Release date: 21 February 2020
Credits and About
Ivo Neame Fender Rhodes, Piano, Mellotron, Hammond Organ, Clarinet
Jim Hart Drums, Vibes, Marimba, Percussion
Matt Calvert Synths, Sampling, Electronics, Production and Mixing.
Produced & mixed by Matt Calvert
Executive Producers: Dave Stapleton
Recorded in Alsace, France in June 2016 and the Royal Academy of
Music, London August 2017.
Mastered by Peter Beckmann at Technology Works studios, October 2019.
Over the last 15 years, both musicians have developed formidable profiles and reputations as amoung the most inventive and innovative instrumentalists of their generation in Europe. Multiverse is their first release to document this collaboration and it is achieved with great style, colour and dynamism. Multiverse is indeed multifaceted in its instrumentation, texture and repertoire.
Collaborating in a myriad of different projects, both musicians have played in an acoustic duo on and off since they first met but it’s their collaborations as part of the Marius Neset band that has seen the integration of their talents in their duo work blossom. Multiverse has been a labour of love, an album two and a half years in the making, which showcases the musical brilliance and skill of both musicians as multi-instrumentalists.
Produced by Matt Calvert (best known for forging electronic sounds with live instruments in Three Trapped Tigers, Strobes, Heritage Orchestra and as MD for Goldie’s live band), the music blends a rich world of Jazz, groove and electronica with ear-catching and bold electronic textures. As Jim Hart explains “It brings together so many of our shared influences and inspirations, including John Taylor and Hermeto Pascoal as well as our own compositions which have definitely been inspired by each other as well”.
Originally initiated as an acoustic duo that focussed on the fluid interplay between instruments (piano and sax for Ivo and vibes and drums for Jim), from the beginning there were few boundaries to their inspiration. It was this freedom to switch between instruments and soundworlds that was particularly inspiring for both musicians. The addition of producer Matt Calvert was heaven sent – he added new dimensions and a new thought process as Jim Hart explains: ‘Matt Calvert is one of the best producers of his generation and was the obvious choice for a collaborator on this album. Having both worked with him in many various projects over the years we knew that his aesthetic and sound would be a perfect compliment for this music. In fact the term ‘producer’ does not necessarily do justice to his involvement in this project. Ivo and I wrote, performed and recorded all the music in duo then sent it all to Matt giving him carte blanche to do what he wanted with it. The layers he added and the sampling and treatment of what we sent him really brought it all to life and took it to the next level’.
For both musicians, this duo represents an exploration, a searching journey into what music means for them as creative musicians in the 21st century. It’s about risk-taking, shared music-making and learning. It’s about knowing when to step aside and listen, when to play and when not to play. Only after so many performances, miles on the road, can musicians really get to the level where honest and genuine interplay and creativity takes place. Jim and Ivo have a deep empathy, huge respect and understanding for each other combined with a shared love of the music they make – resulting in the riches that this collaboration continues to give.
Multiverse is a uniquely soundscaped, multi-faceted album that can sweep from serene, acoustic interpretations of the music of Hermeto Pascoal and John Taylor to dystopian, electronic free jazz whilst retaining its artistic coherence. Both musicians are at their most free and honest whilst being in full command of their respective means of expression.
"'Multiverse' is a master stroke...the result of a remarkable sound exploration...The intelligence of their rhythmic combinations...remind us of the magical dreamlike nature of Weather Report."
"Multiverse is joyous and has a sense of adventure which engages the listener."