Artist: The Cinematic Orchestra
Label: Ninja Tune
When a band claims that they make music "for movies that don't exist," you can be sure, that if nothing less, the results will be interesting. The Cinematic Orchestra do just that and, in the process, release some of the most original, amazing music around. Their 2002 release, Everyday, is an absolute masterpiece of avant-ambient-trip hop-jazz.
The Cinematic Orchestra is a group of eight musicians led by the composer and multi-instrumentalist, Jason Swinscoe. Taking a large part of their sound from classic jazz, quick drum rhythms and meandering horns are a constant in the music. However, that is where any similarity to any other music ends. Swinscoe brings in equal parts of electronica, hip hop, ambient, and even punk and fuses them together into a sound that is simply indescribable. To put it another way, the reality of this group is that they are amazing live musicians, improvising over digital loops and sounds.
Everyday opens with the down-tempo track, "All That You Give." Mixing harps, horns, and a grooving, slow bassline, it is absolutely gorgeous. Avid music nerds will be blown away once they recognize the unmistakable vocals of soul legend Fontella Bass (for those who don't know the name, she sang the hit "Rescue Me," which is often attributed to Aretha Franklin). The song sets a perfect mood for the record, which keeps an intoxicatingly "cool" vibe throughout.
On each and every track, The Cinematic Orchestra push the boundaries of music in mind boggling ways. The tempo shifts throughout the album, showing the true genius and ability of the group. From the syrupy title track, to the brisk patterns of "Flite," Everyday is truly a musical experience. The group even incorporates a bit of hip-hop as illustrious rapper, Roots Minerva, lends his rhymes to the track, "All Things To All Men." On each and every track, The Cinematic Orchestra push the boundaries of music in mind boggling ways. Taking the chance on such experimentation is a rarely seen thing in modern music; success in the experiments is even more scarce.
Mixing digital loops alongside live instrumentation and spinning them into brilliant musical compositions is the essence behind The Cinematic Orchestra. Their music is like nothing else and they are at their finest with their sophomore release, Everyday. From soul to hip hop, from techno to ambient, this record truly runs the gamut of sounds and textures. To fully comprehend just how extraordinarily original and phenomenal this record is, get yourself a copy of Everyday as soon as possible!
Standout tracks: "Burn Out," Flite," and "Man With The Movie Camera."