Blog Archives

The Cinematic Orchestra – Lessons (Live)

The Cinematic Orchestra have shared a new live video for “Lessons” taken from their new album “To Believe”. Filmed by acclaimed filmmaker and photographer Brian “B+” Cross (Mochilla) whilst the band were in Joshua Tree, USA earlier this year.

B+ said of the video, “The desert has been an important reference for Jason and Dominic during the creation of this project. We took photos out there three years back in the beginning of the publicity for the campaign. It was wonderful to go back out to Joshua Tree and hear the music performed live by the full band. It was an honour to capture the energy in the room over six takes and then intercut it with some observational shots we created using a pretty sophisticated drone. Drone technology was created in Southern California and all the stark beauty it can capture underwritten by the military industrial narratives we live with here is present in the work. Thinking about these deeper themes is central to this new Cinematic project and it was a privilege to be part of these conversations.”

On the instrumental ‘Lessons’, a melodic, melancholic meditation is built around Luke Flowers’ drums, driving the track’s ebbs and flows of energy. Whilst the saxophonist is the ever present band member Tom Chant, who in many ways embodies the evolving symbiosis of the band: a friend-of-a-friend turned studio partner turned bedrock of the band’s live formation over two decades.

The Cinematic Orchestra (founded by Jason Swinscoe and now joined long-time collaborator and friend Dominic Smith), have always defied category and convention. Neither an orchestra nor a band, not a pure jazz act but full of its influence, not electronic but originally rooted in a London based electronic scene. Musical trends come and go but they have assuredly and defiantly stuck to their principles. A refusal to compromise, to bend to classification, to follow convention.

“To Believe” was released on 15th March on Ninja Tune to widespread acclaim

Tycho – Easy

Tycho’s 2016’s GRAMMY® nominated, Billboard-topping album, ‘Epoch’ saw huge success for the San Francisco-based group, building to two sold out nights at London’s 2000-capacity Electric Brixton followed by a date at The Roundhouse. Today, Tycho give a first glimpse at new material with brand new track “Easy.”

“Easy” is available now on Mom + Pop Music x Ninja Tune and sees Tycho’s trademark vibrant, cinematic electronics topped with hushed vocal descants, adding a new layer of instrumentation and hinting at a new direction for their next chapter, which is set to unfold over the summer of 2019. “Music can transport us to other realities but can also ground us firmly within ourselves” says Scott Hansen, Tycho’s primary composer, songwriter and producer. “After a trilogy of records spent exploring the outer reaches of experience I am focusing inward to reveal a human side to the music.”

“The past 13 years have seen Tycho evolve from the part-time solo project of a graphic designer into a band that achieved things far beyond any of our wildest expectations” he continues. “My journey as an artist has been defined by an iterative cycle with each album building on and refining an overarching vision. ‘Easy’ is about coming to terms with my past and defining a clear vision moving forward. It’s a comforting voice that reminds you not to get so lost in the work, but to take it easy and enjoy the ride. ‘Easy’ is the bridge to the future.”

Listen to “Easy” above.

Jordan Rakei – Mind’s Eye

Back from an extended studio hibernation, Jordan Rakei releases new single ‘Mind’s Eye’ today. It’s his first solo material since 2018’s ‘Wildfire’ and the first new music in what promises to be a busy 2019. It follows a string of live and studio collaborations with his friends Tom MischAlfa Mist and Barney Artist(aka the Are We Live collective); Loyle Carner (Jordan wrote and produced recent single ‘Ottolenghi’);Richard Spaven (Flying Lotus, Jose James, Mala); and Rosie Lowe.

Switching up from the highly personal and intimate portrait he painted with “Wallflower”, Jordan has taken a step back to study humanity as a whole. Overtly inspired by dystopian visions of our future – notably Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, The Handmaid’s Tale and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: The Return – combined with Jordan’s inner contemplation of humanity and our existence, ‘Mind’s Eye’ describes a future world in which wearable tech has been superseded by tech implanted in the human body. “The subject of the song is experiencing a technological malfunction which is flooding his mind’s eye with projections of chaos causing him to question his reality,” explains Jordan.

