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The Cinematic Orchestra's third studio album is a long way from the cut-up jazz of their origins. Moving beyond noir mood pieces, Ma Fleur delves into stark, heartbreakingly beautiful folk and soul. Fontella Bass' haunting vocals give "Familiar Ground" and "Breathe" a timeless quality, and Lamb's Lou Rhodes evokes Nick Drake at his most vulnerable on the spare, acoustic "Music Box"; another Rhodes-led song, "Time and Space", comes on like winter dusk—chilly but also comforting.

Biography

Formed: 1999

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The brilliantly named Cinematic Orchestra is led by composer/programmer/multi-instrumentalist Jason Swinscoe, who formed his first group, Crabladder, in 1990 as an art student at Cardiff College. Crabladder's fusion of jazz and hardcore punk elements with experimental rhythms inspired Swinscoe to further explore the possibilities of sampling, and by the time of the group's demise in the mid-'90s, he was DJ'ing at various clubs and pirate radio stations in the U.K. The music he recorded on his own...
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Ma Fleur, The Cinematic Orchestra
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Contemporaries