11 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5

250 Ratings

Engaging, Cohesive and Meaningful

Craig Ruiz,

With their latest release The Cinematic Orchestra seems more to being inviting you to into their home than into their world with this deeply personal release. Forced to wait until I could return home from work with my copy and position myself between the speakers and "sit down at the table", I was finally able to indulge in what is profoundly subtle album, reflective in tone and charmingly sentimental. The album introduces us to a warm and generous environment that seems like a family in conversation. The vocals add new dimension and further grow the personality of one the most uncompromised and genuine acts around. While perhaps less playful and boisterous than previous releases "Ma Fleur" is exceedingly triumphant even with its haunting vocals and delicate phonic approach. Do yourself a favor and get to know or get to know better this band. It speaks. Thanks AGAIN Jay, Phil, Luke and company. See you in San Diego in September! I plan on dragging all the gang out to see you.

One of the best of the year

NickCatal,

Every once in awhile I hear an album that really suprises me. It is like my mind saying "Why have I not heard this before?" Ma Fleur falls into that category. And it isn't just one song, or two songs, but every song that makes this a wonderful experience. This isn't the type of music you will want to be driving along the road with on the way to work, and it isn't the type of music you want on when you are doing housework or in the kitchen. It is the type of music that you want to lay back and just listen to for hours on end.

About The Cinematic Orchestra

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 at the time melded '60s and '70s jazz, orchestral soundtracks, rhythm loops, and live instrumentation into genre-defying compositions, as reflected on his contribution to Ninja Tune's 1997 Ninja Cuts 3 collection and his remixes of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Coldcut tracks. The Cinematic Orchestra built on this musical blueprint, letting a group of live musicians improvise over sampled percussion or basslines. The Orchestra included saxophonist/pianist Tom Chant, bassist Phil France, and drummer Daniel Howard, who also recorded the Channel One Suite and Diabolus EPs for Ninja Tune with Swinscoe.

The project's full-length debut, Motion, arrived in 1999 to great acclaim, which culminated in the Cinematic Orchestra's performance at the Directors' Guild Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony for Stanley Kubrick later that year in London. After the collection Remixes 1998-2000, their second album, Every Day, followed in 2002, with vocal features for Fontella Bass and Roots Manuva. Man with a Movie Camera, a 2003 release on CD and DVD, offered a 1999 film score Cinematic Orchestra had provided for the re-airing of a 1929 Soviet documentary, while four years later Ma Fleur was released. Live at the Royal Albert Hall arrived in spring 2008.

In 2011, the group curated a series of events at London's Barbican Centre where classic silent films were shown with new commissioned soundtracks. Highlights from the series were collected on the 2012 release The Cinematic Orchestra Presents: In Motion #1. ~ Heather Phares

  • FORMED
    1999

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