Steve Cobby / The New Law Of Righteousness / Déclassé

Steve Cobby’s latest long-player, The New Law Of Righteousness, really showcases his skills as a multi-instrumentalist and arranger. The set starts all organic, and a bit Brazilian, with gentle acoustic picking, and a flutter of flute. The opener, Viva Melvin, being a Bahia breeze. A soulful, strummed summer sunset lullaby. This quickly stretches out to incorporate a fusion-flavoured swing, as the live syncopation on Tang Ping synergises with synths that swirl, whistle, then soar, and a very squelchy bottom-end.  


Leaving Civilization Behind Us switches back to bossa nova, but bolder. A buoyant Blow Monkeys-like pop. An electric axe wailing away on top. A melodica bolstering its Balearic bent. The Four Fs hits a house tempo. While still built about some groovy guitar, its playful, played around with, 4 / 4, recalls the wonderfully wonky creations that once graced Steve Dungey’s Holistic Recordings, and in particular Max Brennan’s Fretless AZM project. 


The World And Your Place In It rocks to a rubbery head-nodding rhythm, an almost acidic riff, of sorts, on old school electro. The composition further coloured by carefully positioned keys and strings. Everything Is Smoothed By Time is a fine, funky library music homage, not a dusty, but brand new break, with a brilliant b-line, and cool chords. Its electronics, quirky. Proper jazz in the sax. Bernal Spheres puts early Eno-esque ambience with a propulsive LFO pulse. 


On All The Faith I Had Had Had No Effect multiple 6-string layers map a musical maze, with terrific Tommy Guerrero-like technique, while Growing In Lunar Soil is a slowly evolving epic. Its abstract, fizzing, whispering, circuitry anchored around a steady tick-tocking beat, as a low hum grows to a TB-303 growl. A hypnotic chiming providing something to hang onto, guiding you through the laidback landscape’s delightful dubby drift. 


Ikigai then kinda brings the collection full circle. Most certainly “organic”, with a spiritual vibe, like `70s kosmische folk, oriental tunings intertwining with birdsong, in a wistful, reflective, closing piece that feels part devotional, part daydream idyll.

Steve Cobby : The New Law Of Righteousness 

Steve Cobby’s The New Law Of Righteousness is out now on Déclassé.

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