Speakers Corner Quartet, a long-standing fixture in the South London jazz scene, released their highly anticipated debut album, Further Out Than the Edge, which showcases their unwavering commitment to the music community. Despite being their first official release, the group have been making waves for years, including a sold-out performance at the prestigious Barbican in 2021. Comprised of Raven Bush on violin, Peter Bennie on bass, Kwake Bass on drums/percussion, and Biscuit on flute, this iteration of the Speakers Corner Quartet has been active since 2011. The impressive lineup of featured artists on this album serves as a testament to the Quartet’s profound impact on the music scene in London.
The album, designed as a celebration of community, transcends the Quartet itself and places a spotlight on the collaborative efforts of numerous artists. From the tracklist alone, it becomes evident that community lies at the heart of this project, featuring the likes of Sampha, Tirzah, Leá Sen, Kae Tempest and Shabaka Hutchings. The quartet’s commitment to communal growth is palpable, as Kwake Bass notes, “There’s never been a rush as we’re just happy being in a room together. Playing instruments is just an extension of that and I think that’s what the community is all about, it’s just another part of the conversation.”
Speakers Corner Quartet feat. Coby Sey - On Grounds (Live At The Portico)OTIH TV
Further Out Than the Edge traverses various genres and influences, with guest artists seamlessly weaving in and out of the tracks. From the house-like opener “On Grounds” featuring Coby Sey’s captivating vocals to the jazzy “Acute Truth” that showcases Kwake’s infectious basslines and Bush’s experimental violin, the album presents a compelling musical journey. The hauntingly sparse “fix” featuring Tirzah’s delicate vocals stands in stark contrast, while “Dreaded!” featuring Leá Sen brings a more commercially appealing track. However, the album truly shines with the standout piece, “Geronimo Blues,” which pairs Kae Tempest’s raw social critiques with Bush’s ethereal violin, evoking goosebumps and a sense of unease.
Speakers Corner Quartet feat. Tirzah - 'fix' (Live At The Portico)OTIH TV
Navigating soul, jazz, electronica, and hip-hop, Speakers Corner Quartet has carved out a unique and captivating space in the music scene. The Quartet’s dedication to one another and their shared passion for music culminate in a harmonious celebration of each artist’s exceptional talents. While creating an album through sampling and cutting up jam sessions can result in a mishmash of disparate influences, Further Out Than the Edge defies this risk. These multi-instrumentalists leverage the power of community to create a cohesive and definitive project. Biscuit aptly summarizes the Quartet’s unity, stating, “We’re all one living, breathing organism when it comes to playing. This is the refined, final, and definitive version of this project.”