The 26 year old moved from Brisbane to London in 2015, signed to Ninja Tune and released his second longplayer “Wallflower” in 2017. The record – a mature and sophisticated modern soul opus documenting his life-changing move and adjustment to London-living – underlined his innate and expansive talents as a songwriter, producer and performer, opened up a new global audience and earned plaudits from the likes of Robert GlasperTerrace Martin (Kendrick Lamar, Herbie Hancock, Flying Lotus) and Bonobo who invited him as main support at his landmark Alexandra Palace show and additionally as a special guest onstage during his set.

Having performed at iconic venues and festivals including GlastonburyField DayPitchfork Avant-GardeSXSWShepherd’s Bush Empire and two sold-out nights at Ronnie Scott’s, Jordan will play a handful of intimate European and US headline shows in May and June including London’s EartH:

15 May – EartH, London, UK
20 May – Cinetol, Amsterdam, NL
22 May – Privatclub, Berlin, DE
25 June – Masonic Lodge, Los Angeles, US
27 June – Rough Trade, Brooklyn, US

Tickets on general sale on Friday 01 March: jordanrakei.com

The Cinematic Orchestra – A Promise (feat. Heidi Vogel) (Edit)

The Cinematic Orchestra release the second single ‘A Promise’ (premiered today via XLR8R) from their forthcoming album “To Believe” (out 15th March on Ninja Tune). If “To Believe” represents their most complete artist statement to date ‘A Promise’ is the apogee of their inimitable sound – intimacy without sentimentality, intensity without hyperbole, gravitas without self-importance. Long time collaborator Heidi Vogel’s lustrous voice graces plunging piano chords and shimmering electronics building into Miguel Atwood-Ferguson’s swelling strings that hand off to drummer Luke Flowers’ pulsating drums in the sort of crescendo that distills the energy and emotion for which they are known.

On “To Believe” founding member Jason Swinscoe and longtime partner Dominic Smith have enlisted album contributions from collaborators old and new: Moses Sumney, Roots Manuva, Heidi Vogel, Grey Reverend (vocalist on Bonobo’s ‘First Fires’), Dorian Concept and Tawiah (Mark Ronson band, Kindness). Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (Flying Lotus, Anderson .Paak, Thundercat, Hiatus Kaiyote) features on strings, Dennis Hamm (Flying Lotus, Thundercat) on keys and photographer and visual artist Brian “B+” Cross collaborated with Swinscoe and Smith on the album’s concept. The record was mixed by multiple Grammy winner Tom Elmhirst (David Bowie, Frank Ocean, Adele) in Jimi Hendrix’s legendary Electric Lady Studios. The album artwork comes courtesy of The Designers Republic™ (Aphex Twin).

“To Believe” explores a timeless question of vital importance in 2019 – what to believe? The question of belief is one that has long simmered in the minds of Swinscoe and Smith. This album is a meditation on belief, an attempt to examine the shaky foundations which underpin it, while also emphasising its importance to our lives. “The prerequisite of everything in life is belief both good and bad” Smith says. “So what should we believe in…or what can we believe in and also importantly why do we believe in something”.

Although this album marks a return to the studio, the band have also never really gone away, consistently performing to larger and larger audiences and selling out the likes of London’s Royal Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House. Coachella, Glastonbury, Fuji Rock, Montreux and Sonar have all played host to the band’s much loved live performances. Beyond the obvious they have also appeared at the Directors Guild Lifetime Achievement Awards for Stanley Kubrick and they curated a series of events at London’s prestigious Barbican Centre featuring commissions from the prodigiously talented Austin Peralta (RIP) and have seen the likes of Dorian Concept, Thundercat, Moses Sumney and Gilles Peterson support them on stage over the years. They scored Disney’s feature length nature documentary “The Crimson Wing” including the track ‘Arrival of the Birds’ which featured in the closing scene of the Oscar Winning Stephen Hawking biopic “The Theory of Everything”. They also released a Late Night Tales compilation featuring music from Flying Lotus, Burial and Björk.

