The artist known as Lambert today announces a new studio album ‘Open’ to be released by Mercury KX. Hear the first track ‘The Open’ and watch its video now here.
Lambert explains the theme of the album, “Open is a longing for openness, a longing for social interaction. It reflects the feeling of these last two years of difficult experiences we have all gone through. Many believe social media aids us in the process of openness and connection – it’s the place for us to share and be transparent. This is all the more absurd when you realise that we’re all just sitting at home alone interacting in the digital sphere, rather than going out into the world openly and interacting with others.”
Comprising 15 concise instrumentals, his seventh studio album Open – his third for Mercury KX – is the Hamburg-born and currently Berlin-based composer/multi-instrumentalist’s intuitive and personal response to Germany’s initial lockdown in the spring of 2020, a both tranquil and restless journey centred on piano and crossing seamlessly between improvised jazz, classical and filmic ambience. Open is also a key to understanding this idiosyncratic, enigmatic and playful character, who is never seen without his horned mask.
The making of Open brought Lambert, “back to the feelings I had when I made my first two albums‚ Lambert  and Stay In The Dark . It’s very piano-based and the pianistic core of the tunes is essential.”
Following his third album, the improv-based Excess (2016), Lambert invited other musicians to contribute, leading to the more orchestrated Sweet Apocalypse (2017) and True (2019). In 2018, he embarked on a song-based album project We Share Phenomena with the American indie-folk singer Dekker (as Lambert & Dekker) and an instrumental mini-album with the German techno artist Stimming (as Lambert x Stimming) on the album Exodus, expanding his rhythmic and free-jazz remits even further afield. Lambert’s most recent solo album False (2021) was an entire record of multiple collaborations, taking in freeform jazz and Americana to electronica and even Autotuned pop, and the same year, a full-length Lambert x Stimming album, Positive. There were other collaborations, beyond music: at the time of True, a mockumentary about training other (masked) Lamberts to perform his music whilst False was accompanied by a podcast series featuring “world-renowned ‘Lambertologist’ Martin Stollmayr.”
“What’s new about Open is the way I used the analogue synth for arranging,” he says. “To me, it feels hesitant and shivery, somewhere between beautifully arranged and a bit insecure. It also feels like a very song-oriented album, similar to those first two albums. The presence of guitar is also new, and the guitar is typically a ‘song’ instrument. I was always insecure about my own playing, so I mostly asked someone else to play for me. But I like these moments of independence.”
Independence has always been important to Lambert. Raised on his parents’ classical records (though they did make allowances for The Beatles – “they’re still my favourite band” he says), he took piano lessons from an early age, but as his teens approached, he decided, “classical music was boring- all that sheet music!” – and started playing drums as well. More independence was asserted when a new piano teacher introduced him to jazz, “which drove my whole understanding of piano” (Bill Evans is a particular favourite). It’s why he refutes being categorised as ‘post-classical’.
“I guess a lot of my tunes fit in that box, but to me, that music is ‘vertical’: it’s about texture, harmony and shifting atmospheres on top of each other. It doesn’t have a very ‘horizontal’ aspect, which is how I play. The left hand is for the cool chords, and the right hand for the cool lines. I feel post-classical is only the left hand.”
So, for all his efforts to invite others into his world, and his yearning for connection, Lambert remains a solitary character. In the music video for Open’s title track, the man in the horned mask, “is very introvert and thoughtful, but he is wandering in an open landscape. It’s a picture of how he’d like his world to be. And he’d like to share his wisdom with the world.”
Open will keep the conversation going, as only a masterful composer can, using music to express the inside, with solo live shows on the horizon. After all, he wants to be, “open.”
“There is a chance,” he concludes. “Being open can lead the way. It is contradictory that someone wearing a mask is telling that, but still, that would be a bad reason for disagreeing!”
Praise for Lambert’s previous album ‘False’:
“Atmospheric excellence… a work of often melancholy beauty. An album to wallow in, its 14 tracks go by all too soon. It could easily be twice as long and not outstay its welcome.” – Record Collector
“‘False’ is one of those albums that manages to distill pop culture whilst taking elements from the classical world to create something mesmeric and enticing.” – Clash
“Like a stylish ambient playlist – easy to get lost in.” – Uncut
“Beautiful.” – The Independent ‘I’
“Ultimately this album’s real charm lies in the sum of its enigmatic parts.” – Loud & Quiet
“Pushing the boundaries of creativity” – The Darkus
“Mysterious and strangely compelling” – The Sun
‘Open’ Full Tracklisting:
2.I’ve Never Been To China
6.The Bar Is Closed
7.What’s The Hurry
9.Le Petit Interlude
10.Do Not Rest!
12.There Is Nothing I Can Do