Lingua disponibile: ingleseBoth a departure from and a continuation of his work with Talk Talk and .O.rang, Paul Webb's Rustin Man project shares not only members with those bands, but a sophisticated approach and heartfelt spirit. Rustin Man's first album, 2002's Out of Season, was a collaboration with Portishead's Beth Gibbons that allowed her and Webb to take their love of Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and Nick Drake in thoughtful, soulful directions of their own. Nearly two decades later, Webb sang lead for the first time on 2019's Drift Code, a haunting set that proved the power of Rustin Man's music had only grown during his time away from the spotlight. Along with his schoolmate, drummer Lee Harris, Webb joined Talk Talk in 1981. During his time as the band's bassist, he was exposed to music ranging from Miles Davis to Van Morrison, thanks in part to singer/songwriter Mark Hollis' eclectic taste. Webb's lone solo contribution to the band was "Another Word" from Talk Talk's 1982 debut album The Party's Over. He stayed with the group as their music became more complex on 1984's It's My Life, 1986's Colour of Spring, and 1987's ambitious Spirit of Eden, which reflected Talk Talk's increasingly experimental sound and contemplative moods. Webb left Talk Talk in 1988, and when the band folded in 1992, he reunited with Harris to form .O.rang. A more improvisatory and globally inspired act than Talk Talk, .O.rang incorporated dub and Krautrock into its sound. The project's first album, 1994's Herd of Instinct, featured contributions from Bark Psychosis' Graham Sutton and Portishead's Beth Gibbons. After 1996's Fields and Waves and the following year's Remixes, .O.rang went on hiatus. A few years later, Webb began working as Rustin Man and reunited with Gibbons for 2002's Out of Season, a luminous blend of folk, jazz and R&B that also featured Harris and Gibbons' Portishead bandmate Adrian Utley among its cast of players. The album charted in several European countries and earned a silver certification in the U.K. Following Out of Season's release, Webb produced James Yorkston's 2007 album Year of the Leopard and the Belgian band Dez Mona's 2009 effort Hilfe Kommt, but mostly concentrated on raising his family and converting an old barn into a home and recording studio. Over the years, he and Harris worked on Rustin Man music when they could, transforming Dictaphone demos into painstakingly recorded sessions that featured multiple microphone placements for each instrument. The first set of songs Webb wrote for himself to sing, Rustin Man's second album, Drift Code, arrived in 2019 and included contributions from local orchestral players and Webb's longtime friend Snowboy.
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