Since “Motion” (1999), The Cinematic Orchestra have sold hundreds of thousands of albums, generated almost half a billion streams and enjoyed critical support from the likes of Pitchfork (8.6 for second album “Every Day” which featured two collaborations with legendary Art Ensemble of Chicago singer Fontella Bass), The Guardian, New York Times, Le Monde, Resident Advisor, Fader, Mixmag, NME, Crack (whose Simple Things festival the band headlined in 2016), Rolling Stone, Gilles Peterson, Benji B, Jason Bentley, Zane Lowe, Annie Mac, Lauren Laverne, KCRW and Mary Anne Hobbs. ‘To Build A Home’ has been synced to dozens of films and TV shows including the Orange Is The New Black finale and This Is Us and adverts including Burberry, Armani, Nike and Apple. The ‘To Build a Home’ short film was directed by Andrew Griffin and stars Peter Mullan (Trainspotting, Harry Potter).

In 2019 it is easy to see the band’s influence, jazz is all around us, London and LA have recently produced scenes more prolific than anyone expected; Kamasi Washington has been nominated for both Grammy and Brit Awards, Sons Of Kemet a Mercury Prize, BADBADNOTGOOD provide jazz soundtracks to high fashion shows and Kendrick Lamar has put the jazz palette at the top of the charts. When The Cinematic Orchestra released their critically acclaimed debut album “Motion” it helped pave the way for this moment, incorporating as it did an interpretation that had been lacking in the oeuvre and encouraging a new generation of musicians to break rules. “To Believe” doesn’t shy away from this ethos – its articulation of the band’s unique sonic language, encompassing not only jazz but the sort of transcendental orchestration combined with the elegant electronics of artists like Ólafur Arnalds and Floating Points, artists they have helped forge a path for, has never been more cohesive and compelling.

The Cinematic Orchestra – A Caged Bird/Imitations of Life feat. Roots Manuva

The Cinematic Orchestra are back with a definitive new album that explores a timeless question of vital importance in 2019 – what to believe? Founding member Jason Swinscoe and longtime partner Dominic Smith have enlisted album contributions from collaborators old and new: Moses SumneyRoots ManuvaHeidi VogelGrey Reverend (vocalist on Bonobo’s ‘First Fires’), Dorian Concept and Tawiah(Mark Ronson, Kindness). Miguel Atwood-Ferguson (Flying Lotus, Anderson Paak, Thundercat, Hiatus Kaiyote) features on strings and photographer and visual artist Brian “B+” Cross collaborated with Swinscoe and Smith on the album’s concept. The record was mixed by multiple Grammy winner Tom Elmhirst (David Bowie, Frank Ocean, Adele) in Jimi Hendrix’s legendary Electric Lady studios. The album artwork comes courtesy of The Designers Republic™ (Aphex Twin).

The album announce is marked by the general release of new single ‘A Caged Bird/Imitations of Life’featuring Roots Manuva. The track, revealed via an innovative website only accessible on offline devices – a paradox illuminating the album’s core question of what to believe, was available initially on 12″ in independent record stores and sold out in a matter of hours. The artists first collaborated in 2002 on fan favourite ‘All Things to All Men’, 17 years later the partnership has lost none of its urgency and searing insight as Roots Manuva laments how our “situation is strange to us, stranger things are claiming us” over a pounding, hypnotic rhythm section that concedes to the choruses’ soaring strings.

The first leg of the “To Believe” tour begins in March and includes a three night residency at London’s iconic Roundhouse.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 12 years since The Cinematic Orchestra released their last studio album, “Ma Fleur” in 2007. Did you achieve what you hoped to in the time since? 12 years from now will be 2031. What will you do before then? We are powerless to answer of course, mere passengers in our own existence, improvising as events deliver themselves into our lives, struggling with the question – what to believe?  Births, deaths, success, failure. Money, drugs, temptation, rejection. Trump, Brexit, fear, hope. Art, relevance, pressure, belief. It’s this that accounts for the past 12 years for The Cinematic Orchestra, it’s this that characterises the process of recording the new album and it’s this that has been distilled into a work that is not only their best and most definitive to date but by asking these questions it’s also that which best reflects the great beauty in life.

