight tracks include ‘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, ‘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: