Deptford-based artist collective Steam Down are hosting a very special night at The Albany this Saturday. The group are recording their new audio-visual album live, inviting audiences to come along and be a part of the experience. The immersive event will also feature performances from musicians across the wider UK jazz community, writes Holly O’Mahony…

Steam Down are known locally for their soulful melodies, west African rhythms, spiritual jazz and bass music.

Doing away with the more typical practice of recording an album in a private studio, the group from south-east London are looking to bring the audience into the creative process behind their music. ‘There is no audience, we are all the music, everyone’s participation matters’, says the group in a post on The Albany website. Steam Down’s sessions are often a co-creative experience between the audience and musicians. In their own words, it’s: ‘a mutual exchange of energy and vibes between the groovers and movers, the band and the crowd.’

However, Saturday’s performance marks the first time the group will record an album live, featuring the audience dancing and singing alongside the performers.

Founded by Ahnanse in May 2017, Steam Down was initially a one-off event created to connect London-based musicians and producers.

An appetite for more was evident and since then, it’s evolved into a weekly meet-up where artists from what is now the Steam Down collective, plus their extended musical family, creative improvised sonic soundscapes reflecting their lives in the city.

After the live recording of their new audio-visual album, Steam Down are embarking on a European tour which will see them play in Antwerp, Oslo, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam.

Steam Down: The Album is taking place at The Albany, Douglas Way, SE8 4AG. January 26, from 7:30pm – 11pm.