Marking the release of their first studio album in 12 years, The Cinematic Orchestra are to play their only northern date at Manchester Academy!
Since 1999’s Motion, The Cinematic Orchestra have received consistent worldwide acclaim for their atmospheric fusion of jazz and electronica. Founded in that year by Jason Swinscoe, they’ve helped pave the way for the genre-blending jazz scenes that are currently blossoming all over the world. From Manchester to LA, artists like Mammal Hands, Kamasi Washington, BADBADNOTGOOD and even Kendrick Lamar continue to draw influence from the London-based band. That being said, there’s no-one out there that sounds quite like them. Their deft combination of minimalist electronic patterns, rich orchestration and instinct-led jazz marks them out as a singular voice in the ‘mood music’ landscape.
The Cinematic Orchestra’s second album, Every Day, remains one of their best, with the collaborative efforts of Fontella Bass and Roots Manuva adding new vibrancy to the band’s majestic sound. There’s a timelessness to tracks like ‘All That You Give’ and ‘All Things To All Men’ which makes them hit as hard today as they did nearly two decades ago. 2003’s Man With Movie Camera then followed, featuring a seductive new score for Dziga Vertov’s avant-garde 1929 silent film of the same name. Then it was 2007’s Ma Fleur, whose tender first track ‘To Build a Home’ has been spilling out of TV’s, cinemas and radios ever since.
12 years of radio silence ensued on the album front, until a jolting announcement: To Believe is to be released on the 15 March. Jason Swinscoe and long-time musical partner Dominic Smith tell us that the record features a swathe of collaborators old and new, with Moses Sumney, Dorian Concept and Roots Manuva provoking particular excitement. A musical rumination on the theme ‘what to believe?’, the first single ‘A Caged Bird/Imitations of Life’ is hypnotic, urgent and unsettling, stricken with the strangeness of a world in which distrust is increasingly embedded into our every day. As well as their characteristically stately brand of jazz, this single features transcendental orchestration and elegant electronics, the likes of which you might find on an Ólafur Arnalds or Floating Points record.
‘A Caged Bird/Imitations of Life’ is a great sign of the record to come! Whilst we’re of course excited about that, we’re even more excited about the live shows that come with it. For now, the tour dates remain few and far between – only five other UK shows follow their three-night residency at London’s iconic Roundhouse! Their gig at Manchester Academy, then, a must for any northern fans!