“To Believe” Tracklist:
1. To Believe (feat. Moses Sumney)
2. A Caged Bird/Imitations of Life (feat. Roots Manuva)
3. Lessons
4. Wait for Now/Leave The World (feat. Tawiah)
5. The Workers of Art
6. Zero One/This Fantasy (feat. Grey Reverend)
7. A Promise (feat. Heidi Vogel)

OUT 15 MARCH ON NINJA TUNE

No. 16: Marie Davidson – Working Class Woman

Marie Davidson – Working Class Woman
Label: Ninja Tune ‎– ZEN250
Released: 05 Oct 2018
Genre: Electronic, Pop
Style: House, Techno, Synth-pop

No. 18: Leon Vynehall – Nothing Is Still

Leon Vynehall ‎– Nothing Is Still
Label: Ninja Tune ‎- ZEN249
Released: 15 Jun 2018
Genre: Electronic
Style: Ambient, Downtempo, Deep House

Marie Davidson, Lamusa II – La Ecstase

MARIE DAVIDSON ANNOUNCES “SO RIGHT EP” OUT ON 30TH NOV ON NINJA TUNE.

Listen to ‘La Ecstase’ a collaboration with Italian producer and fellow RBMA alumni Lamusa II, which is released now alongside a remix from Silent Servant (L.I.E.S / Cititrax / Hospital Productions).

On ‘La Ecstase’ the lyrics – spoken in French and Italian – take in the sights, sounds and emotions of an early morning dance floor, Marie’s spoken-text observations riding out over a sluggish electro baseline. For his remix, Silent Servant ramps up the sense of dread to take the listener on a more angst ridden trip.

Making up the EP are the previously released ‘So Right’ extended club version and a remix by John Talabot – with all tracks available physically for the first time on 30th November.

“So Right EP” follows the recent release of Marie Davidson’s album “Working Class Woman” on Ninja Tune.

Maribou State – Kingdom feat. North Downs (Adesse Versions Remix)

Following a steady stream of remixes from the likes of Maceo Plex and DJ Tennis, Maribou State today release “Kingdom (feat. North Downs) (Adesse Versions Remix)”.

Having previously released on labels such as Numbers, Delusions Of Grandeur and Ostgut Ton (under his own name), he delivers a subtle re-work, drawing out the vocals of long-time Maribou State collaborator Jack Sibley AKA North Downs over a lean reconstruction of the original’s percussive, hand-clapped rhythms. “The original has fantastic drums, melodies and vocals, but with room for me to give it a little more energy” he explains. “This was one of the most enjoyable remixes I’ve worked on for a long time”.

The release follows the incredible sold-out performance at the Roundhouse, where Jack joined the band to perform the song live on stage against a backdrop of brand new live visuals and an expanded string quartet in addition to the 5-piece band. Their recently announced 5k capacity Brixton Academy show – on March 7th 2019 – has sold-out in a matter of weeks, charting the phenomenal success of the band since the release of their breakthrough debut album “Portraits” in 2015.

Marie Davidson – So Right (Original + John Talabot Remix)

Marie Davidson’s new album turns the mirror on herself. “Working Class Woman” – released on 5th October on Ninja Tune – is the Montreal-based producer’s fourth and most self-reflective record: it’s a document of her state of mind, of operating within the spheres of dance music and club culture. Drawing on those experiences, as well as an array of writers, thinkers and filmmakers who’ve influenced her, Davidson’s response to such difficult moments is to explore her own reaction to them and poke fun. “It comes from my brain, through my own experiences: the suffering and the humour, the fun and the darkness to be Marie Davidson.” It’s an honest document of where she currently stands. As she puts it,“It’s an egotistical album – and I’m okay with that.” 

The sound of “Working Class Woman” is more direct than any of her previous outings. She still mines the same influences, from Italo Disco, to proto-industrial and electro, but leadens them with a gut-punching weight, making for a record that’s more visceral than any she’s released before. Industrial heaviness is balanced by Davidson’s spoken text – rather than spoken word, which she sees as a distinct tradition – dark, textured soundscapes are counterweighted by statements that carry a more darkly humourous edge than before, making observations on both aspects of club culture as well as more oblique critiques of the modern world. It’s something that’s encapsulated in the driving momentum of lead single ‘So Right’, released alongside a remix from John Talabot: it matches pared back lyrics with a melodic bassline and bright synths, her words sketching out a euphoric feeling that chimes with the music.