Matt Berry and friends launch new instrumental prog outfit Milkbone

From Loudersound.

Milkbone is the name of musician and comedian, Matt Berry’s latest musical project. Evoking the jazz-rock stylings of Brand X, Gong, Weather Report etc… the new group features bassist Phil Scragg and drummer James Sedge alongside Berry on keyboards. You can listen to a teaser of the band’s upcoming album below.

Having previously worked together in Matt Berry and The Maypoles, the seeds of the idea of a group coming together on the band’s tour bus where they shared their mutual admiration for 1970s-era progressive and electronic music. “We decided to make an instrumental album that channeled/referenced our shared love of Canterbury era prog mixed with European electronica, Electric period Miles Davis as well as a love of the instruments, both acoustic and electronic, associated with those genres,” explains James Sedge.

“We were aspiring to get some of the atmosphere and ‘wonkiness’ of the recordings of that era rather than the sterile precision you occasionally encounter in contemporary production. We all enjoy the sound of real instruments playing with sequenced synths – the perfection of the sequencer with the imperfections of live drums and bass. We left in all the quirky feel things, so it wouldn’t sound overproduced and polished,” says Sedge.

Because of Covid restrictions, the album was recorded remotely with the players file-sharing remotely from their respective studios but Sedge says rather than letting this factor inhibit their creativity, they were able to exploit it to their advantage. “The music came together surprisingly quickly, with ideas flowing between the three of us right from the start. There was a lot of freedom to improvise and change direction. Tracks would be sent back and forth with ideas added or subtracted. Occasionally the contribution of one of us would be a complete surprise and take the music in a completely new direction.”

The trio’s self-titled album will be released on a limited-edition vinyl-only album via Burning Shed though the date has yet to be finalised. You can view the album artwork and tracklisting below.

“This is a studio project for now, but there are discussions about how we might bring it to a live audience in the not too distant future,” says Sedge.


(Image credit: Milkbone)

Milkbone: Milkbone
2. Leaving Hawksbill
3. Toys Hill
4. Automatic Foot
5. Milkbone
6. Two Sequences

1. Bleak Strategy
2. Soft Weed
3. Red Shift
4. Cecilia
5. Velvet Black

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