Blog Archives

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.

Maribou State – Feel Good feat. Khruangbin

maribou state

Maribou State announce their new album “Kingdoms In Colour”, released 7 September via Ninja Tune’s Counter Records imprint, their first full-length since 2015’s breakthrough debut album “Portraits”. The record features new single ‘Feel Good’ – a collaboration born of their friendship with Houston-based trio Khruangbin and a shared love of breakbeats, vintage surf riffs and a common desire to explore worldwide music cultures. “Sometimes a chance meeting plants the seed for something bigger,” say Khruangbin. “Such was the case when we met Maribou State at KOKO a couple of years ago. We are very happy to be involved in this project. And we ‘feel good’ already.”

The band continue their long standing relationship with Holly Walker who has previously vocalled fan favourites such as ‘Midas’, ‘Steal’ and ‘Tongue’. Also featured on the record is recent single ‘Turnmills’ – named after the legendary London club which closed its doors in 2008 – the release was accompanied by a sold-out ‘all-night’ DJ set at Corsica Studios raising money and awareness for the The Night Time Industries Association’s #SaveNightlife campaign to protect the UK’s most vulnerable music venues from closure.

They also announce a new headline UK tour this autumn. Returning with a 5-piece band, they play at London’s iconic Roundhouse on the 18th October. Ahead of this they will also embark on a string of European festival dates which include a headline show at Sonar By Day, Parklife Festival, Roskilde, Pukkelpop Festival and Nova Batida, having recently DJ’d after Flying Lotus at All Points East festival in London.

Modeselektor – Kalif Storch

modeselektor

Modeselektor will release their new “Modeselektion Vol. 04” compilation on 1st June 2018 via Monkeytown Records x Ninja Tune. It features 17 exclusive tracks including the first new Modeselektor production since 2015 – a wild acid techno track ‘Kalif Storch’ – named after the nightclub of the same name in Erfurt, Germany.

From exciting upstarts such as Skee Mask, rRoxymore, Solid Blake and Sarah Farina to exalted visionaries Peder Mannerfelt, Vatican Shadow and Actress, “Modeselektion Vol. 04” is a direct reflection of Modeselektor’s genre-defying DJ sets which, at their heart, celebrate invention, innovation and hybridity combined with a hearty commitment to moving dancefloors. Indeed, this has been the ethos from the inaugural release in the Modeselektion series in 2010.

Maribou State – Turnmills

Today Maribou State release their first new music since 2015’s breakthrough album “Portraits”. The British duo – Liam Ivory and Chris Davids – are fresh from an extended studio hibernation and will take their new live show to a string of summer festivals including a headline set at Sonar 2018, Parklife, Roskilde, Farr Festival, Standon Calling, Pukkelpop, MS Dockville, Nova Batida and El Dorado. They will also DJ after Flying Lotus at London’s eagerly anticipated All Points East Festival.

New single ‘Turnmills’ is a stunning track and a momentous statement of intent, revolving around a magnetically addictive arpeggiated bassline with expansive strings and choral vocals. The track is dedicated to the legendary London nightclub of the same name that closed in 2008 – one of a string of closures during the past 15 years that struck at the heart of the UK capital’s vibrant and globally renowned underground music culture.