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Late Night Tales: The Cinematic Orchestra

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Album Review

Following contributions from guitar bands Arctic Monkeys and Snow Patrol, the critically acclaimed Late Night Tales series invites an outfit more associated with their early laid-back electronica-based installments to compile their own playlist in the shape of British experimental jazz collective the Cinematic Orchestra. While their selected 19 tracks lack the surprise element of their two indie predecessors, both of whom divulged an unexpected love of hip-hop, it's still a highly eclectic affair, taking in '60s lounge-pop (Burt Bacharach's "South American Getaway"), fingerpicking acoustic folk (Nick Drake's "Three Hours"), and retro Italo house (the Songstress' "See Line Woman"). Showcasing their influences, there are traces of their lush widescreen orchestration on Björk's "Jóga" and Imogen Heap's instrumental "Cumulus," their ambient electronica on U.S. producer Flying Lotus' "Auntie's Harp" and dubstep pioneer Burial's "Dog Shelter," and improvised jazz leanings on trumpeter Eddie Gale's "The Rain" and the Freedom Sounds ft. Wayne Henderson's "Behold the Day." Elsewhere, the album unexpectedly has two artists in common with Gary Lightbody and company's selections in blues-soul vocalist Terry Callier ("You're Goin' Miss Your Candyman") and DJ Food's "Living Beats" (whose turntablist, Patrick Carpenter, now plays with the Orchestra); Sebastian Tellier's "La Ritournelle" and St. Germain's "Rose Royce" reveal their love affair with Gallic jazz-pop; and Radiohead's Thom Yorke ("Black Swan"), minimalist composer Steve Reich ("Electric Counterpoint"), and '60s R&B star Shuggie Otis ("Aht Uh Mi Hed") complete their predominantly chilled-out soundtrack. Fans intrigued by their two own new compositions may feel slightly let down by the brief 39-second forgettable instrumental "Restaurant," but their atmospheric and soulful cover of Syl Johnson's "Talking About Freedom," featuring the impassioned tones of previous collaborator Fontella Bass, should more than make up for the disappointment. A brief insight into the musical mindset of one of the British nu-jazz scene's most exciting acts, the Cinematic Orchestra's addition to the series is a veritable treasure trove of lost classics, obscurities, and high-quality dream pop that takes the concept back to basics. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

whats number 18 about?

Is this Electronic or a story??


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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Late Night Tales: The Cinematic Orchestra, The Cinematic Orchestra
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